Explaindio Tip : Moving Animated Characters Between Slides

Hello Explaindio users!

You’re all familiar with the animations that come built into slide packs in Explaindio.  They’re great but what if you’d like to use one animation inside a slide that it doesn’t belong to?

It’s not that difficult to do …. in fact, it’s easy!  Everybody has access to the character and object animations inside each slide.  They’re .swf files and can be found right inside the Explaindio application contents folder.  Once you can grab the file you can then import it in any slide that allows images to be added.

When you know how to do this, Explaindio will be an even more useful creative tool for you.

Convert An SWF File To An Animated GIF and MOV file Using Photohsop

Explaindio and Video Maker FX users have access to dozens (hundreds for those who get monthly slide packs) of .swf animated images.  They’re accessible to everybody right inside the applications content folder.

How useful would it be to be able to convert those animations to file formats that can be used in other software?

You all know I’m a huge fan of using animated gifs in PowerPoint and .mov files are great for screencast software like Camtasia or Screenflow.

So let’s take a look at how to work some magic on those .swf and open up a world of other possibilities!

For this tutorial, you’ll need to download a free piece of software called SWFRenderer .  Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of the page for the unsupported (and free!) older version.

Once you’ve got that installed, Photoshop will do the rest!

Blog Stats Infographic Template For Facebook

Followers love to see how a blog they’re a fan of evolves and what better way to show them than with an infographic?

I’ve created a PSD template to showcase your blog stats. It’s easy to edit.

Simply add your own colours, logo and stats and then go share your blog awesomeness with the world.

infographic-blog-preview

Is The Gmail Promotions Tab Killing Internet Marketing?

promotional-gmail-tabs

So what do you think about Gmail’s inbox tabs? Scary stuff for marketers, right?

It’s difficult enough to get emails opened when they are in full view, but now there’s an additional hurdle; hoping your customer will bother to look inside the Promotions tabs. I mean, seriously, who willingly goes looking for spam?

So with such dramatic changes to how your emails are being received, you’re probably imagining doomsday stats of 0.1% open rates right now.

(If that’s your current open rate … … awkward silence!).

But just how freaked out should you be?

Continue reading…

day6

Outsourcing A WordPress Plugin Case Study Day 6

Outsourcing A WordPress Plugin Case Study Day 6

Day 5 and 6 have been about working out a couple of problems with the plugin and also working on styling issues that will determine how the plugin will look on the front end of blogs.

The deadline has just passed and the plugin while almost there, is not yet complete.  In fairness to the my coder,  I wasn’t around as much over the last couple of days to answer his questions.  He had some slight delays on his end too but nothing significant.   I also had to give some thought to one particular part of the plugin, that wasn’t working as I would have liked.  This related to limitations with the sharing options for the plugin.  I had to compromise on this.  I haven’t had one plugin developed where I didn’t have to compromise somewhere.

I can’t stress how important it is for your coder to be accessible to you and open to understanding your vision for your plugin.  To do this, they will need to be competent and enjoy their work.  I’ve worked with many coders.  I’ve had bad communicators, excuse makers, money hunters and lots of unethical types.

When you find a good coder, you’ll know it. It may take many months.  I’ve been hiring coders for 6 months now, having hired posssibly more than 30 coders for various projects (up to as many as 6 to finish one project, becasue I got unlucky and got 5 bad coders in a row  … bad karma!).

Right now, I have three coders whom I trust completely.  They are professional and experienced.  They may not be the cheapest but I would rather pay more for a project to turnaround on time and on budget than try to find cheaper coders and wind up having to hire six and still pay more in the end!

That said, I will always have a budget in mind for a project and I’m not afraid to go hunting for some more great coders. They are out there. Don’t be afraid to keep looking until you find one.  I’ve heard people say they won’t look for freelancer coders because they’ve been ripped off too many times.  As a result they don’t tend to get products developed.

It happens, I’ve been ripped off many times but the risk can be minimized and it’s part of the process to finding somebody great!

So after day 6, my plugin is begining to look as I had imagined it.  No regrets either for pre-paying my coder the full fee in advance either!

Tracey Meagher is a designer and product creator who likes to wind down with Photoshop and has been known to work 12 hours stints without coffee (gasp!)

day4

Outsourcing A WordPress Plugin Case Study Day 4

Outsourcing A WordPress Plugin Case Study Day 4

Four days into development and the plugin is beginning to take shape.  The past two days have been quiet.  I’ve had some short skype conversations to clarify how certain parts of the plugin will work.

I’ve also been able to start to play around with the plugin on the development site.  This has been very important as it’s only when you start to use a tool that you’re developing, that you begin to see where its strenghts and weaknesses are.

Continue reading…

Tracey Meagher is a designer and product creator who likes to wind down with Photoshop and has been known to work 12 hours stints without coffee (gasp!)

plugincasestudy_2

Outsourcing A WordPress Plugin Case Study Day 2

Outsourcing A WordPress Plugin Case Study Day 2

Though I’ve never done it before, yesterday I sent a $450 advance payment to a coder I’ve worked with only once before. Yikes! When I first hired him on Freelancer.com he had no feedback or ratings but the plugin I needed was a small project and so I figured if he turned out to be not so great, I wouldn’t loose too much.

Also, I prefer to hire Eastern European coders and he fit that profile being from a South Eastern European country, so that also influenced my decision to give him a shot. Because he was new to the site I was able to negotiate a good price. It turns out I got lucky. He was a great communicator, a competent coder and very pleasant to deal with so despite some niggling little hesistations that were whispering things like “remember milestones” in my ear, I took the risk yesterday and paid full fee in advance.

I don’t recommend you do this at all .. ever!

Continue reading…

Tracey Meagher is a designer and product creator who likes to wind down with Photoshop and has been known to work 12 hours stints without coffee (gasp!)

workhard

Outsourcing A WordPress Plugin Case Study Day 1

Outsourcing A WordPress Plugin Case Study Day 1

WordPress plugins are hard work.  Hard to get developed, hard to maintain and hard to support.  So why develop a plugin instead of a neat little ebook or report that requires little or no updates or support?

It’s simple really. Plugins sell well.

They tap into the enormous WordPress userbase and can make you some pretty decent moolah!

The first plugin I developed grossed over $60K back in January 2012.  That kind of revenue came from a huge marketing drive with a couple of big players in the online marketing industry supporting me but I’ve since developed many plugins with no significant marketing effort given to them that have grossed in the low five figures.

My experience developing plugins so far has been a bumpy road.  The idea for WP Audio Images came to me by chance and I had the plugin written within 48 hours of first thinking it up.  It seemed like a dream product.

Until …

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Tracey Meagher is a designer and product creator who likes to wind down with Photoshop and has been known to work 12 hours stints without coffee (gasp!)

Learn target

You’ve No Excuse Not To Learn Something New Today

It’s important that every day you wake up and learn something new.

I’ve always been excited by the idea of expanding my knowledge and skills through self-directed learning. I remember when I was 14, I left my house one Saturday morning and walked into Dublin city centre to the largest bookstore there at the time and bought myself a huge door step of a book simply called ‘Psychology’.  I needed a shopping cart to push this thing home. It was a tome.

Maybe I was considering it as a career choice at the time. I don’t know but I do remember feeling so proud to be the owner of this book and excited by it . I knew the stuff was way over my head but everyday I opened it determined to read a little.  Maybe I only learned from it that Psychology is a tough subject and not just about seeing old witches and pretty ladies on ink blots.

Continue reading…

RedLights2

What Robert De Niro Taught Me About Personal Branding

Yesterday was a long day and instead of working late into the night I bombed out on the couch.   I haven’t yet gotten over the habit of neglecting the signals that tell me I’m tired so finishing work before 6pm was a huge deal.  My kids weren’t around which was odd but kind of nice (yep, I’m feeling guilty saying that) as I had the TV to myself, which meant I didn’t have to dive on my 13 year old son and wrestle the remote from his clenched fingers.

Then comes an ad break … YAWN … until Robert De Niro shows up in a trailer for the new movie Red Lights.

Two hours later, I’m sitting in the movie theatre with my husband by my side  (nobody  goes to the cinema alone!), popcorn in one hand, a packet of jelly beans in the other waiting for the film to start.

Why?

Continue reading…

Tracey Meagher is a designer and product creator who likes to wind down with Photoshop and has been known to work 12 hours stints without coffee (gasp!)