Category: Internet

Protopage: A great iGoogle replacement

Earlier this year, Google made a lot of people absolutely furious when they announced they were shutting down iGoogle. Like many users, iGoogle was my web browser start page. I loved that I could get a preview of my email, RSS feed, calendar, and quick access to the weather, maps and more.

There are few replacements to be found, but after much searching (on Bing!) I came across Protopage, and I’m happy to say it’s a pretty good replacement.

Protopage

Protopage launched in 2005 and is still going strong despite nearly every other start page shutting down or becoming derelict.

Protopage is virtually identical to iGoogle in that it allows you to create start pages filled with widgets to display the information you want, including IMAP, POP and Gmail email, calendars, RSS feeds, Twitter feeds, and lots more. Give it a try, you may just find it to be a suitable replacement for iGoogle.

Oops, I dropped my new iMac

Came across this video over at CultofMac and laughed my butt off. I must say though, it would have been more believable with only one box. There’s no way someone could carry two iMacs the way he did, they’re just too heavy.

Easily find out if your website has been pinned on Pinterest

If you have a blog or website, you probably have some interest in knowing where your visitors are coming from. One of the hottest new social sites on the web is Pinterest, so naturally you’ll want to know if images or pages from your site have been pinned on Pinterest.

Pinterest source

Thankfully, Pinterest makes it easy to see everything from your site on one page. Simply use the Source filter on the Pinterest site by going to:
http://pinterest.com/source/thegraphicmac.com/
Be sure to substitute your web address where you see thegraphicmac.com bolded in the URL above.

Who still uses a Fax machine?

HelloFaxApparently, quite a few people. It is still the only legally approved method of transmitting documents for many companies. I know very few companies that have an actual fax machine, and the ones I do know of generally end up scanning the fax and saving it as a PDF. So why not skip the expensive and messy middle step.

HelloFax makes it easy to sign documents and send faxes online. You’ll never need to print, sign and scan documents again. HelloFax also integrates with Google Drive, for those with a Gmail account.

Design advice: Know your target audience

Lost on most of the design talent coming out of portfolio school is the fact that all the talent in the world won’t make you successful unless you learn how to target your desired audience with your design and messaging. Design is about communicating the message in a way that your target finds it easy to read and desirable. Great design isn’t always successful, but success is always due in part to great design.

Here’s a case of great design that isn’t remotely successful. The email below is one I received from Network Solutions recently. It’s not that it looks bad, it’s not that the information in the email isn’t accurate or easy to read. The problem is that it’s certainly not targeted at someone like me. But it is rather insulting to me, and has absolutely no chance of getting results from me. Now I’ll grant you that the average consumer isn’t as knowledgable about this subject matter as I am, and it’s a mass-email sent to (presumably) hundreds of thousand of people. But they sent it to me, and it’s a great example.

Nice design

A nicely designed email advertisement? Only if I’m an Internet idiot.

As you can see above, the email’s primary message is that Network Solutions offers Cloud-based hosting. The main message is also the main problem. Can you tell me what hosting (from any Internet Hosting Provider) is NOT cloud-based? Of course not. All hosting is cloud-based, otherwise nobody but you could see it. Duh! Let’s move on to the next problem. Apparently they think I’m blind and wouldn’t notice the fact that the $5.99 per month is only for the first three months. No mention of what it is after, not even in the disclaimer. I could spend an hour listing the reliable hosting companies that offer cheaper prices than $5.99. Clearly they’re hoping I don’t do research before paying for a service. The fun doesn’t stop there… (more…)