datadirt Geek Supplies: Background-Template for formspring

Foursquare.com is getting gold: hype-searching geeks are moving on, and these days their favorite URL is formspring.me: it's a really simple q-and-a platform – kind of like Twitter, but without the 140 character limit. The service lacks a lot features, it's still in a pretty early stage, which didn't keep me from registering though: formspring.me/datadirt.

formspring.meThe setup just takes a minute: like on Twitter, there's the avatar pic, the homepage URL, a short description and that's it. When it comes to eye candy, formspring.me offers a couple of templates, but the more brand-aware user can also upload their own background pic – now in 2 minutes, because I've compiled a Photoshop-template that speeds up the process of creating a custom formspring template a lot.

formspring Background Template

Unlike Twitter, there is no sidebar on formspring – the main content area measures 752 pixels including the border. Considering 1024-pixel-screens, that leaves about 120 pixels for a visible left sidebar. The height of the top header is 103 pixels – I used these measurements for the template file.

The zip archive contains two files: a layered Photoshop file with all the elements in separate layers plus description inside the file (don't forget to delete the description layer before exporting!). The background template works on resolutions from 1024 to 2000 pixels. After recoloring the template, inserting your logo and changing the text, delete the last layer an export for web. I also included a gif-file for non-Photoshop users, which only has the layout squares, colored in different shades of gray:

formspring-background-template.zip [right mouse-button and “save as”]

This is the gif-Template:

formspring-template

How to buzz formspring.me

The ultimate guide for harnessing the “power” of this new platform is quite short: ask interesting and funny questions, give helpful and/or inspiring and/or funny answers (preferably all at once). Always believe in the power of social media :mrgreen:

There's not much more yet, as the applications leaves a lot to be desired: I would miss the RSS feed if Gerald hadn't built a mash-up replacement But searching for folks manually really sucks – c'mon guys, I though a Gmail/Facebook friend search was web 2.1 basic standard these days?

At least there's some cross-posting involved – users can link there TumblR, Twitter, Facebook and blogger accounts and choose the cross-postings on a per-answer basis. From an SEO point of view I like the blogger integration – but beware: if your run multiple blogs using one blogger account, formspring doesn't let you choose, it seems to pick the newest blog. I set up formspring.blogspot.com as my aggregation page.

formspring.me allows for anonymous questions, which makes it a great tool for “difficult” topics – and there's no spam danger involved yet, as users have to manually approve every new question. Let's see if the service can make it past the first hype. If you always secretly believed that 140 chars are *just not enough*, you might like this. Ask me why:

formspring.me/datadirt

Update
This is what other bloggers say about formspring.me:

5 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    :white2: :dog: :frog: :frog2: :frog3: :frog5: :frog6: :frog4: :frog7: :white: :mrt: :smoking666: :borg: :ninja: :satan: :saint: :elvis: :pimp: :king: :pirat: :mrdj: :elk: 😎 :geek: :weird: 😡 🙁 😕 😯 :anonym: :poke: :poke: :angel: :kiss: :love2: :coffee2: :cat: :ccocktail: :beer: :thumbdown: :thumbup: hi theze r kool!!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    the background so cool :frog: :frog5: :frog6: :king: :pimp: :pirat: :mrdj: :elk: 😎 :weird: 😯 :anonym: :poke: :angel: :kiss: :love2: :coffee2: :dog: :cat: :ccocktail: :beer: :thumbdown: :thumbup:

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Agree