Saturday, August 30, 2008

WLW Cross-Post Plug-in Fixed!

For a while I was looking around for a better solution than my Blogger to LJ workaround to cross-post my entries here to my LiveJournal blog.  What I found was this for Windows Live Writer:

http://www.codeplex.com/clarius/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=6626

Technically, cross-posting is already possible with Windows Live Writer.  All you have to do is just switch blogs, and your blog entry will still be open for editing. Easy right? Yes! Is it really effective cross-posting?  Not quite. :(  That's where Kzu's WLW Cross-Post plug-in comes in.  You install the plug-in, set the target blog to your secondary blog, enable or disable post summary, and enable/disable previewing the post in the secondary blog. If you choose to preview your post on your secondary blog, you'll notice that your main blog has been linked to at the top of the post. Keen!

However, there are some things wrong with this.  For one, you can't cross-post to more than one blog. It won't bother me, but it can be a big deal with bloggers who have blogs for their jobs, families, and hobbies. Secondly, not everyone wants the link to their main blog to show up at the top; maybe the blog author wants the link at the bottom.  And there's no way to customize the wording of the link from the plug-in's options.  Not a big deal, as it can be moved and the wording changed (make sure preview is enabled). Lastly, it can't publish the blogs at the same time. You must publish the main blog first, and then use the "insert cross-post" function.  So all-in-all, this plug-in is for the purpose of grabbing the main blog post's permalink and auto-pasting it into the secondary blog's post.  A little less work to do when using Windows Live Writer for posting to multiple blogs.

The biggest problem many WLW users have had with the plug-in is the inability to install it properly!  This plug-in as been uploaded as is for the masses to use, but WLW is unable to load it.  In this Windows Live Gallery entry, a reviewer of the plug-in explains how he managed to get WLW Cross-Post to load into Writer.  An excellent post, but no one's ever thought of uploading a working version of the plug-in for those who don't have Visual Studio installed on their computers (though you can install VS 2008 Express for free).  Or at least I couldn't find a working version of it.  Srch skillz: I dun haz dem. =(

I decided to share my compiled version of the plug-in.  I didn't change or add anything to the plug-in, so support questions should still go to the author of WLW Cross-Post.  You  can download the WLW Cross-Post plug-in from here or here.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Publish your Blogger blog to Livejournal (Part 2)

Testing the Blogger-to-Livejournal cross-posting technique I posted about previously. It should work. If you have a mailing list and it uses Blogger's BlogSend Address setting, you may just have to cross-post to your LJ blog the long way. The method I found out is supposed to be a "set it and forget it" method. Here's to hoping, eh?

EDIT: It works! Blogger2LJ cross-posting is a success.

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Publish your Blogger blog to Livejournal

I've wanted a way to post this blog's entries in it's own separate LJ blog, not my personal LJ, because it can increase readership. I don't have many LJ friends, but if I did, then I would like to accommodate their desire to not have to leave their LJ comfort zone to view what's going on in my life.

I pay for this site, so it would make sense to make use of it. That and I like using Blogger more than LJ. Atom and RSS feeds are available here for anyone to subscribe, but there's no way to add a feed reader to a LJ account. I've read that it's prohibited to use embedding tags and javascript in one's layout. If I wanted to broadcast my RSS feed to my LJ account, I'd have to upgrade to "Paid" status. Not that it's needed. All you need is a LJ Plus account the current email address you use for your Blogger account.

Since this is about appeasing your LJ friends, I assume you already have a LJ account. If you don't have one, make an account and make sure that it's a "Plus" account. LJ members with basic accounts can't email entries to their blogs via email.

1) Go to the "Mobile Post" settings page of your LJ, and under "Allowed sender addresses", add the email address you associate with your Blogger account (it's in your "permission" settings if you've forgotten).

2) Under "PIN", create a pin number that is NOTHING like any password or PIN you've ever created. You don't want people guessing your LJ password based on your PIN number. If they do, they will gain control of your blog. Jot down the PIN just in case you forget it.

3) Change any of the Default settings to your liking. click "Save Settings". Now your Mobile settings are complete. Your LJ email address will look something like this: "username@post.livejournal.com", substituting "username" for your own LJ name of course.

4) Now remember the PIN you've created? You need this in order to post to your LJ blog via email. To do this, you'll need to either put the PIN in your email's subject, body, or in your LJ email address like this: username+PIN@post.livejournal.com (the "+" sign is needed). I don't suggest using the PIN inside of the subject or body.

NOTE: The subject and body of the email are the same as the subject and body of your Blogger blog post. If you put the PIN in either the subject of body of your blog post, the PIN will show up for the public to see in your Blogger blog, and that's not what you want. Use your LJ PIN inside your LJ email address for better security.

5) Copy your LJ email address (including the PIN). Go to your Blogger blog's "Email" settings. In the BlogSend Address box, paste the LJ email address. Save your settings.

6) Make a test blog post to your Blogger blog and publish it.

If it turns up at your LJ blog, then congratulations! You've successfully bypassed the need to pay Livejournal for web site feed broadcasting. All of your LJ friends can see what you're up to whether you post at Livejournal or at your Blogger blog. If it doesn't show up at Livejournal, then check your settings to make sure everything is right.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Making your Google Group strictly a mailing list

Though it's much known around the web, you can use a Google Group (or Yahoo! Group, whatever you like best) to create a mailing list for your web site visitors or blog readers. I don't know about other blogging platforms, but it works very well for Blogger. If you don't know how to make a Group mailing list, Blog*Star Rat has a straight-to-the-point post about it. Basically, you'll use your newly created group's email address as your BlogSend addy in your Blogger settings. That way, posts are received by everyone who is invited or signs up to your group.

You can also use the Group's email address for blog comment notifications. However, there's one problem to solve. Let's say you've set your Group's access settings so that only Group managers can post messages. That means only you control what's posted via email to the Group. This makes your Group a mailing-list-only type of Group. So you're getting your Blogger blog posts in your Group, and everyone who's a member is getting email versions of your blog posts. Most excellent! But wait! What about your comments?

The address that sends the Blogger comment notifications to your email address is "noreply-comment@blogger.com". That address is not an address of one of your members, nor should it be. If you do subscribe that "noreply" email address in order to post blog comments to your Group, you're going to get EVERYONE'S blog comment notifications. So, what can you do? If you don't already, it's time to put your personal or blog-designated email account's filter/rule feature to good use.

First of all, go to your Blogger blog's Comments settings. Scroll down to the email notification box. If you still have your personal email address in the box, you're good. If not, then type it (or an address made for receiving blog notifications) in the box and save your settings. No need to republish if you're a FTP user. Now go to your email address' account settings page. Go to your filter/rule settings page and click the link or button that opens the "create new filter" page. Once there select the "From" and "contains" options as the filter's conditions and paste "noreply-comment@blogger.com" in the input box. Then select or add the action "forward to this address" and paste the email address of your Group into the address box. Save your new filter. Test the new settings by posting a comment on your blog.

If all goes well, you will receive two new blog comment notifications: one from the "noreply" email address and the other from your Group's email address. You can create a new email filter to auto-delete one of the two emails unless you don't mind. Now you have a Group-turned-mailing list that sends email versions of both your blog posts and comments. That way your readership can keep up with the news and discussions even if they're not at your blog site. It would be nice if your readers could discuss things on your Group, but you didn't add the comment feature to your blog just so it would sit and look useless. Until that time when your blog is so popular that the discussion simply can't be contained in the commenting system, it's my opinion that the Group remains strictly a mailing list.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blogvertise paid me!

Not only did I finally get paid for my opportunity on Blogvertise, I got two more payments from PayPerPost.

<-- Click for larger size.
Image hosted at Shareapic.

Altogether my paid to blog payouts total out to $39.50. Not bad for some extra money. It certainly does help when you're between jobs, looking to get back into college, and need gas in your car. Oh yeah, and paying off that credit card bill too. Crying

Blogging for cash isn't hard, but it's not something that everyone can make a living off of or get rich from. I'm certainly not making enough to make it out of my mom's house, and no one will ever become wealthy doing this. Nonetheless, this is something that everyone can do. It's good for companies, individuals, and the bloggers who are willing and able to blog about them.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Lexi got paid! Woohoo!

Today I checked my PayPal account just to confirm my pay from PayPerPost. Not only did I get my 2 scheduled payouts, Smorty paid me yesterday too. I didn't get an email confirmation from Smorty, but that's ok. It's all there. Big Grin So if any of you guys were ever doubting that PayPerPost or Smorty pays, here's my proof that they do:

<-- Click for full size
Screenshot hosted by Shareapic.

I also have $7.50 waiting to be transferred to my PayPal from PayPerPost, and I have a $6.00 payout coming from Blogvertise in August (Damn 30-day wait. I need that money now! lol). I've been approved for a $5.00 assignment done at ReviewMe, but their payout is $25. So far, all completed transactions have come to $16.00. After my Blogvertise payment shows up, It'll come to $29.50.

I've been a member of these places for less than a month, and so far I've made enough to fill my gas tank and then some. These programs are not bad at all; I suggest to others to give it a try. The pay may seem small, but it all adds up in the end. Eventually I'll make more with PayPal's Money Market program, because I gain interest for letting money sit in my account. It's like having a savings account, but without the monthly maintenance fees and/or low balance penalties. Laughing 

If you would like to join the above mentioned programs, but you don't already have a PayPal account, click here to sign up. If you have a checking/savings account but don't want to provide PayPal that info, you can withdraw your funds via checks. To make payments to companies or individuals, you must provide PayPal a credit card, debit card, or bank account information. PayPal's a free service, it's easy to use, and if you qualify for the Money Market program, you earn interest on money saved in your account.

That's all I have to say right now. In a couple of hours, I'll be on my way to see the theatrical release of The Simpsons. How awesome-sauce is that? DroolingDancingNot worthy

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Get paid weekly with Smorty

I've already mentioned this neat little program several posts back, but I'll do it again. ^^ If you have a blog and aren't making bank with targeted ads on your site, it's time you considered getting paid for your blogging pastime.

There are several PTB (paid-to-blog) programs out there that make good use of bloggers to help their clients advertise on blogs about their products and services. With these programs, you can sign up as a blogger or an advertiser. Many companies are more than ever leaning on the blogosphere to bring in more customers, and they're willing to shell out cash for blog advertising. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Smorty is a PTB program where not only do bloggers get paid to blog, they get to cash in weekly, via Paypal no less! Smorty approves of many blogs out there, so if you host your own blog, it's most likely that you will be approved in no time. Just review the rules before submitting your blog to make sure everything is according to their policy.

Smorty's way of doing things is simple: There is no grab-bag marketplace to view ad campaigns at. There is a list of available ad opportunities in your admin panel, which is accessible as soon as your blog is accepted by Smorty. As a member you will also receive email alerts for newly submitted opportunities, so there's no good excuse for you not to know what's current. And it's best that members act fast; opportunities can be filled up as quickly as they're submitted.

Once you submit your blog post, there is a 2-day waiting period until your post is either accepted or rejected. Once it's accepted, it will be a 5-day until you get paid. Basically, it takes a week until you get paid for one assignment. But let's say that you submit one post one day and a second post a day later. In 7 days, you'll receive payment for your first accepted blog post, and then get paid again the day after for the second post. That's how I figure it works, but what it all boils down to is getting paid each week you submit sponsored blog posts. No waiting 2 weeks, no waiting 30 days or more, and no delays in payment.

You can't really lose with any PTB program, as you're getting paid to do what you like to do already, which is to write stuff in your blog. However with Smorty, you get paid QUICKER than any other PTB program out there, and there is no restriction on where you live. If you don't live in the U.S., it's ok! Just make sure you have a PayPal account, and you'll be able to blog for money.

get paid to blog

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Good times ahead!

I finally got a company to respond to me. Cepia LLC. of Clayton, Missouri called me up for an interview, and I went there that very day. I was so nervous, and me traveling in a car with no air conditioning (it does have it, but it will make the car stall) didn't help keep me cool either. I made sure to have as much in my portfolio as possible, scrap notes and sketches included.

As far as the interview went, I was REALLY early. I made sure to leave early enough in case traffic was murder, but I got there pretty much 30 minutes before my scheduled time. I think that's a good thing. I always did that with previous interviews. When I finally got to sit down with the recruiters, I feel like I fumbled through my portfolio a bit. Despite my nervous wordiness, they liked a number of my pieces, especially my paintings. I felt the portfolio review of the interview went well, all things considered. Then I went on a tour of their main office. It's really nice. They mostly do toy design, but before that they did lawn care products. They now handle a wide range of product lines, and everyone there helps with a wide range of assignments, from design to modeling for package design, to human resources.

I REALLY want to work for Cepia, and it's not just because I'm desperate for work. I love all of what they offer, and I like that they provide guidance and a friendly environment for the employees. They seem really close to each other, but still professional enough to make sure everyone's doing their best. I want that, and I really hope I get the job.

I haven't stopped looking for work. I've been applying for any job I feel I'm qualified for. St. Louis Community College is now offering a graphic design job. Ironically, this 2-year college institution is looking for an applicant with a 4-year degree. I'm going to apply anyway; surely my recent college would be happy enough to employ one of their own recent graduates. Harrah's Casino is still posting that they need a graphic designer. I've applied twice for that job, and still no response. I've planned to continue bugging them with constant applications until I receive an answer from them. I feel it's unprofessional and very rude that I do not get any response from an employer. At least let me know if I'm not what your company is looking for.

Enough about my job search. I have even cooler news. Picture.com has photo contests going on, with an annual competition with a grand prize of $10,000. Pretty sweet, huh? Well, my photo, which I have dubbed "Focused on The Fountain" has been entered into the Open Amateur Photography Contest for this summer, and I've been chosen as a semi-finalist for this competition. Not only that, but my photo will be published in the upcoming anthology currently named "Endless Journeys". I feel this is a great honor, so I plan to get 2 copies of the book, for myself and one for my family. It feels like a hefty cost, but if I want to be recognized, I have to pay to have my artist profile in the book. And since I'm going to pay for people to read about me, I'm going to buy the book so I can read about me too. :)

More good news: I've been approved for Smorty and Blogvertise, paid-to-blog sites similar to PayPerPost. While PayPerPost actually gets opportunities in everyday, the availability of the opps depend on how popular your blog is and how fast you are at accepting available opportunities. The popularity thing is a HUGE turnoff, but it seems to be a big payoff. The wait to be paid for approved blog posts also depends on the opportunity.

Smorty is a great way to get paid for blogging, and has a week wait on being paid for blog posts. After accepting an opportunity, the wait for your post to be approved or rejected is two days. Once your blog post is approved, you must wait five more days to be paid. Thus, you can get paid every week for each successful sponsored blog post you make. Unlike PayPerPost, you get email notifications when opportunities are available (I had to search the PPP site to even find the RSS feed). You have to log into your account as soon as you see the opp or else you might miss out on it. The opp availability is not based on popularity like PPP, which I like. With the number of companies looking to advertise on blogs, the number of opportunities increase. Very important: make sure your current sponsored blog posts can be seen from your blog's homepage. If they cannot be seen or not somehow linked on your homepage, your posts will be rejected. I don't believe the posts have to be permanently linked on your homepage, but please keep this rule in mind when you submit your blog posts for review.

get paid to blog

Blogvertise has a 30-day wait after blog post approval. Like Smorty, you get email notifications on new opps, and they are not based on popularity. However, if you choose to neither accept or reject an opportunity, it will go to someone else, and the less opps you will receive in the future. If you're not a very active blogger, accept at least one opp to make sure the Blogvertise team doesn't deem your account inactive.

Regardless of what paid-to-blog program you stick with, don't make consecutive sponsored blog posts. The program's moderators will assume your blog is a blog made strictly to get paid from, which they frown upon. So to avoid getting rejected in the future, keep your blog fresh and full of multiple topics. Also it is recommended that you have a blog that is hosted at your own domain. Most opportunities will not accept blog posts from MySpace, Blog*Spot, Vox, or Wordpress blogs. For instance, Smorty will not approve of blogs unless they have their own domain (i.e., www.yoursite.com). There are other excluded domains, so find a place that has reasonable hosting for your blog.

This is a sponsored post.

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Get paid to blog with Blogvertise

I just signed up to another paid-to-blog service.

Blogger Ads

Blogvertise differs from others. For one, there is no Marketplace for members to nab the most coveted advertising opportunities. Based upon the content of your blog, Blogvertise will email you opps that you can either accept or reject. The biggest plus of all is that you, a Blogvertise member, will have your blog entries reviewed after 5 days and not a week or two, and Blogvertise pays out weekly. You don't have to wait 2 weeks to a month just to get paid. This is an awesome web site, and I hope that I can get many opportunities to make money by doing something I really enjoy.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Joined a webring today!

The webring navigation is at the bottom of the page. Sorry. I tried to put it in the right side bar, but it kept forcing items too far to the right. Stupid script. It can't be changed, so the bottom is where it stays for now. You should check it out. There are plenty of interesting sites to surf through.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

PayPerPost: Get paid to blog!

Forget those blogging sites that pay you to use their blogs. PayPerPost pays you much more based on the opportunities advertisers post at the site. If you love blogging, then you have lots of money to make with this. You can write reviews on companies or their products or even post entertainment ads.

Do you have a MySpace profile complete with blog? Use it to make yourself some cash and refer all of your listed friends. That means even more money for you. Sign up by clicking the banner above. Happy blogging!

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Posting with the new Windows Live Writer Beta 2

Just testing to see if it works. A few people at blogger who are trying to use it say they can't log in. I say they might being trying to enter their account with the wrong information. For the rest out there, please read Live Writer's instructions carefully.

Check the WLW support community for tech support concerning any bugs or problems. Remember, WLW is BETA; it's not going to work right for everyone right away.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

MyLot! Get paid to be a part of a discussion community

I signed up for a really nice site called My Lot, which is a place where users can add their blog for syndication and discuss any top they choose (I believe even "adult" matters can be talked about, but don't hold me to it). Lots of blogs are listed, including the popular ones you already read everyday. Any of the MyLot members can surf among the blogs to read topics and discuss them at the feeds' websites or start their own discussions on MyLot.

This following link is my myLot User Profile. I joined because it's great exposure to me and my own website. And it offers a great incentive to all who sign up. Not only do you get to meet a lot of cool people and create a network of friends and contacts, you get paid to. How sweet is that? All of you rabid MySpace people should know a thing or two about growing your own network of friends. Syndicate your MySpace profiles and blogs at MyLot and make your networks bigger. Blogger users too can join in and syndicate their blogs at MyLot in order to increase readership (and possibly generate more sales with your AdSense ads. Whether or not you have either kind of blog, it shouldn't stop you from putting your hands in the cookie jar with the rest of us. :D

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Oh Blogger, how unstable you are...

The Blogger migration has set off a firestorm of problems for many users, particularly the BlogSpot-hosted users. Disappearing images, disappearing BLOGS, mass deletions of blogs for supposedly being spam, the list goes on. What makes it worse is that people looking for help idiotically flood the Blogger Help Group with problems that have been posted over and over again already, which makes it worse for people who are smart enough to search first find the solutions to their problems or people who have new problems to add to the group for help. I haven't run into any major problems, but I believe the worst one I could run into now is my blog not publishing to my web host.

Anyone who hasn't been hit by Blogger's instability should now realize the value of BACKUPS. Please take the time to backup your entire blog, template and all. Cheapest and easiest ways to back up your posts is to 1)add your email address to the "BlogSend Address" box under the "Email" tab in Settings so you can get your blog emailed to you; and/or 2) subscribe to your site's own RSS/Atom feed and download the feeds via a news aggregator client like RssReader or adding your feeds via email clients like Mozilla Thunderbird, which can read news feeds. Then there is this way of creating a backup: "How to backup your Blogger blog". It republishes the blog as one page, so at least when users try to import their blog into the likes of WordPress, they don't have to open multiple emails and feeds to cut and paste each and every post. Since Blogger is now revamped, there is no other way to import entries to another blogging service, but at least blog recovery won't be a pain in the ass. 

I don't think anyone can stress it enough. If you're looking for an alternative to Blogger while they get their act together, then make sure you properly prepare for a move. The end.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Testing WLW's Image Upload Feature

Now who could that be?

I hope this works. Google refuses to give up their image .API to other web developers, but that's okay. Windows Live Writer has a FTP upload setup for image posting. Speaking of images, I hate my current digital camera, the Traveler DV5040. Why? I bought it and didn't realize that it has a hardware problem. Just look at that picture! The color is so off, and changing the settings doesn't help much! You should see the pics that I took of my paintings. I was disgusted with them.

When I get the money, I'm sending in for either repair or replacement. If the company does neither, then I guess I'm out $100 and some change. That Aiptek 6-in-1 camera is looking good right about now, mostly because it's the same thing, but not refurbished like Traveler products.

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Testing Windows Live Writer

Pretty cool app for updating blogs. It even edits blogs like Moveable Type. By the way, Merry Christmas to all who care. I had a lengthy post earlier today, but I went shopping with my sister. After I got back, I turned off my PC to install my new 250gb hard drive. It was on sale, and I think it was the last one in the store. ^^ I nixed the whole "stream local/satellite TV to my cell phone and record favorite shows using a PVR setup" plan for now; I'll just stick to webTV.

Long story short, I didn't get to accomplish all I wanted to do today. It's mainly because my car's acting up again. It got really loud while I was driving earlier, and when I brought it home and checked under the hood, the engine looked as if it was shaking around loosely. Hopefully it's not something that needs replacing and just a tightening up. If need be, I'll have to drop my sister off for her optometrist's appointment and borrow her car to retrieve any parts needed. So much for saving up for my last semester's tuition. =/

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