Stumax 2

Digital Boogaloo

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachklein/54389823/

So, I spent quite a bit of time today trying to make it easier to post here.

Here’s what I want: I want WordPress to work like a tumblog, with visually distinct post types, and easy posting of videos, quotes, and links. I want the links to work Daring Fireball-style, where I write a pithy comment and the post title takes you to the link in question. I also want it to be easy to post from my iPad, especially from Poster by way of Mr. Reader. And I want to be able to do this using an off-the-shelf theme, rather than spending a lot of time developing my own.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found the magic formula to make all that happen seamlessly.

There are tumblog themes for WordPress, but none of them have the elegant visual style that I’m looking for. Moreover, most of them seem to use custom post types that require you to be in the WP dashboard in order to complete your post, making Poster useless for this kind of workflow.

So here’s what I’m doing currently. If you read this and have any suggestions on how I can make this easier, I am all ears.

I’m currently using the Launch theme from Themezilla. I like the clean look and the distinct styles of each of the custom posts. However, I don’t like the implementation of all of the custom post types, and it doesn’t work for me to log into the dashboard every time I want to post a link from my iPad. So, I created a child theme and updated a couple of the custom post types more to my liking. The link and video types now let me add a comment in addition to the link.

The video post type now lets me use WordPress’s native embed shortcode to add YouTube and Vimeo videos, among others. This is still a little kludgy, though, because I need to click through to the video on YouTube in order to get the link to the video. Then I need to create a new Poster blog post and enter the URL for YouTube inside the embed short code. Not as elegant as just clicking a link from Mr. Reader, but it works.

I’m using the Daring Fireball-style Linked List plugin to enable link post types. This plug-in uses a custom field for adding a link, a method that is well supported by Poster, so it’s fairly easy to add a link directly from Mr. Reader on my iPad, as long as I remember to copy the link to the iPad’s clipboard before I start drafting my post.

I now have an iPad posting workflow that’s not as elegant and streamlined as I might like, but it’s not horrible either. I’m sure I could make my life a lot easier if I just broke down and used Tumblr (as I used to do), but I don’t like the fact that I can’t export my posts from their service. I’m tired of silos, and I really want to host my own content. I guess in exchange, though, I have to give up a little bit of the ease that some other services provide.

Postscript: I be remiss if I didn’t mention the sunsetting of Posterous. Posterous was an excellent blogging service before it was bought by Twitter, and I’m sad to see it go. If it had stayed an independent entity, I might still be using it. The way that it handled different types of input — like letting you just paste a link to a video, image, or audio file and then publishing the linked item in the right format — was pretty slick.