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Hack 38. Blog from Your BlackBerry

Hack 38. Blog from Your BlackBerry

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4.3.2.WritebyEmailinWordpress

WordpressisanotherpopularbloggingsoftwarepackagethatiswritteninPHP

andrunsonApacheandhasaMySQLdatabasebackend.Alongwithamountain

ofexcellentplug-ins,ithasabuilt-infeaturethatallowsyoutopublishtoyour

blogbyemail.

LogintoyourWordpressadministrationpageandclickonOptions Writing.

ThisbringsyoutotheWritingOptionspageasshowninFigure4-4.

ThisWordpressfunctionalityrequiresalittlemoreworkthanBlogger'sdoes.

YouhavetohavealreadycreatedanemailaccountthatisaccessibleviaPOP3(a

free,ad-hocGmailaccountisagoodchoicebecauseofitsbuilt-inspam

protection).YouconfigurethePOP3settingstotellWordpresswheretoretrieve

messagesfrom.Usethe"Defaultpostbymailcategory"optiontochooseoneof

yourcategoriesthatallpostsbyemailwillgointo.Ofcourse,youcanalwaysgo

backandchangethecategoryandevenaddadditionalcategoriesafteraposthas

beenpublished.

Figure4-4.Wordpresswriting-by-emailoption



Onceyou'vesentamessagetotheblog-by-emailaccountyou'vesetup,you'll

needtovisitthispage:http://your.blog.url/wp-mail.php(wp-mail.phpisinthe

samedirectoryasyourmainindex.php,sotheURLcouldvarydependingon

yoursetup).Thisscansyourmailandpostsanymessagesinyourinboxtoyour

blog.



ManyWordpressuserschoosetoautomatethisstepbyusinga

scheduledjobtomaketherequesttohttp://your.blog.url/wp-mail.php

onaregularbasis.Thereareavarietyoftoolsyoucanusetomake

HTTPrequests.Onetoolislwp-request,anditcomeswith

ActiveStatePerl,atoolthatisusedinseveralofthehacksinthis

book.(Ifitdidn'tcomewithyourPerlintallation,youcanobtainlwprequestaspartofthelibwww-perlcollectionat

http://lwp.linpro.no/lwp).



4.3.3.BlogAway

Onceyou'veconfiguredyourbloggingsoftwaretoacceptemail,goaheadand

composeamessagefromyourBlackBerry.Thesubjectlinewillbecomethetitle

ofyourpost,andthebodyofthemessagewillbecomethepostcontent.Figure

4-5showsacomposedemailmessageI'vesenttomyBloggerblog.

Figure4-5.BloggingfromaBlackBerry



Almostinstantaneously,theblogappearsonmyblog,asifIposteditfrommy

desktopbrowser(seeFigure4-6).



Figure4-6.Myemail-to-blogentry



Youdon'twantspamfindingitswayontoyourblog(whata

nightmarethatwouldbe!),soyouneedtochooseanemailaddress

thatitnoteasilyguessedandislongerthanafewcharacters.Blogger

enforcesalengthofatleastfourcharacters,butIwouldhighly

recommendonethatismuchlonger.You'llonlyhavetotypeitonce

intoyouraddressbook,andthenyou'lljustpickitfromyourlistwhen

youcomposeamessage,somakeitcomplexandlengthy,justasyou

shouldforanimportantpassword.



4.3.4.SeeAlso

Bloxsom(http://www.blosxom.com/)

Nucleus(http://dev.nucleuscms.org/)

MovableType(http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/)



Hack39.ReadNewsandBlogsonthe

BlackBerry



RSSandAtomfeedsofferasmallerversionofawebsite,butsomeorallof

thesamecontent.Byusinganaggregator,youcanclusterallsortsofrelated

sitestogetherandreadnewsandotherdatafromavarietyofsourceslarge

andsmall.

ThereareavarietyofwaystogetyourRSSfeedsontoyourBlackBerry,butmy

favoriteistouseBloglines(http://www.bloglines.com/).

Bloglinesisaweb-basedRSSreader,whichsoundskindofgoofyinaway

becauseyou'retryingtoleavethewebbrowserbehindwhenyou'rescouring

overyourfeeds.Factis,Bloglinesisquitebrilliantduetoonecriticalreason:it

keepstrackofwhatyou'rereadingnomatterwhereyou'reloggedinfrom.When

youloginviayourdesktopPC,yourPowerBook,acomputeratafriend's,a

publicterminal,oryourBlackBerry,you'llneverseethesamearticletwiceif

youuseBloglines(unlessyoumarkit"KeepNew").UsingBloglineswillcut

downdramaticallyonthefloodofthingsyouareconfrontedwithatanygiven

time,andcertainlyhelpsmakeyourRSSfeedsmoreusefulonthego.

UsingBloglinesviaitsdefaultwebinterfaceisn'tthebestwaytoviewitonyour

BlackBerry,however.YoumaylikeusingBloglinesMobile

(http://bloglines.com/mobile/)intheBlackBerrybrowser,whichwillworkfine.

AnalternativeisusingBerryBloglines

(http://www.thebogles.com/berry_bloglines.html),afantasticutilitythat

connectsyoutoBloglinesviaalittleproxyserverthatconvertsnewsitemsinto

easiertoreadformatsfortheBlackBerry.Itoptimizesthecontentitreceivesvia

somemagicwithPython.AlthoughPhillipBogledidnottoothisownhorn

aboutthisapplicationinthisbook,I'lldoitforhim:BerryBloglinesisawesome.

ThereisapossiblealternativetoBloglinesMobilecalledlitefeeds,whichisstill



undergoingdevelopment(seehttp://www.litefeeds.com/).Theyhavea

BlackBerryclientapplicationintheworks,and,lastIchecked,itwasaservice

withalotofpromise.Keepaneyeonit.Litefeedsisspecificallygearedfor

mobileRSS,anditisalwayspossiblethatAskJeeves(thecurrentownerof

Bloglines)willmakeBloglineslameinsomeway,soit'llbeverynicetohavea

servicetostepupshouldtheworsthappen.Bestcasescenario,Bloglinesisn'tthe

onlygameintownanymoreandthetwoofthemcankeepeachotherontheir

toes.

IfyoupreferthetraditionalwayofreadingRSSfeedsusingadedicatedclient

application,tryNewsclipfromVirtualReach(http://www.virtualreach.com/)and

BerryvineRSS(http://www.berryvine.com/).Inmyopinion,they'rethebestof

thebreedfordedicatedRSSfeedreadingontheBlackBerry.Theother

applicationsinthiscategoryjustdon'tevencomeclosetoit.BothNewsclipand

Berryvine'sRSShavetrialversionsavailable,lettingyouexaminealltheir

featureswithoutanycosttoyou.



Newsclip

VirtualReachincludesaniceindexofpossibleRSSfeedsforNewsclip

users,muchlikeNetNewsWireorotherdesktopRSSaggregators.Youcan

alsoaddyourownRSSfeedstosubscribeto,andreadthemonthego.

WhattendstoworkbestformeistoputonlythecriticalRSSfeedsonmy

BlackBerryinNewsclip.Thisusuallymeansacoupleofmyfavorite

CraigslistRSSfeedsandsomework-relatedfeedsthatletmefeellikeless

ofaslackerwhileinlineattheDMV.



Berryvine

YoucandifferentiatefeedsinBerryvineRSSbyapplyingcolorstothem

greenforGeneral,orangeforEntertainment,etc.Youcanalsocategorize

feedsandviewfeedsbycategory,whichisahelpfultrickaswell.

It'squiteeasytogetyourfeedsonaBlackBerry.Itisoneoftheareaswherealot



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