Online Fax – Can You Explain to Me Exactly How it Works?

For the very computer savvy young person who probably already has more than a few micro-chips permanently coded into their DNA, the above question might sound rather silly. However, for many of us, understanding just exactly how online or Internet faxing works, is still a bit more puzzling, especially for those of us who are used to faxing the old-fashion way through the good old reliable fax machine in the office.

And that doubly goes for those of us who don’t necessarily keep up to date on the latest developments in technology. For older workers who have always used the traditional fax machine, online faxing can be seen as down-right perplexing. With the traditional way of faxing, we are used to punching in a few numbers and scanning off the fax in the machine in order to send a fax.

Now, with online fax, I have to use computers and the Internet? What’s up with that?

Like the introduction of any new technology there is a learning curve, especially for seasoned workers and small business owners who are set in their ways. Online fax has become extremely popular but there are still many people and many businesses not taking full advantage of this new way of faxing.

Perhaps, the biggest obstacle, a lot of people simply don’t understand how online fax works? They might know it has something to do with computers and the web, but just how does it work?

First, you must understand, online fax is simply using your email system and your Internet connection to send your faxes. You sign-up to an Internet Fax service provider who gives you your own local or Toll-Free fax number and you are also given an online site (interface) where you can view and send your faxes. This online provider acts as your intermediary to handle all your faxing. You use your fax number to receive and send your faxes as email attachments, usually in TIFF or PDF formats.

But how does it work?

This question was actually put to Christian Watts, the co-founder of FAXAGE, an online fax service provider operating out of Denver. Here’s his answer:

“Ultimately, every Internet Fax service works by receiving faxes by having some sort of dedicated phone numbers coming in to fax servers at their site or sites. Once a fax is received on the fax server, it is converted to a suitable format (PDF or TIFF with FAXAGE, PDF by default) and then sent to the customer. In our case, we send these as email attachments and store them in our website as well by default. We offer many customizable parameters around the messaging for received faxes, ability to route ‘fax received’ emails to an unlimited number of email addresses, API methods for receiving faxes into systems, etc.

On the sending side, the process is reversed – the customer sends in an electronic document (either via email, website, or, in the case of FAXAGE, an API method is also provided), the system converts it to a format suitable for faxing (The fax standard is G3 or G4 TIFF) and sends it out via a fax server. Status is then posted to the FAXAGE website as well as emailed back by default. Again, we offer a lot of flexibility around number of retries, resolution to use, priority control, which users can send faxes in a given account, etc.”

Basically, what you’re doing is switching all your faxing chores over to the computer, the Internet and your email system. You are simply bringing your faxing into the modern computer age. Just as you have modernized many other aspects of your business, you should also modernize your faxing. Keep in mind, you can still send and receive faxes through the old fax machine but now you have the option of using computers and the web.

Obviously, online fax must have many benefits or advantages, otherwise everyone would still be using the old fax machine. In other words, why has Internet faxing become so popular?

Mainly because with Internet fax you and your business are no longer tied down to the fax machine in the office, you can send and receive your faxes anywhere, anytime. Online fax is also cheaper because you don’t need an extra fax phone line, no need to purchase all that paper, inks and toners since online faxing is paperless.

Internet fax is ideally suited for companies since it is completely “scalable” for your growing business, you can quickly add more lines/numbers without having to install all the needed hardware as with the old way of faxing. It can also make your business more competitive, especially if you depend on faxing to bring in new sales and/or clients… your business is open 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Simply put, online fax works by utilizing all the modern contractions of the workplace, mainly your computer, your email system and the Internet. It uses all of these to give you fast, inexpensive, reliable faxing that’s available anytime, anywhere. What more could you ask for?

Old News

I remember the classic black-and-white movies with the little paperboy shouting “EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!” I remember films and shows that spun attention-grabbing newspaper headlines towards the screen. I remember early college mornings spent with The New York Times, learning more intricacies of the New York Yankees than I ever cared to know.

But pretty soon, when it comes to newspapers, all I’ll have are memories. And I don’t know if that’s a bad thing; in some ways it’s fine. But it’s definitely sad, and newspapers’ new Internet versions create more complications than I initially realized.

Newspapers used to be the source for credible, deep reporting. I came to know the writers of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (especially the sports section) by name, by style, subject and nuance. Part of me will miss the tangibility and familiarity of such newspapers. But most of me will embrace the saved space, speed, innumerable publisher options, and other technological advances of newspapers’ online counterparts.

Time.com recently published an article written by 247wallst.com, reporting on the unstable status of ten major American newspapers, and the likely foreclosures of most of those ten-within a year and a half. Already, multiple nationally-recognized newspapers have declared bankruptcy or relegated themselves to purely online distribution. The Rocky Mountain News in Denver closed, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which is owned by the Hearst Media Corporation, transferred exclusively to online publication after 146 years in print. Hearst also owns The San Francisco Chronicle, which will probably close if it cannot make sufficient cuts.

Along with those, 24/7 goes into details about The Philadelphia Daily News, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Miami Herald, The Detroit News, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Sun Times, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer. The authors came to these ominous conclusions by analyzing “the basis of the financial strength of [the newspapers’] parent companies”.

But I wonder if the disappearance of newspapers truly a bad thing. Surely it’s somewhat depressing when I consider the common nostalgia felt by people long associated with the medium. My father was born in 1952, a time when everyone expected the same paperboy to chuck the morning paper into their driveways daily. My father says he misses those times (though he gets most news from the Internet).

I imagine many people who grew up without the Internet will share that feeling of loss. Newspapers have been staples of American journalism since close to the inception the country. According to historicpages.com, written by Phil Barber, the first newspaper appearance in the U.S. came in 1690 when Benjamin Harris published Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestic in Boston.

But a long tradition has not slowed public’s gradual shift away from newspapers. “The decline in overall newspaper circulation began in 1989, and has continued at a relatively stable pace of just under 1% a year,” reports journalism.org.

A major reason for the decline is the Internet–that progressive technology that has wasted no time dismantling the markets, production, and influence of nearly all forms of popular media in the last twenty years. As it continues a steady march towards ubiquity, many of those media have realized the importance of using it (music, magazines, television, film, video games, even comic books-all have ventured into the online realm).

Once broadband speeds become worldwide commonalities, the vast selection and immediacy of downloadable music will be introduced to an even larger audience, even though it has already caused many people to abandon CDs entirely. Software downloads have left record companies in extremely precarious positions with their revenue descending annually for the last decade or so. According to the Recording Industry Association of America’s shipment and financial statistics, in 1997, the industry accumulated 13,711.2 million dollars in total shipments. In 2007, the number had fallen all the way to 7,985.8 million-about a 42% decrease.

I have contributed to that downfall. I continue to do so. I contributed to the massive piracy problem that was so pervasive in the early days of file-sharing software by downloading countless songs and albums without payment and without a second thought (though, like many, I have since realized the immorality of those actions and currently purchase digital music). But I continue to contribute to the decline by acquiring music online, which bypasses sources of income only existent in acquisitions from retail stores (e.g. packaging).

But I still miss some aspects of owning CDs. I miss the stylized lyric sheets; I miss album cover art like incubus’ picture of a sun rising on an empty sunlit beach; I miss seeing artistry like two hand-drawn, red-and-yellow coy fish on the disc; I miss feeling pride when I see a collection of albums along a shelf.

But I’m willing to abandon CDs for the portability, ease of use, and immediacy of digital formats, not to mention saved space. Clicking is faster; purchasing is faster; listening is faster…

Web programmers consistently improve the quality and availability of television online, which draws viewers away from the set and onto their laptops, costing networks valuable ratings and advertising dollars, especially in the coveted 18-34 demographic.

Even in 2003, comscore.com’s “comScore Media Metrix” (the site claims it is “the standard in Internet audience measurement”) found revelatory statistics concerning Internet usage in the 18-34 demographic. Peter Daboll, president of Media Metrix, says, “The fact that more than 75 percent of 18-34 year-old men in the U.S. are using the Internet seems to take at least some of the mystery out of the decline in TV viewing among this prized demographic.”

But I’m in the “prized demographic”, and I much prefer watching television on large screens while sitting on comfortable couches, with bags of popcorn that won’t dirty a keyboard. I strongly dislike enduring buffering, loading, fickle Internet connections, and other distractions that inherently lie within viewing programs online. I enjoy some conveniences of being online, but naturally, I dislike the inconveniences.

Same with newspapers. I like the conveniences the online medium features, I dislike the inherent disadvantages. For example, I’m a statistic within a recent Nielson Online report of the top 15 most popular newspaper websites of 2008. The New York Times emerged with the most “average monthly uniques” (the average number of different computer users who visit the site at least once within a given month) with 19,503,667. In January of 2005, BusinessWeek Magazine reported the Times’ subscription number was 1.1 million. 19 times (pardon the pun) more people in 2008 saw The New York Times in digital form than did 2005 subscribers to the hard copy.

But I was one of the estimated 1.1 million during 2005, when a college course required a subscription to the Times. And when I actually began reading, I realized I prefer the hard copy. I’m unplugged, untouchable. When connected to the Internet, I can check email, browse Facebook, talk to friends. When away from screens, I read. I just… read.

I belong to a generation that grew up in a childhood with newspapers, but also grew up with the Internet. I feel the loss, at least a portion of it-certainly not to the degree those people so accustomed to newspapers will experience when they read their final local edition.

But I will not feel entirely saddened by the departure of the classic medium, because the new medium provides enough benefits. I can see why the evolution to online publishing occurred. The huge disparity between the number of digital versus traditional readers confirms that online versions generate more readers than their older counterparts. So how can every publisher not try to expand into that realm?

In a comprehensive report earlier this year, with input from multiple outlets (e.g. Newspaper Association of America, Pew Center for People and Press), journalism.org reveals even deeper details about the decline of newspapers-and the rise of online versions.

One major statistic: “The print circulation slide from 2001 to 2008 totals roughly 13.5% [for daily editions] and 17.3% [for Sunday editions].” Further, “Several years ago, there was vague talk that… print circulation numbers might stabilize if not turn back up. That now appears less likely as the gradual shift of audience to the Internet continues [along with financial pressures]… So expect circulation totals to decline again in 2009 and 2010.”

A large impetus for the public’s transition to digital papers (yes, oxymoronic) involves, well, digital and paper. Specifically, consumers don’t want real paper because they have the digital kind. No black smudge on fingers. No giant stack of papers in the corner, on the coffee table, in the trash. No more fumbling with the damn thing because the gigantic width and height coupled with flimsy material creates an incredibly frustrating task in trying to turn a page.

With the Internet, to share an article with a friend, I merely copy and paste the Internet address in an email/Facebook update/Tweet/instant message, hit send, and the friend’s set. Old style? Grab some scissors, carefully cut straight lines around the article on A1 (ruining that section of the paper, including what’s on the back), then possibly flip forward a few pages to A5 and cut out the rest. Put it in your pocket after folding it or crumpling it.

If your friend had the Internet, (a major qualification discussed later) he could have discovered that information tens hours before you did. Take into consideration that The New York Times posts a new story at least once every 15 minutes. Old style? Once every 24 hours. If I rely solely on a newspaper for their information, I’m incredibly restricted by the release schedule.

Plus, online I can get the same kind of local journalist reactions, but from thousands of miles away; I do not have to reside within the mailing radius of Austin, Texas to read an Austin columnist. And because I don’t have to rely on my town’s local paper, I don’t have to read local voices at all.

If I’m tired of American media’s constant coverage of the perpetually declining economy, I visit the BBC.com for a British slant, or Azzaman.com for the Iraqi version of the news. No longer am I confined to local voices or local content. I can wake up and read about everything happening in Japan that day. Business men who constantly travel the globe now access information that affects their travel schedules, and therefore plan accordingly. Tourists check the weather of their destinations. Movie-goers can read millions of film reviews.

This ability to quickly locate information comes in handy most when searching for stories from years past. To find that type of content in newspapers, readers have two options. One: visit a library that houses one of those old reel-style devices that allows people to scan through past papers page-by-page (which still takes forever and requires knowledge of the story’s timetable), or two: manually inspect every paper from the last two years, which would be like trying to find a specific snowflake somewhere in Antarctica while wearing a blindfold.

Letters to the editor used to be the only way for readers to express their opinion on stories or columns. Most websites allow users to respond immediately by placing comments on the bottom of the page, which provide immediate feedback for publishers, which they can use to determine the popular types of stories, research which journalists spark the most controversy, or discover common reader sentiments. The ability to dispense immediate feedback easily satiates the desire to express personal opinions.

Even with all these benefits and shortcuts, proponents of the Internet such as myself cannot make the argument that computer screens are easier to read than paper. Repeatedly enduring long sessions in front of a computer can have major physical ramifications caused by constant poor posture and repetitive straining motions. In the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ information page regarding Data Entry and Information Processing Workers, they relate the hazards of centered around computer usage. “[Workers] sit for long periods… are susceptible to repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back injuries, and eyestrain.” Preventative measures must now be taken, so “many offices have adopted regularly scheduled breaks, ergonomically designed keyboards, and workstations that allow workers to stand or sit as they wish.”

I have a degenerative disc in my back that started when I was sixteen. I have tennis and golf elbow (neither caused by tennis or golf). I have chronic pain my right wrist when I use a mouse without a rest. All these injuries resulted from spending so much time (nearly eight hours a day for six years-not exaggerating) fixed in poor postures in front of computer without any notion of “correct” posture. I definitely can’t say I’ve induced chronic injuries by reading newspapers.

Laptops, however, alleviate some of the problems related to excessive computer usage, such as being confined to a desk, as does the growing popularity of mobile phones with Internet capabilities. The inherent portability of those two technologies allows access to more work-friendly and healthier environments, at least outside the office.

Still, when dealing with pixels, problems with the eyes still exist, even if said problems do not concern injuries. Hyperlinks on the Internet easily shift readers’ concentration. Links exist all over websites, and are often brightly colored to easily distinguish them and highlight their purpose-to take users to other sites and other stories and other experiences. So intentionally or not, links steal readers’ attention.

Wavering concentration is a smaller problem with newspapers. Most words relate to the story and won’t take readers to another paper if read. All the paper is white, all the words are black, all the lines are black, all the pictures are black and white (except for Sunday editions). They are (unintentionally) boring-at least aesthetically. No flash, no style, except for the distinct lack of style. Just black words on a white page.

But therein lies the charm of traditional newspapers, the comfort, the advantage. Concentration is not a problem. Eye strain is not a problem. Abstract fonts, hyperlinks, flashy banners, pop-up advertisements-all gone. Just the reader and the news. Sometimes that’s all that matters.

I could never read a novel online. By page 32, I’d go insane. The comfort on the eyes and brain that traditional papers provide cannot be matched by digital versions. On the Internet, I cannot scribble notes in the margins, circle words and then draw lines across the page to other words. I cannot write whatever I want, in whatever style I wish, in whatever location I wish. I can with newspapers. When reading for long periods of time, or reading a lengthy work, I prefer regular paper. I prefer a constant layout and design that allows me to focus on the content instead of the style of the content. Like I said earlier, when away from screens, I just read.

Yet, perhaps detractors of the net like myself (and yes, I realize I earlier claimed I am a proponent–conflict) can take solace in the fact that niche audience still exist for many products, and the same could happen for newspapers. After all, recreating that form’s sensation is not possible digitally-at least not yet. Plenty of people spent some time each morning with their papers and a cup of coffee. Now they must spend each morning with their computers and a cup of coffee. The sudden loss of a decades-long daily routine must be troubling and unsettling. I understand that when something plays a part of one’s entire life, and it suddenly disappears (or morphs into a new form), days will never feel quite the same. Because of that, some local papers will likely stay in business-ones that don’t require large quantities of subscribers and have a very specific audience.

Maybe in the future, gloves that recreate physical sensations, coupled with 3D holographic glasses, will grant the ability to read old newspapers with all the beneficial modern advancements. But until that time, traditional newspapers will continue morphing into new forms. Television has gone from eight channels to 800, from black-and-white to color, from standard definition to High. Books can be read digitally on portable devices that can store upwards of 150,000 of them. Countless magazines have finally resigned to the impending transition to digital by folding or shifting to online publishing, and newspapers have realized they too must reform to meet the demands of their readers (which now number in the hundreds of millions per year, come from all countries, have valuable unique perspectives, can give direct feedback on stories, and have the same capacity to spend money as in years past). Newspapers have little choice in the impending transition. Part of me is glad they don’t. But part of me wishes their future weren’t so bleak.

The Real Cyber Monday

You’ve heard them all – Cyber Monday, eDay, dMonday, and xMonday was even thrown into the mix. But is there any truth to the hype, or were these days just coined by savvy online retailers and internet marketing companies? According to our calculations, there is some fact to the furor.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year – or simply shopping at those, oh, what do you call them, brick-and-mortar stores – Cyber Monday is a clever name for the Monday following Thanksgiving when online retail sales are supposedly highest. The term was coined by Shop.org in 2005, claiming the increased online sales were due to individuals shopping from their high-speed internet connections at the office. Although this statistic turned out to be false (Cyber Monday ’05 was only the ninth highest online spending day), it was the highest retail traffic day, much to the dismay of bosses everywhere.

After learning that Shop.org’s calculations were off, people tried to predict the “real” Cyber Monday for 2006. Again, the conjectures were wrong, but they did succeed at creating equally hokey names. Some guessed that December 4th, not surprisingly named “eDay,” would prove to be the most lucrative for online retailers because consumers would “window shop” on Cyber Monday – check out deals and compare prices – then wait a week to make purchases. After eDay came and went, and retailers weren’t seeing the sales spikes they’d anticipated, another day was doubtlessly deemed “Delivery Deadline Monday” or “dMonday.” Retailers thought this Monday would have the highest sales because it was two weeks before Christmas, just enough time to get standard shipping rates on orders. For those procrastinators with fewer monetary qualms, a high-sale prediction was made for December 18th and termed “xMonday.”

It seems that if one cannot be bothered with visiting an actual brick-and-mortar store, said person also cannot be bothered with completing their holiday shopping early. Overall, SearchAdNetwork, a search engine marketing agency based out of Denver, found Monday, December 18th or xMonday to have the most spikes in average daily revenue. Individuals realized that they could still get their orders in time for the big day; they’d just have to pay a little more for shipping. The 18th also falls around the time that most people receive their Christmas bonuses, giving them a little bit of extra spending money. dMonday was the second highest average revenue day. These dawdling shoppers were just a bit more frugal than their xMonday shopping counterparts.

SearchAdNetwork’s Media Agent revealed an interesting trend this holiday shopping season – all Mondays and Tuesdays were high revenue days. In past years, it was hypothesized that shoppers were waiting until the weekend was over to take advantage of high-speed internet connections at the office. This explanation becomes null as more and more people subscribe to high-speed internet services at home. The real reason for this increase in online sales at the beginning of the week may be that individuals use computers at work so that family members cannot see what they are ordering or check the history. After discussing wish lists over the weekend, parents may try to outsmart sly kids by doing all online shopping from the office.

Highest ROAS percentage day was one statistic the Denver search engine marketing company found to be constant among all retail clients. It is not shocking that it fell on a familiar day of the week – Monday, December 11 or dMonday. What is rather surprising is that dMonday was not the highest Ad Spend day, nor was it in the top ten for most clients. Seeing as though dMonday was not the highest revenue day either, this finding is certainly curious. It seems that shoppers were more willing to take the extra effort on this day to search out items they wanted, instead of simply relying on the first advertisement displayed by search engines. Or the high ROAS may be explained away as the first wave of the “oh-no-must-buy-presents-now” thought process.

SearchAdNetwork’s reports show another interesting trend – December 26 was an uncharacteristically high revenue day for each retail clients. SAN has a number of theories for this post-Christmas sales spike; some based on actual data, some on knowledge of our client’s products and others based on experiences with giving and receiving presents. SAN believes that many people were online purchasing accessories and complimentary products for items they received as presents. There is strong proof for this conjecture based on the average order size on December 26 – although there were a greater number of orders, the average amount spent on each order was small. This means that individuals weren’t purchasing big-ticket items; instead, they were ordering all the fun and necessary parts for larger gifts. Another reason for this revenue spike could be that people did not receive what they wanted for Christmas and decided they must take matters into their own hands. Or they were simply using money they had received as a present to purchases items online.

One client that specializes in fitness equipment saw an exceptionally large sales spike on Christmas day. This increase could be due to individuals feeling self-conscious and out-of-shape after eating a giant holiday feast. Again, these sales could be due to people spending money they had received as a gift. Giving someone a treadmill for Christmas can seem insulting, even if they had asked for it; therefore, loved ones may have given money instead so the receiver could make their own fitness purchase.

According to comScore, the 2006 holiday season saw a 26 percent increase in e-commerce spending over 2005; yet, Cyber Monday proved less than electric for online retail sales. In 2006, SearchAdNetwork found that the “real” Cyber Monday – the one day of the winter holiday season with the highest online revenue – was December 18th. Coming in at a close second and also the day with the highest ROAS percentage was Monday, December 11th. This data suggests that due to the convenience of online shopping, customers wait until the absolute last minute to make their purchases even if it means spending more on shipping costs. SearchAdNetwork’s reports also show an increase in average revenue on all Mondays and Tuesdays.

This early-week trend reveals the purchasing patterns of shoppers along with the snooping tendencies of children, suggesting that parents wait until returning to work to quickly and secretly order gifts from internet retailers. The internet marketing firm also noted a spike in online revenue on December 26th when people were shopping for accessories and complimentary items to gifts received the day before. Overall, SearchAdNetwork saw a major increase in sales and ROAS for all clients. Without a doubt, there were plenty of reasons for online retailers and internet marketing businesses to celebrate the 2006 holiday season.

How to Use the Internet to Sell Your Home

There are a lot of ways to effectively sell your home. You can sell it by owner, or hire a realtor to sell it for you. Another option these days would be to consider selling online. There are several ways to do this…

You will find that when you explore your options, there are many online sites where you can add your home to their website pages. You can post a picture and description and your contact information as well. If you are familiar with the computer, you can even create your own website. This would be great in combination with posting on a real estate site.

There are also many, various classified sites on the internet where, most of which are free to use. You can use these websites to post your ad/home for sale in as many cities as you would like. Again you would also need to post a picture and description for viewers to see. There are various methods in which you can have people contact you. One of which is via phone. However, if you are not comfortable with giving out your phone number in this way, then you can provide an email address for any interested viewers to contact you with.

You can additionally add hyper links within your ad directing interested parties to broker sites. Adding hyper links means that they can fill in their information and see if they qualify for a home loan. You can even add hyper links to maps, giving directions to your home which is a great way for people have a good understanding of where the property is located. Furthermore, you may even provide links with information notifying the public about the community and the schools in the area. The ideas are limitless!

When posting an ad to advertise online, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. First, make sure that the pictures you are posting are clear and big enough for viewers to see the details. You will also want to use a catchy headline for your ad and possibly consider incorporating some sort of slide show. This would automatically change pictures every few seconds. The benefit of a slide show is that it would give the buyer the impression of walking through your home. If you feel like you have time, it would be advisable to add a recording to your ad; possibly one that describes your home and all of its qualities. This may be appealing to someone who isn’t into reading an entire ad.

Keywords are another aspect of advertising that you may also think about. Here, this would be a list of words associated with your ad to aid in search results. For example if a keyword was “by owner” and someone typed in “houses for sale by owner”, your ad would appear in their search results.

It is important to create openness within your ad, this way; the buyer will feel very comfortable reaching you in order to ask any further questions about your property.

Selling your home online opens up an entire new advertising market. It will allow you to reach people you normally would not be able to reach by just placing signs in the yard and advertising locally. You will be amazed as to how many people begin their home search online.

You can solely place and advertise online or you can do it along with listing your home with a real estate agent. You may find that some real estate agents also have the ability to advertise your home online as well.

Hard to Find Phone Numbers – Computer and Internet Retailer

This alphabetical list contains a lot of hard to find phone numbers of Computer and Internet Related stuff. This is a basic rough list which I’ll try to update periodically. It’s not perfect as I’m sure I left plenty of companies out and all the phone numbers are US phone numbers with the exception of TuCows, which is a Canadian number and Logitech’s remote control number (They rule!). You may need to put a “1” in front of the Toll Free numbers where applicable. I tried to give customer service contact numbers as much as possible and used the latest phone numbers I could find:

Acer (for notebooks) 800-816-2237 (for Aspire) 800-938-2237

Amazon Support 866-216-1072

Amazon MP3 Support 888-802-3083

Amazon Associates 701-787-9740

AOL:

USA & Canada: 800-827-3338

High Speed Broadband Support: 888-849-3200

Billing: 888-265-8003

Cancellation: 888-265-8008

Apple 800-APL-CARE

ATI 905-882-2626

Buy.Com – 800-800-0800

Canon 800-OK-CANON

CNET 1-800-616-CNET

Compaq (Part of HP) 800-652-6672

Dell 1-800-624-9896

Ebay 800-322-9266 888-749-3229

ESET (NOD 32) Technical 619-876-5400, press 3 Toll Free. 866-343-ESET 3738

EPSON (Dot Matrix Printers) 562-276-4350 (Laserjet Printers) 562-276-4382

Gateway 800-846-2301

Godaddy 480-505-8877

Google Headquarters 650-253-0000

Google Ann Arbor 734-332-6500

Google Atlanta 404-487-9000

Google Boulder 303-245-0086

Google Cambridge 617-575-1300

Google Chicago 312-840-4100

Google Coppell 214-451-4000

Google Dallas 214-559-5400

Google Denver 303-524-1123

Google Detroit 248-593-4000

Google Irvine 949-794-1600

Google Kirkland 425-739-5600

Google New York 212-565-0000

Google Phoenix 480-384-1000

Google Pittsburgh 412- 297-5400

Google San Francisco 415-736-0000

Google Santa Monica 310-460-4000

Google Seattle 206-876-1500 206-876-1800

Google Washington DC 202-346-110

HP (Hewlett-Packard owns Compaq) 800-474-6836

IBM 800-IBM-SERV

Linksys 800-326-7114

Logitech:

Corporate 510-795-8500

Billing 888-863-8312

Consumer Sales 800-231-7717

Online Orders 800-884-9480

Remote Controls (Canada) 1-905-273-4571 Main

Memory Store 877-ADD-RAM9

Micron 877-894-5693

Microsoft 425-882-8080 866-234-6020 800-Microsoft

Microsoft Product Support 800-360-7561

MSN 800-386-5550

NEC (Except as listed) 1-800-632-4525 (Floppy Hard & Optical Drives) 800-632-4650 (Monitors) 800-632-4662 (Printers) 800-632-4650

Nero Software (818) 956-7551

Netflix:

Corporate 408-540-3700

Customer Service 800-585-8131

Customer Service 888-638-3549

Customer Service 800-279-5688

Customer Service 800-715-2120

Netgear 888-NETGEAR

Nintendo 425-882-2040

(ESET) NOD 32 Technical 619-876-5400, press 3 Toll Free. 866-343-ESET 3738

Norton Anti-Virus 408-517-8000

Paypal 888-221-1161

PC Tools (Registry Mechanic & Spyware Doctor) 800-764-5783

Registry Mechanic 800-764-5783

Sony (PC Support) 888-476-6972 (Monitors) 866-357-7669 (Handhelds) 877-760-SONY

Spyware Doctor 800-764-5783

Symantic (Norton Anti-Virus) 408-517-8000

3Com 847-262-0070

Toshiba (PC Support) 800-457-7777 (PDAs) 800-949-7993

TuCows (Canada) 416-535-0123

Yahoo 408 349-3300 866 562-7219 408-349-1572

I just started 2009 Gifts and Free Advice my own combination Blog and Online Discount and Bargain Gift Store. My blogs should hopefully make life easier for you by giving free advice and tips on saving gas money, computers, home theater, HDTV, online auctions, e-commerce,electronics, movies, DVDS, relationships and more, that I’ve learned personally through trial and error. Hopefully, if you like my advice, you might get a birthday present, business gift, Christmas present, Valentines day gift, Mothers Day Present, etc., there. We sell electronics, jewelry and watches, software, books, computers, automotive products, home gyms, HDTV, everything!

I also own New and Used Discount Computers and Software [http://www.2008software.com/] which offers one of the largest selections of Discount New and Used laptops, computers, printers, monitors, software,hardware, media and other computer products online. Specializing in carrying the newest 2008 products.

Why I Protect My PC Now From Viruses and Computer Hijackers

PC security is vital in this day and age where not only is your personal information available online your children or you can become victims if you don’t go asking how to protect my PC now. Some people chose not to have a computer that is one way to never worry about this problem but if you are like most people a computer often a pc type is part of the kids homework, your home office, or even networked to your business these days.

Just last month, in the Denver local news, a person had their entire computer hacked as they call it even though the computer owner had one of the most popular anti virus programs running on their system. This happens to many people all over the country and personally I had my system broken into five times in 2005 that is when I finally got serious about this problem. Every day you can read more about how you and your computer are in trouble if you don’t take the issue of computer security serious. So how can we stop these kind of crimes and be able to have a computer in our home?

First you have to find the right computer for you. Then don’t just settle with whatever someone suggests find the computer that meets your needs as your security program is something you add to your computer not something that determines your purchase. Many pc’s come with a trail of something on it to get you going but you should not just decide that is the best for you without investigating your options. This is exactly how my computer got hijacked five times back in 2005. This article is not a recommendation of a product – instead we want to stop Cyber crime.

Is it important as more computer threats are emerging literally by the second. Beware as it is no longer just about viruses. You can expect to hear about and have to watch out for spyware, trojans, worms, rootkits, bots and even phishing attacks. Each month new plots to take over your computer or your life are all on the rise by hackers. One key to stopping this is make sure you have real-time protection with daily updates in security. Usually this is a setting you do once you choice how you want to virus protect your computer.

Run a anti virus scan daily if you use your computer often or have many people surfing the web. One of the best times to scan your system is while you sleep so everyone can use the computer if needed.

Also there are malware authors who are constantly redesigning their code formulas to elude anti virus and security programs. Some companies have a bigger jump than others on resources to reveal the behavior of these attackers and learn about how they plan to break into your computer. Finding a service that updates their anti virus software daily and even multiple times a day when needed may be important to you so that personal information like passwords are protected against the latest threat.

The impact on your home or business will be devastating if you don’t spend time to explore how best way to virus protect your computers. That is why pro active protection is so important.

Here are some statistics:

1. There were 31,173 Phishing and password-stealing malware sites recorded by the APWG with an increase each quarter since. In fact the APWG reports a 4. % increase at minimum each quarter in 2009 for the last quarter on hijack attacks. This steady increase is thought to be part of the rise of social media in most homes.

2. Gartner another reporting agency found that in September 2008 their was an increase of 39.8 from the prior 12 months where USA buyers lost 5 million to phishing attacks alone.

3. In Addition the American Government malware attacks doubled between 2006 and 2008 and still steadily increase yearly according to the Department of Homeland Security.

4. Also fraud keeps going up Garnter once again reports that 7.5 percent American adults were victims of computer financial fraud last year with data breaches being the number one cause.

Whether you own and existing computer and have had problems or you are looking to buy a pc it is important to research from time to time the best way to have privacy and security online. With the USA and even the world making the internet the mode of communication and data storage for your most sensitive information it is important that you say protect my pc before you add any more important information to your current or new computer.

Make Your Company More Visible

It’s pretty much an imperative that your company has a website. Without it, you’re lacking a crucial marketing component which will appear to your customers that you’re either a) not a legitimate business, or b) that your company is too small and unsophisticated to do business with.

The good news about websites is that they’re more affordable than ever and relatively easy to create. The bad news, though, is that in many industries just having a website out there in the Internet world is rarely enough. To truly take advantage of the Web 2.0 Internet realm, you need to have an omnipresent Internet presence that goes beyond just your website. You and your corporate image need to be in front of your current and prospective customers on a recurring basis, in multiple areas, in order to demonstrate that you’re truly an expert in your field and that it would be foolish for someone to do business with anyone else.

• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – If you’re not all that familiar with computers and the Internet world, Search Engine Optimization can seem a very intimidating creature to handle. Truth be told, while the internal algorithms and computer programming of Google and Yahoo search engines are complex, SEO is actually not all that hard to learn. Getting first-page placement and a million clicks a day may be a bit of a challenge, but improving your company’s visibility on the Internet isn’t. Search engines are continually tweaked in an effort to yield the most appropriate search results. To do this, they focus on key bits of information in your website. These things include:

1. your domain name

2. the titles of your web pages

3. the descriptions of your web pages

4. the keywords that summarize the content of your web pages

5. the actual content on your web pages-this is typically categorized based on keyword density (the number of times key terms and phrases are included in the body of your website text) and photos or videos on your site that relate to topics in your industry

6. related links to your website from other sources

If you manage your own website, either through HTML coding or through a hosted website creator, you should be able to work on the first five of these website components pretty easily. But if working on your website just isn’t your thing, a whole SEO industry has emerged that specializes in providing website optimization. Selecting an SEO provider, though, can be a task.

The sixth component of SEO work can be a little bit trickier to establish and manage as it depends on other websites and their links to yours. One way to establish additional links is to have multiple related-but-different websites that link to one another. Another way is to identify other companies that are related to yours, either online or through your personal network of colleagues, and see if they are willing to trade links with you. Be careful, though, to only link up with websites and companies that are truly related to your business in one way or another-stay away from general link-sharing websites. Not only do non-pertinent links impugn on your company’s image, but search engines like Google and Yahoo can actually rank your site lower as a result of these bogus links.

Other strategies include:

• Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising – Another way to improve your website visibility is simply to pay for it. Pay Per Click campaigns provide you the ability to instantly put your company in front of people that are performing Internet searches for your type of business. Setting up a PPC account with Yahoo, Google, or MSN is a fast and relatively easy way to get instant exposure in front of potential customers. The trouble is, though, that it comes at a cost, especially if you’re in a competitive industry. A single click onto your website can cost upwards of $30. To limit the cost of a PPC campaign, be certain of three things:

1. Your keyword search terms are very specific to the service or product you are offering. If your business is based on a given geographic area or a population segment, be sure you bid on your keywords appropriately (i.e., “office space in Denver, CO” or “retirement solutions for seniors”). Not only will this specificity cause your PPC bid price to go down, but it will better qualify the website visitors that do come to your site.

2. Make certain that the web pages that your PPC keywords are linked to relate to the search terms that you’re buying. If you’re a jewelry store that bids on the search term “pearl earrings” make certain that the website visitor goes to your site about pearl earrings, not men’s watches or some other unrelated page.

3. Make it easy for your website visitors to either purchase from you or contact you, and include a call to action. Be explicit about what your website visitors should do next (i.e., “Add to Shopping Cart”).

• Social Networking – Along with your company website, it is becoming more and more important to be involved in social networking websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Having a presence on these sites and contributing to groups, forums and other discussions increases the number of times that you and your company are seen by the search engine robots and by your potential customers.

Contributing insightful information on topics relating to your business also provides greater credibility to you and your company, and over time, people begin to see you as an expert in your field that people want to seek out for your services or products. Having a profile on these sites also provides you the ability to integrate links back to your website (see point #6 of the SEO section above). Being part of these networking sites, especially in groups that are related to your field, also has the convenient side effect of keeping you informed about industry trends and other information that may be pertinent to your company.

• Blogging – Another way to improve your image in the face of your current and prospective customers is to write a blog. Show the world what you know by writing articles about topics that relate to your business and field. Pick topics that you and your customers are interested in, do a little Internet research, and offer something new and astute for your customers to read. These articles will further your corporate image as being a leader in your line of work. Once again, having a blog that you regularly post entries to also increases the number of links back to your website that the search engines recognize. A blog will also, more likely than not, provide you new ideas on how to market your company and the products or services that you offer.

• Monitor Your Online Reputation – The final part of this online focus is to monitor and manage your online reputation. With online customer reviews and discussion forums popping up every day, it’s becoming easier and easier for people to say bad things about your company. Now, of course, you can’t control what other people say about your business, but you can respond to negative comments in a positive way. Go to Google and in their advanced options section, set up a list of Google Alerts with your company name. Google will then automatically scour the Internet world for any websites, blogs, or comments that contain your company name and send you instantaneous, daily or weekly emails with the search results.



If you discover that a disgruntled customer (or even employee) is making disparaging remarks about your company, try to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and feel free to respond to the negative comments in a positive manner. Be sure you don’t come off as being petty, but feel free to share your side of the story if you feel that you are in the right. Studies show that while only about 10% of website viewers will act in response to a positive review, more than three-quarters of website viewers will shy away from a company or product that has a negative review, so it’s definitely worthwhile to mitigate any negative comments about your company as quickly as possible.

The Most Efficient Technology in the Answer Services Industry

What makes a call center so effective? Because they are a company focused solely on providing telephony – it’s essentially the product they sell – they aim to provide the best service possible. To stand out, they make sure they stay abreast of information communication technology. Currently, most call centers implement what is known CTI, or computer telephony integration, a system that uses high-speed internet connections and state-of-the-art server devices to efficiently handle thousands of daily calls.

The Specs

Using CTI is essentially like plugging a phone directly into a computer, and then using it to control everything that you need to do with the call via your computer screen and keyboard. An automated call director (ACD) routs the call to an agent, where it is displayed as information that the representative can respond to. In addition, the CTI is able to combine information from several sources, namely whatever type of media the customer is using – chat, e-mail, fax, video, etc – into one interface. It coordinates the transfer of data between the agent and the customer, and between other agents. It also provides advanced services, such as: allowing the agent to determine when they can receive calls; ability to re-route calls; preview and predictive dialing; etc.

One of the first large and separate ACDs was a modified 5XB switch used by New York Telephone in the early 1970s to distribute calls among hundreds of 4-1-1 information operators.

For large companies, such as one providing answer services, a “third-party” version of CTI is used with a dedicated telephony server. This server allows interaction between a phone network, such as a PBX, and the computer network. Instead of the phone being plugged into the computer, vast numbers of calls are captured in the server and distributed between the stations in the call center. The agent receives the information from the central computer, instead of directly from the call itself, but the interface is basically the same.

A Look in the Past

To help support CTI, most companies use their own private phone network, known as a private branch exchange, or PBX. PBX’s initially became popular when businesses realized they saved money handling their own calls, compared to using the local telephone service. Soon other functions were developed for the PBX, which were not available to the general operator network, including call-forwarding and extension dialing. It was further revolutionized in the 1990’s, as companies began relying on a more efficient process of relaying digital information – the advent of packet switching. Data networking capabilities increased, and with internet providing a way to easily transmit data around the globe, even more possibilities were opened up.

The term PBX has been around from the days when switchboard operators ran company switchboards by hand. Now it refers to any type of complex telephony setup, whether or not they are “private, branches, or exchanging anything.”

A new cousin method was developed, called VoIP (Voice over IP), which is used widely today in call centers. Voice communications are delivered over IP networks, like the internet, instead of using the traditional phone networks like the PSTN. The benefits of using VoIp over PBX include conference calling, automatic redial, and caller ID features – and once again, it reduces the cost because of the way internet usage is billed compared to regular phone calls. These methods are able to support the demands of customer service, and have paved the way for Denver answering service to develop.

VoiceNation Live is an excellent example of answering service support. Named “To

Hiring A SEO Company May Help Grow Your Business

Internet is now the life of all the human beings and it is very tough to imagine a single day without the computer or the internet. We are surviving on the internet and starting from buying a toy till getting your Master’s degree, everything is possible with it. All you would need is to be computer-literate. With the advent of internet and technology, people have begun their own virtual business or rather internet marketing for an idea, products or services. Everybody seems to have a website and they generate revenue by making business online. Once people launch their sites, they would naturally be looking forward to make it popular. They would crave for traffic and would go to any extremes to make it visible in the World Wide Web.

Instead of running around old marketing strategies that are of no help to you, make use of the concept of search engine optimization. It is working wonders for all the internet marketers and is the sole reason behind the success of businessmen. There are plenty of SEO companies that can help you make changes in your site to make it popular. If you are in Denver, you wouldn’t need anything else to be successful.

There are plenty of reasons behind hiring a Denver SEO company and you would never regret it. Many people look for affordable services in what they want and the same thing applies to the search engine optimization services too. A Denver SEO company is the best when it comes to pricing their services. Starting from identifying the keywords till implementing various other strategies, everything fits into your budget easily and that will never become a burden. Many other SEO companies usually cost a bomb and it is highly difficult for people to afford them. But here, you can forget about the cost.

Once you hire a SEO company, you are surely in safe hands. They are complete professionals and you can see the professionalism in every step they make. The guidance they offer and the support they provide when it comes to using search engine optimization techniques is simply amazing and you will never find such services anywhere else. A SEO company boasts of a professional team that is capable of handling any kind of work and it is bound to bring a great change in your website. Within no time traffic will surely flow to your site and it will be popular beyond words.

A SEO company will keep a track of the changes in your site and constantly provides help on it. That is what you will require once you start implementing the strategies. A regular follow-up is a part of the services with the SEO company. Hiring such a company will be the first and last thing you can do to make your site popular and generate revenue without any jolt in between. Success will surely be yours and the business will grow tremendously.

Strategic Internet Marketing Plans – 8 Marketing Channels For Reaching the World

Strategic Internet Marketing Plans are ideal for the small business that wants to powerfully leverage the web in such a way as to maximize lead generation, revenues, brand positioning and referral marketing systems.

What are strategic internet marketing plans?

Strategic internet marketing plans are simply marketing action plans that systematically integrate and diagram your use of online resources and their extensions (such as mobile device marketing) in a way that maximizes your return on investment. Strategic internet marketing plans take into account your business and communications strategies, your budget and allocation of other resources, as well as your subsequent ability to manage projects during the execution phase.

To help you design the perfect plan that fits within the resources of your business, here are 8 types of activities and platforms you can leverage online to strategically build your business.

8 Broad Channels To Deploy Strategic Internet Marketing Plans

This section is just a broad outline of the channels that you would be wise to account for if you indeed plan to deploy a strategic internet marketing plan to build your business.

1. Email marketing system

Contrary to popular belief, email is still the killer “app” of online marketing. A robust and well designed email marketing system can help you achieve just about any strategic marketing objective you have in your business. Done the right way, you can quickly double or even triple the “asset value” of your business through email subscriber lists that consist of well segmented prospects and customers.

2. Web site Marketing

Your web site marketing strategy is the most crucial component of a strategic internet marketing plan after your email system. It allows you to have a “public home” online where information seekers can come and find the most authoritative and comprehensive information about your company, your products and services, as well as any other relevant information.

A powerful tactic that I always recommend for our small business consulting clients is to develop a powerful authority content portal no matter what else you do (or don’t do) on your website.

3. Search Engine Marketing

While search engine optimization and lead generation programs include what you do on your website, they do not stop there. Since search engines are the most powerful method for getting free internet traffic, you should heavily deploy tactics like article writing and syndication, placement in web directories, placement in review and shopping sites and any other ideas that bring you free, targeted traffic from the activity of search engines.

4. Info-Publishing and Marketing

Online information publishing and marketing allows you to get your marketing message out there in a way that is effective and lucrative. For just a little bit of extra effort and investment of resources, many small companies have developed powerful and complementary profit centers that have the added benefit of promoting their business.

5. Affiliate Marketing / Resellers and Distributors

Ever since Amazon popularized the internet version of this age-old marketing practice, affiliate marketing has been here to stay. This strategy is a great way to amplify the effect of your online information marketing.

6. Social Marketing

Social marketing and digital publicity is all the rage today. By strategically developing content that pre-sells (or sells) your products and services, you can join the conversation and build value for your company. Social marketing covers such tactics as Business Blogging, Podcasting, Social Networking, Social Content sharing, Social Network Application Development and online brand/reputation management among many others.

7. Online Advertising and Media Purchasing

There are almost as many niche advertising platforms online as there are websites. From contextual advertising networks, to Pay-per-click, to advertising on Facebook and YouTube, and even to targeted advertising in relevant ezines, you can get your message out by purchasing advertising directly to every imaginable segment of your customer marketplace.

8. Mobile Marketing

In the future, your computer will be completely swallowed by the internet. Quite possibly, so will your house, your car, and many other “venues” in your life. The mobile devices are the forerunners of this powerful trend. The sooner you integrate your strategic internet marketing plan to account for the huge increase in mobile device usage, the better it will be for your business.

Conclusion

By thinking of your online marketing or digital marketing action plan in this way, you can comprehensively cover the internet space, keeping track of new developments and making sure you are well positioned to implement new business designs that will determine the competitive landscape of your industry niche.

Gogo Erekosima, The Small Business Digital Coach is the CEO and Lead strategist at Denver Internet Marketing Consulting Company, Idea Age Consulting.