Category Archives: Social Media Tips

Attention Startups, TechCrunch Coming to Boston February 23, 2016

 Map of Boston

 

The TechCrunch Meet-up + Pitch-off is held in various cities and gives  10 local tech startups a chance to pitch their product to a panel of judges in one minute.  The Tech Crunch Meetup is a great way to network with other local business people and share ideas.

First place winners get a booth in Startup Alley at the upcoming TC Disrupt Show and two conference tickets.

Click here for More Info and Tickets to TechCrunch 2016

 

 

10 Free Tools for Data Visualization

It has long been proven that we are visual  creatures.  Data is much easier to digest when  displayed in a visual form than to read large amounts of lists.  Taking data from it’s natural form and making it into colorful charts and graphs can be a daunting task. Fortunately there are many tools to help you convert your data.

Lets explore 10 free tools to help you get your data into a visual form.

  1.  Google Charts

screenshot of Google charts

Google Charts

Google Charts  has a large gallery of interactive charts which are customizable.  Connect your data in real time using Google’s data connection tools.  Google makes it easy to combine multiple charts in the dashboard and gives you interface widget controls to manipulate the data.   Google Chart Guides top bar menu explains how to connect your database to Google Charts, how to ingest data from other sources and how to implement a new type of datasource among many other helpful topics.

 

2.  ZingChart

photo of ZingChart

ZingChart

Download  and modify your chart template from the large gallery.  Some coding skills are necessary to use ZingChart. Interactive tutorials are on the site http://www.zingchart.com/try which allow you to practice using this tool.  The basic free service includes access to the entire ZingChart library of charts, maps, modules and features. For more features and support, paid subscriptions are available.

3. Visualize Free

screen shot of Visualize Free

Visualize Free

Visualize Free uses your uploaded data file, spreadsheet or CSV file with their drag and drop user interface.  Choose your chart type and custom controls.  This cloud-based tool by default is private but can be changed to share with anyone.  To share datasets and visualizations, change the Protected mode on the detail page and email the link or embed on your blog with the iFrame code.  Free tutorials are offered on the site and a helpful FAQ section will hopefully answer any questions about how to use Visualize Free.

4. Timeline JS

screen shot of Timelines JS

Timelines JS

Timelines are used in advertising and web posts as a quick and easy way to get a lot of information to readers quickly.  Timeline JS  by knightlab is an open-source tool to build interactive timelines.  It works on any site with 4 easy steps. Use their template to build a Google spreadsheet and drop your data in. Publish your file to the web.  Copy the URL that will appear in the window and paste into the box next to the Google Spreadsheet URL.  Embed the code by pasting it onto your site.  Timelines JS recommends up to 20 slides at most for readers to slide through.  Pull your media from any social media platform like YouTube, Vine, Flickr, Twitter and more.  Visit this free tool at timeline.knightlab.com.

5.  Modest Maps

screenshot of JpGraph

JpGraph

Need to make an interactive maps ?  The Javascript based Modest Maps gives you the basic controls to have an interactive map by allowing features like ranger sliders to animated zooming and setting the boundary on how far your map can be panned out.  Other features include adding popups, zooming levels, track points on your map and highlight specific regions on your map.

6.  Kartograph

screenshot of Kartograph

Kartograph

Kartograph  generates  inactive maps with Kartograph.py  which creates maps from its Python library using SVGs and Kartograph.js which runs on a stand alone basis, no server needed.   Download the framework from the site.  A basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is a must and Python and Javascript experience may be necessary in order to utilize the full potential of this tool.

7. Jp Graph

screenshot of JpGraph

JpGraph

Looking for a simple graph or line plot chart ? Jp Graph is an object-oriented graph creating library for PHP and can be used in any PHP scripts.  Plot types supported by Jp Graph include Line, Pie, Bar, Scatter, Geo Maps, Radar, Contour to name a few. This tools also supports creation of  anti-spam images which prevents automatic sign-ups to mailing list or on-line services. There is a pro-version available which supports Barcodes, Windrose and Odometer graph types.

8.  Dygraphs

screenshot of Dygraph

Dygraph

These inactive charts are a open source Javascript charting library.  They can handle large data sets with millions of plot points.  It works in all browsers and zooms down for mobile devices. The quick links menu has free tutorials to bring you up to speed to use Dygraphs. Customize your graph with the many options available.  Zooming, panning and mouseovers are all on by default.  New features of Dygraphs include being  retina compatible and dropped point optimization.

9.  Online Charts

screenshot of Chart Tool

Chart Tool

Anyone can use this tool to make colorful charts and graphs. No experience in coding or extensive computer knowledge is needed. First pick your chart and follow the easy to use the data menu.  Customize your font colors, background appearance, transparency levels, grid line colors and more.  Over 12 types of charts to choose, just add your data and preview your chart before saving and sharing on-line.

10. ChartGo

screenshot of Chart Go

ChartGo

This on-line chart maker is for anyone who wants to make a colorful data chart or graph. It’s  for simple applications of data.  The format is easy to follow. Click the Create Chart link on the Home page. The Create Chart page is where all your data will be entered.  Two important  sections on this page are the Settings section which contains options that control what your chart looks like and the Data section where your data is entered. Hit the Results page to see your new chart and share it with others.

There are many more visualization tools out there and I hope you try some of these great tools. Some tools are more suited for the developer but as you can see here, there are great tools for average person who wants to spice up their data.  Remember, all the tools I have mentioned here are FREE ! So try them out and find the one you like.

Please feel free to share and like this post if you found it useful !

 

 

 

What’s New with Safari 9.1

 information on what's new in Safari 9.1

                              What’s New in Safari 9.1

Safari 9.1 The following information is from the Mac Developer Library dated Jan. 11, 2016 for new features in Safari 9.1.

The following new features have been added in Safari 9.1.

Picture Element Support

You can use the HTML picture element to provide Safari with multiple versions of the image for different browser configurations and viewport sizes. Safari evaluates the picture’s image resources in the order in which they are provided. Safari displays the first image resource with media attributes that conform to the browser’s user agent and device specifications. Include an img element, like the one shown in Listing 1, as fallback for browsers without picture element support. For more information, see http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/semantics.html#the-picture-element.

Listing 1 A picture element with multiple sources
<picture>
<source media=”(min-width: 1000px)” srcset=”picture_large.jpg”>
<source media=”(min-width: 500px)” srcset=”picture_small.jpg”>
<img src=”picture_default.jpg”>
</picture>
Web Inspector

Safari Web Inspector improvements include:

The Timelines tab has a faster response time.
The new Watch Expressions section in the Scope Chain sidebar makes debugging even faster.
The new Visual Styles sidebar provides visual tools to help you modify webpage styles.
HTML pseudo-elements are now visible in the DOM tree allowing for easier styling. The ::before element is highlighted in Figure 1.
Figure 1 Web Inspector’s Visual Styles sidebar

Viewport Changes

When Safari is in split-screen mode, viewport meta tags with the “width=device-width” attribute cause the page to scale down to fit content that overflows the viewport bounds. You can override this behavior by adding “shrink-to-fit=no” to your meta tag, as shown below. The added value will prevent the page from scaling to fit the viewport. When Safari is not in split-screen mode, the content will not scale down.

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, shrink-to-fit=no”>
Gesture Events for OS X

iOS gesture events are now supported on Safari for OS X. Use OS X gesture events to detect pinching and rotation on the Magic trackpad. The gestureStart, gestureChange, and gestureEnd events are supported with event.rotation and event.scale properties. For more information on gesture events, see GestureEvent Class Reference.

Fast-Tap on iOS

On Safari for iOS, the 350 ms wait time to detect a second tap has been removed to create a “fast-tap” response. This is enabled for pages that declare a viewport with either width=device-width or user-scalable=no. Authors can also opt in to fast-tap behavior on specific elements by using the CSS touch-action property, using the manipulation value. See http://www.w3.org/TR/pointerevents/#the-touch-action-css-property.

WebGL Rendering

Safari now exposes the WEBGL_DEBUG_RENDERER extension for the JavaScript WebGL API. This extension uses the canvas context (canvas.getContext(“webgl”)) to detect the graphics hardware, as shown below. The UNMASKED_VENDOR_WEBGL and UNMASKED_RENDERER_WEBGL properties return string values for the vendor and renderer. See https://www.khronos.org/registry/webgl/extensions/WEBGL_debug_renderer_info/.

var gl = canvas.getContext(“webgl”);
var vendorString = gl.getParameter(UNMASKED_VENDOR_WEBGL);
var rendererString = gl.getParameter(UNMASKED_RENDERER_WEBGL);
Image Smoothing Quality for Canvas Rendering

By default, Safari uses an efficient lower-quality scaling algorithm when drawing images into a canvas element. With Safari 9.1, you can opt in to higher-quality scaling by setting the imageSmoothingQuality property to medium or high. See http://html.spec.whatwg.org/multipage/scripting.html#image-smoothing.

Displaying Dialogs

It is now possible to switch tabs, navigate, and close a webpage while displaying a JavaScript dialog.

Displaying a JavaScript dialog—alert, confirm, or prompt—no longer activates the calling tab.

The dialog shown in response to the beforeunload event no longer displays the string returned by the beforeunload event listener. The dialog now always displays, “Are you sure you want to leave this page?”

Content shown by the showModalDialog function is modal for the webpage presenting the content. It is not modal for other tabs or for the Safari browser.

CSS Enhancements

CSS Variables
Safari 9.1 supports custom properties that can be reused with the var() function. For example, the declared value —-company-red: #ff1e1d; can be used as color: var(–company-red);. See http://www.w3.org/TR/css-variables/.

Added Support
The round and space values are supported for the border-image-repeat property. See http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-background/#border-image-repeat.
The all property keyword is now supported to enable targeting of every available property. See http://www.w3.org/TR/css-cascade-4/#all-shorthand.
The revert and unset keywords are supported for CSS properties, including the all property. See http://www.w3.org/TR/css-cascade-4/#default.
Font features are accessible through the font-variant-ligatures, font-variant-caps, font-variant-numeric, font-variant-alternates, font-variant-east-asian and font-feature-settings properties, providing advanced typographical settings for OpenType fonts. See http://www.w3.org/TR/css-fonts-3/#font-variant-prop.
The will-change property helps optimize Safari performance for changing elements. If the value of will-change creates a CSS stacking context, the target element becomes a CSS stacking context. If the value of will-change triggers accelerated rendering (“compositing”)—for example transform, filter or backdrop-filter—Safari creates a compositing layer for the target element. Creating this layer can consume additional memory and should be used judiciously. See http://www.w3.org/TR/css-will-change/.
Unprefixed CSS Filters
Safari supports the filter property without the -webkit- prefix. For more information on CSS filters, see http://www.w3.org/TR/filter-effects/#FilterProperty.

 

Farewell To Flash: What It Means For Digital Video Publishers

TechCrunch

[tc_contributor_byline slug=”vijay-balan”]

It’s been more than five years since Steve Jobs wrote his infamous “Thoughts on Flash letter citing the high level of energy consumption, lack of performance on mobile and poor security as the reasons his company’s products would not support Adobe Flash technology. Finally, it appears we’re getting closer to the curtain closing on Flash.

Not too long ago, Flash powered a high percentage of the Internet’s vast array of video content. Today, that number is lower. But make no mistake, there are still many Flash-powered multimedia items on the web, including graphics, videos, games and animations, like GIFs, a preferred method of expression for millennials and adults alike.

We’ve been watching HTML5 impede on Flash for a while, and it’s now taking center stage, establishing itself as a predominant creative format, validated by the recent moves by Google and Mozilla that are only helping to…

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Crowdfunding Top 10 Tips . . . Successful Social Media Tip of the Day

Successful Social Media

info graphic on crowd funding
Starting a new venture or trying to raise cash for a good cause?  Crowdfunding could be your answer.   Although crowd funding is not a new concept, the age of digital communications have made it a household word.

According to Wikipedia, Crowdfunding has grown to over $5 billion worldwide. In a crowd funding situation,  your idea/project needs a group to support it and a platform to put the two together.  Here is where your social media comes in –

10 Top Tips (read on) –

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