Tag Archives: blog

Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season, and this year there are many choices for the geeks out there. Rather than list all the stuff, below are a number of links that you can check out for yourself.

For the gadget nut, one of my favorite sites is:

They have a wish list for him and a list for her. (come on ladies, find that inner geek that’s inside of you!!)

For the iPod fanatics, you have to see the annual gift guide from iLounge This .pdf download not has a ton of product information, it also gives great review and talks about the technology available along with tips for your iPods.

For the hard core techie, there is Chris Pirillo’s 50 Geek Gift Ideas.

Tags: , , chris pirillo, ,

Qumana Blog Editor

For the past couple of months I have been using a blog editor from Qumana. Blog editors allow you to work offline creating posts in a WYSIWYG environment. Qumana is very easy to use and has some nice added features that I will discuss below.

The software will work with most blog software. Whether it is hosted by the blog provider, or if you have your own provider using blogging software, Qumana will recognize most applications during the installation. I had a minor issue on my laptop, where Qumana would not recognize the “end point” or the version of blogging software I was using. Their tech support asked what version of Java I was using. Turns out I had an old version of the Java runtime. Once I upgraded, everything went smoothly.

With the latest beta update, they have made it even easier to add images to posts. Once you hit the add image button, you get the following window. You select how you want the image aligned, then upload it from you PC and it drops right into your post.

The posting editor above is easy to use. It has all the standard formatting options. The software picked up on my WordPress categories; there on the right. If you notice the 2 green buttons, they offer some added functionality.

The Insert Tags button allows you to list multiple Technorati tags within your post. Technorati is a blog specific tag search engine. In most software, you have to get into writing HTML code to have the tags appear inร‚ your post and have them linked back to Technorati properly. In Qumana, you simply open the dialogue box above and start typing.

The other button is Insert Ad. This allows you to \’monetize\’ your blog. That means you can make money from your posts. Similar to Google adsense, Q-Ads as they\’re called; allow you to put advertisements in your blog based on content. When someone clicks on the ad, you get paid.

Last but not least, Qumana allows you to future date your posts. You may ask yourself, “why would anyone want to do that?” Think about vacations. If you don\’t keep up with new and interesting posts, you will see a decline in your readership. So before you go on vacation, you can sit down and \’powerpost\’ 7 entries and schedule them to appear 1 a day for the next 7 days. No one will even know you were away. Below is the highlighted area for picking the date of each post.

As mentioned above, this review is on their beta product. They have had regular updates, and their tech support have been very responsive. If you are a regular blogger, I would highly recommend taking a look at this software.

Snagit Image Capture

I was asked what I use to capture some of the images on my Blog posts. I use TechSmith’s Snagit software.

ร‚ It has several effects that help with the image capture. The drop shadow effect I use on almost all of my images as it gives that 3D effect. It has a wide range of capture options. Including full screen, window or selected area. It also works on web pages and video.

Digg What?

So you may be wondering what these Digg This buttons are on my blogs. Digg.com is a web site that has become hugely popular over the last 6 months. How it works, is people post news stories, then people vote or ‘digg it’. The stories with the most Diggs usually is including in their weekly podcast. From a blogging perspective, this can drive a lot of traffic. When you hit the Digg button next to my posting, you are casting a vote for the post. It will get posted on the Digg site, where others will see it. If they Digg it as well you will see the counter go up. All of this will drive more traffic to my blog.(if you want to add the Digg buttons to your blog, check out http://ottodestruct.com/wpstuff/diggImplementor.zip )

So Digg away…

Online Web Applications I Use

I have noticed that more and more I am turning to online applications as opposed to desktop applications. As I work on 3 different computers; work, home and notebook, it just makes things much easier. There is no synchronization required, everything is just there when you open it and you can start where you left off. Here are some of the applications I use to keep myself organized.

First there is 2Go SyncIT. This is a small application that runs in your system tray. It automatically will synchronize your Bookmarks in real time as you add or delete them. This is one of those amazing applications that you never know is there and simply works all the time. I posted about it a couple of months ago. They also have some other great features that saved my butt once. Somehow my favorites folder got corrupted and I lost all of my bookmarks. The downside of having all your bookmarks synchronized is that if you lose them all on one PC, you lose them on all PCs. Now I don’t know about you, but my favorites have evolved over the past 5+ years. I emailed 2Go and asked if there was some way for me to retrieve my bookmarks; all 700+ of them. Turns out that one of the standard features of the product is that it keeps all deleted bookmarks from the last 30 days. I just went into their utilities and restored all of my bookmarks.

Next is keeping track of To Do’s. For simple lists I use Ta-da. This simple application allows me to keep multiple lists. I can add the different todo lists to my Links folder in my bookmarks. I also did a post on this. This allows quick access from any computer when the thought strikes me. I use this for personal todo’s for work around the house (this list is shared with my wife…not sure that was a good idea ๐Ÿ™‚ and for blog topics. Since I use the SyncIT program above, when I add a todo list on one computer, it is replicated on all of my computers.

Another new offering in this simple todo list application is WallNote. This application is both an online app. and a desktop app. at the same time. What it does is reads your todo list online and keeps a list on your desktop wallpaper.

Ta-da is great for simple todo lists. For lists that are a little more complicated there is activecollab. This is an open source, on line mini-project manager.

One of the other online apps that I have been using is Bloglines for my RSS feeds. As you can see in my toolbar above I have 2 links in my bookmarks. One is for adding a new feed to Bloglines and the other is for reading my feeds. Bloglines also has some other features for bloggers. if you notice down the right side of my blog, there is a section called Blogroll. This lists all of the feeds that I read. Bloglines makes it easy to quickly scan a large number of feeds. As it is an online app. when I read a post on one computer, it is flagged as read. So when I pull up my list at home, I only see new posts.

One of the new online apps. I am going to try is the new meebo online instant messenger. Everyone knows about instant messengers. Yahoo, MSN, AOL all have their own version. With meebo, you can login to all 3 at the same time and never have to install any software on your computer. This is great for users who work at companies who have locked down their systems, or Internet Cafes.

Sociable Tags

What is this at the bottom of all the posts?

Co.mments–del.icio.us–Digg–Furl–Newsvine–RawSugar–Reddit–My Yahoo

Looking back on my post about Web 2.0. I talked about the social aspect of the new Web. There are several sites that now share or link to blog posts. On some sites users vote on the top story. On others it is posted as news articles. The end goal is to build traffic to your blog.

So try clicking on one of the icons below.

Tags: co.mments, , , furl, newsvine, rawsugar, , myYahoo