Tag Archives: wordpress

Tumblr Hits Major Milestones, Plans to Start Generating Revenue

Tumblr, one of the simplest blogging platforms around, is doing really well. Situated between WordPress, which requires a bit more effort to create and organize content, and Twitter, which requires almost no effort but also doesn’t offer many features, Tumblr is the perfect tool for users who want to have a blog with photos, videos, and other content embedded, but simply hasn’t got the time or the will to struggle with a complex blogging platform.

How is this working out for them? Well, according to the neat infographic which they’ve sent us (see below), their traffic and user base is growing fast, and they’ve recently hit some major milestones.

Compared to Twitter, Tumblr is still a small dot on the radar, but it’s definitely growing fast enough to make an impact. The Tumblr team isn’t slacking on the features, either; they recently added the option to add static pages to your blog, as well as dead simple, direct video uploads.

Last but not least, Tumblr plans to launch two revenue generating features next month. Details are scarce (all we know is they’ll be powered by the widget, pictured below, but with constant talk of Twitter’s revenue generating plans (which are still completely open to interpretation), it’ll be interesting to see how Tumblr plans to tackle the issue. Its success (or lack thereof) might pave the way for microblogging networks (although Tumblr arguably stands in the middle, between blogging and microblogging), an area traditionally devoid of revenue.

Tags: blog, blogging, tumblr


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Tumblr Hits Major Milestones, Plans to Start Generating Revenue

WordPress Down: WordPress.com Experiences Outage

As the tweets pour in, WordPress confirms that the WordPress.com hosted service is down.

The company is working on restoring the service as we speak. We’ll update this post with more news about the downtime as it comes in.

Do you have any sites affected by today’s WordPress.com outage?

[UPDATE]: WordPress CEO Matt Mullenweg posted an update on WP’s Twitter account that reads: “We’re investigating the source & most expedient fix. I hope to have everyone’s blogs back & running as soon as possible.”

Tags: blogging, outage, social media, trending, WordPress, wordpress down, WP


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WordPress Down: WordPress.com Experiences Outage

7 Superb Social Plugins for WordPress

This series is supported by Rackspace, the better way to do hosting. Learn more about Rackspace’s hosting solutions here.

If you use WordPress for your website or blog, there are lots of ways you can connect it to social media, and connect social media to your site via those nifty plugins. The right plugins can make social content management easier and reduce friction when it comes to reader sharing.

Whether you’re looking to easily share your content on social networks, make it easier for others to share your content, or simply make your own site more engaging, here are 7 great plugins that will make your WordPress site more social.


1. CommentLuv

Reader comments can be the lifeblood of some blogs, and in many cases they foster an ecosystem of links that can generate a mini social network around a particular topic or community.

With the CommentLuv plugin, you can encourage more comments on your posts by giving a bit of link power back to your readers. The plugin will pull in a link to the latest post from the commenter’s own blog, based on the URL he or she submitted when commenting. It’s a simple and clutter-free way for comment traffic to flow, and provides dynamic, up-to-date links that your readers can automatically share with the rest of your audience.


2. Add To Any

The classic Add To Any menu incorporates over 100 social networks and bookmarking sites in a compact, drop-down list. You can customize the opening menu to display the most common or preferred sites. There’s even an option for users to easily bookmark your post in their own browser.

Depending on your theme, it may not be the most elegant solution, but it’s a great catch-all that will enable users to spread your links around any corner of the social web. For a similar social bookmarking solution, also check out Bookmarkify.


3. GD Star Rating

As we’ve noted before, user reviews are a great way for visitors to engage with your posts or products. The GD Star Rating plugin for WordPress can integrate a 10-star rating system into your site for posts and comments, and is highly customizable for advanced users.

With some smart tweaking, this plugin might be a great social element for an e-commerce site, or even a blog that reviews products itself to determine which posts are most helpful to readers.

For a great looking 5-star rating system, check out PollDaddy’s WordPress plugin.


4. Sociable

Sociable is a nice way to add social sharing options for your readers. With 99 different social networks and bookmarking services to choose from, you can easily integrate your readers’ favorites and provide them with one-click sharing. Styling options also ensure that your new sharing bar is aesthetically agreeable with your theme.

In addition to WordPress, Sociable also comes in Blogger and standard HTML flavors that you can grab here.


5. WP Wall

The WP Wall plugin harkens back to the days of ye olde guestbook, where visitors could leave public messages on a site or blog that didn’t pertain to specific posts. In the age of the Facebook wall, this widget adds a fun way for readers to leave general feedback and shout outs for all to see in the sidebar.


6. Tweetable Twitter

If Twitter is your social network of choice, or the place where most of your blog traffic comes from, you may want to consider an integrated Twitter publishing tool.

The Tweetable Twitter plugin is a versatile backend tool that connects WordPress publishing to your Twitter account with a multitude of features. You can set administrator privileges, use a variety of URL shorteners for links, incorporate a Tweetmeme button on posts, utilize auto-tweet functions (if desired), and integrate analytics campaigns.

For another feature-rich Twitter publishing option, check out the Twitter Publisher plugin.


7. Google Buzz Buttons

If you’re looking to tame the newest network on the block, Google Buzz, there are already a handful of great tools for WordPress integration.

One of the best looking and most straightforward is the “Buzz This” button that we use here at Mashable. This simple Buzz implementation will send your links straight to a visitor’s Google Reader shared items, and thus his or her Buzz profile if connected.


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Rackspace is the better way to do hosting. No more worrying about web hosting uptime. No more spending your time, energy and resources trying to stay on top of things like patching, updating, monitoring, backing up data and the like. Learn why.


More WordPress Resources from Mashable:

- 14 Fantastic Free WordPress Themes
10 WordPress Plugins to Help Build Community
HOW TO: Build a More Beautiful Blog
Top 10 WordPress Plugins to Promote Your Social Media Profiles
Top 10 Tips for WordPress Plugin Developers
Embeddable Waves: The Google Wave WordPress Plugin

Tags: blog, blogging, BLOGS, buzz, google buzz, List, Lists, plugins, twitter, web design, Web Development, web development series, WordPress, wordpress plugins


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7 Superb Social Plugins for WordPress

HOW TO: Integrate Google Buzz Into Your WordPress Blog

We’ve discussed how you can integrate Buzz with your other social networks, but what about integrating Buzz with your blog? If you use a self-hosted WordPress blog (sorry, WordPress.com users), there are already a variety of Google Buzz plugins and add-ons available.

While it’s clear that people are really taking to using Buzz to share content and communicate, the service will undoubtedly reach more users as its sharing tools are integrated into other social sites. From buttons to social stream in your side bar, here’s how you can integrate Buzz with your WordPress blog.


Google Buzz Buttons


Mashable started sporting some nifty Buzz buttons a few days ago and lots of our readers have wanted to know how to add a similar feature to their own blogs. As it stands right now, how our Google Buzz buttons work (and how the buttons other sites are using also work) is that they create a share link from that post to Google Reader. As long as Google Reader is connected with your Google Buzz account, your publicly shared items will also be shared on Buzz.

Already, a number of enterprising WordPress plugin developers have answered the call to add Google Buzz buttons to WordPress posts.

Let’s take a look:


Google Buzz Button


Internet Techies created the Google Buzz Button plugin that allows you to add a “Buzz This” button to each of your WordPress posts. That icon probably looks pretty familiar — that’s because the button was designed here at Mashable (though it isn’t the same plugin).

The plugin options are relatively limited — you can choose what “rel” attribute you include with the link (the default is “nofollow”) and you can choose to display the button before or after your post content. You can also specify the icon’s height and width. Making some changes to your WordPress theme’s CSS options, you could further customize the appearance of the button, but as it stands, it’s a pretty basic (and easy) way to add a Buzz button. If you want to add Buzz manually to only certain posts, there is a template tag that you can add to those posts.


WP Google-buzz


Another button plugin option is WP Google-buzz from Arpit Shah. This button is extremely similar to the Google Buzz Button plugin, but it adds a few more options. You can choose to show the button before or after content or to add it to posts manually, but there are also options for what style button you want to use. Depending on how you have your blog setup, you might want to use a different size or style of button.


WPBuzzer


Hameedulah’s WPBuzzer is the most robust of the Google Buzz button plugins as of right now. The style of the button is almost identical to what Mashable and the Google Buzz Button use (albeit, not quite as clean), but the options are where this plugin really shines.

You can choose where you want your buttons to appear (on posts, on pages, on the home page, in your RSS feed), whether your want the button to appear before or after the post, the target for the button (a new window or a pop-up share option) and even the CSS style. You can also choose to use a small or large button.

The biggest feature is that you can track share counts (just like we do at Mashable) if you have a Bit.ly API key and login.


Light Social


The Light Social plugin takes a slightly different approach to the Google Buzz button. Light Social is a plugin that inserts a set of social share links at the bottom of each of your WordPress posts. This way links to Digg, Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all automatically at the bottom of the post. The developer of Light Social updated the plugin to include a Google Buzz icon and share link as well. If you want to add lots of social options to your posts — Light Social is a good approach.


Buzz In Your Sidebar


It’s one thing to let other people share your content to their buzz accounts, but a big advantage of Buzz is that you can aggregate your social activities into one place as well. If you want to share your Buzz content on your blog, check out the Google Buzz ER plugin. Google Buzz ER is extremely cool. It’s a widget that will display your public Buzz content. Just enter in your username and define how many Buzz entries you want to display and drag the widget to your designated choice in your blog.

That’s it! Now you have Buzz in your sidebar! Plus, as an added benefit, other users can click on “comment” to immediately respond to what you share. As of right now, the Buzz API doesn’t allow other people’s comments to become viewable, so only your public content is going to appear on your blog.


Buzz Your Comments


There are a number of different all-inclusive comment solutions for WordPress — there’s Echo, Disqus (which we use here at Mashable) and IntenseDebate. IntenseDebate is owned by Automattic, the people behind WordPress.com and some of the main contributors to the WordPress.org project. So it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s the first of the solutions to offer Buzz integration into its service.

If you use IntenseDebate on your blog, you can now easily add a Buzz It button to the top of your comment form. This won’t let people Buzz their own comments (we expect something like that will come in the future), but it adds another “Share on Buzz” option for your post to your visitors. If you use IntenseDebate, you can activate the Google Buzz This plugin by enabling it in the Plugins Directory.


Keep Your Eyes Peeled


As Google Buzz continues to evolve (remember, it isn’t even a week old), more and more integration options are going to sprout up. Let us know what sort of integration options you’d like to see in the future in the comments! If we missed one of your favorite Buzz plugins, let us know!

Tags: buzz, Google, google buzz, how to, List, Lists, WordPress, wordpress plugins


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HOW TO: Integrate Google Buzz Into Your WordPress Blog

14 Fantastic Free WordPress Themes

This series is supported by Rackspace, the better way to do hosting. Learn more about Rackspace’s hosting solutions here.

Whether you’re a web developer whose clients need a great look and feel for their blogs, or just someone eager to bring a fresh new look to your own web site, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of free WordPress themes out there to consider. A number of those themes have been built by professional designers and talented amateurs, and are as easy on the eyes as they are easy on the wallet.

Whether you need a great photoblog layout, personal lifestream, or more business-oriented design, there’s almost surely an existing theme out there worth checking out for your next blog or blog upgrade. And if you’re already a developer or are willing to acquire a small set of template editing skills, you can always modify an existing theme to taste.

Have a look at some of our picks for great themes to either drop in as is or use as a starting point for your own tweaking and twiddling. Keep in mind this is only the tip of the iceberg — be sure to let us know about your other favorite themes in the comments!


1. Irresistible


For a unique personal blog look and feel, check out the free Irresistible theme from the folks at Woo Themes. It features dedicated spots for your photos, videos, and events lifestream along with your typical blog content. Featuring a nice, clean layout, this theme offers something a bit different from your typical 3-column blog design.


2. Demet


For a more magazine-style theme, check out the free premium Demet theme. This 3-column layout is fixed width and banner-ready for 125

WordPress To Posterous Users: Graduate to a Full Blog

In an effort to remind you that WordPress can be just as flexible and e-mail-friendly as Posterous, the company has released a Posterous importer for users who want to “graduate” from the mini-blogging site to “a full blog with the features, flexibility and reliability of WordPress.com.”

The new WordPress.com utility can be found via the Tools section within the Dashboard. All that’s required to run the import is your Posterous host name, user name and password, and it can import all of the following: posts, tags, comments and images.

On the flip side, Posterous has supported the inverse functionalityimport from WordPress (and other blog platforms) — for several months, along with an autopost to WordPress option.

Now that you can get your content both in and out of Posterous and WordPress, it seems as if there’s a battle brewing between the two services, which serve overlapping purposes but offer unique advantages. We see the value in both, but we’re curious if WordPress’ we’re-just-as-dead-simple-as-the-other-guys strategy will convince you to switch over. Share your thoughts in the comments.

Tags: posterous, WordPress


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WordPress To Posterous Users: Graduate to a Full Blog

WordPress 1.0 Now Available in BlackBerry’s App Store

Just days after releasing WordPress for Android, the WordPress team has also just released WordPress for BlackBerry 1.0. WordPress for BlackBerry has been in beta since July 2009, but the 1.0 version adds support for VideoPress, better commenting and a place in the BlackBerry App World.

You can check out this video to get a taste of what WordPress for BlackBerry is all about:

Version 1.0 includes some awesome features, including the ability to record and upload video from your phone — plus support for 3gp and 3g2 for older BlackBerry devices.

If you haven’t given WordPress for BlackBerry a try or if you just need to upgrade, you can grab it for free from the BlackBerry App World.

As a former BlackBerry user, I think it’s wonderful that this app is finally out. Despite being such a popular platform, the BlackBerry often gets overlooked when it comes to apps — even apps that can take advantage of some of BlackBerry’s best features, like its keyboard.

BlackBerry users, do you use your device to blog? Let us know!

Tags: blackberry, Mobile 2.0, WordPress, wordpress for blackberry


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WordPress Launches on Android

At the very beginning of this year, we reported on rumors that a WordPress Android app was on its way. Today, that rumor became a reality: WordPress for Android 1.0 has been released to the Android Market.

Like the WordPress app for the iPhone, WordPress for Android works with both WordPress.com blogs and self-hosted WordPress.org blogs. You can manage multiple sites, add or edit content, and also manage and be notified of comments.

Check out the video WordPress has created:

If parts of WordPress for Android seem familiar to veteran Android users, it might be because it’s based on the popular wpToGo app. WpToGo actually served as the foundation for WordPress for Android, and the separate project will be discontinued, with all future efforts moving toward this new “official” client.

If you want to contribute to the WordPress for Android development process, you can check out dev.android.wordpress.org.

What’s your favorite blogging app for Android? Let us know!

Tags: android, Android apps, Mobile 2.0, software, WordPress


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WordPress Launches on Android

5 Essential Tools for the Mobile Journalist

The multi-function playground that is the smartphone has shrunk the capabilities of a van-sized 1970’s news team into the pocket of a single reporter. Today, front-page news can stream from any individual with a cell phone camera and a Twitter account, as it did during Iran’s election protests last summer. Today, major news outlets, such as CNN, have crowdsourced parts of their newsroom to locally-savvy citizen journalists, often armed with little more than a camcorder.

In addition to the standard smartphone equipment, such as a camera and social networking applications, we’ve compiled a list of five additional tools that can help a single journalist rival a fully-functional news team. With these tools, a mobile journalist can record data, edit clips, and broadcast polished stories as events unfold.


1. Voice Recorder/Google Voice

google voice logoA smartphone microphone doubles as a remarkably good interviewing device. Built to filter out ambient noise, it can be held at a comfortable length from an interviewee’s face or be left on a table. Best of all, cell phones are so ubiquitous that they seem less intrusive than bulky recording equipment. “[I]t was frightening for most people when a full TV crew was on site for an interview,” said Frank Barth Nilsen of Mojoevolution.com, a blog dedicated to mobile journalism. “It’s not so frightening to be interviewed by a man or woman with only a cell phone. It’s small and most people are used to being photographed by a cell phone.”

For times when face-to-face interviewing is not possible, Google Voice is a handy alternative for teleconferences. Subscribers to Google Voice are given a unique number, which forwards calls to a landline or cell phone, and stores voicemails on an easily accessible website. Perhaps the best feature is integrated voice-recording for inbound calls, and, like voice mail, the entire conversation can be retrieved from anywhere via the web.


2. Ustream

In December, Apple approved its first live-streaming iPhone application, Ustream Broadcaster. Users of the popular video website Ustream can upload audio and video in real-time. In addition to streaming multimedia, you can now use Social Stream to integrate the experience into popular social media websites. Depending on the connection, Ustream Broadcaster can be pretty choppy. But, for breaking news, even lower-quality real-time video can send a powerful message.


3. Reeldirector

Reeldirector is a video editing suite for the iPhone that can trim and join clips, add titles, and embed sound. Though editing on your phone for broadcast is probably not something journalists will need or want to do often, the app is perfect for creating a montage of short street interviews or key clips.


4. Fast Thumbs and Sync-able Memos

Why carry around a notebook and pen when a fully functional keyboard is always within arms reach? Though it takes some practice, thumb typing can record information as fast, if not faster, than traditional handwriting. Below are six super-fast typing tips from the world’s fastest texters.

Once you’ve typed-up a good story, you’ll want to make sure all that hard work is safe. Applications like Notespark and Evernote sync notes to a remote server so that even if your cell phone is lost while traveling, all your work is preserved.


5. WordPress

In the age of the Internet, a breaking news story can be as much about publication speed as it is about quality journalism. With the WordPress application for the iPhone, journalists can patch together analysis and multimedia and post it to a blog without ever touching a computer. Even for journalists who rely on an editor to publish stories, a WordPress post can give an editor a working layout for how all the information should flow.


Conclusion

Today, everything a journalist needs to publish a story is only a few clicks away. In addition to speedy publication, inexpensive reporting allows less-endowed news outfits to blanket an area with more reporters. For instance, at Penn State, an unofficial campus newspaper, Onward State, is taking on the century-old university standby The Daily Collegian. According to sources at Onward State, a combination of mobile journalism and social media has helped the rogue publication become a competitor to the more established, award-winning official newspaper.

From college campuses to the streets of Tehran, a combination of low costs and hyper-local resourcefulness is democratizing the world of news journalism, putting the power of the press, literally, into the hands of every citizen.


More journalism resources from Mashable:


- Mashable’s Social Media Guide for Journalists
8 Things to Avoid When Building a Community
7 Ways News Media are Becoming More Collaborative
10 News Media Content Trends to Watch in 2010
8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist
10 Ways Journalism Schools Are Teaching Social Media

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, MotoEd


Reviews: Evernote, Google Voice, WordPress, iStockphoto, ustream

Tags: citizen journalism, evernote, Google Voice, iphone, journalism, Mobile 2.0, News, notespark, reporter, reporting, ustream, WordPress


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5 Essential Tools for the Mobile Journalist

HOW TO: Build a More Beautiful Blog

This series is supported by Webdesigner Depot, a popular web design blog covering tutorials, design trends, blogging and inspirational posts. You can visit WDD at webdesignerdepot.com and follow WDD on Twitter @designerdepot.

blogs imageWhether you’re blogging for business or pleasure, now is the time to take your little corner of the web to the next level. Social media makes your blog more visible and valuable than ever, and the amount of resources available to beautify and streamline your blog is enormous, and ever growing.

The best part is, you don’t have to be a designer or a programmer to create a great looking blog, but you should know where to find the right resources, and how to align your blog’s design with its purpose.


Learn Some HTML

We all wish the web was 100% drag and drop, but we’re not quite there yet. You can get away with pushing the knobs and levers on the back-end for a while, but you may never get your blog to look exactly how you envision it without knowing a little bit of HTML.

A basic understanding of the web’s nuts and bolts will allow you to make custom design tweaks, fix template problems, and format your posts more precisely. Rest assured, there’s no need to sign up for classes. Everything you need to know about the web is right here on the web.

A great place to start is W3Schools, a site that provides great free tutorials on web development. The HTML tutorial covers exactly the core basics you should know. While you won’t need to code your new blog design from the ground up, understanding how tags, text formatting, and embedding work will be extremely valuable when you want to start customizing the pre-built boxes and widgets on your site.

Blog customization is an experimental, learn-by-doing process. With a little bit of coding knowledge, a wealth of options will be open to you. If there’s something you’d like to achieve, or something that’s not quite working in your template, a Google Search can be your best friend. Chances are, someone else has had the same problem, and posted an answer or code snippet on the web that you can use.


Find the Right Template

The world of blog design has come of age, and the web is bursting with beautiful, free design resources that are easy to plug right into your platform of choice. There’s no need to settle for simple color scheme changes or built-in layouts. Brilliant designers are sharing their custom-built templates on the web in droves.

Here are a few resources that you can browse in your search for the perfect design. Not sure which platform to set up your blog on? Hopefully some of the designs cataloged on these sites will inspire you in one direction or another.


WordPress

WordPress Theme Directory

Free WordPress Themes


Blogger

Deluxe Templates

btemplates.com


Tumblr

Tumblr Theme Garden


Posterous

Posterous Themes

Note that Tumblr themes are also compatible with Posterous.


Layout

Shopping for your template can be a lot of fun, but as you start narrowing down your top choices, it’s time to ask yourself: What is the purpose of my blog, and how can the design facilitate it?

Think about utility and user experience when choosing your layout.

Will you be embedding lots of YouTube videos or large graphic elements in your posts? Then perhaps a one or two column template, with lots of horizontal space, is your best bet.

Are you planning to display a lot of content side by side, with links to other posts and advertising? Consider a three column template.

The key to good blog design is to strike a balance between content and clutter. You want to present yourself artfully, without being distracting.


One Column

Simple and straightforward, a one column blog is all about the posts, with no sidebars or other distractions. If the most important content on your blog is always at the very top, a one column layout might be a great choice.

Blue Basic (WordPress)

Terminal Flashback (Tumblr)


Two Column

The blogging standard these days, two column layouts leave plenty of real estate for your content, but also a lot for sidebars full of links, contact info, and other information your readers might find useful.

356 Days of Astronomy (WordPress)

Futura (Tumblr)


Three Column

Use three columns if you plan to spread lots of content, links, and ads out onto your page. But, be wary of clutter. Be sure to choose a three column layout with ample spacing and breathing room for content.

Typography (Blogger)

Majestic (Blogger)


Outside the Box

For something a little more interesting, break out of the column mold and consider some unique layouts like these.

Art In My Coffee (Tumblr)

Gondaba (Tumblr)


Be a Layout Sleuth

Have you stumbled upon a blog design that you’ve absolutely fallen in love with? It’s possibly a template that you might be able to use for your own blog. If so, there are a few ways to figure out where it came from, and how to get it.

Many templates are free under a Creative Commons license, and as such, include a link back to the source or designer. Scroll to the very bottom of the blog’s home page and look for a template attribution. There you may find the name of the theme, a link where to find it, and the platform on which the blog is hosted (WordPress, Blogger, etc.).

If there’s no attribution on the page itself, a little detective work can help. On the blog’s home page, use your browser to view the source code. There may be clues, including the blog platform, attribution notes about the template, and possibly a URL where you can find it. Use the “Find” function (Control + F in Windows, Apple + F on a Mac) to search for key words like Theme, Template, Tumblr, or WordPress to find any clues in the code.

Of course not all templates are free. Some are custom built, or purchased from designers, and won’t necessarily have attributions.


Make It Your Own

Now that you’ve implemented your beautiful new blog template, it looks exactly like the 3,000 other users who have downloaded the same one.

Use your blog’s back-end bells and whistles, in combination with your new HTML knowledge, to add your own brand to the design. The first thing you can do is add a simple logo or moniker in the header of your blog.

Find the box, widget, or code at the top of your blog that contains the template graphic, and replace it with your own. Be sure to keep the size and shape of the image consistent with the template to avoid layout issues. The key to making it ‘fit’ into your new design is to use complimentary colors and fonts.

Sample the color(s) from your new design and input it into Color Scheme Designer 3, a great tool that will generate complimentary and tertiary colors you can use for headers and additional graphic elements.

If you’re not a designer, simple is better. Let your new template do the talking, and keep your header image clean and basic. Looking for a great logo font to express your blog’s content? Check out 1001 Free Fonts and FontSquirrel for some great looking freebies.


For the Non-Designer: Go Minimalist

If you’re not design-minded, but in the market for a slick looking blog that you can manage aesthetically, think simple. Minimalist themes often use neutral colors, clean layouts, and lots of white space, making them ideal for easy customization.

Don’t fret over color schemes and texture cohesion. Simply pop your logo into a good minimalist theme and let the white space speak for itself. Check out these examples.

Shalom*Typo (WordPress)

Wu Wei (WordPress)

Expi (Blogger)


Need More Inspiration?

The blogosphere is jam packed with extraordinary designs — clever, functional, and just plain gorgeous. Even if you’re already set with your own new layout, it’s always fun to just kick back and enjoy the creative work of others. Here are some more designs that may get your ideas and creativity churning.

Work Awesome

App Boy

Paul Giacherio

Have any more tips on building a more beautiful blog? Be sure to share them in the comments below.


Series supported by Web Designer Depot

Webdesigner Depot is one of the most popular web design blogs in the world. It covers tutorials, design trends, blogging as well as inspirational posts. It’s run by Walter Apai, a web designer from Vancouver, Canada. The blog is a great resource for both beginners and advanced designers looking to expand and improve their knowledge. The site is visited by Fortune 500 companies and is used as a reference by many design schools. Visited by almost 2 million readers per month, WDD is a prime resource for both graphic and web designers. Visit WDD at webdesignerdepot.com. Follow on Twitter: twitter.com/designerdepot. Subscribe to RSS feed: webdesignerdepot.com/rss.htm.


More design resources from Mashable:

- HOW TO: Create Custom Backgrounds for Twitter, YouTube, & MySpace
Oprah’s Designer Nate Berkus Tackles Twitter Backgrounds
A Guide to Mobile Web Design Tips and Tricks
85+ of the Best Twitterers Designers Should Follow
100 Great Resources for Design Inspiration
5 Ways Social Media Changed Fashion in 2009
20 Creative Apps For Your iPhone

Tags: blog, blogger, blogger templates, blogging, design, layout, posterous, templates, themes, tumblr, tumblr themes, web design, web design tips series, WordPress, wordpress themes

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HOW TO: Build a More Beautiful Blog

HootSuite Now Lets You Update Your WordPress Blog

HootSuite, the popular Twitter app geared towards businesses and power users, has just issued yet another update to their web-based client, featuring the ability to post to the WordPress.com blogging platform, URL and content previews, and trending topic explanations.

The new WordPress.com functionality is powered by the newly released WordPress Twitter API, and eventually you’ll also be able to post to your self-hosted WordPress blog. The feature doesn’t limit you 140 character updates, and you can include URLs, photos and files in your updates. Setup is simple and merely requires that you enter your WordPress login credentials from the Settings panel. When you’re done, writing a blog post will be as simple as posting a tweet.

We’re also quite fond of the new URL and rich media content previews, which make decoding short URLs and previewing content a convenience that will save you tons of unnecessary clicks. You’ll notice that now in HootSuite each link has a plus icon next to it. Simply click that icon to get a good look at the content at the destination URL. Not only is this new feature a cool addition for viewing photos and the like, but it’s also one that will help prevent you from falling victim to malicious Twitter phishing attacks.

You can check out HootSuite’s posting to WordPress functionality in the video clip below:

Tags: hootsuite, Mobile 2.0, twitter, WordPress


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HootSuite Now Lets You Update Your WordPress Blog

WEBMAIL WINS: 70% Prefer Gmail to Outlook

This week, we asked you to make a choice about the web’s oldest form of communication: email. We pitted Microsoft’s Outlook, standard-bearer of desktop email software and businesses worldwide, against Google’s Gmail, the webmail software that continues to innovate how we use and manage our inboxes.

After over 5000 votes, you’ve spoken loud and clear. The winner ….

… is Gmail by a landslide. With 3684 votes (a full 70% of the vote), Gmail has trounced Microsoft Outlook, which garnered only 980 ballots (19%). The remaining 11% of you called the battle a tie.

Clearly desktop email is going the way of the dinosaur for the universal accessibility of webmail. This is definitely what Google is hoping for as it continues with its plan to destroy the desktop. For now, let us know what you think of the dichotomy of email on the desktop and the web in the comments.

Who would win in a fight: Google Gmail or Microsoft Outlook?(polls)


Web Faceoff: Overall Results


Week 1:
- Mozilla Firefox vs. Google Chrome
- WINNER: Firefox, 4600 votes (Chrome: 3310 votes, Tie: 911 votes)

Week 2:
- Tumblr vs. Posterous
- WINNER: Tumblr, 1809 votes (Posterous: 1496 votes, Tie: 256 votes)

Week 3:
- Pandora vs. Last.fm
- WINNER: Last.fm, 1187 votes (Pandora: 1156 votes, Tie: 122 votes)

Week 4:
- Twitter vs. Facebook
- WINNER: Facebook, 2484 votes (Twitter: 2061 votes, Tie: 588 votes)

Week 5:
- WordPress vs. Typepad
- WINNER: WordPress, 2714 votes (Typepad: 267 votes, Tie: 357 votes)

Week 6:
- Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard
- WINNER: Windows 7, 3632 votes (Snow Leopard: 3278 votes, Tie: 121 votes)

Week 7:
- TweetDeck vs. Seesmic Desktop
- WINNER: TweetDeck, 3294 votes (Seesmic Desktop: 1055 votes, Tie: 260 votes)

Week 8:
- Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs
- WINNER: Microsoft Office, 1365 votes (Google Docs: 994 votes, Tie: 315 votes)

Week 9:
- Apple iPhone vs. Google Android
- WINNER: Google Android, 3323 votes (Apple iPhone: 1494 votes, Tie: 228 votes)

Week 10:
- AT&T vs. Verizon
- WINNER: Verizon, 1161 votes (AT&T: 538 votes, Tie: 118 votes)

Week 11:
- Google vs. Bing
- WINNER: Google, 2180 votes (Bing: 519 votes, Tie: 97 votes)

Week 12:
- iPod Touch/iPhone vs. Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP
- WINNER: iPod Touch/iPhone, 704 votes (Sony PSP: 639 votes, Nintendo DS: 482 votes, Tie: 108 votes)

Week 13:
- Digg vs. Reddit vs. StumbleUpon
- WINNER: Digg, 14,762 votes (Reddit: 11,466 votes, StumbleUpon: 2507 votes, Tie: 1032 votes)

Week 14:
- Old versus new Twitter retweets
- WINNER: Old style retweets, 1625 votes (New style retweets: 699 votes, Tie: 227 votes)

Week 15:
- Gmail vs. Outlook
- WINNER: Gmail, 3684 votes (Outlook: 980 votes, Tie: 590 votes)


Reviews: Bing, Chrome, Digg, Facebook, Firefox, Gmail, Google, Google Docs, Microsoft Outlook, Pandora, Posterous, Seesmic Desktop, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, TweetDeck, Twitter, TypePad, WordPress

Tags: gmail, Google, microsoft, microsoft outlook, Outlook, poll, web faceoff


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WEBMAIL WINS: 70% Prefer Gmail to Outlook

WordPress Android App Coming Soon [RUMOR]

It’s still in the rumour stages with no official word yet from the organization, but the blog software platform WordPress has set up a blog at the android.wordpress.org domain, Blog Herald notes.

They did the same for the existing mobile WordPress versions for iPhone and Blackberry, which points strongly to an app in development for those with Android phones.

With the launch of Google’s shiny new Nexus One Android phone in all likelihood just around the corner on January 5, we wonder if WordPress plans to capitalize on the Android buzz by announcing the new app on the same day. Even if not then, it’s probably pretty safe for Android owners to start getting their hopes up that a WordPress app is coming up for the platform in the not-too-distant future.

What features would you like to see in a WordPress app for Android?

Tags: android, apps, Mobile 2.0, WordPress


More here:
WordPress Android App Coming Soon [RUMOR]

E-mail Faceoff: Gmail vs. Outlook

Last week in our Web Faceoff series, we took a look at one of the newest forms of web communication: the Twitter retweet. This week, though, we’ve decided to look at one of the oldest: e-mail.

E-mail has been around in one form or another since the 1960s, before the Internet was even born. Today, it is the most crucial tool for communication online. There are thousands of tools for e-mail now, but this week we’re specifically pitting desktop e-mail vs. webmail by having you vote between Google Gmail and Microsoft Outlook.

Microsoft has dominated e-mail for years. Hotmail is one of the most popular web e-mail services, while Outlook remains the most popular desktop tool for reading and managing the inbox. Gmail on the other hand represents the rapid advance of online e-mail technology, which allows you to access your inbox from anywhere in the world.

Which do you prefer? We want to know, so be sure to add your vote in the poll below and let us know what you think of desktop e-mail and Outlook versus Gmail and the advance of webmail in the comments.

Who would win in a fight: Google Gmail or Microsoft Outlook?(polls)


Web Faceoff: Overall Results


Week 1:
- Mozilla Firefox vs. Google Chrome
- WINNER: Firefox, 4600 votes (Chrome: 3310 votes, Tie: 911 votes)

Week 2:
- Tumblr vs. Posterous
- WINNER: Tumblr, 1809 votes (Posterous: 1496 votes, Tie: 256 votes)

Week 3:
- Pandora vs. Last.fm
- WINNER: Last.fm, 1187 votes (Pandora: 1156 votes, Tie: 122 votes)

Week 4:
- Twitter vs. Facebook
- WINNER: Facebook, 2484 votes (Twitter: 2061 votes, Tie: 588 votes)

Week 5:
- WordPress vs. Typepad
- WINNER: WordPress, 2714 votes (Typepad: 267 votes, Tie: 357 votes)

Week 6:
- Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard
- WINNER: Windows 7, 3632 votes (Snow Leopard: 3278 votes, Tie: 121 votes)

Week 7:
- TweetDeck vs. Seesmic Desktop
- WINNER: TweetDeck, 3294 votes (Seesmic Desktop: 1055 votes, Tie: 260 votes)

Week 8:
- Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs
- WINNER: Microsoft Office, 1365 votes (Google Docs: 994 votes, Tie: 315 votes)

Week 9:
- Apple iPhone vs. Google Android
- WINNER: Google Android, 3323 votes (Apple iPhone: 1494 votes, Tie: 228 votes)

Week 10:
- AT&T vs. Verizon
- WINNER: Verizon, 1161 votes (AT&T: 538 votes, Tie: 118 votes)

Week 11:
- Google vs. Bing
- WINNER: Google, 2180 votes (Bing: 519 votes, Tie: 97 votes)

Week 12:
- iPod Touch/iPhone vs. Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP
- WINNER: iPod Touch/iPhone, 704 votes (Sony PSP: 639 votes, Nintendo DS: 482 votes, Tie: 108 votes)

Week 13:
- Digg vs. Reddit vs. StumbleUpon
- WINNER: Digg, 14,762 votes (Reddit: 11,466 votes, StumbleUpon: 2507 votes, Tie: 1032 votes)

Week 14:
- Old versus new Twitter retweets
- WINNER: Old style retweets, 1625 votes (New style retweets: 699 votes, Tie: 227 votes)


Reviews: Bing, Chrome, Digg, Facebook, Firefox, Gmail, Google, Google Docs, Pandora, Posterous, Seesmic Desktop, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, TweetDeck, Twitter, TypePad, WordPress

Tags: email, gmail, Google, microsoft, Outlook, web faceoff


Read the original post:
E-mail Faceoff: Gmail vs. Outlook

64% Prefer Old Twitter Retweets to New Style

We mixed up our weekly Web Faceoff series a bit this time, with a novel head-to-head battle between Twitter’s old and new style of retweets. In the previous 3-way matchup we saw Digg beat out Reddit and StumbleUpon for social news supremacy, and this week we saw another heated battle come to a close with perhaps a surprising winner.

It’s been a controversial topic since the new feature was first announced, and the results of this week’s poll show that it may still be a contested issue. Eager to see the full results? Head on to find out the final winner…

…old style text-based retweets rule the day! With a 1625 vote (64%) lead over the new style “official” retweets at 699 votes (27%), the old style “add commentary as you wish” version of amplifying someone else’s tweet took the victory by more than a 2 to 1 margin. Almost a tenth of you couldn’t decide between the two, with a 227 vote (9%) tie vote rounding out the poll.

Were you surprised by the results? Do you use one or either version exclusively, or both in context? Let us know in the comments, and tune in next week for the next edition of the Faceoff series.

Who would win in a fight: New or old style Twitter retweets?(poll)


Web Faceoff: Overall Results


Week 1:
- Mozilla Firefox vs. Google Chrome
- WINNER: Firefox, 4600 votes (Chrome: 3310 votes, Tie: 911 votes)

Week 2:
- Tumblr vs. Posterous
- WINNER: Tumblr, 1809 votes (Posterous: 1496 votes, Tie: 256 votes)

Week 3:
- Pandora vs. Last.fm
- WINNER: Last.fm, 1187 votes (Pandora: 1156 votes, Tie: 122 votes)

Week 4:
- Twitter vs. Facebook
- WINNER: Facebook, 2484 votes (Twitter: 2061 votes, Tie: 588 votes)

Week 5:
- WordPress vs. Typepad
- WINNER: WordPress, 2714 votes (Typepad: 267 votes, Tie: 357 votes)

Week 6:
- Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard
- WINNER: Windows 7, 3632 votes (Snow Leopard: 3278 votes, Tie: 121 votes)

Week 7:
- TweetDeck vs. Seesmic Desktop
- WINNER: TweetDeck, 3294 votes (Seesmic Desktop: 1055 votes, Tie: 260 votes)

Week 8:
- Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs
- WINNER: Microsoft Office, 1365 votes (Google Docs: 994 votes, Tie: 315 votes)

Week 9:
- Apple iPhone vs. Google Android
- WINNER: Google Android, 3323 votes (Apple iPhone: 1494 votes, Tie: 228 votes)

Week 10:
- AT&T vs. Verizon
- WINNER: Verizon, 1161 votes (AT&T: 538 votes, Tie: 118 votes)

Week 11:
- Google vs. Bing
- WINNER: Google, 2180 votes (Bing: 519 votes, Tie: 97 votes)

Week 12:
- iPod Touch/iPhone vs. Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP
- WINNER: iPod Touch/iPhone, 704 votes (Sony PSP: 639 votes, Nintendo DS: 482 votes, Tie: 108 votes)

Week 13:
- Digg vs. Reddit vs. StumbleUpon
- WINNER: Digg, 14,762 votes (Reddit: 11,466 votes, StumbleUpon: 2507 votes, Tie: 1032 votes)

Week 14:
- Old versus new Twitter retweets
- WINNER: Old style retweets, 1625 votes (New style retweets: 699 votes, Tie: 227 votes)


Reviews: Bing, Chrome, Digg, Facebook, Firefox, Google, Google Docs, Pandora, Poll, Posterous, Seesmic Desktop, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, TweetDeck, Twitter, TypePad, WordPress

Tags: poll, retweets, twitter, web faceoff


View post:
64% Prefer Old Twitter Retweets to New Style

Twitter Faceoff: Old Versus New Style Retweets

We thought we’d try something a little bit different for this week’s edition of our Web Faceoff series. Last week we saw Digg beat out Reddit and StumbleUpon for social news champion, and this week we’re throwing out a timely but more provincial battle: Twitter’s new official retweet feature versus the “old school” method of text-based “RT-ing.”

Since it was first announced back in August, reactions were mixed over the plan to alter how retweets were officially treated by Twitter.com as well as clients. Now that the feature is live to everyone, we wanted to get a sense of where the Mashable audience stands on the New versus the Old method of re-broadcasting another user’s tweet.

Check out the poll below and make sure to cast your vote by noon PST this Friday, December 25. Do you prefer the Old Way or the New? Even if you actually use both styles depending on the situation, we’d like to know which you’d take with you to that proverbial desert island. As always, be sure to let us know in the comments why your vote went down the way it did. We’ll be interested to see the final results later this week; be sure to check back for the recap.

Who would win in a fight: New or old style Twitter retweets?(poll)


Web Faceoff: Overall Results


Week 1:
- Mozilla Firefox vs. Google Chrome
- WINNER: Firefox, 4600 votes (Chrome: 3310 votes, Tie: 911 votes)

Week 2:
- Tumblr vs. Posterous
- WINNER: Tumblr, 1809 votes (Posterous: 1496 votes, Tie: 256 votes)

Week 3:
- Pandora vs. Last.fm
- WINNER: Last.fm, 1187 votes (Pandora: 1156 votes, Tie: 122 votes)

Week 4:
- Twitter vs. Facebook
- WINNER: Facebook, 2484 votes (Twitter: 2061 votes, Tie: 588 votes)

Week 5:
- WordPress vs. Typepad
- WINNER: WordPress, 2714 votes (Typepad: 267 votes, Tie: 357 votes)

Week 6:
- Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard
- WINNER: Windows 7, 3632 votes (Snow Leopard: 3278 votes, Tie: 121 votes)

Week 7:
- TweetDeck vs. Seesmic Desktop
- WINNER: TweetDeck, 3294 votes (Seesmic Desktop: 1055 votes, Tie: 260 votes)

Week 8:
- Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs
- WINNER: Microsoft Office, 1365 votes (Google Docs: 994 votes, Tie: 315 votes)

Week 9:
- Apple iPhone vs. Google Android
- WINNER: Google Android, 3323 votes (Apple iPhone: 1494 votes, Tie: 228 votes)

Week 10:
- AT&T vs. Verizon
- WINNER: Verizon, 1161 votes (AT&T: 538 votes, Tie: 118 votes)

Week 11:
- Google vs. Bing
- WINNER: Google, 2180 votes (Bing: 519 votes, Tie: 97 votes)

Week 12:
- iPod Touch/iPhone vs. Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP
- WINNER: iPod Touch/iPhone, 704 votes (Sony PSP: 639 votes, Nintendo DS: 482 votes, Tie: 108 votes)

Week 13:
- Digg vs. Reddit vs. StumbleUpon
- WINNER: Digg, 14,762 votes (Reddit: 11,466 votes, StumbleUpon: 2507 votes, Tie: 1032 votes)


Reviews: Bing, Chrome, Digg, Facebook, Firefox, Google, Google Docs, Mashable, Pandora, Poll, Posterous, Seesmic Desktop, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, TweetDeck, Twitter, TypePad, WordPress

Tags: poll, retweets, twitter, web faceoff


More here:
Twitter Faceoff: Old Versus New Style Retweets

Add Chat and Drag & Drop Sharing to Your Site With Meebo Bar

We know that some of you have been eyeing the special Meebo features we launched earlier this year on Mashable with envy. Who doesn’t want to add Meebo Chat, drag and drop content sharing, and extra analytics to their site?

Today, Meebo is handing out an early Christmas present — Meebo Bar — and gifting all those extra special features to anyone that wants them on their own sites.

The beta version of Meebo Bar comes jam-packed with goodies you can customize to spruce up your site, encourage sharing and enable visitor-to-visitor instant messaging. The Meebo Bar even comes with access to a site dashboard that includes tracking share data by clicks, type and intention.

As you can tell from our site, the Meebo Bar sits at the bottom of the page. You can select which buttons and widgets you want to appear to enable extra items like Twitter Search, Digg and Stumbleupon buttons or buttons that show a quick view of your Facebook (Fan Page), Flickr, YouTube and Lala accounts. Of course, full Meebo Chat functionality is also baked right into the bar as well.

Drag-and-drop content sharing is also pretty nifty, so just as on Mashable, your readers can grab images and videos and drag them to share with their friends on Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo or via e-mail and IM.

Perhaps the best part is the ease of installation. Meebo will walk you through the process, and for self-hosted WordPress blogs, it’s as simple as installing a plug-in, picking your buttons from the Meebo Bar dashboard and customizing them in WordPress if you so choose. For unsupported blog platforms, you can add pre-generated snippets of HTML to your site’s code.

This is a welcome development for publishers everywhere, as the Meebo Bar offers a free and simple way to keep your site visitors more engaged.


Reviews: Digg, Facebook, Flickr, Mashable, Meebo, StumbleUpon, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube

Tags: meebo, meebo bar, social media


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Add Chat and Drag & Drop Sharing to Your Site With Meebo Bar

WordPress 2.9 Now Available for Download

Automattic has just rolled out the latest upgrade to its popular self-hosted blogging software – WordPress.org – version 2.9.

This release is called “Carmen” and includes a number of notable additions, including the beginnings of a WordPress image editing tool (cropping, scaling, and rotating), simpler video embeds, and batch plugin updating that should save you a bunch of time.

Writing on the official WordPress blog, founder Matt Mullenweg says that this release saw a total of “over 500 tickets, bugs, and enhancements” addressed. The release comes a little more than six months since the last major WordPress release, version 2.8.

With a major snowstorm expect to blanket the east coast this weekend, thank Automattic for giving you something you can do indoors ) The release is available for download here. For an in-depth overview of what’s new, you may also want to check out WordPress guru Aaron Brazell’s 10 Things You Need to Know About WordPress 2.9.


Additional WordPress Resources


WordPress Themes: “Top 12 Stunning WordPress Themes“, “30+ WordPress 3 Column Themes,” “20 WordPress 4-Column Themes,” “30+ WordPress 1-Column Themes,” “10 Unusual & Original WordPress Themes

Plugins: “50+ WordPress Plugins for Multimedia,” “30+ WordPress Plugins for Statistics,” “30+ WordPress Plugins for Comments,” “30+ WordPress Plugins to Get More Blog Readers.”

Miscellaneous: “WordPress God: 300+ Tools for Running Your WordPress Blog,” “The 7 Weirdest and Wackiest Uses for WordPress


Reviews: WordPress

Tags: WordPress


View original here:
WordPress 2.9 Now Available for Download

Track Social Media Engagement for Any Website With PostRank

pr-tour-headerIn September, PostRank launched its Analytics service, which allows website owners to track data about how their visitors are interacting with their content, both on their site and across social media channels, and how that data correlates to the site’s raw traffic. The service tracks data on a large number of social media platforms, such as Twitter, Digg, Delicious, and FriendFeed (though not yet Facebook).

Now PostRank has launched an Analytics Tour page that allows site owners and marketers to get a snapshot of that same data over the past 30 days on any site.

Although intended as a marketing vehicle for their more robust, paid PostRank Analytics service, the Tour page can be looked at as something like Compete for engagement data rather than web traffic. Marketers and website owners will find the new, free service very useful for tracking competitors and comparing engagement across sites to figure out where to put the most marketing muscle.

postrank-tour

The service graphs total on-site and off-site engagement over the past 30 days, as well as the distribution of where engagement is taking place. You can also see what type of engagement is most popular with each site. Web comic XKCD, for example, sees 100 percent of its engagement off-site (the comic doesn’t allow on-site commenting), and gets more audience interaction on Twitter and Reddit than on Digg and Delicious.

In addition to the new Tour page, PostRank also integrated the Tour’s view of the Analytics dashboard into their popular free WordPress plugin. That means the updated plugin will give WordPress publishers social engagement rankings for each of their posts as well as a snapshot of engagement data for the blog as a whole.

postrank-wordpress


Reviews: Delicious, Digg, Twitter, WordPress

Tags: analytics, data, postrank, social engagement


Go here to see the original:
Track Social Media Engagement for Any Website With PostRank

POLL: Apple Outduels Nintendo and Sony in Reader Vote

In our weekly Web Faceoff series, we place opposing social media tools and products into the hands of you, the readers, to determine which one deserves to come out on top. Some of our past competitions were between search engines, wireless networks, browsers, and Twitter clients.

Yet while past editions of the Web Faceoff series have featured direct competitors, this week’s battle explored the rapid changes that mobile has brought to gaming. Specifically, the question we posed to you is this: are the iPod Touch and iPhone better for mobile gaming than stewards Nintendo DS and Sony PSP?

As even Apple has stated, the iPhone App Store contains far more games than either the PSP or the DS, are significantly cheaper, and utilize the unique and versatile iPhone OS touchscreen interface. But was that enough to secure your vote?

After nearly 2000 votes, The iPod Touch and iPhone have come out on top. In one of our closest polls yet, Apple’s mobile devices secured 704 votes (36%) while the Sony PSP gathered 639 votes (33%) and the DS earned the confidence of 482 people (25%).

While nobody was able to secure a majority, the sheer fact that the iPhone and iPod Touch have grown so fast as legitimate gaming platforms should alarm Nintendo and Sony. Could we see a major change of the guard in the mobile gaming space soon? Will Nintendo and Sony still be major players, or will Apple continue to make inroads and change the game? We want to know what you think in the comments.

Who would win in a fight: Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, or the iPhone/iPod Touch?(online surveys)


Web Faceoff: Overall Results


Week 1:
- Mozilla Firefox vs. Google Chrome
- WINNER: Firefox, 4600 votes (Chrome: 3310 votes, Tie: 911 votes)

Week 2:
- Tumblr vs. Posterous
- WINNER: Tumblr, 1809 votes (Posterous: 1496 votes, Tie: 256 votes)

Week 3:
- Pandora vs. Last.fm
- WINNER: Last.fm, 1187 votes (Pandora: 1156 votes, Tie: 122 votes)

Week 4:
- Twitter vs. Facebook
- WINNER: Facebook, 2484 votes (Twitter: 2061 votes, Tie: 588 votes)

Week 5:
- WordPress vs. Typepad
- WINNER: WordPress, 2714 votes (Typepad: 267 votes, Tie: 357 votes)

Week 6:
- Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard
- WINNER: Windows 7, 3632 votes (Snow Leopard: 3278 votes, Tie: 121 votes)

Week 7:
- TweetDeck vs. Seesmic Desktop
- WINNER: TweetDeck, 3294 votes (Seesmic Desktop: 1055 votes, Tie: 260 votes)

Week 8:
- Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs
- WINNER: Microsoft Office, 1365 votes (Google Docs: 994 votes, Tie: 315 votes)

Week 9:
- Apple iPhone vs. Google Android
- WINNER: Google Android, 3323 votes (Apple iPhone: 1494 votes, Tie: 228 votes)

Week 10:
- AT&T vs. Verizon
- WINNER: Verizon, 1161 votes (AT&T: 538 votes, Tie: 118 votes)

Week 11:
- Google vs. Bing
- WINNER: Google, 2180 votes (Bing: 519 votes, Tie: 97 votes)

Week 12:
- iPod Touch/iPhone vs. Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP
- WINNER: iPod Touch/iPhone, 704 votes (Sony PSP: 639 votes, Nintendo DS: 482 votes)


Reviews: App Store, Bing, Chrome, Facebook, Firefox, Google, Google Docs, Pandora, Posterous, Seesmic Desktop, Tumblr, TweetDeck, Twitter, TypePad, WordPress

Tags: gaming, iphone, iPod Touch, Nintendo, nintendo ds, sony, Sony PSP, web faceoff


See more here:
POLL: Apple Outduels Nintendo and Sony in Reader Vote

Apple Outduels Nintendo and Sony in Reader Vote [POLL]

In our weekly Web Faceoff series, we place opposing social media tools and products into the hands of you, the readers, to determine which one deserves to come out on top. Some of our past competitions were between search engines, wireless networks, browsers and Twitter clients.

Yet while past editions of the Web Faceoff series have featured direct competitors, this week’s battle explored the rapid changes that mobile has brought to gaming. Specifically, the question we posed to you is this: Are the iPod touch and iPhone better for mobile gaming than stewards Nintendo DS and Sony PSP?

As even Apple has stated, the iPhone App Store contains far more games than either the PSP or the DS, are significantly cheaper, and utilize the unique and versatile iPhone OS touchscreen interface. But was that enough to secure your vote?

After nearly 2,000 votes, The iPod touch and iPhone have come out on top. In one of our closest polls yet, Apple’s mobile devices secured 704 votes (36 percent) while the Sony PSP gathered 639 votes (33 percent) and the DS earned the confidence of 482 people (25 percent).

While nobody was able to secure a majority, the sheer fact that the iPhone and iPod touch have grown so fast as legitimate gaming platforms should alarm Nintendo and Sony. Could we see a major change of the guard in the mobile gaming space soon? Will Nintendo and Sony still be major players, or will Apple continue to make inroads and change the game? We want to know what you think in the comments.

Who would win in a fight: Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, or the iPhone/iPod Touch?(online surveys)


Web Faceoff: Overall Results


Week 1:
- Mozilla Firefox vs. Google Chrome
- WINNER: Firefox, 4600 votes (Chrome: 3310 votes, Tie: 911 votes)

Week 2:
- Tumblr vs. Posterous
- WINNER: Tumblr, 1809 votes (Posterous: 1496 votes, Tie: 256 votes)

Week 3:
- Pandora vs. Last.fm
- WINNER: Last.fm, 1187 votes (Pandora: 1156 votes, Tie: 122 votes)

Week 4:
- Twitter vs. Facebook
- WINNER: Facebook, 2484 votes (Twitter: 2061 votes, Tie: 588 votes)

Week 5:
- WordPress vs. Typepad
- WINNER: WordPress, 2714 votes (Typepad: 267 votes, Tie: 357 votes)

Week 6:
- Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard
- WINNER: Windows 7, 3632 votes (Snow Leopard: 3278 votes, Tie: 121 votes)

Week 7:
- TweetDeck vs. Seesmic Desktop
- WINNER: TweetDeck, 3294 votes (Seesmic Desktop: 1055 votes, Tie: 260 votes)

Week 8:
- Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs
- WINNER: Microsoft Office, 1365 votes (Google Docs: 994 votes, Tie: 315 votes)

Week 9:
- Apple iPhone vs. Google Android
- WINNER: Google Android, 3323 votes (Apple iPhone: 1494 votes, Tie: 228 votes)

Week 10:
- AT&T vs. Verizon
- WINNER: Verizon, 1161 votes (AT&T: 538 votes, Tie: 118 votes)

Week 11:
- Google vs. Bing
- WINNER: Google, 2180 votes (Bing: 519 votes, Tie: 97 votes)

Week 12:
- iPod Touch/iPhone vs. Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP
- WINNER: iPod Touch/iPhone, 704 votes (Sony PSP: 639 votes, Nintendo DS: 482 votes)


Reviews: App Store, Bing, Chrome, Facebook, Firefox, Google, Google Docs, Pandora, Posterous, Seesmic Desktop, Tumblr, TweetDeck, Twitter, TypePad, WordPress, iPhone

Tags: gaming, iphone, iPod Touch, Nintendo, nintendo ds, sony, Sony PSP, web faceoff


Here is the original post:
Apple Outduels Nintendo and Sony in Reader Vote [POLL]

NEW: Post to WordPress from Tweetie and Other Twitter Apps

wordpress tweetie 2The popularity of services like Twitter, Tumblr, and Posterous is changing the way the world thinks about blogging. As one of the world’s most popular blogging platforms, WordPress has made the realization that the distinction between short form and longer form blog posts is disappearing.

Today the company is announcing that WordPress.com users will be able to read and create blog posts from within Twitter apps like Tweetie 2. Now any Twitter app that allows you to input a custom API URL can be transformed into a WordPress app too.

Configuring WordPress functionality in applications that allow custom API URLs is as simple as adding a new account, entering your WordPress login credentials, and inputing https://twitter-api.wordpress.com/ into the API Root field. So for Tweetie 2, click to add an account, enter your username and password for WordPress, hit the gears button and enter the URL above and click save.

post-to-tweetie-wp-m

When the setup process is complete, you’ll now be able to read posts from the WordPress.com blogs you follow, and you’ll also be able to create a new post from the same compose box that you typically use to post to Twitter. The new Twitter app functionalities even support geotagging of your blog updates.

Matt Mullenwag, WordPress founder, admits that there’s still work to be done to make the integration between WordPress and Twitter apps seamless. He writes:

“There are still some rough spots around the edges but the core posting and reading bits of the API are solid and the rest is coming soon. I see the Twitter API as one of the new de facto standards that as many applications should support as possible. (Amazon S3 API too, why don’t all cloud storage providers use that?) We’ll be open sourcing the server as a WordPress MU plugin, so that other people can take advantage of our work and benefit their readers and communities.”

The move is an intelligent one, and makes WordPress more agile and flexible in a digital world that’s become more obsessed with, and conditioned to, quick publishing and consumption options.


Reviews: Tweetie 2, Twitter, WordPress, tweetie

Tags: tweetie 2, twitter, WordPress


See more here:
NEW: Post to WordPress from Tweetie and Other Twitter Apps

Top 5 Blogging Platforms Judged by Mashable Readers

poll-imageEach Friday we choose a Lunchtime Poll topic to get a sense of how Mashable readers feel about the chosen topic of the week. Below are the results from last Friday’s poll, where we asked your favorite blogging platform.

Is your favorite blog software not represented in the list? Let us know in the comments! And to make sure your vote counts next time, be sure to tell us your choice in this week’s poll for your favorite mobile social app.

There was a clear winner in this poll who smashed everyone else: WordPress. Both hosted and self-hosted, Mashable readers loved the WP platform about 7 times more than the number two platform, which was perhaps surprisingly the relatively old school Blogger. Were there other surprises in the list for you?


Top 5 Mashable Reader Blogging Platforms


5. Livejournal

4. Tumblr

3. Posterous

2. Blogger

1. WordPress

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ericsphotography


Reviews: Mashable, Posterous, Tumblr, WordPress, blogger, iStockphoto

Tags: blogger, blogging, LiveJournal, lunchtime poll, poll, posterous, tumblr, WordPress


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Top 5 Blogging Platforms Judged by Mashable Readers

8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist

press imageAs the news industry looks to reconstruct its suffering business model, the journalists of today must reconstruct their skill sets for the growing world of online media. Because of cutbacks at many news organizations, the jobs available are highly competitive. News companies are seeking journalists who are jacks of all trades, yet still masters of one (or more).

2010 will likely be a time of transition as today’s journalists catch up to learn the multimedia, programming, social media, and business skills they’ll need to tell their stories online. These new skills are especially relevant to startups that are looking to hire multi-skilled and social media-savvy journalists. Below we’ve gathered some skills that are quickly becoming basic requirements for the journalist of tomorrow.


1. Entrepreneurial and Business Savvy


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As the foundation of the longstanding business model crumbles, both new and experienced journalists are becoming entrepreneurial and starting their own publications. They are creating the “future of journalism today” by starting publications like Cody Brown’s online-only NYULocal, (which covers New York University and has had months that got more Web traffic than the school newspaper Web site) or David Cohn who started the community-funded reporting site Spot.Us.

The journalist of tomorrow will have to understand the value of content and how the business model is changing, said Steve Buttry, C3 innovation coach at Gazette Communications. They will have to understand how to pursue commercial opportunities relating to the content.


2. Programmer


To better transition to online journalism, news organizations are looking for programmer/journalists. These are people whose programming skills can enhance their storytelling or reporting, and typically combine the use of HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, ActionScript3 and Python skills.

This means being able to report and present a quality story using multimedia, and having the skills to build and manage the platforms that present the stories. Creating Flash visualizations and building interactives that clearly display data are all key elements of online journalism.


3. Open-minded Experimenter


The challenge for new journalists will be a shift in mindset from control and content to openness and connectivity with audiences, said Alfred Hermida, Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Hermida also says that though storytelling across multiple platforms will be important, the key will be to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different media so that the best one may be utilized for each story.

This also means being a learner that can spot trends and understand what new technology can do, according to Michele McLellan, a media consultant who blogs for the Knight Digital Media Center on news innovation. The journalist of tomorrow should be willing to experiment with new tools, not be afraid of them.


4. Multimedia Storyteller


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Today, many journalists need to have multimedia skills to tell stories through video, text, graphics, audio and photos. Former photographers and reporters are picking up video cameras and audio recorders to create a multimedia experience for readers. Online video viewing is growing, and news startups like FLYP Media and DNAinfo are building their newsrooms around multimedia journalists. There are many resources out there for journalists to learn these skills, and many of the skills can be self-taught.

One of the best ways to learn is through hands-on experience by starting a video blog. Experiment with free multimedia apps like live streaming from your mobile using Qik, or podcasting with free sites like BlogTalkRadio. If you have some money to invest, buy a camera that takes quality photos and shoots video.


5. The Social Journalist and Community Builder


The new journalist will be a social journalist. This means engaging with your audience, promoting content and building personal brands as a thought leader. Social media increasingly focuses credibility on individual journalists as opposed to the news organization. Mathew Ingram, Communities Editor at the Globe and Mail, said that future journalists will have the ability to find and connect with communities of interest both online and offline.

Though right now, this role is often being filled by specialized community managers and social media editors. Ingram said that in the long term, every reporter should become their own community manager.

Journalists of tomorrow will also have new beats. Typically, this has involved covering a specific subject, topic or community. The new journalist will have what Ingram calls “virtual beats.”

This means building, communicating and engaging with communities online. Kevin Sablan, Web leader at the Orange County Register, said that journalists of tomorrow will spend more time “pounding the pavement” in online social spaces.

Matt Thompson, interim Online Community Manager for the Knight Foundation, said he thinks technological skills are secondary to the core desire to provide community in formats they can connect with.


6. Blogger and Curator


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To be a social journalist and one that engages in online communities, journalists will have to practice blogging regularly and serve as curators of other content on the Web.

Journalists of tomorrow will be participating in the link economy by gathering, synthesizing and making sense of other content across the Web. We’ve mentioned this before as a crucial factor in the survival of newspapers. Journalists can curate the Web using tools like Publish2, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and other social bookmarking and sharing tools.

And with 86,000 print publishing workers laid off in the last year, there is some good potential for blogging to increase. But that’s not to say that only unemployed journalists should blog. Blogging should be done within organizations as well. This allows journalists to lend a personal tone to their company and connect with audiences. It will also help them build personal brands that they can carry beyond their current news organization.

Carrie Brown-Smith, Assistant Professor of Journalism at the University of Memphis, said that there is a growing body of research that suggests writing with “voice” — writing that is more analytical and has personality — versus the traditional authoritative style has credibility in online contexts.

“While not necessarily surprising, TV news anchors long had more credibility than newspaper journalists because viewers could see them and felt like they knew them. This is something I think news organizations are not yet grasping and exploring as they should,” Brown-Smith said.

There are many free platforms available to bloggers. Sites like Posterous and Tumblr offer straightforward posting options, while sites like WordPress and Google’s Blogger are highly customizable and offer various social media integration tools.


7. Multi-skilled


Because of the difficult job market, Robert Quigley, Social Media Editor at the Austin American-Statesman, said that journalists no longer have the luxury of focusing just on one skill set. Journalists will need to have a combination of the skills mentioned, along with the fundamentals that have been taught for years.

“The most valuable journalist will know how to use social media tools, can edit and shoot video, can write a good headline, understands a little about html or programming or databases,” Quigley said. “Ideally, he or she can write a great SEO-friendly headline and understands why that’s important, knows how to write a sharp blog post and understands the value in interaction with the community.”

It sounds overwhelming, but it is becoming truer than ever.


8. Fundamental Journalism Skills


Though journalists are morphing into renaissance men and women with multi-layered skill sets, the fundamental skills of journalism will never be replaced. Skills like good writing, ethics, news judgment, investigation and verification will always be important, Buttry from Gazette Communications said. Brown-Smith said that it will be a marriage between core values and new media skills.

These fundamental skills will be more important than ever as audiences search for credibility on the Web.

What skills do you find to be the most relevant to journalism in the social media age? Please share them in the comments below.


More journalism resources from Mashable:


- 10 Ways Journalism Schools Are Teaching Social Media
- The Journalist’s Guide to Twitter
- Why NPR is the Future of Mainstream Media
- Social Journalism: Past, Present, and Future
- Everything I Need to Know About Twitter I learned in J School
- 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, jgroup


Reviews: PHP, Posterous, SEO, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, iStockphoto

Tags: journalism, Journalist, journalists, List, Lists, social journalism


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POLL: Google Destroys Bing in Reader Vote

google-v-bingWe’ve had some close calls here in our ongoing Faceoff Series, but this week’s was certainly not one of them.

Each week we put two web services, companies or pieces of software side by side and ask you which of the two would win in a knockdown, drag out fight. This week we pitted Google against Bing for the Best Search Engine crown, and the victory was decisive.

Much like last week’s matchup when Verizon trounced AT&T in a battle of cell carriers, this week saw a clear winner emerge once again. Out of almost 3000 votes, the unsurprising victor was…

…Google with a full 78% of the vote. That’s 2180 votes to Bing’s 519, relegating it to a distant 2nd place at 19%. A slim 3% tie vote at 97 fence-sitters rounded out this week’s head to head brawl.

Check out the full list of winners in the Faceoff series listed below. We’ll keep the series rolling starting again on Monday, so be sure to tune in. Who do you think we should match up in a future edition?

goog-wins-bing


Web Faceoff: Overall Results


Week 1:
- Mozilla Firefox vs. Google Chrome
- WINNER: Firefox, 4600 votes (Chrome: 3310 votes, Tie: 911 votes)

Week 2:
- Tumblr vs. Posterous
- WINNER: Tumblr, 1809 votes (Posterous: 1496 votes, Tie: 256 votes)

Week 3:
- Pandora vs. Last.fm
- WINNER: Last.fm, 1187 votes (Pandora: 1156 votes, Tie: 122 votes)

Week 4:
- Twitter vs. Facebook
- WINNER: Facebook, 2484 votes (Twitter: 2061 votes, Tie: 588 votes)

Week 5:
- WordPress vs. Typepad
- WINNER: WordPress, 2714 votes (Typepad: 267 votes, Tie: 357 votes)

Week 6:
- Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard
- WINNER: Windows 7, 3632 votes (Snow Leopard: 3278 votes, Tie: 121 votes)

Week 7:
- TweetDeck vs. Seesmic Desktop
- WINNER: TweetDeck, 3294 votes (Seesmic Desktop: 1055 votes, Tie: 260 votes)

Week 8:
- Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs
- WINNER: Microsoft Office, 1365 votes (Google Docs: 994 votes, Tie: 315 votes)

Week 9:
- Apple iPhone vs. Google Android
- WINNER: Google Android, 3323 votes (Apple iPhone: 1494 votes, Tie: 228 votes)

Week 10:
- AT&T vs. Verizon
- WINNER: Verizon, 1161 votes (AT&T: 538 votes, Tie: 118 votes)

Week 11:
- Google vs. Bing
- WINNER: Google, 2180 votes (Bing: 519 votes, Tie: 97 votes)


Reviews: Bing, Chrome, Facebook, Firefox, Google, Google Chrome, Google Docs, Mozilla Firefox, Pandora, Posterous, Seesmic Desktop, Tumblr, TweetDeck, Twitter, TypePad, WordPress

Tags: bing, Google, microsoft, poll, Search, web faceoff


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POLL: Google Destroys Bing in Reader Vote