Useful Apps & Websites

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Warning: Text Heavy!

I tried, tested and researched a few different app's and websites aimed at bloggers and social network users.

When I'm online (more so my laptop than my mac) I like to use 2 browsers, one for my personal facebook, mail, internet use, the other for blogging, twitter, blog, mail, lookbook etc. That way I can have all I need bookmarked, automatically logging on. Most of us that blog use a range of sites, sometimes it can get messy and confusing so I've recently started organising it a little more, using different app's, tools and websites. So here we are...

(Click images to see full size)

Social Networking & Browser Apps

I came across this "Best MAC app's for bloggers" website which explains some of the app's for Mac's. Was also looking at this site and came across a few app's which I really like. Here's my thoughts on a few things I found.
  • Postling allows publishing to numerous sites, sign up was easy. It is an online site, rather than an app you can download. Don't know how I feel about that. I tried it out anyways. I linked twitter, youtube and my blog. I clicked Dashboard and it showed me comments on youtube video's which I could easily reply to. When I clicked stream it showed me twitter. Unfortunately to get analytics, I would need to sign up to a paid a/c. I couldn't see my blog comments as they are on a Intense Database and I wasn't able to add it to my site.

  • I mentioned I download a Mac twitter app (available on the App Store), which puts a little bird up beside my clock, that turns blue when I have a notification. I actually really love this app, it means I don't have to have a twitter tab open all the time. Screenshots below. More Twitter App's found here.

  • Tumblr notification plugin for Mac Safari, simply notifies you of new posts in your dashboard. I didn't try Tumblweed or Tumbleeze which are downloadable apps, they both looks like a mini version of tumblr really, so I guess it must work the same.

  • Groml is a google reader for MAC. It has a built in twitter, allowing you to easily tweet about posts, you can also share articles on Facebook, Stumbleupon, Tumble, etc.

  • I also found myTumblr which is just less than $15, review is given here.

  • This Add-on plugin for Firefox allows you to drag and drop stuff to post to tumblr.

  • Flock is a social web browser, but unfortunately it seems that it no longer updates so I'm not sure where to find it. I found an alternative, RockMelt. Which I am currently using, it's really good. It's like Chrome but adds social networking. You sign in via Facebook, it shows your Facebook friends on the right and your apps on the left (such as Blogger, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, etc) 

  • Here you can find a list of web browsers, I will definitely be testing some of them out soon! As I said I like using different web browsers for different a/c's.

  • Hellotxt is another multi social networking app, with easy sign up. Allowing you to download app's to your mobile phone which I think would be really cool, how handy would it be to have everything in one place in the palm of your hand. So organised! There was loads of sites to choose from which I liked

but the feed seemed to just be a mix of twitter and facebook. I did love though that if you clicked the "What are you thinking" a little box popped up giving you a place to write and the option of where to post it.

  • Tarpipe was the next I tried. You first have to sign up to a price plan, I picked free as I wanted to test it. I didn't have much of a choice with the sites and I really didn't like the layout of it.

  • Ping.Fm caught my attention for some reason, it was easy to sign up. So quick and easy to connect my different sites and social networking. They had a big choice of sites. Again it was an online site. You can download a toolbar for your browser (Firefox, Safari, IE), if you like tool bars you'l probably like it, you could add other apps to it. Personally I hate toolbars so that didn't stay around to long. Posting was pretty easy too, its definitely one of my favourites out of all I've tried.

Photo Storage/Sharing

This is something I think is really important to have, even if you aren't a blogger. Simply to back up your photos, I've tried loads! My main problem is most have limited uploads, you then have to pay for premium use to upload more.

  • Flickr is always a popular choice, I use it for college images. There is a limit however which is why I don't use for for blogging related photos.

  • I found Shutterfly, it's really easy to use, with unlimited uploads. I sort my personal photos into year albums and then my blog photo's into categories. I find it really handy! You simply copy and paste the image url. You can also download an app to your windows/mac that you can drag photos into and upload into the album without having to use a browser.

  • I also use tinypic for html images, such as backgrounds, headers, banners etc. Tinypic is a hosting site, a place to store images and videos which gives you html code for placing it in different ways on the internet.

  • Something we were told about in college is Dropbox, this is great. It easily lets you upload, download and share files. We created one to share notes and presentation slides at exam time. You get 2GB of free storage

As you can see, I could go on and on. I would love to find something which allowed fully integration. Theres a niche in the market for an app which allows feeds from all sites as well as updating, all in one. Perhaps a college project in the near future lol.

Hope you found this interesting and useful. Keep your idea's coming about tutorials that you want to see about design, blogging, html etc. Would love to know what you are interested in learning about.