Thursday, June 28, 2018

Automatically Post To Twitter

This is now deprecated.

I no longer recommend feedburner if you are using WordPress or another blog platform that has a feed built-in. I also no longer recommend automatically posting to any site, including facebook and twitter. You are better off on any of the social networks, including Twitter, to tailor the message to your audience, not just use the title like most automation software does. If you want to use the power of social media, you are better off hand-crafting your messages. Sure, it takes a little time but, in the end you will give your readers a better experience. The best thing to do is to think of your readers, not the search engines. By creating a personal user experience, you will get more real readers. You will also get better search engine love. Automating content is dead. Your readers really do know the difference, and so do the search engines.

Twitter Problems

One of the problems, especially when posting to Twitter, is that your post is usually fairly long. Twitter is designed for short messages and you really need to create the best message you can that summarizes your post. You also need to make sure you are using a short URL that you can track.

Simple Wordpress Fix For Security

Well, technically not Wordpress, but your hosting is probably vulnerable.
From http://www.darkreading.com/database_security/security/attacks/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=224300052&cid=nl_DR_DAILY_2010-04-13_h if you want to read the whole thing.
There was an attack on Wordpress blogs hosted at Network Solutions, but your host is probably guilty as well.
The gist of what happened is the wp-config.php was readable by the world and the crackers got access to the database passwords and logins which are stored in that file in plain text.
It is a Wordpress problem because that was considered best practice. In reality, none of your file need to be world readable, only readable by the web server, so you can safely eliminate any world read permissions.
If that is over your head don't panic. Just ask your host.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Warning, this is deprecated now. I'm leaving it in the interest of Web Integrity.

Tweetables

Does your blog video display correctly on mobile devices? ... click to tweet Use WordPress? Do your videos play at the right size on all devices? ... click to tweet

Transcript

Hi, Jon Griffin here with another little tip, brought to you by mayulienterprises.com. This is sort of a geek tip and also sort of a marketing tip because it affects both. But it’s not geek so much that you have to do a lot of code. Basically, if you want your website to work both mobile and traditional, you need to make sure your videos are also what we call responsive or they’re fluent and they move with the size of their screen. I noticed a lot of people may have a great theme that looks good on mobile, but their videos from YouTube or wherever, they don’t size correctly.

Responsive design for video

I’m going to show you a little trick in WordPress, a plug-in and I’ve tried a lot of them, because I do a lot of video, but this one little plug, it will help you out, it will make your video size down without any extra work on your part once you set it up which is very, very easy. To start off, I’m going to show you a little demonstration. Here is my website, my personal one. As you can see on the full screen computer everything is fine, it’s stays within my nice boundary of my columns. What I’m going to do is, show you what happens if you resize and right now everything setup to work correctly. I just wanted you to see exactly what I mean. We make this smaller, that’s still a big size. We could go pretend we’re in a smaller screen and you notice that, that video is getting smaller and smaller and it will only go to a certain point, but right there it’s probably about what a mobile phone would be. If you look here, you can see it’s still playable, it’s still usable. As we go back up to full screen size, we’re back. It’s also my theme … it’s also what you call responsive of the text move down and things where in the right orders.

What WordPress theme should you use?

Right now, I’m mostly using shoestrap, which is a responsive design for WordPress, but this in this case I’m actually using genesis theme and it works just as well. You have to make sure that you are using a responsive theme that’s the buzz word, a lot of the genesis themes aren't. As I said, I’m mainly going to use shoe strap, from now on, because that’s using the boot strap, Twitter. I know twitter is going to be maintaining that for a long time. I know they are tiny little company, but just as a side now. Genesis works, most of the new themes are going to be responsive and just make sure it’s says that. In this case, I just never bothered to update, it’s not a big deal on my personal site.

The easy solution

What am I using? You can see right here that I’m using what’s called FitVids for WordPress. You can just look up FitVids, F-I-T-V-I-D-S. What we’ll do is, we’ll deactivate FitVids for WordPress and if we go here, we’ll refresh and you can see that I have my normal tiny generic YouTube embed code and that’s what shows up. There is ways on YouTube to make it bigger by default. I just left the generic one in there, but you’ll also notice as I get smaller. Now it’s running off the edge. You can see here, even though that looks pretty good, it’s still running off the edge and now it’s even less. That’s why you want to have this responsive with your video. We’ll go back up here and let’s activate FitVids for WordPress. We’ll go here to appearance which is not your normal place for savings and you go to FitVids. The only thing you have to put in there as body, you could post, but I basically don’t do that. You can add the jQuery from Google, if you want. Most of the new WordPress stuff already has that, but it doesn’t hurt. It will save the changes and then we’ll go see what happened. All right. Now you can see we’re back to our large size and if we get smaller again it all fits in there. Granted it is right by the side, but that’s because it’s a browser. If you are on your cellphone it would look tiny but different, but that’s just a good test, you can check out. That’s a quick and easy way to add a simple plug-in and make your site completely responsible, if you have a responsive theme. Now you don’t have to worry about your videos looking very strange on certain devices, so I hope that helps.

Resources

Shoestrap wordpress theme FitVids for WordPress   

Marketing Calendar

Have you ever heard something you knew was something you needed to implement right away? Of course you have, and I have as well.
One of those aha moments was at the Las Vegas Wealth Seminar.
James Jones was doing his presentation and he showed us his promotional calendar (I call it a marketing calendar). He answered that he had a monthly promotional planner and proceeded to show us an example. Everyone should have a marketing calendar, and if you have more than one project going, you definitely need one. Instead of getting some fancy program, why not use what you probably already have -- Google Calendar.

What To Put On The Calendar

You can add whatever you want, but in general I want recurring events, not specifics. Those of you with many sites to promote may just use a generic calendar, but I have separate calendars for all the sites I actively promote (i.e. not autoblogs). If you have specific products, add them and any dates like pre-launch, launch, etc. You can just have a generic event like create $5 product and recur when you want, simply change the name of that instance when you know what the exact product is.
I think you will find that having a marketing calendar will really help you stay focused. You can view it online as well as printing a copy. You never have to wonder what needs to be done, and if you outsource you can easily keep your outsourcing team busy with current and apropos work.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Amazon Web Services access keys tutorial

Hello again. This is Jon Griffin. I just want to talk to you about a little change in your Amazon Web Services account that you may or may not have noticed. That is that your security credentials are changing. It's not that they're going away or anything has to change, but there are no longer going to show you, online, what your secret code is.


Amazon Web Services access keys

If you go to your security credentials, access keys, you'll see that we have one that I deleted that I just made. Here's my old one from 2008. What you're going to want to do is create a new root key. What's going to happen then, is it's going to pop up, “You have successfully created a new access key and secret key with ID, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” You can try and hack that. I'm going to delete it, so don't worry. “Please download your key file now, which contains your new access key ID and secret access key.” What that actually does, is gives you a CSV. You need to install it and you need to save it and you need to put it somewhere safe. They are no longer going to have a way, on the web, for you to find out what your secret key is.

Download your Amazon Web Services access keys

Assuming that you download it, here's what it will look like in Excel. You'll get AWS access key ID, which is this number. Then, you go right down there and it gives you your secret key. You'll have to, obviously, copy it like that. If you just want the access key, which isn't secret, is that one. This one is no longer any good, so don't bother to try and hack me. We'll close that down. I didn't download it, so it warned me to do that, but I'm going to delete it anyway, so it doesn't matter. We'll close that.

Be prepared for Amazon Web Services changes

What we have here is the one from 2008, which is what I've been using. It's like, "Oh crud. I forgot where that is." In the meantime, you can go click on this right here. Use the legacy security credentials and it's going to ask me to log in. Then, you'll notice at the top, “Please use the new page named your security credentials, blah, blah, blah. AWS will support the current page for a limited time.” Of course they don't tell you, but it's going to go away and it'll probably even be at an inopportune time. You might as well change that. What we have here is there's my March 10th, 2008. Obviously, I can just click, show secret access key, which I won't. Here's the one that I just created, which I will show you, because I'm going to get rid of it. It says, "Store your secret access key in a secure location. You will not be able to get your secret access key after this page is removed." Basically, I would put it at least on your local machine.

Be careful where you save your Amazon Web Services access key information

If you want to, encrypt it and put it on Drop Box or some other place that is good. Don't put it on Amazon S3, because if you forget your access key, you're not going to be able to get on your S3, theoretically. Put it somewhere safe. If you need to encrypt it, that's fine. There's ways to do that. If you're really paranoid, you can put it on two or three different places. Generally, you don't need to change your access keys that much. You can see I've been using the same one. If you want to have up to two, that's what Amazon allows you. I hope that helps and make sure that you keep these access keys safe and backed up.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Have you cleaned your Facebook apps?

Facebook apps are very easy to add to your profile. Your friends invite you to some. Marketers want you to like them and get specials. Maybe you saw an ad and thought that's cool, I will sign up.
Well, I was shocked at how many apps I had activated in my account. Most of them I recognized, but some I didn't. Others I had a vague recollection of using many years ago.
It all started when I switched from AWeber to MailChimp for my email program. I wanted to hook up my emails to post on Facebook automatically. MailChimp makes this real easy, but the problem was I had a bunch of test apps, and developer apps so it took a while to find my "real" account.
This isn't a problem with fan pages and groups since they show up with your name. The problem was with the developer apps. They all show, Jon Griffin.
While searching for the way to delete or rename those, I stumbled upon a page I never check. It was the apps page under settings. I clicked it ans was surprised at just how many apps I had signed up for. I just started deleting the ones I wasn't using. It probably doesn't matter much, but it should make your timeline cleaner since you wont' be seeing ads and news from apps you don't care about anymore.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

New Social Media - Facebook Alternatives

Probably Deprecated

Are you overwhelmed with social media marketing? Not sure where to start? Having trouble keeping up with your campaigns?
Well if FaceBook and Twitter weren't enough, I want to introduce you to a few more social media sites. Don't worry though, one of them will actually help you organize your social media campaigns and the other 2 are alternative sites you may know about, but have never thought of using as social media.
Amanda DiSilvestro  writing on Marketing For Success goes into more depth on these sites:
Most PR gurus and journalism know-hows are aware that Facebook and Twitter are not the only social media networks that yield big results.
If you were ever to watch a social media expert navigate their way around all the different social networks and blogs you may very well find yourself lost.
All of these different outlets can be… connected in some way, making social media work somewhat of an art.
For example, it is possible to stumble a podcast and follow an article, then dig that article and then re-tweet an article you found on someone else’s Facebook wall. Sound like a foreign language?
Fortunately, it is not entirely necessary for your startup company or small business to hire someone with a lot of social media experience in order to reap some of the benefits.
Social media is a free tool that will help get your company name recognized as well as get information about your company across the web, so being afraid of anything but Facebook and Twitter is not a good option.
If you know the basics of some of the other social media outlets available, you can become as savvy as you need to be until your company grows large enough to hire someone to take care of your marketing efforts. One tip: get used to new verbs like Facebook, Digg, Stumble, and Tweet.
If you are new to the social media scent, there are three up-and-coming social networks that are continuing to grow: StumbleUpon, Dimbler, Digg.
1. StumbleUpon
How It Works for Users: StumbleUpon is quickly becoming known amongst marketing departments across the nation growing to 15 million users and counting. When users set up an account they select a few of their interests, and then stumble upon finds websites that may interest you based on not only what you enjoy, but what your friends and other, similar “stumblers” recommend.
How It Works for Your Company: Being that this site is all about recommendations, you will obviously want your website to be recommended as much as possible. A great way to do this is to add a StumbleUpon icon on your home page so that when visitors do visit, they can stumble your website to friends or like-minded stumblers.
Once you get enough stumbles, your website will start to show up on potential visitors pages automatically.
2. Digg
Digg works very similarly to StumbleUpon except it focuses more on articles as opposed to websites. There will be a section called “My News” on the Digg website that users can click on to find content that has a lot of popularity amongst the people they follow as well as the Digg community as a whole. As a company, you will want to have a Digg button after each article you send out so that your popularity will increase.
3. Dimbler
This social media outlet is the perfect place to share specific content you or your company has written. At times, tweeting, digging, and stumbling can get exhausting.
This website is a great tool to use when you have a piece of content you really want to share. Go to Dimbler first, and click “submit.” This will send you to a page where you can digg, stumble, tweet, and Facebook a specific piece of content all in one foul swoop.
Once you go onto the website you can simply click on “create an account” and in just a few minutes you’ll be ready to Digg and Stumble as much as you wish.
All three websites do a great job of walking you through how to use their features, and they will certainly help your marketing campaign when it comes time to really get your name out there on the web.
Continue to Facebook and Tweet special promotions or good content your company may be producing, but consider tapping into these new social networks – your company will seem in control and up on the latest marketing tactics.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Do You Over Deliver?

The 3rd Earn 1k a Day seminar just ended, and I have to say that as always the event over delivered. If you have a chance to go next year (and if they have the event again), it would be the best money you spent all year. I don't promote many affiliate products, but when I know the people involved, and I mean personally, I will. I have been a member of Earn 1k a Day for a while, and recommend it highly. In fact more than highly. Check the links at the bottom of this post to get an idea of what is there, and take action.

How Many 5 Figure Ideas Do You Have?

I know that these 3 days have given me at least 2 five-figure business ideas. There are more in there, but two of them are immediately actionable for my business. The speakers covered the gamut of current internet marketing ideas. Even with some last minute cancellations, the speakers filled in the slack and gave unbelievable presentations.
  • Do you know how to use LinkedIn to effectively generate leads? I bet you don't.
  • Do you know the best ways to drive traffic with Facebook? Probably not.
  • Do you know why you need partners and how to pick the right one? You can't sit in your office by yourself all day.
  • Do you know why ugly, quick to build websites can make you a ton of money? That's right, graphic artists need not apply.
  • Do you know the right way to make money with webinars? You might think you do, but you probably don't.
  • Do you know that there is a ton of money to be made not selling information? What is it?

You can learn all of this and more...... but you will have to wait.

The videos will be available for purchase in about a week, but in the meantime, I would like for you to have some reports written by some of the folks who presented at the seminar. Fill in your email to get 33 marketing reports for free. These are not junk, so don't pass this up. If you don't like the information, just unsubscribe from my list. I won't have hurt feelings, and please leave comments if you like.

33 Free Marketing Reports


You can also get the complete 2010 seminar videos for only $97. If you don't get $100 worth of information you can get your money back. I will tell you that you didn't try hard enough, but you will get a refund. Earn1KaDay 2010 Seminar Recordings If you aren't sure you can "afford" $97, here is a preview:   Preview of Earn 1k A Day  2010 Seminar

2011 Earn 1K a Day Seminar Recordings

I will send another email when the recordings for 2011 are available, so don't worry about missing out. They will start much cheaper than you think, and the price will be going up. Watch for my email announcing their availability.     

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Facebook Automation Trick

Like many of you, I use Facebook for a lot of things. Much of the time it is to keep up with friends, but I do follow recommendations from people that are my "friends."
I have to say though, that at least for me, keeping up with posting status updates and stuff can be time consuming, especially since, god forbid, I don't have a "smart" phone. In fact my phone is quite dumb, and if I am not in front of a real computer, well, I am not connected.
I like it that way. I don't need the disturbances when I am not working on stuff. Believe me, nothing is that important. If it is, whoever is needing to tell me something has my number and can call me.
You see, I grew up in a time when there were no cell phones, in fact, there were no portable phones. We had a phone in the kitchen and one in my moms room. There was even a time when I lived out in the country (Rainbow, California), that we had a 4 way party line, That's right, 4 housed shared a single phone line.
So you can see my reason to avoid spending a few grand a year on a smart phone and plan. I am not tech averse, far from it, I just don't see the need to be connected 24/7.
Anyway, I wrote this post because I found a cool little trick to automate some of the drudgery of posting status updates to Facebook. Some of you may know this, but I bet more than a few of you don't. I recorded this little video to show you how it is done.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Globalization

By Jon Griffin
Many people think of globalization as the transfer of jobs to foreign countries. While this is certainly a part of globalization, a true definition would have to include the interconnectedness of everything around us. The interconnections are evidence of the true nature of globalization. Especially in the free world, very little is produced or created in only one country. Parts, labor, and transport almost always cross international lines at some point in the product cycle. Even service industries are affected by globalization. Many services, or parts of the service, are now performed by people or companies in foreign lands. This is especially true since the internet has made borders disappear and places even the smallest companies in front of potentially millions of customers.

Major Drivers of Globalization

Communications advances, specifically the internet, are certainly one of the major drivers of globalization. The ease of conducting business across the internet and the equalizing effect allows smaller businesses located worldwide to compete with larger firms.

Transportation

Transportation is another major driver of globalization. In fact, without the inventions of the jet airline, super-freighters, and containerization (Hill, 2009), costs and time would be increased for doing business outside the local area, thus eliminating any advantage for globalization. Transportation, along with technology, has made the world a much smaller place, and much easier to do business in.

Tariffs and regulations

A third driver of globalization is the reduction in both tariffs and regulations. Most advanced nations have lowered or eliminated trade barriers. The global issue of tariffs and regulations has been codified in the General Treaty on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), specifically the eighth round commonly called the Uruguay Round (Hill, 2009). The GATT is broad set of standards covering everything from products, services, trademarks, patents, copyrights, and other trade related issues. Under the GATT tariffs in 7 Western countries and Japan have dropped an average of 22.6% in 1913, to 3.5% in 2005 (World Trade Organization, 2005, as cited in Hill). By lowering barriers to trade, a more attractive business climate for foreign companies and products is created.

Effects of Globalization

Globalization presents both challenges and opportunities. Since the news media tends to focus on bad news, the average person only hears about the negative aspects of globalization. Certainly many effects of globalization that help consumers and businesses can be found, and while many scream about losing jobs, they certainly do not mind the cheaper products and services which result from globalization.

Competition

A company can benefit from globalization by entering new markets. This has the effect of increasing not only brand presence, but potential customers. This is also a two edged sword, foreign companies can enter the domestic markets as has been evidenced by the consumer electronics industry and the automobile industry.

Price

One of the most obvious effects of globalization is price. Not just the final price of the product or service, but the price at all stages of the product cycle. Many economists point out that the market reaches optimal efficiency when artificial barriers to trade are removed. This certainly applies to globalization. Companies can concentrate on their strengths and outsource their weaknesses to the cheapest, most efficient, and possibly foreign company. This has the net effect of lowering prices in most non-monopolistic industries.

Jobs

Much has been made about jobs in the global economy. While a factory closure in one country causes very visible job losses in the community, most economists again point out that globalization is generally a net boost for jobs in the domestic market. In fact, Simon Cox points out that while trade displaces workers in industrialized countries, corporate investment in foreign countries creates new jobs by increasing demand for their own products (Cox, 2006). Of course, for the employee who is downsized, this fact is not comforting.

Privacy and Security

With more of the service industry in the United States going to overseas companies and employees, the issues of privacy and security become much more important. From tax returns to medical diagnosis, a growing amount of private information is flying through the internet. Foreign entities do not have to follow the same laws that are present in the host country. What happens if private medical or tax records get posted on the internet or leaked to the news media? Certainly the company contracting the information could be held liable, but often little can be done to the entity which disclosed the information. The same holds true with security. Increasingly more engineering is done in other countries, even the United States Department of Defense contracts manufacturing and weapons design to non United States companies. What happens if these once friendly countries suddenly switch sides? What about a rogue employee or executives? These questions raise serious issues about the current trend in business and government to allow the market to have free rein in the quest for ever cheaper products and services.

Regional Trading Blocs

Regional trading blocs are areas of free trade created by treaty. Other reasons for regional trading blocs exist as well. One reason is to form barriers to businesses not in the trading bloc and promote those that are. Some trade blocs, like the European Union (EU), have loftier goals of formulating not just economic treaties, but social and political conformity as well.

NAFTA

Perhaps the best known trading bloc in the United States is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA was signed into law on January 1, 1994 and lowers or eliminates tariffs between the United States, Canada, and Mexico on most products within 15 years (United States Department of Agriculture [USDA], 2008).

CAFTA

The United States is also involved with other Central American and Caribbean countries under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This bill is meant to lower barriers to United States agricultural products, with the complete elimination of agricultural tariffs with only four exceptions the final goal. The CAFTA-DR also leveled the playing field for United States companies in the CAFTA-DR treaty by dropping tariffs in host countries and allowing service providers and investment opportunities to enter the region.

FTAA

Proponents of CAFTA-DR and NAFTA are hoping these treaties can be the model for a hemisphere-wide Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) treaty. The FTAA would be the largest free trade area in the world with 34 economies, dwarfing even the EU (Enterprise Florida, 2008).

References

Cox, S. (Ed.). (2006). Economics: Making sense of the modern economy (2nd ed.). London: Profile Books Ltd..
Enterprise Florida (2008). What is CAFTA. Retrieved September 25, 2008, from http://www.caftaintelligencecenter.com/subpages/What_is_CAFTA.asp
Hill, C. W. (2009). International business: Competing in the global marketplace (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
United States Department of Agriculture (2008). North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Retrieved September 25, 2008, from http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/Policy/nafta/nafta.asp

Monday, June 18, 2018

Are You Really An Entrepreneur?

I have found there are two kinds of people in the world: entrepreneurs and employees. Which are you?
Before you click away think long and hard, are you really cut out to work for yourself?
OK, now all you employees can click away, good bye!

Stability

Today I was walking with my neighbor and he couldn't understand how I could work 7 days a week (yeah, I know you read the 4 hour work week, good luck with that). I explained that, while I work everyday, I don't have to work at all. He gave me this wtf look and I had to snicker to myself.
You see, I have the discipline to work without a boss. Many of you do as well, but many of you, even those that own your own business, are just trading your time for the illusion of entrepreneurship.
My neighbor on the other hand likes stability, a check every two weeks, the gold watch when he retires. He is happy living the middle class dream. I have to admit, it is tempting. He comes home and he is done with work. Saturday and Sunday? Unlike me, they are days of relaxation for him, but why I snickered is my secret...
I don't have to work.
Now, I am not going to lie to you (like many of the gurus claiming they do no work except cash checks). I work, a lot. In fact, my wife bugs the crap out of me because I don't relax. The problem is, I do relax. My relaxation is creativity, and to be an entrepreneur you need to be creative. So, is doing what you love work? How about the fact that if I need to take a day off or leave in the middle of the day, like you I ask the boss. Oh wait, I am the boss, see ya!
An entrepreneurial mindset is not about tactics, rather it is about strategy. Just because you outsource everything doesn't make you a strategist. In fact, this is so important that my next post will be on this difference. Most of you are great tacticians by necessity. You go from one fire to another, but a true entrepreneur is working on strategy. Ponder that for a while (until the next post).

Another Example

Like many entrepreneurs, I have EADD. What the hell is that you ask? Entrepreneurs ADD, my mind goes a million miles an hour and if you are in one of my brainstorming sessions, keep up or get out of the way (Do you notice this post, it is a good example, I am thinking of 5 other posts to follow-up with this one).

How Many Irons Do You Have In The Fire?

I can't slow down my thought process and for that reason I have a whole lot of projects in various states of completion (note, mostly incomplete). Why? Well, I love ideas, but get bored with implementation. So all of you employees that stuck around, I need you. This wasn't meant to dis you, just make sure you are in the right place. I love employees, they work, they get paid, and as the Rhodes brothers said in a seminar (paraphrased), I put money in one end and get results out of the other. If everyone was an entrepreneur, no work would get done!
So now, if you read through this entire post, are you an entrepreneur, or an employee?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Using irFanView to batch edit images

I recently decided to repurpose a product and turn it into a book and Kindle version. The Kindle version had no real issues with images since they get down sampled anyway, but the printed book needed to have the images at at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). If not the images would almost certainly be grainy, and I don’t want that. Most screen capture software saves the images at 96 dpi or sometimes 72 dpi. I started using Photoshop and taking each image and making it 384 dpi by using the bicubic sampling functions. It was a pain. First, change the image type to indexed color, then upscale, downsize (the images get really big), then change back to RGB. Do that for 50 images, well, you get the idea.

My search for automated image manipulation

I started looking for a Photoshop script to do the work, and couldn't find one I thought was decent. Then I looked at some commercial programs, but I never did use them. Instead, I stumbled across irFanView. This program does everything I needed and more. I have only done the batch conversions, but you can also do many different things and there are plugins as well. I decided to put together a little video to show you how easy it is to use the batch functions of irFanView to increase the resolution of your screen captures for print. You could use this for any image really. Also, I highly recommend not using .jpg or .gif for your print work. Use .tiff. Tiff files are designed to be printed, and even though you don’t hear much about them, do yourself a favor and use them on all your print projects. Without further ado:

Transcript

All right, I'm going to show you a little program here that I found because I was looking to convert a whole bunch of screen shots that I had. We're talking 30, 40, 50 of them in a batch. I didn't want to spend money for these one off jobs. I found a great little program called IrfanView. Hit batch conversion or rename or you can just hit the B key. Comes up with another little dialogue here called batch conversion. This program does a lot of stuff. The nice thing is, you can do pretty much everything in this batch conversion that I've found. I want to save as a tip, and just a hint to anybody that's doing any kind of real publication, whether it's a normally published book or you're using Create Space. You want to have at least 300 dpi images or they're going to look funny, may be grainy, and most screen captures do 72 dpi or dots per inch. We'll go find a file folder that I'm looking to work on. Okay, so we see I have in here five jpeg files. What I'm going to do, the easy thing in my case, I have them all sorted out. I just hit add all but you can individually add them as well. I have them tip as selected as my file output format here and I want to hit advanced. I've already set this up. I know that generally, things blow up better if they're doubled. If the screens are 72 dpi, you multiply that times five and that's where your target it. I've got 384 dpi and that's really all I've changed on this. There's a lot of other things you can do. You can blur them, correct brightness, sharpness. With screen captures you don't really need to do that. You're just trying to blow them up and keep as much detail as possible and keep the same size. This does all this. You could do it in Photoshop. It's much more tedious. I guess you can create some action to do it automatically but this is already here and it works great. You just hit okay, multiply your base dpi and all your screen shots should be the same by usually five, so you're over 300. If you're over, that's okay. Just hit okay, so that's ready to go. If you want to see the options on the tips, I don't use compression just because I want to have the top quality for print. So you can hit okay on that. All you do here now is ... The nice thing is, if they're all in different directories like I do, each chapter has their own thing. You want to make sure they stay in the [thing 00:02:41] because I'm changing the extension any one in the tip from a jpeg. I can just hit this, use current look in directory. You noticed this changed right here or you could browse if you're going to keep the same name and you just want to put them in a high def or something like that, folder. In my case, it's easier just to hit the current directory here. Just hit start batch. You can see they're done. I returned a batch because I'm doing a whole bunch. You can see they're all there ready to go, and that's about it. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Amazon Collections

Deprecated

We're going to talk about a little feature that Amazon has included in August of 2013.  In August 2013, Amazon quietly released a new feature that will be of interest to marketers called Amazon Collections.  It's a direct competitor to Pinterest.  There's some significant differences though.  Why Amazon even matters.  First, a quick recap for those who don't like or use Amazon.  I know you're out there.  One reason Amazon's very important, especially to the men reading this, is that Amazon has a very diverse audience.  It's not a heavily female-dominated site like Pinterest and some people have already declared Collections the male Pinterest.  So that should peak your interest a bit.


Amazon Collections vs Pinterest

So let's talk about Amazon Collections versus Pinterest.  Pinterest allows you to pin almost any content to their account including links to products.  In fact, Pinterest has upped the commerce ante by announcing the addition of several commerce-friendly enhancements like product pins, personal recommendations, analytics, and also they launched in August 2013 price alerts.  It must be noted though that Amazon will most likely add features to Collection including some of the above.  As a marketer I hope you see the possibilities.

How to use Amazon Collections

So let's get going on how to use Collections.  Of quick note, not all products seem to be available to be added to Collections at this time but that is possibly because of some lag time during their role out and I'll show you an example of that.  But first, let's go look at the Collections.  The easy way to do this is to obviously have an Amazon account.  I'm not going to go into that since almost everyone already has one that's reading this.  But you're going to notice there's a new button underneath product images that says add to Collection. So let's just go real quick here to one of my products.  I might as well promote my own thing.  And this will give us an example of some that aren't there.  So let's go here to the Cuba master series.  If we click on that, you'll notice it says add to Collection.  That's the pin that you're looking for.  So the easiest thing to do is just simply click that button.  You'll be brought to your Collections page and the default Collections are my style, want list, and possibilities.  But, as you can see, from this video, you're free to collect your own Collections.  In this case, I created a Collection called great books.  So we can put this in here.  Whatever you want.  This is a great book for the aspiring Cuban music musician.  It doesn't really matter what you put. As you can see, there's my style possibilities and want list.  But I'm going to leave it in great books.  You can also just hit create a new collection.  So, let's just click add to collection and you'll see now it's successfully added and you can view great books, which would be mine, and you can also see what other people are collecting.  But we will go to great books and this is going to give you an example of what your account looks like.  So you can see, I've put a few of mine in there.  I have four collections and zero likes because I haven't promoted this and its brand new.  So what you can do is go back to show you what one that probably doesn't have or at least didn't have the last time I checked.  Let's go to the Cuba master series DVD.  So as you can see with this product there is no button yet and I'm assuming that's because they haven't rolled it out, like I said before, but it also could be that the best seller's working its way down and I don't sell a ton of these anymore.  So it may be just that the rank isn't as high as it should be. So there are other ways you can do that.  If you go to your account, you can go to your collections right here and you can see this menu called learn more.  And it will tell you a bunch of information but you'll see an option for add to collection.  You can click on the product there but there's also drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar and click it on any Amazon.com product page.  So you can simply just drag this up to here and you can see it'll go in collect and now I can go back to my DVD and I can just say collect.  And since this isn't a great book, I'll put this in create a new collection and we'll type in great DVDs.  I didn't put a comment but that doesn't really matter.  But now we can go to great DVDs and you can add  a caption, you can edit it.  So you can always add stuff later to it.  You can like it, which I would suggest doing.  And you can also collect this item, which I already have, so it doesn’t really do any good.  But adding a caption might be useful.  There's all kinds of things you can do.

Caveats

So with that said, I have some caveats.  I can imagine many of you are lining up your fiver gigs right now to create these boards with fake accounts.  I would highly recommend not doing that.  Even if it is allowed today, and by allowed I mean nobody's canceling accounts, Amazon isn't going to be stupid enough to allow it in the future.  I will guarantee that they have ways of knowing.  You know, if you've got 5000 likes on a product that sold 30 in its entire life, something's probably not right.  So like most things that are black hat or even gray hat, you'll probably get burned in the end and I would just have your list, have your people, do some normal marketing promotion, have people like it, put it on their want list and other things. So that's my suggestion.  My suggestion is direct your list and buyers to the button, then just have them leave a legitimate collection.  If you're an author, put a big old page in the back asking for comments and for the reader to add the book to their collection.  Don't spam.  It’s not nice.  I hope that helped and hopefully you learned about a new feature on Amazon.

Using BackWPup for WordPress backups

Many of you are looking for a free way to do back ups on WordPress, and even though I've got some scripts to back up whole directories and that on my website, it's really nice to be able to split each WordPress instance or website into its own backup, just in case one goes bad or you need to move it. I've been using BackWPup. I think that's how they pronounce it, but it's WordPress back up plug-in for a year or so now, and it's only gotten better. You can look for it. Just type in BackWPup. I'm not going to teach you how to add plug-ins or activate them or anything like that, so that's the name of it. You'll notice on the dashboard, you have a way to set up your options.

You can go ahead and read on this, but I'm going to show you the basic thing you want to do is go to Jobs, and you see I have one called Nightly 2S3. You can back up to many places, Amazon, local file, I believe Dropbox, all kinds. What you want to basically do is go to Add New Job, we can name this, let's just call it Another S3 Backup. It doesn't really matter what the name is. It's just for you. I back up the database and the file backup. I don't generally do WordPress XML export because I've already got that in the database and I also tend to not do the installed plug-in since I don't really care. I have other ways to check the database tables, but if you want to, that's fine. You can go ahead and do that.
For the archive name, you can add in, instead of just Backup WPW, ti da da da da, whatever this whole basically the name, you can also put in the website if you want, just by what it's for if you have more than one. Generally, each Amazon S3 instance, I have a backup folder for each website, so I don't have to worry about it. I generally do TARB.zip, most Linux and hosting will have that, but you can leave it as TARG.zip. It's a slightly bigger file but not a big deal. Here's what you can do, you can back up to this folder on your host. You can back up by email, FTP if you want, Dropbox, S3. If you have Rackspace cloud files or Microsoft Azure or SugarSync, you can also back up to there, but we're just going to do S3 and this gives you the email to tell you when it's done. If you want, and it tells you email from and they don't give you who all this is from, and send email would log only when errors occur. 99.9% of the time, I get nothing.
We go ahead and save that, then we can go to Schedule. I generally use WordPress prong. It's a lot easier. For some reason, your WordPress site doesn't get very much activity. Even if I want to just set up a crime job, which I believe there is plenty of material on, and I'm pretty sure I wrote one as well. If you see a link up here, that means I went in after the fact and added it to a little video tutorial on that. I basically do basic. I just do everyday whatever topic along. Let's call it, this is a 24-hour clock, so let's say every night at 11 o'clock. That's it. Every night at 11, it's going to go, and this is the important part. When you go to DB Backup, generally you don't want comments and that kind of things, make sure like redirection, I have a lot.
You want your items. You probably don't want the logs, sorry I should have left the 404 in the group. You don't want most things that say Logs because they get big and you're just backing up redundant data and it's not going to hurt anything, taxonomies, whatever. You can look through and find. Generally, if it says logs, you don't want to back it up. You can call it whatever you want and I generally don't do any database backup compression because it's going to all get zipped up anyway in our previous screen, so we'll save that. We go to files, and generally, you probably want to exclude Inclusion WPAdmin because you can just upload a new version of WordPress and it's got those in. If you want it really quick, like all I have to do is unzip everything and it's ready to go, no problem.
Here's another, if you want to be able to do this really quickly, you can keep WP Inclusion, WPAdmin. That way, you can just unzip the whole thing. It's a little bit quicker, although it does use a little more space. Allright, I always exclude my cache if you're using a caching plug-in upgrade. Uploads I never delete, because that's where generally your pictures and that kind of stuff are. Backed up logs, I don't care about because I don't care what happened three weeks ago if I have a major system problem. I also, in general, I'll keep all these plug-ins because they're not that big, but you can exclude them, because again, you can just download them. It depends how much downtime you can afford as opposed to space.
Here's my themes. I never exclude those because I don't want to have to recreate that, and that's usually not something other than 2014 that comes with WordPress. Uploads folder, I back up. PowerPress, I don't really use this on my S3, but if you want, you can download that, and a nice thing about this is you can also download any extra folders. If you have some static HTML or a lead page, you can actually put that in there. In this case, I don't have any so it doesn't matter. Most of you probably won't. I think most of this stuff is the same, so you have to change it, and the important part here is to S3 service, so we're going to go pick which one that you're at, which one you use. You can also use dream host, Google storage if you want, which area, I generally use standard because it's the cheapest. You're putting your access key and your secret key and if you click the link that should be on the screen now, you can get another demonstration video on how to set that up now that Amazon's changed their way to access those a bit.
Once you throw that in, this bucket selection is going to show up and you can pick one if you already have it, or if you want, you can create a new bucket. Let's say this is a brand-new site, we can type My New Site, and it would come up with that. Of course, without the access keys, it doesn't matter. We can also do a folder. We can just call it Backups. That's what I usually do. Here's the nice thing. You can delete files after an x number of days. I generally do about 30 days because I'd rather have a month in case something comes up. You can do what you want. It will delete the 31st one, so you don't have to worry about it adding 5,000 files, which a lot of the other plug-ins just keep adding, so automatic deletion. Multi-part upload, the same because who cares? I never use reduce redundancy. If it's some very critical site for you, you might want to do that, and if you're worried about people stealing your stuff, you can also encrypt it on the server, which I don't bother with.
I will not save that because it won't work. Let's go look at one of my other jobs, my regular nightly jobs, so let's edit that, and if we go to the S3, of course this will be blacked out, but here's my access key, and you can see with the bucket selection, all the different buckets I have, I don't want to talk too much about Amazon S3, but buckets are basically, think of them as folders and I put it into the backup. That says 15 on this one, no storage, so that should be enough to get you going.
Let's go to the dashboard, and you can see here how to restore backups. Let's say, you want to move a website real quick. You can just download this database. It will download the whole thing to your drive. You don't have to wait for your once a night. Say Bluehost is down again for the 55,000th time this month, and you finally decided to get a real hosting company, you can just do a quick download and put that on your new one. That's a really nice thing.
It gives you the last log that tells me everything was okay, tells me that the next job's scheduled for April 17th, and another S3 backup which was never done, so you can see that that's there, I'll have to delete it or I'll have to wear her out. We can also go to job and say, "Hey you know what, I want to run this right now. Let's run it, then you can see it's saying backs up. It's job's done. There's not much in this site, and you can also display the log. That should get you going. That's about all you need for WordPress, which I know most people are using so I will just leave that. If you have any questions, feel free to leave comments or to contact me.