Category Archives: Software

The Complete Pinterest Guide For Power Users

    OK, so you’ve fallen for all the Pinterest hype and you’ve signed up and got started, now what? I hunted down some of the better resources, tools and how-to’s from the interwebs and sorted through the avalanche to target the best and most useful that’ll help you get the most out of your Pinning.  Just in case you’ve been slacking, here’s the official FAQs page  if you’re still playing catch up.

The Buzzsonic Music Industry Pinboard on Pinterest

 If you want to know how musicians and labels are using Pinterest you can see some great examples of execution via features at Read Write Web,  Hypebot,  MTV Hive,  Metablocks,  Make Use Of  and Billboard.

Also another more recent addition to the visual pinboard is the ability to directly pin tracks from Soundcloud. I added one of my own here.

 

99th Floor Elevators on Pinterest via Soundcloud

Soundcloud Unmutes Pinterest

“Pinterest is completely visually driven. Unlike other social networks that are focused on what you’re doing right now, Pinterest concentrates more on what you want to be, where you want to go, what you want to build in the future”. Thought  Matrix

First Things First. Tune Up Those Images

One of the main things to remember, and one of the ‘rules’ you should  stick by is the (my label!)  attribution  etiquette rule, that is, giving credit to where you  sourced that pinned image from. That means it shouldn’t be as lazy as doing a Google image search and lazily pinning what you find from the search giant. Credit the source!

Mashable recently published  ‘How to Make Images Stand Out on Pinterest’  which has a great infographic on how best to present your pinned images and optimise them for everyones benefit.

Pinterest Image Optimisation

Pinterest Image Optimisation

Pinterest Browser Extensions & Plugins

A  browser plugin (for Chrome) I swear by, which streamlines my image searching ten fold (at least) is the Tin Eye reverse image search tool, which works by adding an extra search option when you right click on any image in your browser. Click search and off it goes to find alternate sources and sizes of the image you’re looking at.

Pin Search is another simple but extremely useful browser plugin which adds an extra button onto the Pinterest page you’re browsing. ‘Search’ appears underneath the default three options of Repin, Edit and Comment when you hover over an image in Pinterest, zipping off to search Google images to dig out more options on the image you’re interested in.

I always try and remember to click through directly to the source of the pinned image before re-pinning just to make sure it doesn’t take me off somewhere it shouldn’t  (spammy framed redirect-affiliate links was a recent experience).

The Pinterest Pin It button (from Shareaholic) is another essential I use daily and if there is something sleeker and more feature packed, I have yet to stumble across it. It does what it says on the tin, “the easiest way to send images from any website to your pinboards”. Either click the button or right click on the image. Simple’s

One more on the Pinterest browser plugins that I use.  Share As Image Pro (until recently known as PinAQuote) lets you highlight text anywhere on the web and easily convert it into an image and post as a nicely coloured Pin. So, good for all those classic inspirational quotes and snippets of wisdom we all love so much. The ($2.99) Pro version lets you customise the text and background colours you pin. Worth it.

Share As Image Pro Browser Plugin

Share As Image Pro Browser Plugin

There’s an increasing amount of Chrome browser extensions for Pinterest and you’ll find all the official Pinterest tools on the Goodies page. These include a simple browser bookmarklet, follow and Pin It buttons for websites and the official iOS Pinterest App.

Calculate Your Pinfluence !

This is probably as irrelevant as Klout scores (CNN Money had a piece called ‘ Why Klout scores are possibly evil’ last year) but Pinreach is actually a quite useful mixture of ‘influence’ and analytics. The fledgling service analyses your popular boards by using repin numbers and shuffles the data from your boards via repins, likes, followers, pins and comments. You can also get data on your most popular repins.

Its great for gaining some quick insight and stats as to what is working best on your profile and for calculating which board needs more work.. You get a PR (Pinreach) score out of 100 (much like Klout) though I found Pinreach to be of much more  relevance  than Klout.

Pinreach Pinterest Analytics

Pinreach Pinterest Analytics

If you want to get more indepth on the analytics and what traffic Pinterest is sending to your website, Mashable have a very useful guide on How to Track Traffic From Pinterest in Google Analytics.

Pinerly I haven’t yet got access too, but Mashable have  (natch) and it ploughs a similar furrow to Pinreach but with more onus on running Pinterest marketing campaigns.  Pinpuff is another of what they’re calling Pinfluence tools, along the lines of Klout, with the promise of ‘pinperks’ but other than that looks very similar to Pinreach.

 Pinterest, Meet WordPress

Pinterest WordPress RSS Widget

When I last looked there was already 86 different Pinterest plug-ins for WordPress bloggers to add to their websites. Naturally, one will be enough for your site, which one depends on your own preferences but the majority of them simply give you the ability to display activity from your Pinterest account either in your sidebar with a drag n drop widget or via short codes, which let you add activity to pages and posts.

I looked and tried a few here on Buzzsonic.com and settled on the ‘Pinterest RSS Widget’ which enables you to display thumbnails of your Pinterest general feed (or a specific pinboard) in your sidebar and also the ability to add feeds to any posts and pages using short-codes.

Pipped into second place was ‘Pinterest Pinboard Widget‘ which displays some very nicely laid out thumbnails in your sidebar of your activity but unfortunately (as yet) no ability to display from specific pinboards which was the clincher for me. If you just want to display action from all your boards in one neat looking display this is the way to go.

‘Pretty Pinterest Pins’ was my weapon of choice initially but display size options were limited with no thumbnail square option which meant the pins took up much more space in the sidebar. Other than that it allows you to choose from specific pinboards, item count etc.

The neatest (at least for me here) social sharing WordPress plugin at the moment is Digg Digg, which gives you several options to share content, including ‘Pinning’. You can display buttons above or below content or choose the floating social sharing bar (which you can view next to this post). Similar to the one used by Mashable no less. Easy to set up, modify and looks great.

One service I nearly missed but stumbled on via Make Use Of minutes before finishing this post is Pinstamatic which is an insanely useful shortcut to posting things directly to any of your Pinboards. You can add website screenshots direct from a URL, post quotes, sticky notes, tracks from Spotify, your Twitter profile and a bunch more. Insanely addictive.

Pinterest, Where’s The RSS?

The Sociable  have a great guide on how to pull in RSS feeds from specific Pinterest Pinboards so I wont ramble on repeating what they’ve done so well.

” Following a specific board created by a user via RSS is less obvious. If you visit a user’s Pinterest Board you’ll see that there are no links to subscribe to that board’s RSS feed. But you can still generate a feed for it. To do this, first open the board (e.g. Felicia Day’s Geekin Board), then, Remove the last “/” from the URL and add .rss – your end URL will look like http://pinterest.com/feliciaday/geekin.rss ” read the full post at The Sociable…

12 More of the Most Useful Pinterest Articles from this Year

13 ‘Pinteresting’ Facts About Pinterest Users:Infographic (Mashable) Who are these feverish pinners? According to full service agency Modea, the majority are female mothers — 28 percent have a household income of $100k+.

Shopify Survey: Pinterest Users Spend 2X More (PinnableBusiness.com) Ecommerce store platform Shopify just released numbers on the profitability of Pinterest for their shop owners. They looked at over 25,000 Shopify online stores to see how Pinterest drives sales. The results are dramatic.

The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Pinterest for Marketing (HubSpot) As with any hot new social network that comes onto the scene, marketers are chiming in with, “Can I use it for marketing?” “…and, how?” The short answer? Absolutely. The longer answer? Read on to find out how.

20 Awesome Tools Which Will Have you ‘Pinteresting’ Like a Pro (The Next Web) With such an active community, it’s no surprise that there are a ton of other interesting tools, apps, and sites which aim to enhance the Pinterest experience beyond the Follow Button and Pin It button which can easily be installed on any website.

Proof That Pinterest Drives Sales, And Its Fans Spend Big (Fast Company) Pinterest users not only buy the products they pin, but spend more on average than their Facebook counterparts, according to new data from Shopify.

16 Ways Educators Can Use Pinterest (Infographic) (Mashable) OnlineUniversities.com have put together an infographic, which details how teachers can use Pinterest to organize lesson plans, distribute curricula, collaborate with other faculty, and even encourage student participation.

56 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest (CopyBlogger) Think those inspiring vision boards don’t result in referral traffic to websites and blogs? Think again. In January 2012, Pinterest drove greater traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube — combined.

Infographic of the week: Pinterest Marketing Strategies (Populate Digital) The infographic gives you 64 marketing tips and tactics that you can apply to your Pinterest account now, to help give you a head start.

Pinterest Marketing Tips & Tricks to Drive Targeted Traffic(Search Engine Watch) Having little experience beyond personal playing around on it, my view was that Pinterest was shaping up to be a fun toy, but had little value for marketers. Of course, I love to be proven wrong when someone can bring the numbers to back up their experience with a new “toy.” Steve Gerencser from Steam Driven Media did just that.

How local businesses can do research and gain an edge with Pinterest (SmartBlogs.com) Sure, it’s easy for big brands such as Whole Foods to be successful but what about small and local businesses? The good news for local businesses is that Pinteret’s search feature makes it incredibly worthwhile for local businesses to be on Pinterest.

Why Online Marketers Better Get An Interest In Pinterest, Fast (Forbes) A few months ago I wrote of the need for brand managers to get “pinterested” due to the fact that women, AKA the one responsible for the majority of household purchase decisions has “developed an affinity for the latest and greatest social media platform.” It would also appear that those in the e-commerce world better also get “pinterested” if they have not already.

The Ultimate Pinterest Guide for Your Online Store (Shopify) The whirlwind of excitement that surrounds Pinterest provides online store owners a great opportunity to leverage it’s popularity (and overall awesomeness) to bring attention to their online store. Whether you’re already setup on Pinterest or you’re a complete newbie, this is a guide that will teach you the basics, and also help the more experienced pinners get the most from this popular social media platform.

Happy Pinning!

And don’t forget to connect with me on Pinterest OK and dig into some of my most popular boards too: Social Media, SEO & Digital Marketing  and the Buzzsonic Music Industry Board for starters.

Follow Area239.com on Pinterest

20 Killer WordPress Resources For Bands, Artists & Developers

I’ve been using WordPress since 2005 and I swear by it these days, simply because its so versatile, infinitely customisable, robust, oh, and its free too.

My early experience with content management systems was with PHP-Nuke, then Mambo, Joomla and B2Evolution (B2/Cafelog, was the precursor to WordPress).

But there has been incredible development on WordPress in the following years and I really couldn’t see myself using anything else, such is the support, the plug-ins and the adaptability of the platform.

Its something you never stop learning too, learning about plug-ins, themes (free and paid), how to tweak themes, add text widgets….

There’s also a whole raft of plugins that are aimed at musicians and bands, everything from gig management, to Soundcloud shortcodes, to download monitors (and all points in between). I’ll be covering this subject much deeper with an up to date list of killer WordPress plugins for bands, artists and labels within the next few days here.

Anyway, I’ve collected a whole box load of very useful resources over the years and really that’s the thing, if you’re prepared to read a lot you can turn yourself into something of a WordPress ninja with a little patience.

Remember that old Chinese proverb:

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

I’m not saying this is the definitive list of WordPress resources but its a great starter kit and will save you a lot of time should you be considering whether to go it alone with your own install, or whether you’d prefer to let someone else do the heavy lifting for you!

Getting Started Resources

Getting started with WordPress

Getting Started With WordPress from Tasty Placement is a great instructional that holds your hand with writing and editing webpages on your WordPress site and shows you the basics on how to manage WordPress, including logging in, posting new articles and pages, uploading images, creating and editing menus and widgets and some more advanced features.

Another good easy to navigate WordPress starters guide with easy to understand instructions is ‘A Simplified Users Guide to WordPress’, which, according to the authors is intended to be a simple guide to using WordPress for those new to managing a WP powered site. In particular those who’ve had their WP site set up for them by a web designer or developer.

And another worthwhile guide,if you had any lingering doubts, is from WPBeginner, called ‘Why You Should Use WordPress?’.

WordPress Mentor has a very handy WordPress setup checklist which runs through five difference stages and checklists to tick off. Install: The basic WordPress installation. Secure: Hardening the WordPress installation. Configure: Adjust WordPress settings. Connect: Connect WordPress to online services.Optimise: Adjust WordPress performance. There’s the HTML version or a much neater PDF download which you can get free for an email address. Worth it.

As if that wasn’t enough to read, Tentblogger has a huge series of blog posts under the umbrella, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog’. Sit yourself down, strap yourself in, there’s 55 posts on everything from WordPress security settings, SEO tips and tools, recommended Plugins,  setting up Google Analytics and all points in between. Brilliant.

Not forgetting the help pages from WordPress themselves, which of course are very detailed. There’s also support forums and a repository of Themes and Plugins.

Serverpress.Wordpress Desktop-Server

Another useful tool that is aimed squarely at developers, is DesktopServer from ServerPress, which basically enables you to have a server on your desktop machine (PC/Mac) so you can test and develop your WordPress install locally without publishing online until you’re quite happy with the results.

There’s a basic free edition which allows you to create up to three websites, or the paid version which has unlimited website projects. There are several other similar tools for Devs, like Bitnami, Instant WordPress and WampServer (and the Mac equivalent MAMP).

Now We’re Up And Running.

Things to consider after your WordPress install is up and running. Content writing tips, SEO and tech tools.

Ready-Set-Write-The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Blogging.Free PDF download

‘Ready, Set, Write: The Ultimate Guide to Blogging’, is a free PDF guide to getting the most from your blogging experience. Put together by the Content Marketing Institute, the 37 page guide runs through everything from developing your blogging voice and strategy, tips for writing really amazing content, getting your content seen and shared, measuring your impact and ensuring success. There’s a host of tips, case studies and tools here you can use to build and maintain a successful blog that benefits you and your business.

Ways To Create Compelling Content:Infographic.

Ways To Create Compelling Content:Infographic.

And, a really handy infographic on finding inspiration for great content, which today, a lot of the time means re-imagining other people’s ideas as infographics, but, seems to work for many. The title of the piece says it all, ’22 Ways to Create Compelling Content (When You Dont Have a Clue)’. 

And more content ideas from the Content Marketing Institute. ‘12 Things to Do After You’ve Written a New Blog Post‘ , ideas that I’m going to have to put into action once I’ve finished writing this blog post! But basically the post delves into ideas on how to spread your content successfully using social media, RSS and forums. Its basic stuff nowadays, but if you need some kind of bullet list you could do worse than start here.

Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer. Compose WordPress Posts Offline

You don’t always have WiFi when you’re on the move, despite this utopian dream of always on, everywhere, that’s hardly the case for most unless you have bottomless pockets! So, if I get the urge to write offline, Windows Live Writer is my weapon of choice. Why not just use Open Office, MS Office Word or a text editor?

Well, the advantage of Windows Live Writer is that as long as you sync it up with your WordPress blog (or multiple blogs) when you first set it up, it formats everything just like it would in WordPress and it has a preview function. You might even like it so much you could bypass going into the WordPress admin all together and use Live Writer from your desktop. Excellent tool.

Performance & Plugins

How To Speed Up WordPress And Boost Site Performance

How To Speed Up WordPress And Boost Site Performance

Here’s a really cool infographic that lays things out in easy to digest nuggets with instructions on ‘How To Speed Up WordPress And Boost Site Performance’, which kind of speaks for itself and looks into problems and solutions, like database cache and maintenance, javascript and stylesheets. Unashamedly geeky.

More geekiness (I guess!) from DBS Interactive who have an awesome WordPress reference guide, which basically is an online handbook ‘WordPress V3.0+ Template Tag Reference Guide‘, which guides you through the various template tags (obviously!) and is one of the best reference’s I’ve seen of this nature, comprehensive, well laid out and extremely useful. Naturally if you haven’t got to the stage where you want to get your hands dirty with coding then fair enough, but if you do….

And finally a couple of SEO resources.

The first is from Yoast, ‘The Definitive Guide To Higher Rankings For WordPress Sites‘. Yoast know a thing or two about WordPress SEO, being the people behind the super popular WordPress SEO Plugin and this is one of the most complete SEO guides you’re likely to see. Essential. And if you want a second opinion, DIYThemes have an equally essential, self explanatory guide, ‘WordPress SEO for Everybody’. An ongoing tutorial which the writers say, “in it, you’ll learn how to use ethical, legitimate ways to get your WordPress blog ranking higher in the search engines.” Good enough, and it certainly is.

That should be enough to keep you going for weeks I hope. If you have any further tips and resources I’ve missed out please mention them in the comments and we’ll keep this thing updated.

Related Reading

WordPress Now Powers 22 Percent Of New Active Websites In The U.S. (Techcrunch)
How to install and test WordPress on a local server (CNET)
7 Ways to Build a Business Around WordPress (Mashable)
The Reason You Should Draft Your Blog Posts Outside WordPress (Tentblogger)
WordPress Support Forums (WordPress.org)
The Many Advantages (and Secrets) of WordPress Sites (Blueglass.com)
Manage All Your WordPress Sites From One Dashboard (ManageWP)

Download this article as a PDF.

 

Essential Digital Tools For The Music Office Part 1

I was looking at the hard-drive on my laptop yesterday in an effort to try and clear up some clutter so I made an issue of listing all the software apps I actually use on a regular basis and dumped all the ones I never use.

I’m a software junkie I guess so I collect a lot of novelty apps that I dont need at all

Publishing Online

First and foremost one of my most useful online ‘apps’ (well its not actually an app as such, more a service) is my webhosting account. For anyone experimenting with various websites as I do a hosting account is absolutely essential.

Just for the record I choose a Hostgator reseller account (though there are thousands of companies out there offering similar services) which gives me the capacity to host hundreds of websites all with their own online control panels and with a whole bunch of storage space and very generous bandwidth.

One of the most useful aspects of my webhosting account is the fact that I can have a new blog or website online within minutes, literally. Hostgator are one of the many webhosting companies that use an online script installer called Fantastico. You access Fantastico via an online control panel, called CPanel (what else?) and it will install a selection of free scripts with just a couple of clicks basically.

Those scripts include blog/content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Mambo, Geeklog and Drupal (amongst others). I choose WordPress simply because it has a massive support network, free plugins and themes and its easy to learn and manage.

So an artist management company with multiple bands could have separate blogs installed for each artist in minutes. And sites can be updated from any browser, anywhere. I swear by WordPress, this blog is hosted on that platform and I have used it for almost four years now.

Extra Blogging Tools

I use Windows Live Writer to write posts offline and also the Live Writer Firefox plugin that enables me to quickly write a post on a page I might be viewing if I’m online. If you use Flickr for image hosting then I recommend the Flickr Uploadr app which sits on your desktop and enables you to simply drag images from your hard drive into your Flickr account. Windows Live Writer has the ability to insert Flickr images at a snap too.

RSS Tools

I’ll scan feeds daily to look for inspiration and ideas and the RSS tools I use most are FeedDemon as my main desktop reader, Sage for browsing in Firefox and Google Reader online. Sync all three accounts by exporting all your feeds in an OPML file onto your desktop then importing the feeds into your other readers. If I can get my head round that then so can you! Here’s some YouTube help.

Audio Video Tools

For Torrent files I use UTorrent, for ripping audio and video from web pages I use Orbit. Uploading music to sell online? Then you’ll want an MP3 encoder that’s better quality than the encoder built into iTunes. CDex is a freebie that uses the acclaimed Lame encoder and will also rip to the higher quality Ogg format.

If you want to do simple audio editing (ringtones, mp3 editing) then Audacity is another great free tool with multiple uses like simple recording or encoding old vinyl and cassettes into digital files. There’s even a VST plugin. I use it in particular to try out drum breaks as it has a really neat looping function.

Ripping DVDs? I swear by Magic DVD Ripper used in conjunction with the Cheetah DVD burner. Hey, they’re not system hogs and they just do what it says on the tin.

Related Reading

10 Must Have Office Apps (ReadWriteWeb)
Software-Hack The Day (HackTheDay.com)
Downloads (Lifehacker.com)

Invasion Of the Comment Spam Bots

Since the blog makeover a couple of weeks ago I’ve been bombarded by comment spam for some reason. Its one of the things that makes blogging work and not fun. So, I finally activated Askimet (Automattic Kismet to give it its full name) on my WordPress install (didn’t really pay attention to it before for some reason?). Its actually working wonders right now and since activating the plug-in its halted more than 2,200 of the most bloodcurdlingly despicable types of spam you can imagine that up to now I’ve been having to edit manually daily.

Anarchieblog › Akismet Spam — WordPress caughtspam Sick damn

Askimet comes installed by default in Word Press but you have to activate it in the Plugins area in your admin area and get a free APi key. A five minute task that’ll save you hours of work weekly.

Related Links

Askimet FAQ ( Askimet)

Google Buys Data Visualization Software

Late last week Google quietly acquired data visualization software tool, Trendalyzer from its parent company, Gapminder. They are already making the tool available for free here and the software developers have moved into Google’s Mountain View HQ.

trendalyzer

Trendalyzer generates moving graphics and other novel effects in the display of facts, figures, and statistics in presentations.

The Official Google Blog reports, “We hope to provide the resources necessary to bring such work to its deserved wider audience by improving and expanding Trendalyzer and making it freely available to any and all users capable of thinking outside the X and Y axes.”

via Paid Content

Related Reading
A Word In Motion (Official Google Blog)

Power Up Your Business Email With GMail

I mentioned the Gmail for your domain service back in July last year and things have moved along nicely since and now come under the umbrella of Google Apps which include being able to offer users all the features of Google email and Calendar, Docs and Spreadsheets branded with your own domain name. The Google Apps Premier Edition sign ups remain free until the end of April so its a great service for clubs, schools, small enterprise and groups in either the premier (with 10gb email space per account) or the freebie edition.

Add extra POP3 email checking to your Gmail

Another new-ish feature for Gmail users (or at least some accounts, its still in beta, naturally) is the ability to download POP3 mail from other email accounts. In particular this could be useful if you own a few domain names and need to be able to send and receive mail from several accounts all in one place. At the moment you can add a further five POP3 accounts to your Gmail account. Used in conjunction with Gmail Manager its saving me a bunch of time by alerting me to not only my Gmail accounts but email from five separate domain names too.

To check if the extra POP3 features have been activated on your account open up your Gmail, go to Setting>Accounts> and look for “Get mail from other accounts (download mail using POP3)”. Its worth shelling out the $5.99 it costs for a domain name from somewhere like 1and1 to plug it in to your Gmail account to get all the benefits of the Google service but with your own personal name.

Flickr4Writer Adds to Live Writer Usability

I’m toggling between using Windows Live Writer for posting right now vs. using the Performancing Firefox add-on ScribeFire. Though for the last two days the Live Writer has been crashing everytime I try to add an image to the post. After losing two hours work yesterday I was on the brink of dumping the app completely and returning to ScribeFire.Having second thoughts Writer is simply fuller featured and offers things like the ability to add images to posts (ScribeFire doesn’t) and preview the post in your blog before publishing (much like WordPress does in the admin panel), two features I cant really do without.

flickrforwriter

Also ScribeFire doesn’t seem to have a minimize option so you either have to put up with it hogging the bottom of your screen, or you save and close. Obtrusive and I hate obtrusive, its what sends me rushing to the delete option!

Anyway, the crashing. Until I find the conflict (it used to work fine) I found an excellent plug-in which works around the problem Flickr4Writer.

Flickr4Writer is a simple plugin for Windows Live Writer that enables you to browse Flickr and insert an image from Flickr into a Writer post. The project is part of CodePlex, Microsoft’s open source project hosting web site.

MySpace Toolbar Timesaver

I have three MySpace profiles, one for my latest music project, one to network my travel site and one which acts as an archive for my old bands music. My latest music profile (the 99th Floor Elevators) is the most active and has proved great for networking and making new contacts in that field.

(unofficial)_myspace_toolbar-2

I actually hate manually visiting MySpace daily so a neat ‘shortcut’ is to install the unofficial MySpace Firefox toolbar which is unobtrusive enough and enables you to quickly toggle between profile pages, messages and the like. The toolbar auto hides when the MySpace page is closed. One thing the toolbar is lacking is the ability to log-in to multiple accounts, that would make it even handier.

Related Links
Download Unofficial MySpace Toolbar (Mozilla.org)
MySpace Toolbar Home (Freewebs.com)

Eleven Killer WordPress Hacks

Wordpress Login Old Buzzsonic Word Press Semiologic Theme WP Screenshot Word Press How? PSP WordPress

I’ve been using the blogging software WordPress for around three years now and in all of that time there really is nothing to touch it. Why? Its free (Open Source), it has a massive user base and support network, plug-ins, mods, widgets and themes galore, oh and did I mention it doesn’t cost a penny?

Of course free doesn’t always mean great but in this case, you get what you don’t pay for. I have tried literally hundreds of mods over the years, different themes/skins and modifications. Basically I like to tinker and I think I’m getting closer to my ideal WordPress install (at least for my needs).

Buzzsonic.com (as of today) runs on WordPress v2.0.2, so its not the latest install (which is v2.1.2). Anyway, I thought I’d list my top ten (or eleven!) modifications which I’m finding the most useful right now. This could well change soon but these are what I consider the most useful WordPress mods.

1. Glossy Blue Theme– For a simple, quick overhaul of the default WordPress look this neat two column Web 2.0-ish looking theme is one of the easiest ways to get a cool looking make-over. A close second was Glued Ideas Subtle which you might go for if you prefer a three column look. Honorable mentions go to Misty Look and Semiologic (I’m using an older install of this theme here). Continue reading