Free Photoshop web design book

The folks over at Sitepoint are giving away another great PDF book that’s perfect for online news producers: The Photoshop Anthology: 101 Web design Tips, Tricks & Techniques

I previously got a nifty Ruby on Rails book from Sitepoint that was more than worth my while, so make sure to snag a copy of that Photoshop book PDF before the offer expires two weeks from today.

[Free PDF Book: The Photoshop Anthology: 101 Web design Tips, Tricks & Techniques]

Getting hitched, light posting

Hey Journalistopians, just wanted to let you all know that posting has been light (and will be for a bit) because yours truly is getting married in about a month.

So since the “I can’t order the tuxedos because I’m blogging” explanation doesn’t quite fly with the fiancee, I’ll be taking a little break here. You can follow me on Twitter in the meantime though.

Be back soon!


A dream come true: Flash + Google Maps

Have you ever tried to simulate a Google Maps-style map in Flash? I hope you haven’t because you’d still be waking up screaming in the middle of the night after that experience.

So say hello to the new Google Maps API for Flash. The new API allows Flash developers to integrate Google Maps into their Flash applications. This goes beyond simply embedding SWF files in Google Maps info windows; it’s full-blown integration at a programmatic level.

If you want the nitty gritty of how to get started, check out the Flash API documentation.

I can’t wait to see what creative news designers are going to do with this…

Insider’s guide to getting into Google News

Robert Niles over at OJR reports on the NewsTools 2008 conference, where Google News insider Daniel Meredith explained how Google decides which publishers to include in its Google News index (official instructions here).

If you’re at a major newspaper site, you[‘re probably already included. However, when you go to launch a new editorial product, you’re going to want to do your best to be included in Google News.

You have to specifically ask to be in the index. After that, there are four key factors considered in Google’s decision, Niles says:

  • Original content
  • Multiple authors
  • Proper attribution
  • Server response time
  • Want to know more? Get the full details over at Online Journalism Review.

    Free Spanish-language dictionary of the Internet

    Have you been searching the blogosfera for a Spanish-language guide to Internet terminology? Look no further than the Diccionario de Internet [Dictionary of the Internet].

    The guide, put together by online marketer Jorge Ontalba, is available as a free PDF download (NOTE: it needs to be extracted using a tool like 7-Zip). The dictionary covers a wide variety of Internet terms mostly in English with Spanish definitions, though there are more than a few Spanish-specific terms.

    The next time you’re in Spain or Latin America, make sure to peruse the Diccionario de Internet and make sure you’ve learned all of your palabras clave.

    [Diccionario de Internet PDF download]

    [Tip o’ the hat to CiberPrensa]

    Is the Facebook application boom over?

    Facebook developer Jesse Farmer has compiled statistics that indicate the big boom in developing Facebook applications may be over. Perhaps Van Helsing is out whacking Facebook developers to stop the vampires and other undead applications.

    Here’s the nutshell from the new Inquistr technology and pop culure blog:

    “Farmer compiled statistics on Facebook developer activity and successful Facebook apps, finding that since the beginning of the year, participation on Facebook developer forums has dropped 27% by unique users, and the number of posts a day has dropped 51%. Activity in a forum doesn’t necessarily prove that the boom is over, yet Farmer also found that the number of successful Facebook applications was down 33% since January (defined by regular users).”

    So does this mean Facebook application development has jumped the shark? I’d say not totally. But I  wouldn’t throw tons of developer time to developing new Facebook apps either (unless I had an absolutely rockin’ idea and perhaps a national brand to peg it to).

    [20Bits: The State of the Facebook Platform]

    [Photo by Drunken Monkey]

    The Globe and Mail’s best business blogs list

    The business journalists at the Globe and Mail have put together a fantastic list of their 30 favorite business blogs. This is definitely a list to share with your business staff (I just did). You should also view Business blog for your staff. However, now I’m looking for other hand-edited blog lists put together by objective pros. Do you know of any good lists of this sort in the entertainment, lifsetyle, sports and other major newspaper categories? [Globe and Mail: Best of the [Financial] Blogs] [Tip o’ the hat to Cyberjournalist. Photo by DavidDMuir]. You will ge the best info here at business history.

    Overcome evil article pagination with Firefox add-on

    Hard-core news junkies hate it. Matt Drudge hates it. You surely hate it too: article pagination. This:

    Some folks have learned to hit that “Print” button to get just the text. However, other sites just call a printer stylesheet. Lucky for you, Firefox has a nifty plug-in called Repagination that lets you stitch together all those separate pages into one long document.

    Just right-click on the pagination links, trigger the repagination plug-in and voila!

    You get to read by just scrolling. The advertising department still gets to serve ads on those pages. We can all get along, can’t we?

    [Firefox Repagination plugin via Lifehacker]

    Webby Award winners announced (with news organization list)

    Just announced: 2008’s Webby Award winners! The Webby Awards picks through the best of the Web and grants awards in more categories than you can shake a stick at.

    I’ve pored through the list and extracted the winners from news-related categories, as well as news organizations that won in other categories, such as science or best practices. Here’s the Journalistopia-edited list. Apologies in advance if I missed anyone:

    Best Copy/Writing
    (Also nominated: HowStuffWorks, Design Observer, and Slate)

    Best Use of Photography
    Your Shot – National Geographic Magazine

    Blog – Business Alphaville

    Blog – Political
    The Huffington Post

    Broadband Full Episode Player…

    National Geographic Magazine Online
    (Also nominated:, Makezine, NYMag, Yoga Journal Yoga Journal)

    BBC Radio 1 Meet the DJs…

    (Also nominated: BBC News, Wired, CNN and Discovery News)

    (Also nominated: The Guardian, the Independent, the Wall Street Journal and Variety)

    BBC World Service channel site


    Yahoo! Sports
    (Also nominated:, Nike Skateboarding, Spyker F1 Magazine, Sweet Spots)

    HBO Voyeur


    Best Use of Animation/Motion Graphics
    The New York Times/T: The New York TImes Style Magazine “Circle Squared”…

    Best Writing
    Onion News Network

    Documentary: Individual Episode
    Coney Island: An Uncertain Future
    Getty Images…

    News and Politics: Individual Episode
    Finding the Way Home

    Travel (video)
    Frugal Traveler: American Road Trip –…


    Entertainment (mobile)
    Cosmo Mobile: 100 Hot Cities, Fake Calls, Dude Decoder & Cocktails!

    Listing and Updates (mobile)
    The New York Times Mobile Real Estate Listings

    News (mobile)
    Mobile NYTimes

    Sports (mobile) (Wireless)…

    ALSO: Shoutouts to for their best practices and best visual design/function nominations, Mama Trib’s Swamp blog for best political blog nomination, National Geographic for their best home page People’s Voice award, Consumer Reports for their Guides/Ratings/Review People’s Voice award, the Guardian and Onion for their podcasts nominations, NPR for their politics nomination, NPR and the BBC for their religion and spirituality nominations, Frontline World for their Documentary: Series and Documentray: Individual nominations, U.S. News and World Report for their Best Writing (video) nomination, the New Yorker’s animated cartoons for their animation nomination, CBS for their sports (video) nomination and many more.

    Yep, no news site nominees in the navigation and structure categories. We’ll have to work on that…

    The best time to strike with blog posts

    A Connecticut software developer has analyzed 10,000 postings on social networking sites to determine the best and worst times to publish a blog post.

    The best times, according to developer Jake Luciani’s work: between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (Pacific Time) and between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, with Thursday being the best day.

    This is a definite must-share factoid for the bloggers at your organization (if you can pry them away from lunch, that is).

    More details about how he came to the conclusion here and here.

    [Photo by Leo Reynolds]

    Associated Press launches iPhone news service

    From the Associated Press: The AP and more than 100 of its member newspapers are launching a service today that will make news stories available on Apple Inc.’s iPhone and other mobile devices.

    Among the publishers participating in the service: Advance Publications Inc., Hearst Corp., Lee Enterprises Inc., McClatchy Co., MediaNews Group Inc. and Rust Communications Inc.

    I’d review the service, but yours truly still uses this old thing… sigh.