5 Handy Tips On Using Social Media For Research

Social Media Word CloudPhoto Credit: daniel_iversen via photopin cc

Are you using social media for research? If not, you could be missing out. Social media networks are always crawling with data: statistics, linked studies, social sentiments, background information, news reports, trends, official commentary—the list goes on.

As you can guess, however, the one real problem with using social media is filtering out all that research in order to analyze it properly.  Are you scraping information together as efficiently as you could?

Good news is that you don’t need to be a research specialist to do so. If you need an effective way to search the web and gather your data at the same time, we’ve got 5 tips to help you narrow down and convert social media posts into research you can easily sift through.

1. Track Tweets On Twitter

To start, there’s Twitter. Everyone’s used it for updates. On a monthly average, there are 255 million active users, a fact which makes the social network a rich source of real time sentiments on any given topic. Twitter is extremely helpful for getting news updates during a major conference, an event, or covering social trend.

However, instead of using Twitter’s search box to locate related mentions and tweets, use Topsy. It allows you to organize results by links, tweets, photos, videos, and influencers. You can also conduct an advanced search, specify time ranges, and select a language to narrow down your results. These features make it the most straight forward way to simplify your Twitter research.

2. Use IFTTT To Help Automate Web Page Collection

One downside to using the web for research is accumulating more web pages than you know what to do with at the moment. To help keep your bookmarking research in order, why not automate the process with a social bookmarking service like Pocket and the DIY  automated web service, IFTTT?

Pocket Google Drive Recipe

There’s an IFTTT recipe already available which you can use to record your Pocket saves to a Google Drive spreadsheet. Once your saved links are in a spreadsheet via Pocket, you can read through them later using Google Spreadsheet’s sorting functionalities. Use Pocket specifically for your research topic and you end up with a highly focused resource of links.

3. Track Mentions On The Web

To cast an even wider net for better data prospects, try tracking mentions for keywords on social media. With basic tools like Social Mention, you can simplify the tracking process. Like Topsy, it pulls all mentions for the keyword you specify.

However, this tool allows you to search across more than just Twitter and the usual social networks. You can search questions, bookmarks, news, blogs, events, images, video, comments, networks, and audio. Moreover, you can even export your search results into either Excel or CSV.

4. Convert Facebook Feeds To RSS

It’s a common thing these days to use Facebook for researching people and brands. Facebook provides companies and public figures with a quick way to update their fanbase, post related news links, or issue comments and statements. Thus, by monitoring any activity happening on their page, you set yourself up with a great resource for putting your research into context.

Facebook Wall RSS​ Feed

To simplify things, you can get Facebook Wall updates delivered to you as an RSS feed. Go to FBRSS.com and connect your Facebook account. Once hooked up, FBRSS will create RSS feed links for all the pages you Like and the people you follow. So all you have to do is add the feed to your RSS aggregator of choice and you’re set.

5. Collect Data Using Google Forms And Google+

One of the most obvious ways to get raw data on a topic is to ask the right people, and using a Google Form is an easy way to do so.  All you need is a Google account to create a form in Google Docs. After you’ve created your form, choose to receive responses directly within a Google spreadsheet and get your data in one place.

Sharing Forms on GooglePlus​

Then when it’s created and all set up, click on Send Form and send it out to your Google Plus network. Sharing the form with specific Google Plus circles and niche communities will give you highly targeted data.  

Using social media as a research tool is one of the most powerful ways to collect information. Just one single network can churn out some interesting data. Combine that with a productivity hack or two and your research job gets significantly easier.

3 Great Ways To Share Large Files With Others

File Folder Case
Photo Credit: In 30 Minutes guides via photopin cc

You deal with large files on a regular basis, and it’s a given that at one point or another, sending or sharing them won’t always work out.

For example, you may find it convenient to use one cloud service to make your large files easily accessible to others without having to email them. Yet there are times when putting all your eggs in one basket can prove disastrous. If you use Google and discover Google Drive is down, it can take you by surprise—and not in a good way!

So if you’re working around large files like PDF documents, multimedia content, or files with high resolution images, always have a back up. Don’t be left hanging by third party server hiccups. Try a few of these tools when your usual solution doesn’t work.

1. Use Cloud Services That Offer Tons Of Space

You’ve heard of a lot of popular cloud storage services, but how many of those were geared towards sharing big files?  These ones are. They start at 10 GB for free.

4shared: With 15 GB storage and a 2GB file size limit, 4shared is perfect for frequent cloud users. Though you’re given 180 days to log in each time before your files are deleted, its file management features more than make up for it.

ADrive: You don’t hear a lot about ADrive, but you should. They offer 50GB with 16 GB sized uploads for free Personal Basic accounts that comes with a few handy features like document editing.

Send Files with Filemail

Filemail:  Though this service only offers permanent storage for paid accounts, we included Filemail because it provides the perfect temporary option for document emergencies. Send up to 30 GB sized files free with a 7 day storage limit and you can use it as many times as you like.

Box:  This is a popular service which needs no introduction, other than to say that you can get 10 GB and 250 MB file limit with Box.com.

SamePage.io: Here’s a great alternative for teams that use Google Drive. With SamePage you can create, upload, and edit files, or collaborate, sync, and check in on the status of your documents. It offers 50 GB with a 250 MB file limit free to start.

2. Try Browser-to-Browser File Sharing

When all you need is one instant file transfer, you can cut out the middle man and eliminate the installations by using browser-based file sharing services. No need to install third party tools or set up publicly shared folders. All you have to do is keep your browser opened.

Sharefest Interface

Sharefest.me: Using the connection established by a web browser, Sharfest.me, a P2P web client, makes sharing files as simple as dragging a file onto a tab. This service works with WebRTC browsers, Firefox and Chrome specifically. It’s still in Alpha so there’s still a bit more to expect. Read more about it here.

Ge.tt: A browser based real-time file sharing service that lets you share your file via a pick up link. With Ge.tt, you can get 250 MB storage without an account. Files are available for 30 days and only accessible to users with the link.

PlusTransfer.com: Like the other services,  this site lets you transfer files of any size. Just upload your file to Plustransfer and give the generated link to your recipient. You will need an email address, however, and the recipient’s email address, but no registration is required. Files are uploaded to the cloud-based solution and users have one week to pick up the file.

Justbeamit: With Justbeamit, you drag your file onto the page and click on Create Link. You’re given a one-time use link which your recipient can simply drop into a browser to pick up the file.

3. Share Files Directly Between Computers

To simplify your document transfers even more, try sharing your files across shared folders and networks. Although doing so requires a bit of technical know-how, we found the simplest tutorials on how to start transferring your files from:

Mac OS X to Windows: Digitalcitizen.life offers an easy to follow tutorial on how to share Mac OS X folders with Windows 7 or 8

Windows to Linux Files

Image Credit:  HowToGeek.com

Windows to Linux (Ubuntu):  To create a shared folder in Windows 8.1 and share it with Ubuntu, follow the linked tutorial from HowToGeek.com. This shows you how to access the shared folder via command line in Linux. Uncomfortable with the command line? Follow Noobslab.com’s tutorial, which teaches you how to share files from Linux to Windows using the same Samba utility, but via the interface.

Different systems on your own computer:  Using a virtual machine? HowToGeek.com can show you how to do that, as well. Their tutorial on how to share files with a virtual machine will walk you through it step by step.

So when your main cloud drive goes down and you feel like your entire day is about to go wrong, don’t panic. You can still come out on top. One or two of these methods can simplify and even improve how you work with your documents.

How to Attach A PDF File To Microsoft Word Documents

Document Attachment
Photo Credit: ReillyButler via photopin cc

Digital documents are the number one staple behind any company or workflow.  And everyone shares them whether by email, cloud services, or URL. But do you ever wonder if there’s an even easier way to bundle your documents together? Short answer: yes, there is.

Attaching or embedding PDFs in Word documents can be an even quicker alternative than email attachments. It’s also a dead simple way to combine PDF and Word content together.

Think of PDF documents that contain file attachments. You have everything you need in that one single file and there’s no need to go back to the email for the other attachments.  Doing the same with a Word document can be just as convenient. It can be helpful in situations where you need to:

  • Attach legal PDF documents as an appendix
  • Quickly access PDF forms, reports, contract terms, or brochures
  • Provide extra working drafts or updates to colleagues in business  proposals
  • Access or provide PDF resources as reference for papers you’re writing

Embedding a PDF document within MS Word is a popular and sought-after tip. With digital documents becoming more important these days, it’s a handy and helpful method to keep in mind.

To keep highly related PDF and Word files neatly together, follow these steps:

In Microsoft Word, place your cursor where you’d like the PDF to be located. Then,

1. Go to the Insert tab > Object.

Selecting Insert Object

2. In the Object dialog, go to the Create from File tab

Embedding Object Word Document

3. Click on Browse. Search and select the PDF file you wish to embed.

4. Select Display as icon and leave Link to file unchecked. You can choose to change the icon if you wish.

5. Click on OK.

PDF Embedded Word File​

As you can see, the PDF appears right inside your Word document, and can be opened in your PDF viewer of choice. Know of any other methods for combining Word and PDF files together? Let us know!

Why You Should Become An Investintech Reseller

Here at Investintech, we love to give everyone a way in which they can interact with us. Whether  you want to check in on our social networks, convert a quick file, or make a purchase, we have the resources in place for you.

We even offer a variety of partnership options for businesses.  If you haven’t explored them as a business owner yet, you should. One option you’ll want to check out is our reseller program.

We created the program as a way to connect and to maintain a close professional relationship with businesses on a different level. Members of our program are made up of professional resellers and  companies who redistribute licenses of our products, like Able2Extract, to their customers.

So if your company is looking for new business opportunities to expand, here’s a quick look at how becoming a reseller can help you build a global presence, improve revenue streams, and benefit from great program incentives.

Enjoy The Advantages Of Becoming A Reseller

Reseller Advantages
Photo Credit: stevendepolo via photopin cc

Deciding to become a reseller involves a lot of planning and consideration. On top of finding the right market, products, and program options, you also need to consider the benefits. What’s in it for you? How simple is the process?  What does your company gain?

At every turn, our program aims to make it worthwhile for all members.   To that end, we offer some great advantages. Here are just a few:

  • Full customer and technical support is available
  • Website listing (PR 6) along with a link back to your site
  • Quality conversion software for distribution
  • Full access to product resources
  • Online product discounts for resellers
  • On-time order fulfillment
  • Greater online visibility
  • Simple registration process

Offer Relevant Tools To Existing Customers

Software Tools For Customers
Photo Credit: SEOPlanter via photopin cc

If you’re a business that’s already providing services or software, our reseller program is an easy way to complement and expand on your existing offerings.   PDF converters, like Able2Extract, are already tools that many individuals use on a daily basis, and they can fit into any niche and workflow that involves working with PDF data. Whether it’s for an accountant who needs  financial PDF data or a college student who needs PDF text for research, PDF content will always need to be converted for reuse or editing.

Create A Unique Business Identity

Being a reseller means that you can assist customers in a new way without sacrificing your existing goals or corporate identity. In fact, with our program you get to strengthen your brand and credibility on a global scale by becoming a valuable resource to customers all over the world.

Global Reseller IdentityPhoto Credit: ToddMorris via photopin cc

For instance, when users would rather deal with a local vendor from your region due to purchasing or language reasons, they can be quickly referred over to you for assistance. In this way, they can gain access to new products from a vendor they trust no matter where they’re located.

Getting Started

Interested in joining the program? All it takes is an email to our sales team to start the process.  We’ll send out the registration form, and once the application is reviewed, your company will be notified within one business day if you’ve been approved.

A number of authoritative software distributors are currently part of our program, and we’re always looking to welcome new members.  Email us at sales@investintech.com for more information.

How To Use Google Docs And Sheets Add-ons For Writing Papers

If you’re a student, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to cut costs wherever possible. And a free online word processor like Google Docs, is a popular alternative. It’s where you go when you need to share, edit and store documents.

But do you always have what you need when working with Google Docs?  Now that Google Drive offers Google Docs and Sheets add-ons, you do. They offer more functionality and flexibility when creating complex documents online.  If you haven’t tried these out yet, you should.

The life of a student is made up of a lot of information, and you need to be able to break down, organize, write, and carefully cite your arguments.  With Google Docs and Sheets add-ons, you can now accomplish almost everything needed to write a paper, from start to finish.

Here’s a quick guide on what we thought were the handiest add-ons for the job.

Plan Out Your Argument With Gliffy Diagrams

One of the first steps for creating any paper is the outline. For an essay of any notable length, you need to map out your arguments clearly and effectively.  In Google Docs, you can use the Gliffy diagrams add-on where you can easily create a flow chart or mind map on your topic.

Gliffy Diagram Creation ToolImage Credit: Gliffy.com

The add-on takes you to the Gliffy site where you can start creating a simple map out of your ideas and then access or insert it right into Google Docs to keep yourself on track. With a free account, you can create up to 5 diagrams.

Use Texthelp Study Skills To Sift Through Your Notes

When it comes time to sift through class notes and first drafts, it can be frustrating to have to go through them all one by one and extract what you need. But by using the Texthelp Study Skills highlighting tools add-on, you can speed up the sorting process significantly.

 Texthelp Highlighting Tools

These highlighting tools allow you to highlight important points and then collect that highlighted text into a new document. This is handy as you can then start filling out your paper around the text. No need to copy and paste or toggle back and forth. An extremely helpful add-on for integrating your research notes with the actual writing of your paper.

Get EasyBib To Create Your Bibliography

As you write and incorporate your research and quotations, use EasyBib to create a bibliography. This eliminates the tedious task of manually documenting sources, especially when they can come in every possible type of format.

You can cite sources into MLA, APA, or Chicago style directly in the side bar. Easybib makes it as easy as pasting in the title, ISBN, or URL of your source.At the end, clicking on the Generate Bibliography button will add  it neatly to the end of your paper. This way you can focus on the writing instead of the details of your citations.

Have ProWriting Aid Double Check The Text

When you’re ready to edit and proof read your finished draft, make sure you catch all errors by using the ProWriting Aid add-on.

ProWritingAid Text Checker

It not only performs instant checks for grammar, but also checks consistency, plagiarism and overused words. ProWriting Aid will provide you with a full report in the side bar. And from there, you can edit and rewrite your text as needed.

Consult Thesaurus To Give Your Writing A Boost

As an added measure, the Thesaurus add-on is helpful when adding the finishing touches to your writing. Just select a word in your document and activate the add-on. A side-bar will pop up with suggestions right within Google Docs, which is more convenient than having to Google around for another word in another window.

By no means do you have to pigeon-hole yourselves to these add-ons. All the offered add-ons are general enough to help with any writing need you may have.  So check them out and let us know which ones help you the most.