3 For Free: Web Tools and Resources

By Andrew Lock | Posted June 22, 2010

Andrew Lock

DayTipper

If you’re looking for ideas for written content that you might want to pass on to your customers, you might want to consider a visit to DayTipper.com.  Here you’ll find thousands of helpful tips left by average people that provide value by being practical, by saving time or money and just generally by being smart. 

DayTipper.com; Web tools
DayTipper.com
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Tips are organized into several different categories including beauty tips for women, how to buy and sell things, education, employment, finance, gardening, household, pets, relationships, technology, travel and wellness.  DayTipper even break down sections into the tips that receive the most comments from their readers and those that are highly valued by their staff. 

They have a Hall of Fame and even a Hall of Shame for tips that don’t quite make the cut.  Site readers vote the tips up and down, and if you create your own account at DayTipper, you’ll be able to collect your own favorite tips for easy reference. You can sign up for their daily email, and you’ll be able to submit your own tips for others to benefit from. 

Each month the authors of the three highest-rated tips receive cash prizes from $50 to $100.  If you don’t pick up a few content ideas for your customers, at least you might pick up a few practical tips to make your life easier. 

Fark

Founder Drew Curtis created Fark.com on a whim back in 1997 when he was in college, and for the first two years of its existence all it had on its domain was a funny photograph of a squirrel doctored up to show some unmentionable parts. 

But then he decided in 1999 he was going to turn it into an aggregator for user-submitted news stories that he calls by the slang term of “fark,” which is supposed to represent “crap that the mass media passes off as news.” 

That’s exactly what it does, and that’s why it has the catch phrase up at the top left, “It’s not news, it’s fark.”  The site break down all of its user-submitted stories into several different categories: the obligatory "not news," sports, business, which is something that we’ll want to look at, and geek, showbiz, and politics. 

Every time someone submits one of these news stories, it’s guaranteed to get a humorous write up plus an image that tries to categorize it as sick, stupid, obvious, fail or interesting.  They also have music and videos that you can watch, and you can choose to not categorize them and just see them all as they come in.

We want to look at the business stories of course, and there are a couple of humorous takes on some stories.  Apparently if you’re in Milwaukee or Madison County or Waushka, the Miller Coors company will give you a free ride home. They don’t want to have people getting drunk and then trying to drive home on New Year’s Eve.  And then of course they add the little snarky comment about “no cure for watery, tasteless beer.” Ouch!

So it’s a really good place to stay up to date on things with a tongue-in-cheek attitude, as well as keep up with a lot of things that maybe don’t pass for news. 

Animoto

If you’ve ever wanted to take those hundreds of digital photographs you’ve collected throughout the years and do something a little more creative than a slide show, you need to take a look at this interesting new concept in movie-making from Animoto.com.

Animoto is a Web application that automatically generates professionally produced videos using its patent-pending cinematic artificial intelligence technology and high-end motion design. Produced in widescreen format, Animoto videos have the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer. 

Whether it’s punk, pop, or hip-hop, every Animoto video is totally customized and unique.  And you can email Animoto videos or embed them on Web pages, including Facebook and MySpace. 

Creating your own video in Animoto takes three simple steps.  Step one: get your images in to Animoto.  Click on the Get Started and select the type of video you want to create. Then click on the upload button and select the pictures you want to use in your video.  The pictures do have a limit of 5MB, and they have to be jpg, jpeg, or gif files.  Uploading the files can take a little bit so you need to be a little patient.

Next you organize the photos in the order that you want them to appear on the video, as well as rotate them to be in the proper orientation.  You can also spotlight pictures where special attention will be given to them during the Animoto video production.

When you select the music for the video, you can choose from one of the various categories and select an artist that fits the feel of your video.  Give your video a name and don’t forget to give yourself a little bit of credit for all your hard work.

Email the link to your friends, post it on YouTube or Facebook or download it to your iPod.  Animoto lets you sit in the director’s chair for free. 


You'll find lots more small business marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business In-Depth series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

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