Pot Plants

Are Artificial Indoor Pot Plants Better Than The Real Thing?

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Are Artificial Indoor Pot Plants Better Than The Real Thing?

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Do you have pot plants nestled near the entrance of your home or business? Physical appearances count and indoor plants can have a huge impact. Whenever we walk into an office or place of business, we look around and judge its appearance, even sub-consciously.

The way an office looks impacts on how we feel about working in the same office every day. The same perception applies to clients visiting our office as well.

Office Plants Improve Our Workspace

Potted plants can influence how we are feeling, how hard we work and even improve the air quality within our offices. However, before rushing out and buying a trailer load of new indoor plants, we must choose the most appropriate ones for our workplaces.

Artificial Trees

artificial pot plants Having a bunch of dead pot plants or dusty artificial trees are not attractive features for any office. We need to take into consideration the availability (or lack of) natural light, office size, plant maintenance, type and size of plants and whether you prefer real or fake plants.

If you believe watering and fertilizing and maintenance of pot plants are a major hassle, there are many beautiful artificial trees and fake plants available of varying sizes, color and materials. The odd dusting is all that’s required for these to look in tip top condition and most fake pot plants look so real they even catch out the experts from a distance.

Artificial plants are great if you suffer from plant allergies and still want to be surrounded in nature. Smaller sized fake flowers and fake pot plants fit in the corner of an office desk or shelf and don’t shed leaves or petals – nothing to clean up!

One huge benefit going for fake plants is that they provide vibrant color all year round.

Indoor Plants

Living indoor house plants have a lot going for them. As well as looking great, they can reduce our stress levels as they are calming to look at. Toxins from the furniture, carpet, photocopier and even air freshener are sucked up and removed by real potted plants. It is also amazing the number of us that even talk to our plants! Well, they seem to grow better then, don’t they?

Three common indoor house plants tend to be seen most frequently in our offices. They are:

  • the spider plant,
  • mother in laws tongue,
  • golden pothos.

These indoor plants are popular because they are cheap, look good and are hard to kill.

None of these indoor plants require much watering or fertilizer. A random removal of damaged leaves and a quick dust and they will reward us with something nice to look at and fresher air in our offices.

The Spider Plant

pot plants The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) looks good on a raised pedestal or in a handing basket, as its white and green striped leaves tumble downwards from the pot.

Occasionally it will grow little baby copies of itself which also trail down, more often when we provide water once a week and position it where it will get some natural light.

Mother In Laws Tongue

potted plants The mother in laws tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata), also known as a snake plant, gets its name from the long pointy leaves that make up this plant. Apart from that, the leaves have pointy, spikey ends that look like snakes and apparently taste bitter. How many of us have mother in laws that are bitter and have a sharp tongue?

The good news is that this plant only requires a minimal level of maintenance and attention, unlike real mother in laws! So the odd watering will encourage this interesting plant to thrive.

The Golden Pothos

artificial plants The golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum) looks and behaves like ivy. It is also known as devils ivy due to the way it can grow vigorously.

The leaves are large and arrow head shaped, mostly green but with yellow patches here and there. The golden pothos is a great one to add to your list if you’re a death dealer to pot plants as it is happy with only the occasional watering and fertilizer feeding – when we remember to do so!

Pot Plants Improve Feng Shui

Feng shui is the ancient Chinese theology that the positioning of certain objects can improve the positive energy flowing around a space, like our office.

The money tree, officially known as Crassula Ovata or Jade tree, is said to bring its owner wealth, money and prosperity. Be sure to place this plant in the south-east part of your office to improve your chances, according to feng shui principles.

If lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is a feature within your office, watch out for office romances!

bamboo pot plant This indoor plant is said to bring health, happiness and love, so having one on your desk just may improve your mood and your relationships. Be sure to count the number of bamboo stalks on your pot plant though, as feng shui says each number is said to provide a different aspect to its owner. However, by just having it in our offices, good luck and positive energy will be ours in abundance.

Lucky bamboo just requires the odd watering, also great for those of us with poor memories.

If we cast a critical eye around our offices, we are all sure to find places where pot plants would be beneficial, be it aesthetically, emotionally or physically. Real or fake, it’s up to you. Both can look just as good as each other, but each provides their own benefits.

Do you have indoor pot plants around your home or office?

Tags:  artificial plantsartificial treesfake plantsfake treesindoor plantsoffice plantspot plantspotted plants

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Customer Product Reviews

26 Reasons Why Customer Product Reviews Increase Sales

The first thing most people do when deciding on a product purchase is to go online. We want to know about various models, pricing and features. But how do we really know which one is best when there are so many options?

As a business owner, it’s easy to put yourself in the customer’s shoes because we are all customers ourselves. Potential customer want to know what other customers think about your business or product and that’s why testimonials work so well.

Potentially even more valuable than hand picked testimonials are customer product reviews written by real people who have used the product. Here are 26 reasons why your online store should allow customer product reviews to increase sales.

1. Reviews are great for product development and researching

When somebody writes a good review of your product, it’s an opportunity to promote it further and make it more widely available, since you are obviously onto a good thing.

2. Reviews impact your SEO

Google is more likely to feature your product page in it’s search results if updated content is added to your product page. Use Rich Snippets as star ratings that feature in Google’s search results.

3. Increase your search ranking

Google places a lot of value on the opinions of real people on your website, more than what you say about your product. When multiple reviews are placed on your product page, Google will rank your website higher because more reviews indicates higher social impact.

4. Introduce other products

A good review can sell other products. Reviews allow the opportunity for your customers to say what other products they purchased or would complement this product.

5. Reduce product returns

When customers read reviews they can determine the exact product that they wish to buy. This reduces the number of returns you need to process, giving your staff more time to focus on making money instead of refunding it.Trolls


6. Resolve small issues before they become big

A review gives you the opportunity to identify any issues that you may have overlooked. You are able to respond to customers and resolve any issues before your product reviews get trolled.

7. Promote your customer service

Reviews are a great way of promoting your customer service. It allows the customer to give honest feedback about their experience purchasing the product or service. If it is a good review, great. If it is negative, it gives you the opportunity to make improvements.

8. Receive instant feedback

You will be able to gain significant insights into what your customers are feeling about your products. This gives you the chance to tweak the product or product description to further meet the needs of your customers.

9. Promote products by word of mouth

Customers are very keen to share their feelings and ideas about products and services they have encountered. A review allows sharing between friends, family and colleagues about your products, increasing your brand name presence.

10. Keep an eye on how your staff are performing

It will be easy to see positive comments that are being made about specific employees, allowing you to reward them. Conversely, you will also be able to see non-performing staff and provide further training where appropriate.

11. Listen to your customers

Customers appreciate being listened to. They will feel that you care about what they think and expect from you. Customers are more willing to purchase from a business that listens to them, than one that does not.customer product reviews


12. Make negative customers happy

A negative review on your website allows you the chance to fix the problem immediately, as well as a chance to make the customer happy. Don’t delete the review. You are able to show them that you care about their feedback making it more likely they will deal with you again in the future.

13. Social influence

Friends influence each other. When you connect your review page to the Facebook accounts of your reviewers, you allow their friends to see what they have posted. It’s called keeping up with the Jones’.

14. It’s easy and free

Setting up a review page on your website does not require much time, nor will it cost anything if you do it yourself. Then you have a simple platform to receive communication from your customers.

15. Mixed reviews make you seem real

Having negative reviews is not something to stop you setting up a review page. In fact, by having negative reviews you are more likely to seem honest and creates a balance on the review page. No product is 100% perfect all of the time.

16. You can change how customers think of your business

Thank customers for their comments and if any are negative, you can explain the procedures you are putting in place to avoid that situation happening again. People can then write nice things about how you listened to them and fixed the problem.

product reviews

17. Build trust

Having a review page allows your customers to build trust in your products. Customers trust reviews written by other customers.

18. Easy promotion

Instead of having to promote products yourself, allow your customers to promote them for you. It looks great to consumers and it saves you time and money.

19. Change product descriptions

A review can let you know when your product description needs tweaking. You might sell a red shirt on your site, but the photo looks more orange to the customer. A reviewer may point it out so you can edit the photo.

20. Adding to your descriptions

Reviewers can provide more detailed information in layman’s terms, such as explaining your sizing further. They may say your medium is more of a small medium, which can help other customers choosing your products.

21. Help with keyword identification

Customers will use words in their reviews similar to the words they use in search engines. When you know what keywords they are using to search with, you can adapt your SEO accordingly.

22. Help your manufacturers out

Your product manufacturers are able to read reviews about products they supply to you. They can focus directly on what the customers are saying without having to hear it second hand and adapt their product accordingly.

23. Show belief in your product

If you are selling something, you should have trust and belief in what you are selling. So prove this by allowing customers to review products and showing you have nothing to hide.counting money


24. Customers spend more

After reading a review by their friends, family and colleagues, customers are more likely to spend more money buying your products. Especially if reviews suggest they buy a more expensive model that will do the job more effectively.

25. Reviews are searched for

Customers want reviews and they also want products. They will often enter the product name and the word ‘review’ together on a search engine. If you don’t have reviews on your site, you are potentially missing out on customers.

26. Engaged customers stay customers

A customer who has liked your product wants to tell people about it. You engage your customers by allowing them to add their personal opinions and they are more than likely to come back, purchase more products and write more reviews.

Do you have customer product reviews on your online store?

Allow the good and bad reviews on your website. Show your customers that you are a trustworthy and honest business. Customers appreciate when you care about their opinions and allow them to express themselves in a public manner. In the end, reviews help to increase sales and what business would not want that?

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Mens Ties

Unsuitable Neckties For Men Suffocate Opportunities


More often than not, suits and neckties for men are essential attire in business and first impressions count a lot towards how you’re perceived by others.

It’s not about making a fashion statement. Our subconscious makes a split second judgement of someone’s personality and character by the way they dress. This applies to being a boss, in a job interview, client meeting, on a date – wherever.

If you are looking just as dapper as your colleague or competition, what is it that gives you that edge before you’ve even uttered a single word? Yup, it could be your choice in neck tie that can actually make a difference in your fate.

Don’t let a necktie become a noose around your neck and suffocate opportunities laid out in front of you.

There are several methods of tying a tie, resulting in different types of knot. Let’s just take a quick look at the most common.

Necktie Knots

Four in Hand Knot – Simple Knot or Schoolboy Knot

The Four in Hand Knot is a narrow, asymmetrical tie knot that is best suited for a standard button-down dress shirt. It is the most common neck tie knot.

Half Windsor Knot

The Half Windsor Knot is a triangular and symmetrical tie knot that goes with any dress shirt.

Bow Tie Knot

This video shows how to tie a Bow Tie Knot, which is a formal and elegant look. Commonly, a bowtie is worn along with a tuxedo at “black tie events” such as a wedding. The bow size should not be wider than the neck and should not extend past the tips of the shirt collar.

If tying a tie is hassle or your fingers aren’t nimble enough, thankfully we have other options!

Black Tie

neckties for men
Black tie refers to the dress code that requires men to wear a black tuxedo, white dress shirt, black bow tie, and black dress shoes while women are to wear an evening gown.

A black tie event is very formal and all the guests look very classy. At these events though, all the guys look the same like a waddle of penguins.

If the occasion fits, for example in the workplace, we can rock a different tie color and show off our personality.

power tie

The Power Tie

Power tie color choices are mostly blues, reds and yellows. More than a just brightly colored necktie, the power tie is a declaration of dominance. The power tie should stand out, so the choice of shirt color should offer a contrast against the tie.

While I don’t particularly believe in the whole psychology of power neckties for men, others might. So it’s probably a good idea to avoid wearing a power tie to your first day of work in case your boss is a believer.

Christie Carmelle Lopez over at the Huffington Post wrote a great piece about power ties and the psychology of color here

Clip On Neckties For Men

If you have nightmares about your necktie getting caught in the paper shredder, never fear. Just get a clip on tie. A clip on tie attaches quickly and easily onto the collar and is comfortable and safe because there is nothing surrounding your neck.

I also have normal ties hanging in my closet that are already pre-tied from previous occasions. This is just a matter of convenience and time saving.

Although, you’d be hard pressed to find designer or brand name clip-on neckties. They can often be viewed as tacky but they do have their place.

While plain colors are usually a safe choice, there’s also patterns and paisley ties.

paisley ties

Tie Material

You can get skinny ties made from leather and other neckties for men that look like shoe laces, but in the workplace and for special events, your best bet is to go with the most commonly used fabrics.

– Silk Ties and Silk Knit Ties,
– Wool Ties and Wool Knit Ties,
– Cotton Ties,
– Linen Ties,
– Leather Ties.

tie rack

Tie Accessories

If you are a necktie aficionado, add a bit of bling to your tie with some accessories.

– Tie bars and Tie clips,
– Tie tacks,
– Tie chains.

For those of you that own many ties for different occasions, stay organized, neat and tidy with your own tie rack

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.

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Bubble Wrap Sheet

Why Bubble Wrap Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Why Bubble Wrap Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving

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As a kid, there’s something magical about getting a birthday present sent from the family interstate or overseas. It’s not just the distance the package has traveled or simply the fact that it’s your birthday and you’re getting free stuff.

I’ll readily admit that I was occasionally let down by the random gift of underwear or socks but even those gifts had one redeeming feature. They came in bubble wrap padded bags. Boy, did I love popping hundreds of those air-filled plastic bubblewrap bags!

Don’t ask me why underwear needs bubble wrap, since it’s commonly used to absorb shock and cushion fragile objects from damage. Although… underwear made from bubble wrap? Now that’s protection!

Bubble Wrap Brand Name

Much like the brand name Hoover became synonymous with vacuum cleaners, Bubble Wrap is a registered trademark and brand name – not just the term to describe the bubble plastic air packaging.

For the purpose of this article, I will use the term “bubble wrap” to describe the material, not the brand name.

bubble wrap

Bubble Wrap For Fun

We all know the boring uses for bubble air packaging, so instead let’s take a light-hearted look at some novel ways it is used.

Here’s a much safer adventure than walking on hot coals, but with much of the same exhilaration. Try roll out a bubble sheet for the kids to play in the hall way. This should keep them amused for a while.

Bubble wrap is great for stress relief and keeping your sanity in moments of boredom. Bubble wrap is the gift that keeps on giving.

If you don’t have a heart condition, give this game a minute of your time.

Office Air Pillows

Sleeping at desk


You’re in the office, you’ve run out of coffee and starting to doze off. What do you do? How about a 10 minute power nap? Grab a sheet of bubblewrap and fold it over a few times to make a comfy air pillow. Cover it with a shirt or cloth and duck under the desk for a quick snooze.

bubble wrap insulation

Bubble Wrap Insulation

If you’re looking for a cost effective method to insulate windows (and don’t mind the bubbly look), then surprisingly bubble wrap can help.

When placed on a window, the air pillows absorb heat during the day and release heat when the temperature is cooler. This help to keep the rooms inside a more comfortable temperature.

Just lightly spray the window with a fine mist of water before applying your bubble sheet.

Bubble wrap is often used to insulate greenhouses during the winter and also works for windows of irregular shape. Larger bubbles work best to absorb temperature more efficiently.

Bubble Wrap Toys

Cats have a love/hate relationship with bubble wrap. Walking on it is not so pleasant since cats prefer a stable solid surface, but also love ripping it up. If your cat is ripping up your carpet and curtains, give them bubble wrap instead.

Bubble wrap costume For your next Christmas party, Halloween or fancy-dress get together, try out this punching suit – I mean, bubble wrap costume. Hilarious, right? You can actually buy it at Amazon!.

If you’re the type with an obsessive personality or just simply love love love popping bubble wrap, check out this electronic alternative.

Where To Get Free Bubble Wrap

If you are looking for smaller pieces of bubble wrap, you could be in for a treat. Ask your local pharmacy for free bubble wrap bags “for the kids” *wink* as most suppliers send bottles of prescription medicine wrapped in the stuff. Usually it just goes in the bin.

You can also check your local green grocer in fruit and vegetable boxes. Anything that is breakable or perishable could be protected with bubble wrap.

What do you use bubblewrap for?

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.

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Drunk Party

38 Things Not To Share On Social Networking Sites

A large chunk of my Facebook friends are what I consider to be acquaintances in the real world and that’s probably giving them too much credit. I’m sure they’re great people, but in reality I barely know them.

On the flip-side, I know way too much about an old acquaintance’s sister. No, I’m not some kind of creepy Facebook stalker. She’s my Facebook “friend” who posts statuses about anything and everything. She is the epitome of the social media joke – someone who updates their status on the toilet, on the bus, when they picked their nose. She has no filter for things not to share. She shares too much. I know I can just hide her from my feed or de-friend her, but damn, she’s hot. TMI?

Here’s 38 things not to share on social networking sites

1. Personal conversations – don’t post chunks of private emails, Instant Messages or texts without permission.

2. Open invites to all friends meant only for a few – “who wants to go for a drive?”

3. Social plans – it will make uninvited friends feel left out.

4. Date analysis – if your ex is still a friend or follower, dont talk about the date you just had or will be having.

5. Employer secrets – don’t want to get fired? Keep planned products, expansions or layoffs private until your boss releases information publicly.

6. Photos of your kids publicly – if you don’t restrict access to your profile, family photos are there for everyone to see. Keep your kids safe from dodgy strangers.

7. Your home address and phone number – File this one under security risk.

8. Personal finance information – don’t blab about how much money you make, your bank account size or how much that new car cost. You just look like a douchebag.

9. Your password or password secret hint – seems pretty obvious. If you’ve lost your password, commonly it can be retrieved by answering a security question – often, your first pet’s name, so don’t share it publicly.

10. Remember, the Facebook Comments plugin on other sites posts those comments to your wall.

11. Embarrassing photos of yourself or friends – yes, it may seem funny at the time but not when a potential employer rejects your job application because of what they’ve seen.

12. Pictures of your credit card – people actually do this. Proud of your platinum AMEX card? Whatever. *cough* douche *cough*

13. Pictures of any bodily function – you after a big night out. Your kid during potty training.

14. You’re about to go on vacation – just invite thieves over to steal your stuff while you’re gone.

15. A naked selfie – no explanation required.

16. Facebook game updates – I don’t care about Farmville or BubbleWhatever. Just stop.

17. Pictures of your drunk boss flirting with the girls from HR at the work Christmas party.

18. That you are having an affair or thinking about it.

19. Complaints about your boss or colleagues.

20. Complaints that you hate your job and want to leave. You might get your wish – involuntarily.

21. Post pictures of the party from the night before you called in sick for work.

22. That are you are planning to take a sickie.

23. Try gather personal support when having argument with a friend.

24. Ask for advice or fish for sympathy when having issues with your parents.

25. What you had for breakfast – no-one gives a shit!

26. Reveal your thoughts about a court case when on jury duty.

27. If you use Facebook or Twitter primarily for personal use, don’t constantly promote your business.

28. Reveal extreme views on race, religion or politics.

29. Update Facebook after you’ve escaped from jail.

30. Sexually explicit content – criminal laws related to pornography may come into play. It may also come back to haunt you years down the road.

31. False or untrue statements about someone – you could get sued for defamation but in a more human sense, you can easily hurt someone’s feelings or damage their reputation.

32. Gory pictures – don’t post pictures with blood or any living thing coming to harm.

33. Drug use – don’t be dumb. Keep the bong pictures to yourself – for your own sake.

34. Bullying – the most serious problems in schools today. Vicious treatment and hateful words between students often lead to violence, suicide, depression and discrimination among young people.

35. Precise location check-Ins – like your home address, work address or even favorite cafe. You’re just making it easier for stalkers to track you down.

36. Threaten violence – when authorities are notified about a threat, they have the right to investigate — and they will.

37. Confessions – got something to admit to a loved one? Do it in private first.

38. And for the record…

02 Web Thumbnail

9 CRAZY Ideas That Raked In Crowdfunding CASH


It’s hard enough coming up with good ideas, let alone getting them off the ground. But when smart entrepreneurs take to the internet to ask random people for money to fund their project, sometimes the response is just phenomenal.

1. Pebble Watch

Raking in over $10 million on Kickstarter is the Pebble watch. It’s initial crowdfunding target of $100,000 was reached within just 2 hours as the internet went wild for it’s black and white e-paper display, eventually being backed by 69 thousand people.

It’s also programmable and includes storage, bluetooth, a vibrating motor, and all the gadgetry you’d expect from the likes of Apple. Except this thing made it to market many years before watches fell from Apple’s tree.

The pebble watch doesnt just displaying the time, but can also interact with smartphone notifications, activity tracking, gaming, map display and even the price of bitcoin

2. Potato Salad

If there ever was a record for most funded picnic lunch, this campaign has to take the cake. Well, the potato salad.

Zach Brown just wanted to raise $10 bucks for a nice lunch but instead awoke the appetite of almost 7000 people on kickstarter who gave him $55,000! For potato salad!

So, what do you do when you have $55,000 to spend on lunch? Throw a party of course! With a concert and potatoes and races and rides and potatoes. Well, that’s exactly what Zach did and called it potatostock. Kinda like Woodstock, no, chickenstock!

3. Ethereum Smart Contracts

Coming in as the second highest crowdfunding campaign ever, is something so geeky, not many people have even heard of it.

It’s called Ethereum and it’s a decentralized platform and protocol for publishing smart contracts, which are a set of rules that tell computers how and when to pay for something.

Ethereum must be on to something because they raised over $18 million from bitcoin users around the world.

Not only is it the 2nd highest crowdfunding campaign ever, it’s also the most successful one to be funded entirely in bitcoin.

4. Exploding Kittens

Would you buy a Card game featuring exploding kittens?

Cat-lovers might be horrified to learn that over 219,000 people pledged $8.8 million for a deck of cards. With pictures of exploding kittens.

Well, they’re just cartoons and it’s not just kittens. There’s also goats, men with overgrown back hair, unicorns, laser beams and weaponized enchiladas.

The game is essentially Russian Roulette; you draw cards until you get an exploding kitten, at which point you get kicked out of the game.

The project hit its primary goal of $10,000 in just 8 minutes and exceeded $2,000,000 in 24 hours.

This deck of cards is in the top 10 most crowdfunded campaigns ever.

5. Star Citizen

The single largest crowdfunding campaign even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

With a whopping $72 million raised, the prestigious title goes to Star Citizen, a Space combat video game for PCs from the designer of Wing Commander. Star Citizen aims to create a living, breathing science fiction universe with unparalleled immersion.

Chris Roberts has big plans for the game saying:

"I don’t want to build a game. I want to build a universe."Chris Roberts

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For contributing to the game’s funding, backers receive virtual rewards which include a spaceship and credits to buy equipment, fuel and pay rental fees.

6. Oculus Rift

Possibly the most famous crowdfunding campaigns is that of the Oculus Rift.

The first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games raised $2.4 million on kickstarter to develop Next-Generation Virtual Reality Technology.

The Oculus Rift tracks head position and uses a new type of display to eliminate motion blur and judder with HD resolution for each eye.

With this headset on, the wearer can immerse themselves in 3D games and movies.

The technology is so likeable, Facebook thought it would be worth their while to acquire the company that makes Oculus Rift for a $2 billion valuation!

7. REMee Lucid Dreaming Mask

In another crowdfunding campaign project that attaches to your face, The Remee is an REM enhancing Lucid Dreaming Mask to wear while sleeping.

Ever wanted to control your dreams and do whatever you want in them? Like, you know, fly to mars, or eat a whole bucket of chocolate ice-cream, or seek revenge on those who have wronged you.

This project raised over half a million dollars to produce the mask which flashes lights into your eyes during a specific stage of your sleep cycle when dreaming occurs, known as REM sleep.

When you see the lights in your dreams, you’re meant to consciously recognize that you’re sleeping, so then you can go about your business of flying around and bumping uglies with your ex.

8. 3Doodler

Ever dreamed of drawing in 3D? Well, you dont need the lucid dreaming mask to achieve that goal. Introducing the 3D oodler! or is it 3 doodler.

Either way, it’s a 3D printing pen that allows you to draw in 3 Dimensions by extruding a heated plastic filament that cools almost instantly into a solid, stable structure.

This awesome pen raised $2.3 million from over 26,000 backers and can make some really impressive stuff.

Now I can bring my crappy 2 dimensional drawings to life.

9. Coolest Cooler

You know what’s cool? $13 million. That’s the amount raised for this cooler. It’s the coolest cooler. That’s not my opinion, that’s just the name of it, but hey, it is cool.

So what makes it so cool, i hear you ask?

OK, it has a built-in ice crushing blender, a waterproof bluetooth speaker and a USB charger so you can stay cool while charging your phone.

It also has a light on the lid, a cutting board, integrated storage for plates and utensils and it’s all waterproof.

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Tags:  3D Printing Pen3DoodlerCoolest CoolerEthereumExploding KittensKickstarterLucid Dreaming MaskOculus RiftPebble WatchPotato SaladREMeeSmart ContractsStar CitizenVirtual Reality Headset

Bitcoin Cash

How To Use Bitcoin QR Codes

It has become commonplace to see QR Codes on product packaging and advertising. These codes hold a small amount of information, such as a website address or a bitcoin address.

QR Codes can seem like ‘yet another technology to learn about’ but using them are as simple as using any app on your smartphone or tablet.

Nearly every device manufactured in the last few years has a camera built in.

The QR scanning app on your device uses the camera to take a picture of the QR Code and analyses the image to decode the information contained within.

From the user’s perspective, it’s as easy as opening the app, tap ‘scan’, point the camera at the code and viola! That’s it.

What Are Bitcoin QR Codes

A bitcoin address is just data, usually between 27 and 34 characters long.

Scanning a QR code is much easier than typing very long Bitcoin addresses. The QR code can contain other information as well, such as payment information and a note.

I frequently embed QR Codes in my videos. Those QR Codes are a representation of my bitcoin address.

Anyone with a smartphone or tablet can take a picture of the QR Code in my videos using their bitcoin wallet app and send me tips!

If you are a content creator, allowing viewers to express their appreciation for your content with a monetary tip is like a great big cyber-hug.

If you are a consumer of online content, recognizing the time, effort and bravery of creators by sending them a tip is a great way of telling them that they’re providing a worthwhile service.

How To Use Bitcoin QR Codes

If you do not have a bitcoin wallet yet, search Google Play or the App Store for “bitcoin wallet” on your smartphone/device.

I like Mycelium, Blockchain, CoinJar or AirBitz wallets. There are other options, but choose one with good reviews and more than 3 or 4 stars.

Now, fire up your bitcoin wallet app.

Due to differences between apps, I need to generalize and make a few assumptions. One assumption is that your wallet is not empty and you have a few bits.


When you tap ‘send’, you may have the option to type in a bitcoin address or scan a QR code. Scanning is the easiest and quickest method of populating your wallet with the information it needs to send a payment.


If you want to receive bitcoin into your wallet, tapping the ‘receive’ button should give you two crucial bits of information.

First, you should see your bitcoin address which looks like 1BKnJY3Qe6hFSK6XaGXWsSuYcuZxBtkBoQ.

Second, you may have the option to display a QR code that represents your bitcoin address.

How To Know The Payment Went Through

Below is my QR Code. If you scan this code using the ‘SEND’ function in your bitcoin wallet app, you should see my bitcoin address pop up.



You can send me a small ‘test’ amount (I appreciate it!) and check whether your payment has gone through at Blockchain.info (a service that let’s you check bitcoin addresses).

Now you should be set to go. Happy bitcoining! (No, that’s not a word)

Link Building Google

Why Keyword Anchor Text Links Got Smashed By Google


When building links to our website, the commonly held notion throughout the SEO industry is that our very first step is to select a targeted keyword phrase to be used for anchor text links. Usually, the keyword phrase describes the website’s contents.

For example, a pet store might choose the keyword phrase “Pet Shop in Chicago” or “Chicago Pet Supplies” and optimize their on-site content around those keywords.

That’s all fine and good, but we start to get into murky waters when going through the exercise of off-site link building. Be careful with your anchor text when using automated software like Backlink Beast to build backlinks.

Let’s take the example of using article directories like ezinearticles to build links to our website. Article directories allow authors to include a resource box where they can promote their website. Commonly, the author will include a sentence with two links containing their target keywords as the anchor text. The purpose is to build their website’s authority for that keyword and therefore rank higher in search as a result.

Google recently blasted that technique out of the water and declared war on manipulating search results using keyword stuffed anchor text links. Article directories were hit hard and so too were author’s websites who may have over-optimized their links.

Off Page SEO Anchor Text Links Are Untrustworthy

Anchor Text Links
This really got me thinking. Do I, or do I not build links with article directories? How will Google see these links in the future?

PageRank (PR) is the sweet name for Google’s mathematical algorithm that it uses to calculate a page’s authority.

To think this through, we also need to consider the value of Google PageRank. What does it mean for my website if it has PR 1 or PR 6? We know that the number of links pointing to a website page is a signal Google uses to calculate that page’s PageRank. When a page has a higher PR, Google has determined it to be more trustworthy than a page with lesser PR.

A common misconception is that Google ranks websites or domain names. Not true. Google ranks individual pages on their own merit. Google ranks pages determined by their content and authority

Let me say that again. Content and authority

The theory underlying this link building strategy is the more links your website gains with the keyword, for example “blue widgets”, the higher your website will rank in Google when someone searches for that phrase. So, this is one part of the authority side of the equation. But Google is smart enough to detect when a website owner is trying to manipulate it’s authority. The result is a penalty towards your authority because you appear to be engaging in deceptive or manipulative practices. I believe that’s the very definition of irony!

High PageRank Does Not Guarantee Website traffic

Google pagerank

OK, so if PR is a measure of a page’s authority, then WHY oh WHY doesn’t a high PR guarantee traffic?

I have a domain name (that I will not disclose) that is over 10 years old. It used to get a lot of traffic and we sold music CDs (legally) through an e-commerce shop. The site gathered a lot of inbound links and it’s PR rose to 5 at the height of it’s popularity. That was a long time ago now and the main page has dropped down to PR 4. There is still a fully functional website sitting on the domain and all pages are still indexed in Google. But the website has not been updated for years and years. We just use it to funnel PR to our other websites.

But there’s the rub, you see. The website’s main page has a PR 4 and subsequent pages have PR 1-3. Yet, the site gets a trickle of traffic. No more than 5 unique visitors per day. That is it. Shit, right?

Then I have another 2 year old website that has PR 1 and gets 20-30 unique visitors per day.

So I’m asking myself, should we care about our page’s PageRank? It doesn’t seem to matter as much as it used to and I have seen it’s importance decline in front of my own eyes.

Why Does PageRank Still Matter Then?

PageRank does matter when you are competing for a first page rank in the search engine results. Let’s say you have lots of competitors who sell blue widgets. When a searcher types in “blue widgets” the results will list the pages Google believes would provide the most value.

Now let says for the sake of this example that 2 competitors website pages are #1 and #2 in the results. Both #1 and #2 pages objectively have the same ‘content’ value and Google could easily have swapped each competitors position – let’s just pretend the page’s ‘content’ value is identical. If that’s the case, who gets to be #1 ?

Well, the answer is the page with the higher PageRank. Also, let’s not forget that just because we are used to seeing PageRank talked about as a whole number, eg 4 or 5, it’s fairly obvious that Google measures PR to a large number of decimal places, eg 5.034592018410373916540124…

Why Anchor Text Keywords Do Not Matter As Much Anymore



Continuing with the example, now let’s say there is almost no competition for “blue widgets” but a fair amount of competition for “cyan widgets”. Your page has PR 3 and ranks #1 when people search for “blue widgets”. But when people search for “cyan widgets”, a competitor’s page with PR 1 is ranked higher than you.

Is this because your competitor optimized anchor text keywords for “cyan widgets” more than you did?


The reason the competitor would rank higher is because they have utilized the keyword “cyan widgets” in that individual page ON THEIR OWN WEBSITE more times or in a better way than you did (if you used the keyword at all).

The keywords that Google can determine from YOUR OWN PAGE – that you have full control over – is a much bigger factor to ranking in search results than from anchor text on external websites.

Keyword Research For Content

Researching and utilizing keywords within your website content is extremely important for ranking higher – don’t get me wrong.

Market Samurai is my favorite piece of software for doing keyword research and determining how much competition I’d have for a particular keyword phrase so that I can make an educated guess where I’d rank in the Google results page. Finding the right keyword phrase (2 or more words) with little competition and big potential can mean the difference between receiving a few visitors per day and a tsunami.

I always research keywords before writing blog articles or creating website pages. There is a free trial of Market Samurai for 14 days through the link above. Please note that I refer a lot to Market Samurai because I use it frequently and find it a valuable asset to my business.

Content Is King

Do any of us think we’re smarter than Google? Come on, seriously! Using off page SEO techniques such as link building is going to become far less important at ranking your website in the search results than the CONTENT Google analyzes from your website.

Just to be clear – using keywords in the content of your own website is the right place for them and where you should focus your efforts. If you want to rank for “blue widgets”, use that keyword phrase in your title tag, in the description and within the content of your website page a few times.

A Link From An External Website Is A Thumbs Up For Your Page

I predict in the near future, the anchor text in links from external websites will have zero influence towards your PageRank. The link itself will still count as a +1 thumbs up for your website, but the anchor text won’t matter.

Did you know that an external page with numerous links to your page is only counted as ONE inbound link (ie, one thumbs up) – not several? That is – multiple links to the same URL on one page equals one inbound link, no matter how many times the URL is shown on the page.

Have you been penalized from over-stuffing keyword anchor text links?

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.

Tags:  anchor text linkarticle directoriesbuilding backlinkslink buildingoff page seoseoseo anchor linkstext link building


Image Search Causes Huge Upswing In Website Traffic

Often for new and old websites, search traffic can be hard to come by. The problem might be that your website doesn’t have enough backlinks or you’ve got a bad selection of keywords. Commonly, webmasters are making SEO mistakes that can damage their Google ranking.

Traffic to your website can come from many sources, such as social media, mailing list blasts, direct hits and of course from search. However, not many webmasters are taking advantage of image search and you could be missing out on a lot of traffic to your website.

There is the argument that you shouldn’t have your images indexed, either to protect your copyrights or to reduce bandwidth usage through your web hosting. There is also the argument saying that a user searching for an image can view it on Google’s image page and never visit your website at all. Yes, that is certainly true, but I have proof that image search can result in real traffic and click-throughs to your website.

If you haven’t done so already, I recommend signing up for Google Webmaster Tools (it’s free), linking up your website and start collecting stats. For new additions, you’ll need to wait a few weeks for data to be collected. These stats are different from the type of statistics you’ll find in Google Analytics.

Once you’re in Google Webmaster Tools and looking at your domain, go to Traffic > Search Queries. I want to show you this graph:

This graph depicts the number of impressions one of my test website’s content is getting, whether it’s images or links in the ‘normal’ results pages. An impression means my website has come up in results, but not necessarily been clicked on.

You can see that in a matter of days, impressions shot up from nothing to 40,000 per day. I’m guessing the reason clicks are less than 10 is the because these results are largely from image search and not from ‘normal’ search engine clicks. But the real click through rate can be determined through Google Analytics. Here is a screenshot of the same period.

Google Analytics screenshot

NOTE: When I first noticed traffic increasing on Jan 25, I decided to tweak the website and try leverage this incoming traffic. I inadvertently killed my Analytics code, so you can see a dip on the next day. I only fixed it the day after when I realized my mistake :(

Image Search Can Increase Website Traffic

So what’s going on here? First we should realize that image search is wildly popular and generates a lot of impressions. My results here is from ONE image. Just ONE.

That one image brought in 435 individual people to the main website (or probably around 30 more, taking into account my Analytics mistake). Clearly, those visitors went on to browse the site with an average of 1.72 pages visited.

Let’s not get crazy though. The click-through rate works out to be just 0.5%, but when your image is getting 40,000 impressions a day, it can be a really good day.

Image Search Lessons Learned

It was not my intention to run tests on image searches. Originally, I just had a short 200 word article with an image in the post. Nothing special. The original post had been online for 3 weeks prior to this huge upswing. So what did I do in the days prior to this huge upswing?

1. Image alt tags

A few days before the upswing, I ran a website analysis through Woorank that told me, amongst other things, that none of my images on the website had image alt tags. This was sheer laziness on my part because it was just a test website so I wasn’t putting in the full SEO effort. Including image alt tags have been recommended in SEO circles since the dawn of time.

On the same day, I had just signed up for the free trial of Market Samurai (affiliate) to use as my primary keyword research software. I had a quick keyword research session and found some nice longtail keywords that I used in the image alt tags.

2. Image file names

Just the same as I did for my image alt tags, I renamed some images to the keywords I had found through Market Samurai. eg, long-tail-keyword.jpg
As a matter of prudence, I created a redirection from the old image filename to the new one, so that I wouldn’t lose that traffic.

The result, as you can see in the graphs above, was phenomenal. I believe my keyword research, changing the image filename and adding the alt tags boosted impressions and subsequently brought in more ‘real’ traffic to my website where visitors continued to browse around.

3. Submit an image sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools

Did you know that your website’s sitemap doesn’t just contain links to pages and posts, it can include images as well? If you are using WordPress, Yoast’s SEO plugin creates a well formed sitemap perfect for submitting to Google Webmaster Tools. The plugin can also submit sitemaps for you automatically and will update whenever you create new posts. If you don’t have Yoast’s SEO plugin, get it because it’s great for other SEO tweaks.

Are you having success generating traffic with images?

17 Of The Most Idiotic Interview Questions Ever Asked

Being on the receiving end of an interview can be a nerve-racking experience. While some interviewers like to put candidates at ease, others like to throw curve-balls to assess how quickly the candidate can think on their feet.

But some interview questions are asked solely for the entertainment of the interviewer and to assert power over the poor sucker vying for a job.

And while I’ve heard many great interview questions that really assess the person who has applied for the position, conversely, I’ve heard some of the dumbest, most irrelevant, near-illegal questions ever uttered in an interview.

For the interviewer, it’s crucial to understand the question behind the question and to frame it in the right context. Great questions are formed around knowing what information to look for.

The interviewer wants to know how the candidate’s mind works, problem solving ability, how they work within a team, how they get motivated, and how they’d fit within the organization.

That’s how an interview should be. Sometimes, it degenerates into a barrage of trick questions and childish one-upmanship with co-interviewers.

Here, for your enjoyment and horror, are some of the most idiotic questions ever asked at interview – by the interviewer.

1. Can you do this job?

Congratulations Sherlock, you’ve solved the case. This question is so empty I can see dust floating around in the interviewer’s skull.

2. What superhero would you be and why?

When I was 6 years old, I contemplated this question with deep thought and analysis. That’s the only age group it should be applied to.

3. If you were a kitchen appliance what would you be?

Let me go have a look around my kitchen and get back to you… OK, I found this. It’s a pizza cutter. That’s an appliance, right?

4. If you had to present to a group of animals, which animals would you pick?

dumbest interview questions

Oh, this one is easy. I’d present to a pack of meerkats so that everyone is standing to attention. And they’re just so damn cute lookin’.

5. What is the funniest joke you’ve heard recently?

This could end in disaster. A dirty joke can help the candidate seem like ‘one of the guys’ or a lame joke could make them look like a dumb-ass. Surely, this is a dangerous question to answer.

6. Would you ever date your boss and why?

And speaking of dangerous, what is the interviewer even thinking? Seriously.

7. Here’s a blank sheet of paper and a pencil. Draw an elephant.

silly interview questions

While not really a question, what bizarro world have we stepped into? Assuming this is some kind of a test, I can only guess it’s to assess the candidate’s willingness to go beyond his job description. But in the end – he’s just drawing a freakin’ elephant.

8. Can I see your wallet?

Isn’t this how magic tricks begin?

9. What would you do if someone spat on you?

Don’t make any sudden moves. This could be a threat.

10. Are you willing to put your job before your family?

So not fair! And apparently against federal law to ask!

11. Have you ever had a sexually transmitted disease?

“Sorry, I thought I was being interviewed for an office job, not a ______ job.”

12. Did you ever have trouble starting your car?

idiotic interviewer questions

“Yes, I did. It was a decade ago and the battery was flat. I called for assistance. Did you ever have trouble asking relevant questions?”

13. Do you have an Internet?

Yes, sir. I have one in my pocket.

14. How do you define sexual harassment?

See question #6 and #11.

15. Should doctors be upset about Dr. Pepper?

If the doctor’s name is Dr. Pepper and he’s being teased about being a soda drink, then perhaps …

16. What’s your greatest weakness?

bad interview questions

I’d have to say meerkats. Yes, definitely meerkats.

17. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

If you are a candidate and ever get asked this question, please promise me you will answer “sitting in your chair”. That long awkward pause while the interviewer wonders what you mean will be hilarious. Getting kicked out onto the street – not so much.


  • Tell me – in no more than 2 words – what you think we do?
  • When was the last time you lost your temper and what for?
  • Have you ever had to sacrifice quality to achieve targets?

Readers, what are some of the dumbest questions you have been asked – or did the asking – in an interview?


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