January 14, 2004
Mobile blogging

Having recently aquired a Nokia 7250i combined mobile phone & camera gadget, I'm of course looking at options to use this for pushing content on to the net; more spesifically looking in to options for mobile blogging...

By default, the phone can run J2ME programs, has a reasonably fast GPRS (mobile IP networking) connection to the net and can send so-called MMS messages and for example email photos and so on...

What I'd be looking for would ideally be a service or a piece of software that allows me to push content on to a Movable Type blog hosted by myself, possibly on to extrospection, possibly on to a new sideblog feature.

My requirements excludes services like textamerica and phlog, as they host their own images.

Looking for software or services that can accomplish the file upload or publishing has led me to the following (and do feel free to share any others you've come across - I'm very interested:

  • Azure - J2ME based, free, but not yet supporting photos
  • Blogplanet - does photos, but cost money
  • ... I know I saw another one earlier that could do photos for free, but I couldn't find it back
Either way it looks like the 7250i doesn't support the essential J2ME multimedia extension (MMAPI) to allow the java snippets to access the multimedia content on the phone (here are phones that do)...

Another possibility would be to set up an email address on my server; dump any attachments received to a script and publish, but I didn't find any freely available scripts to do that, and I haven't got the time to put in the effort (update, apparently some exist):

So, on to services already out there:

  • Blog.TXTsolutions.co.uk has a pay per message solution that can post to Blogger and a lot of other weblogging services but not to MT at the time I looked at it. The URL currently reroutes to a server running on a port that's blocked by the firewall where I am, so I can't check whether they've upgraded. I emailed them at the address published in mid-December but the mail bounced; unsure if company is still alive.
  • MfOP2 (via Scriptygoddess) - this seems to be the bomb. There are tutorials available for MT, Gallery and a PHP thingamajiggy which I all need to study further. At the core the trick seems to be setting up a "sideblog" and that's it. Nice!
What have I missed? Suggestions, user experiences and more are welcome in the comments section.

... of course we're all waiting for MT 3, which according to this news release will incorporate some form of mobile features...

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LiveJournal has blogging by email, and my cellular service provider has SMS-to-email. So basically I can send an SMS that delivers as an email to LiveJournal and it updates my blog.

Too bad, it's not working due to some problems with the current sms-to-email service.

Posted by: Manish Jethani on January 14, 2004 01:04 PM

Some further research into the email-to-blog space reveals some interesting reads:

This one even generates THUMBNAILS! Hallelujah!
http://www.randomlyhumming.com/archives/000056.html
http://erikbenson.com/index.cgi?node=setting%20up%20a%20moblog
http://www.randomlyhumming.com/files/m2mt

Posted by: Anders on January 14, 2004 01:35 PM

Very easy to set up:
MobileMT at http://mobilemt.sourceforge.net/src/
... but no attachments yet.

Posted by: Heiko Hebig on January 14, 2004 02:10 PM

Thanks for the link to my piece on setting up a moblog sidebar in MT; after an MT database corruption and recovery the article can now be found at http://gme.jp/arch/000333.html. Best regards.

Posted by: gme on January 26, 2004 08:36 AM

I found a service that works with an older phone (Sanyo SCP-6200) on Sprint. It's called airblogging.com. Granted I am only sending text but they claim to be able to handle attachments as well. It's really simple too. You sign up for an account (free) and put in you XMLRPC url, your blog id, username and password to your blog, your mobile phone number and provider. After it's setup you just send email messages from your phone to pcs@airblogging.com or p@airblogging.com. The server will see your phone number (or username if you have this setup with your cellphone company) and post it to your blog.

Posted by: Gilberto Creque on April 15, 2004 09:05 PM

You can try my EasyMoblog: http://www.easymoblog.org/

Posted by: ubik on May 14, 2004 03:59 PM

We have made a version of LiveJournal with mobile support. It means that when you enter the Mobile LiveJournal pages with your mobile phone it recognizes it and adjust the content so that the pages would look nice on your mobile. This makes moblogging much easier. check it out: http://mummola.cs.tut.fi:8080
There is a conversation going on about this in lj_dev community at livejournal.com. It would be nice to hear your comments there: http://www.livejournal.com/community/lj_dev/638647.html
We have also made a mobile friendly version of Gallery and PostNuke. For those check out: http://mummola.cs.tut.fi

Posted by: NQulizer on May 20, 2004 11:13 AM

I'm locked out my phone i need my number for a puk code, how?

Posted by: on October 6, 2004 01:56 AM

Hey Anders,

If you want a true moblog (WAP enabled, WML version of your weblog), go to www.freemobloguk.com. Upload pictures, push your blog to friends, upload ringtones, etc. You only pay for the SMS charges.

We just opened the site.

Wade Ferley
Creative Director
Mobile Operandi

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