Let’s get right into it. I want to talk about the sessions I found most helpful while I was at Blogher.
One of the tech sessions I went into was a Google+ workshop in one of the big rooms. I met Katerina and Natalia, two Google+ community managers, who were quite patient and helpful with explaining the ins and outs of Google+.
Quick notes about Google+:
- It’s similar to FB (my comparison) in that you can put people in lists (or, Circles as Google calls them).
- You can restrict the info on your Google profile as well as who gets to see what – this is what I’ve been looking for within FB without having to go through theirÂ convoluted privacy settings
- There is a Chrome extension that tweets and +s at the same time but they are not synced
- Google Hangout – this is like Skype or video chat within your selected Circle; the max number of people in a Hangout is 10
- A Hangout can also be chat only too, if someone does not have a cam
- You can disable reshares or comments – a definite PLUS!
- This is probably a known thing by now, but in case you didn’t know, just because someone (a friend or stranger) has added you in one of their Circles does not mean you have to reciprocate
- One of the new apps Google is working on is Huddle! This is similar to something like GroupMe – group texting.
- You can now text a group of people at the same time and vice versa without having to punch in everyone’s numbers every time you text the same message. Katerina showed us her phone and how she Huddles with her cousins from all over the country. Genius.
- The maximum number of people who can be in one Huddle is 50. This is great to know since I’ve always wanted to use group texting as part of a scavenger hunt.
The best session I attended at BlogHer was the Great Blog Design workshop with Scary Mommy and Nap Warden. I got into the session about 15 minutes late because I first stopped in to the Humor Bloggers room. A few things I learned at this session:
- Pay attention to load time – watch the high-re, high file images, and even check the badges and stuff you put on the side nav bar (which can also take up load time)
- Consider keeping the max width of your blog about 1000px, which will limit the use of scrolling across for some readers
- If you go with a two-column blog design (recommended by Nap Warden), consider keeping the post/reading area abou 600-640px and the navigation column at about 320px wide
- Use the footer!
- A 3-column footer can be used as an additional nav bar, a place to link to your favorite and/or most popular posts, and an additional place to offer a subscription (go RSS!)
- Post your images at 72dpi – size them before you post them on your blog – OoooOOOOhhhhhh… this is handy, but I’m lazy, so… we’ll see if I keep this up
- If you want to pull images from iStock Photo, do it but find ways to change them to customize them to your liking! The vector image can be changed (use Illustrator); think about integrating text within the image
- If you’re converting or editing images on Photoshop, save the files at about 5, if you’re planning to post to your blog
- There is a WP plugin called Smush.It, which can reduce image file sizes – yeah! It can also smush images already existing in your image gallery – double yeah!
- When editing photos, top three things to adjust to make a photo better – contrast, brightness and saturation – who knew?
- Use fonts sparingly
- Try to keep your blog design under 3 fonts on a single page
- Resource: dafont.com has plenty of free fonts you can download and use for your blog
- Use body fonts that are on all computers, browsers
- White space is important
- Check out design-seeds.com for color schemes
- Adobe Kuler (http://kuler.adobe.com/) can match up your uploaded photo!
- Images found on Google Images are all copyrighted – look forÂ theÂ creative commons license on places like Flickr
- Stock Exchange is a free stock photo site – another good resource