Friday, September 25, 2009

Playing Nicely With Posterous

I'm still messing around with Posterous, trying to figure out a comfortable workflow. As usual, I'm trying to beat a service into submission to get it to do what I want it to do — and then some.

I like to tinker with stuff. Explore it, try to use it in a new way perhaps. Sometimes I like to try something just for the sake of seeing if it can be done. I realize that just because it CAN be done, doesn't mean it SHOULD be done, I can't help myself. I just come from a long line of tinkerers!

In this blog post, I'm going to attempt to use different media and formatting methods as a test to see just how the results look on all the various blogging platforms I use. I'll also be modifying this post or adding subsequent follow up posts using different tools such as Mail.app on the Mac or different iPhone apps. I'll be documenting my steps along the way till find a suitable workflow. (and then someone will invent something new and I'll be back to square one!! ha ha!!)

iPhone App for Posting Photos
I just posted a couple of pictures using an iPhone app called PicPosterous. I ended up deleting older photos and albums from Posterous and Facebook because despite the fact that you can create multiple albums in PicPosterous, it will only let you post multiple photos to only one of those albums. So, for now, I'll just have one album for PicPosterous photos. I'll call this album "Posterous Snapshots" just to keep it simplified.

Findings:
I've now posted several different photos into the Posterous Snapshots photo album. So far, only the first of 3 has shown up in both Picasa Web Albums and Facebook. All 3 show up on the Posterous site in that album. Also, Facebook and Picasa Web Albums change the album name to "Posterous Photos" instead of "Posterous Snapshots." For another test, I created a new album within the iPhone app called "Nature" and the same thing happened. Only the FIRST of 3 photos that I uploaded made it into the "Posterous Photos" album that was automatically created in Picasa Web Albums and in my Facebook photos. The photos still have not been aggregated. All of the photos show up in the two separate albums on my Posterous site. There are now 2 albums: "Posterous Snapshots" and "Nature." Also, a tweet is automatically sent giving the link to the Posterous photo album.

The fact that not all of the photos show up in Picasa Web Albums or on Facebook is unsettling. It's not very intuitive. I would expect all of the photos to show up, not just the first in that series.

Mail.app for Posting Photos
Using the Photo Browser tool in Mail.app, I'll attach a photo inline to this email text and see where it ends up.

This is a photo of some Mums I took last year. I'm hoping to try and plant some in planters in front of our house for the fall season. I like this type the best.

When I place the photo, it places it at full size. I must then use the Image Size selector to make the image small. (My choices are small, medium, large or actual size) I've typed some caption text below the photo and italicized it. Let's see what happens to that formatting on the other end when this gets posted to my blogs.

Here is another photo placed as Small size.

Testing, Testing, 123
The reason I'm doing all of this testing now is because I'm really looking for something easy to use for when Baby arrives. And not just for the arrival of Baby, but also for making blogging easier after he gets here too. As I mentioned before, my Blogspot blog feels so cumbersome to me now after using other social networking services. I've experienced so many different user interfaces that I've become spoiled by all the different choices out there. I wish I could take bits and pieces of them all and combine them into my version of the best blogging platform.

Right now, I'm composing this post using Mail.app on my laptop. Composing a post this way enables me to at least have a tiny bit more control over some basic text formatting as well as adding multiple photos and video links. Once I email this email message to "post" it will then be posted automagically onto several different blogging services I use.

I use different types of blogging services for a couple of different reasons. The main reason being that, as I mentioned above, I love to tinker and try new things. Another reason is that different people consume content in many different ways. It's impossible to keep up with all of the different services out there. When I'm trying to communicate with my peers, I figure using various compiling and aggregation tools, will at least make it appear as though I'm making an effort to reach out to each one of their styles. If I solely used Twitter, then none of my family or close "IRL" friends would know anything because the majority of them do not use or "get" twitter. When communicating with my closest friends and family, I usually choose email as my method of communication. That's why this Posterous workflow seems more natural at this time and why I'm going to greater lengths to put it through its paces. Email is a super accessible format for me. I'm already familiar and comfortable with the UI of Apple's Mail.app.

It would be really, really, awesome if I could use Mail.app to compose all my blog posts with Posterous using the built in stationery and formatting features. It's sooooo much easier to format (typeset) text, add hyperlinks, images, video links and other graphic elements. I've tried to do it this way, but the HTML stationery doesn't translate properly on the other ends. Earlier I tried to do some formatting and it ended up looking super crappy on my Blogger blog. I've since tweaked my template code again to see if I could rectify that situation. This post will be a test to see if my new code will translate this email text as I intended.

Let's Do Some Experimenting
The header lines above have been stylized using bold and I have increased the size by 2 to 4 points.
So far as I know, if I make this text red and bold italic, it will not exactly obey the formatting I've applied in Mail.app and end up red, bold, italic on Posterous or my Blogger Blog.

On this line, I'm going to attempt to change the fonts. The base font I've used up till now has been Georgia, 12 pt. The headers are bold stylized and 14 pt. I'm going to change this line of text to Trebuchet and see what happens.

For this line of text I'm going to switch it back to Georgia, but change the color to blue.

Here is where I'm going to link or embed one of my YouTube clips just to see how the email conversion works.

I've just pasted the link above and the font has now changed, but I'm going to leave it as it to see what happens at this point in the post. I've just copied and pasted a link as opposed to embedding, so now I'll try using some embed code from Vimeo. The only problem with Vimeo is that the iPhone can only view YouTube videos presently, so while this might work on most websites and browsers, it's not going to show up on the iPhone.

Now I'm going to see if I can embed a YouTube Video here:

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Ok, so now I'll press the send button and see what happens in all my other various sandboxes. Weeee!!!

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

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