Tuesday, 24 January 2006

Blogger: tell others via mobile or cellphone about a blog - new option?

Can those viewing a Blogger blog now text/MMS others about the blog via their mobile phone?

The ever-vigilant Kirk, the blogger formerly known as Truckspy, has spotted some code in the Blogger template for the navbar (the bar along the top with the Blogger icon etc) which seems to be, as he puts it, a new feature for cellphones in the navbar to enable someone to send a text message saying "check out this blog". See Kirk's post for the full details of the code: the new link will, it seems, only be visible if you're viewing the blog via a mobile or PDA.

Sadly, when I tried it out on my Nokia 7710 smartphone (which comes with the Opera browser), I couldn't see anything in the navbar - the new link ought to be next to "Get your own blog":

Could be that it's just intended for "basic" mobiles without a proper full browser, but I'll leave it to someone else to check that out on a more basic mobile phone (or cellphone as the Yanks say)! Or maybe it's not fully live yet. But it's interesting, and an excellent idea as more and more cellphones are released which are powerful enough to surf the Web on.

I do think though that many smartphones with Web capabilities are likely to have email too, and therefore that Blogger should include an email "Check out this blog" link instead of (or as well as) a text/MMS link in the navbar.

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Anonymous said...


It maybe that the browser in your Nokia doesn't announce itself as a "handheld" since it's pretty full featured.

The @media handheld stylesheet should only be applied when the User Agent (the browser) identifies itself as supporting it.

I think yours is so slick it doesn't mess with handheld stylesheets, it goes full bore and displays exactly as if it were a full size computer. I wonder if there is a setting in it to go to "handheld" mode?

From looking at the stylesheet entries for devices that announce themselves as handheld, it should give the new text message link, but other features of the navbar should be hidden, such as the search and flag options. Don't know if those bits are new or if it's always been like that.

Of course this is theoritical, since I don't have a cellphone. And who are these Yanks you mentioned? I'm from the South Yanks here! :-D

Athique Ahmed said...

Hmmm...viewing on my PPC here and you know what...I've only just realised the navbar doesn't even show up any more, all there is, is 'Blogger' and it's little icon.

Athique Ahmed said...

Me again...I've just switched my user agent on the PPC via a registry tweak to identify it to the site as an NT system as opposed to a CE one, but I'm still getting the same nav bar...just Blogger and a little icon.

It's weird, I've tried other sites, and they do indeed display as the would on any pc.

The navbar, however, is still a no show.

Anonymous said...

Ok TLM, did some more looking and it looks like this isn't "LIVE" yet. One thing I forgot to notice is that the CSS entry that made me suspicious in the first place will override any of the handheld settings. So my guess is that's in place until they remove it to let the feature show.

If your handheld is showing the navbar with only the Blogger link, then that's how it should be. There is CSS for handhelds which hides everything else (search, next blog, flag etc) and the MMS Friends link is there waiting for the other entry to be removed so it will show.

In the meantime just for grins, I added a bit of invalid and quite possibly Blogger TOS violating CSS entries so the Main Page only of my blog displays the link as it will probably show for everyone. Clicking on it with a regular browser will just give an error message since they don't support the smsto: protocol. Kind of a let down after all this buildup. :-D

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Improbulus said...

Good to know you lot have been busy researching & testing & tinkering away! No rest for the wicked... Let's hope they go live soon with this.

webmind said...

yeah, its right