Use NetVibes From Your Desktop

NetVibes.com Logo

Revmarkmak has posted a YouTube video which contains instructions on how to make Netvibes your start page and then, use NetVibes from your desktop. I’m not sure if this will work on anything other than Windows, but the end result is awesome. If you don’t want to know how to make Netvibes your browsers default home page, skip to 5:45 in the video to check out how to put Netvibes onto the desktop.

I’m pretty sure that this is not restricted to Netvibes. You can probably do the same thing with IGoogle, Pageflakes or any other start page service. Think about it. You can free up hard drive space and make your browsing experience richer by using these start page services along with their associated modules. For instance, instead of using a stand alone Twitter client, add the Twitter module to your start page.

At this point, I’m still a virgin when it comes to start pages. I don’t use any of them because I use FeedDemon as my feed reader, and FireFox extensions which cover just about everything else. I may create one just for the sake of having a familiar environment when I can’t access my desktop PC or my Notebook. At any rate, thanks for the tips Revmarkmark.

Web 2.0 Layer Styles For Photoshop

DezineFolio LogoThis is actually a few months old but it’s news to me. DezinerFolio has released 131 Web 2.0 based Photoshop Layer Styles. The layer styles give designers a head start when it comes time to create slick, new Web 2.0 based graphics. The layer styles were created using Adobe Photoshop CS2. I’m not sure if the layer style is backwards compatible or not. If you get the file to work with anything before CS2, be sure to let us know.

The following image is a preview of the various types of styles that are found in this style pack. Click on the image to visit the download area. Thanks to NavDeep for putting this together.

Web 2.0 Layer Styles Preview Image

SHOULDdoTHIS – The Internet Suggestion Box

Should Do This LogoHere is an interesting site I came across the other day. It’s quickly being referred to as the internet suggestion box. SHOULDdoTHIS resembles Twitter with unique spin on the micro-blogging idea.

This is one of the few services I have come across that supports logging in by using my OpenID user account, which made creating a registered account a breeze. I wish more sites would include this type of login access. In my opinion, OpenID will play a big role in creating a unified login across multiple sites. So the more sites that support OpenID, the better.

ShouldDoThis Text Box

While Twitter provides an avenue for you to tell the world ‘What Are You Doing?‘ SHOULDdoTHIS allows you to give your opinion as to what should be done, and who it should be done by. For example, in the ‘Someone Field‘ I typed in EA. In the ‘do something great field‘ I typed in ‘Should release one last major patch to Battlefield 2‘. Unlike the 140 character limit found on other micro-blogging services, there doesn’t appear to be any limit to the amount of text that can be placed within the ‘Do Something Great‘ field. After I clicked the submit button, my suggestion was published to my account where users can do a number of different things.

On the right hand side of the site, users can choose whether or not the suggestion is likely or unlikely to happen. Underneath of that, users can guesstimate when the suggestion will take place. Suggestions can be tagged but as I was browsing around, the tags feature didn’t appear to be used by quite a few people. Just like Twitter, each user has an RSS feed attached to their account. After adding a suggestion, there is a text area which appears at the bottom of the post which lets users give a detailed explanation as to their suggestion. I believe this is a nice touch as quite a few suggestions can not be explained in a short amount of detail.

My suggestions so far

Final Thoughts:

Everyone has an opinion, and this service let’s you get your opinion out in the open. If Robotcoop releases a public API for SHOULDdoTHIS, I see no reason as to why sites and services, especially those with actual products wouldn’t use something like this as a suggestion box. SHOULDdoTHIS is not a Twitter clone as I feel the service has taken the micro-blogging idea and put a very nice twist to it. Considering there are sponsored ads that appear on user account pages, this site already has a monetization model, but if they charged a price to use their service for commercial use, I think they would do very well.

If you sign up and give the service a try, let me know what YOU think.

Track Web 2.0 Startups With StartUp Search

StartupSearch.org LogoTrack the crazy Web 2.0 startup race from an investor perspective by using StartupSearch.org

StartupSearch.org is a directory of startup companies, products and investors that are changing the landscape of the web. At the time of this writing, there are 76 companies, 86 products, and 136 investors that are being tracked. StartupSearch takes information about new startup companies and compiles the information into easy to digest profile pages. Let’s use Twitter as an example.

Twitters profile page displays information such as, company founders, funding, photos tagged with Twitter, company address, Twitter specific news brought you by an RSS feed, and a Googlemaps image showing the location of their headquarters.

Twitters Startup Score

Each company that is profiled on StartupSearch receives a Startup score. A Startup score is made up of two parts, buzz and traffic. The buzz score is a measurement of the conversations taking place on the net involving the product. StartupSearch tracks unique citations excluding the originating site, total and unique links from the blogosphere, mentions within blog posts, and other mentions.

The traffic score measures a site’s visitors as well as the site’s visitor behaviour as reported by StartUpSearch’s traffic sources. Here are the elements that make up the traffic score: total unique users, total visits, visists per users, and other metrics which help to determine the overall behaviour of the site’s visitors.

One last thing to mention before I let you go. StartUpSearch provides an RSS feed which contains a weekly wrap-up of news related to the companies being tracked. This could be a nice addition to your feedreader to stay ahead of what’s happening.

Overall, StartUpSearch does a wonderful job in presenting company specific information. I have to imagine that there are more than 76 companies online that need to be tracked but because the site is maintained by only one person, it’s probably a moot point in trying to track every startup company that comes online.

If you happen to visit this site, let me know if you like the way StartUpSearch displays company information when compared to CrunchBase Techcrunch’s version of company profiles.

Space Shuttle Liftoff As Seen From Above

These images may not be new to you since they have been in circulation since 2006 in viral emails. However, these images are new to me and I thought I’d share them since they have yet to grace the front page of this site. These two images were taken in 2006 by a WB-57 chase plane Initially, it was thought that these images were taken from the ISS or International Space Station, but it turns out that was simply a rumor. At any rate, enjoy!

Space Shuttle As Seen From Near Space

 

Shuttle Image Number 2

Zeusbox Releases Free FeedIcon Set

ZeusBox LogoZeusbox has released a free RSS Feed icon set under the Creative Commons 3 license. The icon set contains 34 PNG icons which range in size from 16 pixels to 32 pixels. Zeusbox has stated that they will update the icon set, so if you have any requests, be sure to visit their site and leave a comment. Zeusbox asks that the requested icons be related to FEEDs. You can download this stylish icon pack by clicking here.

Icons Included In The Pack

Ajax Powered Password Strength Meter

Password Strength MeterCode and Coffee has put together a password strength meter using Ajax to check the strength of a given password in real-time. Google and other web services are picking up on the trend of using these meters to inform new users, just how strong their chosen password is.

Using Code And Coffee’s demo page, I typed in the password, ( password ) and the meter read, VERY SECURE. Obviously, the algorithm needs some work, but the good news is, you can actually change the way the algorithm works. Code and Coffee decided to base their password algorithm off of Intelligent Web. Their algorithm calculates how many different combinations there are for a password, as it’s being entered, then determines how many days it would take to crack the password. The algorithm returns a percentage that is turned into a GUI for end users to see.

Code and Coffee has released the javascript file along with the demo.html page that you would need, in order to add one of these password meters to your site or service. There is also a detailed explanation as to how the code works which can be read, by clicking here.

My Second Co-Hosted Talkcast On Talkshoe

http://www.talkshoe.comIt turns out that Pete’s apprentice has quit the program. I think the thoughts of blogging, twitter and everything else just became too much to wrap his head around.

Since the apprentice was no longer going to be on the show, I ended up co-hosting another podcast with Pete most commonly known as xyour925job. In this latest episode, we discussed SEO, I gave an audio review of 10Links.net and shared my user experience. We then discussed Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce and why they are useful services that should be used by every blogger.

I told Pete how well my site has been doing, despite being new. I talked about a few of the strategies I have used so far and how I plan on gaining traffic in the future. At the very end of the show I mentioned that the podcastawards were taking votes for the best podcasts. The show is about an hour long. We didn’t have any callers or any chatters for that matter in this episode which means Pete and I had to try and do the show without tanking for 60 minutes. Hopefully, I provided some good information for you to use. I wouldn’t mind some critique as I am thinking about doing my own show. Any tips or words of encouragement would be appreciated.

To listen to the latest episode of the Internet Marketing And SEO Tips Podcast click the following link to download the mp3 file.

My First Podcast Sort Of

Talkshoe.Com Podcasting Made Simple

Every Monday, Pete Balasch Jr. hosts a show on Talkshoe called Internet Marketing And SEO Tips. About 2 weeks ago, Pete decided to do an apprentice type show where he takes a generally inexperienced user and teaches them about SEO and the different ways a new user can gain ground on search engines. This past Monday, as I was waiting for the show to start, Pete informed me that his guest couldn’t make it. Since I was the only one in the room, he asked me if I’d like to do a show and be a special guest host. I said “sure”.

The show which you can listen to here, EPISODE18 – The SEO Apprentice Course Week 3 turned out to be rather informative. In the show, I gave an audio review of InviteShare, along with an explanation of how it works. Pete and I both discussed the effects of Web 2.0 on search engine optimizations along with a new term that has been created called Social Media Marketers. Think of SMM’s as the SEO guys who apparently get the gist of Web 2.0 and social media. During the middle of the show, Highway_Of_Life the new co-host for PHPBBWEEKLY joined in and gave us some valuable information concerning Google’s Supplemental index. This segment alone is enough to warrant a listen.

Last but not least, we covered PingBacks/Trackback URLs, the No-Follow link attribute, blogging in the blogosphere, using Twitter to update multiple other services and sites, and general SEO tips. If you happen to listen to this episode, I’d love to hear your feedback as I plan on having my own Talkcast/Podcast show in the not so distant future.