Using Layar to enrich print

In a previous post, I discussed Thinglink, a great way to make interactive images for online.

With Layar, you can add interactive content to print, making it come alive when you scan it with your smartphone app. I took this image…

layarexampleand I added 24 buttons

flyerbuttons

Try it. Download the free app on your smartphone and  scan this page. What do you think?

 

 

 

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Use Spotify to create fun music lists to share

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Use Listly to crowdsource content

You can use Listly to curate, crowdsource and engage readers via embedded list. Here’s one I started on Favorite Places to Visit.

Here’s a list I did of my books:

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Using Soundcite to enrich text: Carousel

One of my favorite rides is the beautiful Grand Carousel at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pa. I can hear the carousel music as I write this post. There’s nothing quite like getting an outside horse and reaching for the brass ring.  There is only one brass ring each ride; the rest are steel. I’ve been lucky to get the brass ring twice. Have you ever grabbed a brass ring?

See Knoebels’photos via Snapwidget

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Use free Snapwidget to create embeddable grid, map, slideshow of Instagram photos

I created this embeddable map using Snapwidget, a free Instagram widget. You can also use it to create embeddable grids or slideshows and filter by username or hashtag.


Here are the same photos via a slideshow made with the widget. Notice that the slideshow is autoplay.


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Thinglink creates interactive book flyer

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

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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

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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” »

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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?
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Faces of World Cup found via Geofeedia


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