April Fools on the Web 2014

April_Fools_Lolcats
I haz April Foolz lolcats. Intended for use on...

I haz April Foolz lolcats. Intended for use on an April Fool’s page. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

April Fools Pranks have their roots in small jests from the Middle Ages, but with the power of the internet you can now play an April Fool’s Day Joke on millions! There are a few repeat offenders every year that will be good to keep an eye on and I’ll try to update this post as I come across them. If you see something that isn’t listed, please leave me a comment!

1. ThinkGeek

ThinkGeek is my favorite, I love their fake products and I’m not the only one! Several of the fake products they have created for April Fool’s Day have been in such high demand that they’ve actually created them! My favorite this year is the Rosetta Stone – Kilingon:

2. Google

Google always has a strong showing, it seems that the different departments even compete with each other so keep an eye on all your favorite Google Products:

3. Facebook

Even if Facebook the company doesn’t do anything you’re going to see LOTS of jokes from companies looking for Likes

4. Woot

The Prankster’s at Woot don’t usually need a special day to cause trouble, but that doesn’t mean they won’t take advantage of it. Take a look at their want ad for a new copy editor!

5. LinkedIn is looking for a Punch Card Programmer

6. Fark.com has the front page pointing to stories from a decade ago, and is making me feel old.

7. XKCD has a choose your own adventure up. Should be good, last year’s comic ‘Time’ was epic. UPDATE: Looks like it is as epic as i expected, it’s an Internet wide choose your own adventure/wiki like mash up. The title is Lorenz – named after the American mathematician known for his work describing the ‘Butterfly Effect’ and laying the foundation for Chaos theory. (Source Wikipedia)

I’m sure there will be more, enjoy and be sure leave a comment with your favorite or any that aren’t covered! And while you wait you can always Prepare for April Fool’s 2015!

 

 

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5 Tips For A Great Fiverr Experience

Fiverr Seller Stats

Fiverr.com is a freelance website where the jobs, known as ‘Gigs’ cost just $5. It’s amazing the range of jobs that that are available, the main categories are:

  • Gifts
  • Graphics & Design
  • Video & Animation
  • Online Marketing
  • Writing & Translation
  • Advertising
  • Business
  • Programming & Tech
  • Music & Audio
  • Fun & Bizarre
  • Lifestyle
  • Other

My new logo came from Fiverr, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the experience, so I wanted to offer you 5 tips to a great Fiverr experience.  After you’ve taken a look around and found a gig that you want to purchase make sure to follow these 5 tips as you check out and work with the seller:

 

Tip #1 – Check the seller’s stats and Feedback:

A fast way to do this is to check their Fiverr Level:

  • Level 1 sellers have been active on the site for 30 days and completed at least 10 orders while maintaining excellent ratings and a great track record.
  • Level 2 sellers have made over 50 orders in the past two months while maintaining excellent ratings and a solid track record.
  • Top Rated Sellers are manually chosen by Fiverr editors. Promotion is based on criteria including: seniority, volume of sales, extremely high rating, exceptional customer care and community leadership.  An example of a Top Rated Seller is below:
Fiverr Seller Stats

Fiverr Seller Stats

- Est. Delivery is an estimate of when you will get the results of the gig, many sellers will offer an expedited version for a little more money

Fiverr Gig rating is based off of user feedback, most Fiverr sellers are very protective of their user rating so you won’t see a lot that are low.  Scrolling down and reading the feedback that led to this score is going to be more telling than the numbers themselves.  Be aware that fake positive feedback is always a possibility with any kind of site that uses customer reviews, but you should also be aware that fake negative reviews aren’t unheard of either.  I understand Fiverr Customer Service does a good job dealing with these but you can’t catch everything so look out for anything that looks too fishy either way.

- Orders in queue tell you how many people are ahead of you in line, a large number could mean a reduced chance of getting your gig completed early but it’s also a good sign that people like the product.

- You can also click their user name and see when the last time they were on Fiverr was, if it’s been a while you might want to look elsewhere.

Tip #2 – Carefully read the Gig details

I know that you have been thinking to yourself – “I really wish I could find someone to juggle a chainsaw and yell out my slogan”.  I think you’re weird, but it turns out Fiverr can help you out, your search is going to turn up Mr. Marcus, but you need to read the Gig title and and description very carefully so you know what you are buying and what is an extra.  Also, how would you know how professional the chainsaw juggling it is, if you didn’t read it in the description?!?

Fiverr Gig description

Gig Description

Tip #3 – Check the Samples

If you like the sample style, that’s your best indicator that you’ll like the style of your Gig.  Getting good at a particular style is one way that these sellers can turn jobs over so quickly and at such a great price.  To give you a good example of this, here are the samples from the wonderful artist that did my logo:

Fiverr Samples

Fiverr Samples

If a seller you are interested in doesn’t have samples, then make use of the ‘Contact Seller’ link right under the Buy Now button and ask to see some.

 

Tip #4 – Put extra effort into answering all the seller’s questions

When you purchase a Gig you are going to need to work with your seller so they know what you want, it’s your job to go over and above in answering any questions they have.  Let me repeat this – they are working for $5 (less since Fiverr has to get paid too) and that means you need to give them all the information they ask for and then go a step beyond!  Answer every question they ask you in detail, link to things you like, explain why, link to things you don’t like, explain why. I’m not saying write an essay or to micromanage, but if you want someone to do quality work for you for $5 then you have to put some time and effort into it too.

Tip #5 – If it’s not quite right – let the seller know

Sellers do not want that negative feedback and they do want happy return customers so if you didn’t get exactly what you wanted then go back and re-try tip 4 and let the seller know what’s wrong and give them a chance to fix it before you leave any negative feedback.

 

I hope these tips were helpful, and I’d love you to leave your own in the comments below!  If you’ve found this helpful then please sign up for Fiverr though this affiliate link, it will help support the site and everything you buy will still be $5!

 

 

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A Look At EA’s ‘Fly With Me’

Fly With Me

I’m lucky enough to play a game that attracts other game playing programmers, WeeWar. The game was recently bought out by EA and has been put on the shelf for now. A small group of dedicated players remains, and when one of them posted that they had a new game available on the iTunes App Store called Fly With Me, I happily handed over the $0.99 and picked it up.

Fly With Me

Fly With me is a fun little side-scroller where you control a bird and have to navigate through boards, chomping on bees to keep your strength up. The controls are simple, you just tap to flap, it’s the timing and animation that make the game challenging and fun. So much so that I have all 3 stars on all the levels, I’ve unlocked all the Game Center achievements and bonus levels (3 stars there too), got all the golden gears to unlock the super tough robo-bird, and as of the writing of this post, I hold the record for distance on all three of the challenge maps.

Fly With Me Challenge Mode

If you are looking for a fun game that is easy to pick up and play in short intervals, I highly suggest you pick up EA’s Fly With Me, and if you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comments!

iTunes page: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fly-with-me/id470425126?mt=8

EA’s page: http://www.ea.com/fly-with-me-ios

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A Year Without Posts, Now What?

question

What do you do when things get busy and your creative energies are being focused elsewhere? You cut back on things that aren’t as important or as interesting. I cut back on my online reading and playing with new start-ups – and, well here we are 1 year to the day and no posts. Maybe you are in the same boat as me? You like having a site and like that you’ve written some things that people still find useful, and have a few things you’d still like to write about?

What can you do to breathe a little life back into your site?

  • Set the bar LOW: Once a month is a crappy goal when you were cranking out 5 posts a week, but better than once a year!
  • Set a specific day: Put it on your calender, think about your post during your commute, type some notes on your break at work, have lunch at somewhere with wi-fi and crank out that post.
  • Get a buddy: Know someone else that is still posting away or even that isn’t and wants to get back to it? Have lunch with them and talk about posting or even write together
  • Reward yourself: Pick something small as a reward for yourself when you finish a post

I’m sure that there are a number of other things that people have done to get the ball rolling again and if anyone is still out there that has succeeded I’d love to hear about it.

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Happy Programmer Day 2009

Sorry about the Programmer Day Blog being down, I’ve botched something in my hosting settings that I need to track down. Russia has made Programmer Day an official holiday so we’re seeing a lot of interest this year. Check out @ProgrammerDay on Twitter and have a wonderful #ProgrammerDay!