Billie Ruben wrote up a guide on how to 3D-print sex toys the right way. Just rolling one off the printer and into a human body being absolutely out of the question due to the materials and the layer lines being perfect food and habitats for germs. — Read the rest
There’s no way to grab a Google Meeting link while the meeting is live. However, you will have an option to get a link when you create a new meeting. This wikiHow will show you how to get a link to a Google meeting using the Meet mobile app or your computer.
Open Google Meet on your phone or tablet. This app icon looks like a yellow, red, blue, and green outlined video camera that you’ll find on one of your Home screens, in the app drawer, or by searching.
If you don’t have the Meets mobile app, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iOS).
Tap . It’s a tab-like button that you’ll find at the top of your screen.
Tap . This is usually the first option in the menu and is next to a chain-link icon.
Making friends on social media can seem overwhelming, but Twitter’s a great place for you to start. With all the different conversations and topics popping up, you’ll be able to find people who share your interests and are down to connect. Read on for our guide on engaging with Twitter to make friends and navigating Twitter’s features to find like-minded people to follow.
[Edit]Making New Friends through Twitter Engagement
Set up an interesting profile to show that you’re a fun (and real) person. Click the silhouette icon and hit “edit profile.” Upload a profile picture or avatar that represents you or the content you’d like to post. Add a brief bio that will tell potential friends what you do, who you are, and maybe even where you’re from. Check out these sample bios:
Talk about your work and interests: “Stand up comic by night. Sit down office worker by day. Austin TX.”
List out a few of your defining characteristics: “Food blogger, ethical-sourcing specialist, mom to two werewolves, allergic to mushrooms.”
Keep it simple and professional: “Journalist/Traveler. MFA. Writes for The News Source. Former Fulbright Scholar.”
Post consistently and creatively. Tweet about your interests so other people can find you. Ask “how can I add value?” to the conversation. When you’ve got a great tweet or piece of content, pin it to the top of your feed so users who come to check you out can see it.
Add visuals to your tweets to increase their appeal.
Post at least 3 times per day, but aim for quality over quantity.
Reach out to other people by liking, replying, retweeting content, and mentioning users. Interact with posts both by people you’d like to befriend and posts by celebrities or influencers who are part of a community you like. By engaging with content you like, Twitter’s algorithm will start to expose you to more of it (and in turn, expose you to potential friends). Here’s a strategy for engaging with a post from a potential friend that goes a step beyond just retweeting:
Scroll through their feed and find a tweet about something they like or their off-platform content (like a personal blog).
Grab a quote from something they’ve mentioned or copy the URL of the site.
Tweet the quote or URL and mention the person (by using @ and their username) and say “thanks!”
Turn on notifications to be able to reply fast. As soon as someone mentions you or your favorite celebrity posts, reply to their post. That way the person who posted will see you’re engaging with their material. As a bonus, your post will get more views and traffic since it’ll kick off the discussion.
Reach out via DM to make a connection. Ask a question or give a compliment to start a conversation. To send a DM, click on the mail icon and click “new message.” Then, fill in the handle for the user you’re trying to reach. Check out these sample DMs:
“Thanks for sharing that fan art. You really captured the essence of the series. How’d you come up with that idea?”
“Loved that article on gratitude. Where do you find stuff like that?”
Join a Twitter chat to meet like-minded friends. Participate when a business or celebrity you like hosts a Twitter chat. Twitter chats occur at a specific time and use a designated hashtag so participants can keep up with the conversation. To join in, write out a tweet and include the hashtag the company/celebrity tells you to use. As the conversation flows, look out for users who make funny or interesting points that capture your attention. Then, either follow them or reply to let them know you like their content.
Put your Twitter handle in your other social media profiles. Then, join Facebook or LinkedIn groups that are relevant to content you like and topics you’re interested in. People will be able to follow you on Twitter as well as the original platform.
Use Twitter’s “Who to follow” tab. Click this tab on your profile page or home timeline. While the tab will often start with celebrities, Twitter will keep adjusting follow recommendations based on who you choose to follow. As an extension of this feature, Twitter will email you suggestions of who to follow. Take a look at their profiles and posts to see if you might be interested in befriending them!
Check other people’s Following/Follower tabs. This method lets you find common ground through the people you follow. Pick an influencer or friend and click on their profile. Then click “Followers” or “Following” to see who else they’re connected to. Scroll through and follow bios that look interesting to you.
Try the Explore tab to find friends by topic. Scrolling through “For You” content allows you to find people with similar interests. Hit the icon shaped like a hashtag to access the Explore tab. Scroll through the “For You” posts or category posts (like trending, news, sports, and entertainment) to find interesting people you’d like to follow. As you engage with the content and other users more, Twitter will tailor the Explore page to your interests.
Use hashtags to find friends with specific interests. Type a hashtag related to your interests into the Explore tab search bar. Using a hashtag instead of a general topic tab enables you to look for people who are talking about really niche interests, keywords, or timely/trending topics. Include hashtags in your posts so that other people searching for that topic can find what you’re saying. Try not to use more than 2 hashtags per tweet, and remember hashtags can’t include spaces.
Type a topic like “#indiemusic” or “#collegebasketball” into the search bar at the top of the Explore page.
Click a hashtag on a tweet to explore other tweets with that hashtag.
Type a hashtag for an upcoming event to find other people who might be going, too.
Use Twitter’s Lists feature to browse groups of people. Lists allow you to subscribe to a set of people in order to see those posts together in your feed without having to follow all of them. Find Lists of interesting people through the “Discover new lists” prompt or check out other people’s Lists in their profile.
Sync your contacts to see if people you know are on Twitter. Adding your address book lets you see what people you know are tweeting. If you’re on a computer, from Twitter’s home page, click “More,” then click “Settings and privacy.” If you’re using the app, click your profile icon and then “Settings and privacy.” Next, go to “Privacy and safety.” Find the “Discoverability” option and follow the prompts to let Twitter access your contacts.
Trees are an essential part of the planet’s ecosystem, they provide oxygen, clean the air, provide shade and food, and they’re used as homes by many different creatures. To create paper and other wood products, millions of new trees must be planted each year. Even so, logging can be very destructive to the environment if it pollutes nearby water, leads to soil erosion, contributes to habitat loss, and uses a great deal of energy. To help reduce logging, there are many things you can do at home, school, and work to cut down on paper consumption.
Use reusable cloths instead of paper products. Around the house, a lot of paper is wasted every year on things like paper towels and napkins. And if you’re using lots of paper products for cleaning, drying, and wiping your nose, you can save plenty of trees by switching to reusable versions.
To replace paper towels in the kitchen and bathroom, use tea towels to dry dishes, old rags to clean, and sponges to wipe up spills.
To replace facial tissues, invest in a few handkerchiefs that can be washed and reused.
To replace napkins at the dinner table, purchase cloth napkins instead, which can be washed and reused as well.
Use real dinnerware instead of paper. Paper plates and dishes may be convenient, but they aren’t good for the environment. Most paper plates just end up in the trash, meaning the paper isn’t even recycled properly. When you have a party or any time the paper plates come out, ask to use the real dinnerware instead.
If your family likes to go on picnics or camping trips, invest in reusable plastic dinnerware. You can get plates, bowls, cups, and utensils that are durable, unbreakable, reusable, and not made from paper.
Use paper from other plant sources. There are times when it’s simply not possible to avoid paper-like products. Luckily, there are tree-free paper products available that are made from alternative plant sources, and many of these have a lower impact on the environment.
Hemp is a versatile plant that grows much faster than a tree and produces more fiber. Hemp can be turned into fabric, writing paper, greeting cards, envelopes, and other paper products.
Bamboo is another fast-growing species of plant that can be used for alternative paper products. You can find bamboo bathroom tissue, paper, towels, and even disposable dinnerware.
Bring your own thermos or reusable mug to cafes. Disposable paper cups from cafes and restaurants are another way that lots of paper is wasted every year. Like paper plates, many paper cups end up in the trash because they are not recyclable (they are usually coated with plastic; in the case of uncoated paper cups, they are soiled with liquid).
Any time you go to a restaurant or cafe for a takeout drink, take a reusable coffee mug or thermos with you for coffee, hot chocolate, or other warm beverages.
Use reusable grocery and lunch bags. Many grocery stores provide paper bags to pack groceries. You can help your family save paper by investing in reusable grocery bags. Similarly, if your lunches are normally packed in paper bags, ask about switching to a reusable lunch bag instead.
If your family is hesitant about switching, ask them to consider how much money they spend on paper bags and grocery bags every year. Then, compare that to the one-time cost of reusable bags.
Send e-cards. Lots of people like to send greeting cards for birthdays, holidays, and other events, and this leads to plenty of paper waste. Not only is the card itself paper, but it’s also sent in a paper envelope. Instead of sending paper greeting cards to all your friends and family in the mail, send electronic greeting cards for future celebrations.
There are lots of e-card services out there that allow you to personalize designs, messages, and graphics to suit your taste and the type of celebration.
E-cards are also great for sending out invitations to parties, weddings, and other events.
Read e-books or library books. Books are great resources for school and work projects, and they’re great to read as a leisure activity. But printed books are still made with paper, so you can save paper by using public versions of books that are available at the library, or by reading electronic copies instead.
Buying used books is also a good idea, because you’re reusing something that’s already been printed.
Use computers instead of notebooks for school and work. School and work notebooks are a great way to keep track of things you’re supposed to learn and projects you’re working on, but you can save paper by keeping electronic notes instead. That way, you don’t have to rely on paper notebooks, and you can always have your notes saved to your computer.
If you’re in school, ask your teacher if it’s OK that you take notes on a computer or laptop instead of in a notebook.
Don’t use products that come with excessive packaging. One of the biggest culprits for creating paper waste is consumer packaging that’s used to wrap and label food, toys, clothes, and other goods. To help save paper, buy products that have been made with minimal or no packaging.
Many of today’s consumer items are wrapped multiple times, such as a candy that comes in an individual wrapper, within a bag that’s also placed inside a box. Instead, look for packaging that has a sticker instead of a full box, for instance, or a tag instead of an entire container. Similarly, buy items that haven’t been wrapped multiple times.
Buying in bulk is a good way to reduce paper waste from packaging. Next time you or your family go shopping, make sure you take reusable bags and buy what you can in bulk.
Dine in instead of using takeout containers at restaurants. Another large contributor to paper waste is takeout food containers, which are often made of paper products or packed in paper bags. Next time you and your family decide to eat out for a meal, request that you sit down in the restaurant instead of taking the food in to-go containers.
Most fast food restaurants use paper products to individually wrap all food, so ask your family if you can eat at a conventional sit-down restaurant for your next night out.
Be selective about what you print. At home, at school, and work, you can save paper by cutting down on the amount of material you print off. Before you print anything, ask yourself if you really need a paper copy, and only print something if you must.
When you do need to print something off, reduce the font, increase the margins, and print on both sides of the paper so the project can be printed on fewer pieces of paper.
If teachers and employers require that you hand in paper copies of projects and assignments, ask if you can instead submit them electronically.
Before you print off an assignment, letter, or personal project, proofread it on the computer so you don’t have to print off a second draft.
Send, receive, and store electronic records instead of paper copies. Most documents these days can be shared and stored electronically, meaning you don’t have to print off paper copies for your records. For instance, if you need a copy of an electronic document, request that it be sent to you by email.
For sensitive documents that shouldn’t be emailed, ask if you can save a copy directly to a flash drive.
In the case where an original paper copy already exists and you need a record for your files, scan a version to your computer instead of making a photocopy.
When you need to provide copies of documents to friends, family, teachers, or people at work, ask if you can transmit files electronically using sharing services, email, or other electronic methods.
Opt for paperless communications. Many companies and organizations offer electronic correspondences that can replace paper copies they traditionally send in the mail. Whenever possible, sign up for paperless communications for items like:
Flyers and coupons
Newspaper and magazine subscriptions
Use electronic calendars and day timers. There are plenty of free calendars and schedulers available online that you can use to plan your days, keep track of dates and assignments, and schedule meetings and interviews. By using an electronic calendar, you can save the paper that would have been used on a calendar, organizer, journal, or other type of scheduler.
Both Google and Apple provide free calendar products.
There are also plenty of calendar apps that you can use on smartphones or tablets.
Encourage others to save paper. To have an even bigger impact, you can also encourage friends, family, classmates, and coworkers to save paper as well. One of the best ways to reach the most people is to put up signs around the house, school, or office that inform people how they can help.
There are lots of signs that you can print off from the internet that will help raise awareness about the importance of saving trees. The WWF has signs you can download and print.
Make sure you print or draw your signs on reused paper (like the back of an old assignment).
Trash containers and recycling bins are a great place for signs.
Buy recycled paper products. There are paper products available that are made with recycled paper, which means that no new trees were cut down to make those products. When you do need to buy paper products, look for things that were made with “post-consumer waste,” including:
Use both sides of a piece of paper. When you do have to print or write things down on paper, make sure you get the most out of that paper by writing on both sides. If you currently only use one side of each piece, you can cut down on paper use by half just by using the other side too!
If you only end up using one side of a piece of paper, you could consider using the back for mathematical calculations or sketches.
Writing or printing in a smaller size or font will also help you cut down on the amount of paper you need for notes and projects.
When writing in notebooks, always fill the pages without skipping lines (unless instructed to do so), and don’t start a fresh book until you’ve filled all the pages.
Reuse gift bags, wrapping paper, newspaper, and tissue. Everybody loves a well-wrapped gift, but that doesn’t mean you have to use brand new wrapping paper for every gift you give. Instead, when you get a gift, keep the bag or wrapping paper it came in so that you can use it again for another gift.
Newspaper can also be repurposed as an eco-friendly wrapping paper or tissue paper to stuff a gift bag.
Turn old paper products into crafts. There are plenty of crafts that require paper, so instead of using fresh sheets, why not reuse old paper that was already bound for the recycler. You can use old newspapers, notes, cards, and other paper to make things like:
Recycle paper you can’t reuse. When you do have paper that you can’t reuse or repurpose, make sure you recycle it instead of throwing it in the trash. Paper that goes in the garbage just ends up in a landfill. But paper that goes into the recycling bin can be sent to a special facility and turned into something new.
Boost your impact by reducing paper usage. Recycling is great but the paper you recycle still had to be processed, which causes emissions. Reducing your paper consumption is much more effective for going green. Try to cut down on paper usage as much as you can to have an even larger, more positive environmental impact!
Choose reusable products over disposable paper ones. Disposing of waste, even if it is recycled, can have high energy costs. For example, instead of asking for paper bags instead of plastic bags at the grocery store, bring your own reusable cloth bags.
Use paper products as efficiently as possible. If you must use paper, make sure as little of it is going to waste as you can. This might mean printing double-sided or using crumpled-up sheets of used paper as a packing material. Plus, you should make sure that all of your paper products are made of 100% recycled materials.
Whether it’s a website, promotional content, or your personal social media account, photos and videos just aren’t what they used to be — and if you’ve ever employed a handy “pretty” filter on a selfie, you know exactly what that means. — Read the rest
If you love drawing and creating characters, today’s world is your oyster. That’s because animation skills are in high demand in a wide range of industries, including game development, web design, editing, entertainment, and so much more.
If working in animation sounds like it could be up your alley but you don’t have a portfolio to back it up, Moho, a full-fledged animation program, is here to help you create to the fullest. — Read the rest
Before we had access to drones, aerial videography and photography were really left to the professionals, or at least those who could afford the right equipment. But with superior tools, like the Phantom DJI Drone, taking breathtaking shots is completely possible — as long as you know what you’re doing, that is. — Read the rest
At this point even the squirrel in your backyard probably runs a blog reviewing local bird feeders. To compete with that, you’ll need a site with high-quality content, a decent understanding of Google keywords, and long-term commitment. There are plenty of steps you can take today that make a big difference to website traffic. The best results, though, come to webmasters who put in the work, experiment with their marketing, and engage with their audience. You’ve got this!
Write attention-grabbing headlines. If the headline doesn’t get people to click, the rest of your content doesn’t matter. Spend at least 5 or 10 minutes brainstorming possible headlines before picking one that’s clear, specific, and catchy (without over-promising). Some of the most effective approaches involve numbers, popular search keywords, directly addressing the reader, or answering a question.
For example, “11 Breakfasts To Cure Your Hangover” tells the reader exactly what to expect, addresses them directly, uses a popular search term, promises a solution to a problem, and includes a number.
You can use WordPress plugins or standalone tools to A/B test your headlines, running multiple versions to see how they perform. This is most useful once your site already has a fair amount of traffic, so you can gather data quickly.
Make your content authoritative. Stand out from lower-quality sites by creating content that relies on extensive research or expert knowledge. If you can, hire professional text or video editors to make your content more engaging and polished. These efforts will build your site’s reputation as an authoritative source, which helps you climb the search engine rankings.
Include some evergreen topics. It’s tempting to only cover trending topics, but it’s tough for an up-and-coming site to compete over these. A good strategy is to hedge your bets with some content that can keep attracting a steady flow of visitors for months or years. For example, write a research report on your industry or an authoritative guide to getting into your hobby.
Experiment with shareable formats. In the world of social media, shareable content is king—but that means different things on different platforms, and to different target audiences. Can you turn your content into infographics on LinkedIn? Memes on reddit? Until you try it, you won’t know what hits that viral sweet spot.
Use your longer content as a source of raw material. That half-hour video tutorial probably has a dozen useful clips that you can share as standalone pieces of advice.
You don’t have to condense every post down to a paragraph. Write long-form content if that’s a better fit for your topic, then brainstorm ways to package that info into bite-sized samples or headlines that you can share on places like Twitter.
Ask visitors to comment and engage with your site. Active participation keeps site visitors returning. This can be as simple as asking readers to comment with their feedback or suggest new topics for you to cover. To really build a base of visitors, dovetail these “calls to action” into other marketing efforts. For instance, ask readers to sign up for your mailing list or join your webinar.
Another option is to start a forum for your site’s community to gather together and discuss topics. Keep in mind that this requires at least one moderator.
Research keywords in your topic area. If you want to tailor your content to attract visitors, it’s a huge help to find out what search terms they’re using. Try free services like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends, and/or well-reviewed products like SEMrush, HyperSuggest, or Ahrefs. Use these tools to identify high-volume search terms that fit your website theme and your expertise.
Once you’ve found some options, Google them and check out the top results. If you think you can make content that’s more engaging, accurate, or comprehensive than them, you’ve found a great opportunity.
Look for “long tail” searches. It’s not all about the highest search volume. Aim for a mix of popular terms and more specific “long tail” searches. These have less competition and attract more invested visitors.
If you’re selling products, prioritize high commercial intent keywords like “buy.”
Use keywords as signposts to relevant content. The purpose of keyword research is to identify popular topics that you can write about with authority. Make sure the keywords flow naturally within the text, or use them in headers that accurately describe your content. Avoid over-stuffing your site with popular keywords, especially irrelevant ones, since this can result in a very low search ranking.
Ignore the outdated advice to stuff keywords into the <meta> “keyword” tag; Google has not looked at that for years. Do include keywords in the meta “description” tag, as part of an informative summary for readers.
Help search bots with tags and metadata. Website owners can use meta tags and other HTML features to help search engines make sense of their site. Go through this checklist of best practices, and follow them either by editing your HTML directly or by using the features of your website creation service:
Add a unique description tag to each page on your website. Make the description short enough to display in a Google search preview, include relevant keywords, and use natural-sounding language.
Organize your pages with other metadata as well: title tags, image file names, image “alt” descriptions, and link anchor text.
Use short, descriptive text whenever possible in these tags, as well as in URLs.
Keep your site and each page well-organized. Organize your pages by topic, date posted, or some other logical system, and create a sitemap. Break larger pages down into sections with descriptive headers.
Headers are a great place to put relevant keywords, but use them only as needed to help readers find what they’re looking for.
Maximize search engine function with structured markup. This web code helps search engines display your info. For instance, you can use this to make sure Google correctly lists your product names and prices, your opening hours, or even the right recipe names for your cooking blog.
If you’re feeling code-savvy, get started by copying the example code at https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/search-gallery, or by using the free Google Search Console service’s “Data Highlighter” feature. If this all sounds like gibberish to you, you can hire a web developer to set this up for you pretty quickly.
Make a social media plan for your site. At this point, social media marketing is its own career path, but you can get the ball rolling on your own if you can’t hire a professional. Research which social network is the most popular among your target audience, and start by building a fan base there. Post on a consistent schedule, and include posts that directly inform or entertain your audience, alongside posts that link to your site.
Social networks have their own culture, and users are quick to mock people who don’t follow the right etiquette. If you’re not already embedded in the network you’re using, do some extra research on the “do’s and don’t’s” of that platform. For example, many Reddit communities have strict marketing rules and dislike people who market without first participating in some discussions.
Give other creators a reason to link to your site. Offer to write guest blogs, propose a collaboration with another creator, or ask a well-known user of your product to post a review. Backlinks from opportunities like these are incredibly important for traffic—not only do they attract visitors directly, they also puts your site higher in Google rankings.
Go for quality over quantity: links from well-known sites with expert contributions are worth way more than links from tiny or low-quality sites.
If your website is pretty new, don’t be discouraged if people turn down your requests. Start by making connections with other creators, creating quality content, and linking to other people’s content that you find valuable. The best links will come after you build up some trust and respect.
Trading links with a professional contact or two is fine, but don’t go overboard or make deals with sites you’ve never heard of. If Google suspects you’re putting more effort into getting links than creating good content, your page ranking will suffer.
Post helpful content on forums and question-answering sites. If your website is based on your profession or hobby, join relevant communities on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit, or answer public questions on sites like Quora. Put in the time and effort to respond to questions and give helpful advice under your website name.
Stay connected with other blogs that relate to yours. Leave comments on their posts and interact with the communities. Don’t advertise your site directly, but allow people to find their way to it via links on your profile or signature.
Attract visitors with free materials. Who doesn’t like a freebie? When done right, they attract new visitors to your site and leave them wanting to return. To make this more effective, combine it with social media posts announcing the giveaway (maybe with an added chance at winning something bigger if you engage with the post). Here are a few ideas:
Give away a free, short e-book.
Hold free online classes or seminars.
Give visitors a free entry into your contest or sweepstakes.
Let visitors download free software, or a free trial version of your product.
Offer free products to people who sign up to your email list, spend above a certain amount in your shop, etc.
Pay for advertising on Google or Facebook. To get the most out of Google search ads (the links that appear next to search results), research affordable keyword searches that fit your site. If you’d rather promote your content directly in people’s feeds, look into Facebook, the other online advertising giant.
Of course, there’s a reason Don Draper gets the big bucks. You could spend years learning how to run effective advertising campaigns, and no quick guide can identify the best approach for your business. Use tools like Google Analytics to track your ad engagement, and keep experimenting!
If you run a local business, don’t forget about the real world. Look into advertising options at local newspapers, business brochures, magazines, and signboards.
A huge number of site visits today happen on smartphones, so the mobile experience on your site is very important if you want to keep traffic numbers high. Make a responsive website that adapts the CSS to the visitor’s device. (If you’re using a website-building service, double-check that it does this for you, or at least offers an option to create a mobile-friendly alternative layout.)
You can hire people to create content for you, but it’s usually best to write it yourself: who better than you knows your own business, hobby, or club? If your team isn’t writing-savvy, you can hire an editor to help you come up with a writing plan and polish the quality of your work.
Don’t forget about your old content! If a post is still worthwhile, link back to it whenever the topic comes up in a new post. This helps new users find interesting articles from your backlog, and keeps people on your site for longer.
Don’t get caught up with website generators and internet tricks that claim to fool search engines or deliver instant website traffic. These rarely work and at best only give you short-lived results, before the search engine catches on and drops your ranking down to oblivion.
Most websites have some pages that aren’t helpful as search results—for instance, the pages used for shop checkout. Block these from showing up in search engines using your website creation service’s tools, or by adding “<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>” to your page’s HTML. More advanced users can write instructions in a robots.txt file.
Every website that you visit tracks you in some form or the other. Usually, it’s in form of in-site cookies—those little blocks of data used to remember your preferences. But things start to go a bit haywire when sites use ad-trackers, third-party cookies, and now, fingerprinting.