Boost Your Web Sales With Streaming Audio

Boost Your Web Sales With Streaming Audio

by: Steve Nichols

What do you do with your intranet or internet site once you’ve added words and pictures? How about adding audio as well?

Audio is friendly, direct and ideally suited to getting complex messages across in a short space of time.

Itกs now getting easier to add audio to the net, thanks to increasing bandwidths and innovative new ways of compressing data.

The problem has been that CDquality audio has traditionally been the preserve of ISDN and ADSLequipped users. Basically, there has been too much data to fit down the pipe.

But, borrowing on the same techniques that are used to compress digital photographic images, it is now possible to compress sound to make it fit down a standard dialup 56KBps modem line.

The trick is to compress the audio in a way that doesn’t sound offensive to the ear, but can still pass along the line at about 3 kilobytes per second, given that a dialup modem downloads at about 4ish kilobytes per second.

The next trick is to use streaming technology that can start to play the audio while it is still downloading. As a long as it is downloads fast enough you don’t get annoying stops and starts. You should also end up with a กbufferก. In many cases, the whole audio file will have downloaded long before the user has finished listening to it.

The volume of online streaming audio grew by 118 per cent last year, according to market researchers USbased AccuStream iMedia Research and the top ten internet radio stations received an average of 137.5m tuning hours in the same period, up from 63m in 2003.

Typical audio formats are Real’s Radio Player (as chosen by the BBC), the ubiquitous MP3 (as featured on thousands of youngster’s personal hifis) and Macromedia Flash.

MP3SoundStream (http://www.mp3soundstream.com/cgibin/cppro/go.cgi?snichols1) uses Flash and works well as 98% of computers already have the Flash plugin and the rest can easily download it. Flash takes the MP3 file, combines it with an audio controller button and streams it for you off any server, which means lowcost and ease of use.

So once you have the technology in place, what can you record? The answer is anything. Adding audio to an intranet lets you record a weekly message from the CEO or a sales message. Or why not have a weekly news roundup?

The audio can either be recorded straight into your PC via a microphone and soundcard, or recorded on a Minidisc recorder and then digitised into the computer. Once there you can add music, voiceovers, cuts and fades with a program like Adobe Audition or Sony Soundforge. Music can be bought online for just a few pounds and you can even use free audio editing programmes, like Audacity.

What was once the preserve of the BBC and other highend radio studios is now available on a desktop computer near you but only if you have the skills to match.

FAQs (291 words)

Q. What is streaming audio?

A. It is audio delivered to your computer that can be listened to while it is still downloading.

Q. What’s the advantage over other audio formats?

A. You don’t get an annoying delay while the whole file downloads.

Q. What do listeners need to have on their computer?

A. A soundcard and speaker(s) or headphones, their normal browser software and a socalled plugin – a small piece of software that converts the data into sound.

Q. This all sounds expensive. Is it?

A. Not really. You can get free programs to record your sound, a computer microphone costs less than a tenner and there are free audio editing programs available on the net. You then need to convert the audio file to a streaming format, but there is an increasing amount of software available to do that too. You also need to think about a MiniDisc recorder as these have superseded cassette tape for most applications. Royaltyfree background and intro music is available on CD and via the web for a small fee.

I recommend MP3SoundStream (http://www.mp3soundstream.com/cgibin/cppro/go.cgi?snichols1). Its great, very easy to use and only costs $39.95. Another alternative is Sound Streamer at $34.95 (http://hop.clickbank.net/?snichols/soundstrmr).

Q. What is the quality like?

A. Judge for yourself visit http://www.infotechcomms.co.uk/info10.htm and listen to the demonstration programmes. The trick is to get the quality as high as you can, but still make it playable on an average modemequipped home computer. Once everyone has broadband it will be CDquality for all.

Q. How do I find out more?

A. There is a great ebook available called Audio C4 (http://hop.clickbank.net/?snichols/audioc4). It only costs $29.95 and is worth its weight in gold. There is a list of other useful links at http://www.infotechcomms.co.uk/info11.htm

ENDS

Publishing Guidelines:

You may freely reprint this article in a print or online magazine, ezine, or newsletter provided you leave the byline intact. Please don’t change the content.

About The Author

Steve Nichols is a freelance journalist who runs InfoTech Communications (www.infotechcomms.co.uk). A background in radio means that Steve was ideally placed to take advantage of the arrival of streaming audio via the web.

steve@infotechcomms.co.uk

This article was posted on December 17, 2004

by Steve Nichols

BT Broadband

BT Broadband

by: Neil Shevlin

Approximately 4 million people in the UK use ADSL with an extra 2 million using a cable connection, meaning 6 million people in the UK have an alwayson internet connection. Of these over 1.7 million are subscribed to BT’s broadband package, making them the UK’s main broadband provider.

Back in August 2000 BT first launched its highspeed internet connection to customers. Initially only available to around one third of UK households and costing £500 a year it was the first step in many to Broadband Britain.

There are currently only 2 ways to connect to ADSL in the UK. Recently a technique called Local Loop Unbundling means you don’t need to have a BT phone line, but at the moment only 1% of people on broadband in the UK use this method. The only other way to connect transforms an existing BT phone line into a highspeed digital line. This is only available with a BT phone line though, so even if you don’t subscribe to BT’s package your ISP still has to pay BT money to maintain and connect your line. Because of this BT has been able to dictate the availability of broadband in the UK for a few years now.

For fear that UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom would breakup the company because they held a monopoly by owning all the phone lines and means to connect to broadband, BT has agreed to offer rival companies access to the ขLocal Loopข, which is the network of telephone lines around the country. By doing this BT could stand to lose many customers as other companies can offer their broadband directly and without having to pay BT expenses.

Since the introduction of ADSL in the UK many potential customers found their local exchanges were simply out of date and the lines too old to be able to handle this new technology. Campaigns run countrywide as BT will only upgrade exchanges if there is adequate interest. ADSL is still not available in many villages and more rural areas of Britain but BT is vastly expanding and upgrading its network to try and cover all the country, Broadband is currently available in more than 96.6% of all UK households.

BT’s standard package is 2Mbps with a 1 GB monthly download limit. This means you can only download 1 GB’s worth of content, be it WebPages, music or movies, a month. This is more than enough for typical WebPages, but excessive music downloads will result in your account being suspended or limited for the rest of the month. You can upgrade your broadband to a 15 GB monthly limit for a little extra a month. BT also offers Pay As You Go dialup and unlimited dialup contracts.

BT Broadband also offers a variety of packages and upgrades designed to suit every user. You can upgrade to a gaming account to play xbox and PS2 games online, you can setup parental filters for your children, and there’s protection against spam, junk mail, popups, virus’s and online intruders.

One of the main reasons people will continue to signup to BT is its reliability. They have broken the mould of all ISPs having poor customer service and are incredibly helpful with setting up your connection.

BT are aiming to trail their 8Mbps connection soon, intending it to be in common use by the end of the year. BT’s ultimate goal is making broadband available throughout the country, including rural areas.

About The Author

Neil Shevlin is the owner of UK Cheap Broadband which is a great place to find broadband links, resources and articles.

For more information go to: UK Cheap Broadband www.ukcheapbroadband

© Copyright 2005

Please feel free to copy and paste this article and itกs resource information.

This article was posted on August 18

by Neil Shevlin

ขSuper Adjectivesข Boost the Power of Your Copy

ขSuper Adjectivesข Boost the Power of Your Copy

by: Karon Thackston

Pretty or elegant? Good or scrumptious? Nice or delightful? There is power in the adjectives you choose. Just like Clark Kent and Superman or Bruce Wayne and Batman, some adjectives are plain, ordinary, everyday words. Others are alterego Super Adjectives that leap into your customers’ minds in a single bound. Adjectives are boring, but Super Adjectives impress, inspire, and convince your customers more effectively.

Look at these examples to see what I mean:

Before

Great Top for Hot Summer Days

When it’s hot outside, this top will help keep you cool. Made of cool nylon, you’ll love how it sheds moisture. Available in four pastel colors.

After

Perfect Tank Top for Hot Summer Days

When the temperatures are steamy outside, this tank will help keep you remarkably cool. Made of breathable 100% nylon, you’ll love how it sheds moisture. Available in four springfresh colors.

See the difference? The latter paints a more vivid picture of the tank top than the former.

Try this…

Before

The Prestige Collection is a unique selection of ceiling fans available at Hastings Home Center. The Prestige Collection offers all the quality craftsmanship, and dependable performance, you expect from Hastings along with styles so pretty they take ceiling fans to the next level – and dress your home for any occasion.

After

The Prestige Collection is a distinctive selection of elegantly designed ceiling fans available exclusively at Hastings Home Center. The Prestige Collection offers all the expert craftsmanship, and whisperquiet performance, you expect from Hastings. In addition, you get styles so stunning they take ceiling fans to the next level – and exceptionally dress your home for any occasion.

What’s the difference? Why are the ขaftersข so much more powerful than the ขbeforesข? Because compelling adjectives were used. Adjectives let the reader know more about the product and develop a connection with it. But boring ordinary adjectives aren’t the answer. You need Super Adjectives to entice your readers. For example, instead of just ขcool nylon,ข we say ขbreathable nylon.ข The colors aren’t just ขpastel colors,ข they are ขspringfreshข colors. When you read that, you begin to envision what the colors look like. They aren’t deep, dark colors. They are delicate shades found during the springtime.

Instead of saying ขa unique selection,ข we said ขa distinctive selection.ข Rather than ขquality craftsmanship,ข it’s ขexpert craftsmanship.ข Not just ขdependable performance,ข but ขwhisperquiet performance.ข

Where do you find these Super Adjectives? They are all over the place! Here’s a short list. You can also visit free sites like http://www.thesaurus.com for more.

Adjectives vs. Super Adjectives

Appealing – attractive, alluring, fascinating

Best – excellent, unsurpassed, paramount

Cool – trendy, fashionable, hip

Different – unusual, exclusive, special

Easy – effortless, troublefree, userfriendly

Fabulous – tremendous, magnificent, remarkable

Handy – functional, ideal, wellsuited

Improved – enhanced, superior, refined

Leading – firstrate, topnotch, supreme

Mouthwatering – tasty, savory, succulent

New – innovative, fresh, inventive

Powerful – forceful, persuasive, compelling

Reliable – dependable, steadfast, trustworthy

Safe – secure, fully guarded, guaranteed

Unique – distinctive, rare, matchless

Vivid – vibrant, brilliant, stunning

Wonderful – magnificent, amazing, astonishing

Take some time to go beyond the ordinary. Find a few Super Adjectives to use in your copy in order to boost excitement and interest in the products/services you write about. That added attention Super Adjectives bring can easily correlate to additional sales.

By Karon Thackston © 2004

http://www.learncopywriting.com

About The Author

Tired of endlessly searching the ‘Net in hopes of finding the latest copywriting techniques? Need an uptodate directory filled with the best ways to learn copywriting? Visit http://www.learncopywriting.com today for the widest collection of the most popular copywriting resources available.

IF PUBLISHING ON A WEBSITE, USE THIS RESOURCE BOX:

Tired of endlessly searching the ‘Net in hopes of finding the latest copywriting techniques? Need an uptodate directory filled with the best ways to learn copywriting? Visit Learn Copywriting today for the widest collection of the most popular copywriting resources available.

This article was posted on October 05, 2004

by Karon Thackston

So, Is It Possible To Earn Free Money Online Fast?

So, Is It Possible To Earn Free Money Online Fast?

by: Gerardas Norkus

The answer is – yes! You can earn free money online fast, even without any web site or affiliate marketing. Youกll only need to invest some of YOUR time and a small amount of money.

It doesn’t matter if you are a stayathome Mom or Dad; a college student or a teacher; someone looking for a business opportunity; saving up for something special; or you just need to pay off some bills. The bottom line is this you could use an extra source of income, right?

To begin here are some quick Questions & Answers you may have about free Internet cash:

Q: How much money can I make?

A: Several hundred. It depends only on YOU.

Q: How fast?

A: Youกll have the money in your bank no later then 3 months. Usually, on average it should take about 2 months.

Q: Can anyone do it?

Yes, but in this article I will explain how to earn free money online only if you are: from the USA, you have a credit card, and you can invest some small money in order to make much, much more.

SIDEBAR

If one thing is for sure, itกs that nothing out there is totally free. (And if someone says it is, they’re probably selling something.) Whatever business online or offline in order to make money you must invest some first. And I will tell you shortly where and how to do that. Just keep reading on…

Q: Is it safe to use my credit card?

A: Yes, absolutely.

Q: Must I have a web site or a list?

A: Nope. If you are from the USA and if you have a credit card, you can start earning free money online immediately.

OK, enough of playing the questions and answers game. Your only question left by now must be…

Where And How Do I Get The Free Cash?

The short answer is using online rewards programs.

Don’t know what a rewards program is? A rewards program pays cash for all your actions: completing offers, shopping, reading emails, referring your friends, and more. You can visit http://www.cash4offers.com and see what a typical rewards program looks like and how it works.

Now I guess there should be two categories of readers. The internet กnewbiesก, who will say they don’t understand how it all works; and the internet gurus who will say that all reward programs are scams.

Wait! I will prove to you that they work in a moment; and that you can make not only extra cash but receive some great stuff too.

To get started making money with incentive companies, one needs to create an account with a rewards program like Cash4Offers. You will need an email address to sign up…

Worried about your privacy and spam? Please don’t! They will never send you spam, you can cancel anytime, and the email address is only used to track all of your actions when you complete offers, shop, etc. Thatกs how they know who to pay the free money.

Hey, in most cases you will get a signup bonus just for signing up!

And now, Iกll explain to you…

How to Earn Free Money Online Completing Offers?

Here is the Cash4Offers offers section link: http://www.cash4offers.com/offers.php?c=ALL&email=&uid=

If you click on the above link you can see that there are many various offers available, ranging from credit card applications to internet service provider deals. And, they all will pay a certain amount of cash to your Cash4Offers account if you accept them… But, just to warn you, most of the offers will require that you use your credit card. Thatกs why I told you about the money youกll need to invest in the beginning. Not to worry though, you can definitely make more than you spend, and most of the offers are great trial deals where you can receive not only free cash but top merchandise too.

There were total of 111 offers available when I wrote this article on 22/11/2004.

SIDEBAR

Make sure to login to your account and access the offers from the memberกs area when completing the offers so that your cash is credited to your account.

If you wonder where the free money comes from, here is the answer incentive companies are affiliated with top online merchants (advertisers), and the merchants pay a commission for advertising their products and services. Rewards companies pass the majority of the commission they make on to YOU, the customer, when you accept their offers!

And here is my promise to you…

A Proof You Can Earn Free Money Online

Please open or download the following excel file to your computer: http://www.cash4offers.com/offers_rewards.xls

As you can see I have selected only the offers that interested me from the first 3 pages of all available offers at Cash4Offers. And look what my earnings potential is I can make $65.40 after completing only 13 offers (approximately $5.00 for each offer), and receive a bunch of great merchandise too! Remember there were 111 offers available. Imagine how much I could earn if I completed all of the offers?!

It doesn’t matter if you have already signed up with a rewards program or not, I advise you to explore all available offers and use the above excel file as a template in order to evaluate your earnings potential. Just click on each offer that interests you and make notes of all offer details how much you earn, how much you have to invest, your profit, the merchandise you receive, and your total profit. Use the template every time you decide to complete offers online.

It really helps to decide which offers are the best choice for you and what you will receive by completing each of them. Of course, although there are well over one hundred offers available, you should complete only the ones that really interest you. You are not going to apply for all available credit card offers, or get a free trial of all ISPs, are you? My guess is that you should be able to make about $200 $500 by completing all of the offers that interest you.

SIDEBAR

How long does it take to receive cash for completing the offers? Well, some offers pay instantly! And some may take up to 30 days (e.g. some credit card applications) before you receive your cash to your reward programกs account.

If you don’t receive the cash from the offer within 30 days of accepting it, you should contact the rewards program and send them all of the details related to the offer:

The date of offer completion

The confirmation email

Your contact info: name, email address, phone number etc.

Usually the rewards company will do the investigation for you and if you really completed the offer (offers) they will credit your account with the offer cash amount within about 3 weeks.

Got your cash in your account? Great! Whatกs next? Now, the last step…

Request Payment & Verify Your Account

Why do reward programs ask you to verify your account by phone or mail? The answer is simply this they are trying to protect their advertisers and themselves from fraud.

So, request your payment either by check or another method if available, and expect a phone call several days before your payment is processed. You should receive your payment in about a week or two!

Well, it was easy making free cash on the internet, wasn’t it? But your earning potential doesn’t stop there, you could make even more by receiving cashback for shopping or referring your friends. But thatกs another story for the next article.

P.S. FYI, you can choose to receive great free stuff like computers, TVs, gift cards and much more instead of free cash, again, by completing offers. Visit http://www.1stinrewards.com for more information about all available online rewards that you can take advantage of.

About The Author

Gerardas Norkus is a successful author and publisher of http://www.1stinrewards.com. Great tips on receiving free merchandise and money from top online rewards programs.

(c) Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.

Publishing Guidelines: You may freely distribute or publish this article provided you publish the whole article and include the copyright notice and links in full. A courtesy copy is requested upon publication.

articles@1stinrewards.com

This article was posted on November 22, 2004

by Gerardas Norkus

Office Golf For SysAdmins Made Easy

Office Golf For SysAdmins Made Easy

by: Roxana Danaila

The InfoSecurity New York fair is hosting today the launch of BitDefender for CommuniGate Pro 1.6.1, a gateway security solution that scans all incoming email for spam and viruses.

The new packages include an upgrade function to ensure that previous installations are preserved and the old settings are properly imported. Upgrade from versions 1.5.6 and 1.6.0 is supported.

กOne of the major changes from version 1.6.0 is a new patch management tool we affectionately call BitDefender Swiss Army kniFE (bdsafe). Itกs capable of patching any and all installed BitDefender components, whereas before this had to be done manually, by the system administrator. In true Linux tradition, we have kept the manual patching option as a default, but administrators can now just set BitDefender for CommuniGate Pro 1.6.1 to patch itself automatically, whenever a patch is made available. This, we hope, will leave them with more time available for other productive activities, such as office golf.ก declared Mircea Mitu, BitDefender Business Line Manager.

The product also features Update Pushing, a technology found in all the BitDefender Linux mail server security solutions since 1.6. This is a subscription service, by which installed BitDefender products can be ordered to download updates the minute they become available, instead of updating on a preset schedule. This service has been shown to reduce the กwindow of vulnerabilityก in case of new virus epidemics.

The antispam filters can now be automatically updated over the internet in the same manner as the virus signatures and scanning engines. 3 antispam technologies are provided: an improved heuristic filter, WhiteList/BlackList, URL Filter. Additional filters, such as an Image Filter, will be added as part of the regular update process, at no extra cost to customers.

BitDefender for CommuniGate Pro 1.6.1 is available in formats fitting all major Linux distributions and is a certified RedHat Ready application.

About The Author

BitDefender™ provides security solutions to satisfy the protection requirements of todayกs computing environment, delivering effective threat management for over 38 million home and corporate users in more than 100 countries. BitDefender(tm) Antivirus is certified by all the major independent reviewers in the antivirus field ICSA Labs, CheckMark and Virus Bulletin.

Website: http://www.bitdefender.com

This article was posted on December 09, 2004

by Roxana Danaila

Searching For The Right ISP?

Searching For The Right ISP?

by: Neil Shevlin

When searching for the right ISP there are a number of items to look at. How much is it going to cost me? What is the connection like? What are the Features? Is it available in my area? You will soon find that there are many ISP’s to choose from. So, it is beneficial for you to pick the right internet service provider.

The cost is probably the most important aspect to most subscribers. Yet, many are not willing to put up with the low quality provided by free ISP’s. This leaves them looking for low cost ISP’s. The best way to find the lower cost ISP’s is to search for them. Most of the ISP’s you are going to see advertising are going to be a bit higher than those who do not have as much advertising. A search of the internet may help you find some of these ISP’s.

Although the price may be right, if your connection is weak you may not to go with that ISP. This can happen because problems with the cable or phone lines are common with the ISP. It can also occur if your ISP has a large volume of users trying to access the internet at the same time. This is particularly true with dialup ISP’s that do not have enough phone numbers. Also you want to make sure that the ISP is compatible for the tasks you want to do. For instance, AOL users sometimes have problems with some aspects of the net. This is because the program that runs AOL is so dominating. If you frequent certain sites, they may list ISP’s that have problems using the site. This usually applies to sites that have music, video and effects but don’t really apply to straight text.

The features are also important. In fact, if you don’t want to be frustrated with popups you may find yourself drawn to ISP’s that offer popup blockers and virus protection. You may be worried about your children surfing the web. A feature to block adult sites may be what you are looking for in that case. ISP’s are coming up with new features all the time so you really do have some choices here.

Another important aspect is availability. Not all ISP’s are widely available. This is especially true for ISP’s that are free or low cost. Even if an ISP is available in your area, there may not be an available local phone number. When you use your dialup modem with a long distance number you may incur long distance charges while you are on the net. In addition, if there are local numbers but not many of them, you may have trouble connecting to the internet.

About The Author

Neil Shevlin is the owner of UK Broadband Review which is a great place to find broadband links, resources and articles. For more information go to: http://www.ukbroadbandreview.com

www.ukbroadbandreview.com © Copyright 2005

Please feel free to copy and paste this article and itกs resource information.

This article was posted on August 09

by Neil Shevlin

The Search Engine Showdown

The Search Engine Showdown

by: Courtney Heard

If you’re anything like me, you have a favourite search engine and you’re loyal to it. You never use any others (which made this research difficult for yours truly), insist yours is the beall and endall and you even go so far as to deny any shortcomings it may have. But is your search engine truly the best? Inspired by a great article at the BBC News (BBC News: Search Wars), we decided to compare the major search engines. Hereกs what we found.

We chose the search term ‘real estate fijiก because itกs a competitive industry and geographically specific. We also searched with the same phrase, misspelled to see if the search engine would suggest the correct spelling.

Google

Initially loading the search page for Google is lightning fast.

The look is clean and easy to understand.

Search time was 0.15 seconds.

The search yielded 1,190,000 results.

All results on the first page were relevant.

Spellcheck was available.

Yahoo!

Initially loading the search page for Yahoo! is a little bit slower than Google, but still fast.

Search time was 0.18 seconds.

The search yielded 711,000 results.

It is difficult to tell the sponsored links from the actual web results.

All results on the first page were relevant, however one of them directed you to another set of results for your search at DMOZ.org.

Spellcheck was available.

AskJeeves

Initially loading the search page for AskJeeves is fast.

Search time was not posted and was much slower than Google & Yahoo!.

The search yielded 63,100 results.

Sponsored links take up the whole screen. You have to scroll down to see the web results.

All first page results were relevant.

Spellcheck was available.

A9.com

Initially loading the search page for A9 is fast.

Search time was not posted but was average.

The search yielded 209,000 results.

All the results on the first page were relevant.

There were image results alongside the text results. This could be helpful.

Spellcheck was available.

MSN

Initially loading the search page for MSN is fast.

Search time was not posted but was average.

The search yielded 112,607 results.

All except one of the results were relevant. This result pointed to Philippines real estate. Also, one the results directed you to DMOZ, where a second search for your keywords is performed.

Spellcheck was available.

Alexa

Initially loading the search page for Alexa was fast.

Search time was not posted but was somewhat slow.

The search yielded 208,000 results.

It was difficult to tell the sponsored results from the web results.

Some results included screen shots.

The look was kind of disorganized.

Spellcheck was available.

AltaVista

Initially loading the search page for AltaVista is fast.

Search time was not posted but was a sliver slower than Google.

The search yielded 736,000 results.

The sponsored results take up almost the entire screen. You have to scroll to get to the good stuff.

The results are all relevant, though one redirects you to DMOZ, where a second search for your keywords is performed.

Spellcheck was available.

Lycos

Initially loading the search page for Lycos is fast.

Search time was not posted but was rather slow.

The search yielded 114,356 results.

The sponsored results take up almost the entire screen. Once again, you have to scroll to get to the good stuff.

All the results are relevant although 2 of them redirect you to DMOZ.org.

Spellcheck was available.

Excite

Initially loading the search page for Excite is slow.

Search time was not posted but was rather slow.

The search yielded 114,356 results.

All the results on the first page were relevant.

The look of the site was clean.

Spellcheck was available.

HotBot

Initially loading the search page for HotBot is fast.

Search time was not posted but was fast.

The search yielded 114,389 results.

The sponsored results take up almost the entire screen. Once again, you have to scroll to get to the good stuff.

All the results are relevant although 1 of them redirects you to DMOZ.org.

Spellcheck was available.

AllTheWeb

Initially loading the search page for AllTheWeb is fast.

Search time was not posted, but was fast.

The search yielded 679,000 results.

It is difficult to tell the sponsored results from the web results.

An offensive content filter was available.

All the results are relevant although 1 of them redirects you to DMOZ.org.

Spellcheck was not available.

Looksmart

Initially loading the search page for Looksmart is fast.

Search time was not posted but was rather slow.

The search yielded 300 results.

There were 3 completely irrelevant results on the first page.

The look of the site was clean.

Spellcheck was not available.

Jayde

Initially loading the search page for Jayde is somewhat slow.

Search time was not posted but was average.

The search yielded 60,424 results.

There were quite a few irrelevant results.

The look of the site was clean.

Spellcheck was not available.

So, whatกs the conclusion? My favorite search engine is the best. All hail Google! … Alright, alright, some of the others are pretty cool, too.

About The Author

Courtney Heard is the founder of Abalone Designs, an Internet Marketing and SEO company in Vancouver, Canada. She has been involved in web development and marketing since 1995 and has helped start several businesses since then in the Vancouver area. More of Courtneyกs articles are available at www.abalone.ca/resources/.

This article was posted on January 04

by Courtney Heard

10 Sensible Steps To Take Before Choosing Your Dom

10 Sensible Steps To Take Before Choosing Your Domain Name

by: Emma Kalson

With such a huge growth in the number of websites and the resulting difficulty in finding an available domain name, it is tempting to grab the first one that sounds like it might do the trick. However, a small amount of homework will pay big dividends – follow the ten steps below to obtain the optimal domain:

1. AVAILABILITY

If it’s not available you can’t have it – simple!

2. COPYRIGHT

Ensure that you do not breach copyright or infringe trademarks with your choice of domain.

3. EXTENSIONS

It’s widely acknowledged that the best TLD (top level domain) is .com. However, in the UK, web users are more than used to .co.uk so this is equally acceptable for UK websites. If .com isn’t available and you use .net instead (for example), check that .com isn’t either a competitor or that the .com site content is acceptable! Always try to get the .com, your country TLD or .net in that order. Web users are still not used to .biz or .info.

4. BE GREEDY!

If more than one TLD variant is available, buy as many as you can afford and set them all to point to your website. This is a form of brand protection and prevents unscrupulous competitors trying to cash in on your hardearned web traffic.

5. BE MEMORABLE

Make sure that potential web users will remember your domain name and that they can spell it properly.

6. BE PRONOUNCABLE

Try telling people your web address over the phone – can they understand what you tell them? Or do they give up and try someone else’s website.

7. BE DESCRIPTIVE

If you are a new business, very few people will remember or search for your domain name if it is your company name. Try choosing a domain name that is descriptive of your products instead e.g. cheap>.com. Try testing it with a hyphen as well as using just one word.

8. OFFLINE MARKETING

Use your domain name in your offline marketing literature and ensure that it is as visible as possible. However, if your domain name consists of more than one word, that isn’t hyphenated, try using capital letters e.g. which is easier to read – littlefishwebdesign.com or LittleFishWebDesign.com? Domain names are not case sensitive so your clients will find your site whichever version they use.

9. BUY YOUR DOMAIN FOR LONGER

Search engines are now looking at less obvious information such as how long you have bought your domain name for. Domain names owned for less than two years are though to be penalised, so buy your domain for as long as possible.

10. OWN YOUR DOMAIN NAME

If you use a web designer or third party for your domain names, ensure they are registered in your name and that you have a signed agreement with the company that they will release all the details (including password) to you, quibble free, if you choose to move to another design or hosting company.

About The Author

Emma Kalson is the owner of www.littlefishwebdesign.com and has been designing websites for about 10 years. She doesn’t believe in unnecessary bells and whistles on websites and wants to help remove some of the myths surrounding website design and search engine activity.

contact@littlefishwebdesign.com

This article was posted on August 03

by Emma Kalson

Steps to Create and Promote RSS Feeds

Steps to Create and Promote RSS Feeds

by: S. Housley

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication as it is commonly known, is a technology that gives webmasters the ability to easily distribute and publish syndicated content on the Internet. It seems like all Internet businesses now have RSS feeds available; at least your competitors do. You have finally made the decision that you have to have one. Where do you start?

Steps to Creating an RSS feed

1.) Build a Feed

There are a number of desktop and web applications available that make feed creation easy. I would encourage anyone creating a feed to use one. Though not overly complicated, handcoding an RSS feed can become a bit confusing and timeconsuming. Most desktop software applications for building a feed include a wizard and contactsensitive help, simplifying the process of creating a feed. Following a few simple steps in a wizard generally will produce an RSS feed in just a few minutes.

Publishers control what information is syndicated in the RSS feed, so ultimately it is the publisherกs decision as to whether to include teaser copy or full articles. Consider what you are trying to accomplish and who your target audience is when building the feed.

Software to Build a Feed http://www.feedforall.com

Tutorial for Creating Feed by Hand using XML http://www.makerssfeeds.com

2.) Transfer the Feed Onto Your Server

Once you have constructed an RSS feed you will need to transfer the feed to your server. This can be done using a standard FTP client (if it is not built into the feed creation software). The feed is usually placed in the domainกs root directory like this: http://www.mydomain.com/nameoffeed.xml , but as long as you know where it is it doesn’t really matter.

3.) Display the Feed on Your Website Using a Graphic of Some Sort

In order to signal to website visitors that an RSS feed containing content related to the website is available, include a colorful graphic on the website. It has become a standard that nearly all websites that have RSS feeds available use colorful graphics such as flags as indicators that RSS feeds are available for specific content. The flags were initially bright orange rectangles but as the popularity has grown, webmasters have bent the rules a bit. NotePage has made a free online RSS graphic tool available that allows users to quickly customize buttons by selecting the text on the button and the color scheme of the button. Once the color and text is entered, a custom graphic is instantly created. Webmasters can easily match the style of the RSS button to a websiteกs theme. Graphics experience is not required. Simply select alternative colors and insert text to personalize RSS feed graphics. The RSS graphics tool can be used by clicking the following URL http://www.feedforall.com/public/rssgraphictool.htm or choose ready made graphics fom: http://www.rssspecifications.com/rssgraphics.htm.

4.) Include Information in the HTML of the Web Page So RSS Readers AutoDetect Your Feed

After publishing an RSS feed it is important to let visitors know that the feed exists. Aggregators will automatically detect RSS on a website if you add a small bit of code in the header field of an HTML page.

[link rel=กalternateก type=กapplication/rss+xmlก title=กRSSก href=กhttp://www.yourdomain.com/rss.xmlก]

Be sure to replace http://www.yourdomain.com/rss.xml with the URL to the RSS feed and replace the brackets with กก greater than symbols.

5.) Display the Feedกs Content on a Website

Contents contained in an RSS feed can be added to a website, providing site visitors an alternative method for viewing the content. The information will also help increase search engine interest. Displaying the feed as HTML can be accomplished. Providing fresh content on a regular basis will encourage site visitors return.

Tutorial for Displaying Feeds http://www.smallbusinesssoftware.net/displayrss.htm

6.) Submit the Feed to RSS Directories and Search Engines

As a rapidly increasing number of content sources, new and old, migrate or add RSS as a key distribution channel, and as more people utilize RSS newsreaders and aggregators to keep themselves informed, the ability to maintain high exposure and visibility is gradually shifted from complete attention to major search engines and content optimization techniques to an increasing awareness of RSS feed directories and search tools.

In order to increase exposure of an RSS feed it should be submitted to RSS search engines and directories. This can be done manually. Just as you would submit the URL of a website or web page to a search engine you will need to submit the link of the actual feed located on your website to the RSS directories. There is a large list of RSS directories at http://www.rssspecifications.com/rsssubmission.htm . If you prefer to automate the submission process try RSS Submit at: http://www.dummysoftware.com/rsssubmit.html. An evaluation version is available.

About The Author

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.

This article was posted on March 30

by S. Housley

Alternative ECommerce Solutions

Alternative ECommerce Solutions

by: Janice D. Byer, MVA

Over the past several years, the Internet has emerged as a breakthrough technology that has and will continue to transform the way we live and communicate, and especially the way we do business.

No matter if you are selling a product or a service, the Internet is a means of reaching markets that had otherwise been unreachable in the past. And, it also provides ease of purchasing and selling almost anything online…also known as ECommerce.

But, for many businesses, especially start up and small to mid size businesses, having a website that includes the usual Ecommerce capabilities is just not in their budgets. Setting up merchant accounts and secure servers can get quite costly.

So, if you are really wanting or needing to have ecommerce capabilities on your website to sell your products, but your budget just won’t allow it, there are a variety of alternatives to the expensive online route that you can consider.

Your first choice allows you to accept credit card payments but without a secure server. Some financial institutions, which offer credit cards, also offer Traditional Merchant Accounts. This allows you to manually verify credit card information from those that want to purchase from you. But, you should be aware, if you ask for credit card information from your website without the guarantee of a secure server, you may run into hesitation from potential customers.

Another alternative to the expensive merchant account is to accept cheque payments online. For this you will need to acquire software or a program that will allow you to print MicroPrint (the small numbers and characters at the bottom of a cheque… ie. routing #, account #, etc.). There are several cheque writing programs available, including those found at Checker.net and Checkman.com.

The procedures involved to use this payment method are to first set up a form on your website. You then send an invoice to your customer with direction to the chequeform page, which they must fill out and submit, via your cgi program. You then verify the funds and information and then the software prints the cheque on special cheque paper, which you can purchase at most business supply stores.

You can also have the above type service online, via such sites as Paybycheck.com.

Another alternative, which is rapidly becoming the choice of many online product and service providers, is Online Payment Systems. There are several of these systems available but I have only found one that has features available to Canadians. Called PayPal.com, this service allows you to set up an account with them and they verify the credit information of those buying from you. Now, many features that this system has to offer are still limited for Canadian retailers but you are still able to set up an account, bill your clients, and receive payments into your Canadian bank account or credit card account with only minor service charges being applied.

Taking advantage of the expansive market of the World Wide Web does not mean that you have to go bankrupt. You can still get on the ECommerce bandwagon and accept payments with the above listed services and other alternative payment systems that may be available. Actually, most of these services are all that the average small business, especially those in the service industry, really need. And they don’t cost a fortune.

About The Author

Janice Byer is a certified Master Virtual Assistant and owner of DocuType Administrative & Web Design Services (http://www.docutype.net). See this and other articles on her website.

jbyer@docutype.net

This article was posted on December 18, 2002

by Janice D. Byer, MVA

RSS PIONEERS SET OFF GOLD RUSH

RSS PIONEERS SET OFF GOLD RUSH

by: Tony Dean

The nature of cyberspace is changing fast with the rush now on to set up rss news feeds. Every gram of news and current affairs is gleaned from the four corners of the globe so that we may be informed as to what is happening in hundreds of different commercial fields of endeavour.

Everything from what new item is selling well on eBay, to what กWired Magazineก is saying about the latest technology. More and more magazine and newspaper publishers are gaining a foothold on this new juggernaut which is going to change the way we gather news.

Advertisers too are not left out. Already some of the largest media companies in the world are now poised to find advertising space for their clients กbrandingก campaigns, on any available web page that regularly features in rss feeds.

The media companies with billions of ad dollars to spend, will they say, be spending less on newspaper and t.v. advertising in the coming years, and will concentrate instead on กblogsก and rss feeds.

Competition will be fierce for every available space on the most popular feeds, some run by newspapers!

Many freelance journalists will be running rss feeds in direct competition with the newspaper employers who now pay them to gather news for their publication. There will be no editor to censor their news items, they will be free to write whatever they want.

This new found freedom for anyone in the world to be able to express their opinions without it costing anything, will make for a new กHouse Of Babelก, with maybe up to several millions of rss feeds within the next five years run by private individuals all over the world. The only needed resource to set up a rss feed is free hosting on a server anywhere in the world, and these web hosts are plentiful.

Press releases submitted to the biggest and well known media release agencies are appearing rapidly on rss feeds, with the publishers of these feeds scambling to put กcontentก on their feed almost on an hourly basis.

Commercial enterprises have never had it so good to get their press release into circulation so quickly as more and more commercial news, via press releases, is needed to fill the ever available channels being run by rss feed publishers. Even badly written press releases that under normal circumstances would not find a publisher willing to print it, will be readily accepted by rss feed publishers looking avidly for more กcontentก. This กcontentก may only be on a rss feed for the space of one hour before it is replaced by something else, but it will have the potential to be seen by lillions of people world wide.

This is the กpotentialก that big media companies are now eyeing.

One rss feed publisher charges $6,000 for an item of news to be on one of his feeds for the space of one day. So the potential for earning substantial incomes from publishing your own rss feed can be huge.

Many web publishers will change tack and embrace rss feeds as being potentially more commercially viable than publishing a web site.

Many กspammersก will change to running as many rss feeds as possible to saturate the market, since spam filters are proving very effective for email.

How easy is it to put up a rss feed?

If you have web hosting already, it can be set up in 5 minutes!

All it needs is a text file placed on the server, and the กfeedก is live to the whole world. Instant rss feed publishing!

About The Author

Tony Dean is a published author and webmaster. Author of the bestselling ebook on setting up a rss feed ‘really Simple RSSก available from Clickbank or his site: http://www.ebooksales.com/rss.html

This article was posted on January 14

by Tony Dean

It Makes Sense to Add AdSense to Your Blog

It Makes Sense to Add AdSense to Your Blog

by: Sanjay Johari

Google AdSense is easy to install on a web page or blog and constitutes additional source of income without spending anything. You have to apply online for Google AdSense Program and generally approval comes from Google within two days. Those having AdWord account can use AdWord email address and password for AdSense account also. After acceptance of application, Google confirms creation of your Adsense account thru email. You get a code for AdSense text ads and another code for AdSense search. These codes are to be installed on web page or blog and within minutes the page will start displaying ads from Google, and a Google search bar. AdSense is available in dozen languages worldwide.

The code for AdSense can be placed on any of your web pages. I think placing it on your blog will give you distinct advantage because blogs have several points in their favor. They are easily indexed by search engines. Recently two of my simple blogs were indexed by Google within 23 days of submission of URLกs which I think is quite fast. With Yahoo! it is even easier just add the URL of your blog to your My Yahoo page and Yahoo! will start accessing it immediately. GoogleAlert is a free tool that can be used to know when your blog is indexed by Google.

You can have your blog up and running in minutes free of cost from several sites that provide this service. I personally use blogger.com. With blogs you do not need to worry about designing websites, registering domain name or hiring web site hosting service. You simply write your content on the blog and it is ready for publication.

An excellent article by John Taylor on creating blog is republished here:

http://sanjayj.com/art1ab33.html

With AdSense wide range of options is available number of ads for display, shape and size of display, color schemes. More than 200 colors are available from which you can choose color for border, background and text. 24 preset color palettes are readily available; in addition you can have your own custompalette to match with the appearance of your web page. Similarly, color schemes are available for Google search bar.

When the web page is opened, Google ads are placed which match with the content of the page and are highly relevant. Google finds right ads for the web page from 100,000 AdWord advertisers.

Several options are available for the ads that you would like to be displayed on your page. Ad filters can be activated which will block up to 200 URLกs of your choice which you do not want to show on your page. You may like to filter away ads from your competitors. You can even choose your own default ads for display. Google uses sensitive content filters to prevent display of sensitive material. If you find that your page is not really getting relevant ads, it may be time to look critically at the content of the page, particularly the keywords used in text, links and tags. Little SE optimization of the page should resolve this problem.

Sometimes Google places public service ads when no target ads are available. To suppress public service ad, it is possible to specify your own image ad or HTML page ad which will appear in place of public service ad. This ensures that some ad is always present there. Or, if you like, the space reserved for Adsense ads can be made to collapse.

AdSense tracker is another useful feature which tracks the ads on your pages and generates report for you. The reports can be customized based on requirement. Typically reports can give page impressions displayed, number of clicks and clickthru rates. It is also possible to check earnings any time.

Web page owner can make use of all these facilities and try to get best results. With the help of Ad tracker lot of useful information can be obtained which ads are doing well, which color combination gets better results, which location of the web page is best for showing ads and so on. This analysis can be used to improve traffic as well as clickthru rates.

With AdSense you have virtually nothing to lose. If you have not yet installed AdSense on your website you can perhaps give it a thought. Any free space which can be created on your website to accommodate AdSense can be used to generate additional income.

About The Author

Copyright © 2005 Sanjay Johari

Sanjay Johari regularly contributes articles on small business to various ezines. He invites you to take advantage of International Success Mentoring! Earn while you learn. Join the longest running internet business opportunity because it works!

http://www.sanjayj.com/empowerism.html

Mailto:sanjayjohari@sanjayj.com

sjohari2001@yahoo.com

This article was posted on February 09

by Sanjay Johari