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January 17, 2014

How You Should Decide Which Images to Use on Your Blog

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Because visuals can make or break a blog post, it is crucial that you choose the right images for each post. The photos’ subject, colors, size, and placement can positively impact your post’s success.

Usage

The most important part of any image is logistical over visual. Only choose images that you have the rights to use. For larger blogs, it may be worthwhile to invest in a stock photo site membership, like Shutterstock or iStockPhoto. If you’d rather go with royalty-free or creative commons photos, be sure you are using the right attribution and that you can use them. For example, some creative commons photos only let you use images for non-commercial use. If you use the image for a business blog, which counts as a commercial property, so you technically can’t use non-commercial creative commons images. read more

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May 6, 2011

3 Sites to Get Free News-Related Images

The social impact of Bin Laden’s recent death has been incredible and it also became an incredible force across blogs and other Web sites. Countless bloggers, even those who usually don’t cover news-related topics, felt the need to peak out on the breaking story and, along the way, dip their toes into news and political blogging.

But with so much attention being focused on how blogging and social media is changing journalism, there are still scant few resources that give bloggers and other webmasters access to the media used by mainstream outlets.

The problem is that, while there are countless great sites on the Web for stock photos and other images, they are more targeted at providing attractive, but generic images for a blog post. If you need a photo to indicate friendship or represent something being locked down, these sites are great. However, if you need a photo of a recent rally in Washington D.C. or of a particular celebrity, they are virtually useless as most of the photos they have are not timely and not related to current events.

However, there are a few sites that offer news-related images for free on your site. All you have to know is where to look and how to search them correctly.

Here are some of the options to consider. read more

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April 29, 2011

The 3 Most Common Copyright Mistakes Bloggers Make

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Do OverCopyright is a notoriously confusing and complicated area of law, but one that also impacts nearly every part of our daily lives. As such, it is pretty much inevitable that well-intended people are going to make mistakes.

However, with copyright law, blunders can be very costly. In addition to the threat of a lawsuit, one can have their site shut down, access to some of their favorite services revoked and lose a lot of credibility. Even if none of those things comes to pass, a copyright dispute is still a major headache and one that most, if given the choice, would prefer to avoid.

As such, it’s important for bloggers to be aware of some of the more common copyright pitfalls that come from blogging and, more importantly, how to avoid them.

With that in mind, here are three of the most common copyright blunders bloggers make and what can be done to prevent yourself from falling into them. Fortunately, all are easy mistakes to see and avoid, if you know to look for them. read more

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March 12, 2011

Flickr Removes Egyptian Blogger’s Photos Of Secret Service Documents

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Social Media played a huge part in helping the Egyptian populace coordinate a revolution that the whole world followed. Despite the new defunct Mubarak’s attempts to silence the people by disconnecting all internet connectivity in the country, updates were still sent out by Bloggers using old school mediums such as faxing. Following Mubarak’s fall, we’re still receiving updates on the Egyptian revolution thanks to the brave Bloggers, Journalists and Photographers giving us an intimate view of a country going through a massive change.

Many photos were shared through Flickr but the photo sharing network has acted to take down an Egyptian Blogger’s photos of the revolutions.

read more

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November 16, 2009

5 Copyright Hazards to Avoid

Most bloggers understand the importance and the value in creating original content. Most would be at least somewhat upset to their own writing used on other sites without permission or attribution and many actively track their work for misuse.

However, there is more to being a good copyright citizen than just writing your own content, quoting only what you need to in your entries and attributing your sources. Your blog is much more than just text and there are many copyright “hazards” that even well-intended bloggers can step in.

That’s why last year, almost to the day, I wrote an article about holiday copyright hazards for bloggers to avoid, But while the holidays are an especially dangerous time for copyright issues, they are a potential thorn in the side year around.

So with that in mind, here are five copyright hazards to avoid, regardless of the time of year. read more

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October 7, 2009

WordPress.com Partners with PicApp

PicApp is a service that lets you embed legal images on your site, and now you can do it with a shortcode on WordPress.com as well. There’s a demo video in the WordPress.com announcement post, and another one on the PicApp blog. There’s also a plugin for stand-alone WordPress users, which is nice obviously.

Oh, and while we’re at it, WordPress.com got a revamped theme viewer as well. You might want to check that out too.

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September 23, 2009

Free & Legal Images for Your Blog

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PicApp, the image Website that lets small-time bloggers use big-time images, has rolled out several changes designed to make user’s lives a bit easier. read more

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May 6, 2009

Glenda Watson Hyatt: Is Your Blog Disabled?

Glenda Watson Hyatt presenting web accessibility at SOBCon09At the Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference (SOBCon) this weekend in Chicago, the famous Left Thumb Blogger, of the Do It Myself Blog rocked the attendees world with her powerful How POUR is Your Blog presentation, reminding us that if our blogs don’t meet web standards for accessibility, it could be disabled.

Glenda’s powerful presentation wasn’t the typical dry stuff of web accessibility. Dry? Boring? That’s not possible with Glenda around. She has a wicked sense of humor and used it in her PowerPoint presentation, accompanied by her voice program, Kate, which read her presentation out loud. I’ve never laughed so hard over such a serious subject as web accessibility.

Glenda has cerebral palsy. It restricts her movement and speech but it doesn’t impact her intelligence, though many have labeled her otherwise in the past. In her book, I’ll Do It Myself, she shared the trials and tribulations as well as the challenges of being a highly intellectual woman trapped in a body that just can’t keep up. I highlighted Glenda in How WordPress Changes Lives, showcasing how WordPress changed her life by giving her a voice that connects with people around the world through her blog.

One of the great points she made was on how to justify using ALT attributes in your blog images: read more

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January 5, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Custom Header, jQuery, ImageMagick, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! First off, I’m sorry there was no Movable Type Monday last week. Seemed like most of the community had taken off for the holidays, so I decided to hold what I had for an extra week. But now it’s a new year and there’s lots of new stuff to talk about.

Plugins

Custom HeaderByrne Reese put out a new plugin for uploading and customizing the header image on your blog. Custom Header handles the whole process of uploading, cropping, and positioning your banner image. This will be great for personalizing template sets, and it modifying an existing template set to use this plugin looks very straightforward.

Share — This plugin lets you add an “email to a friend” form to your blog posts. Created by Dan Wolfgang, Share is customizable and works with MT’s junk filters. Thanks, Dan!

Tips & Tutorials

Besides his Share plugin, Dan also recently wrote instructions for using his Poll Position plugin with jQuery. Poll Position lets you add polls to your blog. I’m a huge jQuery fan, so I’m glad to see Dan write this up.

Beau Smith wrote improved installation instructions for the Action Streams plugin. Looking at Beau’s method, it seems odd Action Streams isn’t set up this way to begin with. Glad somebody explained the right way to do it.

Writer Susan McNerney posted instructions on changing your banner image. It’s clear that Susan was frustrated by how much trouble it was to change her banner. Sounds like she needed Byrne’s Custom Header plugin.

Over at TMCnet, Tom Keating out does himself, writing a tutorial that offers several things one can do with MT assets. He starts with listing recent image assets linked to entries, then creates a related entries widget that includes images, and finally shows how to add images to the FastSearch plugin. Thanks, Tom!

Finally, John Walker describes how to install Image::Magick on CentOS 5.2 for your Movable Type blog. His instructions may not be limited to MT, but since ImageMagick is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to install for any blog platform, I wanted to share his instructions.

What have you done with MT this week? Let us know in the comments.

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December 1, 2008

Flickr Alternatives for Copyright-Conscious Photographers

Flickr has been in the spotlight a good deal recently, but a lot of it has not been good news. It has been revealed that Flickr, like Facebook, strips out copyright metadata from uploaded images. Combined with a confusing API, licensing scandals, companies selling photos as cell phone backgrounds and more, it is easy to see why some are skittish about keeping their images on the site.

This has some photographers, bloggers and artists uneasy about using Flickr or at least using the site exclusively. Many have begun seeking alternatives to Flickr but alternatives seem to be thin. Though image hosts such as Photobucket exist and are great for embedding images into other sites, they lack the sense of community that Flickr provides and, in the case of Photobucket, can raise copyright issues of their own.

So what other sites are there for photographers and artists that might fulfill some or all of Flickr’s function while providing a slightly better copyright environment? There are actually many, but here are three of the more important ones to watch. read more

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