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Hello.

My name is Marco

| ENTREPRENEUR | BUSINESS | FAMILY | LIFE |

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About

I am an Entreprenuer based in Sydney AUSTRALIA. Below is a snapshot of my life

  • 1978

    Born

    The start of my awesome life. Was born in Baclieu, Vietnam.

  • 1978-1987

    Lived in Malaysia and Italy

    Parents fled Vietnam as refugees a few months after I was born. Our family spent time in Malaysia before being given the opportunity to live in Italy.

  • 1987

    Moved to Australia

    Our family moved to Australia.

  • 1996

    HSC

    Completed Year 12 and was accepted to UTS studying Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) majoring in Telecommunications Engineering

  • 1997

    Love

    Met the love of my life

  • 1998-1999

  • 2002

    Graduation

    Graduated from Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.)

  • 1999-2003

    IT Support Officer @ RTA

    Was originally employed by Unisys for a 3 month contract. It turned out to be a 4 year contract.

  • 2004

    Graduated from Masters

    Completed Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Telecommunications Networks

  • 2003-2004

    Network Project Manager @ RTA

    Project Management of various network project to specify, install, configure and commission new systems and services for the Roads and Traffic Authority

  • 2004-2005

    Senior Network Officer @ ABC

    A technical role to provide support and maintain voice and data network for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

  • 1-2006

    Married

    Married to my beautiful wife Angela.

  • 2005-2006

    Infrastructure and Telecoms Engineer @ Lilly

    Managed the voice, voicemail, data – (routers, switches, VPN, firewalls), fax, teleconferencing, web conferencing, mobile phones, wireless and blackberry services and provided Tier Support for Australia and New Zealand

  • 2-2006

    First company Advertise Me

    Started my first company. Came up with an idea whilst attending a course and soon after launched Advertise Me. Advertise Me is a digital advertising company that primarily focused on the digital signage industry. The company now look at all that is digital. This includes custom tools, mobile applications, advertising so much more. I've learnt so much since the inception of this company. Visit Advertise Me

  • 6-2007

    First Blog Digital Signage Blog

    Since Advertise Me was specialing in the Digital Signage industry, I came across the opportunity to start the Digital Signage Blog where we share our case studies, our thoughts and opinions about the digital signage industry. This is where I started to learn about blogging. Read more

  • 11-2007

    Son

    My son Jayden entered into this world.

  • 8-2011

    Daughter

    My daughter Olivia joined our family. Our OJAM (Olivia Jayden Angela Marco) clan is complete.

  • 5-2012

    Launched Squeak

    Whilst working on a number of projects for Advertise Me we saw an opportunity in the mobile space to create an exciting app that helps consumers shop and find great sales based on their interests. Visit Squeak

  • 9-2012

    Launched StinkyThePig

    Helped started a cool and funky brand called StinkyThePig. I turned a friend's idea into an actual product.

  • 6-2015

    Launched Social Wall

    Our parent company Advertise Me launched a new product and website called Social Wall. The idea with this product started as we saw a need to be able to display social media posts on digital screens. Social Wall is a simple and easy to use tool to aggregate and display social media posts on any digital device. Read more

  • 1-1-2017

    Launched this website

    Decided to start my own personal blog and here we are.

  • 2018-03-01

    Vegan Journey

    Started the Vegan journey. Decided it was time to move from a Vegetarian to a Vegan diet and launched a new website called Veggie Meals

SUMMARY

  • Loves to execute ideas and turn ideas into reality

  • Specialties: Information Technology, Project Management, Digital Apps, Startups, Affiliate Marketing

  • Holds a Masters Degree in Telecommunications Engineering

  • Born in Vietnam, lived in Italy and currently residing in Australia

  • Father of two beautiful children

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MY FIRST TIME RECEIVING A DONATION

MY FIRST TIME RECEIVING A DONATION

I’m grateful for the $1 donation for supporting the Launcher Dock application – $1 doesn’t seem like a lot but it was the thought that counts. To be honest, I never would have thought in a million years someone would be donating anything for this Windows Application. Now after 3 years some kind donor gave me $1. Yes $1!

When I came up with the idea to build this Windows Application, I only had budget of approximately $100. I wanted to build something useful for myself and for the Digital Signage community but more importantly I wanted to give this out for FREE. I only added the donation option as an experiment to see if someone would actually donate and after several years the answer is YES – there are kind people out those who are willing to donate if they find something useful.

By the way, there hasn’t been any software updates since Launcher Dock was released and I won’t be planning to do any because Windows development/coding isn’t my forte. As a matter of fact, I’m not a developer and to up skill in this area would be too time consuming – I would rather spend my time on more important tasks.

Once again, a big thanks to donor F. for the $1 donation.

Launcher Dock - Donation $1

No thanks to PayPal for taking about 34% of the donation as a fee!

Launcher Dock - Donation

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PODCASTS I LISTEN TO – ENTREPRENEURIAL MOTIVATION

podscasts i listen to entrepreneurial motivational

I’ve been listening to a few podcasts which I found really helpful and though I’d share these with my readers. Here’s my list (I aim to keep updating this list when I come across more awesome podcasts). I listen to these when I am at my desk working, at the gym, running or walking to pick up the kids. Basically, I want to keep my mind active as well as my body. I believe just listening to music doesn’t really help me in any way, I’d rather listen to a podcast so I can learn something new. I’ve repeatedly listened to the same podcasts since I honestly know I didn’t capture and remembered everything that was mentioned.

The podcasts are listed in no particular order:

Marco Tran - Spotify Fearless Motivation

Fearless Motivation – this is a motivational channel with both music and motivational talks to help you both in business, life and fitness. I use Spotify to listen to this podcast and also I subscribed to their Facebook page for their motivational quotes

Marco Tran - acast Success How I did It

Success! How I Did It – these podcasts are from Business Insider. The host Alison interviews great entrepreneurs like the CEO of Dropbox Drew Huston, Barbara from Shark Tank, founders of Lyft and Tinder. I streamed and downloaded the audio using the app called acast.

Marco Tran - Soundcloud Founder Coffee

Founder Coffee – the co-founder Jeroen from Salesflare interviews CEO’s from different companies. The interviews are candid, raw and inspiring. I also found these interviews to be very engaging especially when the CEO’s share their learning and challenges they faced when running a startup business. I used SoundCloud to stream these podcasts but also found that it’s on Castbox. On my laptop, I use SoundCloud since the Castbox app is available on Android, iOS or via their website.

I will be growing this list so make sure to bookmark or follow this website.

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LEARNING ABOUT GIT REPOSITORY

LEARNING ABOUT GIT REPOSITORY

Over the past several months, I’ve had to learn a new skill – a technical skill which I had no clue about and it’s related to software development. I decided to write some of the commands and stats I”ve learnt and may potentially forget. So here we go, let me share with you some of the tools I’ve used and the commands I’ve learnt:

Bitbucket

Our software development agency uses Bitbucket and I just fell into learning this. It’s an Atlassian product and there is a Free tier for Small teams. You basically store all your code on Bitbucket and it allows you to track and manage code. Updating code is so much easier when using GIT. In my situation, our development agency makes changes to the code and pushes the changes to a repository (Bitbucket) and then on our systems, whether it’s our development or production server we pull down the changes.

Here’s what I had to do to install the GIT software on our Virtual Private Server.

Install GIT

You need to install the GIT software:

sudo yum install git

Setup GIT

Use these commands and replace them with your username and email address

git config –global user.name “xx”
git config –global user.email “xx@email.com”

git init

Add ssh keys to Bitbucket

To be able to push and pull from Bitbucket, you need to setup the ssh keys. Set this up on the VPS and then Bitbucket

Generate the key using SSH on the VPS

ssh-keygen

take all default

ls ~/.ssh

vi ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

Then in Bitbucket click on your profile and then Bitbucket settings:

Bitbucket Settings

Click on SSH keys

Bitbucket Settings SSH Key

Click on Add Keys that was previously generated from the VPS

Bitbucket Settings SSH keys Add Key Details

Add changed files to the repository

Issue the command

git add –all

If you just want to add several files check first of all the files that have changed by using

git status 

Commit

If you want to add your list of file changes to the repository then you need to commit and add a name

git commit -m “Initial Commit”

git remote add origin git@bitbucket.org:[project name]

git push -u origin master

Delete files

If you need to delete files from the repository use these commands:

git rm -r —cached .

git add .

git commit -m “.gitignore after clearing cache”

git push -u origin master

Git Pull from production

If you need to download the latest changes from the repository then use

git remote add origin git@bitbucket.org:[project name]

git pull origin master

Now if the developer set up a new branch, then use the correct name.

There are other tools like GitHub but I personally haven’t used it yet.

There’s probably more to learn and will update this post as I go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How I made Vegan Chocolate Egg and Bunny Video

Marco Tran - How I made Vegan Chocolate Egg and Bunny Video 1

During Easter, I decided to create some Vegan Chocolate Eggs and Bunnies. My son is also Vegan (he’s allergic to Egg and Milk) so I decided to make my own chocolate Egg and Bunny. Here’s the recipe I used: https://www.veggiemeals.com.au/recipe/vegan-chocolate-egg-and-bunny/

It was also my first time creating a video recording and editing, he’s the end result:

Some of my friends asked me how I created this and it was pretty simple. The gear that I used was:

XiaoMi Yi 4k+ (I purchased mine from eBay but you can also buy it from Amazon here)

Marco Tran - XiaoMi Yi 4k plus

Marco Tran - Vegan Chocolate Egg and Bunny How To

I connected the XiaoMi to a selfie stick which was mounted on an Octopus Tripod.

I also used my Google Pixel 2 XL to capture the video from the side but didn’t end up using it for the final video.

The editing tool I used for the video is called Rocketium and you quickly and easily use themes to make the video look professional. I need to upload the original video and then add captions – pretty easy to use.

Marco Tran - Rocketium Vegan Chocolate Egg and Bunny

 

 

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HOW TO REPORT A SPELLING MISTAKE TO INSTAGRAM – IS IT GOING TO GET FIXED?

HOW TO REPORT A SPELLING MISTAKE TO INSTAGRAM

I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it. We’ve all done it! I’m talking about making spelling mistakes in an email, websites or any text-based chats.  I recently noticed (on the 26th Feb 2018) a spelling mistake on the web version of the Instagram app (https://instagram.com) and was quite surprised to have discovered this. The word “someone” was incorrectly spelt as “somone”.  I would have assumed someone from their team would have discovered this before publishing the App because the typo is blatantly obvious (for me). In any case, I wanted to do the right thing and report this spelling mistake to Instagram but I didn’t realise how hard it is to contact someone from Instagram.

THE SPELLING MISTAKE – SOMONE

Firstly, let me show you the spelling mistake:

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone

This seems to happen only when you have no activity on your posts ie, brand new accounts and when logged in via the Web browser. When logged in via the Mobile app there is no spelling mistake so the error seems to be related to the web app.

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Mobile App

To replicate the issue on the web app simply follow these steps:

  1. Use a web browser and create a new Instagram account
  2. Login to the new account
  3. Click on the Heart Icon
  4. You will see the message

REPORTING TO INSTAGRAM

26/02/2018

I found that reporting the issue to Instagram is like finding a needle in a haystack. On the Instagram website there isn’t a process to report this type of issue.  There is a help centre if you click on the Support link in the footer:

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Support Footer

The support link redirects you to this page  https://help.instagram.com

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Help centre

 

I tried finding out if there was a way to report the spelling mistake on this Help Centre but there wasn’t anything useful. I even tried searching for “reporting spelling mistake to someone”. Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Help Search

I thought that maybe I needed to spell someone differently so I tried “reporting spelling mistake to somone”:

 

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Help Search 2

It didn’t make a difference as there were no results.

The next step I tried was creating a post on Instagram and tagging the @instagram account but didn’t get any responses:

Hi @instagram,

Just wanted to report a spelling issue to “somone” on your team. I noticed this when creating a new account.
Hope someone will fix it soon. Don’t worry, I make typos all the time.

From @marco.tran

P.S: wonder if you will actually read or reply to this but let me know if it was intentional or not.
P.S.S: If there’s a bounty hunt for this then do I win something ?

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Instagram Post

I didn’t get any responses from this Instagram post. So I decided to use Facebook Chat and send a message to Instagram. The message still hasn’t been seen by Instagram:

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Facebook Chat

I thought that maybe there was someone in my LinkedIn network that could share and help report the issue and someone in my network did notice this post and reshared it to someone who worked in Instagram but maybe they reported it… or maybe they didn’t – who knows. I also tried reporting it to someone who was on my 2nd level LinkedIn connection but they didn’t respond either.

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake LinkedIn

I then decided to be a bit cheeky and tried following the Instagram account “somone”. I tried messaging them and asked them if they could like or comment on one of my posts so as per the Instagram instructions and I’m still waiting for their response. I’m thinking that maybe the “somone” account is not even active as there were no posts on this account and there is no one following them. If anyone owns this account, please login to Instagram and contact me. That was my last attempt to do something about this spelling error and just left it for now and decided to track the progress to see when it actually gets fixed. I’ll be tracking this progress via this blog post.

USING THE MOBILE APP TO REPORT

10/03/2018

It has been twelve days since I discovered the spelling mistake and it still hasn’t been fixed. I thought I’d see if there were any other ways of contacting Instagram and accidentally stumbled across a menu option in the actual Windows Instagram App. There was a “Report a Problem” option so I clicked on that:

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Report a problem

I decided to press on the General Feedback option as that seemed the most appropriate:

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Report a Problem General Feedback

I sent them this message:

Hi there,

There seems to be a spelling mistake when you login to Instagram via the Web browser for new accounts. The word someone is spelt as “somone” when you click on the Heart Icon. Please have a look at this Instagram post: https://www.instagram/p/BfpuRoJgNgb/

Just tought (yes I spelt it wrong… see what I mean) I’d report it here and see if it will get fixed. Please let me know when it does as I’m writing an article on my website about this spelling error. The article is title HOW TO REPORT A SPELLING MISTAKE TO INSTAGRAM – IS IT GOING TO GET FIXED?

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Report a problem message

I pressed the send button without checking the spelling…haha. Now I’m waiting for a reply, let’s see what happens.

USING REDDIT

29/03/2018

I decided to check in to see whether the issue has been fixed and I wasn’t surprised – it’s still not fixed. My next step would be to post it somewhere like Reddit to see if one of the developers in Instagram will notice it.

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Still Not Fixed

 

Why Reddit? Because I’m pretty sure whoever made the spelling mistake is probably one of the people who also make the same mistake with one of the posts. Or it seems like it’s pretty common to incorrectly spell the word “Someone” as there are quite a number of pages with this result.

USING FACEBOOK ADS

4/4/2018

The problem was still not fixed so I decided to think outside the square and created a Facebook Ad to get their attention. Initially the ad didn’t get approved because the image I used in the ads was a screenshot of the actual error message and Facebook reported back that I could not use screenshots of Facebook or Instagram. Below was the first Facebook Ad:

Marco Tran - Facebook Ads 1

After changing the image to the one below it was approved – which either meant someone from Facebook manually approved it or it was automatically approved. I ended up changing the Facebook ad to inactive so there was no point displaying this ad to Facebook users.

Marco Tran - Facebook Ads Approved

 

 

 

 

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Vegan Breakfast from Woolworths Homebrand

Vegan Breakfast from Woolworths Homebrand

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and as a Vegan sometimes you’re limited to what you can have. What I’ve been having is cereal with Soy Milk, Traditional Muesli and a banana. It’s a cheap and very healthy meal. I sometimes even have it for lunch.

Marco Tran - Woolworths Homebrand - Healthy Breakfast

Here’s the cost breakdown:

MAX CHARGE – $3.50
Traditional Muesli – $2.55
Soy Milk – $1.10
Banana – $0.30

The total cost is $7.45 and it should last about 2 weeks besides the banana. Therefore the total cost without the banana is ONLY $7.15. Now that’s cheap considering that most breakfast meals at food outlets charge around $5 for a small muffin or even like an avocado sandwich. Maybe the next time you think about what you’re going to have for breakfast, remember this post.

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Portfolio

Veggie Meals


vegan, vegetarian, websites

Veggie Meals

Launcher Dock


products, websites

Launcher Dock

Social Wall


products, websites

Social Wall
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Veggie Meals is a Vegan and Vegetarian Community website where we aim to promote Veganism and Vegetarianism. Our vision and goal for veggiemeals.com.au is to create a hub to discuss, share and obtain information about vegetarianism or veganism. Veggie Meals aims to promote recipes, businesses, products and conduct discussions relating to Vegans and Vegetarians.
Being proud Vegetarians and Vegans, we want you to join us on this journey and promote your business with the rest of the Vegetarian and Vegan community.

VEGGIE MEALS

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Launcher Dock is a free Windows based software tool that allows you to automatically start your programs and dock them exactly where you want on the screen. I had someone develop this for me as I saw a need to use a simple and effective tool to launch different programs I regularly use on multiple screens. At my office, my laptop is connected to two additional screens so in total I have 3 screens. Every time I started the laptop, I found it a hassle to launch and dock each application on the screens so that’s where Launcher Dock was born. It is a free software tool and I don’t really monetise it except for receiving donations and Google advertising but my main goal was not to make money from this – learning the process to build and launch a Windows Software tool was more important.

As of 2017, the application has been downloaded more than 10k times and I haven’t really updated the software. I’ve had offers to monetize the software by placing ads in the software but I never wanted that. Maybe I’ll eventually sell the site to someone who can update it and manage it. If you’re interested let me know.

DOWNLOAD AND THE VISIT WEBSITE

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Sponsor My Articles

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The Sponsor My Articles WordPress plugin was the by-product of many years of managing the DigitalSignageBlog.com website. Being the chief editor, I saw the opportunity to try to further monetise the website by creating a WordPress plugin that allowed businesses to sponsor the articles I wrote. Originally, the requirements were quite simple:

– Set the amount to charge for each sponsor

– Limit the number of sponsors to display on each article

– Limit which categories to exclude from being sponsored. This was needed as some articles were guest posts and I didn’t want competitors to sponsor those articles

– Integrate with PayPal to receive payments

– Option to enable captcha to prevent spam

There was two version we released, the free and the paid version. The intention of releasing a free version was to generate some exposure since it displayed our company details on all posts by default.

A year after launching the plugin, we had a number of requests to add features to the product. One of the most requested features was to add a time-based sponsorship, so a post can be only sponsored for a period of time set by the administrator of the website. The addition of this feature helped increase sales and allowed website owners to generate recurring income.

At the beginning of this year, I then decided to add a few more features and these were:

– Option to use shortcodes which can be placed anywhere in a post
– Option to choose Sponsor Section position, Top, Bottom or Shortcode only (meaning it will only be displayed if there is a shortcode present)
– Option to use custom types. The Sponsor section can be now located in any custom post type

I hope to further increase sales with these features and create more useful content for our users. If you want to purchase this plugin then click here.

 

 

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Social Wall

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Social Wall simply started as an idea whilst we were working on a Video Wall installation. The idea was to create a tool so businesses could aggregate and display all your social media posts on a digital wall. At the time, there were already a few companies selling this type of product and we saw the cost of using their product and services to be unaffordable for many businesses. We needed something very simple and one that was cost effective – that’s when Social Wall was born.

The first beta version of the tool was simple – it didn’t even have a login page or dashboard, but we decided to test the market and sure enough there were clients who were interested in using this product.

It took us about 6-9 months to get a fully functional system developed that allowed users to log in and manage their own Social Wall – yes it included a dashboard. I also had to spend a bit of time creating the actual website to promote the product. I find creating digital content to be one of the most difficult tasks in marketing. As the saying goes “Content is King” and to a certain extent I do agree with this statement, however this can be debated back and forth. Although time-consuming, creating content is all worth it in the end and it’s also one of the reasons why I continue to keep adding content whenever I can.

I’ll summarise some of my content strategies:

* Write helpful content – HOW TO articles are a great way to connect with your audience and make them feel as though they solved their problem by reading your article

* Create videos – I find some people would rather watch a video than read a long article with instructions. Creating videos not only makes the experience more visual but you can reach a wide audience if submitted to video platforms such as YouTube

* Create tools to supplement your product – I learnt how to code and actually built tools to help promote the product. They were very simple tools and the main purpose was to add them to existing plaforms such as the WordPress Plugin Directory, iTunes and Google Play which had a very large audience – another great way to generate more exposure

We officially launched Social Wall in June 2015. Since then, we have added more features to the product and our client base has also grown. We receive enquiries from all over the world on a daily basis and we can see lots of potential with this product.

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Advertise Me

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The first company I started. Learnt so much since the launch of this company. Had no clue about starting a business so it was definitely difficult at the start.

Advertise Me provides digital solutions to large corporate companies, hospitals, retail stores, schools and universities.

Clients include: Campbelltown Hospital, Liverpool Hospital, Thredbo, University of NSW, University of Newcastle, Sherwood Public School, Curtin University, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and many more.

VISIT WEBSITE

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Contact

Leave me a comment and I will respond ASAP
Contact or follow me

E-Mail

hi@marcotran.com.au

Address

Sydney AUSTRALIA

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