Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Link to Envato Notes

Unveiling the All-New Tuts+ Hub

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 04:56 PM PDT

Tuts+ Hub

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to create a central place for our Tuts+ readers to call “home”. Somewhere that shows you the latest content from across all our sites, allows you to filter only those tutorials that interest you, and shares a few statistics about the Tuts+ network.

Today, we’re very excited to introduce the Tuts+ Hub — read on to find out more about it!

All Our Latest Tutorials in One Place

The Tuts+ Hub is a new way to see all the latest content across our whole network. Any new tutorials that have been published since your last visit will be given a “New” banner, and you can quickly filter out the sites that don’t interest you — just select the checkbox at the top of the screen to show/hide content for each site.

All the latest Tuts+ content in one place

We’re also showcasing all our new Tuts+ Premium tutorials — these are shown with a yellow border, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for these if you’re one of our awesome Tuts+ Premium members!

A Handful of Statistics

We also thought it would be fun to share a few of our statistics with you. Did you know we’ve published over 11,500 tutorials? Or that we’re approaching half a million comments across the network? It’s a fun way to keep an eye on how Tuts+ is growing (and these stats are updated every day).

11,500 tutorials and counting...

What Do You Think?

I’d love to hear your feedback on Tuts+ Hub, and any thoughts or comments on what works well/what you’d like to see improved. We’re really happy with how the project turned out, and I think you’re going to love it!

Thanks for reading Tuts+ and, if you’ve somehow resisted all the way down to this point, head over and check out the Tuts+ Hub!


Using Photos of People and Celebrities in Items

Posted: 10 Apr 2012 12:42 AM PDT

Celebrity PhotoMany authors use photos of people in their item previews – it’s a great way to liven up your preview and make it real to buyers.

There are some things to consider in using photos of people, because those people might have something to say about how and where you’ve used their image! In short, we think the best way to get images of people is from reputable stock photography ”commercial use” collections. There are some other options, but this is the most straight forward one. Read on, and I’ll explain why.

Some other posts in this series are:

What’s the issue with using photos of people in my items?

There are different rights people have to control the use of photos of themselves. Depending on where someone lives, or where a photo of them is used,  these include rights of publicity, rights of privacy and consumer protection laws. Sometimes people have a right to have a say about any public use of a photo of them, and sometimes their right is only about commercial or advertising uses of their image.

These rights are separate to the intellecutal rights in the actual photo file itself.  So, if Louise takes a photo of John, Louise would own the copyright in the photo itself.  But John may have a say in how the image of him is then used.

These things vary from country to country, so there’s not one clear position globally about how and when one can use an image of another person. And that’s tricky in the global world that is online.  So the best you can do when you’re putting your item into a global marketplace is to use ‘model released’ images.  This generally means that identifiable people in the image have consented to their photo being used in any way – editorial or commercial.

As I’ve explained in my recent posts in this series, even if the image is free, or is available under a creative commons “commercial use” license, a person in the photo might not have given a model release.  So be aware of that possibility, as it won’t necessarily help you to say “But it was on Flickr” or that it was on a free site!

Can I use photos of famous people in my items?

You may be wondering why a photo of a celebrity, sportsperson or other well-known person can be used in, say, a news website or blog, but not in your marketplace item.  That’s because of the difference between ‘editorial’ and ‘commercial’ uses.  That’s not a distinction that applies in all situations or all countries, but it’s a general or ‘bottom line’ approach that’s often taken when a photo of a person is going to be used worldwide.  The approach is that an ‘editorial’ use of a person’s image (ie for news or comment) does not need their consent, whereas a ‘commercial’ or advertising use does.

Here at Envato, our policy is that to keep things simple, marketplace items and their previews or live demos are commercial.  So that means, no photos of famous people, sportspeople, musicians, DJs or anyone else who earns their living from having a public presence.

But if it’s really necessary to illustrate how a template might be used, real world names of people or music bands be used in text form only, and only  in previews.

So what should I look for when finding images?

You should always check licenses and terms and conditions on the sites where you are looking for images.  If you’re not sure whether images on a site are model released, ask that site.  Unfortunately but we can’t advise authors on external sites so if you really need help you may want to ask a lawyer.  And be aware that some sites have ‘editorial’ collections, which won’t be suitable for use in your commercial marketplace items or their previews.

Remember that if you want to include the photo in your downloaded item, you’ll need a license that allows commercial re-distribution.  If the photo is for use in your item preview only, then you still need a commercial use license but not necessarily one that allows re-distribution.  That’s explained more in our Knowledgebase article What Images, Videos, Code or Music can I use in my Items?

What if I took the photo, the photo is public domain, or the celebrity is not alive?

I’m not talking here about being a PhotoDune or VideoHive author, as stock photo and stock video footage have their own detailed model release requirements. If you take your own photos for use within other marketplace items, you need to get your own model releases from the people in them.  Now, we’re not expecting or asking you to submit the releases to us, and you can use some discretion in how formal the model release is – this might vary depending on your relationship to the person being photographed.  Sometimes an email might be sufficient, and other times a written signed release would be better.

If a photo is in the public domain, that means the copyright in the photo has expired, but that doesn’t necessarily affect the rights of the person in the photo.  And similarly, even if a person in a photo is no longer alive, if they were famous it might be that their estate still controls the use of their image.  So it’s best to avoid pictures of deceased celebrities in your commercial marketplace items.

Despite all these matters, there are plenty of sources out there of model released images that won’t break your budget, so don’t despair!  As we’ve said a few times now, it’s of course your responsibility to make sure your photos are properly licensed and contain appropriate content.  Take this opportunity to review your items – don’t wait for someone else to knock on your door about it.

If you have any questions or feedback, let me know in the comments!


Author Interview: Beetlesales

Posted: 09 Apr 2012 11:23 PM PDT

Handicapping horse races, aspiring to a political career, developing landing pages, and taking pride in his work. This week we meet Thomas Logan (beetlesales) from ThemeForest.

If you're an Envato marketplace author and would like to be interviewed for the blog, head over to this form. We'd love to hear from you.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?

Well, my full name is Thomas Allen Logan and I’m from Lexington, KY. I currently own DropPaint, LLC (a general contracting company) and I am a semi-professional thoroughbred horse racing handicapper. Aside from those two things, and the online account here at ThemeForest, I don’t really have a “true” position that pays.

Some of my daily activities consist of handicapping horse races, gambling on sports betting, playing online poker and developing landing pages for the ThemeForest marketplace.

Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?

I solely belong to the ThemeForest marketplace, as it pays the best. :)   I currently sell landing pages as my primary uploads.

How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?

I initially became involved with the online development world in 2007 when I was learning more about how websites function. It’s always been a minor passion of mine to reverse engineer creations.

I have not had any formal training as of yet. My ultimate aspirations are to become a police officer and possibly become involved in politics, so I don’t think I’ll be taking a coding course any time soon.

Describe your home workspace.

My home workspace is a box in the corner of a room that hasn’t been updated for quite some time. I don’t necessarily agree with spending tons of money upgrading things that work efficiently as is. The desk I have consists of all the necessary tools needed to draw up creations: a computer, speakers and a ton of paper work.

Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?

Well, the first step in the creation process for me is to research beautiful CSS themes from an inspiration gallery. Next, I sketch out a concept on several pieces of paper and note it with color codes. After that, I open up Adobe Photoshop and begin applying my drawn design to a blank document.

The last step in my creative process is to transfer all the Photoshop work into Adobe Dreamweaver CS5. I usually begin with CSS and alternate between PHP/HTML, JavaScript and CSS.

What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?

The only piece of advice I can provide at this time is for authors to retain perseverance and a sense of pride in the work they create. There’s nothing worse than uploading something that you feel could have been improved, or isn’t going to satisfy your customers.

What do you do to market your files?

Word of mouth and links on Facebook redirecting them to the landing page preview.

What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?

I love SmartStart by Smuliii due to it’s fresh, clean and functional design.

I’ve always loved Adminica by Tricycle because of it’s beautiful colors and design.

http://themeforest.net/item/adminica-the-professional-admin-template/160638?WT.ac=category_thumb&WT.seg_1=category_thumb&WT.z_author=Tricycle

I also enjoy Classica by OrmanClark due to it’s simplicity and beauty.

Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?

To be honest with you, I don’t really have a favorite author in the marketplace. I’ve only been around for approximately four months, so I haven’t truly had time to connect with another user.

If I have to throw a name out there, it would have to be “jonathan01” just because I’m competing with his brilliant landing pages in the ThemeForest marketplace. ;)

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball at the Kentucky Blue Courts and gambling (a lot of gambling…).


Featured Workspace: A Red Standing Music Station

Posted: 09 Apr 2012 06:55 PM PDT

Music Station by Bodey Maracoccia

Do you use a standing workspace? I was just browsing Flickr when I came across Bodey Maracoccia’s standing music station. It looks pretty amazing.

This workspace looks pretty clean – the computer is hidden behind the closet wall. The desk was handmade by gluing together walnut and maple. Two 23″ Acer monitors are mounted at eye-height on the wall. And being a standing workspace, no chair is needed!

Butcher Block Desk by Bodey Marcoccia

The desk contains only the essentials. Here you can see the wires running through a hole at the back of the desk. From there they go through the wall to the computer on the other side.

Standing Workspace by Bodey Maracoccia

What do you think of Bodey’s standing workspace? Let us know in the comments.

Would you like your workspace featured on Envato Notes? Upload your photo to somewhere on the Web and let us know about it on our Write a Post page. Or upload it to Flickr and tag it with #envatonotesworkspaces. Either way, add an interesting description. Each week we'll choose and publish a new photo.


Join Tuts+ Premium for $19 and Get $25 Marketplace Credit!

Posted: 09 Apr 2012 06:00 PM PDT

Our Tuts+ Premium service is getting better and better. We've now added eighteen video training courses with more coming every month. There's also over thirty eBooks and some 800 premium tutorials. The whole pack is just $19 a month and is a fantastic deal. But if you take advantage of this jam-packed subscription in the next week we are sweetening the pot even further!

If you buy a Tuts+ Premium subscription in the next seven days for $19, you'll get $25 marketplace credit to spend. That's right, buy a subscription, get access to literally thousands of dollars of training materials and you'll get the subscription price plus extra back to spend on the marketplaces.

We do a lot of good deals here at Envato, but this one is crazy-good value. We're running this offer because we really believe that once you check out Tuts+ Premium you'll be hooked. There's so much to learn that you'll want to keep your subscription for far more than a month as we send you more and more courses to teach you to freelance, design, develop, and much more. And if you're not happy, you can always cancel any time.

This is an offer too good to miss. If you were planning on spending money on the marketplaces, you may as well go buy a subscription and your money will go further! And if you weren't planning on spending anything … well maybe you should reconsider :-)

All you need to do is sign up to tutsplus.com and enter a valid working marketplace username and we'll take care of the rest! It's that easy!

The offer ends lunch time April 17th (Melbourne, Australia time), so you'd better hurry!!


Terms & Conditions of the Offer, read these!

  1. The offer period runs from 12:01pm April 10th to 11:59am April 17th Australian Eastern Standard Time AEST.
  2. To receive a $25 Envato marketplace credit, sign up to a Tuts+ Premium monthly or yearly subscription during the offer period and enter a valid  marketplace username during the sign up process.
  3. If a user takes up this offer, they are not entitled to the “100% money back guarantee” on the Tuts+ Premium subscription.  But they can cancel their subscription at any time and make no further payments (no “100% money back guarantee” refunds will be given on cancellation).
  4. Only one instance of $25 marketplace credit will be granted per marketplace user and per Tuts+ Premium user and per payment account (e.g. PayPal email address).  That is, there can be only one $25 credit per person.
  5. The $25 marketplace credit is not redeemable or refundable for cash. It can be used only on the Envato Marketplaces.
  6. Affiliate referral commissions will not be made on marketplace credits gained through the use of this promotion.  That is, Envato’s marketplace affiliate referral program will apply only when a referred user uses their own funds to directly make a deposit or ‘buy now’ purchase in the marketplaces.
  7. Play fair!  Any attempt to defraud Envato will result in immediate disablement of Tuts+ Premium and Envato marketplace accounts.  And there will be no refund on Tuts+ Premium subscriptions and no release of marketplace deposits, marketplace  earnings and affiliate earnings.  We will have the final say on whether there has been an attempt to defraud Envato.
  8. Reversals, chargebacks and fraudulent transactions on Tuts+ Premium subscription payments will result in the disablement of the corresponding user on the Envato Marketplaces, if a marketplace username was entered during the sign up.
  9. Existing Tuts+ Premium members are not eligible for the promotion, and this includes members purchasing a $10 a month upgrade pack.
  10. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or coupon.


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