Television Watching – A Thief Of Family Time?

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Television Watching is popular throughout the whole world. At the early stage of television in 1931, the chairman of the Radio Corporation of American said “the potential audience of television in its ultimate development may reasonably be expected to be limited only by the population of the earth itself”. The numbers of television worldwide is estimated to stand at 1.5 billion, with many more viewers, love it or hate it; television plays a major i.e. in people’s life.

Television Watching can be a powerful teaching tool. By means of it, we learn about lands and people we may never visit, “we travel” to tropical jungles and polar ice caps, to mountain peaks and ocean depths. We pee into the intriguing worlds of both atom and stars. We watch news as to happen in the other side of the world. We gain insights into politics, history, current events and culture. Television Watching captures the lives of people in both tragedy and triumph.

The time that many people devote to Television Watching is astonishing. Recently, global study showed that, on average; Television Watching per person is about three hours each day. North Americans watch four and a half hours daily. While the Japanese top the list at five hours per day. These hours add up. If we watch four hours daily, by age 60, we will have spent ten years in front of the screen. Yet, none of us would want inscribed on our tombstone “Here lies our beloved friend, who devoted one sixth of his/her life on Television Watching.”

How are Television Viewers affected by a steady diet of Television violence and sex? Critics charge that Television violence causes people to act aggressively and to be less sympathetic towards victims of real-life violence. They also assert that the portrayal of sex promotes promiscuity and undermines rival standards.

Similarly, it has been difficult to prove that violence seen through Television Watching causes crime and antisocial behavior. Many studies do suggest that there is such a link. It is hardly surprising, then that there are opposing points of view. A Canadian psychologist wrote. “The scientific evidence simply does not show that watching violence either produces violence in people or desensitizes them to it.” “However, the American psychological Association Committee on Media and Society said. “There is absolutely no doubt that higher levels of Television Watching of violence are correlated with increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and increased aggressive behavior.”

Increasing number of Television viewers are becoming addicts. Though Television Watching offer much that is worthwhile, heavy Television Watching can cut into family time, hinder reading and academic performance in children and contribute to obesity. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Based on the cumulative evidence of studies conducted over several decades, the scientific and public health communities overwhelmingly conclude the viewing violence poses a harmful risk to children.”

The National Institute on Media and the Family puts it this way. “We agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that there should be ‘NO TELEVISION WATCHING for children ages two and under.’ These children, who are undergoing tremendous brain development, need active play and real people interactions to promote their developmental, physical and social skills”

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Verizon FiOS TV Rocks the House

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Verizon FiOS TV (fiber-optic television) is the fastest and largest growing network in the United States! And it keeps spreading becoming even more popular as people stand in the showrooms to find out just how well FiOS stands up against regular television.

People are discovering how clear and close to life Verizon FiOS TV really is. Once you see it for yourself, you will never want to go back to your old TV service providers. The perfectly clear picture is not the only great thing about Verizon FiOS; you get over 200 all digital channels and a very unique home media DVR that offers multi room functions.

The one DVR can record a movie while the family watches TV, then you can set it up at a later date to play the movie in any room in the house. This will save you a lot of money because you only have to have one DVR. You will be able to watch 3 different recorded shows on three different TV sets at once. The plus to having the DVR is that you can record 80 hours of SD programming and 20 hours of High Definition programming. You can also choose the HD Receiver, which allows you to access Verizon FiOS TV’s HD programming. Or you could choose the SD Receiver as an option as well.

You can also view over 14,000 movies every month with the On Demand Options. If you are tired of watching the same old boring TV stations that you see over and over, the On Demand will allow you to watch movies 24/7 if you choose to.

When it comes to the installation, you are treated with the utmost respect and the skilled technicians will be more than happy to set up your entire home and they will not leave until you are completely satisfied. They will explain the process of the installations and everything that you get with it, all for no extra charge.

Verizon FiOS TV gives you several convenient plans, plus you can customize a package to meet your desire. If you prefer, or are unsure what sort of programming you want, you can start with the basic package and customize it at any time in the future. The bundled package include the Verizon FiOS Triple Play and Double Play where you package more than 1 service up to get a better discount. These FiOS packages are most popular because of the maximum savings you will achieve!

Why wait to have the greatest TV set in town, join the rest of the Verizon FiOS community. You can be the talk of your town with your big screen TV and FiOS – which make a great combo. Get the thrill of your life. You will be glad you did. Check to see if you can get Verizon FiOS in your area right now.

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Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference Kicks Off in Australia

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A major international conference on agricultural biotechnology starts in Melbourne, Australia, today (August 6, 2006).The Agricultural Biotech International Conference (ABIC) brings together representatives of biotech companies, agricultural researchers and policy makers from across the world.

The theme of this conference is Unlocking the Potential of Agricultural Biotechnology. Some of the topics to be discussed include:

* Importance of biotechnology in meeting global food requirements.

* Application of agricultural biotechnology in biomedicine.

* Commercialization of innovative biotechnology.

* Practical applications of genomics to cereal crops.

* Using biotechnology to protect and enhance food supply.

* Biotechnology in developing countries.

Unlocking the potential of agricultural biotechnology is an issue that has been with us since the commercialization of the first genetically modified crop a decade ago. Developed countries, notably the U.S. and Canada, appreciate that agricultural biotechnology has been a prime mover of their economies. They have massively invested in it, effectively eclipsing the so-called conventional agriculture. The gains have been innumerable.

Farmers in these countries have almost doubled their income from cultivating genetically modified crops, that are usually high yielding and pest resistant.

In developing countries, the picture is different. Agricultural biotechnology remains a contested issue. Many developing countries would not embrace because of their distrust for the developed countries. Others have been fed with lies that agricultural biotechnology, and in particular Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), pose danger to the environment and the health of consumers.

Positive attributes of agricultural biotechnology must be played out at the Melbourne meeting for all to listen.

It’s encouraging that delegates from developing countries such as Prof. Jennifer Thomson (South Africa), Dr. Jagadish Mittur (India), and Dr. Rangsun Parnpai (Thailand) are attending this conference. They have a chance to learn firsthand how agricultural biotechnology has revolutionized the economies of such countries as the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. These delegates must explore how their countries can similarly benefit from agricultural biotechnology.

Since this is a gathering of experts in agricultural biotechnology, it’s expected that there will a productive debate on the potential of agricultural biotechnology. Delegates should conduct their deliberations with developing countries in mind. It’s here where agricultural biotechnology is in dire need.

Developing countries delegates are encouraged to view this conference as a window of opportunity to learn from as many experts as possible on the potential of agricultural biotechnology.

Once the curtains of this conference fall, delegates from developing countries must ensure that they share the lessons learnt with policy makers, scientists and farmers in their respective countries.

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The Evolution of Marketing Channels for Digital Media

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Caleb hangs his back-pack up everyday when he comes home from middle school. He kicks off his shoes, uses the bathroom, maybe fixes himself something to eat. The remote control gets grabbed, but mainstream TV is not what comes on the screen. Through the Sony Google Net Box, Caleb dials up a list of YouTube videos. He is absorbed as he watches one video after another and then another and another. By time his parents tell him to shut it off and get to his homework, not one single network program has been viewed. The sixth grader can’t tell you what’s on Nickelodeon. Cartoon Network has no influence. YouTube’s immense collection of videos about video games and random funny stuff are his poison.

Caleb’s parents are beginning to wonder about the benefits of keeping cable. Besides the diminishing cable TV interest of their son, the cable company recently decided to take away a few more channels and make them exclusive on the premium package. This came only too soon after another hike in their monthly rate. The combination of cable, Netflix and occasional Red Box now has the parents paying more on home entertainment than ever before. If the family can become more dependent on their Sony Box, then all they’ll have to pay for is the internet service (and possibly Netflix.) Ether way, the impact of YouTube and other video hosting platforms will probably serve as the tipping point in their decision.

Recent advantages in technology have added fuel to this video watching revolution. New video hosting platform websites have been popping up all over. HTML 5 and its built-in video player make it easy for anyone with server space to show off videos. Digital media distributors can provide and package the means for anyone to create their own video hosting platform website. Sites that used to just let you showcase photos are now bursting with video.

Because of all of this, marketing through digital channels now takes on a whole new look. Hundreds of thousands of businesses and other organizations now use video to increase results; and they do it by providing their content to video hosting platform sites like YouTube, Daily Motion, Metacafe and Vimeo. In turn, they share the content through the platform to other sites, apps and blogs, giving the good content out there legendary status. Internet celebrities are discovered overnight. Going viral is now a worthy quest.

The challenge for marketers is how to stand-out when sharing content. Successful ways have included the ever-present list making and interactive ranking. Through the convenient application of embed-able mark-up offered at these hosting platforms, website owners all around the WWW are listing and ranking their top video picks. Even the larger media outlets have joined in the game (see Fox News, Billboard, and USA Today.) Some of the sites doing a consistently good job at listing the best online videos are: mashable.com, Wikipedia and Huffington Post (now operating their own platform – aol.com.) For those not entertained by a mere list, there are ranking/rating sites that get viewers involved. In addition to the video platform hosts offering their own ways for visitors to interact, some of the more relevant high brow social media sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon and Digg use the power of collective judgment to filter up the best quality viral video. Other fun video watching sites like Funny or Die and Blip tv let their audiences select winners and losers of popular online videos.

The landscape of entertainment is changing. Soon the myopic conduits of television content will be replaced with the fluid and dynamic content channels that stem from the World Wide Web. With the influx of new devices and brilliantly easy HTML coding, the ability to provide better-than-ever variety and quality will become the standard norm.

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How International Audio Conferencing Works

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Audio conferencing enables individuals from different locations to connect and speak with each other using the services of a secure telephone line. The process allows people who otherwise may not be able to physically meet each other to communicate and have meetings. This is a preferred mode of communication as it is more economical for businesses than to have their personnel travel across cities or countries to attend meetings. International voice conferencing allows people in different countries to communicate with each other at a pre-determined date and time.

This is more commonly known as teleconferencing or voice conferencing, any number of people can be connected at the same time. This form of communication is widely in use in commerce, education and business. It also saves time as traveling from one country to another can take time, and delays can always make such trips much longer. Traveling also causes disruption at work as the time it takes for an employee to travel means time away from the office.

An international audio con-call differs from an ordinary phone call in the sense that there are more than two people who make up a voice con-call. Callers are connected to what is known as a conference bridge which is a server that makes it possible for many people to communicate with one another.

There are different types of international voice conferencing services available today. The first type is the “dial in” which is simply dialing a number that has been pre-designated and given to all the participants of the conference to call. It is normally accompanied with a code or passkey that needs to be entered via a touch tone phone.

The second type is called the “reservation-less call” which is most commonly used for businesses that choose to allow participants in Canada and/or in the US to connect toll-free into the con-call. If the participant is outside the local dialing calling area, there is no long distance cost incurred as these are charges to the host of the con-call. This type of call also utilizes a passkey or pass-code.

The third type of voice conference call is “operator assisted.” Operator assisted con-calls uses services offered by a conference call company which normally includes the bringing of participants to the call (operator dial out), call moderator and live call monitoring, roll call, faxing or emailing of any documents to all the participants, services like translation, and many more services.

Such voice con-calls allow businesses to communicate with people in different locations or countries without incurring traveling, hotel costs, per dime costs, and any travel delays that can arise.

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International Copyright Protection

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Copyright Intellectual Property can be protected at National and International. Copyright has international protection such as Berne convention, universal copyright convention, WIPO copyright Treaty, Rome convention, Brussels convention etc.

The International union for the protection of literary and artistic works was established in 1886 in Berne, Switzerland. It is popularly known as Berne Convention. It entered into force on 5th December, 1887 and it has been revised for five times. It is administered by world intellectual property organization (WIPO). The Berne convention has 38 articles and special provisions for the developing countries. The convention has established a minimum of protection of life plus 50 years or an alternative of fifty years from publication of anonymous work and pseudonymous work. India is a member of the Berne convention.

One of the International copyright protections is Universal Copyright Convention (UCC). The universal copyright convention was signed and entered into force on September 6, 1952. It was revised on 1971 at Paris. The protection given is for published as well as unpublished works. The member countries must grant a minimum copyright term of 25 years from publication, or life of the author plus 25 years. The foreign authors of other member countries must be granted exclusively rights for at least seven years.

The next International Copyright protection for the performers, producers of phonogram and broadcasting organizations is Rome convention. The Rome convention was completed on October 26, 1961 and entered into force on may 18, 1964 basically intend to protect the neighboring rights. Phonogram is a sound recording. The rights in respect of phonograms and performances and broadcasting are called neighboring rights.

The benefits of this convention are performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasters. The protection is granted for twenty years term will vary according to the nature of work. The eligibility to participate in this convention is that a state must be a member of either of the Berne convention or the universal copyright convention.

Another International Copyright protection is WIPO copyright Treaty. It was adopted by the diplomatic conference at Geneva on December 20, 1996 and entered into force on January 1, 1996. This convention is for the protection of rights of performers and produces of phonograms. The term of protection is fifty years.

Some treaties convention gives protection for the unauthorized duplication. On October 29, 1971, the convention for the producers of phonograms against unauthorized duplication of their phonograms is signed at Geneva. The main purpose of this Geneva Convention is to fight against the practice of piracy by third parties.

The convention relating to the distribution of programme- carrying signals transmitted by satellite and audio- visual works is Brussels convention signed on may 21 1974. The main purpose is to battle the misappropriation of satellite signals on an international level. The treaty on international registration of audio-visual works Geneva signed on April 20, 1989 at Geneva. It deals with the registration of audio- visual works at the international level.

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Fanning the Flames of “Media Created” Anxiety – A Break From Unnecessary Drama

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Tips for gaining control of your life…

The news media is more than a source for information and current events. It has become a “roller coaster ride” of drama and self-aggrandizement. We consumers of these presentations are swept up and our visceral anxiety responses are fanned into a frenzy. But why are swept up in this media blitz of emotion?

Since the dawning of the “Information Age” in the 1970’s, we have been steadily drawn into an escalating 24/7 need for worldwide news and the media has provided us with anxiety producing excitement from every corner of the world. Technology allows this instant communication and seems to encourage our “need to know” mentality. We “need to know” because we have a very primitive survival mechanism that stimulates our external focus on any threats, even perceived threats that may exist thousands of miles away, so our unconscious minds can protect us by preparing to fight or to flee from “danger.” When the Flight/Fight Response is triggered, our reactive, survival mechanisms take priority. We can react with “knee jerk” habitual patterns that are unique to our learned responses, but are born from the survival reaction. One major reaction that occurs for many people under threat is a reduced ability to creatively problem solve and communicate effectively. We react and often do not really think things through. When this occurs, mistakes can be made. Accidents can happen. People or projects can get hurt. Relationships can be harmed. Our world can suffer by becoming a victim to poor rational thought in cases of fear or media driven anxiety. It is an extra “heaping, helping” of annoying distractions that take us away from self-care, focus on priorities, and creative pursuits that promote productivity and well-being.

Just before 9/11/2001 our news media changed. Do you remember? About 3 months prior to the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania, the television news media upgraded their reporting to include, not just a “talking head” (reporter) giving us the “news” but also text messages flying by on the bottom of the screen, and often a graphic on the left of the “talking head.” Now we have to deal with 3 sources of information simultaneously. This multi-tasking creates added frenetic anxiety in coping with this increased input. Have humans evolved to keep pace with this new use of technology? When we are threatened, we have a response that NEEDS to know what is going on around us so that we can take action and survive any threat. We are often overwhelmed. We have learned to cope by becoming unconscious regarding this media craziness. The media fights to keep our attention. The media has evolved their approach to sensationalize their coverage, to yell at us even louder, with more graphic events that “demand” our attention. Even the weather news whips us with “STORM” coverage that makes weather events major news, even when it occurs hundreds of miles away!

To combat this media blitz on our senses we must do three things. First, we must become aware that we can become victims to sensationalism that may not necessarily be an immediate threat, and filter the news so that we can respond more appropriately. Secondly, as my friend Rodger Ruge suggests, we should consider a media “Fast,” where we reduce and limit the amount of media news that we subject ourselves to. For many of us, turning off the news, especially before bedtime, would be a very good option. The third necessary step is to practice self-care and strengthen our emotional foundations by eating better, avoiding caffeine, getting regular exercise, and practicing daily relaxation.

Awareness of the media frenzy can help protect us and our children from the “overwhelm.” Since the mid 1980’s, we have been deluged by new technologies that force us to react to news and information that is swirling around us. We have experienced: pagers, fax machines, cable TV with 500 channels, Cell phones, text messaging, e-mail, internet information, changes in media coverage of world “disasters,” “robo-calls” at dinner time, and huge expectations that we are plugged in 24/7 and can respond instantaneously even when we are driving our cars…. This is crazy making! Some people can handle this gracefully, in fact, some people can thrive in this environment. But most of us are just victims to our technology and can benefit from setting some limits on the ways that we use, and react to, our technologies… We need to evolve and to create survival strategies that meet our unique, individual requirements.

Please be smart and figure out how to “not become a VICTIM” to the media and our newest technologies!

When we see natural disasters on the TV, we think that we filter the visceral effects on our survival systems, but our unconscious often reacts to the possible threats that are perceive through our visual and auditory senses. When we witness “coverage” of war zones, murders, attacks, rapes, fires, or vehicular accidents, we may believe that this does not affect us at a “conscious level,” but we are still triggering the flight/fight response in some systems at an unconscious level. Have you ever noticed your heart race or your gut tighten when confronted by news or movies? Does your neck, jaw, or back react to accidents or disasters that you witness in person or on TV? Do thoughts of “media images” ever pop into your conscious mind as you try to sleep? We are bombarded by negative media attacks almost everyday.

Do media pundits ever whip you up with their “news coverage” or editorials so that anger or fear seem to rise to the surface of you or your loved ones? This can be emotionally and physically hard on our systems…. Be aware and do not get caught up in the media circus, if at all possible.

Final note. Many people are studying and applying the principles of the “Law of Attraction” believing that goal setting and positive attitudes toward achieving these goals is essential to success. World class competitive athletes have been using these “Sports Psychology” techniques in their training regimen for decades to achieve advantages in mental preparation in their events. When we get caught in the sensationalized, negative reporting by the various media we are sapped of our positive thoughts and energy. We lose our focus on attracting success and positive outcomes. In fact, we can be overwhelmed by negativity. This can strip you of your ability to problem solve in positive and creative ways. Negative thoughts can attract negative outcomes, mistakes, and ill health. Avoiding negativity (and negative thoughts) can be a path to better health and lead to positive outcomes. “Dwell in the Light” and when you feel overwhelmed, consider turning off the negative newscasts and immerse yourself in a book or audio program, or a video that will inspire you with positive; thoughts, actions, and emotions.

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Social Media Marketing – Wake Up to the Revolution, Market Your Business Online – Part 1

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Are you stuck in the wilderness of old fashioned marketing techniques or are you part of the new revolution?

You might ask, what is Social Media? I’ll ask you: under what rock have you been the last couple of years?

If you want to be part of the revolution I’ll share a few facts with you that will show you why Social Media is one of your most important and powerful marketing strategies to promote your business online TODAY.

What is this Monster then?

“Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues.” As defined by Wikipedia

It is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, MySpace, Blogger, Digg, Orkut, Flikkr to mention a few.

Lets ponder on a few interesting facts that will undoubtedly demonstrate the enormity of this ever evolving media that is fast becoming the new economy of the world – A Big shift indeed!

– When you look at the worlds population, over 50% is under the age of 30 and 96% of them joined some kind of Social Media Network.

– Baby Boomers are joining in their masses

– Personal relationships are formed on these networks – 1 out of 8 marriages today met through Social Media

– It grows faster than any other media in history. To reach 50 Million users:

– Radio took 38 years

– TV took 13 years

– Internet took 4 years

– iPod took 3 years, BUT

FACEBOOK alone added 100 Million users in 9 months,

– today it is the number one activity on the web, outperforming the previous number one- pornography,

– In the USA today there are more online students than students who receive face-to-face education (revealed by a study done by the US Department of Education)

– There are 15 Million articles on Wikipedia (Wiki-Hawaiian term for QUICK). These articles is as accurate as the Encyclopedia of Britannica

– It is a truly on the go media/platforms

– People using it everywhere and at anytime

– It is used by young and old

– This will undoubtedly have an impact on the way you market yourself, your business and the quality of the product or service you render

– This bring a truly new meaning to the term “Word of Mouth Marketing”

This is the NEW ECONOMY, driven by people for people. Instead of having a selling mindset you have to shift to a listening mindset before you can even think of selling to that customer.

You have to come to the party. You must focus on providing high value content, product and service. If you get this right you’ll be able to start showing profits. Why?

People will trust YOU!

This is true for your business. It does not matter if you’re a business from home, a traditional brick and mortar business, an online internet business, or a big corporate business. YOU have to get educated.

Look out for Part 2

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Decluttering Blueprint – Step 4 – Organizing Your Family Room

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Is the gathering area (a.k.a. family room, living room, den, great room) in your home chaotic and cluttered? If so, try the following prescription to create a calm, comfortable and orderly space you’ll love to relax in and entertain family and friends.

  1. Pin down the purpose(s) of your room. Is it your intention to use the family room as a place to watch a movie, curl up and read, play with the kids, take a short nap and gather with friends? Whether you have the foregoing functions in mind or something different, move objects unrelated to the purpose of your room (shoes, clothing and the ironing board) to other more appropriate quarters of your home.
  2. Specify the major categories of items to be kept in your family room. For example:
  • Reading – books, magazines and newspapers
  • Media – TV, VCR, DVD, stereo, videos, CD’s, DVD’s and remotes
  • Toys – dolls, action figures and vehicles
  • Games – board games, puzzles and cards
  • Collections – photos, baseball paraphernalia, etc.
  • Sort everything in your family room into piles that represent the major categories identified in step #2. Begin with all surface items, and then move to objects stored in baskets, drawers, and cabinets. Smart tip: If you haven’t edited your belongings for a number of years, you will find it easier to sort large quantities of things by using a large box to hold the contents of each major category; the boxes will ensure your piles don’t spill over and get mixed up.
  • Cut out the clutter and organize what remains. Working with one category at a time, evaluate each item using the following rules: don’t keep anything you don’t love or use; reduce multiples of any single item; recycle all but the current issue of magazines and newspapers; dispose of broken and unwanted items by pitching them, giving them to someone else, selling, or donating them. Then put the remainder of items in order. For example, eliminate: duplicate pictures, out-of-focus pictures, and unflattering pictures. Then arrange the pictures you want to keep by date or theme, such as home, family, school, vacations, etc. Smart tip: As you’re weeding out clutter from each major category, let go of 20% more stuff than you have room for, that way new acquisitions will have a ready made home.
  • Arrange your room for comfort and functionality. When you have one space that serves multiple functions, consider setting up your room in zones – each to accommodate a different activity. For instance:
  • Reading and gaming. Place a game table and chairs where you have a good light source, it makes a great spot for perusing the paper and playing board games. The same table top can also double as a place to set out snacks when you have friends over. Mount shelving or spot a bookcase on an adjacent wall to house books and gaming materials.
  • Watching TV. Pick a good place to locate your TV and hide electronic gear in cabinetry if you don’t want to see it. Coordinate the arrangement of key seating pieces so you can readily see the screen (and take advantage of the view, if applicable). Position a magazine rack nearby and toss a throw over a plush armchair so you can cover up and catch a cat-nap when it’s chilly.
  • Playing. Tuck toys into baskets or storage ottomans that blend with the aforementioned zones. These types of containers offer an ideal way to store distracting clutter and make the family room a welcoming adult space after the kids have drifted off to dreamland.
  • If needed, use containers you have around your home to accessorize and containerize items that are easy to access. Family rooms are a magnet for books, papers, magazines, and supplies that get piled on the floor and table tops. However, you can organize these items with budget friendly solutions you likely have around your home.
  • Shoe boxes of the same size and color can be used to corral photos, letters, CD’s and more. Using multiple containers with the same color and symmetry will elevate the ordinary into an appealing collection.
  • Fruit crates, baskets, and sturdy totes can be used to hold books, magazines and newspapers.
  • Pottery, glass jars, and mugs are good holders for pens, clips, rubber bands, and push pins.
  • Ice cube trays, muffin tins, box lids, and cutlery trays make great drawer organizers.
  • Vintage luggage and picnic baskets stacked on top of each other work well as side tables and make for durable, attractive storage.
  • Slip items you want to confine into their new vessel and place them where they’ll be pretty and practical. That’s it! You now have a family room that’s organized, easy to clean, and makes smart use of your space.

Stay tuned-the next addition of the Decluttering Blueprint will be released soon.

The professional company logodrawstringbags provides all the information on imprint drawstring bags.

7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Social Media Campaign

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Starting a social media campaign for your business is like entering into a relationship. For it to succeed over the long term you must be committed to it and have realistic expectations as to what you’ll get out of it.

Current statistics show that that 73% of Twitter registrants have posted fewer than 10 messages and one third have posted none at all.

The majority of Facebook fan pages give visitors no incentive to “like” the page. As well, they rarely develop ongoing communication campaigns catered to their fans.

These trends are a clear indication that both people and businesses are participating in social media with either no plan, no goals, or no idea why.

So before you make your first tweet, create a Facebook fan page, or start searching for Linked In connections, ask yourself these questions. The answers may help you better focus your time, resources, and better understand how to include social media into your company’s marketing program.

Why do I want to participate in social media?

With social media “experts” declaring that any business not tweeting or without a Facebook fan page is losing business to competitors, many entrepreneurs feel compelled to participate out of fear. This just leads to frustration when time and money is spent on setting up accounts and custom pages, only to not see any measurable results. The fact is that social media is like any other marketing tool and may not be right for every business. Even so, it must still be used effectively, perhaps as part of a bigger campaign, for any benefits to be seen.

Do I have the time and resources?

Unlike conventional marketing such as ads in a newspaper, direct mail, or even a web site, social media requires continuous attention. Depending on your business, this could range from a few minutes a day to over an hour. Do you have the time, desire and patience to make regular and relevant tweets or update your Facebook page? And while you could have a staff member or virtual assistant do this for you, that means allocating resources and money that you may or may not be able to afford, or could better be used elsewhere.

Can I continuously come up with great content?

Unlike a blog where you can post content on your own schedule, making social media work means posting interesting and relevant content on an ongoing basis. Depending on which guru you listen to, this can mean a few tweets a day to more than 10 per hour. Can you keep up this pace? And do you really have enough to say? Even sharing a mix of personal anecdotes, relevant links, retweets, and business information can only go so far before you start getting mentally exhausted – and frustrated.

What are my goals?

Unless you’re involved in social media for purely social purposes, it’s likely that you are hoping to get some form of financial return out of it. The goals of attracting more clients and more sales is what drives most businesses to social media in the first place. So let’s be realistic – from a business perspective, followers, friends, fans and connections are really nothing more than lists. And if the names on those lists are not the kinds of clients you would like to attract, then you may be preaching to the wrong crowd. The best thing to do is decide what your goals are from the start. For many businesses, clients can come from any geographic area or be any demographic, so social media may be ideal. Think about if you’re trying to create awareness for your company, product, or just you

What are my alternatives?

Social media is just one of hundreds of ways to reach people. Depending on your goals you may find some old fashioned methods produce better results with less resources. Trade shows, direct mail, email, seminars, networking events, newspaper ads, or publicity stunts can still garner the kinds of result you may be looking for. Many companies have successfully used social media to build word-of-mouth “momentum” that originally started from a conventional marketing campaign. Remember the old spice guy? That campaign started as just a television commercial and went on to become the most successful social media campaign ever.

Do people really care?

The open forum concept of Twitter, Facebook and Linked In groups allows for huge numbers of people to talk about common interests. But let’s be honest here. Is your business worthy of discussion? A client of mine who is a self employed dental hygienist was disappointed when her tweets and Facebook postings garnered little response. While they were quality posts, it seemed teeth cleaning was just not a big draw for online discussion. It can be tough to hear, but sometimes the world does not share your passion about your product or service.

How do I measure success?

While many web designers and consultants will point to Google Analytics when asked about return on investment, the fact is that ROI can only be measured in dollars and cents. Your time and resources are worth something, so you must put a value to them and factor that in when developing your social media campaign. If you make $80.00 an hour doing what your core service is, then investing 10 hours in social media will cost you $800.00. If you don’t make that money back in a reasonable period of time, then you will have a negative return. Factor in other costs such as a graphic designer or marketing consultant, and your costs will be even higher. Success should be defined by a set of criteria before you begin your campaign – social media or otherwise.

Think of social media as just one tool in your marketing toolbox. And the most effective marketing campaigns come from knowing what tools to use and when to use them, either alone or in combination.

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