20 Usability Tips For The New And Experienced Blogger

On Tom Johnson’s blog titled “I’d Rather Be Writing”, he has pulled together a very valuable selection of usability tips for when you are setting up and adding content to your blog.

At Twenty Usability Tips for Your Blog — Condensed from Dozens of Bloggers’ Experiences, Tom expands on each of the following tips:

1. Pick a topic for your blog.
2. Encourage comments.
3. Make it easy to subscribe.
4. Include an About page.
5. Present your ideas visually.
6. Keep posts short and to the point.
7. Use subheadings for long posts.
8. Link abundantly.
9. Make headlines descriptive.
10. Archive by topic.
11. Include a list of related posts beneath each post.
12. Allow users to contact you offline.
13. Present your real viewpoint.
14. Write for your future employer.
15. Include a Top Posts section.
16. Provide an index.
17. Get your own URL and match it to your blog’s title.
18. Include a Recent Posts section in your sidebar.
19. Reward commenters for commenting.
20. Post often.

Incredibly useful for new bloggers, and naturally a gentle reminder for the more experienced!

Highly recommend you check out Twenty Usability Tips for Your Blog — Condensed from Dozens of Bloggers’ Experiences and then get in touch with us for any technical amendments you want for your blog.

Handling Computer Accidents With Online Backup Tools

Drink on Laptop

Our client and good friend Kavit Haria had a very bemused look on his face earlier this week – the kind of look that you find when someone asks himself “How in the world did I manage to do that!?”

You see, it had only just gone noon on Monday afternoon, and he was sipping away on his honey and lemon hot drink while working away on the laptop. We’ll let Kavit tell you the rest of the story…

Today, at about 12.15, when working and drinking honey and lemon, I spilt it over my laptop by serious mistake. The laptop now doesn’t turn on. I called Dell quite a bit and they have arranged for someone to call me tomorrow to give me a quote for repair and then they’ll pick it up if I agree.

My literature review is the most important file on there – it has taken time to write and I’ve got a deadline to meet in 2 weeks time. However, I remembered that 3 weeks ago I signed up to www.mozy.com as an online backup service and now, luckily, all my files are backed up and the version from last week 6th Nov is saved online. I am now using another computer and have just downloaded my file here. I had only written 4 new paragraphs earlier today so I can rewrite that, rather than 8 pages of scientific stuff!

Anyway, I will wait for the repair quote tomorrow. If it is too high, I’ll just have to pay a bit extra and I’ll get a new laptop as I don’t need any other files as everything of mine is backed up online luckily.

I am now leaving the laptop to dry till later this evening and will try again to see if it works.

This email was just to inform you…

Kavit

P.S. Check out www.mozy.com for home or office!

I’ve just had news from Kavit – his laptop is still kaput, so looks like he’ll most likely be ditching this laptop and getting himself a mac this Christmas. What’s great is that all his files are backed up remotely and now retrievable.

So the message here folks is back up your files frequently. Simply mozy on over to www.mozy.com for all your online backup needs!

Scheduling An Event Is A Doodle

When you have two or more people who want to attend a meeting and are working out each other’s availability, sending emails across to everyone and getting schedules to align can get pretty taxing.

Not anymore!  Doodle‘s here – this simple cool free online application helps you plan a meeting time or location that suits everyone best, without the mess of sifting through emails to work out who’s available when.

So the next time you’re planning a meeting – tap into the power of www.doodle.ch.

Collaborate On A Mind Map Online For Free

Whether you’re working on a common project, writing an article, or preparing a presentation, one of the coolest exercises you can do is to place your main thoughts about the topic into a mind map.

Last weekend I was preparing a presentation to deliver to a group of charitable individuals. This was to raise funds towards drilling a borehole in East Africa so that the communities there could get fresh clean drinking water without having to walk 7km each way every day to fetch water.

Before I created the PowerPoint presentation file, I logged onto my free account at www.Mind42.com and mapped out all my thoughts about what inspired our family to take on this project, how we’ve been collecting funds so far, and some details about the location where the borehole will be drilled.  Click here to see an example of the mind map I created.

Having mapped these out, it was so simple to knock all the details into a PowerPoint presentation. The mind map served as a complete visual reminder about what I wanted to communicate.

Now here’s the cooler part. Through it’s collaboration feature, Mind42.com even allows you to share your mind map with your friends, colleagues and clients, so that you can work on this together, even if you are located in some of the remotest parts of the world. Try it out – see it revolutionise the way you remotely work on common tasks.

Branding Within The Browser With Favicon

When you visit a website, do you notice the small icon that sits to the left within your address bar? Take a look up where it says http://www.cynergise.com, and you’ll see an icon that identifies us. This small icon is known as the favicon. It also is the icon that is displayed when the site is bookmarked, and is what shows up in the tab if you use tabbed browsing.

This is another powerful way of branding your site, that confirms to your site visitor that they are indeed on the correct website.

There is a cool tool at http://www.html-kit.com/favicon/ that lets you create favicons from a picture for free, which you can then use on your very own website.

Ask your web designer to use this free tool to help you improve your site branding!