Instagram Free App for iPhone, and Soon Android

December 25, 2011

By Janet Dodrill

Instagram, www.instagr.am, is a free iPhone app (powered by Tumblr photo sharing service) with increasing popularity and a recent version 2.0 rollout. It allows you to turn your smartphone photos into visually appealing chromatic-like color-altered images through the use of live filters, instant tilt-shift and high resolution abilities.

According to Mashable Tech, it was announced this month that they are developing an Instagram Android (smartphone operating system) app. See Mashable’s “Meet the Top 15 Photographers on Instagram [PICS]“.

Instagram's blog archive

Instagram's blog archive

Their web site offers a link to the free iPhone app download. Instagram’s robust blog offers weekly featured “Instagrammers” (photographers), tips, InstaMeets links on Meetup.com (there are currently 745 Instagram communities with 3 in the Cleveland area), social media links to Instagram on Facebook where you can see hundreds of images, and Instagram on Twitter, who I follow are receive notices of news and featured image postings.

Twitter giants, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, are avid Instagram users, with Jack posting random travelscapes like in “Found object“, and Biz enjoying his new baby son subject like in “He has my eyes“.

I am a fan even though I am awaiting the Android release to use it myself. Once on Instagram’s blog page, click on the clock icon to see the archive and spend some time acquainting yourself with the interviews, evolving news, user tips, and featured images by its established fan base.

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Book: Don’t Fear The Forward by Marc Majers

December 3, 2011

By Janet Dodrill

Don't Fear The Forward, book by Marc A. Majers

Don't Fear The Forward, book by Marc A. Majers

Marc Majers has published a book on a simple step-by-step process for building and launching websites, called Don’t Fear The Forward.

He recently presented his perspective on the subject at CDPUG/GCPCUG Web SIG, which I attended. Marc used music (he also works as a music emcee), humor, and actual statistical data to back his information on usability and other measurable website criteria. Those who attended were lucky enough to receive a free ‘checklist’ which Marc stated is in the book, and is also a free download online.

“It is important”, Marc said, “to show people thoughts, ideas, and the (proposed) process, early on, and to get feedback.” In his overview he pulled stat reports from eMarketer, PEW Internet’s research on desktop to tablet to mobile browser comparisons, and offered resource links to information by web champions like Jakob Nielson, and other industry-relevant educational and government sites on usability, CSS, and HTML 5, and recommended the use of surveys, which are all important for support in building a website.

The checklist had steps for planning a website project, and each step was a separate category with tasks to do. Necessaries covered included defining your site goals and determining your audience, mapping out your site in a wireframe and finding logical places for things on the site and a way to navigate to them.

It is a good idea to put together a web committee to assist in the process from concept to completion. The content for the site comes later on in the process. How are you going to engage your users once they reach your site?

Marc spoke from a wealth of experience, with expertise in usability testing, working within the high selling environment of an online insurance company, and in a creatively-demanding arts institution with a diverse audience.

As with most web related topics presented today, he touched upon the use of focused searched engine keywords, SEO (optimization), SEM (marketing), SMS (messaging). Have you thought of acquiring an email source provider for managing and sending professional, scheduled email campaigns, as a next phase?

It is key that once a site is built following guidelines, like those outlined in Marc Majer’s book, it must be continually optimized for relevance and performance. This may be the website building manual you have been waiting for.

The book is available at:

Don’t Fear The Forward
http://www.dontfeartheforward.com

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Fear-Forward-Building-Successful/dp/1257087711/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322954267&sr=8-1

Book image source: Dontfeartheforward.com