Add Collaboration Features to your Website with a Line of Code

Tools like Google Docs include real-time collaboration features that let multiple people work on the same document or spreadsheet at the same time. Then you have screen sharing tools, or Chrome Remote Desktop for example, where there’s a master presenter and remote viewers can follow along.

Website with Real-time Chat
TogetherJS is a Mozilla project that brings similar collaboration features to your own website but without any coding. Once enabled, visitors to your website will be able to interact with each other on your site in real time.

They’ll able to see each other’s cursor (like in Google Docs), the clicks are highlighted and the screen content stays synchronized. Visitors will also have the ability to text chat and audio chat (using WebRTC) with each other while staying on your website. All this and more with a line of code.

Add TogetherJS to your own Website

To get started, all you have to do is insert a little JavaScript snippet anywhere on your web page(s). There are several configuration parameters available for the widget but we will use the default settings to keep things simple.

  TogetherJSConfig_autoStart  = true;
<script src=""></script>

This will add a little floating widget to your website that will be visible to all visitors. They can click the “+” button in the widget to generate a unique TogetherJS URL. Anyone who clicks this URL will be able to interact with each other on your page in real time. It can’t get any simpler.

I have put up a quick page where you can test TogetherJS capabilities. Click the “+” icon and send the unique URL to another person to chat in real-time.

Add TogetherJS to any Website

There’s more. You can add TogetherJS features to any web page on the Internet with the help of a bookmarklet.


This bookmarklet will load the TogetherJS library on the current web page and you can give the chat session a unique name. Another person can launch the bookmarklet on the same page on their own computer, enter the same session name and you’ll be instantly connected.

You can co-browse, watch each other’s activity or chat atop the page.

This story, Add Collaboration Features to your Website with a Line of Code, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 30/09/2014 under Bookmarklet, Web Design, Internet

Restrict Google Forms to only Allow One Entry Per Person

You have created a survey using Google Forms but people have quickly figured out a way to game your poll and tilt the results in their favor. They are submitting multiple entries, and because Google Forms will not record the I.P. address or the email of the form submitter, it is nearly impossible for you to separate the duplicate submissions from the genuine entries.

How do you restrict Google Forms to only allow a single entry from a user?

If you are a Google Apps user, you can always restrict the Google Form to accept entries only from users who are part of your domain and the response spreadsheet will then record the username of the form submitter. However if you have a regular Gmail / Google Account, you have another option now to prevent multiple form submissions from the same user.

While creating the Google Form, click the Settings bar and turn on the option that says “Allow only one response per user.” When the unique option is enabled for a Google Form, respondents will have to sign-in with their Google account to access the form. Their email address won’t be recorded in the response sheet but Google Form will not allow another entry from the same Google Account.

If someone tries to fill the Google Form again, a warning message will be displayed saying “You’ve already responded. You can only fill out this form once. Try contacting the owner of the form if you think this is a mistake.”

This is by far the easiest approach though it does put your Google Form out of reach of people who do not have Google Account or those who are skeptical of associating the email address with their form entry (though this association is completely hidden from the form owner).

Google Forms - Multiple Entries

This story, Restrict Google Forms to only Allow One Entry Per Person, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 30/09/2014 under Google Forms, Internet

How to Collect Email Leads from Twitter in a Google Spreadsheet

One of the best features of Twitter that is relatively unknown to most users is their Lead Generation cards. Your tweet, see live example, will have a button and when another Twitter user clicks the button, their email address is sent to your application (which happens to be a Google spreadsheet in this case).

Whether you are a small website owner or an event organizer, you can use these Lead Generation cards to easily collect email addresses from Twitter users who may be interested in your product. For instance, Twitter users can subscribe to your email newsletter with a click without leaving the Twitter website. Event organizers can use Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards to capture email addresses of people who may be interested in attending an upcoming event.

Integrate Twitter Lead Generation Cards with Google Sheets

The Lead Generation Cards are available to all Twitter users who have a Twitter Ads account – get yours at – and there are no costs involved. This tutorial explains how you can create a Twitter Lead generation card and capture all the email addresses in a Google Spreadsheet. Other than the email address, the screen name and the full name of the Twitter user is also collected in the spreadsheet. Let’s get started:

1. Prepare the Google Spreadsheet

The first thing we need to do is create a Google Spreadsheet that will be used to store the details of Twitter users. This sheet will internally contain a Google Script to connect the sheet and your Twitter card.

This is easy. Click here to make a copy of the Google Sheet in your Google Drive. Once the copy is created, go to the Tools menu in the sheet and choose Script Editor. Here choose Start from the Run menu and follow the wizard to authorize the script. Next choose Deploy Web App from the Publish menu.

Twitter Leads - Deploy Google App

On the Deploy screen (see the screenshot above), click the Save New Version button and change the access permission from Only Myself to Anyone, even anonymous. Click the Deploy button and you’ll get a script URL that you should note down somewhere as we’ll require it in the next step.

2. Create the Twitter Card for Email Leads

Go to your Twitter Ads dashboard, click on Creatives in the navigation bar and choose Cards. Here click the big blue “Create Lead Generation Card” to create a new Twitter Card. You can add a description to your card, upload a 800×200 pixel image that will show up with the tweet and give your button a name (Call to Action).

Next expand the Data Settings group and paste the Google Script App URL (that you generated in the previous step) in the Submit URL field. Choose the HTTP method as POST from the drop-down, agree to the terms and hit submit to create your first Twitter card.

That’s it. You can put the Card’s URL – see example – in a tweet and your Twitter followers will be able to share their email address with a click that is directly saved in your Google Sheet.

Twitter Card for Email Leads

Also see: Save #Hashtag Tweets in Google Sheets

If you are web developer, you can further enhance the Google Script to do even more advanced stuff. For instance, if you have published a premium PDF report, you can allow Twitter users to download the report after they choose to share their email address. The script will trigger as soon as someone submits the email address and it will send a mail to the user with the PDF attachment using the Gmail API.

This story, How to Collect Email Leads from Twitter in a Google Spreadsheet, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 26/09/2014 under Google Drive, Twitter, Internet

Get Quick Access to Most-Used Apps on your Android Phone

You probably have a few dozen Android apps installed on your phone but the number of apps that you may be using on a regular basis is likely to be small. A recent Nielsen report says that the average number of apps used by phone owners is just around 26 per month. Another Comscore report suggests that people tend to cling to a few apps they like and that nearly three of every four minutes spent using apps was in any of four preferred apps.

Now what is the best way to arrange your favorite apps on the home screen so that the apps you use most often are easily accessible? You can of course arrange apps manually or put them in the dock area but wouldn’t it be nice if the phone itself were smart enough to dynamically arrange apps on the home screen based on your own usage. There are apps that can help.

Android Apps on Home screen

Nokia, the company behind the Lumia series of Windows Phones, has created Z Launcher, a must-have Android app that helps you find anything faster on your phone be it apps, contacts or even websites. It places you most used apps on the home screen while everything else is just a scribble away. You also have the option of pinning apps to the dock area just like your standard Android launcher.

Then there’s Bar Launcher, a free Android app that will help you place shortcuts to your favorite apps in the notification area of your phone (or tablet). The big advantage with this approach is that you will be able to launch apps from any area of your phone with a simple swipe from top to bottom. There’s no longer a need to close the currently open app to launch another one – you can just open the notification drawer and tap to open.

I would also recommend Hangar. This is an open-source app that monitors how you use apps and places the ones you use most frequently on the home screen. Unlike the Z-launcher app, Hanger is a widget that you can place anywhere on the home screen and because it is resizable, the widget can display one or more rows of your most-used apps. You can also pin the most important apps in the widget or blacklist the ones that you would never like to show up on the home screen.

Also see: Essential Android apps

This story, Get Quick Access to Most-Used Apps on your Android Phone, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 25/09/2014 under Android, Software

My Online Income Report – August 2014

Passive income.  That’s why this blog was originally created, and it’s the reason I keep up with these income reports even if I’m not too actively engaged in my online business right now.

I’m in an interesting place right now where I’m actually very much involved and interested in my own career, which, as you might imagine, makes it a bit more difficult to run a business on the side.  In fact, this may be the first time in my 6-7 year career (post-college) that I’ve felt this way.  And I like it.

So, until I once again find a way to balance work and my side business (which I have no intention to give up on), new activity will be pretty light here.  In addition to keeping up with my monthly income reports however, I also still plan to interview other internet entrepreneurs, such as the interview I published here earlier this month with Tom Drake.

Let’s get right to the income report.

Freelance Writing Income

  • None!

Other Article-Related Income:


(Squidoo was actually acquired by HubPages, where all articles will be transferred to, so I’m not sure what the future holds here.)

  • Amazon: $2.11
  • Revenue Sharing: $0.00


  • Revenue Sharing: $4.45
  • Amazon: $0.00

Total Writing Income: $6.56

Lending Club

Lending Club, as I’ve written about many times, is one of my favorite online passive income sources, because I believe it’s my only source of truly passive income. What I mean by this is, once you select your investments (which only takes a few minutes), you sit back and collect the monthly payments which include a repayment of your initial investment + a relatively high rate of interest.

Now that I’m done saving for a house and wedding, I’m going to start getting back into investing some serious money into Lending Club and other similar passive investments online.  I’ll be writing more about these in the future, because I believe they can be a strong foundation for any passive income portfolio.

If you’re interested – here’s the strategy I have used to select my investments. It’s pretty simple, as you’ll find.

Here are the statistics for this past month:

  • Annualized rate of return: 6.09% (+.10% from the previous month)
  • Number of loans: 209 (+2 from previous month)

If you’re interested in trying Lending Club, you can sign up with this link and get a free account. Investments can be made for as little as $25. I am an affiliate for Lending Club, so if you have any questions about it, I’d be more than happy to answer them in the comments (or feel free to contact me by e-mail).

Prosper is another site where I invest, which is a social lending platform very similar to Lending Club.

Here are the statistics for this past month:

  • Annualized rate of return: 14.35% (-0.42% from the previous month)
  • Number of loans: 6 (+1 from the previous month).

It may seem that I’m doing much better here compared to Lending Club, but that’s somewhat misleading. Because I only invest in 6 loans (vs. 209 at Lending Club), and none of them have defaulted, my rate of return % is going to be very high.

I think I still prefer Lending Club to Prosper, only because you have more flexibility in choosing investments, and there is more transparency overall. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with investing on both platforms though; I will continue to do so.

If you’re interested, you can create a Prosper account here.

I haven’t touched these sites in a LONG time, so anything I earn here is a bonus.  Eventually, if the cost of the site (i.e. domain renewal) exceeds the annual earnings, I will get rid of them.

Here’s a summary of my niche site earnings:

  • Amazon: $7.82
  • $7.82
  • Chitika: $0.00
  • InfoLinks: $0.00
  • Commission Junction: $0.00
  • Total: $15.64

The Daily Interview

Although The Daily Interview still exists, I will now be publishing any new interviews right here on My 4-Hour Workweek.

Here’s what the site earned last month:

Undisclosed Authority Site

This site is inactive, but continues to earn a bit of money.

  • $2.71
  • $0.00
  • Total: $2.71

Slow Carb Diet Experiments

  • Amazon: $1.80
  • $1.16
  • Total: $2.96

Total Authority Site Earnings: $10.23

Here’s the breakdown for affiliate and other income earned during the month. [Note: This income comes from other sites not discussed/listed above, including affiliate sales generated through this blog.]

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings: $382.00

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of August’s earnings, organized by category:

  • Freelance Writing: $6.56
  • Niche Sites: $15.64
  • Authority Sites: $10.23
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $382.00

Grand Total for August: $414.43 (-$79.75 from July)

Although this total continues to be unimpressive, I’m happy with the fact that this income is 100% passive right now.  It’s nice to have a little extra cash flow each month (this amount alone could easily cover my car payment or groceries) to go along with the income I earn from my full-time job.

These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in August based on number of views:

1) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

2) Is CashCrate Legit? Here’s My CashCrate Review

3) My Online Income Report – July 2014

4) How to Make $2,000 Per Month Writing for InfoBarrel

5) Successfully Balancing an Online Business and a Full-Time Job with Tom Drake [Interview]

How did your online business and online projects perform in August?  Leave a comment and let me know!

If you enjoyed this income report, subscribe to the RSS feed (if you haven’t already) so that you don’t miss any future updates.

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Also, follow me on Twitter!

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My Online Income Report – August 2014

Save SlideShare Presentations as Animated GIFs

A new web called GIFDeck helps you convert any presentation hosted on SlideShare into an animated GIF file. All you have to do is specify the deck URL and the app will fetch the individual slides as images and stitches them all together in a single GIF that will auto-play and auto-loop.

Here’s a sample GIF created from a SlidShare presentation on Steve Jobs. The app only converts the initial 10 slides, probably to keep the size of GIF within limits, but you do have an option to queue all the slides of a deck for conversion.

Steve Jobs Quotes

While SlideShare does offer an HTML5 based option to embed presentations on external websites, the GIF based approach will still come handy in many situations. For instance, you can send your presentation in an email message – just drag the GIF in your Gmail compose window – and recipients will be able to scan through the deck right inside their email client.

Similarly, you can tweet the GIF or post it on Tumblr and the people can quickly view your slides in any browser or email client. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t support animated GIFs yet.

Internally, the GIF Deck app uses the GIF.js library to convert the individual deck images into a GIF image. The library supports all modern web browsers and it does the conversion in the client’s browser.

The only downside is that the generated GIF images aren’t optimized so if you are trying to convert an image-heavy presentation into a GIF, the image file could easily run into a few megabytes. The app’s source code can be found on Github.

This story, Save SlideShare Presentations as Animated GIFs, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 10/09/2014 under GIF, SlideShare, Internet

Successfully Balancing an Online Business and a Full-Time Job with Tom Drake [Interview]

As I mentioned when I announced that I am taking a break from The Daily Interview, I am still going to publish interviews here from time to time.

Today, I’m excited to bring you an interview with a blogger who I admire, Tom Drake.  He’s one of the models for how to succeed with your online projects while working a very busy full-time job.

Tom also has what I consider to be a pretty unique aspect of his business where he partners with other writers/bloggers and allows them to focus on what they’re best at.  The end result is that the business becomes more successful and profitable because of the value that Tom is able to add to the relationship.

We talk about these partnerships, Tom’s background, and more in the interview below.

Check it out!

Tom, I understand you have your hand in several different projects online, including a personal finance blog (Canadian Finance Blog) as well as other websites that you’ve either built or purchased. Tell us a bit about your background and your current projects. How did you get into blogging? What are the types of things your online business is focused on today? 

I wrote my first article online in 1996 and created my first website in 2000. Throughout my first decade online, I tried all sorts of ideas to try to make some money. The only remotely successful attempts included a site for Edmonton raves and selling PLR eBooks on eBay.

Then came 2009 – I was recently married, looking to buy a house, and knew we had our first child on the way.  All this happening at once made me suddenly very interested in my personal finances. So I started reading five Canadian personal finance blogs and started to think I’d like to add my own opinions to the niche. I wasn’t sure if I could make any real money, but I had recently read Make Sure It’s Deductible, written by Evelyn Jacks, so I figured at the very least there would be some tax advantages to starting a business.

After Canadian Finance Blog, I stared looking to expand by creating new sites and buying blogs. These sites all served different purposes, whether they were to help grow the personal finance community or give me some presence in the US niche. As I became more experienced, my interest has also spread to online marketing, blogging tools and even productivity tips, so those are the types of topics I cover on some of the newer sites.

Since I already have quite a few blogs, I need to find other ways to continue to diversify my business. Something I’m focusing on lately is spreading beyond just the traditional blogging. I recently started a live show and podcast with four other bloggers called the Money Mastermind Show.

I’m also doing my first attempt at public speaking at this year’s FinCon and soon I’ll be getting published in print regularly in a Canadian magazine named Money Magazine. I think these are important ways to extend the business and my brand.

What do you consider to be your greatest success (or successes) so far with your online business? 

I think the biggest success has to be the growth of Canadian Finance Blog. 2009 was a slow build, but then I started taking my site more seriously, networking with other bloggers, and looking for ways to improve search results and traffic. After the blog passed the two year mark, it was getting over 100,000 pageviews a month.

The site was pulling in enough money for a decent full time income, but since I was still working as a financial analyst, I put most of this money into site acquisitions and an army of staff writers to provide content for these sites. So not only did Canadian Finance blog succeed as a stand alone site, it was the cornerstone of me being able to expand the business of Drake Media Inc.

It’s impressive that you’ve been able to do a lot of this work online while still maintaining a “regular” job as a financial analyst. How have you been able to balance these online projects with your career in finance? Do you have any tips for people who may be in a similar situation and feel there is no time to build a business outside of work?

I work 60-80 hours in a week between my day job and my business. Gary Vaynerchuk said it best, “Work 9-5, spend a couple hours with your family, 7 to 2 in the morning is plenty of time to do damage.” Knowing the hustle he has, that quote is very inspiring. I heard that early on when I started my first blog and have pretty much kept that same schedule ever since.

Now of course it might not be great advice to tell people to run on so little sleep, but the best way to cram all that in is to be passionate about what you’re doing. If you’re not, it’s going to be hard to spend all your “me time” working on building your business, especially when it’s not making any money at first.

Tell us about some of the partnerships that you’ve built. How did you approach these bloggers/website owners (or have they all approached you)? Can you give us some specific examples of what you were able to do to grow their blog’s traffic and/or earnings?

The first person I partnered with was Jim Yih, and he deserves all the credit for the concept. Jim had been writing articles on his own custom made site for over a decade, but he didn’t like that the site had no ability to leave comments to interact with on social media, but any change to the site would cost thousands of dollars. So after writing for me for a few months, he came to me with the idea of a 50/50 partnership where he can focus on writing and I can handle the backend stuff like site design, SEO and monetization.

I immediately knew that this would be great for both sides, and now Retire Happy is bringing in 6-digit traffic, thousands of dollars a month in AdSense, and was named the best personal finance blog in The Globe and Mail; the top national newspaper here in Canada.

The next person I partnered with took a bit of work since she was used to getting paid upfront to write. Miranda Marquit is a well-known freelance writer in the personal finance niche, but she didn’t have her own blog. So I tried to convince her for months to start one with me, since all she would have to do is focus on writing, I could take care of the rest. I think I finally warmed her up to the idea when we first met in person at the very first FinCon.

So we started up Planting Money Seeds, which won a Plutus Award for best new personal finance blog. Since then, we’ve started up blogs touching on other topics, and Miranda now has 4 blogs and is also involved with me in the Money Mastermind Show!

The other partnership I’m in is with Kevin Mercadante, who was already running Out Of Your Rut for a few years, but wanted to be able to focus on his writing… both on his site and his growing freelance writing career. Kevin came to me asking if I’d be interested in partnering with him and I figured it was another great fit. Kevin is very similar to Miranda since they both primarily make their income from freelancing, and another great thing here is that his site had loads of content to work with already, it just needed some help.

So we got to work on new design and improved the SEO. The site had some problems with Google’s Panda algorithm, so I no-indexed some archive pages and deleted some unnecessary posts. We also changed the AdSense placement and made it blend better. On the next Panda update traffic doubled and the income increased almost 4x. This more than paid for the partnership for Kevin, not only could he focus on writing but actually ended up bringing in more money, even after the profit split.

In your experience, what are some of the biggest mistakes (or missed opportunities) that you’ve seen on other people’s sites with regard to monetizing existing traffic?

One of the missed opportunities that easiest to fix is ad placement. You can double your AdSense earnings by simply moving your block from the sidebar and into the content. Blend it similar to the text and links on your site and then start wishing you had done it earlier.

Also on the topic of ad placement, most affiliate banners in a sidebar or header are not going to convert very well, so why potentially distract a reader with them? If you want to succeed with affiliates, write an honest review instead, of even simple recommendations in other related posts.

Looking generally at building a business online: If you had to take your best advice or inspirational thought and put it into one sentence or phrase, what would that be? 

In a good business partnership, both sides will feel like the other is doing all the work.

What are your favorite online resources?

To handle as many sites as I do, I rely on a lot of tools. While I use some desktop and web-based software, most of the help comes from WordPress plugins.

A handful of plugins I have that help with social media include Digg Digg so readers can share, Hover Pin-It for popping up a Pinterest button on images, NextScripts for automatically sharing my latest blog posts, and WordPress SEO deserves a mention for supplying all the meta data to various social media platforms.

Some plugins can help improve the quality of your site, both for readers and as a signal to Google. Every couple months you can run Broken Link Checker, Plugin Performance Profiler, Plugins Garbage Collector, and Delete Revision, then disable them when not in use.

Finally, where can people find you online?

My primary blog is Canadian Finance Blog, but you can find most of them over at I’m also all over social media, including Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Tom!

Have you had any experience partnering with other bloggers?  What’s the experience been like for you?  Leave a comment below! :)


Thanks for subscribing to my feed! For more great content, check out my Muse Creation Newletter for tips, tricks, and ideas that I won't share on my blog.

Also, follow me on Twitter!

Thanks again!

Successfully Balancing an Online Business and a Full-Time Job with Tom Drake [Interview]

The 10 Things you can do with the Documents App for iOS

Readdle’s Documents 5 is one of my favorite iOS apps. It is completely free, without any ads or in-app purchases, and app is universal meaning it is optimized for both the iPhone and the iPad.

Documents App for iPad and iPhone

The Documents app is hugely popular on the iTunes Apps Store but do you really know about the different things you can do with this versatile app. For starters, Documents is a document viewer but if you are only using the app for reading your PDFs, you’ve only scratched the surface. Here’re a list of things that you can do with Documents on your iPad or iPhone.

1. As a document viewer and media player

You can use the Documents app to open a wide variety of files on your iOS device. It supports PDFs, images, common audio & video formats, Microsoft Office documents, EPUB ebooks and even HTML web pages.

2. For transferring files between computer and iOS

If your computer and iOS device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, you can quickly transfer files of any type wirelessly between the computer and iOS device without any limitations. Open the Documents app, enable Wi-Fi Drive under Settings and enter the provided IP address (or Bonjour name) in your computer’s browser.

3. Access your Cloud Storage

Documents can connect to your Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and other online storage accounts. Thus you can easily access all your files stored in the cloud from one place.  Single tap any file and it will download to your iOS device for offline access. You can even download and store entire folders from the cloud inside your Documents app with a tap.

4. Upload and Sync Files

You can can upload files of any type from the Documents app to your Dropbox or Google Drive by drag and drop. Long press a file inside Documents and drop it over any connected cloud account available in the sidebar. You can also enable 2-way sync so a folder inside Documents will always stay in sync with a specified folder in your cloud storage (or an FTP server).

5. Save Web Pages as PDFs

The Documents apps has a built-in web browser that, like Google Chrome, can save pages directly as PDF files while preserving the layout and formatting. Alternatively, you can choose the download the page as a raw HTML file or use the Web Archive format that saves the HTML, CSS and JavaScript in a single file.

6. Download Internet Files on your iOS Device

The web browser on your iPhone or iPad does not allow direct file downloads. Thus if you try opening a link that points to, say, a .WMV video or .RAR archive file, the browser would neither be able to handle the file nor would give you an option to save that file. You can however use the browser inside Documents to download any file from the Internet – just paste the file URL in the address bar and it will prompt you to save the file locally.

7. Mail more than 5 Photos

Apple has imposed a strange limitation in their Mail app and it won’t allow you to select and email more than 5 pictures from the Camera Roll in a single message. You can however get around this limitation with the help of Documents.

  1. Either allow Documents access to your Camera Roll, tap and select any number of pictures now and use the mail option to send the selected pictures via the Mail app.
  2. Alternatively, you can import pictures into a folder inside Documents, select them all and choose the ZIP option to create a single archive which you can attach to your email.

8. Move files between iPad and iPhone

If you happen to carry multiple iOS devices, you can use Documents to move files from one device to another. Open the app on both devices, go to Network and connect to the other device. It will be listed under Available devices when both your iPhone and iPad are on the same network. Now select the files and folders that you wish to send to another iOS device and tap upload.

9. As a text editor

While you are in the Documents app, tap the Edit button and choose “Text file” under the Create New menu. You get access to a notes editor that supports both plain text as well as rich text formatting. You can create text file as well as edit existing ones.

10. Fake your browser

Some websites may refuse to open on your iOS because they do not support Safari. You can easily get around this problem by opening the site inside Document’s browser and changing the user agent to a supported browser. This is a useful feature and is not available inside Chrome or Safari for iPhone and iPad.

This story, The 10 Things you can do with the Documents App for iOS, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 01/09/2014 under IPad, IPhone, Software

When You Cannot Reject a Friend Request on Facebook

You meet this person at the gym everyday and one fine morning, he sends you a friend request on Facebook. What do you do? You have exchanged a few conversations with him, he seems like a genuinely nice person but still you don’t know him enough to approve that friend request.

How do you deal with these unwanted friend requests on Facebook coming from office colleagues or old classmates who are acquaintances but not really friends?

When you receive a friend request from someone who you do not wish to be friends with, you can either politely reject the request or ignore it and the request will appear as pending in their timeline. Or when you have no option but to approve that request, you can click “Confirm” to add that person to your Facebook but put him or her in your Restricted list.

When you put someone in the Restricted list, they will be listed as your friend on Facebook but they’ll only see your photos and other posts that are public. In other words, they can only see stuff that your public followers can see except that they are friends with you.

To put someone in the Restricted List, go to their Facebook profile, choose the “Add to List” option from the Friends drop-down and select Restricted. Now they will only see your public stuff in their Facebook newsfeed.

facebook friend requests

This story, When You Cannot Reject a Friend Request on Facebook, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 30/08/2014 under Facebook, Internet

How to Sell your Music on the Internet

It is now easier than ever before to sell your music to a worldwide audience. I’ve been a musician since childhood, and while education, travel and then working for a living got in the way of my dream of becoming a guitar hero, I have never given up hope. Indeed, I’ve spent the last couple of years writing and recording an eclectic mix of songs. The next obvious step was to find some way to get them heard, which is where the advent of social media came into its own.

Sell Music Online

Where to Sell your Music Online

While MySpace is something of a musical backwater these days, despite Justin Timberlake’s intervention, it is still a place to post one’s songs and updates for a musically oriented audience. Much stronger and with a better sense of community though is SoundCloud. I began uploading instrumentals and songs to Soundcloud several years ago, but then opted for a paid account to get more comprehensive statistics as well as pretty much unlimited space for audio files.

Followers on SoundCloud are commonly fellow musicians and, as with all the other social networks, you get more out of them the more you put in — follow others, listen to their music and leave comments and more people will reciprocate. There is importantly also the option to add “buy” links to other services through which your listeners, audience, fans, even, might pay to download a track or two.

The first potentially profitable option I came across was ReverbNation. It is very similar to SoundCloud — you can create a profile and start adding your music, you can set a price or make it free to download. Also, you can either take all the profits after the site’s commission, or opt to share with a charity of your choice. In my case, I give a proportion of every sale to the Fender Music Foundation.

It may just be my experience, but ReverbNation seems a lot quieter in terms of community than SoundCloud and although I get a steady stream of profile views, few people seem to listen there. Moreover, ReverbNation messages users quite frequently with offers of music promotion, which seem to rely on one having paid for a “press pack” up-front.

The next site that appeared on my radar was BandCamp, which also lets you upload your songs and artwork and set a price. The big advantage is that your fans have the option to show their true devotion and pay more than the asking price if they really like a track or album. I have had some success with marketing on BandCamp, although, again I don’t think I’m ready to give up the day job just yet.

Sell Music on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play

Of course, in the music download world, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon MP3 and Spotify are the primary paid outlets and the most well-known among legitimate downloaders. Getting your songs and music album on to these music sites generally requires you to have proper music management and a record label but there are other ways to get listed as well.

The likes of music distribution platforms like CDBaby and TuneCore take an upfront fee and will act as a proxy for a record label to get your music on to iTunes and other online music stores. Your music uploads will appear in stores worldwide. These services, like Audiam also have a partnership with YouTube and you are paid a share of the ad revenue whenever your music is used on YouTube videos.

DistroKid on the other hand charges an almost negligible annual fee, does not take a cut of the profits and nevertheless allows you to upload as many songs as you like each year. It takes a few days for your tracks to propagate to iTunes, Google, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer and Rdio, but it is a very slick and simple process.

In addition, there is which is similar to DistroKid for getting your songs on to iTunes, Amazon, et al quickly and seamlessly, but with one important difference – it lets you upload and sell “cover” versions of other people’s songs by taking care of the licensing and royalties for the songwriter. The service charges no upfront fee but takes a relatively large cut of any profits from the download stores.

Music Distribution Services – Comparison

Service Upfront Cost Sales Commission Supported Music Stores
BandCamp None 15% of the total sales None
ReverbNation $19.95 per month None iTunes, Spotify, Google Music, et al
CD Baby $12.95 per single 9% of the revenue from music sites iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Beats Music, Shazam, Facebook, YouTube, et al
DistroKid $19.99 per year None iTunes, Spotify, Beats, Rdio, Deezer, Google Play, Amazon MP3 None 15% of the sales revenue iTunes, Pandora, Spotify and Google Play
TuneCore $9.99 per year per single None iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play, Spotify, and more.


Obviously none of these music services will make you a guitar hero if you do not have the musical chops and even if you do, you will have to spend a considerable amount of time marketing and sharing the links to see any substantial return. When I was a youngster, going viral was all about getting spots and feeling ill, today, I would be very pleased to go viral with Spotify and to get a spot on the iTunes charts. Rock on!

David BradleyDave Bradley (Wikipedia, Twitter, Blog) is an award-winning science journalist based in Cambridge, England, with a rekindled dream of becoming an online guitar hero in middle age. He has various recordings on the sites mentioned above including a full album of eclectic electric and acrostic acoustic songs on BandCamp.

This story, How to Sell your Music on the Internet, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 26/08/2014 under Music, Internet