Archive for April, 2011
Monday, April 25th, 2011
Parenting is always a learn-as-you go experience. No training is required and many parents inevitably find themselves perplexed and frustrated. Nothing can prepare you for the enormous 24/7 job of being a parent, but fortunately, there are many places online you can go for help. Here are ten of the places to go online for parental advice.
- ParentalWisdom.com – This website was created with their patented statement, “because kids don’t come with manuals”. It’s free to join and has nearly 100 expert advisors. Tina Nocera developed the concept for the Parental Wisdom interactive website.
- Parenting.org – Sponsored by Boys Town, this website has valuable resources, articles and stories offering parenting help. At Parenting.org you can ask an expert, read their parenting guides and search their articles by either age or topic.
- FamilyEducation.com – Part of the Family Education Network, FamilyEducation.com is a unique website that covers a wide variety of parenting topics. You can get information on anything from pregnancy and baby names to nutrition and fun things to do.
- Parenting-Advice.net – This website by Sarah Chana Radcliffe, author of Raise Your Kids without Raising Your Voice, is an online resource for the first 20 years of parenting and beyond. The website has books and CD’s for sale, but also has a plethora of online advice.
- ParentAdviceNow.com – Written by real mothers and fathers, this website is a source for free parent advice and to get answers for many tough questions. Check out their articles and blog posts categorized by your child’s age range.
- FamiliesOnlineMagazine.com – This online magazine has information on a variety of topics. Get tips from America’s Nanny, Michelle LaRowe or Counselor’s Corner by Sharon Scott.
- Parents magazine – This popular magazine for parents also has a website at Parents.com where you can have access to a multitude of parenting articles. You can subscribe to the magazine, get free newsletters or get answers to many frequently asked questions.
- DrPhil.com – If you’re a fan of Dr. Phil, you can go to his website for parental advice. He offers advice on a variety of subjects that today’s parents find themselves having to deal with.
- Health websites – Many health websites like WebMD.com have a section for parental advice. This is especially helpful if you have concerns about your child’s health.
- Religion websites – If you want parental advice tailored to your religion, there’s a website just for you. Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim or anything else, a simple web search will give you a variety of websites to choose from
Nobody should expect to be a perfect parent, because you’ll just set yourself up to unrealistic expectations. However, we should all try to do the best we can to raise our children to be healthy, happy adults. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to go online for parental advice. Whether you’re a new parent looking for information and support or an experienced parent confronted with a new situation, there is bound to be a website with the information you need.
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Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
While there are many reliable, easy to navigate news websites on the web today, there are some that just don’t make the mark. Good news sites are spaced well, allowing the reader to view their content easily , aren’t one-sided and never distract the reader with unnecessary gossip rather than facts. Here are some news websites that don’t allow the reader to feel engaged and focused but instead distracted.
- www.foxnews.com. Fox News is packed with the latest information but not quite in the way we want to see it. The website is very distracting with a busy and cluttered news outlay. There is an extensive amount of unnecessary commentary on their homepage, which gives readers a false sense of the amount of facts versus opinion offered.
- www.aol.com. While AOL works hard to bring attention back to themselves, their working even harder to revamp their website full of news and the most up to date information for its viewers. Wanting to turn the website into a premier destination for content like YouTube or Yahoo, it will be hard to pull off in a unique way.
- www.gamesindustry.biz This website, although it offers a significant amount of news updates is too busy and distracting. It has a lot of flash images that distract from the main news stories on their homepage, and is very cluttered in general.
- www.okmagazine.com OK Magazine is a low quality gossip magazine that is known for putting false, trivial information on their website and in their print magazine. While there website isn’t difficult to navigate through, there are some grammatical errors that can make a reader wonder about the professionalism behind it.
- www.freerepublic.com This political news website could be a lot better than it is, but the problem is, it’s hard to read and navigate through. The home page is messy and there aren’t main tabs to connect you with various themes of the site. As a website devoted to conservative activists, it has a ton of information but not enough images and direction to lead the readers to the abundance of information!
- www.drudgereport.com While the Drudge Report is a heavy traffic news website, it can be confusing to navigate through for the first time. Arriving at their home page, the articles aren’t in content form but rather links. The problem is, the links aren’t categorized in any way, so readers spend a lot of time searching through dozens of daily links instead of the convenience of reading them right there.
- www.nationalenquirer.com The National Enquirer is known as being a top gossip magazine but also for running stories with incorrect information about celebrities, movies and the media. The website doesn’t give you much room to click on one link before the unrelated advertisement next to it pulls you to their website. The homepage is crowded to make it enjoyable.
- www.weather.gov This website has over sixty million followers, but it’s not well designed. While it could be great, it falls short with too much business on the home page, and a very simple design and features throughout. The map is confusing and as a whole it doesn’t offer enough information.
- www.usda.gov This website offers a standard template so at first glance, it’s not visually stimulating at all. It resembles a typical government website with bland color themes and basic information that more often than not, leads its readers to links of different government and state websites.
- www.havenworks.com Until you go to havenworks, you won’t believe the amount of information that can be crammed onto a homepage. It’s as if they tried to stuff every major news story they could from the entire year onto their website. While it provides readers with an abundance of information, it can be very difficult to read and leaves no room for readers to tell which category ends and another begins. While there goal was to provide readers with any news related information on the web at one place, the result doesn’t pan out to be easily to read or navigate through.
A good website will be structured to balance content and a well designed homepage to grab the reader’s attention and have them coming back for more. There will be clear categories and tabs guiding them easily throughout the site, and the content will relate to the overall intention of the website. These websites listed failed in one of those categories. Although many of them provided excellent content, they may have been lacking in other areas, but you’ll have to see for yourself.
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Thursday, April 14th, 2011
While there have been many successful businesses thanks to the internet, there have also been some flops. For every successful internet company that the public has heard of and recognize, there are many more that failed before they even had a chance to market themselves properly. Internet businesses can be just as competitive, if not more, then in-house businesses and while some are well known and others ran their course without many people noticing, here are some of the biggest internet start up flops since 2008 worth mentioning, remembering and then as fast as they came and went, forgetting.
- www.geocities.com As part of Yahoo’s site which they purchased for $3.57 billion, it didn’t go off with a bang. Constant problems made this startup a failure from the start and by 2009 they called it quits. It opened in January 2009 and closed by October of the same year.
- www.renesola.com A manufacturer of cutting edge solar wafers, their intention for this green based company was promising, but by 2009, the company witnessed its stock price drop by 40%. Like many solar tech companies experience, renesola.com suffered the chance of making their technology profitable.
- www.arcsight.com Some businesses fail because of companies unable to go public in a successful way, and arcsight.com is one of them. Although they raised over $50 million (which was $25 million short of their $75 million goal) arcsight.com closed down on its very first day of trading.
- www.makosurgical.com Mako plasty allows orthopedic surgeons to help improve stiff and aching knees through knee surgery using their software called Solidworks 3D CAD software. While they expected to raise almost 100 million dollars, they failed short by raising only $63.8 million.
- www.ata.com Ata.com was a Chinese company that based its product on learning software. While it was predicted be one of the best and most lucrative IPO’s in 2008, it failed during the same year when its stock lost 15% after it went public.
- www.beenz.com The Beenz Company was a competitor of www.flooze.com who also went under but luckily Beenz cut their losses before it got to the point of bankruptcy. Beenz attempted to create a company that lets consumers earn online currency by shopping online or visiting certain websites. The beenz currency could then be used towards participating merchants but in June of 2008, it was considered one of the biggest dot com disasters.
- www.webvan.com The overall premise of webvan was a good idea in theory. They promised speedy grocery delivery but they grew so fast and in the end, barely made a profit. To make a delivery, the customer had to be home during their hours of operation which many people were not, and in the end it just didn’t make sense. Webvan is missed by many though, without a grocery delivery service to replace them!
- www.kozmo.com The idea was a good one, but in the end, it didn’t pan out like investors hoped it would. You can order anything from plants to snacks at any time of the day or night with no delivery charge and receive it within one hour. Kozmo.com eventually offered a small $10 delivery fee but by then it was too late. The company was in over their heads after spending $280 million in investment expenses.
- www.pets.com Pets.com offered a simply product. For any animal lover with dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish and others at home, they would provide pet products and deliver them to your home, thus giving a convenience way to order your pet products in the convenience of your home. While it offered a good product, its marketing tactics weren’t successful and in the end, losing money partially due to their free delivery policy.
- www.mvp.com With the initial funding of nearly $65 million, the company’s intentions just didn’t meet the consumer’s needs for an online sports retailer. They did their homework and had major sports stars headline the company including Michael Jordon but the result was closure.
There’s a well known rule of thumb that for all businesses trying to make it, 50% of them will fail. Whether you are building a company from your hard earned savings or borrowing from investors, the risk is great that your business may not succeed. Do you have a product that fits in your niche market or is it too similar to many of the other businesses already succeeding? Before trying your hand as a business owner, take a good look at the failures of those businesses listed above and start your internet business the right way – by learning the lessons of others.
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Sunday, April 10th, 2011
Former Vice President Al Gore has gotten a lot of flack over the years for his statement saying that he ‘invented the internet’. Although many have laughed at that as a guffaw, Al Gore did have a very large impact on the development of the internet as we know it today. Others who were directly involved in its development are not hesitant to give him credit for the big part, he did play.
- Education of governmental leaders. As a member of congress in the 1970′s, Gore had already taken a great interest in the advancement of computer technology. He understood both its current usages and the huge potential benefit for the future. Gore was known for continually boring his colleagues with discussion of the topics, in an effort to inform legislators on the topic.
- Early leadership in high speed communication. Understanding that he would need to convince government leaders of the advantages available to government entities in order to gain support, Gore initiated hearings on how high speed communications could improve government’s response to disasters.
- Supercomputer Network Study Act of 1986 In the 1980′s, Gore continued to press the government to pursue further study of the capabilities and advancements that might be made available through networking computer infrastructures together.
- The Gore Bill. The High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991 was introduced by Al Gore and signed by President Bush. This bill allocated $600 million for the National Research and Education Network, which brought together government, industry and academia in the development of what Gore termed ‘the information superhighway’.
- “Infrastructure for the Global Village” This was the title of an essay written by Al Gore and published in Scientific America. The essay laid out the purpose of the bill he was presenting in 1991 and how essential he felt it was for the development of this network, which would eventually link millions of computers together.
- Mosaic. This was the name of the first World Wide Web browser developed due to funding provided under the Gore Bill. Team development members credit the government funding in bringing about the technology many times faster than it could have been done through private enterprise.
- The information superhighway. Al Gore is credited with coining this term and strongly encouraging President Clinton to immediately pursue development of a national information superhighway that could eventually be accessed by all Americans. For the first time, the scientific community and government were making a full embrace.
- Federal Information Technology. An executive order issued by the Clinton-Gore administration, this ordered the heads of all federal agencies to make the information of their agencies available to the public. This followed the development of the first White House web site on the internet.
- Data security. Vice President Gore was also a huge promoter of increased data security through encryption. He was one of the first to recognize data security as a law enforcement issue.
- Public accessibility. Continually, throughout his career, Al Gore maintained a focus on making information technology accessible to the individual households of American citizens. He was not content with having this technology available to educators, industry and the government. He truly believed that access to information was what bring the American people to the forefront of the world in the area of technology.
Though his impact may not have been achieved from a computer lab, it was very strongly felt in the technology centers that benefited from his efforts of leadership within government circles.
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