Let's Make It Easier to Blog on iOS with Plink for App.net

Plink is a picture uploader and image reference generator for iOS.

Success! This project was successfully funded on March 27, 2014

2,700 of 2,500 - 0 days remaining

Pyrite

5

Like hitting the long-distance 3-pointer with 2 seconds left in the game, you helped snatch a win from the clutches of defeat. Feel like a champion. Also, my personal thanks on App.net and Twitter, and I might hug you if we ever meet.

Bronze

10

My sincere—and wholly intangible—thanks, which will be posted on Twitter and App.net. You'll also receive a warm fuzzy feeling for knowing you helped make a useful tool available to everyone.

Silver

20

All of the above plus I will mail you a hand-written—and wholly tangible—thank-you card. Also, twice the warm fuzzy feeling.

Gold

50

All of the above plus your name in the app’s credits screen.

Platinum

100

All of the above plus access to the beta once one becomes available.

What Is Plink?

Plink is an iOS app that lets you upload images and insert them into your blog posts using Markdown or HTML. You can help me build it.

Using Plink

Upload an image

Launch Plink, tap the Upload button, and select an image. Plink uploads the image to the web.

Choose a reference type

Once uploaded, Plink will present you with a few options, including HTML Image Tag, Markdown Image Tag, and more. Select one to have the reference placed on your clipboard.

Paste your reference

Switch back to your text editor, paste the reference, and keep writing.

Automate the whole thing

Using an advanced editor like Editorial, you can automate the entire process using workflows thanks to Plink's URL scheme and support for x-callback-url.

See It In Action

We've created a short demo video showing how Plink works with Editorial. You can read more about it on our blog.

The Story

Plink, which stands for Picture LINK, came about after I grew frustrated with blogging on iOS devices. Uploading images and embedding them in posts is non-trivial thanks to frustrating blogging apps that provide limited options for photo storage hosts and poor defaults for automatic link insertion.

Like a lot of nerds, I write in Markdown, and I use a combination of Byword and Editorial to draft my posts. Editorial can be made to upload images to a CDN, but it’s difficult to set up.

I wanted something simpler that could provide an easy-to-configure way to insert images into my posts directly from my iPad or iPhone. And I wanted it to be something anyone could set up.

Thus, Plink was born.

How it works

Plink acts as a bridge between your text editor and your cloud storage provider. It’s an image uploader that leans heavily on URL schemes.

Any compatible application—a browser using a bookmarklet, Editorial via a workflow, Launch Center Pro, etc.—can launch Plink. When launched from another app, Plink immediately presents an image picker. When you select an image, it’s uploaded, your clipboard is populated with a reference to your picture, and you’re either returned to the article you launched Plink from or to a default text editor of your choosing.

Plink stores your photos online using the 10 GB of storage that comes with your App.net account (500 MB with a free account). Plink can generate a number of image references.

  • Plain URL
  • HTML image tag
  • Markdown image tag
  • HTML link to your image
  • Markdown link to your image

You can also set one of these as a default option so that every upload automatically places a specific type of reference to the image on your clipboard. Setting a default option speeds up your workflow (especially when using another app to launch Plink). You’re returned immediately after the upload finishes to your writing app so you can keep working.

Once your image is uploaded, all you have to do is paste the image reference into your document. Or, if you’re using an advanced editor like Editorial, you can choose to have the image reference inserted automatically via a workflow.

Plink helps you save time by automating what should be a simple task.

The Goal — $2,500

Plink has been a side project for me off and on for a couple of months. I’d love to finish it, but the only way I can justify doing so is if I can ensure the app will make money.

Given the niche audience for this app, I intend to launch Plink for free on the App Store. This funding campaign represents 100% of the money that Plink will make during its lifetime.

If you back Plink at any funding level, you'll automatically get a copy if we reach our goal.

The Stretch Goal — $3,500

If we reach our stretch goal of $3,500.00, I'll add support for hosting your images on Flickr, Photobucket, Amazon S3, and Rackspace's CDN. I’ll also have stickers made of the app’s icon, and everyone who backs the project will get a couple of them in the mail.

Frequently Asked Question

What happens if you don't meet the stretch goal?

Depending on the response to Plink, I'll add Flickr, Photobucket, Rackspace, and S3 support that can be unlocked via in-app purchase.

Why $2,500? Seems like a lot.

I arrived at this figure by taking an estimate of approximately how many hours I think it'll take to complete the project (20) and multiplying it by my typical freelance iOS development rate ($125). In essence, I'm treating the people who back this project as one client who I'm billing hourly.

What state is the app currently in?

It's a prototype right now--not even an alpha. But most of the hard work is already done (authentication, storing photos on App.net, retrieving a file list, etc.).

Here are two screenshots from the current build. One shows the authentication screen complete with ADN Passport support and a 1Password button (if you have 1Password installed--I took this screenshot with the simulator, so the icon isn't currently displayed). The other shows a list of recent images from my own ADN account.

Login View

View High Resolution Version

File List

View High Resolution Version

iPad File List

View High Resolution Version

The icons used in the UI are from the Essence set by Silvia Gatta of Icons & Coffee, and the typeface used throughout is Avenir Next.

Where can I find more info?

We've set up a website for Plink, and we've written a detailed blog post about the rationale behind Plink and what we hope to prove by running this campaign.

Success! This project was successfully funded on March 27, 2014

2,700 of 2,500 - 0 days remaining

Pyrite

5

Like hitting the long-distance 3-pointer with 2 seconds left in the game, you helped snatch a win from the clutches of defeat. Feel like a champion. Also, my personal thanks on App.net and Twitter, and I might hug you if we ever meet.

Bronze

10

My sincere—and wholly intangible—thanks, which will be posted on Twitter and App.net. You'll also receive a warm fuzzy feeling for knowing you helped make a useful tool available to everyone.

Silver

20

All of the above plus I will mail you a hand-written—and wholly tangible—thank-you card. Also, twice the warm fuzzy feeling.

Gold

50

All of the above plus your name in the app’s credits screen.

Platinum

100

All of the above plus access to the beta once one becomes available.


Project by

Jeff Mueller @jeffmueller