Bookmarks for May 31st from 09:31 to 14:50

These are my bookmarks for May 31st from 09:31 to 14:50:

Bookmarks for May 30th through May 31st

These are my links for May 30th through May 31st:

Social Media integration as seen by The Onion

In a telling and humerous new story, The Onion yet again parodies the state of our Internet integration into everyday life, this time looking at the integration of social media into our everyday lives.

Police Slog Through 40,000 Insipid Party Pics To Find Cause Of Dorm Fire

If you didn’t see this video reporting the crash of the Internet, then this is a must watch!

Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Regrettably, this second video was from 2007 but is still absolutley relevant!

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Bookmarks for May 26th through May 28th

These are my links for May 26th through May 28th:

  • The Forrester Blog For Interactive Marketing Professionals – Microsoft announced today its Bing search engine, a "decision engine" that will replace worldwide as of June 3. A distant third place in the search engine game, Microsoft hopes that this engine will help it gain more searcher share by delivering results and content more relevant to how users actually search. What makes Bing different from existing search engines?
  • Micropayments for content and services | Contenture – Every time a Contenture user visits your web site, you make money. Your slice of every visitor's monthly payment is based on how many visits they made to your site divided by the total number of visits they made to all Contenture sites.
  • Mozilla Labs Jetpack | Exploring new ways to extend and personalize the Web – Jetpack is a newly formed experiment in using open Web technologies to enhance the browser, with the goal of allowing anyone who can build a Web site to participate in making the Web a better place to work, communicate and play
  • Linkbait Writing Services | Unique linkbait writing services to help your website grow and get more traffic. – At Linkbait Writing Services, we are determined to bring your website or blog more traffic by creating quality linkbait articles. Our small team of writers strive to create linkbait articles that will not only help you reach the front page of social bookmarking sites like Digg and Stumble Upon, but also bring you traffic for the lifetime of your blog. Save your time for marketing your blog and interaction with your readers and let us take care of the time consuming task of building linkbait articles.
  • WordPress Designers – Premium WordPress Themes – WordPress Designers is a small team of talented developers and creative designers. We pride ourselves on our intimate knowledge or WordPress and our ability to push it to its limits. Since discovering the WordPress platform several years ago, we have strived to learn as much as we could about it so that we could bring you some of the most creative and well coded themes on the market.
  • Outlaw Design Blog » 34 Brilliant Ads on Semi Trucks – a great post showing loads of advertising designs on lorries
  • ConceptShare: – ConceptShare is a simple, cost-effective tool for gathering feedback from team members and clients.
  • 5 Basic Rules for Creating an Effective About Page — Des Walsh dot Com – This short list of basic rules for creating an effective About page has been prompted by my frustration with the number of blogs and other websites that either do not have an About page or, more commonly in my experience, do not put their About page to work effectively in the interests of their business.
  • Small Screen Blog: All about mobile – (by MoFuse) – If you believe that mobile is a strong medium to reach your customers – you need to be thinking about how your brand will evolve on the mobile web. Today you have a few interesting options and they are not mutually exclusive.
    As consumers wake up to the idea that they can actually reach the internet on their phone, we are about to see an explosion of new mobile devices; ITouch, Kindle, “netbooks” and even Sony Playstation Portable already are rapidly changing the ‘connection’ landscape.
  • D u s t y T u n e s | Let your music collection see the light…. – Dusty Tunes automatically creates your own personal web page with a list of all the music in your iTunes library (although you can cheat). It will organise it all into a nice list and provide you with links so you can share it with your friends, on blogs, forums, websites, digg, facebook or simply keep it as a personal reference. You can come back at any time and update your page with all your latest tracks.
  • WordPress › SEO Ultimate « WordPress Plugins – SEO Ultimate was developed with WordPress plugin "best practices" in mind:

    * Integration with WordPress's contextual help system
    * Internationalization support
    * Nonce security
    * An uninstall routine
    * Integration with the new WordPress 2.7 menu

  • Privacy Policy Plugin For WordPress – At the end of February, 2008, Google started requiring AdSense publishers to display a privacy policy on all sites that displayed AdSense ads or search boxes. Since many WordPress blogs are monetized with AdSense, I decided to write a plugin that would automate the creation of AdSense-compliant privacy policies for WordPress users. Thus the Privacy Policy Plugin for WordPress was born.
  • WordPress › CMS Navigation « WordPress Plugins – Do you want to use WordPress to create a full website, with easy navigation and menus? This plugin will let you add essential navigation functions to your template.
  • WordPress › WordPress Navigation List Plugin NAVT « WordPress Plugins – The WordPress Navigation Tool (NAVT) plugin is a powerful tool designed to provide you with complete control over the creation, styling and contents of your web site's navigation.
  • Why Twitter beats RSS: Context + Content = Added Value – broadstuff – Twitter

The desk that started it all

A desk is a desk, right? You plop your computer on it, work away and occasionally clean it. I thought so, but as I was dismantling my old desk for a shiny new one, I thought that it deserved more credit than that. The desk in question was actually Katherine’s (my wife & business partner) kitchen table before I met her.

The table in question
The table in question

The kitchen table, as it was in 1999 was our boardroom table. It was where, with a bottle of wine we discussed the idea of forming an agency. The idea for calling it Cheeze came on a flight to France. It then became my first desk when we started the agency in the back room, where I sat on December 8th 1999 and started trading as Cheeze. The desk stayed home when we moved into ever larger premises but was always used when working at home or at weekends. The desk moved with us from home to home and has been used as my desk continually until today.

If you have read ‘Get Big Fast‘ – the story of Jeff Bezos and Amazon you will know that Jeff’s first desk was a door nailed to a pile of bricks. That desk was eventually auctioned and probably now resides with some online casino company. Whilst our desk may not be as famous, it is still worthy of praise. It was there when we started and was still being used when the agency was aquired so it should have more than sentimental value.

But fear not, it will be sanded down and repainted, shortly to reappear as a table somewhere in the house…Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Spotify on the mobile – an awesome demonstration

spotify_logoSpotify recently announced their plans for a mobile version available to premium subscribers. This video, released by Spotify today shows how it will work on the Android ‘phone.

This video demonstrates the ability to synchronise play lists instantly and cache songs for playing offline or in places with limited connectivity. Sweeeet.

I still have invites available if you are not already connected. Just leave me a comment and I will get you one.

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10 things I learnt on Twitter this week

There are days when I don’t communicate much on Twitter but I am always watching and learning. For me the knowledge stream coming from Twitter is incredible, rich and unprompted. I guess by the people I choose to follow I am defining the type of content that is being shared.

Last week I added my stream of unread bookmarks which are the links I have emailed off the iPhone and I have also found the favourite tweet option useful. These are not necessarily my favourites but more, tweets that I flag for further reading. Until we have a flag system on Twitter, favourites will have to do.

So, what did I learn this week, and who from?

1. Twitter remembers  your favourites. [From me!]

I was happy about this. Twitter remembers my favourites on my account so I can favourite things on the iPhone and find them online, making articles like this much easier.

2. An Apple Tablet appears to be coming soon. [From @thenextweb]

The Next Web brought us news of the Apple Tablet nearing completion. I wait with baited breath…

3. YouTube is growing by 20 hours of video every minute. [from @podcastingnews]

A quick insight into the sheer amount of content being uploaded every minute, and the fact that most of it is mind numbingly dull.

4. Gmail is planning a ‘Magic Inbox’ [from @techmeme]

Techmeme shares and links to a story from Googlesystem Blog that Gmail is planning a magic inbox that prioritises emails based on their contact status (friends etc.) – apparently these changes can be see in the code.

5. Phorm is set to unveil a new consumer solution on June 3rd. [From @ruskin147]

Ruskin147 broke this news in my stream yesterday. The story, now available at PCPRO talks about a new consumer solution that, ““reveal the innovative technology and outline how it fits into the accelerating reality of a personalised internet.” Whatever that means…

6. Amazon web services to offer a ‘Sneakernet’ service. [From @mattcutts]

To be fair, Matt had me at ‘Sneakernet‘ – I didn’t know what it was but sounded cool and a little like ‘Sneakers’ which was an awesome BTW. Anyhoo, as part of its Web Services offering, “AWS Import/Export accelerates moving large amounts of data into and out of AWS using portable storage devices for transport. AWS transfers your data directly onto and off of storage devices using Amazon’s high-speed internal network and bypassing the Internet.” – Nice.

7. Yahoo to offer overlay TV. [From @thayer]

“TV Widgets give you the best of the Internet in perfect harmony with the simplicity and reliability of your television. TV Widgets deliver a Cinematic Internet experience by converting your favorite Web services like Yahoo!® Finance, eBay®, CBS, Flickr®, USA Today®, and Twitter®, for the TV.”This could be good. BUT its in the hands of Yahoo, which doesn’t have a good track record of making things work.

8. Yahoo using street stickers for something? [From @eggboxrobin]

Robin spotted this sticker from Yahoo, snapped by@hermioneway.

What do you see?

9. An open proposal to embed data into twitter. [From @barneyc]

In 140 chars: Twitter Data lets people embed bits of data in their tweets so that computers can read the data and do cool stuff #twitterdata

10. Navy planes to use “Frickin'” lasers to ping submarines. [From @digiphile)

You can’t beat an Austin Powers reference, so this made it a doubly interesting story. In short, the US Navyis looking at using lasers to send messages to submarines instead of Sonar. National Geographic has the full story.

This post took a few days to compile, simply because I had other commitments like sports day to attend! Now its finished, I am not sure if this is of interest. What do you think? Should I do this once a week?

Connect with me on Last FM

I have got back ito Last FM, especially now it can scrobble Spotify music (sometimes.) I have resisted putting another widget on the sidebar as its already a bit heavy. So, if you are on Last FM and fancy connecting with me, then follow the link :-)

5 Recommended Places for Design Inspiration

Why is it than when I lack inspiration for writing (like today) I go surfing around for new template styles? There is never any shortage of templates out there which can be tailored and I am really seeing the value in paying for the professional themes like ithemes which I love (this design is based on the Flexx theme).

I spend a lot of time admiring other blogs, thinking ‘why can’t mine look as good as that‘ but if I spend too much time on the design there will be no time for the content. Like a good sandwich, it needs both bread and jam. So maybe I can pull this post into something useful by talking about design inspiration. If you don’t know me, I have a great desire and admiration for great creative/beautiful work but don’t have the ability to actually design myself. So like a kid at  the sweet shop window I have started hanging around some great sites for design inspiration. Here are my top 5 places, I would welcome other suggestions if you have them.

1. Blog Spoongraphics

blog spoongraphics

This site is regularly updated with some awesome inspirational designs and loads of freebies. The blog is the ‘digital playground’ of Chris Spooner, a freelance designer from Sheffield.

2. My Ink Blog

My Ink Blog

Another site that is chock full of design inspirations. Often showcasing the latest design trends for websites and blogs, it is never short of jaw droppingly beautiful design examples.  The site also offers links to freebies and tutorials to help you achieve similar results (although not in my case!)

3. Line 25

Line 25 screenshot

Like the first two, another excellent blog that covers design trends and tutorials. (can you spot a trend here?) This is the second blog from Chris Spooner, of Blog.spoongraphics – very impressive!

4. ithemes – WordPress Templates

iThemes Templates

iThemes work hard to continue delivering new and great looking blog templates. I found their designs inspirational and very well put together, offering a wealth of customisation at the back end making the whole package really excellent.

These themes also come with the Billboard plug in which can also be bought as a standalone plug in. If you have seen many sites that have neat rows of social media icons and wondered how to achieve that, well you can do it with the Billboard plug in. It is also used on many sites for the ad panels you see (like on The billboard plug in allows you to create containers in which you can add images, defining size and other details before wrapping them up into a widget for site placement. You watch a video of how it works here.

5.  The Next Web

The Next Web

Whilst not strictly a design site, I have always loved their content and find the layout of the blog brilliant, and constantly evolving. A combination of great design, awesome plug ins (things like the Greetbox I found on TheNextWeb) make it probably my fave site out there at the moment.

So that’s just some of the sites I keep up with. I am always looking for new sites, new inspiration – what or who do you think I should be reading?

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