Author Archives: Stephan

How to connect your YouTube channel with your Google+ page

The problem

You have an existing YouTube Channel for your business with a number of videos (in my case, it was called “SmartluxBalances“).

You also have a Google+ page for this business or activity (“+BalancesLu“). The channel and G+ page are not connected, so when someone clicks on the “Videos” tab on your G+ page, no videos show up:
No G+ videos

Instead of uploading your videos again, you want the existing videos from your YouTube channel to appear there.

Assumptions

You’re using your personal G+ profile as the current manager (and owner) of your G+ page.

Your YouTube channel is not currently connected to a G+ profile (otherwise you’ll first have to disconnect it).

The solution

1. Go to your G+ page’s settings and add a new manager. Indicate the exact email you’re using to log in to your YouTube channel. Sign out.

2. You’ll receive an email to become a manager of the G+ page. Click on the link (or better, copy it to an incognito window). This is where things become confusing because you’ll have to set up another personal G+ profile. Just do it (you’ll delete it again in the next step). I recommend using your company’s logo as profile picture. Your former YouTube account is now a manager of your G+ page, too.

3. Still using your former YouTube account, go to your G+ settings and delete the useless profile that you’ve just set up in step 2. You’ll still be a manager even after the profile is gone.

4. Go to your YouTube account settings and click on the option to connect your channel to a G+ page. As a (new) manager of your business’s G+ page, you should now be able to select your G+ page as the new name for your YouTube channel:
Select new name for your YouTube channel

5. After a few minutes, check out the “Videos” tab on your G+ page. It should now be called “YouTube” and all the videos from your YouTube channel should be displayed:
YouTube videos on your G+ page

If things didn’t work, head over to YouTube Google+ Integration for help.

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Where to get a UPC or EAN for Amazon?

When listing a new product on Amazon, you’ll be required to enter a product name, manufacturer and a UPC or EAN. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers assign these codes to their products. So where can you get them?

The official place is the GS1 (Global Standards 1) organization in your country (use country selector here or simply enter “GS1″ and the name of your country in your favourite search engine). However, nothing prevents you from registering in another country if this is cheaper or easier. For us, going to GS1 UK was singificantly cheaper and faster than registering with GS1 Belgium & Luxembourg.

If even the cheapest package from GS1 is too expensive for you, you might feel tempted to buy from a reseller. I strongly advise against this. What’s to prevent the reseller from selling the same GTIN multiple times or from selling a number that’s completely made up? Going through a reseller also means that your company would not show up in the GEPIR (Global Electronic Party Information Registry) when an end user or business partner checks “your” GTIN.

Further information:

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g+ cover photos just got bigger

I know, this blog is turning from “things I learned” to “things I want to complain about”, but just look at this:

Don't like it? Move out!

Cover photos on google+ just got bigger. Great! What for? I don’t know yet. What looks really bad though is the new round shape of the profile photo (or in this case, the logo) and there’s no option to say “not now” there.

Sudden changes like these are a good reminder that you’re not really in control of your g+ or facebook pages, YouTube channels, Amazon listings, etc. You’re just a guest and if the owner suddenly thinks that your face appear in a circle, well, you better get used to it.

Edit: The new size seems to be 925 x 522 pixels.

Update March 16, 2013: Here’s a great example of what to do with the new giant header (don’t click if you’re on a slow or expensive connection).

Update November 15, 2013: Big cover photos are soooo March 2013! Now they’re smaller again:
G+ cover photos version 2 to version 3

Not too bad. However, if you never made your cover photo bigger in the first place it looks rather stupid now:

G+ cover photos version 1 to version 3

For a while, I thought g+ could be a viable alternative for small business owners who can’t afford their own website (which according to recent and now deleted Craigslist rant, should cost at least US$1500, no matter how simple it is). However, with so many seemingly unnecessary design changes I’m not sure this is still something I’d recommend.

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Bye bye, Moneybookers (Skrill)

I had such high hopes for you, thought you might grow up to challenge PayPal. I soon realized that you were special. Your special SMS verification lead to a number of complaints from customers who claimed they’d never received your message. Those special “ISO” country codes you used in your merchant gateway forced me to write a function with the sole purpose of converting actual ISO 3166 codes to your system. There’s also the special way you treat refunds by keeping the original transaction fees.

Then came Christmas 2004 and it seemed like everyone suddenly wanted a digital scale. Our business took off, but you were skeptical and refused a large number of transactions. Our customers sent us angry emails asking why their credit card worked everywhere else but not with us. I apologized and asked them to use PayPal instead. Almost all transactions went through just fine and none turned out to be fraudulent.

After this disappointing experience I quickly signed up with Worldpay but still kept you around as a payment option for customers who already had a Moneybookers account. Very few did. This year, only one customer used your service.

Eventually, you decided you had to change. You gave yourself a new name (Skrill). You informed me about a new inactivity fee for merchant accounts and started charging a monthly gateway usage fee. Your new name suddenly made sense: Like a whale filtering krill out of the ocean, you wanted to become incredibly fat by feeding on millions of users.

Thankfully, you made it easy to close my account. Best of luck in your future endeavours.

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