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Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Draw.chat free online whiteboard (etc) collaboration tool

Screengrab of draw.chat's homepage.

Draw.chat is an innovative collaborative progressive web app, or PWA, which allows users to communicate in visual drawings as well as through text chat, audio, videos and by uploading files.

Progressive web apps are technically normal web pages available through modern browsers such as Google Chrome, but they look more like something users would see on a mobile. They allow all kinds of tricks that regular web pages wouldn’t too, such as being able to draw a response in a chat window, swap files and work on a mobile as seamlessly as a PC.

Draw.chat describes itself as a free online whiteboard, but the site also allows video conferencing and text messages with offline notification. The video conferencing side allows images and files to be dragged and dropped into the chat, while the text messaging option will suit those more used to chatrooms than video conferencing.

Draw.chat is powered by Sketchpad.pro and has an extensive lexicon of keyboard shortcuts available for Windows and Mac systems, These cover all aspects of tool use, navigation and editing functions. It looks fairly simple to use, whether on the elderly Mac laptop I own or my more modern Android phone.

A meeting is initiated via the Start Meeting button available on most pages of the site. It’s as simple as that. Collaboration is easy, whether users write, draw or speak their ideas by preference. I can see this PWA appealing to the severely dyslexic people I have worked with, who were able to understand pictures much quicker than words, as well as those who prefer to speak to someone face to face and people like me who prefer words on a page.

Yes, there have been drawing apps before which have a chat element; the similarly named DrawChat or Draw Something (both 2012 releases), for instance. But this isn’t an app. It doesn’t appear in Google Play. Users simply type draw.chat into their browser and the site will load. On a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile, it looks and works the same. And unlike many apps, this PWA has a solid business purpose. It can bring together collaborators from around the world in a couple of clicks, and allow them to share ideas across different media simply and quickly, crossing boundaries of language and expression.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

TecAdemics affiliate program

Image from Public Domain Pictures on Pixabay. CC0, free for public use.

Regular readers know that I’m always happy to write about a new affiliate program or work from home opportunity.

Tec Mastermind and the TecAdemics program is both, plus this unique set up allows top trainers to share their tips and tricks for online business success. In addition, affiliates are able to benefit from new sign ups through their page, but can also use their training to create a successful business themselves.

This website has a video which explains how business education such as TecAdemics fits with the Four Percent Group’s aims to allow anyone to become a top internet entrepreneur. Trainer Vick Strizheus believes that the reason so many internet businesses fail is because everything is too complicated for many people to grasp. They simply have information overload when it comes to setting up and running an online business, and most people have never made more than $1,000 through online sales. Affiliate programs can be a very handy way of making extra money, but this usually involves having a webpage and hosting adverts then waiting for clicks from potential customers. The trouble is, because many people run adblockers these days, they may simply never see a single advert.

The system offered by the Four Percent Group aims to simplify the online marketing process and allow members to make serious income without adverts. Quite apart from the top level business education offered by TecAdemics, the funnel system used by the Four Percent Group is specifically designed to hook interested potential students into signing up for the courses and in the process, allow the affiliate to earn commission. They don’t have to sign up to TecAdemics themselves, but can earn good money by acting as an affiliate. They may choose, of course, to reinvest some of their affiliate income in the TecAdemics program, and go on to found a separate online webshop or e-commerce site as a result.

Vick Strizheus explains more in the video. Signing up to find out more about the Four Percent Group (including why it is called that) is free, and positively encouraged as the first step to becoming successful online without hosting adverts, writing promotional articles or becoming involved in direct selling of any products. The system made over three million dollars in sales even in beta testing, so there is no doubt that it works.

For anyone who would like to try a low-maintenance way of making an online income, signing up for the Four Percent Group’s system could be the first step to improving their chances.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Wizdiary - bringing even more customers and businesses together two years on



Wizdiary video 2017.
YouTube link provided and used with permission.


When I first wrote about Wizdiary, almost two years ago in June 2015 (WizDiary.com, bringing customers and businesses together online), it was a very new company which didn’t even have a complete website yet. It could almost have been called a ‘concept’ rather than a fully fledged business at that stage.

Wizdiary’s USP back then was a series of innovative multilingual YouTube videos explaining the business’ aims to provide a social-media-style gateway for small and medium sized companies to connect online with their potential worldwide customers. The idea was to allow businesses to advertise for new clients by showing photographs of their products or sharing examples of their work, almost like an online version of the newspaper back pages classified advertising service.

Two years later, I am pleased to say that the company is now fully operational and doing well. Businesses can advertise via the Billboard and Posted Jobs areas to bring their skills to the attention of potential clients. Billboard allows businesses to post images of goods or projects to share with those in a particular location, while Posted Jobs allows companies to advertise for specific staff or requirements for a particular project.

This simple move of filtering traffic has helped to streamline the site and point users in the right direction. Registration is free and a Billboard entry is required as part of the normal profile setup to educate future clients about the company behind the advertisement. The explanatory video for Wizdiary's Billboard and Posted Jobs areas emphasises Wizdiary’s social side while the updated introductory video goes into more detail about the clientele-locating strengths of the company. It explains the simplicity of the site and the chance for advertisers to showcase unique selling points, special products, experience or talents using photographs and existing work.

Wizdiary’s videos make the point that not everyone is looking for the same thing. A company which specialises in offering simple solutions at lean prices to small business owners and startups is not likely to be looking for a client who wants all the bells and whistles from a vastly experienced provider. A lean entrepreneur is not likely to choose the most expensive business, because their prices will be beyond a small budget and their solution could well be too complicated for the limited interest a smaller business is likely to get. Similarly, depending on the market, not everyone will want a University-educated worker; some may prefer an experienced seller who has fewer qualifications.

All kinds of people and companies can use Wizdiary to be found by new clients, connect with like minded people with similar skills and expertise or to find people with the knowledge they need. That’s the beauty of Wizdiary. It is totally adaptable to individual circumstances. If you’re a business owner who is prepared to give a new worker a break, or an experienced provider wishing to use your experience to help new businesses get off the ground, Wizdiary has a place for you.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Viziad peer-to-peer advertising network

Viziad, the peer-to-peer ad network

For those who have always fancied making some money online but don’t want to join one of the many independent distributorship or franchise companies out there, then Viziad may be of interest. Viziad is a new sales network for advertising space. It’s peer-to-peer, so anyone can sell advertising space to anyone else, and it doesn’t have to be an actual billboard, either. It could be a social media post, a promotional space on a menu or poster, delivering flyers, placement of a widget on a blog or offering physical advertising space on a car, van or window. Registration is free for both sellers and buyers; the only financial transaction is between individuals - and that is protected by escrow until both parties are happy that the agreed contract has been fulfilled.

As on auction sites, sellers can also be buyers, depending on what they are looking for to promote their own business or venture. Buyers can search sellers’ listings and in some cases make offers rather than paying a fixed price. Whatever it is, Viziad calls it ‘ad space’.

Once registered, the seller first has to create a listing for their ad space. This should include the location, any relevant pictures or videos, details of the proof the buyer will receive that their ad space has been shown as agreed, and any other necessary information. Basically, anything the seller wants the buyer to know about their offer should be included.

To buy, it’s as simple as clicking ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Bid Now’ for those sellers who offer a chance to bid on an ad space rather than buy it outright. The seller will receive notification that the buyer wishes to purchase their ad space. They can answer any questions the buyer has and then choose to accept or decline the buyer’s bid or offer to buy.

This platform is likely to be of interest to writers and bloggers looking to work with other freelancers with a limited budget, or those who want to reach a different market through advertising. Viziad is a chance for independent-minded advertisers to support other like-minded types, without having to rely on the major online advertising players. It may also offer a chance for companies which have been denied accounts with other advertisers to monetise their sites with appropriate ad space offered to sellers in the right fields.

Viziad peer-to-peer advertising sales network is designed to appeal to small business owners, perhaps even anyone looking for sponsorship for anything where they have the chance to show off logos and advertisements. Maybe a runner could seek sponsorship for a race and donate the money to a previously agreed charity, for instance. It takes the crowdfunding idea and expands it to encompass an entire website. Or maybe a single targeted project. It’s entirely up to the seller to specify their requirements.

Viziad is a great way for new sites to monetise their work, for freelancers to work together peer-to-peer, and for those with a small advertising budget to reach different markets. Affordable advertising for all - what’s not to like?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Aravinda's Mojo aromatherapy and color therapy bracelets

Aravinda logo.
Image provided and used with permission.

Therapy comes in many forms. For some, confidence comes from wearing an item of favorite clothing, or a particular color. For others, it’s the reassurance of wearing a familiar perfume which brings back good memories.

Aravinda are developing a way to combine the power of color therapy and the popularity of aromatherapy in a range of distinctive slap bracelets. Called Mojo, the range is likely to be available in four colors - orange for physical energy, green for mental health, blue for calm and violet for spiritual strength.

The idea is that the wearer would combine the two therapies by putting a couple of drops of the appropriate essential oil onto the bracelet to make the most of the effects throughout the day.

The range is currently in development, with a Kickstarter campaign planned in a few months. Potential buyers who sign up for email updates now will receive a free aromatherapy ebook and a chance to purchase their bracelet at a discounted price once available.

The bracelets are made of microfiber with a waterproof neoprene layer and a stainless steel band to give the perfect fit. The bracelets of each color are patterned in a different way in a complementary color, and carry the brand name and the sense being worked upon. Aravinda means ‘lotus’ in Sanskrit, which explains the company’s logo. The flower also provides the inspiration for the designs on the bracelets thanks to its graceful lines.

Each bracelet will come with a vial of essential oil, but for those who wish to be adventurous, there is a wealth of resources online to help choose a suitable oil to address any specific problem. The bracelets are washable with soap and water, so it would be possible to change the oil of choice.

The bracelets’ colors are based on those used to indicate the various chakras, or energy centers, of the body. In color therapy, orange relates to the sacral chakra, green is for the heart, blue helps the throat and violet is the crown of the head. Green is also the color therapists use to settle their clients. Orange promotes effective circulation and revitalizes the receiver. Blue is a relaxing color and is often used to treat nerves and insomnia. Violet is the head color, when used in therapy over the head and neck it promotes the flow of subtle energies around the body.

Aravinda hope that their Mojo bracelets will bring the worlds of aromatherapy and color therapy together in an imaginative way, offering both benefit and style to wearers. The mailing list is now open, so interested potential backers can learn more from the founders as development continues.

Aravinda logo,
Image provided and used with permission.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Blackwolf workout supplements for men or women

Blackwolf workout supplements. Huntress option shown.
Image provided and used with permission.


Workout supplements are for big, musclebound guys, right?


Wrong.


At least according to Blackwolf. The company has a targeted range of supplements for men, and another for women, to optimise the effect that working out gives both. Someone in the company realised that women would like to make the best of their gym habits too, so the initial picture on Blackwolf Workout Supplements’ site shows both a male and a female in workout gear and the site goes on to detail the plus points of the Blackwolf supplement range to all customers.


The Blackwolf Workout Supplements site is an information portal for the Wolfson Berg brand Blackwolf. Sales made through the site will benefit an affiliate. As with many health and wellness brands, Wolfson Berg have turned to the affiliate market to spread the word about their product. This writer has nothing against that, as often word on social media or the wider internet is the only way to hear about such products.


The Blackwolf supplements range comprises pre-, intra- and post-workout packs tailored for male or female users. Customers are likely to see results in 2-3 weeks, which compares favourably with more widely available weight loss products. The ingredients are all natural, but scientifically engineered to give the best results depending on the version.


I have never taken workout supplements, but I have tried several widely available health and wellness products, and I will say that they work much better with an active lifestyle. These formulations are not miracle workers, and customers should ideally either undertake to become reasonably fit while taking them or already be on a fitness kick to make the most of the mixes.


Blackwolf Workout formulas are designed to be an all-in-one, three-phase workout supplement, but each phase can also be taken alone (although it may not be as effective). The company offers a free workout booklet, free shaker and free international shipping to increase its customer base.


Hunter (for men) and Huntress (for women) packs have elements for pre-, intra- and post-workout needs. The Track product is for men's pre-workout needs, while the Trail version is tailored to women's pre-workout requirements. The Hunt and Eliminate elements are the same. The difference is in the pre-workout products which are the tailored areas to suit men or women. Because the products are natural, Wolfson Berg asserts that there are no side effects and the products are safe to use.
The Blackwolf Workout Supplements site has much more information, including prices, ingredients, links to reviews and answers to questions. Fitness fans could do worse than check it out, with a USP of targeted mixes for men and women.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

MiFon 9-in-1 Android Phone Security Suite

MiFon logo.
Image provided and used with permission.



MiFon 9-in-1 Security Suite is the answer to every Android phone owner’s security prayers. The app bundles security, privacy and tracking features in the one app. A limited version of the MiFon app is available for free from Google Play with a chance to try the fully featured Pro version as a free trial before deciding whether to buy it.

MiFon offers malware protection, auto backup, anti-theft, find me features and more. These features will work even without internet connectivity, making MiFon an attractive proposition for all Android users worldwide. Indeed, Indian phone company Intex has bundled the app with its newest phone as standard.

The nine areas of security, privacy and tracking covered by the app are:

Antivirus and anti-malware protection

This offers protection for those users who access their banking via their phone, have a mobile phone payment app such as Android Pay or PayPal enabled or who simply have the misfortune to encounter a trojan or virus.

Backup

Everyone should back up their phone regularly, to the cloud or to an alternative location. But for those who never get around to it, MiFon can automatically create backups of texts, contacts, photos and even some social media to a personal storage cloud.

Optimization

This will clear the cache and free the memory.

Set and Forget

These three options above only need to be set up once and can then be forgotten. What could be easier?

Find me

Users who have lost or mislaid their phone can send an SMS text, even when it’s set to silent, to activate a loud siren sound. Once located - or not - users have the ability to choose to lock or wipe the phone if needed. This feature also allows users to enable phone status monitoring (battery life and so on) and receive email reports with details if the phone is not with them.

Panic button

This feature, only available on the Pro option, is the mobile phone equivalent of ringing the emergency services. It allows users to email emergency notification, location and photos to a nominated group of contacts.

Anti-theft

A really important feature, this, given the number of phones which are left, forgotten or just plain swiped by someone on the make. It’s only available through the Pro version, but could pay for itself on its own. It will send the thief’s photo, track the phone and offer the registered owner full control over it, no matter where it is.

Geo-location for a specific group

This feature is under development but once available, users can share their location with a chosen contact group. This is designed for parents who need to know that their child has arrived safely in class, for instance, or perhaps for concerned friends looking out for a singleton on a blind date or a night out.

Remote activation and control

Users of the MiFon Pro option can set a passphrase and security locks so that they can retain control over their phone if it’s lost or stolen.


MiFon Pro is available to try for 15 days free following the instructions on the Google Play site. After that time users can revert to the free options or purchase a permanent full upgrade. Users with questions can contact the team through FacebookTwitter or helpdesk email.

A Smarter Smartphone thanks to MiFon.
Image provided and used with permission.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lian & Méz watches - wearable sustainability

Lian & Méz logo
Image provided and used with permission.

The watchmaker’s art is alive and well in the age of the smartphone.

That’s a bold statement to start with, but what Lian & Méz are doing with their crowdfunded sustainable watch is even more unusual. They are mixing finest German precision watchmaking with Swiss-made traditional movement and a sustainable and eco-friendly vibe. Designed to appeal to those who like to make a statement with classic jewellery while still remaining ethically sound, the Lian & Méz range has straps handmade from Piñatex pineapple leaf fibers. These fibers are a natural byproduct of pineapple farming, which gives growers another source of income alongside their fruit harvest.

The watches are a real talking point, not only because they look good, but because of their ethical strength. What’s more, they are fully customizable, with cases, dials, indices and straps available in a variety of colors. The cases are available in 36mm (ladies) or 40mm (gents) diameter with the straps sized accordingly, and the straps themselves are interchangeable. The company hopes to receive enough pledges to enter full production soon but in the meantime, if their target is met, those ordering watches by pledging money will be contacted at the end of the fundraising process to finalize their order. All watches bought through the crowdfunding campaign will come with a two year warranty.


The Kickstarter page is very detailed, with information on the history of the company and the founders’ hopes for the future. It has taken them two years to reach this stage, concentrating on the sustainability and quality aspects of their product. They are hoping for €25,000 on an all or nothing basis by the end of March 2017, and if that goal is achieved they hope to start full production of their Fifth Season range shortly afterwards, with delivery to backers over the summer. Using the hashtag #wearsustainable, founders Julian and Feramez are stressing their respect and responsibility to the natural world as well as tapping into the current interest in low-impact living.

The duo hope that their Kickstarter campaign funds will allow them to place their first large order, produce tooling, work on new designs, shake up the watch industry and support the pineapple-growing countries where they will source their Piñatex pineapple leaf fibers.

Levels of backing can start from as little as €1, but to get their hands on a watch, backers will have to choose at least the Super Early Bird offer of one watch for €139. This offers a saving of almost 50% on the projected retail price of €269. There is an option with an extra strap for €185 and an offer for couples of two watches plus extra straps for €359.

Lian & Méz has been featured in many of the leading German and English business magazines for their mix of fashionable design and ethical sourcing. In addition, Piñatex has been approved as a vegan product by PETA.

One of Lian & Méz’s watches would make a memorable gift for someone on a special birthday, or allow couples to commemorate a significant date in their lives. Interested would-be backers have until the early hours of Monday 27 March to place their pledge.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

MacBack - Sell or buy used iPhones in the USA


MacBack US logo
Image provided and used with permission.

Back in September I wrote about MacBack and Tech.trade sites. MacBack offers users the chance to sell old Apple tech for refurbishment and Tech.trade allows buyers to purchase refurbished Macbooks, iPads and iMacs. My previous Windows laptop, which was on its last legs then, has now officially expired and so I’m definitely in the market for a new machine. Most of my friends use Macs as they’re gamers and coders, so they suggested that I look at a refurbished Macbook. While I was researching my options, I discovered that MacBack have a US division as well as the UK arm I wrote about. The US division of MacBack handle both the buying and selling of refurbished iDevices, including iPhones, iMacs, Macbooks and iPads. The company is currently offering up to $380 for a second hand-as-new iPhone in top condition.

Once a seller has decided that their iPhone is no longer fit for purpose, selling it is easy. Firstly, they request a quote. For residents of Reno or California, collection is free; for other states, UPS will handle the mailing either via collection or drop off service. A quick assessment and payment via bank transfer or PayPal is made in 48 hours no matter where in the US the seller is located. Current top-dollar models are the iPhone 5S, 6S and 6S+. Phones sent without a power supply will have deductions made from the quote price.

iPhone 5S sellers can expect to earn over $100 for a well cared for model. The flagship model in 2013, the iPhone 5S was the first Apple phone available in gray, gold and silver and was phenomenally successful, selling three times as many units as its nearest Apple rival, the 5C.

Unlocked versions of the iPhone 5S 32GB can earn around $100 for the best condition, while locked versions could command up to $75. Other prices will vary on the state of the phone upon receipt by MacBack, and sellers are advised to read the grading page to find out where their phone is likely to fall on the scale. In practice, most used phones are likely to be a Grade C device, with mild wear and tear, no screen marks, no dents, still with original packaging and power supply.

Each page gives detailed instructions on the best way to delete data from the phone while still retaining it safely in the iCloud for future use. As with all second hand sales, sellers are advised to back everything up and sign out of all associated programs and devices before attempting data deletion. There are specialists around who can help with this process if necessary - this may be important as data cannot be restored once wiped. Working entirely in the cloud can be a pain at times, but sometimes it’s a better option as it makes upgrading to a new device and disposing of the old one really simple. Plus, items saved in the cloud are not hogging space on the phone itself, leading to less wear and tear on the battery and a phone which runs smoothly.

During standard business hours MacBack staff are available to help with queries via phone, email, Facebook, and Twitter, while for new owners, the Tutorials section gives extended help on iPhone 5/5S and 6/6S features and functions. Learning about a new device, or even safely preparing one for sale, can be daunting, but with MacBack’s simple tutorials, everyone can become an expert at operating their iPhone. 

For those in the US looking for a place to sell an old iPhone, buy a reconditioned model or even find out how to operate their newly purchased gadget, MacBack has all the answers.

MacBack.
Image provided and used with permission.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Article directory Internet Articles Dot Net

A typical screenshot from Internet Articles Dot Net
Image provided and used with permission

Everyone has favorite subjects for which they have a weakness. Apart from writing about anything that takes my fancy, I like reading and watching documentaries about Classical Greek monumental architecture, polar bears and the history of electronic music. My husband is a geek, well versed in retro computing, films and travel. My parents love France and French influences; my father is a fluent Francophone and my mother a committed Francophile. Dad also runs a jazz appreciation group, while mum specializes in simple, healthy recipes and exercises for older people.

For some, their specialist subject leads to a lifetime’s work, maybe in academia, medicine or research. For others, a website is the way to go. A year ago, in January 2016, Timothy Davis decided that the topics he was interested in warranted a website of their own. And so, the article directory InternetArticles.net (or Internet Articles Dot Net, as it is styled) was born.

Since then, his website has had over 101,100 visitors at time of writing - it goes up relentlessly - and published around an article a day, on average. Topics include exercise for back pain, model rocketry, food and food cravings, relationships and CAD drawing. Timothy describes it as a home for any family-friendly subject and currently has a number of writers providing content on their specialist areas. You can see why this goldmine of information appeals to me, can’t you?

There are nineteen regular authors, four admins and four editors. Timothy welcomes applications from new authors, and asks that any authors who are interested in having work published should contact him. There is a page devoted to Terms of Service, stating limits on the numbers of links in an article, and the length of time an author may take to revise a draft. Internet Articles Dot Net is always on the lookout for ‘quality, free and unique content’ so writers who consider their work fulfills those criteria might wish to approach Timothy for more information.

As previously mentioned, the topic range is wide and varied. Looks like just about everyone in my family would be happy, as alongside architecture and animals, there are pages devoted to computers, food, health, music, technology and travel.

For the complete anorak, the Uncategorized listing includes pieces on the History of the Diesel Locomotive Engine, Legitimate Work at Home Jobs, Basic Italian, hydroculture, dog ownership, freeware, owning a greenhouse and Christian living.

Each article has related links within the text as references and further linked articles at the end. This encourages further reading around the site. At school we had a game called ‘thessie bashing’, where our teacher would give us a word to start with and we had to look it up in the thesaurus, find the first word in the synonyms which took our fancy and look that up, then rinse and repeat. At the end of a specified time, we would have to justify our decisions. I think Timothy’s site is an internet version of ‘thessie bashing’. I started reading the article ‘A Dad Full of Careers’. From there, I moved on to ‘Living in a Barn’,which was linked at the end, then ‘Finding a Suitable Barn to Convert into a Home’ from the link at the bottom of that piece.

If you’re stuck for inspiration but simply feel the need to read, there is a list of Featured Articles accessible from the Pages link on the right hand side of the screen. The current favorite is Vintage House Plans Download. Popular Articles, in the right hand column, is also a good place to find recommended reading.

Judging by the ever-increasing numbers of visitors to Internet Articles Dot Net, I am not the only one who finds the site interesting, informative and varied. It certainly makes a change from reading the news these days, and the subject matter is more cheerful too. I can imagine in insomniac nights to come, dialing up the site as a modern alternative to counting sheep. It’s an easy way to gain new knowledge and let your mind drift away from whatever is keeping it awake, at least.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Express yourself with Demeter Mojis

Artwork from Demeter Mojis adds class to any room.
Image provided and used with permission.


Demeter Mojis is an online art prints and merchandise shop for the discerning. Those whose taste runs to simple line drawings, almost caricature-ish in nature, may well appreciate Demeter Mojis’ work. Monochrome (black on white or reverse) line drawn faces have been printed onto just about every item of clothing and interior decoration possible. The range of branded goods runs from t-shirts and totes to mugs, cushions, throws, towels, canvas prints and more.

Those familiar with the clean lines and simple style in the work of ‘Miffy’ artist Dick Bruna may will relate to these pieces. Demeter’s influences include Picasso, Pollock and de Kooning and the style is quite unique, minimal and modern. In just a few strokes, a face appears, often quizzical, sometimes happy sometimes sad, always expressive.


A typical example of Demeter's work.
Image supplied and used with permission.

There is an enormous selection of framed and unframed art prints and a smaller range of other customised items. Some of the more popular designs are available across the whole range of Demeter Mojis’ stock, however, so it would be possible to match items in a room using a single design, or mix the selection with a choice of designs.

Demeter’s emoticon drawings can express feelings without words, and a piece of this artwork would make a memorable gift for someone, or act as a focal point in a home or workplace. Anywhere decorated in the minimalist style would benefit from a print, or maybe a cushion or two on a plain sofa.

As you might expect from an artist, Demeter Mojis is on Instagram as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Demeter states, quite rightly, that emojis are becoming an increasingly common way for millennials to communicate, citing Pepsi’s PepsiMoji campaign of 2016 (Pepsi Preps Global Emoji Can and Bottle Campaign) and Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a feeling’ campaign as recent examples of the trend. Even taking that into account, these artworks are timelessly eye-catching and unusual, fitting well with the minimalist lifestyle adopted by many through need or a conscious rejection of collecting stuff for stuff’s sake.

For a gift with a difference, Demeter Mojis’ distinctive range of prints and soft furnishings is worth a look. Today’s connected world has one great advantage - many more people can view and buy the work of individual artists, just as they can stream music by local bands as easily as well known ones. Sometimes, supporting the lesser known designers or groups can be more satisfying than buying the same print as everyone else from a chain store or paying top dollar for tickets to a popular concert. When it comes to creativity, individual tastes certainly rule. And less can definitely be more.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SlimRoast Coffee, new to the UK, familiar to the US

SlimRoast Coffee slogan.
Image provided and used with permission.




Regular readers of this blog will be aware of two things. One, that I like to review the very latest weight loss products. Two, that I am a teapot on legs.

 

Having reviewed several slimming tea products before, I was conscious of the fact that my coffeehead friends were being left out of the loop. I have heard enough from them about the irresistibly sweet and tasty coffees they can buy from every coffee shop in town, while when I go there with them, I’m restricted to green tea, weak milky black tea or hot chocolate, mostly.


Now, my coffee-drinking readers have no excuse to duck their New Year’s resolution to cut down on the sweet treats and lose weight. Because I’ve been told about this new product called SlimRoast. Yes, it’s a coffee. Yes, it will help coffee lovers lose weight. My contact Mark tells me that he has lost 3 stone in the last year without having to give up his coffee habit. Like many weight loss products, it works by suppressing the appetite and restricting the amount of fat and sugar absorbed by the body.

 

Now, I’m hardly the ideal person to test coffee, because I don’t drink it, but I know that my coffee-drinking friends say the whole thing of it is that the caffeinated version gives a buzz. I’m guessing this SlimRoast dark roast Brazilian coffee does too, but it has also been formulated to help drinkers lose weight as an extra bonus.

 

The mix suppresses the appetite gently, so it curbs the urge for mid-morning snacks. It’s the natural ingredients that help, and everything which goes into the product is approved by the FDA, EU and UK regulatory bodies. It is made with Arabica coffee beans, which have half the caffeine content of supermarket blends and a handful of calories.

 

Typical sachet of SlimRoast with mug.
Image provided and used with permission.
The ideal way to consume these beverages is in moderation. One cup (or maybe two cups maximum) a day, for six days a week, then a rest day. The sachets are based on a 68kg adult so those who are lighter or heavier may need to adjust their intake accordingly.

 

Active ingredients include:
  • Garcinia cambogia, touted as a fat burner (I have also seen this in tea and tea-based health and weight loss programs);
  • organic raw cacao;
  • L-Theanine (the same amino acid found in green tea);
  • Phaseolamin, which is supposed to block starch-digesting carbs;
  • Phenylethylamine HCL, or PEA, used to stimulate the release of dopamine;
  • concentrated green tea extract;
  • Chromium Polynicotinate, a mineral which helps control blood sugar, curb carb cravings and fight body fat;
  • Chlorogenic acid, a thermogenic fat burner - it works with your body to burn more fat;
  • Premium dark Brazilian Arabica coffee; the important bit

The SlimRoast range comes in four different types: Regular, fruit flavoured Trim, Immune Boost with antioxidants and fruit extracts and Energy to increase focus and performance. The Immune Boost mix contains aloe vera, widely known as an antioxidant, while Energy contains guarana, ginseng and green tea extract for endurance.

 

As with all health and wellness products, there is a range of opinion online about whether SlimRoast works or not. As everyone’s metabolism, weight, body shape and lifestyle is different, some people may achieve better or worse results than others. Some reviews state that around 90% of people will achieve some weight loss, especially if they drink a cup first thing in the morning, before breakfast.

 

As always with these products, there is the opportunity to sell the range on to others as an independent distributor. Apparently this is not a standard MLM or network marketing scheme though I have seen some reviews referring to it as that. In the UK at the moment, it appears to be a newcomer to the market and finding its feet.

 

The main thing I have found with all these products is that they work well if you adopt and maintain a relatively active lifestyle as well as using them. This helps the ingredients work to their best capabilities. As ever, the old adage ‘moderation in everything’ seems to be the best advice, with a decent amount of exercise, sensible dietary choices and products like SlimRoast coffee or its fruity equivalents as part of a normal daily fluid intake.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Linkbutton, a new take on social media

The Linkbutton logo, image provided and used with permission

Linkbutton.com sounds like the next big thing for apps, websites and social combined. It’s not quite here yet, but coming soon for those social hounds who just have to be in on the next big thing. And this sounds like quite a thing.


Social media has become an integral part of marketing and online interaction in the last few years and there are sites for sharing just about anything these days, in any format. Like and share buttons appear on almost every post, while some employers will check a candidate's social presence as part of the hiring process.


Linkbutton.com is launching soon to join the party. Linkbutton.com is going to be a free site for users to link to their content, offering a choice of over 100 actions or call buttons (including BUY, CALL, SHARE, DONATE, DOWNLOAD or VOLUNTEER) from a personal or business account. The default action will be ACCESS, which will simply let readers read the posted content.


As with many other social media sites, the clue is in ‘social’. Having followers and being followed is the goal, according to the founders, although businesses will have profile categories to help drive followers to the right content. In true social media style, the site will also access links shared by other users. Those users could be businesses, individuals, brands or blog sites, who knows? In the modern always-on world, everyone and everything is a brand. Linkbutton.com is aiming to be a one-stop shop for all kinds of social media interaction. Users will be engaging with others in many ways; from simply liking a post about a business’ new range to ordering a meal, supporting a crowdfunding page, sharing their CV or resume with a company they’d like to work for, or booking tickets for a gig. For a more personal experience, linkbutton.com may be a lower key alternative for sharing photos and posts with people who are not on bigger social media sites.



Copyright: Getty Images
(Diversity People Connection Digital Devices Browsing Concept)
Credit: Rawpixel, Stock #: 521545050

The site has iOS and Android apps planned, although these are not active yet, so those users who habitually post on the move will be able to update quickly and easily. The one-stop-shop scenario may appeal to netizens who prefer their interactions all in one place, while the wide variety of media permitted will allow any active blogger, v-logger or business to share new content easily. (It is advisable to read the Upload Policy on the website before starting off though.)


As perhaps expected, Linkbutton Inc is already active on social media itself, as linkbuttonmedia on twitter and Facebook. This is a vital tool to build awareness ahead of the official launch. A search for the name brings up twitter users who have shared the company’s introductory video, showing a typical search engine query for sites where potential customers can see interesting content. Their website is simple and uncluttered, with a choice of personal or business accounts and examples of how both work. Action keywords are the way to share the posts, whether those posts are messages, photos, videos or links, so users can share a new blog post with the keyword ‘comment’, or a crowdfunding campaign by instructing ‘donate’. Businesses can post instructions including Menu > Order and Product > Buy among others. Maybe a transport company could offer links to their latest timetables or real time map, or a recruiter could designate individual ‘apply’ action buttons uniquely linked to each of their vacancies. The possibilities are endless.


The site sounds simple to use and benefit from, and is likely to appeal to an individual or company currently posting across several social media platforms but wanting to expand their reach. Linkbutton.com will allow those known for their blog posts to share videos, and those known for panoramic video shoots to showcase breathtaking still photographs all in the same timeline. Seemingly, linkbutton.com could well appeal to those who find larger social media sites to be too cluttered, overly complicated and intrusive, because as it is currently small, there will not be the wide attention given to bigger platforms.


No matter what topic users are promoting, they will be able to share the links via linkbutton.com, subject to the usual caveats about content copyright and decency, of course. The site aims to combine the best of all the big social sites and then some, as there is nowhere else offering quite the breadth and variety of options. Sure, there are plenty sites for link sharing, article promotion and video posting, but fewer where a link in a post leads directly to a takeaway restaurant’s menu and orders page or where a jobseeker can share their resume without having to go through a full application process.


Linkbutton. Buttons that link people to others via actions. Coming soon.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mymediclique Medical Network and Personal Research Center

Medical professionals tend to advise against self-diagnosis using internet resources, because not everything is as truthful and accurate as it could be. Mymediclique could be the exception to that rule, however, because it is a health information site offering access to medical research articles and opportunities to sign up for clinical trials. Other services include the ability to request custom research and be sent a personalised report on the chosen topic.


This members-only site medical and dental information resource offers a social media side too, with groups focussing on topics such as allergies, women’s health, alternative medicine and digestive disorders. Once registered, users can find local providers and support from those living nearby with similar issues. They are free to comment on the articles in the subject groups and check out the latest medical research. Enlisting the team to find suitable clinical trials will incur a non-refundable fee and require provision of medical records.


The homepage has a short welcome video giving more details about the opportunities on offer. It offers an overview of the available services in less than two minutes, explaining that the medical experts on the site convert up-to-the-minute health and medical news into easy-to-understand language for the members. The article library is growing fast and that, together with the members’ shared experience, is the bedrock of this site. The icing on the cake is the chance to commission personal research from the team of experts.


Of course, no self-respecting site these days can survive without advertising, and the specific member-submitted advertisements on Mymediclique will showcase medical specialists in many different areas. In addition, the In the News tab carries information on food product recalls and new drugs coming to market.


Mymediclique offers a unique mix of social media support and medical expertise to help the members make informed decisions about their health and wellness. They can read up on treatment options for many of the most common modern health issues and add their own thoughts to the articles, maybe sparking a discussion as a result. It is not simply a diet or fitness site or an alternative therapy hangout; Mymediclique offers links to work published in medical journals and chances to contact doctors with new ideas on existing illnesses and syndromes.


It goes without saying that anyone using this resource should also consult their existing medical practitioner or specialist team before opting for treatment for any condition. The difference between Mymediclique and many other sites is that this one links directly to published medical research but provides a quick overview of the articles in everyday language. The social media side allows members to share experiences plus offering the chance to recommend professionals or courses of treatment to others. It is a clever mix of the social media and medical worlds which makes it unique.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Coupons Deli offers discount codes for the savvy shopper

An example of savings available from Coupons Deli.
Please note that this is an image provided for use with this
piece and is not an actual discount sheet.
Everyone loves to save money, especially when prices are rising but salaries don’t seem to go up quite as fast. 

Couponing is a quick and easy way to save a few cents here and there, but those cents can quickly add up. Before couponers know it, they will be able to make savings of three figures on their groceries, just by using coupons available online, or in free newspapers and flyers. Extreme couponers have this down to a fine art, and can end up paying mere cents for hundreds of dollars’ worth of shopping. Sure, it will probably wind the cashier up, but it’s good for the bank manager’s blood pressure.

There are many websites offering links to the latest discount coupons and online savings codes. Coupons Deli specializes in money saving offers for car oil and lube changes, offers for dating site membership, restaurant and shoe shop savings, although there are many other offers too. Customers on a budget can simply visit the site and click on whichever link they need to obtain full details of how to benefit from free samples and money off deals.




Many people in the USA find that cars are one of their biggest outlays. Coupons Deli can help, as they have discount codes for servicing and parts at national chains such as NTB, PepBoys, Muffler Shop, Brakes Plus, Grease Monkey and many more. Simply quote the code and save the cash, it’s as simple as that. Dating readers have a choice of offers for Zoosk.com, while shoe fans can find discount codes for Asics, Eastbay, Champs, Jordans, Shoe Station, and Payless, among others.


Foodies need not feel left out either, as Coupons Deli has offers for Popeyes, Black Angus and Longhorn Steaks as well as KFC, McDonalds, P F Chang’s, TGI Friday’s and pizza company Round Table. Perennial favorite Cheesecake Factory also has deals available through Coupons Deli.
 

Crafters can take advantage of long, dark winter nights indoors with a JoAnn’s or AC Moore coupon, readers will love the chance to stock up their Kindle with an Amazon coupon, and there are also discount codes for car rental, patio furniture and outdoor equipment, plus amusement park entry costs for those planning next summer’s getaways.


There are eight pages of coupon codes for every kind of person and interest on Coupons Deli. The Coupons Guy has even managed to find Keurig coupons, as if readers need any excuse to love this site any more than they already do after reading that list.
 

American couponing is a sight to behold, and with spiraling costs, the US lead may yet be followed by many other countries’ retailers eager to have potential customers spending their hard earned cash in store rather than queuing for the food bank or soup kitchen. Coupons Deli is a step in the right direction for those people needing to save money on essentials, or simply for savvy shoppers fancying a discount deal. And no one can resist a discount, surely?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Vietnam Bamboo Travel: Indochinese organized tour specialists

Vietnam Bamboo Travel logo.
Image provided and used with permission.





Mention Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to the average person and they are likely to think of places seen in films and documentaries, twentieth century wars, ancient temples and communist rule. They may remember something of the refugees known as the Vietnamese boat people who fled after the Vietnam War and sought sanctuary in other Indochinese countries, or perhaps have heard of the Angkor temple complex, the Cu Chi Tunnels or the Khmer Rouge.


Vietnam Bamboo Travel is a specialist tour operator based in Vietnam. The company provides a range of tours and travel packages in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos which allow tourists to gain a flavor of the culture, history and geography of these countries. The most popular tours last between 14 and 21 days and can include crossing into both Cambodia and Laos from Vietnam.


Many of the tours involve river cruises along the Mekong, or cruises on a junk in Halong Bay. Local English-speaking guides are on hand to share their knowledge; an escorted tour is an ideal way for first-time visitors to gain an overview of the region. Returning visitors or those who may have more specific requirements can design their own itinerary from any of the hundreds of tours on offer. Everything from single day packages up to three week organised tours can be booked with Vietnam Bamboo Travel, which will bring to life names such as Hanoi, Saigon, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Bangkok in Thailand.


There are almost 200 tours to choose from starting from or based in Vietnam, eight which include sites in Cambodia and a further eight traveling to sites in Laos. Vietnam offers a wealth of choice for tourists, including national parks, kayaking, river cruises, centuries of history, beaches...and golf. There are opportunities for homestaying overnight stops as well as day trips from hotels. At Vietnam Bamboo Travel, the customer calls the tune, and can plan a bespoke trip of a lifetime to take in all the very best Indochinese sights. Weddings and honeymoons are also catered for, with the palm fringed beaches of Mui Ne providing an ideal location for newly married couples to relax after their big day.


Tourists who have heard family, friends or neighbors mention places such as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap or the temples at Angkor will have the chance to see these places for themselves. Vietnam Bamboo Travel offers all these options and more, in any length or combination. For those who cannot decide, there is also a choice of 75 multi-centre tours offering the best of Indochina in one handy package.


Each tour page has

  • an overview
  • day-by-day detailed itinerary
  • a list of included and excluded costs
  • a note of similar tours

Visas will be required for all trips, but Vietnam Bamboo Travel can provide assistance with obtaining these if needed, as well as with airport transfers and car rental. The international clientele have left some complimentary reviews and testimonials which show the customer service levels that future tourists can expect from the company.


Indochina is becoming more accessible to tourists from all over the world. Those who have considered visiting this location should perhaps do so sooner rather than later in order to experience the region before it becomes the latest tourist hot spot. Vietnam Bamboo Travel can help their clients to enjoy a truly unique holiday with a tailor made trip to suit.