Strovek Writes

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Friday, June 28, 2013

BookMarks

FinanceWritingComics
Seeking AlphaFull of KnowledgeFree Online Comic Books
The Motley FoolTriond
Guru FocusChitika ReferralSocial Network
Insider MonkeyMorgue FileRedgage
Yahoo FinancePaper RaterTwitter
Google Finance
Flauntt


Facebook
Management
McKinsey Insights
An IT View
Zen Habits
HBR Blog
CIO

Monday, June 24, 2013

Season of Change

It appears that this is a season for change. Within the last few months, majority of the sites I frequent have made changes.


First Mylot decided that they are going to stop their revenue sharing program. Then ExpertColumn decided that they could not afford to maintain the site and still share their revenue.

Later I discovered that Redgage had revamped their site - I like the new look. 

PICT2296.JPG By diggerdanno
New Beginning

I just found out today, that Full of Knowledge has changed their payment scheme, they now have a minimum cash out limit of US$50. The cash out limit is the combined earning from both their sites - ExpertPages (EP) and Full of Knowledge (FOK). In the beginning, there was no limit, so payout was automatic on the following month. After that, the limit was raised to US$1/-.

There were changes previously for EP, at the beginning, there was only one site. The second site FOK started later. Shortly after the sister site started, it was decided that EP would follow it’s namesake and only allow articles for experts and all other articles had to be moved to FOK. Earning in EP were higher than FOK. The rules have since changed. I have not found any difference between the two sites. These two sites are still be highest paying revenue sharing site available. However, it appears FOK has a higher pay rate compared to EP. I also like the fact that the editors are monitoring the quality of the articles submitted.

Another site that has changed is StumbleUpon. When I first joined the site, they were not very strict in terms of my sharing articles I wrote (together with other pages I submitted). However, recently, it looks like they are clamping down on bloggers attempting to promote their own articles.

I wonder if all these changes are due to the industry maturing or an indication of a tougher business environment.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It is Entertaining

When we were watching Bedtime Stories with my daughter, she commented that the movie was stupid. However, rather than standing up and walking away, she continued to stay and watch the movie to the end.
Many movies and television shows  that defy logic but are very successful. Take for example, SpongeBob SquarePants. The show completely defies logic, how could you have fire underwater or even water underwater. Yet, it is one of the most popular cartoon series at the moment. Entertainment is the key. Are you able to engage your viewers and make them laugh? 

Children at the beach


Messages do not have to be dull and blend. Some of the most effective communications are entertaining and memorable. Being able to do this effectively is an art form and can be learned. However, it will take lots of time and practice. Do you remember how babies attract attention even with complete strangers? Is it just because they are adorable or it is something else? Maybe it is because they are just curious and not self conscious.

We need to regain our innocence and our ability to entertain. Do you have any suggestions on where to start?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Automatic Versus Forcing Action

I almost missed out on the three dollars I earned in ExpertsColumn. I revisited the site and noticed that I had request a cash out to collect my earning before the June 11 deadline. I wonder how many writers on the site missed out of their earning because they failed to take action before the deadline. I thought that by asking them about the payout when the first announced the change in their policy, that they would send me the payment when they lowered the threshold.

Meadows


Most other websites just ask you to set the limit and send you the payment automatically once you reach the threshold. I prefer sites that do it this way. To me the lower the threshold the better since I do not have to worry about losing what I have already earned when the site owner decides to close down the site. In this few months alone, we have seen several sites stop paying their writers. At the age of convenience where we subscribe to automatic payment for our bills, why should we have to remember to request for payment from the sites we write for.

I guess these site owners hope that the writers would be too lazy to click and request for their earnings. If that is indeed their intent, then it already shows bad faith on their part and writers should beware about joining them.

This week I was kicked out of one of my favorite sites due to violation of their term of service. The site did not appreciate my four years patronage. Many of the other sites are courteous and gave warning first before taking action. To just terminate and suspend a long time user is just unprofessional. I guess I will just have to go without that service, while they just lost some traffic from me.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Solution to GooglePlus Photo Autobackup Failure

I previously wrote about unlimited storage I found on internet. One of them happens to be Google Plus. Using Google Plus app on Android, you are able to turn on auto backup for all the photographs taken using your Android phone.

This worked well but I found the backup stopped working properly - it stopped uploading my photographs. Initially, I thought it was my account because I was able to log into another account and get those photos uploaded and when I logged into my original account, the upload worked. However, that trick only work once.

Android Photo autobackup failures


There is now an option in Google Plus to either upload your photos in full size but you are only given 15 Gbytes free space (this will may change with the unified storage - where all Google products will share the space) or use standard size with unlimited free storage.

Recently, I came across the following article. I did some experiment and found that the application had difficulty uploading photos that are more than 5 Mega pixels. After reducing the size of the photos using Picasa and uploading it back the phone, the auto backup works again.

This means that the new phones with more than 5 Megapixels will have difficulty using the auto backup feature.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Getting Paid for Online Activities

I started blogging back in 2008 with Programmer’s Journal on the Blogger platform. That was the first time I realized that I am able to earn money online. The earning is not a lot but it turned out to be a game for me to experiment and see how much I could earn. I wanted to share my experience below.


MyLot required a lot of active time (well at least until the rules for the site changed). I received quite a few payment from them since I started but stopped when I thought that they had stopped paying. However, after I heard they were still paying, I continued until the latest change - where they stopped sharing revenue completely.


Pennies


Triond is another site I received several payments from. It is great because of the low cash out limit so I did not have to wait long to reach the payout and receive my money.


Bukisa is another site that was good to me for a while. I was attracted to it initially due to the high earning rate but later they changed it to be a partial share. That is some of the earnings are from advertisers sourced by the site and other earned either with our Adsense or Chitika. I stopped contributing to the site for a while but later when I tried become active again, I could not submit any articles.


There were sites that I started but gave up on but am surprised when they suddenly paid me. They were pleasant surprise and they all happened only within the last two months.


MyLot paid me even though I did not reach their lower payment threshold. It is the final payment after they revamped the site and stopped their revenue sharing policy.


Wikinut payment was completely out of the blue. I do not see any policy change nor have I been active but I was paid! What is even more interesting is that I had this account since 2009, so it has taken more than three years to be paid by this site.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Writing Online

Of late, I have been writing mostly movie reviews. I found that this is a rather save and easy way for me to write online. The few times I tried writing on other things, the editor of the site I wrote for found many mistakes in my grammar. Surprisingly there was minimal or no grammar mistakes for the movie review I wrote.
Techno Background



I love watching movies so I am happy to be able to write movie reviews. After a few disappointing movies, I try to be more selective on the movies I watch. Some movies are for my own entertainment while others to allow me to spend time with my children.


One movie such movie was Warm Bodies, even though it was a zombie movie it was not scary at all. There was a part we had fun with. It was the point when the main character a zombie named “R”, he had turned back into human and was shot by the human survivors. The girlfriend was trying to convince them that he is human and used the fact that he is bleeding as proof. Zombies do not bleed. I told my children, “Yeah, he is now a human and now they are going to just let him bleed to death!”. My children had a kick out of that comment and laughed.
Some great movies I have seen in the cinema these year includes:
Strangely movie like Iron Man 3 is rated 18 which was fine since my children were not really into that kind of movie.