Network Marketing Success – What Are You Committed To?

There’s a key question for your (and your people’s) network marketing success: What are you committed to?

Just what is commitment, anyway?



Until one is committed there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

–W.H. Murry, in “The Second Himalayan Expedition”

Commitment: It’s Not Something You Choose To Do

“What…? Of course I can choose to be committed or not be committed.”

Nope. Truth is, when it comes to being committed, we don’t have a “yes or no” choice–only choices about being committed to this or to that. You are already and always committed… I guarantee.

We are, all of us, merely by virtue of being human beings, flat-out, pedal-to-the-metal, commitment machines. We just can’t help it. We are born as commitment just waiting to happen… we are commitment seeking missiles of experience and expression.

(Put another way: It’s possible that you are not really committed to anything. However, in that case, you also are not breathing.)

“Hold on there! How can that be when lack of commitment lurks behind every dysfunctional relationship, failed business venture, sub-par performance, and…?”

Good question. I assert it is not “lack of commitment” that’s the “problem.”

Commitment is not what’s missing. The issue is what are you committed to?

Who’s On First?

Sometimes (actually, all the time) our commitments are engaged in a power struggle. Remember the children’s game “King of the Mountain”?

A bunch of kids would get together around a big mound of dirt and the game was to be the one on top–king of the mountain. Once there, the object was to stay on top. All the other kids would try to knock the king off and get to the top themselves.

Commitments just love that game. They play it all the time. At any given point in time, in any situation or set of circumstances, one commitment is king. Like our “real-world” monarchs, some are better kings than others.

Some commitments are dictators.

Some are beneficent and wise.

Some commitments are Gordon Gekko and Kenneth Lay.

Some are Sam Walton and Anita Roddick.

It’s not that there are good or bad or right or wrong commitments. There are only commitments that empower you–and empower others–and commitments that do not empower you and/or others.

For example: 99+ percent of us are committed to being right. Same number are committed to looking good. Many people are committed to their comfort. Others to convenience. Control is another one. Committed to not being controlled is, too. There are lots of things to be committed to.

Do any of these commitments show up for you? Any others?

What you are committed to is what rules your life. That’s why commitment is so powerful, and the highest-level commitments are ones that empower you and others.

How does the commitment to being right empower you?

How does the commitment to looking good empower?

In what ways does a commitment to be in control–or to not be controlled–empower you… empower the people you live and work with?

The Possibility for Commitment

Commitment is a state of being where one takes the following stand:

To do whatever it takes to accomplish ___________________ (you fill in the blank.)

Having a blank to fill in is what creates the possibility for commitment. Commitment comes from having a goal, expectation, intention, desire, vision, result… something to achieve… accomplish… a place to get to.

Since commitment comes from filling in the blank, what’s really neat is how you do that. You create it. You make it up. Literally, you make something from nothing.

Add to that creation the commitment to do whatever it takes to bring it about, and voila–life in the fast lane.

Sound exciting… productive? Possibility of fun there? You bet.

Commitment to the Possibility

People can commit only to what they believe is possible to achieve.

Commitment is a lot like water: It has the persistent power to make mountains into molehills over millennia and the hurricane force to level entire communities in minutes. It is even more powerful than water–much more so. Murray’s quote (in the beginning) shows us that.

And also like water, commitment seeks its own level. The level it seeks is dictated by each individual’s ability to believe in the possibility. No possibility–no commitment.

Commitment is a realist. You cannot and will not commit to something you do not absolutely believe is possible.

To harness the power of commitment, we must create and cultivate belief.

There is not one successful person in Network Marketing earning

$100,000+ and empowering hundreds of others to do the same who does not believe it is possible and is not committed to accomplishing that–not one!

One last thing:

Commitment Is the Tool of the Professional

Author and educator Robert Fritz once gave me his definition of a professional:

One who does whatever it takes to get the job done, whether he or she feels like it or not.

In short, one who is committed.

What does it take to be a professional network marketer?

Doing whatever it takes to get the job done… whatever it takes to accomplish your goal–the possibility you made up to fill in the blank and then committed to achieving… whether in this or that moment… you feel like it or not.

One more time… Looking for network marketing success? Then answer (you and…) me this: What are you committed to?

Thanks.

I Appreciate You.

— John



My Story of Group Shopping

It was my great day of purchase! Social networking was customized to perform group shopping too!

On this day, I learnt a lot of lessons and also I found solutions too for certain problems with group shopping. A big question that was solved for me was: Can we make group shopping as our regular practice? I mean, can we buy each and every item through volume discounting? How can I bring my society into my rescue in gaining power to bargain with my local stores? I wanted to share my experience and solicit your thoughtful suggestions over them. Let me start by saying the objective I had for that day: “I wanted buy a television set at the lowest possible price, by applying any means of bargains that are currently available.”

I know, any sort of volume purchase may be a right choice in bringing the price down. As I wanted to buy only one television set, I required some more people to join my shopping. I turned to my close friend, he said, “Perhaps I also want to buy a television set but not this month”. I was little upset first as I my first attempt was shot down. But it was not a surprise for me. I cannot expect everyone to buy when I do. I reluctantly turned towards few more other friends, close and little closer ones. My friends circle is not huge enough to give me at least one more person who wants to buy a television set at this point of time. I didn’t like to give up ……. My next social circle will be my relatives. I called my wife and asked her to get hold of one of her cousin who was talking about buying a television set last month itself.

Not to my surprise, my wife hesitated and she said “Look dear! You are, sorry… we are, not good at bargains. My cousin may not feel comfortable in bargaining with us and it may cause some hitch among our relatives circle”. I know my wife under estimates my bargain skills, as she always does in any such things to me.

When I reached my office, I went to internet to search for the deals on television sets and seriously looked at their prices and deals. I couldn’t even complete searching a handful of website before I had realized that I had already consumed considerable amount work time. By the lunch time, I made a decision to take a half day off and go around the local shops.

I wanted to mention here something. There are many volume discounting web sites. I didn’t opt to buy through those sites as they involve credit card payments on line. Moreover, I didn’t like to buy my TV without seeing it physically. My preference is to buy from a local store which gives me some personal touch to my shopping.

When I started out I knew I cannot cover a lot many shops. I just noted down the addresses of few of them. I went around the shopping areas and I finished my window shopping and collected the details about the television sets and prices for them. I got to agree that I didn’t have enough time to visit couple of more shops that were in my wish list. But I had already exhausted all my body energy. Although physically tired my mind was still enthusiastic and energetic in pursuing my way. I said to myself, I had to make at least one more round to finish my window shopping another day. Even after all these efforts I was not happy and I was indecisive about a deal I should be confirming to.

When I reached home my wife was having happiness on her face as if I have already brought the television to home. When I got out t to explain my efforts and resulting tiredness she said she called her cousin and convinced him to join our shopping. I was double-happy that I have a group-shopping partner now. I saw her cousin waiting at my home.

With her cousin I went to the city center again and started searching for a good deal. I realized some increase in my confidence and my bargain tone has also become stronger. Before even enjoying my bargain power, I realized something else too. My hesitations, while asking the prices! I am missing something – the freeness in exercising my bargain skills! My wife was peeping into my mind constantly cautioning me about my bargain skills. I kept on mounting a smile on my face and looked at my shopping-partner each time I talked on the price to the sales person. I was not comfortable in freely bargaining as I was not sure how my partner will take my bargain capability.

For some reasons we couldn’t buy the television that day and we both returned back home. I sat down and tried to assimilate all the events that happened since morning. Questions started appearing to me. What if one could avoid all the hurdles in forming a group for buying any item at any point of time! This is the first of my requirement in group-shopping. Well, what if I find a group? – then, I want to freely exercise my wisdom in bargains.

In my search for answers I founded a web platform, doing all these magic. It works exactly the way I wished. I would bet, this is first of its own kind – Innovativeness in solving some peculiar shopping problems. Though it has its own downsides, at least it relieves some hurdles in group-shopping. The big plus point comes when the website allows the people to bargain for themselves but in an impersonalized way. I mean, I do not like to put a fake smile on my face to my friends when I bargain for a group.

I just want a group of people buying the same item. I should not be spending any time searching for my group. More importantly, the wait time to find such groups should not be too long. I do not like to even know who I am with in a group because I don’t like to wear a fake smile in convincing about my bargain capabilities.

I wanted to pool up the collective skills of such enthusiastic bargainers- even the calm but potential ones too. The web platform should offer equal opportunity to the members of the groups in bargaining and submitting their quotes without any one’s intervention.



Simple Love Acts

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” The Bible

The third-biggest retailing holiday is one day away. Just behind Christmas and Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day will be celebrated by spending $13 billion on anything heart-shaped, chocolate-flavored or rose-scented.

While never refusing dark chocolate nor snubbing floral deliveries, I’m just not into either this year. OK. Maybe I’m still into chocolate. My hubby will be out-of-town on Valentine’s Day, so it just won’t be a very big deal; it’ll be celebrated upon his return. But apparently, very few others feel the same way. A recent report by Kiplinger’s found that men out-spend women three to one, spending an average of $92. Last year, 175 million roses were produced for Valentine’s Day alone, more than enough for every adult in America to get one.

Frankly, I’ve never been one to fall wholeheartedly into the whole Valentine’s Day ritual. Don’t buy my hubby silk boxers with little hearts all over them; don’t question our marriage if he walks in the door sans roses. So rather than give you yet another creative take on the Valentine’s Day “holiday,” I’m going to brag about a fellow rocket mom.

My friend, Kim, rocket mom to four kids (all within five years) sent out via email an invitation to a “Chicken Soup for the Soul” luncheon at her home. I had assumed that she was including her closest friends, but it turned out that she was inviting only those women who were serving in various caretaking–or shepherding–capacities at our church for her children. She wanted it to be casual; again, I assumed it was kind of a “drop-in-as-you-feel-like-it” kind of a party. But instead, it was a sit-down affair, with homemade chicken soup, salad, rolls and home-baked cookies.

Kim made a conscious decision to make adult friendships a high priority in her life, and despite feelings of being overwhelmed, or of being intimidated by entertaining styles of some of her other acquaintances, she was inspired to do something simple, yet meaningful.

After a lovely afternoon of lunching with new and old friends, Kim presented us with Valentine’s goodies bags: chocolates tied with a pretty ribbon and a quote, each of us receiving something unique.

“I believe your quote will speak directly to you,” Kim said as, one by one, we read our quotes and nodded, some of us with lumps in our throats, about the uncanny effect that this little ritual had on us. (Sort of like opening a Chinese fortune cookie to discover what seems like a “fortune” written just for you, only better…)

When I reflect back on those memories which evoke the strongest sentiments, invariably they include those times when someone enveloped me into her cocoon, wrapping me with simple things, like hot food, fresh coffee and undivided attention. When a girlfriend grabbed me for my birthday or for moving away or just after childbirth, to enjoy a warm meal surrounded by all the creature comforts of her home. Those special times don’t come all that frequently, and so we remember them with special fondness. And so the older I get, the more convicted I become to practice hospitality to others when opportunities spring into my path.

This weekend, we had the opportunity to extend hospitality to a traveling drama troupe from Cape Cod. They were to perform the 15th century play, Everyman, in our town, before we got buried under the 26″ of snow which hit the entire northeast corridor early Sunday morning. The team of eight needed three different homes in which to stay, and we offered ours as one of them. The plans took an obvious shift when we became stranded at home, as we sit on top of a   mountain  at the mercy of a private snow plower. So what we thought would be a weekend of entertaining for a couple of meals and a few warm beds turned into a solid two days of long chats by the fire, a half-dozen pots of coffee and a few more times around the kitchen table than we had originally planned.

And we were all so blessed. One of the gentlemen whom we housed remarked: “I’ll bet in twenty years you’ll all look back on this weekend and say ‘Remember when those three guys from the Cape came and stayed with us and we got stuck in the biggest snowstorm to have ever hit New England?'”

And of course, we all will.

There’s a game which is frequently played in adult discussion circles which goes something like: “Write down the names of three Academy Award winners for Best Actress; write down the names of three Olympian gold-medal winners; write down the names of blah-blah-blah.” (You get the idea) It finishes by asking you to write down the names of three teachers you had an impact on your life.

And of course, we can do that without batting our eyes.

Human connection. Extension. Intimate interaction. That’s what has impact. That’s what has meaning. Evokes the strongest memories. Conveys true love.

So on Valentine’s Day this year, I will try to do those seemingly small yet powerful love acts that might, in some way, have eternal significance. Flowers? Chocolate? Yeah. They’re all great. But opening my door to a stranger. Giving my hubby and my kids undivided attention. Leaving simple gifts on my children’s pillows. Writing a meaningful letter. Calling a long-lost friend. Following Kim’s example of hospitality. Those will be my inspirations for Valentine’s Day this year.

I hope you have a love-filled Valentine’s Day. In whatever form you think best defines it.



Pat-Down Row Rages As Travelers Decry Privacy-Stripping Rules

The raging row over pat-downs and new body scanning rules at airports in the U.S. continued unabated on the Thanksgiving eve with holiday travelers threatening a pre-Thanksgiving no-fly-day boycott even as President Obama instructed the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) to make airport security measures less intrusive.

Joining the fray, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center urged TSA on Wednesday to stop invasive screenings at the airports. According to officials, the intrusive body scans and pat-downs have traumatized some of the survivors of sexual assaults and that the procedures violate one’s rights to privacy.

“In a culture wherein we encourage our children and fellow citizens to speak up if anyone touches them in an inappropriate manner, we want to encourage a society where feeling safe also includes mutual respect and dignity,” Delilah Rumburg, CEO, National Sexual Violence Resource Center and Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, was quoted as saying by the media.

The frustration among travelers is palpable.

Terry Herman, a Chicago-based consultant and motivational speaker, who is over 55 years old, says the experience is “horrendous”. “A female security official began intrusive and degrading pat-downs at Chicago airport, including touching my breasts and groin area after running her hands up the outer and inner leg portions,” she said, adding that pressure need to be mounted over the U.S. government to begin developing a profiling system. “The greater majority of the flying public ends up being offended and violated and stripped of their privacy rights,” she pointed.

From the Thanksgiving holiday season through Christmas to the New Year, travelers fly to distant places. Earlier this month, ATA had projected that about 24 million travelers will fly on US airlines during the 12-day Thanksgiving holiday season alone. However, with the ongoing row over body scanning rules at airports, airlines industry feared cancellations of bookings during the holidays adding to the number of travelers taking up the road transport way this year.

The rage seemed to settle down though, as most of the Thanksgiving travelers surrendered to full-body scans as well as pat-downs on Wednesday, said media reports. “If that’s what you have to do to keep us safe, that’s what you have to do,” Marti Hancock, a 58 years old traveller, was quoted as saying by the AP.

Positive response from celebrities has also come up. Julie Benz, the American actress, says she is open to TSA pat-downs. “I think right now, unfortunately we live in a time where security on flights is very important. TSA is working it out. Is this the right choice? Who knows, but it is a choice, and I’d rather be safe than sorry,” she was quoted in media reports.

TSA beefed up security rules ahead of the holiday season last month as America has had terrorist attacks earlier during holidays. “Al-Qaida and affiliated groups are interested in having a maximum impact with their attacks around American holidays which has led to enhanced security measures,” TSA chief John Pistole said.

However, it is these enhanced measures that have outraged Americans and have sent shock waves to other countries as well in the past. In August last year, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was questioned for two hours by U.S. immigration officials until the Indian Embassy sought his release.



Your Potential – 1 Way To Activate It

“Activate Your Potential. Everything You Need – Confidence, Self Belief, Love, Sense of Worth, Happiness – You Already Have Within You.”

Sixteen years ago when I first moved to southern Spain to live, I was embarking on a very different path from the frantic and busy corporate business jungle I’d been involved in as a Senior Executive for many years. I was taking time out for ME to see what I could do with my art, to just travel, have fun and find myself – whatever that meant! To contemplate my navel.

Now this wasn’t a decision that came to me just like that, oh no. I was a strong, business woman and wasn’t into any of this spiritual woohoo stuff of stones have energies and trees with auras and all that! Having said that though, even I had to sit up and take notice when I was hit over the head with a rubber mallet (metaphorically speaking of course). I was given 3 signs (I was so not into signs!) in a row over some months that I finally had to realise that something was trying to get my attention. And get it, it did. And I listened. And I followed. And I ended up on the other side of the world in Andalusia. For a year I said…

Anyway, I made that happen in about 6 months and off I trotted to a little village in the mountains. Ooomm! I began to meditate in the mornings, something that was completely new to me and bit by bit, I got better and better at it – better meaning stilling your mind and shutting out the incessant chatter we have going on! – until I was sitting in peaceful meditation up to an hour a morning. When it really worked you would be in this space that I call ‘the gap’ where you are fully aware of what’s going on around you but there is a stillness inside that then allows ‘stuff’ to come to you. It didn’t happen often but on several occasions I would suddenly see and image or hear a voice! In that moment I would be wide awake/conscious again with the question “Who Said That??” Of course, it’s your subconscious or Higher Self, whatever you want to call it, giving you a message but I didn’t know that then.

The most insightful message I had – and right at the start – was “ALL YOU HAVE IS WITHIN.” Wow! How profound. I’ve never forgotten it and that’s where the quote at the beginning comes from. Have you had anything similar happen?

Fast forward 15 years (that’s how long I stayed in Spain, somewhat longer than I planned but my new journey took hold there and I’m sure it’ll lead me back again) and I’m back in Australia having gone much, much further down that ‘woohoo’ spiritual path though I like to think that I still have my feet firmly planted on the ground!



The Most Amazing Thing About Bamboo

Japanese artists as well as Chinese have repeatedly found inspiration in the study of the bamboo plant. Hiroshigi, one of the greatest of the landscape artists of Japan, creator of many of the best-known wood-block prints, has immortalized it in his picture of bamboos in a typhoon. Coolies running down the green hillside; chair-bearers bowing before the wind; long lines of gray rain and the slender shadowy wind-tossed stems lightly dancing before the gale! He who would see these graceful grasses at their best must visit a   mountain  grove on a windy spring morning. They whirl and sway like dancers that have abandoned themselves to a frenzied rhythm. Light flashes from every smooth leaf as from a mirror until the hill seems covered with a twinkling sheen of silver.

One looks through a maze of green and gray, many-jointed stems to a sheltered spot where yellow azaleas glow like “echoed sunlight” among ferns and granite boulders. The bamboo is beautiful, too, when fogs boil up from the valleys like steam from a giant’s cauldron. On such days they have the charm of “beauty half-revealed.” One instant they are hidden in veils of mist, the next they stand out clearly in the rain-washed  mountain  air as the last shreds of fog glide away through their branches. Every smooth stem shines as if polished; every leaf is tipped with a globule of water until a passing breeze sends a miniature shower in all directions.

The most amazing thing about bamboo is its manner of growth. Its sprouts outdo the proverbial mushroom in the way they appear overnight and then continue to climb upward without regard for speed limits. The new spikes push their way through the clods and appear among the old culms like dozens of bayonets, well covered with dark-brown mottled sheaths. No joints are visible at first; nothing but bristling points, aggressive and ready to race with all competitors for a place in the sun. Nodes soon appear and as the stems lengthen the downy sheaths drop off, leaving the smooth green culms covered with white bloom like the bloom of a peach.

Being curious to know just how fast the shoots really grew, I appointed myself referee when the spikes appeared. Each day at noon I measured certain ones to see what progress had been made in twenty-four hours. The favorite stood close to the garden wall. When first measured it was eleven inches high. Forty-eight hours later it touched the stick at the twenty-seven inch mark. When nine days old it reached a height of seven feet, its average growth per day for six days being more than nine inches. Not until it had reached its full height, two weeks later, did the leaf sheaths appear. At this time it was at its ugly duckling stage, for the pointed sheaths reminded one of the pinfeathers of young birds. The green leaves soon burst out, however, and the plant became a soft plume.



Promotional Banners Will Be Immediately Seen

Promotional banners are one of the most reliable ways to create an impressive statement for your small business. Irrespective of the fact, whether you are an already-established business or an upcoming business entity, you will find that banner advertising is one of the cost effective ways to promote your business. Just like the ads that you see on magazines or newspapers, the banner advertisements can get you the response that you are expecting from your target market. They can help in increasing the sales of your company and as we all know, once the sales increases, the revenue will also increase.

• For advertising with the biggest visual impact, look out for the high quality, state of the art promotional banners. They come with full-colour reproduction of designs and photographic images, with each banner printed on highly durable PVC vinyl and are ideal for school, church, football and sport applications.

• These eye-catching banners offer a high impact display for your company or organisation for events and promotions, including church fetes, exhibition stands, school events, sport events, outdoor markets, product launches and other outdoor events. Each banner is printed using digital inks to provide a high quality finish, guaranteeing magazine-quality photos.

• There are many well established companies, who can deliver to your door anywhere and within 72 hours after payment. Whatever you want to promote, they can offer a great way of communicating with your target audience and motivating customers to buy.

• Most promotional banners are available both for internal and external use. Whether you require a one off for a special promotion or a large quantity for a national event, there are companies who will be happy to advise on the best material and finish can create all types of banners from building wraps or drapes to mounted banners on stands which are consequently portable and therefore ideal for use at exhibitions or in retail locations. You can also use mounted banners, in conjunction with banner track and suspension systems for use internally or externally – keeping the banner and the message effective in even the worst weather conditions.

• You can incorporate your corporate colour scheme and logo as well as the words that you want to shout out loud and clear to your marketplace. By using frames to mount a banner will not only help you to prolong the life of a sign, but leads to a variety of fixing alternatives.

The main advantage of promotional banners advertising is that you will be able to get response from your target market almost instantly. When you place your advertisement on the newspapers, readers may be interested in what you have to offer but they may not act on their curiosity straight away. There are many busy customers who will forget about the advertisement after sometime and you will not get any response from them. However, with banner advertising, it is totally different because the readers will act on their curiosity immediately after reading your advertisement.



Effective Internet Searching

Objective

This module is a comprehensive introduction to web searching methods and techniques. Assuming no prior knowledge, the module will explain ways to find what you are “actually” looking for instead of lots of other interesting links. Searching is easy; finding what you’re looking for can sometimes be difficult. Hopefully the advice below will make your next Web Search effective. While three quarters of the Web users of the world cite finding information as their most important use of the Internet, that same percentage also cite their inability to find the information they want as their biggest frustration. The purpose of this module is to help you end that frustration. Staff at ICIMOD also indicated, during training needs assessment, Internet Searching be taken up as a priority topic.

Key topics

Part A: Tools and Effective Searching

1. Overview of the World Wide Web

2. Before Starting the Search

3. Tools for Searching

4. Which Tools should you use

5. Building your Search Strategy

6. Keywords Searching

7. Phrase Searching

8. Boolean search

9. Advanced Search/Field Searching

10. Checking the Results

11. Useful to Know

Part B: References

Part C: Practical Exercise – Lets Start Searching!

Part A

1. Overview of World Wide Web

The Internet isn’t just about data; it is an international community of people who share information, interact, and communicate. From the point of view of its users, the Internet is a vast collection of resources–people, information, and multimedia.

The Internet is an inter-connected network of networks, the World Wide Web is the “virtual” web linking these networks. Each machine (or group of machines – example ICIMOD computers connected to the net via V-SAT) on a network has a unique “address” from which it can request and receive information. A Web “browser” is a client program that requests information from other computers which temporarily function as “servers” sending the information upon request. The Web has existed for a long time, but its exponential use and growth began in 1995 when graphical Web browsers (like Netscape, Internet Explorer) became more popular. At ICIMOD, Internet Explorer is the widely used web browser. With these graphical web browsers, the Internet mainly web became “user friendly”, and people began to develop and publish web sites and web pages. Hyperlink is the advantage of the web pages. Hyperlink is the element in a webpage that links to another page/place in the same website or to an entirely different website. Typically, you click on the hyperlink to follow the link.

There are billions of web sites on the net. With billions of web pages online, you could spend a lifetime surfing the Web, following links from one page to another. Amusing perhaps, but not very efficient if you are after some specific information. One of the biggest problems we experience is the difficulty of finding targeted/specific information. Where do you start from? Searching

Searching the Internet requires skill, luck and a little bit of art.

2. Before Starting the Search

The easiest way to find information is when you know a web page Internet address or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) such as ICIMOD home website. You can find these addresses on business cards, email signatures, or newspapers. Simply type the URL in the browser’s address box and hit the key. If you do not know the URL, you’ll have to find it by searching the Internet. In many cases, a simple search on the name of an organization within most search engines will return a direct hit on their web site.

3. Tools for Searching

There are many search tools available:

· Web Directories / Virtual Library / Library Gateways

· Search Engines / Meta-search engines

· Deep web databases

‘Web Directories’ (subject directory) are the repositories of useful web sites arranged into a hierarchical, subject-based structure. They require people to view the individual Web site and determine its placement into a subject classification scheme or taxonomy. Once done, certain keywords associated with those sites can be used for searching the directory’s data banks to find Web sites of interest.

For searches that are easily classified, such as vendors of sunglasses, the search directories tend to provide the most consistent and well-clustered results. This advantage is generally limited solely to those classification areas already used in the taxonomy by that service. Yahoo, for example, has about 2,000 classifications (excluding what it calls ‘Regional’ ones, which are a duplication of the major classification areas by geographic region) in its current taxonomy. The Open Directory Project has nearly 590,000 categories and 5,142,051 sites. Some widely used web directories are:

Google™ Directory

Open Directory Project (ODP) – the biggest web directory

Yahoo!

Zeal

Virtual library is a web directory that includes highly selective links, chosen mostly by librarians. Use library gateways when you are looking for high quality information sites on the Web. You can be fairly certain that these sites have been reviewed and evaluated by subject specialists for their accuracy and content. Popular virtual libraries include:

Librarians’ Index to the Internet

INFOMINE

Internet Public Library

The WWW Virtual Library

Funded by Danida and Sida and hosted by the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, Eldis offers a large collection of resources for 40 development-related sectors

SD Gateway contains over 1200 documents relating to sustainable development, NGOs

  Mountain  Forum’s Online Library, for articles and publications on global  mountain  issues

Search engines index each work within all or part of documents. When you pose a query to a search engine, it matches your query works against the records it has in its databases to present a listing of possible documents meeting your request. Search engines are best for searches in more difficult topic areas or those which fall into the gray areas between the subject classifications used by directories. But, search engines are stupid, and can only give you what you ask for. You can sometimes get thousands of documents matching a query. Also, at best, even the biggest search engines only index a small fraction of the Internet’s documents.

It is important to remember that when you are using a search engine, you are NOT searching the entire web as it exists at this moment. You are actually searching a portion of the web, captured in a fixed index created at an earlier date.

Popular search engines currently are:

Google™

Teoma

AltaVista

Meta-search engines do not crawl the web compiling their own searchable databases. Instead, they search the databases of multiple sets of individual search engines simultaneously, from a single site and using the same interface. Meta-searchers provide a quick way of finding out which engines are retrieving the best results for you in your search

Deep web (or invisible web or hidden web databases) is the name given to pages on the World Wide Web that are not indexed by conventional search engines. It consists of pages which are not linked to by other pages, such as Dynamic Web pages. Dynamic Web pages are basically searchable databases that deliver Web pages generated just in response to a query.

4. Which Tools You Should Use

If you’re looking for specific information, use search engines (e.g. paper presented on biodiversity in 2005 ABCD conference. You would also use a keyword search for obscure subjects, cross-category searches (e.g.  mountain  and GIS, environment and soil)

If you’re looking for general information on popular topics, use subject (web) directories. You could also use in cases, where you do not know any keywords related to a subject

Use virtual library/Library gateways when you are looking for high quality information sites on the Web. You can be fairly certain that these sites have been reviewed and evaluated by subject specialists for their accuracy and content.

If you’re looking for a unique or obscure search term or if you want to make an in-depth analysis of what’s out there in the Web on a specific subject, then use metasearch engines.

If you’re looking for real-time information or for dynamically changing content such as the latest news, phone book listings, available airline flights, etc., then use deep databases (invisible or deep web.)

5. Building Your Search Strategy

Your ability to find the information you seek on the Internet is a function of how precise your queries are and how effectively you use search services. Poor queries return poor results; good queries return great results. Search results are only as good as the query you pose and how you search. There is no silver bullet.

The information professionals at the University of California at Berkeley recommend a graduated approach to Web searching. Here is their stepwise sequence of steps to follow, which we generally endorse for beginning searchers:

1. ANALYZE your topic to decide where to begin

2. Pick the right starting place

3. Learn as you go & VARY your approach with what you learn

4. Don’t bog down in any strategy that doesn’t work

5. Return to previous strategies better informed.

As you gain experience, you can begin cutting out the middle steps. By the time you’re doing real heavy lifting with your queries, you really only need spend some time first getting your query right and then cutting to the bottom line with a full Boolean search using phrases and three or so concepts linked through the AND operator and multiple search engines.

Following these guidelines, here are recommended steps to approaching the Internet search challenge:

· Spend time BEFORE your search to analyze what it is you’re looking for

· Use nouns in your queries – the who/what, when, where, how and why; avoid conjunctions, verbs, adverbs and adjectives

· Use keywords at the right “level” of specificity: precise, but not overly restrictive

· Use phrases where natural; they are your most powerful weapon

· Use structured (“Boolean”) syntax, especially the ‘AND’ operator

· Constrain your search by using two or three related, but narrowing, concepts in your query

· BUT, generally, keep overall query length limited to six to eight keywords maximum

· Use advanced search options and specialty features when appropriate

· For difficult searches, use only search engines that support Boolean syntax, or tools or metasearchers that do

· For specific topic searches, consider search engines tailored to those topics

6. Keywords Searching

Despite all the gobbledygook about things like ‘Boolean’ and implied operators, the most difficult – and fundamental – aspect of a search are the keywords used in your query. Mastering the concepts behind a search is not as complicated as may seem at first. The first few searches are perhaps difficult, but, once done, the nuggets behind your information request start becoming clear. Like riding a bike for the first time, it does take some practice.

Before typing the keywords, take your time and brainstorm relevant words. Create a list of search terms. Write them down. A few seconds of brainstorming could save you minutes or hours of retrieving irrelevant results.

What are the characteristics to look for while purchasing a diamond? You could underline the main concepts, thus – What are the characteristics to look for while purchasing a diamond. Select synonyms and variant words, if required- (quality, features) (buying, procuring).

Formulate a query with simple concept/words first, e.g. Search words – “diamond buying guide” is good enough.

7. Phrase Searching

A very effective way to increase the relevance or precision of “hits” is to search as a phrase. In most cases simply means putting quotation marks around the search terms. “internet searching” is a different search than internet searching in most search engines. What you are actually doing by searching as a phrase is using the concept of proximity which concerns the terms’ physical closeness to one another (that is, their proximity). A document with internet searching occurring close or next to each other are more likely to be on target than a document with internet in the title and searching buried in the text.

Find the number of listing decreased from 30,100,000 to 977,000 when using the phrase for searching internet searching.

8. Boolean search

Boolean searching is an implementation of Boolean logic and set theory. Boolean operators, such as AND, OR and NOT are used to combine search sets in a variety of ways and appear within Internet search engines in a range of disguises. A very brief overview:

Search phrase: cats AND dogs or cats dogs

means find web pages in which both terms occur

Search phrase: cats OR dogs

means find web pages in which either term occurs

Search phrase: cats NOT dogs (use cats -dogs in Google as NOT is not supported)

means find web pages in which the term dogs appears but not cats

Most web search engines have the capability to implement these basic Boolean operators but may present them in a different way. You will almost always need to go to an “Advanced” search function to use true Boolean operators; however, you may be able to search using implied Boolean using the symbols + (must include) or – (exclude) from the “Basic” search interface.

Note: these Boolean operators are often presented as options like “include all the words,” (AND operator) “include any of the words,” (OR operator) and “exclude” (NOT operator).

While you might expect that search engines default to an implied AND (which means if you enter 2 search terms it returns documents in which they BOTH occur) in fact this is not always the case — some search engines default to the initially unhelpful OR (it returns documents in which EITHER occur)

Use an *, known as a wildcard, to match any word(s) in a phrase (enclosed in quotes) especially with Google.

Search phrase: “ Mountain  * poverty”

means find web pages containing a phrase that starts with “ mountain ” followed by a word(s), followed by “poverty”

Phrases that fit include: “ mountain  alleviating poverty”, “ mountain  areas poverty”, “ mountain  areas remained in poverty”

9. Advanced Search / Field searching

Remember that a web search engine is only as good as its database and indexes. Databases are collections of records organized in a similar manner; simply put, this means they are divided into fields that contain the same information in each record. If data is entered into a separate field you can retrieve it using its field label. This means that if you want to search by title, the search engine looks in a special title index (or searches notations that indicate that the term occurs in the title field) where it has collected data from the field with the label title. Many keyword search engine also have an “advanced search” option, also called field searching. This will enable you to specify where keywords should appear, allowing greater control over the results.

Field searching is so wonderful because you can specify where to look in the web document; for example, in the title only, or the URL fields. Field searching allows you to be very specific about where you want you terms to occur and hence is a very powerful tool.

Field Searching is also the technique used in searching databases. Particularly, sites sharing databases provide this as a search tool inside a website. For instance, to search ICIMOD’s Library database or Mailing List Database or even FAO’s publications database, field searching is provided.

Nesting

Nesting is using brackets with Boolean operators, to make your search query syntax more meaningful and precise. For example, pan pizza and either coke or ice-cream, and cheese

Simple just type in “pan pizza” AND coke OR ice-cream AND cheese. But, this syntax will be confusing to search engines as it can be interpreted with many meanings – it may mean pan pizza and coke, or coke and cheese, so we use brackets to separate the blocks – “pan pizza” AND (coke OR ice-cream) AND cheese. Just remember your high school arithmetic.

10. Checking the Results

Now you have a tough job. After a search, you have to decide which of the search results will take you to the most informative site. Your best bet is to take a look at the title and description of the page. Are they relevant to your search? If yes, open the page. If not, check the next result, by scrolling down on the right side of the browser.

To view a page you have two options

1. Click on the title of the page – even if says “No title” or “?????”. Place the cursor on the page title and the cursor will change to the picture of a hand. Usually the links are in blue and underlined, but often they are not.

2. The second method is to open the page in a new browser window. Right-click over the title of the result. This produces a pop-up menu. Select “open (link) in new window.” After checking the result, close the new browser window. You will still have the first window browser with your search.

If you use the first method most likely you will not use the back button to go back to the results page, but instead you will simply close the window, losing the search page altogether.

What to do when you get TOO MANY results

It’s common to receive millions of results, often unrelated to the search. To receive more relevant results you’ll have to refine or even rethink the search. Here are some ideas to help you refine your search:

Add one or more descriptive words to your query.

Use phrases. Enclose two or more words that can appear in exact order within double quotation marks.

Use Boolean Operator as you want to be specific or Exclude words with NOT or implied Boolean.

Use the search tool’s “advanced search” functions. Limit your search by language, date or by field searching: title, URL, link etc.

What to do when you get TOO FEW results

Sometimes you will get messages like “Your search did not match any documents” or “No pages were found containing your query” or “No results.” Other times you may get few or irrelevant results. What should do you do:

· Check the spelling of the query. Some search engines automatically detect misspelled words and will show the correct spelling. Just click on the suggested word or words.

· Delete the least important word from the query.

· If you used a search phrases try eliminating the double quotes.

· Use more general terms, alternate spellings, plural forms or synonyms. “Google™ has recently introduced a new advanced search feature that allows you to not only search for a particular keyword but also for its synonyms. Just place the “~” (tilde) mark directly in front of the keyword in your search query. For example, “UN ~vacancies” not only searches for “UN vacancies”, but also for “UN job opportunities”, “UN employment opportunities” and “UN Jobs”

Evaluating the Results

First of all, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Be careful what you believe. Governmental agencies, educational institutions, libraries and prestigious publications are the most reliable sources of information. Be circumspect with information found on personal sites stored in free hosts.

Tips on evaluating a site resource

1. Is the web site published by an authoritative source?

2. Is the author a recognized expert in the field or subject area?

3. Is the information relevant, credible and accurate? It doesn’t hurt to cross check two to three additional, reliable sources.

4. Is the site current and recently updated?

5. Does the site have a professional “look and feel”: structure, layout, colour scheme, navigation menu(s), etc.? Are there spelling, grammar or punctuation errors?

6. Does the site have contact information such as a postal address, phone or email?

Rest assured that finding information on the Web is never a question of luck. Instead it is the result of a thorough understanding of how search tools work, combined with mastering the art of creating a targeted search query. Searching the Web is not difficult. Like any task, you simply must press the right buttons.



How to Create Restore Disks For a Mac

Macintosh users have been excited about the release of the newest Leopard OS X upgrades. The system requirements are a Mac computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor, a minimum ram of 512mb, and at least 9 GB of disk space. With these specs, it means that older generation Macs like an iBook or iMac g4 should be capable of running the OS.

Because a number of people using older Macs have been experiencing installation problems, some users have developed a way to install the system using a startup disk method. In the event of a malfunction, the startup disk feature in a Mac computer disk utility application allows people to create a virtual disk to restore their computers to specific settings. This involves creating a startup disk using the Leopard installer that your Mac will restore when installing the new OS.

The following steps will help you create a restore disk for your Mac:

1) Clean up your system folder and hard drive. Remove unwanted files, empty folders, and extensions that you no longer use. Make sure you back up your files before cleaning your system.

2) Extract the image file from your installation disc and convert it to a.dmg file (an installation image file for Macs).

3) Transfer that file to an external drive like a USB drive or an iPod. When using an iPod, make sure it is set in disk mode and that you use a drive that has at least has 8 GB worth of available memory. It is important to note that this will not work on an iPhone or a media player without the disk mode option.

4) Attach your iPod or USB drive to your Mac and wait for it to appear.

5) Launch the Disk Utility application and select your external drive.

6) There should be a restore tab. Click on it and select the image file you extracted on the “source” field.

7) Drag your external disk to the “destination” field. You should make a partition. Without a partition, the process will erase everything on your drive. If you want to partition your external drive, this can be done through the Disk utility application. Remember to make sure that your external drive is mounted.

8) Once the application is launched, simply select your external drive and select the partition. You will be given a list of partition options. Select restore. The restore process may take a few minutes.

9) When the restore process is complete, open up your system preferences.

10) Launch the start-up disk application then select the restore drive with the leopard.dmg.

11) Click restart and the Leopard will begin to install.

If you follow these easy steps, you should be able to complete your installation without any problems. The new OS has a system requirement, so if your ram is not that fast and your processor is lower than 900 MHz, do not expect the OS to run any faster.



Many are Called, Few Are Chosen

There are many different beliefs about salvation. It is true that the Bible gives us assurance

of eternal life, but the promises of God are conditional. Scripture makes it plain that only the

obedient will be saved. This article may be published if the resource box is unaltered.

The nation of Israel was chosen out of all the others to be the treasured possession of the

Almighty (DT 14:2). The few who were faithful are our spiritual heritage. Unfortunately, the

majority could not decide whether to serve the God of heaven or the false gods of the

nations around them. They did not keep the Lord’s ordinances; they even lost the book of

the law! The Lord was so disgusted with them that he instructed Nebuchadnezzar to take

them to Babylon in captivity.

Christians are said to be chosen by God in First Peter 2:4 and 2:9, Ephesians 1:4, and

Second Thessalonians 2:13. We were chosen before the foundation of the world to be the

Lord’s holy possession. Whether or not we reach, heaven depends totally upon our

obedience. It is demonstrated time after time in Scripture that our God will not put up with

sin and disobedience

In the parable of the wedding banquet in Matthew 22:14, Jesus said, “Many are called, but

few are chosen.” The NIV replaced the word called with invited. Everyone that hears the

gospel is called or invited. Only those who respond to the requirements and are faithful to

death (REV 2:10), are chosen for salvation.

It is true that in the Roman letter it says that all Israel will be saved (11:26), but what does it

mean? Some look forward to Christ reigning for a thousand years in Jerusalem and think all

their people will be saved then. It is highly unlikely that every person will be saved in the light

of Matthew 22:14 and Jesus’ statement about “few who will enter the narrow gate” in

Matthew 7:14.

The question of the millennium is beyond of the scope of this article, but Scripture says

Christ will meet us in the air (1TH 4:17). I find no passage where he will set his feet upon the

earth.

The term, “All Israel” in 11:26 of the Roman letter has been interpreted in three ways. (1) the

total number of Jews saved from every generation, (2) the total number of Jews and Gentiles

of every generation saved, (3) the total number of Jews of the final generation who will be

saved. There is another way it can be interpreted.

In Hebrews 12:22, in reference to the church it states, “You have come to Mount Zion, to the

heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.” It is depicted as spiritual Israel. “All Israel” in

the Roman letter could refer to physical or spiritual Israel, it makes little difference.

Jews and Gentiles are saved the same way. In Acts 2:38 they were told, “Repent and be

baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”

This includes all nations, in fact Peter was addressing the Jews.

Paul added the word, “so,” in the Roman passage (11:26), meaning “thus, or in this

manner.”

Israel has experienced a hardening, in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion, he will turn

godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their

sins.” This is quoted from Isaiah 59:20.

The “hardening” refers to Acts 13:44-46 when the Jews rejected the gospel, just as their

forefathers had rejected the prophets. Paul had been appointed from heaven to preach to the

Gentiles, but the Jews were to be preached to first. The Gentiles gladly received it.

Jesus Christ has already come and gone from the earth. He died to forgive the sins of the

obedient. Paul is not saying that every Jew will be saved, but that all who are, will be

redeemed in the same manner as the Gentiles, by obedience to Christ.