Auto-post from instagram to wordpress

I recently started using instagram. And have been struggling to post the images directly to this site. WordPress offer a post by email service. So I thought it would be a simple matter of emailing the pictures directly to wordpress. I quickly realised I had no control over the size of the emailed image. As you can see the theme I use has a relatively narrow post area. This meant I had to go back into wordpress. And resize the image each time I posted. Time consuming. Especially when I was trying to do it on the go. The wordpress iPhone app is okay. But lacks the functionality necessary to do that particular operation easily. I needed a way to control both the size and position of the posted image. After much trial and error I have found a way to auto-post my instagram images to wordpress. Basically I email the instagram image to flickr. And flickr auto-posts here. To make it work you need three things. First the instagram app. Second a wordpress blog. And finally an account on flickr. First things first. You need to set wordpress to enable auto-embeds. To do this log into your wordpress account. And navigate…

Dashboard.
Setting.
Media.
Auto-embeds.
Check the “Enable auto-embeds” box.
Save changes.

Then you need to set the default post category. To do this navigate…

Dashboard.
Setting.
Writing.
Default post category.
Select a default post category from the drop-down menu. (Unfortunately you can only choose one. I use photography.)
Save changes.

Once that’s done. Head over to flickr. And connect your flickr account to your wordpress account. On your flickr account page navigate…

You.
Your account.
Sharing & extending.
More sites.
Wordpress.

Enter the relevant information in the pop-up window…

API Endpoint (your-blog.url).
Username.
Password.
Check the “Save my password” box.

Then confirm by clicking…

Next.

If you’re having trouble check out the WordPress support page. It will guide you through he process. With that done you now need to set the default layout for images posted to wordpress. I wanted to post my images at 450 pixels wide. To do that you need to select a blog layout. Navigate…

You.
Your account.
Sharing & extending.
Wordpress.
Edit.
Select a blog layout.

You are then prompted with…

Select a template for blogging a photo

From the templates available select…

500px on its own line.

On the next screen select…

Customize.

It’s now possible to edit the CSS. I replaced…

<div style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.6em;">
<a href="{photo_url}" title="{photo_title}">
<img src="{photo_src}" alt="{photo_title} by {uploader_name}" /></a>
<br/>
<span style="margin: 0;"><a href="{photo_url}">{photo_title}</a>, a photo by <a href="{uploader_profile}">{uploader_name}</a> on Flickr.</span>
</div>
<p>{description}</p>

With…

<div style="margin: 0 0 10px 0; padding: 0; font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.6em;">
<a href="{photo_url}" title="{photo_title}" target="_blank">
<img class="aligncenter" img src="{photo_src}" alt="{photo_title} by {uploader_name}" width="450" /></a>
<br/>
<span style="margin: 0;"><a href="{photo_url}">{photo_title}</a>, a photo by <a href="{uploader_profile}">{uploader_name}</a> on Flickr.</span>
</div>
<p>{description}</p>

For the purposes of this post I’ve broken the code down into lines. It’s all based on a post already made in wordpress. As you can see I added target=”_blank” to line 2. A class=”aligncenter” and width=”450″ command to line 3. With that done you then need to select…

Preview.

On the preview screen confirm by selecting…

Save this layout.

That done it is now possible to post images directly from flickr. And have them appear correctly formatted in wordpress. You just hit the wordpress share button. But to do it directly from instagram you need to set up flickr’s upload by email option. To do this navigate…

You.
Your account.
Emails & Notifications.

In the upload by email options select…

Edit.

You will either see an option to create an upload-to-flickr email address. Or an email address that looks something like this…

emailphotos@photos.flickr.com

This is not the email address you use. This will only email your photos to flickr. Good if you want to post directly from your camera roll. But instagram will auto-post to flickr for you. So there’s not much point. To post to wordpress you need the email address in the bottom right hand corner of the page under the heading “Upload to Blog?”. It should look something like this…

emailphotos2blog@photos.flickr.com

Add this address to your iPhone contacts. It’s now possible to post directly from instagram to wordpress. There are a couple of thing to be aware of. If like me your wordpress blog feeds your twitter account. Which in turn feeds my facebook account. You need to deselect these share options within instagram. I deselected all the instagram share options. So after I take my picture. Add select my frame. And add my caption. I can select the email sharing option. Auto-post from instagram to wordpress without having multiple entries all over the place.

Single paragraph treatment

Just over a week ago I attended Euroscript’s Exciting Treatments workshop run by Charles Harris. Using some of the things I was shown on the workshop. I have written a single paragraph treatment for Carrion.

Carrion is a science fiction thriller set in a contemporary future where the animosity to drug use is evangelical. When government agents release a plague of drug eating insects. A self-righteous policeman is forced to confront his intolerance. After his drug using sister is attacked by the swarm. As users start to fight back. And the war on drugs escalates into civil war. He is compelled to help his sister traverse the embattled city. Fight gangs of vigilantes. Evade police snatch squads. Flee hostile troops. So she can escape to dealer controlled territory. And the hope of a cure. Transformed by what he has witnessed. Realising the inherent cruelty of prohibition. He picks up a gun. And joins the insurgents.

I often find that posting something here solidifies it in my mind. I hope it will stop me tweaking what I have written. And move on to write a longer version.

David Mamet’s memo

I like the writing of David Mamet. I’m not one for heroes but if I was, Mamet would be one of mine. Here is a memo he sent to the writers of “The Unit”.

TO THE WRITERS OF THE UNIT. GREETINGS. AS WE LEARN HOW TO WRITE THIS SHOW, A RECURRING PROBLEM BECOMES CLEAR. THE PROBLEM IS THIS: TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN DRAMA AND NON-DRAMA. LET ME BREAK-IT-DOWN-NOW. EVERYONE IN CREATION IS SCREAMING AT US TO MAKE THE SHOW CLEAR. WE ARE TASKED WITH, IT SEEMS, CRAMMING A SHITLOAD OF INFORMATION INTO A LITTLE BIT OF TIME. OUR FRIENDS. THE PENGUINS, THINK THAT WE, THEREFORE, ARE EMPLOYED TO COMMUNICATE INFORMATION — AND, SO, AT TIMES, IT SEEMS TO US. BUT NOTE: THE AUDIENCE WILL NOT TUNE IN TO WATCH INFORMATION. YOU WOULDN’T, I WOULDN’T. NO ONE WOULD OR WILL. THE AUDIENCE WILL ONLY TUNE IN AND STAY TUNED TO WATCH DRAMA. QUESTION: WHAT IS DRAMA? DRAMA, AGAIN, IS THE QUEST OF THE HERO TO OVERCOME THOSE THINGS WHICH PREVENT HIM FROM ACHIEVING A SPECIFIC, ACUTE GOAL. SO: WE, THE WRITERS, MUST ASK OURSELVES OF EVERY SCENE THESE THREE QUESTIONS. 1) WHO WANTS WHAT? 2) WHAT HAPPENS IF HER DON’T GET IT? 3) WHY NOW? THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS ARE LITMUS PAPER. APPLY THEM, AND THEIR ANSWER WILL TELL YOU IF THE SCENE IS DRAMATIC OR NOT. IF THE SCENE IS NOT DRAMATICALLY WRITTEN, IT WILL NOT BE DRAMATICALLY ACTED. THERE IS NO MAGIC FAIRY DUST WHICH WILL MAKE A BORING, USELESS, REDUNDANT, OR MERELY INFORMATIVE SCENE AFTER IT LEAVES YOUR TYPEWRITER. YOU THE WRITERS, ARE IN CHARGE OF MAKING SURE EVERY SCENE IS DRAMATIC. THIS MEANS ALL THE “LITTLE” EXPOSITIONAL SCENES OF TWO PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD. THIS BUSHWAH (AND WE ALL TEND TO WRITE IT ON THE FIRST DRAFT) IS LESS THAN USELESS, SHOULD IT FINALLY, GOD FORBID, GET FILMED. IF THE SCENE BORES YOU WHEN YOU READ IT, REST ASSURED IT WILL BORE THE ACTORS, AND WILL, THEN, BORE THE AUDIENCE, AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO BE BACK IN THE BREADLINE. SOMEONE HAS TO MAKE THE SCENE DRAMATIC. IT IS NOT THE ACTORS JOB (THE ACTORS JOB IS TO BE TRUTHFUL). IT IS NOT THE DIRECTORS JOB. HIS OR HER JOB IS TO FILM IT STRAIGHTFORWARDLY AND REMIND THE ACTORS TO TALK FAST. IT IS YOUR JOB. EVERY SCENE MUST BE DRAMATIC. THAT MEANS: THE MAIN CHARACTER MUST HAVE A SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD, PRESSING NEED WHICH IMPELS HIM OR HER TO SHOW UP IN THE SCENE. THIS NEED IS WHY THEY CAME. IT IS WHAT THE SCENE IS ABOUT. THEIR ATTEMPT TO GET THIS NEED MET WILL LEAD, AT THE END OF THE SCENE, TO FAILURE – THIS IS HOW THE SCENE IS OVER. IT, THIS FAILURE, WILL, THEN, OF NECESSITY, PROPEL US INTO THE NEXT SCENE. ALL THESE ATTEMPTS, TAKEN TOGETHER, WILL, OVER THE COURSE OF THE EPISODE, CONSTITUTE THE PLOT. ANY SCENE, THUS, WHICH DOES NOT BOTH ADVANCE THE PLOT, AND STANDALONE (THAT IS, DRAMATICALLY, BY ITSELF, ON ITS OWN MERITS) IS EITHER SUPERFLUOUS, OR INCORRECTLY WRITTEN. YES BUT YES BUT YES BUT, YOU SAY: WHAT ABOUT THE NECESSITY OF WRITING IN ALL THAT “INFORMATION?” AND I RESPOND “FIGURE IT OUT” ANY DICKHEAD WITH A BLUESUIT CAN BE (AND IS) TAUGHT TO SAY “MAKE IT CLEARER”, AND “I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HIM”. WHEN YOU’VE MADE IT SO CLEAR THAT EVEN THIS BLUESUITED PENGUIN IS HAPPY, BOTH YOU AND HE OR SHE WILL BE OUT OF A JOB. THE JOB OF THE DRAMATIST IS TO MAKE THE AUDIENCE WONDER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. NOT TO EXPLAIN TO THEM WHAT JUST HAPPENED, OR TO *SUGGEST* TO THEM WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. ANY DICKHEAD, AS ABOVE, CAN WRITE, “BUT, JIM, IF WE DON’T ASSASSINATE THE PRIME MINISTER IN THE NEXT SCENE, ALL EUROPE WILL BE ENGULFED IN FLAME”. WE ARE NOT GETTING PAID TO REALIZE THAT THE AUDIENCE NEEDS THIS INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND THE NEXT SCENE, BUT TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO WRITE THE SCENE BEFORE US SUCH THAT THE AUDIENCE WILL BE INTERESTED IN WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. YES BUT, YES BUT YES BUT YOU REITERATE. AND I RESPOND FIGURE IT OUT. HOW DOES ONE STRIKE THE BALANCE BETWEEN WITHHOLDING AND VOUCHSAFING INFORMATION? THAT IS THE ESSENTIAL TASK OF THE DRAMATIST. AND THE ABILITY TO DO THAT IS WHAT SEPARATES YOU FROM THE LESSER SPECIES IN THEIR BLUE SUITS. FIGURE IT OUT. START, EVERY TIME, WITH THIS INVIOLABLE RULE: THE SCENE MUST BE DRAMATIC. it must start because the hero HAS A PROBLEM, AND IT MUST CULMINATE WITH THE HERO FINDING HIM OR HERSELF EITHER THWARTED OR EDUCATED THAT ANOTHER WAY EXISTS. LOOK AT YOUR LOG LINES. ANY LOGLINE READING “BOB AND SUE DISCUSS…” IS NOT DESCRIBING A DRAMATIC SCENE. PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR OUTLINES ARE, GENERALLY, SPECTACULAR. THE DRAMA FLOWS OUT BETWEEN THE OUTLINE AND THE FIRST DRAFT. THINK LIKE A FILMMAKER RATHER THAN A FUNCTIONARY, BECAUSE, IN TRUTH, YOU ARE MAKING THE FILM. WHAT YOU WRITE, THEY WILL SHOOT. HERE ARE THE DANGER SIGNALS. ANY TIME TWO CHARACTERS ARE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT. ANY TIME ANY CHARACTER IS SAYING TO ANOTHER “AS YOU KNOW”, THAT IS, TELLING ANOTHER CHARACTER WHAT YOU, THE WRITER, NEED THE AUDIENCE TO KNOW, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT. DO NOT WRITE A CROCK OF SHIT. WRITE A RIPPING THREE, FOUR, SEVEN MINUTE SCENE WHICH MOVES THE STORY ALONG, AND YOU CAN, VERY SOON, BUY A HOUSE IN BEL AIR AND HIRE SOMEONE TO LIVE THERE FOR YOU. REMEMBER YOU ARE WRITING FOR A VISUAL MEDIUM. MOST TELEVISION WRITING, OURS INCLUDED, SOUNDS LIKE RADIO. THE CAMERA CAN DO THE EXPLAINING FOR YOU. LET IT. WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERS DOING -*LITERALLY*. WHAT ARE THEY HANDLING, WHAT ARE THEY READING. WHAT ARE THEY WATCHING ON TELEVISION, WHAT ARE THEY SEEING. IF YOU PRETEND THE CHARACTERS CANT SPEAK, AND WRITE A SILENT MOVIE, YOU WILL BE WRITING GREAT DRAMA. IF YOU DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF THE CRUTCH OF NARRATION, EXPOSITION, INDEED, OF SPEECH. YOU WILL BE FORGED TO WORK IN A NEW MEDIUM – TELLING THE STORY IN PICTURES (ALSO KNOWN AS SCREENWRITING) THIS IS A NEW SKILL. NO ONE DOES IT NATURALLY. YOU CAN TRAIN YOURSELVES TO DO IT, BUT YOU NEED TO START. I CLOSE WITH THE ONE THOUGHT: LOOK AT THE SCENE AND ASK YOURSELF “IS IT DRAMATIC? IS IT ESSENTIAL? DOES IT ADVANCE THE PLOT? ANSWER TRUTHFULLY. IF THE ANSWER IS “NO” WRITE IT AGAIN OR THROW IT OUT. IF YOU’VE GOT ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME UP. LOVE, DAVE MAMET. SANTA MONICA 19 OCTO 05. (IT IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW THE ANSWERS, BUT IT IS YOUR, AND MY, RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW AND TO ASK THE RIGHT Questions OVER AND OVER. UNTIL IT BECOMES SECOND NATURE. I BELIEVE THEY ARE LISTED ABOVE.)

I would really like to make some insightful comment. But what’s the point. He’s said it all. “IS IT DRAMATIC? IS IT ESSENTIAL? DOES IT ADVANCE THE PLOT? ANSWER TRUTHFULLY.”