Sunday, December 13, 2009

The 'Favicon' - Making Your Blog More Professional

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The ‘Favicon’ - Making Your Blog More Professional

Posted on February 24, 2009 by Wordpress Ninja
Filed Under Themes |

I’ve noticed quite a lot of blogs that do not have a favicon for their site. Actually, let me back up for a second….what IS a favicon???

Favicon stands for ‘Favorites icon’ and is a little 16×16 pixel image with extension of .ico that is used to represent your site in a web browser’s bookmarks/favorites menu. It will also show up in the tab next to your site name in your browser’s currently open tabs. To use this site as an example, if you look at the browser tab for this site you will see a little Ninja head icon on the left of the site name ‘Wordpress Ninja’. If you bookmark this page it will use that icon in your list of bookmarks in your browser.

While by no means essential they add a nice touch of class imho.
To use a favicon properly you should first create the icon. There are several ways of doing it but ill suggest my preferred two methods:

i) create your image in Photoshop or other graphics app. Resize it to 16×16 and save it as a JPG or GIF file. Do not include alpha (transparency) yet. Download and use this program Irfanview which is a brilliant freeware application that will allow you to modify images and also to save out .ico files. Load your image into Irfanview and choose to save as a .ico file. In the options for the .ico dialog menu select if you want alpha transparency or not and save it. Now upload this .ico file to your folder root on your hosting webserver. This would be under public_html/ - it’s very important to get the location right or it won’t work. Test it out by opening your site in a browser. If it doesn’t work, clear your browser cache then try again. If you are using IE6 you need to first bookmark the site and clear your cache before it will show up right. If it still doesn’t work, place the .ico file in your wp-content/themes/ root folder.

ii) This method is much easier – go here and create or import your image to be used and export it out when done. Then upload to your server using the method in the above step (i).

That’s it, not too difficult and helps stamp your brand on your site, maybe sets you apart from other sites that don’t have one or don’t have a very good one ;)

Thanks, Word Ninja

10 Ways Social Media Will Change In 2010 via RRW

10 Ways Social Media Will Change In 2010

Written by Ravit Lichtenberg from / December 11, 2009 6:00 AM / 24 Comments

2010_predict_1209.jpgThis time last year, I wrote about the 10 ways social media will change 2009, and while all predictions have materialized or are on their way, it has only become clear in recent months how significant of a change we've seen this year. 2009 will go down as the year in which the shroud of uncertainty was lifted off of social media and mainstream adoption began at the speed of light. Barack Obama's campaign proved that social media can mobilize millions into action, and Iran's election protests demonstrated its importance to the freedom of speech.

This guest post was written by Ravit Lichtenberg, founder and chief strategist - a boutique consultancy focusing on helping companies succeed. Ravit authors a blog at

Today, it is impossible to separate social media from the online world. Facebook reached 350 million users last month -- 70% of whom are outside the US -- and it accounts for 25% of the Web's traffic, according to Pew nearly one in five people on the web use Twitter or some other service to check status messages, and 94% of enterprisesplan to maintain or increase their investment in enterprise social media tools. The social media conversation is no longer considered a Web 2.0 fad -- it is taking place in homes, small businesses and corporate boardrooms, and extending its reach into the nonprofit, education and health sectors. From feeling excitement, novelty, bewilderment, and overwhelmed, a growing number of people now speak of social media as simply another channel or tactic.

So what will social Web bring next? What will "being connected" mean? What will the next experience be for the 2 two billion people who are connected to the Internet? Here are 10 ways what we've called social media will evolve in 2010.

Social Media Will Become a Single, Cohesive Experience Embedded In Our Activities and Technologies

By this time next year, social media will no longer be "social media" -- it will be an integrated, unquestionable component of your online and offline experience. Last year we spoke of cross-platform integration across media sites. Open APIs and OpenID made that possible, and even LinkedIn announced last month that it too will finally open its APIs. 2010 will be about integration and a single, cohesive experience across platforms as well as across products and devices -- Web, mobile, TV, and video -- will become near-inseparable experiences.

Users will access content from any device or platform, co-create and mashup their photos, videos and text with traditional content while interacting with each other. Publishers will create new kinds of content for the connected world, and the last years' lull in good entertainment will finally be lifted. This trend will cut across all of our activities -- from playing games to shopping to emailing and texting -- nothing will be lost; everything we do will be gathered and streamed together, allowing people to view their world of activities as if it were projected in front of them, open to change, review and input at any point in time from any device or online tool.

Social Media Innovation Will No Longer Be Limited By Technology

With Web technology maturing and the near-elimination of previous barriers such as closed platforms and discrete logins, companies will now look to innovate the way they use existing technology, rather than focus on technology enhancements themselves. We will see a move to leverage existing assets -- content and capabilities -- in new ways, turning information to wisdom and insight to action. Whereas once user research required focus groups and usability tests, companies will utilize the Web's capabilities to achieve the same. Naturally occurring conversations will be utilized in product innovation and design, and companies will create incentives for people's attention and engagement while repurposing and analyzing content and engagement in new ways that will deliver valuable input.

Mobile Will Take Center Stage

Worldwide, the iPhone alone accounts for about 33% of mobile web traffic and IDC predicts the number of mobile web users will hit one billion by 2010. As the technological barriers come down, people will increasingly use their phones on-the-go to access social networks, search, read content and find location-based information. Our phones will be used as a central hub and beacon -- enabling a slew of new capabilities and experiences.

Expect an Intense Battle As People and Companies Look To Own Their Own Content

2009 marked the year of open Web, and divergence of content, making content available anywhere, anytime, by anyone and to everyone; it was the year content exploded across the web, platforms and devices. The issue Google solved so magically -- content find-ability -- will become all but moot in the coming years. Instead, content relevance and quality will become the key focus. In 2010 we will start to see convergence as companies take measures to own their own content, its location and its cost. Last month, Rupert Murdoch announced he may opt News Corp out of Google, instructing it to de-index its publications from the search engine and giving exclusive rights to Bing for a fee. This means that content publishers will be able to determine where they make their content available and at what cost.

With the growth of user generated content and the dwindling relevance of search results, people will gradually shift their trust from large aggregators like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, and move to searching and finding content at specific locations and, eventually, creating and integrating their own content hub into the rest of their personal digital experience. "People don't realize that everything they do -- on Facebook, Ning, Google and with their credit cards -- is being collected, tracked, analyzed, owned and monetized by these companies who provide (so-called) free services. It's not a healthy model." Says John Faber, COO of af83, a Drupal development house and co-founder of the upcoming DrupalCon.

Enterprises Will Shape the Next Generation of What We've Called "Social Media"

It was easy to forget that enterprises and large institutions are the originators of some of social media's pillars: listservs, forums, intranets and collaboration tools. As social media became a public domain, enterprises have been cautious participants, predominantly in the product space, with few visionary leaders like Zappos, IBM and Dell. But cautionary they are no more. With a reported average of 25% increase in funds allocation toward social media activities, in 2010 we will see a surge in adoption of social media across product, services and solutions companies.

Having the need and the funds, enterprises will determine the next generation of social experiences. They will push enhancements that meet their needs, specifically around monitoring, automation, alignment with the sales cycle and integration with existing systems, expanding social "media" to encompass the ecosystem of social computing across solutions, and making them actionable for the company. Jive, blueKiwi, Remindo and Sharepoint support companies internally. Most recently, released Chatter, designed to turn the corporation, and CRM, social. With its APIs opening later this year, "Chatter can become a new layer over its Force platform, already being used by 68,000 customers, enabling companies and developers to leverage the Salesforce infrastructure in a secure environment," said Bruce Francis, VP corporate strategy

Thanks, RRW: