By Chris Lema
Want the good news?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve discovered how easy it is to use Paypal. Everyone understands it now (after many years of it being around), and people “get” that they can make a payment even if they don’t have a Paypal account. So maybe you’ve set up an e-commerce solution and linked it to Paypal. Maybe you’ve used it for a small non-profit to accept donations. Maybe you’ve noticed that a lot of plugins support it – especially those membership ones that you want to use on your member-based, content-protected site. Well, the good news is it’s easy and everywhere.
There’s bad news coming, right?
In order for Paypal to put money into my account, it also has to have the right to take money out of my account. I get that. You get that. We all get that. But there’s some basic logic to the process, right? Take money out when I want to pay for something. Put money in when I am paid for something. It all seems so basic. But from the beginning of Paypal’s history, they were dealing with fraud.
So logically, they implemented a feature that lets them put a hold on your funds for a period of time in case there are refund requests. I get that. I don’t love it. But I get that. They hold a portion of the funds for 90 days and then it’s yours.
But what happens when that portion isn’t small? What happens when it impacts your business? You get a little bit screwed. I know, crass language, but hey, it’s not a nice feeling.
Wait, does it get worse?
If frozen funds is all that was going on, I’d be unhappy with Paypal, but I wouldn’t hate them. But it gets worse – way worse.
This past December, on a family trip to Disneyland of all places, a full week after someone had paid me for services rendered (not the sale of a refundable product), Paypal decided it wanted some of my money.
This was after they’d already put it into my account. So what did they do?
They went into my checking account and grabbed 70% of the funds that had been paid to me. Yes, $700 dollars were yanked out. Without notice or approval. Without complaint from the customer.
Apparently Paypal wanted more funds in their accounts for the holidays.
So I switched to Stripe
Congratulations to Books of Discovery and many thanks to Chad Mark for releasing the new AnamtomyMapp Adroid App. For more information and download, please go to: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.booksofdiscovery.anatomymapp
by Drew Coffin
Designers love their software. From using Gimp to Photoshop, designers spend hours crafting on the computer. Unfortunately, many designers neglect an important design tool: sketching by hand with pen and paper. Drawing by hand can bring clarity to the design process and help designers generate ideas, get organized, and visualize their concepts.
Additional Tips for Using Pen and Paper
As you develop your design on paper, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Sketch, don’t polish. Keep your designs rough and unpolished on the page. This makes it easier to scrap ideas, start over, or make changes without feeling like you wasted time. Use your pen and paper to design, use your software to produce.
- Embrace chaos. Let your ideas flow freely from your brain to the page. Don’t worry about keeping things neat and tidy. Focus instead on getting your ideas down and organized.
- Don’t be afraid of mistakes. If you make a mistake, embrace it. Draw over it or write yourself a note, but don’t scrap the entire page. Look for ways to innovate with your mistakes. Sometimes great ideas are born from mistakes.
- Carry your designs with you. Keep your sketches and ideas in a notebook and take it with you when you go places where you might have new ideas. You never know when an idea will hit you.
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Have you ever visited a website you loved and found that everything on the user interface has changed? When a company wants to improve their website experience for their users, they redesign the interface. However, sometimes those good intentions end up backfiring, and users get upset with the new changes. User backlashes often happen with site redesigns because companies don’t test their interface before they redesign it.
You can’t satisfy everybody when you redesign a site. However, if most of your users are complaining and petitioning to bring the old design back, you definitely haven’t thought enough about how your redesign will affect your users. The old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” should come to mind when you’re thinking about a redesign. Too many companies are blindly redesigning their sites without knowing what’s broken.
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by Kunle Campbell
You may have noticed that when you carry out a search on Google, some results tend to show only the page title, the page URL, and a short snippet — usually the meta description — from the page. Others, however, have something extra: rich snippets.
All results from the examples above have had specific bits of their content marked-up by “micro-data” for search engines to display them on their results as “rich snippets” as well as the names of the authors from Google+.
Google offers extensive support and documentation for rich snippets and strongly advises the adoption of schema.org — a mark-up vocabulary that Google, Bing, and Yahoo search understand. Google displays rich snippets in its results for varied content types: reviews, video content, recipes, events, music, ecommerce products, companies and people.
This article focuses on rich Snippets mark-up for “people” using Google+ Authorship that works alongside articles and blog posts.
by Drew Coffin
Finding high-quality images can be difficult, especially if you are trying to do it on a budget. Here are four sources for free, high-quality stock photographs.
Stock.xchng (SXC) offers a wide variety of high-quality, high-resolution photographs. The SXC library also includes illustrations and clip art.
MorgueFile offers a very simple interface for finding photos. Unlike most stock photography sites, morgueFile provides images specifically for use in derivative work, where an image is altered or customized. If you are looking to use an image as is, morgueFile suggests contacting the original photographer.
If you don’t mind providing attribution, Pixel Perfect Digital is a good resource for more polished stock photography. All Pixel Perfect Digital images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license, allowing you to edit and use photos commercially, provided you credit Pixel Perfect Digital for the photo.
Everystockphoto is a stock photography search engine that pulls from stock photo sources around the Internet, including Flickr, NASA, Wikipedia, morgueFile, and Stock.xchng. One of everystockphoto’s most useful features is its advanced search, letting you narrow your search results by a number of factors, including resolution and license.
by Andy Curry
Far too many businesses put up a website thinking it will automatically generate customers. It is a “build it and they will come” mentality. But there are many factors that make a website profitable or not.
Search Engine Optimization
First, if nobody sees your website, then you won’t generate any income from it — period. It won’t matter how pretty it is, how low the prices are, or how unique the merchandise is. It will fail.
So before you build a website, it’s imperative you understand what it takes to get it seen by actual people who are looking for what you offer. Getting your site findable is done with a process called search engine optimization.
You should review your competitors’ websites, for ideas. See what you’re up against and how you can beat them. The best way to do that is to search on Google for the best keyword search term you’re considering and look at the top 3 to 5 websites. Study them. See what they’re saying. Look for things you can do to emulate their success. Look for where they’re hurting themselves so you can avoid it.
Two Case Studies
As Google develops and becomes increasingly “personalised”, we take a look at Google Authorship mark up. By using rel=”author” and rel=”me”, you can enhance the way the SERPs display your content and put your name and face to your work – the photo is taken from your Google+ profile. There are, of course, plenty of “how to” guides on the topic but even the official Google guide is over-complicated. This will help you add Google authorship markup, quickly and easily.
What is Rel=”Author” and Why Should I Use it?
If you are a frequent blogger or writer, you can claim your hard work as your own and build a reputation for being an expert on your subject. Basically, by adding more information, Google can provide users with trusted authors. In turn, these authors will benefit from greater exposure and returning readership. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want their name and a cool little picture of themselves next to their work?!