Beyonce’s Baby Bumps Twitter

This post was originally published on Lalawag.

Last night, Twitter clocked a record 8,868 tweets per second. The cause of the big bump? A baby bump. R&B singer Beyonce’s baby bump to be exact, which she revealed at 10:35PM ET during the MTV Video Music Awards.

The awards, which took place at the Nokia Theater here in sunny Los Angeles, also set a record for MTV. According to  TechCrunch,  the network “also saw record online viewership of the event, with 2.3 million video streams for the day. MTV reports that on Sunday, MTV.com attracted its biggest VMA day audience ever (nearly 2 million), while MTV’s mobile site scored its biggest day ever, including 2.7 million mobile views. MTV.com also had its highest level of referrals from Twitter ever on Sunday and it was ‘the most social VMA day ever,’ according to the network.”

TechCrunch also had some interesting stats to put that Twitter record into perspective. For example, prior to Beyonce’s record-breaking reveal, the US Women’s Soccer Team held the tweets/second record, with 7,196 tweets sent per second during their July game against Japan. Osama Bin Laden’s assassination also caused a tweets/second spike, capping out at 5,106. During the royal wedding, almost 23 million viewers tuned in on TV’s worldwide. That caused a spike of 3,966 tweets/second.

It’s interesting to see how symbiotic Twitter and these live television events are now. In the course of a few short years, it’s become hard to imagine a moment like Beyonce’s big reveal happening without a chorus of Twitter reactions blowing up in the background. Sure, the Britney and Madonna kiss went viral — by 2003 standards. In this day and age, it may very well have brought down the internet. Or at least the Twitter stream.

Not to get too academic about it, but personally, I love that the world can — to an extent — experience these events together. Sure, Beyonce’s pregnancy isn’t exactly world-changing news of sociopolitical import. But, it’s a shared topic of conversation and maybe, just maybe, that conversation can be a conduit to connection and engagement across global, political and ideological boundaries. Sort of like the Golden Arches theory with hashtags instead of hash browns. Twitter — over 200 million served…so far.

17 Web Design Resources To Teach Yourself How To Design Online

This post was originally published on Mashable.

While summer vacation winds to a close and students prepare to go back to school, the days of brand new backpacks and crisp notebooks are long gone for many adults. Although classrooms, teachers and tuition might be off the table, it doesn’t mean education needs to be.

In fact, the Internet itself provides a wealth of educational opportunities. Furthermore, long summer days and relatively relaxed offices might provide the perfect setting for web education. Just think, while other people are rounding out their summer tans, you could be ringing in autumn with a whole new skill set — in this case, web design expertise. Tans fade. Beefier resumes keep shining.

Here’s a look at some of the best web resources for web design education.


101


Design 101 is all about the basics: master the lingo, learn the software and familiarize yourself with the driving principles that govern good design. To that end, your first stop should be a survey course of sorts. Try thePsdtuts+ self-study curriculum, where you can soak up the basics of shape, spacing, rhythm, typography, color, texture and more. To reinforce those basic skills, check out the Albany Library Design Tutorial, a sort of interactive “design for dummies.” While the tutorial is a bit old school, technologically speaking, design-wise, it effectively covers the basics.

You may also want to learn a little bit about the grid system while you’re at it. The system is exactly what it sounds like: a grid or set of guides on which the elements of a web page are built. Working with the grid can help in mastering the art of clean, cohesive web design. And speaking of cohesiveness, you may also want to review Web Pages That Suck for examples of how not to utilize your newly minted design skills.

Once you’ve tackled design theory, get practical with Adobe Design Center. It has all the tools you need to turn that theory into design reality. If you’re more of a visual learner, investigate this collection of helpful YouTube Photoshop tutorials.


Upper Division


You’ve mastered the basics, which means you’re ready for some fresh challenges and inspiration. For example, participate in The Daily Design Challenge by pledging to take on one design-related task per day for a full year. Whether you design a new font, doodle a small graphic or create a new logo for a beloved brand, set aside a few minutes every day to keep your skills sharp and your creative juices flowing.

If you’re really looking for a challenge, Layer Tennis is the web’s most creative competition. Sponsored by Adobe Creative Suite, Layer Tennis pits two competitors against each other in a weekly match-up. Every fifteen minutes, participants swap a single design file “back and forth in real-time, adding to and embellishing the work.” A writer provides play-by-play commentary while an active community of design aficionados looks on, providing a great forum to witness inspirational creative design in action.

Next, use that creative inspiration to fuel some serious studying. MIT offers free online coursework in comparative media, in which you learn about the design principles of different mediums. Similarly, iTunes offerspodcast lectures about aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Vimeo’s Smarthistory videos discuss everything from Representations of David and the Florentine Renaissance to Duchamp and the Ready-Made, because there’s nothing like a little art history to help you create design history of your own.


Ongoing Education


Once you’ve gained a comprehensive understanding of the basics, a background of art history and a fresh set of advanced skills, ongoing education can provide you with the tools necessary to showcase your talent, not to mention the additional innovation to advance your craft.

According to Smashing Magazine, “The résumé is the first portfolio piece that potential employers see, and if they’re not impressed, chances are they won’t look at the rest of your portfolio.” Smashing offers a great tutorialto ensure that your résumé showcases your design skills. While you’re at it, make sure your portfolioillustrates the best of your aesthetic abilities.

Nothing inspires your future work quite like taking in current innovative design. To that end, check out the creative collection at DesignspirationTumblr is also a great resource for finding fantastic designers, andQuora’s active community of graphic designers engages in dynamic conversation about the industry. Finally,Twitter has a plethora of design people worth following.


Whether you’re looking to get a grip on design basics, or you want to sharpen your advanced skills, web resources can help you construct the perfect creative (and flexible) curriculum. And with the right smartphone or tablet, you can even study while soaking up the last of the summer sun. Now that’s what we’d call an advanced placement course!

What’s The Best SEO Advice You’ve Ever Heard?

Inspired by the success, and fascinating answers to “What’s The Worst SEO Advice You’ve Ever Heard“, I’ve got a brand new Quora query up: “What’s the single best piece of SEO advice you’ve ever gotten or given?

With SEO being as much an art as a science, I always find it to be a particularly interesting area for crowdsourced wisdom. Especially since it’s so trend-driven as well. Plus, being entirely self-taught, I’m always a sucker for a good piece of advice. So…what do you think? Answer on Quora, or in the comments below.