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Yes, Freebies are Real!
If you tell someone that something is free, they immediately start looking for the catch. After all, the words of wisdom ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? have usually been proven true for people time and again throughout life, and so a healthy cynicism towards free stuff usually springs up with good reason. If you are one of these skeptical types, however, you may be missing out on some really great stuff. The truth is that you CAN get free things that are really and truly free, and yes, actually worth having. You just have to know where to look.
OK, here is where the caveat comes in. The definition of ?free? often depends on the definition of ?cost.? As any economist can tell you, cost really doesn?t only come down to how much money you have to hand over to get something. There are additional costs, like inconvenience and time spent doing something. And true, some freebies have these ?non monetary? kinds of costs associated with them. You have to balance all of the costs with the value of the free stuff you are getting and decide if it is worth it to you. The two biggest costs associated with freebies? Time and convenience are at the top of the list.
Time is a big factor in many free offers. Companies want a bit of your time in exchange for their free products. Indeed, some companies literally want hours of your time. Have you ever taken advantage of one of those ?free weekend vacation? offers in which you received free accommodation in a beach house or condo for a weekend in exchange for suffering through a long presentation and intense sales pitch? For some people, they can handle the presentation and have no qualms about refusing to buy anything and the free vacation more than makes up for it. Other people would rather pay any price to avoid having to listen to one of these spiels. So, while these weekends are freebies, for some people, they cost too much.
More often, a company wants your time in a less obvious way ? they want you to spend time filling out forms. These forms may simply be your name, address and email address, or they may be very lengthy, quizzing you about buying habits and the like. The reason the companies want you to do these forms is often for market research, and they are more than happy to give you a freebie in exchange for this. Many people find the time spent filling out these forms will worth it to get a great free product.
Convenience is the other cost involved with many freebies. Time and convenience go hand in hand in some cases ? after all, it may not be especially convenient to fill out form after form simply because it is time consuming, but convenience takes another hit from freebies in the form of spam email. Often, signing up for a freebie can land you on a spam email list, and for some people, getting tons of spam is so inconvenient that they would rather pay full price.
The truth about all of these costs of freebies is that the freebie is in the eye of the beholder. You have to decide what you are willing to put up with in order to get a free product. Once you know the limits to your freebie costs, than you can cash in on some really great products that don?t cost you a dime. When you spend five minutes filling out a form and get rewarded with a free DVD player that you have been wanting, you will realize that there are free things out there to be had.
Can Facebook or MySpace Help You Land a Job? The Internet is quickly becoming the vehicle of choice for people looking for a job and for employers looking for people to hire. There are many job sites on the Internet dedicated to matching up employees and employers, and most people turn to the Internet today when they are hunting for a job instead of turning to the classified ads in the local paper. Job hunting websites may all be well and good when you are looking for a job, but what about social networking sites. Everyone knows how popular sites like Facebook and MySpace are online, but can they help you get a job? If you are in the job market, can these sites be your foot in the door, or a one way ticket to the unemployment line? The answer is that there is no easy answer. To know if you can find a job using Facebook or MySpace, you have to know how employers feel about these sites, and employers have mixed feeling about them. Some companies are actively using social networking sites to track down employees that meet their company?s employee profile and have had great success finding workers via social networking sites. Other companies wouldn?t touch these sites as a hiring tool with a ten-foot poll ? in fact, many companies don?t even want you to access these websites from their company computers. The real answer to this question has more to do with exactly what kind of job you are looking for. Are you looking for an executive position at a company? Then stay off of the social networking sites, at least for job hunting (and maybe all together). No company is going to look for its top brass on a social networking site, and you will be wasting your time. However, if you are looking for entry level or hourly wage work, the social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook may be the answer for you. Many hourly wage employers in particular, like fast food restaurant chains and mall stores, use MySpace and Facebook to look for potential employees in their area. If a potential employer sees your profile and thinks you may be a good fit for their company, they will send you an email or an instant message and get the ball rolling. You should also, however, carefully consider the downsides of using social networking sites as a job tool ? and you should carefully consider how and if you use these sites at all if you are in the market for a new job. Most people wouldn?t want their parents to see their social networking site profile, let alone potential employers. If you have rude and off color material, political or religious material, and inappropriate photos of yourself on your profile, a potential employer will be turned off, and you might lose your chance at that job. Most people give up way too much of their privacy when they use these kinds of sites, and your social networking site profile may offer a window into a side of you an employer might not be overly impressed with. Further, you can open yourself up to danger by using these sites to job hunt. If someone approached you in the street and offered you a job, would you accept? Then why would you accept a face value an approach by someone on social networking site? If you do get approached for an interview, never meet anyone in a private place, and do your homework to make sure the facts check out before you go for the interview. One last reality check ? there are over 60 million users on MySpace alone. How will an employer find you in the crowd? MySpace and Facebook may help you in your job hunt, but don?t count on them as your sole avenue into the job market.
Some Beginner Tips for Writing a Book (writing a book) Before you begin your book writing adventure, you must research your idea and see if it will fly. Who is going to read it? Who are you trying to appeal to with your words? You must have a general idea of who your intended audience will be. Check out other books. Is there a book already published that resembles your book? What will make your book unique from theirs? If there are similar books already out there, what is going to make your book different and make people want to buy it? If you are still reading, then it is safe to assume that you have your idea under control and are ready to more on in writing a book. Decide on a schedule that is best for you, one that you will be able to stick to. It will be very frustrating to you if have unrealistic expectations and then are unable to stick to them. Your schedule should begin before your research and carry through to the book being ready for publication. Make a detailed outline with the main plot, events leading to that plot, and explicit detail about the characters. By having more information about the character you will be able to become them as you are writing. By having background on them, even if it is irrelevant to the story, it may help while choosing their actions, dialogue, and feelings through out the book. An outline is also a good reference point to come back to double check your timelines and details. You may want to turn of you editing software for your first draft. While writing a book the first draft is when you begin meshing the plot, the characters, and everything together. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation can be fixed later. Remember books do not necessarily have to be written front to back. By writing different chapters or events it may be easier for you to come back and connect them later. Sometimes having the words on the paper and reading will make it easier to fill in the blanks. You are on a role and rough draft is finished. Now is the time to read it. When writing a book reading the rough draft will allow you to make sure that there are no errors in the timeline, that plots link with the characters, and that it all makes sense and flows together. Once you have accomplished that turn your editing software back on. It is time to fix your grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Now put you book aside. Let it sit for about two weeks or so before you pick it up again. This will give your mind time to be clear and fresh. Now read the book again. Does it still flow and make sense? Do you need to add something or change it? Now is the time. Choose someone to proofread your book for you. If at all possible you should hire a professional editor to do this. But if you cannot ask a colleague or maybe someone else you know with a writing or English background. While giving professional advice they will also be able to offer you and unbiased opinion. They will be able to see if there is a jump in the timeline you didn?t notice or if you had a character in the beginning and they just disappeared. The last thing to do while writing a book is creating the final draft. The final draft should be error free. This is your last chance to change anything before it goes to the publisher. Now is when all that time you spent writing a book comes together to make its trip to publication.