Making Squidoo Lenses with Opera Mini on a Sony Ericsson Smartphone
Mobile Squidooing is almost possible
This lens is a practical experiment on using Squidoo with Opera Mini on a Sony Ericsson P990 smartphone.
[This lens was started on a Sony Ericsson P990 smartphone running the Opera Mini 4.2 web browser. Limitations of the phone, browser, or Squidoo Lens building Workshop have required the rest of this lens to be completed with a laptop running Firefox.]
[Update: I have upgraded the Opera Mini browser to version 5. The experience is different - better in some ways, not so good in others.]
Squidoo Mobile - Good idea?
Crafting a good Squidoo lens requires thought - an environment where you can collect your ideas and present them in peace and quiet. On the other hand, inspiration often comes when you are out and about.
Where do you like to Squidoo?
I had to enter this text with Firefox on a laptop.
Viewing many websites on Opera Mini on the Sony Ericsson P990 smartphone is possible, but occasionally technologies are used that are beyond the capabilities of the phone/browser. Viewing Squidoo lenses on phone is possible.
Starting the creation of a new lens is also possible, but currently editing it is not possible.
With the keyboard and predictive text on the Sony Ericsson P990, you can enter text quickly and easily with two thumb typing. Opera Mini lets you can see a lot of context because it opens an almost full screen window for text entry - good for flow when writing and editing large blocks of text. However, this is a problem when you need to enter captcha codes because the image with the almost impossible to read characters is hidden.
So what works and what doesn't work with Squidoo on Opera Mini on the Sony Ericsson P990?
You can use Intro Modules
The Intro Module was created on the phone
Entering text and uploading a picture in the Intro Module was possible and worked reasonably well.
I thought about using a complex set of mirrors to capture a self-image of the phone but it was much easier to grab a photo with a webcam on the laptop, send that image to the phone and then upload it. Opera Mini only allowed uploads from the phone memory (not the memory card). The photo uploaded OK but did not show immediately in the Lens building Workshop.
Note: I edited the Intro Module on the phone to add the photo. Some of the Intro Module text has since been edited on the laptop.
Text modules don't work reliably
This module was created on the phone but was not editable.
Does this work?
If you can get your text right first time, you might have success, but editing on the phone is unreliable. Sometimes the Save button works. Sometimes it doesn't.
You might want to upgrade your phone
The keyboard on my phone has letters worn off with lots of use. There are many newer smartphones and different technologies available. You might get better mobile Squidoo lens building with one of them.
Editing the Amazon Module works
The above Amazon module was edited on the phone
Creating a quick, basic lens on the phone to recommend an Amazon product is possible. The above Amazon module was created by default when the lens was built, and then edited to select the products (letting Amazon choose).
Guestbook Module Works
The above module was entered on the phone
The above Guestbook Module was created by default when the lens was built, but I could edit it with the phone.
Entering a comment into the Guestbook took two tries. The original comment was lost when the Guestbook form refreshed to ask more questions. The comment displays at the top of the page on the phone after clicking the Show All button to view comments.
Adding and Removing Modules Works
You can manage modules on the phone
Creating new Squidoo modules and removing ones you no longer want does work on the phone.
Moving modules around doesn't work because you can't drag and drop on the Opera Mini browser.
You can create and publish a lens on a mobile device!
Some of the Squidoo Workshop features (including Publish) are hidden at top of the page in the Opera Mini browser on the phone. Clicking on the + expands the list of options.
I haven't tested many of the options or features of Squidoo lens building on the Sony Ericsson P990 using Opera Mini. However if you get some inspiration and want to quickly build a lens on the run, it is possible.
Dashboard doesn't work properly
Some important options are missing
In Opera Mini on the Sony Ericsson P990, you can view the Squidoo Dashboard OK. However some important options are missing from the navigation. You can view the list of lenses, but the Edit Lens link is missing. If you visit the lens there is usually a link there to Edit this Lens, but only for published lenses. This means that you cannot edit unpublished lenses on the phone.