October 20, 2009
You may have recently read my a4u Expo London 2009 preview which I wrote after I managed to secure a ticket (rather luckily) in a competition over at Kieron Donoghue’s blog called here.org.uk – well I’m now back home after attending the event at ExCel conference centre in London’s docklands and I can now report back on what was my first multi-day web-related conference.
The only other conferences that I’ve attended for the online marketing industry have been the Think Visibility conferences that have been run in the relatively local location of Leeds, so I was expecting a4u Expo London 2009 to be somewhat different not only given its size but also the fact that it’s more focussed around online affiliate marketing. However, as I was to find, these days that also involves a lot of work in terms of analytics, social media, generating useful and unique content for visitors and ensuring that your website is optimally set up for search engine optimisation – all interesting stuff!Continue reading »
October 20, 2009
My MobileMe subscription ran out last month, and I decided not to renew it, as I didn’t use the 20GB online capacity you’re given with the service. In fact I only ever used it as file sync software to transfer a few documents between home and wherever I happened to be, and for me that wasn’t worth £59 a year. Naturally, I needed a replacement, and decided to go with an application called Dropbox, a free application available for Windows, Mac OS X, the iPhone and Linux which allows you to share files between your computers or over the internet on a public computer.
The thing that attracted me to Dropbox was the fact that it isn’t just a web-based file hosting service, it’s an application that you can install on your computer whatever OS you’re running and just drag and drop files into your “Dropbox” folder on your hard drive. When you add or remove files from the folder, every other dropbox you have that’s linked to the same account will automatically sync and update the files in its own folder – so it’s also working as a form of online file backup.Continue reading »
October 11, 2009
The a4u Expo will be taking this week on the 13th and 14th October and I’ll be there in attendance thanks to winning a competition that Kieron Donoghue was running over at his blog called here.org.uk to win a free a4u Expo ticket worth £349.
The a4u Expo is a big 2 day affiliate marketing conference and exhibition being held at the ExCel Centre in London that features over 40 conference sessions and no doubt some tough decisions will need to be made as to which ones you attend as there are some great speakers and sessions being held across both days.Continue reading »
October 8, 2009
One of the most common reasons Blogspot users give for not switching to WordPress, is the hassle of transferring a large number of posts from an already established blog. In the past they did have a point, but not anymore. For some time WordPress (both WordPress.org and WordPress.com) has come with a built in importer which works with all well known blogging platforms, as well as plain RSS. It’s very easy to use – just a few clicks – and will call in both posts and comments. If you’re thinking of making the switch, but are unsure about the importing process, read on …Continue reading »
October 8, 2009
Occasionally something will come around, often a piece of software, which will just amaze you and leave you marvelling at the capabilities of today’s technology. Not wanting to build it up too much, but in my opinion Photosketch is one of those.
So what actually is it? Well in the words of the people behind it (five students from Tsinghua University, China) it’s an ‘internet image montage’ which is capable of compositing a realistic picture from a user provided sketch with text labels.
Ok, that may not sound much, but it is more impressive than it first appears. If, for example, I wished to have a picture of a man parachuting out of a hot air balloon I would draw the rough outline of the hot air balloon and the man, label them as such, label the background as ‘sky’ and then set it off. What Photosketch then does is trawl through the internet looking for pictures that look vaguely like your little sketch and then stitch them together to make a realistic picture.Continue reading »
October 5, 2009
As it moves from strength to strength Spotify has really made an impression over the last year, and with the recent introduction of the Spotify iPhone app (and also the Android version) allowing it to be used when on the go one can only see its popularity increasing.
The most recent addition to their arsenal comes in the form of the ability to now play certain playlists whilst offline – a feature already present on the mobile versions of the app but will now be available on desktops/laptops as well.Continue reading »
September 17, 2009
Ok, so maybe world dominance is a bit of an exaggeration, but it would not be to say that Facebook is big and today brings confirmation of just how much they have been growing and what lies in store for the future of the social network leader.
One of the two things that Facebook have announced today regards the number of people that regularly use the site on a monthly basis, and it a number that has increased by 50 million in just the last few months from 250 million in July to 300 million today.Continue reading »
September 15, 2009
Listening to free music online has now become really popular thanks to Spotify and the service has many benefits, including now having a Spotify iPhone app to listen to your music on the move. You can search for songs and artists that you’re a fan of and add that music to your playlist; however, there is one limiting factor I’ve found and that is actually how you find new music or add large numbers of songs at a time that you like.
Thankfully there is an answer to just this problem in the form of Spotify allowing you to export your playlists as a URL to share with other people, combined with a specific website that has been set up to make it easier for you to do just that – ShareMyPlaylists.com!Continue reading »
September 15, 2009
Easily the most popular social networking site at the time of writing, Facebook has shot to fame over the last couple of years, and also means that as the site has developed (or should we say Facebook Redesigns and yet more Facebook Re-Redesigns) it has become more and more convoluted with adverts, boxes and stupidly addictive little flash games that somehow waste hours of your life.
It’s also becoming less friendly for the millions of people that access Facebook on the smaller screens (mobiles etc) or for those with poor connections to the internet as the site takes longer to load-what’s needed is a leaner meaner Facebook; step up Facebook Lite.Continue reading »
September 14, 2009
This weekend I took the chance to attend the second Think Visibility conference, held in Leeds that is described as covering “the things that usually get left behind in the web design process” – with speakers covering various areas of blogging, SEO, affililate marketing and PPC.
First of all, I think it’s always good to see these types of events happening outside of London for a change and giving us northern bloggers and online, web-type people to experience an event such as this without having to necessarily travel all the way down south – not there’s anything wrong with that, but the chance to meet other people is always good!Continue reading »
September 11, 2009
Spotify invites are now required again! The great new online streaming music service had been free for anyone (in the UK) to sign up to since they ditched using invites for us British people, however with the recent launch of their mobile services, specifically their Spotify iPhone app as well as an equivalent for Android users, they’ve had to go back to being invite-only. The exception to this is being if you want to sign up to being a premium member paying a subscription…obviously!
If you don’t fancy signing up to paying a subscription without first trying it out, you can either sign up to the waiting list or if you’re lucky enough to have some friends with some Spotify invites left, then obviously that would be the best way of getting onto the service for the time being.Continue reading »
September 8, 2009
The stereotypical gamer is not something that many (if any) people strive to achieve: sitting alone in their dirty rooms, eyes straining through the darkness to their screen whilst slowly eating their way through the pile of ready meals that line their couch; fortunately this is far from accurate in 99.99% per cent of cases, and as it turns out the benefits may be more profound than we’d previously thought.
This follows studies by Psychologist Dr Tracy Alloway of Stirling University assessing the effects of various games and websites (such as Twitter, Youtube and Facebook) on the “working memory”, and the results of these are pretty interesting.Continue reading »
September 7, 2009
Well the Spotify iPhone app has been released, it’s finally here after Apple actually approved it (a surprise in itself to some people), but has it been worth the wait?
I’m a big fan of the Spotify music-streaming service and usually have its music playing in the background as I work (or play) on my main desktop computer and have been perfectly happy just sitting back and using this free service listening to the occasional advert between songs. With the release of the iPhone app, it’s given me cause to think a bit more about this service, here’s my thoughts…Continue reading »
August 31, 2009
Here’s the latest in hi-tech gadgets and general technology that sparked our interest here at Zath, but we didn’t get chance to cover ourselves – thankfully these sites did do and you should definitely check them out as we liked reading these articles!
Night Vision Goggles – Who hasn’t played a stealth computer game or watched them used on TV and movies and not wanted to have some yourself to scout out your surroundings in the dark?
Laser Airzooka – When the Airzooka was first released, it allowed you to shoot people with air! Now you can improve your accuracy given the nearly added laser sight!Continue reading »
August 29, 2009
As I’m sure you’ve noticed that in the last 8 months (since our original post back in January on not needing Spotify beta invites in the UK) that the ‘free’ music service Spotify has been popping up pretty frequently here on Zath as its popularity increases and the company goes from strength to strength.
So as you can imagine even within the last week there have been quite a few movements forward in the world of ‘Spotify’, so we thought we should bring them all together for both Spotify lovers and virgins alike in one special post: so here it is, and I think it makes sense to go in chronological order!Continue reading »
August 17, 2009
Not so long ago, there was the landrush for the launch of Facebook vanity name URLs for your profile page on what is the largest social networking site out there, interestingly we were told at the time that we had to choose wisely as this was a “one time only” deal – never shy of moving the goalposts (so to speak), Facebook have now changed their minds on this one too!
Now most of the non-tech savvy people that I have as friends on Facebook still haven’t chosen their’s – when I’ve asked them about it, most of them either have no clue about it and/or don’t have the slightest interest either way. Perhaps Facebook hasn’t made their users aware of it enough?Continue reading »
August 7, 2009
It’s been nearly two years in the making, and Yahoo have gone through a CEO and have had their shares suffer horribly, but finally Yahoo have been able to come to some sort of agreement with Microsoft in their attempts to fight of the growing global power of Google.
Having said that it’s not so much of a combination of resources as a shifting of them towards Microsoft’s pride and joy (and admittedly fairy impressive) Bing – Yahoo will move their searches to Microsoft and they will concentrate on the sales of ‘billboard style advertising’ to attract people towards their already fairly popular sites.Continue reading »
August 1, 2009
Facebook as a social networking tool can be like many things, either really useful or really bad, it just depends how you want to use it and whether you use it to do something worthwhile or not. So when you see a funny video that tries to show just how you would be using it if you did the same kind of things in real life – it does make you stop and think for a moment about what you do online, similar to the Twitter in Real Life video we showed not too long ago.Continue reading »
July 27, 2009
The Spotify iPhone app has now been submitted to Apple for approval to the App Store, I’m sure I won’t be the only one out there who’s hoping that it gets approved and quickly so that music fans can start listening to their Spotify playlists on the move and away from their desktop computer, laptop or netbook.
Spotify has had quite a successful rise as a streaming music service so far, especially for those of us here in the UK where we were one of the first countries where a Spotify invite was not needed and we also covered the news that the Spotify streaming music service was officially legal.Continue reading »
July 17, 2009
Have you ever considered using an online backup service before? What would you do if your computer died on you? Have you thought about how you’d cope in terms of potentially losing your important files forever?
Well I’ve recently got to find out that for myself as one night last week my computer’s power supply died with a loud bang, plunging us into darkness as it knocked off the whole house’s electricity and left me with the definitive smell of dead power supply – definitely not something that I like the smell of in the morning, evening or any other time of day!Continue reading »