Beat your agency – find the right colour image

Multicolr Search Lab helps to bring Flickr in line with some of the other more sophisticated image banks, to allow you to search and select an image by colour or combination of colours.

It’s fast, simple and absolutely works…

So the next time your agency tries to charge you a fortune to search for and then to buy an image, you may want to think twice. Many Flickr pictures are ‘creative commons’ images, which means then can be used within your online real estate, providing you attribute the owner of the image.

If you’d like to know more about how and when you can use Flickr photos, click here.

You can check out the colour picking application here.

Email marketing review and recommendations

With more and more email marketing providers coming online every day, it’s always hard to know which one to choose. There’s an interesting thread below from Linkedin which provides an email marketing review of a number of providers alongside user recommendations.

http://www.linkedin.com/answers/marketing-sales/advertising-promotion/internet-marketing/MAR_ADP_INM/311450-30317329

You should find plenty of useful stuff in there. If you have any other recommendations – why not post a comment below.

Keyword popularity – do you need to rank #1 in Google?

There’s a fascinating blog post by a company called Think Eye Tracking which compares eye tracking studies between users of Google between 2005 and 2008.

It raises the question over keyword popularity – and do you really need to be at number 1 in Google to clicked on by the majority of users. Certainly user habits have changed over the last three years, according to this study. I suspect this is because we have all become more familiar with the interface and with the way it displays results.

You can read it in full here.

Internet video advertising – are you in the game?

It won’t be a surprise to hear that Internet video advertising is more effective in terms of clickthroughs than the plain old banner ad.

According to research reviewed by ReelSEO.com, video ads are receiving between 4 and 7 times click through ratios than that of image banner ads.

Whilst clearly the creative and execution are important – viewers want to be engaged, even if it is just an advert, it is also just as important to get the functionality right. Play, pause and stop buttons are all essential. If you make the browsing experience disruptive, natural tendencies are to stop the video playing. If users choose to click play, then they are likely to watch up to 2/3 of the video.

Relevency also shouldn’t be forgotten here. Carefully placed, subject matter targeted video ads are still more likely to be clicked than random placement.

You can read the whole post here.

Website promotion tips – Blog or Podcast?

Clearly there’s no one simple answer to this complex beast of a question around website promotion tips but I spotted the question raised on Linkedin and it’s raised some interesting answers…

http://www.linkedin.com/answers/marketing-sales/advertising-promotion/internet-marketing/MAR_ADP_INM/314018-545271

How to retrieve deleted files

There are so many combinations and permutations of how files have been deleted and then how to retrieve them, I couldn’t possibly cover them all here, however I did want to make one quick recommendation, which has worked for me before now.

I’m going to make the assumption that your files aren’t sitting in the Recycle bin(!).

Your best bet is a to use one of two excellent free tools (remember Being Smarter’s ethos – we don’t like paying for stuff!) such as UndeleteMyFiles or Recuva.

Both pieces of software are really easy to use and let you locate and restore most deleted files, providing the data hasn’t been overwritten by new data on your harddrive, which could have happened if it was really full. Chances are it will be lurking behind the scenes, still on the disk, but out of sight from Windows.

Task manager software – Remember the milk

OK, before you shout – but I’ve got Outlook, why would I even consider another piece of task manager software, my answer is simple… work and home lives are interchangeable these days, Outlook and Exchange server are for work lives only.

How often do you find that you need to add ‘home’ tasks to your list when you are at work and vice versa? Outlook is normally not accessible just when you need it.

In addition, can your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/cousin/son/daughter add tasks to your todo list in Outlook? Not easily…

Remember the Milk is a fast-growing web 2.0 application which according to them is “The best way to manage your tasks online”.

ADD IMAGE

You can have multiple types of list, representing the main things going on in your life and in addition, each task can then be tagged to show you a tag cloud of what’s facing you.

The AJAX style interface is simple and intuitive to use and it follows you everywhere there is an internet connected PC.

Adding tasks is so simple… the application intelligently figures things out – ie “must call the doctors next tuesday” will translate to must call the doctors, and the correct date assigned automatically…

When you’re not in the office (or someone else would like to assign you a task remotely) then simply email the task to a predefined address and it will then appear within your task lists ready for action.

There are so many other pieces of functionality to mention it would take too long, and so the best thing to do is to go here, register and have a go.

I have been and still am an avid Outlook user, but for task manager software, I’ve been using RTM for a couple of months now, and haven’t looked back…

Search trends – how to get ahead of the curve

Always want to stay ahead of the curve within your business or one you’re thinking of setting up? There’s a handful of really cool new tools starting to come of age you should definitely take a look at which will help you figure out who’s searching for what – search trends:

1) Google Trends has been around for a while (although still in beta of course)! and will give you a rough indication of one keyphrase’s search term popularity vs another as well as showing you today’s hot tends.

2) Edopter is a ‘social trendcasting’ website which provides you with a whole host of the latest up and coming themes across many different segments.

The really cool thing about it is that you can actually start a trend yourself… How about Being Smarter?

3) Alexa is the definitive web resource on the top search trends around the planet. It’s fascinating to look at the movers and shakers too – the link’s buried away a bit – but you’ll find it here.

How to browse anonomously

It’s sometimes frustrating that certain content such as sporting events or music sites are blocked to particular countries. It is possible to mask your IP address, so that it appears to the web server you are coming from a legitimate country. Pandora is a good example of a site recently blocked to the UK.

There are two ‘spoofing’ tools I would recommend – all free if you use them lightly.

The Cloak

Anonymouse

How to switch off overtyping in Word

This problem relates to the insert key on your keyboard. It can come in handy when you really do what to overtype something, however nine times out of ten, you knock it by mistake and it serves no real purpose over than to annoy you and waste time.

You can disable the insert key when you are using Word 2003 or Word 2000. Richt click a blank area of the main Word toolbar and select “customise”. Then click the “commands” tab. Click the “keyboard” button and choose “All commands” in the “Categories” box on the left. In the “Commands” box, scroll down to “Overtype” and select this command. You’ll see “Insert” listed as the “Current key”. Click this and then click the “Remove” button.

Job done – no more annoying ‘insert by accident’ moments.