Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cool New Widget For Your Blog - LinkWithin

There is a really cool widget out there from LinkWithin.com for your blog that allows you to show related stories to your current blog post under each of your posts.

The widget captures a thumbnail picture from the related post and title and places it at the bottom of your current post. It says "You might also like.... "and then shows 3, 4, or 5 pictures of other posts from your blog.

If you look at the screenshot above from my Linda's Blog you can see 4 pictures and titles from other Linda's Blog posts of mine under "You might also like...."

Here's what the LinkWithin website had to say about their widget:

Show Related Stories Under Each Post! - LinkWithin is a blog widget that appears under each post, linking to related stories from your blog archive. Don't Let Your Past Stories Go to Waste! We retrieve and index all stories from your blog archive, not just recent stories, making them accessible to new or casual readers of your blog who would not otherwise encounter them.

Increase Pageviews, Keep Readers Engaged - The widget links to stories that are relevant and interesting to readers of a particular post, keeping them engaged with your blog, and increasing your traffic.

Elegant, Unobtrusive Design - Our widget is minimally styled and blends in with your site design.

Free and Easy to Install - The widget is free and ad-free. It takes a minute to get the widget up and running on your blog,
no signup required!

The widget supports Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad, and Other types of blogs. And, it allows for you to display 3, 4, or 5 pictures depending upon the width of your post area.

All you have to do is enter your email address, your blog URL, the blog platform (i.e. Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad, or Other), and the width (i.e. 3 stories, 4 stories, or 5 stories)and hit "Get Widget." Then just follow the prompts for your blogs platform. If your blog platform is "Other" then it will generate HTML code that you can copy/paste before the tag of your blogs template.

I added it to each of my Blogger.com blogs and it was easy to do. Just select Blogger as the platform and follow the prompts. For most of my blogs it added a module to my layout at the top of the sidebar just under the "Add A Gadget." I then had to move the LinkWithin module from my sidebar to just below my Blog Posts module as shown in the picture below:

If you want to keep your blog readers engaged and provide them with older posts they might also like then the LinkWithin widget is great for doing that.

It's a cool new widget. Try it and see for yourself.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Linda's How-Do-I Series? Shortcut Keys To Save Time!

Shortcut keys can be very useful when trying to quickly and easily maneuver around your keyboard or to copy/paste html code. They can be utilized using a combination of two or three different keys. You might use CTRL and a number or letter, CTRL and/or Shift, or CTRL and the arrow keys, backspace key, ALT key, or delete key. You might use the ALT key and a letter or number or function key.

For example, you might use CTRL S to save a file. In this instance you would hold down the CTRL key and then while holding down the CTRL key you would hit the S key.

You might even use CTRL ALT and DEL together to bring up the Windows Task Manager.

In addition to standard shortcut keys, you can usually determine the shortcut keys for most computer software programs by looking for the underlined letters in the drop down menus. For example, in the picture above the N, O, C, S, A, and L are all underlined. By holding down the CTRL key and then hitting the N key you would open the new file window. By holding down the CTRL key and then hitting S you would open the save file menu.
The following are standard shortcut keys that can be used on most computers:

CTRL + A - Select All
CTRL + B - Bold
CTRL + C - Copy
CTRL + D - Change Font
CTRL + E - Center Alignment
CTRL + F - Find a word in a file.
CTRL + G - Go to part of a file.
CTRL + H - Replace
CTRL + I - Italic
CTRL + J - Justified Alignment
CTRL + K - Insert Hyperlink
CTRL + L - Left Alignment
CTRL + M - Full Indent
CTRL + N - New File
CTRL + O - Open a file.
CTRL + P - Print
CTRL + R - Right Alignment
CTRL + S - Save
CTRL + T - Hanging Indent
CTRL + U - Underline
CTRL + V - Paste
CTRL + W - Close File
CTRL + X - Cut
CTRL + Y - Re-do Last Action
CTRL + Z - Undo
CTRL + Arrow Keys - Move from word to word.
CTRL + Backspace - Delete whole word to the left.
CTRL + Delete Key - Delete whole word to the right.
CTRL + ] - Font Size Bigger
CTRL + [ - Font Size Smaller
CTRL + F10 - Maximise
CTRL + 1 - Single Line Spacing
CTRL + 2 - Double Line Spacing
CTRL + 5 - One and a half line spacing.
CTRL + Enter Key - New Page
CTRL + Home Key - Go to start of file.
CTRL + End Key - Go to end of file.
CTRL + Page Down Key - Go to next page.
CTRL + Page Up Key - Go to previous page.
CTRL ALT DEL - Windows Task Manager
CTRL + SHIFT With Any Of The Arrow Keys - Highlights a block of text.
CTRL + ESC - Display The Start Menu
ALT – F - File Menu
ALT – E - Edit Menu
ALT – V - View Menu
ALT – I - Insert menu
ALT – O - Format Menu
ALT – T - Tools Menu
ALT – A - Table Menu
ALT – W - Window Menu
ALT – H - Help menu
ALT – F4 - Exit/Cancel/Close
ALT + TAB - Switch between the open items.
F3 Key - Search for a file or folder.
Windows Key + D - Minimise
Page Down Key - Scroll Down
Page Up Key - Scroll Up
Arrow Keys - Move Around Screen
TAB Key - Move from one box to the next.
Home Key - Go To Top Of Page
End Key - Go To End Of Page
SHIFT + Arrow Keys - Highlight
SHIFT + Delete - Delete selected item permanently without placing it in the Recycle Bin.
Print Scrn – Copies what is currently on the screen and saves it on the clipboard. You can then paste this into any art or picture program.
CTRL + TAB - Move forward through the tabs.
CTRL + SHIFT + TAB - Move backward through the tabs.

Microsoft Windows Shortcuts:

Windows Logo - Display or hide the start menu.
Windows Logo + BREAK - Display the system properties dialog box.
Windows Logo + D - Display the desktop.
Windows Logo + M - Minimize all the windows.
Windows Logo + SHIFT + M - Restore the minimized windows.
Windows Logo + E - Open My Computer
Windows Logo + F - Search for a file or folder.
CTRL + Windows Logo + F - Search for computers.
Windows Logo + F1 - Display Windows Help
Windows Logo + L - Lock the keyboard.
Windows Logo + R - Open the RUN dialog box.
Windows Logo + U - Open the utilities manager.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Linda's How-Do-I Series? What About Video's?

It seems like everywhere you look there are video's. Whether they are short video-clips, slide show video's, or streaming video you can bet there is a video for just about everything.

Videos have become so immensely popular that just about everyone is creating them and a whole slew of websites to support video content and sell video products have been created.

YouTube is the behemoth of the video craze and to show you the importance of this phenomenon Google paid YouTube.com 1.65 billion in stock to purchase it in 2006. And, because of this enormous popularity YouTube.com has become the BIGGEST website on the Internet.

What has been great about the explosion into video for artists and crafters is not only the ability to promote your business, but the ability for any artist and crafter to actually capture their step-by-step creation process and create a video product for you to either download onto your computer or video player or for them to sell you a DVD hardcopy version of their video. There are e-classes that are video's that teach you how to do everything under the sun or e-classes that are slide show type video's.

So, for a small business artist and crafter the question is "Should You Create Video's For Your Business?" Well, that is not a simple question to answer for a small business owner. It really depends on what you are selling and whether or not videos would help you to promote your business or establish new e-products for your business . It also depends on how creative you are.

Just like writing articles for a small business blog, creating videos to promote your business requires creative skill, thought, and, most importantly, organization. You can't just throw a video out there - not if you're a small business owner. You need to think about what your video is going to convey to your readers and/or customers. Does it compliment your products and your business? Or, is it a detriment?

If it doesn't enhance your business image, convey to your readers and/or customers who you are and what your product is, or generate future sales for you then you shouldn't be creating video's. You might create a video that generates a tremendous amount of traffic to your website, but if that doesn't translate into sales for you then you might not have the right video.

So, should you create video's to promote your business? Well, that depends on what you're selling, how much time you have to devote to your videos, and how creative you are.

In thinking about all this I decided to give video's a try as a promotion tool and set up a LWOrig channel on YouTube.com and added two slide show video's to it.

I'd been resisting doing this for quite some time. I'm not exactly sure what my rationale was, but maybe it had to do with the very nature of YouTube.com and the video's that were first placed there. Maybe I didn't see the small business and advertising potential for my online business at first.

Well, YouTube has become so mainstream that I decided I'd give it a try. Besides they didn't just have video's - you could also have slide shows, etc. And, in thinking about promoting all my websites and blogs I decided that video slide shows would be just the thing.

So, I created two of them without music to promote my Linda Walsh Originals business and my "faceless" doll creations. I decided not to add music as these were being used for my small business purposes not being created for personal use. I respect copyrights and didn't want to have a copyright or royalty issue by using music.

I created my video slide shows using Microsoft Movie Maker software (MSMovieMaker) and found that it was very easy to do. It actually took less time to create than it did to upload it to YouTube.com. Uploading was time consuming due to the size of the video's, but very easy to do from the YouTube.com website.

In fact, it was so easy to do that I decided I should add more video's to my LWOrig YouTube Channel in the future. If you'd like to visit my LWOrig YouTube Channel please CLICK HERE.

I don't know why I didn't create video's before as promotion tools as I can now see what a GREAT way they are to promote your business and what a wonderful small business tool they are. I have added either the video's or links to the video's on the sidebars of all my blogs and links to them on some of my websites.

I haven't tried creating video's a e-products such as, e-classes, e-projects, or e-tutorials as of yet. For those you really need to be organized and clear as to what you are going to demonstrate. If you are going to try an teach someone how to create something you need to approach your video with as much organization and attention to detail as you would with teaching a class. Your instructions should be clear and easy to follow and your video of good quality so your customer can understand what you are trying to teach them.

Before you begin you should have an outline as to what you are going to show or explain, a script for what you are going to say, all the supplies and tools needed to demonstrate what you are creating, and video or picture taking equipment. If it's a slide show video then the pictures are vitally important. If it's a video demonstrating how to create something then the backdrop of your video and details of shooting such as whether or not you are going to need close-up shots from time to time for your video become important.

So, now that you know a little bit about video's you might be anxious to start creating your own video's. before you do so you need to know what the Standard Video File Formats are?

There are many, many websites that allow you to upload videos which can pose a problem if you don’t know what the video file formats are.

Listed below are the more common video file formats:

(.WMV) Windows Media Video – Windows Movie Maker saves all projects as .MSWMM files by default. This file contains the layout of your project but not the video itself. In order to make your project into an acceptable video format you must use the Save File command and save it as a .WMV file or one of the other acceptable file formats.

(.3GP) Cell Phones – Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) - The most common file format for cell phones.

(.AVI) Windows - Audio Video Interleave - AVI files can contain both audio and video data in a file container that allows synchronous audio-with-video playback.

(.MOV) Apple QuickTime Movie – Macintosh file format. MPEG-4 Part 14 shortened to MP4 - A multimedia container format most often used for Sony's PlayStation Portable and Apple's iPod.

(.MPEG) or (.MPG) or (.MPE) - Motion Picture Editors Guild

(.FLV) FlashVideo File - A video file encoded to run in a flash animation by Adobe.

(.SWF) Shockwave Flash - Adobe Flash (previously called Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform distributed by Adobe Systems. Flash has become a very popular method for adding animation and interactive advertising to websites.

(.MKV) h.264 Matroska Video File - The Matroska Multimedia Container is an open file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks inside a single file. It serves as a universal format for storing multimedia content, like movies or TV shows.

Currently all of the above are standard video formats for YouTube.com.

So, "Should You Create Video's For Your Business?" Maybe, maybe not. It really does depend on what you are selling and whether or not videos would help you to promote your business or help establish new e-products for your business. A lot really does depend on how organized you are, how creative you are, what you have to say, and what your e-product would be.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Browser Distortion Once Again!

Last June I wrote a post on my Tips For Crafters On The Web blog entitled "Mozilla - Firefox Versus Internet Explorer" How Does Your Website Fare?

My post concerned using Microsoft "Publisher" to create my websites. At that time I was using Internet Explorer and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to update my websites.

When I checked last year 86% of my traffic was coming from Internet Explorer and 12% was coming from Mozilla - Firefox.

Shortly thereafter I switched to Mozilla - Firefox because I was having a horrendous time with Internet Explorer 7.0. It was SLOW as molasses, was freezing during printing from my blogs, and causing a multitude of other issues. After using Internet Explorer exclusively for over 30 years I'd had enough and made the switch. A year later I am happy to report that I'm delighted with Mozilla - Firefox and have had few, if any, problems with it.

I have found that Mozilla - Firefox, for the most part, is much more stringent on the HTML coding than Internet Explorer is so when I've made changes to my FTP websites using Firefox and then viewing them in IE everything has displayed just fine.

Well, something must have changed in Internet Explorer during the last few weeks as last week when I made some changes to my Everything E-Directory a friend of mine told me that some of the avatar links were not displaying properly. I was getting X's. YIKES! I hate x's!

So, I decided to check it out. Indeed, there were x's where two of my avatar pictures should have been and I was getting text boxes at the top of each page that shouldn't have been there. They disappeared once the page loaded, but were there initially. I didn't like that and knew there had to be something wrong in the HTML coding.

Well, after hours of work I finally resolved the problem in Internet Explorer and everything is now displaying properly. Mind you now, it was displaying correctly all along in Mozilla - Firefox. So now both IE and Firefox are displaying my websites correctly.

So, why am I telling you this? Well, if you are a small business website owner or blogger you might want to check your website and blog to see if both Internet Explorer and Mozilla - Firefox are displaying your website and/or blog properly.

Last year 12% of my traffic was coming from Mozilla - Firefox, with 86% from Internet Explorer and 2% from the other browsers. This year 19% of my traffic is coming from Mozilla - Firefox and 76% from Internet Explorer with 5% from the other smaller browsers.

So, why am I telling you this?

Well, if your website is displaying correctly in one browser it doesn't necessarily mean that it's displaying correctly in all the others. So far I've only been concerned with Internet Explorer and Mozilla - Firefox. For now, the others are really too small percentage wise to make it worthwhile to see if they are displaying properly and, if not, to spend the time to correct them.

I'm hoping that since I use Mozilla - Firefox and since it's pretty stringent on the HTML coding then I should be okay in the smaller browsers. However, I thought this would be true for Internet Explorer until recently. Obviously I was wrong about that. So, now when I make any changes I'm checking both.

Another reason I am telling you this is that from time to time in my blog hopping I have noticed that some of the blogs of some of the bloggers who deviated from the standard blog providers templates are not displaying as the blogger may have intended. In checking the blogs of several of my blogging friends who have gone to 3-column templates I have noticed that they aren't always displaying properly either.

So, the good news for Mozilla - Firefox is that it's certainly gaining ground over Internet Explorer. The bad news is that for small business owners who have websites and/or blogs on the internet it means more work. You need to see how your website and/or blog is displaying both in Mozilla - Firefox and in Internet Explorer. The % of users to Mozilla - Firefox is steadily increasing and to not have your website displaying properly in either one means lost business.

We'll check in next year around this time to see how both are faring. Happy browsing.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

What Are Podcasts?

In November of 2007 I wrote one of my "Tips From The Blogging Queen" columns entitled "What Is Podcasting and Should You Jump On The Podcasting Bandwagon?" which was about "Podcasting" which was gaining in popularity back then.

If you don't know what "podcasting" is it is a combination of the words IPod and broadcasting where you distribute audio and video material over the Internet using syndicated feeds like an RSS feed specifically for playback on portable digital players and personal computers.

However, you do not need to use an IPod to listen a podcast and nowadays do not even need to download the media file to listen to a podcast. Any computer that is capable of playing media files can listen to a podcast. Any anyone with a telephone line can create a podcast and become an Internet radio producer.

Some podcasts are simple downloads that you can download to your computer or digital players. Some are simple links within a podcast blog to the particular show that you click on and the podcast is played on your computer.

Syndicated podcasts allow for special software to retrieve the new shows when they are streamed and feed them automatically to the subscriber. Files are downloaded automatically by the podcatcher software and stored on the subscribers computer or other device for use whenever the subscriber wishes.

There weren't a lot of crafting podcasts back in November 2007 but there are many, many more of them now.

In fact, may crafters have started to create their own crafting radio shows and podcasting according to whatever schedule suits their needs on whatever topic they have and expertise. The podcasts are as varied as the crafters and can be on just about any subject.

Some of the podcasts are free and the podcasters offset the expense of running the podcasts with individual show advertising or button advertising on the home pages of the podcast website and/or blog. Some are syndication based and charge a fee for listening to each show.

You might wonder why you would want to podcast? Well, the answer is very simple.

Content has become extremely mobile and "podcasting" is allowing audio and video content to be delivered to portable media players on demand. This means that you can deliver audio and video content to your customers so they can watch or listen to it whenever they want and wherever they are. Content has become available anytime and anywhere.

Also, the way in which content is being delivered is also evolving. It used to be that only audio content could be podcast and required MP3 files to be downloaded into IPod's or personal computers where separate player software (i.e. Real Player) was used to play the audio files. You would click on the link and download the audio file. The audio file would then open up in your "player" and begin playing the file.

This started with music downloads and quickly evolved into "radio broadcasts" where anyone could broadcast if they had a microphone connected to their computer and sound recording software.

Now "podcasts" have become so sophisticated that your can broadcast audio and video content just about anywhere, anytime. Some broadcasters are now combining "podcast" within their blogs and creating what is known as a "blogcast."

The latter allows bloggers to post an article to their blog and include an audio or video "podcast" link within the post that can be played right from the post utilizing an inline audio/video player. Readers do not need to open up a new player.

With the evolution of podcasting hundreds of online radio show websites have been developed similar to social networking websites to allow podcasters to upload via a telephone line and create free, live, call-in talk shows. The talk shows are archived on the radio talk show website and made available as podcasts at any time. Listeners can subscribe to shows via RSS feed, play directly from their computer, or download to their audio readers. Some shows are free and some are syndicated for a fee.

Generally, the online radio show websites allow listeners access to thousands of shows, a social networking forum, archived shows, alerts for upcoming shows, the ability to group your favorite shows into a collection, and a listener profile page for adding text, video's, etc.

For podcasters the online radio websites generally offer the ability to create a free radio show without the need for software. Some may offer syndication revenue sharing, live chat capabilities to interact with listeners, multiple participants, archived shows, widgets for the podcasters websites and/or blogs, the ability to group their favorite shows into a collection, and a podcaster profile page for adding text, video's, etc.

"Podcasting" is not for everyone. Disadvantages include the fact that it does require practice and the ability to conceptualize what and how you want your idea conveyed to your listeners. Advantages are unlimited mobility and being able to convey your ideas to your listeners anytime and anywhere.

Graphic courtesy of ClipArtGuide at http://www.clipartguide.com/

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Are E-Books? E-Pamphlets?

I love to read and have loved visiting the public libraries since I was a child. I just loved roaming through the stacks of books or sitting and reading for hours on end and always wanted to have a study or library of my own.

I tend to prefer hardcover books versus pocketbooks as I always had a hard time reading the little print and nowadays always buy hardcover. I also tend to prefer books with lots of illustrations, pictures, and step by step instructions. Truth be told I also love romance novels, but we won't get into that.

So when e-books came into being I was intrigued. E-Books? What exactly were they and how would that work? For sure they weren't going to be hardcover books that you could hold and feel. I wasn't sure I was going to like them or that they would ever replace books as we know them to be

So, what exactly are they?

Well, an e-book is basically the electronic version of a print book. It can contain all the traditional sections of a regular print book and be quite lengthy or be a short pamphlet (like a how-to craft project book) - in which case I call it an e-pamphlet.

So, it's basically a book that can be transmitted digitally in .PDF format and either downloaded onto a computer, read via a computer, or nowadays transmitted into a reading device that could house multiple numbers of e-books. It was definitely intriguing thinking about being able to have a device that could contain LOTS of books in digital form.

E-Books have become a wonderful e-product for artists and crafters to either sell or give away for free. Most of the e-books that are sold by the artists and crafters are in .PDF format that can be downloaded similar to e-patterns once they are paid for and then saved to your hard drive and read by Adobe Acrobat. Like e-patterns they can be either e-mailed as attachments to an email or instantly downloaded once they have been paid for.

If you order an emailed E-Book then an Email with a .PDF (Portable Document Format) attachment is sent to you which you then need to download to your computer, save, and then open in Adobe Acrobat or download to a hand held reader device like Amazon's Kindle.

If you "instantly download" a single e-book then generally the .PDF file is instantly transmitted to you after payment has been made. You can then download, save the .PDF file to your computer, and then open it in Adobe Acrobat. Or, you can download it to a hand held reading device like Amazon's Kindle.

Or, if you "instantly download" several e-books via a website that uses a shopping cart (like mine) then a confirmation email with multiple download links is emailed to you once payment has been made. You can then download each of the .PDF files, save them to your computer, and then open them in Adobe Acrobat, or download them to a hand held reading device like Amazon's Kindle.

For some of the free e-books you can obtain them the same way or click on a link in a website and/or blog and it either opens up a new window containing the .PDF file or it opens the .PDF file directly and it becomes visible on your computer. Some free e-book designers utilize free downloading websites where you click on the download link to download the .PDF file to your computer.

If you'd like to see an example of one of my free e-books (or e-pamphlet) just click on the e-book image title at the top of this post or CLICK HERE. It's a FREE e-book from Linda Walsh Originals. The link will take you to the post that "How To Host A Folksy Family and Friends Bridal Shower" e-book is on in my Linda's Blog. 

 You'll be brought to Google Drive where you can view my free e-book. Then just download my free .pdf e-book by clicking on the down arrow in the top center.

For more information on all my free e-patterns, e-printables and e-books please CLICK HERE.

Previous to the creation of hand held book reader's, like Amazon's Kindle, all the e-books were created in .PDF format and downloaded as described above. Then came the hand held reading devices and a new definition of e-book.

According to Wikipedia.com; An e-book (short for electronic book, also written eBook or ebook) is an e-text that forms the digital media equivalent of a conventional printed book, often protected with a digital rights management system. E-books are usually read on personal computers or smart phones, or on dedicated hardware devices known as e-book readers or e-book devices. Many mobile phones can also be used to read e-books.

About a year ago I read a Newsweek article about Jeff Bezo's new Amazon Kindle device and I was intrigued. I wondered exactly what this was and wondered how this would work for e-books and craft books?

So, last year I thought I'd see how many craft related e-books there were for Kindle. Unfortunately, at that time they didn't have a lot of "arts & crafts" e-books as of yet, but I was hoping that would change. Well, change it did. In fact, the popularity of Kindle has just about EXPLODED.

As mentioned above I tend to prefer hardcover books with large print so, I was thrilled to read that one of the nice features about Kindle was that you could change the font size no matter what the book. Now - that's a TERRIFIC feature.

Plus, another nice feature is that when you buy a Kindle book your Kindle reader downloads the book and stores it in your Kindle library. Another TERRIFIC feature. Not only do I get large print, but I get my library - albeit a digital library, but a library non the less. And, the Kindle will actually read the book to you in some of the supported formats. Now, that's a nice feature, too.

I read recently that Amazon was going to allow Kindle Products to be read by other readers. That's a smart business move. You know that a product is doing well when a major competitor decides to enter the field and Google has announced that they are going to enter the e-book business.

If you'd like to know more about what Kindle is Wikipedia.com has a wonderful page on it HERE.

Kindle does support .PDF format and many other formats and has an email service ( for a small fee) so you can email .PDF e-patterns to your Kindle. For sure, you'd have to print the e-patterns pieces out from the e-pattern you bought and then email the e-pattern to your Kindle. I don't know if I can see myself setting the Kindle down next to my sewing machine and reading the e-pattern as I go along. Hmm.... Well, maybe the 9.7" version would work. Hmm....

I do not have a Kindle reader as of yet, but it's definitely on my wish list. I do want to find out how it handles arts & crafts books and when I finally buy one and download some of the arts & crafts books I like that are available I'll let you know what I think. I'll even try emailing some of my e-patterns to my Kindle and see how they look. If you have a Kindle reader and have downloaded some arts & crafts related books I'd love to know what you think.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What Are E-Patterns?

Things have changed when it comes to craft patterns. Progress is actually being made in this area and e-patterns are all the rage. In fact, they are the way of the future for craft patterns.

What are E-Patterns?

Well, they are complete patterns sent to you over the Internet as a .PDF (portable document format) file which can be downloaded directly to your computer. Instead of being mailed to you via the U.S. Post Office they are either sent to you via Email or you can download them directly yourself (i.e. instant download e-patterns). No waiting for the postman to arrive anymore. Or, worrying that the dog is going to bite the postman.

Why would you want to order E-Patterns?

First of all, you save time and money (both of which are a rare commodity these days).

Time because you either get them instantly or you get them emailed within 24 hours.

Money because E-Patterns generally COST A LOT LESS then regular patterns mailed via the post office.

Secondly, you can view or print them anytime you want with the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader (FREE download available at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html ).

What do you get with an E-Pattern?

That really depends on the designer of the e-pattern, but basically, you get the whole pattern just like it had been mailed to you, only it is sent to you electronically.

Instead of receiving the whole printed pattern in a plastic envelope via the post office you’ll receive the whole pattern electronically (minus the plastic envelope, of course).

How does it work?

There are several ways for you to get them.

For e-patterns that you purchase you can either order an e-pattern that is sent to you as an email attachment or you can "instantly download" an e-pattern yourself.

If you order an emailed E-Pattern then an Email with a .PDF (Portable Document Format) attachment is sent to you which you then need to download to your computer, save, and then open in Adobe Acrobat.

If you "instantly download" a single e-pattern then generally the .PDF file is instantly transmitted to you after payment has been made. You can then download, save the .PDF file to your computer, and then open it in Adobe Acrobat.

Or, if you "instantly download" several e-patterns via a website that uses a shopping cart (like mine) then a confirmation email with multiple download links is emailed to you once payment has been made. You can then download each of the .PDF files, save them to your computer, and then open them in Adobe Acrobat.

For some of the free e-patterns you can obtain them the same way or click on a link in a website and/or blog and it either opens up a new window containing the .PDF file or it opens the .PDF file directly and it becomes visible on your computer. Some free e-pattern designers utilize free downloading websites where you click on the download link to download the .PDF file to your computer.

To view and print the E-Pattern you need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher. If you don’t have it the Adobe Acrobat Reader don't worry. It’s a FREE download from Adobe. Just go to http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. The current version is Adobe Reader 9.1.

If you already have the Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher then all you need to do is download the .PDF file attachment from your Email, save it, and then open it to view it. It will open in the Adobe Acrobat Reader program. You can then re-save it, view it or print it from Adobe Acrobat Reader.

I have hundreds of free e-patterns, e-printables, and e-books on my Linda's Blog My Free E-Patterns, E-Printables, & E-Books page.   Just click on one that interests you and follow the prompts or click on the title below for my free Hang-10 Bunny E-Pattern.

To view and download my free e-pattern please CLICK HERE. You'll be brought to Google Drive where you can view our free e-pattern. Then just download our free .pdf e-pattern by clicking on the down arrow in the top center.

For more information on all my free e-patterns, e-printables and e-books please CLICK HERE.

Once you get the gist of it - it's really very simple. Almost a piece of cake.

If you love patterns and e-patterns just think of how many you can save on your computer. THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of E-patterns stored on your computer!

No more cluttering up all the drawers in your house. No more hundreds of boxes or plastic containers all over the house. Not only can you get your craft patterns right when your creative juices are flowing, but you also get less clutter and pattern organization. Progress really is being made.

And the best part of all, you can REPRINT the pattern sheets OVER and OVER and OVER again.

No more taping worn paper again. No more photocopying pattern sheets at work. REAL progress is being made.

Now, if we could just get a woman elected president. Now that would be REAL progress. Stop dreaming, Linda.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What Are E-Products?

You may have heard the term E-Products and E-Commerce and might be wondering exactly what they are and what that is?

Well, E-Commerce is simply the buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet (i.e. the World Wide Web or www). E-commerce and E-business are used interchangeably and stand for the same time.

E-Products are products which can be digitally encoded then transmitted electronically over the Internet. In effect, an e-product is a digitized product that is sent electronically from the seller to the buyer via various file formats. The formats can be read on a computer screen, read and opened using various types of software, transmitted and opened using a specialized device like an MP3 player or Kindle, downloaded for use in graphics programs, or read using a special reader such as the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader. Most new computers come with the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader already installed.

For online retail selling, the term E-tailing is sometimes used and refers to E-goods or E-products.

Anything that can be digitized can be an e-product. For example, an e-pattern is a regular pattern that is created in .PDF (i.e. Portable Document Format) format so it can be read and transmitted digitally over the computer. It looks exactly the same as a print pattern would except it's viewable over the computer screen and is stored in a computer file instead of being stored on paper. It can be saved to your computers hard drive and printed via the printer connected to your computer. It is sent to you via the Internet versus via the U.S. Post Office.

So, what else could be an E-product? Well, there's a lot. So, hold onto your hats!

You can have E-books, E-article, E-cards, E-comics, E-classes, E-magazines or E-zines, E-graphics, E-printables, E-patterns, E-photo's, E-software, E-artwork, E-video's, E-music, E-websets, E-labels, E-tags, E-templates, E-catalogs, E-brochures, E-pamphlets, E-doodles, E-stitcheries, MP3 files, podcasts, etc.

E-Products can be sent as attachments to an email or they can be "instantly downloaded" by the customer themselves after they are paid for. Or, once they have been paid for they can provide a link to an otherwise password protected website such as for an e-class.

If you are thinking of selling online and have products that are conducive to being digitized and sold then you should seriously consider selling them as e-products.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Twitter Dee and Twitter Dumb!

If you are a reader of my Linda's Blog then you know I just LOVE to experiment with new websites, widgets, applications and gadgets for my blogs.

Well, for the past few weeks I have been learning the ins and outs of Facebook.com and all the applications that have been written to interface with it. One of the applications that I have been using for awhile is Twitter.com . I have had the Twitter widget on the side bars of all my blogs for awhile so that I could update my "Latest News From Linda" modules with one Twitter comment otherwise known as a Tweet.

With my new interface with my Linda Walsh Facebook.com wall I have found myself Tweeting more and more. Actually I have found myself spending way too much time on Twitter and Facebook, which is a story for another day.

If you are not familiar with Twitter.com I should tell you that it is a social networking service (i.e. Internet community) that allows you to post instant text-based messages (i.e. Tweets) up to 140 characters per post to the Twitter website and your profile page. It retains all your messages and lists them in a continuous stream under your profile page. The text-based messages are sent via Instant Message services, email, via RSS feeds, via any one of the various Twitter interface applications, or to your mobile phone to other users who have signed up to receive them and/or that are following you.

They also have many widgets now that you can add to your blogs or websites that can be customized as well. I used the basic Blogger.com Twitter widget so that it would add the module to the sidebars of my various blogs using the style of that particular blog. If you want to see what they look like just go to any one of my blogs and scroll down the sidebar until you see the module entitled "Latest News From Linda."

The Twitter widget lets me determine how many of my instant messages I want to display (right now I have 5) and provides a link to my profile page at Twitter.com.

Besides the latest NEWS any time I use one of the Twitter applications that I have signed up for it will automatically update my LWOriginals Twitter stream, which also updates to my Linda Walsh Facebook.com wall. Now how cool is that? Better yet - how wonderful for saving me some time!

Besides spending too much time on Twitter and Facebook I have been trying to investigate all the various applications that have been written to interface with Twitter and/or Facebook or both. There seems to be hundreds if not thousands of them.

Some of the applications are organizer programs that you can download to your desktop to organize all your Internet communities into categories of your choosing. Their aim is to speed up the time you are spending on the more well known Internet communities you may belong to.

Others are directories whose aim is to make you more visible on Tweeter or groups that help you to network and connect with your friends or other individuals with similar interests.

I am hoping that one of these applications may help me as I know that I have been spending way too much time doing this. After I've investigated the different applications, directories, and groups I'll let you know what I think.

Of course, I'll also Tweet about it so if you're a friend of Linda Walsh on Facebook.com or are following LWOriginals on Tweeter.com you'll already know.

Twitter Bird Courtesy of ProductiveDreams.com

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tips From the Blogging Queen - Column 20 - Should You Join A Team Blog?

Last September in my TFTBQ Column 19 our definition was "Group or Team Blog." This is a blog maintained by two or more bloggers. Also known as a team blog. Our question was -"Should You Join A Team Blog?"

If you are a small business crafter on the web you probably know that networking is very, very important to getting your website and/or blog seen. Not only has networking blossomed from communicating and mingling with friends with the same interests, but has mushroomed into multiple ways in which to promote your websites and/or blogs.

You can join any of the thousands of social communities out there, become an active member of any of the thousands of online forums, or participate in groups with your interests. You can write FREE articles and gain a following on any of the FREE articles content websites. You can even create your own channel and video's on YouTube.com that other viewers can add to their favorite video's play lists.

You can gain followers on Twitter.com and update them minute to minute with what's going on. Or, become a member of Facebook.com and provide updates to your network of friends. Plus, if you set up a business page for your website and set up a networked blog page on Facebook.com you can update your fans with what's going on with you and your business. You can join any of the hundreds of blogging networks and communities and add "friends" or "admirers" of your blog.

And, you can even become a member of a "team blog" which is nothing more than several people writing posts for the same blog.

Team blogs are usually centered around a common theme or idea. They might contain content about any number of different crafts or interests for the members of the team. They might even be formed by any one of the various clubs you might belong to and used for updating the other members on the various activities of the club and its' members. Team blogs are even being used to create monthly e-zines.

They can be very helpful and versatile for promoting your interests, products, website, and blog and may be maintained by one or several of the team members. Posts may be contributed individually by each of the team members and published by each or they might all be filtered through a team leader who publishes the posts and maintains the blog.

The advantages are that they are being maintained by more than one person and therefore updated more frequently. Less pressure for you to constantly be coming up with a post for your blog. Plus, with more members of the team promoting the blog the wider the spectrum of readers.

The disadvantages are that they may be being maintained by more than one person or persons who may or may not have your posting style and posting demeanor. You might like your blog posts and blog to be maintained in a certain way and style and might not like the style of any one of the team members. Plus, with a wider spectrum of readers comes a wider circle of connections that you may or may not like for your small business image.

It may seem confusing that the advantages of team blogs and disadvantages of team blogs are, well, basically the same. Team blogs can be very beneficial to helping you to promote your website and/or blog, but like everything else on the web it's important to know who the other team members are, what their style is, and who their audience is before deciding to become a member yourself.

Are team blogs beneficial? Yes!

Do they help promote your small business and/or interests? Yes!

Should you join a team blog? If the team blog is conducive to your small business and will help promote your small business to a wider audience then after a careful review of the other team members - yes!

"Tips From the Blogging Queen" Column 21 Definition - "Labeling and Categories"
This is a method of organizing blog entries by assigning each entry to a predetermined label. Each label will link to a list of entries, all with related content. See also "categories."

Be sure to tune in to my TFTBQ Column 21 "Should You Label Or Categorize Your Blog Posts?"

Copyright © 2009 - All Rights Reserved - Written By Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals and Linda's Blog. Linda is a doll maker and doll pattern designer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's Time For Me To Be On Facebook.com!

Linda Walsh's Facebook profile

You're going to think I'm crazy, but I've been playing again. This time it's on Facebook.com.

I learned of Facebook.com several years ago from my granddaughter when she was in college. It seems it was the website for all the college kids to have to introduce themselves, get to know their roommates and other students at the college, etc. At that time it was really just for college kids.

Well, that was then and now is now. Facebook.com has suddenly grown into a behemoth of a website that everyone and anyone needs to have a page one. It seems like it is THE PLACE NOW to get your name and/or business out there. So, since a few of my Internet friends were all joining and setting up their pages I decided to join in.

Well, I have to tell you that I like certain parts of Facebook and there are parts I don't like. There's a LOT there, but I found that it wasn't that easy initially to maneuver your way around especially from your personal page to your fan pages, which is where you would set-up a page for your business. For some reason they like to keep the two separate.

I did love the fact that they had networked blogs. I could add all my blogs and have all those blogs be followed by all my friends if they wanted to. Plus, I could see all the blogs my friends were following and add them to my list if I wanted to. In addition, if your blog has enough followers then every time you post something to your blog the RSS feed is automatically added to your profile wall.

So, I set-up a Linda Walsh page. If you'd like to visit my public profile page please CLICK HERE. If you want to see my detailed page you'll have to become a member of Facebook.com and then request to become a friend of mine.

If you do decide to become a member of Facebook.com and a friend of mine please visit my profile page, then click on my "INFO" tab, then scroll down to Pages and click view all. Then just click on my Linda Walsh Originals page to become a fan of my Linda Walsh Originals page on Facebook. Just CLICK HERE and then click "Become A Fan" in the top right hand corner box.

I set-up fan pages for my Linda Walsh Originals website, my Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns website, my Linda Walsh Originals Dolls website, my Gray Is Beautiful Gallery, my Linda's Bookstore on Dolls and Doll Making, my Linda's Bookstore on Crafts and Craft Making, and my Top Blogs By Crafters toplist. You'll find them all listed under the "View All" section of the Pages part of my INFO tab.

CLICK HERE for my Linda Walsh Originals page at Facebook.

CLICK HERE for my Top Blogs By Crafters page at Facebook.

I hope you decide to become a member and become a FAN of my pages. See you on Facebook.com.