RSS readers mobile blog platforms like Vox and Spaces. Feed driven news sites including Popurls and Original Signal. Post to your blog from a phone. Create a mobile site from an RSS feed.

RSS Readers

(folder) 7 items
RSS which stands for "Really Simple Syndication" is an Internet standard for delivering news articles or similar content, usually from a web site. Content is packaged in an XML "feed" which contains one or more "items", consist of a title, description and "content" which is mostly text but also usually includes images and links. A "reader" or " aggregator " is a program for viewing feeds, subscribing to multiple feeds and keeping track of which items haven't already been read. The reader also formats the feed to suit the user's device.

Because the content of RSS is largely text it is ideal for viewing on a phone's small screen. Here are some WAP based RSS readers. For more about mobile RSS readers see this item from the WAP Review Blog.
What's This?

Media Hackers

Content: *****  Usability: XXX
tabs.mediahackers.org/ (HTML5)

MediaHackers.org is the latest implementation of Dave Winer "River of News" style RSS agregator. Mr. Winer, who created the RSS 0.92 and OPML formats, originally lauched his NY Times River a while ago. It's was a site that combined multiple NY Times RSS feeds into a single constantly updated page. 

Media Hackers features multiple rivers each in its own tab. There are tabs for movie news, podcasts, tech news, the original New York Times River, Apple, world news and several others.

Media Hackers is fairly trim with a page weight of under 500 KB but, unlike the original Times River, it isn't really mobile formatted, at least in my Android phone's browser. The page is wider than the browser's viewport and tends to slip sideways when scrolling through the news.


What's This?

Global Voices

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
globalvoicesonline.org/ (xhtml-mp)

GlobalVoices

An independent non-profit that aggregates the best posts by over 300 bloggers and citizen reporters from around the world with an emphasis on non-Western and underrepresented writers. The site advocates for freedom of expression and provides a place where censored voices can be heard. Global Voices is translated into 30 languages.


What's This?

LiveJournal

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
m.livejournal.com/ (xhtml-mp)

ONTD - Live Journal Mobile

LiveJournal is one of the oldest blogging platforms, launching in 1999 and remains one of the most popular today with over 23 million users. In addition to being a free platform for publishing a personal blog or journal, Live Journal has strong social networking features including group blogs (called communities), profiles and friends lists.  Individual posts and entire blogs can be configured to be readable by friends only. 

Well known Live Journal blogs include the gossip site ONTD (mobile)  and Julie and Julia (mobile), the blog turned best selling book and blockbuster movie.

Live Journal, like VOX, MSN Spaces and WordPress.com is another blogging platform that automatically generates a mobile friendly edition of each published blog. Unlike the others, Live Journal doesn't appear to use browser detection to redirect mobile browsers to the mobile edition. Mobile LiveJournals have non-intuitive URLs like m.livejournal.com/read/user/journal_name The easiest way to find a specific mobile journal seems to be by using the search engine on the main Live Journal mobile site at m.livejournal.com/read.


What's This?

WPMU.org

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
wpmu.org/ (xhtml-mp)

WPMU Homescreen in Symbian Belle Browser

WPMU is a great resource for anyone who runs a WordPress site. The site's name suggests that it's about the, now-depreciated,  "MU" multi-user/mult-site version of WordPress. It's not, WPMU.org is the largest, most popular general WordPress specialist site that's not part of WordPress.org itself. Packed with WordPress lore, news, tips, tutorials and theme and plug-in downloads that should be of interest to anyone who runs a WordPress or BuddyPress site.

WPMU.org uses a "mobile-first, responsive" style which means that the site adapts itself, using mainly front-end or client side logic, to a wide range of browsers, both desktop and mobile. In a post about the design, one of designers talks about howthe "mobile first" approach means that mobile devices don't have to download heavy graphics and other resources intended for desktop browsers.

The design targets devices ranging from modern mobile browsers with a screen width of 320 px or more on up to the desktop. I tried it in the Android Gingerbread, Opera Mobile 12, Opera Mini 7, Firefox Mobile 12.0, WebOS 1.4.5.1 and Symbian Belle mobile browsers and with Chrome, Firefox and Opera on the desktop. The site looked good and worked well on all of them which I find pretty impressive.

The mobile first approach worked pretty well too. according to Opera Mobile the page was a relatively svelte 247 KB while in Firefox on the desktop it was 1184 KB.


What's This?

DISQUS

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
m.disqus.net/ (xhtml-mp)

DISQUS is a blog comment system that provides a single sign on for commenters on all blogs using DISQUS. It also supports sharing comments on Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. The mobile version of DISQUS lets bloggers moderate comments on their sites.


What's This?

MyWapBlog

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
www.mywapblog.com (xhtml-mp)
MyWapBlog is a new, easy to use  mobile blogging platform. After a simple registration process requiring only a name, password and verifiable email address you are ready to start blogging.

MyWapBlog gives you an easy to remember and key on a mobile subdomain URL.  Mine is wapreview.mywapblog.com.  Users can leave comments on any post.  There is no comment moderation system, comments are published as soon as they are posted. This could be a problem if blog SPAMers discover MyWapBlog. Comments can at least be edited or deleted after they have been published.

There are also no RSS feeds available, something I consider essential in a blogging platform.   The lack of feeds is a bit of a show stopper for me as I depend on Bloglines Mobile to keep up with what's going on in the blogosphere.

MyWapBlog lets you upload images directly from your phone to your blog using a "browse for file" based image manager. Uploaded images can be inserted anywhere in posts. Unfortunately, not all phones support direct uploading and there is no option to upload by email or MMS. If your phone can't upload images, a work around is to use Opera Mini 4.1, which can do uploads on many (but not all phones). It is also possible to upload images from a PC. MyWapBlog is a pure mobile play, there is no full-web version, but the mobile site works fine with desktop browsers. Images are re-sized when uploaded. You choose Small, Medium or Large when uploading, which correspond to maximum image widths of 115 px,  169px and 235px. Both GIF and JPEG images are supported. Transparent GIFs lose their transparency when uploaded, however.

More...
What's This?

Original Signal Web 2.0

Content: ****  Usability: XXXX
web20.originalsignal.com/mobile (HTML5)

Original Signal's Web2.0 site draws headlines from 18 top blogs including GigaOm, TechCrunch, Mashable and Micro Persuasion. Clicking a headline takes you to the original blog post transcoded by Google.


What's This?

popurls

Content: ****  Usability: XX
popurls.mobi/ (HTML5)

Another RSS feed mashup similar to Original Signal. This one has the 5 latest items from digg, del.icio.us, newsvine, reddit, google news, slashdot, fark and 11 other web 2.0'ish sites. The actual articles are filtered through Google's transcoder to make them mobile friendly. Unfortunately, the popurls mobile home page has almost 100 links on more than most phone's built in browsers can handle. 10 links is the GAP recomended maximum for usability on mobiles, the Openwave browser on my phone gets very slugish with more than 30 links on a page. Opera Mini and other full browsers can handle popurls.mobi OK but if that's the target class of browser, the Google Transcoder is redundant.


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What's This?
QR Code
It's a QR (Quick Response) Code containing the URL of WapReview Mobile. Snap it with your phone's QR Code reader to go to the WapReview mobile site.

Ratings Key :

Content - 0-5 *'s indicating the quality of the site's writing, depth, timeliness and accuracy.

Usability - 0-5 X's indicating the usability of the site on a mobile device, based on ease and intuitivness of navigation and lack of excessive scrolling through ads etc. to reach main content.