SitePal and Voki: Add Pizzazz to Your Website or Classroom

SitePal and Voki: Add Pizzazz to Your Website or Classroom

There are some fun sites that can be used to animate pictures to add pizzazz to websites or online classrooms.  One of these sites, Voki, is free and is available for non-commercial use.  For commercial use, SitePal starts at just $9.95/month.

Are you looking for a way to create content for an online classroom?  Consider adding a link to Voki.  “Voki enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, anime etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone. Voki lives on your blog, social network profile and will soon be integrated in various instant messaging platforms. You will also be able to download it to most video supported phones.”

Click on the picture below to see what happens if you add a link to your Voki-created file.   Be sure to hit the play button to hear the message once you get there.

 

If you are looking for a way to stand out on your website, resume, email signature line, or other form of social media, consider SitePal. “SitePal is an easy-to-use service that allows you to create a speaking avatar for your website and empower your online communication.” Click on the picture below to see that animation.

 

Related Articles

55 Important Technology Terms You Should Know if You Are Starting a New Job

Many people are starting new jobs right now.  Many of them are working with technology or using terminology that they may never have had to use in the past.  Managers and co-workers may toss around words that they assume people already know.  It is imported that people are prepared for this and be proactive in their learning effort.  The following is a list of some of the technology terms people should probably know. (For more terms, check out webopedia.com. That site contains a lot more “techy” terms than the average worker may not need to know, but their site is very comprehensive and a good resource to have.)

Affiliate Marketing – A marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

AOV – Average Order Value.

Below and above the fold – Where an ad is displayed on the website and you have to scroll down to see the ad.

Blog Roll – It is a list of links to blogs that a blogger likes.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of initial visitors to a site who bounce away to a different site, rather than continuing on the current site.

CES – Customer Effort Score.

Cloud Computing – Sharing resources rather than having your own servers to do it.

CLV – Client Retention Rate.

Container Tags – Used to affect a certain portion of your material. Container tags operate on the material between the opening tag < tag> and the closing tag </ tag>.

Cookie – A message your web browser uses to identify you and remember information for each time the browser goes back to access the server that gave it the cookie/message.

CPA – Cost per action – the publisher is taking most of the advertising risk, as their commissions are dependent on good conversion rates.

CPC – Cost per click.  Advertisers pay for their ad when someone clicks on it.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management – Managing a company’s relationships with customers and clients.

CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – Operating a business in a socially responsible and ethical manner to have a positive impact on society.

CTR – Clickthrough Rate – A way of measurer success of an online advertising campaign. Take the number of people who clicked on an ad and divide by the number of times an ad was delivered (also known as impressions).

CV – Curriculum Vitae – Used instead of a resume.  It is a written description of work and experience commonly used by professors and outside of the US.

Data Feed – Users receive updated data from data sources.

Day-Parting – Showing an ad at a specific time of the day.

DM – Abbreviation for direct message.

DMA – Designated Marketing Area (ties in with geo-targeting).

Dongle – A mechanism like a hardware key that only authorized users can use software.

DSPs – Demand-side Platform – DSPs centralized management of accounts and reporting and a central hub for handling data to help with the real-time bidding valuation.

Ethernet – is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs).

Forum – An online discussion group.

HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language – Uses markup tags to describe web pages.

IAB – Internet Advertising Bureau.

iFrame – An HTML structure that allows another HTML document to be put into an HTML page – iFrames are set up as a window frame.

ISP – Internet Service Provider.

Jitter – Flickering on a display screen.

Modem – A device that modulates a signal so that you can receive data.

Nanotechnology – The study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale.

NPS – Net Promoter Score – Defines the loyalty of a customer relationship.

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer – Company manufacturers’ products are sold under the purchaser of that product’s brand name. The original company that manufactured the product is the OEM.

PA – You may hear someone say “talk to my PA”, referring to their Personal Assistant.

PC Suite – A software package used to establish an interface between Nokia mobile devices and computers that run Microsoft Windows operating system.

PING – As in Ping me back – Used a variety of ways.  Usually means to instant message or email someone back.  The word ping in the technology world is actually short for Packet Internet Groper, a utility used to check for network areas.

Plog – A political blog.

Quicktag – A button that inserts HTML in to your post.

RTB – Real Time Bidding.

ROAS – Return on Ad Spend.

ROI – Return on Investment.

Router – A device that decides where information should be forwarded.

RSS – Real Simple Syndication – If you want to receive information from a specific website, you can click on the RSS feed button and have updates from that site show up on your RSS reader such as Google Reader.

Sales Deck – Your sales presentation/slides you present to the customer.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Improving the ability to be seen on a website by search engines.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing – A form of marketing to promote a website through increasing visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).

Time Shifting – Refers to recording programming for later use.

Toggle – Toggling means to switch from one setting to another. It implies there are only two settings.  Think of a light switch that clicks on or clicks off.

Twaffic – Twitter traffic.

Twishing – The act of sending a message to a Twitter user in an attempt to obtain his or her name and password. Think Tweeting and Fishing combined.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator – The address of a file on the Internet.  Think – http://

View Throughs (also known as Post-Impressions)  – If an ad on a site influenced consumers to search, then purchase a product,  the referrer gets credit for influencing the purchase behavior.

WAP – Wireless Access Point – A device that allows wireless communication. It usually connects to a router.

Wiki – A website that allows a lot of people to add to the content for collaboration.  Think – Wikipedia.

XML – Extensible Markup Language.

There are so many terms; it is hard to just pick 55.  Please feel free to respond and add any words that you feel are just as important to be aware of in today’s workforce.

If You Aren’t Using Video to Promote You or Your Product, You Need To Read This

Image via seeklogo.com

Cisco recently stated that 40% of all Internet traffic will be video in nature by the end of 2010. They increased that forecast to 91% by the end of 2014.  Are you using video?  I recommend checking out the forecasts that Cisco has made for visual networking by clicking here.  

Videos can be an effective way to capture your prospective customer’s attention.  I wrote about the importance of self-promotion in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career.  A big part of self-promotion is using video.  In a recent radio interview, I discussed some tactics to using video to promote your products and services.  Click here, to listen to the broadcast. 

Compukol.com recommended the following tips to help you with your video marketing:

  • Short videos: Make sure that your videos (whether you post them on your own website or a website like YouTube) are no more than 5 or 6 minutes long. If you have a video topic that you feel needs to be expanded way beyond the 5 or 6 minutes, it is a good idea to do a series of videos to cover the entire topic. People will be more inclined to watch and will really get a lot out of your videos if you feed them to your audience in small doses.
  • Sales pages: It is sensible to post your videos on your sales pages and to take that opportunity to discuss your products and their benefits or some business opportunity that you are offering to others. The video is helpful in making your potential customers comfortable and the points that you make in your video about your products are reinforced about your sales letter.
  • Key words: Search engines pay a great deal of attention to videos. When the search engines are looking at content and figuring out how to rank the various websites and their content, it is essential to do everything possible to make sure that your website appears as high as possible in the search engine rankings. You should do research to make sure that the keywords that you use in your content is optimum. You should choose keywords that will attract the kinds of leads and traffic that you want to pay attention to you and your business. Try to find out what your target audience is interested in and what they are looking for. Make sure that you include your keywords in headings, tags and resource boxes.
  • Clear structure and purpose: By using the appropriate keywords, you are ensuring that your video will be targeted properly. You need to make sure that your video answers the questions that your audience is thinking about when they start searching for answers. You need to make your communication and your content as clear as possible at all times.

I think you can even make your videos shorter than 5 to 6 minutes.  I have found that people prefer less than 3 to 4 minute videos.  I also think it is extremely important to include a landing page website address on your video.  You must be able to draw your customers to your site.  If you have a landing page where they can sign up for a free newsletter, that is one really effective way to build a customer base.

If you want more tips about how to make an effective video, click on the rest of the Compukol.com article by clicking here

In my conversation in yesterday’s interview, we discussed how simple and inexpensive it can be to create a video.  If you have a flip camera or video camera, you are well on your way.  A video does not have to be elaborately produced to be effective. 

Check out instructions from Youtube about how to make as well as optimize your video by clicking here.  For more general information about lighting, sound, etc. click here.

Are You Using Wooeb’s Interactive Search Engine Platform?

If you haven’t heard of Wooeb.com yet, you need to check out their site.  Wooeb is an interactive search engine platform.  Rather than having to wait for search engines to pick up your information, they put it all together in one place. 

They did a nice job with with creating ads and banners.  This is an example of an ad they can create for you on their site.  You can also click on it to find out more about my book:  How to Reinvent Your Career.

They also offer press releases that you can incorporate on your wooeb site.  To see my site, go to: http://wooeb.com/drdianehamilton

Check out an article about the Top 5 Reasons Wooeb Boosts Your Online Presence by clicking here.  In that article they list the following benefits of using Wooeb:

1.  Everything is in one place

2.  You own your URL

3.  It is accessible to everyone

4.  Wooeb indexes search engines

5.  Messages boards are included to discuss topics with others

What is Web Scraping?

A scraper site is a spam website that copies all of its content from other websites using web scraping. The purpose of creating such a site can be to collect advertising revenue or to manipulate search engine rankings by linking to other sites to improve their search engine ranking. 

There are now some sites that are working on finding out even more information about you through scraping.

Scraping for Your Real Name

PeekYou.com has applied for a patent for a way to, among other things, match people’s real names to pseudonyms they use on blogs, Twitter and online forums.

Read PeekYou.com’s patent application.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, they wrote about how scrapers broke into sites like PatientsLikeMe to find out information about patients to sell data about consumers to drug makers. To read this very interesting article, click here.

It is disturbing to think that people are in medial chatrooms pretending to be patients in order to find out what drugs are being prescribed.  That kind woman you are chatting with about your hot flashes just may be a guy keeping track of your medical history.  For information on how to remove some of your personal details from the Internet, check out wsj.com/wtk.

How to Generate Ideas to Write about On Your Blog Through AWeber

Are you looking for ideas to write about on your blog, check out this video by Problogger Darren Rowse by clicking here.  In the video, he mentions using AWeber for your newsletter.  I use AWeber and think it has some great advantages.  To see my links for the newsletters from AWeber, click here.   Feel free to sign up for my newsletters to see the format in which they are delivered.  They create very professional looking newsletters.  I highly recommend them.

Book for Online College Students is Now Available on Kindle

The Online Student’s User Manual:  Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online Student is now available on Kindle.  Click here for more information.

The Online Student User’s Manual will show you —

  • what you need to know about computer and software requirements
  • how to use the search engines and upload assignments
  • how to organize and manage your time
  • how to track and schedule your assignments
  • how to communicate effectively with your professors and fellow students
  • how to maximize your grade
  • what mistakes to avoid
  • how to create measurable goals and stay motivated
  • how to prepare for tests…and so much more.

The Online Student User’s Manual is the only “go-to” resource you will need to help you master the world of online education.

To order the traditional paperback version click here.

10 Sites for Free Education – Itunes U Gets 300 Million Downloads

You might have seen today’s mobile computers news article titled: Online education gets serious as iTunes U sees 300 million downloads from Mobile Computing News.  Click here for the article.

In my book: How to Reinvent Your Career, I list Itunes U as one of many great resources for free education.  Many people changing careers are looking for free resources to help improve their skills.  Here are the rest of the 10 free sites I suggest you consider:

  1. iTunes U: http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/ – iTunes have their university courses as well as regular podcasts available. Be sure to check out all of the free things iTunes has to offer.
  2. ‘Stuff you should know’ podcast: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/stuff-you-should-know-podcast.htm
  3. MIT Open Courseware: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/courses/courses/index.htm
  4. Computer training: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computer/topic.aspx?id=140
  5. How to use APA for writing papers: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
  6. Source for a lot of educational videos that help you to be on the cutting edge: http://wimp.com/
  7. Grammar guide: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/
  8. Online tutorials: http://www.librarysupportstaff.com/ed4you.html
  9. Source for many educational training videos: http://websearch.about.com/od/imagesearch/a/education_video.htm
  10. Career training resource: http://freecareertraining.org/