Reviewing the WordPress App

Update: the app just received an upgrade with many improvements.

While sitting around waiting for a doctor appt. I decided to try out this WordPress app on my iPad. It’s quite simple to set up and connects with either a WordPress hosted or self-hosted site. this will be great for blogging on the run. Or while watching baseball. The one drawback I see is there is no way to insert an image. The editor has limited but adequate formatting tools and a way to insert a link without having to type link code. It also runs on the iPhone.

If you are a blogger using WordPress and have an iOS device, give it a try. It’s free, after all. What can you lose but a few minutes which, in my case, would have been largely wasted anyway?


OK! So I learned a few things:

  • You can insert images by clicking on the Edit button on a saved post and then the image icon that appears at the bottom.
  • You can edit pages as well as posts. So you could use the app to update any WP site. Not just a blog site.
  • You can manage comments.
  • You can get stats if you have the Jetpack plugin (or have you blog hosted at

So anyway, it’s even better than I thought!

Some Favorite Things on My IPad

I’ve been working on a review list of favorite IPad apps for a while now, but never finishing it. Maybe I will one day, but I thought I’d take a slightly different approach with this post. I use my IPad a lot for work and recreation and the stuff in between like listening to or watching tech podcasts. I use my IPhone in a similar way, but for most of those things except listening to podcasts while on the go the IPad is a much more pleasurable experience. So, in general I love to use my IPad for as many things as I can.

But my three favorite things are for reading books and magazines, cooking, and consuming and sharing news feeds.

I find I am reading more, and more diverse material now than I did before the IPad. I love downloading samples of books and  when I find one I like I can buy it and keep reading no matter what time of day or night. As a result I am paying more attention to book reviews and recommendations, searching out great reading material. Unfortunately, some books I hear about are not available in E-book format. When I find one that I would like but it’s not available I always click the button to tell the publisher my desires on the Kindle store.

IPad ScreenNow that Wired and the New Yorker have IPad versions that are available free to subscribers, I find myself reading more of those magazines as well. And since I can download back issues I feel fine recycling those  stacks of old magazines.  I do keep the current issue around until the next one comes out just for those special moments when paper works better than pixels. I’ll let you imagine what those moments might be.

I use both the IBooks and Kindle apps. I like the IBook store interface better, but the IBook store doesn’t have as many titles as the Kindle store. I use a few of the other book apps from time to time as well. But those two I use daily. I haven’t bought a paper book or magazine in many months. There is nothing on my bedside table now until I put my IPad there. I don’t need the bedside lamp when I wake up in the middle of the night and need to read myself back to sleep. Sweet!

I love to cook. And I’m pretty good within a narrow range. I have lots of cookbooks, but I don’t often use them to learn new dishes. I’m not sure why. But I have a whole section of cooking apps and magazines on my IPad which I use a lot. They look beautiful, they are easy to navigate and search and the recipes are often quite delicious.

My favorite one so far is the Epicurious app which is glorious to look at and has good solid content. The reviews and comments by people who have tried the recipes are often very helpful. I also really like Food & Wine magazine and have started to explore All Recipes pro which has some really nice tools on top of the recipes.

News Feeds
While this activity is related to “reading” it’s often more like skipping lightly over the raging river of news and only occasionally taking a dip in a quiet pool. I use Feedler on the IPad to interface with Google Reader to skim hundreds of articles, blog posts and news items on a wide variety of topics from art and literature to programming and gadgets. There is just too much stuff and most if it is easily rejected. But some is worth saving for later and those articles I send to Instapaper for archiving. I heard Leo Laporte say on TWIT that he does the same thing but he never goes to Instapaper to read the articles. I actually do, in the cracks of time.

But I also like to discover things shared by others on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. I use a few apps for this but my favorite are Flipboard and Zite. Both of these apps create attractive magazine like interfaces for new feeds, Twitter feeds, Facebook status updates and so on. Zite can be personalized even further by ‘liking’ certain articles. It will then try to present more of similar type articles.  I also like the ability in Zite to create Sections to group feeds by topic. All of the readers offer great tools for reading, saving and sharing new information on Twitter and Facebook. I always find great stuff to share when I sit down a skim over the river of news.

Of course, I have a lot of other favorite apps and things I do with the IPad. But these are things I find myself doing most often with the greatest pleasure.  I’d love to hear what others’ favorite things and apps for the IPad are. Please share in the comments!


What’s a Follower Worth?

Hello, my name is Bob, and I’m a Twitterholic.

Yes. It’s affecting my work life, my social life, my sex life. OK, maybe not that…yet. But I am taking steps to control it. Really. I am. I have lots of 3rd party Twitter apps that give me much more control than you get with your basic account. I know, I know, I should just quit altogether.  But I am fascinated by this thing. At least until the next thing comes along.

One of the things that confounds me though: Out of the 6 million?users on Twitter, how many of them are worth having as followers? I don’t use tricks to get followers, but as of this posting I have 615 followers.  But so what? That’s not a huge amount. I am consistently followed by people who have thousands of followers. For example, here’s a recent follower’s statistics: “7621 Following | 7932 Followers | Ratio: 1 | 8834 Updates – On Twitter Since April 17, 2009 (46 days ago)”. Huh? How could this person post nearly 9,000 tweets in 46 days? And why does he have so many followers in such a short period of time? I’ve been on Twitter for over a year. Maybe it’s because I don’t promise lots of riches for almost no effort. So, who cares if this person follows me? I’d much prefer, 100 followers who actually read my tweets and have something to share besides get rich quick schemes.

What’s a follower like that worth? Not much.

I would love a way to screen these folks out. Anyone know of such an app?