Create a whiteboard animation video with VideoScribe

create whiteboard imagesWith Videoscribe by Sparkol you can create a whiteboard animation video in minutes.   Sparkol actually call them “scribe videos”  – basically its where you bring illustrations and stories to life that replicates a stop-motion capture type of drawing.

Jon Air founded Sparkol in  2008 and I only just found them!  The team are based near Bristol in the UK and they have really created something fantastic here to help anyone even without any technical knowledge to create marketing videos, instructional talks or stories at a low price.

The Power of Images

Videos are the best way to get your message across quickly.  Short animated videos seem to catch our eye, and because we have a limited attention span we need something that doesn’t bore us silly or become too much information for us to take in.  Thats where whiteboard animation comes in, using pictures and words or audio you can grab someones attention and say what you need to say in 1 minute.   And with VideoScribe as long as you have the script you can make the video in just a few minutes.

Luckily Sparkol offer a 7 day trial so that you can actually go and test it, and there are a few differences between the 7 day trial and the full version which are.

  • Full desktop edition for PC & Mac
  • No watermarks or VideoScribe or Sparkol branding
  • Support service
  • Unlimited online storage space
  • Full HD output & fast rendering
  • Render at any frame rate
  • Use your own “hands” or any image to draw elements
  • Output as Quicktime™ MOV or Flash FLV
  • Output to JPG or transparent PNG image sequence for editing
  • Full commercial use of images including Pro libraries
  • Full commercial use of all music & fonts
  • Resell whole or part videos created commercially (see full terms)
  • Sparkol Pro newsletter
  • Get all updates as they come out
  • Also what I like is that if you can draw little sketches you can add SVG images.

How to create a whiteboard animation video

So you’ve signed up, downloaded the software and you are ready to go – when you first log in you will see some saved demonstration videos left for you to look at the process. When you are ready click create on the right hand side.

how to create whiteboard videos

Here it tells you what some of the buttons are, but don’t be frightened clicking the others, it always warns you before it deletes anything permanently.

vsimages

 You then have your blank canvas to add your images .. from:-

  • Favourites
  • The VideoScribe library
  • Your Computer
  • Dropbox
  • or the Web

 

 

The next button along is where you add text, which you just type straight into the box.  The Music button add music 🙂  The Microphone is to add audio and the Cog changes the paper, the hand or pen you are using to scribe – vignette and to manage fonts.

Something important to know or remember is that with each image or text you place you can adjust the camera view to zoom in or set it how you want it to view that part of the story. This button is located at the far right at the bottom and is lit up when you click on the part that you want to set the camera on.

tired

The only thing I felt was missing with this video software is that you don’t have a back button as you do with most illustration software such as illustrator or even MSPaint.

You can preview your video at any time by clicking the Play button – Middle top left and the next button is to share it, which can be confusing because you need to go over to the far left and click the green tag and here you will see how to save a videoscribe video.

There are lots of great video tutorials on how to create a videoscribe video but I just wanted to show you here the basics of how easy it really is. This was my first video which I made in minutes, and I’d never used software like this before. Now that I know more I plan to make something better but at the time, I thought it was amazing and I hope you like it. You can save your self ££££££ by just learning a few easy steps and create a whiteboard animation video yourself.

Check it out now, you can get your free seven day trial of video scribe HERE 

Hangout, share, showcase talents, network, all in one place | #jumpjbx

jumpjukeboxThere is a brand new entertainment network called Jump Jukebox, which is the  brainchild of Michelle Morgan.

Michelle has been writing music since she was very little and felt there was nowhere secure and unsaturated where she could present her music so like anyone would, she created her own stage and Jump Jukebox was born.

Michelle wanted somewhere where artists and entertainers can share their work with each other, chat and bounce off each other, and maybe even get noticed by talent spotters.

Get yourself noticed on Jump Jukebox

Its not only for self promotion, because who likes to do that all of the time; its a place to share  the entertainment you love and to tell others how it inspired you, have some laughs and enjoy like minded company

Like-minded creative people all in one place~ what a heavenly idea!

No hating, just rating and some serious musical mating! Now that could be the start of a piece of lyrical genius?!).

Jump into the jukebox, jump to your on beat with me Michelle at Jumpjukebox.co.uk

Jump jukebox isn’t only for music its for all kinds of entertainment and people with various talents hobbies and likes to meet up and hangout.

Hangout

Hangout is an online social network – Sharing entertainment interests and talents actually anything spectacular, unusual or quirky is welcome.  Groups and Meet ups are available too.

What else can you do on Jump Jukebox

* Upload Photos and Videos
* Join groups & events
* Create events and arrange meet ups
* Access what everyone else has been doing (shows comments, likes, new uploads etc)
* Instant message between users
* Like/rate videos, photos and other content
* Showcase Talents & Events

profile

When you first log in to JumpJukebox you can add your profile image and a cover image of your choice.  Then you can create your profile – the usual name, date of birth, about me, contact info, country, website and you can fill in as much or as little as you want, which is nice for some people that like their privacy.

status

You can then add a status update, a photo, video or event.   You can add your friends, talk privately on the chat box, or message them directly.

It really seems to have all you need in one place, its like Twitter for updates, YouTube for sharing videos, Google+ for hangouts and sharing pictures, and eventful for sharing events but as (the other) Michelle rightly said, these places are over run and you don’t get noticed, here you can have an intimate place where like minded people can get together.

Make new friends, meet fellow musicians, join a band, a sports group, create a club, big up yourself and people you know

Sounds great doesn’t it?

Check it out now – at http://jumpjukebox.co.uk

Don’t forget to add me and say hi, oh and you even get your own fancy URL –

http://jumpjukebox.co.uk/my-profile/michelledh.html

Microsoft is down – hotmail is down – xbox is down …

windows_2421293bIts all over the internet – Microsoft is down!

At around 11pm UK time – thats GMT people started to complain that hotmail was down – and xbox was down – Bing, bing Maps, MS live, and profiles APIs … in fact all connected services to microsoft were not working – people started to come to twitter to voice their complaints ……. I got a few of them for your information.

Around – 23.40 on the 21/11/13 the same night – services came back – I cannot wait to find out what had happened, someone said a DNS issue but really?

Not sure what’s happening but Microsoft are having some serious DNS issues on their API calls for Bing, Bing Maps and Live services at the moment. They’re not fully back up after 3 test cycles which means this has been going on for at least 45 minutes.

LIVE TWEETS

http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/xbox.com.html reports – Xbox.com is DOWN for everyone.

What people are saying – Xbox live is down

I believe Xbox Live is down! Can’t access any Microsoft services like hotmail either!

hotmailisdown

Why can’t I load hotmail

eh..? can’t load hotmail .__. why?

@kenalot

So hotmail not working for 30 mins, what has gmail been up to…….

@JaquelineHollar

Many Microsoft online services appear to be down for some, including http://Xbox.com ,… http://dlvr.it/4McttS 
Xbox, hotmail, skype… pq não funciona???

  @smilemon25

So hotmail/outlook is down… useful…

 @erik_howard

@michelledh problems with dns records globally. started about an hour ago.

 

We thought it was just the UK that had the problem but it appears to be at least europe – nothing yet from Microsoft, we wonder whats going on ?

And still it goes on.

ffs hotmail is down and i need to send a really important email why now

dave ‏@Ak4777Dave 15m

Apologies for random links my accounts been hacked working on it but hotmail is down as well. Cheers

 

 

 

Services returned at 23.40 GMT , without a word……

 

 

 

 

 

Do you need more followers?

Do you need more followersDO YOU NEED MORE FOLLOWERS?

People seem to be scrambling to get more followers, circles, likes, friends but the question is why do you need more followers.  Do you want a larger follower base on Twitter just to look important or to create engagement, interest in your website, brand awareness or sales?

Businesses and professionals should not be asking how can I get more followers but how can I create a quality audience of a decent quantity, that is the trick.  Lots of fake followers are easy to get but are they the right followers? Its easy to spot people with fake accounts, and you don’t want to be labeled as a faker, as this will diminish trust.

FAKE ACCOUNTS

If you want more followers just to boost your ego and pretend you are famous and actually get no engagement, from anyone you can go to one of these cheap tacky sites and pay for a load of bots or fake accounts to follow or like you. Buying followers on any network could get you banned however.  Or you can beg for followers using hashtags such as #teamfollowback or #follobackinstantly which will just give you lots of spam in your feeds and essentially could be also posting scams that were potentially dangerous and it doesn’t look very pretty.

What really surprises me is that there are businesses on social media networks that go to such extreme measures to pay for fake accounts,. Its not just Twitter there are also similar instances on Google+ and Facebook too.  And we all know what happened on Instragam – The Instagram Scam That Tricked 100,000 Users Into Giving Away Passwords

How to find out if someone has fake followers

There are a number of apps or programs that might show you how many fake or inactive followers you have or maybe a business that you want to check out has but the most reliable we have found so far are Twitter Audit and Status People  They might not be totally accurate but so far, we have been very impressed with the results.

Is size important?

With social media, this is the one time you can actually say that size is not important. What is more important is the quality of your audience, people need to want to be there to hear what you have to say, to be engaged.  This is when you need a real social media strategy, to find real prospects, followers and turn them into customers.  The first way to get more followers is by posting relevant posts within your niche, entertain people, chat to them, engage, don’t spam and above all be real, if you are real and trustworthy followers will come.

If a social media marketer or “expert” offers to get you thousands of followers in a short time for a few pounds I would wonder about their expertness. Or if someone tweets, do you need more followers with a link, be careful as that is probably a phishing scam.  Buying followers will not help your customer base or even help you find great tweets in your timeline, but hinder it.  It will make you feel like Katy Perry – Justin Beiber – Lady Gage or Barack Obama – who have many fake followers because they are famous people, you are not, get over it.

 

Image Credit – Created by me using – http://www.sparkol.com?aid=143102

The Truth about Selfies – UK iPhone User Habits

I enjoyed this infographic from Three UK, so thought I would share with you their findings on UK iPhone User Habits.

I was actually shocked to see that tUK Iphone User Habitsexting is still up the in the top percentages as the most common activity on the iphone – do you still SMS?

Does anyone even call text SMS any more – I thought that was a thing of the past too, I’ve never heard anyone say SMS me later or SMS me when you get home.

If you didn’t know SMS stands for Short Message Service – which is a text messaging via phone, web or mobile communications.

 It uses standardized communications protocols to allow fixed line or mobile phone devices to exchange short text messages

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Message_Service

Who takes more selfies? –  Men or Women?

Photos of our family are the most popular photo to take, BUT come on, really – Men take more selfies than women, I am stunned.

See the map on which area’s of the UK use which version phone!

The most popular apps using the iPhone per region is interesting ….. Where is facebook ?

69% of Londoners use their iPhones on the toilet

Doesn’t surprise me at all – as I know several people that have drowned their mobile phones in the toilet – unsure how it got down there, I didn’t like to ask.

 

A Snapshot Of UK’s iPhone Habits
View the iPhone 5s on Three http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Devices/Apple/iPhone_5s

Do you agree with these Habits of  UK iPhone User Habits ?

how many networks are there

How Many Social Networks Are There?

HOW MANY SOCIAL NETWORKS ARE THERE?

don't panicPeople are often surprised at how many social networks there actually are, they often think of just Facebook and Twitter.

Wait for it… there are literally hundreds of social networking sites, more than 500 in fact.  That’s without counting all of the Chinese and other countries networks such as China’s Tencent who own WeChat with 200 million users. . However, out of the 500+ not all are of good quality or exactly thriving but they are available, and might just be the next big thing.

Some social networking platforms are obviously more popular than others and many of them you may not class as a social network but if its aim is to be social and to share and connect with other users then it’s often called a social network, social media platform or social site, and you can even include mobile applications in this such as Path a social networking-enabled photo sharing and messaging service for mobile devices.

Which network should I be on for my business?

Don’t panic though; you do not have to have an account on all 500+ networks for your business, that would be crazy. This is why Fairy Dust keeps up with emerging networks to ascertain which networks fit into your niche, your brand or your industry. We regularly test and review new sites, and many old sites that we might have just heard about to see what benefits there might be to join.

  • Media
  • Technology
  • Gaming
  • Music
  • Retail
  • Business to Business
  • Construction
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Cosmetics
  • Transport

All of the above are totally different industries which would have different needs; so which networks do you need to be would be a difficult question to answer here, right now. It could just be that the more active networks that you can manage the better reach you will have but some people cannot handle this and don’t want to.   Some businesses prefer to outsource their online activities to a social media manager, with social networking stills that would provide a social media strategy and manage the networks for you.

However, a good place to start would be to use or choose from the top ten social networks or applications.

The top 10 social media sites

The top ten social media sites are so called because they are the most popular and have the most monthly visitors or users.

1 – Facebook

2 – GooglePlus

3 – YouTube

4 – Twitter

5 – Pinterest

6 – Linkedin

7 – Tumblr

8 – Instagram

9 – MySpace

10 – Efactor

Although this list is in no particular order, that is how I would feature the top four.  And of course, again depending on your business, YouTube might not need to be included (although Video is the way to go if you can) and other networks might feature in your chosen networks such as Foursquare.

For really small businesses that don’t have the time it’s often suggested that they start with one network and really build that up until they start the next one, this will obviously take a very long time, and social networking done properly does take a long time.

Many people still do not “get” Googleplus saying that there is nothing to it, these people aren’t on Google plus or are not using it properly. Google plus is thriving, its more popular than Twitter and its fast approaching taking over Facebook in popularity.  Pinterest is also a network you might be surprised at, 3 years since the launch was reported at having 70 million users in July 2013.

Googleplus however should not be sniffed at as it is really a requirement for a business, or blogger –  for many reasons and one is search, the more you share your blogs posts on Google plus the more chance you have appearing in a Google search another top reason is Google authorship.

So, in answer to the question “How many social networks are there”, the answer is that you really do not have to worry about how many but which social networks should your business be a part of to maximize its social media presence.-

 

iGoogle

iGoogle is retired

IGOOGLE is RETIRED

iGoogle was launched in 2005, and it seems Google feel there is no longer a need for a personalised homepage, so iGoogle is retired.   Many people are now in mourning for sudden loss of iGoogle, we knew it was destined for the scrap heap as Matt Eichener did explain in a googleblog that Google had started a spring clean and it will mean the end for iGoogle. So, as promised on November the 1st iGoogle was officially retired.  Its completely gone, you can’t even see the page anymore, it just redirects to the Google home page.

A small note from Google to explain

[note note_color=”#fdfaf1″]We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today’s web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips,” the obscurely posted death notice reads. “With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for something like iGoogle has eroded over time[/note]

What happened to my iGoogle information

All of your data stored in your google gadgets will continue to be able via other products such as

  • Gmail
  • Google Calender
  • Google Finance
  • Google Drive
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Tasks

Instead of accessing this information through iGoogle and your Google Gadget you will need to go directly to the product. If you have lost any data through any third party gadgets you need to go directly to the creator.

WHAT CAN I USE NOW THAT IGOOGLE IS RETIRED?

If you use Google Chrome, there are many apps that you run right from your desk top. There are so many to choose from, there are weather apps, productivity apps, business tools, social tools.

Just in the social tools section for instance.

  • SproutSocial
  • Twitter
  • Chaton
  • Yelp
  • Chatwork
  • Unfollowers.me
  • Facebook Email
  • Googlemail
  • Buffer
  • Pinterest

Which is just a selection.

Alternatives to iGoogle

I think Netvibes is about to find themselves very popular – its very similar to how iGoogle used to be. Its a dashboard for everything that you need, you can have all of your pictures, your apps, tweets, Facebook messages, news items, and it is synced across your desktop, mobile and tablet.

Flipboard is also very similar but more of a replacement for Google Reader you might think. I use Flipboard a lot although it is only for mobile and tablet at the moment. Flipboard is called a personal magazine, filled with the things you care about. You can get all of the news on a topic that you require and easily share to your networks, and also you can see important tweets and facebook posts.

There are other alternatives such as MyYahoo and igHome who are probably rubbing their hands together after iGoogle was pensioned off, but who knows how long these will be around, if the trend is moving away from personalised desktops, we will see.

So, don’t be too upset that iGoogle is retired now, there are many different ways you can get the same information.