New PSU Tech Tutors Site

Tech Tutors

Above is a screen shot of the PSU Tech Tutors site … not only is it great design and a great program (training for students by students), the whole thing is built on our new WordPress stack. The new service that we are calling sites.psu.edu allows people at Penn State to not only construct typical wordpress style blog sites, but full on web presences. We’ve licensed dozens of professional themes, have put them through the accessibility ringer, and are making site building easier than ever.

Adding Instagram Photos to a WordPress Blog

As I make the slow switch back to publishing here at my self-hosted wordpress site from my beloved tumblr, one of the things that is bothering me is that publishing an instagram photo is not one button simple. With the iOS instagram app I can easily push my photos to my tumblr as well as other services like twitter, Facebook, flickr, etc but not to a self-hosted space. So, since I am returning to a place I haven’t been to in a while I thought I would ask the Internet how to do it, and what do you know, my old ed tech blogging buddy D’Arcy Norman had it solved! What a surprise, right?

Just like D’Arcy I am using the ifttt (if this, then that) service to make the magic happen. Unlike D’Arcy I decided to only pull instagrams over that I use a specific hashtag (#cc) on, so I am using a different recipe. That way I can still post to various places without flooding a specific channel … I may change my mind on that in the future, but for now that is the way I like it. It also takes anything coming in and drops it into a category aptly named, “instagram” … nice. I am also playing around with the “Add Linked Images to Gallery” wp plugin (again, just like D’Arcy) to make a local copy of the instagram image. Who knows how long my facination with my wp space will last, but I am enjoying getting it back in shape and publishing here again.

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Speaking of the new Flickr app, I decided to add it to my iPad mini even though it isn’t a universal app. It isn’t pretty in 2x mode, but I do like the results and I actually looked at my contacts photos on Flickr for the first time in ages.

There is something really interesting to me about how apps take web experiences and turn them into more social spaces for me. I never browse Flickr photos via the browser anymore, but now with a serviceable app I just spent time discovering stuff people I like shot and posted. Interesting.

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So I post about dumping Flickr and they go and release an app that actually makes the service look a little useful to my mobile-centric life.

One thing I am left wondering is why in the hell Flickr, Instagram, and tumblr can’t do a real app for the iPad? I’ve largely replaced my 11″ MacBook Air with a combination of my iPhone and my new iPad mini. Here’s the rub — I create most of my content on the iPad mini. It is big enough that creation is a breeze, but small enough I can take it anywhere. Add to it the Verizon LTE and it has become my creation tool of choice. If only the people who make these apps and host these services would realize that iPhone only apps are a joke.

I need an iPad ready Instagram, tumblr, and Flickr app!

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I know it is only Wednesday, but I feel like I’ve earned this glass.