A few weeks ago, we announced the launch of the LightCMS blogging API, and we’re following up with some tutorials about ways you can make use of this new technology. We’ve discussed using LiveWriter as a blog writing interface, and today we’re going to discuss another application, Shozu.
Shozu is a specialized application designed to let you post images and video from anywhere, to anywhere. You can submit media to Shozu through its desktop application, iPhone application, mobile device interfaces, by email, or by mms. Then, Shozu will distribute that media to any number of sites you tell it to submit to. It can submit your media to practically every social media platform available and it also works with MetaWeblog enabled applications like the LightCMS blogging API.
So, by using Shozu together with a LightCMS blog, you have a way to quickly and easily post media to your blog through a variety of means, including simply emailing the pictures or video.
Step one: create a Shozu account
You first need to set up your free Shozu account on the Shozu website. Fill in the usual details and you’ll be up and running very quickly.
Step two: add your LightCMS blog as a destination
Inside your Shozu account, click on “add destinations” and on the resulting screen, you’ll see a huge list of available services. Select “MetaWeblog” from the list and you’ll be asked to enter your blog’s details. You’ll need to create a name for this blog (for reference within Shozu) and enter your login credentials for your LightCMS website. Then, enter your MetaWeblog URL as follows: https://[your cms website address]/metaweblog.ashx (be sure to use https), then click the “check for albums” button. When you do this, Shozu will use the credentials you have provided to discover the blog elements available on your website and return a list of available blog elements for you to choose from. Select the blog element you want, choose “newPost” in the “upload option” box, and then click “ok.”
See the image below for reference on setting up your blog with Shozu.
Step three: set-up Shozu on your iPhone
Now that you’ve configured Shozu online, you can use any of Shozu’s client applications to submit media and have it posted to your blog. One client option is the Shozu iPhone app. It costs $4.99 in the app store. If you’re up for spending the money, go ahead and purchase it and install it on your iPhone. When you fire it up, you’ll need to enter your Shozu account information to connect the iPhone app to your online account. Once you do this, you’ll see the screen below.
As you can see, our “Feature Demos” blog is set up and ready to go. To post to our site, we just touch the name and then we see this:
We can opt to take a new picture or select a photo or video from our gallery. I chose one from my gallery which led me to this:
Here we can add a post title and a little description to accompany the media in the body of the post. We can also add tags which will integrate with the LightCMS tagging system. We send it, and boom! Here’s a picture of it on our demonstration blog. You can see that Shozu tags the post with their logo in the lower right. A bit of a bummer, but they are hosting the media for you and providing this nice functionality, so it’s a trade off.
Step four: explore other submitting options
So, that’s a detailed look at the iPhone app, but remember, Shozu offers a lot more options for submitting images as well. There are apps and interfaces for other mobile devices. There’s also a desktop app (though it’s pretty rudimentary and I don’t prefer it). And, there’s even the ability to submit via email or MMS. This is quite possibly the most convenient option. To set it up, you just have to make sure to allow your email address as an authorized submitter inside your Shozu account. Then, just email in the images in to the address Shozu provides (usually [your account name]@my.shozu.com) and your subject line becomes the title of your post. Easy.
Shozu offers a very specific niche service of posting media files to various social sites, including your LightCMS blog. Its advantages include the ability to easily post content to your blog from nearly any device or platform. Its limitations include the fact that it’s a pretty simple tool and not really a blogging tool. It won’t give you nearly the flexibility of LiveWriter, but, of course, LiveWriter won’t run on your iPhone.
If you have thoughts on Shozu or other apps that work with the MetaWeblog API, please let us hear from you in the comments.
Wed, December 2, 2009
by Tim Wall filed under