How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders: Boosting Your Business & Buzz on the Web Review

How to Win Sales and Influence Spiders: Boosting Your Business and Buzz on the Web
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I just wanted to add that I find it rather suspicious that all the earlier reviewers had written 1 or 2 reviews in total and are bragging about this book like hell. They also share similar vocabulary and writing style...

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If you're like most business professionals, you could be losing$10,000, $100,000, or even $1 million a month on the Web! Catapultingyour business online is easier than you may think. Thanks to new andemerging developments in Web technology, you can immediately reach morenew customers — free. Plus, you can better leverage your "traditional"Internet marketing to get more traffic from the search engines and freepublicity from the press. Internet marketing veteran andEntrepreneur columnist Catherine Seda reveals how to attract newcustomers, search engine spiders and the press, simultaneously. Usethis approach to skyrocket your sales while building your brand. This book reveals the insider secrets of how to:• Capitalize on social media, such as blogs, podcasts, and onlinevideo, while watching your profits soar from search engines, e-mail,and affiliate marketing. • Maximize your exposure by building your online reputation as an industry expert. • Recognize search engine spammers who will get your site banned and kill your cash flow. • Mimic the successful Internet marketing techniques that have elevated the status of well-known sites. • Avoid making the "Top 10" Internet marketing mistakes as revealed by industry leaders. This "non-techie" book is for: consultants, entrepreneurs, corporatemarketers, students, investors, journalists and adventurers.

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Nginx 1 Web Server Implementation Cookbook Review

Nginx 1 Web Server Implementation Cookbook
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I found very little useful information in this book. The author skims over the top with some extremely specific examples, using some rather arcane technologies in my view, with very little if any explanation of the overall picture. If you want to use this cookbook, be prepared to use the exact same ingredients as the author has chosen for you because he does not give you enough information to modify his recipe with your own ingredients.
I guess this book is written for the complete novice who wants to stay that way. The author claims to be an expert with python, yet python is mentioned only in the context of uWSGI which is not associated with an official PEP. In other parts of the book the author uses Ruby on Rails which might be a cookbook kind of technology, simple to use without knowing what you are doing -- kind of like Windows, but again not in keeping with any kind of standard.
The preface claims this book is for system administrators and web developers. I dare say most of them would be disappointed.

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This is a cookbook full of illustrations and diagrams to help you implement your web needs with Nginx, with a focus on practical examples. If you are tired of Apache consuming all your server memory with little traffic and to overcome this, or for some other reason, you are looking for a high-performance load-balancing proxy server and have tried using Nginx, then this book is for you. You need some basic knowledge of Nginx. System administrators and web developers will benefit greatly from this book.

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The Web Library: Building a World Class Personal Library with Free Web Resources Review

The Web Library: Building a World Class Personal Library with Free Web Resources
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Glancing at the title I thought it was just another list of websites, and although many sites are listed, most of them aren't the common knowledge everyday sites that librarians and general web surfers already know about. What makes the book quite a bit different is that the author includes quite a few interviews with people from the websites that are mentioned -- people from Project Gutenberg, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, etc. The author also uses several methods to judge site longevity (i.e., will the site be around in the future), plus there's a website he manages to keep track of changes. With Open Access becoming a trend, this book is the most credible to date.

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Describes how to create a digital library of documents, images, articles, indexes, and other free resources found on the World Wide Web.

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Online Marketing Success Stories: Insider Secrets, from the Experts Who Are Making Millions on the Internet Today Review

Online Marketing Success Stories: Insider Secrets, from the Experts Who Are Making Millions on the Internet Today
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Rene' Richards' compendium of online marketing triumphs provides a look into the factors that led to successes for companies from major players, like Google, to mom-and-pop shops. Not only does this book provide insights from people who have turned their online dreams into profitable realities, it also lays out, chapter-by-chapter and step-by-step, the route to follow for the success of your own online venture.
I saved lots of time and effort reading this book instead of searching the Net to find the answers I needed. I highly recommend Richards' book for anyone contemplating an entry to the online world of commerce, whether they're looking to sell services, products or information. Great read!

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This new book by Atlantic Publishing Company entitled Online Marketing Success Stories Insider Secrets, from the Experts who are Making Millions on the Internet Today, will give you real life examples of how successful businesses market their products online. The information is so useful you can read a page and put the idea into action today! Standing out in the turmoil of today's internet marketplace is a major challenge. There are many books and courses on internet marketing; this is the only book that will provide you with insider secrets. The reason we asked the marketing experts who make their living on the internet every day and they talked! With e-commerce expected to reach $40 billion and online businesses anticipated to increase by 500 percent through 2010, your business needs guidance from today s successful internet marketing veterans. Learn the most efficient ways to bring consumers to your site, get visitors to purchase, how to up sell, oversights to stay away from, and how to steer clear of years of disappointment. We spent thousands of hours interviewing, e-mailing, and communicating with hundreds of today's most successful e-commerce marketers. This book is a compilation of their secrets, and proven successful ideas. If you are interested in learning hundreds of hints, tricks and secrets on how to make money or more money with your Web site than this book is for you. Instruction is great, but advice from experts is something else, and the experts chronicled in this book are earning millions. This new exhaustively researched book will provide you with a jam-packed assortment of innovative ideas you can put to use today. This book gives you the proven strategies, innovative ideas, and actual case studies to help you sell more with less time and effort.

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Internet Research - Illustrated (Illustrated (Thompson Learning)) Review

Internet Research - Illustrated (Illustrated (Thompson Learning))
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The book is very low on information.
If you've used a computer for at least 2 years this will teach you absolutely nothing.
$20 for a paperback book that is thinner than a quarter.
Bought this for a class,
Be better off mooching off someone else or maybe just winging to topic

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With both conceptual and step-by-step lessons, this book teaches learners the strategies and skills required to use the Internet as a valuable research tool. Updated for currency, this title includes information about search toolbars and the latest advances in intelligent search agents, as well as finding, evaluating, and citing online sources.

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Internet Marketing-Profits That Lie Hidden In Your Website: How To Triple Your Web Sales In 25 Days Review

Internet Marketing-Profits That Lie Hidden In Your Website: How To Triple Your Web Sales In 25 Days
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This book is from a guy that makes a living from creating ads that sell. That is his real job. He does it for online and offline clients. So while he goes about his daily business he amasses tons of information that he eventually decided to put into a book to sell. I don't get the idea at all that this is some guy who makes a career out of writing Internet marketing guides. As you go through the material you begin to realize something: The guy really knows what he is talking about. You can tell by the examples in the book that he does this stuff both offline and online.
The book is very, very good for those wanting to learn marketing techniques online. Honestly it's like a textbook. In many respects he pulls back the curtain on marketing tactics. I found it helpful for understanding why marketers write the way they do. From the long sales copy to bold claim headlines to web page layouts. Sure we all know that headlines matter, buyers like long reads, etc. But Lance explains it in a way that makes sense and gets you thinking how to implement the tactics in your own sites and landing pages.
The book is full of examples from email writing to headlines to layouts. There is so much information on how to create the right advertisement. If you are doing PPC ads and landing pages then this book is for you. If you have a website and are trying to sell something then this book is for you. OK, if you are already making $5K a month then it's probably not for you. But if you are just starting out trying to sell things on the Internet or are making a humble sum of cash then I really believe that a book like this will help. I've read quite a few PPC ebooks and none are close to this. I believe it is because Lance is actually a professional sales copy writer for both online and offline clients. And you know, PPC success is really all salescopy.
You know how marketers will say that you need to do "X" to convert more sales? And you sit there wondering why? And you get the sense that the joker has no clue why either, but he says so because that's what "they" say works, or learned it from someone else, or saw an example from another salespage. Well Lance explains the why, for every step of building a salespage. You'll read through the manual and think "ah, that's why I'm told to do that", or "so that's why this is suppose to convert better". You get the sense that the guy is simply a pro at what he does and has answers for building webpages that sell.

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Direct Web Sales Start with Good Web Design Many small business owners believe all that is needed for good website design is to hire a graphic artist to produce an "online brochure" for the company. That's fine, if you have no intention of using your website to generate actual sales. If your purpose is to make a direct sale through your website, it is crucial that you understand what good website design really is.In Internet Marketing: Profits That Lie Hidden in Your Website, you'll discover how to design a direct sales website, how to write profitable sales copy, how to optimize your website for the major search engines-such as Yahoo, Google, MSN, and AOL Search-and how to use Google Adwords to your advantage.You don't need flash animations or fancy graphics to have a good website. Good design is all about focusing your marketing message exactly as you want it, and presenting it in such a way that when your customers do arrive, they'll be ready to buy.

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Pro SQL Server 2008 Analytics: Delivering Sales and Marketing Dashboards (Expert's Voice in SQL Server) Review

Pro SQL Server 2008 Analytics: Delivering Sales and Marketing Dashboards (Expert's Voice in SQL Server)
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I referred to this book while doing a prototype in building a Sales dashboard for a company. It gave me a jump start in using Microsoft technologies to come up with a dashboard in a short time. To be honest this is the first book I am referring to on this task. Especially I liked the case studies chapter at the end of the book to be very helpful. The chapters provide covers well on details around SQL Server analytics but I was looking for examples in each chapter to get me though. But this book solved it's purpose for me.
I will recommend this book to other like me who want to start working on dashboards and analytics using SQL Server tools.


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SQL Server 2008 is the latest version of Microsoft's popular SQL Server database product. It has been very well received since its release in July 2008, most notably for its greatly increased reporting and analytical capabilities over previous versions. There is a strong reader demand for information related to these aspects of SQL Server.This book aims to provide developers and their managers with a complete reference to building reporting dashboards that are able to assimilate information from various sources and integrate with other Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint and PerformancePoint to present that information in flexible ways. It is a generalist guide, and teaches techniques that can be applied to a wide range of reader situations.

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Google Guice: Agile Lightweight Dependency Injection Framework (FirstPress) Review

Google Guice: Agile Lightweight Dependency Injection Framework (FirstPress)
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This is a thin book that was churned out quickly, like all in the Firstpress series. There are some errors, and the topic isn't covered in great depth. On the other hand, it's the only book out there strictly devoted to Guice. So if you really want to learn Guice quickly, this book will help.
On the other hand, the much-improved (and much-different) Guice 2.0 is currently in beta. As is Spring 3.0, which has a far richer feature set (some might call it absurdly large) than Guice; the two aren't exclusive, but if you use Spring, you should ask whether you really need to add Guice. And an upcoming book, Dependency Injection in Action (which you can buy an early eBook of through Manning's MEAP program) covers Guice more thoroughly. So if you do get this book, it might not be useful for very long.
[Edit: Guice 2.0 has now been released. I'd avoid this book and learn the new version instead.]

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Google Guice firstPress is first and authoritative book on emerging open source Guice project, an agile ultralightweight Java and Web application development framework. Many in the industry believe Guice to be the next Spring. Backed by Google and apparently Sun, this has the high potential to become reality one day.

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Social commerce: Quand le e-commerce rencontre le Web d'aujourd'hui (French Edition) Review

Social commerce: Quand le e-commerce rencontre le Web d'aujourd'hui (French Edition)
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A travers cet ouvrage, Julien Chaumond nous propose sa vision sur ce que sera l'état de l'art du e-commerce dans quelques années: la révolution sociale en oeuvre depuis 2005 aura parachevé sa domination du web en introduisant de nouveaux mécanismes jusque dans la pratique la plus vieille de l'humanité: le commerce, l'achat, la vente, le troc, l'échange...
Empruntés par quelques pionniers, le social commerce est déjà une source de croissance extraordinaire pour certains pure-players du Web tels que Groupon comme pour d'autres, venant du e-commerce classique. Dans ce livre, l'auteur s'attarde sur toutes les facettes du phénomène: le group buying, le social merchandising, le social marketing, le social shopping, le purchase sharing et beaucoup d'autres anglicismes aussi atroces pour la langue française qu'ils sont effectifs dans la réalité.
Le lecteur découvrira une analyse fine et très prospectiviste des futurs bouleversements à venir dans le e-commerce au vue des signaux faibles de ces dernières années. Enfin, loin de n'ĂȘtre qu'un n ième bavardage pour "social media strategists", les développeurs ou décideurs du milieu du e-commerce y trouveront leur compte avec les parties très pratiques des chapitres 3, 4 et 5 dont on saluera la forte composante "sémantique", une autre tendance lourde de ces dernières années.
En résumé: un livre minutieux, clair et pertinent à la croisée du e-commerce et du web social. A acheter et partager au choix sur Facebook, Twitter, Blippy, Swipely ou ... Status.net !


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Ce livre est l'histoire d'une rencontre, celle du monde du e-commerce et de celui du Web.Jusqu'à présent, les deux mondes se côtoyaient sans vraiment se rencontrer. Les entreprises du Web s'occupaient de Web, les entreprises e-commerce de e-commerce. De même pour les entrepreneurs eux-mêmes : les entrepreneurs du e-commerce venaient plutôt du monde du commerce, ceux du Web, du monde du Web.Ces derniers mois, pourtant, des nouveaux services comme Groupon, Blippy, ou Ping, sont apparus à l'intersection de ces deux mondes et connaissent une croissance énorme. Leurs principes, décrits en détail dans ce livre - group buying, communautés de social shopping, purchase sharing, social marketing - commencent à être repris par les e-commerçants plus traditionnels.La thèse centrale de ce livre est que le e-commerce est aujourd'hui de plus en plus lié aux innovations technologiques et d'usage du Web grand public, c'est-à-dire du "Web d'aujourd'hui", celui des réseaux sociaux, de Facebook et Twitter.L'intersection du Web social et du e-commerce, ou social commerce, voit naître des opportunités gigantesques, à la fois pour les e-commerçants, pour les entreprises du Web, qui trouvent dans le e-commerce des modèles économiques solides pour monétiser leurs activités, et bien sûr pour les startups et entrepreneurs sur un secteur qui promet d'être explosif :« If I had to guess, social commerce is the next areato really blow up »-- Mark Zuckerberg, Août 2010

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We, Robot: Skywalker's Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact Review

We, Robot: Skywalker's Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact
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We, Robot is a rather unique look at our progress in robotics. The book looks at a number of famous Sci-fi robots, from The Jetson's Rosie to the Terminator T-1000 to Avatar's avatars. He then compares them to progress of different projects in the robotics world, asking how close we've come to the original sci-fi vision, and of what differs, why.
It's a fun tour of some of the field's better poster-bot/children, and the interviews with some of their creators are quite interesting.
The real gold for me though, was in some of the conjecture and philosophizing that Meadows does in considering implications of robotics near future. This is especially true when looking at the borders between hardware and software which he sees little distinction. I'm of the same school of thought, but it's surprising how many people deem them completely different.
For example, when considering the implications of privacy and giving one's personal information up to 'trusted' parties, he asks us to consider whether we'd accept a "Rosie"-like robot from Google, provided for free, if in exchange we understood that it would mill about the house in spare time, learning about our personal habits and behavior and such. Is this really so different than G-mail? Really, it's not, when you think about it.
There are a lot of great nuggets of food for thought along these lines. I found myself dog-earing the corners of a lot of pages with the intent of going back to think about more deeply.
At this year's CES, I saw a surprising number of toys and gadgets blurring the lines between digital and physical worlds. Robots will be one of the conduits between those spaces sooner than we think. This book is a good tour of both the state of the art, as well as a tour of some of the unanswered questions.

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"If you grew up like I did on a steady diet of The Jetsons, The Six Million Dollar Man, Star Wars, and The Terminator, then you've been wondering when all your robot fantasies might become true. But unlike promises that every American will own a personal jet pack and hovercraft by now, the proliferation of cyborgs, androids, and avatars is real. With wit and insight, Mark Stephen Meadows separates science fiction from actual fact, navigating the ethically sketchy territory of domestic robots and autonomous military robots, artificial hands and artificial emotions. We, Robot raises the crucial questions that robot-makers largely ignore. In doing so, it shows us that in our quest to create more and more lifelike robots, we've become more robotic ourselves."
-Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms

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Search Engine Optimization and Marketing for Beginners Review

Search Engine Optimization and Marketing for Beginners
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Some good advice but very low on content. No step by step instructions. Doesn't even come close to SEO for Dummies by Peter Kent. Peter's book is what you need.

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Search engine optimization requires strong organization. Organization will put you above your competition. This book teaches you a successful optimization process.Some highlights are:- How search engines work- Variables that will affect search engine ranks- Link popularity- Five samples of pages that work in the engines- How to submit- How to analyze your progress- A troubleshooting section- A great glossary of terms

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Business Confidential: Lessons for Corporate Success from Inside the CIA Review

Business Confidential: Lessons for Corporate Success from Inside the CIA
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Although this book was co-authored by Peter Earnest and Maryann Karinch, Earnest serves as narrator as he draws upon a wealth of experience during 36 years with the Central Intelligence Agency, most of it in the Agency's National Clandestine Service (NCS). He also served on active duty with the United States Marines. Presumably Karinch's role was to assist with gathering, evaluating, selecting, and then organizing the real-world information on which the book is based. At least to some extent, the co-authors' collaborative efforts resemble those who work together in NCS and, in fact, they resemble the collaborative efforts in any other organization with strategic objectives such as these:
1. Identifying information needs
2. Determining their relative importance
3. Locating and obtaining the information needed
4. Evaluating, correlating, integrating, and disseminating it
5. Revising and updating the information as well as the system within which it is processed
At the conclusion of Chapters 2-12, Earnest and Karinch provide a summary of key points, framed in different ways: as a question (the "right qualities" of an effective case officer in Chapter 2), as checklists ("Twin Necessities: Continuing Training and Education" in Chapter 4), or as recommendations ("Deliberately Shaping Your Image" in Chapter 9). In fact, throughout the book the reader is provided with dozens of such devices that will facilitate, indeed accelerate periodic review of key points later.
Large organizations already have extensive resources committed to achieve the aforementioned strategic objectives. This book will help them to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their systems and initiatives. The material in Chapter 3,for example, will help to recruit better candidates, interview them more thoroughly, and then get them off to a faster start once in place.
That said, leaders in all organizations (whatever their size and nature may be) will receive valuable information, insights, and advice that can help them to formulate and then implement programs, procedures, and policies to strengthen organizational core competencies in areas such as situation analysis, decision-making, setting (and adjusting) priorities, research on competitive marketplace (i.e. identifying unmet needs, eliminating vulnerabilities, leveraging advantages), contingency planning (e.g. scenarios), crisis management, and leadership development.
One final point: With all due respect to knowing what needs to be done as well as knowing how and when to do it, ultimate success depends on execution. Thomas Edison said it best: "Vision without execution is hallucination." This is what Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton have in mind when warning executives about what they characterize as "the knowing-doing gap."

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Acritical figure in America's Cold War intelligence operations, Peter Earnest knows human nature and how to set priorities to stay true to a mission. With this book, Earnest and bestselling author Maryann Karinch demonstrate how core principles of intelligence apply directly to business strategy. Trust building, loyalty, innovative thinking, using intelligence to support tough decision making, getting the most from human resources all are linchpins of critical business strategy, indispensable to: Vetting, hiring, and training the ideal team Establishing connections with the right people Contingency planning Operating in both friendly and hostile territory Cutting losses at the right time while increasing the overall win ratio With instructive examples from CIA operations and the business world, Business Confidential vividly illustrates the value of the intelligence mindset in today's unpredictable business landscape.

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The Principles of Successful Freelancing Review

The Principles of Successful Freelancing
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Being a freelancer is the new black. It's just a crazy fun loving world where nothing can go wrong. Well as a crusty old freelancer I can tell you that's far from the truth.
Well Miles Burke in his new book The Principles of Successful Freelancing discusses just that. Miles is no stranger to making the leap into world of freelancing having done it three times.
When I first picked up this book, I'll be honest, I was a little skeptical. But I found this is a good book. It's well written with an entertaining layback style all it's own. I can just imagine Miles sitting back in a cafe or coffee shop chatting about freelancing. You could easily read this book on 4-5 hour plane flight.
This book is squarely aimed at the person who is considering getting into freelancing or has just started. It covers off all aspects of the freelancers life cycle, such as:
* From starting out and a hard look at oneself, are you cut out to be a freelancer.
* Preparing for the transition from regular work to freelancing, and all the things you really need to think about (but don't).
* Finances, making sure you really do stay in business and keep a positive cash flow.
* Productivity, time tracking, getting into that productivity zone and not being distracted.
* Selling, winning work and understanding how to sell. Something all freelances fear at some stage.
* Customer service, or keeping the client, project management made simple, and dealing with difficult clients.
* Lifestyle, work habits, life balance are discussed, this is huge area that I know freelancers cut corners on.
* Expansion, life beyond freelancing, the final stepping stone on the way for a freelancer, be that back into employment, or expansion using outsourcing or your own staff.
You know what's really good and annoying too (well for me) with this book; it is just full of all those tips and tricks that I just wish some freelancing mentor had told me all those years ago in the previous century when I started freelancing.
I enjoyed this book to the point that I found myself nodding and smiling as Miles waxed on with another aspect of freelancing, pointing out the pitfalls along the way. And sometimes I was wincing as I realised that after 14 years in the game I've still got a few things even I can improve on.
The one thing I didn't like, and this was just me, is it was it had a few too many lists in places. It made me think I was checking off my freelancing skills all the time. But really that was a very minor point.
Overall, highly recommended, if you are a new freelancer, or old one, or maybe just considering freelancing, get this book, read it. Act on it, it's a great reference source, then later on, reread it.
But you know with this book, it's now a little bit easier.

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Thinking about becoming your own boss and embarking on the wonderful and rewarding journey of freelancing? The Principles of Successful Freelancing is for you. In this easy-to follow guide you'll learn what's important in transforming your skills into a booming freelance business. This book leads you through the entire process, from getting started, through to winning and keeping loyal clients. Running a successful freelance business is easy, and with the information in this book, you'll confidently turn your freelancing dream into a profitable reality.

Learn how to make a smooth transition into freelancing
Understand how to effectively manage your money
Ensure you spend your time on the right activities
Discover why a work/life balance is important
Learn how your network can support you and your business
Overcome your fear of selling
And much more ...
The 12 Principles Of Successful Freelancing
Get Organized Keep your workspace tidy and plan ahead (short- and long-term).
Control Stress Remain calm and work through issues to avoid early burnout..
Research Spend quality time researching your proposed business-it's more than a five minute web surf.
Be PassionateLove your work! You should enjoy what you do for a living.
Budget Save for a rainy day rather than spend every cent as it comes in.
Value your Health Bad health stops you from working. Take time to exercise and maintain a nutritious diet.
Embrace Selling Enjoy the sales challenge-it's easier than you think!
Satisfy Customers Don't do average work-exceed their expectations and make them need you.
Grow Your Network Value family and friends' support, and meet new people all the time.
Maintain Cashflow It's what is in the bank that counts, not what you are billing-understand the difference.
Continually Learn Keep acquiring new skills and knowledge, every week. Let it slip and you could be left behind.
Achieve a Work/Life Balance Your life should be more than work-maintain a good balance for health and success.


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Windows 7 Digital Classroom, (Book and Video Training) Review

Windows 7 Digital Classroom, (Book and Video Training)
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I enjoy this book as much as anyone can enjoy a reference book, definitely felt like I knew Windows 7 well after finishing it. For those who needs a quick reference about Windows 7 basics, this is a good one to have.
Great speed in delivery. Book was in excellent condition with big discount from the seller. I highly recommend this seller. Thank you!

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Bring the classroom to your home with this training DVD and full-color instructional book!

Windows 7 is the much-anticipated new operating system from Microsoft and is packed with new features and capabilities. With this book-and-DVD combination, you can learn essential skills and explore all the exciting new possibilities that Windows 7 has to offer. Fifteen self-paced lessons allow you to move at a speed that is comfortable for your learning style. Step-by-step instructions, lesson files, and video tutorials complement each topic covered.

You'll investigate the new interface and functionality and learn how to customize settings, work with Internet Explorer, and maintain and troubleshoot issues. Packed with helpful information, this book encourages you to confidently get the most out of the new features of Windows 7.

Serves as your own personal instructor, providing you with a valuable DVD-and-book combination that takes you from the basics through intermediate-level topics
Allows you to learn the exciting new features of Windows 7 at your own pace, with video tutorials that complement the topics covered in the book
Demonstrates how to customize settings, work with Internet Explorer, and maintain and troubleshoot issues
Encourages you to get the most out of everything Windows 7 has to offer

Windows 7 Digital Classroom is like having your own personal instructor guiding you through each lesson, while you work at your own pace.


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Windows Vista Secrets: SP1 Edition Review

Windows Vista Secrets: SP1 Edition
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Somewhere inside these 645 pages is a terrific computer book desperate to get out.
Unfortunately, the useful tidbits are buried by the jargon, disjointed outline, and the wince-inducing writing. The authors say "functionality" instead of feature, "enabled" instead of On, and (I kid you not) "circular in nature" instead of "round."
But it's even worse that huge chunks of Windows Vista get no coverage at all! Here are a few topics that don't appear in the book, or at least the index: Scanning. Faxing. Flash drives. Monitors. Dial-up connections. Safe Mode. Hibernation. Filename extensions. Network projectors. ReadyBoost. Dynamic disks. Shadow Copy. Burning CDs or DVDs at the desktop. Problem reports. Driver rollback. Driver signing. Ease of Access Center.
And there's no information at all about Vista's amazing new speech recognition--only a passing reference in the Tablet PC chapter, even though it works on any Vista PC.
So if you get this book, you'll also need ANOTHER book if you want comprehensive coverage of Vista.
Meanwhile, huge swaths of the book are padded by pointless tables and listings. Do we really need *26 pages* of symbol-font printouts?
Or a half-page table that explains the difference between Small Icons, Medium Icons, Large Icons, and Extra Large Icons? (The table says that "Medium Icons are similar in style to Large Icons, but smaller." Wow, really!?)
There are lots of illustrations, but most are full-screen shots, shrunken down to to fit the page. The result is that you can't read any of the text in them.
The authors of this book clearly know a lot. But they should have been paired up with writers, editors, and indexers who could help them set that information free.

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Follows the highly successful first edition with over 25% more content, including extensive coverage of the latest update, Service Pack 1
Addresses a huge market of consumers eager to learn about hidden gems and secrets in Vista and SP1
Covers features that are not disclosed in Microsoft's books or help files
A highly connected and qualified author has gathered information from an extensive network of Windows beta testers and thousands of readers, as well as conducted his own experiments on the new OS
New chapters cover personalizing and configuring Vista, networking, Zune, Vista and ultra-mobile PCs, Windows Home Server, and many more new topics


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The Author Online: A Short Guide to Building Your Website, Whether You Do it Yourself (and you can) or You Work With Pros Review

The Author Online: A Short Guide to Building Your Website, Whether You Do it Yourself (and you can) or You Work With Pros
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Succinct, genial, and indispensable. Never mind whether you plan to work with a web designer, you'll want to start by reading this book.

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You've written your book. Now create your website.This brief manual, written by a longtime publishing veteran who now builds websites for authors, is designed to help you conceive, plan, and create your own unique presence online. It's not a technical book but instead focuses on the large questions that all writers must wrestle with as they plan their website: Who do you want to be online? What do you want to do there? And where do you start?A central premise of The Author Online is that anyone who can write a book is capable of building his own website. New technology and open source innovations make it easy, affordable, and even fun - a creative act unto itself. But like writing a book, it requires thoughtful and careful planning.The Author Online is filled with ideas, advice, and real-world examples. It also includes results from the first and only comprehensive survey of author websites and invaluable insights into:* the features readers look for on their favorite author websites* whether or not to blog or Twitter, and how to approach both in an authentic, effective way* when and how to work with designers and/or programmers* how to create a content plan for your site* how to use analytic data as an editorial toolVisit the companion website, TheAuthorOnline.com, for more information including a constantly updated and detailed list of online resources andtools plus dozens of sample author websites.

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The Cultural Logic of Computation Review

The Cultural Logic of Computation
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David Golumbia does not like computers. Toward the end of The Cultural Logic of Computation, after lumping computers and the atom bomb into a single "Pandora's Box" of doom, he observes:
"The Germans relied on early computers and computational methods provided by IBM and some of its predecessor companies to expedite their extermination program; while there is no doubt that genocide, racial and otherwise, can be carried out in the absence of computers, it is nevertheless provocative that one of our history's most potent programs for genocide was also a locus for an intensification of computing power."
This sort of guilt by association is typical of The Cultural Logic of Computation. Much of the the book focuses on political issues that don't bear on "computation" in the least, such as a tired attack on Thomas Friedman and globalization that adds nothing new to Friedman's already-long rap sheet. Golumbia spends ten pages criticizing real-time strategy games like Age of Empires, complaining:
"There is no question of representing the Mongolian minority that exists in the non-Mongolian part of China, or of politically problematic minorities such as Tibetans and Uyghurs, or of the other non-Han Chinese minorities (e.g., Li, Yi, Miao). A true Hobbesian Prince, the user of Age of Empires allows his subjects no interiority whatsoever, and has no sympathy for their blood sacrifices or their endless toil; the only sympathy is for the affairs of state, the accumulation of wealth and of property, and the growth of his or her power."
The critique could apply just as easily to Monopoly, Diplomacy, Stratego, or chess.
His actual excursions into technical issues are woefully uninformed. A surreal attack on XML as a "top-down" standard ends with him praising Microsoft Word as an alternative, confusing platform and application. He hates object-oriented programming because...well, I'm honestly not quite sure.
"Because the computer is so focused on "objective" reality--meaning the world of objects that can be precisely defined--it seemed a natural development for programmers to orient their tools exactly toward the manipulation of objects. Today, OOP is the dominant mode in programming, for reasons that have much more to do with engineering presumptions and ideologies than with computational efficiency (some OOP languages like Java have historically performed less well than other languages, but are preferred by engineers because of how closely they mirror the engineering idealization about how the world is put together)."
Golumbia also associates "geeks" with "straight, white men," insulting 19th century programmer Ada Lovelace, gay theoretician Alan Turing, and the vast population of queer and non-white programmers, linguists, and geeks that exists today.
Beyond the technological confusions, Golumbia's philosophical background is notably defective. The book is plagued by factual errors; Voltaire is bizarrely labeled a "counter-Enlightenment" thinker, while logicians Bertrand Russell and Gottlob Frege somehow end up on opposite sides: Russell is a good anti-rationalist (despite having written "Why I Am a Rationalist"), Frege is a bad rationalist. (He also enlists Quine and Wittgenstein to his leftist cause, which I suspect neither would have appreciated.) He thinks Leibniz preceded Descartes. He misappropriates Kant's ideas of the noumenal and mere reason.
So it is not simply the technological material that is the problem. The quality of even the academic, philosophical portions of the book is dismaying, and the general lack of evidence and citation is egregious.
For contrast, Decoding Liberation: The Promise of Free and Open Source Software (Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture) (Routledge) is an excellent and rigorous examination of some of the political and social issues around software and software development, strong on both the technical and philosophical fronts. I would urge anyone looking at Golumbia's book to read it instead.

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Advocates of computers make sweeping claims for their inherently transformative power: new and different from previous technologies, they are sure to resolve many of our existing social problems, and perhaps even to cause a positive political revolution.

In The Cultural Logic of Computation, David Golumbia, who worked as a software designer for more than ten years, confronts this orthodoxy, arguing instead that computers are cultural "all the way down"—that there is no part of the apparent technological transformation that is not shaped by historical and cultural processes, or that escapes existing cultural politics. From the perspective of transnational corporations and governments, computers benefit existing power much more fully than they provide means to distribute or contest it. Despite this, our thinking about computers has developed into a nearly invisible ideology Golumbia dubs "computationalism"—an ideology that informs our thinking not just about computers, but about economic and social trends as sweeping as globalization.

Driven by a programmer's knowledge of computers as well as by a deep engagement with contemporary literary and cultural studies and poststructuralist theory, The Cultural Logic of Computation provides a needed corrective to the uncritical enthusiasm for computers common today in many parts of our culture.
(20090731)

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