Christmas is approaching quickly! I thought that it would be fitting to come up with a list some great Christmas gift ideas that you could give the internet presence builder in your life. You could also give them to yourself with some of that Christmas cash you will find in your Christmas stocking on the 25th. The items on this list are all items that I use very often in doing what I do. These are all items that I have personal experience with and I would have been very happy to receive as gifts at Christmas or any other time of the year.
(Image Credit: James Vaughan)
|Christmas gifts like this will win you huge points. The problem is that it’s a little pricey so you should make sure the receiver is worthy! I know. You’re probably thinking what kind of list starts off with such an expensive item. Usually on these types of gift lists the most expensive item is listed last. However, for me, I have found that my MacBook Air is the best purchase I made all year. It’s thin, it’s light and most of all, it’s fast. I went with the 13″ version but the 11″ model is even smaller, thinner and lighter! Since this is my new daily driver, I decided to go with a bigger screen. I am pretty sure that anybody won’t be disappointed to get a MacBook Air under the tree this year!|
|Here we are at the second item on the list and it’s not much cheaper than the first. Trust me, they get cheaper but this is another item that I use constantly. I can’t even remember what life was like before I had an iPhone! I’m still using an iPhone 3Gs because we have been moving around a lot and I don’t want to get into a contract but it’s getting a little long-in-the-tooth. I bought my iPhone while living in Taiwan and fortunately it’s unlocked. It can get a little costly to buy an iPhone unlocked but it is great to be able to swap out SIM cards while in different countries. You can’t go wrong with an iPhone.|
LaCie Network Space 2
|Residing inside of a MacBook Air is a limited amount of storage space because Airs use a solid state drive (SSD). SSDs have no moving parts and this makes them faster and lighter but large SSD drives are very expensive. This is why I wanted a larger network attached storage (NAS) drive. The version of the LaCie Network Space 2 drive that I have is 2TB. This drive can be plugged into an open port on a wireless router. This means that it doesn’t need to be plugged into a computer but it can be accessed over a wifi network. Additionally, I already had a 1.5TB Western Digital USB drive. It’s plugged into the extra USB port on the front of the LaCie drive. The LaCie drive can then backup to the WesternDigital drive. The extra USB port can also be used to plug a printer into so that you could print wirelessly from networked computers. On top of all of that, the drive has a built in bittorrent client. The downloads will continue even if all of the computers in the house are shut off. The LaCie Network Space 2 is an inexpensive solution for someone looking to detach themselves from their external drives.|
|It is important to access data on the go and online data storage is fantastic. Dropbox is like the NAS above but the drive doesn’t reside in your possession. The data is actually stored in the “cloud”. Meaning that you have access to the data from any place on the planet that has internet access. I use Dropbox to sync data between my Mac, iPhone and iPad. I also use it to share data with clients, family or friends regardless of if they are on a Mac or Windows computer. I also use Dropbox as part of the website backup system for a lot of my sites. You start off with 2GB of storage and if you need more then you can pay for additional space. Check out this Dropbox video to learn more.|
|Small, low quality microphones built into computers usually sound terrible. When I work with people online I use tools like Skype, GoToMeeting or GoToAssist. These tools are great but audio quality becomes very important. Most computers have built in microphones but the way to get clear audio is by using a headset microphone. These headsets will help your gift recipient to have better audio when creating these recordings or taking part in Skype calls. I prefer Logitech Headsets since they have always worked the best for me. I also recommend getting one with a USB connection since all that needs to be done is plug the headset in and it works. I use the Logitech USB Headset H530.|
|Technology has got to the point where creating great looking screencasts is actually easy to do. One of the best tools out there for doing this is ScreenFlow. This application gives you, or the receiver of your gift, the ability to record their screens. There are some basic editing tools built in and the ability to add some simple callouts. I also find it useful to record the screens of the people I work with so that they have something to refer back to after our sessions are finished. Sometimes I even use ScreenFlow to do simple editing of video files that are not even screen recordings. There are other similar tools out there but Screenflow is the one that I prefer.|
|Most online presences are built on top of a website. In order to build a website you need to have a place to store your files. If you take a minute to look around these days, you are going to see countless web hosting companies online. The question is which one of these web hosts should you choose for yourself or as a gift for someone else. I have been using Dreamhost since 2006, after going through a few others. Dreamhost offers a bunch of extra tools, like one-click installs of WordPress, which are useful for building an internet presence. Take a look into Dreamhost.|
|A WordPress website isn’t truly ready for primetime until it has received a new coat of paint. Headway Themes is one of the most flexible themes out there today. It incorporates a very easy to use visual editor that makes it easy for people that do not have programming experience. If the person that you’re buying a Christmas gift for has already started to build their internet presence and they have been using WordPress, a theme like Headway will be greatly appreciated.|
|Something that most people exchange all the time are business cards. Even if business cards are becoming less and less necessary in the online world, a nice looking business card says a lot about the person handing it over. I really like the quality of Moo Cards and the Moo MiniCards are a bit more unique than the piles of generic business cards that are handed out every day. Moo has a bunch of different styles of cards, stickers and cases to hold them and Moo Cards are well worth looking into.|
So, why 9? I’ll give you one clue. C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S! Enjoy the holiday season!
How has your Christmas preparations been going? If your not celebrating Christmas this season what are you doing instead?