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How much easier can we make it? So you can sneak in with just one entry by simply posting a comment here, you can increase your odds by reading and commenting on a few more posts here and at one of the blogs below and maybe subscribe to a couple, or you can really up the odds and subscribe to all all of our blogs (which you’ll enjoy reading anyway), comment on a bunch of posts, and blog about this contest. The more entries you earn, the better your odds, of course. If you’re going to post about this contest, just grab the image and code from here.
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– Link Bait
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By Branden Dilorenzo
There are various ways to streamline computer performance and functionality. I will show you five very helpful methods that I have learned in the field to help keep your computer running great. Some are free but there are some which will require a small investment which is well worth the cost. I have provided some links at the bottom of this article to help you decide what tools to invest in. This article is for Windows 2000/XP users only.
1. Cleanup your startup menu– This is perhaps the fastest way to improve overall performance and startup speed. To do this, go to the run command line in the start menu and type in msconfig. Please ONLY use the startup tab at the top!! Go through the list of startup programs and disable messengers, updaters, and applications that are not used at all times ie. (quick time task, winzip, Ituneshelper). The rule of thumb here is disable what you know you don’t need and don’t touch anything you do not understand or recognize, they are most likely drivers and system files.
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How to Choose Your Domain Name
How to Choose Your Domain Name by Michelle Shaeffer
More than 50 million domain names have been registered and more are registered every day. Are you ready to join in and get your own domain? This article covers some of the important things to consider.
What is a domain name? Wondering how and why they work?
Here’s a great link:
The Domain Name System: A Non-Technical Explanation Why Universal Resolvability Is Important–http://www.internic.net/faqs/authoritative-dns.html
Grab a piece of paper. Write down your business name and your name as well as a list of the products or services you offer. These are your starting points. Keep this list in mind as we go through the points below.
1) Your domain should be easy to spell and easy to remember.
Do not choose a domain name which is difficult to spell or people trying to access your site may be frustrated and confused when they misspell it and end up at a different website or no website at all.
2) Consider including your keywords or phrases.
Having a domain name that includes your main product line makes it easier for customers to remember and will give you a boost in the search engines. After all, if you use the domain JohnsAlaskanRealEstate.com the chances are pretty good that you are offering Real Estate in Alaska and your site would be relevant to a search for Alaskan Real Estate. Of course, a domain name alone won’t rank you #1 for the word or phrase you’ve used, but it does help.
You could also consider a domain name like keyword-keyword.com such as Alaska-Real-Estate.com (but don’t go crazy with four or five hypenated words, see point 1 above and point 3 below!). If you do use a hypenated domain I recommend also purchasing the non-hyphenated version, in this example that would be AlaskaRealEstate.com, for use in offline advertising and 301 redirect it to your main website.
3) Keep it simple. Shorter is better.
www.mywebsitehostingisawesomeandmybusinessnameiselementalmuse.com is not
something people are going to remember or want to type out.
4) Check out similar domain names.
.net or .biz are fine domain extensions if the .com is taken for the domain you want, but keep in mind that some of your potential customers may mistype the domain to end it in .com and if the .com is a site you don’t want them visiting (such as an adult site), you need to reconsider your choice.
5) Be careful with numbers.
You can use numbers in a domain name, but try to avoid 0 (zero) because it may be mistaken for an O (letter o). Also be cautious with L, l, and 1.
6) Read it in various ways.
Have others look at your idea and read it… because sometimes the words can be combined differently and not quite as intended. Here are some examples of domains registered by companies who may not have considered alternative readings (you may have seen this, it’s widely circulated on the internet as a humorous forward email):
Who Represents is where you can find the agent that represents any celebrity.
Experts Exchange is a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice.
Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island.
Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder.
The Italian Power Generator company. (Which shows us how important it is to
choose carefully if your domain contains words that are not English.)
The Mole Station Native Nursery in New South Wales.
IP computer software.
Designers available at Speed of Art.
7) Check domain history.
You really don’t want to purchase a domain that was previously used by spammers or an adult site. Go to www.waybackmachine.org to find past sites on a domain.
So, with these seven tips in mind, take that piece of paper and start brainstorming ideas. Once you’ve got a few you like the next step is to see what’s available for registration.
Find Michelle Shaeffer online at The Small Business Muse where she shares weekly tips and strategies for small businesses in The Muses Brainstorm. Stop by The Muses Guide for inspirational guides to help your small business grow.
Article Source: WAHM Articles
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By Stephanie Chupein
Almost all couples come into counseling and report poor communication with their loved one. They are usually not looking for someone to just hear their words or listen absently, but to share their experience, their view of world. This sharing of experience validates their existence and their value. “The first duty of love is to listen” (Paul Tillich). When we feel truly listened to, validated, our spirit soars and we can relax or grow or change or be.
A lack of true and intimate communication can lead to loneliness, a sense of isolation and ultimately anger at the person we hold dearest. It cuts to our core need for connection, to be known as we are.
“Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.”
Sue Patton Thoele
However, we don’t converse in ways that allow this to happen. We are trained to converse from an adversarial position. Many things get in the way. Our own thoughts and agenda, assumptions and preconceived ideas, and our own emotional reactivity to what our partner is saying can block our ability to truly hear what is being said.
Here are some tips to improve your ability to listen to your partner. What you get in return will be a more satisfying and open relationship.
1. Make eye contact. The words we use to express our views are only a small percentage of communication. To send a message to your partner that you are truly paying attention, make eye contact. Lean into them, soften your facial expression, and keep your body stance open and non-judgmental.
2. Focus on what is being said and its underlying meaning. Good listeners do not spend their listening time preparing their defense or trying to correct what is being said. Good listeners first attempt to hear the words and then the underlying meaning of what is being said, even when they may disagree with the content. Steven Covey says, “seek first to understand” what your partner is saying. This is easier said than done because it calls for you to suspend your own needs and focus on the needs of your partner. It calls for you to temporarily put your need to correct the facts, defend yourself, or judge your partner’s statements aside while you focus on understanding.
3. Mirror and validate what is being expressed. Mirroring your partner’s facial expressions, body language, and words is part of the reciprocal nature of a conversation. It is almost a dance that lets your partner know you understand what is being said. The ultimate in mirroring occurs when a healthy parent is responding to an infant. They mimic the child’s facial expressions, noises, and emotions, letting the child know he or she is not alone. Through this process, the infant can grow and develop. It is the same with your partner. You can each grow and develop through the process of providing an empathic ear to one another. When you validate you respect what is being said and ultimately felt, even if you may not agree with the content.
4. Manage your reactions. Strong reactions to your partner usually result from a disagreement in what is being stated. You may become emotionally reactive because they said something that you experienced as hurtful, fearful, or shameful. However, understanding, compromise, and resolution cannot result until each party is heard and understood. This goes back to a temporary suspension of your own needs and if only for a few moments, existing only for your partner. Your turn will come, but if that is your primary focus, you will not extend an empathic ear and will ultimately not “get” your partner.
5. Avoid making assumptions. Even couples that are just learning to communicate often make assumptions about what the other will say. Maybe this is a result of earlier hurtful experiences, but making assumptions cuts your partner off and does not allow them to fully express themselves. Even if you do know what your partner will say, he or she needs to say it.
6. Empathy, empathy, empathy. Empathy is the ability to experience the emotional content of another human being. Ron Shaffer describes empathy as “the inner experience of sharing in and comprehending the momentary psychological state of another person. By accepting your partner’s feelings in a nonjudgmental manner, you will create an open and safe environment. For true intimacy to occur, a safe environment in which to be heard must exist engaged between couples. Empathy is the basis for growth and change. It is what a mother provides her infant daughter; it is what a therapist provides his client; and it is the element that allows us to grow and change. Empathy is transformative.
7. Be polite and kind. Rather then shining light on your partner’s weaknesses, focus on his or her strengths. Be gentle with weaknesses, and sometimes they melt away. Focusing on weaknesses strengthens them and leads to bitterness and anger. Avoid interruptions, negative facial expressions, and giving only partial attention. Treat your partner in the ways you would like to be treated – with respect and dignity.
The transformative nature of good listening can be an amazing aspect of a healthy relationship. We are drawn to and keep people close who make us feel worthy, valuable, and understood. These skills will enhance not only your primary relationship, but also your relationship with your children and co-workers.
STEPHANIE C. CHUPEIN, M.Ed.
LICENSED CLINICAL MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST 8288 Telegraph Road, Suite A Odenton, MD 21113 443-909-0013 firstname.lastname@example.org
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