In the end it was a lot of fun. It was also nice to share the adventure with our friends and family. If you are interested in live photo blogging your next trip or adventure, check out how I did it and see if it’s the easiest solution for you.
First, find out what you want to accomplish and what you’ll need in order to accomplish it. I wanted to be able to take photographs with my cell phone and syndicate them to several services. I wanted my Twitter followers and my Facebook friends to be able to follow my shenanigans if they wanted to. I wanted to be able to do it without a cell phone data plan (I know, I’m cheap) so I had to be able to either do it via email (you knew you could text an email address didn’t you?) or direct SMS/MMS.
I could have added Twitter and Facebook directly for each message but Twitter wouldn’t post my photographs unless I used TwitPic or something similar (I don’t like TwitPic because I hate the homepage where they list all of the latest pics).
I finally chose to use Posterous.
Posterous is an awesome blogging tool for many reasons but for this project it had three major perks. One, I could easily set it up to receive and post emails. Secondly, Posterous is easy to set up to post to other services (such as Twitter and Facebook). Third, Posterous accepts several different types of media (ie. photos, videos, sound files, etc.)
Here’s how I set everything up.
Set up either SMS/MMS or email with Posterous
Obviously Posterous works awesomely with your email address. For this mission, we need to be able to send messages to be posted remotely from your phone. You could set up your phone on your account and send messages to 41411.
Using this method will limit you to only 110 characters and you’ll have to enter “post” before the actual message. You could do that.
I opted for the email method because it doesn’t have the same limit. My limit is basically set by my text provider which is 140 characters.
Note: Photo-capable phones make sending MMS messages quite simple. With my phone, every time I take a picture the option to “send” it pops right up. When I choose that option, I am taken directly to a new text message and all I have to do is fill in the recipient (Posterous), the message (sometimes I skip this one but it depends on if you have the time) and the subject. Your phone may be slightly different but it should be similar.
Make sure you put something for the subject because it will label the photo for your followers. You can tag the posts by putting the tag in double parenthesis in on the subject line along with the title. For example: “Starting out ((tag: hiking2010))”.
The cool part is that I don’t have to tell Posterous to “post” it; they already know. I just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (entering your Posterous site instead of “yoursite”). For security’s sake, Posterous will hold the first post until you confirm it is really a post by you.
Make sure you do this before leaving home. Once the first post is confirmed, you shouldn’t have any more issues. You should be all set to send a text to the email address and have it posted.
Set up the syndication.
Posterous makes connecting to other services a cinch. They call it autoposting and you’ll find a link to the settings in the left sidebar of your manage page.
Then you’ll want to click the make changes button.
There you’ll find the Add a Service button. Choose the services you want your Posterous blog autoposted onto and go through the authentication processes for each. This will get the word out to your followers every time you send an update of your adventure.