Friday, February 21, 2014



- Noun
One who jigs or dances a jig
An odd-looking person
A woman’s short loose-fitting jacket
Steps notched in a tree upon which an axman stands to fell the tree
A block used to hold a cable while it is being heaved onto a ship
A small sail
A sieve for separating ore
Hooks arranged around a central hook and trawled on the seabed to catch fish
A hook for couple trams
A horizontal lathe used in making china
A set of rollers for graining (polishing) leather
A machine for hardening felted fabric by beating
A rest used in billiards
A drawing knife used by barrel makers
A railway car drawn by a single horse
A machine to indicate the price at which a sale has been made
A small weight used to round up the weight of coins
A device of rollers for passing cloth through a dye-bath
A high-frequency transformer
A battery-operated device for giving electric shocks to mentally retarded children
A door
A prison
A cell
A back alley between houses
An illicit still
A measure of spirits

- Verb
To make a succession of rapid jerks as with a fish struggling to get free of a hook
As a substitute for a profane oath (I’ll be jiggered)

Friday, February 14, 2014

We are offering a free trial of Quillcards ecard service

Quillcards is an ecard service that is intuitive and easy to use, and you can access it on any computer from anywhere with an internet connection.

Here are the details of our no-obligation free trial

  • The free trial runs for 72 hours that starts when you send your first ecard.
  • You can send as many cards as you like within the trial period.
  • The people you send your ecards to have 30 days in which to open them.
  • You will get an email notification for every ecard that is picked up by the recipients.
  • There's no registration and we don't ask for any credit card information for your free trial.
  • The only stipulation is that you must only send ecards to people you know personally (so no spamming and no sending to unknown business prospects, for example).

To get started with your free trial, just browse the images on Quillcards and click on one you like. A message will come up asking whether you want to send an ecard. Click to say yes and write your ecard. It's as simple as that. You don't register or sign in - just start sending ecards - and you can send as many ecards as you like during your free trial.

If you join and become a member there are additional features such as being able to address your ecards with one click, send to five people at once, store contacts, set reminders for birthdays, and more.

For a modest yearly membership fee you get access to the entire range of ecards and you can send as many greetings as you like all year around.

To become a member, click the Join button. Membership is $20.00 per year and there are discounts when you join for two or three years. We have members all around the world.

In case you're wondering, Quillcards ecards can be sent and viewed on any computer, tablet, or phone… including the iPad and the iPhone.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


From Catch the Buzz
“At Bayer, we strongly believe that advancing sustainable solutions for honey bee health requires ongoing collaboration with partners and stakeholders,” said Becky Langer-Curry, manager of the North American Bee Care Program. “Through our mobile Bee Care Tour stop, Bayer successfully fostered interaction directly with supporters of bee health in Washington to heighten discussion, increase awareness regarding good stewardship practices and encourage the sharing of ideas.”

This is Bayer, the chemical company whose neonicotinoid pesticides have been banned in the European Union and elsewhere...

Repeat And Repeat In My Ear (or Website)

This is where to get patterned backgrounds for websites.

The one quality above all that a repeat background pattern must have is that it appears seamless. If it is poorly made then the mismatch between adjacent tiles will introduce lines or shapes that are not part of the design.

I have tried making tiles myself from scratch in Photoshop, but I don't have the patience to set the designs up perfectly, and it showed in the patterns I made.

I have used Patterncooler and Subtlepatterns. They are different. You might think the Patterncooler designs are too bold and garish. Or you might think the Subtlepatterns designs are too boring. It's a matter of taste and choice.

I have not used Patternhead or Pattern8. I came across them on the web and added them to this roundup. It's usually very easy to delete a background you don't like... just one click and it's gone.

Here are some screen grabs to show you what the different offerings are like. Patterncooler has a built-in colour changer. So if you find a pattern you like you can change the colours before downloading. And there are a lot of designs there... not all like the sample here.









Waterlogue and Valentine's Day Ecards (from 'Light Reading')

No point in writing at length about the Waterlogue app for iPad and iPhone; here's the blurb:

You don’t need to paint to create beautiful watercolor images—Waterlogue captures the essence of your photos in brilliant, liquid color.

...and here's the link to the app.

And now let's take a look at some images.

I photographed some cutlery in a cafe last year and I ran it through Waterlogue a couple of days ago and then Tamara and I added some text to make a Valentine's Day card for Quillcards.


And here is a cockerel that I photographed at a city farm a couple of years ago. Again with some text from Tamara to make a Valentine's Day card for Quillcards.

I like the play on words with the double meaning of comb.

I combed my hair for you and Quillcards

More Ecards

There are 40+ Valentine's Day ecards at Quillcards. Quillcards is a subscription service costing $20.00/yr and there's a free trial (no credit card information or registration required). Take a look. We have members all around the world...

As you can see from the images here, it's a classy offering (just saying) and here are the main features and benefits that members get.

  • The heart of a great ecard is a great image - and images are at the heart of our ecards.
  • Complete access to the whole library of images on Quillcards.
  • Original images, not stock photos. We made them so we know they are original, © copyright Quillcards.
  • You can send as many cards as you like to people you know – (no spamming allowed, see terms of use).
  • Ecards can be sent and viewed on any computer, tablet, and smartphone including iPhone and iPad.
  • It's easy as pie to use.
  • Send an ecard to up to five people at once.
  • Write as much as the equivalent of two typed sheets of paper... that's about six hundred words.
  • Add people to your contact list and address your ecards with one click.
  • Send a card immediately or schedule it to be sent up to a month later.
  • Add images as favorites to use later.
  • Set up email alerts for birthdays and other occasions.
  • Re-read any of the ecards you have sent in the past year.

The free trial has limited features like only being able to send to one person at a time - but that 'should' be suitable for Valentine's Day!

You can send as many ecards as you like during the trial period, so it's well worth trying out.

Here's the link again Quillcards.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Social And Economic Justice For All

A society that creates institutions
that are based on care
will create a society
of people who care.

A society that promotes
social and economic justice
will create a society
of people who believe
in the society in which they live.

What if this idea is wrong? What if men will tear each other limb from limb given half an opportunity? Well let's give this idea a chance and believe that men and women will put up with a lot and cooperate when they believe they are all being given a fair shake.

Content Curation Sites - Two And A Half Free Ones


Before I get into the curation sites, I want to mention that I made this image with the iPhone (and iPad) app Waterlogue. I plan to talk about Waterlogue in my next post.

It is not an image straight out of the app. I imported it onto my laptop and then copied the central section to make three flamingoes.

I plan to upload the image to our ecard site at Quillcards and will do so in the next day or two when we also upload a bunch of Valentine's Day images with quotes or text - all based on Waterlogue images. I'm looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, back to the curation sites. There are others besides these three, including some very heavyweight (aka expensive) ones for companies that want to build their online presence that way.

That's because as well as curating content, all of them can also be used to publish original content. In other words, they are micro-sites as well as being curation sites pulling in content from elsewhere.


I mentioned the Rebel Mouse content curation microsite in a short post here in April last year.

This is the blurb for Rebel Mouse:

Digital publishing reimagined for the social, mobile, real-time web. So you can breathe new life into your site and be proud of it once again. Maximize content discovery and sharing with social insights, feed management and community engagement made completely effortless and turnkey.

It rankles to be told that I need to breathe new life into my site and be proud of it once again. It kind of implies that by setting up a RebelMouse site I buy that description. And conversely, it implies that if my site has plenty of breath left and I was proud of it, then I wouldn't need or want RebelMouse.

Be that as it may, my site is at RebelMouse/Moi and it curates my tweets, blog posts, things I've scooped on, and probably other sources as well.

What good does it do me? Well it may be a valuable resource to someone else. Maybe.

But let's turn it on its head and think of other people's RebelMouse sites as a portal into what they have posted around the web. For example, I follow Kristi Hines (here is Kristi's page at RebelMouse- KristiHines.

There's bound to be some snippet in there that I'm interested in. And looking now, for example, I see that she contributed to MonetizePro with an article about the SAAS (software as a service) eCommerce site, Shopify. I always like to read thorough ecommerce reviews, so that was a good find.


The next up is Pressly and here is the blurb.

Curate your content from across the web into an engaging experience. Select and publish the most relevant content for your audience from your blogs, across social networks and around the web. Instantly create and launch immersive content experiences for any device. Reach your audience wherever they are.

My Pressly is at Moi (yes, I chose the same name as on RebelMouse) and I made what Pressly calls a hub at Moi oh Moi

This time around, with RebelMouse under my belt, I decided to ask the people at Pressly how I could best use my microsite.

This is the reply from Jeff Brenner at Pressly:

One of the best ways to capture an audience through Pressly is our distribution widgets.

Email: You can leverage a Pressly widget for more compelling and engaging email marketing
Web: You can embed our Pressly widget on any webpage to drive traffic
Social: Anytime you share out a Pressly link on social, we automatically optimize the link to show a thumbnail and other meta data

On our roadmap is the concept of 'following' and monthly newsletters

We shall see.


I don't like the name Overblog. May as well say it now and get it out of the way. I signed up and created a microsite that I named 'Greetings' and found myself in the admin page where I saw a list of links to Twitter, Tumblr, etc. I clicked a couple and saw this message:

Social Hub.Aggregate and curate your posts from hand-picked social networks.Upgrade to a premium account to enable this feature instantly.

A €4.99 (that’s about $7.00/mo) account gives me more themes, a custom domain name, emails. and three links to social networks. There is also a €19.99/mo small business acount with more links to social networks…. etc. and a Facebook Page on Social Hub (no, I don’t know what that is).

Thanks but no thanks.

But I can publish posts with the free account, so I published a short intro post that I entitled Hello. Nothing if not inventive, eh?

So in the absence of pulling in tweets unless I upgrade, overblog is more of a post-and-publish microsite than a curation site. What I do see though is that I can broadcast the post with a tweet, a shoutout to Facebook, or to LinkedIn.

I haven't mentioned here because it is so well known, but if you want to check it out, I have a couple of 'scoops' of which one is Visual Intelligence. One of my last re-scoops was a mention of which is a way of posting once to all your social networks.