Moblogging made EZ

So, what is mobloging? “Mobile web logging.” That is, creating web posts on the fly. And since you are a hip happening twenty-something like me, you are always on the go. Can you believe they wanted me to buy a minimum of five bottles last night to secure the corner booth. Don’t they know they should be paying _me_ to even be there after ten? … Oh, sorry, where were we?

Moblogging! What it really means is blogging with your camera. Because you asked (or at least one of you did) we’re going to go through the process of blogging through a service called flickr. There are lots of ways to do this, and we even have taked about one that doesn’t require flickr, but we are going to take the easiest way. It will be reasonably easy the first time, and super easy every time after that.

The first step is to sign up for flickr. Did I say easy? It is! Go to the flickr home page and click on the button that says . You’ll fill out a very simple form like this one:

When you hit “sign up,” it will think for a little bit, and then give you a big old form to fill out. Luckily, we’re doing this the easy way, so look for the link that says “You can skip this step for now,” and click it! You’ll be taken to your main page, which will look something like this (though maybe not exactly):

Click on “Your account” (circled above). On the next page, under blogging, click on the link that says “Your blogs.” On the page that comes up, click on the big link that says “Set up a new blog.” On the next page, no matter what it tells you, you need to choose the “BloggerAPI Enabled Blog” from the pulldown menu, as this is the best way for flickr to “talk” to your blog:

The next screen might feel a bit techy, but no worries:

API Endpoint: http://schoolof.info/bluelagoon/xmlrpc.php
Username: admin
Password: somthingorother

Of course, you should replace “bluelagoon” with your own url name, and username with the name you use to log into your blog, and password the password you use to log into your blog. When you click “next” it will make sure that your information is right. If it is, click “All Done.”

OK, now flickr knows how to post to your blog. The next step is creating a way to easily get your images up to the flickr system. Click on the “Home” link in the upper left corner. On the next page, click on “Your account” again, as you did above. On the next page, under “Blogging,” click on the link that says “Uploading your photos to your blog by email,” since that is what we want to do.

You will be presented with some options when you do this. I decided to post “small” photos, and to be able to blog the text of my email as well:

After clicking “save,” flickr will provide you with two *secret* email addresses. Take the time to write these down somewhere that you will be able to find them later. I’m most interested in the bottom one, which is something like “slimy99snail2blog@photos.flickr.com”. Note that the instructions on how to use this email approach are right there on the page:

When you upload photos by email, use the subject line to give your photo a title, and the body of the email to give it a description.

Now, I’m ready to photoblog via email. I go to my regular old email system, and send my photo as an attachment to “slimy99snail2blog@photos.flickr.com.” The subject of my email is “Social stickers,” and in the body I write “A bunch of social softwarians discover the pleasures of sticky paper. Some of the best social software breakthroughs are yet to come in purely physical spaces. Ever feel as if you are being labeled?” Then I attach a photo I took last month at a workshop, and hit SEND.

And…

Nothing happens. All that work, and there is no change to your blog. No worries, the post is there, it is just hiding. Log on to your blog, and at the top of the “edit” page, you will see a link to the posting you have just done. Click on the “edit” link next to it, give the posting a title, hit save, and bingo! That wasn’t so hard, was it? OK, yes it was. But from now on, whenever you want to post a picture, all you need to do is email it to your special secret address, then go on and publish it. If you are amazingly geeky, you can even do this directly from your camera phone. Pretty cool, huh?

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  1. By Micro Persuasion on 11/18/2004 at 8:19 am

    Moblogging made EZ
    Alex Halavais demonstrates just how simple it is to blog from a wireless device using Flickr. I too have embraced Flickr and occasionally use it to post random photos I take with my cameraphone. You can find a sampling on

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