The Greatest Tool for Bloggers EVER

July 14, 2010 at 6:06 pm (Cool Tools, Creativity)

It’s a big claim, I know. But I mean it.

Keeping up with the latest information on your blog topic is critical if you want to publish engaging content. This means watching the news, following key people involved in your topic and, for me at least, stalking the blogosphere for the latest and greatest posts relating to your blog. But let’s be honest, it takes time to be a blog stalker.

Luckily, I stumbled across NetVibes, an awesome dashboard generator. All you do is type in your interest area (presumably what you blog about), and it creates a central dashboard for the topic. The dashboard is organized into customizable tabs, with the defaults being news, videos, Google searches and conversations about your topic. You can also add as many customized tabs as you want. Just click on the green “Add Content” button to fill the tabs up with your favorite widgets and blog feeds and you’re in business.

As a tabaholic and compulsive categorizer, this interface is thrilling. I set my dashboard up with multiple tabs that fall into “Creativity + Culture” – music, art, marketing, entertainment, media and culture. Every day, I can check out the latest posts from my favorite bloggers on each of these subtopics to give me fresh, relevant ideas about what to write about. Genius!

Here's a screenshot of my NetVibes dashboard for Creativity + Culture

What blogging tools have rocked your world lately? Have you found a different use for NetVibes? Where do you get ideas for blog posts? What blogs do you follow?

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Creativity: Photo published!

April 28, 2010 at 1:29 pm (Creativity, Photography)

My apologies for the shameless self promotion, but I got my first photo published last week in CSU’s Honors magazine and wanted to share!

Photography is a passion of mine and a skill I’m hoping to improve for the rest of my life. So, I’ve put together a short list of how to improve your photography skills if you share the same interest.

Top 3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Photography:

  1. Pack some heat – if you bring your camera everywhere you go, you’re more likely take interesting shots of things you see while you’re out and about
  2. Learn how to use your camera – this can be a daunting task if you have a nice camera, but in the end it’s definitely worth it
  3. Take advantage of free photography info and resources! Check out: Digital Photography School for tutorials and basic information, Aviary for free photo editing software, and Flickr or istockphoto.com for inspiration.

Good luck! Here’s a better version of my photo – special thanks to my gorgeous (inside and out) friend Rachel.

Do you have any great photography tips or resources? (Or better yet, camera recommendations?) Send me a comment!

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