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Blogging from the BlackBerry

Although the BlackBerry market of good third-party software is woefully underdeveloped, I am excited to say I have discovered a workable MetaWeblog API solution.

I’ve already writ­ten in detail about my Black­Berry and why I chose it over an iPhone, so I won’t make any­one read that stuff again. That said, the one area that really, really makes me lament not hav­ing an iPhone is the third-party app mar­ket. Apple’s App Store isn’t per­fect and has gone through some grow­ing pains, but the inter­est in devel­op­ment for the iPhone was crazy nuts even before the SDK, now that it is offi­cial, a slew of the types of appli­ca­tions that I would want to use are avail­able or being made avail­able. For my pur­poses, com­par­ing the types of inno­v­a­tive stuff being done on the iPhone with the crap avail­able for Black­Berry makes me just sad.

Noth­ing has made me more sad than the total lack of a blog­ging appli­ca­tion for the Black­Berry. Within two weeks of launch­ing the App Store, both Type­Pad and Word­Press. Mean­while, I’ve spent like 4 and a half months try­ing to find a decent Word­Press or other blog­ging app for Black­Berry, with no luck.

Thanks to the always won­der­ful Twit­ter, I was alerted to the fact that SixA­part actu­ally released a Type­Pad app for Black­Berry back in May. So close, yet so far (if it were 2003 and I were look­ing to migrate from Live­Jour­nal to a hosted ser­vice, I would have prob­a­bly gone to Type­Pad — but it is 2008 and I want my own soft­ware instal­la­tion — I’m stick­ing with Word­Press unless Expres­sion Engine 2.0 blows me away or I decide to roll my own Django thing). For­tu­nately, I decided to try Google again for Black­Berry blog­ging apps. Although the Black­Berry mar­ket of good third-party soft­ware is woe­fully under­de­vel­oped, I am excited to say I have dis­cov­ered a work­able MetaWe­blog API solution.

The pro­gram is called BBMetaBlog and as best I can tell, it was devel­oped as a blog­ging tool for the Lotus Note and Lotus Domino servers/platforms. As such, things like cat­e­gories and tag­ging is all han­dled by a dif­fer­ent appli­ca­tion that is designed to run on Lotus Domino servers. How­ever, because Domino/Notes uses the MetaWe­blog API for its blog­ging engine, any XML-RPC capa­ble plat­form, mean­ing Word­Press, can take advantage.

Neato. There are a few caveats:

  • Because this was devel­oped to work with a pre-existing blog sys­tem, tags and cat­e­gories don’t work. I haven’t messed around with it enough to find out if you cre­ate a default cat­e­gory if that will pass through or not. If it will, I might just make my default cat­e­gory “Black­Berry Mobile” or “Mobile Posts” to help keep things clean.
  • While it appears as if you CAN edit past entries, those entries don’t actu­ally show up to be able to see them to edit.

Still, it’s bet­ter than nothing.

To get this to work (and I’m run­ning every­thing off of a Black­Berry 8320 run­ning 4.2.2 (they haven’t updated to 4.5 in the States yet, at least not at T-Mobile)), down­load the pro­gram using the OTA link above. Run the appli­ca­tion and click on the “Con­fig­ure” but­ton. Enter in the user­name and pass­word for you Word­Press blog (or other MetaWe­blog API blog soft­ware) and leave Loca­tion and Cat­e­gory at their defaults. On the line that says access URL, for Word­Press users, enter in: http://www.yourblogdomain.com/xmlrpc.php — other MetaWe­blog API pro­grams might have a slightly dif­fer­ent syn­tax, so check with your software.

That’s it.

Now you can cre­ate new posts and send them straight from your BlackBerry!

Note about Word­Press 2.6 and later If your first instal­la­tion of Word­Press was ver­sion 2.6 or later and you have never used a third-party blog client before, you need to enable Remote Blog­ging from the Set­tings –> Writ­ing tab:

www.ChristinaWarren.com › Writing Settings — WordPress.png

Just make sure you select XML-RPC.

If I knew any­thing about pro­gram­ming for Black­Berry, I’d try to take on this thing (since it is Open Source) and mod­ify it to work bet­ter. Until then (or until a bet­ter option becomes avail­able), this will suffice.

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44 people have left comments

Tris Hussey - Gravatar

Tris Hussey said:

Did you see that there is an updated ver­sion at Open­NTF? http://tinyurl.com/239dua I’m going to try it out now. Just reg­is­tered and downloaded.

Posted on: August 8, 2008 at 2:19 amQuote this Comment
Christina - Gravatar

Christina said:

Yeah — from what I could tell, that was the pro­gram for the Lotus Domino stuff — if it is an updated ver­sion of BBMetaBlog, let me know!

Posted on: August 8, 2008 at 2:22 amQuote this Comment
Jim Glee­son - Gravatar

Jim Glee­son said:

Glad to see that at least there is an alter­na­tive for the Black­berry though. I guess the unasked ques­tion is why would any­one want to blog from any smart phone plat­form at all. I have Word­Press on my iPhone and just don’t feel the desire to blog away when most of my time is spent at my desk­top. I guess if I was on-the-go it would mean some­thing or if I didn’t drag my lap­top when I was on-the-go.

Twit­ter on the iPhone is a notable excep­tion to this. But it takes all kinds.

Posted on: August 8, 2008 at 3:30 amQuote this Comment
Christina - Gravatar

Christina said:

That’s a great point Jim — and I totally get what you are say­ing. Still, there are times I might want to post some­thing that is longer than 140 char­ac­ters when I’m out on the run. And although I used to be able to do the whole e-mail to pub­lish thing on Word­Press, it stopped work­ing like 3 or 4 ver­sions ago (2.3 was the last time I was able to get it to work). Ide­ally, there would be a bet­ter way to post a picture/blog entry a la Flickr’s web­site (I can post to flickr very eas­ily on the Black­Berry, they even have an easy upload app, but you can’t do the whole “pub­lish to blog thing”) or the TypePad/WordPress iPhone apps, or the Type­Pad Black­Berry app. What I would REALLY like to do would be to make the default cat­e­gory an “asides” or “mobile thoughts” or some­thing and then inte­grate those remarks into a side­bar, so that lit­tle quips I have when I’m out, that are longer than tweets, could be blogged via phone.

If I feel more enthused, I might check out some Black­Berry dev stuff (it’s just Java, I haven’t writ­ten in Java in years but I’m sure it will come back to me) and see how hard it would be to mod­ify the exist­ing base of this appli­ca­tion to do some­thing more sim­i­lar to what Type­Pad does. I just hate hav­ing to use Win­dows for devel­op­ment stuff, so I get lazy ;-)

Posted on: August 8, 2008 at 11:37 amQuote this Comment

JT said:

Have you checked out the WPhone plu­gin? It’s not the best solu­tion, but allows any mobile device with a browser to login to the admin inter­face to cre­ate a post.

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wphone/

@digitalslurp

Christina - Gravatar

Christina said:

JT said: Have you checked out the WPhone plu­gin? It’s not the best solu­tion, but allows any mobile device with a browser …

I haven’t looked at that in a few months, thanks for the link!

Posted on: August 8, 2008 at 4:25 pmQuote this Comment
Tris Hussey - Gravatar

Tris Hussey said:

I’ve always liked wp-mobile. Does great stuff too for mobiles, esp Berry’s.

Posted on: August 8, 2008 at 4:38 pmQuote this Comment
Amit Kapila - Gravatar

Amit Kapila said:

I can finally keep my blog up to date. Thanks — thanks a lot. I started blog­ging in June and didn’t get much done. Hope to be able to update it reg­u­larly now.

Posted on: August 13, 2008 at 2:17 amQuote this Comment
John - Gravatar

John said:

Thanks for the post. I too had been look­ing for a good way to post from my BB.

I also have a BB 8320 from T-Mobile USA (I upgraded mine to OS 4.5) and installed Post­mas­ter and set up blog­ging by email. It works great, and I can include photos.

I can take a pic­ture, and send it as an email attach­ment (or just send text email by itself). It uses the Email sub­ject for the title, inserts the pic­ture and copy as a post. You can even add cat­e­gories in the sub­ject line. Check it out here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/postmaster/

Posted on: August 14, 2008 at 2:37 pmQuote this Comment

Blog­ging from the BB « God, Pol­i­tics & Lessons Learned said:

[…] Arti­cle and Instruc­tions for the BB Word­Press App! […]

Jonathan Blun­dell - Gravatar

Jonathan Blun­dell said:

I hear ya! I’m try­ing out the WPhone plu­gin. We’ll see how it goes.

Posted on: September 3, 2008 at 1:03 pmQuote this Comment
Ian - Gravatar

Ian said:

Regard­ing your Black­berry OS… check out Black­berry Forums if you haven’t already. OS 4.5.x is avail­able, sta­ble, and highly rec­om­mended. Easy enough to install, as long as you have a Win­dows machine handy (ungh).

Posted on: September 6, 2008 at 3:20 pmQuote this Comment
Adam - Gravatar

Adam said:

War­ren,

I use my iPhone for my posts now with the WP plu­gin. It is really not made for this but is pretty slick. The iPhone key­board cou­pled with the min­i­mal­is­tic fea­tures of the app make it more for just play­ing around with. To cre­ate a full post story on it would take some seri­ous patience! After all, the iPhone is for for long typ­ing! I’m a mac die hard and have lit­tle prob­lem say­ing this. I’ll buy a black­berry if I want to get serious!

Posted on: September 8, 2008 at 1:38 amQuote this Comment
bro­ken­pur­ple­crayon » Blog Archive » my pimped out black­berry, revised - Gravatar

bro­ken­pur­ple­crayon » Blog Archive » my pimped out black­berry, revised said:

[…] so i can post to my web­site from my black­berry, i am employ­ing the use of BBMetaBlog … a great expla­na­tion on how to set it up to work for Word­Press is here. […]

Posted on: September 11, 2008 at 9:03 pmQuote this Comment
Suzette - Gravatar

Suzette said:

Inter­est­ing! I dont know much about these things but it seems like a nice ver­sion. So I can try it out some­times. Thanks for the info and want to know more about this Blackbarry.

Posted on: October 27, 2008 at 8:24 amQuote this Comment
mil­lion­aire­blog­ger - Gravatar

mil­lion­aire­blog­ger said:

Christina

Thanks for this. Great appli­ca­tion. Now I can post updates to my blogs while Im on the move :-)

Fan­tas­tic!

Chris millionaireblog.co.uk

Posted on: October 30, 2008 at 5:10 pmQuote this Comment
Black­berry - Gravatar

Black­berry said:

The storm just wasn’t ready. The bold is going to hit home with the user base. I phone with­out a key­board is usleess in my opin­ion. The iphone is a nice phone, until you want to type on it.

Posted on: December 10, 2008 at 4:36 pmQuote this Comment
Den­nis Stevens - Gravatar

Den­nis Stevens said:

Very happy with BBMetaBlog. Thanks for the ref­er­ence. I need to blog to three dif­fer­ent sites. Any ideas?

Posted on: December 11, 2008 at 4:20 pmQuote this Comment
bran­don - Gravatar

bran­don said:

hey so ur say­ing the bbMetablog app would allow me to blog from my bbCurve to my wordpress.org blog installed on my web­site? and for free?! im just con­fused bc the exter­nal link doesnt say much.

Posted on: January 20, 2009 at 11:19 amQuote this Comment


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» Blog Archive » BB blog app! said:

[…] reach but I’m prov­ing a point. I can blog on the go now! Thanks to BB Meta Blog via Christina War­ren. But a few down sides: haven’t found a way to add pics, app not orig­i­nally made for wordpress […]

bran­don - Gravatar

bran­don said:

i ove bb meta! i just got it work­ing w/ out prob­lems. but have u fig out way for pics? instead of hav­ing sec­ond app?

Posted on: January 20, 2009 at 1:58 pmQuote this Comment
Dan - Gravatar

Dan said:

Look­ing at upgrad­ing to Word­Press shortly. Will try this from my new Storm. Fin­gers crossed. Thanks!

Posted on: February 9, 2009 at 5:35 pmQuote this Comment
Dan Mur­phy - Gravatar

Dan Mur­phy said:

THANKS! Your instruc­tions were great and worked with­out issue…

Posted on: February 21, 2009 at 8:58 amQuote this Comment
Wisu - Gravatar

Wisu said:

Have you tried MoPress? it looks promis­ing… http://www.danais.it/web/demo/mopress.html

Posted on: April 22, 2009 at 5:03 amQuote this Comment
Dan Mur­phy - Gravatar

Dan Mur­phy said:

I just tried MoPress on my Black­berry Curve (8330) and I couldn’t get it to work. At first, I got some­thing like a sub­script out of range (sorry, I didn’t really make a proper note of it).… Then every time I went in, it would lock my black­berry. So, I rebooted tried again, then finally rebooted and removed MoPress… I hope they come out with a new ver­sion that works for me. And, yes, I filled out their error report­ing thing about it.

Posted on: April 22, 2009 at 10:10 amQuote this Comment
Jason Hook - Gravatar

Jason Hook said:

Hello. I haven’t done much with bbMetaBlog since 1.2.2 to be hon­est because I’m not sure what the demand is for fixes or enhance­ments. I’ve posted the source on my blog.

I could be per­suaded to do some more work on it if I knew what peo­ple wanted from it.

If you care visit my blog and com­ment. Thanks for men­tion­ing it :-)

Jason

Posted on: April 22, 2009 at 3:02 pmQuote this Comment
Samuel Folkes - Gravatar

Samuel Folkes said:

For some rea­son I can’t get BBMetaBlog to work for me! I have the lat­est (i think) ver­sion but when­ever I put in my info and select get cat­e­gories or get recent posts i’m greeted with either a ‘Bad DNS Address’ or ‘Request Timed Out’ error. I’m using word­press 2.7.1 and i’ve tried tweak­ing just about all the tweak­able set­tings and still no luck. Sucks. I was really excited about hav­ing a blog­ging client on my BB. Guess i have to keep using the BB browser :(

Posted on: April 26, 2009 at 4:35 pmQuote this Comment
John­luffa - Gravatar

John­luffa said:

Thanks for your rec­om­men­da­tion on BB Meta Blog — I was look­ing for­ward to it, but haven’t really got it started due to con­nec­tion prob­lems on my Bold. I really hope there is an offi­cial solu­tion in the near future.

I have recently had a rant about this issue at http://www.johnluffa.com/general-stuff/wordpress-blackberry/

I will be giv­ing MoPress a try

Posted on: May 6, 2009 at 10:56 amQuote this Comment
anony­mous - Gravatar

anony­mous said:

Have a look at MoPress site right now (http://danais.no-ip.org/demo/wp_mopress/blog/)…

Posted on: June 1, 2009 at 11:22 amQuote this Comment
mmd­mur­phy - Gravatar

mmd­mur­phy said:

Glad to hear about the MoPress (see Anony­mous June 1, 2009 11:22am)… BUT, I am not so excited about installing soft­ware from a domain name of no-ip.org… Yes, there is no the­o­ret­i­cal rea­son not to, but it doesn’t instill con­fi­dence in me, espe­cially with all the secu­rity issues you hear about… http://www.twit.tv/sn .. I spent like $10 on GoDaddy, and then did a redirect.…

Posted on: June 1, 2009 at 12:19 pmQuote this Comment
Ralph Jones - Gravatar

Ralph Jones said:

MoPress will not install on either of my BB devices. I’ve also looked at the site devoted to MoPress, and while they adver­tise they are the peo­ple who are devel­op­ing the ‘Offi­cial’ BB Word­Press client, I see that it is being devel­oped for an old midp/cldc stan­dard. I really hope this isn’t a sign of what to expect for a good BB Word­Press client.

Posted on: June 23, 2009 at 12:56 amQuote this Comment
Izabel Idris - Gravatar

Izabel Idris said:

Hey guys,

I just saw your dis­cus­sion about a Word­Press app for Black­Berry. One doesn’t exist, and I found this very frus­trat­ing… so my com­pany, Scream­ing­Toaster, has built one called Wicked for Word­Press. Here is the link to our web­site with details/features about the app: http://screamingtoaster.com/?page_id=429

It is in its last stage of beta test­ing and will be avail­able for pur­chase in a cou­ple weeks. If you want to Beta test the app, please email me, [email protected], and i can sign up up for a beta account. Please book­mark screamingtoaster.com and check back for when it comes out. Or you can add me to your Twit­ter, Face­book, or LinkedIn to get all my updates. All my con­tact infor­ma­tion can be found here: http://screamingtoaster.com/?page_id=400.

If you have any ques­tions about the app please feel free to email me 24/7.

Thanks, Izzy

Posted on: July 5, 2009 at 12:25 amQuote this Comment
Jonathan Blun­dell - Gravatar

Jonathan Blun­dell said:

You’ll be inter­ested in this… http://blackberry.wordpress.org/2009/07/07/wordpress-for-blackberry-beta

Posted on: July 7, 2009 at 1:31 pmQuote this Comment
Mar­cus Hamaker - Gravatar

Mar­cus Hamaker said:

Great post. I am hop­ing that due to the time passed since you wrote this, I can find some­thing a lit­tle bet­ter. I too chose the Black­berry over the iPhone for many rea­sons. I will con­tinue to search. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed read­ing your article!

Posted on: July 9, 2009 at 9:29 amQuote this Comment
Kwanza Hall - Gravatar

Kwanza Hall said:

Ok. So what do you rec­om­mend now? Mopress, WP for Black­berry, Wicked or BB meta?

Posted on: July 23, 2009 at 7:10 pmQuote this Comment

MLO said:

Unfor­tu­nately Mopress still doesn’t work. I tried it while look­ing for a Black­berry Blog­ger client…which I can­not find anywhere.

Blog posts to ITKE using your Black­Berry — The mus­ings of an IT Consultant said:

[…] found the way. With the help of ITKE’s Michael Mor­risey he has pointed me in the direc­tion of Christina Warren’s blog which gives detailed instruc­tions on how to accomplish […]

Chris - Gravatar

Chris said:

Hey great tip. Thanks works really well from my blackberry…

Posted on: July 22, 2010 at 3:54 pmQuote this Comment
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Woown­WhataDet said:

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Posted on: September 17, 2010 at 12:41 amQuote this Comment
Black­berry travel charger - Gravatar

Black­berry travel charger said:

After I have tried out word­press for black­berry, I can sum up every­thing into one word, and that is “Awesome”!

Posted on: September 22, 2010 at 12:04 pmQuote this Comment
Hon­ney - Gravatar

Hon­ney said:

Hi! I recently installed Word­Press for BB. I was able to install it but I keep get­ting an xml­rpc error when adding my self-hosted blog. I’ve tried the solu­tion I found online, but to no avail. It’s so frustrating.

I’m glad the app works for you.

Posted on: May 11, 2011 at 10:01 pmQuote this Comment
Brain - Gravatar

Brain said:

Word­Press can be run from Black­berry, write a blog so it is very easy.

Posted on: October 27, 2011 at 11:54 pmQuote this Comment
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Posted on: April 4, 2012 at 10:27 amQuote this Comment