Monday, 22 August 2011

What's this Pottypost stuff all about?

When I set this blog up last year I was virtually a blogging virgin. While I was freelancing I had a hand built (Nvu) site called Magic Lantern: Learning through Film. Then I started full-time teaching again and it became sadly neglected, as updating it was a bit of a palaver. I already had a Blogger blog linked from that site where I posted a selection of the videos I had made. 
So when I decided it was time to re-establish an online presence (ahem),  setting up another Blogger site seemed the easiest thing to do. Google make buying your own domain name pretty painless too. And so Digital Glue was born.
Over the last year there have been lots of people raving about blogging with Posterous. So I investigated and indeed it looked interesting, but faintly impenetrable - though I had an account and had set up some tryout blogs. 
This summer I've been thinking discursively about a Media, Art and Design project coming up at school next year - I'll be blogging about it very soon. Our school makes extensive use of Google Apps but, for political reasons, we use it as a login-protected facility.  Although I had already set up a Google Site with a blog page I wanted it to be simple for parents staff and children to contribute to, as well being viewed by the wider world (look out Twitter).
My Audacity page has regular visitors from the Under Ten Minutes blog which specialises in video tutorials - mainly for educational software and apps. In an idle moment I clicked a couple of links there, and,  my eye fell on a name I knew: Phil Bagge whom I follow on Twitter ( @baggiepr ). He's a primary teacher keen on technology supported learning. I discovered he has an excellent site full of useful ICT tutorials. He also has a blog where he posts tutorials for teachers and (got there at last) a couple were about setting up a Posterous blog for schools. So, having been given the necessary impetus (and information) without more ado I went ahead and set up the madproject blog - there isn't much there...yet. 

As Phil Bagge makes it clear, it is possible to set permissions on Posterous so that anyone can post to the blog but their post must be moderated by the site owner before it appears. Any teacher will appreciate why this is important.  Another advantage of Posterous is the extraordinary ease with which it can be posted to and administered with a mobile device - in my case an iPhone, for which there is an obligatory free app available making it even easier. There's no messing about, uploading to media hosts and embedding sound or video clips - they post straight to the page. If you upload several images they automatically appear as a slideshow. At least one of the M.A.D. Team has a smart phone so we will be able to post pictures, video and sound while walking round the classroom.
The other really clever thing Posterous will do is to autopost  i.e. send your posts to a wide range of other online venues such as Facebook, Twitter ... and Blogger.
However, what Posterous does not do yet is enable widgets and scripts - like those in my sidebar. I suspect they might not be long in coming, so Google will need to look to their laurels to maintain their Blogger membership. For now it looks sensible to keep Digital Glue a Blogger blog and use my digitalgluemobile blog to autopost from my phone.
The Pottyposts show the way various media are displayed when Posterous autoposts Blogger - text and pictures are fine but videos are a still image with a link and, sadly, no slideshow when you post multiple pictures. I suspect I'll be using Posterous autoposts for text and pictures when a PC is inaccessible. This is useful to add a little spontaneity to the blog - you feel differently about things in the morning! The video upload is simpler than using YouTube or Vimeo and would be useful for short unedited clips, though it took nearly ten minutes to upload the short ''carpark" clip below when there were four bars showing on my phone and my phone got quite warm in the process. I shan't bother with multiple pictures - they take too much space on the page.
But for our M.A.D archive project Posterous will be brilliant.

I did a little reading around the subject and found the posts below informative - especially the first: