Archive for March, 2008

Social Networking Resources

Friday, March 28th, 2008

I was asked to write an article on tips for creating a social networking profile and came across the following resources about social networking I thought were particularly helpful.

Social Networking Resources:

A short video with an overview of social networking. (CommonCraft who produced this video also has other helpful overview videos on blogging, wikis and RSS.):
http://www.commoncraft.com/video-social-networking
(Or see it on YouTube) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a_KF7TYKVc

An in depth history of online social networking that includes links to the major players:
http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2007/08/digging_deeperyour_guide_to_so_1.html

Social Networking Blog where you can learn about latest developments and new tools.
http://www.socialnetworking-weblog.com/

Search engines specifically for finding social networks:
http://www.digfoot.com/
http://www.findasocialnetwork.com/search.php

List of Social Networking Sites organized by category (i.e. books, business, family)
http://mashable.com/2007/10/23/social-networking-god/

A good list of Social Networking Aggregators. (Yeah. There are so many of them you need to worry about putting them all in one place.):
http://mashable.com/2007/07/17/social-network-aggregators/

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Alternatives to Paypal

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

I am not a fan of Paypal but for many of my clients Paypal is a necessary evil. Paypal is pretty good if you’re an individual or small business selling stuff on eBay but if you’re selling an eBook, Payapl is an in-elegant solution.

The problem is that once someone has purchased your eBook (or other informational product), it’s really tough to tell them how to download their purchase. You can’t customize the landing page to tell them “Click here to download your purchase.” All you can do is hope that they figure out that they need to click on the tiny “Return to Merchant” URL in the lower left hand corner of the page. The best work-around I’ve found is to put in big, red, bold text on the order page “Click on the ‘Return to Merchant’ link to download your purchase.” Yeah, right. Like that’s gonna happen. In-elegant is an understatement.

So when I was noodling around the internet today and cam across an article on CNN.com about 5 alternatives to Paypal, it got my attention. I haven’t tested out any of the companies they mention but I will be testing out http://www.e-junkie.com/. They’re not really on par with Paypal but have the potential to be better because they work with multiple payment systems including PayPal Standard, Google Checkout, Authorize.Net, 2CheckOut and ClickBank. This means you can accept payment for multiple systems that don’t require you to set up a merchant account.

The thing I really like about e-Junkie.com is that you can customize both the landing page and the email people get when they purchase your eBook. That way you can send them to a page that says “Download your purchase here.” Seems pretty simple but apparently it’s beyond Paypal’s capabilities.

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