Monthly Archives: October 2010

5 Free Sites for Creating Your Own Comics

Remember those good old days where we used to reading comics? Those days, only people who can draw would become comic strip authors. In some cases, the comics were difficult to understand (maybe due to language barrier) or were too dull to read.

With the Internet today, fortunately, everyone can create his/her own comics regardless of any talent as an artist.

Inserting some comic strips of your own into your blog post would be fun.

Depending on what you’re going for, you can use one of these six sites to help you create your own comics.

1. MakeBeliefsComix.com

Thanks to Bill Zimmerman and Tom Bloom, MakeBeliefsComix.com is easy to use, even for children. Users can choose from 25 characters to fill a two-, three-, or four-paneled comic strips, and each character comes with several expressions. In addition, you can even add objects and talk bubbles into the strips. Currently, the site supports typing in seven different languages and is planning to add more Asian languages in near future. One limiting factor is colour where the  background is restricted to a few colour options only. Overall, it is simple and easy-to-use, and you can easily finish creating your own comics in less than 10 minutes!

2. MarvelKids.com’s Create Your Own Comic

Marvel, this name should sound familiar to most comic or cartoon lovers. Not a surprise, the company has its own DIY comic site especially for kids (as stated in the domain name marvelkids.com).

You can create your own comics with some Marvel superheroes like The Hulk, Falcon, Wolverine, etc. It also has different styles of panels, I personally like zig-zag the most (as shown in the image above). Not only that, you can even create up to a 22-page comic book. If you’re looking for a customized comics of your own, this site might not be suitable for you since all features of the site (characters, background, objects) are of Marvel images.

3. Pixton

This is the comic strip creation website for artists. The site allows for as much customization as possible without the need to build from scratch. Instead of just choosing the colour of a character’s shirt, for instance, there are options to adjust the collar, shape, sleeves and size of the shirt. Instead of relying on preset poses and emotions for each character, users are able to click and drag character limbs into new postures and can customize eyes, ears, noses and hairstyles.

Successful comics vie every day for a spot in the prestigious Pixton Top 10.

Find it difficult to understand? Watch this video:

4. ToonDoo

There is an extensive library of characters and objects you can use for your comic strip in ToonDoo. Besides, there are also tools to create your own touches. The TraitR tool allows you to create custom characters and DoodlR lets you paint freely. If you want to use your own photos or another image in your comic strip, you can manipulate it through the ImagineR photo tool. See the girl in the second panel? This is how Emery (our Sales Executive) looks like! Unlike other sites, there’s an option to save your project mid-creation so that you can come back to it later.

5. Strip Generator

I have personally tried creating a comic using Strip Generators. It has fewer characters compared to other sites, and everything is in black & white. However, due to the limited character options and features, the comic theme is significant. If you’re creative, the conversation between characters could be humour too. I personally think that it is very useful for short comics.

One unique capability is adjustable frames. If you need a specific cell to be a bit wider or longer, you can just drag the wall. Another stand-out trait is the personal library. When you tweak an image to get it just right, you can save it to use again later.

 

I guess now you’re getting very excited to create your own comics now. Happy Trying!

 

This post is contributed by Sarah Kessler and summarized by WOW Team.

 

Why are Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions Important?

Based on the several informative articles which I have posted earlier, I believe you already know the significance of search engine optimization (SEO). With a good SEO groundwork, you can get your blog articles into the first page of web search results and thus noticed immediately by users, bloggers and site owners.

In this article, I will discuss other small yet important factors that can boost your site ranking further in the eyes of the search engines.

They are meta-tags and meta descriptions.

Meta tags and meta descriptions are used as the primary way to make your web page SEO-compliant. You have the best option for creating awareness of your online business among internet users in SEO.  You get direct publicity for the business each time the user visits your website. While the core business is talked about by the descriptions (meta descriptions), keywords relevant to the business are contained in tags i.e. meta tags.

Short and crisp, they make it in the short-list of relevant sites that search engines look for.  As one of the results, your page gets displayed with the help of meta tags and meta descriptions.   However, your page should importantly be displayed in the first pages for maximum visibility.  Beyond the second page, users do not prefer to look.

Are these 2 components enough to boost your website ranking? The answer is no. You still need to build more back-links to your website.  This is done by having your page linked to other sites.  There is a higher chance for your content-rich page to be displayed with more and more external pages.  The number of links to your page can be built by posting on article directories, forums or other blogs.

Need help to insert meta-tags? Feel free to browse one of these Meta Tags Generators, or watch the tutorial below:

Paper Architecture

There are several talented people all over the world who come up with new and unique ideas and art forms. The photos here are another such unique art which involves architecture. The building and structures seen here are made from a single sheet of paper. Each paper has been folded and cut the right way to create these beautiful structures and making one of these takes a lot of time too. One of the main pains that the artist needs to do is make prototypes of the structures with several papers before being able to perfect the right one. Making these can take an effort and requires immense amounts of patience. Learning this art is very difficult because one needs to know exactly how to cut and bend the paper and one single mistake can cost the entire structure to be spoilt. Paper architecture has been gaining a lot of popularity and more and more people are understanding the art that goes behind making these structures.

Which of these buildings/structures below have you been to? Do you know their exact location?  Let’s enjoy a PAPER tour to all over the globe!

Why is SEO Important for Your Website?

For your information, SEO (search engine optimization) started back in the 90’s, in which webmasters created such system to provide better results and accurate information to their users. Most importantly, this allows certain websites to show the most relevant search result and avoid unrelated pages with abundant keywords. In addition, it also enables false results to find other search sources.

Ok. Let’s break down the reasons why search engine optimization is important for your website.

  • As you know, webmasters do their best in order to provide the people like you, the surfer, with relevant information and attractive websites. What search engine optimization does is help advertise campaigns through the keywords provided by the users, and leads them to the promoted site. Posting ads on the internet may sometimes charge you a lot of funds, therefore investing in SEO may aid in lessening your expenses.
  • With SEO, this allows your website to be more attractive, relevant, and visible to users.
  • Without a good SEO or promotion, it’s like having a business without people having any idea about your products and location. This scenario may lead to business failure.
  • Having SEO would be very beneficial for those websites promoting products to clients, especially when this type of website needs more marketing and exposure.
  • Existing customers would certainly be able to locate your site, but how about potential customers who have not been reached by your promotion through magazines, newspapers or brochures? This would reduce the probability of increasing your sales. That’s another reason why SEO is so important to your business.
  • Search engines makes it possible for potential consumers to simply enter few words in the text box associated to your product, SEO would then provide them links to your website.
  • In cases of businesses such as restaurants, the absence of SEO would typically lead clients to links of new articles and reviews but not to your official website.

There you go. All the information above answered the question why search engine optimization is important for your website. Feel free to browse other useful articles included inside the Savvy section.

Made from Motherboard

How can we use a motherboard other than using it as a motherboard?

I was inspired by my friend whose laptop’s motherboard was “burnt” 2 days ago due to over usage (LOL), and was wondering how can we use the defective motherboard?

Instead of creating another rubbish to our beloved earth, we can re-use those motherboards!

See how others have creatively turned the old motherboard into interesting new stuffs:

Guitar

Mouse Pad

Clock

Fashion

Shoes

Fan

Cardholder

Heels

Necklace

Interesting Facts – The World of Data

“On Page” and “Off Page” SEO – The Difference

In this article, we will address the difference between these 2 terms. Getting both ‘On Page’ and ‘Off Page’ SEO properly optimized will deliver excellent result to your site ranking.

Here’s the difference:

On Page SEO Optimization

The term ‘On Page’ is referring to website optimization which is done on the pages of your websites.

How? It’s simple.

This can be done by optimizing your keywords, article contents, designs, title tags and description. Relevancy is very important here. After you’ve decided the content and nature of your website, you have to arrange those elements I‘ve just mentioned correctly on your web page.

At the main page, it is always recommended to place your primary keywords or main phrases that you are targeting. Another good practice is to place ‘header tags’ such as h1- h7 in most article post or pages to emphasize on key points. And on these heading tags, you must place the important phrases to grab search engines’ attention. The use of italicized or bolded keywords in the meta tags may help to strengthen the critical phrases you wish to rank well.

Should you use images inside your site, make sure you insert the ‘img alt’ tags which contain the main keyword phrases. The use of image tag will inform site visitors about the image when the website is used in non-compatible browsers.

The use of file names and folders inside your website are also crawled by search engine robots. The added advantage of using keyword rich folder names and file names will greatly assist search engines to index your website for those particular key phrases.

On-Page SEO Checklist

  • Always start with keyword selection, research and testing
  • Meta Description tag
  • ALT tags
  • H1 tags
  • URL structure
  • Internal linking strategy
  • Content
  • Keyword density
  • Site maps, both XML and user facing
  • Usability and accessibility
  • Track target keywords
  • Expect results in 6-12 months

Avoid common on-page SEO mistakes such as:

  • Duplicate content
  • URL variants of the same pages
  • Off-site images and content on-site
  • Duplicate title tags

Off Page Search Engine Marketing

Finally, the term “Off Page” indicates optimizing your web page outside of your web pages element. Link building is exactly an off page SEO option.

One of the most common ‘off page’ SEO method is to write great content articles and submit them to articles websites with back links to your own sites. Another method is to participate in social networking sites e.g. Facebook and place your own web link. In addition, you can also consider posting your own website profile links or signature to forums.

Off-Page SEO Checklist

  • Always start with keyword research, testing and selection
  • Use Keywords in link anchor text
  • Obtain links from high ranking publisher sites
  • One-way inbound links (not link exchange or reciprocal links)
  • Different keywords in your link-ads from the same site
  • Gradual link building technology (no growth spikes)
  • Use relevant keywords near your inbound link (contextual relevance)
  • Deep linking (from multiple pages to multiple pages)
  • Target a large list of keywords (5-500+)
  • Link from sites with a variety of LinkRanks
  • Track active all keywords and refine strategy as required
  • Discontinue campaigns if ranking does not improve
  • Expect results in 1-2 months (Bing) 1-9 months (Google, Yahoo)

Avoid common off-page SEO mistakes:

  • Duplicate keywords in link avderts
  • Site-wide links causing link growth spikes
  • Using on-page SEOs to do the work of specialist off-page SEO’s
  • Placing random links without keywords near your link adverts

 

Feel free to browse other useful articles included inside the Savvy section.

 

How to get High Search Engine Rankings?

Are you wondering how to get high search engine rankings?  If you want to get high rankings, you need to provide two to three key phrases extracted from the content and utilize search engine optimization.

If you are hesitant to spend on getting traffic through link building and other means that requires you to spend, the last resort is to venture on getting high search engine ranking to attract visitors.

Your objective is not necessarily to get into the top spot but to attract traffic by search engine optimization.  And the secret to this is the use of the right keywords.  Even if you optimize your site but you don’t get to let many people visit your site then it is useless.

First thing, is to think of a good key phrase which most people would likely type if they search for a topic related to yours. You need to get in with little competitors as possible in order for people to get a look at your site.  It is not such a great idea to focus on optimizing while you can’t get enough traffic. It is necessary to make a research on the phrases that the majority would most likely type and what is the status of competition there are for this keyword phrase.  Your goal is to look for a high search with low competition.

You need help from a program in order to track on different key phrase that will be your guide.  Free Wordtracker is one of the services you can use.  The next thing to do is create a theme to your page based on those familiar phrases the service had tracked for you.

One more thing to consider is building a professional site as much as possible.  This can get you listed on directories like DMOZ Yahoo.  You can search on the source codes of high end websites in order to get a concrete idea on how they do it right.

Take note of title and description tags because they are the most important tags to include your key phrases in order to attract visitors.  Incorporate theses phrases with in the first couple of paragraphs of your page content.  These are also same phrases that you need to use in keywords tag. Have it separated with a comma.  Remember that during this time engines are too smart to review the page for a relevant content rather than simply believing on your keywords.

Other than these tips, you should also take note of these 3 important efforts to establish in order to get a good position on top search engines:

○    Domain name
Getting a domain name will make your site belong to the relevant ones.   Once you do not get this, search engines will not consider your site.

○     Use key phrase
This will increase your chance on getting high ranking rather than the use of key words.  This will also allow many visitors to check out your site.

○     Link Familiarity
It is best to start creating a page that feature links to related sites and as a webmaster you can ask those sites to link you.  This is very time consuming but it is worth doing in order to get a spot on top search engines.

Well, that’s all you need to know about getting high search engine ranking. Although this seems to be a difficult and time consuming task, but once you get to do the search engine optimization right, it’s worth every sacrifice and effort.

Feel free to browse other useful articles included inside the Savvy section.

5 Key Reasons Why You Need A Malaysian Web Hosting Provider

Many bloggers and corporate companies require a reliable web hosting provider. However, the question is: Are you looking for a Malaysian web hosting provider or an international provider? If you are searching for a local provider, then here are the 5 key reasons why you should get a Malaysian Web Hosting.

Economical Prices: Using a Malaysian server is quite economical since majority of the local web hosting companies offer better prices compared to international companies. These prices are due to the restrictions in delivery as well as the high competition to get business. There are many local hosting providers and one of the best hosting provider is Serverfreak which offers a wide range of web hosting plans that suits your budget and needs.

Faster Connection: Generally, most Malaysian hosting providers are able to offer their service at a much faster speed. They will be in a better position to perform maintenance of hardware and software much faster. The uptime of the server is the responsibility of the web hosting company. The fact that the server is located in the same region as you can make a huge difference when it comes to speed.

Accept Payment via Local Bank: Buyers can pay in the local currency. These payments can be done via a local bank. One of the largest banks in Malaysia, the Maybank as well as RHB Bank provide these services. A bank like RHB even specializes in international banking services. The choice of using Malaysia hosting company allows you the convenience of having to choose what payment option you want.

Better Customer Support: Most of the hosting companies in Malaysia provide effective customer service since the response rate is quick while communication is done using local language. The issue of the language barrier is eliminated. Thus, you can communicate technical issues effectively, which is a big benefit.

Support Local Products/Services: Most Malaysian web hosting providers offer online services and products that help booster the local businesses and give them a competitive edge online. Localized payment options as well as online marketing offered by these companies makes it easier for clients to continue trading online and receive both local and international recognition.

There you have it. The five key points why you should choose a Malaysian web hosting provider. I hope this article will give you some valuable insights on which company to choose for your online business needs.

Feel free to browse other useful articles included inside the Savvy section.

Interesting Sticky Notes


Say NO to ordinary sticky notes!

Life can be interesting.

Wooden Sticky Notes

It looks like real wood. Anyway, paper is made from tree.

Talk to the Hand

The best quote ever from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Murder Ink

Oops, someone was murdered by a pen?

By the way, the “injured heart” hole serves a good purpose of holding the pen.

Fruity Sticky Notes

When are you gonna finish “eating” the whole fruit?

Flip Animation Sticky Notes

This will definitely entertain you when you’re bored.

Flip the notes, and you’ll see the animation (not sure about its content…LOL).

Diskette Sticky Notes

Since when have you stopped using a Diskette? It serves for another purpose now!

To-Do Tattoo Sticky Notes

Ever tried writing your to-do list on your palm and ended up leaving the ink stain on it for days?

Now you can write on the transparent sticky notes and paste it onto your palm, just like a tattoo!

Origami Sticky Notes

This is good, but where to write my note?

Einsteinian Gluons Sticky Notes

For smart people, I guess…

Internet Explorer (IE) is Losing its Market Share

According to StatCounter, Internet Explorer (IE) is losing its market share to less than 50% of the global market share of Internet browser market (for the first time).

The research shows that Microsoft IE fell to 49.87% in September followed by Firefox with 31.5%. Google’s Chrome continues to increase market share at an impressive rate and has more than tripled from 3.69% in September 2009 to 11.54% in September this year.

Even though IE has been the market leader in the browser market for such long time, the steady growth of Firefox since 2004 is undoubtedly the biggest threat to IE, replacing its market position in the near future.

The major switch in market share is probably caused by some common issues with IE, including speed and compliance with web standards. Customers also begin to realize that Firefox could actually outperform IE in the two common issues above.

So, which Internet browser is actually better? Which browser are you using now? Let’s VOTE!

http://gs.statcounter.com/press/microsoft-internet-explorer-browser-falls-below-50-perc-of-worldwide-market-for-first-time