Testing CanvaKala Plugin

Canvakala is a new plugin that is getting rave reviews


The recently released plugin (special launch price $17) aims to give word-press users a replacement for the inadequate image handling that is built-in. Some people claimed it had the power of photoshop while being a lot easier to use, so I thought that I would try out.

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Here’s the link if you want to check it out (this is a direct link not one that would earn me a commission)

Claims:

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Find Royalty-free Images 

Easily Find images from sites like pixabay, flickr, openclipart & instagram, ALL from your WP dashboard!
YES, it did that but you have to have active accounts at Flickr & Pixabay first, so be prepared to upload some photos there first if you don’t have active accounts there already (at Pixabay at least)

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Manage & Edit Images EASILY 

Once you’ve picked an image you can resize/crop to any size you want or to built-in size suggestion like for FB ads, cover etc.

Yes, this feature is excellent
 

Choose from 20 Automatic Special Effects also apply Instagram like filters to your image


Make your image UNIQUES and STANDOUT with some WOW effects!  – 

 

Lots of effects but of limited use in my opinion

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Insert Your Image Easily To Your Blog Post or Download it for other purposes!

After you finish designing or editing your image you can easily use it for whatever you want!

Yes, that can be done easily too.

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Adds a Full Photoshop like Editor to your site –

Well, it does add some features found in photoshop but the plugin is not designed to replace photoshop any more that a Mini would replace a Rolls, but they both will get you from one place to another in their own way.
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Some of the features advertised are only available in the Pro version (OTO1 – $27 at time of launch)> If you have a lot of WordPress sites, want to have more choice that people who only bought the regular edition or if price is not an issue for you, then the pro edition gives you a heap more choices.

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I’ve only tried it on two sites so far – but does the editor does not open to search for images on the other site. I’ll be sending a support ticket to see if there are any known incompatibilities with other plugins or themes.

Would I recommend it? Yes if your time is more valuable than the cost. It certainly made the finding & posting of the image above very easy, but I have many sources for graphics asn other good programs to edit them, so did not buy the upgrade (was very tempted though – I am one of those impulse buyers sellers love!)

 

Best wishes
Trish

 

New Amazon Business

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Hot Hut Stuff Wine Saver Vacuum PumpI have been very quiet on this blog for a while because I’ve been concentrating on getting a new business up and running with my daughter, an Amazon business where we source products from China (or elsewhere) and sell on amazon.com

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Yes we bought a course (ASM) so we could follow instructions and at least have a fair idea of how to go about it. For our first product we found a vacuum seal specialist manufacturer in China and ordered our wine saver vacuum pump and stoppers sets from them.

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If you are a wine drinker (who doesn’t finish the whole bottle in one sitting) then you’ll know that wine left in bottle that has air in it goes off and tastes sour and horrible. The solution is to use stoppers that will seal tightly around the bottle neck and a vacuum pump attached to the stoppers draws all the air out, creating a vacuum in the bottle. This is the way we have preserved food for centuries after all, so we know it works.

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Our Hot Hut Stuff pump has been tested to keep the wine fresh longer than 14 days, in some cases is to 30 days but that is not guaranteed. To see our pump and how to use it, have a look at the YouTube video below or check out our new website at hothutstuff.com where we have the same video running as well as other features of the product such as the fate ring indicator on the top where you can set the day you sealed the bottle and know how many days it has been sealed.

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Finally the product has been made, shipped, through US cutoms, inspected and listed in Amazon and ready for sale herep

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Update May 2015 – We are also selling in Australia now, both on ebay.com.au and from our this link on our Wine Pump website hothutstuff.com/sales
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CMS Commander Web Managment Plugin

CMS Commander remote website management

Do you have a lot of WordPress sites, either for your clients or your own? If you do,  you will certainly know how much time that can take on a daily basis to keep everything up to date and to add new content regularly.

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How would you like to use the time spent on mundane administrative tasks on more important business tasks? CMS Commander is an online service that aims to solve this problem and make managing multiple WordPress weblogs as fast and easy as controlling a single site.

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By placing all your wordpress  sites into one powerful dashboard, CMS Commander makes it possible to update, backup and manage them all in bulk at the same time.

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Features of the CMS Commander plugin include:

  1. 1-click Updates of plugins, themes and WordPress on all sites
  2. Automatic scheduled WordPress backups
  3. Website cloning and restoring
  4. Uptime monitoring and Analytics integration
  5. Bulk posting and automatic content

While CMS Commander can be used for free a premium account will give you access to several special features and allows you to manage more websites.

Sign up for a free account on cmscommander.com now to start controlling all your weblogs from one dashboard and enjoy the best way to manage multiple WordPress sites!

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The Humble Computer Mouse

The choice of computer mouse is a very individual thing and depends on many factors:

  • How many hours a day you work at your computer?
  • Is your primary computer a desktop, a laptop or notebook or even a tablet; but you won’t be needing a mouse if it is a tablet, will you?
  • How big your hands are.
  • Do you want/need to use wired, wireless or bluetooth?
  • Whether you use the scroll function or not.
  • Do you suffer from wrist pain?

In some of these instances, the cheaper type mouse that comes with your computer will serve your needs adequately, but if you, like me work for about eight hours every day, the comfort and functions of your mouse are particularly important.
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On the left below is a photo of the first mouse I paid in excess of $60 for and never regretted it at all. It was comfortable in my largish hands and I didn’t ever suffer any wrist pain even though I worked at my PC sometimes up to 12 hours in a day. The day I dropped it on the tiled floor and broke it was a very sad day for me.
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Luckily I was able to buy another different model  but with the same profile within a couple of days. That one too has died lately so I’m looking for a new one, the Kensington mouse on the right below might well be the one since I have had a word in Santa’s ear!
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The logitech 2nd from left has served as my laptop mouse for a couple of years – it does look a bit battered, doesn’t it? Very similar profile and quite comfortable. The third photo shows my big hands – imagine my right hand wrapped around one of these tiny mobile models! However, I do carry a retractable one around in my laptop bag, as a backup and the occasions when an extra mouse is needed to test someone’s computer.

 History of the computer mouse

Tracking Technology

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Did you know that the name mouse is derived from “Manually Operated User Select Equipment”? This makes the argument about whether more than one computer mouse should be called computer mouses or computer mice (as we do for the rodent variety). It seems there has been no absolute ruling and generally computer companies avoid the issue by calling them mouse devices. Probably mouses is technically correct, but it sounds awkward and people tend to use mice for the plural form.
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The original design for a mouse was mechanical; the mouse had a ball in a compartment underneath and embedded around the edge were some little rollers. These would clog up from the dust and dirt from the user’s desk and needed cleaning to keep the mouse running smoothly (I did this countless times when clients or friends complained that their mouse wasn’t working properly). There were also four sliding type feet that clogged up as well, but these devices were a boon when the alternative was just keyboard shortcuts.
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Along came optical technology and made our lives so much easier. A small LED on the bottom of the mouse translates the movement of your hand into movement of the mouse pointer. Laser mouse devices work the same way, but using a laser instead af the LED. Laser mice have a higher dpi (dots per inch) which means they are more sensitive. For general users this extra sensitivity is not really needed, but graphic designers and gamers often appreciate the difference and make a laser mouse their choice.

Wired Connectors

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The early mice (see above) had a serial connector plug, see picture below. Serial ports were the original standard for interfacing any device with any other device on a computer. Later, a smaller 6 pin Mini Din was introduced by IBM on their PS/2 personal computer and this led to the connector type being called PS/2. For many years PC’s had PS/2 connectors for both keyboard and mouse.
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Some computers still come with two PS/2 ports, but more commonly they just have one, the USB (Universal Serial Bus) being the most common type of interface on all computers, whether PC or Mac. All USB ports look the same, but there is the original USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 which allows much faster (almost 40x as fast) or increased delivery capabilities. The ports are backwards compatible, so you can plug an old USB 1.1 device into a 2.2 port and it will still go.

Wireless

Originally the mouse device was connected to the computer by a cable using one of the technologies above, but nowadays you have the choice (an increasingly common one), to go with wireless. The early hassles of wireless connections seem to have been ironed out and wireless usually works very easily on any platform. Yay! So much more freedom.

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wireless.
Radio Frequency – this is the most common type of wireless interface. A generic mouse operates on th 27MHz frequency and the mouse is powered by batteries. More expensive models can come with rechargeable batteries or charging docks for the mouse. They may use higher frequencies and have a longer range.
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bluetooth.
Bluetooth was useful for lower speed devices like a mouse and was common on early laptops. They are also battery powered and use the 2.4GHz radio frequency to communicate with a receiver/charger supplied with the package or some other Bluetooth adapter...
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RFIDRFID (Rapid Frequency Identification) technology uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data to automatically identify and track tags, which for a mouse is movement. Developed by a company called A4Tech, the mouse must be used in conjunction with the included mose pad, but the advantage is that it is wireless and no batteries are needed.
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Wheels and Buttons

Nearly all mouse devices nowadays have three buttons, with the middle button also being a scroll-wheel. This scroll wheel is essential in my opinion to navigate up and down your screen and on web pages. Any other buttons, typically on the left hand side for a right handed mouse or on the RHS for a left handed mouse, can be programmed by the user to carry out different functions.

 

Buying a computer mouse

A quick search on eBay will show just what a variety of choice there for buying a new mouse – some are fun, some are fancy, some for serious gamers and some ergonomic models for users like me. So how do you choose?

Narrow down the options with these requirements:

  • Do you want wired or wireless?
  • Do you need laser or will Optical suit your needs?
  • What size – full-sized, medium or small (also called compact,  mini, mobile, laptop etc)
  • PS/2 or USB? USB is more common but if your computer does not have many USB ports, but does have PS/2 ports, using a PS/2 mouse (or keyboard) will leave an extra USB port available for other peripherals.
  • Scrolling – do you need left and right as well as up and down?
  • Buttons – does your work (or play) require advanced features?

A great place to see what is available is on eBay, even when you want to shop locally. The wide variety of mouse devices listed there will give you a good idea of all the functions and help you narrow down your choice.
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I have a mouse collection on eBay, just for the fun of it – see some of my pics

See my Collection here http://www.ebay.com/cln/plfbus/Fun-Fancy-Mouse-Collection/66866785015

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8 Top Sites for seniors

While browsing for sites of interest to seniors tonight I found this video on YouTube uploaded by Rob Clairman that features 8 Top Senior Sites.

I recommend that you read the written list of all the sites and summary of the content below the video as the video progresses – adds clarity to what you are watching.


Published on 7 Feb 2013

1) Online Searching And Browsing — http://www.touchlogo.com/
This website allows you to browse through endless websites categorized in subjects such as: News, Seniors, Weather, Hot Deals, Health etc. etc.
2) News — http://seniorjournal.com/
This is a great, dynamic and informative news site focuses on the senior citizen
3) Dating — http://www.seniorpeoplemeet.com/
There are many good senior dating sites. However only this one is full with REAL people and an easy and intuitive browsing experience.
4) Housing — http://www.activeadultliving.com/
Just choose your desired state and city and get all the information you need to make a good decision for your next housing
5) Videos — http://www.youtube.com/user/aahsa
This is the official channel of the American Association of Homes and Services
6) Jobs — http://www.seniorjobbank.org/
A great source for jobs and gigs
7) Health — http://www.agingnetworkservices.com/
One of the most popular sites for health and aging related issues.
8) Blogs – http://www.suddenlysenior.com/
Great blog for the golden age! Just check it out

Low Cost Home Business Income from Affiliate Marketing

There are many ways to earn money online but one of the simplest methods is to use affiliate marketing. Probably the biggest advantages of affiliate marketing is that it is not necessary for a person to own a unique product and the process can get underway very quickly. An affiliate marketer makes money by earning commissions when they recommend and sell other peoples’ products.

The Affiliate Process

There are a number of different affiliate marketing strategies, but here is a good specific strategy that is relatively simple yet utilizes several current sophisticated features. The first step is to pick a niche (a sub-category of a larger category) in which there are numerous information products, such as ebooks, e-courses, or reports, available. A good idea is to pick a popular niche of personal interest and then to check the categories in the Marketplace of Clickbank.com, one of the top information product resources for affiliate marketers. Select a few products in the niche to promote and follow the steps to become an affiliate of each of the products and to gain access to the author’s affiliate tools, emails, images, and banners.

Next, use a keyword research tool, such as the highly regarded tool offered freely by Google, to find some ideas for a website domain name. Then, purchase a domain name from one of the many domain name registrars and select an affordable web host that allows easy installation of a WordPress blog.

The reason to use WordPress is that WordPress offers a huge variety of themes and functionality, and the blog platform will allow one to write interesting reviews and articles. Additionally, there are article directories and private label article sources that offer good articles that can be freely included on the blog site.

Now, select an autoresponder system from among the numerous reasonably priced autoresponders that are available. This step will provide the system for creating a series of emails to be sent to prospective customers and to allow follow up marketing to those valuable prospects.

Next, using the tools provided by the autoresponder company, create an opt-in box that will enable the collection of email addresses from prospective customers. Offer the customer a free e-course or series of reports that will provide free and useful information to the prospect. Research private label rights ebooks in the chosen niche online and use one to create a multi-part email series that can be loaded into the autoresponder and sent to the prospect at regular intervals. The benefit of this step is that in addition to getting the useful information the prospect can also receive a short promotion about an appropriate affiliate product that may interest them.

facebookLastly, open an account with Facebook and create a business page. The business page should reflect the blog site’s domain name. This Facebook page can then be used to offer bits of information, advice, pictures, and fun personal notices. The page can also direct the reader to the main blog site where larger articles and product reviews can be found, along with the opt-in box and affiliate product offers.

One of the great things about this specific affiliate marketing strategy is that once the pieces are in place the strategy can be easily repeated to create affiliate marketing opportunities in other niches, as the old saying goes, rinse and repeat!

Best wishes
Trish

Easily Add a Banner to Your Blog

Adding a banner to your blog, at the top, middle or bottom of posts or in a sidebar has always been very time-consuming and a bit of a fiddle for me. Today I’ve tried out the Max Banner Ads plugin from maxblogpress.com and it is so simple, a beginner could get banners up in no ti,e at all. See the banner at the top of my home page.

Apart from being able to choose the poition of the banner, you can also have rotating ads, so that when you refresh or re-visit the page, there is a different banner being shown. There are various ways to add the banner, from a URL or upload from your PC.  If you are promoting an affiliate product and they give you html or java code, you  just select the option “Other Text Ads / Flash / Javascript ….” and paste the code in. Easy as pie and I had mine done in less than 2 minutes.

The free version shows “Powered by Max Banner Ads” underneath. Although you can remove this if you purchase the Pro version, you can easily embed your clickbank hoplink, so worth considering leaving it there.

The help is very detailed and easy to understand – there are “How to…” pages for just about anything you could think of such as:

  • How to add banner to your blog
  • How to add Adsense, Adbrite and other (text, flash, Javascript) Ads
  • How to add ads at the sidebar of the blog
  • How to add multiple groups of ads in the same placeHow to show banner to certain pages only
  • How to show & rotate more than one banner in the same zone …….

The video on how to use Max Banner Ads and all the features is extremely well done, runs for over 9 minutes and goes into all the detail  including  you need to get going. All in all, I find this to be a highly recommended plug-in for people wanting to maximise both their promotions and their time. Doesn’t that include all of us?

Best wishes,
Trish

Have a Go at Selling on eBay

There’s something undeniably entrepreneurial about selling on eBay. It is true that there are eBay millionaires and there are also successful backroom eBay stores run by people with no more skills than the desire to make money under their own steam and it is the nature of selling on eBay that makes it possible for them and also makes it possible for you. A ready-made audience, instant search engine listings, ready payment systems and the ability to get started with no more than a product, a computer and a desire to succeed all combine to make very low barriers to entry.

The more sophisticated a business selling on eBay becomes, the more opportunity it represents. The scale of the marketplace is immense, for example a pair of shoes is sold on average every 3 seconds. Billions and billions of dollars are transferred every year from buyers to sellers.

There are constantly new niches and opportunities to exploit. Part of selling on eBay is to understand the marketplace and identify exploitable niches within your area of expertise. While there are many bargains to be had on eBay for buyers, it is also possible to achieve a higher price than that paid in shops for some of the items you sell, especially when you start with a low initial price, as this encourages bidding. Everyone loves to get a bargain!

When starting out selling on eBay choose a single, low value product to work with. It makes the whole learning process easier and less painful. Conquer that product before exploring other avenues of revenue. The experience that comes from actually doing it, along with the adrenaline and excitement when you finally make some money from the process is exhilarating. This is normal and healthy, but don’t get carried away. Keep it simple until you feel confident in approaching another market. More competitive markets will be harder to break into, so go for something you know about and feel you can realistically compete in.

Selling on eBay may not require a payment system or a website, but it does require all the other elements of a regular business. You need to be seen to run a professional outfit and to provide a professional service or customers will not return for a repeat visit. Worse than this, one of the features of selling on eBay is that users will leave feedback after their purchase.

Negative feedback can be the kiss of death to your business. Buyers are cautious not to trust their money in the hands of merchants who have provided poor experience for previous buyers and once you have negative feedback it will be seen by all of your prospective customers. Often, with so little to differentiate yourself from your competitors it is vital that you have as good a seller rating as is humanly possible.

A core component to maintaining good feedback when selling on eBay is accurate item descriptions and prompt delivery. The most common reason for poor feedback is slow delivery, although stock control issues, slow customer response times and bad packaging are all very important in order to maintain a good seller rating.

So, give it a go. Have a bit of fun! You’ll never know until you try just how this opportunity might turn out for you.

Best wishes
Trish