Ian Archibald

Ian Archibald is a Social Media Educator, Speaker, Author, Tech Geek, Gadget Freak, Tea Drinker and Storm Chaser. I help people and businesses learn not just how or where to be in Social Media, but WHY you should. I can help you with your strategies and show you how to build a relevant campaign to drive traffic. It’s all about the relationships and willingness to learn.

Jun 072014

See on Scoop.it - You In Social Media

When government authorities asked Google for user data, they decided to get creative to explain what happens when there’s a search warrant. They used a board game to demonstrate the entire process of a search warrant filing in an easily understood way. In addition, by showing all the hoops... http://dashburst.com/google-data-protection-board-game/

See on dashburst.com

Feb 252014

Twitter is an extremely powerful social media tool used by 241 million people monthly. There's definitely an art to creating interesting and engaging "Tweets".  I'm going to share with you a quick Twitter Tip that quite surprisingly is known by so few people.

twitter tip reply or mention

Twitter tip: Should I use @mention or @reply?

The @Reply

Pop quiz - Who sees this Tweet?

@somecoolmonkey you're like the coolest monkey ever. I sure hope all of my followers follow you!

If you said, "Everyone", well sorry to say that you'd be incorrect. In fact, not even everyone who is following you will see it either.  Why is that? When you start a Tweet with @UserName, Twitter assumes this as being part of having a conversation. Twitter will only shows this tweet to yourself, the @reply name and those who follow you both; that's it. But what if I want everyone to see my tweet to @somecoolmonkey? Consider using an @mention instead.

The @Mention

By contrast the @Mention is not seen by Twitter as being a reply, which means that everyone who is following you plus the person being @mentioned will see your tweet. Simply put, placing the @twittername anywhere that isn't at the beginning changes who sees the Tweet.

How do you compose an @mention?

Literally, you place the @twittername anywhere other than at the beginning.  You can either rewrite your tweet, like this:

"I sure hope all my followers follow you, @somecoolmonkey, you're like the coolest monkey ever!

Or keep your original post in tact, and just precede the starting @ with something as simple as period or even a word(s).

.@somecoolmonkey you're like the coolest monkey ever. I sure hope all of my followers follow you!

Features of an @Mention - Provides direct attention to the @twittername - Not a private message - @mentions are used to start conversations So there you have it.  An @mention and @reply - Two completely different ways to Tweet, Two completely different audiences will see. I hope that you learned something about Twitter from this little Twitter Tip.  Let us know below in the comments, and by sharing it to your friends.

Jan 302014

Date: January 30, 2014

Twitter update for iOS devices

Twitter released a new version of their Twitter for iOS application - updating to version 6.1

twitter icon

This update includes enhancements to (as listed in update note):

  • Click on a Tweet and reply with a photo (Select Gallery icon)
  • Easily mention other users when you Tweet a photo
  • Improvements to the photo cropping and image rotation
  • Various improvements to the photo viewer
  • Users with login verification enabled no longer need temporary passwords to log in to their device
  • When you've read all the latest Tweets, pull to refresh and see recommendations for new content on Twitter.

Update can be downloaded from the iTunes Store.



Jan 202014

Have you ever seen some of those cool infographics or perhaps images with quotes and cool sayings and say to yourself "I want to do that too - I don't have the skills or software needed to pull that off". Well guess what? Many of those who actually create such images said the same thing.  How is that possible? Most of them are likely using the application that we are discussing today.


What Is PicMonkey?

PicMonkey is an outstanding online photo editing site that allows users to utilize a huge assortment of tools in order to create or edit images. You can spend a small fortune on a number of photo editing applications. Some can even be a huge investment.  Most of us though are looking to quickly resize an image from our camera or perhaps an in-depth edit of an image. Each of their tools and features can be applied to an image with a simple click of the mouse and fine tuned depending on your needs. Images can be cropped, resized, sharpened and further edited to include more or less color, add frames and more.

Basic features

PicMonkey allows users to quickly upload  any image from their computer system, or to create new images even without user registration. A huge catalog of filters, overlays, text, and other special effects are available to you, meaning you can create or edit any image and save them to your computer or share your masterpiece across your various social media sites without ever needing an account!

Key features

Filters and effects can be added including tools to remove wrinkles and red-eye exposures. A wide variety of cosmetic tools are available to give your photographic subject a digital make-over from blemish removal and airbrushes to teeth whitening and weight loss. You can even add beards, hats, and other special effects.

Backgrounds and boarders can be added to your images to give them more visual appeal for use in greeting cards, business cards, backgrounds. Each addition to the image provides key functionality that can alter how the changes will take effect. You are in complete control over how your new layers are applied. Colours, thickness, depth are all at your fingertips

The great folks at PicMonkey bring out seasonal templates to work with. Halloween, Christmas, Valentines and many more. Just click and apply.  You can take an image, and create your own set of holiday cards in just minutes. Saving you all sorts of money on professional layouts, and printing fees.

Does PicMonkey Work On My Computer?

Since PicMonkey is a Web Application, the short answer is yes.  So if you are on a Windows, Mac, Linux, even a Chromebook, PicMonkey will work.  Sadly, at the time of this posting, there are no mobile versions available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows or other mobile platforms.

OK, So how much?

PicMonkey has a free version with a lot of great tools for you to check it out, and to explore and is completely usable without ever needing to pay or to create an account. That said, PicMonkey offers a "Royale" (Premium) version which unlocks all the tools, filters, special effects and more.

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

  • $4.99 per month - billed monthly and allows you full access to all the filters and features of the app.
  • $33 per year - billed annually and breaks down to $2.75 per month.

Action Plan

We're all looking for  a quick, easy and inexpensive way to edit our images. PicMonkey has a lot to offer the professional and beginner. I started with the free account just to do simple resizing.  But when I started seeing what all was possible with just the free version, I was amazed. It wasn't long until I invested the $33 for the access to the full suite of tools, and have never looked back. I use the tool to create images for all my customers, and even here on this site. If there was a less artistic person than me on the planet, I would be surprised, but with PicMonkey, even I have an eye.  Simple to use and ready to rock!


Take example the following image. It's a series of boards that I found on Flicker via creative commons.

wood wall

With the free version, the above image can become:

I added a coloured layer, text, shadow, an overlay of an included banner, a blurring effect, and my logo.

wood-wall edit

There are all sorts of great tips available. A great set of them comes from the creators of PicMonkey. Check out their list of "Cool Tips That No One Knows About"


Before and After.  Added a Polaroid frame, some text, and overlaid a butterfly.

Before and After. Added a Polaroid frame, some text, and overlaid a butterfly.

So, what are you waiting for?  Check PicMonkey out today!!