Archive for the 'Websites' Category

New Parenting Weblog: Parent Hacks

Parent Hacks describes a hack as a workaround, a jerry-rig, a clever, pragmatic answer to a problem. Parents are some of the best hackers, because raising kids requires on-your-feet thinking and frequent improvisation. Parent Hacks converted this clever idea into an incredibly useful website.

The website chose a weblog model to present its content. This model allows Parent Hacks to create a collaborative environment where visitors can engage with, and contribute to, its content. The content categories are relevant for all parents.

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Google Salutes Louis Braille

Google has fun breaking up the monotony of their website by often tweaking their logo for a holiday or other special day. Today, they decided to honor Louis Braille, the inventor of the braille alphabet — which enables people who are blind to read. The altered logo linked to http://www.google.com/search?q=louis+braille+birthdate.

Google Braille Logo

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Help Keep Wikimedia Alive

Wikimedia, the organization behind Wikipedia.org and Wikibooks, which I wrote an article on recently, need public support to keep going.

Did you know that Wikipedia.org alone gets 800 million hits a day? I sure didn’t, but it makes sense. Wikimedia believes that knowledge is power, and that it should be free. That’s exactly what services like Wikipedia.org do. In fact, whenever I want to look something up, or need to know what an obscure acronym means, the first place I go is Wikipedia.org.

If you find Wikimedia’s services helpful in your daily life, and you believe in making knowledge freely accessible to everyone, then please consider donating some money to keep their projects going strong.

Make a donation

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What Is RSS (Really Simple Syndication)?

I felt inspired to do a post on RSS feeds, because FamilyResource.com uses extensive use of RSS feeds, but a new survey on RSS claims that the majority of the public has no clue what RSS feeds are. This post is my attempt to explain RSS feeds in plain English.

There are millions of websites on the Internet. As you surf the Internet, you will occasionally come across a website that has interesting content. How do you remember that website? How do you know when there are new articles on that website? Many people will bookmark the website, but bookmarks quickly become huge and unwieldy, and before you know it, you ignore your bookmark list altogether. Bookmarks also can’t tell you if there’s new content available, and if there is, what the new content is.

The idea behind RSS is to give the ability for any user on the Internet to easily subscribe to content, on any website (that’s supports RSS), and to be updated when new content is available. There are a couple ways to subscribe to and use RSS feeds.

First, you can use an RSS reader. An RSS reader is either an application or website that allows you to add RSS feeds. You add a RSS feed by copying the RSS feed link (similar to a regular web address for a bookmark), and then adding it to your reader. Once the RSS reader has the feed, it will automatically, and systematically check for updates. When you open your RSS reader application, or view your web-based RSS reader, you will be presented with all of the new content for the websites you’re subscribed to.

A second way to use RSS feeds is to use a browser that support RSS feeds as bookmarks. For example, Firefox and Safari web browsers support the ability to add RSS feeds as bookmarks. The only difference is that the browser will look for new content on your RSS feeds, and display a number next to the RSS feed bookmark (the number designates that there’s new content). This isn’t an ideal way to use RSS feeds, but some people prefer the simplicity of this feature.

The easiest way to subscribe to feeds is through a web-based RSS reader. There are several to choose from, and most of them are free. Below is a list of the most popular web-based RSS readers:

Web-based RSS readers keep you inside your web browser, so you don’t have to worry about switching between different applications. Another advantage to using web-based RSS readers is that many sites, like FamilyResource.com, will have easy link-buttons that will automatically take you to your web-based RSS reader, and subscribe to the RSS feed for you. I take full advantage of this feature, and have put these link-buttons on almost every page of FamilyResource.com to make it easier for users to subscribe to our RSS feeds.

Once you start using RSS feeds on a regular basis, you’ll start to wonder how you ever got along without them. They do exactly what the name says — really simple syndication. I check my RSS reader (Bloglines) throughout the day, and am able to sanely keep up with the websites and content that I’m most interested in.

Check out Wikipedia for more information on RSS

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Top Online Dating Services

ITFacts.biz released new research on the growth and popularity of online dating services. Yahoo! Personals topped the list as the most popular online dating service. However, Love@AOL and eHarmony.com showed the largest percentage of growth in registered users.

Top 4 Online Dating Services

  1. Yahoo! Personals
  2. Match.com
  3. Spark Networks
  4. eHarmony.com

Full Story

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New Category-Based RSS Feeds

FamilyResource.com now offers RSS feeds for its main categories. This allows visitors to subscribe to only Finance related articles, instead of all of the articles. Below are the new RSS feed links.

Relationships
http://www.familyresource.com/relationships/feed.rdf

Parenting
http://www.familyresource.com/parenting/feed.rdf

Pregnancy
http://www.familyresource.com/pregnancy/feed.rdf

Health
http://www.familyresource.com/health/feed.rdf

Finance
http://www.familyresource.com/finance/feed.rdf

Great Ideas For Using RSS Feeds

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My Parents Can Now Find FamilyResource.com

When I first purchased the familyresource.com domain back in 1996, it was the only domain name I could afford. I was fresh out of college and poor. I had thought about buying familyresources.com, but didn’t think I could afford it, and I didn’t think it would matter.

When I first told my parents about my website, they would always refer to it as FamilyResources.com instead of FamilyResource.com. This irked me enough that I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and buy that domain too. Unfortunately, it was bought about a month before I had decided to buy it.

For the next 9 years my parents would always refer to my website as FamilyResources.com, and would also tell their friends the same thing. I had nightmares thinking about all of the people who could have visited my site, but didn’t because of that stupid s on the end of resource. I knew then that I would have to acquire the domain if I were going to find any peace.

My first attempt to purchase the domain was futile. It was being used by an author to promote their new book, so there was no hope of acquiring it. After their book faded away from the spotlight, and their site started to become neglected, I inquired again. I was told that I would have to fork over $30,000 for the domain. No thank you!

Years and years went by. About every 6 to 12 months, I would inquire about purchasing the domain, but the price was always way out of my league. It wasn’t until about a month ago, the domain went up for auction. For the first time, the price was actually affordable, and I quickly snatched it up.

Now, for the first time in several years, I can rest soundly in the fact that my parents can now find my website, even if they spell it with that notorious s.

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P2P Group Launches Site To Combat Child Porn

News.com reports:

A peer-to-peer industry trade group is launching a Web site aimed at educating consumers about the dangers of child pornography online and helping them report it to law enforcement.

The Distributed Computing Industry Association’s P2P Patrol site will go live Monday, as part of a larger approach to the issue, DCIA Chief Executive Officer Marty Lafferty said.

Full Story @ News.com

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American Pregnancy Association Launches Online Resource

Reproductive Issues Spur New Resources

LAS COLINAS, TX — (MARKET WIRE) — 11/30/2004 — The American Pregnancy Association (APA) announced today the launch of the new and expanded website (http://www.americanpregnancy.org/) which serves as the credible and confidential on-line resource for the more than 42 million Americans with reproductive and pregnancy related concerns.

The new website reflects the APA’s additional services, information and resources, which include counseling on infertility, paternity issues, pregnancy wellness, adoption, pregnancy loss and birth defects among others. Some of the new content was prompted by the APA’s recent evaluation of the information that was most sought out by the roughly 175,000 people that contact the association’s toll-free support line.

New resources include an ovulation calendar and calculator which allows women to gauge their ‘fertility window.’ The new tool works similarly to the frequently used APA pregnancy calculator, which allows pregnant women to gauge their date of conception and expected due date.

Discussion forums are also new to the website which allow women or families post questions or chat with other women who face similar issues. Additionally, email dialogue with reproductive educators is available to consumers who wish to get initial information regarding reproductive health and pregnancy issues.

“There are so many types of reproductive and wellness issues for women and families that it can seem overwhelming, the website is an excellent compliment to the toll-free support line,” said American Pregnancy Association President Brad Imler, Ph.D. “Consumers are generally relieved the minute they speak to our educators to know they have found a confidential and free resource to help answer a myriad of important questions.”

A product of consumer need, the APA is a national health organization that began as America’s Pregnancy Helpline in 1995. The agency provides reproductive and women’s wellness resources for thousands of women and families through education, research, advocacy and community awareness. Nineteen of the nation’s top obstetricians and gynecologists make up the APA Medical Advisory Board, which directs educational content for the association.

For more information: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/.

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Looking For A New Job? Beware Of The Googling

A recent article in the Rocky Mountains News reported that hiring managers are now using Google (and other search engines) to conduct due diligence on applicants. Things to look out for include:

  1. Having resumes online that may be different from the one you are currently giving out. For example, one candidate got in trouble, because a manager found their resume online, and it contained two jobs that were omitted on the copy that the manger was given. The hiring manager assumed that this person was fired from these two jobs, and quickly tossed their application out of the running.
  2. Having information online that may discourage managers from hiring you. Although this type of discrimination is most likely illegal, hiring managers may not hire you if they find information about you online that they don’t like. For example, if you’ve posted controversial posts on discussion groups, or have a personal blog that contains distasteful information, you may be passed on for the position.

I recommend that you do some searches on yourself to make sure there aren’t any embarrassing items online. If you do find something questionable, then you should try to alter, or remove it. Of course, some of you may not want to change anything out of principle. That’s commendable, but be prepared to not get hired.

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