Windows Phone

It may not make you want to buy their phone, but this ad, created for Microsoft Windows Phone by the brilliant minds at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, didn’t have to look far for its inspiration. We are a society consumed by our phones.

Useful WordPress Plugins

I am often asked what plugins are useful on a WordPress site. The main thing to determine is what you are using your site for. Sure there are a lot of plugins out there. I am amazed at what plugins can do for a site. But just because it is available doesn’t mean you should use it.

So here is my top 10 list of useful plugins that every blogger should have – whether a power blogger or beginner.

Contact Form 7: This is a very nice contact form that does allow for customization (I use it on my business site). You can also create multiple forms and use each one on your site. There are other contact forms available, but I like the ease of use of this one. (and it’s free)

WP Database Backup: Any blogger’s worst nightmare is to go to their site and realize it’s GONE! It can happen. Backups are so important. This plugin would be worth paying for if you had to (but it’s FREE!)

Tweet Meme Button: Allows users to tweet your post. Anymore, it is pretty much assumed that you’ll provide this option somewhere on your posts/pages/site.

Sexy Bookmarks: I love this plugin. I’m sure I’ll get tired of seeing it everywhere some day, but for now, I think it is an attractive fun way to allow your users to share your site on various networks (you get to select which ones are shown)

ShareThis: does the same thing that Sexy Bookmarks does, but in a smaller manner.

All-In-One-SEO Pack: This works “out of the box”, so it’s great for beginners. But advanced users will appreciate being able to tweak things even more.

WP-Touch: More and more web users are accessing sites via their smartphones. A site can look totally different on a mobile device. This plugin will allow the visitor to see your site on their device without you have to do any special coding or resizing. Another option is WP Mobile Edition.

WP Super Cache: Speeds up the time your users have to wait for your site to load. (explained via a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo… but all you need to know is FASTER!)

Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP): Keep your readers on your site longer by showing posts they may have missed. This plugin will show posts that are related to the current post (obviously…)

Google XML Sitemap: Helps search engines better index your site, and notifies search engines when you create new content.

I’d add Askimet, but it is included by default now when you install WordPress. USE IT!! 85% of comments on the internet are spam.

To install a plugin:

You can install a plugin by either downloading it to your computer and then uploading it to WordPress OR install it directly to your site via WordPress.org.

Click on “Add New” via your “Plugins” page on your dashboard (see below)

Then decide whether to “Search” (WordPress.org plugin directory) or “Upload”. Or to really be adventurous, filter them by what is popular, featured or recently added.

Install the plugin by following the screen prompts. Once it is properly loaded it will ask if you want to activate. Activate and then be sure to change any setting necessary for the plugin to properly function (*Not all plugins have settings options)

What are your favorite plugins? Which one would you cry over if it suddenly stopped working on your site?

Need more info or help on this topic? Do a google search, or feel free to ask questions in comments or email me.

Earth Day Apps for iPhone

Looking for some Earth Day worthy apps for your iPhone? Here are some of the best reviewed apps for Earth Day 2010:

Billion Acts of Green: (free) “Wondering how you can do your part this Earth Day? Participate in the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day by downloading the Earth Day 2010 Billion Acts of Green application! Your actions matter, why not share them with the world? Use our app to log your personal “Acts of Green” and help us build a more sustainable planet. Your efforts will help Earth Day Network reach its goal of logging One Billion Acts of Green! Need ideas? Check out our tips or view acts from other eco-friendly people around the world. Don’t forget to share your contributions with your friends via Facebook!”

iRecyle: (free) “iRecycle makes it easy to find recycling locations anywhere in the U.S. Find places to drop-off your old cell phone (or water bottle or motor oil or… well, you get the idea), get directions and find out what else they accept. iRecycle also now hosts information on local green events in your area and the newest stories and features on Earth911.com!”

Ecoki: (free) “The Ecoki Reader brings you the best in sustainable lifestyle news, tips, vegan recipes, and hands on reviews.”

Greenopia: (free) “With green ratings for thousands of businesses in over 50 cities, Greenopia makes it easier than ever to shop, eat, and live green.”

Greenpeace Tissue Guide: (free) “The Greenpeace Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide makes it quick and easy to find out which brands of facial tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins are truly green and which should be avoided. Greenpeace’s experts have carefully evaluated over 100 brands and recommended those that: contain 100% overall recycled content; contain at least 50% post-consumer recycled content; and are bleached without toxic chlorine compounds.”

Green Map: (free) “This App connects you with the Green Map movement. With over 600 locally-led projects in 55 countries, each Green Map provides a fresh perspective on local green living sites and the community’s natural, cultural and social resources. Every Green Map is a unique project, but all combine local knowledge and globally designed Green Map Icons to highlight important assets and issues.”

Living Green – The Missing Manual: ($4.99) “Living Green: The Missing Manual helps make earth-friendly decisions more manageable by narrowing them down to a few simple choices. This all-in-one resource is packed with practical advice on ways you can help the environment by making simple changes in your home routine, work habits, and the way you shop and get around town. You don’t have to embark on a radical new lifestyle to make a difference. Living Green: The Missing Manual shows you how small changes can have a big impact.”

Gorgeously Green Survival Guide: (.99 cents) “The Gorgeously Green Survival Guide is a quick reference eco-guide for the woman on the go. Developed by New York times bestselling author Sophie Uliano. Sophie has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, The View, and other national television shows teaching women how to update their beauty regimen, create an eco-friendly home, adopt a healthier diet and fitness routine, indulge in guilt-free shopping, and more.”

Tipping Bucket: (free) “Can $1 change the world? We’re out to prove it can! Tipping Bucket taps the power of social media, micropayments, and money-back guarantees to launch social startups. Our project partners build community gardens in Baltimore, literacy centers in Bangladesh and maternity clinics in Bamako.”

iLocavore: (free) “iLocavore is a tool for locavores and ‘shop local, buy local’ enthusiasts. What is a Locavore? A locavore is someone who strives to eat food grown and produced locally. Oftentimes locavores choose to eat food grown or produced within a certain radius (50, 100, 150 miles).”

Good Guide: (free) “The GoodGuide app helps you find safe, healthy, and sustainable products while you shop. With this update, simply scan the barcode of the product and immediately see detailed ratings for health, environment and social responsibility for more than 65,000 products and companies. GoodGuide provides this information about personal care, household chemical, toy and food products for free on your iPhone / iPod Touch and is adding thousands of products every month. By making information about consumer products transparent, GoodGuide’s goal is to help people shop smarter and motivate companies to offer even better products.”

Simply Organic: (free) “The Simply Organic iPhone app is a key to a simply healthy way of life! ”

Tree Hugger: (free) “TreeHugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, we strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.”

Find Green: (free) “Find green and sustainable businesses quickly and easily with the Find Green app. It helps you make everyday choices to reduce your environmental impact and make a difference!”

Go Green: (free) “How Green are you? Are you part of the solution or are you part of the problem? Get this app and get collectible Green tips that are saved to your Green list. You get a new Green tip each time you visit the app. Your Green status also changes as you earn more Green tips.”

Green Energy Now: (free) “Stay up to date on the latest Green Energy News, learn how to protect the environment and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and share your knowledge with others. Impress your friends with your knowledge of Green Energy, and test your knowledge with Green Trivia Challenge.”

Carbon Calc: (free) “Carbon Calc is a Green House Gas (GHG) emissions calculator. If you have wondered what your contribution to global warming is, Carbon Calc is a simple calculator that lets you input your Driving, Flying, and Home energy use. Once you know your footprint, you can compare your net emissions to the US average and the world average. You can optionally offset your footprint by purchasing Carbon Credits.”

Earth photo source

Things to Come

As you may have noticed, Modern Media Mom has been sitting quietly for the last several months. The last actual post I wrote was a “Happy New Year” post.

Not a good thing for a site which touts itself as being a resource for up-to-date tech news. Just sayin’…

While this site has sat silent, I’ve done a lot of thinking about how to expand it to make it even more useful for families and individuals looking to use technology to simplify their hectic lives.

It’s become more important than ever for me to do this in my own life, as it has changed dramatically in the time that I’ve been away. Technology is becoming even more central to my day-to-day life as I prepare for some big personal and professional changes.

Therefore, while my posts will continue to be informative, there will also be more of a personal element to the posts, as many of the things will be tips and ideas that my family and I will have tried out. They won’t just be tips on how to use sites you’ve never heard of, but tips on how to use sites and apps you already use in a different way.

I look forward to sharing these things with you, and I hope that you find them as helpful as I have.

As always, I want to make each of you a part of this site; if you have tips and tricks I’m happy to share them with readers.

photo credit

Happy New Year from Modern Media Mom

new years

2009 marked Modern Media Mom’s first complete year and it proved to be a success, thanks to you, dear Readers!

Thank you to everyone who sends me feedback and suggestions. Please keep them coming so that I can make this site as helpful as possible for you.

Here’s to a wonderful 2010!

photo credit