January 27, 2008

Weekly Review #4

Despite blogging less than usual these past few weeks, I assure you I have been very busy! I've found some great sites to tell you all about, and most importantly the eBook is ready for release and will be publicly available on Tuesday!

So without further delay, here's the fourth weekly review for 2008, with news from Blogger Buster, the bloggosphere and interesting links I've discovered this week.

Blogger Buster news

The Cheats' Guide eBook

Sorry guys, I know this has been a long wait. Thankfully the eBook is now complete, with even more added features and also an accompanying folder with new templates and images used as examples in the eBook.

Members of the Blogger Buster MyBlogLog community will be able to have a sneak preview of the Cheats' Guide eBook (for evaluation and feedback) before the public release later this week. So if you'd like to get your hands on the eBook before anyone else, join our community or send me an email and I'll forward on the link.

More from the Blogger Template Design series

For those following the progress of the Blogger Template Design series, we've now taken the template a step further by adding margins and padding tp the template in construction. In the next few installments, we'll tidy up other elements of the template and begin working on one of the most important aspects of any blog template: an enticing and interesting header.

Some small changes to the Blogger Buster site

I'm planning to make some changes to the layout and functionality of this site over the next week or so. These will not be so drastic as last year's complete redesign, but rather a shuffle of the navigation links and sidebar content which I hope will make this blog easier to use and navigate, as well as highlighting the more popular sections of the site.

Blogging news

Bloggies Finalists

The finalists for the 2008 Bloggies have been announced, and we are now able to vote for our favorites in each category.

There are many familiar faces in the list, including Dooce, PostSecret and Lifehacker, plus some new faces in the list. You can also vote for Blogger as the best application for Bloggers if you choose (though Twitter and Flickr look set for many votes too!).

This week's links

I've begun to get into the habit of bookmarking useful links as I find them, so this week I have quite a selection of sites to share, including some which were emailed to be by readers.

I hope you find these useful, and please do send me your own suggestions which I will post here next week.

  • Ximmy: get paid to bookmark your favorite sites

    This new social bookmarking site offers rewards to those most active in the community by rewarding members with credits which can be exchanged for cash. Thanks to Clyde for recommending this.
  • Entrecard

    I'll soon post a full article about this excellent free service as I am very impressed with how well this is working for me. Basically, this allows you to earn and spend credits through advertising your blog, and allowing others to advertise on your site. You can see my own Entrecard widget in the sidebar.

    Already I've noticed an increase in the number of visitors to my site, and I'm really enjoying finding new blogs to read in the process. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think about Entrecard by leaving your comments below.
  • Tiny URLs: make your long links tiny!

    If you're in the habit of posting long URLs in your blogs or publications, do try TinyURL.com, which can transform your long links into tiny URLS. I've used this extensively in the forthcoming eBook (as my PDF software doesn't support embedded URLs), and have found this free service to be extremely helpful.
  • LetterMeLater: send scheduled emails

    This free service would be ideal for anyone who wants to schedule their blog posts to a later date.
  • Social networking in plain English

    This video post explains how social networking works in a way which is easy for anyone to understand.
  • Larabie Fonts: free fonts for your blog designs

    I found this site while searching for some great free fonts to use in blog designs. There are loads of really great fonts to use here, including Coolvetica (a free variant of Helvetica) which you may recognize from the Blogger Buster logo.
  • Iconspedia: free icon packs

    Here's another great site for those looking for free icons for their blog designs, featuring a wide range of high quality icons for free download. I'll be using some of these in later installments of the Blogger Template Design series, so be sure to check this site out if you need to find great icons for your own blogs.

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As always, your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

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