Sorry I’ve been so scarce for a while. I’ve been experiencing a summer slump of sorts, not really feeling in the mood to read much online, like my feeds in Google Reader, or keeping up with my buddies on Jaiku or FriendFeed. And before the summer slump, I was always on Jaiku and FriendFeed, essentially microblogging in a true sense. Frankly, I get way more interaction on Jaiku and FF about the RSS items, articles, and photos I post there than I do here. The almost instant feedback on Jaiku was fun and satisfying.
However, it seems now I am not in the mood to spend a whole lot of time on my social network sites, either. Part of that could be attributed to my wonderful Kindle that The Hubby got me for my birthday. I have enjoyed getting back into a reading mood with it! My relatively voracious reading of late reminds me of how much of a bookworm I used to be when I was younger, before Teh Internetz killed my attention span. **smirk** I also have been writing in my journal a lot more, partially because it’s a nice, inconspicuous way to kill time at work. And so I’ve been writing in my journal, even outlining things I’d like to blog about, but then never get around to actually writing the blog posts. Hence, not a lot of writing on the blog. I’ve been trying to supplement the lack of writing with pictures cross-posted from my Flickr stream, but that’s not really enough, is it, Dear Readers? So, I’m going to consciously make an effort to keep up with my RSS feeds again and post more, even if it’s just shorter, blurb-y posts that are more appropriate for Jaiku. All I ask in return is for a bit more commenting here so I can enjoy more interaction here as well. Deal? Okay.
Before I wrap this up, let me address the “…and a test” part of my blog title above. I am composing this post in the WordPress app for iPhone/iPod touch. I just downloaded it from the AppStore for free, and this is the first test.
Quick first impressions:
- UI is pretty good. When you set up your blog account, you can choose how many recent posts the app should display. I didn’t try it, but I assume this means you can edit currently published articles.
- It has an embedded browser so that you can preview your work. This worked pretty well when I previewed an older article.
- It has full access to your categories. It was pretty easy to scroll through the list (I have a lot of categories) with my finger, with the kinetic scrolling typical of OS X’s touch interface.
- It’s annoying that you cannot rotate the screen to landscape mode. Therefore, you can’t use the more comfortable landscape version of the on-screen keyboard. I don’t have as big of a problem with the iPod’s virtual keyboard as others do, but I still would’ve appreciated the “breathing room” accorded by the landscape keyboard.
I’ll see how well it works when you want to include pictures, or if there are any issues if you’re composing a post and you don’t have wireless access (you shouldn’t). But for now I’m going to wrap this up and upload the post. Later, Kids!
It’s been a while since I changed my theme around. Some people like to keep their theme consistent, since it’s like their “branding”, but since I actually consume a lot of web info via RSS feeds, I often don’t see the original websites, so it’s no big deal to me. I suppose I see it as fashion and accessorizing. Anyway, since I don’t host my own blog, I don’t have ultimate flexibility in how my blog is presented. But WordPress.com does a pretty good job of making a decent variety of themes available to us, adding more themes now and then.
I saw that there was a new theme available, so I decided to try it out. I love the combination of red and black, and I like black and gray, so this theme is kind of a nice little mashup of those colors. Usually it’s difficult for me to find a theme that doesn’t make my ink blog posts look messed up, so imagine my happy surprise when I found out this new theme called Redoable Lite did not stomp all over my ink blog posts! Yay! I noticed a couple older picture posts from Flickr that I had originally manually reformatted (to make them look okay in my old theme) are a bit wonky now, but overall, no big deal. Great! I really like the modern look of this new theme, and the frames that it puts around images. Very cool. Also, the big quote marks that it shows in the background when there are quoted passages look pretty cool, like from a modern magazine layout. Love it.
P.S. I also just found out that a newer beta version of Windows Live Writer is available now. I’ll definitely have to download it, since the ink blog plug-in is what I use for my ink posts. Perhaps they have fixed the issue where trying to add category tags for a WordPress blog was not fully functional (the drop-down menu was truncated and therefore only showed a few category tags)… For other normal posts, I usually just use ScribeFire since I’m usually in front of a computer with a browser handy. It makes posting from Firefox or Flock very easy (yeah, I know Flock has its own blog posting features; I just am used to ScribeFire).
Powered by ScribeFire.
Just installed MaemoWordPy on my 770, and I’m trying out posting from it. This is pretty cool! I’ll have to get a BT keyboard now…
In random news, I’m going to see Harry Potter at a midnight showing later. Hopefully we don’t have to wait in line too long to get in. Already there are 7 showings at the AMC theatre that are sold out as of about an hour ago. The last time I was worried about waiting in line for a movie was around the time the second Matrix movie came out, IIRC. Am I dating myself by saying that? Perhaps there were a couple other movies that were highly anticipated, but the second Matrix movie is the one I remember.
For those of you who view my blog in a browser (as opposed to using an RSS feed reader), you might’ve noticed that I changed the theme. I just saw notice of a new available theme called Icebuurg (or something like that), and when I tried it out, I liked what I saw. Finally, a theme that doesn’t make my ink blog posts look totally messed up. The one thing I don’t like about it at the moment is that all of my sidebar widgets end up at the very bottom of the page. So the shared articles from Google Reader (not that I’m aware of many people really checking this particular sidebar out) aren’t conveniently located to the side of my blog entries, nor are my calendar and archive links. Oh well… Compromises.
For now I think I’ll keep the winter theme up; I like it!
Pffff. If you visit my blog and notice missing pictures, please post something in the comment thread for that entry. Sometimes when I post from Windows Live Writer, the pictures don’t display properly. I try to tweak the HTML code if I notice a problem, and sometimes it fixes the problem. The weird thing is that I can view the blog post just fine from my computer, but if I try another computer, it still has missing pictures. And if I just refresh the page (on my computer or others), sometimes just doing that will fix the problem, other times it won’t.
I really don’t like posting via WordPress.com’s web interface (which I’m doing right now), and I prefer to use Windows Live Writer because of its ink blogging capabilities. I realize that Windows Live Writer has some funky HTML output, but I feel like WordPress should be flexible enough to take the input from WLW, since other blogs do fine with it. *sigh* I know there are other offline editors out there, but they don’t really work for me, for one reason or another. And none of the others have an ink blogging capability, which is important to me, even though it’s been quite a while since I’ve ink blogged.
Anyway, just venting. I’m fairly sure that WordPress won’t fix this, judging from the replies on their support forums regarding Windows Live Writer, so I’m just going to have to deal with it. It’s a shame, since I think WordPress is a lot nicer than most of the other free blogging services out there. I’d happily pay a subscription fee (within reason) if WordPress would just fix their finicky HTML rendering. I’d consider hosting my own WordPress blog, but I don’t think that would fix the problem, since it would still be a WordPress blog…or would it?
Posting directly from WordPress’s web interface can be kind of a pain sometimes, for various reasons. So I’ve been investigating other alternatives. I tried Flock for a while, which actually wasn’t too bad. It was kind of simple and slightly limiting, but it did the job. Plus, since I used its built-in RSS reader (switched back to Greatnews for now, though), it was rather convenient. I switched away from Flock when its RSS reader started acting slightly funky; I might switch back…not sure. Flock, in general, seemed more responsive than Firefox (less bloat), but I had to switch back to using FF because I missed some of the extensions that don’t work with Flock.
Anyway, after Flock, I saw a blurb about Qumana on Lifehacker, so I tried it. But at the time I tried it, it couldn’t upload a picture to my blog, so I got rid of it. I know, it could’ve been just something weird with WordPress at the time, but I didn’t have the patience to try it again the next day; it didn’t have any features that particularly wowed me enough to stick with it.
Lifehacker has since posted a couple blog entries about different external editors. One of the commenters listed Blogdesk, and since it wasn’t among the top listed in the poll, I checked out their website. It seems pretty good so far; I really like the image editor
(the shadow effect on their logo above came from the editor ) [Editor's Note: Seems that the picture didn't upload correctly when Blogdesk posted the blog entry; I had to manually upload a copy to WordPress.com to replace the broken picture... Strike one...] and the tool’s layout. I’ll have to play around with it for a while to see how I like it.
The Performancing blog editor plug-in for Firefox also sounded interesting, so I might load that up and try it out in parallel.
It seems that a ton of people really liked BlogJet, but it’s not a freeware program, so it kind of ranks lower on my list of “to try” apps from the start. If I can find a freeware app that is just as good as a commercial program, or just good enough, I will usually go freeware. Stay tuned for my follow up on how well (or not) BlogDesk and/or Performancing works for me.
I really have no room to complain because this blog is on a free site, but it’s still frustrating… I wanted to try to do another ink blog post with an image map to do some “links in ink” (Sumocat, you better TM that phrase!), but WordPress.com’s editor automatically strips out the HTML code that creates the image map hotspots. I did a search on WordPress’s support pages and saw a couple cases where people turned off the WYSIWYG editor to get the image map code to work, but it doesn’t work for me. I may do some more Googling to try to figure out an alternative, but it is probably more likely that for some reason the HTML map tags aren’t supported on WordPress.com at all now (gah, I can’t even type out the map tag enclosed with the greater-than/less-than symbols around it within the text editor because it strips it out, even though I’m not trying to code up HTML!)?
Like I said, this is a free blog that is hosted for free, so I can’t really complain about a little thing like this, but if anyone can give me any suggestions on how to do this within WordPress.com’s editor, I’d be really appreciative! Until then, I guess no links in ink for any of my subsequent ink blog posts…