Cash is Good!

I have taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to post here as I am able.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hidden Drawbacks of Online Jobs

While everyone, including myself, celebrates the advantages of working online, there are some real drawbacks. Occasionally, these can cause distress and even loss of income.

It’s important to note that there are at least three kinds of online jobs. At the bottom end of realistic earning potential are things like pay-to-click sites. At these you perform some menial task for which you are rewarded. Unless you break some kind of rule, like using a robot, the work is straightforward, but low-paying. My thoughts don’t have much to do with this type of job.

The next level of online job is where one performs some one-time service which must be accepted by a company or client. The most obvious of these jobs is freelance writing. However, there are some opportunities which involve completing some other kind of work.

At the highest level, one might have a job with a brick-and-mortar company, but all, or almost all, interaction is accomplished through a web interface.

If one is freelance writing, the text probably will need to be accepted by an editor or a client. One might think that if a good writer submits content there would be no problem. But this is not always the case. Editors may not be particularly expert. Editors may have agendas dictated by the company they work for. There are multiple style books for writing, which means that proper grammar isn’t always as inflexible as one might imagine. Except that a particular site may accept only a certain style that isn't the way one was taught. Editors have been known to even change content and make an article factually incorrect, while the author’s name remains on the byline. This can damage an author's credibility through no fault of their own.

Companies which rely on freelance writers have little incentive to explain themselves or work with authors. There is no contract involved, and there are plenty of other writers who will simply step in an fill any gaps to create content. The author's only recourse may be to walk away.

If one is fortunate enough to find a job which provides steady income for a service, which allows the employee to work from home through the internet, it may be difficult to imagine any problems.

However, one potential shortcoming is the isolation An employee may interact with only one or two other people in the entire company. In the long term, it’s difficult to assess one’s competence in this social vacuum.

There are bound to be frustrations with some aspects of the job. With no employee break room, and chats over lunch, one has no way to know if complaints are shared across the board, or if personal gripes would best be dropped.

If one has a poor or mediocre manager, there may be absolutely no way to circumvent the effects of bad management.

There is no way to compare one’s work against that of co-workers. A company usually sets standards for performance, which are usually unrealistically perfect. This, in itself, is not bad. Of course, any company wants to put out their best product all the time. In reality, humans can’t deliver perfection all the time. In a workplace, one informally has some sort of idea of how good or bad a job they are doing. With only internet contact, only mistakes may be noted. In other words, Until the job is completed to perfection there is only negative feedback, and probably no positive feedback for good work.

There is no chance (for example) to roll the eyes, and glance at a lab partner, sharing the pain of “unreasonable” demands. Such social interactions are how people make it through tough work days. With internet jobs, all one may get are negative messages such as “CASE REJECTED,” “NEEDS REVISION,” “NOT ACCEPTED,” etc.

For some people, internet jobs are the solution to various work dilemmas. Just be aware that there can be problems and frustrations with any type of job.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Free Kindle App for iTouch

I have an iTouch 2... someone's castoff. Using Stanza, I can use it like an e-reader for books in the ePub format. However, I recently wanted to take advantage of a free Kindle book, and wondered if I could read it on this device.

Of course, there is the free Kindle app for PCs, but I like the portability of the iTouch. As it turns out, there is a way to read Kindle books on the iTouch. You lose some of the features, but it works fine for basic reading.

It did take me a while to find it, and figure out how to use it. I had to search through the iTunes Apps interface. I put in Kindle, and it brought up a free app that works on iPhones and iTouch. It was easy to download in the same way as any other app.

However, I still had to get my Kindle books on it. I already have the Kindle for PC app on my computer, and I couldn't figure out how to get the books from it to the iTouch. Turns out that's not the way to do it at all.

Instead, on the Amazon site, when you download your books, choose to read on the iCloud. I figured this out because once I had the app on the iTouch it was asking me if I wanted to read books from the Cloud, but there was no way to say "yes" from the iTouch.

Anyway... here's a real techhie specific tip (not!). Once I chose to view the book in the cloud, all my Kindle books appeared on the iTouch like magic. I'm not going to dissect success. I can only tell you what happened for me.

I can't change the font size, or make any notes or highlights, but I can read the books. That was my primary goal.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Notifications for Moderating Comments on Blogger

I'm posting this because I just discovered (face all red) that there were 14 great comments, not spam at all, from you faithful readers that had not been approved because I goofed.

I had not entered my email to receive notification of comments that needed to be moderated. I ran across them today while looking at my Blogger Dashboard.

So, in case you have also neglected to enter an email where comment notifications should be sent, here's how. From your Blogger blog's dashboard, click on Settings. It has a picture of a wrench. (It's not under Comments.) Then Click on Posts and Comments.

Then you will see all your options for how you want the comment box to be displayed, who can comment, how much you want to moderate, etc. There is a box where you need to enter your email, if you want to be sent notifications.

Really easy... one just has to do it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 Earnings from Pine Cone Research

In 2011 I completed 13 surveys for Pine Cone Research at $3.00 each for a total of $39.00.

This is a lot less than I made from them in 2010, which was $67.00. Still, it's pretty easy money! This is an arm of Neilson Ratings, and you must be invited to join. If you ever see an ad for their surveys, click it and get yourself in.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Inporting CSV Files into Gmail

Are you trying to import an address book from some other email program, or from Google Groups into Gmail? It can be pretty frustrating when you follow the directions and it won't work.

The Google Help file only says to save your other mail list as a comma-delimited file, and then import it into Gmail. Even if you know what that means, it may not work. Why?

First of all, a comma delimited file just means a file where each item that would go in a spreadsheet field is separated by a comma. For example,

Joe Smith800 W 4th Stjoe@mail.com555-555-5550
Jane White sweetgirl@mail.net555-555-5551
would simply be: Name,Address,email,Phone,Joe Smith,800 W 4th St,,555-555-5550,Jane White,,,555-555-5551

Notice that since we don't know Jane's address there are simply two commas with nothing between them.

So, the first step is to export your address list from whatever source you want and choose to save it as a comma delimited file. This will have the file extension CSV. Let's pretend we named this OLDBOOK.csv

Now, open your Gmail account and put in a couple of contacts manually. Anything will do- if you make duplicates you can always delete them later. Do put something in each field that you plan to use, including any custom ones you want to create. Now export this as a comma delimited file (extension CSV). Let's pretend we named this NEWBOOK.csv

Open both files in Excel. Now you can see the contents of each address book. You must use the format from the Gmail file to make a CSV file that it will read.

Use the NEWBOOK.csv as a template. You must fill the fields you want from your OLDBOOK.csv. You can just copy and paste each column, but make sure you paste them in the correct row, or all your addresses (for example) might be one entry off when you import the file. Save the NEWBOOK.csv file you just added to.

Now, this file will have all your address info, and it will have it in a form that Gmail wants. From your Gmail account, import this file, and all your data will be there!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Choose Where to Download Files in Firefox 6,7,8,9

Have you downloaded a new version of Firefox (I believe this info is good for Firefox 6,7,8 and 9) and discovered that it wants to put files you download in a place you don't want or can't find? The default is in the Downloads Folder, which is under "Users" in Windows 7, or YourName Documents in Windows XP.

It's easy to change this. Find the orange bar in the upper left that says "Firefox." Click on it and then on the Options choice.

This will open the box you see in the second image here. If "General" is not the selection that shows, choose it now (the one that looks like a light switch). Then, in the middle of the box, you can select whether you want downloads to go to the file of that name (and whether you want the downloads window to stay open or close), Or if you want to specify a different location to be used all the time, or if you would like to be asked every time.

I dump downloads on my desktop. That way I can find them easily, and then move them or trash them after I've looked at the file.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Adgitize to Close

Here's one of the saddest pieces of news I've gotten in quite a while: Adgitize is going to close at the first of the year.

Owner and founder, Ken Brown, says, "We have enjoyed working with all of you over the last 3 years and we hope that you have enjoyed our services. Adgitize tried to fill a niche market but the costs to run the business were more than the revenues generated."

This is really sad news. Entrecard is all but belly up with new blogs not being approved, and no response from the managers on any questions. CMF Ads folded earlier in the year.

This really leaves only Project Wonderful and AFTR, both of which I use, but neither one appeals to me very much. Adgitize has been more than an advertising means, it has been something of a family. The forum has been a lot of fun, and I've made several blogging friends there, or strengthened relationships.

Ken has always acted responsibly and treated his users with respect. For some reason, advertiser numbers have continued to decline to the point where the project cannot sustain its needs.

Adgitize will be missed.

Read the full news at Adgitize to Close

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Clixsense is the Only PTC I Still Use

I just got $23.02 from Clixsense, and that's with a standard membership. Took 14 months to accumulate that much, but there were no hassles, and the fees are much lower to cashout than they used to be.

ClixSense now has PayPal available, and it only cost me $0.73 processing fee, much less than it use to be with AlertPay. In addition, they pay every Monday, so you don't have to wait a month to get your cash.

And, I have the answer to another of life burning questions. Does anyone every win $5.00 in the ClixGrid game? I had previously won anywhere from a dime to 50¢, but last week, yes, I won $5.00. That was certainly nice!

If you want to upgrade your membership, it now costs $15 a year. I'm still not convinced that's worth it unless you have a lot of referrals.

Anyway, I am happy to add $23 to my wallet!

Sign up for ClixSense under me. If you are thinking of signing up, it helps me and doesn't hurt you at all to use this link.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why You May Not Earn Money on Adgitize

Adgitize your web site.Just because you see Adgitize ads on a blog does not mean that blog is earning money. There is even a possibility you could be publishing Adgitize ads and not earning money. Do you know why?

Adgitize seeks to provide surfers with quality, original reading material. The standards to be an Adgitize blog just make sense. There are real humans checking the archives who are currently culling blogs that have fallen below the minimum standards.

There could be some serious, substantive reasons why your blog will not do well on Adgitize. Let me list a few.

Reasons Your Blog Won't Even Be Approved on Adgitize
  1. Your blog is a collection of things you have snagged from other sources. All approved Adgitize blogs have original content. That doesn't mean you can't occasionally use something that came via email, or post the rules to a contest from another blog. But it does mean that the vast majority of what you include in your blog is written by YOU.
  2. You don't post something very often. Blogs that want to earn with Adgitize need to have a post at least once every three months. Many blogs that have applied in the past are way beyond that limit and may have been turned off.
  3. You are a photo blog with little text. Adgitize believes in authors writing text. Photo blogs are fine, but Adgitize will not approve them unless you include more than a couple of sentences of text about the picture(s). You need to tell us why that picture matters, or where you took it, or... something.
  4. You are running ads with popups, redirects, music or sound that plays automatically. All distractions of this sort will keep your blog from being approved.
Reasons You May Think You Should be Earning, but Aren't
  1. Your feed may not be entered. You must have a valid blog feed entered in the Adgitize system. This is used to check for publication of new posts so that points can be awarded. Go to "Manage Blogs" and you can see if you have a valid feed entered.
  2. Your content may be too old. If you haven't published in more than 3 months, your blog may have been turned off without sending you a notification. If your blog has been turned off it will no longer be listed when you click on "Manage Blogs." You will need to re-apply.
  3. You need to publish ads.You can not earn the full potential on Adgitize unless you publish their ads on your blog. You can choose to display up to 10 ads, in various configurations (but no more than two groups). You do have the ability to choose or block certain ads that may be more to your liking, or not appropriate for you.

Adgitize is not primarily a money-making site. It is about advertising high-quality blogs. That said, you can make a few cents there by publishing ads and clicking up to 100 advertisers' blogs a day. You can make a little more if you publish your own ad in the system. Then you only need to click up to 50 advertisers blogs a day, and you will earn back everything you spent on the ad.

If you see a blog that does not meet Adgitize standards that does show their ads, there could be a couple of reasons. The blog might not have been approved, but the blogger did not remove the ads (thus they are simply providing free advertising for the blogs in the Adgitize system). It's also possible that they are a member but have changed something and now violate the TOS. Sometimes people add popup ads on purpose or it happens inadvertently when they join another network. You are always encouraged to contact owner Ken Brown with any concerns.

Again, there are real humans who will address your question promptly. That's one reason Adgitize pleases me, for sure.

Sign up with Adgitize

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Working Around Errors Uploading Images to Blogger

The extremely annoying problem of not being able to upload images with Blogger (discussed at Error Uploading Images to Blogger) can be worked around.

First open your Picasa page. Maybe you didn't know you have one. But if you've been using the blogger image uploader, you do. That's where they are stored. Go to this URL . If you are logged into your Google account it will automatically bring up the various blogs you have under that ID. Click on the blog you want to add a picture to.

Then choose "Add Photos." I've circled it in the image below that shows my Picasa page for Grazing the Ditches

This will take you to a screen where you can either drag the image from your folder into a large box, or browse your files to find it. When the image (or several) shows in the box, click OK in the lower right corner. This will throw you back to the upload screen.

Now you need to get back to the album you want. The only way I've seen to do this is click on the Home tab, and then the Album for the blog I just added to. Once you have that open, the picture you just added should show in the thumbnails. Click on the image and it will open in a larger size. You can then right click and choose Copy Image Location (or whatever your browser calls it).

Paste this into your blog.

If you don't know how to code it to show up, follow this example: <IMG SRC="http://your-picture-url.jpg"> (or gif, etc. insert the correct URL for the image)

You can force it to align to the left or right by placing the following between IMG and SRC: ALIGN="LEFT" (or right)

These commands to not need to be in capital letters. I just did that to identify them as tags.

Of course it would be nice if the uploader would work, but this makes it possible to post when we are ready, not when Google decides to work.