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ICQ - Instant Messaging

ICQ stands for "I Seek You". That's one of the things it does. There's a way for you to search for other people that are also on ICQ. I have found friends this way. But ICQ offers more than an instant messaging and chat program, it's a community.

IM and Chat

When you and your friends download ICQ they will get an instant messaging program that lets you keep track of your friends and if they are online. You can send them messages and if they are not online at the time ICQ will save the message until they are online and then send it to them. You can choose to view only friends that are online or you can view your entire friends list. You can also create categories of friends to keep them organized. The chat program allows 4 people to all chat at the same time in real time. While chatting you can add smileys and sounds to make chatting more fun.

ICQ Site

On the ICQ site you can participate in chats and message boards. Just choose the group that's right for you and join in. If you click on "Web Tools" in the top menu you can build your own ICQ page. On this you can tell a little about yourself so other users can find you better.

Gmail - Google's Email


Gmail Conversations

Let's say that someone emails you, you email them back, they email you again all using the reply field in your email. All of these emails will be saved together as one conversation. When you click on one of the emails you will see all three. On the left side of the screen is a link that says "Expand All".

Click on this to open all the emails in a conversation. Click on "Collapse All" to close all the emails in a conversation except the one you want to read. When a new email is received that is part of the conversation the whole conversation is moved to the top of the Inbox.

Gmail Labels

Labels are kind of like folders in other email programs, but not quite. With other email programs you can create folders to move your email messages to so you can organize them a little better. Labels can be used the same way but there is a big difference. You can label something and still keep it in your Inbox.

When you label something you can then archive it. When something is archived it is no longer seen from the Inbox. If you want to view all emails with that label then you click on the link for the label found on the left hand column of the page. All emails with that label can be seen from this link, even those that are also in the Inbox. An email can have more than one label if you want it to.

To create a label click on the "Settings" link on the top, right of the page. On the Settings page click on "Labels". You'll see a box called "Create a new label". Put in the name of your label here and click "Create".

To add a label to an email go back to your inbox and check the box next to the email you want to add the label to. You'll see a drop down box above where your email are listed. The box currently says "More Actions" in it. Pull down the menu and click on the label name that you want to use. You'll see the name of the label show up right before the Subject title of your email.

To archive this email and remove it from your Inbox make sure the check box next to the email is checked and click on the "Archive" box.

Gmail Filters

A filter is a way to have a label automatically added to an email when it comes in or to have the email be archived before it ever hits your Inbox. This is great if you belong to an email group and you don't want it overstuffing your Inbox with emails or if you just like to have your emails stay organized and out of your Inbox.

At the top of the page is a small link that says "Create a filter", click on this. The other way to get to this same page is to click on "Settings" and then on "Create a filter", they both take you to the same page. Fill out your search criteria and click on "Next Step". On the next page you can choose which filter, if any, you want to add to these emails. You can also choose whether or not you want the email to show up in your Inbox or not. You can also have the email deleted before you even see it. Then click "Create Filter".

Sign Up For Gmail

Gmail has a lot more to offer but these are the main features. To sign up for Gmail go to the Gmail Homepage. If you can't sign up for Gmail from there send me your email address and I will send you a Gmail invite.

What Is A Weblog


In the Beginning

Back when the Web was new and Web pages were just being thought of people started writing online diaries. That's what they were known as back then. They were written on simple HTML Web pages. No special effects, except for the occasional Javascript or dHTML fun. They had a guestbook so people could leave messages. That was pretty much it.

The writers of these online diaries wrote in them just as if it were a real diary. Most didn't think that anyone would really read them, after all the Web is a big place, who would read their dinky little Web site. Then it happed that people actually started reading online diaries.  Online diaries became popular and online diarists were becoming famous in the online world. They started making their Web sites fancier and more compelling. They all had fancy names like Living In The Bonus Round and Diary of an Average Australian.

For a long time people on the Net questioned why anyone would want to post their diary online. They couldn't figure out what would possess someone to put the most private, intimate details of their lives on the Net for all to see and read. They questioned the sanity of some of these online diary writers.

Here and Now

Here we are 10 years later and for the past few years there have been online and software programs that will let you automatically create an online diary. You don't need any HTML knowledge or any coding at all. Just sign up start writing. They're not called online diaries anymore, now they're called Weblogs or blogs.

Millions of people have blogs. People from all over the world blog. They are of all ages all races and lots of different countries. Even kids can have blogs, although legally you need to be 13, kids of all ages are doing it. It's so easy to write a blog now that anyone can do it, even generation X'ers and baby boomers can handle having a blog, and they do.

Today's blog lets you add photos with the simplest of ease. With some all you have to do is upload the photo with a photo upload tool that's right in the blog and add the photo where you want it. Couldn't be simpler. A lot of blogs also let your readers reply to your posts. This is a great feature if you like conversing with others on the Web about your life.

Signing up to have your own blog is simple too. Just go to a blogging site like Blogger or Live Journal and follow the directions. Then you just have to remember to go back to your blog and update it once in a while.

Popular Cartoon Characters Used As Facebook Profile Pictures

Facebook users are changing their profile pictures to cartoon characters. Take a step back in time and relive your childhood by changing your Facebook profile picture to your favorite cartoon character. From Smurfette to Ren and Stimpy, some of the most beloved and popular cartoon characters can currently be seen all over Facebook.
cartoon characters

The Facebook social networking site is always changing things up and the users of Facebook love to participate in various games and support social causes. This year people have been quick to change their usual Facebook profile picture to that of a cartoon character. If you log into Facebook you will see a sea of cartoon faces staring back at you!

If you haven't gotten into the game yet or can't decide on a cartoon character then have a look at the list below.

Popular Cartoon Characters for Your Facebook Profile

  1. Rainbow Brite
  2. Smurfs
  3. Smurfette
  4. Ren and Stimpy
  5. Rugrats
  6. Care Bears
  7. Winnie the Pooh
  8. Piglet
  9. Mickey Mouse
  10. Minnie Mouse
  11. SpongeBob Squarepants
  12. Dora the Explorer
  13. Pink Panther
  14. Charlie Brown
  15. Aladain
  16. Nemo
  17. Cinderella
  18. Snow White
  19. Seven Dwarves
  20. Dumbo
  21. The Grinch
  22. Betty Boop
  23. Mr. Magoo
  24. Little Mermaid
  25. The Powerpuff Girls
  26. Underdog
  27. Tweetie Bird
  28. Sylvester the Cat
  29. Bugs Bunny
  30. Scooby Doo
  31. Road Runner
  32. Wile E. Coyete
  33. The Flinstones
  34. Mighty Mouse
  35. Popeye
  36. Curious George
  37. Rocky and Bullwinkle
  38. The Simpsons
  39. Beavis and Butt-head
  40. Stewie Griffen
The changing of profile photos on Facebook has brought a flood of childhood memories back to many users. Most people have changed their profile to their most beloved cartoon character as a child.
facebook page

Some people have even found ways to change their own profile photo into a cartoon image. So, people that do not have a favorite or beloved cartoon character can join in the game and put up their own customized cartoon image.

Self-portrait type cartoon images are gaining in popularity on the Facebook social networking site. As a result, there are numerous cartoon websites offering to change real life photos into cartoon images.
self-portrait types

There are two theories as to the profile photos on Facebook are changing at such a rapid pace. The first one is that it is simply a Facebook game to get everyone on the site to change their profile picture to a cartoon character so that whenever anyone logs on to the social networking site there will be no human profile pictures only cartoon profile pictures.

self-portrait cartoon

The other theory is that it is a drive to bring attention the ongoing global issue of child abuse. Either way, it has brought lots of attention to Facebook and has many people wondering why so many profile pictures have been changed to favorite childhood cartoon characters.

Proper Behavior for Online Employers and Virtual Workers

virtual workers behavior

One area where offline and online environments intersect is human behavior. Though most Internet users enjoy, if not value, anonymity, this does not negate the essence of showing good behavior when socializing online.

Technical glitches excepted, it is perceived rude to ignore an email sent by someone you already know, or to leave a chat mate waiting for your reply without saying "Bye" or without informing her/him that you have to do something else.

It is also not nice to join a site forum or a chat room and attack fellow chatters with racist, insensitive, and hurtful comments. In the work context, proper behavior for online employers and telecommuting workers requires professionalism, open communication, and respect.

What does it mean to be professional?

Being professional can help an online applicant secure a job offer. It can also lead to more work and other potential opportunities. Professionalism is observed when an online worker does and finishes a task at a given time. Ideally, such judicious competence underlines the need for submitting quality work.

There are those, however, who forgo quality in exchange for meeting a deadline. A worker then needs to be careful in doing her/his online job to avoid tarnishing not just the kind of product s/he delivers, but her/his name as well. If completing it conflicts with a personal errand, s/he knows what to prioritize. Otherwise, it is better that s/he inform or negotiate with the employer to give her/him a modified deadline.

A professional online employer, on the other hand, does not post fraudulent ads on job sites. S/He has a legitimate business identity and offers a potential employee a good reward and benefits scheme. Exploiting workers is not part of her/his value system and business ethics. For instance, many online ads for freelance writers offer a measly payment.

This shows that people who paid for these posts think that writing articles is easy. But serious writers often do research and spend time rewriting and editing their work before submitting the final one. Thus, offering less than a dollar to $10 per article is deemed unfair, if not exploitative.

Why open communication is necessary

Being able to talk to one's boss while doing a job makes communication an integral element in maintaining a good online work relationship. The lines should always be open for the good of both parties.

This aids transparency and helps build trust. Emails, phone calls, chats, and every other medium that can facilitate the communication process are important. Questions, suggestions, and anything else related to work that needs to be resolved can only be addressed through open and honest communication.

Importance of respect

Being a professional and able to communicate involves respect. Respect entails valuing the time and resources that both employer and worker can offer each other. This also plays a crucial role most particularly in handling differences. Both parties should use words that they would not regret expressing.

Online communication does have its own nuances. Consequently, misunderstandings can happen. Both parties then should be mindful of the words they use. In cases of serious disagreements, it is still vital to settle issues before either party decides to terminate the relationship.

Good behavior knows no boundaries

Professionalism, open communication, and respect are all important in creating and maintaining good online work relationships. These not only ensure trust and a good name for both employers and workers, but they also preserve human dignity even in the virtual realm.

Advantages and Issues of Having Home-based Online Jobs

Similar to the real world, finding the right online work and doing it are not easy feats. Unlike offline, however, many online jobs could be done at home. Employers across the globe provide these opportunities. Several companies, as well as universities with distance learning programs, have been outsourcing jobs to and contracting workers from local communities and developing countries.

home based job

Call centers, computer firms, and small enterprises, among others, employ online workers. Positions range from customer care agents, website builders, transcribers, and content writers to curriculum developers, tutors, researchers, and virtual assistants. Doing online work from home then could mean telecommuting or marketing and supervising a business.

Advantages of telecommuting

Working from home allows parents to have an income while taking care of their children. It allows professionals to be their own boss. For full-time employees and students, the Internet can also provide them part-time jobs that they can do at night and during weekends, such as online writing, data encoding, and answering customer calls.

Certainly, online jobs help struggling workers to earn extra cash. These also provide them some control over when and where they like to work. Of course, how to do the job depends on what it is about and its requirements.

Issues of doing online jobs at home

In spite of its advantages, doing online work at home also has its risks and drawbacks:
  • Low compensation and zero benefits
Though they provide money and occasional promotion, online jobs rarely offer a high salary. They also do not have a benefits package that is typically given to office or company employees. Such package may include health insurance, subsidized tuition, paid vacation leaves, and other non-cash rewards.
  • Erratic work time and inadequate rest
The time allotted for work is influenced by other concerns. Stay-at-home parents still have to do house chores. Others run errands for loved ones. Unless one prefers doing his/her job beyond regular work hours or is more productive at night, not a few online workers stay awake until midnight or until early morning. Some even sacrifice their weekends to complete a task or to meet a deadline. The lack of sleep takes a toll on their health, even among insomniacs, as it can lead to poor concentration, depression, and weight problems.
  • Absence of or minimal legal protection for online workers (and online employers too)
Unless both employer and worker value their relationship that is mostly based on trust, the lack of a regulating and monitoring body to set online work standards makes either party vulnerable to cheating and exploitation. No institutional mechanism is set up to receive and process complaints about online work arrangements.
This is especially true at the national level even if the country is a member of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Nonetheless, there are a few sites that have policies on settling employer-worker disputes which may result in the termination of either party's subscription or membership privileges depending on the nature of the offense.

Weighing options

Certainly, the virtual world is as imperfect as the people who created it. It is also as imperfect as the real world. It is best then that online employers, telecommuting employees, and virtual job applicants be aware of the pros and cons of engaging in a web-based work relationship.

A Detailed Guide for Your New Facebook Profile Page


Facebook began rolling out a new profile format on Sunday December 5th, 2010 at around 4 p.m. EST, providing you with a sleeker version of the ever-important Facebook profile page. Along with the new format comes many new features such as “Featured Friends”, which will allow users to highlight friends that are important to them; the ability to add experiences to work and education info, like college classes that a user has taken, or important projects that they have completed at work; and improved Photos and Friends pages which will help simplify many things that people do on Facebook.

Your Life at a Glance

At the top of every Facebook profile page, you can now find a succinct biography of the friend whose profile you are currently viewing. You can quickly see where they work, where they went to school, where they live, whether or not they are in a relationship, their hometown, when they were born, and other useful bits of information.
It's a useful glance at who you are for any old friends or colleagues who are trying to reconnect; Facebook aptly calls it a “quick summary of who you are, from what you're doing now to where you grew up.

Just below your short biography, you will find some photos that you have recently been tagged in that will show your friends what you have been up to. Everyone has heard the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and Facebook has fully embraced that concept by putting pictures of you and what you are up to, front and center, for all of your friends to see.

New Navigation

Facebook has decided to ditch the concept of tabs at the top of the profile, a remnant of older site layouts, in favor of a more compact navigation system placed right below a user's profile picture. You can now find your friends' wall, info, photos, videos, notes, and friends all in one place, and quickly flip through a profile to find what you need. The new “Featured Friends” tool lets you display the people who are the most important to you; choose a list or group that you have already made, or create a new one just for this occasion.

Share Your Experiences

On the revamped info section of your Facebook profile, you can now share your experiences with anyone who cares to see them. Adding individual projects you worked on at your job, along with friends that worked with you, takes nothing more than a few clicks and adding classes that you took in college is just as easy. By introducing these features on the new Facebook profile page, Facebook has become an even more valuable tool for you to use when you are networking, as well as when you are just trying to impress your friends.

More Prominent Activities and Interests

Scroll down to just below a user's work and education and you will find more prominently displayed activities and interests, which will help you discover others with whom you have similar interests. Facebook has also moved religious views, political views, and quotes to their own section entitled “Philosophy” and added a new field where you can list “People Who Inspire You.

Improved Friends Page

Searching for people that you have already added as friends has become even easier with the new Friends page. Just type in a name, city, school, or workplace and you can quickly find the exact person or group of people that you are looking for.

All of the features that have gone into the new Facebook profile layout will make it easier for you to connect with your friends and meet new people. Just another step in Facebook's goal to make the world more social, the new profile pages put everything you could want to know about your friends and colleagues right in front of you and make digital interaction with them more enjoyable (there's even a more prominent “poke” button to encourage increased interaction between friends).

Although there are some downsides to the new layout, such as decreased width of the center column in favor of wider advertisements, the new Facebook profile page layout is a change for good and will only get better from here. Facebook says that they hope to have everyone on the new profile page by next year, but you can choose to be upgraded by visiting the new info page that they have set up.