Shane McDonald Facebook pixel
Tips For Finding A Fun Gaming Community

Tips For Finding A Fun Gaming Community

If you want to make your online gaming experience more interactive and meet new friends to enjoy your hobby with, you’ve come to the right place.
This page has several useful tips for finding a fun and safe gaming community to share your experiences with.

How to find a fun gaming community

Many of today’s best video games from the world’s top game development studios and publishers are even better when played with friends. Video games are a great way to meet new people and form bonds that can last a lifetime.

You can try finding a fun gaming community that already exists, or you may want to think about creating your own gaming community. Either way, here are some important things you should know:
● Remember to jot down somewhere safe the usernames of players you have enjoyed interacting and playing with. You can then either try sending them a friend request or keep an eye out for them when they next go online and then start chatting with them, slowly building up a friendship
● Take the time to visit land-based stores that sell video games or other popular community games you can play with friends
● Perhaps get yourself out there by visiting major gaming conventions/shows/exhibitions
● Compliment other players on their great gameplay, or share/offer advice, tips and strategies that could potentially help that player
● Try to make them laugh when communicating with them during the game by using funny comments (that doesn’t mean using rude humour)
● Come up with plans so you can meet each other in games at certain times
● Go on gaming missions together and build a close bond by completing difficult tasks
● Don’t give away too much personal information about yourself, and don’t expect the people you are chatting with to give you too much of their personal information either
● Try to find gaming communities that already exist on certain gaming platforms or social media platforms like Facebook or Twitch
● Ask your friends who are already part of an established gaming community to give you an introduction

Is it possible to form gaming communities at licensed online casinos?

Yes, and no. For example, let’s just say that you’re based in Ireland.
When you next visit the best online casinos Ireland has to offer, you could perhaps let your friends in the real world know what time you are going to play a certain live dealer game and then get them to join you. In this sense, you are forming/becoming part of an online casino gaming community. In most live dealer games today, especially ones brought to you by Pragmatic Play, Evolution Gaming, and Playtech, you can interact with other players in real-time using the interactive chat feature. Not only can you chat with your friends and other active players as the action unfolds, but you can also communicate with the live dealers.

What are some of the best live dealer games to play with other people?

Here are some of the best live dealer games that are much better played with your friends. The most exciting games are the television game show-themed live dealer games.
When the bonus rounds trigger in these games, all active players in that round get to take part in the same bonus feature. Examples of these games include the following famous titles:
● Live Funky Time by Evolution Gaming
● Live Crazy Time by Evolution Gaming
● Live Sweet Bonanza Candyland by Pragmatic Play
● Live Mega Fire Blaze Roulette by Playtech
● Live Adventures Beyond Wonderland by Playtech
● Live Who Wants to be a Millionaire by Playtech
MONOPOLY Live from Evolution Gaming
You can also now find a growing number of cutting-edge live dealer online slot machines, which are also better when played as part of a community of players.

Some of the most popular live dealer slots out there today are the Live Buffalo Blitz online slot from Playtech, Evolution Gaming’s Live Crazy Coin Flip and the Live Extra Chilli Epic Spins online slot from Evolution Gaming.
You also have the Live Age of the Gods: God of Storms online slot from Playtech, and the Live Everybody’s Jackpot online slot, which is also from Playtech.

If you enjoy playing any of these games and want more similar community-style live dealer games, then you may also like to try Live Fashion TV Mega Party, Live Jet Set Racing Roulette, and Live Deal or No Deal: The Big Draw.
Other hit titles include The Money Drop Live, Live Spin & Win Roulette, Live Dream Catcher, Live XXXtreme Lightning Roulette, Dead or Alive Saloon Live, and MONOPOLY Big Baller.

Don’t forget that live dealer games are only ever available to play for real money, and you must be at least 18 years old to play these games.

Tips to Improve your X (Twitter) Account in 2023

Tips to Improve your X (Twitter) Account in 2023

Easy Twitter Tips to improve your Twitter / X account in 2021

I have been on Twitter for 12 years now (as of April 21st, 2020) and over the past 9 years, I have come to love the platform. Over the past 12 months however, Twitter has had a lot of issues and problems. The main thing is that it is no longer called Twitter, as Elon Musk, the new owner, has renamed it (a very boring) X. For me,​ Twitter, or X, is a source of news, opinion, and interesting articles as well as the odd competition which I have won. If you are looking to grow your Twitter / X audience and influence you are going to have to invest some time on Twitter. These are some Twitter Tips to help in growing your following and presence in 2021. For the purpose of this article, I am going to reference Twitter / X during this intermediate period as the brand transitions.

1. Have a good Twitter / X Profile image

The first of the Twitter tips is to update your profile pic. The Profile Image is the small icon which appears beside each tweet. Your profile picture should be representative of you or your business. Try to​ make the image one which will stand out.

The key here is don’t leave it as the default Twitter Egg! The profile photo of an egg is indicative of an account which is new. So change this and you’ll get an advantage over accounts with Twitter eggs.


2. Ensure you include a Twitter / X Header image

At the same time, you should upload a good header image. The header image could be a product photo or something which works along with your profile image to strength your accounts visual appeal. You can use systems like Canva to place a nice quote or even your web address. Canva is a very easy to use system which gives you great results. It certainly saves me lots of time when I need to create a graphic in a hurry and gives results which are as good as using a graphics programme.

Twitter Tips : The Dreaded Twitter Egg - No profile image on Twitter is not good.

3. Your Twitter / X Bio

Your Twitter Bio should detail what your account is about. Tell people the benefits of following you. It should also outline the types of interest and content people will expect if they follow you. For example, you could tell people what interests you or what you tweet about. If you look at my Queen account @shanesqueensite it has the following biog…

Shane’s Queen Site run by Shane McDonald. Keyboardist & MD for Queen Tribute Band ‘Celebrating Queen’. Tweeting all about the band #Queen. YouTube Channel ⬇️. 

Feel free to use hashtags like I did or even other accounts. e.g. “I am an​ ​ account manager for @mentioncompanyhere and I like #Travel”. or “I love Twitter. Follow my account for freebies and great Twitter Tips and advice.”

If you have a website don’t forget to include that. This is one of the key Twitter Tips – so if you do one thing, it’s update your Bio.

 4. Daily Twitter / X Activity – Key Twitter Tip !

Each day, as as much as you can, you should log on to Twitter and do some sort of activity. This is my personal must do from this Twitter Tips list.

This activity may include;

– Tweeting something even if it is just a comment on the weather. This keeps your feed flowing with recent content but try to make it interesting and if you can include a photo of the weather in your region (following on from this example) if puts your tweet in context..
– Retweeting others tweets. If you find something interesting retweet it. Perhaps ‘Quote Tweet’ it and add your own personal comment
– Responding to any replies or notifications ; always thank people for replies and always respond to your engagements
– Thanking some of your recent followers for retweets or likes.
– If you find the ​content you like the press the ‘Like’ button on others tweets or perhaps leave a comment
– You should follow any Twitter accounts which you are interested in. Normally I follow about 5-10 accounts per day. If I find a Twitter list of Food Bloggers or Travel Writers I may end up following 50 or 60 accounts.

One warning on things like ‘The weather today is …” if you over use that sort of tweet, just for the sake of having content, then you run the risk of people becoming bored and perhaps unfollowing or muting you. Always try to keep your content relevant and of interesting


5. Tag or include others in your tweets

Every now and again you should mention other accounts using the @account method.
For example “Hi @mrshanemcdonald many thanks for liking my tweet. I am delighted with the Twitter Tips post on your website” would send me a nice mention and I may then follow you as a result. This can be especially good when responding to Brands, e.g. complementing a brand on a good job or a great product you recently used. They may retweet your tweet to thousands thus exploding your reach.

6. Use Hashtags

Use hashtags, as tweets with one or two hashtags have about 20% more engagement. You can use systems like Hashtagify to find the best hashtags for your tweets before you tweet.

7. Use images and GIFs

Use images and gifs in your tweets. Apparently tweets with images and relevant gifs normally get over 80% more engagement than tweets without images

8. Use Lists

Lists are exactly that, it’s a section a Twitter where you can list all the accounts which share a similar topic or relationship with you, e.g. You could have a list of Digital Marketing experts or just place all your friends and contacts in a ‘My Friends’ list. Twitter Lists are free and easy to setup. The upshot is you don’t need to filter through all of Twitter just to check in on a certain list – plus others can subscribe to your list.

9. Use a Tweet Scheduler

If you think you might be away from Twitter for a while or you might be busy this week, add a few tweets to a scheduler such as Buffer, Hootesuite, Crowdfire or Agorapulse. This can ensure you have some content being dripfed onto Twitter and your account can continue to show in feeds.

10. Occasionally do an Twitter account Cleanup

Every so often, do a clean up of your Twitter Account and looking at who you follow, remove dead Twitter accounts, Twitterbots, people who don’t provide any value to you following them. Every so often I clear down the accounts I am following based on their content. 


How do I know if I am doing well on Twitter / X?

If you follow some of the Twitter Tips above, you should see some growth over the next while. There are a few pointers and KPIs to show your success in growing your Twitter account.

  1. The first is your follower’s growth if it is increasing fast this is one indicator that you are doing well.
  2. Secondly is your mention notifications, if you are getting a lot of @mentions, either responses or direct mentions, this shows a well-engaged audience.
  3. Check your Twitter Analytics to see your performance month on month
  4. You can also look at how much traffic is being driven to your website via Google Analytics. Strong Twitter performance would lead to good traffic to your website.
  5. If you are enjoying Twitter and you are Tweeting daily – In a way, this is a success of its own as many people start on Twitter and just give up!


Klout is Dead, Long live the King

In 2018, Klout had it’s last score update. There are a few different cites which have digitally passed-away over the years.

You may also be interested to know how long people spend online and on social media – check out this report regarding the Average Time on Social Media.


I hope you enjoyed these Twitter Tips for 2021 and this is what works for me. Twitter changes all the time which is why I updated this list of Twitter Tips for 2021 as it was last updated in 2018 and again in 2020.
If you have any other interesting Twitter Tips or hacks please feel free to leave a comment.


Follow Me on Twitter / X 

My Twitter account is @mrshanemcdonald so if you like this list of Twitter Tips post why not follow and say hi!


A full list of Social Media Tools

If you are looking for a great list of Social Media Tools please visit this great link –

A New Social Media / Video Tool Review – Coming soon

I will soon be reviewing a tool called VEED. As you all know I run a YouTube Channel and the hardest part of my day is generating subtitles. I often omit them and this is not good for my audience and the accessibility of my videos.

Of course, we all know that incorporating video content into your Twitter strategy is an excellent way to engage with your audience and attract more followers. Platforms like VEED can help enhance your videos with useful features. The add subtitles to video tool can ensure that your messages reach a wider audience, including those who watch videos without sound. Likewise, the auto subtitle generator can save you time by automatically adding accurate captions to your videos. Finally, the video caption generator lets you customize and position captions to ensure optimum readability and impact.

I will place a link to the VEED review/article in the coming weeks on this page.

FlightRadar24 Vs Plane Finder, Flight Tracking iPhone Apps

FlightRadar24 Vs Plane Finder, Flight Tracking iPhone Apps

A few years ago when I got my first iPhone, I downloaded two Aircraft Tracking iPhone Apps. These flight tracking apps were FlightRadar24 and Plane Finder. The smartphone air traffic apps allow you to track the position, height, speed, Squawk Code, Aircraft type, heading, source, destination and Aircraft Registration, plus much more.

These amazing iPhone apps are brilliant, especially if you are interested in aircraft. You may also just want to know where a plane in the sky is heading. Ever since I was a child, when I got my first pair of binoculars, I have been fascinated with knowing which aircraft or which airline is flying overhead. Aircraft are such amazing feats of engineering, it is amazing to watch them as they fly 10km up.

So, back to the flight tracking apps. Which one is better, FlightRadar24 or PlaneFinder? I am going to look at the 2 apps and do a proper review…in no particular order.


The FlightRadar24 system was the first flight tracking app I downloaded. The main features of FlightRadar24 were full flight tracking plus visual tracking where you could hold the iPhone camera up to the sky where there was an aircraft and it would point to it with identification using augmented reality. At the time this was very new to smartphone technology but the Augmented Reality system makes it possible to point the camera to the sky and view aircraft information and all the details regarding air traffic over you.

Flight Radar Screenshote - FlightRadar1 iPhone App Review

Flight Radar Screenshot - FlightRadar24 iPhone App Review

The accuracy is stunning – I actually grabbed a pair of binoculars when a Lufthansa 747 was reported over Waterford, and it was indeed the aircraft mentioned on the FlightRadar-24 iPhone App. Amazing.
Check out for more details.


I downloaded the Planefinder app just as a comparison as this one showed actual photos of the aircraft in question and also allowed for sharing of the spotted aircraft on Facebook etc.

PlaneFinder does almost everything that FlightRadar24 does, but I find that there are certain functions you can achieve such as advanced filters, e.g. show all aircraft above a certain height, speed or indeed of a certain airline.  I also found some aircraft not listed on FlightRadar24 – for example, a Galaxy C5 showed up on Planefinder and at the same time did not display on Flightradar24 for some reason.

More information on PlaneFinder can be found at

How do these iPhone Aircraft Tracking Apps Work?

These apps only show information regarding aircraft which are equipped with ADS-B transponders. About 60% of the passenger aircraft and some private aircraft have an ADS-B transponder installed.

The Flightradar24 and PlaneTracker apps use a network of ADS-B receivers around the world. These ADS receivers get plane and flight information from the aircraft with ADS-B (Broadcasts) and send this information to the main server. These apps simply collect the ADS data and displays this information on the iPhone Apps map. However the only aircraft within the coverage area of the ADS receivers are visible – so if you are in the USA you may have limited visibility as these apps are mainly covering Europe. Current coverage is approx 90% of Europe. However, there is also limited coverage in the USA, Australia and the Middle East.

App Problems?

Both Apps require WiFi or a 3G connection to work. If you only have a cellular data connection you may get 1 or 2 aircraft showing up but the app won’t work to its full potential – so ensure you have 3G turned on.

The only problems I saw was one aircraft which was a ghost image of itself – i.e., for example, an aircraft D-GBHF was showing up side by side but it was the same aircraft. Could have been a glitch.
However, the most fun glitch I saw was an aircraft which had a recorded cruising speed of zero knots – clever trick!

Flight Tracking Apps – Conclusion

Both apps are excellent in the way the aircraft are displayed plus the refresh rate and the accuracy is very good on both apps.

Both apps have been updated since my original post and I will be updating this post with the changes and new features.

PlaneFinder retails at €3.99 in the App Store

FlightRadar24 retails at €2.39 in the App Store.

FREE Versions of these Flight Radar iPhone Apps are available also and the desktop or web-based version of FlightRadar can be used for a limited session and with limited functionality for free.

If you have any comments regarding these flight tracking/aircraft tracking apps please comment below!



This post is a re-edit of the original post regarding FlightRadar24 and Plane Finder which was written earlier in 2015.

How to setup WordPress caching and image optimisation your website

How to setup WordPress caching and image optimisation your website

I recently ran a Google test on my site to check how friendly my site was. This test checks how fast your site loads and gives a percentage score so you know how good or bad your website ranks. When I checked I got a score of 32%. I knew I had to do something as Google could use page speed as a ranking factor. I did some research into WordPress caching plugins and found some interesting information.

Not all WordPress Caching plugins are the same. Some work better than others. These Wp-cache plugins varied in functionality and success. The one WordPress caching plugin which stood out WP Fastest Cache. I also found that it works best with Autoptimize and the image compression plugin Imagify.

I installed the first two WordPress caching plugins which help minify the .js and .css files on your site. They also .gz compress some other files to help your site load faster.

All of these plugins can be added using the WordPress Dashboard by clicking ‘Add New’ and running a search. If you are using the very latest WordPress version, then your plugin should auto-install. Once installed you can activate it from the plugins section. Note, you may need to adjust settings before any changes become visible. Most plugins have default values or no active values on activation.

The Google score was now 54% which was an improvement already.

Finally, I installed Imagify which compressed the images I already had on the server. Note, this was only done up to a certain limit. I get another limit of about 15Mb in 1 months time. A premium version of Imagify is available which gets rid of this limit.

After the WordPress caching plugins and the image compression plugin was installed and configured the Google score was at 75%. This was an increase of 43% points from 32%. This was 2.3 times better than the previous score. Hopefully, this will help reduce bounce rate and increase visits and visitor time to the site. Since I wrote this, I have added 2 new posts and the images I used are not fully optimised so there has been a drop in score but I now know the areas where I need to optimise on the website.

I am also running this optimisation on my photoblog at and I will be posting the results and more details in the coming weeks. I am using the same WordPress caching plugins and the same image compression plugin. It should be interesting to see the effect on google analytics.

I have placed links to the WordPress caching plugins below.

WP Fastest Cache –

Autoptimize –

Imagify –


If you have any comments or questions regarding these plugins for WordPress caching, minifying or optimisation plugins please leave them below… If you liked this post on “How to setup WordPress caching and image optimisation your WordPress website or Blog” please share it on social media with the sharing links provided.

Be Careful with the new PayPal Phishing Scams

Be Careful with the new PayPal Phishing Scams

I get these from Paypal Phishing emails time to time and I’m sure anyone with an active email account will also. We are all used to seeing spam emails pretending to be from valid companies all the time. The question is how can you spot if these are legitimate emails? How can you spot if these are just trying to get your account details? Well, there are some things you can look out for…

Phishing normally has No Personalised Name in the email

Firstly you will normally see Dear PayPal User, or Dear Netflix user or simply Dear Subscriber

If this is a valid company, who has your details, why is the email not using your first name?
Most emails from companies such as Netflix or PayPal will include some identifying ID info on your emails. This may include your account number, your name or your username. Check out the example below!

Some Frantic Excuse

Very often there is some excuse for the email. Some scenarios I have seen include ;

  • “We were updating our servers and noticed an issue, you now need to revalidate your account”.
  • “In order to further secure your account please log in and verify your credentials”
  • “If you do not log in within 24 hours your account will be deleted”

Don’t fall for these excuses. This is just to get you panicking so that you don’t think about what you are doing.  Check out the example below!

Links are not official Links – Hover over links to see the Phishing link

Within the email, if you are required to log in, you will see a link such as ‘login’ or ‘sign in’. The link to these phishing sites will be under this.

You have two ways to check for this. First, you can hover-over the link in your email client. If it is from PayPal the web address should be Similarly, if it is a Netflix email, should be the web address listed as the link. Occasionally email systems like ConstantContact may place their link and use a redirect – therefore it does not always work.

The second way to check is if you do click the link, ensure you are on the official site by checking the web address.

Graphics May appear out of line or pixelated

One other way you can detect spammy phishing emails is by their graphics. The images used in the emails are often just stolen from the official sites and are not always placed correctly in the emails. Therefore they may look too wide or not the right height to width ratio.

What to do if you are unsure?

If you get an email from Netflix, PayPal or even your Bank or Revenue, email them via their official website or call them. Better to be safe than sorry.

Remember your Bank and the taxation/revenue services will never usually contact you by email asking for personal or security information.
Be cautious and be safe. If it sounds a bit far fetched then it could very well be a phishing email.

Example of a Phishing Email

This is an example of one email I got, the web address when I clicked the link did not bring me to – you can see some of what I mentioned above in the email below. Not personalised,  and a frantic excuse about ‘unusual activity’.

Phishing email


Just to finalise on this topic, firstly companies like PayPal and Netflix have no control over this. If you get a phishing email it is not their fault therefore as the customer you will have to take due care with your account details. Hopefully, the tips above on how to spot phishing scams will help you if you are unsure.

If you get an email and you are still not sure what to do, ask a friend who might have more IT/web knowledge – get a second opinion. It’s better than losing your account, or worse, money. Stay safe online, always be on the lookout for something which doesn’t feel right.

Twitter Verification for All

Twitter Verification for All

Can Anyone have a Verified Twitter Account?

Twitter has announced that there is now an online application process in order to get your Twitter account set as a verified status. Verified accounts on Twitter allow people to identify important individuals and organisation ensuring that the followers know that they are authentic. This authenticity is denoted by a circular blue badge icon. Before today’s announcement accounts were verified if they were deemed to be public interest, e.g. brands, celebs, sports stars, public figures, politicians etc. There are currently about 190,000 accounts with Twitter Verification*. (* Twitter stats correct at the time of this blog post in July 2016) 

Twitter has stated that they want to make it easier to “find creators and influencers on Twitter”. Twitter are hoping that by allowing people to appliy for verification it will help more people to find “great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience.”

The application process is now live and I have already applied for mine, so I’m hoping that @mrshanemcdonald will be verified soon. Full details of the twitter verifiaction process is available via the Twitter Help Centre.

How to get Verified on Twitter

To complete the Twitter Verification application you will need the following;

  • A verified phone number
  • A confirmed email address
  • A completed bio
  • A profile photo
  • A header photo
  • A birthday (for accounts that are not a company, brand, or organisation accounts)
  • A website / URL
  • Your Twitter account set as public in Tweet privacy settings (i.e. not a private account)
  • You will also need to explain why Twitter should verify an account.

The responses will be replied to by email and if your request is denied, you can submit another Twitter Verification request for the same account 30 days after receiving the email from Twitter.

I’m sure there will be hundreds of thousands of applications but lets see what happens. From what I have heard many applications are being rejected, even those with high follower counts and thousands of tweets. I will update this post should I get any news from Twitter regarding my application for Twitter Verification status.


Verified Twitter Progress Update: I have since applied for verification twice now and every time my Twitter verification has been rejected. Maybe Twitter Verification is not for everyone after all 🙁

More Details on Twitter Verification

Twitter Verification Update – 25th July

I just got an email from Twitter with the following;

Thanks for your request to verify @mrshanemcdonald.
We reviewed the account, and unfortunately it is not eligible to be verified at this time. Please visit our Help Center for more information about the types of accounts we verify.

Maybe next time … I can resubmit in 30 days !