How to tell a Digital Story

The key to successful Digital Storytelling is to keep it simple. The COFFEE tutorial is an excellent example of how photography and Adobe Voice can work together to deliver a seamless digital experience.

Moreover, perhaps it is time for Weekend Coffee. Put the kettle on and enjoy.

1. Setting the Digital Storytelling Scene

Begin by creating your scene. Envision where you what your stage to be. Use your camera and lighting to run test shots for possible scenes. Keep it simple.

For the COFFEE tutoring video – I used a kitchen table to place my items. Think of the things as your actors, and position them where they can deliver your message best. It is important to have your story ready and to do a few practice rounds before committing.

With COFFEE the positioning of the items – begins with the coffee jar and moves right to the sugar, milk, and water.

Photography by Gary Crossey IrishGuy - How to make Coffee

2. Start your Digital Storytelling Experience

What are the things in your digital story? I used Adobe Photoshop to add ID text. Consider your viewer when adding labels to photos. In my case, most people know what a cup and spoon are. Even with the most annoying names – find a way to be useful.

Boiling Water – having the instruction in use boiling water is more user-friendly than the label Kettle.

Photography by IrishGuy Gary Crossey - Asheville

3. Tell Your Digital Story

One step (or a teaspoon at a time). Consider how the instruction and the objects in the scene interact with each other. For the instruction to add one teaspoon of coffee – the coffee jar is positioned in full view, with the lid (open) and in center view. The hand reaches from the right. During the storytelling, the length of the arm decrease – helping to carry the viewer’s eye from left to right.

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4. The steps to Digital Storytelling success

Establish the pace. The sugar jar seizes the position of the coffee. The sugar jar lid resumes the location and position that the coffee jar lid – creating a learning expectation. The end user can focus on the essential element of the lesson by not having to consider the less valuable items.  By positioning the lid from each jar in the same location, the viewer does not have to second question what the item is.

Photography by IrishGuy Gary Crossey Add sugar to coffee cup

5. Maintain the Pace

Maintaining the pace for a Digital Story is hard. When teaching a step-by-step process, the user focus does best when the other items on the stage do not upstage the frame message.

Positioning the jar of Coffee and Sugar – back in their place – is created by the pattern established in the first four frames. Always look for opportunities in your storytelling to provide objects in your scene “their place”.

Add Milk to Coffee - Photography by Gary Crossey for IrishGuy Asheville

6. Enhance you Message

Enhance your Digital Story Lesson with visual effects. Reducing the exposure rate of the camera created a time-lapse. The motion of the hand is reinforced by the prior frames – with the hand is also shot in stillness. The hand motion was set up by leaving shooting the image with a long exposure.

Look for moments to enhance your message with special effects. However, be careful not to let the special effect overshadow your message.

Visual Effects are powerful tools that overpower a weak story.  

Stir Coffee

7. One Step at a Time

The second to last frame – this is where everything can go wrong. The end user has already figured out that the water is next. All other items have had their turn and have returned to their spot.

When creating this second to the last frame – maintain. Yes, manage and deliver the frame as expected.

Try not to break your visual pattern by moving items around, or altering the camera focus.  By planning the stage layout before beginning to photograph the frames – you can imagine the position of objects. Grouping the Coffee, Sugar, and Milk together allows the viewer to capture the three prior elements quickly and calculate that that process involved four steps.

The learning process in this frame would less if the jars had not resumed their original position, with the caps restored.

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8. Show the Result

What have we achieved? Was the lesson plan a success?

The successful reader of the Digital Story Lesson has a new or refined skill or piece of knowledge.

The Show The Result frame finalizes the lesson.  There is no more ground work, no more questions, no more information to share. The viewer has this last frame to grasp the importance, and leave with a deeper understanding.

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9. Provide that Something Extra

Include something extra. Wrap up the experience with a helpful piece of information – that some of the users can use. The Digital Storytelling Lesson taught the user how to make a cup of coffee. The frame provides the user with the information they can add liquor to the drink – with the disclaimer that adding this step is limited to weekend use.

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10. Recap the Essentials

Recap the overall process. When teaching a class – this is a perfect final slide that can be left on the screen for students to capture the information they need. Don’t treat this Digital Storytelling Lessons like a cooking show – that would end highlighting the final product. With a Digital Storytelling Lesson, it is best to recap the main points in the final frame (which may often be a repeat of the first frame).
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TUTORIAL: Use Adobe Draw to Create App Prototypes

IMG_0885Adobe Draw is one of Adobe’s latest mobile app. Adobe Draw is designed for the creative community to get away from having to draw with a mouse. I for one love sketching my visual ideas on my iPad.

Here are the steps I used to create quick app prototypes using Adobe Draw.

STEP 1. Capture template files

The first step for creating our app prototypes will begin online.

IMG_0878Use the browser of your choice and go to www.interfacesketch.com.

 

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2. Locate the template your need

Scroll to the template that you wish to use. Here four examples – there are many choices.

3. Capture the Template

Many of the templates have links to PDF documents. Position your template to fill as much of the screen as possible. When viewing PDF documents on a iPad – all of the PDF controls will be present on the screen while you navigate the PDF document. However, if you remove your hands and pause – all the PDF controls will disappear – making for an cleaner template.

TO CAPTURE: One the iPad. Press the HOME Key and the Side Button at the same time. The screen will do a quick flip. The screen shot is saved directly to the iPad camera roll.

4. Launch Adobe Draw

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Launch Adobe Illustrator Draw. For the best results use a stylist of your choice to draw directly on your iPad to create quick app prototypes.

IMG_08875. Create a New Project

To create a new project simply click the + sign on the sidebar.

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6. Work in Full Screen mode

Tap one time on the project window. The project will go to full screen. Three items that are worth noting.

  • Drawing Tool Bar.
  • Top left Menu Bar
  • Top right Close command.

IMG_0889Drawing Tool Bar.

The Adobe Drawing Tool Bar is pretty simple – with five options.

  1. Brush Selection.
  2. Brush Size.
  3. Opacity of Color.
  4. Color Selection.
  5. Layers.

Top left Menu Bar

The top left menu has a few tools that are very different from one another.

  1. Export Button – access to a wide range of sharing apps.
  2. Shapes – Add free clip art.
  3. Lines Tool – Draw precise lines.
  4. Full Screen button to hide menus.

Top right Close command.

Press the close button to return back to the Adobe Draw projects.

  1. Close Button.

7. Add Device Template

To add the Device Template that were captured during step 3.

  • Click the Layers Icon.

IMG_08918. Choice the source for your photo

Images can be imported into Adobe Draw from many different sources. For our project – the screen shots that were captured automatically save to Images On my iPad. 

  • Click On my iPad 

9. Select

Navigate to the Camera Roll to locate the captured screen shoots.

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10. Locate Device Template Image

Locate the Device Template image of your choice.

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The template image will load into place. You will notice that the template screen capture includes the iPad frame. This can be trimmed off prior to importing into Adobe Draw. I don’t mind the frame being there and am happy to save myself the step of editing the screen captures. IMG_0894

11. Select a Drawing Layer

To begin drawing be sure that you have the drawing layer selected.

  • Clip the layer icon.
  • Click on the upper layer to select.

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12. Select your Brush Style

On the right sidebar – click the brush icon to open the brush palette.

Experiment with the different brush styles to find a look that you like.

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13. Choice Your Brush Color

Yes Adobe Draw has a vast color palette. Simple click on the color button.

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14. Zoom around your work space

Adobe Edge supports all the basic iPad gestures.

  • ZOOM – Yes two finger pinch will zoom into your work.
  • UNDO – Two fingers ran quickly from the right to the left

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15. Draw your Design

Using a stylish of your choice begin to draw your app prototypes.

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16. Use Color to Highlight Features

The purpose of creating the prototype is to create quick design ideas – often working in black in white will be enough for most basic designs. However, color may be used to help highlight app layout and functions.

In the example below the green bar highlights where the app ad banner will run.

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17. Add Detail to App Prototype

Add as much detail to your App Prototypes as you need.

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18. Export your work.

Using the share button – located on the top right menu.

  • Click Share Button
  • Choice which service you which to use to share.
  • Follow on screen instructions to complete your share.

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ADOBE: Photoshop GIF Animation

How to make a GIF animation with Adobe Photoshop.

Getting images to move is just fun. Here are the steps I used to create this short Photoshop GIF animation.

Step 1 – Review Source Files 

For my gif animation I started with these three photos. I like the body shot of the far right image – which I plan to use as my base image for the final animation. The other two photos, I plan on using the head and part of the neck for the final animation.

Screen-Shot-2015-05-06-at-9.59.03-PM

Step 2- Prep up files 

Using the Quick Selection Tool – I have a clean, shape selection around the birds head. I increased the selection area around hair on the birds head – I plan to refine the hair later – for now capturing the image of the head on a transparent background with be good enough.

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Step 3 – Review images in Photoshop

Each image of the bird is now on its own layer in one Photoshop file. While the two heads that I sampled and bought into to use are quite a bit smaller than the bird head on the right – so I plan to resize the larger bird head to match the size of the other two bird photos – there’s has got to be a “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” joke there somewhere.

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Step 4 – Setting animation pieces 

Now that I have the three birds heads the same size – I can start having some fun – AFTER ONE LAST PREP STEP: Knock out the background from the main photograph. I shoot these bird photos earlier today at 300 DPI – High Quality. The Photoshop Quick Selection Tool loves to work with High Quality Digital images.

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Step 5 – Content Aware- make your selection

I don’t think they even had this tool on Star Trek. The Content Aware Fill. Yes, this feature is similar to the Healing Brush – however it is also a bit different too. The Content Aware Fill likes to have a selected area to focus on. In my case with the bird head – I made a loose selection around the head and lower neck area.

From the menu Edit > Fill.

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Step 6 – Fill with Content Aware 

From the Contents menu > select Content-Aware. Press OK. Photoshop will then review the selection area and attempt to fill the selection with content-aware content.

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For this image I ran the content-aware feature 3 times on the same area. In this case I don’t mind losing the background windows. I may have to revisit the background to tweak – but for now, a quick crop (to remove the white frame).

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Step 7 – Clean Up and Align 

I now have four layers – the background (with the body of the bird), and three bird heads (with transparent background) on the remaining layers.

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Step 8 – Access Photoshop Animation Timeline  

To access the Photoshop animation tools. Go to the top Menu Bar > Window > Timeline. 

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Step 9 – Working with Photoshop Animation Timeline 

Working the Photoshop Animation Timeline is fun. However, you may have to first turn it on. From the Timeline Drop down select Create Frame Animation. 

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On the Timeline – Select the playback length.

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As well as being able to control the playback time for each frame – you can also control the playback for the entire animation. On the lower part of the timeline you can choice how you wish for your animated gif to playback.

Playback Once, or 3 times, or Loop forever. Or, press other and make your own custom playback. computer_training_photoshop_animation_009cCreate a second Frame. Toggle off the layer with the left head. Toggle on the mid head.

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I am pausing the first frame for half a second – the slight pause will give the viewer that impression that they are simply viewing a simple 2D photo – then the action happened.

Step 10 – Working with Photoshop Timeline Frames. 

With the placement of the first two frame – a simple animation has been created. More time was spent prepping up the image files. However, the next step is where you can really get creative with the frames. Adjust the playback length for each frame, while controlling the other all control of the animation.

computer_training_photoshop_animation_010a

TUTORIAL: Adobe Photoshop Quick Selection and Refine Tool

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Adobe Photoshop. How to work with the Quick Selection Tool.

Step 1 Open Adobe Photoshop.

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When I work in Adobe Photoshop – I most always have the Layers Panel open and the Toolbar in double columns.

Open Layers Panel 

Window > Layers (to toggle the layers panel off and on). Or, use F7 for the same action.

Toolbar in double columns
To toggle between the single and double column toolbar click the two small arrows at the top of the Tools panel. While the icons remain the same size, the color palette picker is larger in the double column mode.

If Tools panel is not visual. Window > Tools.

Step 2  Open file in Adobe Photoshop.

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File > Open > Flower.jpeg

Step 3 Duplicate Photoshop Layer

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Notice the Layers Panel. There is now a thumbnail of the photo with the title Background. 

Training Photoshop Layer Eye IconTo the left of the thumbnail is the small “Eye Icon”. Clicking the eye icon will toggle the layer off or on – a very handy tool to have.

For every Adobe Photoshop project I work on I always do one simple step (prior to making any changes). I duplicate the original image and turn the original layer off. Having the original is a great backup resource and a reference.

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Duplicate Layer a Adobe Photoshop Layer. 

With the Layer Panel Open > Right Click Layer > Duplicate Layer > Give the New Layer a useful name. 

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Training Photoshop Layer Eye IconOnce your have two layers . Click the small eye icon to turn the original layer off. And work on the duplicated layer.

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NOTE: If you happen to turn all the Photoshop layers off – you will discover the checker board background. The checker board pattern in Adobe software is clever way to show transparency.

The checkerboard pattern does not print, none does it save what saving graphics for the web.

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To begin working – turn the layer icon to on. The layer content will reappear.

Save Often – don’t forget to save your work often, after each few steps. SAVE.

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Step 4 Using the Quick Selection Tool
The Quick Selection Tool is a very powerful tool. However, there are a few simple guidelines to follow when using the Quick Selection Tool.

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  1. Be Quick.
  2. Do not try to be too precise.
  3. Move quickly – yes move quickly.

What is very different with the Quick Selection Tool and the Magic Ward Tool?

  • Magic Ward uses color collections to make the selection.  Many designers use the Magic Ward tool to select large areas of the similar color – the background of an image.
  • Quick Selection Tool is less interested in the color palette of an object. The Quick Selection Tool is programmed to locate the edges of an object. Especially high-resolution digital images.

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The first thing to know about all digital photography is that objects within the photo have a fine white and black stroke around them. Sure, you have to zoom into the photography VERY close to see the fine strokes. The nicer the camera the finer these artifacts will be. This is the nature of digital and is the base of what the Quick Selection Tool is tracking.

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The other aspect of the Quick Selection Tool – is that this tool is QUICK. No slow motions – this is a fast tool. Yes the selections can be refined – but under good situations the Quick Selection Tool will locate the edge of objects  with ease.

The Quick Selection Tool will work on low resolution image. But, from my tests my require more refining to maintain a clean precise selection. In such cases when the resolution of the image is too low to create a precise selection, I use the Pen Tool to create the selection.

Step 5 Refine the selection.
The Refine Edge Tool  arrived in recent years. For many experienced Adobe Photoshop users the tool remains unnoticed and unused.

Asheville Computer Training - Photoshop Refine Edges

Do not be fooled by the plainness of the Refine Edge button – the Refine Edge tool is a very powerful edge selection tool.

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Refine Edge Button and Settings 

With a selection active > Click the Refine Edge button.

NOTE: The Refine Edge button is only available when you  have a selection tool active.

Refine Edge – Viewing Modes. 

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The Refine Edge panel has a number of different views.  I tend to like the transparent view.

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However, when it is important that your selection is precise.  It can be helpful to view the object on either a white or black background.

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Refine Edge – Output Mode. 

Select how you would like Refine Edge to handle your output selection.

When I am certain that my selection is correct, I select the Layer Mask output option. Which results in the layer mask automatically removing the background.

Pros & Cons: When the selection is correct, the output to Layer Mask will save a step. However, if the selection is not correct and will require altering the mask or clean up – then the output to Layer Mask is not a good suggestion.

photoshop-tutorial10-layer-mask

When I am unsure that the Quick Selection Tool combined with the Refine Selection tool didn’t quite get the selection prefect – output to Selection is an awesome option.

The (marching ants) selection can be altered, and fine-tuned prior to creating the layer mask. Either output option works.

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Working with Photoshop Masks  

The beauty of creating Photoshop layer masks is that they are easy to change. With the layer panel open > click on the black & white mask icon.

NOTE: When the Layer Mask Icon is active, the color picker will change to Black and White. Using either a black or white brush, paint back or remove parts of your image.

 

 

 

 

 

The difference between Browsing and Browsers

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Irish Guy - Links to 20 tips of browser and browsing

Internet Browsing & Internet Browsing

20 Things you should know about browsers and browsing the internet.

  1. What is the Internet?
  2. Cloud Computering
  3. Web Apps
  4. HTML, JavaScripts, CSS and more
  5. HTML5
  6. 3D in the browser
  7. A Browser Madrigal
  8. Plug-Ins
  9. Browser Extensions
  10. Synchronizing the Browser
  11. Browser Cookies
  12. Browser and Privacy
  13. Malware, Phishing, and Security Risks
  14. How modern browsers help protect you from Malware and Phishing
  15. Using Web Address to Stay Safe
  16. IP Addresses and DNS
  17. Validating Identities Online
  18. Evolving to a Faster Web
  19. Open Source and Browsers
  20. Internet Coming Soon…

Receipt tracker that works

posted in: Tutorials | 1

One ReceiptTax season again, and time to locate, sort and total those business receipts.

With OneReceipt, the task of tracking your receipts just got easier. With your smartphone you can take a photo of your receipt and email it to your private OneReceipt account.

When you are on the road, have your expenses submitted automatically to your team with OneReceipt.

OneReceipt connects with your gmail or yahoo account to track and capture receipt information. Collect totals and payment information to your OneReceipt account.

Special Features

Some of the other great features that are included with OneReceipt that I look forward to using are Monthly spending reports – a simple tool for tracking spending patterns and discover better ways to spend your money.

Need help recalling how much longer you have to return an item? OneReceipt will track that.

Shipping, OneReceipt tracks expected shipping dates – crazy, right!

Installation is easy to do, expect a confirmation email and a few easy steps for connecting with your gmail account. The sync for with your gmail account may take some time.

https://www.onereceipt.com

 

App Review OpenLabel

posted in: Tutorials | 0

Okay to be honest – I give the Scandipity OpenLabel app a 5 Star Rating for having the right objective. “Converts the barcode on every product in the world into a digital label which is open to public comments”

One reviewer on the iTune’s store commented about how OpenLabel would have impacted her mum; if the app were available in 1972. And how no parent can go without having this app. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about saving the world for the children. And, in having resources and apps that will benefit the upcoming children. But, this app is for everyone – of all ages. Sure go ahead and scan for the children. But, while you are at it, scan for yourself and the other adults you provide for.

You will want a SmartPhone or Tablet to download the OpenLabel App. Once downloaded and installed – the OpenLabel will request Login information. OpenLabel are suggesting that you simply log in with your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Or, you can opt out and sign into the service directly.

ACCESS VIA FACEBOOK

I went with logging in via my Facebook account (seems easier). You will have to accept permission for OpenLabel to have access to basic Facebook profile and list of friends (I had to press the accept button twice – before getting a confirmation Facebook page).

Once you are in Facebook, Press OK.

First time around – I had a failed login.

OpenLabel APP REVIEW

Not quite sure what I was expecting to see once I had launched the app. Everything looks quite plain. There is a feed – of all the most common food movement resources, with the ability to follow them. Not quite sure why I would use OpenLabel to follow food resources that I already follow elsewhere (bit disappointed with the “Featured Users To Follow”)

Search for Facebook Friends on OpenLabel

None quite sure why the Search for Facebook Friends on OpenLabel feature is here. First of all, it is VERY slow. Second, what does it matter? Scanning food labels and Facebook connections.

Anyway, after getting bored with the welcome page, I pressed the DONE button in the top right hand corner. First of, the button says DONE. Done with what? I think the OpenLabel app developers already realize the the “Grow Community” interface isn’t working, by saying when you are DONE with this feed – hit DONE. Which results in launching the food labeling scanner app and device camera (not what you might expect from a DONE button). Eggs are done – scanning labels is doing!

Like I said, I love these guys for the objective of the app… I am so willing to see this app develop into what Scandipity hope; a consumer based database of barcoded products.

To make the bar scanner large, you may want to tap the screen of your device. You can either scan the barcode or enter in barcode manually. Tap screen to scan – you might see a FAST red light.

I scanned Andrew & Everett butter. Which resulted in zero recommendations or avoids.

As the end user I have the ability to suggest that I Recommend people use this product or that people should Avoid this product. With an included comment and profile photo (from Facebook). However, as the end user, I don’t actually know anything about the Andrew & Everett butter that I scanned with OpenLabel.

What i do know is. I pay more this the Andrew & Everett butter because the product label says the product is free of antibiotics, animal by-product etc. The point being, I buy this product because I think it may be better than the other butter options – however, I do not know anything about the product, or the company. To include anything, other than I think this product serves my needs (as far as I do not know), seems kind of pointless for an app.

Given that my first product produced only the ability for me to provide a customer review on a product line I know nothing about. I wonder how OpenLabel are going to manage their Wiki format? Are product line companies going to be able to post their own reviews? Is there any type of filtering in place?

Like I said at the start – I love the concept of OpenLabel – not quite sure if the concept has arrived directly to the app yet. They do have a useful newsfeed.

HOWEVER: if this is a sample of OpenLables

User News Feed – then I may delete the app rather quickly. Asheville App Review

 

How to create an animated WordPress header with After Effects

OK we know it all started with a dancing hamster 15 years later – Animated GIF’s can actually deliver the CONTENT used to with Flash (SWF) files.

After Effects has included as export to Animated GIF format before – with mostly undesirable results – BUT WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO RENDER TO GIF? During the time of FLASH (animated GIF were stupid cute animated Hamsters) – today with Apple’s forceful resistance to the the Flash platform (for whatever reason) – designers can again get CLEVER with animated GIF’s.

To overcome some of the limitations of rendering animated GIF’s from After Effects, it is a good idea to render your After Effects content as

Photoshop Extended offers more control for creating animated GIF movies. Create your animation in After Effects, render and export to an intermediate format (such as a QuickTime movie), open the movie in Photoshop Extended, and export to animated GIF using Save For Web & Devices.

 

Web Design Trends 2011

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What is important for today’s web site?

Today’s web sites are about function. Designers are finally walking away from Adobe Flash and abandoning ActionScript (in whatever reincarnation) and adopting web site systems that render well on all platforms and with any device. The modern web site is functionality with form.

Expect more HTML 5 and advanced CS3 methods for creating compelling web site content and interactive design. But let us not fool ourselves by thinking that the slick designs of a decade ago are on the return, because they are not.

Check out the top ten trends in the article – Web site Trends

Web site Examples

Other Resources

Web Trends 2010 – good comparison article.

Make Facebook Useful

posted in: Tutorials | 0

The average Facebook Business page has 4,596 fans, with each fan having an average of 130 friends. With the correct message your business could possibly reach a large pool of new customers.The average Facebook Business page has 4,596 fans, with each fan having an average of 130 friends. With the correct message your business could possibly reach a large pool of new customers.

What makes a business popular online?

GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE

One aspect of business that a small business can often deliver better is honest customer service. Having a Facebook Business page can help improve your customer service. Unlike responding to email or phone inquiries, when you respond to a question on Facebook you are providing information to your collective. You are showing that you are available, reachable and responsive.

Don’t forget to reference your social media answers with links back to more in-depth information on your Business Blog or Website.

Facebook for Business Class

Discover how to best connect to your target market with my one-day fast paced Improved Facebook for Business seminar.

What to say on Facebook?

posted in: Tutorials | 2

Suggests for what a business might say on Facebook

For many businesses setting up their Facebook account is the easy part. What to say next is the challenge.

Social Networking may be a new technology – but connecting with your client is not.

Creating a Facebook Business Page is simply creating an interactive online newsletter. Companies have developed newsletters, catalogues, brochures, fliers and postcards for decades. Facebook Business Page is now your paperless version, which can reach over 500 million Facebook members.

I would suggest that before you start posting photos, adding links and stock piling fans*, first consider the social message that you wish to create. Facebook certainly has some amazing tools for developing your message – as long as you have one to share.

Never forget content is key. Keep the content interesting and valuable – create a complete message and picture beyond posting an online catalog. Give your fans the inside scope. Here are a few suggestions.

BUSINESS NEWS

Use Facebook to report new business news.
• Articles about your company – including Press Releases and news coverage
• Feature Team member profiles and special interests and achievements
• Share your products/services with Facebook Galleries
• Include client related reviews, comments or complaints (and solutions)
• Industry News – be the voice of reason
• New product development/release
• Promotions/Giveaways

PEOPLE

Consider the different people who are a part of your business. Staff members, vendors, clients, target markets and interest groups, all with compiling stories and insights. What can you share about each of these different people that would help to form your Social Message?

  • Certifications
  • Awards
  • Recognitions
  • Special Promotions
  • Associations

EVENTS

Facebook comes with a terrific Events planner and invite service – if used correctly.
First off, do not assume that because you created an event on Facebook and invited everyone and their uncle that anyone will confirm to attend your event. Often, you have to simply get on the phone, email, text message, get on a bike, whatever it takes to get that confirmation.
Beyond the Events feature, there is also the opportunity to share news of events. When posting status updates let your fans know about all the small details.

  • Upcoming Events – meetings, conferences, trade shows, openings, workshops, open house, company picnic – any event that is news worthy
  • Preparation for events – talk about locations, color choices, food selections (gluten free, veggie), guest speakers and presenters, entertainment etc.
  • Other business events that your fans would appreciate – be supportive.

When hosting your own events be sure to have a photographer photographing the event and the guests. Considering establishing a fun photo booth to create new Facebook Profile shots with product placement and business branding – it is a good idea to get permission prior to publishing photos of people on Facebook – which could be as easy as having a clip board with your statement of purpose and signatures of permission.

FACEBOOK PHOTO POLICY -When you do post photo to Facebook “you grant us (Facebook) a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any Intellectual Property content that you post on Facebook. This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it”.

OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

Your Facebook Business page can be an effective educational tool. Share articles, case studies, Surveys, Time Saving Tips, or How to do’s, New Approaches that would appeal to your Facebook fans.
Permit your company to be a little lighted hearted (at times), your news does not have to be all serious – but do resist posting every funny YouTube video you see (not funny).

WHAT’S NEXT?

Once you have your message together, then consider how to best. share that content on Facebook.
• Simple Status Update.
• Link to Website.
• Video Post.
• Photo or Photo Gallery.
• Blog Post.
• Event Posting.
• Group Discussion.
• Business Email.

Fan vs. Like

* The term Fan was once used to describe a person who selected to follow your Business Page. The term has since been changed to LIKE – I prefer using the term Fan.

Join Gary Crossey for Facebook for Business class

Reasonable NoClone

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Clean up your computer with Irish Guy Computer Tip - NoClone With the arrival of the crocuses and the daffodils comes the beginning of spring and time to shake off those winter time cobwebs and seasonal blues with a spring fever computer clean.

When I clean my computer, there are a number of different areas I wish to impact. First off, I want to make sure that my computer is receiving an adequate air supply. With dogs and cats, you can rest assured that the vents on my computer always have some type of amalgamated animal hair and dense dust balls.

Occasionally, I open the entire tower and “carefully” use a small vacuum cleaner to remove dust from around the fans and off the motherboard; I would not recommend using a vacuum cleaner, unless you really know what you are doing. Be sure to earth the vacuum cleaner and yourself prior to you poking around the inside of your computer, or have the machine professional cleaned in your local computer repair store. The computer will run faster and generate less heat and noise.

The second area I want to clean is the computer data files. I work on many different types of projects that involve working with a large assortment of digital media files. Often I am jumping between different computers that are not networked, which results in files being emailed and transferred with Flash key or CD. Any which way, the result is duplicate digital files.

Spending the time to figure out which files are duplicate files is a daunting task, and quite impossible, unless you have the very convenient tool – NoClone 2010– an easy to use software package that will analyze your computer files and determine which ones are duplicates.  The software can be modified for different search criteria, including duplicate Outlook email messages and comparing folders.

The compare folder feature one that I especially appreciate. I often carry project folders on my Flash Key and for speed reasons I tend to grab the entire project folder and pull it onto the computer desktop to access the files quickly, certainly beyond the USB 2.0 connection that would be obtainable via the Flash Key. This workflow is not ideal as you quickly end up with copies of copies of copies, and that is where NoClone 2010 jumps in to help by first identifying the duplicate files – quickly and effectively.

NoClone 2010 found more than 200 duplicate files
After scanning my music library, NoClone 2010 found over 200 duplicate files that were taking up over a gig of storage space on my hard drive.

To download a free test copy of NoClone 2010 please visit http://noclone.net

 

Windows ReadyBoost

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Increase the speed of your computer by using a ReadyBoost ready Flash Drive.

Not all Flash drives are the same – be sure to check for a Windows label and match your drive to the RAM on your computer. Only one ReadyBoost for each computer.

Link Share – Earn Money with Reflective Links

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Including affiliate banners on your web site can be a potential way for your web site to earn money. Understanding basic HTML will make the task of including banner ads to your web site easier. Most affiliate programs will generate the banner ad code that you need and the instructions on how to embed the code into your web page or website template.

What is included in the code?

The affiliate code is a basic hyperlink to the affiliate web site, included within the code is a dynamic link to an advertising graphic, the alternate text and the affiliate account number.

Banner Consideration

Each time a person clicks on an affiliate banner, the affiliate web site will begin tracking the customers’ purchases. Affiliate banner ad programs normally pay a commission of the final sale.
LinkShare - earn money with banner ads
When selecting banner ads, be sure to choice products or services, that you think people may benefit from. Try to have the ad relate to your blog or web page content.

Think about how you wish your banner ads to appear with your content. Often, people add so many banners to their web site that the end user is confused on what to read or click. Really, think about the usefulness of the advertisement, as well as the prime location required to run the advertisement. For most web site owners, having our visitors interacting with their content is an important aspect of “their end-user experience”. When our web site visitor clicks on our banner advertisements – they are normally leaving your web site (never to return).

I try to use advertisements to provide my web site visitor with a resource to obtain a product or service I have reviewed. So that the end users have a similar experience with content, even bad reviews have external hyperlink to purchase products or services. Our job is not to lose focus of our own web site, but to enhance the experience by providing resources that are beyond the scope of your website or professional services.

Most popular web sites do offer a wide range of different affiliate programs that require the web site owner to complete a short application.

Not all affiliate program applications that you apply for will be approved. Most major brands are very “picky” about where their product or brand can appear. Be sure to have a completed web site prior to applying for affiliate programs, as most major brands will review your web site content for reflective to their product line or service. If the content is badly presented or unrelated, the affiliate program application will be denied.

Keeping track of your affiliate programs can be difficult – joining a reputable link farm can be an effective way to streamline your affiliate program efforts.

Changing Face of the Internet

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Is Your Business Ready This Time?

1998

More than ten years ago, we witnessed the rise and fall of the “dot com” bubble. Experienced internet developers consider the failure to launch online commerce successfully was mostly due to a general misconception of what role the World Wide Web (www) would play and to what capacity.

Developers talked about improving commutations and business transactions by building virtual environments that an internet user would access via personal home computers. A major problem that many early internet developers experienced from the launch of the internet; people were (for many different reasons) slow to connect and slower to contribute to online content than developers and investors expected.

2008

Ten years later, the internet story reads in reverse. This time around we have savvy online users who are accessing the internet regularly, with a higher activity rate for users accessing the internet using Hand-held devices than users accessing via a personal computer or laptop.

Helpful Digital Spirit Level


Different types of spirit levels are used by carpenters, stone masons, bricklayers, trades workers, surveyors, millwrights and serious videographers.

iPOD Music Maker


Kids by MGMT played on iPhones and iPod Touches

Figures for 2008 saw a 249% increase of Internet users from the UK accessing and contributing to online content with user friendly handheld devices. The increase in cell phone usage online has been predicable for several years, with the sale of desktop computers and laptop computers vastly declining. Many online users are effectively  shopping and banking online, accessing en-route trip advisory, watching and transferring large media rich content, chatting, tweetering, and engaged in online Social Networking all from their handheld device.

Recent research in New York determined that many online users no longer owe a computer and prefer the portability and accessibly a hand-held-device affords them.

Email Usage on the Decline

2009

Delivered the astonishing  report that email usage is quickly being surpassed by social network sites. As online users alter their current method for keeping in touch with family and friends.

Many Social Network sites have one thing in common, they are user friendly. Offering easy-to-use interfaces and a growing community of friends who are willing to train each other about new applications and how to best utilize them.

With an increasing array of useful applications available on the internet for tasks that many computer users will find pointless, but hand-held device users will use, share and talk about.

Before, we were teaching new web users about possibilities of the internet and the different online time-saving applications available.

Today online users are teaching us about what they want to do online.

According to a recent Nielsen report, 1 out of every 6 minutes spent online can be accounted for by Social Networking web sites. Our online communities absolutely do existence, with many members being active online users and contributors. If for no other reason, Social Network sites are demonstrating that people are engaged in NEW emerging online technologies, with most basic interactions being quite intuitive without superfluous instruction.

Impact of Social NetworkingOver the past ten years our main objective as Web Designers and Developers has been to drive online users to our respective web sites. Today, the digital landscape has altered, with 67% of all online usage being consumed by Social Networking sites, leaving a mere 33% of online usage for research, banking and e-commence.

Remaining Valuable

To remain a valuable part of the new online landscape, online entities have to be more apparent than before. New important content needs to fuel your web site. Interesting precise informative is key. Creating articles, reports and updates that will keep your site visitors informed and connected.

The old objective of driving end-users to our web site is of little benefit in today’s online environment – today we bring our latest news to our target market by establishing ourselves, our companies, our institutions as creditable resources online by being presence with 67% of the active online community.

My old site doesn’t connect with Social Networking web sites

If your web site does not support or at least integrate with the leading social networking sites, then you may as well simply pull the plug and save the money for end-of-year staff party.

The internet has a history. By comparing old online trends with new online trends, we honestly know that having a basic/simple web site online was never enough. Even if your objective was to share business contact information – you are a fool to waste your money on a web site. Google Business will effectively list your business online for free, with contact information, hours of business, directions, product shoots and video, plus the ability to have customer reviews. Businesses listed with Google Business are completely searchable and effective tools to share business contact information, while helping put a stop to online pollution from business web sites that have ineffective content, that is written badly, makes no sense or is completely unrelated to the end users search query.

2010

With a NEW exciting wave of social networking, online businesses are required to reevaluate their current online position and make the necessary changes to keep in-line with your respective target markets. Failure to keep up to date will result in the loss of your entire online target market. However, most online businesses already are aware of disappointing results when they review their diminishing fiscal returns.

Written by: Gary Crossey. Published by: Irish Guy Productions – April 2009