Business Blogging Set To Grow By 25% In Two Years

EMarketer corporate blogs A new study from eMarketer estimates that 43% of US companies will be blogging by 2012. And that one third of US companies are currently blogging. No word on their level of engagement or activity, but interesting to hear about the study, given so much focus today on social networks.

eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna thinks, “Companies are finding that blogs fill a specific niche that other forms of social media do not,”

To me that specific niche is developing content on a regular basis that helps to make their corporate website come alive for SEO, engagement with customers, and integrated social media marketing with a social networking site like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
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5 Tips For Optimizing A Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign

When pulling together a pay per click (PPC) strategy for a company you really have to think about what your company’s goals are.  Better ROI from your  PPC keyword campaigns or traffic for branding? Those goals influence what keywords you target, the development of your landing pages, ad content creation, and how you measure the success of the each pay per click campaign. Here are a few factors to consider when developing a PPC campaign. Seguir leyendo “5 Tips For Optimizing A Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign”

Is the Future of Mobile Broadband Pay As You Go?

Over the past few weeks, I have been considering a mobile broadband solution. My reasoning is two-fold: I’d like a backup in case my regular connection fails–Comcast here has become somewhat spotty as of late–and something for when I’m on the road at a conference and don’t want to depend on the available Wi-Fi, which is sometimes unreliable.

For the time being, I have settled on Virgin Mobile’s Broadband2Go offering (I’ll have a review of it coming in a week or two after I’ve put it through its paces). It’s cheap, the initial cost of startup is not high, and it’s now Mac compatible. But while at Wal-Mart, I was shocked to see Verizon and AT&T are now offering their own prepaid plans. I must have missed their announcements–and it’s kind of surprising to me that those companies be interested in getting into the game. Seguir leyendo “Is the Future of Mobile Broadband Pay As You Go?”

The Ethics of Free: Is it Wrong to Get Free Stuff?

I love to get free stuff. Don’t you?

The problem with free is that it doesn’t mean something is really free. It just means that someone else has paid for the product or service instead of you.

Recently, I was surfing around the Wise Bread archives, and I came across a post on how to get movie rentals for free. Well, that sounds interesting, right? As I read through the comments, I found that some readers were really appreciative for the tip while others thought taking advantage of the coupon codes was either cheap, an assault on capitalism, or downright immoral.

Then the same discussion came up again. While dealing with the topic of student loan debt forgiveness for people who work for non-profit organizations, it was clear that some individuals are concerned that free to you means I get to pay (through tax dollars) for that item — in this case, student loans. Seguir leyendo “The Ethics of Free: Is it Wrong to Get Free Stuff?”

Anything’s Possible Through Crowdsourced Corporate Donations

By: Nancy Lublin

GOOD DIRECTION: Led by his Twitter followers, Hugh Jackman, right, gave $50,000 to Charity: Water, which has dug wells across Africa. | Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis (Jackman); Courtesy of Charity:Water

Hugh Jackman, Charity: Water

Well, sort of. As crowdsourced corporate giving becomes ubiquitous, Nancy Lublin offers tips to win those contests — and the increasingly big bucks.

Today, you are more important than you ever knew. Yes, you are a VIP. Every company seems to want your direct input: Can you create a short film (aka ad) about Bounty paper towels’ philosophy of life? What new flavor should Mountain Dew market, and how should the packaging look? Which couple should get married on the Today show, what should they wear, and where should they go on their honeymoon?

Whether or not crowds are truly wise, you’re certainly in demand in this era of crowdsourcing. That’s especially true in the not-for-profit universe. In the past, we’ve sought your donor dollars, but now we’re also after your support in the form of votes that help us get other donors’ dollars. Actor Hugh Jackman announced last year on Twitter that he’d give away $100,000 to a cause suggested by the Twitterverse. (Charity: Water and Operation Hope split the pot.) Major corporations such as PepsiCo, American Express, and JPMorgan Chase have all turned charitable dollars over to public votes. (Full disclosure: I sit on the advisory boards for the Chase Community Giving and Pepsi Refresh contests.) So have small ones; Kind, which makes fruit-and-nut bars, is giving away $25,000, and it’s up to people who perform “kind acts” — other than eating fruit-and-nut bars — to decide where that money goes. Seguir leyendo “Anything’s Possible Through Crowdsourced Corporate Donations”

Estudio de BitDefender revela debilidad en contraseñas

Autor: Misael Aguilar

Según un estudio realizado por la empresa desarrolladora de software AV BitDefender, el 75 por ciento de la personas usan la misma contraseña para redes sociales y correo electrónico.

Estudio realizado por BitDefender revela debilidad en contraseñas

El estudio tuvo una duración de una semana, y se analizaron cerca de 250,000 direcciones de correo-e, nombres de usuario en redes sociales y contraseñas. El resultado mostró que el 75 por ciento de los usuarios de redes sociales usan la misma contraseña para sus cuentas de correo-e. El estudio obtuvo la información de diferentes blogs, torrents, servicios de colaboración en línea y otras fuentes. Seguir leyendo “Estudio de BitDefender revela debilidad en contraseñas”

Head Up in the Clouds: Web Design that Uses Sky Elements

By Kawsar Ali

It is always amazing to designer incorporating different element of nature in their designs. This time the inspiration is cloud, sky and blue palette colors. In this post we are featuring some really beautiful website that used sky, cloud images and illustrations in their design.Some of this website used stock images and some of them used vectors or combination of both. Nevertheless, the outcome is very professional and fun to see.


Ready Made Design

The Pixel

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100 Free High Quality WordPress Themes: 2010 Edition

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since our last WordPress theme collection, but there you have it — the time has come again. Once a year we feature the most useful and interesting WordPress-themes that we are collecting over months and present them in a nice quick overview. The collections from 2007, 2008 and last year are still useful, but some of the themes are outdated or updated now.

Looking back over these previous theme articles, you can clearly see how and why WordPress has rapidly matured into the CMS powerhouse it is today. With all of the features that have been added and improvements made with every new WordPress version and with its ever-increasing popularity among the design and development community, the quality of free themes is evident. Developers are continually pushing WordPress’ boundaries, giving us today’s outstanding free theme collection.

Today, we present a fresh collection of useful WordPress themes. Please notice that some themes are a bit older, but they are included because we haven’t featured them last time. This round-up picks up where we left off last year: most themes below were released between June 2009 and August 2010. We’ve also split this collection into the following categories: gallery and portfolio themes, themes for bloggers, e-Commerce WordPress themes, clean themes, magazine-style themes, minimal themes, mobile themes; pre-launch themes; and finally “Themes That Take WordPress Beyond.”

Gallery And Portfolio Themes

Cumulus (Free version) (demo)
Cumulus is a very clean and calm portfolio theme. It contains a large block for featured projects and images and a nifty blog posts navigation in the sidebar.

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Imbalance (demo)
Free wordpress theme in modern-minimalist style. Imbalance is a very user friendly, jQuery powered theme which looks really well under any browser and OS. Perfectly fits for your blog, online magazine or portfolio websites. It is optimized for high-loads, contains WordPress 3.0 menu support, Twitter widget, jQuery-based gallery and WP Post Thumbnails support.

Imbalance2 in 100 Free High Quality WordPress Themes: 2010 Edition

Shaken and Stirred Theme (demo)
This theme is perfect for you if you’re in need of a gallery/portfolio website or if you just want a website with a unique grid layout that not many websites have taken full advantage of yet. “Shaken Grid” uses the jQuery Masonry plugin which “arranges elements vertically then horizontally according to a grid.” The result is a gap-less layout even if you have varying post heights.

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AutoFocus+ (demo)
The theme is designed on an 800px, 8 column grid layout that truly allows your images to shine. The theme boasts a sharp typographic approach with a 22px baseline grid, and a Garamond/Helvetica (Times/Arial for you PC users) font stack that’s much easier to read.

Wordpress-121 in 100 Free High Quality WordPress Themes: 2010 Edition

Fotofolio Landscape (demo)
A nice dark WordPress theme with sidebar navigation and jQuery-powered lightbox for images. A good choice for photographers who want to feature their works in an online portfolio.

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25 Amazing CSS3 Experimentations and Demos

CSS3 is opening up a lot of possibilities for designers and developers. Things that used to require images, JavaScript or Flash can now be done with the power of CSS. Unfortunately, in most cases these developments are more useful for experimentation and learning at this point since they are not supported by all of the major browsers. However, if you’re interested in learning more about the capabilities of CSS3 it can be a valuable use of your time to see what is being done.

In this post we’ll feature 25 experimentations and demos from various designers/developers using CSS3.  Some have more practical real-world uses than others, but all of them demonstrate what can be done with CSS3 and some creativity.

Look Ma, No Flash!

Look Ma, No Flash!

Old School Clock with CSS3 and jQuery

Old School Clock with CSS3 and jQuery

A Colorful Clock with CSS & jQuery

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10 Useful iPhone Keyboard Shortcuts, Tips and Tricks

Amy-Mae Elliott

Whether you’ve taken to the iPhone’s touchscreen keyboard like a duck to water, or are more of a one-finger-at-a-time typist, there are plenty of shortcuts, tips and tricks that can improve your iTyping experience.

Here, we’ve rounded up ten useful ways to be faster and more productive with your iPhone’s keyboard. We hope these tricks are handy for anyone new to the platform, or those who have not had the time to really experiment.

Ranging from basic how-tos to more advanced trickery, have a read of our ten tips below, and do share any keyboard-, language- or other text entry-related hints you’ve discovered on your iDevice in the comments.

1. HOW TO: Add an International Keyboard

iOS4 has more language options than ever before. If you’re bi-lingual, there’s an easy way to add an international keyboard to your iPhone’s set-up so you can switch between English and Chinese — for example — on the fly.

From the home screen, go to “Settings,” then “General,” then scroll down to see “Keyboard” and tap this option. You can then select “International Keyboards” and scroll through the list to add the language you need.

Now, for all iPhone OS versions, when you have the keyboard on the screen, if you hit the little globe icon next to the space bar, you can switch between languages at the press of a button. Seguir leyendo “10 Useful iPhone Keyboard Shortcuts, Tips and Tricks”

Cosmo Releases Sex Position of the Day App For Android, I Release Bile

Do you like sex with other people? Do you like Android? While it is my opinion that those two questions are mutually exclusive, someone, somewhere matches those two criteria. Thankfully, Cosmopolitan Magazine is there for them.

Basically, this is an app that shows sex positions, albeit in a cartoony way. Fair enough. Android is for pornographers, after all. And that’s basically the news, but I’d like to inject a little outrage into this otherwise mundane story.

First, let’s get the throat clearing out of the way. The app features:

– The Carnal Challenge Rating: the more flames a position displays, the greater the difficulty

– Erotic Instructions: hints to help you make the most of the position and what to look forward to

– Colorful Illustration: tasteful visuals that help you understand how the position works

Something so disgusting wouldn’t be available for iOS, would it? Right?

Wrong. It’s also available for the iPhone. Tasteful visuals. Ahem. Carnal Challenge? Erotic Descriptions? Sounds like porn to me. Now, if you’ll allow me, I’d like to blow up. Seguir leyendo “Cosmo Releases Sex Position of the Day App For Android, I Release Bile”

Social Media is Getting Schooled

by Blake Bowyer

Of the sectors throwing caution to the wind and making social media integral to long-term communications plans, I perceive higher education as dragging its feet. Fresh off graduation, I can still smell the ink drying on hastily-minted digital plans for universities of all sizes and ilk. That’s why I was surprised after a recent finding from the Society for New Communications Research: higher education is outpacing the Fortune 500 in social media adoption by more than 2 to 1.

We must consider such inferences carefully. The deeper one digs into the study, the more context must be added. In one instance, researchers found 95% of schools use at least one platform to recruit. While the for-profit equivalent of recruiting is acquiring new customers, social media serve many more functions in both sectors. In education, uses include informing current students, communicating with alumni, and promoting curricula, courses, and extracurriculars internally, among countless others.

The study’s broad statements must be examined carefully and, while the rate of adoption may be high, it may not translate to effectiveness. Social media shouldn’t be drooled over solely for external promotion and recruiting, but also for opportunities to create an enriching stakeholder experience. For example, Harvard University has been an early adopter in its use of social platforms to welcome guests with campus tips on foursquare, serve diverse audiences on Twitter, and provide students resources to get involved via Facebook.

“Well, that’s freakin’ Harvard!” one might say. Sure, but it could be any university with the strategic insight to serve disparate audiences through social media. While not every institution can offer a custom foursquare badge to visitors, it can bring a campus, its students, and the community to life with a fuller interactive, multimedia presence. Obviously it’s no cakewalk and schools must address four fundamental uncertainties that inhibit effective use of social media in higher education: Seguir leyendo “Social Media is Getting Schooled”

7 Tips for Giving Effective Design Project Quotes

by Mathew Carpenter

7 Tips for Giving Effective Design Project Quotes It’s a familiar situation for any freelancer — you open your email inbox, scan through the day’s spam and auto-responder messages, and come across a request for proposal.

It’s the same as the other design requests, aside from one small detail — instead of the standard “we can pay [this much]” message, there’s a line at the end asking how much you think the project will cost.

Being asked to name your own price might seem like a miracle situation, but it’s rarely a relaxing experience for freelance designers, particularly those without a solid and secure price structure for their services.

That one request can end up triggering anxiety and worry, as even the most skilled designer begins to wonder just how much their work time is really worth.

I’ve been in that situation before. We’ve all been in that situation before. It’s not easy, and it’s not the type of situation you want to find yourself in without solid pricing guidelines.

These seven tips can help you give an effective, accurate, and clear project quote that’s neither a sales killer nor a risk to your freelance longevity. Give ‘em a shot. Seguir leyendo “7 Tips for Giving Effective Design Project Quotes”

The Perfect Brainstorm: A How To

By Robert Bowen

Given our fields of interest and chosen professions, most of us have at least once in our lives had to brainstorm for one reason or another. But for those of us who apply this mental tool in our creative pursuits much more regularly, learning to do so effectively is crucial.

Brainstorming could prove an invaluable addition to your creative arsenal, but only if you take the time and put forth enough effort to follow through on the process. This is an unfortunate truth for many, who believe that this “storm” is short-lived. But there is more to it than that.

Brainstorming is more than about just having ideas: it is about having ideas and the means to implement them. You can come up with ideas all day long that sound great on paper and even out loud when you share them with others, but if you have no means to follow through on them, then they will simply fall flat. Just because you have a spark, doesn’t mean you have enough fuel to keep the fire burning brightly. An idea isn’t so much a storm as a drizzle.

Storm in The Perfect Brainstorm: A How To

If you look up the word brainstorm, it is generally defined as a “discussion to produce ideas and ways of solving problems.” The key part here is the discussion. When a lot of us are ’storming, we do so on our own or with few participants, and we end up just sharing our idea rather than discussing it. There is no weighing of pros and cons, no comparison with competing or existing models, no contemplation of the concept’s audience. We must take extra steps to ensure that when we brainstorm, we do so as though we were having this discussion, covering all of these bases and fully examining the idea, not just marvelling at our conception of it.

Consider some of our previous articles:

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