Retiring due to ill health

by Lee Hopkins on March 30, 2014 · 1 comment

in miscellaneous

retiring due to ill healthIt is with much sadness that I have to retire this blog, due to my ongoing health issues.

Thank you for your time and patience and your audience over the last nine years.

Lee

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Chatwing has added some new functionality, including being mobile-friendly. Aaron from Chatwing tells us more.

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With the abundant numbers of widgets being made today, site owners have to be careful in choosing which one use and find out whether they’ll be efficient to the site or not since putting too many on your site will increase its tendency to produce lag. There many widgets out there and each one can help the site in its own way. However, if customer satisfaction is what you’re after, then you might just want to choose a chat widget over the others. Having a chatting tool embedded on your site will greatly increase its capability to support your viewers since you are giving them the opportunity to voice out their concerns directly to you.

There are many chat widgets out there too, and as mentioned before, you have to pick only the best for your site. A great chatting tool will not only create a better atmosphere on your site, it will also provide your viewers a place where they can gather credible information quickly. Chatwing is a tool that can achieve that and more. Here’s a simple set of procedures in making one and embedding it on your site.

What You’ll Need

To make this efficient chatroom, you’ll need three things.

  • A valid E-mail
  • A Password
  • Your creative mind – yes, you’ll need this

Now that you have an idea as to what you need here, it’s time to start the process!

 

Step 1: Register

You’ll need to use your email and password here in order to make a Chatwing account. This is necessary as it’s the only way you can make a chatroom. Just follow the steps below.

  • Find Chatwing’s homepage – it’s on http://chatwing.com
  • Now find the TRY NOW button and press it.
  • A registration form will show up – there are two blank spaces and a box below.
  • Now put your email address and your password on their intended places and check the box.
  • Click on the Register button at the bottom of the form to finally create your account!

How was it? Easy right? Normally, one can finish the entire process in less than a minute so it’s a pretty easy process to complete. And no, you won’t need to reconfirm your account or your email – you can immediately start creating your chatroom afterwards! Now let’s head on for Step 2.

Register

 

Step 2: Creating the Chatroom

This is yet another very easy step for you. You’re now in the Dashboard page. To describe this place in a sentence – it’s where you create your chatrooms and store them. To create a new chatroom, look for the Create chatbox button and press it.

Dashboard

 

Step 3: Customizing Your Chatroom

Now this is where you’ll need your creative mind. Chatwing’s customization options are vast and have the capability to change your chatroom to whatever suit your preferences. Changing the settings requires no real effort – just simple click and dragging motion of the mouse.

As you modify your chatroom however, you have to constantly save it by pressing the Save button – they’re placed on some of the tabs as well as on the top of the page. As for your chatroom, you can keep track of its changes by looking at the preview window on the right side of the page.

When you’re done customizing, make sure you press the Save button for the last time. Now press the Use Chatbox button at upper part of the page to finally start embedding!

CustomizationPage

 

Step 4: Embedding the Chatroom

Now to finally start the embedding process, you’ll need to choose one of the three tabs in the Embedding Page. The best choice for you would be the one in the middle, the Embedded Options tab, so pick it. Inside it you’ll find two scrollbars and two groups of HTML codes.

EmbeddedOptions

The scrollbars are used to change the size of your chatroom. See that preview window showing your chatroom? That is its actual size and you can change it using the aforementioned controls.

If you’re satisfied with how big your chatroom is, then you can finally start embedding it. Look for the Javascript codes below. All you need to do now is to copy these codes and paste them into your site, right where you want the chatroom to show up, and you’re done! Save your progress and refresh your site – the chatroom should be there and you can start chatting.

EmbeddingPasting

EmbeddingDone

Note: The iFrame codes found at the bottom of the Embedded Options tab can be used as substitute if Javascript won’t work on your site. So if your chatroom won’t show up and you think that you followed the instructions clearly, then just replace the previous codes with this one.

 

Using the Chatroom

Chatwing has a lot of features that will surely come in handy when you’re chatting with your viewers. They can login easily because of Chatwing’s lenient login methods that allows the use of social media accounts to join in – for now they can use their Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Tumblr, Instagram and even Vk accounts to do so. You can easily manage the chatroom and ban anyone out of it with a simple mouse click.

LoginMethod

 

Chatwing has a lot more to give you, and without a doubt, it will surely make your time chatting with them totally worth it. So give your viewers the best chatting experience they deserve through this nifty chat software.


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Repurposing your content for better ROI

by Lee Hopkins on January 30, 2014 · 0 comments

in marketing,seo,video

Guest post by John Terra.

Repurposed content: the leftover turkey of effective SEO
Repurposed content: the leftover turkey of effective SEO

Anyone who’s even remotely an expert in Search Engine Optimization says the same thing: your content needs to be great! But creating quality content is time-consuming and is a drain on resources; necessary evils, sure, but still with a measure of pain. It’s a shame that all of that effort goes into one media, specifically your web content, and then that’s it.

That is unless, of course, you consider repurposing it. By adapting and using that content in different forms, you can leverage your investment and get more mileage out of that costly resource. Consider that content to be like a Thanksgiving turkey, in that after it’s served its purpose as the main event, it lives on in different forms and continues to nourish and satisfy days after the holiday!

Here are some cool ways to leverage that content.

Tweet, Tweet!
Have you considered repurposing your post into tweets? If you think about it, just one tweet per paragraph and you’re sure to get half-a-dozen tweets out of a single article. It’s all a matter of distilling each paragraph into a 140 character recap. Take for example this piece, written by a brilliant author of the Internet age. Here’s a few tweets you could distill from it, complete with hashtags:

  • "Try lying about your products now and see what happens. #bustedonline"
  • “Something written in the heat of anger will remain a part of the Internet forever.#jumpingthegun"
  • "Arguing with trolls online is a historical blunder like an Asian land war #inconceivabletrolls"
  • "Walk away from a flame war, let your reputation speak for you #notworththetrouble"

The Attack Of The Pod(cast) People!
Try turning your post into a podcast, or for that matter, take a podcast and transcribe it into a post! Here’s a site that uses this technique.

Let’s Make A Video!
If you’re feeling a little ambitious and you have access to video cameras and editing skills, try turning that blog post into a video. For example, pastors often turn the written word into visuals, as seen in Ed Young Jr Ministries.

Stop The Presses!
This is reversing the process; taking a non-article piece and changing it into a smooth flowing online blog post or article. We’re talking here about taking a particularly informative, relevant, and well-written press release, gutting out the press-related details, and using the main body as a blog entry. Perhaps it will need to be cleaned up a little to fit the blog’s narrative tone and feel, but it sure beats creating a post from scratch.

Unleash the PDFizer!
Take those particularly good pages of web content, create PDFs out of them, and link to them so that visitors can access and download them for their own enjoyment. Granted, not everyone has access to PDFs (or likes them, for that matter), but it’s still a viable way to get some more mileage out of those words.

You Got (E)Mail!
Finally, if your business routinely sends out emails to customers, then why not repurpose some of those better blog entries into a mass mailing? After all, it’s a safe bet that not everyone on your email list managed to see the posts themselves. If they won’t come to the blog, let the blog come to them!
These are just some ways to recycle those valuable words and keep them working for you a little longer.

Author byline: John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. He hopes this particular article will someday be repurposed into a puppet show opera featuring singing sock puppets.


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Coca-Cola’s announcement late last year that the traditional corporate website is dead created ripples when they said it and those ripples can still be felt today.

Just yesterday I was with a business that is looking to refresh its website and I mentioned Coke’s viewpoint – backed up by data showing traffic increases in the hundreds and thousands of per cent.

“a 106% increase in page views driven by a jaw-dropping 1,247% increase in Unbottled home page visits”

Now, this business doesn’t have the resources or capital of Coke, so it is unfair to expect them to suddenly turn their website into a 24/7 magazine as Coke’s website now is, but it IS fair to expect them to embrace social sensibilities and create content that is user-friendly and user-focused (such as ‘how to’ articles rather than the traditional self-promoting marketing fluff most websites still produce). And it is well known that what happens in the corporate world sooner or later floats down to the medium and small sized business, doesn’t it?

If you would like a focused look at your website and an assessment of your website’s strengths and weaknesses regarding social media, and perhaps even a look at your total digital strategy, why not give me a call?

Call me on 0410 642 052.


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It’s an old post, but I recently came across Mark Traphagen’s post about Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s controversial comments on Google and verified online profiles.

Says Schmidt:

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

I don’t think Google would be so silly as to limit their ranking to only those sites who have a Google+ profile, but you can bet that having a Facebook profile is going to figure into things, and if you have time to post to Facebook then you probably have time to cross-post to Google+ as well in order to cover your bases.

Time to reconsider your social media activities, especially if Google features in your marketing. Call me to discuss this further over a coffee: 0410 642 052


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Lisa Marggetis has designed a great infographic on contact forms, looking at the balance between quality of lead versus quantity of lead.

contactform2

You can see the full-sized version of the graphic over on the SingleHop site.

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Guest post by John Terra.

The Internet confuses and enrages me!!!Social media offers rich potential for reaching out to new customers, building a relationship with them, and increasing your business’ visibility and brand. Unfortunately, there’s a downside to all of this easy communication.

Much in the same way that customers can get first-hand information about your new products, services, and promotions, they also can get a ringside seat when you mess up, which in turn can damage your online reputation.

Here are five social media missteps that can ruin your good name. Learn what they are, and avoid them.

Being Dishonest
Back in the ancient, pre-Internet days, a merchant, say for example a used car salesman, could tell a prospective buyer that a clunker was "driven only by a little old lady on Sundays", and the lie pretty much remained between just a few people. Try lying about your products now, online, and see what happens.

Jumping The Gun
Do you know that old saying about when you’re angry, you should count to ten before responding? Perhaps the social media version should call for people to wait ten hours before responding. It’s a very natural, very human instinct to retaliate immediately or at the very least put up a rapid defence. The problem is, something written in the heat of anger will remain a part of the Internet forever. Even if you go back and change a hasty response, you can’t make everyone unsee the original post. The best way for people not to see a badly phrased knee-jerk response is by not posting it in the first place. Cool down, revisit the offending post, and come up with something civil.

Responding To Trolls
There are people out there on the Internet who love to stir things up. These are called trolls. Getting involved in an online argument with them is one of those blunders that ranks right up there with never getting involved in a land war in Asia, or go against a Sicilian when death is on the line. But seriously, by allowing yourself to get dragged into a verbal battle with trolls, you get into a no-win situation that only makes you look bad as well.

Being Insulting
Using insults and personal attacks, no matter how much you may think the offender deserves it, is not productive. You are lowering yourself to the level of your critics, and eventually it simply won’t matter to people about who started it, or who deserved it. All they’ll see is a distasteful exchange that doesn’t make either party look good. And let’s not even get into what can happen if someone who criticizes your business has an actual legitimate gripe, and the only response they get is a personal attack.

Not Knowing When To Walk Away
Instinctively, many people like to get in the last word. In some people’s estimation, having that last word means that they have somehow won the argument. But the problem is, many people who indulge in flame wars are perfectly capable of dishing it out for as long as anyone is foolish enough to respond and play along. Let your good reputation speak for itself, and make it a point to refuse to get baited into a prolonged exchange.

An Example Of Doing It Right
A friend of mine, a man named Victor, runs a professional haunted house called Ghoulie Manor. Recently, he and his cast were invited to appear at a Providence, Rhode Island arts festival that was focusing on horror writer HP Lovecraft, so the theme of this city event was horror. Vic and his cast came in costume and makeup, and joined with the other horror-themed participants, and all was well.

That is, until Vic got an e-mail from an irate parent. An e-mail that began with the words "Dear Assholes". Already, this was off to a bad start. Apparently, the small child of the letter writer was upset by the scary people in costumes, and even after the family went home, the child was still frightened. The parent went on to say that he prayed that the Ghoulie Manor people would suffer the same sort of unpleasantness as well.

Rather than ripping into the parent, Vic responded with a courteous, professional letter, indicating that he and his staff never try to scare small children, and he apologized for any trouble. He also pointed out that the entire event was horror-based, and made a gentle observation that if he himself had a four year old child, he wouldn’t take the child to such an event.

The irate parent wrote back, apologizing and taking back all the unpleasant things he had written. He and his wife were unaware of the horror theme, and if they had known about it, they indeed wouldn’t have brought their child to the event.

By not screaming back at the parent, Vic defused the situation and may have actually won over a pair of possible customers (provided the kid stays at home!).


John Terra has been writing freelance since 1985 covering social media and online reputation management. He has worked for three different startups and has the gray hairs to prove it.
Photo credit: stephenpoff

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A Chatwing Tutorial – Group Chat URL

by Lee Hopkins on November 15, 2013 · 2 comments

in tools

Aaron from Chatwing follows up an earlier article with details on how to make best use of Chatwing’s features if you are a first time user.

Keeping friends close no matter where they are is only possible when you are in constant communication with each other. Through chatting, one can experience the fun of having to talk with everyone even if they are thousands of miles across the world. Using a chatroom is easy, but creating one is much better since being the admin would let you manage the chatroom easier.

Choosing the right chat software to use is also important. And when it comes to chatrooms, Chatwing is definitely one of the best. This tool is complimented by a lot of features which easily makes it one of the most sophisticated chatting tools created yet it’s very easy to use. And making one is definitely a piece of cake.

Here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Getting a Chatwing Account

You can’t proceed further without a Chatwing account, so make one first. Go to Chatwing’s homepage and open the registration form. Fill it up and check the boxes before submitting it to proceed to the next step.

Register

Step 2: Making the Chatroom

The next page you’ll be in is the Dashboard page. This is where you’ll find your chatroom and where you can create a new one. To do so, press the Create chatbox button. Afterwards, you’ll be instantly redirected to the customization page.

Dashboard1

Step 3: Modifying the Chatroom

Next up, you are to modify your chatroom. There are a lot of customization options you can change, all of which are separated into tabs. In each tab, a certain part of the chatroom can be changed or one of Chatwing’s additional functions can be used. You can browse through each tab freely, and go back to the previous one you came from.

However, you have to make sure that you save your settings before going to another tab. You can do so by pressing the Save button. The changes you’ve made on your chatroom will instantly be viewed on the preview window. Now that you’re done with customizing, it’s time to head on to the next step – press the Use button on top of the Customization page.

Customize

Step 4: Embedding – Group Chat

Chatwing let’s you decide how you’ll use the chatroom. You can do that here, in the Embedding page. You’ll only need to use the chatroom so go with Group Chat URL. You’ll see two links here – a longer and a shorter version of your chatrooms URL.

GroupChat

Pick one and copy it. Paste the URL into your browser. Wait for a few moments for the chatroom to load up and you can start using it afterwards.

GroupChatDone

Using the Chatroom

To invite your friends, simply give them the link to your chatroom and have them access it the same way you do. They can login using their Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo or Tumblr accounts – this makes it easier for you to recognize who they are.

As the admin, you can manage the chatroom easily. You can kick anyone out and delete their messages. This is very essential especially if there are unwanted people that will try to interrupt your conversations with your friends – spammers are one of those examples too. Chatwing still has a lot of functions that you can utilize and it will surely help you provide a better place for you and your friends to chat on.

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Guest post by Nolan Grayson.

Summary: Businesses have learned that teleconferencing is a very effective tool. It is a way to get people together for a meeting when they are in different locations. It is also an important tool that can be used for business marketing. It is vital to know how to overcome technical problems that can occur.

The way that businesses operate has changed. They do not just operate locally these days. All of the employees of a business are not housed in the same building. In the world today businesses have to operate globally. They have to be able to extend their business anywhere the customers are located. That means that not all of the employees of a business work in the same place. It is very likely that most of the employees of a business may not ever meet each other in person.

The change in the way that businesses operate means that they have had to find better and more efficient ways to communicate. If you cannot bring all of the employees into a conference room for a meeting, you have to find other ways of getting everyone together to exchange ideas and create marketing plans. Technology has made this easier through teleconferencing. Whether a business uses traditional phone lines for teleconferencing or if they turn to the internet to help, they can effectively bring people together no matter where they are located. Teleconferencing depends on technology and that technology does not always work the way it should. A business should have an idea of how to market, promote and deal with some of the technical issues that can occur while teleconferencing.

Bad Connections

By far the biggest technical issue that businesses face is a bad connection. This can happen with traditional phone lines or over the internet. Even if you can get efficient web conferencing with multi features, that you may still run into trouble. The problem could be the result of the connection of any of the parties involved in the conference.

A few simple steps can be taken to try to resolve this issue. The first is to disconnect from the teleconference and reconnect again. That will often solve any problems that are occurring. If the problem is the internet, try to get everyone to use a wired connection instead of a wireless connection. It is also a good idea to make sure the participants of the teleconference are only using their internet connection for the conference call. If they are doing anything else over the connection during the call itcould cause problems. When all else fails make sure you have a backup option. There are several different ways to complete teleconferencing. If the first method does not work, try something else.

Scheduling conflicts

There will be some people that do not get to the teleconference on time or will have to leave it early. These people are often referred to as drop outs. A business should deal with this in the same way they would deal with it when it happened at a meeting at the office. It is not acceptable for anyone to be late for work and it is not acceptable for people to leave in the middle of a meeting. These situations should be dealt with appropriately if they occur.

It could also help a business to make sure that people are aware of the conference and that they know what time it is as well as how long it will last. This information should be given to the people involved in the meeting in a clear and efficient manner. It could prevent any problems from occurring.

Technologically challenged people

The idea of teleconferencing is fairly new. Some people will not know how it works and will have difficulty getting connected or engaging in the meeting properly. For the people who are technologically challenged the answer comes in using the right service for the teleconferencing. Now-a-days it is being an easy source for business meeting, discussing marketing strategies. It is also a good idea to provide a tutorial for any employees that will be involved in these types of meetings.

Teleconferencing will continue to grow and more businesses will use it to meet the needs of their business. It will allow businesses to compete in the global economy. The cost benefits and the effectiveness of teleconferencing make it a great tool and as long as there is a plan to overcome any technical issues, it will work for your organization.


Author Bio: Nolan is a Technology Enthusiast in Washington and also a tech blogger. He loves to write and share his views on technology, gadgets and applications.

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How Smartphones Use Continues To Rise?

by Lee Hopkins on November 14, 2013 · 0 comments

in miscellaneous

How Smartphones Use Continues To Rise?

This Infographic is produced by Coupon Audit (provides Finish Line coupon) and Lee Hopkins

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