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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Top 5 Sites for Social Networking and Micro-Blogging (Leslie Lyon (c) 2009 Spas2b Inc. )

1. LinkedIn - Use LinkedIn for business referrals and leads. A great way to introduce men to your business. This business-oriented site is used for professional networking and has a primary demographic of males averaging 41 years of age. Your developed "connections" are people you know and trust in the business. Your connections, connections & their connections (called second degree and third degree connections) allow you to be introduced to possible business opportunities. You can join relevant alumni, industry, or professional groups of your choice.

2. Twitter - Use Twitter to notify your clients of latest business developments; promotions and business initiatives. Demographic of 35-49 is biggest. This "follow-me" site allows you to put in up to 140 characters which are displayed on your profile page and delivered to those who have subscribed to, or are following you. You can restrict or allow open access to your "tweets". It's free unless you use SMS (short message service). 6 million unique visitors monthly. Currently the fastest growing site in the Member Communities category for 2009. Although discovered by the media, still under 7% of the population uses it, but growth over last year was a whopping 1,382% .

3. BizNik - Use BizNik to establish yourself as an expert in your industry through articles and content. BizNik is for people building real businesses. It's a good place to go to share conversation about your business and entrepreneurial endeavours. The site is based on relationships, not referrals. You can teach a seminar; post on the boards; download your articles; host an online event; attend an online event, etc.

4. Facebook - Use Facebook to "tap into the fountain of youth". Join in by city; workplace; school, etc. You can choose your friends and use privacy settings which allow you to control what type of information is automatically shared. The most popular application is the ability to upload unlímited photos. You can now also send "gifts" for $1.00 with a personalized message to your friends; and post free classified ads to those in your network. 228% growth year over year, with the fastest growing demographic being those 25 years and older.

5. MySpace - Use MySpace to recruit, educate, introduce and boost awareness of your business and industry as a whole. One of the fastest growing websites of all time, with the primary user being 18 years of age and older. This interactive network is a user-submitted site of friends, groups, videos, musicians, photos, blogs, etc. You can use "bulletins" to deliver your message; designated groups can share a common page and message board; full service classified listings are available; you can upload recordings, and much more.

Leslie Lyon (c) 2009 Spas2b Inc.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

10 Tips For Creating a Brilliant Landing Page (Joanna Colek, SiteProNews )

- Relevant Content

A landing page's content should be directly related to organic search results, PPC campaign, anchor text in inbound links and any other targeted inbound advertising, online and offline. If people don't get what they expect, they will be more likely to leave.

- Multiple Landing Pages

A landing page shouldn't necessarily be your homepage. In many instances a homepage is a good landing page. However, for more targeted traffíc and better results, you want a landing page to be focused on a specific offering and specific call for action. To accomplish this, a given website should have multiple landing pages. Create some deep link landing pages that will focus on a specific proposition and your conversion rate will be higher.

- Focus on Functionality

More and more visitors seem to judge the professionalism and credibility of a site by its design. To satisfy this, many website owners concentrate on the design aspect instead of focusing on its functionality. A well-designed landing page is essentially worthless if the prospect can't accomplish anything. While I wouldn't suggest skimping on the design, it shouldn't be your priority. Focus on the exact steps you want your visitor to take and design a page with that in mind.

- Call To Action

You got visitors to your landing page, now direct them to take action. Make it clear and highly noticeable without overwhelming your audience. Whether it's a sign-up form or a "buy now" button, make it the focus of your page.

- Send a Clear Message

Keep your landing page clean and clutter free so your visitors stay focused on your message. Emphasize the biggest reasons that they should carry out the applicable call to action with larger text, contrasting colors, images. Make it easier for them to scan the content by using lists and getting right to the point.

- Provide Incentive

Bribing your visitors with freebies and samples is a proven method of enticing them to sign up. Provide more than your competition but don't sell yourself short either. Provide a list of reasons why your offering is better and what exactly the visitor can expect. Provide references and testimonials.

- Make Visitors Stay

Avoid sending your visitors to another page unless it is absolutely necessary. That includes any internal navigation as well as external banners. If you eliminate all distractions and limit navigation options, you stand a better chance of keeping your visitors around.

- Simple is Better

Make it easy for your visitors to complete the action you want them to. Less confusion and decision making for your visitor means better conversions rate for your landing page. Don't provide multiple choices and throw in optional extras. Focus on the pitch the page was created for.

- Power of Freebies

Everyone likes free offers. They are hard to resist and can be a powerful conversion tool. Whether a call to action is free or something free is receíved as a result of carrying out a call to action, it certainly doesn't hurt. If your competition charges for something and you provide it for free, you'll win the customer. Remember, just because you make a free offer doesn't mean that it shouldn't be quality.

- Testing

In a recent post "How to Turn Website Visitors into Buyers", I've stressed how important testing is in finding out what your visitors like. Testing various text, call to action forms, layouts will give you a true idea what produces the best results as far as conversion.

Using a tool like Google's Website Optimizer you can easily monitor the conversion rate, bounce rate, and tons of other useful metrics found in most modern day web analytics apps. Using these metrics you can easily figure out which version will be your optimal page, one that maximizes the results.

Creating a successful and effective landing page takes a lot of work but should be the focus for anyone involved with a website. Whether you are a website owner, web designer, web developer or a web marketing specialist you must be aware of the components that comprise a solid landing page. After all this can mean a website's success or failure.

Joanna Colek is the owner of Joanna Ciolek Web Design Studio, based in North Denver, Colorado. She offers affordable, custom and effective web design services to small business owners.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ARTS REVIEWS: Isabel Pérez del Pulgar - SERIES: Second Skin - Screens Play 1

Isabel Pérez del Pulgar (Plastic Artist; Granada, Spain)
One extraordinary triptych. Any saturation of means or technical equipment does not guarantee a decent and creative product. Otherwise, what need did Van Gogh have of paying tribute to his boots by painting them in a canvas?

Imagination has no rival. And neither has self-discipline!

"Three screens. Three Space fragmentations. Consecutive and silent among themselves. Or fighting one another whilst disputing their very own refraction. Three screens. Three mirrors dubiously sharing an image. Isabel Pérez del Pugar."

Systematic Consistency in Business Coaching Business (Neil Sinclair, Action Coach)


More 'Tips' and advice on 'How to become a profitable Business Coach'...

Tip #2 from Neil Sinclair and his team at ActionCOACH Business Coaching -

Do you understand all the business systems you need in place in a Coaching Business to help you achieve a profitable Business Coaching Business? You need multiple marketing systems, Sales systems, Coaching systems and operational and support systems. All these systems are there to help you and your business achieve one thing - 'Systematic Consistency'.

Just consider how 'empowering' it would be for you knowing that these systems can consistently deliver results. To get this 'Systematic Consistency' first you have to have systems and then you need to gain 'Mastery' in the application of these systems. We will show you how an ActionCOACH Business Coaching Franchise has all these systems in place and the benefits to you of having access to them so you can achieve success much faster...

To find out more about ActionCOACH Business Coaching go to:

Neil Sinclair.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

BOOKS REVIEWS: Hidden Faces (Salvador Dalí, 1944)


The basic theme of Hidden Faces is love-in-death. We here have a treatment in modern dress of the ancient and perennial Tristan and Isolde myth. Nothing gives greater intensity to love than the imminence of death, and nothing gives greater poignancy to death than its irremediable severing of the bonds of love. The motif of death, however, is balanced by its counterpart: resurrection. This secondary but pervasive theme of new life emerging out of decay and destruction runs through the whole novel, and it is symbolised from the first page to the last by the forest of cork-oaks which pushes forth tender yellow-green shoots every spring in the plain of Creuz de Libreux.
...But perhaps the chief interest of this novel lies in the tramposition that the author makes from the values that are paramount in the plastic arts to those that belong to literary creation. For if it is true that Dali´s painting is figurative to the point of being photographic, and is in that sense ´old-fashioned´, his writing is above all enhanced by a stimulation of all the other senses - sound, smell, taste, touch - as well as by adumbrations of the ultra-sensory, the irrational, the spiritual and the interwoven in the warp and weft of human life as reflected in a hypersensitive consciousness. The story of the tangled lives of the protagonists - Count Hervé de Grandsailles, Solage de Cledá, John Randolph, Veroncia Stevens, Betka and the great - from the February riots in Paris in 1934 to the closing days of the war constitutes a dramatic and highly readable vehicle for the fireworks of Dali´s philosophical and psychological ideas and his verbal images.
...(...) Whether or not Dali paints as effectively with words as he does with brush and paint, those who have been fascinated by his pictorial creations cannot fail to find his venture into this new medium absorbing.

Haakon Chevalier

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ART REVIEWS: Diane Arbus (1923 – 1971), Mother of the New Social Photography


Diane Arbus Double Self-Portrait With Infant Daughter (1945)

Diane Arbus (1923 – 1971), cult and pivotal figure of the "new" socio-critical wave of documentary photography in the latter half of the 20th century, developed a very immediate visual language to portray not only people on the outer rim of social acceptability, but also the mask-like comfortably off citizen of the middle classes.
Masked Woman in a Wheelchair (1970)
Untitled (1970-1971)
Lists from a 1959 notebook

From 1955 Arbus studied under Lisette Model, who encouraged her to concentrate on personal shots. From then on her subjects included people both on the street and in their homes, political refugees, midgets, giants, twins, drag artists, nudists and the mentally ill. Her shots of society´s outsiders combine the often dark, disturbing subjects with an objectivity and calm attentiveness that grants the viewer a certain distance to the pictures. Rather than forward any philosophical position in her work, she wished simply to document the world in all its many aces. The result was not pure pictorial documentation, but descriptions of psychological realities that capture more the private than the social context.
Untitled (1971)

Untitled (1970-1971)

Arbus´ work had a great influence on the international photography scene of her day, an was the object of much discussion. In 1967 she participated in the "New Documents" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1971 she put an end to her life and a year later she was the first woman photographer to be exhibited at the Venice Biennale. That same year the New York Museum of Modern Art staged a large touring exhibition, which attracted over 7 million visitors.


Tattoed Man at a Carnival (1970)

Untitled (1970-1971)


(*) Text from: 20th Century Photography (Taschen, Museum Ludwig Cologne 2001)

See more of her works at:


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On Profitable Business Coaching (Neil Sinclair, Action Coach)


'How you can become a Profitable Business Coach. Here is your first tip... Tip #1 -

'Make sure you treat your Business as a Business that needs to make a profit, not just a job that supplies you with the ability to maintain your standard of living!. Most Coaches who we see outside of ActionCOACH Business Coaching see themselves as Coaches first and Business Owners need to have your focus the other way round. If you are going to become the Owner of a Business Coaching Company and a Coach within that company make sure you have two clear identities and roles. The first role is the owner as a shareholder who demands a profitable return on your investment in your business. Owners of Businesses should spend most of their time working 'On' the business. The second identity is that of the Coach whom is spending most of their time working 'In' the business...please recognise and focus on both roles within your business....

To find out more about ActionCOACH Business Coaching go to:

Neil Sinclair.

What Skills Are Required To Be A Good Translator? (By John T. Smith; Ezinearticles )


These days, people all across the globe generally believe that translation is just the involuntary substitution of languages, and therefore anybody can be a translator if she or he knows a foreign language. This perception is completely wrong, just having a good knowledge of foreign languages does not give any 100% assurance that a translation will be rendered reasonably well. In simple words translation requires skill to make the right and good analysis of the meaning in the target language. Moreover, a translator must be aware of the essence of the subject besides having a fine awareness of the language, including language rules, and spelling rules.

However, as the world is getting more globalize, in the past couple of years we are coming across the greatest challenge of text conversion and that is how to find the proper equilibrium between conveying the sense and beauty of the initial text and making the target conversion more efficient and effective. Only talented translators are competent of finding this sense of balance. So having a superior knowledge of the translation subject is just a part of the translation process.

A skilled text converter has something else and it is his/her talent. He or she must have the ability to make a virtual world where the source language author and the target language reader can network with one another. A talented text converter makes the best use of the nuance present in the source text in order to develop a fresh and effective target text.

The service that translators provide to enhance cultures and nurture languages has been noteworthy throughout history. Translators are transferring messages from one language to another, while preserving the underlying cultural ideas and values. Focusing on these facts, today some questions are being raised: what expertise is needed to encourage translating ability? How can someone turn into a good translator? If you are serious about becoming a successful translator, you must be able to fulfill or follow the following criteria:

1: The first and most important step is reading of different translations of different types of texts. An effective translating requires first-class knowledge, so approachable skills should be developed before performing any text conversion. An excellent translator has a complete knowledge of both source and target speech, so you must understand the diverse genres in both source and target verbal communication. It helps in improving reading aptitude in general, and gives insights, which can be subconsciously useful.

2: The second most vital talent required is the potential to write appropriately in both source and target languages. Writing is the chief work of a text converter. You should be well aware of different styles of writing and morals of editing in both source and target language. Factors like editing and proper punctuation usage increase the value and readability of the translation.

3. You should have listening ability to understand and alertness to grasp various expressions, idioms, and specific vocabulary and their uses. This talent is like an intuition and can't be developed easily, so to a certain extent it requires regular practice. Language intuition is like a necessity for all those who want to be proficient translators.

4. The act of translating is like accepting the significance of the source text within the framework of the source-language discourse. Now in order to enlarge this understanding, you must make yourself aware with cultural divergence and the diverse strategies present in the source and target verbal communication.

5. You should also be well aware of diverse registers, styles of speaking, and social stratification of both source and target languages. This socio-cultural awareness, helps in improving the quality of translations to a large level. It is very important to understand that the work of translating takes place in the socio-cultural framework; as a result it is very vital to evaluate translating activity only within a social perspective.

6. In order to develop excellent translation proficiency, you have to become yourself attentive of different knowledge-providing sources like bilingual dictionaries, encyclopedias and learn how to utilize them. Now using dictionaries requires a very technical proficiency. Words have diverse meanings in different circumstance, and therefore you have to perform a repetitive exercise to know the projected meaning of words in a specific situation.

7. In addition to this you should know the sentence structure of indirect speech and different figures of speech in the source language like hyperbole, irony, and meiosis. Having detail knowledge of these figures of speech will further help in changing your flaccid knowledge into active talent.

Finally, you should know that it takes much more to be a good and skilled translator. Talented translators are not made overnight, it definitely requires a significant investment in both source and target speech. For every talented text converter, switching simultaneously between two universes is one of the most demanding tasks. Consequently refined and systematic practice can lead to the development of skills that can further help in being a good translator.

Monday, August 24, 2009

ARTISTS AND THEIR WORKS: Liliana Lucki (Argentine), A Welcomed Symbolic Act

Liliana Lucki was born in San Miguel (Argentina) and studied at Buenos Aires´ National School of Art in 1975. She followed up her studies at the hands of professors Samos, Pagano and Noe and, in 1984, entered the artist workshop of Juan Larrea. She´s been writing and illustrating children books for nearly three decades and at present teaches art and history of art. Her works have been displayed in many exhibitions all around her native land and abroad, including Italy, Spain and Mexico.

"Model I", 80cmx90cm - (Colour drawing)


"Jalomi", 80x80cm - (Oil in canvas)


"They Can See US", 80cm x 100cm - (Oil in canvas)


"Inhabited Tree", 20 cm X 40 cm (Oil in canvas)


"Conclusion 2", series Essay and Movement, 60cm x 90cm (Oil in canvas - Collage)


Series Pencil I, 1 m x80 cm (Pencil)


"Shamirli", Digital Composition (Pencil)

Above all, and always on a personal level, what first attracted me was the marvellous intensity of her colouring and that broad range of what seems to be incomplete characters; a dreamlike symbolic and creative act of a meaning or interpretation varying according to the natural observer´s state of mind, regardless of the artist´s original intention, of course.
...A painting a day, I´d dare say.

All images by (c) Liliana Lucki


Sunday, August 23, 2009

FILM REVIEWS: J. M. Coetzee on Ikiru, by Akira Kurosawa (The New York Review of Books; August 13, 2009)

From ' Summertime' : Notebooks 1972-1975

2 September 1973

At the Empire Cinema in Muizenberg last night, an early film of Kurosawa's, To Live. A stodgy bureaucrat learns that he has cancer and has only months to live. He is stunned, does not know what to do with himself, where to turn.
...He takes his secretary, a bubbly but mindless young woman, out to tea. When she tries to leave he holds her back, gripping her arm. "I want to be like you!" he says. "But I don't know how!" She is repelled by the nakedness of his appeal.
...Question: How would he react if his father were to grip his arm like that?



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