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Category Archives: Cool Tools

Facebook Template

Pin this FB Filmstrip Hack [Cool Facebook Template]

Download the FB Filmstrip Template here:

Facebook Template

A little while ago we published a Photoshop Template complete with Guidelines so you could create your own Facebook Page Timeline cover. Now here’s a quirky template for you to customize presentations of your Facebook Albums on the Timeline.

You better Pin this useful map of how filmstrips work on Facebook!


a. New Images, Appear Left-to-right. Facebook will automatically present them on your timeline in this order. It’s always the first photo of your set in the primary position, followed by a string in the order you uploaded them underneath. Simple? try to keep it that way as an album of four images at a time, because further uploads to the same album can start to become messy…
b. Further uploads in the same time frame, Right-to-Left. will appear as a film strip with the most recent thumbnail on the left. Facebook will only show the latest 3 uploaded photos. All photos no-matter what their layout will be re-framed to a centralized square of 133px to display as the thumbnail in the film-strip.
c. Additional edits to the album, can end up with your timeline post looking a bit tricky. Removing images from the stream, additions to the album that aren’t in groups of three, will end up in the film strip showing the two earliest un-presented additions to the album in the left-to-right format, with the latest image up front.
d. Highlighted album will show the film strip running Left-To-Right in order of upload, no matter if you swap images around in your album afterwards

Here’s our attempt at the Facebook Album Hack;

I’m looking forward to screencapping a bunch of reader’s responses so get on and show me your FB Hacks!

 

 

decisions mac air vs retina pro

Decisions: Mac Book Air vs Mac Book Pro Retina

Help Maria out everybody. She’s been anxiously waiting the release of the Mac Book Retina Pro these last few weeks, and to add to the painfully slow decision we’re all following, everyone else in the office is jumping on the consumerism bandwagon and talking up the next latest tech buy.

Stay tuned this week as our creative team here at InMotion Hosting all make their choices in what they are planning to invest in, be it the top Pad, Notebook, Laptop, or various Macs from the Apple family.

Unfortunately this doesn’t help Maria out much, all this geek talk of various specifications is just growing the want list. So I decided to throw it out there to you folks and help her make her decision. It’s like pulling teeth, because despite having settled on getting a Mac for creative purposes, their family of laptops has an incredible array of choice, overlap, and pricing purposefully to part you from your money. As I’ll now go on to explain:

On the left, the fully specced out Mac Book Air | On the right the Mac Book Pro Retina Base model

Mac Book Air vs Mac Book Pro Retina

Maria:

Well my Dell laptop has already blown up several times and is six years old – so I’ve been thinking about getting a MacBook…

Maria! I think it’s past time to invest in a replacement, don’t you think? (Not that we’re putting the consumer pressure on her.) Anyway that said, her background is in sound production – Yes there are all sorts here at InMotion.

Maria:

I’ll be just using it for sound production, D-J software etc. I don’t do any video editing or imagery work so much. So as long as it can render this stuff with multiple channels fast…

Mac Book Retina Pro Pricing
“but it’s only $400 more..”

 

Here was my suggestion:

Seeing as you’re doing sound editing, don’t bother spending on the Retina Model! Save the $400 towards extra software or add-on hardware for your home music studio.

It’s not helped by the fact that everyone has their little bit of input on what they are buying and why. Pretty amazing that Mac of all brands has managed to stop Marketing AND Development departments in it’s tracks to stare dumbfounded at the latest new toys.

Work literally ground to a halt as we all crowded around to stare at Andrew’s new Mac Book Retina Pro Base model. The same one Maria is considering, only he uses it for the Xcode SDK, and those coding texts look so crisp maybe I don’t need glasses after all?

 

Stop Working - Andrew's Retina!

Here’s what everyone else had to say:

Mike (Marketing Manager): [He was going to go for the Retina Model I believe]

I went to see it, and it made the internet look crap. Big disappointment for me because I don’t do enough video stuff to warrant me staring at a crap internet screen all day. I think I’ll wait out ’till the next round of Apple releases.

The debate has caused a stir at all levels of the company, Bob (Executive Level) has already committed to buying the Latest Fully specced Mac Book Air.

It’s faster than my old Mac Book Pro, and cheaper than upgrading. Since I only do a bit of video editing I wasn’t going to warrant going for the retina screen either. It’s fast enough for my Office editing, and occasional rendering.

I think that’s in-line with industry consensus. Unless you’re a Photographer, or full time Video Editor, going for the Retina Family will put you in a bracket of spending for those requirements at least double that of the PC family, which is where I’ll probably end up in my personal decision tree later on.

Waiting to see if Maria will snap out of the glassy eyed ooing.. help her out bods and share your decisions with us. Is the Mac Book Air good enough for sound production? Leave her a note:

Twitter Chat Calendar

Twitter #Chat Times | Auto-copy to your Calendar these Unmissable Social Media Events

Twitter Chat Calendar

twitter chat on #socialmediaEver gone glassy eyed at the constant chatter about social media? It probably gnaws at you somewhere that you’re supposed to join into some ‘senseless nonsense’ just to  have a business presence.

Perhaps you’ve taken a skirting look before through your Chat Client Window and seen the barrage of promoters, all saying their piece of advice on social media. It’s no wonder at that point if you think there’s no room for you in that stream, or as soon as you do tweet something out it would be buried and in effect useless to you.

Well, I’ve curated the best places to start learning! Twitter hashtag chat streams are rather like interactive radio shows, and people flock at various times to tune in. I’ve scheduled a calendar of these chat panels, where you are free to interact with the experts and gain some great business advice on integrating your online business – with social media.

Sunday Twitter Chats:

  • #Likeable with Dave Kerpen – Social Media Trends for marketers to look out for
  • #Blogchat with Mack Collier – All about promoting your Blogsite

Monday Twitter Chats:

  • #MMchat with Jeff Ashcroft focusing on Media Managers, ask the experts.
  • #SocialChat with Alan Knecht You get to drive the conversation!
  • #JournChat with Sarah Evans, interaction for journalists and PR professionals.

Tuesday Twitter Chats:

  • #sMMManners with Dabney Porte – Learn about Social Media Etiquette
  • #SMbiz with John and Chrisanne Sternal – Business chat for businesses on using social media
  • #pr20chat with Heather Whaling – A chat for PR professionals

Wednesday Twitter Chats:

  • #CmgrChat with Jenn Pedde – Community Manager Chat
  • #SMchat with Chris Jones – A different topic on Social Media Each Week
  • #wjchat from @wjchat – tech journalists on the web!

Thursday Twitter Chats:

  • #MyBlogGuest with Anne Smarty – all about getting your guest publications on the road
  • #BWEchat by Blogworld – Keynote speakers, and pro bloggers from Blogworld Expo.

Friday Twitter Chats:

  • #CMGRhangout – Hosted by Tim McDonald for community managers with a live video stream in google hangouts.

Simply auto copy these schedules to your calendar. There’s a feature in this calendar to click on each event. Set your calendar to auto announce upcoming events, so you won’t forget to watch the stream or pose some of those questions you’ve been dying to ask the experts.

Facebook Cover sizes (520x400)

Smarten up your Facebook Brand Page with our Adobe Template

We’ve put together a Facebook Template Download of some standard facebook sizes:

  • Facebook Cover Photo 851 x 315 px
  • Facebook Profile Photo 160 x 160 px
  • Facebook Tab Photos 112 x 75 px

Click here to download the facebook cover photo template –>

Now to get started, what I really mean by ‘Smarting up your Facebook Brand Page’ is actually a double-entendre. I won’t go into the specifics of setting up Facebook Timeline here, because I’ve given you the template, and aspects of design related optimization are a whole area of study.

Instead I’m going to focus on making smarter use of your Facebook Brand page, exposing some of the recipes to get you the most clickthrough, traction, and interaction. Obviously most brands that have a lot of consumer awareness about them are already going to have visibility and so probably aren’t optimizing the most out of their pages. I’m not saying they don’t need to, they just aren’t concerned with it.

However, the tact has to be a lot more objective for the start-up, small business owner, or consultant level business. Your numbers are going to be small to start with, every fan counts, and here’s what I recommend to make sure you aren’t losing out on every single opportunity that presents – In a nutshell.

Facebook Links

There is NO excuse to not capitalize on click-through to your website. After all, you’ve gone to all that effort of branding your page using our facebook template, and you want your customers to find you. Don’t anticipate or expect people will be inclined to navigate to your ‘About’ page when you can remove that extra step and Facebook will GIVE you a live link back to your website. This link will appear right in the heat zone where visitors will first  see it.

Here’s how to get the live link showing right where your new fans can click through to check you out:

  1. As page administrator, click the ‘About’ section. It will open up a page description.
  2. Look for the opportunity to ‘Edit’ in the right-hand corner. Click that to open up a form page.
  3. Somewhere near the bottom of the form page there is the ‘About’ field. No HTML is accepted here so you can’t put in strings of <a href=”code”> in here! However, if you prefix your url with [http://] like –> http://YOURDOMAIN.COM Facebook will automatically convert it to a live link.

The same process of applying a prefix to your domains ‘http://’ will often be converted on many sites not just Facebook to a live link, so it’s a habit to definitely take on board.

Top WP Themes Plugins by Industry

WordPress Essentials by Industry [Infographic]

We host every kind of industry website you can imagine, a large proportion of which are WordPress based platforms. So, we’ve decided to put together a table of the top tweaks that webmasters were applying to their WordPress CMS (by industry), to save you the build time when it comes to seeing what they recommend.

WP_Infographic
Creative Commons License
WordPress Essentials Infographic by WordPress Hosting is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


The information was gathered from writers from each of the chosen industries and curated on the embedded spreadsheet below. Feel free to make a copy for yourself as a shared Google document. The spreadsheet below contains all the links to each tool, theme, and tweak recommended by a pool of industry experts. I’m open to everyone’s comments and suggestions, and will check back regularly if there are significant changes.

lets explain web hosting

Let’s Explain Web Hosting – Behind the Scenes [Video]

Ever get bored of the techie trying to explain to you what web-hosting is all about from his bedroom recorded Skype video? Ever get confused with all the funny terms they drop in – like ‘Shared Hosting’, ‘Dedicated Servers’, it’s usually jumbled up with more screenshots of jargon, added to a robotic voiceover – you must know the type of video I mean!

Well, we understand how you feel! So our team got together and decided to ‘splain it in low-tech everyday stuff, so that even YOU can explain it to your Mom, Dad, dog, and client.

Check out our video below:

This is the catch, it was just us folks in the office, trying to explain it without going near the technology we take for granted around us. Um, do you think I set up an uncool [unfair] challenge or not?

Here’s what Anie had to say:

I guess I’d like to say what a fun process it was and how it was a different kind of teamwork that we’ve never experienced before, and we get to share this with our customers in order to have a more fun and shared perspective of web hosting from our customer’s point of view.

Which is pretty much what I was hoping for.

Anie: From beginning to end it was fun: drawing, cutting, taping, setting up and rehearsing!

Jason: I’m looking forward to using it to explain web hosting, VPS, and what I do to my friends, colleagues and affiliates. It was always a sticking point if you try to go there.

Alex: I enjoyed recording the sound with everyday office noises – even more so that I managed to get one of my own songs into the background party bit!

And the point I was making? Well, wouldn’t it be cool if as a new start-up or web-business, you could put together a simple video like this to explain your business? I’ve proven that we don’t have to have fantastic performance skills to produce something that could be meaningful to our audience. I hope you share the video as inspiration for your own office/business videos!

web hosting for beginners

lets explain web hosting

Google+ Hangout

Join Us in Google Hangouts!

Google+ Hangout
We recently launched a survey, as we’re sure you’re interested to find out where you compare to the average website owner in promoting their online business. There is a confusing array of options out there for you to attract a bunch of web visitors and clients for your online start-up business, so where are people hedging their bets and placing their money – if at all?

In this Google Hangout we’ll be joined by some Online Marketing tool representatives from the SEO, and Social Media world to help you decipher what it all means and where you could be best off budgeting for your self promotion. Bookmark this post and come back later as we update the key attendees you’ll be getting direct access to ask those burning questions in this free session!

Add the calendar below to make sure you don’t miss this great opportunity to join in and find out as we reveal for the first time some interesting stats on where you told us you prioritize your time on the world-wide-web!

Join us here! –> InMotion Hosting’s Google+ Page
Simply hit the ‘Hangout’ Button to join in.

Where? InMotion Hosting G+
When? Wednesday 9th May 2012 –> Add this date to your calendar here

Online Marketing Budget

How much do businesses really spend on Online Marketing?



Hi, and THANK YOU for spending the time to contribute a bit of research that we’ll later present as a set of infographics. We want to help you find out how you compare to the average web hosted business owner in terms of your investment in time and money on the web. There’s hundreds of tools and tweaks you can apply to getting customers to your website, but how do all these techniques really stack up where it really counts? – And that’s if you use them or not! The form is completely anonymous, and we bet you’re dying to know if you’re the average spender or tight purse when it comes to marketing your business online. So, How much do you really spend? Check back to our blog http://inmotionhosting.com/blog to see the results soon!

Purple HTML5 Animator

So you want to begin #HTML5 Animation?

A while ago we produced the HTML5 Cheat sheets that went down a treat amongst pro web developers. But what about those of us who are completely new to HTML5 and want to take advantage of it’s powerful features without the in depth coding knowledge?

I researched and put together a list of the top 5 Animation suites to get you a head start on creating some punchy graphics for your web pages.

1./ Purple – $20 Mac OSX App for HTML5  iPhone, iPad and web animationsPurple HTML5 Animator

Hmmm, this was the cheapest of all the apps, looks beautifully built. But it has strong limitations in that it’s only for Mac users and that there are no mouse over or button animation features. Another nasty hiccup was browsing their demo site, I came across a browser incompatablity issue and graphics wouldn’t display. The animation demos looked nice on my iPhone but didn’t scale and couldn’t interact so there is still some room for improvement.

“SAY WHAT!@#%^!? – I thought we were supposed to be moving away from Flash and all it’s hiccups!?”

Yes – currently unless your browser supports ‘WebKit’ Extensions, you can’t view the work you put all that effort into. Purple say that in the next update of Firefox 5, this compatibility issue will be resolved, and therefore their HTML5 WebKit animations will be supported.

2./ Tumult Hype – $50

The graphics user interface of this suite seems particularly well thought out. You have the full options of animations given to you whether you are trying to create mouse-over animation etc. I Love this suite and at 50 Squids I think they hit  great affordable pricepoint with me. Now if only I had a mac. Hype is only available for Mac and they have no plans to produce a version for windows.

3./ Hippo – $30Hippo HTML5 Animator

They have gone to the effort of creating some really easy to understand tutorials for their software suite. The pricepoint is a really attractive low $30, matched only by the fact the tool feels a little clunky and buggy at times. This seems to match the windows platform hiccups as a PC user I have steadily gotten used to. The demos in their gallery show a great range of capability with mouse-over animation and button functions recently added. The Developers behind this tool are active which gives me great confidence there is more to come with this animation suite, and their support team seem really approachable. Definately a thumbs up for the beginner with HTML5, including anyone fearful of animation and timelines.

4./ Adobe Edge – $PREVIEWAdobe Edge HTML5

Adobe Edge is in preview beta release so grab it while you can. I was quick to end up being disappointed, just like Flash was known for it’s user ‘unfriendly’ workflow. Adobe Edge starts off appearing to have a more intuitive layout, but seems to be lacking many editing tools. I’m sure this is just a limitation of using the Beta release, but I’m sorely limited to be able to create new concepts when I want to trace different shaped paths, or cropping windows.

5./ Sencha Animator – $199Sencha HTML5 Animation

Wow this suite has it all, but the beginner can be easily scared off or confused at the layout of the purchase pages. Sencha has been around the longest and probably has the most stable editing suite out there. There is an amazing array of tools coding window, and even a nicely laid out support forum. But where this is let down is that it’s currently the most expensive on the market, and as a beginner sure enough it’s the lowest priced software Sencha is offering, but look down the list or at the sidebars and there’s a lot of cross navigating to developer architect tools, higher priced packages, amazing training courses in different softwares, and you suddenly become bewildered at your first attempt with coding HTML5 to think; ‘maybe you should get used to a simpler tool before investing 200 bucks?’

Summary of HTML5 Animation tools

Overall I think Tumult Hype is the winner for me, because of it’s GUI useability and function range. So much so I might have to go out and purchase a Mac just to get on this editing platform. In the mean time Hippo Animator will do as long as I can cope with it’s buggyness. I must have crashed the software 3 times in one session already! :(

visually_featured

Visual.ly’s New Infographic Tool

It’s no secret that infographics have become a big craze for the past couple of years. More and more people want visual presentations of complex information that are enjoyable and easy to digest.

To accommodate this thirst for fun information, Visual.ly has developed a new platform that allows you to effortlessly create your own data visualizations. You simply browse a gallery of templates and themes, and select one to customize and tweak. Not only is it designed for you, but it draws in data such as demographics and statistics for you from Facebook and Twitter too.

Because infographics are becoming more valuable and desirable, prices for them are going up as well, so this tool ends up being a great alternative for those who need a quick and easy graphic. It’s a free service to everyone, and companies can even connect with any of the designers who contribute to the website. Premium accounts, which they charge for, are also available for those who wish to have something a lot more specific designed for them. They simply reach out to one of the designers to provide that special attention.

Visual.ly will be adding more datasets to pull from in the future, so there will be no need to only rely on Facebook and Twitter. There will also be a lot more modifiable themes and graphics to choose from in the next few months.