Why A Little Bit Of Marketing Does You Good, Especially At Christmas

My grandpa, who’s a Quaker, used to disapprove of the fact that I ventured into marketing, but he’s coming round to my way of thinking, even at the grand age of 92. He is suspicious of marketing (in his mind – a term synonymous with extracting money from a gullible party, for the benefit of corporate greed) and doesn’t believe in profit, even though profit itself is not a bad thing.

I bring this issue up because in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s going to be Christmas soon and as usual any company which can exploit Christmas as a commercial theme is doing so. But before we exchange our Christmas wreath for cynicism on our front door, sometimes marketing can be beneficial and the creativity in marketing campaigns can be enjoyed by the consumer.

Take for instance (but not for instant) Starbucks Coffee Company, no longer is it just a coffee company! If you’re still refusing to do your Christmas shopping online, marketing executives at Starbucks have come up with a few ideas so that you can break the shopping up with interludes of Gingerbread Latte, Eggnog Latte or Toffee Nut Latte ( http://starbucks.co.uk/en-GB/_Favorite+Beverages/Christmas+Beverages.htm ). You could even come back after the shopping and have a Chocolate Mint Bliss or Mint Chocolate Chip Frappuccino. If Marketing brings Gingerbread Lattes, then it’s got to be a good thing.

It’s not just the high street shops which are getting festive. Online stores are getting into the Christmas spirit too, even finance companies; the traditional residences of Scrooge type characters. Moneynet, a personal finance information research specialist, has brought out a Christmas finance guide ( http://www.moneynet.co.uk/christmas-savings-guide/index.shtml ), with a range of money-saving tips to help the innocent consumer navigate their way past loan sharks who feed on the financial difficulties of certain families, particularly at Christmas.

But lets not dwell on the doom and gloom, lets think about the children, what’s marketing doing for them? Well… the Early Learning Centre has developed a special Christmas section ( http://www.elc.co.uk/category-720 ) on its website to inspire parents, grandparents and relatives with ideas of suitable gifts for the children. If your daughter is more into Stevie Wonder than Golden Wonder, then she might be impressed with the Pink Keyboard And Stool; though remember, musical toys last for years not just for Christmas, it’s your sanity at stake.

But Christmas isn’t just for the kids, it’s for the “big kids” too. Justtoys is a site which sells toys for parents, buying toys for their children. If my parents are reading this, or even my colleagues, I quite fancy the Radio Control Dalek http://www.justtoys.com/toy.asp/Toy/33/buy/radio-control-dalek.htm which offers seven phrases triggered by buttons on the remote control, 360 degree on the spot rotational movement and the Dome and Eyestalk move from side to side as it moves. Beats slippers and writing paper any day.

Marketing and commercial competition has also made a fantastic choice available on the internet and it gives us ideas, when we’ve run out of inspiration ourselves. So whilst we need to remain sceptical about advertising, there are some advantages to profit investment …

… and Starbucks Chocolate Mint Bliss is one of them.

Wholesale Marketing Business

Now you have made the decision that you want to get into the wholesale marketing business, it is now time to start making some money, this is great as it is one of the fastest growing industries on the net, actually it is one of the fastest growing industries period. So, what have you decided to sell? Have you figured this part out yet?, or are you still up in the air with this one? There are some very important things to consider when going into wholesale Internet marketing, capital is a huge issue, but the biggest issue seems to be the storage and product capacity problems. Do your research first and gather all the information you can, try to find out what seems to be working for other people who are working in the same kind of business.

Have you ever considered selling a product that people collect? What about sports cards? This is a very big market, and you could easily find some storage space in even a modest sized home for the product to be shipped in mass quantity. This is a market that is really taking off; there are people in every walk of life that collects these sports cards. From football cards to baseball cards the product is still the same, small and easy to store until it is sold and shipped. You see the problem with choosing a large-scale item such as clothing, or stereo equipment, means that you will need adequate space to store it until you ship it. If you are just starting out, renting a storage space for the product makes for a certain drop in your profits. Not to mention the insurance you will want to take out to keep you and your wholesalers business safe, in the event of fire or theft.

This is why smaller items that are still popular may be the best bet for positive results and a chance to keep all of your profits. The option is there for the wholesaler to keep the product at their storage facility until the sale is final, and it is even possible for them to ship the item to the customer saving you the trouble. The major problem with this is, everything that the wholesaler has to do such as storing and shipping the items eats away at your profits. If they store it, they will charge you for the use of space. and if they ship it for you, they will ship it the way they want to regardless if that ends up costing you more, either way it matters not to them. This is because it will come out of your share in the end. This then takes you from a legitimate business partner to a simple run of the mill salesperson without most of the perks. When starting your wholesale marketing business maybe it really is better to think small.

Wireless Networks: How Do They Work?

Wireless networks use radio waves instead of wires to transmit data between computers. Here’s how:

The Binary Code: 1s and 0s

It’s well known that computers transmit information digitally, using binary code: ones and zeros. This translates well to radio waves, since those 1s and 0s can be represented by different kinds of beeps. These beeps are so fast that they’re outside the hearing range of humans.

Morse Code: Dots And Dashes

It works like Morse code, which is a way to transmit the alphabet over radio waves using dots (short beeps) and dashes (long beeps). Morse code was used manually for years via telegraph to get information from 1 place to another very quickly. More importantly for this example, though, it is a binary system, just as a computer system is.

Wireless networking, then, can be thought of as a Morse code for computers. You plug in a combined radio receiver and transmitter, and the computer is able to send out its equivalent of dots and dashes (bits, in computer-speak) to get your data from here to there.

Wavelengths And Frequencies

You might wonder how the computer can send and receive data at high speed without becoming garbled nonsense. The key to wireless networking is how it gets around this problem.

First, wireless transmissions are sent at very high frequencies, which allows more data to be sent per second. Most wireless connections use a frequency of 2.4 gigahertz (2.4 billion cycles per second) — a frequency similar to mobile phones and microwave ovens. However, this high frequency produces a wavelength that is very short, which is why wireless networking is effective only over short distances.

Wireless networks also use a technique called “frequency hopping.” They use dozens of frequencies, and constantly switch among them. This makes wireless networks more immune to interference from other radio signals than if they transmitted on a single frequency.

Internet Access Points

The final step for a wireless network is to provide internet access for every computer on the network. This is done by a special piece of wireless equipment called an access point. An access point is more expensive than a wireless card for 1 computer, because it contains radios capable of communicating with around 100 computers, sharing internet access among them. Dedicated access points are necessary only for larger networks. With only a few computers, it is possible to use 1 of them as the access point, or to use a wireless router.

Industry Standards

Wireless equipment from different manufacturers can work together to handle these complex communications because there are standards which guide the production of all wireless devices. These standards are technically called the 802.11. Because of industry compliance with these standards, wireless networking is both easy to use and affordable today.

Wireless Is Simple To Use

If all this talk of frequencies has you worried — relax. Wireless networking hardware and software handle all of this automatically, without need for user intervention. Wireless networking, for all its complicated ability, is far simpler to use than you might expect.

Who’s Your Target Market? Hint It’s Probably Not The Guy At The 7-11

Like most, my first few attempts at network marketing failed miserably. Looking back, I now realize this is because of how I was taught. The most poisonous of the crap your upline tells has got to be that everybody is a prospect. This idea alone is probably responsible for more failures in this business than anything else. You want to lower your self-esteem a couple notches? Try using the 3-foot rule more than a few minutes.

So if everybody is not your prospect, then who is? Many these days are focusing on people looking for home-based businesses, but is this really going far enough? My own experience with this has shown me that many people looking for legitimate home businesses consider network marketing taboo. I’ve seriously had people ask me, “Is this MLM?” When I say it is, more often than not, the line goes dead. They have their reasons, many of them valid, but that’s a whole other subject.

I’ve also encountered people who were looking for business opportunities who wanted nothing to do with selling. What? Show me one business that stays afloat without selling. Too many of these people believe the hype that’s out there. You know, like “No selling involved?” This alone makes them less than ideal candidates to be considered a target market for network marketers.

Who then? Who understands network marketing requires work and discipline? Who has made their names list, done business presentations for their families and friends and, because they were taught to find a way to snake their business opportunity into every conversation, now find themselves not being invited to family gatherings and such? Well, considering more than 95% of network marketers fail within three to four months, the answer should be somewhat obvious. The target market for network marketers is fellow network marketers.

I’m not saying to persuade those in other companies to join your opportunity. More than likely, that would also end in frustration. However, with a 95% failure rate, there are a whole lot of people out there who believe in network marketing but haven’t been given the proper support or training. This is where you come in.

If you target these disillusioned, but motivated souls, you’ll find a gold mine. By teaching them solid, no nonsense marketing techniques, many are likely to succeed, which translates into more success for you.

Wireless Installation Checklist

Buyer Beware – Ignorance can be a financial waste and a lot of hassals. Before you buy any wireless equipment, you need to be sure about what you’re doing. There’s nothing worse than having everything there and finding that it doesn’t work in your house, or with your computers, or over the distances you need. Here’s a handy checklist of the things that you really ought to do before you go out and spend any of your hard-earned cash on wireless networking equipment.

Interference Checks

While it won’t stop a wireless network from working altogether, interference in its frequency range can slow it down significantly, as well as reducing its range. If something is causing interference, the first thing you’ll know about it is when your connection stops working — unless you know what to look for.

There are two very common causes of wireless interference: wireless phones and microwave ovens. 2.4Ghz, the most common wireless networking frequency, is also a commonly-used wireless phone frequency. It is possible, though, to find phones that use other frequencies. Microwave ovens, on the other hand, operate at around 2.4Ghz by definition. It should be alright to have devices like these in your house, but certainly not in the same room as any computer that you plan to use a wireless connection with.

Wall Construction

Wireless can, in theory, pass through walls and other partitions easily. In practice, though, some walls are more solid than others, which means that they are more likely to block some of the signal. Note that it’s only your interior partitions that matter, not the exterior ones. This does, however, include your floors, if you want the connection to work between levels.

Wireless does well with partitions made from: drywall, plywood, other wood (including doors), glass.

Wireless has trouble with: brick, plaster, cement, metal, stone, double-glazed glass.

Basically, it’s all to do with how porous the materials are — ones that let more of other things through also let more of your wireless signal through.

If you have a wall made of one of the ‘bad’ materials, it’s not the end of the world. It just means that your wireless connection might have a slower speed or a shorter range. You may want to spend more than you otherwise would to get better equipment and overcome this problem.

Decide Your Budget.

You need to stand back, take a look at your needs, and decide how much you’re going to spend. Do you have long distances to cover? Do you want your connection to go through stone walls? Each factor will help you decide how much you should be looking to spend — remember that the more problems you have, the more power you will need. On the other hand, if you live in a small wooden house, you can probably just go for the cheapest thing you can find.

Read Reviews.

It’s well worth searching a site like amazon.com for wireless equipment, and taking a look at people’s reviews to see what the different brands out there are like, and what you can get for your money. It is always a very bad idea to buy something without getting a second, third and fourth opinion, especially if you’re buying it online. If you can, try to get to a computer shop and see some wireless networking equipment in action before you commit yourself.

Install and Update Windows XP.

Finally, your wireless life will really be improved if you have the latest version of Windows. Because wireless is such a new technology, it wasn’t really around in any significant way back when Windows 98, ME and 2000 were released, and support for them wasn’t built in to the system. You’ll have a lot more trouble getting wireless to work on systems like these than you would on Windows XP.

Even if you’ve got Windows XP, though, that doesn’t solve the problem entirely. Windows XP Service Pack 2 (an updated version of Windows XP) contains much easier-to-use tools for configuring and using wireless than the un-updated versions do. If you’ve been using your copy of Windows for a while without updating it, you should really make sure you’ve got all the latest updates from http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com before you go any further.

Who’s Your Guru?

The other day I was talking to a guy at the health club I just joined. (Never had time when I was working for someone else.) We started talking about our personal trainers. If you aren’t familiar with the term, these are fitness experts who are educated to design work-out routines based on an individuals strengths, needs and goals.

Anyway, Rick said something that struck me right between the eyes. “I got so confused reading all the books and fitness magazines. Everyone has a different opinion of what works the best. I finally figured if I was going to work out, I might as well pick one expert, listen to them and follow their program.”

Later, as I was driving my sore body home, I thought about how appropriate Rick’s comment was to Internet Marketing. Everyone’s an expert. (Even people who have yet to sell their first eBook.) And there are a million programs, books, secrets, techniques and tactics that will work for you.

The problem is, you can easily fall into what my favorite business school professor called, “Analysis Paralysis”. That’s where a lot of people are stuck. They keep reading, and it gets in the way of actually doing something.

***** I was guilty *****

I was guilty of this, too. I must have bought several hundred dollars worth of books and courses before I found what worked for me.

Fortunately, the expert I decided to follow was, in hindsight, an excellent choice. And by following his advice and listening to his ideas, I have built up a couple of successful income streams.

My point isn’t that my “guru” is the right one for everyone. The point is to pick one or maybe a couple of people you really respect, and model them. Of course, make sure they are actually successful in their own businesses first. But when you find someone you respect and whose style you like, listen to their advice and follow what they recommend in their writings.

***** Save Your Brain *****

Following this strategy can save lots of brain cells that you would spend switching strategies and tactics. It avoids confusion and gives you a good point of reference from which to work.

You don’t have to keep reading and searching for the latest eBooks. Assume your guru knows the latest tactics and will advise you of how well they work.

I’m not saying you never look at another eBook or eZine again, it’s just that you have one primary star you follow, it’s that much easier to find your way.

Wireless Home Security Camera

Home security is an important issue for any person. A person’s home is their castle and they want to feel safe and secure. There are several security measures that can be implemented to ensure security such as alarms but one that ensures peace of mind is a wireless home security camera package.

What’s need in the package is a camera to fit either just outside the front or back door that transmits a wireless signal. The best one to buy would be one that has night vision to ensure you can see everything at night. The second would be a receiver. Some receivers have screens so you can watch what’s going on no matter where you are and others need to be connected to a computer or television to see the transmission.

If connected to a computer or television the live feed from the camera can be directly recorded to a hard drive or a cassette or DVD depending on which is convenient. Several cameras can be implemented to get several signals meaning more coverage of the home and the surrounding area.

These wireless home security packages are common and can be purchased at most electronics stores. They are on the expensive side but are worth the purchase for the kind of technology it has. With almost everything becoming wireless these days it was only a matter of time until cameras became wireless also.

Most people need some sort of security measure in place, not for protection, but for peace of mind that they are safe in their home. Although there are several other measures that can be implemented in terms of security, the wireless home security camera is a valuable tool for keeping an eye on things at all times. It will complement any other security measure you have in place and will not disappoint.

Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure

It is a hierarchical representation of all the objects and their attributes available on the network. It enables administrators to manage the network resources, i.e., computers, users, printers, shared folders, etc., in an easy way. The logical structure represented by Active Directory consists of forests, trees, domains, organizational units, and individual objects. This structure is completely independent from the physical structure of the network, and allows administrators to manage domains according to the organizational needs without bothering about the physical network structure.

Following is the description of all logical components of the Active Directory structure:
Forest: A forest is the outermost boundary of an Active Directory structure. It is a group of multiple domain trees that share a common schema but do not form a contiguous namespace. It is created when the first Active Directory-based computer is installed on a network. There is at least one forest on a network. The first domain in a forest is called a root domain. It controls the schema and domain naming for the entire forest. It can be separately removed from the forest. Administrators can create multiple forests and then create trust relationships between specific domains in those forests, depending upon the organizational needs.
Trees: A hierarchical structure of multiple domains organized in the Active Directory forest is referred to as a tree. It consists of a root domain and several child domains. The first domain created in a tree becomes the root domain. Any domain added to the root domain becomes its child, and the root domain becomes its parent. The parent-child hierarchy continues until the terminal node is reached. All domains in a tree share a common schema, which is defined at the forest level. Depending upon the organizational needs, multiple domain trees can be included in a forest.
Domains: A domain is the basic organizational structure of a Windows Server 2003 networking model. It logically organizes the resources on a network and defines a security boundary in Active Directory. The directory may contain more than one domain, and each domain follows its own security policy and trust relationships with other domains. Almost all the organizations having a large network use domain type of networking model to enhance network security and enable administrators to efficiently manage the entire network.
Objects: Active Directory stores all network resources in the form of objects in a hierarchical structure of containers and subcontainers, thereby making them easily accessible and manageable. Each object class consists of several attributes. Whenever a new object is created for a particular class, it automatically inherits all attributes from its member class. Although the Windows Server 2003 Active Directory defines its default set of objects, administrators can modify it according to the organizational needs.
Organizational Unit (OU): It is the least abstract component of the Windows Server 2003 Active Directory. It works as a container into which resources of a domain can be placed. Its logical structure is similar to an organization’s functional structure. It allows creating administrative boundaries in a domain by delegating separate administrative tasks to the administrators on the domain. Administrators can create multiple Organizational Units in the network. They can also create nesting of OUs, which means that other OUs can be created within an OU.
In a large complex network, the Active Directory service provides a single point of management for the administrators by placing all the network resources at a single place. It allows administrators to effectively delegate administrative tasks as well as facilitate fast searching of network resources. It is easily scalable, i.e., administrators can add a large number of resources to it without having additional administrative burden. It is accomplished by partitioning the directory database, distributing it across other domains, and establishing trust relationships, thereby providing users with benefits of decentralization, and at the same time, maintaining the centralized administration.

The physical network infrastructure of Active Directory is far too simple as compared to its logical structure. The physical components are domain controllers and sites.
Domain Controller: A Windows 2003 server on which Active Directory services are installed and run is called a domain controller. A domain controller locally resolves queries for information about objects in its domain. A domain can have multiple domain controllers. Each domain controller in a domain follows the multimaster model by having a complete replica of the domain’s directory partition. In this model, every domain controller holds a master copy of its directory partition. Administrators can use any of the domain controllers to modify the Active Directory database. The changes performed by the administrators are automatically replicated to other domain controllers in the domain.

However, there are some operations that do not follow the multimaster model. Active Directory handles these operations and assigns them to a single domain controller to be accomplished. Such a domain controller is referred to as operations master. The operations master performs several roles, which can be forest-wide as well as domain-wide.
Forest-wide roles: There are two types of forest-wide roles:

Schema Master and Domain Naming Master. The Schema Master is responsible for maintaining the schema and distributing it to the entire forest. The Domain Naming Master is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the forest by recording additions of domains to and deletions of domains from the forest. When new domains are to be added to a forest, the Domain Naming Master role is queried. In the absence of this role, new domains cannot be added.
Domain-wide roles: There are three types of domain-wide roles: RID Master, PDC Emulator, and Infrastructure Master.

RID Master: The RID Master is one of the operations master roles that exist in each domain in a forest. It controls the sequence number for the domain controllers within a domain. It provides a unique sequence of RIDs to each domain controller in a domain. When a domain controller creates a new object, the object is assigned a unique security ID consisting of a combination of a domain SID and a RID. The domain SID is a constant ID, whereas the RID is assigned to each object by the domain controller. The domain controller receives the RIDs from the RID Master. When the domain controller has used all the RIDs provided by the RID Master, it requests the RID Master to issue more RIDs for creating additional objects within the domain. When a domain controller exhausts its pool of RIDs, and the RID Master is unavailable, any new object in the domain cannot be created.

PDC Emulator: The PDC emulator is one of the five operations master roles in Active Directory. It is used in a domain containing non-Active Directory computers. It processes the password changes from both users and computers, replicates those updates to backup domain controllers, and runs the Domain Master browser. When a domain user requests a domain controller for authentication, and the domain controller is unable to authenticate the user due to bad password, the request is forwarded to the PDC emulator. The PDC emulator then verifies the password, and if it finds the updated entry for the requested password, it authenticates the request.

Infrastructure Master: The Infrastructure Master role is one of the Operations Master roles in Active Directory. It functions at the domain level and exists in each domain in the forest. It maintains all inter-domain object references by updating references from the objects in its domain to the objects in other domains. It performs a very important role in a multiple domain environment. It compares its data with that of a Global Catalog, which always has up-to-date information about the objects of all domains. When the Infrastructure Master finds data that is obsolete, it requests the global catalog for its updated version. If the updated data is available in the global catalog, the Infrastructure Master extracts and replicates the updated data to all the other domain controllers in the domain.

Domain controllers can also be assigned the role of a Global Catalog server. A Global Catalog is a special Active Directory database that stores a full replica of the directory for its host domain and the partial replica of the directories of other domains in a forest. It is created by default on the initial domain controller in the forest. It performs the following primary functions regarding logon capabilities and queries within Active Directory:
It enables network logon by providing universal group membership information to a domain controller when a logon request is initiated.

It enables finding directory information about all the domains in an Active Directory forest.

A Global Catalog is required to log on to a network within a multidomain environment. By providing universal group membership information, it greatly improves the response time for queries. In its absence, a user will be allowed to log on only to his local domain if his user account is external to the local domain.
Site: A site is a group of domain controllers that exist on different IP subnets and are connected via a fast and reliable network connection. A network may contain multiple sites connected by a WAN link. Sites are used to control replication traffic, which may occur within a site or between sites. Replication within a site is referred to as intrasite replication, and that between sites is referred to as intersite replication. Since all domain controllers within a site are generally connected by a fast LAN connection, the intrasite replication is always in uncompressed form. Any changes made in the domain are quickly replicated to the other domain controllers. Since sites are connected to each other via a WAN connection, the intersite replication always occurs in compressed form. Therefore, it is slower than the intrasite replication.

Why use URL shorteners?

You must have seen them. Web addresses like http://tinyurl.com/2gj2z3 which, when you click on them, take you to another web page. Why use them? Are there any risks in using them?

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. It’s the posh technical term for a web address. Web addresses normally take the form http://www.somesite.com/somepage.html, which is not too much of a problem. But some site names can get very long, and so can page names. The increased use of database-driven sites mean that URLs can get very long indeed, and most of them is computer gobbledygook. They are impossible to type in, if you are reading them in a print article, and often get corrupted by word-wrapping when they appear in an email or blog posting.

An URL shortener is a web service that takes a long address that’s hard to type, and turns it into a short one. You should use them in articles for print publication, classified ads, emails, blog and forum postings, anywhere there is a danger that the full address may be corrupted, or that someone may need to type the address into a browser manually.

But there is a danger in using short URLs that may make people afraid to use them. The short address disguises the real destination. This makes it easy for somebody to post an innocent looking message encouraging people to click on a link that takes them to a site which infects their computer with spyware, or something equally undesirable.

Some URL shortening services have tried to address this problem. The most well-known service, TinyURL.com, has an optional preview page that shows you the target address before you go there. But you have to know to type “preview” in front of the address, or visit the site and set it as a permanent option. Those who don’t know about this are still vulnerable to deception.

A safe URL shortener would not allow the creation of links to undesirable sites. It would also always display a preview page, so the user always sees where the link is taking them before they go there. xaddr.com uses Internet blacklists to prevent its use to disguise sites that are advertised by spam. Its preview page offers a link to McAfee’s Site Advisor, which can be used to check the safety of the destination.

Next time you need to write a long web address, use an URL shortener. But to encourage confidence that no harm will come from clicking the link, pick a safe one.