Archive for Communications

Top Tips for Managing Your Facebook Profile

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With the advent of social media, people’s private lives are becoming ever more public. You can know the whole life story of someone you have not seen in 20 years simply by visiting their Facebook page. Like anything technology-related, this social network has its merits and drawbacks; what you post on your account can have serious repercussions in your professional, academic or personal life—surveys of companies and universities have found that growing numbers are doing online searches to evaluate potential candidates and that unflattering information found online has impacted decisions on whether to hire a person or admit him into a school;if you want to keep a clean online reputation, managing your Facebook profile is a top priority.

Keep the Rants to Yourself

While Facebook can be a great place to get support from ‘’friends’’, it is best to keep the rants to yourself; some of the stuff I see people post is amazing to me, especiallyconsidering that like myself, these people are in their 30s, not high school. Watch what you are saying about your boss, your company or your job—that can come back to bite you big time. Just like you might shake your head at some of the stuff people post, everyone else is having the same reaction to your thinly veiled insults about your ex or the guy that cut you off in traffic this morning.

Control Tagging

As you know, any friend can easily tag you in a photo, comment or when checking into a location. To prevent drunken photos showing up on your wall or being associated with a friend’s inappropriate or unsavory comments, make sure you utilize the setting where you get to approve tags. Or, if you are okay with anyone on your friend list seeing whatever may come up, you can choose to only allow friends to see those particular posts rather than anyone who may visit your profile.

Limit Search Ability

If you do not want people to be able to find your Facebook profile through the search engines, you can adjust your privacy settings by unclicking ‘’enable public search.’’ You can also limit individual parts of your profile so that they are only visible to yourself, friends or some custom list. It is important to remember that if you allow yourself to be searchable, but limit information to only family and friends, your name and profile picture will still show up so make sure it is a picture you are okay with being public.

Filter Friends

Most people with a Facebook profile know all too well that some, or many in some cases, of your ‘’friends’’ may really not be friends at all. Most of my list is people from high school who requested me and whom I have not spoken to in over a decade. If you are concerned with everyone on your list seeing certain types of information about you, you can create different lists of friends with different privacy settings to control who sees what. One interesting thing about a Kaplan survey of college admissions officers—some said they only visited an applicant’s profile when tipped off anonymously.

About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things social media. She recommends you visit for more information on connecting with people and managing your email and social media all in one place.

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June 7, 2013 |  by  |  Communications  |  Comments Off

Make Your Mailing Labels Stand Out From The Pack

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Owning a small business like a gift store sometimes can be tough. In today’s economy, you’ve got to do everything you can to make your business stand out from the pack. A lot of people today go to the “big box” stores to get a great discount. They know they probably won’t get that personalized service – but they’ll get the savings. But other customers flock to stores like mine – Little Treasures – because they know we have great prizes and the great customer service everyone desires.

One of the big challenges a gift store faces is shipping gifts. We have to ship gifts all the time – as a gift store most of the time people are buying things to give to other people! So offering the convenience of being able to ship it to someone is a big relief to many shoppers. This is a top reason many customers will come back. They know they can come in and find something adorable their family member or friend will love – and they can also get it shipped out to them.

But we also wanted those who received our packages to experience a bit of that personal service our Little Treasures customers feel when they walk in the door. Our salespeople greet people by name as they walk in the store. They know the value of getting to know people and developing relationships with our customers. Our customers are our friends you see.

So we wanted the gift recipient to get a warm and friendly feeling when they got a gift in the mail. To feel as if they were getting something really special. Not just like shopping at any “big box” store where they grab something from a shelf and ship it out to you – not getting to know you. At our store everything is about celebrating those birthdays, anniversaries and other events right with you. We get excited about the happy times for our customers too!

We chose personalized mailing labels that let our customers know right away this gift came from our store. Our store colors are grey and purple so the label was done in those colors. We chose a round label for something you don’t see every day. And we added our logo, a purple hydrangea to the very top center of the mailing label. Now that’s a package you are going to notice and get excited about opening!

We had plenty of room to add all of the information we needed to. So we even added our website URL and a bit of information about the store. We added “Fine treasures and gifts from around the world since 1982!” It all fit under our logo and looked so attractive.

We’ve gotten calls from gift recipients complimenting us on our gifts. Not just the actual gift but the way it is presented to them. We gift-wrap beautifully but we also get lots of compliments on the mailing labels too. The color combination. The purple hydrangea. The entire combination. That it was the first thing they noticed in their mail and they wanted to open it right away.

So go ahead…stand out from the pack. You CAN take on the “big box” stores and WIN!

Resource Box

Larence Reaves writes for where you can buy shipping labels and also for another shipping label site that can be found here.

October 3, 2012 |  by  |  Business, Communications  |  Comments Off

How Hard Drive Erasing Software Can Help Your Business

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Getting a new computer? It seems there’s always new technology to upgrade to. Getting a new computer is fun and exciting, but also a lot of work. One of the most important things you’ll do is to remove all of your data from the old computer. And something we’ve all learned is that this data can still be there even if you’ve deleted it. It’s critical that you erase it, using a method that permanently removes it from your hard drive.


One of the best reasons to do this is to protect your company’s trade secrets and private information. Whether you’ve had your computer for 5 years, 10 years or even just a year, you’ve stored important business information on it. Every business needs to protect their investment: how they’ve grown and developed their business through hard work and ingenuity. By erasing your hard drive you are helping to protect your business.

Another great reason to do this is identity theft. Erasing the information from your hard drive means they won’t have access to information about you, your employees or any business information. This is especially important if you’ve kept payroll or personnel files on that computer’s hard drive. With just a small amount of information, they could steal someone’s identity if they were determined to do so. Protecting yourself and your employees is the responsible thing to do.

Don’t neglect erasing your hard drive. If your computer is donated to charity, you’ll want to erase the hard drive, and then give them the CDs so they can load in the software programs themselves. Your computer will still work even if you erase the hard drive, everything will just need to be reinstalled. For some who get a new computer, they do so because they need new technology even though their computer works quite well. Donating your computer to charity is a thoughtful thing to do, and you can still do this even if you erase the hard drive, it just takes a little extra planning of giving them the software disks.

There are quite a few software programs available that promise to erase your hard drive. Some are available for free and others are paid software.

This software is not difficult to use. If you have installed software before, then you can certainly used hard drive erasing software with confidence.

WipeDrive from White Canyon Software promises to entirely erase your hard drive. Buying their software will “wipe” three computers. This software is used by the Department of Defense and also by Fortune 500 companies, an excellent recommendation of their product.

Eraser is a free hard drive eraser software program. It is released under the GNU General Public License. Go to the Downloads page and follow the directions to use Eraser on your computer.

August 29, 2012 |  by  |  Best Of, Communications, Shopping  |  Comments Off

Making The Most Of Your Email While Staying Productive

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Making The Most Of Your Email While Staying Productive

Like most powerful tools, email can be a double-edged sword. If used properly, it can boost your productivity while allowing you to keep in touch with friends, relatives, and acquaintances from around the world. Of course, like a hammer placed into the wrong hands, it can also carry negative consequences. If you allow it to, it can destroy your productivity, embroil you in fruitless arguments, and make a lasting negative impression that will be felt for years.

Fortunately, staying productive while taking full advantage of emailing others is simple (though it takes diligence). Below, we’ll provide a few helpful tips that you can put to use immediately.

Close It Down Or Turn It Off

How many times have you caught yourself checking for new emails several times each hour? It’s impossible to remain productive when you’re pulling yourself away that often from whatever you’re doing. Whether you’re checking online within your browser or using a completely separate emailing application, close it down. If it’s not in front of you while you’re working, you won’t be tempted to check it.

Consider setting specific times throughout the day for checking and responding to email. For example, commit to only retrieving new messages at 8:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. By establishing set times, you’ll be less tempted to check sporadically.

Hide Your Emotions

One of the most dependable rules of the internet is that emailing an angry or rude message to someone will come back to haunt you in the future. For example, suppose you’re upset with a friend and to express your annoyance, you send her a rude, offensive message. Further suppose that your friend becomes incensed at your note and places it on her personal Facebook page for everyone to see.

Stay in control of your emotions when emailing people you know. There’s little value in emailing criticisms, insults, and other polarizing comments to people. One message sent in haste can impact your relationships with others for years. If you would prefer your comment not appear across the entire internet, save it for a conversation on the phone or in person.

Lean Toward Being A Minimalist

Keep in mind that every email you send represents an unspoken request to the recipient for a response. This is the reason servers around the world are clogged with messages that say little more than “thanks,” “you’re welcome,” and “me too.” Try to be an emailing minimalist; only send messages that are necessary, especially if you’re planning to see the recipient in the near future.

While it may be difficult to imagine, you can stay productive while enjoying the benefits of email. The keys are to be sensible regarding how often you check it, avoid letting your emotions run wild, and email when you’re able to add value. You’ll discover that you can get much more accomplished throughout each day.

October 13, 2010 |  by  |  Communications  |  Comments Off

Feature Comparison Between DirecTV And The Dish Network

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Feature Comparison Between DirecTV And The Dish Network

If you’re making the transition from cable television to a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service, you’ll need to compare the features between the two largest providers. Both DirecTV and the Dish Network have millions of customers. Without spending time comparing the two, it’s often difficult to determine which company provides the best service. Comparing the monthly price or current promotions doesn’t reveal much; they both periodically offer outstanding promotions at a reasonable monthly cost. What’s more, both companies offer responsive support to their subscribers.

In this article, we’ll take a look beyond the promotions and focus primarily on the features that each company offers. We’ll describe a few popular programming choices, the receivers, and the parental controls they place at your disposal.

Sports And Other Programming Packages

Both DirecTV and the Dish Network have carved a name for themselves with their respective sports packages. Both satellite providers offer packages devoted to the highest profile sports, such as basketball, baseball, football, soccer, and hockey. Plus, they allow their subscribers to purchase single games, multi-game packages, and half and full seasons. Currently, Direct TV also offers rugby and NASCAR.

The Dish Network has maintained a channel that is only available to their subscribers. The programming consists of horoscopes, weather, sports scores and similar content. DirecTV also maintains an exclusive channel. It offers many of the same programming options as their competitor, but also provides special live music events.

Both providers also offer a number of channels that are dedicated to music. The Dish Network partnered with SIRIUS Music a few years ago to stream over sixty music channels. For its part, Direct TV streams XM Radio across over seventy channels.

High-Definition DVR Receivers

Both services have maintained top-notch HD-DVR receivers for their subscriber base. At the time of writing, subscribers of both DirecTV and the Dish Network are not required to purchase their receivers from either provider. While both companies offer high-quality equipment, they allow their customers to purchase it elsewhere. Having said that, Direct TV seems to have a larger network of vendors who are designing HD-DVR receivers and dishes that are compatible with the service. That has accelerated the time to market for equipment that boasts more features and functionality.

Parental Controls

Both satellite providers give their customers strong parental controls for free. Both allow subscribers to lock specific channels and also to lock down movies based upon their MPAA rating (for example R-rated films). The Dish Network provides a feature which lets subscribers lock films based on ancillary ratings descriptions (for example, violence). On the other hand, DirecTV lets their customers establish ceilings on the amount of money they can spend on pay-per-view programming.

To be sure, DirecTV and the Dish Network have become titans in the direct broadcast satellite industry because they have aggressively tried to cater to their subscriber base. The decision regarding which service you should choose will depend heavily on the features and programs that most interest you and your family.

September 29, 2010 |  by  |  Communications  |  Comments Off