update on blogging with an iPad: big cat in a small bed

I have tried and tried, and for many things, an iPad was enough – reading and annotating books and pdfs, reading and annotating rss feeds, taking notes, drafting and revising single- and multi-page print documents, some management and editing of photos, keeping up with email, twittering, even keeping a local wiki. But for blogging when drawing on multiple sources, it falls flat.

Or, better, I find the iPad limited and awkward when I try to compose a rich blog post, synthesized from a number of sources and using links.  Maybe it’s me. Maybe I have to develop an alternative workflow. A number of bloggers are hopeful about using the iPad fine for their work: The Blogging Herald, Om Malik, Ben Parr at Mashable (although Ben mentions some limitations). Nancy at WebWorkerDaily is particularly hopeful.
But there are others who try and wind up banging into the iPad’s limitations:
I have tried both the BlogPress and the WordPress apps (constantly switching in and out of the app to research and grab text), the WP dashboard (better because I can switch tabs, but coding is in the way, and drafting in a text editor, then pasting into a blog app and editing (doesn’t overcome the main constraint of fast switching between research stuff and writing stuff). Maybe I’m whingeing, but the apps get in the way of drafting (not their fault: iPad first iteration fault), and they force me to find workarounds, and that influences the choices I make … Ok, I’m whingeing.
Let’s just say that writing this post – with the multiple links and image – on the iPad would have taken me most of the morning. On the MacBook, it’s taken less than an hour. That’s not just a time saving; that’s a fluency issue. What gets written is influenced by the materiality of the writing technology. Try 500 words with a crayon. It’s not a matter of not being able to muster the resources on the iPad … Ok, it is a matter of that. They are different resources, and a couple that I want to employ when I blog to make the blogging worth it for me.  I can use the iPad to sketch something in or make a quick post with a link or two, and maybe an image, but for more extensive blogging, it becomes awkward.
What this all means is
  • I need to take a MacBook when traveling for work.
  • The current constraints shape the iPad / iPhone use as part of a PLE.
  • I have a reason buy Air Display