Successful blogging from the Windows Mobile platform can be difficult. There are several applications that can be installed and utilised but most of these alternatives are limited in some way.
However if you’re blogging to a Movable Type or WordPress platform blog, the best solution is Pocket Sharp MT for touchscreen “Professional” Windows Mobile devices (or Phone Sharp MT for non-touchscreen WinMo handsets). Pocket Sharp MT is available from www.randyrants.com.
Once the installation is complete, you can configure Pocket Sharp MT to connect to and publish to your WordPress or Movable Type blog, and comfortably blog from the comfort of your Windows Mobile device, employing basic formatting, assigning categories and even uploading images.
Setup Your Blog Connection
To begin, you need to make a connection to your blog. This first of all requires that your Windows Mobile deice is connected to the Internet, either directly via your network operator or via a WiFi connection. Note that prolonged use of Pocket Sharp MT can result in a high data usage charge.
When you first launch the blog software, you will need to setup the connection to your Movable Type or WordPress blog. This can be done by going to Tools -> Options.
The options screen requires:
- Web Server
- CGI-BIN Path
You should already know your blog username and password; you should also know the URL of your blog, which is entered as the Web Server. (Enter the full path, including the ‘http://’)
The CGI-BIN part can prove to be more difficult. The default is set in Pocket Sharp MT for Movable Type blogs – /cgipath/mt-xmlrpc.cgi – so if you’re using Movable Type as your blogging platform you’re laughing at this point.
WordPress platform users need to change this entry to refer to the WordPress version of this linking gateway script. Thankfully it’s a lot easier to type in: /xmlrpc.php
With a correct username and password entered and a connection to the Internet established, click on refresh. The Blog List drop down will now display your blog, so you can click OK to continue or if necessary update the Proxy tab with any relevant information you need to connect to the web and try again.
Note that this guide is written using a WordPress blog connection. The Pocket Sharp MT software functions remain the same for either platform, however.
Writing a Blog Post
Once the connection to your blog is setup, you can go straight into entering the text for your blog post.
Enter a title, select a category and enter the body text – it’s all straightforward and can be entered either by a hardware device-mounted keyboard or a software keyboard.
Longer entries can continue over onto the Extended tab, while Tags (Keywords) and Excerpts can be entered on the Advanced tab, along with a list of URLs to Ping. The status of the post (Draft or Publish) can also be set here, as well as allowing or disallowing comments.
The Authored on tab lets you set the date and time of writing – alternatively you can sync Pocket Sharp MT with your server time.
It’s always good practice to save as you go, particularly when blogging from a device that doubles as a phone. This can be done via the File menu, simply select Save Draft or hit the Save button on the menu bar. The saved post will be stored as a text file with the .MT file extension.
The Format menu will apply any of the preset formatting (bold, underline, italics, URL link) to the selected text, while copy and pasting can be achieved via File -> Edit.
Finally, use the Tools > Upload Media category to upload images to the specified uploads location on your server. Using the standard <img src=”[filename]”> you can enter the image into the blog post, or simply use let Pocket Sharp MT insert it into the post on your behalf.
Submitting Your Post
Submitting your blog post is a matter of deciding whether to change the status from Draft to Publish, and then hitting Post to Server.
You can check the resulting post on either your mobile or your desktop browser to check the outcome, and I think you’ll agree the results – while limited – are very good indeed.
Pocket Sharp MT is one of the most functional Windows Mobile blogging clients available, but there are other solutions that operate on similar principles.
image credit: ittsai
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