Everything You Need to Know About the New Facebook

If you thought yesterday’s Facebook changes were dramatic, you’d better sit down before you see what’s coming next. Today at F8, Mark Zuckerberg led off by showing off Timeline: it’s the future of Facebook, and it’s a tectonic shift. Timeline Zuck calls the new Timeline “all the stories, all your apps, a new way to express who you are.” The story of your life. Your entire Facebook life has been condensed into a wider one-page destination. Taking a page from the About.me site, the page-wide Cover photo is your new splash photo on your profile page. The large photo does not replace your profile pic. Zuck says it’s a way to express who you are. All content is in your Timeline view now, including apps. As you move down your Timeline, it condenses your story the further back you go….

Where to Find Photoshop Brushes

Photoshop brushes can be powerful Web design tools, both enhancing a graphic artist’s work and enabling design projects to be completed faster. The more brushes a designer has in his or her collection, the more flexibility they will have with their designs. Fortunately, several websites have emerged over the past few years to provide designers with a multitude of options when it comes to brushes. Below are just some of the top sites that provide attractive, easy-to-use and free downloadable Photoshop brushes. Brusheezy Founded in 2006 by a designer who grew frustrated by the lack of options for easily searchable brushes for download, Brusheezy is a community site to share and explore thousands of resources created by artists around the world. The site gets more than 1.2 million visitors a month and boasts one of the best selections and internal…

Payvment Launches Developer Platform

Payvment, a Facebook e-commerce platform, is launching a developer platform for social commerce called Open Payvment. Open Payvment allows application developers and service providers to join their offerings with Payvment. Companies can integrate Payvment into their products and services, build new apps and gain exposure to more than 100,000 Facebook sellers that are already using the Payvment social commerce platform. “Payvment is the first foray into e-commerce for many new sellers — as their businesses grow, they are frequently looking for additional solutions that are compatible with their Payvment store, such as web-based e-commerce or mobile commerce solutions,” says Christian Taylor, founder and CEO of Payvment. “Companies that integrate with Payvment gain early access to thousands of new potential customers.” The Open Payvment platform was designed for two different types of developers — companies that want to add on or…

ADA Standards for Accessible Design

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a piece of legislation designed to ensure that differently-abled people are properly equipped to navigate the same things that everyone else enjoys. Just as you wouldn’t build a shopping center without an alternative to stairs, so ADA standards require that websites are configured in such a way that someone who is hearing-impaired, or sight-impaired, etc., is not summarily excluded from using a public website. Building a website so that it conforms to ADA standards is largely a matter of putting yourself in that other person’s place and anticipating what they’re going to need, then meeting that need. This includes such thoughtful details as a description of each graphic (within its “alt” tag) so that a sight-impaired person may be able to use an electronic reader to understand the contents of the missing graphic….

Ask.com Returns as Q&A Destination

The former whipping boy of algorithm-based search engines in Ask.com has reinvented itself – and it’s better than ever – if you’re a believer in user generated content in the form of questions and answers. Ask.com remains the fourth largest site in the US for unique searches according to May 2011 comScore data, with 63 million domestic monthly unique monthly users. That alone, make Ask.com relevant. The company, a brand of IAC, has struggled for years which may change as it completes its transition for pure Web search to a question and answer site and mobile service. “Ask’s approach to Q&A is unique – we embrace questions where we can deliver answers in milliseconds from content on the Web, but also deeply appreciate that crawlers can’t replace human experience,” said Doug Leeds, CEO, Ask.com. “Our limited exposure beta period allowed…

More Domain Drama with 4As and .XXX

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) decision to approve the creation of generic top-level domain (TLD) names has been rife with controversy, but recent opposition from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) and the adult entertainment industry has reignited the debate. The first statement came from the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), a trade association of the adult entertainment industry, advocating adult trademark holders to attempt to protect their brands from being sold on .XXX domains to third parties. The concern of the group is that the expansion of the .XXX domain extension is going to blackball all sites using it on the Internet, and could ultimately hurt the image of the industry in the long-run. These fears have been somewhat validated by the release of information that only about 20 percent of businesses registering for the…

Can Nu Campaign Fix Captcha?

NuCaptcha Inc., the “Human-Friendly” Captcha, is urging users to “Make the Switch” with their new campaign. While the implementation of Captchas has certainly been a good thing for website users and owners looking for both security online and a way to reduce or eliminate spam, its flaws can, at times, be very apparent. In most cases, Captchas pose little to no problems, unless you’re a bot. However, there are several instances when Captchas prove to be more of a hindrance than a help, whether it is because of a design issue or a user-related one. For example, a user with eyesight issues may have trouble making out the letters on a Captcha, and without help this could force them to abandon the task at hand; this could be problematic if he or she were trying to do time-sensitive online banking…

WordPress Membership Plugins for Affiliates

The wildly popular blogging platform and CMS WordPress is the host to dozens of affiliate marketing sites and blogs, but for some marketers, there is a desire to take their business to the next level by making it membership or subscription based, which means finding the WordPress membership plugin that is right for them. While there isn’t a huge market for WordPress membership plugins, there are a few that really standout as far as their capabilities and features go. Below is a list of ten of the top WordPress membership plugins available, and they range in price from totally free to about $200. Magic Members Don’t let the (I assume) unintended innuendo of the plugin’s name drive you away, because Magic Members is chock full of cool features that many plugins lack, and it is perfect for any type of…

Google+ Business Profiles Update

Google product manager Christian Oestlien wrote a Google+ blog post on Thursday night indicating that the new social media platform has slightly accelerated the timeframe for business profiles and promises “to have an initial version of business profiles up and running for EVERYONE in the next few months.” Presently, a “tiny handful” of business profiles exist on Google+ “solely for the purpose of testing how businesses interact with consumers.” The Ford Motor Company is one such account that Google+ selected from tens of thousands of businesses applying to take part in the test. Accelerating the process of getting business profiles up and running, writes Oestlien, is a direct result of the overwhelming response from businesses, as is Google’s request that companies refrain from trying to open new accounts before the platform is ready. From the blog post: “In the meantime,…

Google Buys G.CO Domain for Shortened URLs

Google has announced in a blog post that the company has acquired the g.co domain as its new URL shortener for official Google products and services. The move was made to create URLs that are easier for users to remember and more easily distributed across the social Web. Google’s vice president of consumer marketing Gary Briggs writes in the post: In the world of URLs, bigger is not always better. In 2009, we helped shrink up long, unwieldy URLs by launching our public URL shortener, goo.gl. Today, we’re announcing a new URL shortcut that will only link to official Google products and services: g.co. The shorter a URL, the easier it is to share and remember. The downside is, you often can’t tell what website you’re going to be redirected to. We’ll only use g.co to send you to webpages…