Make Money On YouTube – YouTube Partnerships

There have been some good chats going on locally of late in relation to video content creation and monetising video content online. A mail in the inbox over the weekend prompted me towards the YouTube Partner Programme. On the outside it’s certainly looks more like an option for those who are uploading regularly and clocking up some serious video videos (thousands to millions) but the minimum criteria covers ownership, copyright and age.

Check the full details here
or view the video above for more of an insight as to how the Partner programme works.

Next thing I’d like to know is what (if any, or many) Irish groups are able to generate reasonable revenue from their YouTube content?

Don’t Call Amazon, They’ll Call You

Amazon Customer Service

FORGOTTEN PASSWORDS can be a pain in the ass. Especially when the security guard to get a new password issued via email includes a zip code field, which you didn’t have to enter to begin with and subsequently the form validation won’t allow the zip code to be empty. Long and short of it, my brother’s password was forgotten for Amazon but they wouldn’t send him a new one using their password reminder feature.

In this situation I’d usually email customer support, wait the few hours and hope that something positive would come out of the correspondence. However, when the delivery is late and you’re a bit anxious about the staus of the shipment from mainland Europe, I’d pick up the phone to try find out what’s going on.

Little did I know that when you go to phone Amazon, they’ll save you the bother and will ring you directly.

Presented with the screen above, you click on “phone”, enter a landline number, choose whether you would like the call now or in five minutes and away you go. It works for UK and Ireland and within seconds of pressing “call me”, the phone on reception here was ringing – a few minutes later and the password issue was resolved, package tracked and all well in the world.

Online Grocery Shopping – Part Two

Superquinn Shopping Delivery

FOLLOWING ON from yesterday’s foray into the world of online food shopping it’s safe to say that everything arrived, is packed away in the fridge or press and I’m stocked for the week.

From looking at the food on the table (in the above picture), *almost* everything arrived as ordered. As a follow up, I’ve broken the process down to a few areas.

Delivery

On the website I was quoted €4 for delivery, the window chosen being 10:30am to 12:30pm today. True to their word, at 11:50am the driver turned up with two crates, dropped them for unpacking on the table, got me to sign for the delivery and off he went. Charge on the bottom of the receipt reads €4. The bottom of the receipt also indicates that the goods were scanned and paid for at 11:16am this morning, so that’s a pretty good turn around (i.e. the dairy side of the order wasn’t out of the fridge all that long). Might be worth noting too that I didn’t order any frozen food and I’m trying to refrain from ordering anything frozen at all for the year. So far so good.

Substitution

Superquinn provide product substitution on your shopping list, where something you’ve ordered isn’t available. In my case, it was the beef strips for the stir fry. This is possibly due to ordering the beef strips as part of their online meal deal offering beef strips or diced chicken, plus fresh stir-fry veg as a bundle. Knowing I had some chicken in the freezer anyway, I opted for the beef, which now appears to have been unavailable in Superquinn Kilkenny.

That said, the diced chicken was available and it will certainly do. When ordering online, you do have the option of instructing your personal shopper *not* to substitute a product if it’s out of stock and if I was really picky I could have asked for beef regardless, break the special offer etc.

Pricing

On their website, it is noted that

Today’s price is an estimated total and may differ slightly from the original order value due to variables such as weight estimations for meat and produce, weekly specials, price changes or stock deletion

.

My order, at “today’s price”, yesterday, was estimated at €51.04. The final price, including delivery, came to €53.48 and there were a few differences on the final receipt.

The onions were ordered, I’d looked for 700g, the bag coming in at around 550g thus shaving a few cent from the order. Prices fluctuated here and there but most notably in the offers that weren’t adhered to. The site also has various price reductions running up to January 26th including 90c off packet soups (didn’t appear on the receipt), 89c off rocket salad (again, no go), 79c off fresh soup (no go), 95c off lemongrass noodles (again, no discount)… adding up to €3.53, plus the cost of the green tea jumped from €1.89 to €3.99 giving a total increase in prices to €5.63, yet the final discrepancy just €2.44.

Given there were certain things in the order that won’t need to be ordered again next week, I would expect things to balance out in week two and keep in line with my €50 p/w budget.

Overall

Overall, I’ve been impressed with it. Like I indicated yesterday, the online ordering process is a breeze, there’s full details available on everything going into your shopping basket and on delivery they provide you with a list of everything that was delivered

It would be nice if the printed dockets included notes on what was substituted, or differences in pricing, but other than that, I’m set for the week, didn’t have to leave the house and I’m willing to give it another lash next week.

Train Service Gets Connected, Wifi with Airappz

DART Station at Tara Street
Creative Commons License photo credit: Let Ideas Compete

FIRST THEY upgraded the trains. Then there was the new seats and the power points (offset possibly by the increase in food and ticket prices for the trains themselves). Now it looks like Irish Rail users on the Dublin – Cork – Dublin service will be able to available of wireless internet access, free of charge, courtesy of Irish Rail and Airappz.

Sure enough, they won’t be the first to offer wifi access on public transport with several coach operators around the country, including Kavanagh’s here in Kilkenny, offering on-board wifi but the development is something that has been long hoped for and though trialling for six months will hopefully stick around and get rolled out across the new fleet.

The trail installation will be for a complete trainset for the duration of the trail. After these 6 months Irish Rail will (together with Airappz) evaluate the usage & performance data and based on this they will decide whether or not to put the provision of a fleet-wide wifi service out to public tender.

I’ve never been one to take long journeys on the bus and up until I started driving I would almost always look to take the train, or a connection of trains to reach my destination. Though the cost of tickets has gone through the roof (I was shocked to pay €32 earlier in the week for a return to Dublin from Kilkenny, let alone the cost of a return from Cork to Dublin – €78.50 monthly return at time of writing), the train is still relied on by thousands of business commuters around the country, particularly those living outside of but working in Dublin.

Watching tweets over the last few months and years from those testing out mobile broadband dongles on the train to much joy / sorrow depending on what mobile operator you’re with and /or where on the map you’re passing through, I could only hope that the wifi service that will be rolled out on the Cork – Dublin line will be strong, consistent and ultimately be taken up by passengers and Irish Rail alike, paving the way for rollouts on other lines.

When I’m not driving, and Dublin bound (like this weekend gone), the train is still preferred. And if I could get a solid connection to work from without having to rely on mobile signal, I’d certainly be a happy traveller.

Congratulations to Evert Bopp, more good news for an Irish company.

Flickr Unavailable

Flickr Surf Safe

Guessing the holiday snaps won’t be going up on Flickr this time around. I’m convinced I was able to upload them this time last year but but the TRA and its Internet Access Management Regulatory Policy has outfoxed me this time. (If you’re in the UAE and try to click the Flickr link above you’ll be presented with a very large version of the above graphic)

I was wondering as much when I spotted some of my daily blog reads with vacant real estate on screen. Signing into the Flickr uploader won’t work either.

Thankfully it looks like there’s no problem with Pix.ie. Looks like that’s where the holiday snaps are headed this year.

Where’s A Net Cafe When You Need One?

Vilamoura
Creative Commons License photo credit: girolame

So, I’m in Portugal, and have been for the past few days to celebrate John getting hitched. Vilamoura is the current location, then it’s on to destination Faro and Dublin tomorrow morning.

They’ve got the sun. They’ve got the sea. They’ve got great food and cheap alcohol. But internet access leaves a lot to be desired.

I’m sitting in Sete (a bar part-owned by Figo) where you can grab wifi access for the price of a dinner (ten euro for 5 hours access). The hotel I’m in (the sign above the door says it’s a four star) is charging 9 euro an hour for shit quality access through a very restricted Vista-based kiosk in the lobby. If you need anything that requires javascript access (Hotmail, Gmail etc.), forget it.

While I’m away, I rely on internet access. Dubai was easy as there was great access in the apartment and I was never far away. I was mad enough this trip to pay 50 euro for 50mb data access on my office mobile to pull headers via the Gmail app (S60). Two sessions on the laptop in the bar makes it a total of 70 euro, plus another tenner in the hotel brings it to 80 euro. For 80 euro, I happily get FOUR months of mobile broadband access at home.

For 80 euro here I could also get in the region of 20 bottles of wine. And for all our going out, I know I haven’t spent 80 euro on alcohol.

There an internet cafe / kiosk type place up the road from the hotel that’s very much chained up, broken down and left with wires hanging out of the walls.

Yet while they’ve got everything else here, the one thing I’m not seeing is an internet cafe, of any description. Plenty of bars, plenty of TVs to watch Barcelona whip Man U around the place last night, but no internet cafe. The resort seems extremely popular with Irish and English tourists who I’m sure wouldn’t say no to getting online to check things out, or their kids hanging around Bebo and MySpace for the day (give them the option and they’d likely take it).

The description of the hotel touted laptop connections in the room. I must have mistaken power points for ethernet points.

That said, who am I to complain. It’s 33 degrees, possibly in the shade too and the wedding was the business.

Maybe I’m one of those people who just can’t unplug.

Anyone in the market for opening up a chain of cheap internet cafés in heavily populated Irish and English tourist resorts in the south of Portugal?

10MB Broadband Sorted

Finally sorted the 10mb connection. Missed the upgrade form on the website, looks like UPCs upgrade isn’t totally automatic.

Things might run a little faster. The 1mb upstream will be a help on Skype calls anyway and streaming video anyway. 30 bucks a month… plus their ‘standalone’ broadband charge (which is like a levy for not taking their TV package) of 6 bucks a month.

I Should Really Get Mobile Broadband

I’ve noticed a change in my blogging trends of late. The free time that I wish to dedicate to blog posts finds me in areas where my connectivity is completely restricted. My work within the theatre has increased dramatically (no pun intended) over the last few weeks (I spent the last two weeks of June in preparation for and producing a run of ‘Trainspotting’ only to take last week off before starting pre-production this week on a new show for August) and the gig count is going up.

I find myself with downtime in venues and restaurants where no laptops go, or where there’s no wifi signal to be found. That said, the Watergate Theatre were kind enough to allow me use of their connection to make the occasional tweet, check email etc.

During the Trainspotting run I pulled out a piece of paper and marked all the dates for July on it noticing more Xs (away) than spaces (home) between evenings and weekends. August, not so bad.

So now I look towards a mobile broadband solution. I’ve been tempted once again by O2 and their reduced offer for the summer months (€19.99p/m and a modem for €19.99). Having spoken with Bernie Goldbach and some O2 support people, the thoughts of running a 3G sim through an iPhone are quite tempting (my desire for an iPhone exists as a secondary phone to my N95 8GB though the 3G model has me very interested).

Pat wonders why there is no interest in the 3G iPhone though I’ll agree that the price and dataplans are a pain in the arse. Is it possible to pick up a 3G iPhone away from O2 (I’m happy on my current contract, thanks) but fire a 3G datasim in there from the broadband dongle? If so, sign me up.

When I find myself in Sligo (such as this weekend and at least 2 of the next 3 weekends), my options are limited around the lake but there are healthy signals 2-3 miles away which I don’t mind the short spin in the van for.

I’ve recently added another musical promotion string to my bow so it would certainly make work life that bit easier.

Perhaps I’m just trying to convince myself to go out and get it sorted. Lifehacker’s guide to sharing your internet connection from your iPhone to your MacBook Pro also has me wondering.

Delighted The Internet Has An Off Switch

In comments on my post prior to the weekend, Bernie Goldbach suggests that

you have to shut off the warbles, the beeps, the bubble-ups, and the vibrating text alerts at least once every three months.

To certify this, Pavlos adds

Isn’t it great when we find ourselves in places and situations where the absence of technology goes by unnoticed?

Such was the case for the weekend. Granted, there was no complete absence of technology – I did bring my laptop and Mbox in order to process some tracks from the One Take Sessions (two weeks ago this Thursday) and I did watch a few episodes of Seinfeld on DVD – but I did marvel in the ability to disconnect.

There is no land line in the house in Sligo. There is no land line for a reason. There is no satellite TV, pipe TV, cable TV or antenna capable of picking up a TV signal again all for a reason. I took joy in leaving my mobile phone in a corner of the house where the only useful function I could get from it is to tell the time.

The result?

A great weekend.

Kayaking across an open lake in high winds, walking mountain roads at 7am, tucking into a bag of chips at the Aclare St. Patrick’s Day Parade (which far surpasses the quality of the Kilkenny parade, at least from what I can remember of it anyway), enjoying quality pints in the local and all without a care for what’s happening in the online world.

Given I spend way too much time “connected” as it is, it’s a great escape to shut off for a few days and I’d advocate it to anyone – throw yourself into the outdoors for a weekend and forget about everything else, just for a little while anyway.