Advocate’s Studio’s 2012 in Review – Compliments of WordPress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Not bad considering I didn’t return to WordPress.com as an active user until November 2012.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 44,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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Mobile Blogging Battle: Android or iOS

Little did you know it but my last two posts, Slapping Microsoft Word Into Shape and Evernote Clearly Improves Reading Experience across Platforms, Devices, were part of a grand experiment – a test of mobile blogging experience on my two smartphone, one iOS and one Android. I used the free WordPress app for this self-hosted WordPress blog for both posts. Slapping was written on my iPhone and Evernote was written on my Android powered LG. I started from scratch – finding my topics through my mobile reader program on the respective device, capturing images, and then writing and publishing the posts to see if there was a clear winner in the user experience area. And what did this mad scientist discover?

 

While I preferred the WordPress UI on the Android phone, the experience overall on the iPhone was smoother. This was mostly due to some glitchy performance on the Android phone, which I am generally accustomed to, but it did make the process longer and a bit more difficult. I find it easier to navigate in mobile Safari than I do on mobile Google. Image capture is simpler on the iPhone. But the WordPress Android app is a superior product: the post text and layout is easier to read and you can even access your WordPress Dashboard within the app – you can’t do that in the iOS app, and can only get there via the browser.

 

I have gotten use to typing on these tiny touch screens, so that aspect of the process isn’t a bother. However I have to add that the keyboard on the Android is not nearly as elegant as the iPhone’s keyboard – the Android feels pretty much like you are bludgeoning the language, relying heavily on a sketchy spell checker to fix the ham-handed errors.

 

But, when it is all said and done, the latest versions of these mobile apps are a huge improvement over my early mobile blogging experiences from two or more years ago. I am happy to report that mobile blogging is not the agonizing experience it used to be and is more than doable now, making posting one more time killing option while waiting for an oil change or Motion call. That is, if you can tear yourself away from Angry Birds. And WordPress isn’t your only option. Tumblr, Posterous, and Blogger all have their own mobile applications.

 

And, because I can, this blog post is being drafted on my iPad using the very robust cross platform app, Blogsy. Now. Go forth and write!

 

The New WordPress iOS App!

Back a couple of weeks ago, I posted about blogging on the iPad, using two great apps Blogsy and Superstash. I mentioned in that post that I originally tried using the proprietary WordPress app on the iPhone but was very unsatisfied with the results. There have been a couple of updates since I first tried using the app for actual blogging, but I hadn’t been tempted to return to it. Until now.

Today, the WordPress app has been revamped and been rendered a lot more useful for me. Behind the scenes, the developer worked hard to make the app less buggy. But that is not what has me so excited. The app has added some very nice new features, including a Quick Photo feature which allows you to snap an image and immediately post around it within the app. Even better is the new Stats integration – no more using mobile Safari just to check who is hitting what on the Studio on a daily basis. You either have to be using WordPress.com, or have the Jetpack plug-in installed on your self-hosted WordPress blog to get the stats, but that is no problem – the Jetpack plug-in is an awesome add to your blog in any event. You can access comments and pages in the new WP app as well.

It is a great improvement, but there is still room for more. Like a WYSIWYG editor – typing out the HTML is a total drag. That is a feature that Blogsy has all over the WordPress app. Nonetheless, WordPress still offers stats, which is alone a reason for me to open this app regularly.

Mobile blogging just got better! Well done, Automaticc, and here is hoping for even more slick features in the near future.

Typography for Lawyers

Image of Matthew Butterick from Typography for Lawyers

Do you know your typography? What is typography? Typography is visual text, the aesthetics of the written word. Your typography affects your message. For lawyers, typography can actually be quite rigid and subject to formal rules of court. But in those grey areas in which the court hath not spake (spoken), there is Typography for Lawyers.

Attorney Matthew Butterick is a typographical nut with a legal bent. He has a background in digital font creation and ran a website development studio. He has created an online “book” using WordPress on typography for lawyers (link here). Besides being an incredibly clever use of the WordPress platform, the “book” provides some very helpful advice and information for lawyers concerned with the physical appearance of their written words.

I found his book very easy to read, interesting and informative. I hope you do too.

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Buzz Your Blog With A Buzz Button

Why be the last one to the party? You too can install your own Google “Buzz This” button on your WordPress self-hosted blog and get a little sharing button at the bottom of each post.  Check mine out at the botton of this post. Essentially, the button is a simple link that ports the article share into Reader, which in turn shares into Buzz. Whatever the process, the button looks pretty cool and you can style yourself bleeding edge since Buzz only just debuted yesterday. Hit the jump (link here) to copy and paste or download and install.

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Warp (Real-Time) Speed, Mr. Sulu: RSSCloud Brings The Heat

Without having to so much as lift a finger, the Studio will now be coming to some RSS subscribers at real-time speed! In the wake of challenges to the continuing validity of RSS  and feed readers in the real-time world of Twitter, Friendfeed and Facebook, WordPress has announced that its WordPress.com accounts will be taking advantage of RSSCloud to distribute blog posts as they happen. The reader must be enabled to support RSSCloud and there are now two such services offering this lightning fast blogging love: River 2 and Lazyfeed.

Under traditional feed protocol, it can take as long as an hour or more between the time a post is “published” and the time the post is distributed to feed readers. RSSCloud cuts that lag time down to nil. Now blogs can reenter the information distribution fray, offering a richer experience than Twitter at the same instantaneous delivery time. In effect, RSSCloud will speed up Twitter too – tweets very often consist of the stuff gleaned via RSS feeds. Get the information through RSS faster and the entire on-line news pipeline speeds up!

I have always preferred receiving my information via RSS and readers and have been willing to put up with the time delay in exchange for noise filtering. Now I can have my cake and eat it too!

Beam me up, Scotti!

Testing The iPhone WordPress App

I am trying out something new and learning a fresh trick, I hope, because that is what we are all about at Advocate’s Studio. I am test-driving the WordPress application on my iPhone. Blogging on the fly seems so very future perfect. The upside is the ability to put "pen to paper", so to speak, whenever a brilliant thought occurs to me, rather than relying on my ever-expanding mental Filofax.

This free app is very simple, offering a view of the past several posts and the ability to add new posts with tags and categories and photos. Simple and elegant. I still need to go to the web to check my stats, but that "ain’t no big thing."

The only real downside to mobile WordPress blogging on the iPhone is a limitation inherent in the phone itself, rather than the app, and I bet you can guess what it is. Let’s just say Thank God and His Lovely Wife Estelle for a powerful predictive text function!

Over and out from my multi-tasking wonder in the parking lot of my friendly, neighborhood Indian restaurant (which could just as easily be the Motion Call at the Suffolk County Courthouse).