These days Internet access is available almost anywhere you go. Even if you refuse to pay for wireless Internet through your cellphone carrier, there are normally plenty of hotspots around town for you to stop in on. Once you get connected you can whip out a mobile device, such as a Pocket PC or cellphone, and blog away.
More and more devices are giving users access to full keyboards, but the problem that a lot of people face are the poorly optimized administration screens. Often times they can take a day just to load, and then trying to navigate the page is almost a heroic event in itself.
And there is good reason that you would want to blog from a mobile device. Maybe you just snapped a photo that you want to share, or maybe you want to manage your posts. We’re going to show you some of the tools you need to do that on WordPress, Blogger, and Movable Type.
Tip: iPhone & iPod Touch owners running WordPress or Movable Type will love what you’re about to see, but there’s stuff for all types of mobile devices here.
One way you can blog with WordPress is via email. In the end you’ll end up sending off an email to an address that you specify. The subject line will be used as the title, the body will be the content of the post, and any attachments (images, files, etc…) will be included at the end of the post.
Alternatively there is an excellent mobile web interface available via the WPhone plugin. It has an uber sweet version available for the iPhone or iPod Touch, but it also includes two lighter versions that will even work well on less equipped devices. It will automatically detect what your browser is capable of, and display the version accordingly. All you have to do is check the “Use mobile admin interface” box when logging in.
Here are some various screenshots from the three different interfaces:
iPhone / iPod Touch:
The good news is that Blogger has two official options available for mobile blogging, but the bad news is that Blogger doesn’t have a plugin system so you can have any nifty third-party tools. Email is what I believe to be the best way for posting to Blogger from a mobile device. Instructions can be found here, but it generally works the same way as the WordPress email system mentioned above.
All you have to do is setup an email address to use, and then you’re good to go. The subject will become the title, the body will be the post content, and any image attachments will be thrown on the end of the post. One thing that they do note is that you should designate the end point of your post with a #end to ensure that Blogger recognizes when the content ends. This is because some email programs or antivirus apps will append a signature onto the end of outgoing emails, and doing this tells Blogger to ignore everything after the end marker.
There is also what Google considers to be a Blogger Mobile located at go.blogger.com. Initially I thought it might be a mobile interface to blog from, but instead it works similarly to their email system. All you do is send an email or MMS to firstname.lastname@example.org and they immediately setup a new blog for you with the message/images you sent. In return they’ll send a message back to you with a claim code which can be used to login to your new blog later on, or merge that post with your existing blog. This is a great solution if you just want to do a quick post with as little work as possible.
I was a little surprised to see that Movable Type doesn’t have an email system in place so that users can email posts to be published onto their blog. Someone did come up with a basic Perl script to get it done, but it’s not really something a novice user would be able to figure out.
The only mobile interface that I could find for Movable Type only works with the iPhone and iPod Touch specifically. It’s in the form of a plugin, and once installed you’ll be able to manage all of the different areas of your blog. Just take a look at how nice the interface is:
Now we know that we didn’t cover all of the major platforms, but we tried to take on the most popular ones. If you’ve got some other tools that you use to blog on-the-go be sure to drop them off in the comments below.