One of my favorite side projects is one that I have built to showcase the adventures I share with my son Brandon. Obviously the content is more near and dear to me then any of my other work. However, it functions in a way that really makes the sharing part quick and easy. Thus what ultimately makes it so functional for me. I originally intended on keeping a more standard blog, but never could seem to find the time to write up lengthy post’s about our experiences.
Why make something custom?
I have never been good about updating a photo stream on Flickr and Facebook’s shifting position on my privacy really creeps me out. In the meantime, my friends always joked about how many photo’s I take using my iPhone. There are over 1600 photo’s on it right now – So it seemed only fitting to make use of the life stream that was taking shape with a device that I already take with me everywhere.
I love the power and simplicity of WordPress and have used it as a platform to create numerous custom site designs & blogs themes over the years. However, this project was the first time that I took advantage of the mobile publishing aspect of the iPhone App. This is what makes this such a powerful way for a proud dad to share. I already use my phone as a means to capture events, it is only a few quick steps to write down a few words that provide some context to the photo.
The one thing you must do from the desktop admin is to turn on the remote publishing blogging client found in the “Writing” section in your settings widget. Next, simply download & install the free WordPress App on to your iPhone or Android device. Once you have installed the app – you simply enter the same log-in you already use to access the desktop wp-Admin into the log-in prompt from your smart phone.
Once it is loaded up, you can see and manage all of your existing posts / comment, or write a new ones. From the Post view, it is quite easy to take a photo or choose from an existing one in your photo library making it simple and quick to document and publish in real time.
A fun component to Brandon’s site is the ability to use the GPS function that is integrated into the iPhone. My dear friend and colleague Brice Lechatellier created a nifty little wp plug-in that allows you to ad and style a Geo location map to each post. He created this to document his whereabouts on a 6 months around the world trip that he recently embarked upon. I find that it adds an interesting bit of context and flavor to the ongoing story of my adventures / life stream.
So there you have it! The design itself is really quite simple – nothing complex or worthy of explanation. However, the straightforward process to both create and consume make it a very pleasurable utility!