Thinglink creates interactive book flyer

Mouse of this interactive flyer I made with Thinglink to connect to reviews and Amazon to purchase.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Comic-Con photos via Geofeedia

Here are just some of the hundreds of photos of Comic-Con 2014 in the San Diego Convention Center I found via Geofeedia

Posted in Geofeedia, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dealing with Facebook’s new algorithm

Facebook, as many of you know, changed its algorithm in March. Basically it said, Instead of me giving you everything, I’m going to give you the content that’s most relevant to you. So businesses have been scrambling to figure out how to get their content out there.

Here’s a post that talks about ways to get your content into people’s news feeds. I’ve boiled it down for you in the bullet points, however.

Bullet points:

1. Schedule for more engagement

Engagement is based on how relevant the information is to the user. This is determined by what the user has interacted with in the past 48+ hours. Facebook tracks engagement and feed of the reader and gives the reader what he is most interested in. In other words, you get relevant content based on your previous likes or interests.

Note: The less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook.

Engagement is 18 percent higher on Thursdays and Fridays. (people don’t want to be at work!)

Engagement is also 32 percent higher on weekends compared to a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday.

Best time to post is 1 to 3 p.m. (best for engagement) We’ve also found a sweet spot in the evenings.

The study talked about the “informercial effect.” When there’s little else on TV, you’re more likely to watch an informercial. Likewise, when there’s little else being posted, your posts are more likely to stand out and end up in someone’s feed. Thus why weekends are important because users don’t have as much in their feeds (businesses etc. aren’t bombarding them like they do during the week) so your post has a greater chance of showing up in someone’s feed. (That is until everyone reads this study!)

2. Use images: Images receive 37 percent more interactions. Nothing new here.

Remember you can get images from Getty for free. To include a Getty image, find the image on Getty that you want to use, copy the embed code and paste it into your status update. The photo will pop in and then you can delete embed code from the status.

Continue reading “Dealing with Facebook’s new algorithm” »

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SoundCite brings text to life

Another neat tool from the Knightlab is SoundCite. It’s a uber simple tool that allows you to add audio to your story. The audio plays right under the text you choose, not isolated in a viewer located somewhere else on the page. So as readers read the text, they hear the voice.

You can see how helpful this tool could be if you were writing a story and wanted the reader to hear the subject speak the quote they were reading. Talk about bringing text to life. I could think of a number of uses for SoundCite and I love the idea of adding voice (and emotion) to text.

As a test, I recorded an Amazon review from my just released book, The Yearbook Series: Tess and Jeremy. Here’s the post in which I incorporated SoundCite.

It’s finally here! Book 3 of The Yearbook Series: Tess and Jeremy. Here’s the skinny: 
 
Falling in love was easy for Jeremy and Tess…But that was college. 

Now, they have everything they could’ve hoped for then. Jeremy has a successful dental practice and Tess stays home with the kids. Life seems perfect, but their marriage is falling apart. 

The kids are getting older and Tess misses her pre-mommy self—most importantly having a career she loves. Jeremy’s refusal to support Tess widens the divide between them. 

But Tess has a secret plan. If it works, she might get the career she wants and find the husband she once knew.
 
First review: 5 STARS
 
“In a lot of ways, Tess and Jeremy’s story is my favorite among Buffy Andrews’ The Yearbook Series. I felt the relationship was authentic. So many couples I know become stuck as attention goes from raising small children to each other. Tess feels isolated now that the children are in grade school and her role as mommy is less on-demand. But Jeremy, a dentist, is content with how things are now, and takes too much pleasure in the provider role to actually provide Tess with what she wants and needs. This, of course, deadens the spark between these college sweethearts. Can the spark that brought them together be kindled again? Or is Jeremy too set in his ways and Tess too bitter? You’ve got to read to find out!”
 

Here’s another example of the audio embed:

In a lot of ways, Tess & Jeremy’s story is my favorite among Buffy Andrews’ The Yearbook Series. I felt the relationship was authentic. So many couples I know become stuck as attention goes from raising small children to each other. Tess feels isolated now that the children are in grade school and her role as mommy is less on-demand. But Jeremy, a dentist, is content with how things are now, and takes too much pleasure in the provider role to actually provide Tess with what she wants and needs. This, of course, deadens the spark between these college sweethearts. Can the spark that brought them together be kindled again? Or is Jeremy too set in his ways and Tess too bitter? You’ve got to read to find out!

What do you think? You could use SoundCite with quotes in a story. If you were interviewing a musician and he described his music, you could incorporate a SouncCite clip at that point in the story. The possibilities are probably endless. Have you used this tool? If so, what do you think?
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Faces of World Cup found via Geofeedia


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

TimelineJS: Jeff Koons retrospective timeline

After making a Jeff Koons timeline using Dipidy, I decided to try it using TimelineJS. This is a very rich, interactive tool and it’s FREE. Free is great in my world! You build the timeline using a Google spreadsheet and can include a variety of sources, such as Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Dailymotion, Wikipedia, SoundCloud and more.

Here’s my first try at using this tool below. What do you think?

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Dipidy: Jeff Koons Timeline

I used Dipity to create a timeline to run with our coverage of Jeff Koons: A Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. If you haven’t used this tool, it’s super easy and very intuitive.

Once you’ve completed your timeline, you have three embeddable options.

1. Timeline

2. Flipbook

3. List

Here is another one I did for my books via the Flipboard option:

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Pixlr makes it easy to make collages

I tried Pixlr, a photo editing tool, for the first time. There are many pieces to this tool, but the one I wanted to focus on today is the Pixlr Express. I was interested in using this particular tool to create collages and this makes it easy to do.

To create a collage that you can turn into a jpeg:

1. Go to Pixlr Express.
2. Click on collage button on right
3. Click on layout and scroll through the options using the down/up arrows until you find the one you want to use and click on it.
4. Click on the + sign in the middle of each square and upload the photo you want to appear in that square.
5. Click finish when you’re done.
6. You have the option of adding stickers, effects, borders etc.
7. Save image and name it
8. You should be good to go! Just upload your image wherever you want to share it like I did below.

collage

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Using StoryMapJS is as easy as …

I wanted to see how easy it was to use StoryMapJS and it’s pretty easy. I didn’t complete this map, but I did plot a few Veterans Memorials to test the program. You don’t need to have an account to use this tool.

How to use:

1. Go to the website and click on the “Make a storymap now” green button at the top.
2. Click on “Map” icon
3. Title your map
4. The first slide is the overview slide. This is your title slide. So, add your title. You do NOT add actual locations on this slide. The program will show all the points you plot on your map and adjusts the zoom so they can all be seen.
5. Click “Add slide” button
6. Add the address of what you want to plot on the map. In my case, I added the address of where the memorial is located. You can move the pin if it’s not exactly where you want it.
7. Upload the image that goes with that particular slide. (You should have saved all of your images to your desk top or flash drive in advance so they are ready for you to grab.)
8. You can preview to see what it will look like by clicking the preview button.
9. Publish the story map and grab the embed code to put on your article page, blog post, etc.
10. You can edit your story map after publishing. Once the edited version is published, it will update automatically.

This is a pretty cool way of telling stories. You could plot everything from museums to factory tours. You can use videos, photos, etc. Try it and let me know how you like it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

SEO Tips

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off