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Email is Still Great, But Face-to-Face Networking is Better

When Ray Tomlinson hit the send button to transmit the world’s first email, back in 1971, little did he know what he had started. Today, he can’t remember exactly what that first email message was, but remembers thinking the “email thing” was “a neat idea”.

Fast forward to the present, and close to 300 billion email messages are sent out every day. The popularity of email as a communications medium stems from its simplicity and ease of use. Email may now be challenged by cell ‘phone texting and instant messaging, but it’s still extremely popular.

Anyone can send an email. It’s much easier than writing and posting a letter. It’s more immediate, it’s convenient and it’s virtually free. There’s no doubting the popularity of email, but when it comes to networking, can it achieve the same results as you might expect from a face to face meeting?

Lacking human personality …

Email, like any other messaging system, suffers to a large degree by being impersonal. The writer can inject a personal “voice” to some extent, but can’t fully compensate for the simple fact that it’s still a remote electronic message that is essentially lacking in real human personality.

This is even so despite the use of emoticons, sideways-lying smiley faces and the like, made up from a clever combination of semi-colons, colons, dashes and brackets, like the one at the end of this sentence, for example. :-)

Perhaps the biggest downfall of only using email as a networking tool is the social aspect. Eventually we suffer from the lack of integration with other people. We feel isolated and alone, and this can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations; there is no body language to read in an email.

Face to face networking allows no such escape. The participants are exposed to every subtle move made, every faint smile, every raised eyebrow, every stiffened muscle and awkward shift. We can exchange business cards directly and even write email addresses on the back of them, and we can shake hands.

Conferences have great potential for networking …

Annual conferences are perhaps the best places to conduct face to face networking. People attend conferences because they know they will meet others who work in the same field. At a conference everyone is tuned in to the same basic topic. They expect you to be passionate about it, they expect to be invited to discuss it, and they expect to encounter promotions.

You can improve your face to face networking skills by simply showing more interest in the person you are talking to than about whatever it is you wish to promote. Put them first and their first impression of you will be a good one. Then when you mention what you are doing, they will be much more likely to listen attentively.

Do your research …

Before you go to a conference, do some basic research about the key people you will be meeting there. When you can show that you are aware of their achievements, aware of what they are currently involved in and aware of their future plans, you will impress them and they will be much more likely to pay closer attention to you.

Face to face networking beats email for the simple reason that there is no substitute for real human contact. We are more likely to trust the people we can see. We know we are communicating with the right person and not a receptionist, and face to face meetings are always more memorable than any email message is likely to be.


The Forgotten Region of Spain – Cradle of the Conquistadors and the Best Kept Secret of Europe

When the Conquistadors sailed from Spain in the 15th and 16th centuries to discover fame and fortune in the New World, they came from one relatively small area: Extremadura, an autonomous region in the southwest of the country that borders Portugal.

Today, Extremadura is an obscure and little known region, even within Spain, but apart from its wonderful history, it is a fascinating area where property is cheap – up to 40% cheaper than in the rest of Spain – serious crime is rare, the climate is delightfully agreeable and the air is pure and clean.

Welcome to the ‘real’ Spain …

This is the “real” Spain. The people who visit here are the adventurous types who are not swayed by golden beaches and expat communities, for neither exist here. English is not widely spoken either, and there is no international airport, though the road network is excellent. Why then would anyone want to come to such a far-flung place? Ah, why indeed! The answer to that is probably Europe’s best kept secret.

You can buy a small village house in Extremadura with two or three bedrooms from as little as $50,000, though at that price it will be fairly basic, but expect it to have all the necessary amenities. If you have $150,000 to spend, you could get a two-storey house in an urban setting with four bedrooms, for example, all modern amenities, a patio, a pool, spectacular views and total privacy.

Views to die for …

If you wanted to buy a property that was really special, then what you get for say, $500,000 will amaze you. For example, you could have a six bedroom, two-storey Villa with 500 square yards of living space, set in 10 acres of stunning countryside, close to a major town or city, with perhaps a few olive trees, a pool and of course, views to die for.

Long-term rentals of a small apartment with say, two bedrooms, for example, in a large town or city start around $480 a month. In a more rural country or village setting it can be closer to $400.

Napoleon Bonaparte of France once said, “Give me Extremadura and I will feed all of Europe”. Nothing much has changed in the 200 years since Napoleon was in Spain. Extremadura still has an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit at prices that will amaze you, often around 50 cents a pound or even less. If you like cheese, you will think yourself in heaven.

Meat is more expensive and can equal or even be more than in the U.S. However, once you have tasted jamón, or cured ham, from Extremadura, you will not give price a thought. This is as good as it gets.

Jamón, Jamón with wine too …

The meat industry here has protection under protected designation of origin (PDO) status, which ensures a consistency of quality. Jamón Dehesa de Extremadura is a brand that often cannot keep up with demand; such is its popularity.

Extremadura is not known as a major wine producing region. However, it does produce many fine wines, and while they may not be as well known as wines from La Rioja or Ribero del Duero, they are perfectly acceptable, nevertheless.

A modest village bar will sell you a glass of Pitarra for around 75 cents. A bottle of decent Extremeñan wine will cost from around $3.50, and if you want to splash out to the tune of $10 for a bottle, expect to get something that’s very nice indeed.

A region with fine new highways …

The nearest international airport to Extremadura is either in Madrid to the northeast or Seville to the south. There are excellent bus services to both over fine new highways. In fact, the roads in Extremadura are surprisingly good, and apart from some of the smaller rural roads, they are all in perfect, pristine condition.

Living in Extremadura is pleasingly inexpensive. A visiting backpacker could easily get by on around $40 a day, while a tourist preferring a minimum of three-star accommodation might need around $80 a day. For a couple living there full-time, the average monthly costs are around 25% to 35% cheaper than in the U.S.

While English is not widely spoken in Extremadura, this need not be a major setback. At least one real estate agent, based in the city of Trujillo, can operate totally in English. He can also take over all the legal paperwork and necessary administration, leaving you free to think about more pleasant things.

All the amenities and services you need …

Extremadura, like the rest of Spain, has both private health care and nationalized public health care. The care provided through health clinics and hospitals is excellent, even in the more rural parts.

Every community, from the smallest village to the largest city, has good, fast Internet provision. Calling home can be surprisingly inexpensive too. The deregulation of phone carriers has meant that prices have tumbled in recent years, which of course is great for the consumer.

Extremadura is a walker and hiker paradise. Some of the areas are so sparsely populated that getting away from it all is a quick and easy process, but you are never really all that far from the nearest village or town.

If you love the environment, clean healthy air and nature in its wildest, but manageable, form, then this is definitely the place for you. If you love to watch golden sunsets, you can blissfully overdose on them most nights of the year. In fact, this place is so close to perfect in every way that you will soon start to wonder why the Conquistadors wanted to leave in the first place.


How To Lose Weight With 5 Simple Secrets

Most people think about losing some weight at some point in their lives. But the question is usually, how to lose weight for the best possible results without having to do too much to achieve it. Yes, we’re all basically lazy. We want instant gratification. Unfortunately that is not always easy. However, this article will show you how to lose weight naturally and easily.

Which diet to use? It’s always the first question. Most people try one, think maybe another is better, switch for a few days, and then repeat the process. The result? No weight loss, which leads to depression, which leads to eating too much… You get the picture, I’m sure.

Secret #1: Find a diet that is sensible – not a radical one that offers ridiculous results in days. Be practical and find a diet that is sensible and healthy. Then stick to it! Stick to it like glue and do not waver. That is secret number one. It’s no secret really, just common sense. Consistent action will bring consistent results. That’s all there is to it.

Secret #2: Exercise every single day. No, walking to the fridge is not exercise. At the very least you need to walk a minimum of one mile a day. And I don’t mean ambling along in a lazy kind of way either. Walk briskly so that your breathing increases, but not to the point where you collapse, obviously. You are aiming for some real stimulation to your body so that the exercise actually does you some good. You are looking to burn off unnecessary calories and get your body into some kind of shape.

Secret #3: Eliminate junk food snacks. You don’t need quick snacks of high calorie trash. Eat sensible meals with nothing eaten in between. You have to discipline yourself if you really want to lose weight. It won’t happen automatically, but it needn’t be difficult either. The Queen of England once said that the best way to retain a normal weight is to leave the table before you have completely satisfied your hunger. That’s discipline, and it works too!

Secret #4: Maintain a diary of the food you are eating. Too much of the wrong food is what makes you put on extra weight. Nothing else. If you keep a daily diary of what you eat, while also monitoring your weight, you will start to see a pattern emerge. Use this information to discover what works best for you. You may also be alarmed to discover that what you thought was sensible eating is not so sensible in retrospect.

Secret #5: Be realistic in what you hope to achieve. Setting out with grim determination that you will lose 20 pounds in the first week will likely turn out to be a disappointment that will cause you to lose heart, rather than weight. Besides, losing that much weight in such a short time is not advised. A gradual steady weight loss is much better all round. So, aim for targets that you really believe you can achieve, and don’t be too disappointed should you fail.

The real secret to losing weight is good realistic planning, and then seeing the plan through. It’s action and sustained action towards an achievable goal. The secret of how to lose weight is really perseverance in a measured way; monitoring what you are doing, and maintaining a regular exercise routine. It’s not rocket science.


How To Get The Most Out Of Madrid

The Spanish have a term to describe a place that has a lively and exciting spirit. They call it “mucha marcha.” Madrid, Spain’s capital city fits that description well. If it’s flamenco, bullfights and paella you want, then Madrid can certainly give you them. However, if that were all you experienced in this vibrant city, you would miss out on some of the best bits that Madrid has to offer.

The Spanish love the arts. The daily television news programs invariably have a section dedicated to the arts in some form or another, and Madrid is where some of the very best visual arts in Europe can be seen. The Prado, Madrid’s famous art gallery, opened its doors to the public in 1819. Today it houses some of the finest works of art to be found anywhere.

Don’t plan on a quick trip – it takes time to see the Prado. You just can’t rush past masterpieces by the likes of Rubens, Goya, Van Dyke, El Greco, Rembrandt, Botticelli, Poussin, Caravaggio – the list is stimulatingly endless. Anyone who has stood in front of Rembrandt’s Artemisia, which stands four and a half feet wide by five feet high, and dominates the wall it hangs on, will know the glorious magic of the Madrid Prado.

Spain is famous for its fiestas, and Madrid enjoys as many as it can. One of the biggest is Semana Santa, or Easter Week, held in March or April. Life-sized sculptures of religious figures, predominantly Christ and the Virgin Mary, are paraded through the streets. You don’t need to have religious leanings to be impressed by the sheer majesty of the spectacle.

If it’s bullfighting you want to see, then come to Madrid in May and June. This is when the San Isidro bullfight festival kicks in. All the finest bullfighters that Spain has to offer can be found in Madrid showing off their skills at this time.

If you love soccer then you must watch Real Madrid play at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. Tickets for matches, especially the more popular Real Madrid matches, can be extremely difficult to get hold of, so plan well ahead.

The nightlife in Madrid is legendary. This is a city that truly never sleeps. The people of Madrid only start to go out around 11pm, and more often than not it’s later. The many cafeterias and bars will astound you. Everywhere on every street there are tables filled to overflowing with people eating, drinking and speaking volubly as only the people of Madrid can.

Madrid is an amazing city. It very definitely has “mucha marcha” everywhere you go. And if the hustle and bustle becomes too overpowering, take a quiet and peaceful stroll in Parque del Retiro, Madrid’s “Central Park,” the beautiful large open space in the middle of the city. But before long you’ll be right back in the midst of the bustle, drawn by the hypnotic allure that lies at the heart of Spain’s sparkling Jewel in the Crown – Madrid.


7 Ways To Build Your Child’s Confidence

A confident child is more likely to be a success in life, more likely to be liked in life, and will probably be a much happier person in life.
Isn’t that what you want for your child? Here are 7 ways to build up confidence in your child.

1 – Always praise your child for the things she does right. Even if they are little things, make them important and let your child know that she did well.

2 – Let your child do things. Even if your child is not quite ready to do certain tasks, help her make a start and don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out right.

3 – Believe in your child and let your child know it. Don’t pressurize them to be something they can’t be. Just let her know that you believe in her ability to (occasionally) do great things.

4 – Only critisize a behaviour – not the child. Always avoid too much criticism of the child when she does things wrong. It’s much better to criticize the behaviour – that way she can distance what she does from what she is.

5 – Show an interest in your child’s interests. They will probably be boring to you, and you may not understand them. But they are important to your child, so show a respect and interest in the things she does.

6 – Accept your child’s fears and insecurities. never belittle them or brush them aside. Remember the time when you were young and the things that made you afraid. Your child is not so different. They might seem trivial fears or insecurities to you, but to your child they are real.

7 – They say laughter is the best medicine, and it is. That’s why you should always laugh with your child and never at your child. Healthy laughter is a wonderful way to bond tightly with your child. It is also something you will both thoroughly enjoy.

Remember, a confident child is a happy child, more likely to be liked in life, and more likely to succeed in life. Confidence is a wonderful gift you can give to your child.


Joint Pain Relief – 3 Simple Tips To Ease Pain And Help Mobility

Joint pain relief is the single most important consideration for arthritis sufferers. A reasonable degree of mobility is essential for normal living and relief from pain in the joints can allow this to happen. Is there any easy way to achieve it? Yes, there are many simple and natural ways that can achieve joint pain relief and that don’t involve mind-numbing drugs. Here are a few.

1. Joint Pain Relief – Exercise in Water:
A study in England found that two 60-minute sessions a week spent doing easy and enjoyable exercises in a community pool resulted in a considerable improvement in a study group compared to another group who had just spent the same time being educated in joint pain relief for themselves.

Being immersed in water removes much of the stress from our joints. The lessened stress and strain leads to joint pain relief in most individuals. Regular aquatic therapy can result in greater mobility and flexibility with considerable joint pain relief for most individuals.

2. Joint Pain Relief – Devil’s Claw:
This substance has been used in the treatment of joint pain relief with good effect in many cases. However, you should consult your doctor if you intend to try it. There are many who swear by its ability to easy painful joints and increase mobility. If you are seeking arthritic joint pain relief, perhaps it would be worth your while to investigate Devil’s Claw further.

3. JointPainRelief – Glucosamine:
This has been tested in double blind studies and found to be remarkably effective in relieving arthritis pain. There are some side effects from glucosamine in some cases, and different kinds of arthritis needs different preparations of the substance to achieve effective joint pain relief in most people. However, further investigation into this potent product may be rewarding in individual cases, though again, medical advice should be sought from the outset.

Joint pain relief is not always an easy thing to achieve for those suffering from any form of arthritis. The disease can be very debilitating and can lead to a low quality of life. If you don’t want to take strong drugs to ease the pain, then perhaps a fresh look at alternative medicines and simple practices will yield joint pain relief benefits. The bottom line is this: explore and enquire about everything you can related to joint pain relief – you never know what you might discover!


What Are The Causes Of High Blood Pressure?

The causes of high blood pressure are many and varied. However, there are certain recurring causes that will affect most people adversely. Knowing the causes of high blood pressure will mean that you are better placed to avoid them, or even to reverse the effects.

One of the causes of high blood pressure may be your family history and you can’t really do very much about that. However, you can do something about most of the other causes of high blood pressure. In this article we will look at the effects of eating the wrong foods, of being overweight, and of being physically inactive.

Consuming the wrong kinds of food is one of the causes of high blood pressure. Too much salt can have an adverse effect on blood pressure. The remedy is simple; cut out salt in your food wherever possible. Watch out for processed foods too. They often already contain salt for flavor. The causes of high blood pressure can sometimes lie hidden.

Another of the prime causes of high blood pressure is excessive alcohol. Alcohol raises blood pressure and keeps it high. Smoking is also one of the biggest causes of high blood pressure, so cut down or stop.

Carrying too much body weight is another of the causes of high blood pressure. Many people are more overweight than they think. The heart has to work harder, and your blood pressure rises. Lose weight and one of the major causes of high blood pressure will disappear and your blood pressure will reduce.

One of the easiest ways to lose weight is through regular exercise. For many people that conjures up images of sweating in the gym – hard work, in other words! It needn’t be so. It will take you around 15 minutes to walk briskly for the distance of one mile. That alone every day will make a huge difference in time. Physical inactivity is another of the causes of high blood pressure, so get active.

Consider walking more than a mile every day though. Just doubling that mile will leave you with plenty of time every day for the other things you need to do. For an able-bodied person, this is the easiest of the causes of high blood pressure to put right. So, exercise and be physically active for at least thirty minutes a day, every day.

There are many causes of high blood pressure. The easiest way to do something about it is to start by combating three of the most common causes of high blood pressure: consuming the wrong things, being overweight, and not being physically active enough. There are other causes of high blood pressure, but starting with these three is a step in the right direction.


5 Dating And Relationship Tips

A first date is always a nervous time for both of you. It’s a journey into the unknown, but also a journey that offers excitement and reward. With my 5 dating and relationship tips, I’m going to tell you how to make the best of that first date. And how to ensure you get more than just one date, to go on and build up a loving and long-lasting relationship. So, pay attention to these 5 dating and relationship tips – they could make all the difference!

1. Dating And Relationship Tips – Distinguish Yourself:
Distinguish yourself from the ordinary – be different. Don’t use the usual clichés, or make it obvious you are more interested in her body than her mind. Treat her as a real person. Hold eye contact and speak in normal conversational terms. You’ll pleasantly surprise her.

2. Dating And Relationship Tips – It’s All About You:
Speak to her about her. Everyone likes the word “you” and she will be instantly flattered that you want to learn more about her. Ask about her likes and dislikes. Ask about things she’s done, places she’s visited, her ambitions and dreams, etc, etc. Dating and relationship tips don’t come more important than this one. Trust me.

3. Dating And Relationship Tips – Compliment Her:
Don’t go overboard. Be subtle and honest. The occasional genuine compliment is worth far more than a barrage of compliments on anything and everything. Of all the dating and relationship tips, this one is very important indeed.

4. Dating And Relationship Tips – Body Language:
Use the right body language. Non-verbal signals usually say more about how we really feel than anything else. Use an open posture, rather than sitting cross-legged or with arms crossed. It’s the small gestures and the voice tone that says more than the actual words every time.

5. Dating And Relationship Tips – Self-Disclosure:
If all goes well there will come a point in the evening when it’s time to find out where the encounter is heading. This usually takes the form of self-disclosure; you will tell her some things, she will tell you some things. The level of disclosure usually deepens until you both reach a point where you know (hopefully) what’s going to happen next. From here on dating and relationship tips should become largely redundant.

In conclusion, take it slow and stay subtle and confident throughout. These 5 dating and relationship tips are the basics of successful dating and relationships. There are many more things to learn of course, but learn these and you won’t go far wrong. I wish you a happy and fulfilling future.


A Press Release sample:

SEO Article Writing Service

A new web site is promising discerning SEO companies and Webmasters valuable help in weeding out the good from the useless and finding their way through the junk being touted as web content that is today polluting the Internet. Using a straight to the point writing style, is experiencing great success. Good, clear, concise and engaging web content can increase traffic many fold and is often the crucial difference between those sites that “make it” and the rest that simply clutter up the web with barely readable garbage, never to realize their full potential.

When interviewed, John, the site owner, said, “It isn’t content that is King on the Internet, it’s quality content. Over the past few years there’s been far too much inferior writing passed off as suitable content, when in fact it is often barely readable, grammatically a joke, and just plain dull and boring. That’s why I started I wanted SEO companies and Webmasters to know that there’s an article writing service they can rely on for high quality web content”

What makes the difference between quality web content and something too embarrassing to read? John believes that experience counts, and he certainly has plenty of that. He has co-authored three books, he’s been the editor of a monthly magazine as well as maintaining a newspaper column for over 10 years. In addition to that he has written countless SEO articles for more clients than he can remember, over a writing career spanning more than 22 years. The aim of John’s web site is simple: if you want high quality SEO web copy, and you should if you are serious about your online business, then get the best you can get.

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