For my foodie friends! Recipe contest!

fudge photo“Stick a Fork in It” Food Blogger Contest
Sponsored by Top Recipes Android App

I enjoy cooking, but I know some people that are adventurous, creative, and passionate about food. This contest is for you guys! It’s called the “Stick a Fork in It” competition. And there’s money to be won!

Submit your best original recipe with a photo of the completed dish and you could win:
· First Place: $500 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website
· Second Place: $250 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website
· Third Place: $100 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website
· Editors’ Choice: $25 Visa gift card, award-winning designation within the app, plus a “virtual ribbon” to display on your website

Who can enter: Food blog owners/writers and contributors.

It looks pretty easy to enter. You need to submit an original recipe and an unmarked photo of the finished dish. Enter by February 17 and then tell your friends to download the app (from Google Play) and vote!

Get the full contest information and rules here, and start cooking! Good luck!

Make a Blog Without Writing? Try Content Curation with Scoop.it!

One of my favorite things about the Internet is finding something new, funny, intriguing, or surprising to share with my friends. Sometimes, I write about the best stuff and share it here on Geek Mom Mashup. Other times, I just share the link, because I don’t feel like writing a whole blog post.

scoop.it dashboard heading
Scoop.it Dashboard Heading

Recently, I tried Scoop.it‘s content curation system. It’s a cool service that lets you choose a topic and enter some keywords. Scoop.it searches the Internet and brings back news articles, blog posts, Twitter messages, and other stuff that seems related to your topic.

This is where the curation process starts. You view Scoop.it‘s suggestions and choose which ones are the best. Add your own intro, image and keywords, and click Publish! The story is posted to your own niche microsite, with built-in sharing tools. For an example of how it works, check out my topic pages.

Here are my Scoop.it topics:

You can make your topic pages more popular by choosing the best content, weeding out the unrelated or spammy search results, and sharing your published stories. You can also set up your account to automatically post to your other accounts, including Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and WordPress.

Scoop.it‘s still in beta mode, but I have 9 invitations to share! If you’d like to try it, just leave me a comment below. It’s a fairly fun, and amazingly easy, way to gather and share the freshest stuff on the web.

Trying out some new WordPress features here!

hello bar attention bar wordpress plugin
See the Attention Bar in action

Recently, I started working as a freelance website designer on Elance.com (see my Elance profile). Fixing up a client’s site inspired me to try some new features right here on GeekMomMashup.com.

One feature is a new plugin called “Attention Bar.” It’s the piece of code responsible for that nifty yellow bar at the top of the site.

I just created a Facebook page for Geek Mom Mashup, so I decided to announce it with the Attention Bar. The color, text, and link are customizable. The plugin comes with a few ready-made skins, or you can make your own. It’s easy to install and configure, and I like the way the user can hide and reveal the bar.

The Attention Bar is inspired by the Hello Bar, which allows only a limited number of clickthroughs on free accounts. The Attention Bar is free and unbranded, which makes it a better choice for poor bloggers, like me.

If you’re looking for a slick way to get your visitors’ attention, give the Attention Bar a try. Let me know what you think!

P.S. Please check out GeekMomMashup.com on Facebook! 🙂

A quick, easy way to mobilize your blog

Using my smartphone to browse my favorite blogs and shops is convenient, especially when I’m stuck in a waiting room without any good magazines. While I was at the dentist with my son yesterday, I decided to check on this blog, to see what it looks like on a mobile screen.

Well, I had looked at it before, but I decided to look again. I loaded GeekMomMashup.com and waited for it to load. Then I scrolled down, which took quite a while, because the three-column design was forced into a very long single-column view. The flow of content and widgets was nearly unrecognizable, and the overall effect was messy and disorganized. I could hardly find anything, and I know exactly where to look! Not good!

I did some quick searching on “how to make a mobile version of a blog,” and other variations on those terms, and I ended up at MoFuse. It took just a few minutes to set up a free account, plug in my feed, and claim a MoFuse location for my mobile version. Easy!

And for even more mobile blog fun, I designated a new subdomain of my blog (m.geekmommashup.com) and pointed it to my MoFuse site. Then, I added a snippet of automatic mobile detection code (provided by MoFuse) to my blog, which sends visitors on mobile devices directly to the clean, lean, mean, mobile layout. Finally, I added a mini-mii version of my blog header, and voila!

It seems to be working, and it was quick, easy, and free. You can take a look from your mobile device at m.geekmommashup.com, or by taking a picture of this code (yes, that’s how it’s supposed to work, but I haven’t tried it myself). Or, you can enter your number here and have the link sent directly to your phone.




How my blog business cards turned out

A while back, I posted a prototype of my blog business card, and asked for comments and suggestions. You all came up with lots of great ideas, and I promised to post a picture of the finished product, so here it is!

I decided to go with the vertical front design and horizontal back. Your suggestions were incorporated by adding white space to the back of the card, and only using the glossy coating on the front. The position of the blog address was also moved so it doesn’t look like a mustache anymore.

Thanks for all of your input! I really appreciate it, and I love the way the cards turned out! Also, a huge thanks to Jason at GorillaSushi, for his patience, design skillz, and willingness to tweak the details until they were just the way I wanted them. (I made him change the color of the hair a couple of times. I’m annoying like that.) If you need something printed, go ask Jason. 🙂

P.S. – And don’t forget to enter our contest to win a free month of advertising on a whole bunch of blogs! It used to be 10 blogs, but now it’s up to 35!

UPDATE: Hey, I just found out my card design was selected as one of the “30 best business cards of August 2008.” Yaay!

Please tell me what you think of my new blog business card!

Hello, dear friends, loyal readers, and random lurkers. I am notoriously indecisive (just ask Hubby), and I am having a hard time deciding on a final design for my new blog business card. Since you’re all savvy bloggers and internet addicts, I need you to tell me what you think of this design, okay? Please share your honest first impressions in the comments. Thank you, thank you!

EDIT (7/21/08): Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions and comments! I have finally decided on a design, and my new cards are on their way! I’ll post the winning design, which incorporates some of your excellent ideas, once they arrive. I can hardly wait to see them for real!

this is the front of the card
this is the front of the card
this is the back of the card
back of card