The Best Blogging Sites and the Blogging Explosion

As a change from the usual “make money” articles, I thought I would write about the importance of blogs, not as a moneymaking tool, but as a news source and how that has totally changed the way we get our news.

Perhaps one of the hottest innovations in the Internet world in recent years is publishing news stories as they happen through blogs. But what is a Blogger? Bloggers tend to be very active in updating their own blogs immediately, very often making the news on blogs more up-to-date than many newspapers and TV channels. Unlike much of the news that is published by other media, private blogs do not need to bypass the scrutinizing eyes of editors and publishers before they can be read by the public, even on some of the best blogging sites. In general, blogging news stories as they happen has some benefits as well as a number of drawbacks.

Many people will remember one famous news story that hit the blogs before it reached other more mainstream media outlets. In July 2005 when a terror attack occurred in London, and the passengers were moving out of the subway close to the area where the explosion happened, a man captured some photos of the scene on his mobile phone. The images were spread online and many people worldwide learned about the incident by reading the personalized articles with the pictures posted by bloggers, scooping many of the big media and news companies in the process.

The fact that ordinary people rather than reporters are now distributing stories and images directly to the public is generally a good thing because it can often get the news out there quicker. News in blogs is also usually written in first-person perspective, this has potentially launched a new age of reporting by influencing how the news ends up in the hands of the community. This way of writing is known as New Journalism.

A lot of bloggers and educational commentators who are experts in their field favor the rising trend of blogging current news stories for the reason that hopefully more democratic news reporting can be achieved. By disseminating the control of the old news outlets, blogs permit more points of view to be heard, rather than the sanitized and controlled version of the news the public has been getting in recent years.

On the flip side many people are also against the use of blogs as a channel for news. They say that unlike newspapers and TV stations who employ people to verify the information related to the news, there are only a few blogs who can afford editors and fact-checkers, so many of them do not pay much attention to the journalistic accountability aspect of their articles. This leaves us with the possibility that this careless process of posting unverified news will spread rapidly and many people will be misinformed.

The debate on the ethical issues of blogging news as it occurs is a complex one, but regardless of where you stand, you can certainly agree that this progress has started to reform the way that people are getting their news. Just try and find an online newspaper that has not got many blogs on it these days!

Choosing a Photo Editor – Which One is Best?

Choosing the right photo editor is a regular issue that can arise for many of us in such a technologically and digitally advancing age of today’s world and in particular for those involved in either photography or those who just have an interest in editing their digital photos before printing, emailing or posting their photos online. There is also the fact that there are hundreds if not thousands of photo editing applications out there with many features and it is important that you as the user, compare and evaluate each of the options and features in order to select the best application that will meet your needs and requirements.

As mentioned, there are many choices of software that are available for use when editing digital photos and these various types of software can be grouped into three main areas in order to make it easier for you to decide which is the most appropriate for your needs and requirements. The first category basically consists of Freeware, Promotional or Shareware products. The second category is the Consumer category, and thirdly there is the Professional category.

It is important to consider several questions when selecting a photo editing program. These include but are not limited to; how much you are willing to spend when selecting a program? Will you be able to learn how to use the software competently or will it be too advanced? When choosing a program how well does it edit and does it have all the features that you require? All are important considerations and if not applied appropriately when selecting a photo editor, can potentially lead to dissatisfaction with the product.

Adobe Photoshop has become well known by many as the industry standard in terms of photo and image editing software. The latest in the Adobe range include Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 and also Adobe Photoshop CS4 which are both some of the best photo editing software programs around. Photoshop can be quite an expensive program in particular the Photoshop CS4 version and for the average consumer or beginner this cost may be too excessive particularly when there are other alternatives available for less money such as Photoshop Elements 7 or the other programs which I will mention below, however for the professional editor, Photoshop CS4 is a must!

There are several other popular options which can be considered and include the Picasa editor by Google, Jasc Paint Shop Pro and Microsoft’s Picture It! These programs and many others offer a 30 Day trial for free so be sure to take advantage of these in order to try before you buy.

Another point to note is in relation to the free software programs which are often provided with your digital camera or other devices when purchased. Some of these can be very good but generally most are usually not very good quality and a waste of time and space. Be sure to get yourself a proper program such as the ones mentioned and I highly recommend Adobe Photoshop as it is an absolute gem of a program for all you photo and image editing needs.

Getting the Best Out of Your Selfie

It is not a secret that “selfies” are quickly becoming less of a trend and more of an art form. Almost everyone with a social media account has at least one selfie in their collection of photographs. What makes them so loved by the entire world? As the saying goes: a picture is worth more than a thousand words. A selfie with you smiling happily? Probably worth a lot more than a simple picture. But what can you do when you just can’t get a good picture of yourself?

Use a photo editor

Currently every device ranging from your smartphone to your personal computer, has a handy dandy photo editor. All you need to do is choose the image that you want change and then add whatever filter or effect you consider would make your photo better than the rest. In a matter of minutes, your photo will look less like just another image uploaded by a social media user and more like a work of art with you as the protagonist.

Photo manipulation doesn’t require a lot of knowledge. Mobile applications as well as desktop applications such as Photoshop or Gimp offer a wide array of filters and effects which can add everything from a bit of color to your cheeks to a vintage look that will mesmerize your viewers.

As far as mobile applications go, depending on the operating system that your mobile device sports, you just have to visit its application store in order to choose from a number of either free or paid apps that generally do all the work for you, in a matter of minutes.

Desktop apps also range from paid to free, however free applications require a bit more knowledge than paid ones such as Adobe’s Photoshop or Corel’s PaintShop Pro software. A free alternative to Photoshop or PaintShop Pro is Gimp.

Search online

If you still don’t like the end product, you can always go on the internet to search for a different kind of photo editor: namely a clipping path service. Online clipping path services offer a lot in terms of image manipulation and retouching for a very low price.

There are also plenty of videos teaching you all you need to know about the fine touches you can make to a picture in order to make it stand out. Nowadays, the only difference between a professional and the rest lies in what tools they use and how proficient they are in using said tools.