Category Archives: Meeting of the Minds

Meeting of the Minds II – Financial Times

I thought I’d start off this Meeting with something that I’ve been putting some time into recently….financial and investing sites.

I don’t know how everyone is dealing with the new economic realities, but I think we could all be more cognizant of the financial markets and what it means for us individually. As of last year, I didn’t have a 401k or any savings plan that would grow over time. I started researching the stock market and individual stocks, just familiarizing myself with what makes the stock market tick.

Like it or not, many of us are freelancers and will not participate in any plan given to us by an employer because we’re self-employed. So…that leaves it up to us to go out and see how we can grow our money for the long term. I’ve come across and will share below, some of the resources I use to gather information and manage my money.

The combination of all of these tools can be very important to making something of what money you do have to invest. Even if it’s $50/month, that can be a good start to your retirement savings.

Sharebuilder.com
Sharebuilder.com is a resource that will allow you to buy stocks or part of stocks for your portfolio. I say part of stocks because you can by a little or a lot. For Example, say google is at $400/share and you’d love to get into google, but you can’t afford even one share. You can set up your account to buy a monthly amount of the stock and it will slowly build a position in the stock without having to buy it one share at a time.

You can buy shares for $9.95 a trade, which is fairly standard. Note: Always buy using Limit orders. NEVER buy using Market orders. You’ll get screwed…bottom line.

But what do you buy? How do you know what stocks to get into? The next six sites get into doing the research that is needed to make an educated buy.

TheStreet.com
TheStreet.com is one of the many news sites that I check into from time to time. There’s this great technical analyst, Dan Fitzpatrick that does a daily chart analysis on three stocks every day. The segment is called, Three Stocks I saw on TV. It goes over a few stocks that were reported on Fast Money and Mad Money by Jim Cramer. If you ever want to find out what is in a chart and how to buy on technical analysis, Dan is your guy.

He also has a weekly newsletter and a frequent contributor on TheStreet.com’s “Real Story” with Frank Curzio…
It’s a daily podcast that I listen to frequently that has great guests and dissects the market’s movements of that day. It’s a great way to learn while retouching. I’ll work on a project and learn about the market at the same time. 🙂 You just go into itunes, click on podcast, and search for “Real Story”. It’ll come up. It’s free and on every day. They start the podcast around 3, and you can download it around 5:30 or 6pm.

Morningstar.com

MorningStar.com is THE research tool to sign up for if you really want to get great information and analysis on any company that is publicly traded. They give some information for free, but they charge a yearly fee for their indepth analysis. I would highly recommend this site if you get into researching and buying stocks yourself.

www.stockpickr.com
Stockpickr.com is a great site that many individual investors use to get great information on buying stocks…which stocks are good, which aren’t, and why.

TheMotleyFool.com
Another great research website…good articles and timely information
.
So how do you track the stocks that you own? How do you get the real-time stock prices?

Yahoo! Finance
Yahoo Finance is the tool I use to track my portfolio. For $12/month you can sign up for “Real-Time” Stock ticker. This gives you the price by the second during the trading day, which is 9:30 am to 4pm. This is important because the stock prices available on most sites give you the information for free, but with a 20 minute lag. A lot can happen in 20 minutes. If you’re buying stocks yourself, you need a site that gives you real time stock prices so you’re buying with current information.

The portfolio manager is free. You just put in your stocks, price you bought, # of shares, and it will track your portfolio. It’s also a great way to, “play” in the beginning. Try this exercise…

Give yourself $50,000 to split up into 5 stocks(a good number of stocks to own and helps to remain diverse). Do some research into companies that you have an interest in. Go onto Morningstar, read about the companies, and then follow them. When you put them in your portfolio, you can click on them and see their charts, news, and much more info. You’ll see every day how your purchases did. If you like it, then maybe you can start putting real money into use.

So…that’s a little synopsis of what I use to invest for the future. It does take some time to do this right, though. Experts say if you’re going to manage your own money, you should spend an hour a week/stock to stay informed. That’s why investing in more stocks than 5 can be tough to keep up on.

Chicken Wing Break!!

Ok, we’re back…nuf about money, since not many of us have enough of it right now…lol.

One more that’s a little about money…invoicing software. Now this particular one is designed for Photographers, but they also make one for designers/graphic artists as well.

www.blinkbid.com

What I like about Blinkbid is it has a built in usage creator so it makes the legal part of our estimating process nice and easy. 30 day free download if you’d like to give it a whirl.

www.audible.com
I mention Audible.com because I think of it as two things. One, it’s nice when I’m in an especially heinous retouching project to listen to a good fiction story to get me through it. Two, it’s like continuing education. When I started researching stocks and the stock market, I downloaded many good titles to give me an introduction to investing. Some of the titles I recommend are below:

Rule #1 : A great book that shows you the rule #1 investing strategy. What is rule #1? Don’t lose money. 🙂

Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World

Jim Cramer’s Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer)

Warren Buffett Speaks: Wit and Wisdom from the World’s Greatest Investor

I’ll post up the rest of the evenings topics later on as I gather the information put out by the other guests. I’ll be posting it here, so just check back in a few days for the rest of the evenings news.

James

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This is the 1st quarterly Creative E-Marketing/Advertising/PR Meeting of the minds.

This is the 1st quarterly Creative E-Marketing/Advertising/PR Meeting of the minds. No animals were harmed in the execution of this meeting.

Welcome to the 1st Meeting of the Minds. I love services like Linkedin, facebook, etc….but those are only online. Everyone types their answers. I’ve wanted to create a community of creatives that would like to share information about how to best use this vast space we call the internet. It’s funny, but I sometimes only look at sites that I’ve bookmarked. I fall into a pattern of looking to the same sites, the same information all the time. The truth of the matter, is that there are sites going up every day that are putting up new information and new technologies. In my own bubble, it’s really a lot of work to keep up with all of these very informative and cutting edge sites/applications. So, that’s why I decided to start a quarterly Physical meeting(SHOCKING!!!) of creatives to share what we’ve all learned collectively. I think I keep pretty good tabs on what is going on, but there is SOOOO much out there. I feel I can educate others on what I know, but I would love to BE educated on what others in my and related fields know…

SOOO…myself, my friends, and creatives came out tonight to put out some helpful information on what programs/services/websites/tips/tricks, etc…we can all use to better get ourselves and our work out there.

You can click any of the images below to see the full size screen capture.

I’ve listed below some of the things that I started off the evening with. These are some websites, tips and applications that I use and think that most people would find helpful.

www.linkedin.com

Linkedin is of course, a great resource that most of us know about, but the tools within the site that have just come online recently can make it a better resource for you.

New application using Google Docs for linkedin. http://docs.google.com/
-Google Docs, (add .pdfs and other files from google docs…great for showing your portfolio). The only issue with this one is that you can only show one presentation at a time. You have to sign in to google docs, create a presentation, and then publish it. Once this is done, it will show up in your linkedin profile. In my example below, I exported a .pdf I had made of my work.


www.slideshare.com
– Slideshare is another .pdf application program for Linkedin, but what’s nice about this one is that you can have many .pdfs loaded and shown all within Linkedin. You have to sign up with slideshare.com to use this service. There’s really a lot to this service beyond it’s linkedin partnership, you should check it out…

– Blog Link: If you have a blog, you can now link it to your profile so it shows the three most recent blog posts. Just another way of adding to your profile and adding to your audience so more people view your blog.

– Also, for Linkedin, join groups and answer questions. It leaves your profile at many places where relevant people can randomly find it if they are browsing the groups. It’s important to really get into linkedin and find relevant groups where you may be able to network with the kind of people you want your profile to be seen by.

Just from my experience, linkedin referrals to my website tend to view more pages than the average viewer. I think this is because linkedin viewers are more likely to be business minded and interested in researching you or your company, so it’s a website you should try to explore and get the most out of.

Google Analytics: ( www.google.com/analytics/ )

Speaking of Visitors/page…how did I know that my linkedin viewers viewed more pages and spent more time on my site? Google Analytics. It’s a wonderful free service that tracks all kinds of information. Where people come from when they view your site, time on your site, which pages they viewed, what city/state/country your visitors came from…the list goes on. Suffice it to say that if you have a website, you should be tracking your traffic somehow. This is a great tool to better understand where your traffic is coming from and which websites are giving you the best visitors. If you have e-commerce(which I don’t), that’s a whole separate tracking issue that Google Analytics tracks that I’m sure would be invaluable to your business.

www.swiftpage.com

Swiftpage.com is a service I use for tracking the effectiveness of my email campaigns. Used correctly, you can really glean a lot of information from your email campaigns from when the user opened it to whether or not they clicked on your links(and how many times they clicked on your links).

ACT! by Sage (Contact Management Software): www.act.com

ACT! is a very good contact management program that, when used right, is an amazing tool. It takes a little while to get used to, but is another tool that I think is needed for anyone trying to keep track of hundreds, even thousands of contacts.

Swiftpage.com has a plugin that works with ACT! that makes sending mass emails out a breeze. You must have an account with swiftpage before doing this. Using both of these programs together has been very important for me to keep up with my data. It’s not a program for the feint of heart though. Prepare to spend some time with it, as it is a VERY robust program. Like most tools of it’s nature, the more you put into ACT!, the more you get out of it.


http://www.vimeo.com

Vimeo is a service I found recently through Rob Haggart’s blog, www.aphotoeditor.com (a must read!). I checked it out…added one of my videos and it looks to be a great service if you’re a videographer, or have videos that you’d like to get out there. You can also create video groups(communities). I found one that was interesting. It’s a collection of videos made on the Canon 5d Mark II. http://www.vimeo.com/groups/5DMarkII/videos. I’m personally looking to get the camera, so it’s nice to see the capabilities and what others are doing with it.


http://www.facebook.com
.I’m not going to go into this one too much except to say that if you’re not on here, get a profile, invite your friends. It’s strangely addicting and an excellent tool to keep in touch with friends. Just don’t accept everybody that adds you…becomes a mess after a while of people you don’t care about. I give people I don’t know my myspace.com address, which I don’t really use that much…lol. 😉

http://artefactstudio.com/
The vertict is not out on this service yet. I just signed up…looks to be one of the better self-publishing book services out there. I’m going to do a book with them and test out their services. I’ll post more after I’ve done my book.
http://knol.google.com/k
It’s a new service by google where people write about and publish whatever they like. A quick search here on how to make a photography book produced this article by Kent Ninomiya.

http://knol.google.com/k/ehowknol/how-to-get-a-photography-book-published/3a9e8hggiw4cz/259#

http://www.stumbleupon.com
Ok, this is just a kind of fun site that you can check out from time to time. You pick a category, say, “photography”, click “Stumbleupon”, and it takes you to one of the sites randomly. You can upload your own site to be in their listings as well. Effective, I don’t know, but it’s one of those things that once you do it, it doesn’t take any upkeep. Sometimes a fun site to visit and be surprised at what’s out there…

Ok, so that’s what I wanted to put out…below is what some of the group came up with.

Chris Miggles, a great photo assistant, if anyone is looking for one(http://www.chrismiggelsphotography.com) added these nice websites:

http://www.borrowlenses.com
A great resourse if you want to rent/lease lenses for long term use and don’t want to buy them…check it out. Sounds like a great service.

http://www.dripbook.com

Dripbook offers its worldwide community of professional visual artists the easiest, most stylish way to display, promote and distribute their portfolios online. It is also a very powerful networking site for many different types of creatives and resources in various industries. With the option of a premium account it allows you to have various ways of sharing your work by exporting beautiful flash websites, slide shows for HTML inserts, and export individual books as widgets you can place in blogs, and other Web sites. When you change your books on Dripbook, all your widgets, website etc. will change, too. It’s an easy way of managing your website fast and efficiently, without the headache. For an example of dripbooks final product check here www.chrismiggelsphotography.com

James thanks for the last night again man it was a lot of fun, and a good learing experience. So good to have so many creative people in the same room at the same time.


We discussed a few other portfolio sites….

http://www.aphotofolio.com, This is the service I use. You can see an example at my site, http://www.jamesweberstudio.com. I Love the site for it’s ease of use and large imagery. Administration is very well designed and intuitive. It has thumbs that come in from the side if you like browsing images like that. The entire left of the image when clicked will take you back, and clicking the right side of the image takes you to the next one. Very simple navigation. I hate those sites that make you click in the bottom right hand corner(some magazine sites). Customer service is quick and very accessible. I’d highly recommend it…also, they just added video capability to the sites. Look in the behind the scenes section of my site to see it(also can go full screen).

www.viewbook.com

www.foliolink.com, looks interesting…


I’ll be updating the blog later with comments from James Sullivan on:

http://www.1prophoto.com : A great resource for Photo Assistants and Digital Techs

http://www.trucemag.com : An online magazine for photographer’s personal projects…let the art flow…

– Search Engine Spider techniques on how to utilize keywording better in your html files so that your ranking goes up faster in google and other seach engines.

Robin Zachary of www.robinzachary.com
brought to us,
www.delicious.com, a social bookmarking site.

Hey James-
Thanks for all the great info Tues. nite.

So Delicious….www.delicious.com….

It’s a great way of collecting your favorite blogs and websites in one place and also sharing with others who have similar interests.

You can bookmark sites you like, categorize them by keyword and then through the delicious network others can see what you have bookmarked and check them out. You can search on a keyword through the entire delicious network too. It picks up a lot of blogs in addition to websites. It can suck hours of my time when I get going! But it’s been a lot of fun traipsing through cyberspace with it.

I have my bookmarkes organized according to type of stylist resources for my blog www.propcloset.com.

My account is under Robinbeth so you can look up me or any other user if you have their username.

I enclosed an image of my page. I’m sure you can do so much more with it than I even know. You can have your bookmarks visible on your blog and visitors to your blog can click on a delicous icon to bookmark it that way too.

You can write comments in your bookmark to so others can see.

That’s all for now!

Robin


Charles Flores, Creative Director at Jordache Jeans will be adding some great insight to what he sees from the client side…and in some cases, what he would like to see.

So that concludes the first, “Meeting of the Minds”. Look back later to see the last few presentations as James and Charles add in their Articles. I’ll be gearing up to do another one in two months. If you’d like to be on my list to be invited to the next one, email me at james@jamesweberstudio.com and I’ll put you on the list. The more the merrier. I’d love to get more people out that want to share their thoughts on our industry and things that can make the journey a little easier.

James Weber
http://www.jamesweberstudio.com
917-882-3724
Tagged , ,

This is the 1st quarterly Creative E-Marketing/Advertising/PR Meeting of the minds.

This is the 1st quarterly Creative E-Marketing/Advertising/PR Meeting of the minds. No animals were harmed in the execution of this meeting.

Welcome to the 1st Meeting of the Minds. I love services like Linkedin, facebook, etc….but those are only online. Everyone types their answers. I’ve wanted to create a community of creatives that would like to share information about how to best use this vast space we call the internet. It’s funny, but I sometimes only look at sites that I’ve bookmarked. I fall into a pattern of looking to the same sites, the same information all the time. The truth of the matter, is that there are sites going up every day that are putting up new information and new technologies. In my own bubble, it’s really a lot of work to keep up with all of these very informative and cutting edge sites/applications. So, that’s why I decided to start a quarterly Physical meeting(SHOCKING!!!) of creatives to share what we’ve all learned collectively. I think I keep pretty good tabs on what is going on, but there is SOOOO much out there. I feel I can educate others on what I know, but I would love to BE educated on what others in my and related fields know…

SOOO…myself, my friends, and creatives came out tonight to put out some helpful information on what programs/services/websites/tips/tricks, etc…we can all use to better get ourselves and our work out there.

You can click any of the images below to see the full size screen capture.

I’ve listed below some of the things that I started off the evening with. These are some websites, tips and applications that I use and think that most people would find helpful.

www.linkedin.com

Linkedin is of course, a great resource that most of us know about, but the tools within the site that have just come online recently can make it a better resource for you.

New application using Google Docs for linkedin. http://docs.google.com/
-Google Docs, (add .pdfs and other files from google docs…great for showing your portfolio). The only issue with this one is that you can only show one presentation at a time. You have to sign in to google docs, create a presentation, and then publish it. Once this is done, it will show up in your linkedin profile. In my example below, I exported a .pdf I had made of my work.


www.slideshare.com
– Slideshare is another .pdf application program for Linkedin, but what’s nice about this one is that you can have many .pdfs loaded and shown all within Linkedin. You have to sign up with slideshare.com to use this service. There’s really a lot to this service beyond it’s linkedin partnership, you should check it out…

– Blog Link: If you have a blog, you can now link it to your profile so it shows the three most recent blog posts. Just another way of adding to your profile and adding to your audience so more people view your blog.

– Also, for Linkedin, join groups and answer questions. It leaves your profile at many places where relevant people can randomly find it if they are browsing the groups. It’s important to really get into linkedin and find relevant groups where you may be able to network with the kind of people you want your profile to be seen by.

Just from my experience, linkedin referrals to my website tend to view more pages than the average viewer. I think this is because linkedin viewers are more likely to be business minded and interested in researching you or your company, so it’s a website you should try to explore and get the most out of.

Google Analytics: ( www.google.com/analytics/ )

Speaking of Visitors/page…how did I know that my linkedin viewers viewed more pages and spent more time on my site? Google Analytics. It’s a wonderful free service that tracks all kinds of information. Where people come from when they view your site, time on your site, which pages they viewed, what city/state/country your visitors came from…the list goes on. Suffice it to say that if you have a website, you should be tracking your traffic somehow. This is a great tool to better understand where your traffic is coming from and which websites are giving you the best visitors. If you have e-commerce(which I don’t), that’s a whole separate tracking issue that Google Analytics tracks that I’m sure would be invaluable to your business.

www.swiftpage.com

Swiftpage.com is a service I use for tracking the effectiveness of my email campaigns. Used correctly, you can really glean a lot of information from your email campaigns from when the user opened it to whether or not they clicked on your links(and how many times they clicked on your links).

ACT! by Sage (Contact Management Software): www.act.com

ACT! is a very good contact management program that, when used right, is an amazing tool. It takes a little while to get used to, but is another tool that I think is needed for anyone trying to keep track of hundreds, even thousands of contacts.

Swiftpage.com has a plugin that works with ACT! that makes sending mass emails out a breeze. You must have an account with swiftpage before doing this. Using both of these programs together has been very important for me to keep up with my data. It’s not a program for the feint of heart though. Prepare to spend some time with it, as it is a VERY robust program. Like most tools of it’s nature, the more you put into ACT!, the more you get out of it.


http://www.vimeo.com

Vimeo is a service I found recently through Rob Haggart’s blog, www.aphotoeditor.com (a must read!). I checked it out…added one of my videos and it looks to be a great service if you’re a videographer, or have videos that you’d like to get out there. You can also create video groups(communities). I found one that was interesting. It’s a collection of videos made on the Canon 5d Mark II. http://www.vimeo.com/groups/5DMarkII/videos. I’m personally looking to get the camera, so it’s nice to see the capabilities and what others are doing with it.


http://www.facebook.com
.I’m not going to go into this one too much except to say that if you’re not on here, get a profile, invite your friends. It’s strangely addicting and an excellent tool to keep in touch with friends. Just don’t accept everybody that adds you…becomes a mess after a while of people you don’t care about. I give people I don’t know my myspace.com address, which I don’t really use that much…lol. 😉

http://artefactstudio.com/
The vertict is not out on this service yet. I just signed up…looks to be one of the better self-publishing book services out there. I’m going to do a book with them and test out their services. I’ll post more after I’ve done my book.
http://knol.google.com/k
It’s a new service by google where people write about and publish whatever they like. A quick search here on how to make a photography book produced this article by Kent Ninomiya.

http://knol.google.com/k/ehowknol/how-to-get-a-photography-book-published/3a9e8hggiw4cz/259#

http://www.stumbleupon.com
Ok, this is just a kind of fun site that you can check out from time to time. You pick a category, say, “photography”, click “Stumbleupon”, and it takes you to one of the sites randomly. You can upload your own site to be in their listings as well. Effective, I don’t know, but it’s one of those things that once you do it, it doesn’t take any upkeep. Sometimes a fun site to visit and be surprised at what’s out there…

Ok, so that’s what I wanted to put out…below is what some of the group came up with.

Chris Miggles, a great photo assistant, if anyone is looking for one(http://www.chrismiggelsphotography.com) added these nice websites:

http://www.borrowlenses.com
A great resourse if you want to rent/lease lenses for long term use and don’t want to buy them…check it out. Sounds like a great service.

http://www.dripbook.com

Dripbook offers its worldwide community of professional visual artists the easiest, most stylish way to display, promote and distribute their portfolios online. It is also a very powerful networking site for many different types of creatives and resources in various industries. With the option of a premium account it allows you to have various ways of sharing your work by exporting beautiful flash websites, slide shows for HTML inserts, and export individual books as widgets you can place in blogs, and other Web sites. When you change your books on Dripbook, all your widgets, website etc. will change, too. It’s an easy way of managing your website fast and efficiently, without the headache. For an example of dripbooks final product check here www.chrismiggelsphotography.com

James thanks for the last night again man it was a lot of fun, and a good learing experience. So good to have so many creative people in the same room at the same time.


We discussed a few other portfolio sites….

http://www.aphotofolio.com, This is the service I use. You can see an example at my site, http://www.jamesweberstudio.com. I Love the site for it’s ease of use and large imagery. Administration is very well designed and intuitive. It has thumbs that come in from the side if you like browsing images like that. The entire left of the image when clicked will take you back, and clicking the right side of the image takes you to the next one. Very simple navigation. I hate those sites that make you click in the bottom right hand corner(some magazine sites). Customer service is quick and very accessible. I’d highly recommend it…also, they just added video capability to the sites. Look in the behind the scenes section of my site to see it(also can go full screen).

www.viewbook.com

www.foliolink.com, looks interesting…


I’ll be updating the blog later with comments from James Sullivan on:

http://www.1prophoto.com : A great resource for Photo Assistants and Digital Techs

http://www.trucemag.com : An online magazine for photographer’s personal projects…let the art flow…

– Search Engine Spider techniques on how to utilize keywording better in your html files so that your ranking goes up faster in google and other seach engines.

Robin Zachary of www.robinzachary.com
brought to us,
www.delicious.com, a social bookmarking site.

Hey James-
Thanks for all the great info Tues. nite.

So Delicious….www.delicious.com….

It’s a great way of collecting your favorite blogs and websites in one place and also sharing with others who have similar interests.

You can bookmark sites you like, categorize them by keyword and then through the delicious network others can see what you have bookmarked and check them out. You can search on a keyword through the entire delicious network too. It picks up a lot of blogs in addition to websites. It can suck hours of my time when I get going! But it’s been a lot of fun traipsing through cyberspace with it.

I have my bookmarkes organized according to type of stylist resources for my blog www.propcloset.com.

My account is under Robinbeth so you can look up me or any other user if you have their username.

I enclosed an image of my page. I’m sure you can do so much more with it than I even know. You can have your bookmarks visible on your blog and visitors to your blog can click on a delicous icon to bookmark it that way too.

You can write comments in your bookmark to so others can see.

That’s all for now!

Robin


Charles Flores, Creative Director at Jordache Jeans will be adding some great insight to what he sees from the client side…and in some cases, what he would like to see.

So that concludes the first, “Meeting of the Minds”. Look back later to see the last few presentations as James and Charles add in their Articles. I’ll be gearing up to do another one in two months. If you’d like to be on my list to be invited to the next one, email me at james@jamesweberstudio.com and I’ll put you on the list. The more the merrier. I’d love to get more people out that want to share their thoughts on our industry and things that can make the journey a little easier.

James Weber
http://www.jamesweberstudio.com
917-882-3724
Tagged , ,

This is the 1st quarterly Creative E-Marketing/Advertising/PR Meeting of the minds.

This is the 1st quarterly Creative E-Marketing/Advertising/PR Meeting of the minds. No animals were harmed in the execution of this meeting.

Welcome to the 1st Meeting of the Minds. I love services like Linkedin, facebook, etc….but those are only online. Everyone types their answers. I’ve wanted to create a community of creatives that would like to share information about how to best use this vast space we call the internet. It’s funny, but I sometimes only look at sites that I’ve bookmarked. I fall into a pattern of looking to the same sites, the same information all the time. The truth of the matter, is that there are sites going up every day that are putting up new information and new technologies. In my own bubble, it’s really a lot of work to keep up with all of these very informative and cutting edge sites/applications. So, that’s why I decided to start a quarterly Physical meeting(SHOCKING!!!) of creatives to share what we’ve all learned collectively. I think I keep pretty good tabs on what is going on, but there is SOOOO much out there. I feel I can educate others on what I know, but I would love to BE educated on what others in my and related fields know…

SOOO…myself, my friends, and creatives came out tonight to put out some helpful information on what programs/services/websites/tips/tricks, etc…we can all use to better get ourselves and our work out there.

You can click any of the images below to see the full size screen capture.

I’ve listed below some of the things that I started off the evening with. These are some websites, tips and applications that I use and think that most people would find helpful.

www.linkedin.com

Linkedin is of course, a great resource that most of us know about, but the tools within the site that have just come online recently can make it a better resource for you.

New application using Google Docs for linkedin. http://docs.google.com/
-Google Docs, (add .pdfs and other files from google docs…great for showing your portfolio). The only issue with this one is that you can only show one presentation at a time. You have to sign in to google docs, create a presentation, and then publish it. Once this is done, it will show up in your linkedin profile. In my example below, I exported a .pdf I had made of my work.


www.slideshare.com
– Slideshare is another .pdf application program for Linkedin, but what’s nice about this one is that you can have many .pdfs loaded and shown all within Linkedin. You have to sign up with slideshare.com to use this service. There’s really a lot to this service beyond it’s linkedin partnership, you should check it out…

– Blog Link: If you have a blog, you can now link it to your profile so it shows the three most recent blog posts. Just another way of adding to your profile and adding to your audience so more people view your blog.

– Also, for Linkedin, join groups and answer questions. It leaves your profile at many places where relevant people can randomly find it if they are browsing the groups. It’s important to really get into linkedin and find relevant groups where you may be able to network with the kind of people you want your profile to be seen by.

Just from my experience, linkedin referrals to my website tend to view more pages than the average viewer. I think this is because linkedin viewers are more likely to be business minded and interested in researching you or your company, so it’s a website you should try to explore and get the most out of.

Google Analytics: ( www.google.com/analytics/ )

Speaking of Visitors/page…how did I know that my linkedin viewers viewed more pages and spent more time on my site? Google Analytics. It’s a wonderful free service that tracks all kinds of information. Where people come from when they view your site, time on your site, which pages they viewed, what city/state/country your visitors came from…the list goes on. Suffice it to say that if you have a website, you should be tracking your traffic somehow. This is a great tool to better understand where your traffic is coming from and which websites are giving you the best visitors. If you have e-commerce(which I don’t), that’s a whole separate tracking issue that Google Analytics tracks that I’m sure would be invaluable to your business.

www.swiftpage.com

Swiftpage.com is a service I use for tracking the effectiveness of my email campaigns. Used correctly, you can really glean a lot of information from your email campaigns from when the user opened it to whether or not they clicked on your links(and how many times they clicked on your links).

ACT! by Sage (Contact Management Software): www.act.com

ACT! is a very good contact management program that, when used right, is an amazing tool. It takes a little while to get used to, but is another tool that I think is needed for anyone trying to keep track of hundreds, even thousands of contacts.

Swiftpage.com has a plugin that works with ACT! that makes sending mass emails out a breeze. You must have an account with swiftpage before doing this. Using both of these programs together has been very important for me to keep up with my data. It’s not a program for the feint of heart though. Prepare to spend some time with it, as it is a VERY robust program. Like most tools of it’s nature, the more you put into ACT!, the more you get out of it.


http://www.vimeo.com

Vimeo is a service I found recently through Rob Haggart’s blog, www.aphotoeditor.com (a must read!). I checked it out…added one of my videos and it looks to be a great service if you’re a videographer, or have videos that you’d like to get out there. You can also create video groups(communities). I found one that was interesting. It’s a collection of videos made on the Canon 5d Mark II. http://www.vimeo.com/groups/5DMarkII/videos. I’m personally looking to get the camera, so it’s nice to see the capabilities and what others are doing with it.


http://www.facebook.com
.I’m not going to go into this one too much except to say that if you’re not on here, get a profile, invite your friends. It’s strangely addicting and an excellent tool to keep in touch with friends. Just don’t accept everybody that adds you…becomes a mess after a while of people you don’t care about. I give people I don’t know my myspace.com address, which I don’t really use that much…lol. 😉

http://artefactstudio.com/
The vertict is not out on this service yet. I just signed up…looks to be one of the better self-publishing book services out there. I’m going to do a book with them and test out their services. I’ll post more after I’ve done my book.
http://knol.google.com/k
It’s a new service by google where people write about and publish whatever they like. A quick search here on how to make a photography book produced this article by Kent Ninomiya.

http://knol.google.com/k/ehowknol/how-to-get-a-photography-book-published/3a9e8hggiw4cz/259#

http://www.stumbleupon.com
Ok, this is just a kind of fun site that you can check out from time to time. You pick a category, say, “photography”, click “Stumbleupon”, and it takes you to one of the sites randomly. You can upload your own site to be in their listings as well. Effective, I don’t know, but it’s one of those things that once you do it, it doesn’t take any upkeep. Sometimes a fun site to visit and be surprised at what’s out there…

Ok, so that’s what I wanted to put out…below is what some of the group came up with.

Chris Miggles, a great photo assistant, if anyone is looking for one(http://www.chrismiggelsphotography.com) added these nice websites:

http://www.borrowlenses.com
A great resourse if you want to rent/lease lenses for long term use and don’t want to buy them…check it out. Sounds like a great service.

http://www.dripbook.com

Dripbook offers its worldwide community of professional visual artists the easiest, most stylish way to display, promote and distribute their portfolios online. It is also a very powerful networking site for many different types of creatives and resources in various industries. With the option of a premium account it allows you to have various ways of sharing your work by exporting beautiful flash websites, slide shows for HTML inserts, and export individual books as widgets you can place in blogs, and other Web sites. When you change your books on Dripbook, all your widgets, website etc. will change, too. It’s an easy way of managing your website fast and efficiently, without the headache. For an example of dripbooks final product check here www.chrismiggelsphotography.com

James thanks for the last night again man it was a lot of fun, and a good learing experience. So good to have so many creative people in the same room at the same time.


We discussed a few other portfolio sites….

http://www.aphotofolio.com, This is the service I use. You can see an example at my site, http://www.jamesweberstudio.com. I Love the site for it’s ease of use and large imagery. Administration is very well designed and intuitive. It has thumbs that come in from the side if you like browsing images like that. The entire left of the image when clicked will take you back, and clicking the right side of the image takes you to the next one. Very simple navigation. I hate those sites that make you click in the bottom right hand corner(some magazine sites). Customer service is quick and very accessible. I’d highly recommend it…also, they just added video capability to the sites. Look in the behind the scenes section of my site to see it(also can go full screen).

www.viewbook.com

www.foliolink.com, looks interesting…


I’ll be updating the blog later with comments from James Sullivan on:

http://www.1prophoto.com : A great resource for Photo Assistants and Digital Techs

http://www.trucemag.com : An online magazine for photographer’s personal projects…let the art flow…

– Search Engine Spider techniques on how to utilize keywording better in your html files so that your ranking goes up faster in google and other seach engines.

Robin Zachary of www.robinzachary.com
brought to us,
www.delicious.com, a social bookmarking site.

Hey James-
Thanks for all the great info Tues. nite.

So Delicious….www.delicious.com….

It’s a great way of collecting your favorite blogs and websites in one place and also sharing with others who have similar interests.

You can bookmark sites you like, categorize them by keyword and then through the delicious network others can see what you have bookmarked and check them out. You can search on a keyword through the entire delicious network too. It picks up a lot of blogs in addition to websites. It can suck hours of my time when I get going! But it’s been a lot of fun traipsing through cyberspace with it.

I have my bookmarkes organized according to type of stylist resources for my blog www.propcloset.com.

My account is under Robinbeth so you can look up me or any other user if you have their username.

I enclosed an image of my page. I’m sure you can do so much more with it than I even know. You can have your bookmarks visible on your blog and visitors to your blog can click on a delicous icon to bookmark it that way too.

You can write comments in your bookmark to so others can see.

That’s all for now!

Robin


Charles Flores, Creative Director at Jordache Jeans will be adding some great insight to what he sees from the client side…and in some cases, what he would like to see.

So that concludes the first, “Meeting of the Minds”. Look back later to see the last few presentations as James and Charles add in their Articles. I’ll be gearing up to do another one in two months. If you’d like to be on my list to be invited to the next one, email me at james@jamesweberstudio.com and I’ll put you on the list. The more the merrier. I’d love to get more people out that want to share their thoughts on our industry and things that can make the journey a little easier.

James Weber
http://www.jamesweberstudio.com
917-882-3724
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