I’ve become obsessed with NoiseTrade. This website has such a great database of music and books to choose from; everything is free but they sincerely suggest you donate a tip because “a little generosity goes a long way.” The site leads users to artists based on the sound of artists they choose or search for. By looking at the label “For Fans Of”, users can find artists that are similar to the one they are listening to. The same applies to the books and authors they provide. By providing your email, a download link is sent to you and your free music or book is only a click away. eBooks are provided in .epub, .mobi, and .pdf formats for different reading platforms while music is in the standard .mp3 format. Although neither the authors nor artists on NoiseTrade are going to be the big sellers on iTunes or New York Bestsellers, they are the well-loved unknowns that we should know. Go explore NoiseTrade’s libraries and discover new talent.
GIMP is an open-source, image-editing tool that allows users to customize additional features and abilities into their software. It’s a free, downloadable application (from their website) that focuses on photo enhancement and digital retouching. This program works on various operating systems and supports numerous file formats.
PicMonkey is a photo-editing tool that focuses on photo enhancement, adding text, providing touch ups on people, and offering layout design options to make sharing across media platforms smoother (think: PicStitch app, but online). Photo adjustments include a variety of frames, textures, and cute overlays ranging from comic bubbles to scrapbook effects, more filters than Instagram, and numerous other quirky photo garnishes. (more…)
Photoshop is amazing, but the cost is a bummer. However, there are many other free online photo editors you can use. For instance, Pixlr Editor is a free online image editor. Pixlr offers three application services for their users: Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Express and Pixlr-o-matic, and all three are free.
Use this program to create images for social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Tublr, or image sites like Flickr, Fotolog, Instagram, and Photobucket (which are all free), or even for a class assignment. Even professors can use Pixlr to give stunning presentations. If you’d like to have a free experience, then just click here to go to Pixlr Editor, and create.
I’m a sucker for vintage poster design, particularly old circus posters. Freevintageposters.com offers a collection of posters you’re welcome to download and print. The categories include something for just about everyone, for example: Advertising, Travel, Food Drink, Movies Theater, Circus Magic, Art Design, Sports, and more. Here are a few of my favs:
This tumblr blog is an excellent resource for everything writing related. With specific writing advice and a plethora of informational sites, they provide a list of links to resources such as writing websites and blogs, various dictionaries and thesauruses, grammar hacks, technical writing reads and much much more.
Under the Websites & Online References tab at the top, the blog lists a few of my favorite writing websites that I’ve linked to a few times here on the WRAC site such as Write to Done, CopyBlogger, TerribleMinds, and Daily Writing Tips. The blog also lists Grammarphobia, which I found an extremely helpful grammar resource that focuses on the particulars of the English language like when you should use “toward” or “towards” and what “beg the question” really means. This page also provides teen and young writer resources as well as links to helpful screen and scriptwriting resources.
The blog itself archives helpful bits of knowledge to aide in the writing process such as references for period clothing or what it would take to be a parent in a believable post-apocalyptic world or a lengthy list of alternate adjectives, adverbs, and verbs for ‘smile’. By collecting various infographics, advice, and research, this blog has become not only a valuable resource for writers but also a place for inspiration.
We are constantly coming up with new story ideas, but we don’t know if they work until we actually execute them, and place that last period before writing the end. The ability to experiment is important, and sometimes a push is what we need. So, how about a free push from inklewriter? inklewriter is a free online way to create digital follow stories, which later you can publish as an ebook or link and share with the world. It’s a great tool for publication and recognition.
You don’t have to be tech savvy to create, share, or enjoy publishing great adventure, romance, fantasy or any type of stories that interest you. You can use inklewriter individually or collectively. Everyone can benefit from inklewriter. It is also a great way to integrate technology and creativity into the classroom. Clubs, organizations or anyone can use it as a fundraiser by creating books for free and selling them online.
The list of what you can do with inklewriter is endless and absolutely free.
PiratePad is a web-based collaborative writing tool, much like Google Docs. However, PiratePad doesn’t require a google account to use. I think too often we turn to Google for a collaborative writing space without considering the myriad of reasons some folks may not (choose to) have a google account (privacy, age, access speed, etc.). PiratePad offers a free, robust, open-access alternative.
A few of PiratePad’s unique features are the availability of multiple languages (hundreds!), the option to choose a license (including Creative Commons), and a “time slider” that allows the play back of revisions.
Patterns and textures are fantastic ways to add a little depth to any project, but they can become overwhelming. From this problem comes a simple solution: subtlepatterns.com. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and with a library 377 patterns strong (and growing) there’s sure to be something to your taste.
Plus, the website is absurdly easy to use, allowing whole-page previews of each pattern and one click downloads straight from the browsing list.
If you want even more room to play with texture and pattern, check out transparenttextures.com, a project by Mike Hearn. Transparent textures takes directly from subtlepatterns.com and converts the patterns into even more easily usable transparent versions. The similar whole-page preview function even has a color picker so you can see the pattern in any color before you download.
And the cherry on top? The entire gallery for both sites is situated under a creative commons license – giving you full freedom to create without stepping into the tangles of an intellectual property lawsuit.