Have mobile phone, will travel

I’ve actually missed being able to blog on a daily basis while I was away. I took to paper (a small Moleskine notebook) and pen to keep my random scribblings going. This way, I have my journal entries for use in another medium … maybe a webpage with a link from here? A project for later. I did keep my Tumblr account with automatic links from Twitter operating, but sporadically, and this was useful given my deliberate lack of access via conventional means (laptop, cyber-cafe).

Using the Nokia N95 to phone in my tweets and comment was clunkier than I had expected, mostly because of the layout and size of the phone … it has all the features but I can’t speed-type as I usually do. Quick bursts like Twitter tweets automatically relayed to Tumblr were fine, but forget longer blog posts via the mobile route and uploads to Flickr. This proved frustrating when I found wifi access in London to be less reliable than I had expected … read slow and with frequent dropouts.

Now I could have taken my laptop, and I could have used cybercafes, but this was an experiment with a new piece of hardware … a mobile phone, and also with travelling light. I hate all that unpacking and starting up of laptops at airport security checks Would I go light again? Probably not; my blogging capacity was curtailed. But did I like the camera on the N95. Absolutely! This is a very good substitute for carrying around a larger DSL and I’m extremely happy with the results.

Preparing a cyber-diary

My first trip overseas was waaaay back in 1968, and I was then, and still am, an inveterate recorder of sights and impressions. Then it was a leather-bound diary (which I still have) filled with memories. This time round, I want to try another approach. As I leave for London and far too much theatrical indulgence in just over a week’s time, I thought it useful to prepare a check-list of how I intend keeping a cyber-diary; incidentally, doesn’t ‘cyber’ sound so old-fashioned now? I feel I should be writing ‘my Web 2.0 diary’ or some such.

I will take my Nikon D40 to capture some quality images in a couple of photo assignments I’m planning, but intend to use the Nokia N95 super-phone which has lately entered my life, to snap, and diarise via Flickr. This will keep family and friends in touch with my whitterings and gadding about.

I’m planning on using Tumblr as the best showcase to integrate content. It’s got a nice dynamic feel to it; I love the templates which are clean and easy to look at. Like all Tumblogs, mine will be snips of text, images, audio files, and links to places I’ve been. Given I have an account with WiFiMobile, a wireless VOIP service, I intend finding as many hotspots as I can to piggyback access to the web, and call home for free or nearly-free.

The other quick and dirty way to get snippets to Tumblr fast is through Twitter. Yes, Twitter can be an amazing little time-waster, but given that I may want to get a text posting (up to 140 characters only) up quickly and via mobile, this is also ideal. I’ve arranged a feed from my Twitter to head straight to Tumblr. Now I have a couple of alternatives for posting.

Text and images, links etc., up via Tumblr, and quick text via Twitter. Flickr for just pix and a caption, with the option of placing the photo on the Flickr map.