The second in this series will look at issues that you might have in getting mobile blogging set up in school and how to get your WordPress blog ready to accept mobile blog posts.
When in school, mobile devices will access the internet via the school’s wireless network. It is essential that you talk to your wireless network provider to ensure that it is suitable for use with mobile devices. I am not qualified to comment on the various technical issues involved, however there are all kinds of potential blocks to using school wifi systems for mobile blogging which need sorting out before your lovely shiny new set of 30 iPod Touches arrive as there are potential costs involved in sorting out your wireless and it is wise to be aware of these in advance.
Because wireless devices don’t log in to your network like a pc or laptop would, in most cases it is simply a matter of your wireless technical support to allow devices “guest” access to your wireless network possible through the provision of a password rather than having it as an open network. However, on some types of network it may be necessary to separate the network traffic generated by mobile devices from normal network traffic. You may need to invest in some new hardware to provide a firewall between the two types of traffic. Other issues may include the network transport protocol that WordPress uses being blocked (sometimes at a local authority level), or simply that the network’s capacity to deal with a bunch of new devices is limited.
The advice, then, is to talk to your wireless provider and involve them in the planning of the project from the outset. Test an example of the type of device that you intend to use on your network as extensively as you can, ideally over a period of time. By doing this you should be able to tease out any technical glitches and avoid nasty shocks in having to buy in extra technical support or extra hardware at the last minute.
Setting up your blog
It is extremely simple to configure your blog to be ready to accept mobile blog posts. Simply go to the dashboard of the blog that you wish to allow mobile blog posts on; click on Settings > Writing then tick the box enabling the XML-RPC protocol for WordPress as illustrated below.
It will be apparent that this is done on a blog by blog basis allowing you to enable mobile blogging on some blogs, but not others. So, if you want to be able to to allow mobile blogging from every blog, it makes sense to set up the class blog template to allow mobile posting as default.
All you have to do now is download the WordPress App to your mobile device and you’re ready to blog on the go!