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How you’ll blog using the iPad

March 30, 2010

Tablet computers will change how we share information

Typing on the iPad: The future of blogging?

Coming Saturday, the iPad. Will it revolutionize how we consume publications? Or change the face of computing?

Will it even work as promised?

All we know at this point is that Apple has done a masterful sales job, as it appears the initial inventory has already sold out. And whether it succeeds or fails, the iPad will likely leave an indelible mark on how we take in, process and publish information.

Based on what I know — I haven’t held or tested the iPad, just my handy iPhone — here’s how I see us blogging in the near future using the iPad.

Blog from anywhere

For starters, you’ll be able to blog from anywhere. At least, anywhere you have a 3G signal, and only if you pay more for the iPad with 3G. That means a significant expansion of territory for most of us.

Sure, wi-fi is a great option, but as someone who travels a lot for business, wi-fi is often weak, expensive or nonexistent. I always have my aircard, which allows me to be online anywhere within 3G territory. A lot has been made of AT&T’s coverage, but the real question will be: When all of these iPad users flood the network, will any of us be able to get online?

Photos will cost you

The iPad has no built-in camera, but Apple will be happy to sell you a camera connection kit for $29. In essence, this pricey cable will allow you to pull photos from your digital camera. Your alternative: Send your photos from your camera to your favorite online storage site (like Flickr) ahead of time, or transmit them from your phone.

Naturally, this will not affect the millions of bloggers who steal images for their posts in violation of copyright law.

Long posts will cost you, too

You might be proficient at typing on the full-size touch keyboard. Like the iPhone, the software will anticipate your intended spelling and formatting, as seen in this preview video of the Pages app for iPad.

Video: Demonstration of Pages app in iPad

But if you require a real keyboard like me, Apple will be happy to sell you a keyboard dock for $69. Or you can purchase a bluetooth keyboard starting at $20. Unfortunately, that means lugging around more gear, when the idea of the iPad is one thin, light piece of equipment. Those blogging on deadline may need to invest in the reliable clickety-clack keyboard to type faster.

It will be mostly seamless

I use WordPress, but on my iPhone, I have to use special techniques to blog. I can e-mail an entry. I can see a special mobile version of the administration panel. Or I can use the WordPress iPhone app.

Those methods have their drawbacks.

But on the large screen of the iPad, I can likely log into WordPress through Safari and do just about anything I could from my laptop.

Be warned: Posterous uses a lot of Flash. The iPad, however, doesn’t do Flash. Which means you won’t be able to use the Posterous Web interface. You can still e-mail in your posts, which is Posterous’ strength.

We’ll likely see new versions of the WordPress, Blogger and Typepad apps that play to the iPad’s strengths: bigger screen, location-aware sensor, drag-and-drop editing, more accurate previews of the final post.

More blogging in the moment

I love my laptop, but the battery life is terrible. If I want to blog “in the field,” I’d better have my power adapter, and I’d better be within 4 feet of an outlet.

The iPad claims to last 10 hours between charges. That would allow you to pull out the iPad in class, at a restaurant or at a conference and blog in the moment. Live results, live commentary, live interaction with readers.

After a great (or terrible) meal at a restaurant, you might drop a couple of notes into Yelp. Would you pull out an iPad and start writing about the experience on the spot? Maybe not at the table, but someplace afterward before heading home.

Or as you head down the highway for summer vacation, you’ll keep a rolling travelogue. Yes, from the passenger seat; don’t blog and drive, kids.

Or as you talk with customers at their offices, you take their product questions and turn them into the Q&A of the day for your company blog.

I’m writing this post from my laptop in my home office. In a couple of years, I might be blogging more and more from a tablet, unshackled from a desk, a power outlet and yes, even a real keyboard.

Whether the iPad lives up to the considerable hype may not matter. For bloggers on the go, the iPad and successor tablet computers will mean better posts, more options and more interaction wherever they are.

Will you invest in an iPad? How would you use it for blogging?

More on blogging:

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2010 9:12 am

    I’m eager to actually hold and see the iPad in action. I think it has amazing potential, but I won’t know how I’ll use it until I can see one. Awaiting its actual arrival!

    • March 30, 2010 11:36 am

      Me, too. I love going to the Apple store to try out the latest gadgets. Have you ordered one? Any ideas on how iPads can help with teaching and learning?

      • June 21, 2010 3:33 pm

        Our first attempt at blogging with an iPad didn’t go so well. We thought the biggest problem would be photos since the camera adapter is back-ordered for weeks. That was solved by taking photos with an iPhone and emailing them to the iPad. Quite simple, actually.

        No, the big problem was getting posts up. Not due to the blogging interface or the 3G network. When we took the iPad out to post, we were immediately besieged by people asking about Apple’s new gadget. Instead of completing posts, we were instead demonstrating the iPad’s features.

        Kinda funny, actually. Good thing we also own Apple stock.

  2. June 22, 2010 9:11 am

    Ah, the dreaded cool factor. 🙂 And later, a blog post about how you weren’t able to blog earlier …

    Thanks for the report.

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