3 solutions to host giveaways in your web site part 2

After i analyzed the service Rafflecopter in the first part now it’s time of PunchTab.

Once registered and logged in you have 3 options: Loyalty Program (increase traffic and keep your users coming back, incentivize them with rewards), Achievements Program (increase traffic and keep your users coming back, incentivize them with badges), One time giveaway (reward viral actions, incentivize with hand-picked giveaway and build sustainable traffic).

For the article matter i choose the third option.

The interface is simple and effective, with a nice realtime preview in the same page.

Just give a name to the giveaway, choose how visitors can enter (by Facebook and e-mail or by e-mail only), set start and end date, choose timezone, specify the details of the giveaway: what visitors will get if they will win (you can also add a description and an image), choose extra entry methods (Twitter follow, tweet, comment, become a Facebook fan, Facebook like, Google +1, question, visit, download, Pinterest).

About giveaway rules PunchTab has its own text but you can also specify a web page.

After saving the giveaway you can choose the order of your steps or skip it.

At last you will get the code to publish in your site/blog with some extra options to enhance the giveaway: add the giveaway to a Facebook page, drive more entries with a sidebar widget, Constant Contact, specify where is hosted the giveaway.

So here is how the widget looks like. In the giveaway dashboard you can do these actions: edit the giveaway, duplicate it, delete it, see the code for the embed.

At the end of the contest you have a resume page of the giveaway with the total entries (and you can contact the people via e-mail), pick random winner or decide by yourself, export data in CSV.

Over the free plan PunchTab has a paid plan called Grow with 30 days free trial and $99/month with more features or a custom plan called Expand.

In the third and last part the Promosimple service is analyzed.

3 solutions to host giveaways in your web site part 1

Do you own a web site or blog and would like to start a contest for your visitors/readers?

I show you 3 services suitable for this purpose that easily allows to create contests, then you can include where you want within code to embed.

Rafflecopter

This is the service that i actually use here in Simo blog. Easy to use and effective for my needs.

Once registered and logged in you can create the contest by filling the form

It’s a good idea that you can choose to start from scratch or from an ended contest.

The fields to fill are few and intuitive:

– giveaway name
– prizes
– options to partecipate (see screenshot)
– set start and end date/time
– termis and conditions

The options available are various: tweet about the giveaway, like a page on Facebook, follow in account on Twitter, create a poll / survey, join a mailing list, pin an image on Pinterest, follow on Pinterest, leave a blog post comment, invent your own option.
Moreover for each option you can set a point value and if it’s mandatory or not.
There is also a “viral sharing” checkbox, it allows to get an extra entry if an entrant refers to a friend.

Once finished just click “get the widget” button and copy the code provided (it uses Javascript)

You can also istall the widget in a tab of a Facebook page. Moreover within a simple link provided other people can embed your widget too where they want!

The widget has this behaviour

Visitors can enter the contest within Facebook or with their e-mail address.

Naturally you can edit all the fields elements whenever you want.

A nice feature is “moderate entries” button. With this button you will get a table with the data of all entries and with another button you can also export to Excel.

At the end of the contest in the Rafflecopter’s widget page you can pick winners (they will be extracted using Random.org) that will be show automatically in the widget.

There are also 2 paid plans, “blogger” and “business” that offers more advanced features

In the part 2 the second service, PunchTab, will be analyzed.

5 suggestions to improve your Internet connection

It’s very important to have a good connection for who use Internet a lot for downloading, video streaming or play videogames in network

Firstly verify your download and upload data match that ones of you expect from your Internet provider subscription.
You can measure these values with the famous SpeedTest web site.
It’s recommanded to run the test without any other program/service/device that is using the connection at that time.

Once you see that is ok you can follow these suggestions to improve your connection performances:

– it’s better to don’t use the connection for more than one task at the same time and don’t use many devices connected at the same time (be careful also of unauthorized devices)

– it’s preferred to use cable connection (ethernet) instead of the wireless wireless, there are less dispersions. Max length allowed is 100mt. and it’s better to use high quality cable (cat. 5e, 6, 7)

– use DNS that can give you better performance than your Internet DNS provider, for example Google or OpenDNS. You can also use Namebench, a free portable utility to measure DNS speed

– use, if possible, a good home router instead of the one provided from your Internet provider

– in Windows you can optimize your Internet connection with SG TCP Optimizer, a free utility

Watch online video streaming with SimpleTV Player

SimpleTV Player is a free russian software (don’t worry, once installed you can set the language in preferences, screens below) for Windows that allows to easily watch streaming.

It became enough famous as it also allows to watch RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) streams with no pain thanks to the simple interface.

You can download the latest version at the bottom of homepage.

The program is maily composed by two windows, the one of the player

and the one of the playlist (you can open it using the first button in the left-bottom corner of the player)

There is a defalut channel list, but you can also add new ones in two ways:

– by clicking “+” green button in the playlist window a New item will be created, right click with mouse on it and select “Channel settings” you can set various info like the name and the stream address.
Naturally you can edit these info of all the channels in the list.

– or by importing a playlist (first icon of the horizontal menu of the playlist window)

playlists must be in .m3u format and this is an example:


#EXTINF:-1,Channel1
rtmp://$OPT:rtmp-raw=rtmp://streamaddress playpath=b4u swfUrl=http://player.longtailvideo.com/player5.2.swf live=1 pageUrl=http://siteaddress.com/player.php

#EXTINF:-1,Channel2
rtmp://$OPT:rtmp-raw=rtmp://streamaddress playpath=max swfUrl=http://player.longtailvideo.com/player5.2.swf live=1 pageUrl=http://siteaddress.com/player.php

When you want to play RTMP streams it’s important that you use rtmp://$OPT:rtmp-raw= prefix string before the address.

To get the streams you can use Free Live TV Streaming Lists website, a specific section of Serviio forum, Stream Database websites and naturally search engines with right keywords and result filtered by latest data.

In the program preferences you can set the language:

Other program features are: set channels as favourite, record streams, create group channels, EPG guide where available, play local multimedia files.