Using Animoto to Create Videos for SOC Video Cards

QR code

I always like playing with new tools. One of the newest is SendOutCards video cards. You take a video, place it on youtube, create a card in the cool SendOutCards (also known as SOC) system. Your Youtube link is turned into a QR code which is printed on your greeting card. After sending the card, your loved one can scan the QR code with their smart phone, ipad, etc, and your video will play for them. Fun!

So what is a QR code, it is that black and white cube top of the post, looks and acts like a bar code. My son Tim Caswell was telling me about these a couple years back, how they made cool business cards.

So the next question is how do I make a video? There are many ways. One is grab your video camera, take pictures of your child’s first steps, first birthday, graduation, upload to youtube. A real estate agent could give a virtual tour of a home. Many uses.

One quick option is to create a quick video using photos/video with Animoto. Watch the video below to see how easy it can be to create such a cool and professional video.

Here is the video I created for my grandkids. Shh! Don’t tell them about it, the cards are in the mail, it’s a surprise.

Have fun with Animoto

Heidi Caswell
Independant Distributor

Gmail Adds Tasks

I use Gmail. I think it has one of the better spam filters. Love having email from various groups filtered into their own folders. Love searching for email, because filing things neatly into folders never worked for me.

This morning will checking my mail, I found a new link just above my chat labeled tasks. I took a few seconds and added my To-Do list, I’ll check them off as I go along.

I have other things I can use, which doesn’t always get done. I’m ADD and get distracted easily. What was I going to work on next after checking mail? Easy to see, there is my To Do list sitting right on my computer, reminding me what I’m to be working on. In just a couple of minutes I set up one for my SendOutCards business and another list for other stuff. I’ll try different things for this and see what works best for me.

Here is a quick video I made to show you how gmail tasks feature works.

Jing Revisited – Great Video Tool

I’ve talked about Jing before, when my laptop crashed, I was lost without it. Ended up adding it to my husbands computer. It was one of the first programs I installed on my new computer when it came in. Sometimes I need to share a short tutorial with my clients, showing how to do something on wordpress or SendOutCards. Cool to be about to make a quick “How to” video on the fly.

Jing is free to use, but I upgraded to their Pro version. More features and I’m able to upload my screencast video directly to YouTube, my YouTube video on the fly.

Related videos:

Screen Capture on the Fly – Jing Project

Changing the Color of a Background Image – Gimp

Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane with Google Maps

Advice for New Graduates?

It has been many years since my own graduation, and thankfully I’ve continued to learn through life’s experiences. I’m not alone. Take a few minutes and think, what would you share with new graduates? What piece of advice do you wish you’d listened to back then?

I’d like to share the advice given by JK Rowlings to Harvard graduates in 2008.

This weekend my son Doug graduates from high school. So does many of his friends. Next year, 2010 I’ll have another son graduate from La Tech, while his two older brothers will complete their masters, hopefully they won’t be at the same time. I’d like to invite my readers to take this time to share your own piece of advice. 🙂

Add Some Music, Play a Song

One thing I love about YouTube is that it is so easy to add video to your blogs. Author of the website still gets credit, but spread across the internet like wildfire, because it is so easy to share.

For those who are members of BNI, you should appreciate this video by Richard Swan. Not in BNI? Check it out!

Either way, this is very creative. Have some fun, remake a song for your own business, group, club, etc.

Coming next, how to download Youtube videos as mp4’s with the click of a mouse. (Always give credit to the author of video, but sometimes you want to share something where you have no internet.)

Signs of Hope for 2009

It has been a wonderful Christmas, filled with family all around, enjoying each others company. Nice to have most of my kids home, and that is a house full, happy chaos!

As 2008 comes to a close and we head into 2009, it is a time for reflection. Joy and thankfulness for all the good things this year has brought, lessons learned, in both life and business.

Where do I want to be in 2009?

If I could not fail, what things do I want to have happen in 2009?

What do I need to do to get from point a to point b?

Do it!

Remembering back in high school, we were discussing plans after high school. She was not enthusiastic.

“Maybe I’ll get a job at a local sewing factory, they pay a little over minimum wage.”

“So many choices and things to do” I said. “Why limit yourself to the one thing? There are many good things you can do with your life”

“Maybe for you” she said. “You can do anything, school was easy for you, me I struggle”

“So can you, you have many talents, being able to do well on a test does not mean you will do well in life, it is what you do with your own unique gifts”

“I don’t have any, and I never have any good luck” she said.

I disagreed, but I could not get her to see things otherwise. I felt like I had failed her in some way. Surely she could see endless potential. Later in life I learned that some have closed their minds to change, growth. I’ve wished I had a special can opener that would open their minds so they could see what I see. To open a mind and pour in hope, belief, dreams, knowledge of a bright future and the desire to do something about it.

Our attitude effects our life, and we’ve all heard the saying about the glass half empty or full, but I like this one better:

“Regardless if your glass is half full or half empty, it ain’t overflowing. Shatter it to pieces. Start over and fill it up completely.” Dean Hua

Lacking a mind opening can opener, so I can pour in some hope, I’m sharing some of my photos which to me are signs of hope. Click on the image at the top of this post and enjoy! Thanks to Angela Betts images of hope idea.

You can do anything you want in 2009, just find a way and do it, helping others along the way, not running them over!

Changing the Color of a Background Image – Gimp

As I test Jing Project, I’m using it for a few short tutorials. This first one is how to change the background image using Gimp.

Video is a great way to share, and Jing is quick and easy to do. I am limited to 5 minutes or less, which is great. Short and sweet works. In order to add the Gimp toolbar, I had to record a wider screen capture than what fits here, so you see it bleeds over into my side bar. I can always make a wider blog so these videos fit.