If there has been one thing that has made owning a Treo 650 quite fun, it has been the ability to use its on-demand Internet connection to make quick posts to different blogs that I maintain. Between the free blogger services that are available (Blogger.com, Movable Type, WordPress, and others), and even some of the photo blogging services (SplashBlog, Flickr, Textamerica, and others), there is plenty out there to chat and take photos, of. And with the rise of these data services, and more and more wireless PDAs to take advantage of these services, one can only just go out there and have a little fun.
Now, just to get some definitions out of the way before talking about what I do with my Treo, here are a few terms that you might be somewhat familiar with, and some not so familiar:
Blog: a web-based journal of posts sometimes including pictures and links to other content.
Blogging: composing, administering, and posting to an online, web-based journal
Mo-blogging: blogging on the go, usually with a mobile device such as a mobile phone or PDA phone.
Photo-blogging: blogging with pictures in either an accessory to the main post, or as the gallery of posts themselves.
Now, what I do on my Treo is technically called mo-blogging. But do not let the use of mo-blogging and blogging confuse you, basically I am doing the same thing. The only difference in my personal use of blogging on my Treo, is that I use specialized software on the Treo, where as I only use my web browser while on my laptop.
Ok, so enough with the technical things, let me show you what your wireless PDA can do with a little thing called a blog.
First, Just Regular Ole’ Blogging
Using my Treo, I post to two of the three blogs using software called mo:Blog. Currently in version 2.0, this is shareware software (~$15) that can connect to a number of blogging services (Blogger, MT, WordPress, and Typepad) so that you can update your blog from anywhere that you can get online. I have only used mo:blog to do mainly text updating to my blogs, but you can use it to upload files (FTP). One of the best features that I like about mo:Blog (and where it has a lot of value on a device like a Treo) is that you can setup snippets of preformatted text, so that you do not have to type the same thing over and over for various blogs. For example, in one of my blogs (mobileministrymagazine.com), I frequently reference news from other websites, and so I need to type in the HTML code for making a link as well as the text for the link itself. That can get really long to type on such a small keyboard, so I have setup a snippet to have everything already formatted so all I have to do is paste in the link and then type in the link text. Very nice, slick to setup, and very simple. You can also setup signatures and send one post to multiple blogs that you administer. This makes mo:Blog a great, and necessary, application for my Treo.
Then, There’s Blogging With Pictures
The other blog that I post to, I do not post much at all in the way of news or text. It is nearly a complete photo gallery of posting. Photo-blogging is one of the more fun things that I do with my Treo and allows for me to have a bit of fun, while capturing life’s memories in a fashion that it is easy for others to see (and download). For this, I use a product called SplashBlog.
SplashBlog is one part a website and the other part and application on your PalmOS or Windows Mobile PDA. Basically, you go to www.splashblog.com; set up your account; download and install the software to your device; and then you are off to photo-blogging. What I have found most enjoyable about this software is that it enables me to not only capture the moments that I want to for me, but it puts them in a place where others can see and download too.
There is one downside to SplashBlog, and its not a bad one if you are on a data plan that is not very large. The thing is that the largest pictures that you can upload are VGA sized (640×480 pixels). While this is a great (and small) size for viewing on a computer, these sized pictures are by no means print level quality. I am sure that at some point that the cap on that will increase, but for now, this is the only drawback to an otherwise easy to use and excellent program.
So there you have it. Besides keeping myself going with email, I use my Treo 650 to blog, blog, and blog some more. And with these (and other) blogging tools, you can also take blogging way past the desktop, and make your internet post, from wherever you find the Internet needing to be posted.