Tag Archives: blogging

Using Canva to create the Stream image for your Q&A live


We had been hearing wonderful things about Canva, and today we gave it a try to see how you can easily create an awesome image that will go together with your Dilmot live Q&A stream.

Just login into Canva with your account and select the Poster size or the Facebook post size. Both of them are pretty good because they are closer to the square size that fits well to the left of the send question form.

Select sizes that get close to the 1:1 ratio for your stream image

Select sizes that get close to the 1:1 ratio for your stream image

Next step is select the design you want, and select the background image you would like to put. You can choose among a huge archive with more than 1M images, or upload your own:

Select the Canva template you would like to base your stream image on

Select the Canva template you would like to base your stream image on

Finally put your text and download the image:

Customize the Canva template to put your own image

Customize the Canva template to put your own image

As you can see, Canva is like an on-line Photoshop to quickly create beautiful designs based on existing templates. So, the main decisions are already taken for you. It is cool, not only for Dilmot, but also to make images for your blog, Twitter, Facebook accounts or other social media tools. There are many preconfigured formats to speed up your work.

Hope you liked this pill. Enjoy Q&A’s with Dilmot. See ya!

Publish on-line Q&A’s with Dilmot


The time has come to use an on-line software to organize and moderate interviews (Q&A’s) on your website or blog. Dilmot makes it very easy in only four steps

These are the instructions to get started with your Dilmot account:

Create an account

1 – Visit http://www.dilmot.com
2 – Select “Create Account”
3 – Choose your account name, e.g. “springfieldnews”
4 – You will receive an email and you have to click the link to confirm the account

Once you log in as administrator, you will notice that there are two items in the top menu: Streams and Account.

Dilmot top menu

Dilmot top menu

Account Settings

You may, as an option:
- upload an account logo
- upload an image (“avatar“) that will be used for the moderator/admin when she interacts in the stream chat
- put a description of what your account publications will be about (normally this can be the description of your medium)
- put the timezone

Dilmot account settings

Dilmot account settings

Create Q&A’s (Streams)

This web app is used to publish Q&A’s. In the application these are called “streams”. A stream is a sequence of questions and answers.

Each stream is held in a dedicated web page, where the readers will see the form to send their questions. Below the form, the Q&A will be published in real-time. No need to refresh the browser.

The Q&A can be embedded into other website. As a simple rule to remember, you just need to add the text “/embed” to the end of the url of the public stream, and you can use an iframe code like the example below:

<iframe src="http://mysubdomain.dilmot.com/streams/title-of-the-qna/embed"width="100%" height="800" scrolling="yes" frameborder="0"></iframe>

This iframe can be embedded into the page of WordPress, or any other content management system such as Joomla, Drupal, etc. And of course into any standard html website.

The cool thing about Dilmot is that you can manage a guest easily.

In the stream settings page, you may:

  • assign an image to the interview Q&A as well as to the guest (avatar). The difference is that the stream image will be shown in the lists of streams, and also next to the public form to send questions. The image assigned to the guest, or “guest avatar” will be shown next to the bubble where the guest responds. If there is no guest avatar set, then the stream image will be used as avatar, in reduced “thumbnail” size. If there is not even a stream image set, then a blank avatar will be shown.
  • For the guest to access the application and respond to the questions, you only need to send her the link that is given to you automatically by the application. You can find this link in the section “Guest information”. This is a secret link that has the password incorporated, so do not share it with anyone other than the person that will answer the questions.
Dilmot guest information section

Dilmot guest information section

Manage and moderate the interview Q&A

As soon as you create the stream you will be ready to receive questions from the readers. In the Panel page you will be able to delete the ones that the Guest should not be able to see.

When the Guest enters the application through the link that you have sent her, the only thing that she needs to do is click “answer”, type it and publish it. Besides answering the questions, it is also possible to write comments. This is useful, for example, to publish a welcome and farewell message.

The readers will see a page where they see on top the new questions, as they are being answered.

Once the administrator considers that the Q&A has come to an end, she can click “Close” stream. This can only be done by the administrator, not the Guest.

Once the stream is closed, the form used to send questions will disappear, and the questions will be sorted in reverse order, that is, the first one will be the oldest, like in a newspaper interview. On the other hand, while the Q&A is open, the last question published is shown on top, as if it was a Twitter stream.

One Q&A (stream) can last as long as you want. It can be open for hours, days, or months. It is a continuous thread of questions and answers. It can be used as a tool for live events, but you can also use it as an on-going page that is built along time.

After you close the interview, you may open it again at any time. And the form to send questions will reappear, and the sorting method will be again, “most recent answered question on top”.

***

With this quick guide you will be able to publish your own interviews and Q&A’s, solve readers’ or clients’ questions, create faq pages or a forum with experts. It’s up to you what you would like to do with Dilmot!

And if you want to see further details, check out the Administrator and Moderator Manual for the Q&A

Should you have any question, please get in touch with us by writing a comment to this post or directly at http://www.dilmot.com/contact

Create content for your Blog easily


You need not be a great writer or spend hours creating content on your blog. You can think creatively to use other means to create content that do not require a lot of effort

In this fantastic recent article by the magazine Entrepreneur http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233823, there are a lot of good ideas to create content.

We would like to add our experience on the matter, and give you some hints about the applications that you can use in order to create such content:

1. Create an image gallery

Using Instagram in conjunction with tint-up is one idea, but you can also create your own gallery as we discussed in this post.

2. Select a list of songs related to a theme

You can post something like this: http://mashable.com/2014/06/02/summer-songs-since-1962/, that contains all summer hits since 1962.

In Spotify there are a lot of curated lists of almost anything. And in YouTube you can also find funny lists such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWTQqIxxbSk songs about rain

3. Put quotes

I like for example to look at quotes about the universe, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/universe.html

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein

4. Make a list of links

Like this very same one, you mean? ;)

5. A collection of videos following one topic

Again, this is curating, like links or images… nothing new here. In Vimeo you can find lists of videos about interesting topics.Like this awesome collection of videos filmed with the GoPro on Vimeo

6. Audio interview

This is the classic journalists work. You can nowadays use your mobile phone as a pretty good sound recorder. And share your interview using Soundcloud. Here is a guide about how to use Soundcloud for journalists: http://help.soundcloud.com/customer/portal/articles/1209788-soundcloud-for-journalists

7. Podcast

A podcast is like recording a radio program, and making it available as a sound file on-line.

8. Video Interview and 9. Video Q&A

There are good tools out there to make a video session with questions and answers such as http://www.qstion.com

If you feel like video or audio is complex and requires edition, post-production and some tension during the execution, try first a simpler tool such as a webchat where you can publish the Q&A easily. Dilmot is a web publishing tool that will allow you to have your own site and share the interview with your readers so they can also participate sending questions, check it out at http://www.dilmot.com

10. Slide deck

A classic way of sharing your slides on-line with slideshare, but also Google Docs offers great tools for sharing.

Ok, this is the bulk of it. Hope you found it useful! let us know your comments and findings

Best blogging platforms


Blogging platforms have been out there for many years, but they keep evolving. We have taken a quick look at what is the last shout and how the classic platforms are evolving

Blogging platforms

Thinking about launching a blog?

WordPress

One of the senior platforms out there. It was born as a blog editing software, but today is much more than that. There is a large network of active blogs in http://www.wordpress.com and you can host yours for free. It is also available as an open source software so you can have your own site hosted in a simple server. The pros and cons of a self-hosted blog with wordpress is analysed in this post.

For example, this blog is hosted privately but uses WordPress software to power it.

Blogger

Blogger was acquired by Google, so now you can count with a lot of help from Google to promote this platform.

Tumblr

Why use Tumblr? this platform was born to declutter the complexity that was arising in the existing blogging platforms. With Tumblr everything is easier and the themes you can use are definitely nicer.

Comparing the 3 main hosted platforms

There are some good comparisons of these three platforms, and we recommend you have a look at them:

Quoting one of them “Whereas WordPress is best suited for professional users who want to outfit their blog with upgrades and plugins, Tumblr finds grounding in quick, community-driven posts usually lined with images. And Blogger walks the middle ground between the two with a sheer level of simplicity and easy-to-use use design anyone can master.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/wordpress-vs-tumblr-vs-blogger

https://www.udemy.com/blog/blogger-vs-wordpress-vs-tumblr/

Newer, alternative blogging platforms

But if you are looking at new stuff that is coming and that may become the new WordPress of this world, have a look at these platforms:

Silvrback: it has an amazing clean design

Ghost: similarly to WP, it can be self-hosted or hosted in their servers.

Roon: because sometimes you would like to do things differently…

Medium: you will need to use a Twitter of Facebook account in order to use Medium.

Svbtle: Positioned as a magazine type of blogging platform.

https://medium.com/blogging-and-seo-tips/d62682d9b0aa