Blogging and Twittering From 40,000 Feet In The Air

Right now, as you’re reading this, I’m on a plane on route to Shanghai, China. Those who are following me on Twitter would have also seen a few tweets about me having some fun on the airplane. For those who are wondering, no, Air Canada does not have WiFi in the sky. So, how am I posting those tweets and this blog post while I’m 40,000 feet in the air? The answer is the timestamp.

The WordPress Timestamp

WordPress has a timestamp feature which shows when a post went live. Normally, the time posted is the time you hit the publish button, but timestamp is user adjustable. Therefore, I can write a bunch of blog posts in advance and timestamp them to show up at different hours of the day.

Using the timestamp is extremely easy. Just write your post like normal but instead of hitting Publish, you edit the timestamp for the time you want to post to goes live, then hit publish. Your post won’t be on the blog front page until that time comes.


You’re reading this post now, but I actually wrote this a couple of days ago. I like to maintain a backlog of three to four posts in the timestamp queue. This way I know I have posts coming up if I enter one those β€œOMG! I have nothing to write about!” periods. The timestamp is a great way to keep the content on your blog flowing at an even pace while you’re away for a few days, or in my case, a month.

The Twitter Timestamp

To timestamp a twitter tweet, I use a service call Tweet Later. Like the WordPress timestamp, Tweet Later allows you to schedule your tweet to go live at a certain time and a certain date. The service is free and extremely easy to use. Simply write your tweet and then sent the time you want to tweet to go live. The rest is automatic.


With the WordPress and Tweet Later timestamp, I can keep the updates flowing and create the illusion that I’m blogging and twittering from the plane. Hopefully, Air Canada will gets WiFi in the sky soon so I’ll be able to really blog and tweet at 40,000 feet.

See you in Shanghai! I land in 10 hours.

33 thoughts on “Blogging and Twittering From 40,000 Feet In The Air”

  1. Gio says:

    So you misled us in the tweets xD

    1. With magicians, its all about the art of distraction to create the illusion! At least he let us in on his trick hehehe

      1. Tushar says:

        That’s something good magicians aren’t supposed to do!

  2. Very sneaky and clever at the same time, John. :p

    1. Sebastien says:

      Very clever but not very new.

      WordPress 2.7 lets you schedule posts instead of publishing them. Once you’ve entered the date the “publish” button turns into “schedule”.

  3. I’ll be looking forward to your pictures.

  4. Tyler says:

    Something about post-dating tweets to me seems to go against what Twitter is for.

    I’m going to assume all tweets from John are post dated from this point onward! lol

    1. Akmal Wardak says:

      Agreed. I don’t mind timestamping posts which is a smart thing to do but these “illusion” tweets are obnoxiously fake which i m not a big fan of, John. I would rather see no tweets than fake tweets.

      1. Sebastien says:

        Tweetlater is useful to tweet updates of upcoming events. This doesn’t mean they are fake tweets.

        The point in time in which the tweet is published is the time when it is relevant and useful, doesn’t matter what time it was written.

        1. Andrew says:

          Sebastian, but all that Kindle nonsense was lies. It never happened. John might not have even taken the Kindle out of his bag for all we know.

          It isn’t saving an event for later, it’s fiction to create an illusion that something tweetable has happened.

          As Akmal said, it’s better to see no tweets (like this) than fake tweets.

          Post-dating tweets to show the time you will probably arrive somewhere is not a problem but when it’s just a lie to make it look as if you are doing it right then and there, that’s when it’s a problem.

          1. Sebastien says:

            Completely agree Andrew. If the tweet is a lie than that is a different story.

            People can lie whether it’s a post dated tweet or not. We will never know.

            I don’t think post-dated tweets are a problem as long as it is in a candid manner.

          2. Jake Stone says:

            Just waiting for the first post-mortem tweets. I hope John is not trying to get this “The First” on his record sheet.

      2. I don’t think it’s that serious. Some people are making it sound like it’s a federal crime.

  5. SEO Tips says:

    I knew he would do something like this. This is what I am doing when I go to China in a couple of months, good idea I love the time stamp πŸ™‚

  6. So cool! Land safely in Shanghai.

  7. internet says:

    i laugh at these comments….not that they are funny but…well i forgot the word to mention….

  8. Luckily many airlines will probably have wifi within a couple of years anyways. Although, that’s probably not that great because all the business people who get some sleep on the plane will end up just having an extra 10 hours of straight work.

  9. firedupblog says:

    cool timestamps learned something new today….was totally unaware of it……thank you john chow πŸ™‚

  10. wow, you can time stamp tweets too, that’s awesome..I just tweeted this post:) Hope u’re enjoying your reads onboard!

  11. And here I thought I was going to see another first from The Chow.

  12. Dhiaqis says:

    Yes.. great planning. Have a nice trip John.

  13. game-girl says:

    I anticipate something new and interesting about China.

  14. Thats a pretty neat way to keep your post flow on.. πŸ™‚ Land safe in Sanghai, John πŸ™‚

  15. That’s very clever John. I’ve never had to travel lately so I’ve not had the chance to do this. But I’m sure it will come in handy when there is a chance. Hope you had a pleasant flight to China.


  16. Tushar says:

    You can also use the same feature to publish posts in the past.

    Spooky, eh?

  17. Tran Harry says:

    Damn not only is John a money making Guru, he’s got the ability to see into the future too now? Wow… Amazing… The next Nostradamus. lol

  18. Great tools. I knew about the WordPress time stamp, but I haven’t used Tweet Later yet. Even for those of us not on a transcontinental flight, Tweet Later looks like it would still be a good tool – might keep some of us Twitter addicts from feeling like we have to be signed on 24/7.

    Have a great trip!

  19. Ben Pei says:

    Lol thats kinda creepy too huh John.

  20. good one. Scheduled post huh

  21. Although I have used the built in wordpress scheduling post tactics I never thought about scheduling tweets to come to the blog. It’s actually an excellent idea to keep your twitter updated. Thanks for the heads up!

  22. counter says:

    We’ll all have access to that wifi on those international flights in a couple years. Couldn’t happen soon enough….

  23. I never knew there is a timestamp for the twitter. Thanks John, hope you had a good flight

  24. Sneaky move to get visitors to read this post πŸ™‚


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