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Blogging

Blogger is one of the original hosted blogging platforms, from the guys that went on to start Twitter after Google bought it out. Blogger is where many of us cut our blogging teeth, and was the first place many people moved after leaving their old Geocities sites behind. Today, though, Blogger’s popularity has been eclipsed by WordPress.com, Tumblr, and social networking in general which has kept many from focusing on writing a full blog.

Blogger seemed to stagnate for years, but in the past year, Google has done a lot to make it a much more modern blogging service. Let’s take a look at the new Blogger and its improved default themes, then check out 8 of the best new Blogger themes from our parent company Envato’s ThemeForest. (more…)

Ever find you’d like to share a bit more than your Facebook status update or Tweet will let you? Perhaps you’d be interested in writing more long-form content, or sharing more context with your images, but you don’t want to go to the trouble of setting up a blog. You have a story to tell, and you don’t want to have to figure out 50 thousand settings to just write and share what you wrote with your social network friends. And if you discover other great stories from other people in the process, that’s great.

Sounds like you need Storylane. It’s the latest twist on an almost-blog app that feels more like a social network. Similar to Tumblr, but even simpler, it lets you have the space to tell your full story, not just 140 characters of it. And it’s rather fun to use, too.

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It seems that in today’s world, sharing things with people you know really is the name of the game. Over the past few months, apps and even whole operating systems have been changing to include those all important sharing features, and it seems like you can’t read an article nowadays without having to send it to someone you know.

Blogs are also a great way to share your thoughts with people out there on the Internet and previously unknown people have transformed themselves into big names on the Internet just via their writings and posts. Yet now there is a new approach to blogs, one that allows you to harness the power of social media on your own blog, or meeting fire with fire, and it comes by the name of OverBlog. It’s a European blog platform that has recently expanded into the US and boasts over 3 million active users with 34 million uniques, according to TechCrunch. But what makes it so interesting, and is it worth a shot? Let’s find out. (more…)

People love WordPress for a good reason: it’s so user friendly that basically anyone can use it. Making a new blog post is as easy as logging in and pressing ‘Add new’. With such a wide variety of free and premium plug-ins, most users wouldn’t see a reason to not go with WordPress when starting a new blog. I too thought this, and was really happy running my personal blog on a self-hosted WordPress install. But this all changed a few months ago when I was given an opportunity to test Squarespace.

If you don’t already know, Squarespace is a relatively new service which we’ve reviewed before. And while a lot of things remain the same, many improvements have been made to the service over the years, including better pricing and added features. In this review, I will be going over what I think of Squarespace, and the features that stand out the most to me and that matter to most users.

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Whether you run your own blog network built around the open source WordPress platform or you just manage a few blogs for clients, you’ll probably understand how hard it is to manually maintain these through each one’s separate admin panels. It appears that the developers of ManageWP have decided to do something about this and have developed an app that takes care of the issue for those finding it to be a problem.

ManageWP allows bloggers and webmasters alike to manage multiple WordPress-powered websites easily within one central admin panel. With support for network-wide upgrades and the installing of additional plugins and themes to all blogs, it can be a real help to those finding this to be the case.

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Creating a website and a blog can be a lot of fun, and also a lot of work at times. There are some great resources out there to help you make quick blogs and websites, but the one thing that is wrong with them, is that you are expected to have a lot of posts or pictures which take up more than one page. What if you just want to post one thing and that is it? To go through all of the hassle of creating a website or blog is too much work for just one post.

This is where CheckThis can come in very handy. It takes blogging and creating a website and strips it down to its simplest form. CheckThis puts a whole new spin on making a web page and after playing with it for a bit, I can see how useful this web app can really be.

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I am a huge fan of moving more toward the web and away from native software. There are a variety of reasons for this, and I have realized the more we start to move away from software and to the web, the more we are going to need tools to edit on the web. I can think of two recent examples of this, where a friend of mine sent me a link to a new blog he is trying to write as well as students sending me essays online. Having tools to edit these pages online would be so helpful.

This is where a tool like Scrible comes in very handy. It is a toolbar that gives you a variety of options to edit webpages, save them, and then send them off. Scrible opens up a lot of possibilities for the web and it gives us the chance to give instant feedback.

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If you are a regular reader you should probably know about a major gripe of mine – lack of quality feed reader apps on the web like the ones available for iOS. While remaining loyal to Google Reader for the time being, I am constantly looking out for that one awesome web app that will make me jump a creaking ship.

As and when I find some hopefuls, I never miss a chance to take them for a spin and share the results with our community. Subpug brings all your favourite websites, blogs and news sources into one convenient place. It’s totally free and there’s no need to sign up. You don’t even need to give us your email address. So, is it the feed reader that’s gonna make me ditch the good old Reader?

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Knowing how many people are viewing your site can either be a fun distraction or the difference between making an appropriate amount of money from all your work and going broke. There are plenty of solutions available, some commercial and some free or integrated with another service.

Gaug.es, an analytics tool from Ordered List (the same group that created Harmony) is aiming for your business with several amazing features and a simple, intuitive interface.

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There are plenty of ways to manage a website, from home-baked content management systems to established juggernauts like WordPress and ExpressionEngine, from free solutions like Tumblr to paid services like Squarespace. You could roll your own HTML and CSS based static site, or cook up a fully responsive site based on a content management system designed for sites with millions of articles. It’s your choice.

Harmony is throwing its hat into the ring, hoping to appeal to users that are seeking a fully-functional website builder that is powerful and simple. It’s a hosted website design and content management system that’s designed to let you focus on creation rather than the engine behind your site. Let’s take a look and see if it has what you need to power your site.

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