Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thank you for the Freebies!

We are almost halfway to Thanksgiving 2009, so this is a good time to thank some of the websites whose free services we are using :) The least we can do is give them a public thank you!

We start with Twitter, which is on the verge of a major break-out among the general population. We use Twitter to support and supplement the content of the blogs, and also provide updates in case of any technical problems with the blogs.

Next, we thank Intense Debate who is offering a free yet stable commenting system that we use on the main and camera-deals blogs. It offers a number of extra features, and at the same time, it has a spammer-repellent coating which we love.

Next up, Feedjit, who is offering the "Most Popular" posts widgets you see on our three biggest blogs. It shows the ten most popular posts of each day and it can be a good way to see "what's hot".

Merci beaucoup flickr, for the free forum and pool service you are providing. This is where we are hosting our flickr pool, which we use for the "Reader Picture Showcase" widgets you see at different places in our blogs.

More thanks, this time to NetVibes, which allows customizable starting pages that can be shared with the world. We use NetVibes to better organize a number of the reference and resource content featured on the blogs.

While our main blogging service, TypePad is a for-pay service, we thank the blog TypePad Hacks for providing a lot of valuable and practical information on how to customize Typepad blogs with advanced templates.

You may have voted in one of our many planned or impromptu polls, they are powered by the sleek-looking PollDaddy.com service, based out of beautiful Ireland.

Then we move to Statcounter, who is offering a very nice yet free web-statistics service. In a similar category, we thank who.amung.us which offers a live snapshot of what's cooking on the blog.

Moving along, we say gracias to OpenX for their free web-hosted banner rotation and management service. We use this to manage the two big ad-spots on this and the main blog (right sidebar).

If you have used one of our contact forms, you may recall the name, it is Wufoo.com, and their service makes it easier to send an email directly from the page, instead of using an email client.

A number of the above services are also offering premium-level of services, that typically include a monthly or annual fee. Depending on your needs and your interest in expedited customer support, you may be interested in their premium services, in addition to the free services. We are cheap, so we use free :-)

And we close with "The Google", who is offering a number of free services we are using, including Blogspot for a number of our blogs (including this one), Feedburner for our feeds, Gmail for our emails, computer-translator widget, and Analytics for web-stats.

There are more great free services, and we may have omitted some. We tried to feature some of the ones we use on a regular basis.

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