Did ya see that? Huh, did ya did ya did ya? Holy crap, I finally found a mobile blogging tool that lets me post text AND photos from my Treo 650. I’m going to purchase the software just as soon as I’m done with this post. Who gets my hard-earned cash? Mo:Blog by Tektonica.

Here’s a quick list of what I tried before I stumbled upon Mo:Blog:

KABLOG: “KABLOG is a tool for mobile phones and PDAs that allows you to post photos and blog entries to blog servers and services…”
→ KABLOG runs on a Java version (MIDP 1.0 for Palm OS1) that crashes the Treo 650. I installed IBM’s WebSphere Everyplace Micro Environment that palmOne recently announced 4 to run J2ME, but KABLOG doesn’t work with it. I’m not sure if the folks at KABLOG intend to upgrade (or even if its a viable solution).
Conclusion: Looks like a great tool with a large support base and large user base, just not compatible with the Treo 650.

Mfop22: “Mfop2 allows you to moblog without setting up any special scripts on your own mail server. To use Mfop2, all you have to do is register some of your blog details and you will be able to post to your blog from your mobile by emailing your blog entry with images attached to mfop2@bastish.net.”
→ Mfop2 sounded like such a perfect option I worked on it for weeks. After some extra tweaking it successfully posted the text in my entries, but not the images. The text of the images posts, but the images is never uploaded to the site. I followed the steps listed on the website for obtaining support (four times) and received zero replies. When looking through message boards I found plenty of people with the same problem, but no solutions. It could be a server setting on my side (chmod on the upload folder maybe? although I tried every common variation) but I guess I’ll never know. It’s worth pointing out that Mfop2 appears to work great for lots of people and is incredibly flexible and convenient (especially the Majic Mojii).
Conclusion: Great for text but won’t post photos (for me). Zero support.

Hblogger2 3 (or just plain Hblogger, depending on the day of the week): “HBlogger is a powerful blogging tool for Palm-Powered devices.”
→ I could say a lot about Hblogger2, or more specifically, Normsoft, the company that recently bought the license and is now selling it, but this is a family site so I’ll try to hold back. For starters, the documentation is weak. The user interface isn’t even remotely self-explanatory. The support options are scattered, due to the recent purchase by Normsoft, and one can post a Hblogger2 support question in 4 different locations on the web; sounds great, but only one location is supported by the “author.” With Hblogger2 I could post text but never a photo. When uploading the photo I received the error: FTP error: Server was unable to complete action (Example: ‘Directory change failed’ or ‘Access denied’). When I finally tracked down what seemed to be the most frequent support area (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hblogger/), getting support was like pulling teeth. People responded, but with incredibly basic (and sometimes asinine) responses. For example, when I reported the FTP error above, the response was, “You will need to have an FTP account to upload your images.” Later, when Tim Norman (presumably the guy behind NormSoft) told a user that he would e-mail him the solution to the same problem I was having instead of posting it to the message board to avoid “bugging everyone else on the group,” I kinda lost it and fired off a message board post calling him out for not posting potential solutions to his own support board. He rejected my message board post and fired off an e-mail in which he told me all I was doing was “complaining” and that I needed to “lose the attitude” before he would continue to help me.
Conclusion: Needs user interface and documentation improvements and didn’t post photos (for me, at least). On top of that, Tim Norman needs to get out of the customer service arena as fast as he can. He’s nuts for harassing a potential customer for trying to help.

Plogit: “Plogit is a blogging application for PalmOS that supports editing, deleting, and posting blog entries via the Blogger, MetaWeblog, and MovableType APIs.”
→ I have a soft heart for open-source projects, especially sourceforge and freshmeat projects. I looked at Plogit before I decided I needed to post photos from my Treo, but before it was cast aside I spent a little time playing with it. It seems to have good intentions, which is almost exactly where a piece of open-source software in Alpha development should be.
Conclusion: Doesn’t post photos, so it’s not my bag… baby.

Blogfoot: “Blogfoot is a mobile blogging service that allows you to post photos and text to your weblog from anywhere and anything…”
→ The user interface was great, the setup was easy, and the price (Free) was admirable, but I could never get it to post photos for me. I followed the steps listed for obtaining support (three times) and received zero replies. *shrug* Also, it doesn’t appear to be in use much- according to the Front Page, my blog is the second ‘Most Updated,’ and it’s been at LEAST two weeks since I updated through Blogfoot.
Conclusion: Doesn’t post photos (for me). Zero support.

Azure: “Azure is a free blog client. It allows you to create and edit posts for your weblog.”
→ Azure suffers from the same fate as KABLOG (see above). Azure requires a Java version that crashes the Treo 650.
Conclusion: It’s virtually impossible to use software that crashes the Treo the instant you click on it. Okay, not virtually

That wraps it up for the mobile blogging solutions I tried. I’d say I dumped about 20 hours of hard work into making something work. I finally came across Mo:Blog via the article, “Palm Blogging Apps” on Cantoni.org. I highly recommend the article for anyone considering mobile blogging; the detail is in-depth and the comparison chart is a beauty. Many thanks to the guy who led me to my personal mobile blogging holy grail.

References: Palm Blogging Apps; Treo 650 roaming notes

Updates

  1. Jan 2007: Updated the ‘MIDP 1.0 for Palm OS‘ link
  2. May 2007: Removed dead Mfop2 link
  3. May 2007: Removed Hblogger link- it wasn’t dead, just changed, but I removed it anyway because the guy who runs NormSoft is (was?) a jerk
  4. May 2007: Updated Palm JVM link

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