Blackberry + ScreamingToaster = Wicked

Aug 6, 2009 by

I admit, an interesting equation.

Readers of this blog understand my obsession, er, fondness, with my Blackberry Bold.  What the Little Black Dress calls “my girlfriend.”

But as a somewhat identified crackberry, I am always on the lookout for new programs to play with.

One I have searched for with little success is a powerful mobile blogging tool that integrates with this WordPress blog.

Enter Screamingtoaster and their Wicked Blogg App for WordPress and Blackberrys.

And yes, they had me at Screamingtoaster – seriously, how could you not try something from a company with a name like that? And their tag – Engineered for Happiness – isn’t too bad either.

So, let’s go for a spin.

First off, this app is not free. It”s thirty bucks ($30) for a year subscription. All upgrades included during that period.  I don’t have a problem with that for two simple reasons.

1. There’s a 14-day fully-operational free trial period.

2. Their customer service is absurd. As in incredible. I e-mailed with a few questions and heard back from Izabel, chief  “customer awesomeness experience and yes we can” officer, within a short time.

And dear Izabel offered to answer my questions by e-mail, or would I prefer a phone call?

Huh?

I checked the definition of “customer service” in an online dictionary. Here’s what I came up with.

1. ha, ha, ha.

2. an archaic term of the early 20th century where companies actually listened (snicker, snicker) to their customers, valued (snicker, snicker) their customers and took every possible step to solve their issues (LMAO).

3. A term since replaced with the use of autorobots where companies compete to see how many “please press button X” they can make customers hit, multiplied by pi for duration of call minutes involved.

Anyway, so I set up a phone call with Izabel for the next day. Prior to the call, I get another e-mail. This time from the head honcho, president, developer himself – Nazmul. Who proceeds to go point-by-point through all my questions in great length, explaining the whys and wherefores of each of my issues.

Oh, and what they’re going to do about it.

So anyway, later that day I get on the phone with Izabel, who later puts Nazmul on teleconference, and we talk it up for about an hour.  And then they apologize for keeping me so long.

Yes, I understand they are a startup and need all the positive press/customer experiences they can get. But you know what, they delivered.

It’s very simply, try it. If you don’t like it after two weeks, you don’t have to buy it. I will. I think it’s that good, despite a couple of shortcomings, which I’ll get too.

I think the support documentation alone, which not only includes step-by-step instructions, but comes with a plethora of videos to boot, would impress anyone.

And yes, that’s Izabel’s voice. And yes, they give a pretty good argument on the whole free verses paid model, and also talk about what else you can get for your $30.

On with the show.

I’m not going to try and compete with the all the information they provide. It would take hours and way too many words. Plus I don’t really “do” video.

But some highlights:

1.  You can have as many blogs as you want.

2. Your license works with other Blackberrys and you don’t have to recreate anything because it’s all in the cloud (which I still don’t fully understand, but it’s up there).

3. Works on phone networks, 3G and wi-fi. Blackberry versions 4.6 and higher, WordPress version 2.7.1 or higher.

4. Has a nice little Twitter application, so you can just tweet away.

5. Spell checker

Posting:

You can view recent posts, edit old posts and write new ones. Writing a post is simple, click on “write a post.” You can assign tags and categories.

And here’s a cool thing. If you’re like me, you’ve got way too many tags. Their program has a “find” feature where you just type in the first few letters and every tag starting with those letters comes up. Same with categories.

You can also create new tags and new categories from the program, and it lets you post immediately or you can save it as a draft. Drafts are saved in the same place as posts.

But there’s more. You can also snap a pix with your BB, or attach one from your BB memory card and add that to your post as well.

Other fun things include the ability to delete posts, change to web view, and a pretty neat little filter. You can filter by tags or categories, or even author.

Comments:

You can pretty much do the same with comments.

You can see all comments, or filter them by author. You can also reply to comments, delete them, edit them or check them out in web view.

To-Do List:

I really like this feature. Basically, it’s what its name implies. Sitting somewhere and have a great idea for a blog but not enough time to write it out? You can create a “to-do” and put in some information.

You can also have the program geo-tag your location at the time you wrote the to-do.

Later on, you can delete the to-do, or edit it and even send it to your post editor. Essentially, write a blog from your to-do. Very, very useful.

Finally, there’s also a nice “who is near me” feature if you enable it (your choice). So you can find other “wicked” folks around you.

Conclusion:

I’m really liking this program.

Is is perfect? Not quite.

I have a couple of issues. For one, my whole geo-tag isn’t working. For some reason the program is not getting a lock on me. But Nazmul said he’s working on a fix for that. I’ll leave it at that. Apparently, I’m the only one with this problem so far, which is typical in my life right now.

A minor problem is you can’t bold or italic anything, but again they said they’re going to provide that. In the meantime, Nazmul showed me a little trick (and yes I know every computer programmer worth their salt knows this, but I’m not a programmer, so please lay off because there are others who don’t either).

Anyway, <strong>what you want in boldface</strong> and <em>what you want in italic</em>

My only other issue is with the “to-do.” Right now, a time-stamp is created when you create your “to-do.” If you later post that “to-do”, the time-stamp on your post shows up as the “to-do’s” original creation time, not when you actually posted it.

Again, they said they’d make options to change that in later versions. You can always get on a regular computer and change the time-stamp if you want.

So, you get a two-week free trial, incredible support documentation and awesome customer service.You have nothing to lose. Again, just take a quick look here for what all is offered.

And yeah, I’m going with this one.

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3 Comments

  1. screamingtoaster

    Hi John

    Thanks for the great review! The geo tagging issue has been fixed with v 1.2 that came out yesterday – http://screamingtoaster.com/?p=1089.

    We will provide support for HTML macros in the post editor. You will be able to use that to generate tags for bold/italic, inserting links, youtube videos, etc. Also, we are working on supporting Tumblr and Blogger blogs as well.

    The timestamp issues with posts are going to be resolved as well. We are going to give you the ability to set these, and also tweet the post/comment URL for you.

    Thanks again,
    Nazmul.

  2. Downloaded v1.2 last night and the geo tagging is working great.

    Looking forward to the other updates, especially the time-stamp. Good luck with your product.

  3. Wicked is now $10/year. And v1.3 is out. We’ve refunded you $20, since you signed up before the price was lowered. We’ve refunded all our customers who signed up before the price drop.

    To answer your question about Twitter message length – http://screamingtoaster.com/docs/?page_id=90#twitter. It’s set at 160 chars, and you will get a “Field Full” popup when you exceed that limit.

    Take care
    Nazmul.