Moving Day

Tonight I decided to move one of my blogs from the Blogs at PSU that I have stopped using over here to my main space. The blog I wanted to move is my iPhone blog that I set up during our investigation of the iPhone. There are a couple reasons I wanted to move it — getting the content in one location and to see how easy it is to leave the Blogs at Penn State. BTW, all my iPhone related posts are all under the category “iPhone” and can be accessed here.

I have been writing quite a bit about ePortfolio at the University and much of my thinking has centered on the Blogs at PSU as the primary tool for them. One of the questions I get asked a lot is how can students take their content with them when they leave. One of the things we talk about is that since the Blogs at PSU publish static pages into a directory the whole directory could be downloaded and burned to a CD. I haven’t tested that and while I think it would work, I am guessing it would take some tweaks to get the paths right for media and for the CSS. That method would also keep someone from updating their portfolio.

There are a number of commercial blog hosting spaces out there — and Live Journal are two of them. I wanted to see what would happen if I took my MovableType powered blog and simply chose to export it and import into a WordPress blog. The long story short is that it just worked. In the Blogs at PSU dashboard I was able to select export and it kicked out a downloaded .txt file that had my posts and all the comments in it.


Then in WP I was able to jsut go to the Options > Import screen and browse for the file.


From there all I did was select a user name for the files to be imported under. At that point I could easily edit the posts, add categories to them, or anything. Everything was preserved. I also just tested it out over at the free and it worked perfectly! So we do have an easy to use solution to let people take it with them when it is time to go.

WP iPhone Plugin

Through the magic of I was handed a link by my friend D’Arcy Norman to allow WordPress blogs to auto detect the iPhone and simplify the intrface for use on Safari. I know it doesn’t help us here in the Blogs at PSU, but if you are running WordPress the iWPhone plugin may be worth a try. My personal site, Learning & Innovation, is a WordPress powered blog and I have the plugin working over there. Take a peek with your iPhone and see the difference.

In general browsing the web on the iPhone is a good experience, but I am noticing how much better it is as more and more people start deploying iPhone friendly versions of their sites.

Another Web App: Ta-Da List

In ETS we use 37 Signals’ project management/tracking application, BaseCamp. It isn’t perfect, but what app really is? What it gives us in an online hub for project tracking and communication. The other thing it gives us a great UI for working with.

37 Signals also has a free list manager called, Ta-Da List that helps people get things done — since GTD is all the rage these days, having access to a very well designed list manager from the iPhone is good thing. I am going to experiment with how well it can handle my daily calendar — again another step to manage, but until I can figure out (or more appropriately, someone who is smarter than I am) how to make our Oracle Calendar work more fluidly with iCal/iPhone I will continue to explore other options. 37 Signals has redesigned Ta-Da List so it is optimized for an iPhone browsing experience … I think we are going to see more of this. Accounts are free, so if you have an iPhone give it a try.

I know it is backwards, but that’s how PhotoBooth shoots it.

Web Apps and an iPhone Site

At Apple’s WWDC, Steve Jobs the crowd of developers that to build apps for the iPhone they could use standard web 2.0 technologies — I understood a lot of people were disappointed, but as a former Treo user, I like the fact that I can’t download a bunch of unstable applications to my perfectly running device. I am however very interested in seeing what apps are written that take advantage of the Safari browser on the iPhone.

This morning I read of a new site Apple is offering to browse their extensive movie trailer site. I know it isn’t really an app, but it is one of the first iPhone specifc site I have seen thus far. If you go there with your iPhone you get access to the same content on Apple’s standard trailer site … if you go there with a browser, you get bumped to the traditional URL.

Apple’s iPhone Movie Trailer Site: