Revisiting “Instagrate to WordPress”… again

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I am so thankful for my iPhone and the ease with which I can stay in touch and take photos of so many moments that would otherwise fade into my foggy memory.

I use Instagram almost daily. I say ‘almost’ because there have been a half-dozen days or so, that I’ve missed since I posted my first photo on it October 16, 2010 (yes – I know the actual date) and the honest, non-exaggerating side of me wins out in this post.

Most of these photos tell great stories without a lot of words, and would make blogging easier if I could use them regularly. But I’ve had many complaints with the WordPress app. While they have made some good updates, I still find myself deciding to wait until I get home to post a photo and caption with it, only to not do it.

So I was thrilled when I found the “Instagrate to WordPress” plugin for WordPress, back in January. It takes your Instagram photos and creates posts from them, using the caption as the post title. The idea intrigued me, so I gave it a shot and was thrilled at first.

But I do take a lot of photos that I only share on Instagram, like when I post screen shots of what we are watching on Netflix. They really aren’t worthy of a post of their own, and might work better if I posted several in a post together.

Every single photo was getting posted to my blog as an individual blog post, and sometimes, what I wrote as my caption made for a real long and/or dumb blog title. I was having to edit my Instagram posts because of how I wanted them to post on my blog, which was a big ‘ol hassle… I became annoyed. So I deactivated it, and submitted a couple of requests/suggestions to the plugin author.

I’ve kept my eye on it, hoping that some of these changes would be implemented, allowing a bit more control of how things post (eg: the option to post several photos in a collage in a single post), and the number of accounts you can use on it (I really wanted to use it on Living the Life Fantastic and have both mine and Randy’s accounts linked to it). This past week I noticed that many changes have been made to it. I’m super excited to look into it more and see how they work. The drawback: many of the changes I want are in a premium version, selling for $35. Not sure if my laziness is work that or not :/

I’m curious if any of you have tried out the premium version, or if you have another way to easily make posts from your IG photos. Or feel free to tell me to just get over it.

Earth Day Apps for iPhone

Looking for some Earth Day worthy apps for your iPhone? Here are some of the best reviewed apps for Earth Day 2010:

Billion Acts of Green: (free) “Wondering how you can do your part this Earth Day? Participate in the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day by downloading the Earth Day 2010 Billion Acts of Green application! Your actions matter, why not share them with the world? Use our app to log your personal “Acts of Green” and help us build a more sustainable planet. Your efforts will help Earth Day Network reach its goal of logging One Billion Acts of Green! Need ideas? Check out our tips or view acts from other eco-friendly people around the world. Don’t forget to share your contributions with your friends via Facebook!”

iRecyle: (free) “iRecycle makes it easy to find recycling locations anywhere in the U.S. Find places to drop-off your old cell phone (or water bottle or motor oil or… well, you get the idea), get directions and find out what else they accept. iRecycle also now hosts information on local green events in your area and the newest stories and features on Earth911.com!”

Ecoki: (free) “The Ecoki Reader brings you the best in sustainable lifestyle news, tips, vegan recipes, and hands on reviews.”

Greenopia: (free) “With green ratings for thousands of businesses in over 50 cities, Greenopia makes it easier than ever to shop, eat, and live green.”

Greenpeace Tissue Guide: (free) “The Greenpeace Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide makes it quick and easy to find out which brands of facial tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins are truly green and which should be avoided. Greenpeace’s experts have carefully evaluated over 100 brands and recommended those that: contain 100% overall recycled content; contain at least 50% post-consumer recycled content; and are bleached without toxic chlorine compounds.”

Green Map: (free) “This App connects you with the Green Map movement. With over 600 locally-led projects in 55 countries, each Green Map provides a fresh perspective on local green living sites and the community’s natural, cultural and social resources. Every Green Map is a unique project, but all combine local knowledge and globally designed Green Map Icons to highlight important assets and issues.”

Living Green – The Missing Manual: ($4.99) “Living Green: The Missing Manual helps make earth-friendly decisions more manageable by narrowing them down to a few simple choices. This all-in-one resource is packed with practical advice on ways you can help the environment by making simple changes in your home routine, work habits, and the way you shop and get around town. You don’t have to embark on a radical new lifestyle to make a difference. Living Green: The Missing Manual shows you how small changes can have a big impact.”

Gorgeously Green Survival Guide: (.99 cents) “The Gorgeously Green Survival Guide is a quick reference eco-guide for the woman on the go. Developed by New York times bestselling author Sophie Uliano. Sophie has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, The View, and other national television shows teaching women how to update their beauty regimen, create an eco-friendly home, adopt a healthier diet and fitness routine, indulge in guilt-free shopping, and more.”

Tipping Bucket: (free) “Can $1 change the world? We’re out to prove it can! Tipping Bucket taps the power of social media, micropayments, and money-back guarantees to launch social startups. Our project partners build community gardens in Baltimore, literacy centers in Bangladesh and maternity clinics in Bamako.”

iLocavore: (free) “iLocavore is a tool for locavores and ‘shop local, buy local’ enthusiasts. What is a Locavore? A locavore is someone who strives to eat food grown and produced locally. Oftentimes locavores choose to eat food grown or produced within a certain radius (50, 100, 150 miles).”

Good Guide: (free) “The GoodGuide app helps you find safe, healthy, and sustainable products while you shop. With this update, simply scan the barcode of the product and immediately see detailed ratings for health, environment and social responsibility for more than 65,000 products and companies. GoodGuide provides this information about personal care, household chemical, toy and food products for free on your iPhone / iPod Touch and is adding thousands of products every month. By making information about consumer products transparent, GoodGuide’s goal is to help people shop smarter and motivate companies to offer even better products.”

Simply Organic: (free) “The Simply Organic iPhone app is a key to a simply healthy way of life! ”

Tree Hugger: (free) “TreeHugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, we strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.”

Find Green: (free) “Find green and sustainable businesses quickly and easily with the Find Green app. It helps you make everyday choices to reduce your environmental impact and make a difference!”

Go Green: (free) “How Green are you? Are you part of the solution or are you part of the problem? Get this app and get collectible Green tips that are saved to your Green list. You get a new Green tip each time you visit the app. Your Green status also changes as you earn more Green tips.”

Green Energy Now: (free) “Stay up to date on the latest Green Energy News, learn how to protect the environment and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and share your knowledge with others. Impress your friends with your knowledge of Green Energy, and test your knowledge with Green Trivia Challenge.”

Carbon Calc: (free) “Carbon Calc is a Green House Gas (GHG) emissions calculator. If you have wondered what your contribution to global warming is, Carbon Calc is a simple calculator that lets you input your Driving, Flying, and Home energy use. Once you know your footprint, you can compare your net emissions to the US average and the world average. You can optionally offset your footprint by purchasing Carbon Credits.”

Earth photo source

Things to Come

As you may have noticed, Modern Media Mom has been sitting quietly for the last several months. The last actual post I wrote was a “Happy New Year” post.

Not a good thing for a site which touts itself as being a resource for up-to-date tech news. Just sayin’…

While this site has sat silent, I’ve done a lot of thinking about how to expand it to make it even more useful for families and individuals looking to use technology to simplify their hectic lives.

It’s become more important than ever for me to do this in my own life, as it has changed dramatically in the time that I’ve been away. Technology is becoming even more central to my day-to-day life as I prepare for some big personal and professional changes.

Therefore, while my posts will continue to be informative, there will also be more of a personal element to the posts, as many of the things will be tips and ideas that my family and I will have tried out. They won’t just be tips on how to use sites you’ve never heard of, but tips on how to use sites and apps you already use in a different way.

I look forward to sharing these things with you, and I hope that you find them as helpful as I have.

As always, I want to make each of you a part of this site; if you have tips and tricks I’m happy to share them with readers.

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Revisiting Cozi.com

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Earlier in the year I wrote about Cozi and gushed about how fabulous I though the site was for creating lists. I’ve long been a fan of their clean, simple design and layout, their useful and relevant ideas and “how-did-I-live-without-that” tips.

Amazingly, the site just keeps getting better. They have added more content, including an online magazine (Live Simply) and menu planning (Nourish), but have still managed to do so in a way that is easy to navigate.

Two other new features:

Still not convinced if you should try it?

From the site:

Wish you had some help organizing your busy family life? Cozi is a FREE online family organizer that helps you manage the family calendar, organize your shopping list and to do list, share favorite memories in a family journal, and enjoy family photos—all in one spot. With Cozi’s mobile access, your information is not only available from any computer with an Internet connection, but also from any mobile phone. All you need to get started is a Cozi account and signing up is quick and easy with no downloads required.

Using Cozi has really helped me stay organized and keep track of my children’s busy schedules. Having it all in one place, without the mess of scratch paper, crumpled notes shoved in my purse has saved my sanity many times.

Let me know if you’ve used Cozi and how it’s changed how you organize your time and family.

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Dial2Do: a simple way to update Twitter, Facebook and your blog

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There are a lot of ways that you can now send emails and update your Twitter, Facebook and blog. Smartphones make it easier to do so when away from your computer. What if you don’t have a smartphone yet, or access to all of the handy apps that are available? Or what if you do, but want a quick easy way to do it?

Dial2Do is a free site that does these things for you. You call a number. Say what you want posted, then finish with “Twitter”, or “email” etc. They transcribe it and take care of the rest.

From the site:

Dial2Do lets you do common tasks by just calling a number and speaking. Use it to send EMAIL or TEXT messages, record REMINDERS to help you remember things, post updates to your TWITTER or JAIKU stream and LISTEN to your favourite internet content. It’s easy and handsfree..

For more info: watch the tutorial video here and read the FAQs.

Note: There are currently 26 countries that this site works in [though it only works in English]. See the listing on the FAQs page.

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