SocialSpark: Sponsored Conversations

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
Visit my sponsor: I Signed Up for SocialSpark!

Recently, I decided to try and monetize my blog by replacing some of my static ads with adsense ads. I’d noticed a few other blogs I read use a site called “socialspark.com” to facilitate their advertisements and to write a few sponsored posts. I figured that it’d be worth a shot to try out and see how I could benefit from their services. Here’s what happened.

Getting Started

Signing up was stupidly easy. All you need to sign up is a blog and an email address. They don’t ask for payment information immediately, so you can start blogging or posting ads and cash in later. As soon as you finish the registration process (which involves adding a snippet of code to your blog to verify that you do, in fact, own it), you are presented with a list of “opportunities” to connect with businesses and companies.

Connecting with Companies

Every opportunity can be placed into a variety of different categories, from “posts,” in which you write a sponsored post, to “affiliate,” in which you make a commission every time someone clicks on your ad and purchases the product. I selected a few affiliate ads to place on the side of my blog, and then opted to write this post. I figured that, in writing this post, my readers would not only understand the changes going on with my blog, but would also show what I chose as a means for advertising.

Some Cons

Nothing is perfect, and if I’m going to be writing honest reviews, I need to make sure my readers know everything there is about a product or service. This being said, SocialSpark has a few things that I don’t like. For one, there is no way to group opportunities apart from what kind of action they require of you (blog post, ad, etc.). I can’t review all “technology” offers, for example.

Secondly, there’s a bit of a learning curve. When I first saw my “opportunities,” I had know idea that “aff” was short for “Affiliate.” In that sense, SocialSpark kinda pushes you into its community, hands you a to-do list, and tells you “Go get ’em,” leaving you somewhat high and dry.

Conclusion

After you get over its learning curve, SocialSpark can quickly become a very valuable blogging resource. It’s definitely worth a shot, if only to see what kind of opportunities there are for you in the world of collaborative blogging. Bloggers, give it a shot. Readers, CLICK MY ADS! Only kidding.

SocialSpark

Code of Ethics

Sign up for SocialSpark

iOS 4.01: Antenna fix?

I laughed so damn hard when I heard that the new iPhone drops calls and destroys recording quality, not to mention any of a whole slew of other problems (including SIM, Mic, Camera, and proximity sensor issues). To top it all off, the thing is built out of balsa wood and fillo dough. The thing’s back shatters from even a 1 foot drop, which is fairly depressing. And no, they won’t replace your iPhone if yours has shattered. Sorry.

It gets even better, though. Rumor has it that Apple has promised to fix a lot of these issues, which seem to be caused by the iPhone’s too-underthought hardware, with a firmware update. That’s like saying your computer will have a bigger hard drive after you finally upgrade to Windows 7 from Windows XP. Granted, it’s a huge rumor, and Apple could certainly dispel a lot of criticism by announcing their progress. But when Apple tells people how to hold their phones correctly, under penalty of dropping their calls, things get a little ridiculous.

Does anyone else think this is recall territory? I mean, really?

Get all the 4.0 features on older devices with Redsn0w!

Alright, some definite stuff has, in fact, been released! We have a jailbreak WITH 4.0 features for both the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and the iPod Touch 2G.

ALRIGHT.

Easy.

First of all, there is a fantastic jailbreak released by those lovely blokes over at the iPhone Dev-Team. It’s really easy. But it ONLY works on iPhone 3G/3GS and the 2G iPod Touch (not 3G). For now.

  1. Download the 4.0 firmware for your device from FelixBruns.de (scroll down to the iOS 4.0 bit)
  2. Download Redsn0w for Mac (x86) or PC.
  3. Select any options you’d like. This is where you can enable wallpapers, multitasking, set custom boot logos, etc. EVEN if you don’t have a 3GS. Isn’t that dandy?
  4. Plug in your iDevice, and THEN shut it off.
  5. Hit “next” in Redsn0w, and watch the fireworks.

Hard.

If you’re a bit more adventurous and don’t like making things easy, you can enable all the 4.0 features the manual way. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you really know what you’re doing.

  1. Jailbreak your device.
  2. In Cydia, search for “OpenSSH” and install it.
  3. Get an FTP client (I like WinSCP for PC)
  4. On your device, go to settings, make sure you’re connected to a network, and click the (>) button next to the network’s name to open network details.
  5. Find your device’s IP address. (It will be something like 192.168.1.2 or something along those lines).
  6. In your FTP client, enter that IP as the server address, enter “root” as the username, and enter “alpine” as the password.
  7. Navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices/SpringBoard.app/N82AP.plist and copy the file over to your computer.
  8. Using TextEdit on Mac or Notepad in PC, open the N82AP.plist file
  9. Change the file so that the following line appears in the file (if it already exists, replace it):
  10. <key>homescreen-wallpaper</key>
    </true>
  11. Find “Multitasking” and make sure it is set to “TRUE” as well.
  12. Copy the file back to your iDevice.

That’s it! I don’t even know why you’d do the second set of instructions, but I guess if you’re bored, and it’s raining (It’s ALWAYS raining in my city) then you can spend time screwing up your iPhone.

If someone sends me a fixed version of N82AP.plist, I’ll host it somewhere so everyone else can download it.

Get Redsnow.

Get the iPhone 4.0 Firmware.

Music Player: What Apple didn’t tell you about iOS 4

Apple has been bragging and gloating about how fantastic iOS 4 is. It has multitasking, better speeds, and backgrounds (which, apparently, the iPhone 3G “just can’t handle”). That’s all great and everything, but they totally glossed over the fact that they revamped a lot of the music player app to look more like the mobile iTunes store. It actually looks fantastic. Plus, you can create real playlists, not just stupid on-the-go playlists (which have been removed).

Want 4.0? Have a 1st gen iPhone/iPod Touch?

Well, wait. But only a little bit longer.

As a pissed-off owner of a 1st gen iPod Touch, I did some internet trolling and snooping and came across not one, but two different projects bent on getting the fantastic world of iOS 4.0 to both the iPod Touch 1G and the iPhone 2G. While neither site has made much progress, it looks promising.

Whited00r.com

The whited00r project is working to create “the best firmware” for the 1st generation iPhone and iPod Touch. By that, they mean that they are modifying 3.1.3 firmware to support 4.0 features. As sketchy as it sounds, they are promising multitasking for all 1st gen devices. Currently, they only have one working firmware, which they are calling their “Light Edition” for 2G iPhones. As of right now, a lot of the features it supports are stupid visual stuff that you can get by jailbreaking your iPod anyways, like springboard backgrounds, Emojii, reflective doc, etc. It even fakes the version ID so that your device THINKS it’s running OS 4.0. It has native tethering and MMS, but alas, no multitasking. On the plus side, it’s jailbroken, and you have the option to hactivate it (if you want to use it with a different carrier).

Here’s a super-not-fast walkthrough video. You’ll have to jump around: he wastes a good 30 seconds at the beginning watching his iPhone boot up.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v7QBsq0K5U

Visit whited00r.com
Download the iPhone 2G Lite Firmware (w/wo hactivation)

Fittingstorm

Some guys are working to make a legitimate port of the actual 4.0 firmware to the 1st gen devices. They’re rewriting a LOT of base stuff, like drivers and protocols. It seems to be a LEGIT rewrite, which is fantastic. According to their site, they are in their 3rd beta and are working on a 4.0 release candidate. Unfortunately, there is nothing to show for it. At all. They say they’re putting up a video, but I have yet to find it. Their site is even less appealing: It’s just a bunch of text with a donate button at the bottom. I’m slightly worried, but maybe something will happen sooner than later.

View the Fittingstorm website.

Giveaway time!

I promised, and you seemed hungry for free junk. SO, I’m giving away TEN copies of WinX DVD Ripper for PC, the fantastic DVD ripping software I reviewed a week ago. It’s fantastic, it’s easy, and it’s $30 you don’t have to spend. So enter to win a free copy! It’s easy.

How to sign up

Alright, I need THREE things from you.

  1. Post this on facebook, twitter, stumbleupon, digg, or in a blog post (the “Share This” link at the bottom is helpful).
  2. Subscribe to this site, either via RSS or by email, and like Technoheads on Facebook.
  3. Post a comment here telling me that you’ve done steps 1 and 2 (and where I can find your post from step 1).

That’s it! There are 10 copies, so you have a really nice chance of winning some free software. Keep posted for the winners (which will be selected at random). 

Read my WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Review

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