Nomadic Blogging

08092008203OK, this is going to be a bit messy. I’m going to have a stab at a series of posts looking at how to best make use of the 1MSME-L kit. The more I look at it, the more there is so I thought I’d get started with something simple. This is a full blogpost with links and a photo from my flickr stream – bog standard blogging, from a table in Starbucks.

This is my basic workflow – plan, compose, edit, publish. I think that goes for pretty much anything although when it comes to twitter all of it goes on very quickly and only in my head and the screen. So here I am writing this, I already did some planning and right now I’m going to take a picture. *kch* there – and while I carry on writing, I’m just sending that up to flickr via Shozu (I’m using the mobile web though rather than forking out to *$s & tmobile.

So the next thing is to finish writing this – oh dear, it’s getting a bit recursive isn’t it? clearly didn’t plan it as well as I thought I had.

So once I’ve done that, I’ll fire up scribe and type up what I’ve got and add links to my previous post and insert the flickr photo.
The text link is siimple-ish I just need the url of the post, though the copying of a url with this keyboard needs a bit of a hack – at worst I can write down the url on my notepad and then type it in later. and then the flickr photo – I think that saving a bookmark and then copying and pasting it in is the way, but I’m also going to look at copying & pasting from the normal non-mobile flickr page. Then save and publish and there you are. no “real” computers involved (at least on the client side!)

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Later… much later…
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OK So that was an interesting experiment – the stuff above has sat in draft for a week since I wrote it. I can’t be bothered to do what I intended, which was to tidy it up and put some links in. But it got me started. The main thing I learned was to make sure that scribe had the mobile connection set as default – it kept failing because it was trying to connect to my home wifi, which was kind of out of range ‘cos I was in a Starbucks on Oxford St.

The post I did on Oli’s trip yesterday though was entirely written and posted from the field (to be precise, but not precise enough to spoil it for everyone, a public place with a mains connection, next door to a hotel with an open wifi spot) The video was also edited and posted from the phone at the same time.

It takes time. The Oli post took me *three* hours, not including shooting the video but including editing it down and lots of faffing about learning stuff. So what did I learn?

  • Using the bluetooth keyboard is interesting – I had to keep switching between keyboard and buttons – would be fun to have some hotkeys set up to “Select Left Menu/Option” and “Select Right Menu/Option” Also need to play around more with selecting text. But I’m getting used to it.
  • Using a bluetooth keyboard with an N95 is also interesting to passing geeks, which doesn’t help in getting things done quickly :)
  • For simplicity I didn’t add any titles or credits to the video. Rupert has some smart way of doing this, I seem to remember, but it’s a long time since I had a tutorial. I got an inordinate amount of self-satisfaction from cutting a chunk of my waffling out of the middle and smoothing the cut with a cross-fade.
  • I’m very pleased with the sound quality given that we were in a very noisy lunch reception in a bookstore. I used the external mic set up as described in the 1MSME-L post. I’m quite sure that the internal mic would not have coped so well, but I need to do some comparison testing to show the difference.
  • Shozu has a 10MB limit but you can get round that by invoking it from the Video Editor (at least I think that’s how it happened) The video was a 44MB .mp4 file. I just realised I shot it at “TV High Quality” so I could have made life easier for myself.
  • Stealing wifi like this means that the connection was occasionally flaky and there wasn’t much I could do about it. Roll on ubiquitous free and reliable wifi in Central London.
  • Writing links in html is not as much of a faff as I remembered it to be.
  • The ajax interface for blip.tv makes it hard to get the embed code for the video using the Nokia browser. But I made it in the end (about 60% of my entire faffing time was working this out). You need to select (for this blog anyway) Embed and WordPress.com just like you do normally and hit the “go” button but then you need to hit the “Newer” button in the sidebar element above to display the text box with the code in it. Now that I know it it’s not such a problem, but I’m guessing maybe a different browser or a video sharing site with a better mobile interface are both worth investigating.
  • Copying URLs for links is indeed tricky. I didn’t work out an easier way of getting the flickr photo embedded than to go to the non-mobile version of flickr and get the code just as you would normally. Saving a URL as a scratch bookmark ready for copying and pasting is a useful technique too.

So progress. I’d love to hear from others who are trying this stuff out. How am I doing? Have you found any time-saving hacks along the way?

Back to Berlin

South East Berlin WalkingI’m planning to go back to Berlin in October for the Web2.0 Expo and since I’m going to be there, I thought I might as well also slip along to the Berlin Barcamp which is happening in the weekend before. Alles gut!

Last year when I was there, I was talking about some bonkers idea that I’d had – a “social media cafe” whatever that is. Of course, it’s now become a fixture of my week (as it has for several other esteemed buddies). It’s very encouraging to find that I can still seem to make something happen. I intend to talk about it a lot, both at the Barcamp and, as I did last year, during the Web2Open sessions around the Expo. I suppose I should have a think about what it is that I want to say.

If you’re thinking of coming to Web2.0 too, I can make it cheaper for you. I have a discount code by virtue of being part of the blogging outreach programme (you may well have seen others offering this already – I’ve been a bit slow getting down to blog – but mine is best, because, well, because it’s mine) You can get 35% off the price of the Expo by using the code webeu08gr43 in the Discount Code field of the registration page which you can get to from here