Workshop - Blog on the Run

Liveblog

Workshop leader:

Mallory Dash
Total Noms
@mallydally

Mallory: I am a food blogger and baker. I blog about foods I make at home and I have been blogging for about 2.5 yrs. I co-own an online bakery on Etsy. I am also a Project Manager at a mobile app company, and technology nerd. In middle school, I bought myself a Palm Pilot with my babysitting money. I am obsessed with mobile technology.About my preferences, I am an Apple user but we will cover both iOS and Android apps. I also hate spending money on apps so we will cover some free ones too.

Smartphone Usage:
In the US, over 1/2 of US phones are smartphones with 1.5M+ apps available on Android and iOS.

App Categories, Suggestions, and Demos:
• Grocery Shopping: cooking good food starts with grocery shopping. These apps are used to create lists and share lists with others.

Anylist: only available on iPhone and iPad. You can create and share your grocery list. You can organize different lists such as lists to prepare for a dinner party. You start typing your item into your list, and it autopopulates the item. The app has a huge extensive list of possible items. The app will also add the aisles in the store where the item can be found. Example, milk and cheese shows up in the Dairy aisle. You can share this list with anyone in the app or send it out through text. You can also use the app to look up recipes, tap on the items from the recipe to add them to your list. It is a basic app which does what it says it will, and is one of the better designed apps.

Ziplist: Available on iPhone, iPad, and Android. You can create lists, browse recipes, has a robust search function, has a barcode scanner, and is already integrated into many blogs. If you see a blog that has a ziplist plug in, that recipe is already plugged into ziplist's database. There are 15,000 bloggers who have all their recipes into the database. You can add customized items, such as "Cheezits, the big box". You can add items with their unit of measure, example "1lb of chicken breast" You can scan the barcode of an item and the app will search for the item in its list and add it to your list. You can click and save recipes into your Recipe Box.
Ziplist will identify the items they think you don't already have based on your past recipe adds, but if you do have it, you can uncheck the item or check the item if you don't have it. Recipe search function shows your recipes with a picture and title of recipe. You can also add stores that you want to buy the item from. The app will send you recipe of the day alerts or recommendations for what the app thinks you need to buy. You can also customize this list. The app will suggest recipes it thinks you will like based on your past adds.

• Recipes & Inspiration: there are hundreds of recipe apps available.

Epicurious: Available on: iPhone,iPad and Android. You can mark recipes that are your favorite. This app has ingredients on the left side which can scroll independently of the directions on the right side. There is a bookmark to show you where you are in reading the app. The app is free but there is a paid function to sync your recipes. But there are a lot of apps that can do that for you too.

How to Cook Everything: Available on: iPhone and iPad. $4.99 iPhone, $9.99 Universal but it is worth the money. It is everything from the book in a cheaper, app form. There is also a companion "How to cook Everything for the Vegetarian" app. Each recipe has a quick overview and separate tabs. It can show you steps in order, directions for techniques. The app also has a timer which you can adjust as needed. It also shows variations of the recipe. You can save, email, or share the recipe.

Pepperplate: Available on: iPhone,iPad and Android. I think this is one of the best designed apps we will talk about today. You do have to import recipes from one of the supported sites into the app, which is a bit of a hassle in the beginning but after that it is worth it. Ingredients on left, instructions on the right. If you hit "cook now" it will keep your iPad open and on while you are cooking. You can also set timers and add notes to the recipe. There is a calendar to schedule your meals out by adding recipes into the calendar. There is also a shopping list function that works like the apps we discussed before.

Evernote Food: Available on iPhone and iPad. It is a beautiful app where you can swipe and explore recipes. The app brings up a webview of the blog itself. You can save recipes, add tags and notes. You can add NFC tags, physical devices that sync up to Evernote, example if you walk towards your fridge, Evernote will remind you to buy milk.

Feed.ly: Available on: iPhone and iPad. Beautifully designed way to view and have a feed of your favorite blogs. Can also be used on your desktop. Has more than just food section. You can subscribe to different blogs that they partner with. Shows an artful representation of the most recent posts. It does what Google Reader does.

• Organization: maintaining your blogs or maintaining your lives

Evernote: Available on: iPhone,iPad, and Android. It is a good app to organize anything you work on in a daily basis. It syncs seamlessly from Evernote Food to Evernote. Plan blog posts,recipes, campaigns, and save ideas.

Google Calendar: Available on: Just about everywhere. Sync between platforms.The iOS Calendar app does not show you colors.

• Blogging Platforms: used to write your blogs

Blogger: Available on iPhone, iPad and Android. Not a great app but it is a decent way to maintain and check out the posts you maintain. There are no access to stats though.

WordPress: Available on: iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app works whether you are self hosted or hosted by WordPress. The best feature is the ability to use stats. You can view blogs you subscribe to through WordPress. You can view your posts and edit them. You can maintain your pages, view comments.

Tumblr: Available on: iPhone, iPad and Android. It is a lightweight platform. You can basically do anything from tumblr on your desktop on your app.

• Audience Maintenance: how to reach your audience and how to do it on the go

Mailchimp: May only be available on iPhone. Manage campaigns,view lists, view campaign stats. View subscriptions, unsubscriptions, complaints, clicks, opens.You can view your email campaign in the viewer itself. User Agents is a way of looking at what type of emails the subscribers are using.

Facebook Pages: Available on: iPhone, iPad and Android. Post updates and photos, Send and read messages. On the left-hand bar, you can access other pages you manage. You can view some insights but it is not all the insights you can get on the desktop view.

Instagram: Available on: iPhone, iPad and Android. A great way to reach and audience that really loves pictures.Hashtags allow you to group the photos together and for others to view photos around one event or one topic.Share your blog images, build your brand. You cannot put live links, it just shows up as text. You can put "link on profile"or put hashtags.

Popular hashtags:
#ontheblog,
#foodblog,
#foodporn...

• Analytics & Monetization: once your blog is going, you want to see how much money you are making

Highly suggest everyone get a Google Analytics account. They also have their own app for for Android users.

Analytiks: Available on: iPhone, $2 for the app. Access topline Google Analytics from anywhere. Page views today, for the month, usage across the weeks, percent of traffic. Demographics, top browsers is important because you want to make your blog look good on the browsers that are popular. Check out your blog on mobile and make sure it looks good on mobile browsers. The app has the bare bones analytics displayed in a beautiful way.

Fishead Analytics: Available on: iPhone and iPad, free. It has everything that Google Analytics has. Metrics are not displayed as beautifully as Analytiks but it does much more.

AdSense HQ: Available on: iPhone and iPad, free. Track your AdSense revenue on the go. Break down by day, month, weekly, yearly.

Apps for Android: Available on: Android. Google Analytics: Native Analytics app for Android from Google. AdSense Dashboard.

--Q&A--

Audience suggestion: Norton app for passwords, keeps all your passwords with one secure password

Question: Tips for using mobile during international travel.
Audience comment: Go to travel agencies
Audience comment: Call AT&T, change to an international plan. Costs more than what you pay for month but it includes wi-fi.

Audience suggestion: Google Authenticator: has an added layer of security to your blog.

Audience suggestion: Blogsy on iPad. $5 app. You can use this app to pull from instagram, facebook, wordress, blogger to update your blog.

Question: Is there an easy way to organize things from your Google Readers into Feedly?
Mallory: Not sure if the subscriptions will go away when Google Reader goes away in July. Suggests subscribing to the blogs in Feedly itself.

Question: Which blogging platform do you think is more compatible with all the mobile apps, blogger or WordPress?
Mallory: It shouldn't matter. Any of platform that allows these apps to pull data from it should work fine.

Question: Do you think it is worthwhile to invest in working with app development to have recipes from your recipe blog into one of these apps?
Mallory: App development is very expensive and requires a lot of updates. If you do decide to develop, understand that you are in for a lot of work upfront. It is up to you to decide what you may find worthy and what your readers would use.

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