There are a lot of skeptics out there, I know. But I am here to report that the iPad has come a long way in its quest to achieve content-creator status, particularly on the blogging front.
I am drafting this post on my iPad using a few apps that cost a small handful of bucks. I am using the touch keyboard, although I do have an Apple Bluetooth keyboard that certainly would make the process even faster.
For a full featured blog entry, you are certainly going to need more than Mobile Safari. I also have tried once or twice to engage with my self-hosted WordPress blog using the Official WordPress app, but I have not been entirely happy with the process. For a much better experience, I recommend loading up a new app called Blogsy. Blogsy, with its smooth interface, connects to WordPress.com, self-hosted WordPress and Blogger blogs. It offers a rich text WYSIWYG and HTML editor that you can easily switch with a horizontal swipe of the page. There are several formatting options, including bolding, italics, lists, quotes and alignment. But the real kicker is the media buttons along the right of the screen which make embedding photos and videos drag-and-drop dead simple. Hook up your services (more on that later). Then press the service button, press and hold a desired image, drag it to your post and drop. Click the image to pull up a more than adequate editor and you are good to go. You also can use Google directly or the built in browser to find images on the fly. Hold down on text to open a pop-up that lets you paste in a link. Set title, publishing date, categories, tags, visibility, pretty much all the key components of your web editor. But on your iPad. So easy. Thanks, Blogsy.
Now, if you are like me, you like to include visuals. While Blogsy makes it easy to retrieve them, what if you want to manipulate them before embedding them? Maybe you want to add annotations or text to your images, like on the one at the top of this post. Superstash has you covered on that account. Superstash is an enhanced web browser built around taking, annotating and collecting screenshots. Open the app, use the browser bar to navigate to your favorite photo site or Google Images. Select an image in the browser, press the camera icon at the top and access a set of annotation tools, pens, text, erasers, etc. Select the crop tool to refine your image boundaries. Then save into a folder you create, with tags if desired, and you now have a catalog of web snips. If you want to pull them out, simply email them to yourself, copy them into your photo album, then upload to one of your photo service accounts like Flickr or Picasa (check out iPicasso for a really nice Picasa interface) and access them via Blogsy. Superstash is supercool.
It really didn’t take me a whole lot longer to create this post this via iPad than it would have taken me on my laptop. The real time was spent setting up my apps, But now that they are all set up, it is a breeze. I guess that means I can blog on vacation now. *sigh*.
EPILOGUE: After finishing my post, I struggled with getting it to publish to my blog. So I called on the big boys and got the founder / developer of Blogsy, Lance Barton. That was the beginning of a long series of proactive and responsive emails from Mr. Barton, who genuinely wanted to solve my problem. The only other person I know who would have put in that much customer service effort is myself. Despite my initial frustration, Mr. Barton was able to assist from afar and get the whole process running smoothly. Blogsy is one of a select group of products / services where the humans in the machine transform a great tool into a great experience with their personal touch. Thanks Mr. Barton for sticking it out with me and I wish you great success with the awesome Blogsy.