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January 18 2012

Wikipedia Blackout: Survive with These 12 Alternatives


The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are landing in the U.S. Senate next week and a whirlpool of online protest has fired up again. The two bills intend to stop online piracy and protect copyright holders, however, critics claim they infringe upon creativity, Internet security and innovation by punishing websites that link to any copyright-infringing sites, even by accident.

Wikipedia and a number of major sites including Reddit, Tumblr and TwitPic will go offline on Wednesday to protest. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales made the announcement on Twitter, joking that students should “do [their] homework early.”

SEE ALSO: Where Do SOPA and PIPA Stand Now?

Wikipedia is a massive resource for students and professionals alike. What will a day without the online encyclopedia be like? In case you’re worried, we dug up some alternative information resources should you need them on Wednesday.

Here are some of the best resources in a Wiki-less world. What are your thoughts on the blackout? Are these sites making the right move or is it just an inconvenience to the public? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


1. Google Scholar




Google's scholarly search engine is a way to broadly search for literature, articles, abstracts, theses and legal opinions from academic professionals, societies and universities.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: features, PIPA, resources, SOPA, wikipedia

For more Social Media coverage:


October 10 2011

20+ Essential Resources for Improving Your SEO Skills

Mollie Vandor is the Associate Product Manager at Cooking.com. Prior to that, she helped launch Ranker.com, where she served as the Product Manager, amongst many other roles. You can reach her @mollierosev, on her blog, or on her latest addiction – Words With Friends, where she plays under the username “Mollierosev.”

Search engine optimization isn’t exactly something you can major in — at least, not yet. In fact, many professional search engine optimizers are self-taught. They’ve supplemented backgrounds in marketing, computer science and the like with self-education via online courses, videos and blog posts.

Whether you’re looking to build your knowledge of the basics, master more intermediate material or get to the head of the advanced class, a wealth of online resources can help you graduate your SEO skills to the next level.


The Basics





Click here to view this gallery.

More About: contributor, education, features, resources, SEO, web

For more Dev & Design coverage:


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July 16 2011

19 Essential Google+ Resources


Already using Google+? Follow Mashable News for the latest about the platform’s new features, tips and tricks as well as our top social media and technology updates.

Google+ hit the news feeds like a strategic and popular ton of bricks. But we haven’t stopped there. In addition to breaking news, Mashable has provided how-tos and tools for maximizing your Google+ experience. We’ve sourced reviews from some of the network’s early adopters, and we’ve also welcomed your input as you navigate one of the most buzzworthy social outlets of the year.

Read on for Mashable‘s roundup of all resources Google+. Gather tips, analyze reviews, participate in polls and, as always, voice your thoughts in the comments below.


Google+ Tips, Tools and Talk



Screenshots: Inside Google+



Google+ Logo




This is the Google+ logo.


Google+ Icons




The Google+ icons. Starting top left and circling to the right: Circles, Hangouts, Home, Sparks, Profile, Photos.


New Google+ Navigation Bar




All Google sites will sport the new Google+ navigation bar. It includes notifications, profile information and content sharing options.


Google+ Stream




This is the Google+ Stream, where users share content and see what their friends are sharing. It is similar to the Facebook News Feed.


Google+ Circles




Google+ Circles is Google's version of the Facebook friend list or the Twitter List. Users can select multiple friends and drag-and-drop them into groups. This makes it easier to send stuff to friends, family or the entire world.


Google+ Circles Editor




This is the Google+ Circles editor in action. Google has created unique animations for adding and removing friends through HTML5.


Google+ Sparks




Google+ Sparks is Google's content recommendation and discovery engine. Users can search different topics and find relevant articles, videos and photos. Users can then share that content with their friends.


Google+ Hangouts




Google+ has a unique video chat feature called Hangouts, which lets you chat with up to 10 people at the ame time.


Google+ Photos




Google+ allows you to upload and share photos with your friends. It includes photo tagging and a simple browser-based image editor.


Google+ Profile




Google+ Profiles are like most profile pages -- it includes basic information about the user like interests, occupation and profile photos.

More About: Google, Google Plus, List, Lists, resources, roundup, social media, tips

For more Social Media coverage:


January 07 2011

100+ Online Resources That Are Transforming Education

grad image

Yury Lifshits is working on algorithms and prototypes of new services at Yahoo! Research. Before that he was teaching university courses in the U.S., Germany, Russia and Estonia. He blogs at yurylifshits.com and publishes his teaching materials at yury.name/teaching.

Education technology has become a busy space in recent years. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates continue to push the envelope with enormous philanthropic gifts toward education reform; Blackboard.com was traded at a $1 billion plus valuation; and Google is putting millions into education tech sites like KhanAcademy. At Mashable, you’ve read about social campaigns for education, gaming in education and free educational resources.

With so many startups on the scene, it is easy to get lost. Fortunately, most innovation is centered around a short list of fundamental ideas. In this post, we’ll walk through nine clusters of education tech companies.


1. New Institutions


2tor

The education system of the 20th century is built around institutions: schools, colleges, academies and universities. Naturally, many companies are aiming to recreate a degree-issuing institution. In this scenario, a startup has the highest level of control and the highest earnings per student. Online-based institutions have started from several niches (education for children with disabilities, advanced placement programs, test preparation) and are approaching mainstream education.

We’ve now seen the first online high schools (Keystone School), colleges (University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, The Open University, University of the People), certification programs (Alison.com), enterprise training programs (GlobalEnglish.com), art schools (AudioVisualAcademy.com) and test preparation programs (Top Test Prep, GrockIt, Knewton, RevolutionPrep, TutorJam, BrightStorm).

At the same time, brick-and-mortar institutions launch experimental online programs. iQAcademy helps high-schools to offer online classes, and 2tor and Altius Education do that for universities. Finally, there are innovative offline programs like YCombinator, Singularity University and Tetuan Valley.


2. Learning Management


brothers

To build a new educational institution, one needs to assemble a lot of pieces. Institutions are also hard to scale. That’s why many companies are opting for a different path: They focus on a single problem, create a software solution and sell it to schools.

Web-based tools are now used to manage applications, grades (Schoolbinder, LearnBoost), class ratings and reviews (Courserank, acquired by Chegg), schedules, tests, textbooks and student-teacher messaging. There is also a market for content management (Sakai Project, Moodle).

Another important area is analytics and reporting systems (SchoolNet.com). Learning management systems are present in every market: schools, universities, corporate education and training centers. Notable examples include Blackboard, Koofers, ePals, MyEdu.com, edu20.org and GlobalScholar. Solutions for corporate learning include LearningZen, Learn.com, Taleo.com, eLearning Brothers and Mindflash.


3. Online Content


chegg

For a long time, the market of educational content was controlled by book publishers. Technology is ready to disrupt that picture in several ways. Online video is set to take a share from text-based learning. Recommendation and search systems are offering new ways for content discovery. As in other forms of content, sales and subscriptions are moving to the web. TED.com, Big Think, 99 Percent, Pop!Tech, GEL Conference and the Charlie Rose show are notable for video recordings of technology and business leaders. Academic Earth, Videolectures.net, and ResearchChannel.org do the same for the science community. Salman Khan of KhanAcademy.org recorded more than 1,000 instructional videos covering almost all of the secondary school curriculum.

MIT OpenCourseWare and Stanford eCorner are leading examples of free online content from top universities. Tools for publishing (and charging for) online educational content include Faculte.com, uDemy.com, Videolla.com, LearnOutLoud and LeapingBrain.com. Youtube.EDU and iTunes U are general purpose content distribution hubs. OERCommons.org is a search engine for open-licensed content. Sites like About.com, HubPages, Instructibles, AssociatedContent and eHow collect practical advice on everyday topics.

Using the principles that power Wikipedia, everyone can now create their own wiki with platforms like PBWorks or Wikia.com. Wikified educational content can be found at Curriki.org, Wikiversity.org and Wikibooks. Content libraries are created for career inspiration (dailyendeavor.com, TryEngineering.org), high schools (neok12.com, aventalearning.com), case studies (StudyNet), and lecture notes (GradeGuru). Flat World Knowledge publishes free digital textbooks, while Chegg is a textbook rental service. InkLing is following the “iTunes for iPad-optimized digital book” model and adds social features to it. Rosetta Stone publishes interactive language courses on DVD.


4. Networks and Marketplaces


fortune

The web is an ideal tool to connect sellers and buyers in any market. Once you get a critical mass of initial users and investment in a brand, the network effect will keep you growing. The first marketplaces are already here, but the bigger fight lies ahead.

A number of sites (TeachStreet, BetterFly, School Of Everything, GuruVantage) offer tutor and training listings. TheoryAndPractice.ru is a very popular Russian language site for “edutainment” event announcements. CraftEdu.com is marketplace for paid/free online video and live training. Student Of Fortune is a marketplace for homework help. GulliverGo is a listing hub for educational travel. Noodle.org is your guide for choosing college. General purpose employment websites have sections for jobs for students and internship search. JobSpice.com helps students to create their online resume.


5. Live Training and Tutoring


supercool

As bandwidth improves, a number of startups are offering web-based live training. General purpose tools like Justin.tv, Ustream, and LiveStream can be used for streaming lectures and conferences. Supercoolschool and EduFire.com provide specialized live teaching tools. Myngle.com (languages) and TutorVista (high-school help) are tutor-student networks for live education. Sugata Mitra introduced the concept of “Granny in the Cloud” — senior volunteers who encourage kids to study using Skype video calls.


6. Learner Tools


school

For centuries, learning was based on classroom lectures and books. Can computers and mobile devices offer more engaging alternatives? Having a conversation with your teacher is much different when your classroom backchannel is powered by Twijector. Need to memorize something? QuizLet.com provides tools for fun flashcard-based learning. Commuting? There is a growing number of mobile learning apps including notes (StudyBlue, Widescript), law bar exam preparation (BarMax, costs $999), and driving test preparation (uHavePassed). Other tools include career orientation tests and educational games.


7. Collaborative Learning


edublogs

In traditional education, being a part of a campus community can offer as much value as the lessons themselves. It is no surprise that the community aspect is moving online too. Services like UnClasses.org and OpenStudy.com allow learners to form groups and study together. Quora.com and StackExchange are modern question and answering platforms for professional topics. There isa large number of education forums such as LiveMocha (language learning) and Edublogs.org (teacher community).


8. Funding and Payments


enzi

When it comes to financial resources, there are often a lot of questions and almost no answers. How do you keep college prices under control? How do you make education affordable? How do you increase salaries for the best teachers? How do you create more competition and less governmental control in education? Sites like Enzi.org and GradeFund help students get crowdfunded loans and sell shares of their future salaries. It is a good start, but much more innovation is needed.


9. Hardware for Education


computer

Specialized educational hardware for education can be a controversial topic. While some argue that education tech should rely on standard hardware, others see opportunity. One Laptop Per Child has produced and distributed almost 1.5 million inexpensive laptops optimized for students in developing countries. Kno is a new tablet computer hoping to be the “Kindle of textbooks.” Other notable computerized classroom solutions include TimeToKnow and SOLE project.


More Education Resources from Mashable:


- 8 Ways Technology Is Improving Education
- The Case For Social Media in Schools
- How Social Gaming is Improving Education
- Why Online Education Needs to Get Social
- Social Media Parenting: Raising the Digital Generation

More About: education, learning, List, Lists, resources, school, tech, textbooks, tools, video

For more Tech coverage:


December 31 2010

3 Tools Realtors Can Use to Increase Sales on the Web


Greg Meyer is the customer experience manager and listening post for Gist. Reach Greg online at @GregAtGist on Twitter, or at greg@gist.com.

Realtors are passionate people, especially about their relationship with customers. One of the ways that they connect with these customers today is through the use of social media, and the methods for doing so are, themselves, becoming much more varied and sophisticated.

Realtors are also dealing with much more savvy customers. Today, customers want to buy a house or refer a real estate agent to a friend on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms, and agents know they need to be there to provide an open door to customers and provide an authentic, unique experience along the way.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely already familiar with social media 101. So, what are some of the ways you can increase home sales with the latest tools? And, how can you reinvent the home buying experience in clever, innovative ways? Here are three recommendations and accompanying tools that will not only increase sales, but will enhance the overall customer experience and set you apart from the competition.


1. Use 360-Degree Panoramic Images


app image

It’s easy to upload static, one-room images of homes without giving your customer any real knowledge of what the home actually looks like. Instead share true-to-life panoramic images of your properties.

360 Panorama, an iPhone app from Occipital, allows you to do just that –- share rich, full images of properties that are stitched together in real-time without any photo-editing work on your part. You can easily share these images over social networks like Twitter and Facebook to give your customers a deeper glimpse into their next potential home.

The broader trend: Be a salesperson, but sell something real — don’t just sell an idea. Easy-to-do panoramic images not only highlight the actual nature of the home, but give your customers a realistic expectation.


2. Be Transparent and Data-Driven With Charts and Graphs


chart image

Many people look online for an agent who knows the most about a given area or city. For realtors, it has become more about adding credibility while still making it easy for customers to get to and understand the information they need to make an informed, home buying decision.

There are plenty of chart making tools out there, but the one that I’ve found to be most useful is FusionCharts.

Combine this with data pulled from Zillow and Trulia APIs (or if you prefer, their widgets) and you have a deep, intelligent way to inform your customers on everything they need to know before making a purchase. Anything from the latest mortgage rates in their state to historical home prices by zip code or neighborhood.

The broader trend: Differentiate from the crowd by being known as the realtor who provides deep insights into what is, at times, a data-deluged market. By providing credibility-building information and sharing it via social networks, you’re providing a transparent view of your unique understanding and also educating your customers on everything they need to know.


3. Improve Listings With an Integrated Marketing Presence


powersite image

You’re busy, and so is the marketplace. There are plenty of agents in your neighborhood today and all of them want to sell your customers a house. The problem is that none of “your” prospective customers can find out what they need to know without you. So, how can you make finding a house as easy as possible?

Create a comprehensive and easy-to-use property listings site with AgencyLogic’s PowerSites tool. PowerSites is a single property website generator that has robust property listing layouts. The trick that makes this tool stand out from the rest though is its integrated social marketing approach.

First, you create the PowerSites listing, which comes loaded with high quality photo options and a selection of professional, real estate-specific layouts. Then, your PowerSites listing is automatically added to your Facebook profile or page, depending on your preference. There are also options for video, blog and podcast integration for those of you who want to beef up the listing even more.

Here’s an example of a complete listing.


Conclusion


Hopefully, knowing about these customized and task-specific real estate tools will take your customer interactions to the next level on social networks and elsewhere online.

It’s about making the home buying experience that much easier by delivering realistic images, deep data visuals and an integrated marketing presence to customers through robust tools, while still supporting your customer in one of the most emotional and important purchases they will ever make: Buying their next home.

Disclosure: Gist is a Mashable sponsor.


More Social Media Resources from Mashable:


- Why the Fashion Industry Is Betting Big on Branded Online Content
- 4 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2011
- 6 Reasons Why Social Games Are the Next Advertising Frontier
- 3 Things Brands Must Do to Reach Millennials Online
- HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Facebook Insights for Small Business

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, MarsBars


Reviews: Facebook, Mashable, Twitter, iPhone, iStockphoto

More About: business, iphone, List, Lists, real estate, realtor, resources, small business, social media, tools

For more Business coverage:


December 30 2010

90+ Dev & Design Resources for Building Better Sites and Apps

Whether you want to improve your existing skills or learn new ones, we’ve provided plenty of web design and development resources in the past year.

Here we recap the best posts that fell into this creative category. These include a wealth of tutorials, resources, galleries, interviews and more.

Have a read below for a look back at Mashable’s Dev and Design resources from 2010, and be sure to keep coming back next year for more.


Mobile Development Resources


google phones

Whatever mobile platform(s) you favor, we’ve got you covered.


Icon Resources


From minimal to festive, here’s a roundup of great icon galleries.


Resources for Web Developers


PHP tips? Check. Apps for developers? Check. Online resources? Check.


Apple-Related Resources


The iPad made an impact on dev and design this year. Here’s why.


Photoshop Resources


Photoshop is one of the primary tools in the digital designer’s belt. We got you up and running with the imaging software in 2010.


Career Resources


Whatever career path you’re following in the online dev and design world, these articles can help.


Web Design


We’ve offered a wealth of design-related resources this year — dive in!


Interviews


From iconic designers to icon designers, we’ve talked to some rather interesting folk during the past 12 months.


Fun Resources


It’s not all work, work, work as we add a little fun with these light-hearted articles.

December 29 2010

HOW TO: Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions Using Social Media

new years image

Mollie Vandor is the product manager for Ranker.com where she likes to make lists about reading, eating and bad-TV-watching. She’s also the media director for Girls in Tech LA. You can find her on Twitter @Mollierosev and on her blog.

Whether you’re looking to make a big change, or just tweak a few little things, the new year gives you the perfect opportunity to reflect on your behavior and resolve to do better going forward.

Of course, it’s one thing to say you want to tackle a typical resolution like get in better physical shape, get in better financial shape or — like many of us who work on the web — get your social media presence in order. It’s another thing to actually accomplish those big, broad goals.

So this year, instead of making your goals big and broad, why not take a page from the web world and use analytics to pinpoint the specific stuff you want to change? And, by that same token, why not use data tracking to hold yourself accountable for keeping all those resolutions too?

Read on for some tips on how to use social media to corral your New Year’s resolutions. Let us know in the comments below what tips worked for you, or share your own resolution advice.


Let’s Get Physical


weeplaces image

There’s the freshman 15 everyone gains from collegiate pizza and beer, and then there’s the startup 15 many of us tech geeks gain from sodas and office snacks. Between the time spent sitting in front of a computer screen and the time spent networking over drinks and dinners, it’s easy to put on pounds when you work on the web. Of course, you can always try the startup diet, but that’s not necessarily going to work for everyone.

Keeping a food and exercise log might sound like a daunting task, but it turns out you may already be tracking some of that data without even knowing it. Foursquare actually lets you see your entire checkin history and, if you do a quick search, you can find it so you can easily see whether you’ve really been going to the gym or frequenting your fast food runs.

Similarly, the Foursquare stats page lets you see your own checkin trends in handy graphs and lists. There’s even a site called weeplaces that lets you turn your Foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla checkins into graphic visualizations. And, weeplaces will let you filter those visualizations by food-related checkins and parks and recreation checkins, so you can really get a handle on your history.

Google Maps also lets you search your own history, so can get a visual reminder of the places you’ve been searching for, and start picking up on trends in your own behavior. You just have to enable it. And, of course, there’s the age-old pedometer, made a lot easier and more fashionable via a host of iPhone and Android apps that let you easily track how much you’re walking without having to do anything more than a quick download.

Of course, once you establish the things you want to change about your eating and exercising habits, you still have to make those changes stick. Apps like LoseIt, Weight Watchers and LiveStrong let you log calories you eat and calories you burn via your smartphone. Fitango prescribes personalized plans to help you get in shape, and gives you a forum for sharing milestones you meet with your friends. Similarly, Phitter is like a fitness-focused Twitter stream where people share weight loss trials, tribulations and tips to help keep each other going.

Or, you can try something like the Social Workout Challenge, which gives you fitness goals to meet and a community of people to keep you accountable for meeting them. If you really want to take your weight tracking to the next level, there’s even a scale that automatically tweets your weight to the world. While you’re at it, FixNixer and QuitMeter also give you similar tools for tracking your way out of a smoking habit, another great way to get yourself in better physical shape in the new year.


Money, Money, Money


mint image

For many people, the New Year is also a great time to get a fresh financial start. But again, it’s a lot easier to make changes going forward when you know how you’ve been behaving in the past. That’s where a site like Mint.com can be very handy. Mint aggregates all of your various accounts, including credit cards, bank accounts and assets, and then turns your spending habits into easy-to-read charts and graphs that show you where you’re spending and where you could be saving. It even lets you compare your shopping and spending habits with other people in your area, so you can see how you stack up. Many credit cards, like American Express Blue and Visa Signature, also give you year-end spending summaries that show you how much you’ve spent, how much you’ve saved, how much interest you’ve accumulated and more.

Once you’ve nailed down how your money is going out the door, you can start figuring out ways to keep more of it in your wallet. Again, this is where tracking will be key to actually keeping those resolutions. First, you can establish your financial goals via an online calculator, which lets you figure out exactly how much to start saving. Once you’ve figured out your goals, there are more than 50 great, free mobile apps to help you track your spending. On Facebook, the BillMonk app will help you keep better track of those tricky situations where you’re sharing a bill with friends, and you need to make sure everyone knows what they owe. XPenser lets you record your expenses from any device, including via tweet and e-mail, and TweetWhatYouSpend gives you a forum for sharing your expenditures with everyone on Twitter, so your friends can help hold you accountable when you blow your budget shopping those post-holiday sales.


Get Your Social Media in Shape


about.me image

Whether or not you work on the web, if you’re reading Mashable, chances are you have a social media presence. And, just like your physical and financial identities, your social media self might be due for a little makeover in 2011 too. The good news is that the data is even easier to find when you’re talking about your personal tech habits. For example, you can use the Top Words app to figure out the topics you talk about most on Facebook. Klout tells you which topics you talk about the most on Twitter, and all sorts of other stats that will help you pinpoint what it is about your social media presence that you may want to change.

Similarly, BackType analyzes your Twitter profile and tells you what percentage of your tweets are replies, retweets, links, etc. Like Klout, it also tells you who you’re influencing and who your influencers are. And, it shows you your most shared sites. All of these are great data points for determining things you’d like to change about your social media presence. Finally, ViralHeat gives you in-depth analysis of the sentiment around your various social network profiles, which really lets you hone in on how your social media behavior is being received by your followers on Facebook, Twitter and across the web.

Once you’ve established what you want to change, you can set up ViralHeat to send alerts and updates directly to your inbox so you can track the impact of those changes on the fly. Similarly, since Klout and BackType both update regularly now, you can see your statistics change as your behavior does, which is a great way to keep yourself motivated. And, of course, make sure you set up Google Alerts to track all the activity around your various accounts.

If your resolution involves blogging more often, there are plenty of apps to help you do that on the go, right from your phone. Another way to remind yourself of things you want to blog, tweet or post about is by using a service like TwittRemind, which lets you tweet yourself reminders to do things throughout the day.

To make the most of your many profiles, consider setting up a hub page via a service like about.me, which lets you showcase all your profiles in one place. Or, sign up for a social network aggregation service to make it easier to make changes on all your profiles at once. You also might want to consider setting up a targeted Twitter list of friends and followers who can help you hold yourself accountable and focus your social media efforts so you can minimize the number of relationships you’re managing and maximize the return you’re getting from all these changes.


New Year, New You


Whether your New Year’s resolutions involve getting yourself in better physical, financial or social media shape, the web can help you figure out exactly what you want to change and how you’re going to keep yourself accountable for changing it. 2011 is a brand new year and a completely fresh start, and, breaking your New Year’s resolutions is so 2010.


More Social Media Resources from Mashable:


- 10 More Creative Uses of the New Facebook Profile [PICS]
- 10 Cool Facebook Status Tips and Tricks
- 6 Reasons Why Social Games Are the Next Advertising Frontier
- 3 Things Brands Must Do to Reach Millennials Online
- How Social Media Can Help With Your Long Distance Job Search

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59


Reviews: Android, Apps, Facebook, Google Maps, Gowalla, Mashable, Mint, Twitter, about.me, foursquare, iPhone, iStockphoto

More About: 2011, New Year, new years, Resolution, resources, social media, tools

For more Social Media coverage:


December 23 2010

75 Essential Small Business Resources From 2010


Want to take your small business to the next level? Or maybe start your own business? We’ve researched dozens of ways for you to do just that by leveraging social media and technology. And here you’ll find a comprehensive list of those resources, whether you’re looking to incorporate new technologies like mobile credit card scanners or you want to update your business’s website.

You’ll find all of the small business resources we’ve produced in the past year broken down into categories like social media, productivity, marketing, tech and tools, geo-location and deals, HR and hiring, success stories and getting started.


Social Media


Take your social media presence beyond a simple Facebook Page or company blog. Here are some ideas to inspire your business’s use of social media in 2011.

Productivity


These posts will help you find new ways to stay on track, and be as efficient and effective as possible while working with contractors like designers.

Marketing


See what trends were popular in the past year and get a little inspiration for new marketing strategies your company might pursue in the new year.

Tech and Tools


The web is full of tools that will help you get the job done — and many of those tools are free. Here’s a look at what mobile, web-based and other technologies are available for your small business.

Geo-location and Deals


Geo-location services and deals were a big hit in 2010. Maybe you’ve been thinking about incorporating them in your business? Here’s a guide to what works, what doesn’t, and tips to employing these new services.

Human Resources and Hiring


Staffing decisions can make or break a business. Here is a list of resources to help you make the right decisions, tools that can help you find ideal candidates, and ways of dealing with employee issues.

Advice From Experts


Perhaps no one knows better how to successfully run a business than those who have done it before. Here’s a list of resources with tips from the experts, as well as examples of successful uses of new technology.

Getting Started


Wondering where to begin? Or where to get funding for your big idea? Here are some resources to set you on the right path.

More About: business, deals, geo-location, hiring, human resources, List, Lists, MARKETING, resources, small business, social media, tools

For more Business coverage:


December 16 2010

10 Free Online Resources for Science Teachers


One of the greatest ways technology can empower teachers is by helping them demonstrate concepts and by making it easier for students to learn through their own exploration and experimentation.

Because science teachers are often called upon to teach topics that are too large, too small, happen too fast, happen too slowly, require equipment that is too expensive, or has the potential to blow up a laboratory, the Internet can be particularly helpful in assisting them convey a concept.

Universities, non-profit organizations and scientists with free time have put an overwhelming number of resources for teaching science on the web. These are nine of our favorites.


1. The Periodic Table of Videos


A group of scientists based at the University of Nottingham added some character to the static periodic table of elements by creating a short video for each one.

Hydrogen, for instance, seems much more exciting after you’ve seen what happens when you hold a match to a balloon that is filled with it, and it’s easier to remember the name Darmstadtium after you have seen Darmstadt.

The group also puts out a non-YouTube version of the site for schools that have blocked the site.


2. Teach the Earth


SERC

The Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College has compiled just about every fathomable resource for geoscience educators. By serving as the portal to helpful web pages from dozens of independent project websites, the site provides visuals, classroom activities and course descriptions for everything from oceanography to “red tide and harmful algal blooms.”


3. Stellarium


Stellatarium

Stellarium is a planetarium for your computer. Just input your location and explore the sky outside or the view from any other location. The program offers up information on stars, nebulae, planets and constellations according to 12 different cultures.

In addition to being ideal for classroom astronomy lessons, Stellarium’s open source software is also used to light up the screens of a number of real planetariums.

Even though Google Sky won’t give you a view from a specific location, it will direct you to specific galaxies, planets and stars or to a map of the moon that notes where each of the six Apollo missions landed.


4. YouTube


“What happens when you put Cesium in water?” is a question that in some cases is best answered by YouTube. YouTube’s archive of demonstrations have the advantage of being safe, clean and unlikely to catch on fire.

You’ll find experiments for most concepts just by using the search bar. But if you’re in a browsing mood, check out this list of the 100 coolest science experiments on YouTube.

Most schools that block YouTube allow access to educational alternatives like TeacherTube and School Tube.


5. NASA Education


NASA

NASA has lesson plans, videos and classroom activities for science subjects ranging from Kindergarten to university levels. The best part of this resource gold mine is that it’s easy to search by keyword or to browse by grade level, type of material or subject.

Check out the Be a Martian Game, the interactive timeline and the NASA Space Place for some smart fun.


6. Learn.Genetics


Learn.Genetics

These resources for learning about genetics by the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center include interactive visualizations, 3D animations and activities. Student activities include taking a “tour” of DNA, a chromosome or a protein, building a DNA molecule, or exploring the inside of a cell.

The university is also building a sister site, Teach.Genetics, with print-and-go lesson plans and supplemental materials for some channels on the Learn.Genetics site.


7. The Concord Consortium


Concord

The Concord Consortium is a non-profit organization that helps develop technologies for math, science and engineering education. Their free, open source software is available for teachers to download to use in their classes. They include visualizations and models for a broad range of topics.

Some examples include: The Molecular Workbench, a free tool that creates interactive simulations for everything from cellular respiration to chemical bonding. Geniquest introduces students to cutting-edge genetics using dragons as their model organisms; Evolution Readiness is a project designed to teach fourth graders about evolution concepts using simulations; and The ITSI-SU Project provides lab-based activities involving probes, models and simulations.

To search for classroom activities across all projects, teachers can use the site’s Activity Finder to browse by subject, grade level or keyword.


8. The ChemCollective


ChemCollective

The ChemCollective, a project that is funded by the National Science Foundation, allows students to design and carry out their own experiments in a virtual laboratory and provides virtual lab problems, real-world scenarios, concept tests, simulations, tutorials and course modules for learning basic chemistry.

The project recently won a Science Prize for Online Resources in Education from Science Magazine.


9. Scitable


Scitable

Scitable is both the Nature Publishing Group’s free science library and a social network. Teachers can create a “classroom” with a customized reading list, threaded discussions, news feeds and research tools. There’s also an option to use the material on the site to create a customized e-book for free that can include any of the more than 500 videos, podcasts or articles on the site.

Topic rooms combine articles, discussions and groups related to one key concept in science and make it easy to find material that is relevant to your class and connect with people who are also passionate about the subject.

What resources did you find most helpful, or what great science tools did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.


10. Impact: Earth!


Impact

Want to see how a particular projectile from space would affect the Earth? With this tool that was developed for Purdue University, your students can enter the projectile parameters, angle and velocity to calculate what would happen if the object were to actually hit Earth. You can also get the details on the projectiles that caused famous craters.


More Education Resources from Mashable:


- 8 Ways Technology Is Improving Education
- The Case For Social Media in Schools
- 7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers
- How Online Classrooms Are Helping Haiti Rebuild Its Education System
- 5 Innovative Classroom Management Tools for Teachers

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, rrocio

More About: education, education resources, Kids, List, Lists, resources, school, Science, social media, teachers, tech, visualizations, youtube

For more Tech coverage:


July 23 2010

40+ Web Design and Development Resources for Beginners

ipsum image

Brian Casel is a web designer and owner of ThemeJam WordPress Themes and CasJam Media. You can follow Brian on his blog at BrianCasel.com or on Twitter @CasJam.

It’s no secret that web design is a fast-growing industry. Virtually every type of business is in need of a quality website. There are opportunities at the large agency level down to freelancers developing small-business websites from home.

So how do you break into this exciting field? With little or no experience creating websites, getting yourself up to speed can be a daunting task. There are so many different avenues of design and development to explore. Which way should you go first? Which skill sets suit you the best?

We aim to give you an overview of a few things things that are essential to a well-rounded knowledge of web design. These are starting-points, if you will. Below each item, we’ve listed additional resources for you to continue on in your learning process.

Before we get into it, heed one important lesson: You can’t become a professional web designer overnight. It takes years to reach an expert level in any aspect of the field. But everybody starts somewhere, and there’s no better time than the present begin your web design education.


HTML & CSS


These are the building blocks of every web page you see. Yes, HTML and CSS are two different things, but they are completely dependent on each other. You can’t learn CSS without understanding HTML. You can’t build an HTML website without using CSS. Let me explain:

HTML is short for “HyperText Markup Language.” It makes up the building blocks of a web page. The language is composed of “tags,” which define various elements on the page. For example, a paragraph of text is wrapped in a paragraph tag, like so:



<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus eu mollis mauris.</p>

CSS is short for “Cascading Style Sheets.” CSS is used to add style and formatting to your page elements. If HTML is the framework of your house (the foundation, the beams, the bricks), then CSS is the presentation (the paint, the furniture, the decor). The concept of writing CSS is to add definition to an HTML tag, like so:



p {
color: #0000ff;
font-size: 12px;
margin-bottom: 18px;
}

The above CSS code defines all paragraphs to be blue text color (represented by the color code, #0000ff), have a font size of 12 pixels, and have a margin below each paragraph of 18 pixels.

Additional resources:

  • W3Schools – An excellent reference and learning resource for HTML and CSS.
  • W3C Validator – A tool for checking your HTML and CSS to ensure it complies with professional standards for programming — otherwise known as “valid code.”
  • A List Apart – A fantastic website about all things web design, with a focus on web standards.
  • Net Tuts – An excellent resource for web development tutorials.
  • Designing With Web Standards – One of the must-read books on web design, written by “The Godfather” of web standards, Jeffrey Zeldman.
  • CSS Zen Garden – Both fun and amazing at the same time. See what types of design possibilities are possible just using CSS.

Photoshop and Fireworks


adobe image

Whether you’re a designer, a coder, or both, you will undoubtedly be working heavily with one of these graphics programs. Adobe Photoshop has been the long-time champion of web design, photo editing, and print design.

Adobe Fireworks is a popular alternative to Photoshop. Fireworks is intended to be used specifically for web design, while Photoshop is more of a jack of all trades.

Whether you’re going to be designing websites from scratch, or you’re tasked with programming a website designed by someone else, you need to know your way around these programs. You’ll need to understand the concepts of layers, selections, and saving images for the web.

Additional resources:


Design for the Web


grid image

For many folks, the first thing that comes to mind when you think about web design is programming. But what about design? Effective design for the web is arguably the most important aspect of this craft, yet it’s often overlooked by beginners.

Even if your focus is to become a programmer, it’s still important to have a basic background in design principles as this will help you to relate and collaborate with designers more effectively. Here are a few topics that are well worth your time to read up on:

Grid Design – The process of aligning page elements to an evenly spaced (invisible) grid, which makes for an aesthetically pleasing design.

Web Typography – The art of arranging type, fonts, line spacing, and anything else that relates to the presentation of type content. On the web, there are many factors which affect this, such as varying screen resolutions and designer font serving technologies.

Usability – This is the process of designing a user experience that promotes interaction and eases the user through the site navigation and action flows. This is also related to information architecture (IA), and user experience design (UX). Here are some related resources:

Design Inspiration – Every designer needs inspiration. There are tons of sites dedicated to listing outstanding web designs for you to browse through and formulate new and interesting ideas. Here are a few of our favorites:


A Content Management System


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Once you have a solid understanding of the basic principals of web design, you will eventually work on projects that require a “Content Management System” (CMS). These systems provide the ability to manage website content using a friendly interface, rather than editing code. It’s great for setting up websites for clients who want to run it themselves.

There many types of content management systems to choose from. Some are best used for blog or portfolio-type websites, while others are geared to provide E-Commerce functionality. Some are free to use, others are commercial products, while others have both free and paid options. Many CMS systems are self-hosted solutions, meaning you install the software on your own server. Others are hosted solutions, meaning you pay to store and manage your content on their server.

It’s best to focus on just a few in the beginning, and explore more options as you become more experienced. Here are a few we recommend looking into:

WordPress – It has traditionally been known as a blogging platform, but has evolved significantly into a more robust CMS. Check out these WordPress resources on Mashable:

Drupal – A very popular alternative to WordPress. Great for a site that requires many custom content types.

ExpressionEngine – Another popular CMS. Unlike WordPress and Drupal, ExpressionEngine is not an open-source project (you have to pay to use it).

Magento – This is an E-Commerce system, meaning it provides the ability to manage products, have a checkout process, and other common features you’d find on a shopping website.

Shopify – Another popular E-Commerce system. This one is a hosted solution, which means you pay to store all your products and website files on Shopify’s servers.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many systems out there worth considering. I recommend finding one that has as strong community around it to turn to for support, plugins, and other extensions.


A Final Word of Advice


palettes image

Network and never stop learning. Follow anyone involved in web design on Twitter. Subscribe to as many relevant RSS feeds of web design blogs. Try and learn a new thing every day. Over time, all the pieces will start coming together and before you know it, you’ll be on your way!

I will leave you with a list of tools I’ve found to be extremely useful in my day-to-day work as a web design professional. I highly recommend you check these out:

FireBug – A must-have FireFox extension, which allows you to inspect the HTML and CSS of any web page. You can tweak code on the fly and instantly pinpoint areas in your code which need editing. Great for troubleshooting display issues.

FileZilla – A free FTP client for Mac and PC.

Panic Coda - This is my code editor of choice. It’s only for Mac. I highly recommend it.

Colour Lovers – A site for browsing and choosing color schemes.

MeasureIt – Another FireFox extension. This one helps you measure pixels on any web page. Very useful when perfecting your page layout dimensions.

Google Analytics – This is the go-to tool for tracking your website traffic.

Lipsum – This site generates “Lorem Ipsum” text, or placeholder text for mocking up websites before actual copy is swapped in.

Comp Fight – A Flickr photo search tool. Great for quickly finding images to use in your web design mockups.

VMWare Fusion – A mac application which allows you to run an installation of Windows on your Mac. This is helpful when testing websites across all browsers (something you should always do!).


More Dev & Design Resources From Mashable:


- Top 10 Resources for Design Inspiration
- HOW TO: Create a Pixel Fireworks Animation Using JavaScript
- HOW TO: Develop iPhone Apps With Staying Power
- 5 Things to Consider When Designing Your Mobile App
- 7 Hackathons Around the World and the Web

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, trinculo_photo


Reviews: Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Photoshop, Drupal, FileZilla, Firefox, Flickr, Google Analytics, Magento, Mashable, Twitter, Windows, WordPress, iStockphoto

More About: CMS, CSS, fireworks, grid, html, List, Lists, Photoshop, resources, typography, UX, web design, Web Development, Wordpress

For more Dev & Design coverage:


July 12 2010

75+ Social Media Resources for Artists and Designers


Once a foreign concept, digital art can now be seen in galleries, shops, and even the cover of the New Yorker.

While artists have had access to computer-based tools for years, we’ve also collected some resources for portable platforms including the iPhone and Android devices that have opened up a whole new suite of powerful, portable tools.

This list of over 75 resources can get you up and running regardless of your artistic persuasion. From sites to inspire to portable photo editors to color manipulating web tools, these resources can help any project you might be working on – digital or otherwise.

colorbar image


More resources from Mashable:


- 11 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed
- 25 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed
- 15 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed
- 26 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed
- 19 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, bjones27


Reviews: Android, Chrome, Facebook, Twitter, iPhone, iStockphoto

More About: artists, design, resources, social media

For more Dev & Design coverage:


July 11 2010

50+ iPad Resources You Might Have Missed

ipad gaga Image

Apple’s iPad is the little device that could. Any scepticism about Apple’s tablet technology was largely erased as the iPad took touchscreen technology to a larger, more robust high.

We’ve tracked the iPad through its first months in public hands with a slew of features and resources. We’ve here collected some of our best — sometimes bizarre — resources for you to get all caught up.

Whether you’re looking for the best business apps, need some decals to trick out your device, or just want to see if your iPad works in space — this collection of more than 50 iPad resources is sure to suit your needs.


ipads image


More Apple resources from Mashable:


- 5 Awesome Arcade Games for the iPhone
- 5 Works of Apple-Inspired Art
- 10 Adorable Apple-Themed Baby Accessories
- Mac Gift Guide: 10 Buying Ideas for Apple Fans
- 20 Fantastic Free iPhone Apps for Parents

More About: business, cases, decals, destruction, infographic, ipad, resources

For more Apple coverage:


June 09 2010

20 Resources for Displaying Twitter Updates

This series is supported by Ben & Jerry’s Joe, Ben & Jerry’s new line-up of Fair Trade and frozen iced coffee drinks. Learn more about it here.

Displaying your Twitter feed on your website is a wonderful way to show visitors real-time news and events. An attractive Twitter widget can encourage your website’s audience to follow you on Twitter, serving as an additional method for expanding your network. Furthermore, when designed right, a Twitter feed can improve the aesthetics of a website’s layout.

For your inspiration, here are 15 websites that have beautifully and creatively integrated their Twitter feeds, along with five resources on how you can display your own Twitter feed on your site.


Examples


That INDIE Dude – Freelance graphic and web designer, Alex Linebrink, integrates his most recent Twitter update as a main design element of his portfolio site, manifested as a speech bubble beside an illustration of himself.

Justin Delabar – A simple “About me” section followed by your most recent status update gives you the ability to let your audience find fresher, real-time things about yourself, as shown by this Twitter update website integration.

Koodoz Design – The three most recent tweets by this design agency are shown on the sidebar of their company blog.

Jeffrey Sarmiento – A well-composed Twitter sidebar widget can serve as a great design element, as illustrated by Jeffrey Sarmiento’s blog design.

Snailbird.com – Illustrator and Web Designer, Nikki Jeske, puts a high emphasis on her Twitter feed by placing it prominently at the top of her blog’s sidebar.

CSS-Tricks – This site’s curator, Chris Coyier, has his most recent Twitter update located at the bottom of all web pages as a speech bubble emanating from a headshot photo of himself.

Sower of Seeds – The Twitter status widget of Sower of Seeds bisects the featured content and subsequent content.

Gary Nock – Musician Gary Nock keeps his fans up to date with his activities and whereabouts by displaying his top five most recent tweets on the sidebar of his blog. His updates include his tour schedule, so it also serves as a mini-calendar at times.

the Good Little Company – This Twitter status integration maintains the design’s theme: a piece of paper sticking out of the main content area.

Bert Timmermans – A compact and beautifully designed Twitter status widget sits at the footer of Bert Timmermans’ portfolio site.

Jay Hafling – This Twitter status integration operates as part of the design theme and is situated prominently at the top of the web layout.

Istok Pavlovic – Site Owner Istok Pavlovic’s most recent tweet embodies the site’s watercolor/painted design theme.

Douglas Menezes – A simple and unique compartmentalized design makes this Twitter status integration unobtrusive and functional.

Hey Josh – A piece of notebook paper houses the three most recent tweets by the site owner, providing the Twitter component a unique and creative design.

Web is Love – An illustrated bird positioned at the right of the most recent status update alludes to Twitter’s logo and also retains the site’s hand-sketched design theme.


Resources


Now that you’ve seen some beautiful examples on how to display a Twitter feed, it’s your turn. If you’d like to have your Twitter status updates displayed on your own website/blog, check out this hand-picked set of tutorials and resources.

Official Twitter Widget – Twitter has free widgets that you can take advantage of for displaying your Twitter feed on your website. They have various widgets that can show your most recent tweets, favorite tweets, and more. They’re highly configurable and easy to implement on any website.

Add Twitter to your blog (step-by-step) – This tutorial requires you to use a JavaScript file. If you’re not a coding guru, don’t sweat, the steps are well-explained and can be a simple copy-and-paste affair on your behalf.

Create a Twitter box in your sidebar – Here’s a simple walkthrough of the steps involved in styling and integrating Twitter’s official widgets on your blog’s sidebar.

How To Make a Unique Website For Your Twitter Updates – This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to design a Twitter update component and also how to display your Twitter feed.

Twitter Tools (WordPress plugin) – If you own a WordPress-powered site, Twitter Tools is your all-in-one Twitter toolbox that gives you various options for integrating the web service into your site.

This list of beautiful ways to display Twitter updates on websites is just a starter. Add links to your favorite Twitter displays and resources in the comments below.


Series supported by Ben & Jerry’s Joe

This series is supported by Ben & Jerry’s Joe, Ben & Jerry’s new line-up of Fair Trade and frozen iced coffee drinks. Learn more about it here.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, marekuliasz

Tags: blog, css tricks, design, display, official twitter widget, resources, tutorial, tutorials, twitter, twitter tools, web layout, website, widget, widgets, Wordpress


November 27 2009

A Guide to Mobile Web Design Tips and Tricks

mobile-web-mashHaving a mobile-optimized web site can really make your site stand apart from the pack. Even though smartphones like the iPhone and Google Android devices can display “the full web,” having a web page formatted for smaller screens and with features that can take advantage of a touch screen, geolocation, or address book functionality can make the mobile web browsing experience that much better.

Even just a few years ago, optimizing websites for mobile browsers was a painful and difficult process, in part because of the limitations of most mobile browsers. Today, thanks to the proliferation of WebKit (which powers the browsers on the iPhone, Android and webOS devices, with BlackBerry expected to join the mix next year), it’s much easier to decide on a strategy for making your website pop on mobile platforms.

We’ve put together a toolkit of resources for the designer and non-designer alike to get you started. Did we miss your favorite tool or service? Let us know in the comments!


Services for Optimizing Your Content for Mobile Browsers


mash-mobile-lg

If you don’t have experience with HTML and CSS (or you don’t have the time), there are a number of services that can create mobile versions of your website for you.

MoFuse and MoFuse Premium — MoFuse has been offering a simple way for bloggers and businesses to easily create mobile versions of their websites for quite some time. For bloggers or smaller sites, the company offers MoFuse for Blogs, which is a free and easy way to quickly mobilize your web site (it uses your RSS feed to generate the new site) whenever it is accessed by going to “m.yourdomain.com.” For businesses or larger sites that want a little more control, MoFuse Premium offers more customizable options.

Disclosure: MoFuse powers Mashable’s mobile website.

Mippin — Mippin is another free service that can create a quick mobile version of your website using your RSS feed. The options aren’t extensive, but the version that Mippin creates should be viewable on almost any WAP compatible mobile phone.

mobiSiteGalore — mobiSiteGalore can create quick mobile versions of websites, offers users some customization options, and can take advantage of the .mobi TLD. mobiSiteGalore will let you create your mobile site from a computer or from your phone.


Plugins for WordPress and Other Publishing Systems


wptouch-admin

Having a WAP-formatted site is fine, but if you want to be able to offer visitors from an iPhone or Android device some really great optimized mobile features, you want to consider creating a separate stylesheet for your website. For users of WordPress and other publishing systems, there are a lot of plugin options available that make adding a mobile theme to your site extremely easy.

WPtouch — WPtouch is a fantastic plugin available for WordPress.org users (WordPress.com users can also take advantage of WPtouch with the recent addition of mobile themes) that automatically makes your site easy to read and access from an iPhone or Android device.

The plugin is extremely robust and even offers backend features like the ability to set an iPhone Favicon (so that when users add your web page to their iPhone’s home screen, it has a great looking icon), the ability to work with other WordPress plugins like FlickrRSS and Blip.it, support for AJAX, customized headers, and more. What I really like about WPtouch is that users can choose to turn it off and access the full version of a website at any time by flicking the mobile on/off switch at the bottom of each page.

WordPress Mobile Edition – Crowd Favorite created this plugin that allows users to easily define what type of devices should be shown a mobile web page (and what shouldn’t — for instance if you want BlackBerry users to see your mobile page but you want iPhone users to see the full site) and it comes with Crowd Favorite’s Carrington Mobile Theme which is easy on the eyes and also fully customizable.

WordPress Mobile Pack — The WordPress Mobile Pack is from the dotMobi team and it is a whole suite of tools for mobile web optimization. It includes a base mobile theme, which is very attractive, a mobile admin panel, mobile ad support and the option for visitors to switch between the full and mobile versions of a website.

WPtap — WPtap is a plugin for WordPress, and the site also offers up some alternative themes for users who want a more customized look and feel to add to their sites. WPtap looks very similar to WPtouch, but the emphasis seems to be on offering pre-built mobile styles.

WordPress Mobile by Mobify — This is a plugin for the Mobify service (see description in the next section). It handles automatic redirection of mobile clients to your Mobify mobile view page.

Mobile Plugin for Drupal — Mobile Plugin offers Drupal sites a mobile optimized view, comes with a mobile version of the standard Drupal Garland theme and includes device detection, hooks for adding mobile-specific features and automatic YouTube mobile replacement.


Tools for Designers


alistapartmobile

Mobify — Mobify is a really interesting service because it makes it easy for designers or users who know HTML and CSS to painlessly modify and optimize their website for mobile access. The service is free (though paid monthly plans are available for more features) and it works extremely well with systems like WordPress, Drupal, ExpressionEngine and any other system that has predictable URL patterns and well formed HTML.

Mobify has a visual editor that lets you see what your content looks like on different device types and you can then modify the CSS and see the changes in real-time. Some sites that have used Mobify to create mobile optimized versions of their content include A List Apart and revered web developers and designers, such as Jonathan Snook and Veerle Pieters.

iPhoney — iPhoney from Marketcircle gives Mac users a pixel-accurate web browsing environment that is powered by Safari. Why does this matter? Because when crafting the mobile version of your site, it’s important to be able to see how the final product will look on your phone. iPhoney hasn’t been updated in a while but is still a really useful tool.

iWebKit — iWebKit is a framework of sorts for creating iPhone-optimized websites or web apps that can take advantage of the iPhone’s UI elements and other features.

jQTouch — jQTouch is a really innovative jQuery plugin for mobile web development on the iPhone and iPod touch. With it you can create websites or web apps with animations, support for forms, customized UI elements, additional extensions, swipe controls, and more. The developer is really active with the project and some of the stuff you can do with it is amazing.

iPhone Compatible CSS Layouts — Matthew James Taylor created a bunch of liquid CSS layouts that are iPhone and iPod Touch compatible and free for anyone to use. If you’re looking for a starting point for building a mobile optimized site, you might want to give these layouts a look.


Other Resources


Mobile Web Design by Cameron Moll — This is a really great book (available in print or as an ebook) with tips, best practices, and examples on styling and optimizing your site for mobile content. If it suffers from anything it is that it was written before the iPhone explosion really took off, thus it isn’t as up to date as it could be. Still, for mobile web enthusiasts, there’s a lot of great information here.

Craig Hockenbery’s “Put Your Content in My Pocket” — In August of 2007, Craig Hockenberry (from the Iconfactory and one of the brains behind Twitterrific for the Mac and the iPhone) wrote a great article for “A List Apart” and although some of the technologies have evolved, much of what Craig wrote then still applies today. A great read.

Smashing Magazines’s Mobile Design Showcase – Need some inspiration? Smashing Magazine did a great roundup of iPhone optimized designs in September.

CSSiPhone — CSSiPhone is a CSS gallery dedicated to iPhone optimized site designs. Like Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal!”


Your Thoughts


What do you think about the direction of mobile web development? Do you have any favorite mobile sites or mobile design tips? Let us know!


Reviews: Android, BLIP, Drupal, Safari, Twitterrific, WordPress, YouTube

Tags: android, iphone, List, Lists, mobile web, mobile web design, resources, web design, Wordpress


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