Category Archives: Easy Tips - Page 2

Using Google Alerts to follow your brand and competitors

Alert‘Google Alerts’ is still on Beta but proves to be a very handy tool. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.  Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

* monitoring what’s being said about your company or brand online
* keeping current on a competitor or industry
* keeping tabs on your favourite sports teams
* Keeping tabs on backlinks to your blog  (also available on google webmastertools)
* Keeping tabs on contents of comments in your blog
* and more

You can use a combination of more advanced features of Google Web Search to setup your Alerts. 

A good example of brand monitoring is this blog post  “What Are They Saying About You Online?” by Michael Hyatt in his Intentional Leadership Blog.

reCAPTCHA error

Today I had a few complaints from users not being able to download PDFs from one of the sites I manage. Users were not able to get beyond the registration page which kept hanging due to an error on reCAPTCHA.  The error caused the $rep->is_valid to return null. I am not sure if the problem was in validating the reCaptcha words or if it was in sending a response back. The fix was pointed out by reCAPTCHA support in a Google group. I just want to make it more public here.

Update your current recaptchalib.php with the one from http://code.google.com/p/recaptcha/downloads/detail?name=recaptcha-php-1.10.zip

Changing your YouTube video thumbnail

Is it possible to change a YouTube  video thumbnail? The thumbnail is a still frame that represents your video. When you upload a video to YouTube, it generates 3 still images from the video to be used as thumbnails, interesting enough the default image appears to be the second still.

You can use this tool to check the available thumbnails to any video.

Changing the thumbnail

You can only edit your own videos and only use the thumbnails generated by Youtube. To change a video thumbnail follow these steps.

1 – go to http://www.youtube.com/my_videos and login to your account
2 – Select “edit” on the desired video
3 – On the following page, under, “Video Thumbnail”, click on the thumbnail you wish to use. Once you’ve chosen your preferred still, the border around it will become highlighted.
4 – Then click on “Update Video”

It may take a few minutes for the change to show,  you may want to refresh your browser cache if the thumbnail does not appear.

Google Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues

Great tips on the use of Redirect 301 and rel=canonical among some other good stuff.

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Open .eps files on GIMP for Windows

As usual this post is a self help note, but as it’s public I hope it helps someone else. If you want to open .eps or .ps files with GIMP on Windows you will need to install Ghostscript (download it from http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/). After successful installation you will need to create an environment variable called GS_PROG on Windows. To do this just follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the ‘My Computer‘ Icon and select properties
  2. Click on the advanced tab
  3. Click on Environment Variable button
  4. Under either User variables or System variables click on “New
  5. Set Variable name : GS_PROG
  6. Set Variable path: C:\Progam Files\gs\gs864w32\bin\gswin32.exe   – this is where yous gswin32.exe resides, make sure you type the correct path.

Click “OK” for everything and then open GIMP, you should now be able to open .eps and .ps files

Extra information: .EPS/PostScript (.PS) is a  file that may contain 2D vector graphics, bitmap images, and text; includes an embedded preview image in bitmap format; often used for transferring image data between different operating systems. Adobe Illustrator, Acrobat, Photoshop or CorelDraw are the kind of programs that normally use/open these files.

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