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Top 10 Sites For Becoming Smarter

Author: Jeff Coon

With classes beginning for many local schools and universities, we thought we’d share in the spirit of higher learning. Below you will find the top 10 sites we visit most to become more “learned.”

  1. Lynda.com – (Focus: Print, Web, Social Media, You Name It)
    If you haven’t checked out this site yet, leave this blog right now and check it out – it’s that good! This site has great video tutorials on topics such as print design, web development, CSS, digital photography, database development, SEO, PHP, blogging, animation – and the list goes on and on. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this site. Well worth the subscription fee as it pays for itself with one video series!
  2. Hubspot – (Focus: Inbound Marketing and Social Media)
    The information they give away FOR FREE on this site is amazing! I love everything they have to say (and agree with it whole-heartedly). If you’re not sold on the concept of inbound marketing yet, give this crew a few hours of your time and you’ll become a believer. Super impressed with Mike Volpe – great speaker! (Mike, if and when you get this google alert, thanks for the wealth of great info)
    Huge sidenote: Hubspot has a great SEO tool (Free) called Website Grader: http://www.websitegrader.com/
  3. Designers Toobox – (Focus: Graphic Design)
    A must see for all designers. Has great info such as standard print sizes (for envelopes, folders, postcards, etc.), client contract forms, strategic brief and invoice templates, project scope questionnaire, web browser elements as well as great design inspiration.
  4. Mashable - (Focus: Social Media)
    The excerpt on their website says it best: “Mashable is the world’s largest blog focused exclusively on Web 2.0 and Social Media news. With more than 7 million monthly pageviews, Mashable is the most prolific blog reviewing new Web sites and services, publishing breaking news on what’s new on the web and offering social media resources and guides.”
  5. Kirupa.com - (Focus: Flash Development)
    Not much to say about this site other than it’s an extremely great resource for all things Flash. Great tutorials, examples, forums, etc. Been around for years and just keeps getting better!
  6. Digg – (Focus: All things Cool)
    Digg can be a powerful resource for graphic designers. By entering the word “design” in the search bar, Digg returns hundreds of posts related to all things design. For example, a recent search returned these interesting results:  ”14 Incredibly Useful Web Design Cheat Sheets, Outstanding Website Background Guide: 60+ Resources, and Interface Design Trends for 2009″. By creating a user account you can setup Digg’s homepage to filter only the information you are interested in.
  7. Smashing Magazine – (Focus: Design and Web Development)
    Great site for free fonts, how-to’s, CSS tutorials, developer’s toolbox, inspiration and news related to web design and development. So, take a week off of work and just start surfing this sea of knowledge!
  8. Doctype – (Focus: Web Design)
    Once again, they say it best: “Doctype is a free question and answer site for web designers. You can ask questions about CSS, HTML, web design and email design. Everything is editable, just like a wiki. This means answers are accurate, neat and up-to-date.”
  9. The Library of Congress – American Memory – (Focus: Photography Collections)
    Probably not an obvious choice, but this site is a great resource for historical and archived photographs. Definitely a great place for inspiration and research. The site isn’t as user friendly as the stock photography sites we’re used to, but you’d be surprised at the great stuff you can find. And, the bonus is that you can use these photos free of charge – as long as you give credit where credit is due!
  10. iTunes U – (Focus: All Things Educational)
    Making it easier to learn anytime and anywhere from your mobile device. Browse their list of categories such as history, humanities, literature, mathematics, science, business, etc. Download audio and video podcasts and learn when it’s convenient for you.

So there you have it. It certainly doesn’t cover all of the great resources out there, but these are the places we visit most. We’d love to hear what sites you find helpful, so leave a comment below and we’ll add it to the list.