Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Windows Phone MVP Todd Ogasawara as part of the MVP Award Program Blog’s “MVPs for Windows Phone 7” series. Todd Ogasawara is a technology analyst/developer and
freelance regular contributing writer for BYTE.com (part of UBM TechWeb) and a
co-editor for SocialTimes.com Mobile (part of
mediabistro.com family of sites). He has been annually named a Microsoft
Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the Windows Phone category for the past
decade. You can find him on
Twitter at @ToddOgasawara.
Blogging has been declared dead at least once a year for the
past five years. And yet, hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of people
write blogs daily. Some even make a living doing so. Blogs, like this one, can
be thought of as a reverse journal where the most recent item sits at or near
the top of the visible page. Despite the rise of stream of consciousness social
networks like Twitter and Facebook, blogs are still popular because of the
detailed multimedia information that can placed in a single post and, more
importantly, the historical context they can provide over time. Blogs serve as
a kind of temporal anchor for shorter form more ephemeral social network text streams.
If you currently have a blog or are thinking about creating
one, you will be happy to know that you can blog while on the go using a
smartphone running Windows Phone 7. If you are planning to start a new blog,
you’ll be even happier to learn that all of the blog services discussed here
can be used free of charge. We’ll cover three very popular and free blogging
services: WordPress.com, Tumblr.com, Posterous.com.
Let’s start with the most popular blogging platform in the
world: WordPress. Millions of blogs and even entire websites are built using WordPress.
When Microsoft decided to close down its Spaces personal site service in 2010,
it chose WordPress as the place its customers could chose to migrate to. You can create a free account and blog by
visiting WordPress.com. WordPress provides a reasonably simple but very
powerful web-based editor to create blog posts that can include photos and
other media. However, this web-based creation process is not well-suited for
the relatively small screens on smartphones. There is, however, a free Windows
Phone app that lets you manage a one or more blogs based on WordPress.
Windows Phone actions menu
The free WordPress for Windows Phone app lets you add a blog
post, moderate comments, or add a static web page.
Windows Phone blog post creation screen
Adding a new blog post takes you to a screen that asks for a
title, text content, and optional media. You can also choose to categorize blog
posts. This helps organizes things for your readers but is not mandatory.
You can choose to have you new blog item published and be
visible right from your phone. Alternatively, you can leave it a draft state and
go back to it later on a desktop or notebook computer to complete the blog
item. You can see a blog entry created entirely using a Windows Phone
(including the photograph) on a Windows phone in the desktop screenshot below.
Blog hosted on
There are two other ways you can post a new blog item from
your Windows Phone to your WordPress.com blog. First, you can send an email to a special email address that
will post the contents of the email to your WordPress.com blog. You can read
all the details about this option here:
There’s a third way to post a blog item to WordPress that
does not even require any typing. You can call a number provided by
WordPress.com, enter an authentication number and create an audio blog item.
You can record a message up to one hour long. A web audio player is embedded in
your blog item to let people listen to what you recorded. You can learn more
about this option here.
Tumblr is an extremely popular micro-blogging platform. But,
don’t the term micro-blogging confuse you into comparing it to Twitter. Tumblr
provides a quick, easy, and brief blogging style they call tumblogging. Add a web
link, photo or video and a sentence or two to share something or express a
thought. If you want to write more than a couple of sentences, go right ahead.
Tumblr doesn’t constrain you in that way. However, it also doesn’t force you
into thinking you have to write a term paper length blog to express yourself.
You can sign up for a free account to create one or more tumblogs at
Tumblr does not have an app for Windows Phone. However,
there are two ways you can post from your Windows Phone to your Tumblr blog.
The first way is using email. You can learn the details here. http://www.tumblr.com/docs/en/email_publishing
Tumblr provides a unique email address for each of your
tumblogs (you can have more than one). The email subject line becomes the
blog’s title and the email text body becomes the blog text body. You can also
email one or more digital photographs to your blog. Here again, the email
subject line becomes the blog title. You cannot, however, include a text
body. You can edit your blog entry later
from a desktop PC to add text.
Tumblr blog item
created by email from a Windows Phone
Tumblr, like WordPress.com, lets you make a voice call to
their server and leave an audio blog. This requires a little bit of
configuration by providing them with your cell phone’s Caller-ID information
and creating a PIN.
Posterous is another free, simple and immensely popular
microblogging service. It does not provide a Windows Phone app. However, like
WordPress.com and Tumblr, it lets you create new blog items using email. The
details can be found here. http://posterous.com/help/email_tips
Posterous has one advantage when
compared to Tumblr: A photo blog item can include both a blog title and blog
text body. Like Tumblr, the email subject line becomes the blog title.
Posterous can also transform text in the email into the blog text body. You can
see a blog item I created on Posterous with a photo, title and text body in the
screenshot of a desktop browser below.
Posterous blog item created by email from a Windows Phone
POSTEROUS & HOTMAIL
Posterous has one more interesting
feature if you use Microsoft’s Hotmail email service. Readers of your Posterous
hosted blog can choose to have blog items delivered to their Hotmail email
inbox. If they do that, comments to your blog will also appear in their email
and they can respond to comments directly from Hotmail. http://blog.posterous.com/sharing-content-via-email-takes-a-big-step-fo
Blogging on the go is easy with a
Windows Phone and any or all of these great free blogging services. All of them
provide blogging via email which can include photos. The WordPress for Windows
Phone app lets you manage your blog right from your phone.
final piece of advice: Don’t feel that every blog item has to be a work of art.
One of my blogs, for example, consists of photos of lunches from different
places. It helps me answer a frequent question from friends: What is that you
are eating and where did you get it?