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Your Yahoo! avatar is a cartoonlike character that you can create for your Yahoo! account. You can customize the avatar's look, hairstyle, accessories and clothes, adding a touch of personalization to your account. Once you set up your avatar for you...


Customizing your fonts can add a personal touch to your Blogger page.As a Google Blogger, you have access to powerful tools that help you customize your blog's appearance. The Google Blogger interface helps bloggers modify basic blog sections, such as headers and footers. You can't, however, use the interface to apply...


Facebook allows you to import your blog to your profile or page as an RSS feed, though to do so you'll need to install an application designed to import your RSS items as links. There are several different RSS readers available on Facebook for free;...


We've covered several programming languages now, but we haven't really gotten into database development yet. Although NoSQL is hot, SQL (structured query language) isn't going away. Different databases (such as Oracle, MySQL and PostgreSQL) use different variations, but the idea is to have a unified system so that a developer can move from database to database with a minimum of relearning.

If you're not quite sure yet what a relational database is or why someone would use one, check out our

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ef="">guide to database terminology. Otherwise, let's dive into some books for beginners, and one for experienced database developers.


Practical PostgreSQL

Practical PostgreSQL

Practical PostgreSQL from O'Reilly Media is designed to introduce the SQL beginner to PostgreSQL. The book is focused on Postgres running on Red Hat, but has many lessons applicable to other environments.

W3 Schools SQL Tutorial

Love 'em or hate 'em, W3 Schools has tutorials on nearly every Web development subject, and SQL is no exception.

Oracle Database 10g Express Edition Tutorial

This Oracle Database 10g Express Edition tutorial introduces Oracle's SQL database using its free version.

Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site Using PHP & MySQL

Sitepoint PHP and MySQL book cover

If you're planning on learning MySQL along with PHP, you can check out Sitepoint's Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site Using PHP & MySQL by Kevin Yank. The first 168 pages are available as a free PDF if you're willing to fork over your e-mail address. However, you can find much of the material on the Web in this series of tutorials by Yank.

You can find more resources for learning PHP here.

SQL Performance Explained

SQL Performance Explained

For the more advanced practitioner, there's SQL Performance Explained. In the words of the publisher it "It avoids unnecessary details about database internals but highlights the one topic that is most often neglected: proper indexing." It's available as an e-pub, or as a continually updated website called Use The Index, Luke.



Facebook allows users to upload up to 200 photo albums.As of June 2011, Facebook and Mobile Me services do not offer a feature to directly upload Mobile Me galleries to a Facebook profile. There is a work-around solution however. You can share Mobile Me photo galleries by downloading the gallery pictures...


BuddyPress is "social networking in a box," as it allows you to create your own Facebook-like network with a few clicks. You can have your own Avatar, or small picture, that appears on all of your posts. You can change the size of a BuddyPress Avatar...



Location based social network Foursquare celebrated 10 million registered users yesterday but how are businesses and organizations using the platform? I wrote a year ago next month about the incredible potential offered by Foursquar

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e accounts for organizations: following a Foursquare page as a user is like opting-in to view the world through the lens of that organization's geo-annotations. It can be awesome. (My favorites? History Channel and Eater.)

Are businesses getting into it? For one perspective on that question, I extracted some data from the 128 most recent Foursquare Pages that have been created. The 128 most recent Foursquare Page holders have added 728 tips in 311 cities so far. They've amassed a total of over 8,000 Foursquare followers and they came in with some social media experience as well: those organizations already had an aggregate of over 800,000 Twitter followers. Above, a map of all the metro areas around the world that new Page holders have added tips in. Below, more stats.


The 128 Newest Foursquare Page Account Holders...

Their success on Twitter before joining Foursquare...

  • 17% didn't have linked Twitter accounts at all or have zero followers there

Facebook allows you to "Attach" links to external content to your Facebook Status Updates, which presents several advantages to simply copying and pasting the URL itself into your update. Namely, the Status Update interface allows you to edit the pre...


CSS Lint logo CSS Lint is a tool for checking your CSS code. Like JSHint and JSLint (see our previous coverage).

CSS Lint was created by Nicole Sullivan and Nicholas C. Zakas. Based on th

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e conversations thus far is bound to become as infamous as JSLint. However, since CSS Lint is open source, if you don't like the rules, you can host your own version and change the rules.


Many of the seemingly strange rules (such as "IDs shouldn't be used in selectors") stem from object oriented CSS, a paradigm promoted by Sullivan.

Here's a video by Sullivan on the subject:



One reason that Google's free "Blogger" platform is so easy to use is that it offers you the choice of literally dozens of preset themes. If you're unsatisfied with one aspect of a pre-existing theme, you need to create a new, custom one to make the...

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