Easy photo blog software and system for elderly person.
June 23, 2009 10:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find the easiest photo blogging software for my father (age 74) for his travel blog.

My father has a MacBook Pro. He is using iPhoto for his photos. I am trying to find a REAL EASY way for him to incorporate his photos into a travel blog. Budget reasons mean we can't use expensive hosting services where he has to pay $$$ every year. I already have a website where I can install blog hosting software (such as wordpress etc.) but the complication of using one program to upload photo here, then get the online link for the photo, then incorporate photo link there (in the blog) then publish the blog entry is just way too many steps for him. We need a simple solution on the Mac where he can drag-n-drop the photos into a blog entry, type his text, then click "publish" and the software will upload the photos where the photos need to go, upload the text for the blog entry, make the image links automagically.

The photos can be uploaded to the website, or to flickr, or to smugmug - whatever works with this EASY to use blogging software, which MUST run on a Mac. Ideally the Mac software would be free or inexpensive. Open source is ideal, if it is EASY for an older person to use. (It doesn't have to be easy to setup - I can do the setup for him.) Suggestions?
posted by jcdill to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
posted by bradbane at 10:24 PM on June 23, 2009

Response by poster: I just took a look at Tumblr. It looks like it would be incredibly tedious to post more than just 1 photo. It's a one-by-one-by-one process that requires many clicks, waiting (for each photo to upload) then going on to the next photo. He doesn't have the patience to do this, and he would get confused, i.e. "did I upload this photo already, or not?" I'm looking for something where you can click and drag (not browse) a group of photos from iPhoto to the software, then enter the text all at once, for all the photos in one step, then publish.

Browsing is one of those things that is easy for tech oriented people and maddening for an older person. He doesn't know/remember where iPhoto puts his photos! He can find them in iPhoto but is lost if he has to "browse" to find the photos. He also can't tell which photo is which in a browse window - he needs to see the photos large to know which ones he wants to select.

Once the photos are selected in iPhoto he needs an EASY way to take them FROM iPhoto to the blog. Starting from the blog won't work.
posted by jcdill at 10:45 PM on June 23, 2009

Best answer: Posterous is worth a look. It's completely email-based, so no need for your father to learn any new software.
posted by puffl at 10:46 PM on June 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

This wordpress plugin allows you to easily create galleries from flickr photosets. He could also use uploadr to speed creating flickr sets.
posted by zentrification at 2:36 AM on June 24, 2009

Best answer: Wow. Posterous looks very cool. That has to be the most simple way to post photos online I've ever seen.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:48 AM on June 24, 2009

A Flickr account costs at most $/year, actually $25/year. If you install wordpress, I think it comes with Flickr functionality built in. If he blogs as he uploads photos, that will be easiest because you see the most recent Flickr uploads first. You can search photos in this widget by tag as well. I use a Flickr uploader to tag my photos and add titles to them before I upload. Then you get the option to go to your Flickr page and refine titles and descriptions (I've found doing too much of this work in the uploader sometimes makes it fail so I stick with tags there which is the easiest - select all photos, write tags, upload.).

He can drag and drop from iPhoto to the uploader. I think writing up a workflow for this process would be pretty easy.
posted by amanda at 9:20 AM on June 24, 2009

Response by poster: I know about flickr uploaders and wordpress but the workflow is NOT easy.

First he has to export from iPhoto. Then he has title, tag, and caption in the uploader. Then he has to get the photo url from flickr. Then incorporate that into a blog post.

This is just way too many steps, too many different pieces of software, too many delays (wait for photos to upload before incorporating them in the blog) etc.

Posterous is promising, but I'd much rather have more control over his blog than to use a brand new service without a track record and no way to save/copy/move his blog elsewhere if the site fails. We may try it anyway, perhaps I'll setup a special gmail account he can cc when he posts to Posterous so he has a backup on gmail.
posted by jcdill at 6:56 PM on June 24, 2009

Best answer: Just so you know, you can set Posterous up so that it automatically posts to other blogs, such as WordPress, TypePad or Blogger.

Also, it's not that new!

(Disclaimer: I don't use and am not connected to Posterous in any way!)
posted by puffl at 11:03 PM on June 24, 2009

Well, my experience with wordpress has been different -- no need to look up the Flickr URL at all -- there's a button that lets you browse your Flickr photo stream and select a photo which is auto-magically inserted into your blog post. Also, he's not required to tag, title or add descriptions in the uploader. I also think that's tedious so the most I do is "select all" and do the tags. I add the titles and descriptions in Flickr where it's easier.

Good luck -- I think it's great that you're putting this together for him. I have fond and somewhat hilarious memories of helping my grandpa get online and that was way back when there were few good tools for anything.
posted by amanda at 9:30 AM on June 25, 2009

Response by poster: So far, posterous seems to be the best choice, and I have marked all the answers with posterous as "best answers" because without all of your posts, I wouldn't have figured out how cool it is. I'm going to use this myself, so I can post to myspace, facebook, etc. (The tedium of updating so many social networking sites has kept me from being very involved, up to now.)

What I'd really love to find is some software I can install and configure on his Mac that does everything posterous does, so we aren't relying on a 3rd party that might decide to charge or add ads to his posts at a later date.

The ideal software would:

1) Let the user drag-n-drop photos from iPhoto or finder or other photo management software.
2) Can be configured to automagically resize the photos when posting.
3) Can be configured to post the photos to a webserver or photo hosting site (flickr, smugmug, etc.)
4) Will automagically create smaller versions for the blog, and link to the photo sharing site so people can see larger versions.
5) Also have an entry box for other photos you want to upload but not blog (e.g. creating or adding to a gallery on Smugmug, or a Set on flickr) so people can click thru to "see the rest of the photos) on the photo sharing site.
6) Have all the usual posting tools to let you pick font, font size, font color, bold, italic, add links, etc.
7) Store a copy of the blog post locally so you have a copy on your computer as well as online (useful if your blog host goes down and you want to republish your blog on another host).
8) You can load and edit a previous blog entry, and it will update the existing blog entry rather than create a new entry.
9) You can load and copy a previous blog entry, then edit and publish, and it will create a new blog entry.

When you click "publish" or "update" it does all of the above automagically. If there are any problems (e.g. flickr is offline) it can retry or repair the broken blog entry.

If anyone knows of software that does all of this, I'd love to know!
posted by jcdill at 12:11 PM on June 27, 2009

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