Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BloggerStyles Free Blog Templates

Here's another source for blog templates.

BloggerStyles converts Wordpress themes into Blogger templates. There are some really nice looking templates here. All templates have been tested and rated, using criteria such as browser compatibility, proper display of images, links, comments, and more. There are 27 pages (as of now) of great-looking templates to browse, preview and download. Is your new template there?

Another Template Source

Falcon Hive - Wordpress themes Bloggerized. There are some really nice templates here. There is one that I especially love, and I'm tempted to start using it. Still thinking about it, but I definitely want to be able to find this site again. Check it out and see if you don't agree.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Free PhotoShop Brushes

Paint BrushImage by Counteract.
via Flickr

This is a great site to get free Photoshop brushes. Filter by category or Photoshop version to find brushes you can use. I downloaded a bunch of them today, because they all look so neat. Then I found this tutorial in some of the comments, so I had to try it. I'm not completely happy with how it turned out on the first try, but I can see some potential here.

Now, if I can just remember that I have these tools to use.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gone, Forever

Image representing Flickr as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Just a word of advice - if you haven't upgraded to a Pro account on Flickr, do not whatever you do mark an old photo that is no longer part of your photostream as 'private' or you will never see it again.

And since that was a really long sentence, let me explain. I don't upload enough photos to Flickr to justify a Pro account, so I've never upgraded. Instead, I just put the thumbnails on a webpage or in a blog post and link them to the photo page. Flickr makes it easy by providing the code. Then, should I ever want to use those photos for anything, I can still find them.

Yesterday Cory asked me to remove a picture in one of my blog posts. I thought I could just mark that photo as private, and I could still see it because it's my picture, but no one else could see it. Wrong. As soon as I marked it private, I was redirected to a page that said I didn't have permission to view that photo. I hit the back button on my browser and tried to change it back, but that didn't work. As far as I can tell, that photo is gone, forever.

Yes, I have it here on a DVD, but I can't find it on Flickr any more.

Another tip for people like me who haven't upgraded to the Pro account on Flickr: tag all of your photos with your username or something unique to you. Then, you can always search Flickr for photos with that tag, and your photos will be the ones that come up - all there, whether they're still part of your photostream or not. Unless, of course, they've been made private. :P

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The End of YouTube as we Know it?

My son Cory has been complaining the last few days about the 'hulufication' of YouTube. I hadn't heard anything about it, because I guess I don't hang out on YouTube enough, but apparently there was a lot of discussion going on among YouTube users because YouTube plans to feature movies and television shows, like hulu. Most of these users are afraid that the focus will be on these featured movies, and user-generated content will be pushed to the side. My first inclination is that, since YouTube was built on that user-generated content and that's what it's known for, the user-generated content will continue to be very important.

This article I just read seems to say the same thing:
The launch of the premium content section of YouTube will come with a site redesign to highlight the changes while keeping YouTube's main focus on user-generated clips.
Or maybe I was just looking for that? The article also explains why YouTube has decided to go this direction - money! If providing premium content will help generate the ad revenue needed to keep YouTube running, and FREE, then it just may be the best choice in the long run. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, a video!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Personalize Your Twitter

There are about a dozen themes you can choose from on Twitter. They're not bad, but if those are the only backgrounds you have to choose from, that means that 1 in 12 twitter users will have the same twitter theme, minimum. Kind of like going to the big ball only to find out that a whole bunch of other people are wearing the same dress. So what do you do if you want your twitter page to stand out from the rest? Luckily you can upload your own background image.

I think the best advice is to personalize your twitter profile as explained on BenSpark.com. He did mention something about making a template available, but I don't know where things stand on that. Even without the template, I'm pretty sure I can create my own personal Twitter background, if I can only figure out what I want and then take the time to do it. Drew's is really cool - be sure to check it out.

Since I haven't yet created my very own background, I tried Flickr my background which uses your latest Flickr photo as your Twitter background. That's pretty neat, because it changes every time you upload new photos to Flickr. The downside is that it changes every time you upload new photos to Flickr - so your Twitter page won't be easily recognizable and something that people will associate with you. I think it's best to create or choose something and then stick with it a while.

This weekend, since I still haven't created my own, I tried a nice Twitter background from Twitterimage.com. They have some nice free images. They also offer professionally designed custom backgrounds.

And here's another source for Twitter backgrounds - U Stand Out. You can simply grab the image file and upload that to twitter, or grab the Photoshop file and customize it. Add your own pictures, text, etc.

follow me on Twitter - and please don't criticize my Twitter background, because for some reason Twitter keeps eating it.