Populr gets classy with a new free theme

Populr’s making waves nationwide—did you see our write-up in VenutureBeat yet? Take a look:

VentureBeat: Populr’s POPs want to help improve your weak communications arsenal

New theme: Dakota

We just added a fantastic new theme to our free theme library. Dakota is an elegant theme with the look of card-stock paper. If you want to deliver your message with class, style, and a bit of panache, take this theme for a spin today. Try it out with an event invitation or a professional services landing page.

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New theme design materials

Interested in making a Populr theme of your own? Know someone with and killer design skills and HTML/CSS chops? We’re on the lookout for talented designer/developers to build our themes. To learn more about Populr theme design, take a look at this 6-minute video about how themes work. Contact John if you want to learn more.

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Take your poppin’ to a whole new level with tips & tricks

Populr allows users create rich one-pagers in minutes that will really impress your selected audience. Simply add your content, choose a layout, and publish! It’s that easy 🙂

To keep you on the road to POP mastery, tips.populr.me offers tips & tricks to take your poppin’ to the next level. Learn to enhance your backgrounds, create awesome recordings, choose the right embeds, and much more! You will become a POP ninja in no time 🙂

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Populr plays well with others—Collaborate on your pops!

So many things in life are better when you’re joined by other people: parties, BBQs, synchronized swimming… and Populr, too.

Our new collaboration function lets you share the creation and editing of your pops. Now you can share the Populr love with friends, coworkers and colleagues. Build a pop about each member of your group, then let them fill in their own personal summaries. Write the text for a pop, then pass it to your coworker to record a video introduction. When others contribute to your pop, you can craft a better message and share it faster.

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Check out some of the other features we’ve added recently.

Never worry about breaking your pop: version control‘s got your back. We store each revision of your pop separately, so it’s easy to revert to a previous version. Version control also allows you to work on a draft copy of your pop, giving you more control over when your edits are published.

Text alignment was one of our most-requested features—now it’s one of our most popular. Align your titles and body text left, right or center.

Our new and improved video player will give you more stability and compatibility across browsers. Now you’ll look great everywhere.

We’re moving our knowledge base to Desk.com. This will make it easier for our users to access all of our support information, and will enable our support staff to address customer concerns more efficiently.

Start pulling your friends in to collaborate, and let’s see those pops!

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POP Tips: Impact Your Audience with a Video Message

A primary role of CEOs and managers is to communicate at a top-down level to the company’s employees and clients. While communicating in an email may seem ideal, there are many important attributes–that could create a profound impact for a targeted audience–that simply cannot be captured in an email. Populr.me gives managers that ability to create personalized one-pagers that are rich and interactive, and that can be put together in the same amount time one would take in putting together a plain email 🙂

One CEO praised Populr as a great tool to help with marketing and communicating with prospects. The CEO’s Published One-Pager (POP) contained a quick video message (recorded using the POP editor) talking about the company results for the month and what could be anticipated for the following month. Alongside the video were some written key points to allow viewers to reference when watching. A great example of communicating results!

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View POP here

The message was simple but very powerful as viewers were able to see the character behind the message. You could just sense the enthusiasm and thrill as the CEO referred to a prior interaction with a client–a feeling easily shifted over to others as they watched and listened.

Populr.me allows users create Published One-Page sites customized for their communication goals. In the corporate setting, adding a video recording will create a message that is personal, and one that would resonate very well amongst employees, clients, and prospects.

Here are some quick tips to consider when creating a high quality video recording in Populr. http://tips.populr.me/recordings.

Sign up for our beta at https://populr.me!

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Get organized with Populr’s latest features

It’s been an exciting week here at Populr as the dev team has been working their magic building in some great new features, some of which came from feedback from our awesome alpha partners. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve added recently.

Labels help you organize your pops and your content. Add labels when you want to group items together, like a series of pops you’ve built for a client, or a group of images you’ve uploaded for use in one of your pops. You can then use the label filter to quickly find the items you’re looking for.

Preview your pop from the editor to see how it’s going to look once it’s published. The new preview feature makes it faster to check your work and get that pop ready for showtime.

Rename your assets when you upload them. Now it’s easier to manage your asset library by editing your asset names—that means no more dealing with automatically generated titles or awkward file names. Woot!

Save time managing your pops with the improved pop listing interface. We’ve cleaned up this screen so that it’s easier to find what you need. For example, now you can access your tracer history with the new Tracer Events dropdown to check who’s been opening your pop, and what they’ve been clicking on.

We also geeked out by upgrading part of our UI framework to Bootstrap 2. Hope you enjoy the pretty new buttons :).

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Key to a Great POP: Backgrounds!

The use of background images in Populr have been a key attribute to a POP’s essence. Here are a couple of FREE services that the team has stumbled upon that have really enhanced the use of background images!

Photopin.com

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Photopin is a great site for the search and download of the millions of free creative commons images within flickr. The service is extremely simple to use. Keyword search for an image, select, and just choose to download!

A few tips when searching and downloading Photopin images for background use.

  • Download the “Large” version of image (the associated dimensions deliver well on the desktop screen).
  • Give credit: Upon downloading an image, the user is provided with an attribution link. Simply drag an embed item to the footer of your POP, and copy/paste the HTML into the embed item. The result is an elegant way to give credit for the image. See example.
  • Grab HDR Images: Input “HDR” next to your keyword search for some High Dynamic Range Image results!
Pixlr.com/o-matic/
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Pixlr-O-Matic, part of the Pixlr family, is a great app for easy editing of your desktop images. Aspects of the app are very similar to Instagram (offer retro looking enhancements). Simply upload and edit your images using a wide selection of effects, overlays, and borders. Pixlr-o-matic is available as a Chrome web app, on Facebook, and as a desktop download

Some other offerings from pixlr that provide fast image editing include the Pixlr Editor & Pixlr Express. Check them out!

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Software Development as a Game

Behavior driven development (BDD) has a lot of benefits (less developer time spent context switching, automated regression test suites, etc.), but by far the biggest benefit is what it does for developers tackling daunting problems.

As I started tackling a sprawling problem yesterday, it could have felt overwhelming. But BDD provided a systematic process to isolate subsets of the problem and to break those down into discrete steps. And because of the red-green-refactor discipline, I immediately started receiving positive affirmation.

BDD essentially creates a game wherein the developer sets an achievable goal—by writing the next few specs—and then achieves that goal—by writing the code that makes those specs go green. The goals are discrete, they are measurably achievable, and they naturally lead the developer through the various strata of specificity, so that the depth of a particular problem is gradually discovered:

  1. I need to be able to do X
  2. write specs that describe what I will see when I have X
  3. write the code to make the specs pass
  4. while writing code, encounter something X needs to know about or do in order to achieve the behavior defined in step 2
  5. in X’s specs, mock the behavior discovered in step 4 so that X’s specs can pass without that new functionality
  6. step 4 revealed the next need…plug that into step 1 and repeat the process

BDD is a process that tackles complex problems by breaking them down into discrete sub-problems. It draws the developer on a guided path of discovery about what is needed to solve those sub-problems. It solves each discrete problem along the way. And it rewards the developer at every step with the satisfaction of goal achieved. As far as “gameification” of work goes, that is hard to beat.

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