Instagram to Flickr to Feedburner to WordPress

scottperezfox posted a photo:

Instagram to Flickr to Feedburner to WordPress

As the title of this post indicates, I have discovered/hacked a way to send my photos from Instagram to this WordPress blog automatically.

Instagram doesn't have an officially sanctioned WordPress plugin, and third-party plugin developers haven't created one because Instagram doesn't provide an easy-to-digest RSS feed. So a workaround was required.

First, I configured my Instagram app on the iPhone so that images are sent to Flickr. They are added to my Flickr account with the image's title taken from my Description. Flickr has its own Description field which, unfortunately, is blank by default. Logging into my Flickr page and adding a description will, supposedly, update the end post and include this new description as the post body text.

Unlike Instagram, Flickr does have an RSS feed, but it's a little strange. For example, the photostream RSS for my account is as follows:

feed://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?id=14718553@N00&lang=en-us&format=rss_200

So while a browser may be able to load that URL, WordPress isn't. To serve as an intermediary, I created a feed on Feedburner, now part of Google. Feedburner produces a much tidier RSS feed, in my case available at:

feed://feeds.feedburner.com/scottperezfox_flickr

Now I'm finally ready to import it into WordPress. There isn't a way to augment my WordPress posts with an RSS feed, so a plugin is required. In this instance, I used something called FeedWordPress, which is very powerful with many options, but not the most intuitive configuration. (Typical open-source.)

So in the end, posts are created from that feed. The title of each post is the description as entered into my phone on the Instragram app. The photo is seen as a smaller version (a product of Flickr's feed) and clicking the image will launch you to the Flickr page for that image directly. Not bad, but there's some room for improvement.

A native Instagram plugin, I imagine, will allow me to add a separate description in addition to the title. Hopefully, it will also list the location of the image, and perhaps provide a FourSquare or location on Google Maps. Also, you'd be able to determine the image size, and clicking the image would launch the Instagram page, not Flickr. Hopefully Instagram will add these partner tools, but I'm not holding my breath. The site doesn't even allow us to log in and configure our account. There is no username page where one can see all the photos taken by a specific person, and they don't yet have Blackberry or Android versions. They're generally well thought of, but these are annoyances indeed.

The whole effort here is to add more content to this blog. I've been very lazy in both taking new photos, and in back-posting the few images I've snapped. The result is that my readers (mainly my mother) are left wondering what the hell I've been doing with my life. That makes two of us.