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Matthew Olde
2,448 followers -
The world needs more saxophone!
The world needs more saxophone!

2,448 followers
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Fishing in San Francisco #ocean   #fishing   #sanfrancisco   #fotostat  
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Bondi - Sydney

One of the only photos I liked from the photo walk day in Sydney. I think there was around 200 people!

#beachphotography   #beach   #oceanphotography   #ocean  
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A random alley in China town Sydney Australia
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+Daniel Treadwell's Google+Blog WordPress Plugin is simply magic. It takes your Google+ posts and places them in your WordPress blog. 

I learned about this a few months ago from +Peg Fitzpatrick, but Holykaw.com, the site where I wanted my Google+ posts to appear, was not running on Word Press until this weekend. 

For some reason, I have no problem writing Google+ posts, but I have great difficulty writing blog posts. If you're like me, Google+Blog WordPress Plugin can solve the problem. Now I can make a Google+ post like this (the picture on the left):

https://plus.google.com/112374836634096795698/posts/4fNMNjjJ7pD

And it will automatically appear like this in our WordPress blog (the picture on the right):

http://holykaw.alltop.com/ape-on-wall-street-journal-bestseller-list

Even the comments are carried over, so that the Holy Kaw post instantly looks popular because it shows the Google+ comments.

Here's where you get the WordPress plugin:

http://gpb.minimali.se/google+blog/

Thank you +Daniel Treadwell!
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February 4, 2013
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Twitter support added to Fotostat

One of the more common requests we get for +Fotostat is for more networks to be supported.  From the beginning we have tried to prioritise the networks we were supporting by their popularity in an effort to help out as many people as possible, but there has been one glaring omission, +Twitter.

With so many photographers utilising the micro-blogging platform it was a hard decision to not include Twitter from the outset.  Around the time Fotostat was moving through beta, there was a lot of controversy surrounding the direction Twitter was taking in relation to developers utilising the service.  Not wanting to implement something and have it shortly taken away I was hesitant to support the service at all.  After much thought and consideration I have now tentatively added Twitter to the growing list of networks.  I'd rather save our users as much time as possible now and deal with any problems that may arise if/when the time comes.

This brings our current supported network count to 9, with Twitter joining Google+, Facebook , Flickr , 500px, Smugmug, Tumblr, WordPress and Instagram.

Please let me know of any networks you would like to see added to the service and we will add it to our list.  This is only the beginning with more social networks, photography communities, blogging platforms and stock photography sites slated to be supported in the future.

Also, feel free to follow us on twitter @ twitter.com/fotostatsocial or head straight to the site @ www.fotost.at

#minimalise   #fotostat   #socialmedia  
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Control whether community posts appear on your profile

Thanks for all the great feedback on how we can make Google+ Communities even better. It’s been inspiring to see all of the different ways people are using communities, and we’re excited to keep making improvements. 

Community posts are a great way for people to see your different interests when they visit your Google+ profile. But some of you have asked for a way to keep community posts separate from the rest of your Google+ posts. 

Today we're adding a new setting that lets you do just that! Simply visit https://www.google.com/settings/plus, look for the new "Communities" section, and make your choice. (We'll be rolling this out gradually.)

Remember that your private community posts will only be visible to people in those communities, regardless of whether or not you show community posts on your profile. 

Keep the comments and suggestions coming, and stay tuned for more improvements in the coming weeks!

#googleplusupdate  
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Fotostat is now monitoring over 1,000,000 photos

The end of each year is often a time for reflection, a time to look back on our accomplishments, our failures and everything in between.  When running a startup you tend to have quite a few data points to work with which makes it that little bit easier.

2012 was a big year for Fotostat, bringing about about massive changes to our codebase, a couple of server upgrades and a new site design.  We invited those that signed up to the mailing list to our closed beta and then finally opened the doors to everyone with an open beta at the end of the year.  One month later and we have hit a few milestones:

Over 500 users have signed up to try the service

1,000,000 photos are being monitored to help photographers better understand their audience.

1500 photos have been uploaded to multiple networks from within Fotostat

Like and other startup, Fotostat has not been without problems. As mentioned earlier we have had to upgrade our infrastructure twice throughout the year to accommodate growth, and being a new service there have been many bug reports submitted and completed along the way. 

We are nothing without our users, all of who are currently testers.  Without you we would not have come this far and your support has been tremendous throughout the year.  2013 is going to be amazing and we hope you can all be part of it.

Thankyou for helping us continue making Fotostat THE central hub where photographers can manage their online presence.

#minimalise   #fotostat #photography   #socialmedia
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Creating a Great Looking Video for Your Product or Service

It may come as no surprise to most that having a video on your website to describe your product or service can help increase conversion rates.  It has become quite common place these days with many leading retailers, brands and startups creating quirky, funny or just plain informative videos to help turn a visitor into a customer.  But that's not all video is capable of with statistics showing that it can also also assist in reducing customer support requests, increasing social shares and even in helping sites rank better on search engines.

With this in mind I decided early on that I wanted to create a video to help describe my startup, +Fotostat [fotost.at].  Based on our experience, describing a service in words is not all that hard, but really conveying how a service can be beneficial to a customer is much harder.  Fotostat is a central hub where photographers can manage their online presence by scheduling uploads of their photos across multiple networks.  It helps guage how well each photo performs by showing all relevant statistics available from each network and allows the photographer to engage with their audience in one easy to use location.  That's all well and good, but what does it actually DO?  The main value proposition we wanted to convey to our customers is how much time could be saved by using our product.  With that in mind, I set out to write a script for my video, first just in key points (who, what, why etc..), then expanding it into paragraphs.

Putting the script together took a little time, but the most difficult part for me was always going to be the visual side of things.  I am not typically what anyone would describe as a creative.  Apart from my photography interests, I am not artisticaly inclined whatsoever and find the idea of trying to be quite scary!  

Thankfully I came across +PowToon [powtoon.com], a service that provides you with all the tools needed to create a captivating video.  One of the great things about Powtoon is their ease of use.  If you are familiar with any kind of slide presentation software (like powerpoint), then you will be comfortable with Powtoon.  They provide a large array of clipart (some animated!) that you can simply drag and drop onto your slides to create the scenes that you are looking to create in your video.  You are able to change the time that each object is visible for (entry and exit points) as well as choose from multiple transition animations.

Powtoon really is great, but it is currently a beta service and not without some (minor) problems.  Any video worth watching needs audio, whether it be music or a voiceover or both.  Unfortunately at the time of creation it was not possible to add individual sound effects to each object, leaving it up to the user to cut in any effects with their background music which could be uploaded as a single file.  This was a bit of a pain to sync up but not a huge issue.  Another missing feature that I would have liked to see is the ability to add simple shapes, like a square or circle or even a line.  Whilst it was possible to upload your own images, it is certainly much more compelling to keep with the general theme of the existing clipart.

The audio for the Fotostat video was a combination of background music, sound effects for certain objects and a voice over.  The background music was made by a talented guy named Kevin MacLoud [incompetech.com] who has created a huge amount of royalty free music (CC Licensed).  Donations are appreciated and you can also purchase a non-attribution license which I did for the video which allows the music to be used without a visible reference to Kevin.  Sound effects were sourced from +AudioJungle [audiojungle.net] and the voiceover was provided by someone I found on +Fiverr [fiverr.com] for a tiny sum of just $15, which was simply astounding to me.

In total my costs for the video were around $50 for Powtoon, $30 for the music, $15 for the sound effects and $15 for the voiceover.  That is just $110 for something that would have cost me well over $1000 to have done professionally.   Is it of the same quality?  Probably not, but I certainly could not justify the higher price, not this early in my startup's life.  

Here at Fotostat we are extremely happy with the end result but we'd love to hear your thoughts so be sure to leave a comment!

#minimalise   #fotostat   #video   #marketing  
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How I Intend to Blog in 2013

I have a confession to make, I have started blogging at least 3 times that I can recall (it is likely more) but have never managed to stick with it.  It's a common story, one that is easily proven by the abundance of first posts followed up with nothing at all on blogs all over the web.  

It's hard to pinpoint the exact cause of my inability to blog for a decent amount of time but is likely a combination of lack of motivation due to other projects taking priority, lack of focus on a topic or subject for the blog and possibly the idea the noone cares what it is I have to say.  Despite having these issues in the past, I feel like this time will be different.  Some problems may still pop up from time to time but the way in which I now blog will hopefully allow me to keep on track.

Over the past year and a half or so I have been the most active I have ever been on a social network.  The release of Google+ gave me all the features I wanted that I felt were missing or not well implemented on other networks.  It also allowed me to start fresh with a new community and has become a place I really love to spend time.  Early on I noticed that several high profile bloggers had been creating long-form posts on the network whilst their blogs began to become a little stale.  It was an interesting turn of events and not really something I feel many expected.  Upon noticing this phenomenon I created a proof of concept which allowed anyone on Google+ to visit my site and have a 'blog' be created based on their posts.  I didn't expect to have many check it out but it really took off which in turn made me spend a bit more time creating more permanent solutions in Plusses, a hosted blog that uses Google+ posts as the content creation platform, and Google+Blog, a plugin that pulls in posts to self-hosted WordPress blogs.  These tools allowed many people to have an active blog without the extra effort of maintaining another presence.

For whatever reason I have no problem creating a long post for a social network, but always found it much more difficult to blog.  With that in mind, and my experience creating the afforementioned cross-posting solutions I will be crafting my posts on Google+ and then automatically replicating them to minimali.se (my blog).  The blog is not really a high value asset to me, but it is a place that can point people in the right direction if they are looking to reach out.  If it helps my writing find those that are in need of it then all the better.

If you have any questions on this type of setup, be sure to let me know.  Good luck to all those that are also looking to write more in 2013.

#minimalise   #blog   #socialmedia  
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