So you want to start a news site? You think you can bring something to the internet, but you’re not sure the tools you might need to do it? You want a Podcast? Screencast? A Blog?
Well, this here site is quickly turning into a full-time job for yours truly (minus the paycheck), and if it weren’t for a number of programs on my machine, I’d doubt I’d be able to pull it off within budget.
Anyway, here’s a listing of the Apps I Use, and the things I use them for.
Smultron – Everything starts here for me. Writing a post usually starts with me typing away in Smultron. The great thing about this application is that it’s extremely lightweight. This program kills two birds with one stone for us here at Macgasm. I also use it to edit all the code on the site. I don’t usually build applications or websites from scratch with it, but it does excel at editing a quick file here, or an HTACCESS file there. I’m pretty sad that development has recently stopped on the program, but I’ll use it until the wheels fall off.
DropBox – A large problem that most multi-user websites face is keeping everyone on the same page, and moving files back and forth. You might not realize it, but no one who contributes to Macgasm lives in the same city. Some writers are scattered across the US, others Europe, add in Australia and Canada, and you have a recipe for disaster when it comes to organization. DropBox has helped out tremendously with this for us. Corey will record and edit a screencast, and I’ll have to upload it around the internet for our viewers. This makes that chore A LOT easier.
iMovie – Most people balk at iMovie, and they call it an editor for n00bs, but frankly, if you want to edit a video that’ll be under 10 minutes in play time, there’s a really good chance that the quickest way to pull it off is using iMovie. All the screencasts done by yours truly, are edited with iMovie. It just makes sense.
iShowU – There’s a host of screen recording programs around the internet and I’ve tried most of them at one point or another, but for me, iShowU is the best for what we do. There’s no bells and whistles that other applications might have, so it won’t break the bank. It’s affordable, well supported, and integrates into our workflow.
OmniFocus – It’s been a love/hate relationship between me and OmniFocus. I used it, then I abandon it, then I come back around to it. I think it’s here to stay this time, and frankly, I think it’s one of the better GTD apps available. Sometimes it’s nice to remind yourself that you’ve got a lot of work to do, and nothing feels better than striking out tasks and watching them disappear.
Little Snapper – Some people swear by skitch, but for me it’s been all little snapper since it was in MacHeist. It’s a great way to take screen captures and have them stored away in place you can retrieve them. If you’re planning on starting a website that’s going to be rich in media, I’d suggest you start here. Archiving your screencaptures is a great way to retrieve stuff later. The really nice thing is that you can edit files on the fly. Want to blur something out? Check. Want to crop something? Check.
SoundSource – This is for all the people wanting to start a podcast and are getting really sick of having to switch between input or output sources for your audio. It’s a time saver, and it should really be something that ships with the operating system. You get a nice little menu bar icon that lets you select things like a usb device for a mic, or use the line in setting.
Billings – At some point someone’s going to come knocking wanting to give you money to run an ad. You should really make sure you’re ready for that, but if you think you are, then it’ll be a good time to think about picking up an invoicing package. Keeping track of who owes you what is important. You don’t want advertisers leaving you hanging, and then forgetting that they owe you anything. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, so make sure you can pay for yours, by taking someone elses money. ;)
Cha-Ching – If you’re collecting ads, you have a revenue stream, and if you have a revenue stream you better start keeping track of incoming and outgoing expenses. What’s the point in running something if you’re losing money hand over fist. Have you ever heard of a homeless blogger? I haven’t. Cha-ching helps you keep track of expenses and balance your accounts. I use it weekly, and I’m pretty thankful these guys exist. I really wouldn’t want to be doing this stuff the old-fashioned way.
Tweetdeck – Yeah, I know… Twitter! Twitter! Twitter! Blah, blah, blah! But, the fact of the matter is you wanna be where people are talking about the news. It’s important to make sure you represent yourself in the discussion that’s going on there. Keep track of who’s talking about you, who’s praising you, and who’s bashing you any chance they get. Tweetdeck is great for doing this, and it’s really great if you can designate a monitor for the progam. Let it run all day, and scan it from time to time. We’ve gotten some great scoops from using twitter.