Bloggers’ Support Group Notes (Dec 11, 2009)

Today’s Bloggers’ Support Group was a bit chilly due to a broken furnace, but we were pretty excited to meet and make progress towards our end-of-year blogging activities.

There are 20 days left to finish our 10-post Blogging Challenge. How are you doing?

Wanda suggested looking at past success. What have you accomplished in the last 12 months of blogging?

As for technologies, we discussed a couple of useful tools:

  • Print-on-demand books, which are available from a number of places.  The link takes you Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools site, which aggregates and reviews a number of choices.
  • For Mac users, there is a community of iWork template creators (iWorkCommunity.com).  You can download great templates for Pages, Numbers, and Keynotes for things like books,

Anca taught us about Jing – a tool for Screen Capture and Screenshots.

  • Uses Jing to annotate screenshots
  • It’s good to rehearse to get it just right
  • Likes to specify the size of the screen grab – you can shoot an entire window, or just a little bit.
  • Now it can do webcam recording, too!
  • Great for working with clients– showing them how to do things.  Anca uses videos to teach people how to do technical stuff with their sites.
  • Does image capture
  • Can annotate images
  • Upload to YouTube, Flickr, and other sites.

An alternative to Jing is Skitch, which does screenshots, annotations, and uploads to your favorite sites as well.

Both of these tools have a hosting service where you can upload your files and share them with others.

Ted’s favorite plugins this week:

Google Ajax Translation – puts a link into your blog posts that connect them up to Google Translate, so your readers can get your content in something roughly resembling their language.

Ajax Plugin Helper – Sets up your WordPress installation to activate and deactivate plugins via Ajax, saving you time when it comes to configuring your blog.

Social Grid – produces a grid of social networking sites that you connect to your blog.

This week’s suggested exercise – Top 10 Lists

One thing that many sites are doing at the end of the year is creating top-10 (or more) lists.   This is a great way to produce something of value for you readers (and maybe a bit simpler for you to write).

Send us your Top 10 list and we’ll post it for everyone else to read.