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Archive for the ‘Blogger Tools’ Category

Interview With Keepio CEO Dave Durand

BloggingPro recently had the chance to chat with Dave Durand, the CEO of social commerce site Keepio.

Give our readers the Keepio elevator pitch.  What is it and what sets it apart?

Keepio enables social commerce among established networks of trust and privacy and was built in response to the shortcomings of eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. Friends seek to buy or sell second-hand goods among friends because of the implicit trust, transparency, and reduced friction. (On Keepio, there are no fees for listings or transactions).

Unlike eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, we believe social commerce should focus more on established networks of trust and privacy and less on transaction fees and interactions with strangers.

We know that friends look to each other for recommendations and insights for products in today’s consumer marketplaces. Keepio provides an outlet for product discussion, advocacy and purchase, but these activities are amplified with the social validation and feedback from your friends. With Keepio, your products define you, so we will soon make it easy for products to find you too. Read More

Categories: Blogger Tools
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5 Great Online Image Editors for Bloggers

As Web-based apps gain greater and greater acceptance, especially for casual use, many of the applications we previously considered “must haves” for new computers may just become specialized tools for those with specialized needs.

One important area where expensive, downloadable software is losing ground, especially among users with limited needs, is in image editing. Though the power of Photoshop is still undeniable, casual users without specific needs have long since been taking up free alternatives such as Paint.net.

But now bloggers have another alternative. Web apps have been increasing in power, speed and usability, making them a more and more appealing alternative to downloadable software.

If you’re eager to try your hand at online image editing, here are five sites to consider as you look to get your next image editing project under way.

Pixlr
With a clean interface, powerful filters, brushes, the ability to edit layers and a slew of adjustment options, Pixlr has all of the features one might expect from a more advanced photo editing package in a free, online tool with no registration required.

Sumo Paint
Similar to Pixlr both in features and in interface, Sumo Paint has filters, brushes, layers and more in a snappy Web app that can be loaded without registration. However, registering with Sumo Paint gives you the benefit of saving files to the cloud. Also, a pro version is offered for about $25 that allows offline access to the app. Read More

Categories: Blogger Tools
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5 Free Social Media Icon Sets for Back to School

It’s been about a month since I posted free social media icon sources (last time I offered some fun niche blog social media icon options), and with a new school year starting, I though it might be a good time to search for some creative social media icon sets that can give your blog some back to school flair.  Check out the options below!

1. Puzzle Social Network Icon Set

What grade school student doesn’t love puzzles?

2. Sewn Badge Icon Set

This set reminds me of badges on Cub Scouts uniforms!

3. Moleskin Icon Set

For the discerning student, only a moleskin notebook will do.  Are moleskin icons right for your blog?

4. Color-stroked Free Hand Icon Set

This is one of my favorite hand-drawn icon sets.  I wish my doodles looked this good, and I love the crumpled paper.

5. Hand Drawn Social Media Icon Set

Here is another option if you like the hand drawn style.  This one offers consistent square shapes with simpler designs drawn on grid paper.

What do you think?  Will any of these social media icon sets give your blog the bling it needs?

Follow the link to read more about back to school and blogging basics on Performancing.

Categories: Blog Design, Blogger Tools, Blogging Resources, Blogging Tools
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5 Free Social Media Icon Sources for Niche Blogs

Do you write a niche blog about food, spirits, Asia, clothes or science?  If so, you’ll be interested in the social media icons highlighted in this post.  Even if you don’t write a blog about one of those niche topics, you might like the social media icons featured below.  They could add some color, visual appeal, and interest to any blog!

Check them out and see if the right social media icons to give your blog some zing are included in the list!

DelliFeed Icon Set

These food-related social media icons are available in six sizes and include cakes and popsicles!

Cheers Web 2.0 in a Glass Set

This set of social media icons includes martini glasses, wine glasses, margarita glasses, beer mugs, and more! Read More

Categories: Blog Design, Blogger Tools, Blogging Resources, Blogging Tools
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The SMART Method to Blogging!

Let’s face it.
Blogging looks a lot easier than it actually is.
But just like other creative or professional endeavors, success requires strategy and a game plan.
It’s a must have.
I liken it to traveling unfamiliar territories without a road map. The more you know, the further you’ll go.

In the business world, a common acronym for evaluating employees’ performance is known as S.M.A.R.T.
This can also apply to blogging.
Take heed. Here are the components.
Read More

Categories: Blogger Tools, Blogging Tips, General
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10 Free Blogging Tools I Can’t Live Without

I use a lot of free and paid tools to help me as a blogger, and today I’m going to share 10 of the free blogging tools I can’t live without.  I had a hard time narrowing this list down to just 10 tools, but I think the following offers a diverse group of tools that every blogger should try.

Of course, I also can’t live without Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and many, many more free tools, but the list below includes a more diverse selection than just the most well-known and expected tools that you’d normally find in this type of list.  Note that this list is in no particular order.

So without further ado, here they are — 10 free blogging tools I can’t live without (or at least, that I don’t want to live without): Read More

Categories: Blogger Tools, Blogging Tools
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What Fonts Should You Use For Your Blog?

Perhaps five years from now, the issue of typography would have been solved already– that is, web designers and blog template designers will be able to select any font of their liking and use it on the fly. (This is probably when the font-face property has received wide-spread support)

But that’s probably five years from now. Today, we have to be contented with a handful of fonts to use in blog and web designs.

There’s probably a dozen fonts out there and there are three that I think should be worth considering:

  • Arial – A can’t miss font that has good readability and people are already quite used to this. This is the same font that Google uses, and majority of computers carry this font.
  • Georgia – This seems to be the font of choice when it comes to serif typefaces. This is because the alternative is Times New Roman, which looks dated and has very little character
  • Verdana – Very similar to Arial, but I think this has better character width. This works well with bigger line heights and a good match for templates that utilize larger screen resolutions.

Your blog’s font can help your readers scan and read the content better. Better take a little time to find out which ones look good and help your readers. :)

Categories: Blogger Tools
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Review: Contextual Partnership Plugin

The Contextual Partnership Plugin For WordPress Provides Free Advertising To Help Promote Your Blog & Get You Noticed…

If you’re looking for an effective solution to help get your blog noticed then the Contextual Partnership Plugin for WordPress bloggers could be well worth consideration. Perhaps the most attractive aspect is that there is no cost involved.

According to the developers the plugin is designed to;

    Drive more targeted visitors to your blog (or blogs) by strategically linking your blog to and from other bloggers participating in the network. The exact method used to achieve this remains confidential but apparently it’s not a basic reciprocal link exchange – nor the more common 3 way linking arrangement often seen between bloggers.

    Enhance the user experience for your blog visitors by providing them with links to other high quality blogs for further information on subjects of interest (and it can do this without you actually loosing the visitor which is a great feature).

    Indirectly increase your search engine rankings by building highly relevant incoming links to your blog for keyword terms you define, related to your own niche market.

Not a bad indirect benefit at all.

To better understand how the network works, first you need to know what a “contextual link” actually is. A contextual link is simply a link “within content” of a blog post and “within context” of specific keyword terms in that post. For example the term “dog training” found within a blog post becomes a link out to another blog (related to “dog training”) within the network. Contextual Links are found all over the internet – bloggers interlink their own pages contextually, there are paid advertising programs that allow you to place contextual advertising links and earn per click, and bloggers naturally link out to other websites they find useful “contextually” as well.

This is the key to the “Contextual Partnership”. When you install and setup the WordPress Plugin, you’re asked to provide the URL’s you wish to advertise on other partners blogs, and the keyword terms you want those blogs to use to link back to your own. When a match is found within the network for the keyword terms you provide (and assuming it meets with the Contextual Partnership’s strategic linking methodology), a link back to your blog is assigned, and your account has a credit removed.
The amount of credits your account holds appears to be directly related to the number of links you’re providing to other partners in the network for the keyword terms they themselves are looking to use to advertise. Apparently for every link you provide for another partner, you earn 1 credit. That 1 credit is then “cashed in” to assign a link back to your own blog from other partners whenever a match is found for your own keyword terms. So if you already have 100 posts in your blog, and each of those pages finds a match to provide a link to another partner, then technically you could receive 100 incoming links to your blog as soon as you’ve been approved to participate in the partnership. You also continually earn more points and incoming links as you continue to blog and add more posts just like you usually do.

That’s the basic overview and you’ll find more specific information on the plugin website including details of many features not mentioned here (like the ability to select specifically which blog posts you want to include – or nor include in the network)…

http://www.contextualpartnership.com

Uptake by the blogger community seems to have been extremely good and this new service looks to become very popular. In the first two weeks of launch the partnership already had over 54,000 individual places to place links throughout the network, and within the first 4 weeks over 10,000 advertising links had been allocated between network partners. This is most likely a result to how easy it is to actually setup the plugin and participate – it literally takes 5 minutes to install and setup – although approval can take anywhere from 24-72 hours depending on the moderation queue as only high quality blogs are accepted to participate to keep out the splogs and spammers.
This seems to be one of those services worth giving a shot for a few months, and by the looks of things the developers have some exciting new features in the pipeline to make things even more effective for partners in the future.

You can find out full details and download the plugin below…

http://www.contextualpartnership.com

Or alternatively you can download the plugin directly from WordPress…

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/contextual-partnership-link-exchange-plugin/

Categories: Advertising, Blogger Tools, WordPress Plugins
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Integrate Plurk to Firefox with Plurkybar

Those who have switched microblogs from Twitter to Plurk have been disappointed at the lack of Firefox add-ons available. Need proof? Off the top of my head, without googling, I can name a few Twitter add-ons for our favorite browser: Twitterfox, Twitbin, TwitKit, Twitterbar and so many more. Plurk, on the other hand, has very little selections to speak of.

Personally, I’m not a fan of Plurk’s horizontal timeline scheme, and I try to use the mobile interface as often as I can. In fact, I was able to devise a way to use the mobile interface solely. I installed Mozilla Prism and made an application out of Plurk. But constantly updating it manually can be a pain. Read More

Categories: Blogger Tools, Microblogging

The GrooveShark Widget

I’ve been a huge fan of GrooveShark for about a year now. I’ve never experienced being unsuccessful at finding a song or an artist everytime I hit its page. While I usually go to it through TinySong, I end up using GrooveShark Lite for my immediate online music needs.

Just today I’ve noticed something new. Before when I hit a song’s title, I get to add it to the GrooveShark lite playlist. But today after hovering the song title, I noticed a little icon fade in… saying “embed”. Hmmmm… that caught my attention. Ok so I pressed it… wow!

A page popped out to guide me through the “embedding process”. Starting from a basic widget appearance you are able to fix width, border, add more songs… AND THEN finally choose where to embed the widget at. There are around 50+ embedding possiblities from Friendster to Hi5, from TypePad to WordPress.com, Multiply, MySpace, Blogger, you name it. I’m thinking if you’re sharing a song on the web there is high chance GrooveShark can do the sharing for you.

Check it out for yourself. The only “drawback” I noticed is that I think it’s not WordPress widget sidebar loadable. You have to feed it your WordPress site address, a unique login and password and it will post the widget out for you… as a post! Umm… made me squint.

Try the basic embed option and choose “other sites” and you’d get an object and a java code to embed into your WordPress site or a regular site for that matter.

Categories: Blogger Tools, General