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Flickr’s new iPhone web interface = AWESOME (with screenshots!)

Saw word from John “Daring Fireball” Gruber tonight that Flickr finally launched an iPhone optimized web interface. Finally! ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course, I had to check it out right away, and I agree with John – it’s great. Possibly the best iPhone web interface I’ve seen. Really nice. There’s no way to upload photos from the site (though they do point out that you can upload via email, which I’ve been doing from the beginning from my iPhone, and it works really well). But that’s about the only thing I can see that’s missing.

Update – What Doesn’t Work: The things that work on the desktop but don’t work on the iPhone version are basically the parts of the site that use Flash – the Uploadr, the Organizr, the Map, and Video playback (you can still see video pages and their comments, you just can’t play the videos). Oh, and Slideshows. Everything else works. I see this as one big benefit of all the work Flickr did a long time ago to move as much of their interface as possible into Ajax and javascript, and away from Flash (which doesn’t work on the iPhone, and likely never will).

To check it out yourself, go to m.flickr.com on your iPhone or iPod Touch. I’m sure the other methods you can use to trick sites into thinking you’re using an iPhone will work, too. There’s even a nice iPhone Home Screen icon if you want to save a bookmark to it there, and launch it from the Home Screen.

I took a bunch of screenshots. Here they are, in no particular order:

Flickr iPhone Interface - HomeFlickr iPhone Interface - Activity
Flickr iPhone Interface - My PhotostreamFlickr iPhone Interface - Single Photo with Comments
Flickr iPhone Interface - Recent from ContactsFlickr iPhone Interface - My Favorites
Flickr iPhone Interface - Contact ListFlickr iPhone Interface - More
Flickr iPhone Interface - SearchFlickr iPhone Interface - Explore/Interesting
Flickr iPhone Interface - CollectionsFlickr iPhone Interface - Home Screen Icon

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Tying Your Tubes with WordPress – My Session at WordCamp Portland

I’m giving a session at WordCamp Portland today on “Tying Your Tubes with WordPress“, all about integrating all the difference places you probably write, read, and discuss things on the web into your WordPress blog. This post is the reference for the session, with the slides (such as they are – most of it is going to be discussion) and links to the plugins I talk about.

Here are the few slides I put together, on Google Docs. I’m working on them as we speak, but by the time the session starts, they should be more or less final:


And here are links to the plugins/tools that I’m going to talk about:

  • Alex King’s Twitter Tools – to put daily tweet digests on your blog as posts (great for archiving them, since Twitter cut off access to tweets older than a few pages).
  • K2 Theme – besides the TON of other great things it can do, it’s great for putting tweets, etc. in a sidebar using “Asides”. The K2 Support Forum is a GREAT resource if you have questions or need help.
  • How to exclude a category (say, your tweet digest) from your site’s RSS feed. Either have people subscribe to the funky URL you get from this, or if you use FeedBurner, just tell it that the funky URL is your source feed.
  • FriendFeed Comments – show comments and likes that your post gets on FriendFeed right on the post itself.
  • FriendFeed Feed Widget – for showing your last 10 or so items that end up on FriendFeed right on your blog. There are some other cool badges on that page. Similar to Twitter badges, which I don’t use (I use Twitter Tools’ daily digests instead).
  • soup.io, for publishing blended feeds. I use this for my lifestream and my linkblog.

I’ll add any other info that comes up during the session, and if you have any questions, post them in the comments! Woo hoo WordCamp Portland! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Bit.ly, a new URL shortener, launches, but I’m not going to use it. Yet.

switchAbit, purveyors of wonderful web tools, have launched a new URL shortener called bit.ly. Besides a cute name, bit.ly has some nice developer-centric features that make it stand out among the hordes of these services (TinyURL, is.gd, twurl.nl, etc.). From Dave Winer’s post on the launch:

They asked what it would take for me to use bit.ly, I said: data. I need to know how many clicks each pointer got and where the clicks came from.

They gave me that, and thumbnails, permanent caching of the pages I’m pointing to (goodbye linkrot) and a lot of smart stuff going on behind the scenes that we’re not ready to talk about yet. (Though we told Marshall and he explained.) Here’s the info page for this post.

And, most important, an XML/JSON interface, so I can process all that data with my own programs.

As URL shorteners go, it looks great. I love the caching using Amazon S3/EC2 cloud resources, the stats, the developer features (XML and JSON), and again, the name is cute.

But I won’t be switching my bits (ha!) to use bit.ly. At least, not yet. Why? Because it’s still way too big of a pain in the butt to use these services, without some tools to make it easier.

Even with a bookmarklet (which you can click to shorten the URL of the page you’re on), it costs me way too much to time load the page for the URL I want to shorten, click the bookmarklet, wait for the shortener page to load (and, optionally, tell it “yes, I really want to shorten this”), and then get my shortened URL, which I then have to manually copy for pasting elsewhere.

Right now, I use TinyURL as my URL shortener (mostly for posting links in Twitter, where every character counts). Not because it has better features than any other shortener (in fact, compared to bit.ly, TinyURL comes up lacking in a lot of ways), But I keep using it for one reason: the TinyURL Creator Firefox addon.

TinyURLMenu.jpg

With that addon installed, all I have to do to shorten a URL is right click on any page (OR any URL on the page), choose “Create TinyURL”, wait a second (during which my TinyURL is created and automatically placed on the clipboard for pasting), then click the “Close” button and paste the shortened URL wherever it’s going.

TinyUrl Creator.jpg

Simple and fast, it saves me at least 10 seconds every time I shorten a URL (which I do many times per day, thanks to Twitter).

I WANT to start using bit.ly. But I won’t until there’s a FireFox addon for it. I can’t code worth beans, or I’d do it myself, and I know the developers are busy, having just launched a few hours ago. But having a Firefox extension makes shortening URLs MUCH faster and simpler, and as soon as I can get one for bit.ly, I’ll dump TinyURL like a bad high school romance, and “switch my bits”. (ha! See that? I did it again!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

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