Tag Archives: Blogger

authentication delicio.us Flickr Google Google Reader how-to identity management systems LiveJournal maps microblogging OpenID plugin Reddit social-bookmarking StumbleUpon Tumblr Vox WordPress Yahoo

Recommendations for an easy, automatic blogging system?

DSC_0066 I’m looking for some help and suggestions, but first a little background on my latest project.

I’m a bit of a map geek – I’m fascinated by maps and how data can be illustrated with maps. I periodically post things on this blog but I actually run across a lot more cool map apps than I can share in mid- to long-form blog posts here.

I use a number of different social bookmarking and social news sites – it’s a research interest of mine, so I probably have accounts on far too many of them. When I come across a blog post on a cool old map or some interesting new real estate geodata site I’ll save/share it in a number of places, including StumbleUpon, Delicious, Reddit, and sometimes others. I also share things via Google Reader.

This is far to diffuse, so I thought I might make a separate mini-blog just for map geekery. But I already spend more than enough time with the blogs and services I’m using now – I’m only able to support another blog if I can automate some part of this giant messy workflow.

This would be pretty similar to how I manage my microblogging / status updates now. I have my Google Reader items posted to FriendFeed, which updates Twitter, which updates Facebook via the Facebook Twitter app. Convoluted, but now that it’s set up I can post something once and have it seen by friends on different services.

I’ve played around with a few different services:

Tumblr – Tumblr makes it very easy to import feeds, which is great for what I’m looking for. The only drawbacks are that so far I can’t narrow down some feeds to really target map bookmarks and I don’t see any easy way to add geodata.

Vox – I’ve only played around with it a bit, but I’m not sure what sets Vox apart from other blog hosts.

WordPress.com – Actually, I thought this would be perfect given the right plugins, but wordpress.com doesn’t have plugins. Setting up and managing yet another WordPress instance doesn’t sound too appealing.

Blogger – Blogger is great, and I should probably use it a bit more considering it’s a Google product. Unfortunately everything I saw in a quick search about posting to Blogger from RSS showed up on somewhat questionable SEO blogs, so I’m wary.

So I’m still looking. Any recommendations on what would be the easiest tiny-blog system to use?

Use OpenId in your WordPress blog for comments and your identity

Worn old welcome mat The web has evolved into this amazing place filled with user-created content, blogs, wikis, photo sharing sites, and users can enter comments on just about all of them. But there’s a problem – commenting in Blogger, Flickr, and some random self-hosted WordPress blog requires you to create user accounts or type in tedious contact information separately in each one.

As a user, you probably want to spend your time commenting rather than remembering usernames and passwords.  As a blogger, you no doubt want to make it as easy as possible for your readers to comment on your posts.  What we need is some really powerful identity management system to make this all possible.

OpenID is an attempt at creating such a system that seems to be growing quickly.  Instead of hundreds of usernames and passwords you have a simple URL that you control.  I just added it to my WordPress blog to see if it’s helpful, and I’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to use it and allow your commenters to use it too.

How to use your blog as your OpenID

First off, you need to get an OpenID.  Luckily, you probably already have one.  Major sites like Blogger, LiveJournal, Flickr, and Yahoo are supporting OpenID so you can just go with what you have.  You can also go with a specific provider.  Which one should you use?  It doesn’t really matter, since you can use your site’s URL as your OpenID and switch providers whenever you want.

Now that you have a URL, you need to use delegation to allow your site’s URL to stand in.  In WordPress, this means opening up the header.php and adding a few lines to your <head> section.  If you’re using Google’s Blogger (like me), the links would look something like this:

<link rel=”openid.server” href=”http://draft.blogger.com/openid-server.g” />
<link rel=”openid.delegate” href=”http://blogname.blogspot.com/” />

One side note – if you view the source of this page, you won’t see these lines.  I’m using my root domain instead.

For more information, see this post by Sam Ruby.

How to use OpenID for comments in WordPress

This part is simple – like everything else you want to do with WordPress, there’s a plugin.  Just download and install the WP-OpenID plugin and activate it.

You should notice a little OpenID icon in the fields for the comments below this post.  Go a head and test it out.