Monday, February 25, 2013

Black & White Mystery Boxes, aka QR Codes

Take a look to the left (or below--I'll make it easy for you). See that pixellated black and white square? Do you know what it is? If you do--you can stop reading and come back next week. But if you don't, I'll give you the quick down low and explain why I have one on my blog page.


This is called a QR Code (short for Quick Response Code, aka a two-dimensional code), which is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED. Basically, it's a better bar code that's moved outside the supermarket and into consumer advertising. Why is it better? It has the capacity to contain much more data (up to 4000 characters) than a standard UPC code and has faster readability.

Smartphone users can install a scanner app that reads the code and converts it to a URL or other data, like e-mail addresses, SMS text, vCards, plain text, and more. Upon scanning, the code directs the phone's browser to the desired website, data, e-mail address, etc. And yes, it's free (and easy) to make your own 'mystery box.' There are a plethora of websites where you can generate a QR Code for free. I've listed a few below that I've played around with and seem to work well, but this is by no means a comprehensive list:


But why? you ask. What's the point? Well, the QR Code is another easy method of reaching potential customers (aka readers) and giving them a new way to discover your website (or your book's website, or your blog, or wherever you'd like to direct traffic). Will it sell more books or garner you a larger fan base?  Maybe, maybe not. But it certainly won't hurt, and you won't spend a lot of time making your own QR Codes--it only takes minutes (or less if you type faster than I do).

What does my QR Code do? Scan it and find out!

Since I've already included a picture in this blog, I'll just leave you with a link to my Pinterest page, where you can peruse cool images that remind me of Crimson & Cream.

February 2013 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title February 2013, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Black & White Mystery Boxes, aka QR Codes
link : Black & White Mystery Boxes, aka QR Codes

Read Also


February 2013

Take a look to the left (or below--I'll make it easy for you). See that pixellated black and white square? Do you know what it is? If you do--you can stop reading and come back next week. But if you don't, I'll give you the quick down low and explain why I have one on my blog page.


This is called a QR Code (short for Quick Response Code, aka a two-dimensional code), which is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED. Basically, it's a better bar code that's moved outside the supermarket and into consumer advertising. Why is it better? It has the capacity to contain much more data (up to 4000 characters) than a standard UPC code and has faster readability.

Smartphone users can install a scanner app that reads the code and converts it to a URL or other data, like e-mail addresses, SMS text, vCards, plain text, and more. Upon scanning, the code directs the phone's browser to the desired website, data, e-mail address, etc. And yes, it's free (and easy) to make your own 'mystery box.' There are a plethora of websites where you can generate a QR Code for free. I've listed a few below that I've played around with and seem to work well, but this is by no means a comprehensive list:


But why? you ask. What's the point? Well, the QR Code is another easy method of reaching potential customers (aka readers) and giving them a new way to discover your website (or your book's website, or your blog, or wherever you'd like to direct traffic). Will it sell more books or garner you a larger fan base?  Maybe, maybe not. But it certainly won't hurt, and you won't spend a lot of time making your own QR Codes--it only takes minutes (or less if you type faster than I do).

What does my QR Code do? Scan it and find out!

Since I've already included a picture in this blog, I'll just leave you with a link to my Pinterest page, where you can peruse cool images that remind me of Crimson & Cream.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hitting the Wall

I know this is shocking (not!), but February is not my favorite month (sorry Valentine's Day). Seems between back-to-back flu bugs and a myriad of other distractions, my writing (including blogging) is crawling through a deepening mud bog. The good news is I've managed to power through the first draft of the yet untitled Volume II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. The bad news is that the novel is still under 60,000 words, so I've been debating with myself on where to go next. Should I consider the first draft done, or do I keep adding until the word count is closer to where it should be? There are some spots where I left placeholders in the manuscript knowing I had to go back and add details and backstory, but I'm finding this "jumping around and patching holes" to be rather difficult and inefficient.

Sitting here writing this post, I think I've convinced myself to start the revision process. I'm going to read the book from start to finish and try to wrap my head around what exactly I have on paper and what's still rolling around in my noggin. Then maybe what to write next will be more self-evident.  I'm inherently averse to writing anything remotely close to 'filler,' but I fear that's what I may be doing if I try to stretch this first draft closer to 80,000 words.

Some of you might be sitting there reading this and wondering "Where are the links? Where's the cool new website to check out?" I realize this isn't my typical post where I detail my experience with some external writing tool, but my self-imposed deadline of a blog post per week has passed, and rather than churning out some 'filler' and doing a sub-par review, I thought I'd share the fog that's been encircling my brain the last few weeks. I hope it's just the cold and flu meds and the gray February days messing with my productivity. Oh, yes, and the release of the Dragonborn DLC hasn't helped, either.  Damn you, Skyrim!

As always, I'd love to hear your comments,thoughts, advice, etc.  Please drop me a note below if you feel so inclined. Anyhow, that's a little glimpse inside my head. I'll be back next week with something fun to test drive.  Here's my Pinterest of the week:

Source: google.com via CM on Pinterest
February 2013 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title February 2013, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Hitting the Wall
link : Hitting the Wall

Read Also


February 2013

I know this is shocking (not!), but February is not my favorite month (sorry Valentine's Day). Seems between back-to-back flu bugs and a myriad of other distractions, my writing (including blogging) is crawling through a deepening mud bog. The good news is I've managed to power through the first draft of the yet untitled Volume II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. The bad news is that the novel is still under 60,000 words, so I've been debating with myself on where to go next. Should I consider the first draft done, or do I keep adding until the word count is closer to where it should be? There are some spots where I left placeholders in the manuscript knowing I had to go back and add details and backstory, but I'm finding this "jumping around and patching holes" to be rather difficult and inefficient.

Sitting here writing this post, I think I've convinced myself to start the revision process. I'm going to read the book from start to finish and try to wrap my head around what exactly I have on paper and what's still rolling around in my noggin. Then maybe what to write next will be more self-evident.  I'm inherently averse to writing anything remotely close to 'filler,' but I fear that's what I may be doing if I try to stretch this first draft closer to 80,000 words.

Some of you might be sitting there reading this and wondering "Where are the links? Where's the cool new website to check out?" I realize this isn't my typical post where I detail my experience with some external writing tool, but my self-imposed deadline of a blog post per week has passed, and rather than churning out some 'filler' and doing a sub-par review, I thought I'd share the fog that's been encircling my brain the last few weeks. I hope it's just the cold and flu meds and the gray February days messing with my productivity. Oh, yes, and the release of the Dragonborn DLC hasn't helped, either.  Damn you, Skyrim!

As always, I'd love to hear your comments,thoughts, advice, etc.  Please drop me a note below if you feel so inclined. Anyhow, that's a little glimpse inside my head. I'll be back next week with something fun to test drive.  Here's my Pinterest of the week:

Source: google.com via CM on Pinterest

Monday, February 4, 2013

You Might Also Like . . . LinkWithin

Wow, another fast week--2013 is off to the races.  This week's post focuses more on blogging than writing, but for most of us indies, blogging is part of the package of being a self-published author.  If you're very observant, you may have noticed a little addition to the bottom of my blog posts.  I read an interesting article on maximizing your old blog content, but for the life of me, can't find it on my Google Reader lists.  I intended to link to it, but, you know, the best laid plans . . .

Anyhow, the gist of the article was that some of your newer blog readers might be interested in your older posts, especially if they're similar to, or pertain to, your current post.  This is where a free (and add free) little widget called LinkWithin comes in.  If you look below, I've cut-and-pasted exactly what LinkWithin looks like when you add it to your blog.

You might also like:

The LinkWithin web page has a nice FAQ and describes the widget in detail, but a brief summary of its function is that the widget indexes all your blog posts and displays links (with pictures) to old posts that are the most similar to your current article.  It does this by comparing the title, tags, and content of your latest posts to your archived posts.

It's easy to install, works with Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, and 'other.'  It comes formatted for both light- and dark-background blogs. You can choose to display between three to five 'referral windows.'  Because my blog is less than a year old, I chose to display only the 3 most relevant posts, for fear of repetition. I've been using it for a few weeks now, with no ill effects.  I can't really give an indication of how much it's driven traffic to my older posts, but for the small amount of time I invested in installing it, it's basically a no-lose proposition.

So what's the catch--how does LinkWithin make money?  Well, their FAQ states that they intend to roll out optional revenue-sharing options in the future, so time will tell.  Worst case, if it stops working or being supported, just delete the code from your blog.

Speaking of best-laid plans, I intended to share a Pinterest link and a book excerpt; however, the Pinterest embed code completely messed up the LinkWithin picture formatting above, so I'm throwing in the towel.  Happy Monday everyone!



February 2013 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title February 2013, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : You Might Also Like . . . LinkWithin
link : You Might Also Like . . . LinkWithin

Read Also


February 2013

Wow, another fast week--2013 is off to the races.  This week's post focuses more on blogging than writing, but for most of us indies, blogging is part of the package of being a self-published author.  If you're very observant, you may have noticed a little addition to the bottom of my blog posts.  I read an interesting article on maximizing your old blog content, but for the life of me, can't find it on my Google Reader lists.  I intended to link to it, but, you know, the best laid plans . . .

Anyhow, the gist of the article was that some of your newer blog readers might be interested in your older posts, especially if they're similar to, or pertain to, your current post.  This is where a free (and add free) little widget called LinkWithin comes in.  If you look below, I've cut-and-pasted exactly what LinkWithin looks like when you add it to your blog.

You might also like:

The LinkWithin web page has a nice FAQ and describes the widget in detail, but a brief summary of its function is that the widget indexes all your blog posts and displays links (with pictures) to old posts that are the most similar to your current article.  It does this by comparing the title, tags, and content of your latest posts to your archived posts.

It's easy to install, works with Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, and 'other.'  It comes formatted for both light- and dark-background blogs. You can choose to display between three to five 'referral windows.'  Because my blog is less than a year old, I chose to display only the 3 most relevant posts, for fear of repetition. I've been using it for a few weeks now, with no ill effects.  I can't really give an indication of how much it's driven traffic to my older posts, but for the small amount of time I invested in installing it, it's basically a no-lose proposition.

So what's the catch--how does LinkWithin make money?  Well, their FAQ states that they intend to roll out optional revenue-sharing options in the future, so time will tell.  Worst case, if it stops working or being supported, just delete the code from your blog.

Speaking of best-laid plans, I intended to share a Pinterest link and a book excerpt; however, the Pinterest embed code completely messed up the LinkWithin picture formatting above, so I'm throwing in the towel.  Happy Monday everyone!