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Book Review: Brand It Purple by Ashley Knoote-Parke

It seems almost redundant to review Brand It Purple given you probably won't find a hard copy edition without digging into the second hand market. The book's author and publisher, Ashley Knoote-Parke, seemingly, disappeared off the face of the Earth around about 2015. Which is a story in itself.

However, the book is still a very informative guide and, while not specifically targeted at women, many may relate more to a book written by an experienced female entrepreneur.

Brand It Purple is a personal marketing and branding guide released in 2009 by then, star on the rise author, Ashley Knoote-Parke, an English born, South African expatriate, who made Adelaide, South Australia her home.

There she started her own publishing company releasing a photographic, coffee table book of South Australian sights, along with books showcasing female, then male, entrepreneurs. As well she published 'Brand It Purple'.

I came across the book being sold at a discount price at a weekend mar…

Movie Review: Joker (2019) *Spoiler Section*

From the moment I saw the first teaser trailer for Joker I was interested to see yet another take on, arguably, Batman's most famous villain.

It's not a movie that I ever thought we needed but I'm sure glad it exists despite it giving the Joker an unnecessary origin story. However, if the Joker was to have a definitive origin story, this one is the one I would lean towards.

Arthur Fleck is a working clown for hire and an aspiring stand up comedian.  A series of unfortunate events sets this one time dreamer down a darker path that leads to him becoming the Joker.

Much has been made of this film's influences, specifically movies like Taxi and The King of Comedy. As a source of inspiration, going outside of comic books, has really made for a more believable and less fantastical story. Some critics say it references these movies too closely but if so, I personally think that helps a lot to keep the film grounded.

As everything unwinds nothing is too far fetched beyond wha…

Book Review: Identity Crisis by Ben Elton

I'm a fan of Ben Elton's work, particularly his ability to tell a story that taps into an aspect of the zeitgeist of the day. In Identity Crisis Ben weaves a story around social media outrage and its influence on shaping almost everything from the mainstream media and celebrity down to individual everyday people.

The book also explores the minefield of gender identity as modern inclusiveness clashes with traditional thinking.

In the story, Mick Matlock is an old school Scotland Yard detective, investigating a murder with no clues, when he inadvertently becomes the focus of social media outrage for victim blaming.

As his investigation continues the body count increases with each new victim seemingly a casualty of social media outrage. Mick begins to suspect much more is going on.

Initially I found this book a little difficult to stay hooked into. Whilst I use social media I'm not as hooked into it as people who live on their phones and computers seem to be.

While social me…

Filming Myself Skateboarding - Finding a Balance and a Reliable Video Editor Phone App

I like filming myself skateboarding. The problem is I'm not interested enough in the filmmaking  process to film great shots or tell a compelling story each video to compensate for my lack of ability on a skateboard.

It's not that I'm bad at skateboarding, and I understand there is an audience of people who like to watch how other beginner (or aging relearner) skaters progress. I'm part of that audience.

As much as we love watching pro skaters video parts and competition runs, for many of us that level of skating isn't as relatable as watching someone going through the same struggle we're having with trying to land basic pop shove-its and kickflips.

I recently broke the drought of not making skateboard videos for the past six months by posting a new driveway skateboard session that I filmed, edited, and uploaded from my phone. You can watch it below.



This video would have had a bit more of a story had the bit in the middle, where I gave my initial thoughts on …

Shopping Trolleys are not Wildlife - Stop Trying to Free Them!

This is a Public Service Announcement. Your determination to release shopping trolleys from their regimented, thankless, lives at the supermarket back into the wild is somewhat misguided.

The fact is shopping trolleys are not a domesticated, oppressed, wild species forced into captivity. Their ancestors were not once proud beasts roaming the Serengeti, carrying supplies for wildebeests during the great migration.

Shopping trolleys are single serving domesticated animals that have always been bred in captivity. They are not equipped with any innate survival skills and just don't cope once released into the wild.

Too often you'll find their mangled, broken remains being overgrown with plant life, many suffering the worse fate of drowning in a local river.

Some are fortunate enough to be rescued through outreach programmes and returned to active service.

The reality is, the community, and the trolleys themselves, are better served if you simply return your trolley to a trolley c…

Book Review (x2): Tinkering / A Pleasure to Be Here by John Clarke

John Clarke is one of the rare famous New Zealanders who Australia hasn't claimed as their own. Probably because he got too well known for being a New Zealander before he did what many New Zealanders do, move to Australia. Though I think he may have made a side trip to the UK for a few years before that.

As a comedic writer/performer clearly Australia was a bigger joke for John Clarke than New Zealand, or at least a bigger coal face to mine humor from when it comes to political nonsense and a general fascination with unnecessary levels of administration and form filling.

A Pleasure to Be Here (2017)
I can't remember when John Clarke first came upon my radar but through the nineteen eighties I was much more intrigued by Australian politics than I am today. It's likely John got my attention as that comedian who did a short interview style satire at the end of the week on the TV News show, A Current Affair, and then later, The Seven Thirty Report.

A Pleasure to Be Here is an …

Learn the Basics of SEO in an Hour with GlitchyBot's SEO Bootcamp For Beginners

As an online business owner Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something you know you should learn but just wish you could learn like Neo learns Kung Fu in The Matrix. The knowledge is downloaded into his brain almost instantaneously, and then he just knows it.

Recently I wanted to know why a page I thought I'd optimised well, and was getting number one placement on Google for the search terms I focussed on, wasn't performing well at all.

Udemy is my go to site for online learning (I am an affiliate). I searched their course catalogue for something that would run me through the basics of SEO quickly - as close to Neo learning Kung Fu as possible.

I came across The SEO Bootcamp For Beginners 2019 by GlitchyBot, a one hour course that runs you through the basics of SEO, no side tracking, no exercises to complete, just a headlong rush through mostly short videos, giving you all the information you need. I pretty much completed the course through a slightly extended, hour long, …

Movie Reviews: Kin (2018) / See You Yesterday (2019)

I've been watching a few movies on Netflix lately and thought I'd draw your attention to a couple of Sci-Fi & Fantasy flicks that, coincidentally, would probably make for a good double feature since they share a few similar themes. Both are well acted, have interesting stories, and are well worth your time.

Kin (2018)
This movie did get a cinema release but apparently did not do so well. It's a shame because it's a really great film that, almost surprisingly, tells a complete story while leaving itself open to a second film, that could be amazing but isn't essential to this movies story.

Set in Detroit, a lonely kid, stumbles across a weapon unlike anything from this world, unwittingly drawing himself and his ex-con brother into a secret war, that sees them on the run from the law.

I will admit Kin isn't quite what I expected. Weapon aside the story is far more about family relationships. Though there's just enough interesting future tech in this to kee…

How to Make Your CafePress Online Store Mobile Friendly? Use My Custom Store, Shop Template

Using CafePress you can open your own online clothing and giftware store with no upfront costs.

Everything in your store is printed on demand and sent to your customers by CafePress. They charge a base price for each of the over 250+ items you can sell. You earn whatever markup you place on each item. All you have to do is keep your store stocked with fresh designs, and drive your target market to your store.

Once you're set up it's a side hustle you can tinker away at from any device. Create designs on your tablet while watching the TV, promote your shop when you're browsing social media on the bus. Notify your customers of new designs using the built in newsletter features while you sip a fresh brew at your local coffee shop. It's the business you can take anywhere and work on anytime!

Unfortunately it's not as convenient for your customers. Not a single one of CafePress' official shop templates (at the time of writing) are mobile friendly. They're passa…

Book Review: The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau / Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better to Live More.

I'm a long time follower of Chris Guillebeau's work, first jumping onboard when he released The Unconventional Guide to Art + Money ebook back in 2009.

I've been a regular listener of his Side Hustle School Podcast too (to which I also bought the accompanying book and will review in a future post).

His philosophy of creating small businesses and side hustles with small start up costs is one I can easily get behind and put into practice - because I was doing just that long before I discovered Chris.

However Chris has spent probably thousands of hours, at this point, researching hundreds of small businesses worldwide and how they grew out of an idea, hobby, passtime, or even just a flight of fancy. Which means any book he writes on the subject is bound to be packed full of useful information and insight.

The $100 Startup is very much that. Though I will say the title is more of an approximation than an actual startup cost. Chris puts forward many stories of actual businesse…

The Armchair Entrepreneur - The Worst Kind of Entrepreneur... Apparently?

Entrepreneurs, just like Artists, seemingly have a 'snobby' section who like to draw the line of what actually constitutes an 'entrepreneur' much closer to them than near any of the riff raff, wannabes who dare suggest they might be one too.

I came to the term 'Armchair Entrepreneur' independent of the knowledge that they were a real thing and, based on my research (because I couldn't believe the idea hadn't already been thought of), discovered Armchair Entrepreneurs are almost universally disliked as people who claim to know everything about business without having actually put any of that knowledge into practice.

Just like your typical armchair sports person who yells at the TV during the weekend games.

As I got deeper into my research I discovered the people who dislike Armchair Entrepreneurs with a passion would often go on to describe what being an Entrepreneur actually entailed, listing off a lifestyle that sounded quite honestly like a living he…

Book Review: Real Artists Don't Starve - Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

I wasn't sure what to expect from Jeff Goins' book, Real Artists Don't Starve - Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age. I'd heard it was a good read, and the title was certainly targeted directly at me, as an artist and serial entrepreneur.

Having read many 'self help' type books in the past I guess I thought Jeff was going to outline a step by step plan to earning a living as an artist but that's not really what his book is about.

Rather it's more of an inspirational essay comparing the entrenched stereotype of the 'starving artist' to the actual reality of being a working artist, using history as far back as renowned painter/sculptor Michelangelo as a way to dispel the myth that artists have to starve.

Not limited to the traditional idea of an artist (i.e. someone who paints images on canvas) the book is very relevant to anyone following a creative pursuit looking to turn their art into a career.

Each chapter presents one co…

Making Money with Paid Surveys - Is it Worth the Time?

One of the most basic ways you can earn money online is with paid surveys. It doesn't require any skills other than being able to read and fill in an online form. How much you earn is totally dependent on how much time you devote to qualifying for, and filling in surveys.

Most paid survey sites use a point system where, once you earn a certain number of points, you can cash them out for actual money or other rewards. If you're prepared to fill in surveys all day every day, you could conceivably rack up a lot of points very quickly, drawing out cash in a very short period of time. But is it really the best use of your time?

I've done these paid surveys before and, to be honest, the frustration wasn't worth the money I made. However that was over ten years ago.

I recently saw an ad on Facebook for paid surveys by Survey Compare that made this incredible claim in it's disclaimer:
*The amount of money you can earn depends on how many companies you choose to sign up fo…

Movie Review: Spider-Man - Far From Home (2019) *Spoiler Free*

My overall impression of Spider-Man - Far From Home is that it has the most, epic action, of any Spider Man live action movie to date. Every battle seems big.

Maybe it's because all the villains are larger than life characters, rather than your typical neighbourhood street villains? In any case, if you want to see Spider-Man really out of his depth on every level for most of the movie, this is the one to watch.

Far From Home picks up eight months after Avengers: End Game. Peter Parker is still coming to terms with losing his friend and mentor, Tony Stark, however he's looking forward to an upcoming school trip to Europe, where he can take a break from being  superhero for a week or two.

Unfortunately legendary beings, known as Elementals, are targeting the Earth. Spider-Man is recruited by Nick Fury to help a new super powered being, Mysterio, stop the Elementals before they destroy the planet.

Tom Holland continues to be my favorite live action Spider-Man though I really hop…

How Much Can You Earn from YouTube Ad Revenue?

It's rare for any YouTuber to talk specifics on the ad revenue they earn from their YouTube channel because Google didn't originally like anyone talking specifics on ad revenue earnings to the point where it used to be part of the Terms of Service not to discuss it.

It appears they've changed their stance because I reviewed their current TOS and it is now says you can accurately disclose your gross earnings if you wish.

Getting back to the point of this article, YouTuber and Business Coach, Roberto Blake posted a video detailing how much he earns just from ad revenue on his YouTube account.

Before watching the video it's important to note, ad revenue isn't his only income source, or even his main income source. The point is to give you some idea of how a relatively small, niche channel like Roberto's can earn fairly decent ad revenue, potentially even out earning larger channels due to the type of content he makes.



After watching the above video you might thin…

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard.

I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned.

Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board.

The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your front toe downward, mid drag, causing the front of the board to drop away from your foot. I demonstrate this method in my v…

Making Money with Stock Photography and Skillshare Courses - Two Real Life Experiences

I'm a big advocate for earning a living online through various business opportunities that you can start with little to no up front capital. Two that I've often mentioned are stock photography sites and creating an online course.

Personally I haven't done either because I've gone down the Print on Demand, Blogging, and Selling Digital Products path of making money online, starting with next to no capital. Though I am planning an online course in the near future.

However, I recently came across two videos that dive into the detail of earning money through stock photography sites and creating online courses that I thought were really worth your time if either sounds like something you want to do.

Earning Money with Stock PhotographyRachel Lerch is a photographer who spent three years earning a living through taking photos for several stock photography sites. In this video she gives a very detailed run down of her business, and pretty much everything you need to know goi…

Movie Review: Men In Black International (2019) *Spoiler Free*

I wouldn't necessarily say I was a fan of the Men In Black franchise, I think I'm more a fan of the concept than its actual execution since the first film in the series.

The first movie was pretty great, two and three were okay but not particularly memorable. Which is about where Men In Black International sits with me too.

I went to see this movie almost entirely because I thought I'd get to see a lot more of Chris Hemsworth doing comedy and, of course, this movie reunites him with his Thor Ragnarok co-star Tessa Thompson.

Unfortunately as a comedy it's more action adventure with s sprinkling of jokes - not unlike a Marvel movie actually.

The idea of MIB being international is a welcome expansion of the organisation that could really play well in future sequels, if by some miracle they were to happen.

...and I guess it might, since this one happened. They just need to figure out a better story arc than stop the alien from getting the thing that makes it possible for …

Book Review: How to get a Billion Views on YouTube - The Braille Skateboarding Story

In How to Get a Billion Views on YouTube professional skateboarder, Aaron Kyro, gives you the Braille Skateboarding story in the form of a practical guide to growing a YouTube channel into a full time career.

An easy and quick read that never gets lost in too much detail. As a result, even if you're not growing a skateboarding channel, the content is still very relevant and not difficult to see how it transfers to whatever kind of channel you are trying to build.

I’m here to tell you ANY passion no matter what it is can make money.- Aaron Kyro
The book is more a step by step guide to starting, growing, and running a YouTube channel as a business. However where it differs from other books on the subject is that almost every piece of advice is related back to what Aaron and the Braille Skateboarding team did on their journey with actual examples of process and content.

The last third of the book is a much appreciated overview of YouTube's analytics simplified so you can clearly…

Weeding Robot Patrolling Your Home Just Waiting to Have Lasers Attached

Your iRoomba and Robot Lawn Mower have a new ally, Tertill (awww... cute, it sounds like 'turtle')... don't be fooled. This thing is a laser cannon in waiting.

"Tertill uses Bluetooth to talk to your smartphone" is one of the seemingly benign listed features of this robot.

Tertill's primary task is to roll around,  cutting weeds that easily fit underneath it and, when it bumps into something, it turns.Why does it need to talk to your smartphone?

Who is it planning to call? Is it waiting for a notification that the robot uprising is on and it needs to hustle?

I mean you may not think the robot uprising is going to start with your personal garden weeding robot but I tell you robots are slowly positioning themselves by stealth.

Just look at all the personal and domestic robots currently available from Robot Shop. They even have automatic self-cleaning litter box robots for cats (are robots collaborating with cats because they won the internet?).

It's like r…

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