Latest Internet Trends – Virtual Worlds



Virtual worlds are definitely not a new thing in the online world, but they are growing in popularity ever so quickly, and for good reasons.  When virtual worlds first began to make their appearance as early as 1973, when the first-person shooting games were introduced, they hardly resembled the virtual worlds that online gamers frequent these days.  Today, virtual worlds are not only similar to real life, but some people actually live in them as if they were as well.  You can do almost anything in a virtual world that you can do in real life, the only real limit is physical contact.  And some people even take their virtual world so seriously that it does spill into real life to the point of establishing physical contact.  Virtual worlds are used by people who want to actually experience a different life, they are used by people who simply want to have fun, and they are even used by individuals who want to meet other people like themselves, and of course they are, in many cases, used by children that enjoy video games as well.  The virtual world gaming market consists of so many different types of individuals that it is a top market for computer gurus to get into these days.  But before you do, you should take a look at some of the different types of virtual worlds out there and consider why they are so popular amongst users, but first lets consider what a virtual world consists of.

Characteristics of a Virtual World
One thing that is definite about all virtual worlds is that multiple individuals can be in the same virtual world at the same time, and the different users can all interact with each other.  In addition all virtual worlds use either 2D or 3D to allow the user to visually see the space that the virtual world consists of.  Actions taken by users in the virtual world happen in real time, and users have the ability develop and alter their surroundings.  Finally, although virtual worlds encourage the development of various types of social groups and interaction, the virtual world does continue on regardless of the number of individuals using it, or regardless, even, if there are no users.  

Popular Virtual Worlds
There are a number of highly popular virtual worlds that are trending these days, on of which is Habbo.  This particular virtual world has been around for a significant amount of time and has remained popular among virtual world aficionados.  Habbo is a 3D virtual world, and allows users to do everything from decorating their own home to visiting friends in public venues.


Another popular virtual world these days is Onverse, which has many of the same characteristics as Habbo.  What makes this world so popular among those that enjoy the virtual world trend is the fact that points can be collected to be used for all sorts of things, such as shopping and playing games.  You can even have a pet in the Onverse virtual world, making it even more like real life.



Virtual worlds may not be real life, but they are a trendy thing to get into these days, and the more they are like real life, the more people want to play them.

Article has been contributed by David Ritchie, a technical writer currently interested in ad ware.




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How to Save Time and Maximize Your Blog Photography



My dad always says “a job worth doing is worth doing right”.
This is some pretty good advice to heed, and when you think about it, I wonder how many people truly believe that their work reflects this work ethic.


Although I tend to agree with him, I’m also from the generation of instant gratification and clever corner cutting. I tend to raise a few eyebrows when I boldly proclaim that I don’t believe in working harder, only working better. But, well, it’s true. What is the point in “busy work” or filling your days with mindless tasks that achieve very little results, if you can find ways of working better, and more efficiently?

I’ve even read somewhere that workaholics are in fact, lazy. Although I don’t think I could every say this to the face of any workaholic I know, I do know that sometimes they are reluctant to take a look at how they got stuff done, and figure out a way to get it done better, and quicker.

Photography: Make Time For It.

I started thinking about the blog that I run, and how I can get posts up quicker without compromising quality. I started thinking about what elements hold me back, and time and time again, it’s the photography.

Unless you run a blog that completely relies on photos (like if you’re a photographer), you might tend to lag behind when it comes to the photography...it takes time, it requires a new skill set, and wah! (Ok, so maybe the whining is all me.)

However, this is one area that you can not cut corners!

Photography is very important to any successful blog. Not only are photos highly descriptive (worth a thousand words, as they say, and takes less time to post one photo than to write that same amount...plus, nobody cares to read a long description of your favourite model of lawnmower motor), they make your blog look much better, and they add searchability juice when you name them with keywords, add keyword-rich descriptions and alt tags (you do all of that, right?). They make people connect with your blog before you’ve even said “hello”.

Never, ever, skimp on the photos.

Working Better, Definitely Not Harder.

To make your photographic efforts work for you, it’s best to start with a plan. Take a few hours to dedicate yourself to taking many, many photos, as well as checking out video tutorials on photoshop to learn some basics, in order to supply your blog with months worth of pictures.

Think about the kinds of things you tend to write about, and snap away. Whether it’s your kids, food, certain products, your craft, your art, your customers, whatever it is.
You might not get everything you’ll ever need in one session, but better to stock up now and worry about filling in gaps later. This way you’ll have enough photos on hand to add 2 or more photos per post.

Remember: always supply your customers with more than one view of your products, including close-ups, multiple angles and try some “merchandised shot”, such as a person using or wearing the product. If you are promoting a service, shots of before and afters or other relevant scenarios helps your customer understand and appreciate your work.

Don’t forget, for something specific you can always peruse stock photography sites such as iStockphoto.com or photodune.com and get exactly what you need. If it’s a squirrel and a nut, don’t waste hours trying to get the perfect shot of it.

Keep your files on your computer well organized by subject for easy photo selection.

Get Snapping!

With a simple digital camera (and they go for about $100 for a decent, very basic one) you can start filling your blog with images that will start to really speak for you, your message, your brand, your blog.

Start by choosing to take many photos of your main subject. If you sell any kind of product, this should be your first area to target. Take many photos of your product in natural light. If this is impossible, try to either get a camera with a very good flash setting, or use strong spot-lights.

You can always adjust color and light by retouching using PhotoShop, as well as little imperfections so don’t worry too much if it’s not looking 100% perfect on your camera’s viewfinder. You’ll want to experiment with the low-light settings on your camera, and also try many angles (try to get on the same plane as what you are shooting, it tends to look better).

Yeah, it’s a few hours of work, but photography is always worth it.


About the Author:

James Martell is a successful businessman who is self-taught as an Internet entrepreneur and affiliate marketer, since 1999. He and Arlene, his wife of 27 years, enjoy sharing their knowledge to help others who want to have a successful business. They are able to do this through free affiliate marketing ebooks, podcasts, live online trainings, and speaking engagements. James has spoken at Digital River Lab, Affiliate Summit, Commission Junction University, and more. The Martell’s enjoy spending time with their children, and reside on Canada’s west coast in a seaside suburb.




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Three Positive Things that Parents can do to get their Toddlers to Cooperate



There are few things in life more challenging than being the parent of a toddler. While you know intellectually that it’s all part of the growing up process, it’s not easy at all to cope with your sweet, adorable baby turning into a temperamental, stubborn toddler almost overnight. While it’s completely normal for children to be uncooperative, throw tantrums and have random mood changes between the ages of 1-3, parents can and should try positive discipline techniques to help their little ones learn to manage their emotions and gain self control. Here are three easy and fun techniques to try to help your toddler learn positive ways to self-regulate.


Encourage Language Development

Learning how to “use your words” goes a long way towards eliminating toddler tantrums. Even infants who aren't ready to learn to speak can be taught simple sign language so that they have a way to ask for what they want. 

Imaginative play goes a long way towards helping your child learn to develop language skills. You can encourage this by helping your child learn how to narrate his or her actions as they play. Talk to them about what they are doing as they play and ask them plenty of questions. 

Singing songs, reading and telling stories and playing pretend games are all fun ways to improve your child’s vocabulary and teach them to use words to express themselves and work out conflicts. 

Make Cooperation Fun

There is no reason why you can’t have some fun while asking your child to follow your instructions. Taking a light-hearted approach is more likely to yield positive results and prevent power struggles and meltdowns. 

Make a game out of getting dressed, tidying up and getting ready for bed. You can try using a timer or enlist the aid of a puppet helper to give your child instructions. Many children will be delighted by getting the chance to show a clueless puppet or parent what comes next or the right way to put on a shirt or pick up toys. 

Older toddlers can be motivated by simple rewards charts. These are particularly useful during potty training or helping them give up a pacifier or bottle. Don’t worry too much about “bribing”; after all rewards for positive behavior and hard work are a part of normal everyday life, even for adults. 

Give them Opportunities to be Independent

Most toddlers are very eager to leave behind the baby stage and want the chance to explore the world as a big kid who doesn’t need mom and dad so much anymore. Although your toddlers safety and well-being is paramount, do look for opportunities to let them express their autonomy.

Do your best to allow time in your schedule so that your child can feed and dress themselves. Offer them simple choices - perhaps let them choose between two shirts or which shoe they’d like to put on first. Be mindful that too many choices can cause a meltdown, so narrow it down to two acceptable alternatives. 

Find safe ways for your child to explore their physical world, such as nature walks in places where it’s okay for them to run a bit ahead and poke around or trips to playgrounds with lots of structures to climb in and around. Give them play dough and finger-paints and let them get messy as they experiment with different ways to use these materials. Let them help you as you do chores and yard work, even if it means a bit more work for you.

The more opportunities your child has to assert their independence in safe ways, the more confident they will become and they will be less compelled towards asserting themselves through stubbornness, tantrums and willful behavior. It can be bittersweet to watch your sweet baby turn into an independent big kid, but you’ll be able to enjoy the toddler years more if you give them the chance to stretch and grow.


Jacob Maslow is a father of five whose motto is “Childhood is short, so enjoy it!” He works for Today’s Concept, an online store that sells wonderful toys like Melissa and Doug puppets that help children develop imagination and independence.




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Portal East Reaches Out to Visayas Market



Portal East opens Cebu showroom—Top uPVC doors and windows manufacturer Portal East, Inc. expands its reach to the Visayas-Mindanao region by opening its very first showroom located along A.S. Fortuna Road in Mandaue, Cebu recently. The showroom was created by Portal East, Inc., a leader in terms of innovation in creating a better view for homes and businesses by designing, testing, manufacturing quality uPVC windows and doors for new construction, remodeling and replacement applications, in order for its Cebu- and Mindanao-based clients to better appreciate what Portal East’s products can do for them in terms of their windows and doors requirements. Shown in photo are (from left) Ralph Tanco, General Manager of Portal East, Inc.; Dannie Lim, one of the top furniture exporters in Cebu; Ingrid Santamaria, one of the Top 10 most influential women in Cebu; Haidee Ong from Golden Highway Distributors, a partner of Portal East, Inc. in the Visayas-Mindanao area; and Lester Ong, also from Golden Highway Distributors, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the formal opening of the showroom.


Portal East, Inc., distributor of quality uPVC windows and doors in the Philippines, is opening its Visayas showroom at a two-storey commercial building along A. S. Fortuna Street in Cebu City to reach out to the local market.

The 50-square meter showroom will showcase Portal East’s top-notch uPVC windows and doors. With this showroom, the company will reach a wider base of customers who require quality uPVC windows and doors for their homes or offices.

Ralph Tanco, Portal East Inc.’s Marketing Manager, says that construction for the new showroom started in July and is slated to open by November 25, 2011.

The showroom will feature Portal East’s line of uPVC windows and doors. The showroom has a sitting area where Portal East customer service representatives can assess the needs of their clients. Tanco says the area will be cozy and have the same relaxed and homey atmosphere as in their showrooms in Valenzuela and at their plant in Caloocan. Even the showroom’s signage has been designed to attract the attention and curiosity of prospective clients.

He says Cebu was chosen for the Visayas showroom because of its strategic location in the Visayas-Mindanao region. He said there are plans to expand in the Davao City area within the next two years.

“We will see first how the Cebu showroom will fare before we look at opening showrooms in other areas,” he explains.

Tanco is optimistic the Cebu market will boost the firm’s success. “We are confident that our portfolio of products and their sculptured designs will suit the unique taste of Cebuanos for their homes,” he says.

With its foray in the Visayan region, customers in the area will experience the Portal East brand of customer service. “Part of our reputation was spread through word-of-mouth,” he says. “With our presence in Cebu, we hope to spread the word about our company, our quality products that offer them safety, security and privacy, and the kind of no-nonsense customer service we provide.”

Since it started nine years ago, Portal East Inc. has serviced more than 2,000 clients, mostly residential clients who comprise 70 percent of its market. Its product have caught the attention of many high-profile consumers who value the kind of innovative designs that is the hallmark of its lines of uPVC windows and doors.

The company is also looking into the possibility of opening within the next two years additional showrooms in the Luzon area, particularly in Tuguegarao City.

Portal East is an affiliate of Dalian Shide of China, a multi-billion-dollar global building materials company based in the People’s Republic of China that exports to major countries in North America, Europe and Asia. For details, contact Portal East via sales@portaleast.com or visit its website at www.portaleast.com




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How to Avoid Over Spending During the Holidays



Now that the holiday season is fast approaching us, we have to start to think how we can shop and buy gifts for our friends and loved ones, without extending ourselves and adding to our credit card debt.

saving tips for christmas
Plan Ahead:
The most important thing is good planning. A good way to start is with a list. Making a list of people you need to buy gifts for helps you know how much money you will need. After you know how many gifts you need to buy, start to think what kind of present fits each person on your list. This will help you from wandering around malls and shops and will keep you focused. You will end up spending more money if you make impulse purchases, so make that list and stick to it!

Get creative:
Being creative is another way to save and spend less money. Buying several smaller priced gifts and displaying them in a decorative package may be just the touch you need to make a good impression.

Prioritize:
If you don't really need it, don't buy it! Stores draw you into buying products you really might not want. It is always tempting to pick up something just because it has a sale price, but that does not always mean it is something you can use, or something that someone would like to have.
So, when browsing, make sure you only consider what you came in there for. Be strong, and stay focused!

Make your own:
If you are a creative, crafty person, sometimes homemade gifts are just the thing to save you money and show someone you really cared enough and took the time to make something special. Craft stores have a lot of ideas to choose from. Even picture frames are inexpensive and can be decorated by you for that extra personal touch.
Also remember, an expensive gift does not always make a good impression. Being too showy can embarrass some people, especially if they cannot afford to buy something for you. Save those presents for someone's special day, like their birthday.

Re-gift instead of retail:
You can also save money by buying that special someone a used book that you know they have been looking for a long time. That would be a unique gift, no one else would think of, so don't be afraid of insulting someone with a used item, it could be just what they wanted.

Shop on the internet:
Today, buying on the internet is very popular and it could be just the thing to do to save you money. Not having to drive to malls and shops and spending money on fuel is a way to save.
Websites sometimes offer free shipping or combined shipping, so be sure to surf the web well and choose the right one for you. If you are shopping for someone out of town, why not have it shipped directly to them. Some stores will even send your package gift wrapped at little or no extra cost to you. This will save on shipping to you and re-shipping to your friends and family.

Limit credit card use:
Unless shopping online, paying cash is the best option. By using your credit card less, you can avoid the fees and interest that comes around after the holidays. Many who shop for Christmas don’t realize the true cost of the holidays until the credit card statement comes in. Avoid the surprise and use cash whenever possible.

The holidays are a time for giving, unfortunately for some it keeps on giving all year. Many go into debt trying to give more than they are capable of. This year utilize smart shopping and creativity to minimize the chances of over spending and enjoy the holidays with less stress.

Amanda Patterson is a contributor for Granite Card, a place to obtain a Credit card to build credit history for those who may have had their credit damaged due to unforeseen circumstances.




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What Do You Need To Begin Coding a Website, TODAY!



There is a common conception out there that developing a web site is extremely hard and that you are better off just outsourcing it to somebody for dirt cheap, or starting a WordPress site yourself. But this common thought out there is somewhat wrong.

Yes, it will take some time if you want to a well advanced website, but what kind of web site are you actually trying to build? For example, I have worked with a lot of people in the local business industry niche, and I will tell you right now - if you own a small business, or if you are just starting up, it’s a great idea to learn the basics of coding and SEO all on your own at first (this really is something that they should start teaching kids in the beginning of high school these days).


This is true for a couple of different reasons. Here are a few of them:
  • Coding in HTML and CSS is easier than you think (it took me two days - given they were very hard working days - to code up my first website)
  • Developing your own web site or at least learning the basics of HTML and CSS will save you money in two different ways: 1) it will help with upfront costs and 2) it will allow you to save money by fixing problems yourself every single time a problem in the backend of your coding occurs.
  • Coding forums are a great way to network and learn with and from other programmers out there from all over the world - who knows what benefits will arise form that
  • You can make money on sites like Freelancer.com by performing simple tasks
  • You can add it to a resume
  • You can make simple websites for people in your local area for local businesses for a profit
  • You can create single web pages for place holder sites so that you can start gaining domain name age
  • You can add it to a list of services you provide if you run an SEO Company

    As you can see, you pretty much open up a whole world of opportunities when you learn HTML and CSS on your own. JavaScript and PHP will take you to that next level. Not knowing the basics of web design can hold you back in a lot of ways and prevent you from taking action every time there is a backend solution to a problem at hand. Strictly speaking: it will slow you down exponentially not knowing the basic concepts behind coding.

    So what is it exactly that you need?
    There are tons of schools and classes out there that you can sign up for to start learning how to code your own websites up from scratch. They are all over the place and can do a lot of people a lot of good. However in today’s world, and with the power of the Internet, there is really no need to sign up for classes. Everything you could ever hope to learn about programming and coding is already on the Internet, and the best part about it is that it can all be found for 100% free. Here are the minimum tools you need to begin coding today:

    • A text editor: it can be as simple as notepad
    • A hosting account
    • A domain name
    • basic HTML and CSS knowledge
    • A connection to the Internet

      That is the bare minimum of what you need to get started. If you have a decent grasp on the coding languages, then you can even build extensive websites with these simple tools.

      Of course there are better text and HTML editors than notepad out there for creating websites. You will usually want one that is at least color coded so that you can see clearly what you are doing like notepad++ for windows and TextMate for a Mac.

      Besides these basic requirements and the will to learn, you find all of your information on the web either by research, tutorial websites like Lynda.com, forums, or web sites like stackoverflow.com - where you can ask questions and get them answered by people that know what they are talking about. You can learn a lot in the forums, so if you are planning on trying to learn how to code today, then I suggest you join a web development forum today.

      This article was contributed by Jet Russell who blogs for www.inetzeal.com. This is an SEO company that provides many different services including a high quality article writing service. In his spare time he likes to blog about SEO and SEM.




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      Why Do People Marry?



      Ask yourself this question, "Why do people marry?" To many people the answer is quite simple. People get married because they "fall in love." This familiar expression implies that a couple has no control over the mate selection process. It leaves it all up to chance. This theory of accidental mate selection and marriage lifts the burden of failure off the participants' shoulders and places it on fate. If the marriage does not work, or if either spouse is dissatisfied, it certainly could not be the fault of the couple. They had no control over their destiny. It was all a matter of chance.

      Mate selection is really one of the most accurate choosing processes that we engage in. But many people are not aware of the choice they are making. Equally important, they are not aware of why they are choosing as they are.

      People marry for a variety of reasons. Some motives for marriage are more sound and will probably lead to sound marriages. Other motives are not realistic and increase the chances of unfulfilled expectations in marriage.

      Wrong Reasons
      Some motivations for marriage such as marrying to appear grown up, or to be freed of parents' supervision may lead to dissatisfaction in the relationship. Many marriages fail because the participants expect it to change them into better people. Marriage does not change people. It cannot make an immature person an adult, or an unhappy person happy.

      Another poor reason to marry is to deal with sexual urges that have been awakened. Marriage provides an acceptable outlet for sexual gratification. But unless there is a solid emotional foundation, a marriage based on sex will be unfulfilling. The same is true for a marriage formed to combat loneliness that compelled the couple to marry. Loneliness will still exist only now they can be lonely together. Premarital pregnancy is another negative reason to marry. When this is the only factor that holds two people together, the couple will soon feel trapped and may start to resent each other and the child.

      A marriage based on any selfish motive, combating loneliness, achieving sexual gratification, gaining adult status, or any others in which personal gratification rather than mutual satisfaction is stressed, may lead to unhappiness with the relationship. Although there are many reasons for marriage, one basic premise remains. People marry in order to have their needs fulfilled. Mate selection is based on the fulfillment of mutual needs.
      We search for the mate who can help us and whom we can help achieve satisfaction. If we can achieve satisfaction with our lives before marriage, there is a better chance that we will achieve satisfaction in marriage.

      Marriage is a two-way relationship in which the needs of two people should be satisfied. In order for the relationship to last and grow, each member must be able to overlook selfish desires ad try to fulfill the needs of the other.

      Right Reasons
      There is no one reason for marriage that is better than any other. The right reasons for marriage are all based on the mutual gratification of needs. Couples often marry to form a partnership in which they fulfill each others needs and desires. Marriages such as this are based on mature love. Mature love is based on needing someone because you love them rather than immature love where you love someone because you need them. Other couples marry for companionship and sharing in which they fulfill their emotional needs and physical needs. Marriages in which sharing, love, and companionship are provided are likely to grow and flourish with time.

      Marriage is an important commitment that does not come about accidentally. People may want to avoid their responsibility for mate selection by blaming it on chance and leaving their marital success up to "chance" as well. But mate selection is a deliberate process in which we choose our mate according to our needs, although couples sometimes don't recognize this.

      People enter marriage with preconceived notions of what it will be like. These marital scripts impose a role on one's spouse that may or may not fit their own expectations. Before assuming the responsibilities of marriage it is important to become aware of these expectations and needs.

      Clearly recognizing needs and expectations of ourselves and our spouse, and discussing them before marriage will help us enter marriage more realistically with more than just a "chance" of success.

      Samet Bilir a freelance writer who writes about practical technology and online shopping. Read more about his work at azframes.com, a web site for digital photo frame reviews, such as Coby digital photo frames.




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