Tag Archives: Photoshop User TV

Do Twitter Backgrounds Attract New Followers?

Vote on Blog Engage[tweetmeme source=”Ileane”]On the Website Babble Forum someone mentioned custom Twitter backgrounds and it sparked an interesting exchange amongst us babblers. Here’s some insight on the topic.

Why is Twitter so hot?

Twitter is a great way to increase blog traffic, stay in touch with friends, meet new people, and build popularity for a brand. Usage of Twitter has skyrocketed and currently it is reported that there are over 6 million registered users which might double by 2010. And with literally hundreds of Twitter 3rd party services and applications that can accessed via the web or your cell phone it seems there’s always a new tool being introduced to enhance your Twitter experience.

How Do You Line It Up?

Twitter backgrounds are regarded as your introduction to what I like to call Twitterville. You want to make a positive “first impression” and possibly influence people to follow you.

If you use PhotoShop, RC Concepcion of Layers Magazine has an excellent tutorial on PhotoShop User TV episode #205. Don’t have PhotoShop? Then take a look at this article I came across on from Smashing Magazine called Effective Twitter Backgrounds: Examples and Current Practices. This article demonstrates the basic layout and pixel width of the Twitter home page and ways to avoid overlapping the background design with your tweet stream. I actually followed the layout rules in the article to create my Twitter background. It took me about an hour because I keep going back and tweaking it so it would be just right. I was all excited and ready to pat myself on the back.

I asked my friend to and take a look at my shiny new background. She really rained on my parade when she said – “I’m using Tweetdeck – I never see anyone’s background…”

So I rushed to open Brizzly and then over to Seesmic and sure enough, no backgrounds. I guess I never thought about it before then. Just, take a look at your twitter stream to see where the tweets are coming from. You’ll only find about 2 or 3 that are from the web (and I bet one of them is from me).

Twitter Backgrounds are for the birds!

I truly hope you didn’t spend money on a Twitter background before you read this post, and I hope you didn’t spend an hour (or more) creating a stellar background in PhotoShop like I did. Look at the bright side of things. Having a perfectly aligned twitter background does not make people follow you.  Here are some examples of very popular Tweeples and how their Twitter backgrounds appear on a standard 15-inch monitor. Continue reading

Gurus and Evangelists – 6 Creative People to Watch in 2010

Vote on Blog Engage[tweetmeme source=”ileane” style=”compact”]I’ve known about blogging since it became a cyberspace phenomena over a decade ago, yet this is my first blog.  I figured out that what I needed was an internet guru or an evangelists to inspire me.

Web Analytics

Web Analytics

Before you start thinking that this is a religious post let me give you some examples.  One of my favorite bloggers is the self-proclaimed Web Analytics Evangelist for Google Avinash Kaushik. Avinash has lots of great video tutorials that explain why you need web analytics in the first place and how you can get the most out of using it. I realize that his  video presentations are what initially captured my attention. I must be a visual learner, because I won’t even subscribe to a podcast unless it’s a video podcasts. I’m also fond of Avinash because he turned his blog into a book and all of the proceeds are donated to charity.

When it comes to gurus I have four that I watch faithfully every week.

Mr. Excel

Mr. Excel

One is Bill Jelen Mr. Excel.  He stands head and shoulders above the rest because he will explain any and every feature available in Excel that you could possibly imagine and if you go to his website you can download his books for free.  That is something so rare that it cannot go without mention.

The other three gurus are all rolled up into one funky, little podcast called Photoshop User TV. The Photoshop guys are very talented and you can watch the podcast just for laughs.

Photoshop User TV

Photoshop User TV

They give step-by-step instructions to help you manipulate images on a whole different level then what you might expect.  But in contrast to Mr. Excel they don’t give many books away for free.  Don’t get me wrong, they have a contest or two every week and the winner gets a free magazine or a subscription but their book sales punctuate every podcast.

Yesterday Word Press gave me a glimpse of the blogosphere guru I’ve been longing for Timothy Ferriss. I watched this awesome video Blogging Without Killing Yourself that gave me insights and a fresh approach to blogging.

Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss

I might end up finding some other blog evangelists in the coming weeks, but I’ll never forget Tim because he was my first. I also found out that he has a talk on www.TED.com called Smash Fear, Learn Anything and I now I’m truly hooked. Tim is author of bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek, he’s credited with coining the phrase lifestyle design, has over 57,000 tweeps, and he is on the list of 20 People That Started as Bloggers, Who Are Now So Much More.

I’ll blog more about www.TED.com Ideas Worth Spreading, in a future post because I think you’ve had more than enough of gurus and evangelists for today.


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