Essential tips for building an online community

Published by Liam McCabe

Websites today tend to strive for returning visitors and to build a pleasant community of users. People who are happy revisiting the website once a week, once or day or even more than once a day. It’s all well saying that good content and a nice design will attract people but will it entice them to return again and again. There are a number of posts that simply list suggestions such as: set up an RSS feed, network with people through social media and comment at blogs and forums. Now these are more marketing tips rather than community building tips. So how does one build a community? Seguir leyendo “Essential tips for building an online community”

“The Times” cuenta con 105.000 suscriptores online

Por primera vez desde que el pasado mes de julio las versiones online de las cabeceras The Times y The Sunday Times pasaran a ser totalmente de pago, News International ha dado a conocer el número de lectores que se han suscrito a este nuevo modelo.

The Times y The Sunday Times cuentan con alrededor de 105.000 suscriptores para los contenidos web de ambos diarios y para las aplicaciones para el iPad y el Kindle de las dos publicaciones, informa The Guardian.

Aproximadamente la mitad de esos 105.000 abonados son suscriptores mensuales. El resto paga una libra por el acceso a números individuales de The Times y The Sunday Times. Seguir leyendo ““The Times” cuenta con 105.000 suscriptores online”

Do Short Posts Deliver on Value?

Written by James 

I write long.

It’s a bit of a fault of mine, actually. I feel that long posts are just … better, somehow. Fuller. Richer. More valuable. I feel that long posts give you all the goods, everything you need, all in one place.

Long posts are hard work, though. Delivering that much value and information in a single post without losing a reader’s attention is tough. And if a reader decides it’s too much work to get to the end…

Well. That’s no good, is it? Then nothing gets read. All that hard work goes to waste.

So each time I write blog posts, I’m mindful of my tendency to write long. Sometimes my first drafts extend well over 1,500 words. Then I trim and edit and cut and snip until they’re back down to something manageable.

Truth be told, that isn’t always fun.

In fact, some people have asked that I shorten posts down. That I deliver fast bites with impact, that I publish quick messages they can grasp in an instant. They want to hear what I have to say… they just don’t have the time to read it all.

This isn’t new. Other thought leaders write short. Chris Brogan publishes posts that are just a few paragraphs. Not always, but sometimes. Seth Godin has mastered the short post and his audience loves him for it. Julien’s posts get straight to the point.

And it works… Seguir leyendo “Do Short Posts Deliver on Value?”

In Social Media, You Cannot have Success without a Team


In the fast-paced, ever-evolving world of the social web, it’s often hard just to figure out how to use some of the more popular sites that let you share your favorite articles and videos, much less bring traffic and followers to your site from them. With so much to think about and do on these sites, you are only going to get by with a little help from your friends. I’m not just saying that because I’m a Beatles fan. It’s really the only way you can have any success, and transfer some of that success to your own blog.

50 Of The Best Social Media And Technology Blogs In The World

Screen shot 2010 11 01 at 15.55.59 50 Of The Best Social Media And Technology Blogs In The World Social media has really exploded in the last couple of years and there are some great blogs out there sharing tons of content and it is getting to the stage where it is nearly impossible to keep track of them all. With that in mind I wanted to make a list of 50 of the biggest social media and tech blogs. Some offer great insight, some have the latest news and some are focused on giving you practical advice to improve your blog or business. They might not all be for you as they are all at different levels but you’ll hopefully find a couple of blogs on this list that are well worth bookmarking and reading on a regular basis. If you think your blog should be on there or know of any other good ones makes sure to leave a link to it in the comments. Here is my list of 50 great social media and tech blogs form around the world… Seguir leyendo “50 Of The Best Social Media And Technology Blogs In The World”

15 Insights from 15 Years – Notes from a PR and Ad Agency Survivor

This year marks Bailey Gardiner’s 15th year. Recently, I’ve been spending some time reflecting on what I have learned about agency life during that time. Yes folks, it’s time to tear back the onion peel and look a bit more deeply into this world of “integrated communications” and agency life. For some of you, this will be an affirmation of what you live. For others it will be a glimpse into a business that is quite unlike what many of you call “work” each day. It isn’t a whole lot like Mad Men portrays it to be (except for the drinking), but it’s sure been a great ride for us.

1. Most people who start an agency are really good at one thing, and that thing is rarely running a business. From hyper-talented creative types to type-A account people (ahem), we rise through the ranks of our agencies and decide it’s time to start our own thing. So exciting. Look! We have clients. Wow! Our first office. Zikes! We’re winning awards. Wait, what? What do you mean I have to spend time on human resources, payroll, health care, legal contracts, the clogged kitchen sink? This industry needs to get better at training its rising stars to be managers and not just good fill-in-the-blanks.

2. People who have self-confidence in presentations will rise to the top. I’ve watched really talented people choke in presentations and it’s not pretty. Get good at it. Go to Toastmasters. Say yes to every presentation opportunity. I’ve also seen lots of people overcome their fear and go on to be outstanding presenters. It has definitely helped their careers. Seguir leyendo “15 Insights from 15 Years – Notes from a PR and Ad Agency Survivor”

Beginner’s Guide to Google Webmaster Tools


Are you looking for some love… from Google? Other than buying paid traffic through their AdWords program, the best way to get more traffic from them is through search engine optimization. But before you start optimizing your site, the first thing you should do is sign up for Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).GWT is a free toolset provided by Google that helps you first understand what’s going on with your website. This way you make decisions based off of data instead of going in blindly.

Here is how GWT works.

Adding your website

add website to google webmaster tools

The first thing you need to do after you login to GWT (it’s free to sign up) is to add your website.

After you add your website you’ll have to verify that you actually own the website. You can do this through four ways:

  1. Add a DNS record to your domain’s configuration – You can use this option if you can sign in to your domain registrar or hosting provider and add a new DNS record.
  2. Add a meta tag to your sites homepage – You can choose this option if you can edit your site’s HTML.
  3. Upload an HTML file to your server – You can choose this option if you can upload new files to your site.
  4. Link your Google Analytics account to GWT – You can use this option if your site already has a Google Analytics tracking code that uses the asynchronous snippet. You must be an administrator on the analytics account for this to work. Seguir leyendo “Beginner’s Guide to Google Webmaster Tools”

Get Inspired by 45 Good Looking Slideshows in Web Design

By: Hilde Torbjornsen

With the use of these sliders, the people and companies behind these websites get a unique way of getting a more professional look and showing off more content at the same time. With these sliders they’re able to highlight featured content and more.

45 Clever and Good-Looking Sliders

Esteban Munos
Esteban Munos


Online Portfolio of Martyn Palmer
Online portfolio of Martyn Palmer



Violet Seguir leyendo “Get Inspired by 45 Good Looking Slideshows in Web Design”

Purpose in Functionality

By Matt Ward |

As a web designer/developer, I’ve found that there exist several common (if not nearly universal) truths when it comes to clients. One of these is that they love to talk about functionality. I have had several clients whose initial approach when they contact me is to provide me with a complete list of functionality – in other words, a listing of what they think that their website needs to do.

What I tend not to get quite so often is a description of what the purpose of the site is.

To my way of thinking, that is a problem. Recently, I wrote an article entitled “HTML (and CSS) do not a Website Make,” in which I discussed some of the things that I thought constituted a website. Obviously, part of the argument that I make is that a website is more than just its HTML and CSS, and one of the areas that I touch on is the notion of purpose. I think that some of what I wrote there has an important bearing on what I want to discuss in this article, so instead of rewriting it, I will simply quote my original words:

Every website should have a purpose. It may be to inform potential customers about your business (probably one of the most common types of websites). It may be to function as an informational resource. It may be to connect people with other people. It may be to showcase yourself, or even simply to entertain. Whatever the purpose is, it is ultimately the core of the site, the nucleus around which everything else that we have looked at so far is ultimately wrapped. Seguir leyendo “Purpose in Functionality”

Simple Yet Effective Brainstorming Tips for Freelancers

By Rean John Uehara |

Great ideas are born in everyone’s mind, it takes careful planning and powerful execution to turn them into reality. Here brainstorming enters, it is the process by which you squeeze out all ideas you can think of and from there you piece them together to come up with a plan.

The human mind is so strong that it can conceive even the seemingly impossible. No software has ever come close to the mind’s processing of creative ideas, its complexity, and fluidity. Besides, all of the wonderful structures we see both in the cyber world and the tangible world are a product human imagination and careful execution. Now let us talk about brainstorming in-depth and build things that will wow the audience. Seguir leyendo “Simple Yet Effective Brainstorming Tips for Freelancers”

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: November 2010

Desktop wallpapers can serve as an excellent source of inspiration. However, if you use a specific wallpaper for a longer period of time, it becomes harder to draw inspiration out of it. That’s why we have decided to supply you with smashing wallpapers for over 12 months. To make them a little more distinctive than the usual crowd, we’ve decided to embed calendars for the upcoming month. So if you happen to be searching for a specific day of the month, isn’t it better to show off a nice wallpaper with a nice calendar instead of launching some default time application?

This post features 50 free desktop wallpapers, created by designers across the globe for November 2010. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free.

Please notice:

  • all images can be clicked on and lead to the preview of the wallpaper;
  • you can feature your work in our magazine by taking part in our desktop wallpaper calendar series. We are regularly looking for creative designers and artists to be featured on Smashing Magazine. Are you one of them?

So what wallpapers have we received for November 2010?

Rose Petal

“Don’t underestimate the true beauty of a single dried rose petal….” Designed by Thuy Truong.

Rose Petal 44 in Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: November 2010

Infinite Space

“Infinite Space… Inspired by the infinite beauty of our universe” Designed by Natanael Fernandez from Santo Domingo, Rep. Dominicana.

Infinite Space 85 in Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: November 2010

Making user testing happen

by Paul Boag |

We all know we should be doing more usability testing than we are. Fortunately there are some great tools available to make the job easier.

Every time I see Steve Krug’s book “rocket surgery made easy” I feel guilty. I know I should do more than I do, but somehow it never quite works out that way.

Steve is right when he says we should all be doing usability testing every month. He even makes it incredibly easy by reducing the number of participants to only three people per month. Yet even this we struggle to do.

However I have learnt one valuable lesson from my disastrous DIY experiments. If you have the right tools the job it is a lot easier. In my experience this applies as much to usability testing as to DIY. Fortunately these days there are some amazing tools available and I’ve listed my favourites below. Be sure to check them out. Seguir leyendo “Making user testing happen”

Where is the Future of Web Design?

Posted by Jake Rocheleau |

Everything seems to be moving at such a faster pace than it used to. We’re seeing instantaneous developments and access to information like never before through the likes of Google and Wikipedia. All of this information has me questioning where the future of web design is heading.

Although it’s not so easy to read the future we can make some heavy conclusions and predictions about where things are heading. With current trends in the design landscape unfolding we’re starting to see paths illuminate and new ideas sprouting up. Those of us who follow these trends will be the designers who can rise above the rest and fill into the new age of technology. Seguir leyendo “Where is the Future of Web Design?”