Our Airbnb Booking Disaster in Auckland — JWalking

When you book an Airbnb stay six months ahead and pay in full you don’t expect any problems when the time comes do you? That’s exactly what we thought when we booked our stay in Auckland and it didn’t quite work out that way. Planning and Booking well in advance We’re not last minute merchants […]

via Our Airbnb Booking Disaster in Auckland — JWalking


How to Improve SEO:original

The fact is, if yours is a local business you enjoy a great many advantages where search optimization is concerned and by making a few fairly simple changes to your website you can significantly improve your rankings. 

1.jpgAdd Your City/State To Your Title Tag – The title tag is part of the metadata set located in the <head> section of your source code and is one of your most important on-site SEO assets. 

Adding your city/state to the title tag, along with your primary keywords, helps to inform the search engines that yours is a local business. It may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be suprised how many local businesses get this wrong. 

If you offer swimming pool maintenance services in Port Charlotte Florida, that is exactly what your title tag should say – “Swimming Pool Maintenance Services Port Charlotte Florida”.


Include Your City/State In The <H1> Tag On Your Home Page – Like your title tag, every page on your website should have a unique header or <H1> tag. Including geographic information in the header (like your city name) alongside a primary keyword tells the search engines that this location is important to your business. Sticking with the swimming pool maintenance example a possible heading might read: “Port Charlotte’s Pool Service of Choice”.

3.pngInclude Your City/State In Your Copy – Are you sensing a theme here? Including location information in your textual copy helps reinforce the relevance this location has with regard to your business. You do not need to mention it in excess, just a single reference is plenty; preferably in the first sentence following your <H1> tag as noted above.


Embed A Google Map On Your Contact Page –Research suggests that embedding a Google map along with your physical address to your contact page improves rankings in local search.

5.pngWrap Your NAP In Schema Markup – NAP is an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone and as a local business it is one of your most valuable assets. If you haven’t already you should establish a format for your NAP and use it consistently whenever sharing this information online.


For instance, if your business name is ABC WIDGETS LLC and your business address is 123 Main Street, Anytown, USA, you need to decide how you will format this information. Will you always spell out the word ‘Street’, or will you abbreviate? Are you going to include the ‘LLC’ designation, or eliminate it? Will you include a leading ‘1’ on your phone number, or just start with the area code? The point is, you need to establish a format and stick with it.

Once you have established a format for your NAP add it to the footer section on every page of your website and wrap it in Local Business Schema, like this:







The real take away here is that as a local business you should be treating your city/state much like you would a keyword. Like your other keywords, your city/state should be included in your title tag, your textual headers, your copy, and even your meta description if you like.

In addition, using Local Business Schema and embedding a Google Map on your contact page will help to ensure that Google and other search engines recognize the relevance of your geographic location.


Top 5 Things Search Engines Look For When Ranking Sites

SEO Tricks of the Trade

7 SEO Challenges Faced by Start up businesses


Does the state’s restaurant placard program offer too many chances?

A Waikiki buffet restaurant is no longer allowed to operate.

It is the third food establishment shut down by the Health Department after multiple violations.

“I didn’t know about their sanitary problems,” said Honolulu resident, Kim Jorgensen.

The red placard posted outside Makittii Hawaii located at 2380 Kuhio Ave. says it all.

“So for now the publics health is being protected by the closure of the facility,” said Peter Oshiro with the State Department of Health.

The Health Department launched its investigation into the restaurant on Oct. 13 after receiving a report of someone possibly getting sick.

Inspectors say they found multiple health violations that day for things like inadequate hand washing, stored food temperature violations and even the presence of insects and rodents.

The restaurant was issued a yellow placard on Oct. 13.

Does the state’s restaurant placard program offer too many chances?

Is the state giving restaurants cited for health violations too many chances?

That’s what KHON2 is asking after the recent restaurant shutdowns by the state.

Four days ago, the state Health Department issued Makittii Hawaii, a buffet restaurant in Waikiki, a red placard and closed its doors.

That’s after visiting the restaurant five times over a period of more than three weeks.

Health officials returned to Makittii Tuesday, not for an inspection, but to teach employees food safety lessons.

“Why does the state return so many times?” KHON2 asked.

“Well, we don’t think it’s so many times,” said Peter Oshiro with the DOH.

Oshiro said the placard program is successful, because the large majority of restaurants correct their violations. Two other restaurants on Oahu recently received red placards after multiple visits from the health department.

“What do you tell people who might think, it’s not protecting public safety because people could have gotten sick?” KHON2 asked.

“Again, it’s a weight off between what we’re finding in the establishment and whether or not they’re moving towards correction,” Oshiro said. “When we fine or suspend somebody, we’re litigating the solution. It’s very counterproductive, it costs the taxpayer a lot of time and money, because now I have to talk to the (attorney general)’s office. We have to issue formal legal documents.”

KHON2 went to Makittii to try to talk to the owner and observe the health department class, but no one responded.

But we did talk to a food safety consultant, Tom Frigge, about what he teaches employees.

“First you turn the water on, wet your hands,” Frigge said.

Hand-washing is the most basic lesson, but there are many others.

Frigge says anyone who works in the kitchen, who handles food, should carry a thermometer. He also says food temperatures in coolers should be checked twice a day.

So does he think the state’s placard program gives restaurants too many chances?

“It might be, yeah, because all during that time the public is at risk, isn’t it?” Frigge said.

Since Wednesday is a holiday, the earliest health inspectors could visit Makittii is Thursday.

If a green placard is issued, the restaurant could reopen.

Beef & Onion Walkers crisps are back for good

Whatever they said, whatever they did, they didn’t mean it…

And now retro favourite Beef & Onion Walkers crisps are back for good.

In August Walkers reintroduced the flavour along with barbecue, toasted cheese, lamb & mint and cheese & chive as part of their Bring It Back campaign.

Crisp fans could then vote via social media for their favourite to stay.

Now Beef & Onion has triumphed with 480,000 votes out of the 1.3 million cast.

The second most popular was Cheese & Chive, followed by Lamb & Mint, Toasted Cheese and Barbecue.

Nobody likes Barbecue.

Walkers’ Beef & Onion will available in six packs from November 23.

Beef & Onion Walkers crisps are back for good

Did the right retro crisp win?

  • Hell yes!

  • No, no, no

MORE: Walkers is bringing back retro crisps including barbecue, lamb & mint and beef & onion

MORE: 20 British crisp flavours ranked from worst to best

Five Types of Book Publishers

While attending a recent event, I realised there is some misconception about the types of publishing available for writers. I reread my post on The Four Types of Book Publishing and decided it was time to revise the information. In this ever-changing world of publishing, things like this will happen. 

Although there may only be a thin line separating some of these types, and at times, one might overlap with another, the core of each type has its own tone and/or structure.

I also feel it’s time for self-published authors (indies, independent publishers) to define themselves in the true spirit of being independent. Being independent and self-creating means not paying someone else to take control of your project. It means doing it yourself.

Perhaps the distinction will dispel the myth of what self-publishing truly is, and perhaps it will save unsuspecting authors from falling into the pitfalls of many who have paid thousands of dollars to ‘self-publish’ and who have had horrible experiences, and some who spent the money and didn’t even receive their published books.

Traditional Publishing

A traditionally published author is one who submitted their manuscript to a publishing company and was accepted.


  1. Author pays no money to get their book published.
  2. Everything from the editing and design of the book is organized, completed and paid for by the publisher.
  3. The publisher pays to have the books printed and marketed.
  4. The publisher handles sales and calculates royalties. They pay the author for the right to publish their book.
  5. The publisher does all the necessary paperwork to get the book registered with Library and Archives Canada. They take care of the ISBN and the CIP.
  6. Publishers may offer an advance to the writer before any sales are made.


  1. Authors can wait two or three years before their book is actually published.
  2. Authors—new authors particularly—have to build a platform, market their book and set up launch dates and readings. They may have to pay for this out of their own pockets.
  3. Authors have limited input into the publishing process.
  4. Authors often sign away rights to publishers to limit their future use of their property.
  5. If an author wants to republish their book, they cannot simply create a replica of the published book. Many aspects of the book are owned by the publishing company.
  6. Royalties earned by an author depends on sales. Authors get 10% or less of the profit. Royalties are paid three or four times a year, depending on the publisher.
  7. The publisher chooses the title of the book and the cover, not the author.
  8. Some traditional publishers are asking for ‘guaranteed sales’ and requesting the author to pay for X-amount of books before they agree to publish. This sounds similar to Joint Publishing.

Joint Publishing

Joint Publishing is an agreement between a writer and a company—usually a publishing company—to publish a book. This is not to be confused with self-publishing. Writers who joint-publish often do not own many aspects of their published book even if they paid to have the work completed (unless clearly stated in the contract).


  1. The joint-publisher’s name goes on the book; this makes it look more ‘official’ and it gives it credibility, making it look less self-published.
  2. A joint-publishing company—if they do what they say they’ll do—will take care of most of the grunt work for you and guide you on the right path to publish your book.
  3. The company may provide some marketing on their website.
  4. Authors retain copyright of their words (unless the contract states otherwise), and the author can immediately publish their books in other formats or through other venues.


  1. Although authors retain copyright of their words, they may not know until they break away from the joint-publishing company or attempt to re-publish the book themselves that they don’t own the exterior and interior designs. They will have to pay for the services a second time.
  2. If the company does not do what it states it will do, the author may end up paying thousands of dollars and still have no published book.
  3. This is essentially hiring a middle man who controls certain aspects and rights to your book. It’s usually more expensive than other methods to publish a book.

Subsidiary Publishers (or Package Publishers)

This is closely related to joint-publishers and vanity presses, but slightly different in tone. These companies are in business to make money off writers, and that’s all. They don’t care if you sell books. All they want is to sell you packages that begin around $1,000 and go up from there.


  1. If the company does what it says it will do, it will provide the services and guidance necessary to publish a book.
  2. Authors can choose from several packages, doing as little or as much as they want and hiring the company to do the rest.


  1. Many authors are unhappy with the services provided with these companies. Customer service is poor or nonexistent once the customer—the author—has paid for the package.
  2. These companies tend to up-sell to unsuspecting authors, and they often bombard their customers with phone calls and emails to encourage them to buy more.
  3. Many complaints found on the Internet regarding these companies state the quality of editing and design is poor.
  4. These companies add things to their packages that are free to authors anyway, such as ISBN in Canada and Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’.
  5. Authors pay more money than anticipated for just a few books. For example, with iUniverse’s cheapest package of $1,000, you get three ‘free’ softcover books. That’s $333.33 a book. Far from free. And you have to pay for shipping and handling of those books. The highest package costs $4,399 (20 ‘free’ softcover books: $219.95 a book, plus shipping and handling.)
  6. Many authors have learned the hard way (having fallen victim to these companies) and the easy way (learned from other author’s mistakes and reporting on those mistakes) about these companies. One person who reports on these companies is David Gaughran. Read his post Author Solutions and Friends: The Inside Story to learn more. There’s others on his blog, too, if you want to learn more about this.


They call themselves self-publishers, independent publishers and indies. Self-publishing is just that: doing it yourself or contracting out a particular job (such as illustrating, editing) to eventually own the final product. There is no middle man involved.


  1. The author has complete control over their book.
  2. A book can be written one week and published the next. There is no wait time.
  3. The author reaps all the royalties
  4. The author owns the finished product and retains copyright on the work.
  5. The author chooses who they want to work on their books by hiring them by contract.
  6. The author sets the budget for their projects and saves money on things they can do themselves.


  1. The author must learn how to bring all the tools together to get the book published. They ask individuals for help, but they are the driving force behind getting a book published.
  2. Marketing and distribution is up to the author.
  3. Some book stores won’t accept books by self-published authors, but this is slowly changing.
  4. Authors have to finance the entire publishing project themselves.

Vanity Publishing

When I think of vanity publishing I think of the episode of The Waltons where John-Boy falsely believed his manuscript had been accepted by a traditional publishing company. He had no say in how the book was published, but he wasn’t worried; he thought he was going to be a published author. Then several boxes of books arrived at the corner store that also served as the post office. When John-Boy opened up one of the boxes he found an invoice stating the amount of money he had to pay for the books. Obviously he was very disappointed at being fooled.

This is vanity publishing. The writer pays to have a book published/printed with little to no input.


  1. All aspects of the publishing end it performed by the publisher.
  2. The author doesn’t have to do anything, just pay the bill and walk away with books.
  3. If the company does what it says it will do, the author will have a quality book to sell or give to family and friends.


  1. The author learns very little about the publishing end of things.
  2. The author will retain the copyright to their words, but not how they are displayed in the book, including exterior and interior design and cover images.
  3. This is an expensive venture.

For writers who want to publish only one book, this is the perfect option. Why bother to learn anything about the publishing industry if all a writer wants to do is get fifty or a hundred copies of the only book they’ll ever write to share with family and friends?

The bottom line is this: You are NOT self-publishing if you are buying packages and hiring a company to publish your book. You are ONLY self-publishing if you are the publisher, contracting out work (such as editing, formatting, cover design) and doing all the organizing yourself. This may be a hard line to draw, but I believe this is a necessary line that must be drawn to separate those who truly self-publish from those who slap down money for someone else to do the work.

It’s true that some unsuspecting authors have fallen victim to these other forms of publishing (other forms as in Joint Publishing, Vanity Publishing and Subsidiary Publishers). When they realise their mistake, they look for other options. Perhaps by drawing these lines, it will save authors new to publishing from losing their money.

NOTE: I have highlighted the following phrase in a few places: if the company does what it says it will do. I did this because that’s the deciding factor that will make the author happy or unhappy with the experience. Sadly, I’ve heard and read many stories where the company received payment but did not provide a finished book or the book was poor quality.

Revised: Five Types of Book Publishers


Diane Tibert

While attending a recent event, I realised there is some misconception about the types of publishing available for writers. I reread my post on The Four Types of Book Publishing and decided it was time to revise the information. In this ever-changing world of publishing, things like this will happen.

Although there may only be a thin line separating some of these types, and at times, one might overlap with another, the core of each type has its own tone and/or structure.

I also feel it’s time for self-published authors (indies, independent publishers) to define themselves in the true spirit of being independent. Being independent and self-creating means not paying someone else to take control of your project. It means doing it yourself.

Perhaps the distinction will dispel the myth of what self-publishing truly is, and perhaps it will save unsuspecting authors from falling into the pitfalls of many who…

View original post 1,527 more words

Create Wall Art with This New App

Round Two

Don’t have brush skills, but want some cool custom art? Estonian startup SprayPainter has created a smart spray paint that recreates a photo or image on your wall.



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Remote controlled Luggage

Add value to your travelling experience. The Future of Luggage
Last minute costume ideas: