The software, which was previously sold for $149, is now being offered for free by Google.
I, of course, tool whore that I am, immediately downloaded it. However, I hadn’t had the chance to play with it until today.
Basically, it’s akin to other filter programs – you install the software, and if you have Photoshop (which I do), it adds a box when you open up Photoshop.
So I opened up an old photo file and started playing. 🙂
It’s very similar to Perfect Effects, though you can use this while in Photoshop, rather than having to open a separate program. Handy!
I didn’t try out all the filters, but I have to say, I am very impressed with the ones I did try.
With a few simple clicks, I was able to make some pretty amazing changes to the photo I was working with.
Unlike Perfect Effects, the Nik Collection offers a lot more options when working with the filters/effects.
This is the original photo I chose to experiment on.
After opening up Photoshop, and picking out a filter in Nik, this is what the photo looked like:
I love how the filter really brought out the texture of the fur.
The shadows are darker, and the background has a lot more texture.
I was able to adjust things like saturation and hue via Nik, without having to touch anything in Photoshop.
So if you like being able to add filters and effects but don’t like fiddling around with the all the little details, you can. If you like fiddling around with all the little details, you can do that too. 🙂
This was another filter I tried, and I love how it looks. Again, the filter helped to bring out some of the details in the original photo.
The name of the filter is ‘nostalgic’ in the Film Efex in Nik. So adorable!
Though Nik can be used in conjunction with Photoshop, it can also be used on its own.
So if you’ve been looking for a program to help edit your photos, but didn’t want to pay out a bunch of $, Google has just made your day. 🙂
After reading these posts, I spend a lot of time on internal debates, on researching related things on the internet, and then the next thing you know, it’s 5 hours later, my butt is asleep, and I realize I forgot to eat lunch.
The other biggest time social media time suck for me is Plurk.
I avoided joining Plurk for a long time, because people told me it was elitist and full of snarky SL people.
I haven’t found that to be true at all.
There is some seriously hilarious shizz going on in Plurk. 😛
I’ve seen pictures of crazy, cannibalistic land-crabs (yet another reason to never go to Florida), watched others install Windows10 (their results were sadly, sometimes not as good as mine), and learned that texture thrashing makes people want to strangle LL.
A lot of the people on Plurk have been in SL forever, so I’m constantly learning something new.
Plus, some of them are just plain hysterical.
It’s like all the cute cat videos and funny memes and friends all rolled into one place.
It probably took me twice as long as usual to write this post, because I kept going back to Plurk to check on things.
Plus, everyone uses all these cute gifs, so I have become a gif collector.
Because who knows when you’ll need a good Phil Collins gif, amiright?
If you are on any of these social networks, please add me – I promise not to stalk you. 😛
I’ve posted several times about how overwhelming managing multiple social media accounts can be.
Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. -.-
I went and signed myself up for some new networks.
If you belong to any of these networks, look me up – I’m always happy to meet new friends. 🙂
KoinUp is a site I found after watching an episode of Designing Worlds on photography.
My first impression is that it’s sort of like Flickr (which you can apparently cross-post to from KoinUp).
I joined a few groups and I’m giving it a few days to see how I like it.
I added KoinUp to my Feedly reader a month or so ago, and I like being able to just scan through some of the art when I have a few free moments.
I tried adding Flickr to Feedly, but they refuse to play nice together. 😦
On the recommendation of Ever Afterr (check out her blog here), I decided to check out Reddit.
After reading through the FAQs and their posting rules, I decided to go ahead and join.
It’s kind of overwhelming at first, but I removed a bunch of subreddits and pared it down to a usable amount.
I found a book subreddit, so I’m already having fun reading everyone’s comments.
(Just FYI – I hated Anna Karenina and my favorite book of all time is a tie – To Kill a Mockingbird/Jane Eyre.)
I couldn’t find a mobile app for Reddit that wasn’t 3rd party, so I’ll have to see how useful/engaging I find it if I’m only using it when on my PC. (If you have any suggestions that work well for you, let me know.)
I signed up for Ello when it first came out, because I hate Facebook.
I haven’t been on in months, and decided to go back a few days ago to check it out.
It doesn’t seem that active for SLers – or am I missing something?
If you’re on Ello, tell me – I would love to have some active people to follow!
I also read (I think) that they are working on a mobile app, which would let me be more active.
I spend most of my time on social networks via my phone, not my PC.
Becky recently wrote a blog post about SEO and blogging.
In it, she mentioned Google’s Webmaster Tools.
I had tried using them months ago, but got lost in all the technicalities and just abandoned it.
I went back and tried to get back into it.
I’m still floundering. 😦
I’m also debating whether it is worth the work to get a Google+ Page in addition to my profile.
I’m also investigating some other apps that would help me manage all the social media streams.
If you have a Google+ Page or use a service like HootSuite, I’d love to hear your feedback.
As I work to increase the reach of my blog, I’ve found myself wondering how other bloggers do things.
One of the recommended ways to increase blog traffic is to be syndicated.
The definition of syndication, according to Dictionary.com, is “topublishsimultaneously,orsupplyforsimultaneouspublication,inanumberofnewspapersorotherperiodicalsindifferentplaces.”
As I have become more active in the blogging world, I’ve noticed that most vendors who are looking for bloggers want to know what ‘feeds’ your blog is on in the application.
Now, as I’m sure you’re aware, there are MILLION blogs about SL.
Probably 95% of them are fashion blogs.
My blog is not a fashion blog, although I do LOTD posts.
Following links on other blogs, I’ve found a couple of blogs that are ‘feeds.’
However, the process for getting a blog on a feed is a mystery to me.
I am clueless as to how you locate a ‘feed’ (especially if you are not a fashion blogger) and what the requirements are for getting on a feed.
I would love to get my blog on a ‘feed/s’ and be able to claim syndication, but alas, I am a (mostly) dance blog lost in a sea of clothing. 😦
In addition to syndication/feeds, I wonder how other bloggers manage to stay up to date with the overwhelming amount of info that is published each day on the interwebs.
I use the WordPress reader to follow blogs, but if the blog I want to follow is not also a WordPress blog (if, for example, it’s a Blogger blog or even a self-hosted blog), the updates on the Reader feed are hit and miss.
Shakespeare said, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” (Romeo & Juliet, in case you’re interested.) But not for me. I made the decision to part ways with Facebook.
I’ve never really cared for Facebook – their vague privacy settings, their data mining, their sale of my information to anyone they chose. But a few things lately have finally ‘gotten my goat,’ so to speak, and I made the decision to deactivate my Facebook account. (I say ‘deactivate’ because I’ve yet to find a way to actually ‘delete’ my information on Facebook.)
Now, everyone knows that it is against Facebook’s TOS to set up a profile using an ‘avatar’ name or some other pseudonym. But millions of people have done it, and Facebook seems to be very lackadaisical about policing that particular aspect of their TOS.
About a month ago, many of my friends on Facebook starting changing the names on their SL/avatar profiles to match their ‘real life’ names because there was another ongoing round of account deletions and they were afraid that their account would be targeted next. Which is fine, that’s their choice. However, I don’t know some of these people outside of SL. So if I know you as Meegan Foxhound and suddenly you show up as Jane Foster, I’m confused as hell. 😛
And then Facebook had the gall to delete the accounts of some drag queens. *Cue dramatic music* The drag queens have taken Facebook on, demanding that they be allowed to use their ‘chosen’ name. Facebook has stood firm, telling the divas that they can either use their ‘legal’ name or they can change their profile to a ‘page.’ What’s the difference between a page and a profile?
If you are a ‘profile,’ people you know see your posts. (Only about 16% of them see your post, but that’s a different story.) If you are a ‘page,’ you can pay Facebook to ‘promote’ whatever you are posting, thereby guaranteeing that more than 16% of your friends see what you’ve posted.
The divas have threatened to keep on fighting. Me, I don’t see the point. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is walk away.
Facebook is NOT the only player in the social media game. Google+ allows avatar/character names. Move over there – that’s what many SLers have already done. As more people move to Google+, the more robust and useful it will be. And as more and more people abandon Facebook, it will be forced to change its TOS, or go the way of MySpace. Or, you can sign up for ASN (Avatar Social Network) – a social network specifically designed for those who have a virtual/online identity and want to keep it separate (or not) from their ‘real life.’
The proverbial ‘last straw’ for me was reading a story about how Facebook was experimenting on its users without their knowledge. You can read about it here. The article quotes Kate Crawford, visiting professor at MIT’s Center for Civic Media and principal researcher at Microsoft Research, and her response sums up my feelings: “It’s completely unacceptable for the terms of service to force everybody on Facebook to participate in experiments.” Ms. Crawford said it points to broader problem in the data science industry. Ethics are not “a major part of the education of data scientists and it clearly needs to be,” she said.