See tomorrow’s WordPress Dashboard today!! I’m using it right now.
I’m taking my first look at the revamped WordPress for Android app, with a new UI, and it’s a huge leap from where it was before this release.
It’s quick and extremely functional — even on my now-ancient Froyo build of Android.
If you blog at WordPress.com, or on a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, you absolutely need this app. Have multiple blogs on .com and your own .org sites? You can stuff all of those accounts into this app and work with them all.
Not only can you write and edit posts, but you can share just about anything you create on your phone (including photos) to a WordPress blog — and that ability to share content to apps continues to be a game-changer for mobile-focused OSes over their traditional desktop rivals.
Postscript: I started this post on my Android phone but am finishing it in the WordPress app for the Windows Metro desktop … more on that later.
I wanted to see if I could get the self-hosted WordPress.org software installed on an OpenBSD server — the devio.us machine that offers free shell accounts (though I’m not sure if they’re doing that at this exact moment).
It worked. And it did take 5 minutes.
I mucked around on the command line and broke it. Then I took another 5 minutes and reinstalled WordPress.
I broke it a couple more times. That’s what new blogs are for — breaking.
I finally stopped that, and it’s working now.
Update: A few days later I learned that I didn’t break WordPress at all. I was just bitten by a bad .htaccess file a dozen times. Now I know how to fix that and preserve my installation.
Since my “return” to WordPress.com and creation of this blog, the features I keep coming back to are the social ones: following other WordPress.com bloggers, and reblogging and liking their blog posts.
I like being able to do “social” things but not have to be in another system — Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus — to do it.
WordPress.com has always had a community feel. It’s always been easy to discover the work of other bloggers on the system and have them discover yours. But with the ability to interact with the social tools we’ve become accustomed to over the past few years, this connectness enhances the blogging experience.
I like being able to easily reblog or like a post and have that become part of my own blog. I feel a sense of “ownership” of my expression that I don’t get in Twitter, Facebook or G+. You can see all of my social activity right here in my blog timeline along with the rest of my blog posts.
The WordPress.com Reader is also a factor. The recent, planned demise of Google Reader doesn’t affect me because I don’t use it to organize RSS feeds. I do have Liferea set up in Debian, but I rarely use it. However, now that I’m in WordPress.com more often, I find myself using its Reader application to follow not only other WP.com blogs but also a bunch of sites that I tended to go to directly in the web browser — chiefly the Planet blogs for Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and GNOME, (themselves aggregators of multiple blogs) with OMG! Ubuntu. I’ll add more as I go.
From what I know of Tumblr, social — liking and reblogging — is baked in, and it’s nice to see the same thing available at WordPress.com. Reader is just a nice convenience that gives me another reason to be logged in to WP.com.
Reblogging for WordPress.com has been around since 2010, but it’s new to me.
It gives WordPress.com bloggers the one feature that Tumblr appears to be built on — easy, clickable reblogging — and along with the “like” button brings a really nice social component to the system.
So you can be social without leaving the world of WordPress.com, but you can still push your posts to Twitter and Facebook if you wish. (I push to the former, not the latter at this point.)
I’ve been exploring the Android app for WordPress, which handles blogs from the free WordPress.com service as well as self-hosted WordPress.org sites. Yes, both at once, it turns out.
The Android app make it easy to blog on the go, as it were. The “killer” portion of this particular app is the ability to take pictures and videos with your phone and immediately blog them out.
I’m not sure how that video is handled on the other end on both systems (.com and .org), but I plan to find out.
A nice bonus for WordPress.com users is that you can read your favorite blogs and other RSS-delivered content inside the app. I didn’t expect that feature, so it’s a nice bonus.
I just switched this WordPress.com blog over to the Twenty Twelve theme — freely available for WP.com and self-hosted WordPress.org blogs.
It’s refreshing. It’s clean. And I’m tired of Twenty Eleven (and Twenty Ten before that). Funny how that happens.