Friday, October 29, 2010

Mobile Blogging

Mobile blogging is a growing phenomenon in the web 2.0 world. An increasing number of blogging enthusiasts are opting to blog using their mobile devices; The mobile phone (internet enabled) in particular offers an easily accessible (omnipresent) interface for instantaneous, real-time blog updates.

Blogging started off as a way of maintaining a journal/log of specific activities, organised in reverse chronological order, directly viewable on a web-page (site); and was consequently refered to as weblogging. Technological and behavioural evolution have allowed it to morph into its current state; known as blogging. The changing nature of services and products (facebook, twitter... ) available today have continually blurred the lines; with regard to the original idea of a blog. 

You can either create your blog from two of the most popular blogging webhosting providers, Blogger and Word Press, or you could setup a blog from scratch and later integrate it with another website. The option to pay for hosting of your blog also exsits, but is generally recommended for the time when things pick up.

If the platform choice was Blogger, below are the steps to set it up;
Method 1:
  • Go to the “settings” tab. Click on the 7th link marked “email and mobile.’
  • A new page will appear to be filled out with the necessary information.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Add mobile devices.” The link “Learn more about mobile devices,” provides pointers on mobile posting.
  • A page will pop up and display a code that you should send through your selected mobile device to go[@]
Method 2:
  • You may also want to register through your mobile phone by texting “REGISTER” to BLOGGER to 256447.
  • A code will be sent for you to access your blog through your cell phone. It is easier to register through your blog settings though, because you will not have to merge again your registration from your mobile with your blog.

If you elected to go with Word Press, you do not have to set up anything. Word Press provides a system for your mobile posting just by using the Brave New Code available to all Word Press users. You can also use free Word Press Mobile Plug-in (e.g. WPTouch) created by several Word Press developers. They are relatively easy to set up. All you have to do is to enable the Plug-in in your blog’s dashboard.

Remeber the following when using the mobile posting option;
  • Avoid zoom at all cost. Zooming severely degrades the mobile experience
  • The option to post through email or SMS should be considered in both Word Press and Blogger hosted blogs; after confirming that your mobile device is supported.
  • Design pages / posts in such that they are not too wide to be viewed effeciently on a mobile gadget.
  • Avoid posting very large images / multimedia clips as this will slow down your blog’s downloading time. Pictures should be uploaded in .jpeg or .gif format.
  • Provide a home button (link) for every page such that vistors can easily move from one page to another.
  • Test the mobile version of your site or blog by viewing it from a mobile phone. Avoid setting fixed width sizes but provide various screen sizes and resolutions so that your blog could be viewed properly by different mobile LCDs.
  • Use which provides emulators and details on how your blog will appear on a variety of mobile platforms
  • MObStac - can also be used to setup a mobile version of your site

With regard to the reasons for setting up the blog, traffic to and interaction with provided daat is always a plus. If the blog is an exposure tool for internet marketing, it's important to provide regular, informative and content that appeals to the selected niche and vistor categories. The content whould be easily searchable and relevant to the general theme and follow of the blog.

As is often quoted in the real-estate world 'Location, Location, Location'. Adverts and other product placements should be carefully palced. Care should be taken to ensure the incentives (ads) display corretly and don't interfere with the mobile vistors' experience. Depending on the selected option (email, SMS, direct upload) the postings must remain the main focus of the blog and should display as intended. If visitors can't find what they are looking for in the sea of spam and cheesy adverts, they will most likely never return nor interact with your data.

Enjoy your mobile blogging experience. More details and tips will be added upon request. Having set-up blogs on either platform, the steps for each process are also available.