Friday, March 22, 2019

Service trains and launches affiliate marketers

In the days before the Internet changes all the rules for everybody, companies that produced goods to sell relied on distributors to get their products into stores. The distributors were the so-called middlemen who earned a commission by connecting manufacturers to retailers. 

Today, many distributors have been replaced by affiliate marketers. The affiliates set up blogs or websites to function as online stores, fine-tune the message for high search engine visibility and collect on the resulting sales.

Becoming an affiliate marketer is easier and cheaper than leasing a storefront on a busy highway, but it’s not a walk in the park. That’s why Wealthy Affiliate has built a thriving business by helping affiliate marketers take the plunge.

Wealthy Affiliate says it will help members develop or choose a niche business, build a website, host a domain and show members how to build online traffic and a customer base.

The service also trains members to choose products to sell and build relationships with product sources.   

The About Us page on the Wealthy Affiliate website doesn’t identify the company’s home location or the full names of founders and executives. But it does share some philosophical quotes from top executives, like this one from a co-founder named Kyle:

You cannot make people love a service, you have to create a service that people love.

Potential members who want to test drive the WealthAffiliate system can sign up for a free starter package that includes two websites, a week of live coaching and the first of seven training sessions. A Premium membership costs $49 a month and includes 50 websites and full training and support.

For a closer look, visit the Wealthy Affiliate website.     

Sunday, March 17, 2019

DigitalCRM has affordable CRM software

So many businesses now use customer relationship management software that I'm surprised to encounter one that doesn't have immediate access to the full history of my purchases and service calls.

With the recent advances on cloud computing, sophisticated sales CRM software is no longer just for the rich and famous.

Take DigitalCRM sales CRM software for example. It's an online customer management tool that offer top-level features for as kittle as $500.

Digital CRM's dashboard includes contact, sales lead and sales force management modules; sales pipeline tracking; and territory management. It also features a suite of reports, analytics forecast tools along with the ability to create newsletters and web forms that produce sales leads.

A Contact Manager process helps users maintain contact, lead, account lists by storing phone numbers, e-mail addresses and other information in a centralized location. The Sales Pipeline view lets managers see the status of current leads, customers won and lost, prospects and proposals.

In addition to online CRM software, DigitalCRM also offers help desk software that includes a knowledgeable, service ticketing, a service dashboard and analytics.

For more details on pricing and features, visit the DigitalCRM website.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Mictic turns body movements into music

One of the mesmerizing charms of an orchestra conductor is the way he (or she) appears to create music out of thin air with the wave of a baton.

That may be what a group opt Swiss engineers were going for when they invented Mictic. It's a wireless sensor that produces lush, fully-formed notes and chords from hand movements.

To see what I'm talking about, check out the video below. A cellist performs a short piece by moving his right hand across the strings while his left hand moves up and down the fretboard.

But look closely - there's no bow in his right hand and he soon lifts his left hand off the neck of the cello. He's playing music without an instrument.

The creators of Mictic call it "the world's first body instrument" that launches "the beginning of a new era:  audio augmented reality."

The device pairs a wrist sensor that's the size of a large watch with a companion app that interprets body movements and instantly transforms them into sounds.

Mictic developers plan to launch the device early next year. They have created a few sound kits that  match musical instruments and plan to expend into other sounds. Their website mentions plans for kits that will mimic the sounds of a lightsaber or a robot.

Mictic AG is currently looking for investors and plans to launch a pre-release sale by the end of April to raise development funding.

For more details, to get on the company's mailing list and to watch several more videos, visit the the Mictic website. You can also follow @Mictic_Move on Twitter.


Monday, March 11, 2019

App creates augmented reality objects

The arrival of Pokémon GO in 2016 not only got people out of their home to search for digital creatures, it also introduced average folks to the mysterious world of augmented reality.  Suddenly they could see a Pidgey hopping around the shopping mall and a swarm of Zubats gathered on the library steps.

Now a new iOS app could expand the AR world even more by making it easy to create and share augmented reality objects.

Advncd AR allows users to create their own custom augmented reality objects using their own photos. It eliminates the need to comb the Internet looking for collections of AR objects to download and deploy.

With Advncd AR, users select an object that they would like to create, then upload photos and text to the app.

The app comes with libraries stocked with animations and simple screens. The app currently has six models and use cases to choose from and the developers indicate more could be added in the future. 

When the object is in place, the app generates a QR that to share with friends and associates. when they scan the code, they will see the objects you created.

Advncd AR is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store.

To get a closer look at the app, check out the video below and visit the Advncd AR website.



Friday, March 8, 2019

Software helps vendors create affiliate marketing programs

Affiliate marketing has become a lucrative two-way channel for both both companies with products to sell and the affiliates willing to put a link or a widget on their website.

When a blogger writes about a cosmetic and points readers to a vendor, the blogger and the vendor both make money on a sale. Economists call that a virtuous circle.

Omnistar helps lubricate that circle by providing vendors with a platform to build and manage an affiliate program.

OSI Affiliate Software walks users through the necessary steps for an affiliate program. To start, it creates a social share widget that users can deploy on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to capture visitor email addresses. 

It also provides a customizable thanks you page and email templates as well as forms and pop-ups.

Once the program is up and running, the software can reward affiliates with contests, commissions, discounts or gift cards.

Omnistar offers a free trail and says its software can get an affiliate program running in 10 minutes or less. Pricing for the platform starts at $47 per month or $470 for a year.

For more details, visit the Omnistar website.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Boxaid offers remote PC repairs

All computers have occasional problems. The challenge for the owner is finding the fastest, most convenient and most affordable way to get it fixed.

Over the years, I lugged my computers to various repair shops, including those guys in the white shirts and black ties. But the most satisfying repair experiences I've had occurred when I didn't leave the house. Instead, I connected online and on the phone with a skilled technician who takes control of my ailing computer.

That's how the people at Boxaid operate. Anyone with a PC problem can call the company's toll-free number and get connected to a technician based in the US. You can describe and discuss the problem to see if it's a software issue that can be repaired by remote and decide if you want to proceed.

If you agree to use the Boxaid service, the technician will have you download and install software that creates a secure encrypted connection between the tech and your PC. You can watch each step of the process.

The Boxaid techs will tackle simple problems such as an error message, printer connection or an application issue for $29.95. A 60-minute tune-up that covers sluggish PCs, network issues or email troubles costs $59.95 while a complex virus removal runs $89.95. I've paid considerably more for similar work done in repair shops.

In each case, the tech will provide a price quote before any work begins. And you're not asked for  a credit card until after the work is completed and you're satisfied with the outcome. When everything is finished, the tech will permanently disconnect from your computer.

The Boxaid website includes recording of audio reviews by Boxaid customers, links to reviews on Facebook and Yelp and a reprint of a Wall Street Journal article that tested Boxaid and three other similar remote repair services.

For more details, check out the video below and visit the Boxaid website. You can also follow @Boxaid on Twitter.



Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Website rates online USA casinos

Our house is only a few miles from one of those riverboat casinos and while we drop in from time to time, I'm a little more comfortable when I gamble from the comfort of my computer desk.

When Internet casinos first appeared, most of them were based outside the United States. Today, there are legal online casinos based in several states that can be visited by players located anywhere in the country without fear of running into legal trouble.

And there's also a website that has created a detailed guide to American online casinos. 

Online Casino Ratings contains profiles and reviews of several of the better-known US casinos such as Slots.LV, Bovada and Cafe Casino. The profiles  list many of the games offered by the different casinos, such slots, poker and other table games.

The guide also tells which casinos can be played on mobile devices and which ones accept cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Perhaps more important, the guide also lists each casino's payout percentage and their welcome bonus for new players, which can be $5,000 or more.

If you're ready to wager a few dollars online, check out Online Casino Ratings before you pull up a seat.

Monday, March 4, 2019

These magnifiers help with gadget repairs

It’s been many years since I opened a computer with a soldering iron in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other. But even with today’s sealed systems, I’ve encountered many tech tasks that required magnification.

Like reading the teeny-weenie type on so-called user manuals that come with many gadgets from China. Or the model numbers and other tiny text embossed on the back of my current desktop computer, mouse and external hard drives.

And then there was the time I had to make some repairs to a drone that hadn’t completely survived a crash landing.

Fortunately, I found a couple of new magnifiers that are proving to be well suited to these sorts of jobs.

One is shaped like a traditional magnifying glass with a large (3.5-inch) round metal lens and a long handle. The lens offer 5X magnification with a small clear bubble on one side that will bump an image up to 10x.

A key feature is the ring of 12 LED lights built into the lens ring and powered by a pair of AA batteries in the handle. The lights are activated by a thumb button on the side of the handle. One press turns on the lights and a second press bumps them to a higher level of illumination.

The same company offers a second magnifier that has a slightly smaller lens that also has 5X and 10X magnification.

This one has a ring of eight LEDs powered by three AAA batteries and an USB charging cable if you're using rechargeable batteries.

This smaller version unfolds to turn a hand-held magnifier into a static desktop magnifier. That setup is perfect for times when you need both hands free. I used it when I had to remove several super-small screws on a the case of a toy I wanted to open.

Both magnifiers are available on Amazon. Current prices are $19.68 for the Metal Lighted Magnifier and $14.59 for the Folding Desktop Magnifier.

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