Confessions Of A Web Editor – An Inside Look

Posted by Harshad

Confessions Of A Web Editor – An Inside Look

Confessions Of A Web Editor – An Inside Look

Posted: 14 May 2013 08:01 AM PDT

I’ve had many people ask me what I do for a living, and it’s quite difficult to explain. You see, I work from the ‘comforts of home’ and deal more with words and emails over the Web rather than face-to-face (with people). From an outsider’s point of view, that sounds like a sweet deal. You don’t have to face clients, your boss, your managers or your recruits (sounds like freelancing, doesn’t it?).

(Image Source: lnfectedxangelic)

Everyone asks me if I know of more jobs like this. In my head, I’d say, "No, thank goodness there isn’t any." Before you click away, trust me when I say this is not your typical tips to work from home type of write-up. In fact, it’s more of a horror story, less goth, more blood. When you have been in my position long enough (which in fact isn’t very long by Web standards), you realize the weirder sides of things from working online as a web editor – things like:

Time flies

You know how it is when parents get together and say, "oh how time flies", your kids are now in college and retirement is the next stage in life? This is different. On the Internet, time moves a lot quicker. Unlike the regular 9-to-5, unless you set your own routine, you blink once it’s Wednesday, blink twice and it’s Sunday. Ironically, the opposite is the same, spend a year on the Web and it feels like it’s been four.

(Image Source: janussyndicate)

Information covered two days ago is considered ‘old’, and there is a perpetual need to always be on top of a new trend, news story or product release. In the same period it takes for you to mail a letter by post, you’d probably have gone through 6 different revolutions, uprising or scandals online. The Internet runs on a different time scale and whenever you get off the Web and check the calendar, sometimes you get a shock of how far into the year you’ve been.

What to Expect/Do

Have a routine. Always run reality checks by leaving the house, going for a run, catching up with friends or reading the newspaper (the kind that doesn’t update itself, and you can lend to someone else without fearing they’d run off with it).

Everyone hates you

This is true. If you’ve been on the Web long enough, you’d notice that hatred is the most widespread emotion you will come across. Apparently for most keyboard warriors, there are plenty of things to hate, an artist who turns up late for a concert, open letters that usually fight for a cause, even small erors (see that?) on blogposts get strongly worded emails.

(Image Source: BenHeine)

There isn’t really a reason behind it, some people just like to hate. It’s a perversion of the quote by Oscar Wilde,

Today’s man (and woman) is also full of unbridled hatred and a passion to be in someone’s face, virtually. Everyone has an opinion they would ‘virtually die for’, and there’s nothing you can do to change their opinion, even if they want to change yours.

What to Expect/Do

Be prepared to take criticism even when you are not asking for any. If you cannot take criticism from people on the Internet, then you are better off working outside of it. Honestly, it’s not worth it. You can’t be angry all the time.

You Are Your Own Manager

If freedom is the reason you want to work from home, then the first few months will be very rough for you. There is no such thing as freedom – what there is, is self-control, discipline and a lot of sacrifices.

You will notice a need for all this when you hear yourself give your reasons (or excuses) to clients or your boss when things are not getting done: I was distracted; The deadline is still a week off, I didn’t know the client wanted an early draft; I have to help with my daughter’s recital costume etc.

If you hated your strict supervisor in your last job, well you are going to miss the rigid atmosphere that he or she set up to allow you to work and achieve your goals. That kind of setting was optimized so you can focus on the task at hand.

No distractions, no calls from home, no interruptions inside that 9-to-5 zone. Your hands are tied but you get work done. And at the end of the day that is what clients and bosses look for: accomplishments.

What to Expect/Do

Be disciplined, deliver the goods, or go back the environment that allows you to do both. When will you know? When nothing gets done.

Scammers are everywhere

When receiving guest contributions (a lot of you are amazing writers by the way), I’ve come across a relatively small group of people who would do anything and everything to get a post on the site, anything except give good, original content.

Make A Stand

As an editor, it is very important to appreciate the effort your writers put into their writing. It is also equally important to demand it. Having worked with so many talented, hardworking people, I have little to no respect for writers who copy content from one site and try to pass it off as their own on another site.

As writers, we should show professional courtesy to a fellow member of the same trade, e.g. credit the person who came up with the original idea, give them a backlink to the site, mention them by name sometimes. Creativity is rare enough as it is, let’s try to not kill it off before we all stop writing altogether.

But perhaps they have their reason to resort to these actions: maybe they cannot come up with original content, maybe they think that rewording is acceptable (to them) or maybe they are literally practicing the "imitation is the best form of flattery’ bit.

Go With Your Gut

Regardless of the reason, the bad thing about this is they will go with it until you catch them in the act. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. But the repercussions exist – and they hurt your reputation and your brand more than it does themselves.

Working from behind a computer screen, it’s hard to look for clues. In real life, you can study body languages, notice the pitches, stammers, and a-second-too-long replies, but not when all you have is text. So what is there for an editor to do? Roll with the punches and pray that that gut instinct of yours kicks in when it needs to.

What to Expect/Do

Be very careful(?). (I have no idea actually. I usually wait for my guts and/or short fuse to tell me what to do. Maybe you have a better idea).

It’s the People

For what it’s worth, working on the Web is really fun. You get to meet and communicate with a lot of enthusiastic people who are doing great things with their lives. No where else can you find an environment where there are so many young and old self-starters who would not let age, language or educational background limit them.

It’s an environment where only the strong and the persistent will survive, where prejudice and discrimination take a backseat to ‘making things happen’. If you have a dream you want made come true, and you are working on the Web, you’re in the right place.


Free PDF Apps For Smartphone & Tablets – Best Of

Posted: 14 May 2013 06:01 AM PDT

Many people use PDF files on a daily basis. Office workers use it as a digital manual or to fill forms; tutors and students use it to easily distribute reference materials or ebooks. In an effort to reduce the use of paper, PDF documents became the ultimate lightweight alternative that lets you go green with every paper you do not print.

In this article, we’ll show you the best free apps for your smartphones or tablets to make the use of PDF a breeze.


Free apps has its limits, but more often than not, we need more than one app to get the job done. Having a few different apps allows you to tap into the many different strengths provided by each of the apps. So, we’ve gone and done the dirty job for you and collected here are the best free apps to you could find on the Web to let you manage, split, merge, and create PDF files right on your iOS or Android devices.

PDF Splicer Free

This is an app to easily split, merge, duplicate, delete and create PDF files/pages on your iOS device. Access a PDF file from storage app like Dropbox or from Mail and open it with this app. The file will be stored on the main page of the app.

PDF Splicer iOS

You can select pages from a PDF and tap the Copy button then the Insert button to create a new PDF or merge an existing, separate PDF. The insert button also works when you Copy images on your iDevice’s photo gallery. To open your newly merged PDF, tap on All then the Export button. You can also attach it to an email.

However, there’s a slight drawback to this app. Because it’s free, it will insert an advert on the first page when you export the PDF file. If the advert does not bother you, it’s not a big deal as it does not remove or restrict the amount of pages.

Platform: iOS

Foxit Mobile PDF Reader

Foxit Mobile PDF reader is a free app that can manage, encrypt, decrypt and open PDF files with passwords. The PDF file you’ve opened from your Mail or Dropbox app will be instantly saved on the app. On the reader, you can annotate a document with lines, shapes, highlights, underlining, or draw on the document. There is also the option to add signatures or add text.

Foxit Mobile PDF Reader

The PDF files can be managed in folders or turned favorites for faster access. When you’re on a desktop web browser, you can also upload files to the app through its Wi-Fi file transfer by just typing in the given IP address.

The key feature in this app (only found on iOS at the time of this writing) is the ability to enable and disable passwords on a PDF file. You can enable or disable file encryption when opening, printing or copying a document. A pretty handy tool for managing sensitive documents.

Platform: iOS | Android | Windows | Symbian

PDF Utility – Lite

This Free PDF tool found only on Android has a bunch of functions found in the two previously mentioned apps. The Lite version of PDF Utility allows you to split, merge, duplicate, delete and create PDF files/pages with password protection.

PDF Utility Lite

However, this app does not have the functionality of a reader, like annotation or searching through text. Still, its tools are very useful for someone who needs to work with multiple PDF files.

Platform: Android


If you use PDF that require your important signature on multiple documents everyday, then SignEasy is an awesome-looking, free app that you should use. Registering for a free account would give you more functionality, such as adding checkboxes and images to the documents.


The app lets you save your signature so that you can just ‘paste’ it in future PDF documents. Other features include adding text, date and initials.

Platform: iOS | Android | BlackBerry


If you only want an easy way to manage and read PDF documents on your smartphone and can do away with extra features to create, annotate or merge documents, here are some cloud storage apps you should try.


We love Dropbox. You can do a lot of things with it, including managing your PDF files. With the Dropbox app you can read PDF files with extra features like table of contents for easy navigation, as well as text search within the document. You can also mark documents as favorite to download and read PDF documents offline.

Platform: iOS | Android | BlackBerry


Google Drive

You can also use Google Drive to make documents available offline with easier sharing options within the app itself. It has simple functions to view PDF files although you don’t get the table of contents like you do in Dropbox.

Platform: iOS | Android

Google Drive


Besides being a great productivity tool, the Evernote app is also a good app to open PDF files on the desktop application. Its features are similar to Dropbox, you can navigate your pages through table of contents or searching for text within the document.

It also has a powerful search feature to look for a term over multiple documents. Lastly, you can create a note and attach the PDF to it.

Platform: iOS | Android



How To Add Shortcuts To ‘My Computer’ On Windows 7 & 8 [Quicktip]

Posted: 14 May 2013 03:01 AM PDT

The ‘My Computer’ icon gives us easy access to our hard drives (or SSD), removable flash drives and other network-related locations. But if you’re one who enjoys a clutter-free desktop, then maybe you can use this tweak to remove the many program and folder shortcuts on your desktop.

My Computer Shortcuts

Here’s a way to get more usefulness out of ”My Computer” by adding the shortcuts that you need to it. This also gives you quick access to the program or folder and works very well with Windows Explorer tabs tweak like Clover. Here’s how you can add shortcuts to your ”My Computer” in a few easy clicks.

Adding Program Shortcuts To ‘My Computer’

First you’ll have to navigate to a special folder. Shortcuts placed in this folder will be displayed on ‘My Computer’.

Hit Windows Key + R and type in %appdata% into the box and click on OK.


Then navigate to Microsoft > Windows > Network Shortcuts. Program shortcuts that you place here will be shown on ‘My Computer’, it’s that simple.

Network Shortcuts

Once you have placed program shortcuts into that folder, you’ll be able to see the shortcut icons on ‘My Computer’.

My Computer Shortcuts

Adding Folder Shortcuts To ‘My Computer’

Because you can add any shortcut, you can also add folder shortcuts. To easily do that, just right click on your frequently used folder and click on Create Shortcut.

Create Shortcut

Now all you have to do is cut (Ctrl + X) the created shortcut and paste (Ctrl + V) into the Network Shortcuts folder, like how we transferred the program shortcuts earlier.

Folder Shortcut

Adding Control Panel Shortcuts

You can also have quick access to frequently used Control Panel shortcuts on your ‘My Computer’. All you have to do is simply click and drag something from the Control Panel to the Network Shortcuts folder.

Control Panel Shortcut

Here’s the final result of adding all these shortcuts.

My Computer Shortcuts

Now your ‘My Computer’ will be well equiped with all your frequently used shortcuts and quick access links.


Securely Transfer & Share Large Files With BitTorrent Sync

Posted: 13 May 2013 10:01 PM PDT

Ever wanted to quickly share a large file (or several files) with a friend yet the size limit on emails and the hassle behind file-sharing services make you want to give up? Many cloud storage services make you jump through hoops just to get measly upload or download speeds. But we’ve found a gem of a solution.

If you’re thinking of a bullet-fast way to share files without requiring any registration, then you can try out BitTorrent Sync.

BitTorrent Sync

Bittorrent Sync is a very lightweight program that allows you to create a secure shared-folder to upload and download files with seemingly no size limit. It basically synchronizes your files using a peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol.

We’ll show you how simple it is to setup and use and all the other things you can do with BitTorrent Sync.

Download & Install BitTorrent Sync

Normally we would begin by directing you to a website to register for a service. This isn’t the case for BitTorrent Sync as you just have to download the small software and install it on your computer. No registration required.

It has support for Windows XP SP3 or newer, Mac 10.6 or newer, Linux and even NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices.

BitTorrent Sync Operating System

During installation, you should tick ‘Add an exception for BitTorrent Sync in Windows Firewall’ in order for the program to be able to transfer files through your network.

BitTorrent Sync Windows Firewall

After installing, a setup window will appear and you’ll be asked if you want to go with the Standard Setop or if you have a ‘secret’.

A secret, here, is a long piece of code consisting 32 alphanumerical characters. You use a secret like a password to acquire access from or give permission to a friend who is sharing a folder with you via Bittorrent Sync.

Go with ‘Standard Setup’ for the meantime.

BitTorrent Sync Setup

How To Begin Sharing Files And Folders

Unless you have a specific folder you want to share with someone, you should start by creating a new folder on your hard drive. Chuck all that you want to share inside this folder.

Then go to the Shared Folders tab (second from the left) on BitTorrent Sync and click on Add.

Click on Generate to get a unique ‘secret’ code and click on the three dots to browse for that folder you just created, or any specific folder you want to share.

Add Shared Folder

Don’t worry about keeping this ‘secret’ code somewhere safe, you can view it again by right clicking on the path, and selecting Copy secret.

Copy Secret

On the receiving end, they can go to Shared Folders, and click on Add.

In the ‘Shared secret’ field, they can paste the secret code given to them and create or select a folder they want the contents to be synced to. If they choose a folder with files in it, contents between their folder and the newly synced folder will be merged.

Advanced Options

To see more advanced options, you can also right click and select Show folder preferences.

The Read only secret option ensures that the person using this code cannot add or delete files in the folder. They also cannot generate a secret to further share the folder with someone else.

Folder Preferences

Another option is the One-time secret option, which allows for the secret to last only 24 hours, for a single use.

Under these advanced options, you can also generate a new secret on an existing folder by clicking on New. You can use this when a folder is accidentally shared to a person who is not an intended receiver. Generate a new secret for that affected folder and give it to the people you want to give the folder access to.

Testing Transfer Speeds

Apart from the easy setup and requiring no registration, the transfer speed is something to shout about. We must start by saying that transfer speeds will vary depending on your internet connection.

That aside, in a simple test, we were able to get 200kbps upload and download speeds, simultaneously, and while not on the fastest Internet service out there. As a comparison, the same file could be uploaded to Dropbox, at almost 300 Kbps, but the catch is, we have to wait for Dropbox to finish uploading before the download link can be shared to another person.

Anonymity Ensured

BitTorrent Sync is (technically) transferring files over the Internet without a middleman, so it doesn’t have a problem handling large files, which is great news for those of you who want to share raw clips or large image files.

Plus, the ‘secret’ code that is generated is alphanumeric and long enough to deter any attempts to crack it. But that didn’t stop the site from further encrypting the file transfer. Lastly, your information is not stored anywhere apart from the devices that are doing the uploading and downloading of the files.


We’ve sung the praises and now let’s get down to the limitations.

There is no real ‘manager’ or ‘owner’ of the shared folder. For example, if you share a folder with your friend, that person can easily share it with anyone else without your permission.

Once the folder is shared, you are able to see it under the Devices tab but are not able to do anything about it like ‘kicking’ the person out from the share list. Basically, you cannot manage permissions beyond the first share.

Dropbox Members

Since there’s no middleman, there’s no way to access your files through a website compared to other cloud services. If you’re using another computer, you’ll have to download and install the program just to access your files.

Your main computer where BitTorrent Sync is installed also acts as a server, so it has to be turned on for you to be able to access and sync your files.



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