2 Notes

People, Get a Gravatar!

It’s 2011, If you don’t have it yet - Get It!

waiting…

Seriously now, I been blogging for almost two years now and commenting on other blogs even longer than that and it amazes me how many people still show up as the usual gray blob or some other pre-selected default secret service shadow profile or even worse - a manga cartoon (what’s up with that really!).

I urge you all to think about your online presence as an online brand and build it accordingly. It doesn’t matter if you make a living out of it directly… it just makes sense and make it easy for everybody to recognize you online.

Just think about the many services you probably use and show up on already - Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, Yelp, Forums, Blog Commenting, StumbleUpon, Digg, Klout, Foursquare, etc…  

Being recognized = Being Listened Too!

Gravatar is your Globally Recognized Avatar. This service is provided by AUTOMATIC, the maker of WordPress among many other good things (some of which I’ll write about later on).

Here’s how they define it on the Gravatar website:

Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?

You signup once, Upload a picture, Attach it to an email, Add links to your favorite web services, Write a one liner about who you are and what you do… And from then on every time you use that email on blogs, websites and the many services supporting it, your profile or avatar comes along for the ride! 

And it’s not just a picture. Hovering over it people can get to see the information you added on your Gravatar profile page - Who you are and what you do, as well as allowing them to visit your other online presence spots such as your own blog, twitter, flickr, YouTube and more.

Let me point out why you want to use it.

  • Saves you time with logging to comment on blogs and websites.
  • It helps you be more recognized (Online Brand, Remember?).
  • People are more keen to read your comments if you have one.
  • It will increase traffic to your own site.
  • It helps in developing your authority. 

You can have your own Gravatar in minutes, just provide the email address you usually comment with.

So what picture should you choose?

I think there are only two options:

  • Your real face picture
  • Your brand logo

I use my own face profile picture and would suggest all to use a face picture too. Using a logo to represent you can be an option in some cases, but the most important thing is to be consistent.

I’ve recently experimented with combining the two options. My profile face picture was the one I used as an avatar from the get go (starting at 2002 I think, even before Gravatar was launched) and it later turned on to be my blogs logo. Now, I have several versions of it dedicate to online services I participate in.

So get your own Gravatar TODAY!

2 Notes

Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No Matter.
Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.
Samuel Beckett

7 Notes

This is yet another amazing video showing you one of the most beautiful phenomenons in the world. Don’t forget, watch it in HD & Full Screen.

5 Notes

Notepad++ Is Notepad On Steroids

Today I want to recommend a great little free tool that I think all of you
PC users should take a look at.

It is called Notepad++ and it is really a great name for it as it does provide some major pluses over the regular notepad app you get with every Windows copy.

Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPLLicense.

Based on the powerful editing component Scintilla, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size. By optimizing as many routines as possible without losing user friendliness, Notepad++ is trying to reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions. When using less CPU power, the PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption, resulting in a greener environment.

I know, those are pretty bold claims and I don’t know if using Notepad++ will really help reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions but I can assure you it will help you save some time and be more productive. I personally love that it allows me to have multiple notepad windows open among other great features.

As I mentioned in my taking notes post I always have a little notebook next to my keyboard to take notes. I also always have Notepad++ active on my desktop and I use it for various things such as:

  • Copy & Paste - If I have some content that I keep needing to copy and paste over and over again, I simply add it once to Notepad++ and keep copying it whenever I need. 
  • Taking notes - I don’t always use the little notebook I have on my desk as it is little and I try to write down the most important notes I have and keep them short. For everything else I use Notepad++.
  • Formatting Issues - When I copy something for an internet page or a Word document it usually get copied with the formatting and in order to strip all of that formatting I simply copy it into Notepad++ and than copy it again and it is now clean to paste anywhere I want without needing to edit the fonts or any other formatting aspect.
  • Code Editing - Editing code is very easy with Notepad++ as opposed to the regular notepad and after you will copy a piece of code into it you will understand why (or just take a look at the image on the homepage)

I strongly recommend you give Notepad++ a try and see how great it is and how much it can help you. Download it here.

Are you using Notepad++ already? If so, what are you using it for? Anything I left out? Please let us know. And for all of you Mac users, if you can share with us a similar tool that works on the Mac it would be great.

2 Notes

What We Fear Doing Most, Is Usually What We Most Need To Do
Tim Ferriss, 4 Hour Workweek

2 Notes

Great short video from Matt Cutts about TRYING SOMETHING DIFFERENT FOR 30 DAYS. Matt is the head of Google’s Webspam team (those that control the all mighty search engine algorithms).

Got me thinking about what I am going to try for the next 30 days and here it is:

I am going to wake up, every day, at 8:00am for the next 30 days. This means I will need to stop going to sleep at 7am… I just want to get my hours back to normal as opposed to the vampire style hours I am living for the last year or so…

What are you going to do for the next 30 days? Share it with us and make yourself accountable. I am sure it would help it stick :)

Notes

Think Like The Fish,
Not The Fisherman
Gary Bencivenga

1 Notes

Brainstorming Overdrive With The Power Of Mind Maps

One of the things that really helped me get my ideas and projects in order was that I started using Mind Maps. This time I have to thank Ronen as he introduced me to this Mind Mapping concept by sharing with me the service he used called Mindmeister a few months back.

For those of you that don’t know what a Mind Map is, here is the definition according to Wikipedia:

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studyingand organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.

The elements of a given mind map are arranged intuitively according to the importance of the concepts, and are classified into groupings, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing memories.

By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner, mind maps encourage a BRAINSTORMING APPROACH to planning and organizational tasks.

Since I started using Mindmaps with the service called Mindmeister it really helped me to organize the tasks needed to be made and the ability to see everything in front of me with all the levels simply made it much easier to figure out what additional tasks/steps I need to take and eventually it simply helped take action on my ideas.

Here is an example of a mind map I just created for the purpose of making this blog better by letting you add your problems, ideas, tools and tips so that all of us can learn from each other and it would hopefully bring in some great ideas to write about.

You can edit the mind map so feel free to add anything you want (just don’t delete anything please). If you can’t see the mindmap than it can be found HERE

As I mentioned before and as you can see by the embedded Mindmap above, the service I am using for all my mind mapping needs is called Mindmeister. I really love it and didn’t see any reason to look for any alternatives. You can signup for free and create up to 3 mind maps. 

Other mind mapping tools/service that I heard about (and found by simply using Google) are Freemind and Mindjet. I know there are probably more and I really can’t say anything (good or bad) about the two I found as I never used them myself.

If you know of any other great mind mapping tool feel free to let us know and if you have mind mapping tips we are all ears.

Notes

Don’t Take Life Too Seriously You’ll Never Get Out Alive
Van Wilder

1 Notes

Wanted to know where Google got the idea for Google Plus? Just watch this and you find out and I bet your ass you are going to laugh… 

I know I did :)

By the way, since I am not in Google Plus yet I guess I take the role of Dustin Hoffman :)

Are you already in Google Plus? Let us know.