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roundupSomething Different

I am a big fan of what a lot of blogs refer to as a Roundup. If you are not familiar with a roundup style post – they will highlight the best of web content for a particular topic.

I’m not going to say that this is the best of but I thought I would share my normal list of sites that I frequent, and some of my favorite bookmarks.

The Back Story

Before I get into this, let’s establish why I am sharing these and the overall purpose.

I am passionate about the web. I am passionate about design. I like learning, being inspired, and challenged.

I also like food. (See the “Inspiration” section below to understand this comment.)

Basically, it comes down to this: I’m a web and mobile app developer who likes design. I wouldn’t consider myself overly intelligent – I just really like to learn new things.

I’m always asked questions about how to do something or how I learned something. “Where do I start?” “How’d you learn that?”

That is really what I want to share here.

If you have any interest in technology, the web, design, programming, or just being inspired – I highly recommend that you check these sites out.

Staying Social

Twitter 

Twitter
http://www.twitter.com
Hands down, my biggest influence online is Twitter. I use it as my main source of entertainment, education, and news.

Finding a few people to follow with common interests can really start to expose one to cool new projects or websites and current news.

Inspiration

Creattica  Creattica
http://creattica.com
I could waste hours on this site.

Designers will post samples of their work simply for others to view. You can also find things like brush sets for Photoshop or texture images to download.

 Pinterest

Pinterest
http://pinterest.com
I must confess, I have not yet jumped onto the Pinterest bandwagon, but I know the power of it. My wife has discovered tons of great ideas and found inspiration for many projects.

I have poked around and can see myself getting hooked.

 Adobe Kuler

Adobe Kuler
http://kuler.adobe.com
Sometimes the hardest part of beginning a project is determining what colors to use. This site is a color pallet generator.

 Pandora

Pandora
http://www.pandora.com
For some, music could be a distraction to the workflow. For me it helps. I like Pandora because it will continually play music related to a genre, artist, or song that I choose.

Another good option is Spotify, but I don’t like having to make or find playlists for continual play.

FoodGawker FoodGawker
http://foodgawker.com
Who doesn’t like food? This is similar to Creattica or Pinterest, only with food. It can be very dangerous if you view while hungry.

Design / Programming / Education:

 Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine
http://www.smashingmagazine.com
Smashing magazine is a blog that provides information, tutorials, and training to web designers and developers.

They state: “Our aim is to inform our readers about the latest trends and techniques in Web development.”

 Envato

Envato
http://envato.com
Envato is the parent company of the next two sites that I will mention. I have honestly found myself telling anyone with interest in the creative industry about this network of sites.

Envato provides informational sites, educational sites, marketplaces, community forums, and even job boards for almost every topic related to the creative industry.

 Tuts+ Network

Tuts+ Network
http://tutsplus.com
The Tuts+ Network provides tutorials and information on topics specific to each site. A few of the Tuts+ sites are: Phototuts+ (Photography), Vectortuts+ (Vector Illustration), Psdtuts+ (Photoshop), and there are more.

These are all offered free, however there is a Premium Tuts+ network that provides access to a lot of great books and video courses.

 Nettuts+ Nettuts+
http://net.tutsplus.com
This is my favorite site of the Tuts+ and Envato network. Some posts on this site have been comparisons of IDEs and text (code) editors, overview of changes for the latest iteration of jQuery, Object-Oriented PHP for beginners, and more topics related to web development.
iTunes U+ 

iTunes U+
Launch iTunes U in iTunes
Have you ever thought it would be cool to go to Harvard? Or Stanford? How about MIT? Did you know that they all offer courses (video and / or audio) of full course lectures for free through iTunes U?

I have downloaded and attended a few courses from Stanford, one of them being tech related (iPhone App Development), and another a religion course (The Historical Jesus).

iTunes U is incredible. If you have ever had interest in continued education, this is a great way to do it at a very reasonable cost.

Information / News

 Mashable Mashable
http://mashable.com
There are a lot of tech-related news sites. I like Mashable because it seems to provide a very broad coverage on the industry. Some sites only report on gadgets or tech mergers. Mashable just seems to be one of the most inclusive outlets I have found.
 LifeHacker

LifeHacker
http://lifehacker.com
This is just a fun site; it doesn’t only provide tech-related information. LifeHacker provides posts, information, and instructions on how to do things to make your life easier.

Posts have included their own crash course on how to learn to program, using clips from bread bags as cable organizers, how to keep fruit (berries) fresher longer, and understanding and correcting common cooking mistakes, to name a few.

 StackOverflow

StackOverflow
http://stackoverflow.com
This is a very geeky site. I like to browse through the posts to learn, problem solve, offer help, and sometimes get help.

It is basically a forum set up to allow people to post questions related to code. Can’t figure out how to do something? Post it here. Great community support.

Wikipedia 

Wikipedia
http://www.wikipedia.org
I don’t think I need to explain Wikipedia, but yes, I spend a good amount of time reading entries there.

I know the argument is that it cannot be considered a credible source, but use it like I did during college, as a starting point and for direction. (Hint: Look at the sources cited in the articles.)

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