Jun 4, 2008

Mobile phone access for blogs

If you are reading my blog through its RSS feed, it is possible that you did not notice the "facelift" I have done for my blog. I am actually very happy about the end result, It looks pretty good for yet another Blogger blog. As part of the facelift, I was looking for a good and easy way to publish my blog to the mobile phones. As I am blogging frequently on things that are mobile, it was becoming embarrassing.

After considering several options, I found the solution not far away. I have started to publish my blog on Widsets. WidSets is a mobile java application that gets installed to your phone. It acts as an "on device portal" for mini-applications that WidSets calls widgets. It basically uses RSS to push the information to the phone using the widgets.

I was able to create a widget for my blog in a few minutes using the wizard on the WidSets web site. I now have a button for WidSets based subscription in my blog. Surprisingly, my widget was more discoverable than I have imagined, and I already have some mobile readers.

Using WidSets, there is also the possibility to make more advanced stuff than just displaying RSS feeds. There is a Widsets SDK, that can be downloaded to develop widgets using a java like scripting language called helium.

I have recently met with the WidSets team at the Eclipse party in JavaOne. I guess this is amusing because WidSets is a Nokia service and the team is located in Finland (as I am). They are fun people. I got convinced that I should provide a more advanced widget for my blog. We also talked a bit about how cool it would be to create a bunch of Eclipse plugins for WidSets widget development.