Compact, easy to navigate portfolio blog
October 25, 2010 3:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm putting together an animation storyboard portfolio and was hoping it could be nice/easy to look at on an iphone. I'm planning to use tumblr but want to know if any other free blogging options that might be better suited. Assume I'm 47, I've never owned a mobile device, that blogging will be a big step for me (and that I'm using a mac). Is this formatting question silly? Does today's software just manage this sort of thing automagically?

It seems that tons of people I know (in animation) use iphones, so I thought it would be nice to have a simple blog with entries (having largish thumbnails) that open into full screen multi-page pdf documents around 1.5 MB in size. I'm hoping these vertically oriented, standard letter shaped pages will take up most of the entire screen nicely (with the option to zoom in on them) and can be scrolled or paged through without a long download delay.

I've looked at this askMe but just hoped to get some input regarding which blogging option might be best suited to the mobile device viewing aspect.
posted by bonobothegreat to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Response by poster: Just in case it isn't clear, the linked documents will be about 1.5 MB total size (but composed of about 20 pages)
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:01 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Do you have access to an iphone?

A lot of blogging sites have mobile templates they default to on iphones and other such devices. I'd suggest finding a few animation blogs who're doing roughly the sort of thing you have in mind, on a variety of hosting services, then loading them on a iphone and seeing which ones have mobile layouts that appeal to you.

That said: Tumblr loads extremely smoothly on the iPhone web browser, with vertical images filling a large proportion of the screen. If you set up photosets (slideshows, essentially) they'll all display at once, in sequence, in posts on tumblr's mobile layout
posted by Narrative Priorities at 4:42 PM on October 25, 2010

Best answer: Also, if what you want is an easily-accessible blog, I'd stay away from PDFs. Assuming these are fairly standard B&W boards, you'd be better off saving them as optimized PNGs -- smaller file size, broader compatibility. You can then upload several images, in order, all in one Tumblr post, which will display as a slideshow for people on desk/laptop computers, and as several images in sequence on mobile browsers.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 4:58 PM on October 25, 2010

Best answer: Virtually everyone i know has an iPhone and my web site is pretty much bait for those who use iPhones, and yet 0.85% of the visitors to my web site use it. (And probably half of those visits are me since I use my iPhone to show off some part of my portfolio.) Turns out they don't use the iPhone for web browsing. They have real computers for that.

So don't overestimate the utility of making an iPhone specific site. The browser on the iPhone is pretty capable and most pages are easy to read.

The standard portfolio rules apply to iPhone portfolios as they do to others:
- Don't use Flash.
- Don't us popup windows.
- Don't get too fancy with the layout.

Oh, and don't use PDF's. They are awful on the iPhone. Among the worst media you can view on it. (possibly spreadsheets are the only thing worse.)
posted by Ookseer at 10:11 PM on October 25, 2010

Best answer: Tumblr automatically converts to a mobile stylesheet when viewed from mobile devices. It's quite a nice one too. I wouldn't go down the PDF route if I were you - if you use .png files, users can tap the image to load it full size and zoom/pan with their fingers. This works well in the mobile view.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:29 AM on October 26, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks. I've marked all BA because there seem to be a consensus regarding tumblr and I'm glad to hear about the problems of using pdfs

Just to finish up, can anyone recommend a cheap/easy way to convert pdf to a set of pngs? It's very slow doing one page at a time in Preview.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:01 AM on October 26, 2010

Best answer: This is something that Adobe Acrobat excels at. (Export -> More Formats ->PNG) I'm not sure if there's a cheaper alternative. I believe you can get a time-limited trial of it from Adobe.
posted by Ookseer at 12:09 PM on October 26, 2010

Response by poster: I think I'm good! Thanks everyone. This askMe has averted lots of uncertainty and aggravation.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:53 PM on October 26, 2010

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