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Author: Rick Thompson

Tired of Paying a Fee so Websites Can Find You a Match? Try This, It's Free..

Usually, when I think about dating, finding romantic love or looking for a mate, other notions also enter my mind.

Notions such as: Love comes when you least expect it, or if you are not looking for it. But when you go out of your way to pay an online website like eharmony or match.com to find you a match, what you are, in fact doing is looking for it, love, that is.

And if you are tired of paying all those hefty fees so the aforementioned websites can find you a match, here is a website that will bring some financial relief to you, your wallet and your credit card account.

It's: www.Plentyoffish.com and it's free. Yes, free. Here, you can post photos of yourself, submit a profile, fill out a questionnaire and communicate with those whom you think are compatible with you.

And you can find people on the POF website from anywhere you like. Be it right there in your own city, state or country or from far off places as well.

So if you want to lighten your wallet a bit or your credit card account, give Plentyoffish,com a sample. You just might be pleasantly surprised at who you will find without bothering about those hefty fees that other match making websites offer.

Ten Holiday Promotion Ideas for Ecommerce Website

Holidays are a great time to promote your ecommerce website. Since there are so many holidays throughout the year, it is fun to have a holiday promotion every month. This article covers ten holiday promotion ideas for your ecommerce website.

January Holiday Promotion Idea – New Years

Start the year off right with a great holiday promotion idea. New Years is a time for new beginnings, resolutions, and parties! One great promotion idea for your ecommerce website includes mailing paper party hats, folded up in envelopes, to your customers.

Each party hat should be printed with your website address and logo. Include a sale price on special items or a coupon. Tell the customers that they can only get the special price if they wear the New Years party hat.

February Holiday Promotion Idea – Valentines Day

Valentines is all about love. Show the love with this holiday promotion idea for your ecommerce website. Offer a special romance gift pack on your website for a special low price. Almost any type of ecommerce website can find something that will make a great Valentine’s Day gift pack. Some ideas include t-shirts with cute pictures, coffee for breakfast in bed, jewelry, candles, romantic books, or DVDs.

March Holiday Promotion Idea – Spring has Sprung

And so have the savings! The Vernal Equinox, the day spring begins is a great excuse for a holiday promotion idea. Have a sale on items relating to Spring in any fashion. Or send out a coupon in the shape of a tulip or daffodil flower.

May Holiday Promotion Idea – Cinco de Mayo

This holiday originates in Mexico and can offer opportunities for great holiday promotion ideas. Besides making advertisements in Mexican colors and styles, you can create a great coupon sale graphic that looks like a piñata. Click on the piñata with a stick-like cursor, and your coupon price will be revealed.

June Holiday Promotion Idea – Summer Time

This is a great time of year to have a “Take it to the Beach” holiday promotion gift pack for sale. Make up a specially priced set with summer themed items. Advertise it promptly on the front page of your ecommerce website. Some options include hats, umbrellas, great beach reads, lotions for sunburn, tropical items, and fishing gear.

July Holiday Promotion Idea – Independence Day

The fourth of July is a great time for another interesting mailing to your current customers. You can purchase or make small firecracker shaped cards that come apart to reveal a sale price or coupon. Include a lot of sparkle!

September Holiday Promotion Idea – Back to School

If you sell anything appropriate for a student on your ecommerce website, you should definitely promote heavily before the back to school time. Money saving coupons are always a good idea for students and their parents. Also, going to college gift packs are a great idea.

October Holiday Promotion Idea – Halloween

A mystery is always a great holiday promotion idea around Halloween. Create a spooky treasure hunt on your ecommerce website. For example, hide small graphics of ghosts on various pages. Whoever finds all of them gets a coupon for a percentage off their purchase.

November Holiday Promotion Idea – Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving holiday is a time to say thanks and share the bounty. This is a great time to have a customer appreciation holiday promotion. Simply saying “Thanks,” to your customers is a great way to make more ecommerce sales.

December Holiday Promotion Idea – Winter Holidays

The winter holidays, Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa, are perhaps the biggest sales holidays in the year. Decorate your website with winter style and offer sales. People are looking to buy from your ecommerce website at this time of the year. All you have to do is nudge them gently in the right direction.

Benefits of Web Based Training (WBT) for Employees

Web based training (WBT) is relatively new in the arena of employee training materials, but is growing fast among large corporations and small businesses alike. Before WBT became commonplace, most employees were trained via computer based training (CBT), usually on a CD ROM, or with video and print materials.

The benefits of web based training are numerous, and it is something that all business owners should consider if their employees require skills training on the job. WBT courses can be created from scratch by an accomplished tech team, or they can be purchased from developers.

Pricing of Web Based Training

One of the most important benefits of web based training is the cost for employees to use it. This learning format creates more diversity in the pricing, especially when compared with CD-ROMs. If you purchase existing WBT courses from a developer, you'll likely be presented with several options from which to choose.

Some web based training programs charge a set amount for a certain number of employees, while others grant a full license to the customer that expires after a given time period. Still others will sell rights to customers indefinitely for a single lump sum. How you purchase WBT training materials for your employees will depend on the size of your business.

Updates and Alterations

When you purchase a CD-ROM or other computer based training program, you're buying a fixed information product. While this might seem cut-and-dried, it actually takes away from your employee training program because, as we all know, business priorities change and trends evolve over time.

In other words, your current training program for employees will be obsolete in just a couple of years, at which time you'll have to purchase a whole new system.

With web based training for employees, however, providers can update the materials on a regular basis with no interruption to your service. As new technology develops and standard procedures are revised, the WBT materials can be updated remotely without you having to make any changes yourself.

Interactive Modules

Another significant benefit of web based training, according to AllBusiness.com, is the interactive nature of WBT modules. Students can communicate with one another and with instructors over the Internet and from inside the WBT training program. This is a major advantage over CBT programs and videos or print materials because students have a built-in support system.

Indeed, many WBT providers will allow businesses to create their own networks for employees. This means that even if students are working in distant locations, they can still communicate with one another, with management and with instructors.

Learning Methods

A web based training program for employees allows business owners to incorporate all types of learning methods and styles into one program. Some people learn visually, while others prefer auditory and hands-on methods. WBT allows for all three.

If you are going to purchase a web based training program, or if you'd prefer to create one yourself, make sure you research the different platforms before making a decision. There are numerous options available on the market, some of which are more sophisticated than others, and you'll need to choose a WBT program that will benefit your employees.

Source:

AllBusiness.com, CBT vs. WBT

Websites for Procrastinators

Disclaimer: I do not condone or endorse using your time on the clock to aimlessly surf the internet…actually I don't care what you do at work but if you get caught it's your fault, not mine. I bear no responsibility.

One thing the internet has allowed us to do is spend time doing something besides the thing we're supposed to be doing. Why work on that TPS report when you can watch a cat leap into a mirror? Of course, work does need to come first, but sometimes you just need a few minutes to browse and give your brain a chance to relax. As long as you can get yourself to get back to work, there is nothing wrong with doing a little web surfing on the side.

Sadly, checking your email doesn't do the trick. You need more, well wait no longer because I've got a good list of sites to peruse when you need something to lighten up your day.

The first is Livejournal. It's a blogging site, but it can get rather addictive. You'll just login to check for updates only to find that someone posts a new entry or comment just as you log out, which in turn makes you want to log back in to see what you missed. It also gives you a place to vent if you're having a bad day.

There are of course the other "social networking sites" like Facebook and MySpace. They aren't as good as LJ as there is only so much you can do with these two sites, still they are pages that you can check on a regular basis to check for updates.

Another site is Ctrl Alt Del. This is a webcomic that is updated three times a week. If you're a gamer, than this is definitely worth checking out.

Another great webcomic is the Dinosaur comics found at Qwantz.com. Updated daily, this uses the same six panels only with different dialogue. There are a lot of "back issues" so if you do decide to check this out, keep that in mind as it took me several months to go through them all.

Like cute animals? Check out Icanhascheezburger.com there you will find things known as "lolcats". They are essentially pictures of animals with funny expressions or in odd poses with an amusing caption. The beauty of this site is that it links to a bunch of other spin off sites. After the lolcats, you can check out loldogs, lolcelebrities, lolpoliticians, and lolepicfails. It gives you a good break without being too time consuming.

The final website I submit for your approval is thatguywiththeglasses.com. I discovered this site recently but have been highly amused by the videos. From Nostalgia Critic to the Bum Reviews, these videos have often left me unable to breathe as I was laughing so hard. Some of these videos are rather long comparitively so this one might need to wait until you get home, but it is definitely worth checking out.

As long as wandering these websites doesn't consume your entire workday. I suggest browsing them occasionally when you're feeling stressed. Relaxation leads to better productivity and that will make you a better employee. Before you burn yourself out and raise your blood pressure even higher, just take a deep breath and spend a few minutes looking at all the amusing and entertaining things the internet has to offer.

Websites to Browse when You're Bored

Whether you're sitting at work with nothing to do, taking a break or simply looking for a way to spend some time, browsing the Internet is an easy option. The following Web sites are some of the best places to check out. That's because they're chock-full of laughs, humor, interesting information and beyond.

Nasa.gov: For those who are science-savvy (or simply have an appreciation for the Universe), this Web site is for you. Check out the NASA photograph of the day (and browse the archives) or read up on the latest news on NASA's blog.

LameBook.com: If you haven't jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, chances are this site won't do much for you. But if you're one of the millions of folks who are signed up and active on the social network, this is probably one of the funniest sites you could ever visit. Enjoy hundreds of funny screen shots from everyday people.

Reddit.com: Reddit is a unique web forum that pushes the most interesting topics to the front page and lets the less-interesting topics fall to the wayside. You can simply lurk on this site, checking out the various links, pictures and stories that users share. Or you can become an active member and engage in discussions about things that are posted.

PeopleOfWalmart.com: Going to Wal-Mart is a culture experience in itself. This Web site serves as an ode to the supermarket. The way it works is that normal, everyday people submit photographs of…interesting…characters browsing the aisles of Wal-Mart. You can submit your own or amuse yourself by browsing the Web sites pages.

ChatRoulette.com
: ChatRoulette has become a viral Internet sensation. So long as you're not at work and able to stomach some less-than-appealing views (some nudity), you may be able to find some interesting people who are trying to waste some time as well. Since people from all over the world use the site, there's the potential to meet people from Italy, France, Japan, Africa and all over the United States. If you don't have a Web cam on your computer, you can get your fix by checking out this Web site: BestOfChatRoulette.com.

How Web 2.0 Will Change Your Life

WHAT IS WEB 2.0 EXACTLY?
It seems like yesterday that I first sat down at my computer and went to Yahoo! to look for websites that pertained to horror movies so I could find out where to get the best DVD's at the lowest price on the world wide web. That was back in 1995, and I was considered a latecomer to the fast growing computer sensation called the internet.

Twelve years later we are finally seeing the first internet sites that are taking advantage of new technology that the web 2.0 will be bringing us more and more as we get closer to 2020. Web 2.0 could be defined as new ways in which burgeoning software technology is being used to develop new internet sites that focus more on social bookmarking, wikis and folksonomies which are mainly ways in which thousands of people can share information more easily than ever before.

WHAT WILL WEB 2.0 DO FOR ME?
Imagine that you are an expert in the field of astronomy. A fellow astronomer who belongs to a web group that you belong to as well, subscribes to a clipping service that Google news has developed for astronomers looking for new photographs of the Milky Way and other solar systems nearby. That astronomer instructs the service to scan thousands of web sites and news sites for any new pictures of a distant planet called "Nectar" that he just viewed once in some other astronomer's high-powered telescope.

Once the astronomer has received over a dozen new and exciting images of this new planet in his e-mail, he then pastes the best new images in his blog site that you already have bookmarked because you belong to the same bookmarking site that he does. Once you like what you see, you can then go to Digg and make sure all those subscribers see the new images. After that you go to Stumble it! and give the "thumbs up" there so those subscribers see it as well. Your great benefit from Web 2.0 will come from this new ability to share everything that you love to your fellow astronomers as well as to those outside your tight circle of friends and fellow co-workers.

WEB 2.0 WILL BE FAR MORE INFORMATION FRIENDLY THAN THE PRESENT WEB
With the more traditional web, you have to seek out new links and bookmark them on your own internet browser every single day when you are web surfing or needing to gather more info on whatever you are trying to do research on. With all of the new website technology that is being developed for web 2.0 usage, that will all be entirely unnecessary.

One small piece of information, such as those new pictures of planet Nectar, will be able to flow through an entire system of personal websites and business websites within a few hours. You could actually equate the difference between web 1.0 and web 2.0 as being the same as the difference between the desert and the rain forest. In a desert environment all the solar energy is lost in the dry sand and horrible emptiness of the desert itself. The rain forest, however, wastes little energy that the sun is expending on it and runs massive nutrient cycles as well. That's the kind of energy that the web 2.0 will be able to give back to all the users who will be developing new and exciting internet platforms for it to run on.

TURN 2-D INTO 3-D
Web 2.0 will also allow all new programmers to be able to take old 2-D images of pictures such as Saturn and turn them into 3-D images very easily once they get their hands on new photographic technology such as NASA's new image capturing device called Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) which recently took a 3-D image of the sun so that scientists could get a better grasp of all the capabilities of the sun itself.

With web 2.0, scientists will be able to take that 3-D image and embed it into the NASA web site so that all web surfers around the world can view the image in 3-D with no problem at all.

GREAT NEWS FOR ALL CONTENT WRITERS
Getting your new articles to crop up in more established web sites and blog sites will be far easier when you can use web 2.0 to list your best articles far easier than before. If your particular niche is in writing about tornado formations and hurricane information, for example, you will be able to bookmark your articles and send them on there way to huge blog sites and news sites that would not know anything about your article or blog before web 2.0 came along.

In the years to come, a lot more social bookmarking sites will spring up all over the world wide web because it only takes a few engineers to come up with new software that takes advantage of all the new technology that web 2.0 will bring them. What these new sites will do is take article sharing and blog postings to a new level of interactivity so that all of our future articles and blog content will get through to the people who need them most and will take the time out to read our web content in a much more thorough manner.

How to Get into Blocked Websites in School

These days, with security concerns at corporations and schools at an all time high, it’s not an enjoyable time to get hooked on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. These are usually the very first websites that school security admins will ban. However, if you consider the rationale, it makes very little sense. This forces people to start searching for how to get into blocked websites in school or at work, such as the solution offered in this guide, Elearning PHP Roxy.

While security IT administrators will explain that they are blocking social networking sites for the sake of protecting computer equipment from and hackers, everyone knows the real reason. Schools and companies want to block you from your favorite social network so that you don’t “waste time.”

How to Get Into Blocked Websites in School With Elearning PHP Roxy

In this day and age, people shouldn’t have to search frantically for some way to “hide” their attempts to check out the status of friends on Facebook or to see what’s coming in from family on Twitter. Really – what’s the big deal? Are schools and corporations really that concerned that folks are going to spend their entire days being non-productive? I would counter that if you allow people to stay “in-touch” with their friends and family through these social networks, you will have a more content, happy, and productive work force and student population.

With that in mind, please read on to learn how you, as a student or a worker, can take what’s rightfully yours in spite of the nasty security IT professional who thinks he’s god. This is a guide to Elearning PHP Roxy, an obscure site that few people know about (until now), where mostly students go in order to surf the Internet however they like. Now, you too can take advantage of this cool resource. Until, of course, your school IT security dude reads this article…sorry!

What is Elearning PHP Roxy?

The thing with trying to figure out how to get into blocked websites in school is that it’s virtually impossible when your IT security adminstrator is blocking every proxy site known to man. You could always set up your home PC as a proxy server, as described at MakeUseOf (a major geek site), but it requires a lot of technical know-how, and how many people are really capable of that kind of computer setup?

Well, the folks at Elearning have come up with a solution, albeit probably a temporary one. This website is registered with a “.edu” in the domain (although it ends with “.tr”) and it also doesn’t use “proxy” in the url, instead it uses “pxy.” What’s the magical url where you can take advantage of this secret proxy? Well, for now it’s at the Elearning PHP Roxy website. However, before long school administrators and corporate IT security weenies will likely learn about this approach, so when they do, you can return back to this guide and try out a few other options to bypass the evil Internet firewall at school or at work.

Top 10 Ways To Access Blocked Websites From School

The following list will provide you with an entire collection of things you can try in order to “trick” the firewall at school or work. See, the point isn’t to access sites “from” school – it’s to creep through the firewall to a legitimate looking website, only to use that site or PC as a bouncing point where you can access any site that you want. Didn’t think it’s possible to trick the school or work firewall? Think again.

Proxy Jumping: Access one of the thousands of proxy servers until it’s blocked, and then switch to another.

Home Grown Proxy: Using the approach mentioned above, you can install free proxy server software on your home PC, and tell your router to forward Internet traffic on a certain port to your PC, where your Proxy software routes the traffic back to the Internet. Sound complicated? It can be…

PHP Roxy: A PHP Proxy site, jokingly called PHP “roxy” due to the fact that that naming convention won’t alert the firewall filters, is a website configured using PHP simply to route incoming traffic through a proxy so that you can browse the web through a web-based proxy interface.

Home Grown PHP Roxy: Find that your school or work is blocking sites like the Elearning PHP Roxy site? That’s when you need to consider installing Apache on your home PC to set it up as a web server, and installing PHProxy on your own web host. If you access your private PHP Roxy server sparingly, hopefully the firewall folks won’t even notice.

Can I Get In Trouble?

The simple fact of the matter is that if you’re going to consider bypassing Internet filters at school or at work, then you’re signing up as a soldier on the battlefield for Internet freedom and Independence. That also means there’s going to be casualties. Yes – you can get caught, and you can get in trouble. How much of a risk you’re willing to take really depends on how badly you want to check your Facebook account, or quickly log into your Gmail account, or a number of other legitimate Internet uses. The IT Security madness has gotten out of hand, and you owe it to yourself and to every person out there who loves social networking and the Internet in general. Your battlecry should be – Freedom of the Internet for All!

Good luck, good soldier. And may your Internet travels be safe and free from IT security harassment.

Bridesdecide.com – New Website to Get Brides and Future Brides Interested in Politics

As anyone that is married knows, a lot of things are on your mind when you are preparing for the wedding. It's a pretty good bet that politics is not an issue that is near the top of your list of concerns. With the elections around the corner bridesdecide.com can help though. This is a website that was created by the people behind theknot.com and wedddingchannel.com. Its intended audience is brides in the age group from their mid 20's through their mid 30's. The website allows brides to vote in polls on political issues and provides them with backgrounds on the political candidates.

The website includes plenty of political options for brides to be or anyone else visiting the website. There are sections with information on the stances of the political candidates on the issues, and an opportunity for members to register to vote. Members of the site can also discuss politics with other brides on the website. The website also allows the brides to participate in surveys and see how they feel as a group on certain issues. One other feature that is nice for people planning a wedding and not having the time to keep up with politics as much as they want is a political schedule including information on primaries and caucuses in each state as well as party conventions and the events leading up to the national election.

All fun and no play though makes for a very boring website. That is why bridesdecide.com has a section on the website for a little bit of fun for it's members. This is a section that includes information about the various candidates, including serious and fun facts about their actual weddings. Some of this information includes obscure trivia items such as the color of the tux worn by the groom at these political weddings. It also tells members where the candidates were married, and even has photographs for some of their weddings online.

Some may say that there is it's not right to mix romance and politics. Well bridesdecide.com has made a different decision on that issue and feels it's perfectly acceptable for these two topics to intermingle. The website has a lot of information, but the most entertaining sections of the website include the message boards and the section with the facts about the candidates weddings. The website combines just enough information to inform, along with enough entertainment to keep the visitors coming back for repeat visits to the website.

The Busy Person's Guide to Finding a Free Web Space and Hosting Service

Making a decision to have your own free web site is easy. Finding which web building site and host to use may take a little longer. With so many options available, and can take some time and some foresight to know which service will be best for you.

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a free web space and web hosting service It is less time-consuming and less frustrating to figure out which features you need before you start. Otherwise you will find yourself with half-built and abandoned web pages across the net.

  1.  Design

Are you just looking for a free service that supplies customizable templates? If you select one of these free web space services, you will need to find a free or paid web host.

  1.  Design Plus Hosting

For many beginners and intermediate users, finding a service where you can build a web site using a template, and where you can also host it for free, may be the easiest and the quickest way to build your first web site.

  1.  Blog or Web Site

Although the line is blurred on some sites, some free services are suited either more for a blog or for an actual web site. Select a free blogging service if you truly want a blog that you will updating daily or more. If you need a more traditional web page, go for a free web space and host that is for web sites, and is not for blogs.

  1.  Image Hosting

When you want to include a lot of photos on your site, you may want to select a free service that also hosts photo hosting. Another option is to select a hosting service that allows easy integration of your photos from flickr or Photobucket or other photo site.

  1.  HTML or no HTML

If you do not know any HTML, do not choose a free service that requires you to know it. However, using services that do not allow you to directly modify or access the HTML may prove limiting down the road. The best bet may be to choose a free service that does not require any knowledge of HTML, but does allow you to modify the HTML code if you need to do that.

  1.  Templates that You Like

There is no point in selecting a free web space service that does not have templates that you like. Find one that has more than one template you like, in case you want to change your design later on.

  1.  Space

Most free hosting services will let you know how much space you are allowed. A common amount seems to be 50 mbs or 50 mbs of space.

  1.  Bandwidth

Bandwidth may also be important when choosing a free web space and hosting service, especially if you are expecting a lot of traffic. Most free hosts have a monthly (or other) bandwidth limit.

  1.  Pages

Not all site design and hosting sites allow you an unlimited number of pages. Most blogging sites, on the other hand, do allow an unlimited number of pages.

  1.  Community Aspect

Some "old school" hosting services are slowly adding more community aspects to their sites, to encourage interactivity among their users. New blogging and hosting sites have community aspects built in.

  1.  RSS or Feeds

If including RSS or feeds on your site is important, make sure the design template allows for it, and the site will host it. Some hosts and blogging sites are very limited on which RSS or feeds can be included.

  1.  Advertising

When planning on using Google AdSense, or placing banner ads on the pages, check to see if the design template will accommodate them, and if the host will allow it.

  1.  Widgets

Placing widgets on the pages can add some fun and useful aspects to your site. Not all design or hosting services allow widgets. Some services limit which widgets can be placed and where. Other services give the end user more freedom.

Decide which of these page elements are important before signing up for a free web site.

Managing Images in Web Easy Professional Express

In this guide, I am going to walk you through the steps of managing your website images in Web Easy Professional Express. This guide will show you how to rotate your images, apply effects to your images, adjust the brightness of your images, and more. To get started with this guide, you will need to load your program and open the webpage with the image you want to edit. If you do not already have an image on your webpage, you will need to insert one before you can begin using this guide.

Rotating Website Images in Web Easy Professional Express

We will begin this guide with rotating your website images. Click the image to select it. Then click the Rotate button at the top of your program. When the box opens, select the rotation option you want to use and click the OK button. You can also grab the box coming off of the image and rotate it with your mouse.

Cropping Your Website Images in Web Easy Professional Express

Next, I will show you how to crop your images. Click your image to select it. Then click the Crop button at the top of your program. A box will open and you will need to move the arrows in the corners to cut out the part you do not want. Once the part you want to cut is in gray, click the OK button at the bottom of the box. The image will be cropped and you will be returned to your webpage.

Adjusting the Brightness of Images in Web Easy Professional Express

Now I will show you how to adjust the brightness of your photos. Click the photo to select it. Then click the effects button at the top of your program. Now click the Brightness option in the panel on the left. You will then need to click the color of your choice on the right. You can also move that bar below the panel to help out some. You can click OK on the box when you are ready to apply it.

Applying Effects to Website Images in Web Easy Professional Express

To apply images, you will need to open the effects box again. This time, you will need to select an effect and click the On button on the right side of the box. Then click OK to apply it and close the box.