Lucidpress is a web app which allows you to design, layout, format and publish most any type of document or publication without needing to buy an expensive software program.
The key advantage of Lucidpress is that it offers one editing environment to prepare both print and digital publications for the web or mobile devices.
Final work can be exported to high quality PDF files, or to JPG, PNG or PDF files for individual pages.
Lucidpress integrates with Google Drive and it allows to easily import texts, images as well as video clips from YouTube.
My comment: There is certainly a need for an easy-to-use web-based design environment for pubs of all kinds which Lucidpress attempts to intercepts. The design app is quite powerful and well designed but unless you are a designer you are going to be disappointed with the results. Available templates are few and very old-fashioned. This is probably the area where Lucidpress has the maximum opportunity for improvement. Integrating quality design into the service and non-design customers will do the rest.
Snaplive is an up and coming free, open-source CMS which allows any publisher to edit the contents of its web site directly on the page, without needing to log in to a backend system.
Snaplive works perfectly with WordPress and with the existing theme you are using and not only provides editing functions but it also allows you to add / create new content sections very easily.
"Virtually ANY existing website or theme can become a Snaplive-powered editable website in a matter of minutes.
All you need to do is add an HTML5 attribute to the div that will contain editable content."
My comment: I haven't tried Snaplive but the video is quite self-explanatory. While not the first system that attempts to provide in-line, on-the-page content editing and creation, the fact that that is free and open-source, that it can work with most any existing web sites and with any WordPress theme makes it very interesting for many a web publisher. If installing and configuring is as easy as it is promised, then this could be a godsend both for many website designers as well as for their clients.
My compliments to Niccolò Broggi for designing such a cool, elegant and useful tool.
Simplebooklet is a free web-based app which allows you to convert your existing PDFs into a flippable browser-based format, or to create brand new ones from scratch by leveraging a nice set of professional ready-made templates.
Simplebooklet makes it easy to integrate text, images, video clips, audio tracks, geometric shapes, clipart and a number of call-to-action modules for selling, subscribing, and other lead generation actions.
The final publication looks like a web magazine with flippable pages and with useful buttons to see all pages thumbnails, to share on social media or to download bonus files.
Your finalized multimedia booklet can be published on Simplebooklet, shared on social media and embedded on any site.
A PRO version costing $36/year allows for creating up to 50 booklets, for uploading PDFs as large as 100MB and for integrating downloadable files as well as call-to-action modules such as email me, buy this or subscription forms.
My comment: Quite useful to convert PDFs into flipboard style web-magazines which are and will increasingly be the new of reading on the web. Excellent integrated-design features make it possible also to create flippable multimedia booklets from scratch that will have a professional-look no matter your level of design expertise. Worth trying. Still in beta and buggy.
SubToMe is a free script which allows you both to add a simple button to your web site that makes it extremely easy for your readers to subscribe to your updates with their favorite news reader as well as for you to subscribe and follow and web site you happen to run into.
Scroll Kit is a web-based and mobile publishing editor, that can work in tandem with WordPress, and which allows you to work freely on the page by positioning and styling your content in any way you want.
With Scroll Kit you can edit text in-line on the actual page, and move the text in any location you want. Alignment of different text blocks or other objects is made easy by an invisible grid that shows up only when you drag an object around.
It is also possible to style text, change fonts, add images and graphic shapes, as well as embed "iframes", YouTube videos and Twitter content.
A useful feature alllows you to preview how your content will look on mobile devices too.
My comment: Scroll Kit is a good example of a new breed of web publishing editors, which further simplify the editor's job while providing maximum flexibility.
Scroll Kit is a fantastic web design and publishing tool for web designers capable of leveraging its notable power. For those who have no design skills this may not be a great solution as having all this freedom is good only when you know exactly what to do. (Some pro-looking templates may help in this direction - a few are already available, more will hopefully come later)
Here the Scroll Kit Manifesto:
"The web is the most advanced publishing system we've ever had but the process in which most people publish is backwards next to print.
On the web, your design is set before you figure out what you want to say.
This is true for the publishing they do at nytimes.com with their article template and it is true for the publishing you do when you type "happpppy birthday. I luv you" on the facebook page of a good friend. In print, every fiber of the page is yours to define, and on the web, the page belongs to Mark Zuckerberg or whoever coded your template.
You express yourself on the web by filling out text forms.
Quirktool is a free toolset for the web designer / web publisher created by @kyleschaeffer and allowing easy visual site mapping of any web site, wireframe prototyping and testing across different screen sizes.
Tint is a web servive which allows you to create very easily, and without any technical knowledge a web presence by aggregating, curating and displaying your favorite feeds, social media channels into an elegant visual layout.
Tint-created websites can be easily embedded into any existing web site or integrated into any CMS such as WordPress or Tumblr very easily.
Techcrunch reports: "In other words, Tint’s platform is designed to help brands create social hubs on top of their digital properties and, in turn, create a deeper level of engagement with their audiences...
...Businesses can link their Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and RSS feeds to their Tint accounts, whereupon the service auto-populates the page from those feeds, serving the social content in a river that is Pinterest-like in design."
Users can personalize their "tint" web pages by changing fonts, background colors, the headline, URL and image of each piece of content.
"Tint also allows you to choose the dimensions you want the embedded stream to be and the number of cascading columns you want to appear, automatically serving up the embed code."
All plans include one "tint" (one web page), the connection of 2 social accounts, mobile support and analytics.
Depending on the paid service plan you select, you can also have additional social accounts added, a white-label implementation, moderation/curation features, additional themes, Facebook Tab, support for events, hashtag moderation, full custom CSS support and more.
Free basic version available to everyone.
My comment: If you wanted an alternative to RebelMouse here it is. Just like its competitor it lets you display social media feeds from specific hashtags, social media channels and Pinterest boards, adding as a unique extra support also for YouTube channels.
Aircus is a web publishing service which allows you to create, edit and publish a professional looking one-page web site or landing page without needing to know any HTML code and without needing to have any design skills.
Once you are registered and logged into Aircus you can easily add pre-designed content modules into your web page, and fill them with specific information or images. These modules can be easily sorted in any way you want.
An aircus web site grows as long as you need it to be as you can keep adding new content modules to it. These may include (among others):
To make navigation easy you can also add at any point of your page a navigable menu which allows visitors to jump to any part of the page.
There are a few alternative "themes available" and you can select among different color schemes on some of them. You have no other control on fonts, text size, color and other styling elements, which I think - once given some good templates - a good thing to have.
Aircus web sites can be mapped to your own domain (for a fee) and are all fully responsive, meaning that they can be visualized properly on all kinds of devices from computer desktops to smartphones.
If you are a restaurant owner looking for an alternative solution to hiring a web designer or an agency to create your own professional-looking website, here is a solution I personally recommend to look at.
RestaurantEngine is a turnkey publishing solution which integrates highly professional website designs that are ready to be edited, with dedicated features and integrations (reservations, menu, reviews, etc.) with other services that are designed to satisfy the restaurant web site visitors.
In other words this is a solution that can guarantee to anyone that has no technical or design skills to put together a very elegant and effective restaurant web site, which can be maintained and updated entirely by its owner, in a matter of hours/days instead of days/weeks.
RestaurantEngine works with WordPress.
For a $99 one-time fee there is also the opportunity to have the RestaurantEngine team take up all of your ready-made contents and set up the whole web site for you without you moving a finger.
Liveblog Pro is the best tool for liveblogging the news. It's fast, reliable, and easy to use.
Robin Good's insight:
If you are looking for a service that allows you to report in real-time, with no no limits of contents or space, and with the ability to integrate not just text, images and video but also real-time contributions from social media, promptly formatted for maximum engagement, you need to check out LiveBlog Pro.
LiveBlog Pro is a full publishing platform for real-time blogs not a WordPress plugin. In the paid version, a white-label option allows you to turn off LiveBlog Pro official logo and to replace it with yours, you can have multiple contributors and you can embed your live blog on any web site.
There is a free basic version available to everyone.
Manula is a web-based service which allows you to create professional-looking manuals and PDF guides with maximum ease and simplicity.
Manula provides an online editor, that integrates all of the basic functionalities you may want to have during the preparation of an instructions manual including:
In addition, you can share and re-use individual topics / chapters across multiple manuals, and decide whether a manual is available publicly or not. Manula is also a collaborative tool allowing for multiple editors.
The final version of your manual can be instantly published to the web, with your own logo and organization name, or saved to a standard PDF file for distribution. Web version is perfectly viewable across devices and screens of all sizes and integrates a full search engine.
My comment: Manula delivers what it promises. Reliable and easy editing and maintenance of multimedia manuals that need to be published to the web or via PDF and that can be seen across any device. If I had to mention a better alternative for non-tech users, that had no download, and that was as easy to learn or adopt, I would be in difficulty in suggesting one.
The best tools, web apps and resources for any independent web publisher
Robin Good's insight:
If you need a handy reference for your web publishing needs I have spent a few days pulling together the best tools I use and know-of that I would recommend to use, in an organized and curated link directory of over 70 different categories.
From "landing page builders" to "survey tools" and "domain name finders" I have you covered.
In general, I have limited the amount of tools and services listed per category to the top 5 I know as to serve also as a curated filter for the vast number of choices available out there.
This is definitely a work in progress as you need to continuously edit, refine and improve a directory like this to make it really useful. You are welcome to suggest tools and services that I have not included and I'll make sure that if they are valid ones they get their space too.
If you are a web publisher looking for an easy way to license some of your content under Creative Commons, here is a simple tool that can save you lots of time.
Go to http://creativecommons.org/choose/ and just select your preferences for the type of license you want and this Creative Commons tool automatically generates a logo and also some code that you can copy and paste into your selected web pages.
If you have an ebook or PDF I suggest you take a screenshot of the image and you include it with a link to the type of license you have selected. As a matter of fact this tool also provides the ability to generate a simple image that you can simply save by right-clicking on it. It remains your duty to link that image to the specific license type you have selected to make this truly effective.
For clarifying first your doubts about which type of license to use, I suggest that you give look at these two excellent infographics which illustrate quite well the different options and license types you have available.
FeedGrabbr is a web app which allows you to create professional-looking custom RSS news widgets by mixing multiple RSS feeds.
FeedGrabbr makes it also very easy to customize the look and feel by selecting one of the alternative templates and configuring the different options available. Final widget can be easily embedded on any website or blog.
In the PRO version ($4.95/mo) you can filter the incoming feeds by keyword, eliminate the FeedGrabbr logo.
My comment: Useful for those in need of showcasing specific custom thematic news feeds to complete their content offering. Easy to use. Professional look and highly customizable.
ImpactFlo is an incredibly powerful, yet beautifully simple end-to-end solution for showcasing impact and engaging supporters.
Robin Good's insight:
ImpactFlo is a web app which allows any organization, individual or company to showcase the "on-the-ground" impact of its projects and initiatives, by providing a simple database where to collect key information and a public web-based set of info-pages and impact maps where to illustrate visually the work done and the actual results to the public.
ImpactFlo makes it easy for those visiting such a hub to search through all of the projects realized by type, geographic location or by project needs and to engage with these projects by allowing visitors to easily share this content on social media.
Impact maps can be personalized with an organization logo, can be used to collect direct donations, and to organize projects separating the completed ones, by those upcoming or in progress.
An intuitive, flexible platform for telling stories. Marquee's authoring tool and infrastructure allow for publishing beautiful content faster and easier than ever before.
Robin Good's insight:
Marquee.by is a web-based publishig platform designed for people who love to write and who like technology to intrude the least possible in their work.
Marquee.by has a clean, extremely simple and intuitive interface which allows you not to get distracted by many buttons and commands. Once you start editing a story you only have to worry about writing and deciding where you want to add images or links to other sites or stories.It takes in fact just the copy and paste of any link to embed any video or web site into your story.
It's as simple as that.
From the official site: "Marquee is a flexible publishing platform that helps you craft great content for your audience. It operates as a fully hosted service, or can integrate into your existing workflow."
You can get a personalized URL like RobinGood.marquee.by or you can publish directly under your domain name, and your final work can be seen perfectly across different types of computers and mobile devices.
Marquee.by is free for everyone for 60-days after your registration and then is $8/month. (no credit card required to sign-up)
ReadyMag is a designer's dream interactive web publishing tool, allowing for the creation of digital magazines where the designer talents can be expressed without resistance.
The ReadyMag Constructor is in fact a wonderful set of real-time interactive widgets that facilitate to the maximum the design of a page layout, and the integration and formatting of relevant content, be it text, images or video clips.
ReadyMag Constructor provides precise control on all of the page design variables while providing a super cool and highly discrete set of widgets to manage them.
The final magazine can be watched on any browser in full screen, and in more than one fashion.
Final publications can be easily shared on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, and/or embedded directly into any web site or blog and are fully compatible with any screen-size or device.
In a future release, authors that publish their digital magazine through ReadyMag will also have the opportunity to charge for subscriptions.
My comment: Gorgeous interface, app architecture and widgets design. The final publication results can be quite impressive, though I would love to see as much innovation and slickness as offered in the "backed" UI, also in the display and delivery modes offered (which instead tend to follow pretty used up, though familiar, consumption modes).
If you are a designer, you MUST try this tool out.
Imgembed allows image creators to track where their images are being used and set permissions to every website using them. Users can use images for free by p...
Robin Good's insight:
Imgembed allows web publishers and image creators to store, organize and to protect the use of their images by providing a system that makes it easy to find, utilize and reward image owners instantly.
Imgembed offers the opportunity to let others use your images for free by crediting and linking back to you or by paying by CPM for their usage.
The service also allows you to create your own image portoflio, to customize the display of your images, track where they are being displayed, add watermarks easily and set your own price for use.
Imgembed taps directly into your image collections inside Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and Picasa allowing you to pick and select which images to make available to others. Finally it also acts as a free image search hub, making it very easy to find pictures that you can use immediately.
Free to use. (You pay a flat 30% fee on your rvenues).
In this article, we’ll look at some of the different wordpress theme options, and how to develop them, with tips on which approach might be most suitable for your website and circumstances.
Robin Good's insight:
"If you’re starting out building WordPress themes or want to develop a system for building them more efficiently or robustly, how do you decide which approach to take?"
In this article by Rachel McCollin, you will find quite a bit of useful information describing how WordPress themes work and which are some of the different approaches available to developing them.
The options analyzed are:
Build a theme from scratch,
Edit (or “hack,” some might say) an existing theme,
Use the theme customizer to tweak an existing theme,
Create a child theme to make changes to an existing theme,
Create your own parent theme (using one of the approaches above) and child themes,
Use a theme framework.
Particularly interesting is the mention of the Wordpress theme customizer tool, which gives you the option to customize a theme without writing any code, simply by using a WYSIWYG interface. Check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD8v6u3noPg
Whether you are a small independent web publisher or a large organization publishing content on the web, you must be aware of the opportunities offered by Creative Commons licensing options when it comes to re-using video, images and content created by others.
This good infographic provides all of the general information and facts you need to know to get acquainted with CC licenses.
Sensei is a Wordpress plugin which allows you to publish courses and lessons as if they were normal articles, while havin the ability to integrate video clips, quizzes and tests, and pre-requisites to be satisfied before being able to access any course.
Inside Sensei, it is also possible to set a required percentage in order to pass – and mark the lesson as complete. Sensei also provides a detailed analysis of your courses content, the grades given, and of the registered students.
Finally, Sensei perfectly integrates with WooCommerce, making it possible to charge and accept payments for accessing any such Wordpress lessons.
TextMaster the expert community dedicated to quality copywriting, translation and proofreading of all your texts in over 8 languages!
Robin Good's insight:
TextMaster is a crowdsourced copywriting, proofreading and text translation platform that can be utilized to obtain in a short time good quality texts on any topic assigned or translations of "original" contents you submit yourself.
TextMaster offers different three different levels of quality depending on whether you need just a basic editor or someone who is linguistically professional or even an expert in the specific topic area in which you need your content to be prepared.
Techcrunch writes: "TextMaster offers a platform for content creators to crowdsource their copywriting, translation and proofreading needs via its community of ‘professionals’ who have each gone through a quality vetting process and are paid per word.
We’ve previously described the service as a bit like Mechanical Turk but for a very specific niche.
TextMaster claims that 4,000 clients have used the service in its 12 months of operation, including AlloCiné, Cityrama, and Zagat, while its ‘crowd’ has grown to 35,000 copy editors, writers and translators who have processed “more than 12.5 million words.”
...TextMaster is available in eight languages: French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Chinese."