Crowd Funding for Independent Film (Series)

Army of Dollars,by Svilen Milev, Bulgaria,

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 04:15 am

Army of Dollars,by Svilen Milev, Bulgaria,
Army of Dollars,by Svilen Milev, Bulgaria,

I am writing a huge series of articles on crowd funding for independent productions. The emphasis is on international projects outside the USA. Taken together they form a comprehensive plan you can follow to launch your own crowd funding campaign.

Crowd funding works even when it doesn?t. Huh??Lots of films have failed to meet their crowd funding target but got made anyway. I?ll cover that.

Even more indie films were not made because they couldn?t get enough fans to back them-andmaybe that was a good thing. If you can?t get enough fans to commit to buying a ticket, download, screener or DVD of your movie, maybe it doesn?t have an audience. If you can?t convince people to give you money for a god-damned postcard or other?tsotchke quit.

We?re doing an MBA for Film Producers here.

The last bit of advice ? it will take more work than you thought, probably as much as you will put into making your film.

Topics include

  • Does your project needs crowd funding?
  • 10 things to do before you launch a independent film crowd funding campaign
  • 5 great things that from missing your crowd funding target

If you have specific questions, ask them in the comments and I?ll respond.

Professional Twitter Tools get TweetAdder

tweetadder 3.0

Last updated on August 21st, 2015 at 02:03 pm

TweetAdder Services are no longer available. ?Twitter has permanently banned their?API without explanation nor response.

I once used a series of scripts?to manage various twitter accounts and campaigns on behalf of clients.

I now use?TweetAdder?exclusively (affiliate link).

This is professional software that costs money (currently starts at $55) ?but you can try the demo first. If runs on your local machine (Mac, PC or Linux).

Why would I pay for professional twitter automation software like TweetAdder, especially if I had tools that did it for free? Because it saves me time and money. The?TweetAdder developers maintain it whenever Twitter makes a change. That means my down time is the shortest possible. One of my key old scripts stopped working for 4 weeks until I had a chance to debug it. That doesn?t happen with professional software.

Many of the features of TweetAdder don?t get used. I didn?t use some of the advanced search functionality. But when I had a brainwave to target Romanian speakers, for example, then I can quickly put a campaign together. In the past I?d need to customize an existing script.

Anyone who has a professional or serious need for twitter can justify TweetAdder at about $1 a week over 12 months.

My main twitter account @PaulZag has around 4000 followers. I hit the APIlimits regularly on that account. I?ve managed accounts with 20,000 followers and the API limits become a major pain in trying to scale a campaign. Tweet Adder avoids all that drama.

It?s feature-packed:

  • Automated Follows
  • Automated unfollow (with a whitelist to protect your must follow friends)
  • History of follows and unfollows
  • Automated tweets (as well as RSS and @reply feeds)
  • Twitter list integration
  • Find people to follow
  • Follow a users followers
  • Random time delay for all actions
  • Many, many, many more features.

How to Avoid Twitter phishing scams

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 02:36 am

If you receive a DM on twitter ?This made me laugh so hard when i saw this about you lol? it?s a phishing scam to get your twitter login details. Your account will then send that or similar DM?s on to your friends. Don?t fall for this email hoax and login to twitter via the link, it?s a fake site.

Why are so many of my twitter friends caught out by this scam? The scam is most effective against users on mobile devices like smart-phones. It?s hard to read the misspelled URL that looks like twitter?s.

As this attack matures, the exact phrase used will change. The way to be safe on a mobile device is

  1. use the twitter client for your device or a well known 3rd party client (like TweetDeck).
  2. login on that client only not the device?s browser.
  3. don?t trust a DM from a contact that does not have context (see below)
  4. if you click on a shorted URL link that takes you to something that looks like twitter do not login ? use your dedicated client program instead.

What is context? If you ask a friend to send you a picture and they reply with a URL, that is expected behaviour. If you didn?t ask for it and didn?t party at the Playboy Mansion with them last night, they don?t have a LOL photo of you. Assume they?ve been compromised and move on.

?Compromised? is very cloak and dagger but it?s also smart. At a time when the bad guys are selling compromised accounts and PC?s by the thousands, your login credentials are a commodity worth a fraction of a cent (e.g. 40EUR per 100,000 email addresses last night). So act like a secret agent and assume the worst, you?ll live longer.

The clever social engineering trick that?s hard to resist, what if something bad is?really?being said about us?

Other phrases I?ve seen so far (I updated this list 6 January 2013):

  • Did you see this pic of you? lol
  • FYI this profile on twitter (URL) is spreading nasty blogs around about you
  • damn this person is making updates with retarded things that involve you
  • HAHA omg you have to see this?IM dying from laughing so hard?
  • lol wat r you doing n this video
  • u didn?t see them tapping u
  • hey this user is making up cruel things that are about you
  • hey this person is making up cruel things that are about you
  • hey someone is writing shocking posts that are about you
  • Hi this user is posting really bad things about you
  • See who is Stalking your Twitter!?(this is the?StalkTrak scam)
  • Find out who?s stalking your twitter
  • Hello some person is posting very bad rumors about you?
  • LOL?i am laughing so hard at this pic of me my friend found
  • Hello this user is making nasty things about you?
  • did you see this crazy tweet about you?
  • Hey some person is making terrible things about you?
  • Hello somebody is making nasty things about you?
  • Hi someone is posting very bad rumors about you?
  • Someone is saying some real horrible things about you, seen this?
  • Seen this really?nasty?rumor/blog about you?
  • There is a rumor/blog going around about you might want to read it
  • Rumor has it there is some bad things about you
  • I saw a real bad blog about you, you seen this?
  • Found a funny picture of you!
  • I cannot believe what this person is saying about you! it?s pretty nasty stuff
  • You seen what this person is saying about you? terrible things..
  • Hey?you seen this yet? some horrible rumors about you going around online?
  • i cant believe this but there are some real nasty things being said about you here
  • Hey, so some real?nasty?things are being said about you here i cant believe what was said..

If you want more information on keeping safe online, I also recommend this great ebook Cyber Scams ? a visual guide to 25 of the biggest Internet scams.

If you?ve already been scammed do the following

  1. Change your password at?
  2. Revoke permission from any unknown applications at? Free as in Speach Street Maps

map image

Last updated on July 4th, 2015 at 12:03 pm

OpenStreetMap is a project aimed squarely at creating and providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive or unexpected ways.

I?ve got a Logic Gear SL350F GPS capable of logging tracks so I?ve got it running on the drive to work and back and generally chasing after the kids. This little unit was a great deal late last year from Officeworks. To access the track log features you need to go into the Map > Menu > Quick > Manage Track Logs. I?ve set a 1 second update interval which should be dense enough for the project

The 2007 Toyota Aurion the company provides has a built-in sat nav, but I don?t think it allows me to save track logs.

I?ve also edited some of the information around my house. So the street names are accurate. Beware potlatch the online Flash based editor does not always have the most up to date information. So I?ve installed JOSM a Java editor that gets the latest data from the API. This has allowed me to easily update local streets and features.

Twitter for status updates

Last updated on July 4th, 2015 at 01:05 am

I like the idea of Twitter as a micro-blogging tool.

What is Twitter?
Twitter is for staying in touch and keeping up with friends no matter where you are or what you?re doing. For some friends you might want instant mobile updates?for others, you can just check the web. Invite your friends to Twitter and decide how connected you want you to be.
How does Twitter work?
When you send in a mobile text (SMS), Twitter sends it out to your group of friends and posts it to your Twitter page. Your friends might not have phone alerts turned on so they may check your web page instead. Likewise, you receive your friends mobile updates on your phone.

Twitter not really popular in Australia, and I?m only using it via the web, IM and Facebook, but not via SMS as my plan is not for cheap SMS. I?ve increased my SMS usage recently but not enough to become dependent on it.

I generally write considered posts in this and other blogs, so my status update is an interesting way to let people know about what I?m doing day to day without going into a lot of detail.

You can follow my twitter.

PDF files left by Firefox on Mac OS X Desktop

Mac Desktop PDF files left by Firefox

Last updated on September 4th, 2015 at 08:34 pm

How To Auto-Delete Temporary Files abandoned by Mozilla apps on your Mac OS X Desktop.

Firefox on Mac OS X does not clean up temporary files in the same way as the Windows version. When you right-click a PDF file and view it (instead of save) Firefox downloads it and then runs the browser helper application. Firefox has no way of knowing when you?ve finished with the file, so by design it does not delete it.

This can leave your desktop cluttered with PDF files and other assorted detritus of the web.

The location for saving temporary files from the Open with command is set by your Safari preferences on the General tab. Change Save downloaded files to? and pick something like Documents | Downloads | Temp. Firefox will now download files there with you chose Open with instead of Save. Your default Save location is still set in Firefox preferences.

Thunderbird also displays this behaviour.

The fix is

  1. Go the the URL about:config (type it in the address line of Firefox)
  2. Right/Control-click anywhere on the page and select New > Boolean from the context menu
  3. Type or paste browser.helperApps.deleteTempFileOnExit as the preference name in the dialog box that pops up and select True for the value

Firefox will now automatically delete these Temp files when it exits.

For Thunderbird get to the config editor via Thunderbird > Preferences? > General > Config Editor? and add the same Boolean preference.

Update: 21 August 2015 (!) Although I wrote this 8 years ago it still gets traffic and is still an issue for many people. Say thanks below if it helped. A lot of the internet links to this post broke over the last few months, but I’ve fixed it now.

Update: 4 September 2015 Railroad adds that this is still an issue with OS X 10.8.5 through to 10.10.5. Thanks for the update.

Determining PCI Vendor ID and Device ID

Last updated on July 4th, 2015 at 12:17 am

In working with LTSP and K12LTSP I use some old hardware as dumb terminals. Some of this old gear presents problems in determining the correct NIC driver or graphics driver to use.

If the old machine still has windows on it I use Craig?s PCI Programs to determine the Vendor ID and Device ID. I then go to PCI Database and look up the vendor ID/device ID pair. This works best for video drivers.

Alternatively I look up the Etherboot database to determine the best network driver.

Mac OS X Keyboard navigation

Last updated on July 3rd, 2015 at 10:45 pm

For those switching from Windows to a Mac go and read the excellent HOWTO Switch To The Mac article from Tao of Mac

If you?re keyboard-oriented, go into System Preferences | Keyboard and Mouse | Keyboard Preferences and Turn on full keyboard access. Now you can deal with dialog boxes the way you?re used to, as well as accessing menus and toolbars with the keyboard.

There is even a hint on getting the home and end keys to work more like Windows users expect them to. I?m struggling with their Mac behaviour, but I?ll perservere for now. Check out the Windows Centric tips