Back when I was trying to make The Daily Newarker happen (which went about as successfully as trying to make “fetch” happen), I was trying to find clever ways to fit writing for the internet into the interstices of the day.
In 2008, my “smartphone” was a Blackberry Pearl 8100. Laughable by today’s standards, sure, but back then the pocketable, candy-bar shaped device felt sprightly and capable. The pearlescent little trackball in the center of the device for which it was named was a fun and useful way to zip the cursor around and edit large blocks of text. With it, I was able to browse through the morning’s news, copy links and quotes, tap out some commentary, paste the whole post into a web form and click Publish.
Discover, comment, publish—all while riding the Path train from Newark to Wall Street. I even made a game of seeing how many links I could post before the train slipped under the Hudson River and out of cellular reach before resurfacing in the World Trade Center.
When I transitioned to using an iPhone 3G the following year, this whole workflow was lost—writing text without cut/copy/paste meant I could never take the critical step of editing afterward. But after Steve Jobs strode on stage and foisted our touchscreen future upon us, there was no going back—all those clicky plastic keys seemed ancient by comparison.
Cut/copy/paste did arrive two years later, but it would still take an additional six years before the iPhone 6s shipped with 3D Touch, a feature that (finally!) could turn the iPhone keyboard into a trackpad to move the cursor around the screen. Despite its usefulness, the feature remains so laughably undiscoverable that it still amazes friends and family when I show them how to use it.
So, finally, in 2019, blogging from a mobile device is starting to feel like a good idea again. Even better, the WordPress app for mobile has make blogging feel even more natural than the kludgey process I had strung together on the Blackberry.
And just his past week, one last piece of the workflow snapped into place: drafting a blog from anywhere with a tap of the share sheet. In a brief exchange with the @wordpress twitter account, I discovered just how to do this.
And just like that, I can return to that old process of discover, comment, publish I knew so well ten years ago—all from the device in my pocket.
I think I’ll celebrate by blogging like it’s 2009…