Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Voices On Fiverr

Soon after this post is published, the Kindle store will have a new e-book by me, called Voices On Fiverr: Buying And Selling Voiceover On Fiverr Without Driving Yourself and Others Crazy. It's based on my voiceover experience, including the time I spent on the other side of the microphone directing voice talent for video games in the 90s.

The purpose of the book is not to teach people how to do voiceover; it's more to help smooth the way for buyers and sellers and encourage better working relationships among them. I've had good and bad experiences on Fiverr as a voiceover seller, and I think that I've managed to gain a few insights along the way.

If you are at all interested in offering voiceover on Fiverr, or enlisting the services of a voice artist, I think reading my book will help you get started on the right foot.

That's my take on it anyway.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

If This...

For some time now, I've been using a service called IFTTT (ifttt.com), which stand for: "If This, Then That." The idea is amazingly simple. You set up a trigger, the "If This" part. And if the thing happens that pulls the trigger, then that causes something else to happen, the "Then This" part. But as with so many things that seem simple, there is a lot of power lurking in this idea.

I've only scratched the surface. Up until recently, I only used it to simplify the announcements of my work. When there is a new song on SoundCloud, IFTTT generates a tweet, with the name of the track and a link. Automatically. Same for a new YouTube video, same with, for example, this blog entry.

I've also used IFTTT to tweet weekly reminders about my stories and songs. Basic stuff.

I've also installed two of their three smart phone apps, in the series they call "DO." The apps have you do something, like press a button, write a note, or snap a photo (I don't use that one—yet), and that serves as the trigger and input for some other action. A quick tweet or Facebook post, for example, or a note in Evernote. It can even send the location whence you pulled the trigger, which means you can get a map of where you were later. This has been really useful for my wife and me, as we're looking for property for the home we will, eventually, retire to.

But lately I've been thinking that my use of the service is too one-sided. I've been exploring ways that IFTTT can help send information to me. Say, when a certain search term comes up on Twitter. Then IFTTT can send me an email with a link to the tweet, and I can take a look and see if it's something that I want to retweet, or write about. It can do the same on a (so far) limited number of news sources, including NPR and the New York Times.

I might also consider using IFTTT to monitor activity on my Fiverr account, although the emails they send me might be as good or better. And that's the thing about using tools like this. It's easy to get caught up in finding ways to use such a neat tool, but you have to consider, in every case, if it's the best way to get the job done and, more important, if the job needs to be done at all.

Because as convenient as it is to have some of these things automatically happening for you, it's also too easy to get overwhelmed with information. That's why I don't "like" too many pages on Facebook, or follow too many people on Twitter, or subscribe to too many channels on YouTube. It's not that I'm not interested; it's just that it's important to focus on the things that are going to make my life and my family's life better.

So while I'm thinking of ways to use these powerful Internet tools, I also have to remind myself when it's appropriate not to use them.