How to get tickets to The Script’s Irish dates in Dublin and Derry when they go on sale on Friday – pre-sale information, prices and how to make sure you don’t miss out

IRISH rockers The Script will be back on home turf for two intimate gigs in Dublin and Derry next month.

Danny O’Donoghue and the lads will play in The National Stadium, Dublin on August 21 and The Millennium Forum in Derry on August 22 as part of their world tour.

The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue

MTI
The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue

Tickets will go on general sale at 9.30am on Friday July 28.

Here’s the lowdown on what you should do to be in with the best chance of getting tickets.

How does pre-sale for The Script’s Dublin and Derry dates work?

Pre-sale for The Script’s Irish dates begins in three days time – on Wednesday July 26 and ends on Friday July 28 2017 at 8.30am.

Fans must pre-order the band’s album Freedom Child from their store to get early access to tickets for the shows.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

How much are tickets?

Tickets for both shows, The National Stadium, Dublin and The Millennium Forum cost €54.15. There is a ticket limit of two per person, per transaction, per household, per credit card.

Bookings that exceed this amount of tickets will be cancelled.

And here’s everything you need to know as tickets go on general sale at 9.30am

1) Make sure to get yourself signed in on Ticketmaster. Don’t have an account? You best get that sorted straight away. Don’t leave it until the last minute and risk losing out on tickets.

2) Take note of your Ticketmaster account name and password so you’re not left scrambling on the morning of the sale. Also, make sure you know your password for Verified by Visa. You don’t want to get caught out by this either.

3) Your best option is to click quick when the ‘view tickets’ button pops up. Select the number of tickets you want and away you go.

The three members of The Script

The three members of The Script

4) Set the default ticket search to ‘best available’ so you don’t have to waste precious time deciding on seating or standing areas.

5) Make sure you get the annoying ‘captcha’ code on the first go. You have two minutes to fill it on, so make sure you get it right. Once you get this sorted

6) Ensure you get your computer set up and sorted in good time as tickets go on pre-sale at 9.30am on Wednesday July 26. And general sale starts at Friday July 28 at 9.30am. But to give yourself the best chance, you should have everything ready to go from at least 9.15am.

7) At this stage, you should have selected the option for either the Dublin or the Derry date, and be ready to wait until the ‘More info’ options changes to ‘view tickets’.

The Script will rock Irish fans

GETTY IMAGES
The Script will rock Irish fans

8) Make sure that you don’t mistake the concert ticket for a car parking ticket or a VIP package in your rush.

9) Do the whole transaction on one browser window. If you try to load multiple browsers, you might end up with an error message.

10) If possible, have as many devices on the go as you can to increase your chances of getting a ticket. Grab your tablet, mobile and laptop and log into Ticketmaster on all of them.

The Script haven’t released any material in three years, until they dropped their new single Rain on July 14.

The Script’s lead singer

TIMES NEWSPAPERS LTD
The Script’s lead singer

Freedom Child, the band’s fifth studio album, will be released on September 1 2017.

The album was recorded between London and Los Angeles and the band worked with outside writers and producers for the first time to deliver a fresh new sound.

[“Source-thesun”]

How to Start a Blog and Make Money Online

How to Start a Blog and Make Money Online

Ever thought about launching your own blog? Ever wondered what it takes, not only to start up that blog, but also to successfully build it over time to make money online or generate a passive income? Clearly, you’re not alone. Millions of people try their hand at blogging, but so few actually ever generate a substantial income from their efforts.

However, if you’re starting a blog for the purposes of making money, and you’re not actually passionate about writing in the first place, then you’re largely wasting your time. The art of blogging isn’t simply scientific or formulaic. Without a deep-seated passion for your craft, you’ll face a tide of frustration and upset.

Why? While it’s relatively straightforward to begin a blog, it’s a monumental undertaking to generate any semblance of traffic and profit from your arduous efforts. You need laser-focus and persistence to build an audience or reach mass saturation with your prose. It takes time and it takes long and drawn out evenings burning the proverbial midnight oil.

Take it from me. As a blogger who’s built a substantial platform with hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors, I can bask in the warm glow of success. However, I can’t sit around for too long enjoying the freedom and passive income that my blog has created. Without constantly adding insatiable content, any blog can die off.

So, what does it take to start a successful blog and actually make money online? I suppose that depends on what you consider successful and what you consider making money. If, like millions of other potential bloggers out there, you’re looking to rake it in, you’ll have a long road ahead.

But if you’re willing to put in the time and the effort, and you can stay persistent over the years (and yes, I said years), then you can most certainly generate a substantial income online. In fact, your blog is quite possibly one of the best hubs of passive income generation, and if done the right way, it can attract the right clients and customers no matter what industry or niche you might be in.

Related: 4 Ways to Stock Your Content War Chest

How to Start a Blog: Step-by-Step

Okay, if I haven’t dissuaded you just yet, and you’re serious about launching the next Mashable or TechCrunch or whatever other blog you might think is wildly successful in your eyes, then here’s what you need to do in a step-by-step fashion. The more you prepare and plan, the more likely you’ll be to succeed in the long term.

1. Pick a Topic

Get clear on what you’ll write about. Define a topic or niche, and design all your content around those things. This will help you to not only laser-focus your writing, but also to build digital products and services that compliment your content.

This allows you to attract customers in, enticing them with your highly-informative posts, then tempting them with a lead magnet before dropping them into your sales funnel (more on that shortly).

2. Select a Platform

While WordPress is the most popular platform for blogging by far, there are others out there that can be leveraged such as a micro-blogging platform like Tumblr, Blogger.com and even Medium. However, if you’re serious about your blogging efforts, you’ll likely want to go with a self-hosted WordPress installation on a custom domain.

While you could setup a blog at WordPress.com with a subdomain such as myblog.wordpress.com, you’ll get more traction with a self-hosted solution, and then be able to use subdomains on popular platforms for your content-marketing efforts.

Related: Medium Is the Solution If You Want to Blog Without Any Overhead

3. Pick a Domain Name

Custom domain names are important if you’re serious about making money from the blog you start. Rather than relying on a third-party-hosted subdomain, find a short but relevant keyword-rich (if possible) domain name that’s descriptive of your intended topic, industry or niche. Use BlueHost, HostGator, 1&1 Hosting or any other number of domain name providers to source your domain.

If you’re at all concerned about things like SEO, when selecting your domain name, you should adhere to the following suggestions:

  • Use a known top-level domain (TLD) such as .com or .net
  • Keep the domain short, no more than 15 characters or so
  • Try not to purchase a domain name with hyphens, since they’re more often associated with spammers
  • Avoid using self-hosted subdomains to rank or categorize posts

Related: 21 Ways to Market Your Business Online

4. Find a Good Web Hosting Company

There are loads of good hosting companies out there. If you’re starting a WordPress, self-hosted blog, there are a near-endless amount of options. The important thing is to do your due diligence and pick the right one that’s suitable to your budget and to ensure that the service-level and up-time guarantee is there.

At the beginning, you’ll likely want to start out with either a Managed WordPress solution or a Virtual Private Server (VPS), and scale from there. Eventually, you’ll probably need a dedicated-hosting solution with a CDN (below) once you break through a few thousand visitors per day.

5. Caching and Content-Delivery Networks (CDNs)

Use a system like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache and turn on browser caching to ensure that you speed up the delivery of your webpages. In the beginning, this might not seem as important. But as you grow and your traffic increases to thousands of visitors per day, this will be critical. Use Google’s Page Speed Insights to test things before and after the installation.

It’s also important that you setup a CDN, which will speed up the global delivery of your content. For example, your page might load relatively quickly in the United States, but what happens when someone in Australia tries to load your content? CDNs replicate data across multiple repositories around the world, and make content delivery ultra-fast.

This is important for the user’s experience because most people who are foced to wait even a few seconds for a page to load, often abandon the website and go to the next one in the search results. W3 Total Cache integrates with Amazon’s AWS and MaxCDN, two very good options when it comes to CDNs.

6. Enable Permalinks

In WordPress, you should enable permalinks before getting things off the ground, which will give you nice canonical URLs that are SEO-friendly. Permalinks are located within the settings > permalinkssection of your WordPress admin and select the post name option.

Related: 10 Smart Ways to Earn or Build Backlinks to Your Website

7. Install the AMP plugin

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an initiative by Google to speed up mobile accessibility to a large degree of their content. The AMP specification, which you can read more about here, helps to thin down a webpage to its basic structural components with scaled-back JS and minified CSS code, makes for lightning-fast page speeds.

8. Install Google Analytics

Install Google Analytics so that you can keep track of your efforts while building out your blog. This is a great way to keep track of your results while using the URL campaign builder when dropping links in social media and other places so that you can effectively determine where your traffic is coming from.

9. Setup Google’s Webmaster Tools

Anyone who’s serious about building a blog and making money, needs to leverage Google’s webmaster tools to see what keywords they’re ranking for and any messages that would impact their ability to rank. This will also allow you to submit an XML sitemap and track keyword impressions along with click-through rates. This is one of the most useful tools for growing your site or blog through constant analysis of your efforts.

Related: Why Your Startup Content-Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working

10. Learn SEO the Right Way

Although you shouldn’t start a blog with the intention of optimizing it to oblivion, you most certainly should understand the fundamental principles of search engine optimization so that you pay attention to the key aspects that will impact your ability to rank on search engines like Google. Begin with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and digest and implement that information. Learning SEO is a long and drawn out journey. You should always be increasing your knowledge and expanding your skill set.

11. Regulary Build Useful Content

If you’re serious about succeeding with your blog, you need to build useful anchor content. It needs to be engaging, keyword centric, insightful, unique and well written. Don’t write your content for search engines. Rather, write your content for humans while also paying homage to search engines and what they want. Simply put, it’s a skill that develops over time with practice. It’s also important to regularly publish your content on a weekly basis.

12. Sign Up to an Email Marketing Platform

The best avenue for making money from your blog is through email marketing, plain and simple. Hands down, this offers one of the quickest and surest strategies for earning an income through your blog. But before you get there, you need to sign up to an email marketing platform like Aweber, ConvertKit, MailChimp, Constant Contact, InfusionSoft or any other number of platforms that exist out there.

Related: 4 Golden Rules to Boost Blog-Post Engagement

13. Build a Lead Magnet

If you’re serious about marketing anything online, rather than opting for running ads on your blog (which won’t make you real money unless you have at least hundreds of thousands of visitors per day) or engaging in affiliate marketing, you should build a topical lead magnet that will sell a digital product or offer that you create in the back-end. The lead magnet will entice people to sign up to your list and provide you with their email address.

14. Build a Digital Product and Position Your Offers

Email marketing and lead magnets are all designed to help you build out an automated sales machine. However, you need a digital product, service or other kind of offer in the back-end to do that. You can create multiple offers or products, that can lead people up a value chain towards your high-ticket sales.

15. Create a Sales Funnel

Take the time to build your automated sales funnel. There is so much involved with sales funnels, but the basic premise is that your visitors will show up to your site by discovering your content, drop into your sales funnel through an offer via your lead magnet or some other tripwire, and they’ll then be led through a journey with drip-fed messages at some periodic schedule that will allow you to sell your products and services on autopilot.

Related: How This Entrepreneur Created a Premier Women’s Lifestyle Website

16. Get Social

Building a blog isn’t easy by any measure. To help you along the road towards success, you have to get social. Not only by linking up with other like-minded bloggers interested in online marketing, but also by sharing and engaging with others on social networks like Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.

17. Market Your Content

The single most important strategy you’ll find for building up a blog and boosting your visibility on search engines like Google, and my all-time go-to strategy for rocketing up the search rankings on Google’s SERPs, is content marketing. Marketing your content is an intricate process that involves long, seemingly-never-ending hours of building more useful off-site content that links to your primary anchor content, but it’s well worth it.

You can use this single strategy to rank number one on Google’s searches for nearly any keyword if it’s done the right way. There’s most certainly an art to this as well as a technical outline and to doing it the right way. Don’t try to spam or overstuff keywords in an effort to market your content by any means.

Content marketing can be done with articles on sites like Medium.com or Scribd.com, it can be done by answering questions on Reddit or Quora, and it can be done with videos on YouTube or Vimeo, along with a variety of other means. The point is that all of the content has to be useful, period. Don’t try to do the least amount of work for the greatest return. You need to do the exact opposite if you want to succeed.

Related: 5 Tips for Starting Your Own Online Publishing Company

18. Monetize Your Content

Let’s face it, starting and running a blog can get costly. Don’t expect to get rich overnight. However, you can take certain measures to monetize some of your content along the way. Be sure that you remain topical with your content and that your lead magnets help to drop people into a sales funnel that will eventually sell your high-ticket items.

However, aside from that, you can always opt to generate small amounts of cash flow by doing other things such as creating articles that will lead people to courses or audiobooks that you’ve developed, or building out video tutorials that will ultimately sell some big package or system that will help to teach people whatever it is that you’re really good it.

There are numerous ways to monetize your content and make money from your blog, but don’t try to take shortcuts along the way. Don’t look for the fast-buck if you’re serious about your long-term results. Take action and stay persistent if you want to succeed and achieve your goals.

[“Source-entrepreneur”]

How can we make sports inclusive for differently abled children?

Children with disabilities engage less in social and sporting activities compared to their peers.

A lot of these children shy away from people, are embarrassed to be with their peers, and do not participate in activities like sports because of physical challenges and related psychological issues.

However, this needs to change and everyone can make this change happen with a few small but positive steps.

What we need is more inclusive practices in sports grounds, and educational institutions and character development by parents to make our spaces open for all children.

There needs to be education and awareness on restructuring mindsets, cultures, policies and practices in our homes, neighbourhoods and schools so that we respond to the diversity of children in our society.

A recent campaign by Blue Band Margarine which comes with the hashtag of #achaibarhanaydo, is trying to show how we can all adopt this change and provide differently abled children an equal, open and participative space.

The campaign tries to pave way for a much-needed social change, inviting discussion on the topic of inclusion of physically challenged children, and also very meaningfully, presenting a solution to how we can all become a part of it.

The ad depicts a group of young boys, including a physically challenged child. These children are shown to be friends and are seen in a game of throw-ball with the game fair for everyone to enjoy.

The ad is also inviting parents to remove barriers to participation for children who feel left out as they are unable to play or join sports and other social activities due to physical or mental challenges. The ad is also an attempt to empower kids who shy away from social interaction because they grow up with the perception of not being ‘good enough’.

Messages like this, especially directed towards the upcoming generation, are exactly what we need to build a society where every individual has equal rights and equal opportunities to define their future and also to contribute their best to help build the country.

There is a need to acknowledge that all children can participate in social activities and enjoy them, with everyone respecting their individual differences.


Being a multi-national company, Unilever spends billions on annual basis on shaping perceptions and is using its power in a positive and responsible manner. Unilever is globally committed to developing purpose-driven campaigns. Be it challeging traditional gender stereotypical roles by bringing men in the kitchen or celebrating the beauty of all women, Unilever’s campaigns hit all the right spots with beautifully incorporated social messages.

With its latest campaign for Blue Band Margarine #achaibarhanaydo, Unilever has yet again brought a positive contribution to Pakistan’s advertising industry.


This content is a paid advertisement by Unilever and is not associated with or necessarily reflective of the views of Dawn.com and its editorial staff.

[“Source-dawn”]

How to make your site user-friendly while boosting SEO

Many Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) specialists, content writers, and web designers think of on-site SEO as distasteful, user-hostile work. However, I believe SEO can actually improve the user experience when implemented correctly.

yourstory_SEO

It requires a paradigm shift in the perception of SEO. You must shed outdated SEO concepts such as keyword stuffing, and getting massive amounts of (irrelevant) backlinks etc. An SEO strategy built on top of these tactics is no longer sound, and leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

This is because Google has come a long, long way since it became everyone’s search engine of choice in the early 2000s. Search is now smarter, faster, and – more importantly – human.

8 Ways to Monetize Your Blog and Make Money Online

8 Ways to Monetize Your Blog and Make Money Online

When you’re just starting out with your blog, it can seem like one of the most arduous and frustrating tasks. With so much information to consume and strategies to digest, how is that any one person can find the time or the wherewithal to not only grasp the art of blogging itself, but also that of driving significant amounts of traffic?

We all know blogging isn’t some altruistic pursuit. People want their words to be seen and shared. They want to gain the respect of the masses and boost their authority in their respective industry or niche. However, clearly it isn’t quite that simple. Not only is it difficult to drive traffic to a blog, but it’s also hard to monetize the traffic that you do receive.

The problem? Most people ignore the fundamentals of online marketing when attempting to earn any semblance of an income from their blogs. When you fail to pay homage to these fundamentals, you’ll find it excruciatingly difficult to earn anything. But if you go about it the right way, you’ll certainly profit in the long run.

Related: 10 Business Ideas to Make Easy Money and Change the World

5 immutable laws of blogging.

Before I jump into the various ways you can actually monetize a blog, whether you just started that blog or you’ve had it for some time now, I wanted to cover the five immutable laws of blogging. If you pay attention to these laws, you’ll succeed over time. Ignore them, and you’ll find it nearly impossible to drive any respectable amount of traffic and ultimately monetize your blog.

1. Focus

Blogs need focus. You need to have a specific industry, niche or topic that you write about repeatedly. Try not to go all over the map. You’ll find that veering off on tangents will make you lose your core audience. People want to visit a blog — and keep revisiting it — because it fills a need or a void. That happens by staying focused and on-topic.

2. Quality

People think that blogging is about pushing out an enormous amount of content. But it doesn’t work if it’s thin content. Your content needs to be quality content. It needs to be thorough, well-written and cite its sources. If a study is referenced, it needs to be linked to. Don’t skimp on quality if you’re serious about monetizing your blog.

3. Value

Your blog needs to deliver value. What can you teach other people about? What are you an expert at? Take the time to deliver value. Create thorough tutorials and informative posts that interweave things like videos and other media to truly help people understand or figure something out. Value is a precursor to income in any industry, but especially in blogging.

4. Engagement

How engaging is your content? Does your blog incite people to spend a lot of time reading articles, watching videos or messaging on a forum, for example? The more people engage with your content, the more likely they’ll be to purchase something from you. Without engagement, there’s very little chance of monetization.

5. Authority

How much authority do you have? How well-known are you in your field? The more authority you have, the more likely you can monetize your blog quickly. For example, if you have a large social media following and you decide to launch a blog, you can drive traffic quickly. If you’re an expert at something else or a best-selling author, for example, you already have authority, all you need to do is leverage it.

Related: Why a Blog Gets You Further than an MBA

Monetizing your blog.

While there are arguably dozens of ways to monetize your blog, there really are eight core methods that will help you earn a healthy income from your efforts.

1. Affiliate marketing

One of the most popular methods for monetizing a blog is to leverage affiliate marketing. This is especially useful when you’re just starting out and you don’t have your own products or services to sell. All you have to do is develop content that will ultimately be in harmony with whatever affiliate offers you plan to push out.

For example, if you’re running a fitness blog, you can easily sell affiliate health, weight loss or body building supplements. Since the content is already attracting people that are interested in fitness, selling these types of products helps you to create a near-automated stream of passive income.

2. Advertisements

While most people might think that adding some pay-per-click (PPC) ads will be a great way to make lots of money with their blogs, unless you have massive amounts of traffic — as in 10,000+ visitors per day or more — the income will be marginal at best. The real income here doesn’t start until you cross about 100,000 visitors per day.

However, you could easily negotiate terms directly with advertisers by utilizing display ads as opposed to PPC ads. As long as the ads are within your specific niche or industry, you can likely negotiate an amount that would be much more competitive than income from standard PPC ads.

3. Email marketing

One of the most powerful methods for making money from your blog is directly through email marketing. But to be successful, you need to build your list. Whether you promote blog updates or create a lead magnet, utilize one of the more popular email marketing platforms like ConvertKit, Aweber or InfusionSoft to implement the systems necessary to begin marketing via email.

By building a strong bond and a connection with your readers, you can effectively generate a sizable amount of money through the course of marketing both your own products and services along with affiliate offers directly through email. You can expect to generate approximately $1 per subscriber per month.

4. Sell ebooks

Ebooks offer a relatively quick pathway for making money from your blog. Develop an ebook that’s aligned with the content of your blog. Non-fiction ebooks are relatively simple to create, and if you’re teaching a skill that many people struggle with, it’s likely that the ebook will produce a healthy profit.

You can easily promote your ebook directly through your blog by creating attractive content that will draw people in, then enticing them with your ebook. You could also build a sales funnel, which is an online marketing term for an automated multi-step sales machine, and sell your ebook on autopilot.

5. Sell courses

Selling digital online courses is another way you can profit from blogging. Develop intuitive and helpful courses that add a tremendous amount of value and the rest will be smooth sailing. By putting your heart and your soul into these courses, you can simply allow them to sell on autopilot for you, another great avenue for passive income.

Courses work great when it comes to technical skills like web development, digital marketing, graphic design and so on. But they also work in formats like finances, stocks, currency investing and accounting. Find what you’re really great at and do the due diligence before building your course. Thenm make something far better than the other courses out there in the marketplace.

6. Sell digital products

Creating digital products is a great way to profit from your blog. You can effectively sell any type of digital information product on your blog as long as it’s in harmony with your content. You can build a webinar to market your product and deliver them through a member’s area or through other downloadable means.

Digital products can be a combination of videos, downloadable guides, resources, PDFs, software components, SaaS and others. Do your best to create something that helps fill a need or a void. Don’t second guess yourself, as you’d be surprised at just how much money you can make by selling digital products on your blog.

Related: How to Produce Juicy Content That Catches Eyeballs

7. Sell coaching services

While it does seem like coaching services are infiltrating every aspect of the market these days, selling coaching services through your blog can definitely be a lucrative prospect. Whether you set yourself up as a life coach, a career coach or a business development coach, you can earn a significant income through just a handful of clients.

Decide on a number of packages, and do your best to ensure that you address any objections upfront. Customers tend to abandon the purchase process when it’s too complicated, they have to leave the site, create an account or a number of other reasons according to one such study by Baymard Institute.

8. Secure sponsorships

Sponsorships are a great way to make money from your blog, but you need the traffic if you’re going to sell it for a significant amount of money. You can create sponsored posts as long as you label them as sponsored. The FTC cracks down on marketing products and services, including articles that are sponsored when in fact they’re passed off as organic.

You have to be careful with sponsorships. Be sure that you’re upfront with your readership. Google also cares acutely about sponsored links and will penalize you if you’re selling links along with penalizing the site that you’re linking to. Simply put, it’s not worth it, so be as transparent as possible.

[“Source-entrepreneur”]

How to Make Your 4K Footage Look Like It Was Shot in the 90s

Image result for How to Make Your 4K Footage Look Like It Was Shot in the 90sSo many photographers have recently been dipping their toes in the world of video. You can edit photos like a pro, but maybe you just can’t seem to figure out video editing; it’s very complex – like an onion, so many layers – and now you have to deal with sound design! If you’ve used presets for your photo editing, then you should definitely consider plugins for your video editing. Red Giant sent us a copy of their recently updated Universe 2.1. Jump on in and see what it’s all about.

I’ve always been a fan of Red Giant ever since I learned the Pen Tool in AfterEffects using Trapcode Suite. Later, in my first “real” job, we relied heavily on Magic Bullet, specifically Looks. So, when they sent us a copy, I was super excited to try out Universe 2.1. I only used a few plugins for this video, but it’s ridiculous how many more there are.

There are six new tools and two updates to the suite:

  • AV Club: Mimic the lo-fi, noisy text you find on ancient video tapes, old infomercials, and local access cable channel shows.
  • Luster: Give your text a slick 1980s retro look. Luster applies a metal sheen to text and includes a refraction-based bevel for a glassy simulated 3D look.
  • Title Motion: Create text and shapes and then instantly add dynamic animations that bring them on and off screen. It’s great for titles, lower thirds, callouts, and more.
  • Ecto: Create haunting, evolving titles with this glowing fractal-based effect, inspired by “Ghostbusters” and “Stranger Things.”
  • Long Shadow: Apply a colored, long shadow to text, logo, or shape, for both classic and modern motion design.
  • Glo Fi II: Give text an ethereal, moody look by instantly adding silky smooth, self-animating, fractal-based glow effects to titles. A simple UI makes it easy to apply evolving, organic glows.
  • Line: This update adds the ability to add text at the start and endpoint of a line.
  • Holomatrix II: This update includes blurred, chromatic distortions, a new strobe effect, and much more.

Holomatrix II is so much fun! While I was testing it out, Patrick suggested I drop the hologram of Tupac in the background, but we figured that would be infringing on copyright, so we went with Princess Leia instead. Not only is this plugin fun, it’s so, so easy. They give you 85 presets to choose from within the plugin (just inside of the Holomatrix II tool), or you can set the parameters yourself and control anything you want. So, I started with their default preset and was able to choose how much distortion, speed, flicker; again, you have total control.

It’s one of the reasons I love plugins: they help you save so much time when it comes to editing, and they also teach you more about the program. I taught myself AfterEffects watching YouTube tutorials and breaking down plugins, seeing what each effect did. When it comes to the type of videos most of us are going to edit, you really shouldn’t be afraid of trying basic AfterEffects!

For the ridiculous 90s montage Lee filmed, I used the VHS plugin, which again, I can’t reiterate how easy it was to use. While all of this editing was done inside Premiere Pro, Universe 2.1 can be used in most NLE programs as well, such as Final Cut X, but be sure to check out Red Giant’s Compatibility Page if you’re using a different program.

Filming and editing this video was so much fun. I was able to play around with a lot of their plugins, and you should too! Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to using these plugins: they will save you time in editing, but might add time when it comes to exporting.

Universe 2.1 is really affordable too if you’re someone who uses plugins for your work. They have a monthly subscription for $20 or a yearly for $99.

All in all, I really enjoyed messing around with these different plugins. I am going to try to work on some more videos to show you even more of the plugins. Also, let me know in the comments below if you would want a mini tutorial on how to use any specific plugin! If you’ve never tried Red Giant Plugins, at least give the free trial a go! I think you’ll be glad you did.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Mosul assault: Iraq troops make headway against IS

Members of the Iraqi rapid response forces fire a missile toward Islamic State militants during a battle in south of Mosul, Iraq February 19, 2017

Iraqi government forces have seized several villages as they move towards an assault on the last area held by the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Mosul.

Hundreds of military vehicles, backed by air power, rolled across the desert towards IS positions early on Sunday.

The progress on Sunday in the south of the city, the second biggest in Iraq, takes them within striking distance of Mosul airport.

Fears have been voiced about the safety of many thousands of trapped civilians.

The offensive was formally announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi early on Sunday.

Army Staff Lieutenant General Abdulamir Yarallah said in a statement that elite Rapid Response units captured the villages of Athbah and Al-Lazzagah – two villages south of Mosul airport.

Attack on west Mosul: Day one in pictures

Government forces retook the eastern side of the city, the last major IS stronghold in Iraq, last month. But military officials say the western side, with its narrow, winding streets, may prove a bigger challenge.

For now, there is no advance from eastern Mosul as all bridges from there to the west of the city, across the Tigris river, have been destroyed.

Map of Mosul city showing areas of control

Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, the commander of the US-led coalition forces, said in a statement on Sunday: “Mosul would be a tough fight for any army in the world.”

Special forces units safely detonated a number of IS car bombs as they cleared villages south of Mosul, according to the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville, who is embedded with the troops.

As well as primed car bombs, the jihadists left behind SIM cards, clothes, instant coffee and weapons as they retreated.

  • Photos show ‘weaponised drones’ in Iraq
  • Satellite images reveal Mosul damage
  • Iraq gaining momentum against IS
  • Islamic State group: The full story
A hidden and still live car bomb found in a village homeImage copyrightQUENTIN SOMMERVILLE/BBC
Image captionA hidden and still live car bomb found in a village home

The UN has voiced concern about civilians trapped there, amid reports that they could number up to 650,000. Leaflets warning residents of an imminent offensive were earlier dropped over the west of the city.

Charity Save the Children said on Sunday it believed that as many as 350,000 children were trapped.

“This is the grim choice for children in western Mosul right now: bombs, crossfire and hunger if they stay; or execution and snipers if they try to run,” said the charity’s Iraq country director, Maurizio Crivallero.


The BBC’s Quentin Sommerville is embedded with the Emergency Response Division special forces troops near Mosul

The assault began just after dawn, after days of coalition air strikes, with hundreds of armoured vehicles, thousands of men, and support from helicopter gunships.

The men of Iraq’s Emergency Response Division, police special forces are leading the attack. Their targets are three IS held villages to the south of west Mosul. They are trying to gain the high ground from IS, which will give them sight of the city’s airport and its southern edge.

The government forces made quick gains but have been slowed as they begin to take villages. There are no signs of any civilians. Heavy machine gunfire, rockets and artillery fire are constant.

For the first time in nearly three years, the Iraqi flag is again flying over the south of western Mosul.

Soldiers rest during the offensive in southern MosulImage copyrightQUENTIN SOMMERVILLE/BBC
Image captionSoldiers rest during the offensive in southern Mosul
Iraqi troops near MosulImage copyrightQUENTIN SOMMERVILLE/BBC
Image captionA soldier looks out over the desert as the offensive begins

Follow Quentin Sommerville on Twitter


Iraqi forces have now all but surrounded the western part of Mosul, while the US-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes on IS targets.

Ahead of the launch of the operation, Mr Abadi said in a televised speech: “We announce the start of a new phase in the operation, we are coming to Nineveh to liberate the western side of Mosul.”

“Our forces are beginning the liberation of the citizens from the terror of Daesh [IS],” he added, quoted by AFP news agency.

Quentin tweet
Quentin Sommerville tweet that reads:
Quentin Sommerville tweet that reads:

The UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, told the BBC on Saturday that “all of the parties to the conflict do absolutely everything they can to ensure that civilians survive the battle, and that they live”.

“Absolutely nothing is more important going into the campaign to retake western Mosul,” she added.

As the advance got under way, the UN commissioner for human rights called on the Iraqi government to investigate videos shared on social media that appeared to show Iraqi troops brutally abusing and executing IS fighters on the streets of east Mosul late last year.

The videos have not been verified at this stage by any government authority or independent group. The Iraqi prime minister’s office said it had launched an investigation.

The offensive on the eastern part of the city was launched on 17 October, more than two years after jihadists overran Mosul before seizing control of much of northern and western Iraq.

Experts warn that western Mosul, although slightly smaller than the east, is more densely populated and includes districts that are seen as pro-IS.

The UN said in late January that almost half of all the casualties in Mosul were civilians. At least 1,096 have been killed and 694 injured across Nineveh province since the start of October.

[Source:-BBC]

Gallery: 10 JIRA plugins to make software development even more agile

Make JIRA work for you

Software suites like JIRA are complicated, and each company needs it to do something just a little bit different. Atlassian knows this, which is why JIRA is relatively barebones: They expect you to supplement it with some of the hundreds of plugins available in the Atlassian Marketplace.

Here are 10 plugins that are sure to add much-desired features to any JIRA setup.

Image: Atlassian

[Source:-Tech Republic]

10 Mistakes People Make When Guest Posting

Guest blogging can be an excellent way to build your business. It gets you and your work in front of people who may never have otherwise  heard of you, and helps you build authority in your niche.

However, when guest blogging is done wrong, it can be completely ineffective, and even harmful to your brand. This post will look at 10 common mistakes to avoid when engaging in guest posting for your business.

1. Writing about your business.

If you’re lucky enough to get a guest posting opportunity on a great site, don’t blow it by writing a blog post about your business or products.

Most likely, the blog owner won’t even accept your post in the first place. They know their readers don’t want to read an ad or promotional post, and probably won’t be thrilled that you tried to use their platform for your own purpose.

Even if your post does make it onto the blog, your promotional post is unlikely to get many views, shares or links – the very reasons you’re engaging in guest blogging in the first place.

2. Not linking back to your website.

While SEO shouldn’t be the main purpose of your guest blogging efforts, including a link back to your site is still vital. Without a link, readers will have no way to find you or to read more of your content.

Keep in mind that sites may or may not allow links within the body of your post. However, the vast majority of sites who are curating content will at least let you include a link in your author bio. This bio (and link) will be the key to generating referral traffic and leads.

If you’re allowed to include links within your content, use that opportunity to provide additional valuable resources to your readers that relate to your topic. While you’ll definitely want to link to other, outside sources for your article, including a couple of links to your own (relevant) content is usually just fine.

3. Not including an enticing offer.

If the primary goal of your guest blogging is brand recognition, including an offer in your author bio isn’t absolutely necessary. In fact, in my own bio, I rarely share anything except a brief introduction to myself and my business, and a link back to my homepage.

However, if you’re looking to generate leads through your guest post, I’d strongly encourage you to include a free offer in your bio. This could be a free ebook, guide or other downloadable resource, and should ideally relate directly to the topic of your guest post (e.g., offering a free ebook on how to get clients when posting on a business-related site).

4. Writing for a site that won’t send targeted traffic.

The appeal of writing for a popular, high-traffic site is undeniable. Many business owners work on the assumption that all traffic is equal, and that a site with tons of visitors is better than a smaller site with less traffic.

However, it’s also important to consider the quality and relevance of that traffic. A small, niche site with a loyal and responsive audience is often better than a larger site that covers a wide variety of unrelated topics. These niche visitors will be more likely to engage with you one-on-one, and to be interested in your offer (see # 3 above).

[Source:-Forbes]

‘MAKE AMERICA KITTENS AGAIN’ CHROME EXTENSION REPLACES DONALD TRUMP WITH CATS

On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, it is close to impossible to avoid images of the President-elect. Fortunately, for those wishing to forget that a controversial reality TV star is about to become the 45th president of the United States, there is a Google Chrome extension that will make his face disappear from the internet.

The Make America Kittens Again extension automatically detects photos of Trump and replaces them with images of kittens. It has been downloaded more than 50,000 times, with Chrome user Bret Mason describing it as “a much needed crutch in these dark times.”The add-on was created by app developer and cat owner Tom Royal, who adapted it from an earlier UKIP blocking plugin. The plugins download page explains why it replaces Trump with kittens: “A) Trump is a disgrace; B) Kittens are lovely, and C) I couldn’t find a Creative Commons photo of a blobfish.”

[Source:-Newsweek]