Are You An Options Trader?

Learn how to

  • Reduce Risk

  • Create Monthly Income from Option Trading

  • Get Access to Free webinars and training

  • Just enter your information below and click "Get Updates!"

Get Tom's updates and a free account at Capital Discussions.

Category Archives for "General"

June 7, 2013

How to See Tracking URLs

I was wondering what websites I’m being tracked by when I click a link and I see multiple url’s whizzing by redirecting from one to the next to the next. To answer my question, I decided to record the sequence of URLs with video and go back and slowly advance the video scrubber to see what happened.

It works great!

Here’s a short video of how it works

To summarize

  • Copy the url you want to track
  • Make sure your browser is wide enough to see enough of each URL
  • Start a video recording (sound is not needed)
  • Paste the link in your web browser.
  • After the links stop re-directing, stop your recording
  • Review your recording and slowly go through it to see where your browser was

If you don’t want to actually set cookies etc in your browser, use a private browser window in Chrome or Firefox

November 6, 2011

Royalty Free Stock Photo Web Sites Comparison

magnifying glass

We examine royalty free stock photo web sites

I took Don Crowther’sadvice last year and started to build my image library.  I was trying to minimize the cost per image as I wanted quite a few to choose from in my library.  Something crazy in my brain figured out that fotolia’s 100 images/day deal was the best value.  So I paid the $747 price and started downloading my 100 files.

WHAT HAVE I DONE?

I immediately realized I had bitten off a HUGE time commitment to find, download and file away 100 images per day.  I think I figured out I had made a huge mistake about 10 minutes into my first day’s downloads.  I ended up spending 2 hours per day for the next month downloading images!Streaming and download Kong: Skull Island (2017)

I learned my lesson

Now it’s 1 year later and I’d like to start adding fresh images to my library.  I’ve been looking at the same images for 1 year now after all.  I’ve probably only used 10% to 15% of the images in my library so I’m going to throttle back my image purchases this time.  I have three requirements:

– I don’t want to spend more than $650 maximum
– I want to keep the cost per image to $0.25 or less
– I don’t want to download more than 30 files per day. 25 or less is better.

My research

With those restrictions in mind, I started to do some price comparisons of the various royalty free stock photo websites available.  The following table shows my research with current prices as of today and how many images each website says they have.  The cells with the green background color meet my requirements of price and cost per image:

http://www.photos.com/ 2.6 million
100/week (14/day)
Images
Cost/Image
3 Months
$299
1300
0.23
6 Months
$549
2600
0.21
1 Year
 $988
5200
0.19
http://us.fotolia.com/ 15 million
25/day
Images
Cost/Image
1 Month
 $249
750
 $0.33
3 Months
 $649
2250
 $0.29
6 Months
 $1,199
4500
 $0.27
1 Year
 $2,099
9000
 $0.23
http://www.shutterstock.com/ 16.8 million
25/day
Images
Cost/Image
1 Month
 $249
750
 $0.33
3 Months
 $709
2250
 $0.32
1 Year
 $2,559
9000
 $0.28
http://www.123rf.com/ 11.1 million
26/day
Images
Cost/Image
1 Month
 $230
780
 $0.29
3 Months
 $590
2340
 $0.25
1 Year
 $1,960
9360
 $0.21
http://www.thinkstockphotos.com/
25/day
Images
Cost/Image
1 Month
 $299
750
 $0.40
1 Year
 $2,388
9000
 $0.27
http://www.photospin.com/ 2.1 million
25/day
Images
Cost/Image
1 Month
 $188
750
 $0.25
3 Months
 $388
2250
 $0.17
6 Months
 $688
4500
 $0.15
1 Year
 $1,188
9000
 $0.13
http://www.ingimage.com/ 1 million
35/day
Images
Cost/Image
1 Month
 $199
1050
 $0.19
3 Months
 $339
3150
 $0.11
1 Year
 $889
12600
 $0.07
http://www.istockphoto.com/
30/day
Images
Cost/Image
3 Months
 $979
2700
 $0.36
6 Months
 $1,862
5400
 $0.34
1 Year
 $3,542
10800
 $0.33
http://www.photosxpress.com/ 12.7 million
500/month
Images
Cost/Image
1 Month
 $550
500
 $1.10
25/month
Images
Cost/Image
1 Month
 $37.50
25
 $1.50

Results

Only rows with both price and cost per images columns in green are contenders for me. This leaves me with:

http://www.photos.com/ 3 and 6 month plans
http://www.123rf.com/ 3 month plan
http://www.photospin.com/ 1 and 3 month plans
http://www.ingimage.com/ 1 and 3 month plans

The most tempting is http://www.ingimage.com/ based on price and cost per image, which are $199/$0.19 and $339/$0.11. The problem I think is it only has 1 million images. Only http://www.123rf.com/ has over 10 million images and wins on my other criteria. I’ll do sample searches on all four contender sites, but I have a feeling 123 Royalty Free will win.

iStock Photo, Shutter Stock and Think Stock Photos had some beautiful photos, but I can’t justify the price yet. If you have a bigger budget, I would consider them.

Conclusion

There are many websites selling royalty free stock photos. It’s not hard to get great photos for your website at affordable prices. Do some sample searches on each site to see if it has photos you’re interested in. Don’t make my mistake from last year of ordering 100 images per day if you work alone.

Start building YOUR photo library. You won’t regret it.

Where do you get your photos? Leave a comment below!

UPDATE
I did several searches on the sites and found Shutterstock had the best images for my needs. I found an online coupon for a 10% discount. After I did a 1 month subscription, I noticed the auto-renew was turned on. Make sure you turn that off or you’ll get rebelled the next month!

I went to turn it off and Shutterstock offered to reduce my monthly bill another 5% so the $249/month program is now only $212.80/month. At this price, for 25 images per day, that is $0.283 per image. It’s slightly more than I wanted to pay but the selection of over 16.8 million images is amazing. I’ll write up Shutterstock later after I use it for a while.

April 17, 2011

Scrivener Can Turbo Charge Your Writing

Scrivener 2

I never thought of myself as a writer. I delayed finishing my Master’s degree by two years living in fear of writing the final thesis. I couldn’t possibly see how I could write a short publication, never mind a book. I recently discovered a software program that changed everything: Scrivener 2.0 for Mac OS X.

Scrivener is software for Windows and the Mac that is proving its value in the short time I’ve been using it. It is inexpensive and has fantastic support in their forums. There are many professional writers using it to write novels, scripts, articles and more. It is a lightweight word processor with features designed for writers. Let’s take a look at a few of them.Roblox Robux Hack 2017

1. It helps you organize your writing
2. It let’s you organize your research
3. It reduces distractions while you write

Scrivener has many other useful features but we’ll start with these three that I’m already appreciating:

1. It helps you organize your writing

Scrivener has a binder on the left side that is like the Mac Finder or Windows Explorer left navigation area. You can create folders and rearrange your small documents in any order you like. The “group view” let’s you view and edit multiple documents as if they were one long document. Rearranging them in the binder on the left, rearranges them in the merged document, as you’d expect. Text documents can be parents to other documents. It’s very easy to write multiple pieces of a document and rearrange them.

There’s a corkboard view that shows the same information but in a visual way. Each document appears as a graphical index card, which reminded me of writing a research paper in high school in the 1970s. It’s very natural to rearrange the index cards graphically. The changes are reflected in the binder on the left instantly. For those who prefer a traditional outline mode, Scrivener has that too. You can change document ordering with a simple drag and drop.

Collapsing and expanding the documents and folders is a similar to the way your hard drive is setup. I still have to figure out the ideal ways to work, but I can see how you can collect a huge amount of text and it would still be very easy to find your way around your document. I wish other programs let you organize information this easily. It’s fantastic.

2. It let’s you organize your research

Scrivener’s binder has a research container. You can keep all of your research material organized in one place including documents, images and even web pages. Because the research container is a binder object, you can create folders to organize your research just like your source documents. You can split the view horizontally or vertically and display the document you’re writing in one pane and your research in another pane. It’s a very natural way to write. All of your notes are right there. No more looking for your research.

I imagine this would be especially important if you publish your work and your information was challenged. I’ve written articles in the past and done my research, but I can’t tell you today what I looked at for an article I wrote two months ago. With Scrivener, you keep the research together with your main document so it’s easy to find your original research. This could be useful for writing follow up articles to update an old article with newer information. Since your old research is right there, it would be that much easier to start your new research, especially if your source was a web site.

3. It reduces distractions while you write

One of my favorite features is the full screen mode. I’ve heard people say to close all other programs so you’re not distracted while you write. I’ve always been horrible at taking that advice. I have a 27” screen and it’s all too easy to see a new email come in, or a friend ask a question on Skype. Scrivener has a full screen mode that I’ve fallen in love with

The full screen mode does exactly what it says. But unlike most other programs that have the entire program maximized, Scrivener only shows me a black background with a white page and black text. You can control the font size and the width of the page so it is gigantic on my big screen. You can change the page color and the text colors if you like, but I like the feeling of black on white. Just press the escape key to return to Scrivener. Command+option+F switches back to full screen mode. I like learning keyboard shortcuts as they save you a lot of time over the life of the time you use a program. It’s a lot of fun to write in full screen mode. I feel that I can finally focus on what I’m writing with 100% of my energy. It’s wonderful.

But I’m comfortable with my current word processor

I was the same way. No one likes to change, unless there’s a benefit to learning something new. Believe me, if you do any writing at all, you will absolutely love Scrivener. The learning curve is short. I watched a 30-minute training video and I learned the basics well enough to start taking advantage of Scrivener’s cool features. I’m sure I have more to learn but even learning the basics opens up a new world. You’ll quickly wonder why you didn’t use it sooner.

Scrivener has powerful tools to help any writer

Scrivener was created for writers and it shows. It helps you organize your work in a natural way and that saves your time. The full screen mode let’s you focus on just writing with no distractions. That’s already helped me finish my writing tasks quicker.

There’s no reason not to try Scrivener

There’s a free trial so you don’t risk anything, and the cost is cheap to start with. If you can find a few friends to do a group purchase with, the cost is even less. Scrivener helps organize your thoughts and research. This speeds you up in the end as you don’t waste time looking for things. It’s all nicely organized in a natural way and having your research stored with your document is a really smart thing to do. Give it a try. You only have time to save and a more organized life to look forward to.

Buy Scrivener 2.0 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)

January 22, 2011

Can You Trust Your Flesch-Kincaid Readability Scores?

WritingI subscribed to ScribeSEO a while ago and really enjoy it. One of the nice report items inside of it is the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score of your article. Wikipedi has the equations used to calculate these scores.  Since the equations are easy to program, I thought scores from various sources would be very close.

I was wrong!

I wanted to compare the score from ScribeSEO to other tools so I went in search of other readability score tools.  The source was an article I wrote about synthetic stock options.  It’s not pure text as it has some math in it so perhaps it was a bad source, but it was a real article so I wanted to see how these tools scored it:

http://scribeseo.com/
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 60.5
Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: grade level of “7th or 8th grade.”
Their range was 60-70 for the grade so I assume it was nearer the upper range, or 8th grade level.

In Microsoft MacOffice 2011
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 73.6
Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 6.7

The Readability Test Tool at http://www.read-able.com.
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 80.7
Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 4.3

http://www.standards-schmandards.com/exhibits/rix/
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 45
Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 14

http://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 59.49
Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 11.71

http://www.addedbytes.com/code/readability-score/
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 64.40
Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 11.10

http://juicystudio.com/services/readability.php
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 73.67
Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 4.88

http://www.editcentral.com/gwt1/EditCentral.html
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 81.4
Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 7.6
The other readability calculators I found were old, limited in number of characters you could check or downloadable software.

Putting it all together, we have:

Reading Ease Grade Level Source
81.4 7.6 http://www.editcentral.com/gwt1/EditCentral.html
80.7 4.3 http://www.read-able.com/
73.7 4.9 http://juicystudio.com/services/readability.php
73.6 6.7 Mac Office 2011
64.4 11.1 http://www.addedbytes.com/code/readability-score/
60.5 8.0 http://scribeseo.com/
59.5 11.7 http://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp
45.0 14.0 http://www.standards-schmandards.com/exhibits/rix/
67.35 8.54 Average
12.37 3.43 Standard Deviation

So what does this mean to me?

There is a LOT of variation between tools.  Don’t just use one tool and assume it is correct.  As you can see, no two are the same and they are all using the same equations!    I’ll keep using ScribeSEO as my primary tool.  The Grade Level is very close to the average of all of the tools.  I’ll compare to MacOffice 2011 since it is on my computer,  handy, reasonably fast and in the middle of the pack with the numbers.

If you do more testing with other text, I’d be curious what you find out!

Oh.. I checked this article with ScribeSEO and I had a Reading Ease score of 48.77!  I suspect these tools don’t work well with reports like this.

Leave a comment and I’ll comment on your blog!