Monday, May 24, 2010

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sitemaps 101 – Benefits of and Tips on Designing a Sitemap

Have you ever wondered how a search engine works? It must be fascinating figuring out how this search tool could direct you to several websites that are relevant to your keywords. Or, have you experienced instances where the link that supposedly contains your keywords is not exactly what you have in mind? You would probably think that there must be something wrong with the search engine that it generated irrelevant results.

How does a search engine work?
Two things figure greatly in making search engines work effectively and efficiently: the electronic search spider and the sitemap.

What is a sitemap?
A sitemap is basically a page or pages that serve/s as a directory by listing all the links to all documents and files found in a website. It is not merely a random listing of links, but organized in such a way that it gives the web user an idea of how all the information that can be found in the site fits into an outline or framework. It is like viewing the table of contents of a book, or viewing the “concept map” of the site’s content.

What is a spider?
In SEO language, spider is not an animal found in your closet. This electronic search spider is actually a bot which collects data and copies content to be stored in the search engine’s database when keywords are fed into the search dialogue box. The spider reads the content of the site and sends another bot to follow the links and copy the content contained in them.

What purpose does a sitemap serve?
A sitemap like any other map gives directions to a navigator. It primarily targets search engine spiders so that they are properly directed to your site and to the links where keywords entered in the search dialogue appears. As such, it is actually a useful tool in search engine optimization. A well organized site map would guide the spider to find the information it needs when keywords are entered during a search operation.

As an additional beneficial consequence, sitemaps have proven to be useful even to web users. Since a sitemap displays all the links to information found in a website, it helps the user to search for a particular topic in mind. Many users also use the sitemap to navigate between pages in a site.

What are the benefits of having a sitemap for my website?

1. No page would be left unturned
Going back to the purpose of sitemaps, having one would mean faster and easier tracking and crawling of spiders all over your site. As a result, search engines would surely get to the view all the pages of your site and not just the pages containing random keywords.

2. Easier navigation for site visitors
Once a web user has accessed your sitemap, they need not go back to the search engine page to look for what they need. If what they are looking for is in your site, then they would have an easier and faster way of locating it.

3. Potential advertising value
If it so happens that a relevant product or service company reaches your site, then it would be easier for them to see how best they can position themselves in the different pages of your site as a paid page advertisement.

4. Encourage greater traffic to your site
If your company website has a sitemap then potential buyers would have an easier time in accessing your latest products and services. Moreover, they would not miss out on any product that might be off future interest to them since the sitemap would display all information found the site.

How are sitemaps formatted?
There are at least three major types of sitemaps: indexed, full categorical, and restricted categorical. An indexed site map appears as an alphabetical listing or directory.
A full categorical map displays all links classified into categories; while a restricted categorical sitemap displays all links listed in a chosen category at a time. The full and restricted sitemaps are very similar except that the former displays all links in all categories all at once in a page, while the latter focuses only the links under the selected category for easier and less eye-straining viewing.

The most widely used format is the full categorical. Based on the results of a 1999 SURL study on sitemap designs, the full categorical format is most preferred by users since it is easier to search for topics within the site and it allows easier comparison between and among categories.

Some tips in setting up your sitemap

1. Link the sitemap only to your homepage.
This is to ensure that the spider starts searching from your homepage down to all the pages listed in your sitemap. In this way, no page would be left unvisited by the spider.

2. Do not go beyond 30 pages for a sitemap.
Large websites having 50 or more pages should not go beyond 30 since this adds more pages to the site, and might make search engines think that the sitemap is a link farm. Also, this prevents overcrowding of links which could be tiring to view.

3. Check all the links listed in your sitemap.
It can be discouraging when you click on a link only to find out that nothing is displayed. Test your sitemap; click all links in every page to make sure that all links are indeed linked to the right page.

4. Give keyword-rich titles to sitemap links.
Keyword-rich titles give your site more advantage in being searched properly under the right category. But be sure to have this sitemap link linked back to the sitemap (e.g. back to sitemap).

5. Provide a short description for the links in the sitemap.
Doing so would give readers a better idea of what to find in the link and save them time on surfing.

6. Be consistent in designing your sitemap with the other pages of the site.
Employ a recurring design and the same HTML template for all pages to establish identity and build character to your website.

Now that you have learned basic things about sitemaps, maybe it is time for you to build one for your site.

Successful Two-Way Communications with your Child

One of the most frustrating challenges we face as parents is communicating effectively with our child. Though we strive to open an honest two-way line of communication with our child, we become frustrated when it appears their attention isn't solely on us or the conversation at hand. Yet we seem to find it's perfectly acceptable to discuss things with them while reading the paper, folding clothes, or working on the computer and then are often left wondering when the lines of communication broke.

Children are by nature easily distracted and not always responsive to their environment. It is the responsibility of the parent to emphasize positive patterns of communication and ensure the child learns that ignoring communication is not acceptable. Early prevention, in the form of educating your child about the proper forms of communication, is the key to ensuring that the non-verbal agreement does not take hold. Teach your child by example. Remain completely and totally focused on them and the conversation at hand. Turn off the television; allow calls to go to the voicemail, or go in a room where there are no distractions.

Talk to your child, and explain to them in age-appropriate terms how they are communicating and why their method doesn't work. Show your child how to communicate effectively, even when the questions are hard.

Make yourself an active listener. Let them voice their opinion or side of the story and ask questions to ensure you understand their viewpoint.
Be constant in the manner in which you communicate with you child. Send the same message with each and every interaction. Allow your child to see that you will call their attention to those times that the unwanted behavior rears its ugly head.

Kids will be kids and they will sometimes be distractive and non-communicative. You are the expert in knowing your child's behavior and can best judge the improvement in their communications. The best way to ensure healthy communication patterns is to model positive communication skills.

Five Top Packing Tips

1) Boxes are a staple for moving because they are usually quite regular sized, easy to carry and if taped together correctly, rarely fall apart. Regular sizes are important for maximizing your van space and ensuring you're not wasting areas in your transport that could otherwise be filled. On the flip side, bags can be compressed anywhere! It is possible however for bags to be mistaken for rubbish.

2) Bags are good for items like clothing, and bedding, and when you've ran out of boxes to pack anything. Teddies and soft toys work well in bags - edged objects, or items that are likely to be too heavy to carry in a plastic bag would probably work better in boxes. Bags also work well with linens.

3) Whilst packing, it’s important to maximize space - and pack your biggest objects first, and fill space around them. Books are easiest to pack, odd shaped, awkward items such as ornaments and other items are the worst to pack, and both types should go in boxes, as should dishes and other objects that are considered fragile.

4) Mark all boxes and bags (if you can) carefully - it makes them easier to find things in, and to sort into rooms without having to break them open. This will all help in your new house. Always remember to mark bags you're using for belongings clearly so that they don't get mistaken for rubbish - or buy completely different bags for your rubbish and your belongings.

5) While it may only take you a couple of weeks to pack, it can take eight weeks - or MORE to unpack at the other end - so though you're 'just boxing items up for a couple of days' remember that you may not find it for up to two months, or perhaps more.

Anti aging skin care products

Anti aging skin care products remind me of the song ’18 till I die’. Indeed, anti aging skin care products are very popular today; and why not, who doesn’t want to look young for ever?

Talking of anti aging skin care products, the first thing that comes to mind is vitamin C based anti aging skin care products. These products work by enabling the synthesis of collagen (a structural protein that is found in skin). This category of anti aging skin care products is related to anti-oxidants. Anti aging skin care products that are based on vitamin C are, however, posed with the danger of getting oxidized themselves (as they come into contact with air during their usage). So some anti aging skin care products are based on the derivatives of vitamin C, which are more stable and less expensive. However, the effectiveness of such anti aging skin care is not as much as it is for vitamin C based ant aging skin care products.

Besides vitamin C, vitamin E and lipoic acid are anti-oxidants too. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble anti-oxidant that is found in human blood and helps in building resistance against infection. Vitamin E is also known to inhibit cancer. Liponic acid is known to combat the signs of aging very effectively by reversing the skin damage caused by the aging process.

Phytochemicals form the other category of anti aging skin care products. Phytochemical are special chemicals that are extracted from plants. There are a variety of phytochemicals that are in use today. Phytochemicals prevent occurrence of cancer of certain types; these include prostate cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. That is why they find their place in anti aging skin care products.

Some B-vitamins like B5, B6 and B12 are also in use for anti aging skin care products.

The field of anti aging skin care products is vast and needs a lot of research. Though the currently available products are effective, they still have challenges to combat. Hopefully, these challenges will get resolved in due course and help get better and cheaper anti aging skin care products.

However, anti aging skin care products should be used only as a supplement to the natural ways of skin and body care. So, drinking a lot of water, getting a good night sleep, exercising regularly, maintaining healthy eating habits and keeping stress at bay are essential means of delaying the aging process. No anti aging skin care product can replace them really.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Benefits of resistance training

Do you want to have a stronger and more beautiful body? Then the best thing to do is get on your feet and start doing the resistance training.

What Is Resistance Training?

Resistance training involves activities that use weights, machines and even body weight to work out the muscles properly. It is also known as strength training or weight training. This can be very helpful in achieving a healthier body.

This kind of training is usually associated with athletes who have to build up their bodies. Most people would think that when resistance training is done, the body will grow bigger. Actually it will not. Resistance training is simply about increasing the strength of the body, not its size.

Actually, this can be practiced by anyone. It basically builds and tones the muscle to give the body a better look. This training program is even very much advisable to the elders. The usual training programs undergone by the elders are standing free-weights resistance or the moderate-intensity seated machine training.

How Does Resistance Training Work?

A resistance training program will include the use of various exercise equipment and machines like the bench press, dumbbell or barbell. When the equipment is used, the muscles of the body will be pitted against the weight. The cells of the body will then adapt to the extra weight. This will then result to hypertrophy or the enlarging and increasing of the nerve cells to help in the muscle contraction.

Before doing any resistance training, it will be best to consult first with the doctor. This goes especially for people who have medical conditions or are overweight. This kind of training is not something that you can explore on your own. You have to know the proper equipment for the needs of your body. The body must also be conditioned first before taking in the weights.

Resistance training can also be done without resorting to the equipment. Doing push-ups is one good example. You can do it just about anywhere where there is enough space for you to move. This time it is your own body weight that will be pitted against the muscles. So those who are a bit constrained in the budget can still do resistance trainings.

What Are the Benefits of Resistance Training?

1. Increase Bone Mineral Density
Bones are constantly remodeling, meaning the tissues break down at the same time they build up. The peak of remodeling takes place during puberty. However, as a person ages, there may be problems with the bone mineral density as the remodeling may not be as active anymore. This is especially a problem to post-menopausal women.

Bone mineral density is usually supported by the hormones. To address the problem of not having the hormones to maintain the bone mineral density, physical activity is the next best option. Resistance training is one physical activity that can address this.

2. Increase Strength
Strong bones and strong muscles will be developed as you undergo the resistance training program.

3. Increase the Range of Activities
When your body is strong enough to carry some considerable weight, then definitely you will also be capable of doing more strenuous activities. You are less likely to be lazy and you can live a more active lifestyle.

4. Reduce the Body Fat
Pitting the weights on your muscle will definitely give it the body the exercise it needs and get rid of the undesirable fats. Thus expect the tone of the body to improve. Even more, expect the body to look better, to be leaner.

5. Improve State of the Elders
For the elderly, undergoing a resistance training program will help improve their health and decrease the risks brought about by the age. They can be more independent, without needing to rely on other people for doing simple things. Being able to do so will also decrease the risk of injuries in the elders

6. Improve Heart Condition
Regularly doing resistance training can result to a lowered heart rate and lowered blood pressure, especially after exercise. The risk of heart diseases is reduced to a considerable extent.

This kind of training however must be properly done. It requires commitment and consistency. It will have to be done in a regular basis, following a schedule that the doctor or the physical trainer would recommend. If done incorrectly, the benefits of the program may not be enjoyed and it can even result the injury.

The key here is to simply take your time. Do things one step at a time correctly. As your body condition improves, then move on to more challenging tasks. The strength of the body and its overall look are at stake in the resistance training. So you better be sure to do it properly.

Making Money with Articles: How Much Can I Make?

How much you can make from placing articles and affiliate links on your website differs from person to person. How much you are able to make will depend mostly on how successful your site is. This means getting good search engine rankings through SEO efforts, making your site enjoyable and informative to read through engaging content, building your site around a great niche subject, how big your site is, and how many sites you have.

Some people claim to make as much as $10,000 per month ($120,000 per year) through building and promoting niche sites, however, most people should not expect this kind of success, especially if you are very new, as that kind of success usually only comes with experience and acquired skill. A reasonable income to expect from a niche site, after you have worked for months to gain traffic and are hooked up with good affiliates, may be $500-$1,000 per month. However this is recurring income, so you will make that much monthly off of the efforts you put into that one site, it is not a one shot deal.

After you have a successful site, most choose to continue to build niche sites. The more sites that you build, the better an income you can generate. Some also choose to build very fast and very short sites over sites that are slightly longer in length. It should be noted that the larger each of your sites are, the more income you will likely generate off of them.

When starting out, it is important to remember that your first site will always be your hardest, since you are just learning the ropes of the business, and that not everyone is cut out to market and promote niche sites. It may not work out for you and you may end up losing a little bit of money, but that is a risk that everyone in this business has to take.

The important thing is that you don’t give up without a good shot at it, if this is really what you want to do. Your first site may take a long time, the work may be tedious, and you may feel like throwing in the towel. However, if you give up too early, you will never know what could have been. And who knows, you may be the next great website marketer!