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Creating things on the web has started to become easier to do with the help of some of the amazing web tools and apps that are out there. One area that seems like it is becoming more prominent on the web is eBook and magazine creation. When books and eBooks first came out, publishing was somewhat of a pipe dream unless you had a great book or you knew how to get it published, which meant that it wouldn’t be able to get in front of a lot of people. Now, with the web, book creation and content distribution is a lot easier to do. That is not to take away from people who work hard on their own to get published, but the web is providing a platform for the average person to be able to get more exposure to their writing than before.

Today, I am taking a look at a web application that offers the mass market of people the ability to create their own ebook/magazine. Blooki.st gives people a platform where they can easily create content on the web so that it can be distributed to the world. They aren’t the first web app to do this, and they most certainly won’t be the last, but there was something about how clean and easy it looked to use that I thought I had to just try it out for myself.

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Blogging has changed. When the first blogging services started popping around ’98, most people used them as open diaries. Over time, blogs went further, and the concept of a diary fell apart. Still, they were still personal, but instead of carrying the events of our days, we now write opinions we believe are worth sharing (and some still use them as diaries — they’re just fewer and farther between). From diaries to opinion repositories, there’s one quality of blogs that’s never vanished: they’re personal.

Not only have bloggers reshaped their content, but the platforms have followed the transformation as well. From WordPress and Blogger to Tumblr and more, customization has always been an essential part of blogging. It’s like hanging pictures in your bedroom, making your space feel yours. Then came the digital magazines, like Svbtle and Medium, and theming became passé. Personality became lodged in the content. Now comes Roon, which abdicates most of the customization to leave place to what defines our generation: content.

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One of the recent trends in blogging has been the implementation of flat file blogging systems that take your Markdown files and render them as blog posts in beautiful website form. However, a lot of these are self-hosted and for those who may not have the technical knowledge to get one of these set up, or perhaps just want to get on with blogging, they’ll be pleased to know there’s a pretty good solution that aims to get bloggers up and running in mere minutes.

That solution is Scriptogr.am.

Scriptogr.am is both a frontend and a backend for your blog, taking the Markdown files from its designated folder in your Dropbox and collating them into a fully-featured and working blog. Also, did I mention it’s free? Find out more after the fold! (more…)

With the news of Tumblr being bought just this past week, there is renewed attention to other blogging platforms. Of course WordPress and Tumblr are two of the most recognized ones out there. But there are others that you may not have heard of or that are just not as popular.

For the past few days, I have gotten to play with a blogging platform that is a little different than some of the other options that are out there. If you are an Evernote user, like I am, then you are going to be intrigued by Postach.io. It harnesses the power of Evernote and lets you use it to create your blog posts. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and after taking it for a spin for a bit, I came away impressed. Let’s take a closer look at it.

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I just recently ventured into creating my own website again. There is something about doing it that is so fulfilling for me. Over the years, I have learned a lot about websites by creating them, and have found what should and should not go into it. Now, don’t let me mislead you: I am no pro at this by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, when you start talking about coding, you lose me right away. But, what I have started to learn more and more about is using the amazing resources that are out there to help you create your own site. I am finding that you really don’t have to know how to code to help you come up with a decently good looking website.

Take for example, the app that I am reviewing today called Feeder Ninja, which does something so simple in nature, but yet can come in very handy when you are creating your own site. Feeder Ninja takes your social media feeds and creates an embedable  window that you can insert into your website. Again, simple in nature, but they make it so easy to do and it looks very professional.

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Competition is always a good thing, right? At least I think so, and this “finding a replacement for Google Reader” scenario presents us with this opportunity. It is good to have choices, to find what we like and don’t like and settle on something that works for us. I bet you can get ten different tech nerds in a room and they would all have their own opinions as to why they like their favorite RSS reader. It’s the nature of the beast and that is okay, it pushes developers to make quality products and apps.

Bloglovin is one that is just a little different than some of the others that I have reviewed. For one, their focus is on reading blogs, but don’t let that turn you away from this web app. It is more than just reading blogs and it takes a fresh approach to the RSS feed reading situation that some may actually like. Let’s take a look at it more to see what it is all about.

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Blogging. It’s taken over the web and with its rise in popularity, several blogging platforms have emerged that have taken this incredibly popular media by storm. You might have heard of WordPress (it’s hard not to). Over 62 million websites across the globe use the software and this is probably down to its incredibly user-friendly interface, its ease of setting-up and its general communal adoption.

However, there are times when WordPress can be a little too bloated and it’s often been noted that it’s almost shifted its focus towards being a framework as opposed to a tool to encourage and enable blogging. In short, WordPress can sometimes feel too big for small sites.

If only there was a new, simpler tool, ready to change the face of blogging. Enter Anchor. It’s beautifully-designed, a pleasure to use and the theming system is so simple, you can mock up a theme from HTML/CSS in less than an hour. I did.

Let’s take a closer look.

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If it wasn’t for my Kindle, I seriously doubt I’d read half of what I do now. Whatever about the incredible Kindle store or the high resolution e-ink display, the main selling point is having thousands of books, magazines, newspaper and journals condensed into one little device.

Listed under Experimental on my Kindle lives the world’s worst Internet browser. A suggest use is accessing websites for further reading, yet trying to read a blog on Kindle is like reading War & Peace on a Tamagotchi.

The obvious solution here is to use something like KindleFeeder to send RSS feeds to my kindle. The unobvious flaw is that regular reading of blogs is best set for a PC or tablet given the usual inclusion of video and other media. What’s more I rarely read every article a blog publishes. I prefer to read by the subject. If I have a insatiable hunger for FarCry3 reviews, I want only FarCry3 reviews.

In sweeps Readlists like a squirrel in one of those flying squirrel suits. Loads of articles, all derived from related lists, straight to my kindle, inbox, phone or PC. How does it work? Should I even bother? Let’s check it out. (more…)

For the past few years, blogging has taken over the internet and it’s no surprise that blogging software and platforms have been increasingly easier to quickly access and use. However, if you just want to write the occasional post and aren’t too bothered about maintaining a full blog, these tools can seem incredibly bloated. Themes, categories, tags — these can quickly become a major pain to maintain. That’s where Feathers comes in.

Feathers gets you focused on the writing again and you can be up and blogging in seconds — relieving the need to configure a full blog. Read on to find out more!

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Anyone who has published content online knows how difficult it is to create tables – especially if HTML is a foreign language for you. Be it a simple specification sheet or a more complex comparison chart, it’s an absolute pain to have to make tables suited for publishing online that actually look good.

It’s a problem I faced often when I was writing for a phone blog. Every time a new handset launched, I wanted to create a comparison table with a competitor. While making that in Excel was easy, translating the table into an eye-pleasing online experience drove me nuts.

Compare Ninja seemes to offer a solution, as an easy-to-use table-making app with beautiful results. Let’s take it for a spin. (more…)

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