UCalgaryBlogs.ca feedback survey

I’m trying out a new Survey plugin, which will let you run surveys as part of your WordPress site here at UofCBlogs.ca – and thought it might be a good excuse to try to solicit some early feedback on the service itself.

If you have any feedback that isn’t captured in a checkbox in the survey, please feel free to post comments here.

Using Flickr Photos

If you’ve got a Flickr account, it’s now really simple to use your photos from Flickr and embed them in posts and pages on your UofCBlogs.ca site. I’ve just enabled a plugin that adds a Flickr media button above the editing form, like this (it’s the 2 dots, taken from the Flickr logo):

If you click that, you’ll be presented with a utility to select photos from your Flickr account:

You can search your own photos, or photos posted by other Flickr users. Once you select a photo, you can define the size and placement of the image using the controls provided:

and once selected, the Flickr photo is embedded in a post, like this:

dawn over the bow

Before using it, you’ll have to authorize UofCBlogs.ca to allow access to your Flickr account – it’s safe, and the plugin walks you through it in the Settings section of the WordPress Admin interface.

Just click the “Flickr authenticate” button, and a new browser window will open, where Flickr.com will ask if you authorize this connection between your blog and Flickr account. You can revoke this at any time, and it won’t add or edit anything on Flickr. If you approve this, just follow the instructions on that page, and close that browser window (or tab) when finished.

Then, just click the “Finish authenticate” button, so your blog will store your Flickr account ID.

Blogging in other languages

I just installed a few language packs for WordPress, which provide native versions of the administrative interface in various languages.

To select the language to use while administering a blog, go to the admin page, and hit “Settings” – scroll down that page to the bottom, and you’ll see this language selector:

Languages available for the WordPress administration interface
Languages available for the WordPress administration interface

For now, I’ve only added a handful of languages, but if I’ve missed a language that you want to use, please let me know and I’ll add it ASAP.

It’s not perfect, and not every bit of text is displayed in the selected language, but it is much better than a non-localizable admin interface. Here’s what the admin interface of my blog looks like with Chinese selected:

My blog's admin interface with Chinese selected as the active language.
My blog's admin interface with Chinese selected as the active language.

Of course, the actual content has to be written in whatever language you need, and this won’t do any translation, but it should help by providing the administrative interface in various languages.

Posting from iPhone or iPod Touch

Now that I’ve updated this site to WordPress MultiUser 2.6, the cool new native iPhone and iPod Touch blogging app will work. Just point it to your blog, give it your ucalgaryblogs.ca username and password, and you’re off and running!

For example, I used dlnorman.ucalgaryblogs.ca as the blog address, and gave it my login info. It will work with multiple blogs, too – but each blog needs to be configured separately.

photo photo photo

Podcasting with UCalgaryBlogs.ca

The UofCBlogs.ca service offers built-in podcast hosting features, so it’s really easy to start publishing your own podcasts. Assuming you already have the podcast ready in .mp3 format, all you have to do is use the “Upload” utility below the post editor on the “Write Post” page.

upload podcast

Select the file, give it a Title, and upload it to the server. Then, just click “Send to editor” to put it into the blog post.

send to editor

Once added to a blog post, you’ll get a cool web-based media player, like this:

The title of the podcast file goes here.

That’s it. UofCBlogs.ca will take care of generating the proper podcast hosting RSS files, so you can start your incredible podcast series on remote biofilm telemetry, or whatever.