2010 Digital Trends

3573703421_1b93e157af_bphoto credit

Wondering what the trends will be in the Digital world next year?

Here are some ideas from around the web:

1. Facebook Replaces Personal Email (via Marketing Charts)

2. More Flash, Not Less (via Marketing Charts)

3. Brands Must Become More Social Online (via DesignDamage)

4. Marketing Platform Extends to Mobile, Social, and Local in Real-Time (via DesignDamage)

5. Open source software starts making proper money, thanks to the cloud (via Branding Strategy)

Click on the above links to see the lists in their entirety.

What trends do you think will take place in 2010?

Save Money on Software by Trying 'Open Source'

Do you have photos that you would like to edit but you don’t want to fork over hundreds of dollars for a good photo editing program? Or do you want to do your taxes but hate the idea of having to purchase the new updates every year?

Maybe open source applications can fill that need for you. Because they are free, you won’t have to bust your budget to obtain them. These are not programs that you have to use online. They are actual, download-able programs.

Open Source is defined as follows:

” In general, open source refers to any program whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. (Historically, the makers of proprietary software have generally not made source code available.) Open source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available.”

(source and full definition; emphasis mine)

Many reputable companies are involved in creating and supporting open source software. In fact, there are actually benefits to using open source:

Commercial products typically favour visible features (giving marketing advantage) over harder-to measure qualities such as stability, security and similar less glamorous attributes. As a shorthand, we shall describe this phenomenon as quality vs features.

Open Source Software developers are evidently motivated by many factors but favouring features over quality is not noticeable amongst them. For many developers, peer review and acclaim is important, so it’s likely that they will prefer to build software that is admired by their peers. Highly prized factors are clean design, reliability and maintainability, with adherence to standards and shared community values preeminent.

(source and entire article [which is worth at least perusing]; emphasis mine)

Because it is created by super super smart people who live and breathe words like PHP, FTP,  CGI and SSI, some of the pages are dry and hard to follow. There are more programs (with really odd names) out there than you could ever use or need. And that defeats the purpose I have here at Modern Media Mom. So I’ve narrowed down the search for you:

Some places to start:

OSAlt – provides information on many commercial programs as well as the open source equivalent. You’ll find links to open source accounting/business, web development, graphics and photo editing programs

OpenOffice.org – a free alternative for Windows productivity: write, spreadsheet, draw, create presentations.

Open Source Windows – this only lists Open Source for Windows (though most of it also works on other operating systems.)

SourceForge.net – click “Find Software” for the listing

Free and Open Source Software – Sun Microsystems site on using open source; click on “Learn More” for a listing of the projects they are involved in.

Free Software Foundation – you can find a list of all of the projects they are involved in, but your eyes will probably glaze over. Suffice it to say, they are the creators of GIMP ( GNU Image Manipulation Program) which was the very first Open Source program.

Note: Most of the software runs on Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, Sun Solaris, Apple Mac, but there are also many that only work on certain operating systems. So center your search around your operating system.

Have you ever tried an Open Source program? Share your thoughts on it in the comments.

The Best Laid Plans

So remember the other day, when I mentioned that I would be trying to post more?

haha haha ha ha ha…

My laptop died. Kaput. Can’t start it. I’ve run three complete system restores. Nada. Didn’t correct it. It’s not purty. Battery is good. Hard drive is good.

So I am using my husband’s 6 year old computer. And you know that in computer years that is darn near stone age. But the irony [oh, sweet Irony]? His 6 year old computer is, you know, running. And my one year old laptop is NOT.

Want some more irony?
My warranty expired Wednesday.
My laptop died Thursday.

So bear with me. (and pray for me as I pluck away on this old beast) My time online is limited a touch. And that time will have to be totally focused on finishing blog designs so that I can make money and purchase a new laptop asap.

*and before y’all start telling me to purchase a Mac? Ain’t gonna happen. I could afford to make the initial purchase. But then it would mean spending another $600+ on graphic software, because I use CorelDraw (I’m a CorelDraw lover), and it is no longer compatible with Macs.

Think I can apply for a bail out???

Facebook Users Attacked By "Koobface" Virus

According to Reuters:

“Facebook’s 120 million users are being targeted by a virus dubbed “Koobface” that uses the social network’s messaging system to infect PCs, then tries to gather sensitive information such as credit card numbers…

…Koobface spreads by sending notes to friends of someone whose PC has been infected. The messages, with subject headers like, “You look just awesome in this new movie,” direct recipients to a website where they are asked to download what it claims is an update of Adobe Systems Inc’s Flash player.

If they download the software, users end up with an infected computer, which then takes users to contaminated sites when they try to use search engines from Google, Yahoo, MSN and Live.com, according McAfee.”

Continue reading article at Reuters

Look! A book and a contest

SweetCarolineCoverAbout the book:

Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing–the responsible, dependable thing–unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says “yes” to destiny.

Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she’s been waitressing falls right into Caroline’s lap. While she’s trying to determine the cafe’s future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline’s heart.

But when her first love, Mitch O’Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.

About Rachel:

I’m a forty-something, a child of the ’60’s, ’70’s, ’80’s, ’90’s and ’00’s.

I roller skated through the ’70’s into the ’80’s with Farrah Fawcet hair and a three-speed orange Camero.

Born in Ohio, I lived several years in Oklahoma and Kentucky before my parents moved the family to Florida.

I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.

But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.

After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.

But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn’t get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company’s distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.

I met Tony, my husband, in ’87, at church, of all places. We got married in ’92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I’ve worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.

Tony and I don’t have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, “You’re a writer.” I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.

In ’93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ‘ 99, I took up the craft again.

With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ‘ 04, Lambert’s Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.

From the book: recipe for Bubba’s Buttery Biscuits!

3 cups self-rising flour
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for brushing the tops
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the flour and chilled butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingertips until the butter pieces are a little larger than an English pea, but not larger than a lima bean. If you are using your fingers, work quickly so that the heat of your hands won’t melt the butter.

Pour in all of the buttermilk and, using light pressure, fold the mixture a few times with a plastic spatula until it holds together. Do not over mix. In order to make light biscuits, it is important to work the dough as little as possible.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it quickly and gently 6 to 10 times or until it begins to be almost homogenized. There will be large pieces of butter throughout. Sprinkle a little flour under the dough so that it won’t stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won’t stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won’t stick to the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness.

Cut the dough into 2-inch rounds, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. I like the biscuits to be crispy and brown on the top and bottom, but not dry in the middle. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter. Serve right away. (recipe from Louis Osteen)

The Contest Part: The Sweet Life contest! Enter to win a Scrumptious Baking Basket from Rachel. The basket contains a Super Cool Apron, a Low country cook book signed by PAT CONROY, rolling pin, and a pie plate! All you have to do to enter is sign up for Rachel’s newsletter.

For more info on the book tour