Posts Categorized: writing + blogs

Dear Nokia, Time for some real UX testing…

Two problems with Nokia’s Share Online 3.0, one can’t edit the title nor can one add a description before posting the photo to the web service / blog.
I was able to edit, resize, and rename the full sized photo of my great aunt Babe’s bougainvillea bush from the Gallery on my Nokia N95, but once I opened Share Online it just sent the photo with the date that I sent it as the title, not the renamed photo name as the title. And then there is no description…
Ok, Nokia, no offense, but what the F*(k were you thinking to discontinue and disable Lifeblog when it was a fairly full featured mobile blogging app and replace it with a badly featured and thought out “share” app? Hello, maybe you should have put both out there and asked your customers which they preferred to use…
Hello… Helloo…. heeellllloooooo…. Are y’all awake up there in Espoo? Did you do any User Experience research with actual customers and power users rather than in house testers? Did you contact any real live mobile bloggers during the testing phase to see how we need an mobile blogging app to work with our photo / blogging flow? Heeeeeeeelllllllllooooooo…..
p.s. I added the text and renamed the title of this post from the web browser interface, not from the phone.
p.p.s. Listening to Motley Crue while I write cranky blog posts.
p.p.s.s. I plan on cracking open the box that I packed the N82 back up in to see if I can get the N82’s working Lifeblog mobile app off of it and transfer the working Lifeblog sis to my N95 before shipping the N82 back to WOM World.
p.p.p.s.s. Next time I talk about updating one of my Nseries phones, stop me. Remind me that the Nokia Updater bricked my N80 and now has made my beloved Lifeblog inoperable. Huh… not trusting the transmissions from the mothership… huh…
The March Madness 2008 Moblogging Saga (i.e. Lifeblog vs. Nokia Share Online):
1. The Big Switch Over, or Back to My Nokia N95
2. 03/22/2008
3. Dear Nokia, Time for some real UX testing…
4. How to Post to a Movable Type 4 Blog from Nokia Share Online 3.0
5. Scruffy’s Clover Crown
6. Belle Running>

What I Did With My Evening or Going Mobile

I worked on refining the design of this website and have started making a Mobile version of the site.
Yep, a .mobi – view on your mobile / cell phone, version of the website. It is almost there, when I have it ready all the way, I will ask for help in testing it on various cell / mobile phone browsers.
I also added the Nokia Urbanista Diaries widget to the sidebar on the blog and as a center piece on the entrance page to the website. If you would like to follow along by adding the widget on your blog or website, here is the widget code to copy and paste onto your site:

<div id="flashcontent"><strong>In order to view the Nokia N82:
The urbanista diaries you need JavaScript and Flash Player 8+ support</strong></div>
<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">var so = new SWFObject('',
'Nokia N82: The urbanista diaries', '300', '250', '8', '#ffffff');so.addParam('wmode', 'transparent');
so.addParam('flashVars', 'bloggerID=4&copy=');

Or you can download the widget from the Nokia Nseries site yourself.

Dear Feed Readers – The Win-Win Solution

Hello to all of my lovely regular readers who read this blog on a feed reader,
I have listened to your concerns and have weighed them with mine. Compliments of a dream at 3 something a.m. this morning, I have a win-win solution!
The Fix for my Faithful & Regular Readers who want a Full Feed with text & photos that is formatted nicely:
1) I have made a private full feed for you to subscribe to.
2) Please email me at blackphoebe at gmail dot com and I will send you the URL for the private feed. Also, let me know your blog URL, so I can subscribe to you as well!
3) You get to consume the feed how it best pleases you and my blood pressure does not rise terribly when I look at Technorati. Everyone is happy.
4) If you email me, get the new feed URL, and you don’t see the photos, please email me again with the name of the feed reader you are using so I can troubleshoot what the problem is. Right now the private full feed is working in Google Reader, Sage, Flock, and NetNewsWire, but the photos are not showing up in BlogLines of which I am going to get a fix for.
As of this Thursday, I will be setting all the public feeds on this website to excerpt only to discourage content scraping by a pack of unscrupulous jackass travel blogs. Given that I will spend most of the next two months on the road and I want to happily blog along the way, it behooves me to make a fix now.
Thanks for giving me your input and I look forward to hearing from you!
Update: The full private feed is now working with images in Bloglines.
Bloglines subscribers: When you input this feed, please set it to private, thanks!

Feed Readers, Please Read!

I know that at least 1/2 if not 2/3rds of my regular readers here use a feed reader to view this blog. Or so says my log files.
Hello folks who read this blog via an RSS, RDF, or Atom feed! Please read the following, click through to the actual post and comment. I have enabled anonymous comments so that I can have your input.
I love you. Thanks for being faithful. I have been trying through the upgrade to Movable Type 4.0 to make sure that y’all have everything you need to read the posts on this blog. Now I would like a vote…
I appreciate how a feed reader makes life easier, but I would like to change my feeds to excerpts only with a link to the full post. Why?
1) Gesault: I love the merging of image / design / text / code of the internet. Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen is conceived as a loving attempt to combine text, my mobile photography, with my web design. When viewed through a feed reader, unless the css is fully rendered, you are only getting a small portion of the whole.
I look forward to see how folks have combined imagery and design with there content. I generally use a feed reader to let me know when an update has happened then I connect to the actual post so I can see it in its native environment rather than the white and grey of my feed reader.
Do you really like your blog reading in the sterile environment of a feed reader or do you like to see what the blogger has for the whole visual / textual package? Or are many of the blogs on your reading list so poorly designed that the feed reader is a sight for traumatized eyes?
2) Parasites: I have been having a problem lately with unscrupulous humans or bots scraping my full feeds and using my content in their blogs without any proper credit or citation.
I would like to nip this in the bud by only providing an excerpt rather than a full feed. But first I would like to elicit the opinion of my regular readers…
3) Due to image stealing I have put further restrictions on how my images can be used in my feeds via anti-hotlinking .htaccess scripts. I am sorry to my readers who view this in Google Reader, as the images are not coming through at all. On those posts, please click through to see the image.
Vote with your comments and let me know… Do you want a full feed or an excerpt that you click through to is ok?
I would like to weigh your votes with my own desire to have this blog viewed in its native format as well as discourage lazy shits who steal. Let me know… ;o)

Happy New Year!

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95 while on a walk today with the dogs.

The true glories of winter in SoCal is the mild weather, which roses and gardenias love. As I was walking the dogs this afternoon, I spotted this rose next to the sidewalk on 10th St. in Seal Beach. It was similar to a Double Delight rose, but with an apricot yellow rather than cream colored interior. Gorgeous. I was so taken by its beauty that I forgot to sniff to see if it smelled like a Double Delight. Must walk back tomorrow.
The New Year’s Resolution Part of the Blog Post:
I received an email from Mrs. Kennedy the other day letting NaBloPoMo 2007 participants know that various folks decided to take NaBloMoPo even farther and start Blog365. When I read the rules, I signed up.

– Blog everyday for 365 days.
– Feb.29th is a Free Day and will be the Blog365 day of rest!
(Thanks Leap Year)
– You do not HAVE to post to the same blog as long as you post everyday.
– No internet? Write your post locally and post it once you are back on the grid.
– Computer Broken? Grab some paper and do some old school blogging.
– A post is a post, not everything has to be in writing. Photos, YouTube videos, and the like are all considered content.
– Have fun, because that’s the whole point!

So, I signed up. This I can do, as I do post either photos or text to some spot on the ‘net everyday anywhoo and if I don’t I do write in one of my two notebook / sketchpads. What I will set as a goal for myself is to post to this blog everyday in 2008, be it a photo or text or both. Wish me luck.
Happy New Year!

The Last Day of NaBloPoMo

I just reviewed my archives for November 2007 and I didn’t do as badly at NaBloPoMo 2007 as I thought I had. I only missed one day.
My goal was to moblog one photo and write one text post each day. Most days of November I accomplished both. Many of the days (Nov. 16 – 26th) that I was on the road, I was only able to send a moblogged photo with a bit of text. But on Nov. 25th, I failed entirely. It was the only day that I did not post a photo or text all day for the whole day. Oops.
All in all, I had hoped to get more writing done. Moblogging, or sending photos and/or text from my phone directly to this blog via Lifeblog and my data plan, is relatively easy. I just need to pick a photo that I like, open Lifeblog, type some text (non-qwerty mobile phone keyboard), and then push the send button and off it goes to my blog. Given I was in Ireland and England this month, my mobile bill will be painful when it arrives, but it was worth it.
I had grand plans about catching up on writing up all the big topics I have been wanting to blog about (mobile creativity, Whole Foods, PHP vs. Ruby on Rails, etc.), but writing up big topics and traveling don’t mix, esp. when one’s hotel / B&B does not have an internet connection.
There is always December.