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Bottom Line Briefing (BLB) is a monthly compilation of significant articles that offers ideas to help you improve your association's operating efficiency.



HELPFUL RESOURCES

Want a Quote for Your Next Speech? Visit Quoteland!
Association executives frequently have to give speeches at meetings and events that they hope will not bore attendees. For those looking to spruce up such presentations with witty or thought-provoking quotes, log onto Quoteland.com and browse the site's large collection of past witticisms and sayings. The site is broken down into sections that should help with any speech. Among these sections are: "Motivational Quotations," "Sports Quotations," "Art Quotations" and "Quotations by Topic." In addition, the site boasts such special features as "Quote of the Day" and an "Identify a Quote" search engine.
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Looking to Start a Blog? Here's How
Those executives who are looking to launch a blog on their association's Web site should log onto About.com's Blogging Basics for the Beginner Blogger web page. The page offers helpful tips and numerous links to virtually all the info needed to get started. Links to full articles range from "Top 10 Reasons to Start a Blog" to "Blogging Tips Every Blogger Should Read." The site also provides content on topics from choosing a domain name for your association's blog to how frequently a blog should be updated.
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Association Execs No Longer Have to Pardon Their English
When crafting speeches and other written communications, association executives no longer have to wonder whether or not they are using proper English. Instead, they can log onto www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/index.html, a Web site that lists common errors in English and how to correct them. The site also has a section titled "Non-Errors," which details usages that some say are wrong, but are actually standard in English. These include ending a sentence with a preposition, beginning a sentence with a conjunction, and more.
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Web Site Looks to Create a Community of Meeting Planners
Meetings Collaborative is a relatively new Web site that seeks to create a community of meeting planners. Launched in the fall of 2007, the site at www.meetingscollaborative.com features hotel reviews that are based on three basic questions. The first is whether the reviewer was satisfied with his/her meeting experience at that particular lodging. The second asks whether the reviewer would use that hotel again for a program. Third and most importantly, would the review recommend the hotel to colleagues. Site registrants can submit write-ups based on their experience holding a meeting or other event at the hotel. Those who simply attended an event at a specific site in their capacity as a meeting planner are also allowed to post. Property search results list the highest-rated lodgings first. Currently, the site contains approximately 1,000 reviews on nearly 900 properties.
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Ecommerce-Guide Is Your One-Stop Shop for Electronic Commerce
The goal of www.ecommerce-guide.com is to provide the single best online source of independent, up-to-date information about electronic commerce. The Web site's editorial content is 100 percent e-commerce, including everything from daily news and feature articles to product guides and e-commerce-focused discussion forums. The site reviews the tools and software that associations need to build an e-commerce site, including Auction Builders, Commerce Servers, Payment Solutions, Portal Sites and Storefront Builders.
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Consult With Seat Guru the Next Time You Fly
Logging on to the Web site www.seatguru.com provides travelers with quite possibly the best resource for commercial airplane seating, in-flight amenities and general airline information online. The site boasts everything from detailed seat map graphics and in-seat power port locations to galley, lavatory, exit row and closet locations on most airlines' fleet of planes. The airlines are listed in click-on, alphabetical categories on the left side of the main page. When a particular airline is selected, the user will be taken to that company's General Information page for a list of quick links and contact information. From the General page, the user can navigate the company's information pages for tips on check-in, baggage, unaccompanied minors and traveling with infants and pets. SeatGuru has routinely been listed among the best travel Web sites by such publications as Forbes, Kiplinger and Travel + Leisure.
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The Best Web Site to Find the 'Best Places'
Sperling's Best Places Web site at www.bestplaces.net is responsible for more "Best Places" studies than any other organization. The site's founder is Bert Sperling. In 1985, he developed a software program named "Places, U.S.A." that allowed people to enter their personal preferences to find their own best place. BestPlaces.net is a natural extension of his staff's work over the years regarding demographics, preferences and other factors in rating the "Best Places" to live, work and retire. By keying in a city and state, users can get the skinny on everything from schools to crime rates to climate.
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Bob Harris' Web Site Promotes the Association Management Profession
Bob Harris Web site at www.nonprofitcenter.com is dedicated to promoting the association management profession. Harris, who has more than two decades of experience working with associations, offers a series of interactive seminars focused on core-knowledge and member needs. Such seminars cover everything from board orientation and strategic planning to staff training and consulting. Harris is the author of "Association Management 101 Online" and co-author of "Building an Association Management Company." His site includes a free section, titled "Management Tips & Templates," that is of particular interest to readers of Bottom Line Briefing.
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Look to This Web Site for Fare Warnings
Association executives looking to save money on airfare should look no further than www.airfarewatchdog.com. The site e-mails alerts when prices decline for domestic and international flights, lists Internet-only fares and automatically checks seat availability. In addition, it is one of the best places on the Web to find unadvertised and short-lived fares. It even shows so-called "error" or "fat finger" fares typically caused by human typos that most airlines honor.
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Steer and Save With Auto Driveaway
Those looking for a cheap rental car should consider logging onto www.autodriveaway.com. Those who sign up with the site can drive cars that need to be relocated for free. There is no rental charge, only a refundable cash deposit. Another positive: the first tank of gas is free. Since 1952, Auto Driveaway has become widely known for its unique auto transportation services, offering everything from individual and commercial vehicle delivery to fleet shipping and fleet management.
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The Ideal Site for Reviews of Software for Nonprofits
Idealware is a Web site that provides candid, consumer-oriented articles and reviews on software of interest to nonprofits. Through product comparisons, case studies, recommendations and software news, www.idealware.org enables nonprofits to make informed software decisions that will help their organizations be more effective.
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Online Travel Guide Shows Execs the Way of the World
The Columbus World Travel Guide at www.worldtravelguide.net offers quite possibly the most comprehensive guide to global travel on the Internet. The site has links to travel guides covering nearly every country in the world, along with detailed city, ski, beach, cruise and airport guides. Users can scroll down the main page and view the Travel Essentials category, which puts everything from world weather forecasts to a world clock at the click of a mouse. World Travel Guide has had a presence online since 1996, providing detailed travel information to consumers and licensed content to third-party sites for the benefit of their users.
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Association Execs May Find FindLaw a Valuable Web Site
The Web site www.findlaw.com is your starting place for help in understanding the law. A legal resource for up-to-date online legal data, the site offers detailed information on such legal topics as bankruptcy, medical malpractice, civil rights, dangerous products, employee rights, immigration, and more. Even personal legal issues such as will preparation and traffic violations are covered.
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Looking to Find Voltages Around the World? Charge Over to This Site
Embassy World offers an international voltage finder search engine that allows travelers to learn the voltages used in nearly every country around the world. The search engine can be accessed for free at www.embassyworld.com/directories/International_Voltages.html. The process is easy, too. Simply use your mouse to select the country you are seeking from a drop-down menu, and then click "Find Voltage!"
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The Pros and Cons of ProCon.org
The Web site www.procon.com features more than 1,000 questions on controversial issues accompanied by pro, con, and not clearly pro or con answers. The site adheres to strict editorial guidelines in order to ensure journalistic integrity. It has been referenced by such mainstream media outlets as Forbes, the Los Angeles and the New York times over 100 times. It has also been archived by the Library of Congress for having "materials of historical importance." The site features click-on categories to display pro-con issues in everything from Business and Law to Politics and Technology.
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Yapta.com Is Something to Yap About
The Web site www.yapta.com is designed to help business and leisure travelers get a refund if they buy an airline ticket and the price later decreases. With prices in the travel industry fluctuating often, Yapta's price drop alerts help the paying public know when to book flights to get the best value. The site also allows users to find and track hotels that match one's personal preferences. E-mail alerts will inform you know when those prices drop, too. Since May of 2007, Yapta claims it has saved its members more than $171.3 million, or an average of $306 per member. The site has been profiled in such major publications as Time and Travel & Leisure.
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eReleases Gets Your Press Release to Media Desktops
Maryland-based www.eReleases.com has handled organizations' and individuals' press release writing needs for more than a decade now. The company promises national press release distribution to the right people at the right price. With more than 100,000 opt-in journalists, eReleases is able to get media releases directly to the right desktops offering the broadest coverage. Best of all, each client receives a WireWatch report with Web links to their press release posted on more than 40 Web sites, including Google and Yahoo!
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FedStats Offers a One-Stop Shop for Federal Statistics
FedStats provides access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the U.S. government without having to know in advance which federal agency produces which particular statistic. With convenient searching and linking capablilties to more than 100 agencies that provide data and trend information on such topics as economic and population trends, health care, energy use, and more, FedStats (www.fedstats.gov) is your one-stop location for access to the full breadth of federal statistical information.
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Giving a Speech? You'd Be Smart to Use Brainy Quote!
Association executives tasked with giving a speech would be wise to use Brainy Quote to liven up their presentations. The Web site features a multitude of great illustrative quotes from various famous people and individuals of note. Brainy Quote allows users to browse quotes via profession -- from actors and athletes to business professionals and U.S. Presidents -- and based on such topics as business, government, technology, and science. The site boasts multiple search features and also offers a "Quote of the Day."
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Congress.Org Encourages Involvement in the Political Process
Congress.org is a nonpartisan news and information Web site devoted to encouraging civic participation and providing information about public policy issues. The site includes tips on effective advocacy and features a software program that makes it easy for citizens to write their elected officials and have that correspondence be delivered directly to the decision-maker whose opinion you hope to influence.
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strategy+business Equals a Good Read for Association Execs
strategy+business is an award-winning management magazine, published in print and online for decision makers in businesses and organizations around the globe. Its purpose is to illuminate the complex choices that leaders face -- in strategy, marketing, operations, governance, and other domains -- and the impact of their decisions. Recent articles range from "The Rise of Generation C" to "Using Influence to Get Things Done" to "The Coming Wave of 'Social Apponomics." More than 365,000 readers are currently registered on the s+b website.
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CollegeGrad.com Helps Association Execs Say, 'You're Hired!'
Association executives who are looking to round out their staffs with the best young and hungry talent should log onto CollegeGrad.com, which both Yahoo and Alexa currently rank as the No. 1 entry level job site for college students and recent grads. According to its employer information page, "no other job site provides you with a lower cost per hire." In addition, CollegeGrad.com gets more traffic than any other college/entry level job site, and it is linked to by more colleges and universities than any other career site.
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Here's a Site Set on the Latest Business Travel News
BusinessTravelNews.com is a website dedicated to delivering the latest news and research for organizations that manage travel. The site provides original daily news updates and boasts a searchable archive that dates back to 1996. It also offers access to BTN's six annual research works.
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Hello! Give Tryphone a Try!
You can test drive a car, why shouldn't you be able to test drive a phone? With Tryphone.com, you can! Use their fully interactive online virtual headsets and try out the buttons, applications, services, content, and more. Every phone is in crystal clear quality and, literally, what you see is what you get. In addition, there are user reviews and phone specifications listed. With Tryphone, association executives never have to feel uncertainty again when buying their next phone.
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Casting a Wide ExecuNet for Those Leaders Looking to Network or Pursue New Opportunities
ExecuNet aims to provides a valuable professional network of executives in top companies and organizations to help today's leaders stay connected and keep their career options open. ExecuNet, which specializes in executive-level job search and career advancement, has evolved since its 1988 founding into a private network of more than 250,000 members.
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Infoplease, I Need Some Info Please!
Infoplease is a comprehensive reference source that combines the contents of an encyclopedia, an atlas, a dictionary, and numerous almanacs loaded with facts, statistics, and historical records. A single search engine allows the user to search all of these sources at once. Some is updated daily (specifically, the home page and daily almanac), some biweekly, some quarterly, and some annually (e.g., Census and other statistical data published once a year).
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The Success Training Network Could Be a Win-Win Site for Association Pros
The Success Training Network (TSTN) brings together the world’s leading authors, speakers, and experts into one channel, making their valued and life-changing information available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TSTN offers content that will help association executives and others stoke their creativity, gain new profit-making ideas, learn new sales tactics, improve their health, and even become better parents.
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HandsOn Network Is Truly Hands On for Nonprofits With Volunteer Opportunities
HandsOn Network partners with nonprofits to provide compelling volunteer opportunities and to effectively utilize the talents of people who serve. As one of the country's leading volunteer organizations, HandsOn offers everything from training to networking opportunities to engage volunteers in meaningful service. In 2012, HandsOn Network mobilized more than 30 million volunteer hours nationwide valued at $626 million in human capital.
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Music for Those Association Execs On the Road Again
Association executives on the go can tune their web browsers to Radio-Locator.com to look for radio stations wherever their travels take them. You can search for stations across the United States or the world by geographical region, radio call letters (in the U.S.), or format (pop, R&B, heavy metal, talk radio). In addition, you can download a list of stations for any region to your PDA utilizing the free AvantGo software.
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ThinkMagic Can Dazzle at Your Next Association Event
Meetings and events planners would be wise to think about ThinkMagic to jazz up their next gathering of association members. Founded by Kostya Kimlat, a professional magician and speaker, ThinkMagic is dedicated to helping groups understand the importance of perception in their daily lives through the art of magic and sleight of hand. Presenters who are hired to give presentations do not teach magic tricks. Instead, they use decades-old magic techniques to help people understand the inner workings of the human mind. Kimlat and his associates give attendees specific ideas, tools, and strategies to improve everything from customer service to member outreach.
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Lifehacker: For Those Association Pros Looking to Streamline Their Life
Lifehacker is a great blog for association executives and members looking to streamline their life. Lifehacker basically provides tips and tricks for getting stuff done. Whether you are someone who needs help with time management or are just seeking a shortcut to complete a certain task, Lifehacker is your site. Recent posts range from "The Difference Between High Achievers and the Unsuccessful Is Grit" to "Six Things NOT to Buy Before Christmas."
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Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid
Late last year, Forbes magazine published a great article of interest for association executives titled "Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid." Written by Cheryl Snapp Conner, the list included such things to avoid as wasting energy on things you can't control, worrying about pleasing others, and dwelling on the past. Conner urged leaders not to fear in taking calculated risks and to not give up after meeting with failure. Another pitfall to avoid is "expecting immediate results" from projects and initiatives that will be put in place in the near future. Conner is a frequent speaker and author on reputation and thought leadership.
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Can Busy Association Execs Really Do NOTHING for 2 Minutes?
In today's fast-paced professional world, association executives barely have time for a quick lunch some days much less a few minutes of complete and total relax time. One website challenges such Type As to "Do Nothing for 2 Minutes." Do Nothing For Two Minutes offers nothing but an image of the sea with the sound of waves crashing and birds chirping played over the top. Your task is to remain static for two minutes, not touching the mouse or keyboard in that time. If you do, the word "FAIL" flashes on the screen and the timer re-sets to two more minutes. It's a simple reminder of the need to take small breaks throughout one's work day.
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Figuring Out Which Travel Budget to Go With on WhichBudget.com
WhichBudget.com can help association executives and others build an inexpensive, overseas flight plan by using local, budget airlines -- a potentially great way to save on international travel. Select your overseas starting point, end point, or both, and the site will list airlines you have probably never heard of that service each route. For instance, if you search for flights from Bangkok to Beijing, you'll get options like China Eastern and Hainan Airlines.
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Internships.com Is the Place to Go for Your Next Intern
Internships.com ranks as the world's biggest internship marketplace where employers can post internships and get access to its internship database for free. A recent count pegged the site as having more than 82,000 postings in 6,500 cities nationwide. The site includes paid and unpaid, full and part-time internships. One useful feature is the "Who?" button, which includes a Facebook sign-in.
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Trivago Search Engine Travels Well
Trivago is a travel metasearch engine that focuses on hotels. The site compares prices for over 730,000 lodgings from more than 200 booking sites, including Expedia, Booking.com, Jovago.com, and Priceline.com. Based in Germany, the website receives approximately 45 million users per month on its 47 international platforms.
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iPage Helps Associations and Others Turn the Page on Website Design
iPage has been hosting business, personal, social, and non-profit websites for over a decade now. The company knows web hosting and the typical hosting customer -- i.e., there is NO typical hosting customer. That's why iPage offers a great deal of flexibility, without overcomplicating things. Management focuses on the three things customers most care about: their websites, their e-mail, and their online security.
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Zapier Is a Zippier Way for Busy Association Execs to Connect Apps
Zapier lets busy professionals easily connect the web apps they use, making it easy to automate tedious tasks. Rather than waiting for third-party app developers to offer the SaaS integrations needed or hiring expensive freelance programmers to build custom software for you, Zapier offers a do-it-yourself solution that allows decision makers to get back to the work that matters most to their organization.
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Quora, I Have a Question for You!
Quora is the ideal place to go for crowdsourced answers. Busy association executives can crowdsource answers to any question or browse other people's questions to learn a thing or two. Quora's mission is to share and grow the world's knowledge. The website makes it easy to get your questions answered, share your own knowledge, and browse the most interesting information people around the globe want to share.
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Busy Association Execs Should Say Hello to Trello
Trello is a Web-based project management app that is supported by iPhone, Android, and Windows 8 mobile platforms. It helps users organize projects with boards, lists, and cards that accept comments, attachments, due dates, and more. Trello is the free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone. So, drop the lengthy e-mail threads, out-of-date spreadsheets, and no-longer-so-sticky notes for managing projects. Trello lets you see everything about your project in a single glance.
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Soundrown Will Keep Stressed Association Execs' Heads Above Water
For those over-stressed association executives looking to relax for a few minutes, a half-hour, an hour, or longer in the office or at home, point your Web browser to Soundrown.  This easy-to-navigate site allows you to create your perfect relaxation soundtrack by mixing calming audio elements.  Among the sound choices are waves, rain, train, night, coffee shop, playground, fire, birds, white noise, and fountain.  You can combine two or more sounds. So, you can create the ultimate park setting with birds, fountain, and playground. Or, you can spend an evening at the seashore by clicking on waves and night.
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Headspace Will Help Association Execs Rest Their Brains
Headspace is a website that is focused on integrating meditation into your daily life, no matter how busy you are. Offering a free trial of 10 minutes of meditation for 10 days, users will "enter a chiller state of mind" as they receive guided meditations and techniques. Helmed by Andy Puddicombe, a clinical meditation consultant, the site hosts a blog full of articles and advice, as well as a community section where fellow Headspace users can interact.
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CreativeLive Will Boost Your Creative Skills
CreativeLive may be just the website for busy association executives who are looking to better themselves in their professional and personal lives by stoking their creativity. Whether you are trying to boost your career or pick up a new hobby, this site broadcasts live classes by accomplished professionals in such fields as marketing strategy, web design, photography, and even music.
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A Site for Those Association Execs Looking for a (Currency) Conversion
On-the-go association executives in need of a quick and easy way to see how much their dollars are worth in euros, pounds, rupees, francs, or any other world currency need look no further than XE.com's currency converter.  Users can calculate live currency and foreign exchange rates using this free online tool.
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CreateSpace Allows Association Execs to Create Their Own Books and Manuals
The publishing industry is evolving.  Hundreds of thousands of authors are publishing important and profitable work right now instead of waiting for agents and publishers to give the green light.  With CreateSpace, an association exec can easily access tools, quality printing, booksellers, eBook distribution, and marketing strategies so that he or she can generate more opportunities than ever before -- all while building a following of readers and getting the book or manual to the most amount of members.
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Be Sure to Mental Floss at Least Once a Day
For busy association executives looking to take a break but still engage their mind, Mental Floss is a super addicting online magazine with articles covering a wide range of topics. The site is perhaps best know for its "Big Questions" section, which tackles weirdly intriguing questions like "Why do seashells sound like the ocean?" and "Why are yawns contagious?" Readers can even submit their own big questions.
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10 Smart Google Search Tricks Makes Online Research Easier
For association executives and their staffs, searching via Google can be a rewarding experience once they know how to make search queries efficient. A Web page at TechTracer.com provides 10 tips to do just that. When looking for materials from educational institutes or universities, for example, use the Google scholar search function. To find out the meaning of a particular word, use the define: keyword box. The page also shows you how to find the time of any location and get weather reports for anywhere in the world. Additionally, the page shows how to compare currencies, keep track of stocks and search according to different file types.
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5 Ways to Prepare for an Amazing 2013
Inc. magazine's January edition has published its 5 Ways to Prepare for an Amazing 2013 list, and some of the choices will undoubtedly help association executives prepare for the year ahead. The first is to clean out your e-mailbox. In this regard, a good rule of thumb is to file away or archive e-mails that are important and only leave e-mails in your inbox that require specific action. "There may even be opportunities you missed earlier in the year," the article's author notes. Another suggestion is to set your top 5 priorities for the first quarter. Writing out your top five initiatives for the next three months and posting them on or near your desk will help any busy association professional start the year with clear purpose. For the rest of the list, click here.
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A Mind Tool Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Mind Tools aims to help decision makers -- and those who want to become decision makers -- learn the practical, straightforward skills they need to excel. Established in 1996, the free skills training site helps more than 21 million people each year, as well as providing cloud-based training solutions to companies, organizations, and government agencies worldwide. Members of the Mind Tools team are based in four continents and include career experts, business people, coaches, and journalists -- all of whom are focused on "helping you make the very most of your career."
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AirfareWatchdog Barks Up the Right Tree for Budget-Conscious Travel
Looking for affordable fares on a specific route? AirfareWatchdog.com hunts down deals computers tend to miss, like promo codes airlines include in e-mail newsletters. In addition, the website finds sales from Allegiant and Southwest, which typically are not listed on major airfare search engines. You can sign up for specific fare alerts or a list of all the cheap round-trip fares from your nearest airport.
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All Things Workplace Can Be All Things to Association Leaders
All Things Workplace is a site for people who want to learn practical ways to become extraordinary leaders. This blog includes posts and resources that will help the reader develop leadership skills. It was founded by Steve Roesler, a former Drill Instructor in the U.S. Army and management professional at Pfizer who is a member of the American Society for Training and Development and the International Association for Psychological Type.
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Association Execs Can Get Members' Heads Better With Psychology Today
Psychology Today is one of the most informative and thought-provoking magazines dealing with the human psyche. Association executives are first and foremost in the people business, and few publications will offer insights into the human condition like this one. Among the recent articles and blog posts featured on the publications website are "How to Tell the Difference Between Good and Bad Competition" and "Are Your E-Mails Unintentionally Rude?"
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Association Execs Can Learn a Lot at Gottsman's Protocol School
Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman's Protocol School is an online resource for improving manners and protocol in the workplace and the C-suite. Gottsman is committed to helping executives grow into more polished and poised professionals. In addition to offering etiquette consulting services, her site includes such recent blog posts as "Five Tips on Talking Politics in the Workplace" and "Minding Your Twitter Matters."
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Association Execs Should Hurry Over to CEOExpress.com
CEOExpress.com aims to be the association executive's interface to the Internet. The site's editorial staff recognizes that execs have precious little time to obtain all the information they require to conduct business. CEOExpress employs expert human editors and "mind ergonomics" in filtering and organizing the content executives need on the Internet while adding features to the site to make their lives even more streamlined and efficient. Stock quotes, headline news, and customization are all conveniences users appreciate.
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Association Execs Use Kayak to Travel
Association executives can log onto www.kayak.com to save money on their travel needs. Kayak is different in that it searches more than 140 travel sites at once and finds the cheapest fares. The free service also enables users to compare results from all of the various sites together, filter them and sort instantly. Since Kayak is not a travel agent, it allows users to click and purchase direct from either airlines or agencies.
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Association Execs, Are You Using the Right Mind Tools?
MindTools.com is designed to help people learn the practical, straightforward skills they need to excel in your career. The webite refers to these skills as "mind tools" -- simple processes and techniques for everything from better time management to decision making to problem solving. Founded in 1996, MindTools helps more than 15 million people each year. It has also provided cloud-based training solutions to companies, government agencies, and other organizations around the globe.
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Association Pros Are Booking to Booking.com's Great Deals
Booking.com was started in 1996 and has been owned and operated by U.S.-based Priceline since 2005.  The website offers online accommodations booking and claims to have more than 700,000 properties around the globe under contract and deals with over 750,000 room nights reservations per day.   As late as 2013, it accounted for over 66 percent of Priceline's revenue.  Booking.com is currently available in more than 40 languages.  The site does not charge a booking fee to customers, but instead charges commission on bookings to accommodation partners.
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Associations Looking for Corporate Information Should Surf This Site
Wright Investors' Service's CorporateInformation.com provides researchers with a list of comprehensive links to useful public, private, national, and international company Web sites. The site's database contains more than 350,000 company profiles and is searchable by company name, ticker, industry, and country. In addition, the database contains more than 15,000 research reports.
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Autoslash Looks to Cut the Price of Your Next Car Rental
Business travelers and those attending association events in distant locales are always looking for the best deal on car rentals. Now they have a website that will help them. Autoslash.com searches the Internet for discount coupons on car rentals and applies them after you book. The site then continually checks for lower rates and coupons until your trip date and automatically applies any discounts it finds.
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Become a Wiz at Booking Frugal Travel at BookingWiz.com
Bob Jones has put his more than four decades of business and personal traveling experience to work for budget-conscious executives and other travelers at www.BookingWiz.com. Jones, who has dubbed himself the FrugalWiz," and his experienced staff sift through thousands of deals from such travel sites as Expedia and Travelocity. He then features the top three in his Web site's weekly newsletter. The site also offers a plethora of travel trips. To become a subscriber, executives can put their e-mail address in the "optional newsletter" box on the site's home page.
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BlackEnterprise.com Offers Valuable Info for African-American Association Execs
BlackEnterprise.com bills itself as the premier business and lifestyle resource for African Americans, providing essential business information and advice to black professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Recent posts on the website range from "Young Bosses: 6 Successful Brand Builders Who Got an Early Start" to "6 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Media" to "Winging It: Work. Life. Balance? -- Managing Motherhood."
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BLB Now Available as an App Via iTunes
Bottom Line Briefing (BLB) is now available as a downloadable app via Apple's iTunes at this link. BLB, which is tailored to meet the needs of today's busy association executive, offers ideas on how to improve their association's bottom line from increasing non-dues revenue to saving money on your next meeting or trade show. Each issue contains summaries of the most significant, association-related news stories of the past month, delivering the key points to the reader in a concise monthly feed.
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Busy Association Executives, Find Your Quiet Place
The Quiet Place Project is a website that offers association executives and other busy professionals a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the Web. There are several pages on offer, ranging from the 90 Seconds Relaxation Exercise to the Quiet Place to the Thoughts Room -- all of which offer variations on the theme of gently persuading you to take a moment to relax and rid yourself of any worries.
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ClickBank Aims to Be the Web's Most Trusted Digital Marketplace
ClickBank is a secure Web-based retail outlet for more than 50,000 digital products and 100,000 active affiliate marketers. Founded in 1998, ClickBank touts that it makes a sale somewhere in the world every three seconds, safely processing over 30,000 digital transactions a day. In addition, it is consistently ranked as one of the most highly-trafficked sites on the Internet.
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ClickZ Helps Interactive Marketers Do Their Jobs Better
ClickZ is the largest resource of interactive marketing news, information, commentary, advice, opinion, research, and reference on the Internet. The main goal of the site is to help interactive marketers do their jobs better. Recent features include such titles as "10 Guidelines for Creating Great Social Media Content" and "Have We Gone Too Far With Targeting?"
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Corporette: A Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for Corporate Women
Corporette.com is a popular fashion and lifestyle blog for corporate women and and "otherwise overachieving chicks." Last summer, Forbes named it as one its "Top 100 Websites for Women." Also around that time, Hybrid Mom listed as one of the "Top 50 Websites Moms Need to Know About." Featured articles and pages on the site range from "10 Things You Should Know About a Business Lunch" to "What to Wear on Interviews Generally." Corporette's founder and editor-in-chief Kat Griffin is an attorney and a former editor of Family Circle magazine and Sportswear International.
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Easy-to-Use Websites for Trade Associations
Trade associations are finding that they communicate better and smarter with Bondware, a leading provider of affordable web-based software and services that allow association execs to self-manage their websites. With Bondware, those who manage trade association websites can "get the word out" to association members, have them respond quickly, and keep an up-to-date assocation member list both on the Internet and at headquarters. According to Bondware, "No longer do you have to send a request to a web developer and hope they make the necessary changes in a timely manner. Bondware is so easy you can do it yourself, and from anywhere you can find Internet access."
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eHow Web Site Shows You 'How to' . . . and How!
The Web site www.eHow.com offers a massive, searchable database of articles and features that clue users in on how to do just about anything. The home page offers click-on buttons that allow you to browse "How to's" in multiple categories, including: Business, Careers & Work, Electronics, Health, Legal, Personal Finance and even Weddings. A quick search revealed such intriguing article titles as "How to Hold a Business Meeting," "How to Ace Every Hiring Decision," "How to Become a Dynamic Leader," "How to Create a Great PowerPoint Presentation With SlideRocket," "How to Be a Successful Salesperson," and so on.
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Find Your Quiet Place (Project)
The Quiet Place Project is a website that offers association executives a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the World Wide Web. The site offers several intriguing pages, including the 90 Seconds Relaxation Exercise, the Quiet Place, and the Thoughts Room. All offer variations on the theme of gently persuading you to take a moment to relax and temporarily rid yourself of worries.
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Finding What That Acronym Stands for Is Now as Easy as A-B-C
Association executives know better than anyone the dizzying array of acronyms out there. Now there is a Web site (www.acronymfinder.com) that details what each one stands for. With more than 600,000 human-edited definitions, Acronym Finder ranks as the world's biggest and most comprehensive online dictionary of acronyms, abbreviations, and "initialisms." Combined with the Acronym Attic, Acronym Finder contains more than 4 million acronyms and abbreviations.
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FindLaw Helps Association Execs With All That Legal-ese
FindLaw.com provides legal information, attorney profiles, and an online community to help association executives and others make the best legal decisions. Launched in 1996, the website offers a mix of cases, statutes, legal news, a lawyer directory, an online career center, and such community-oriented tools as message boards. It is widely regarded as the most popular site for free legal information on the Internet with over 5 million legal consumers visiting each month.
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GoToMeeting.com Is the Place to Convene Online
GoToMeeting.com allows association execs to host an online meeting with up to 15 people. Using the site's web conferencing tool, users can share any application via the computer in real time. It should be noted that one does not need a GoToMeeting account to attend a GoToMeeting session. You take part as a guest of the meeting organizer, and there is no obligation to buy or sign up for a free trial.
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Helpguide Helps You Tackle Life's Challenges
The Web site www.helpguide.org aims to help people understand, prevent and resolve life's challenges by giving them information and encouragement to take charge of their health and well-being. The Helpguide team consists of various health experts, psychologists, journalists and Internet professionals. The site's Stress and Trauma section stands out, with Web pages devoted to everything from "Stress at Work" to "Preventing Burnout" to "Relaxation Techniques." Other sections range from "Diet & Nutrition" and "Quality of Life" to "Abuse & Addictions and Depression."
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Here's a Great Website for Association Execs to StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon is an interesting tool that is like having a remote control for the web where you can flip through website after website. If you have ever sat in front of your television and surfed through channels trying to find something interesting to watch, that is what StumbleUpon provides for the Internet: a button you can click to surf through sites looking for something interesting. A word of caution, though. "Stumbling" can be addictive and can even lead to a sore "pointer finger" from repetitive clicking.
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Hipmunk Squeaks Out Some Great Travel Deals
Hipmunk is one of the slickest websites on the Internet for those traveling for business or pleasure. It allows you to search for flights across major airlines, giving users easy-to-scan results in a grid "sorted by agony" -- a combination of price, duration of flight, and number of stops. Among the nice touches is an icon that highlights flights with wi-fi. Additionally, there are iPhone and iPad apps that let you use the service on the go.
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Idealist.org Is an Ideal Site to Fill Nonprofit Jobs
Idealist.org, the country' biggest employment board for nonprofit jobs, was launched in 1996. It also includes volunteer opportunities and a listing of events related to the non-profit world. Funding for Idealist comes from donations, foundation support, and from fees it charges U.S.-based organizations to list on the site. Idealist.org surpassed 1 million registered users in 2009.
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Idealist.org Is the Site for the Nonprofit Idealist in Everyone
Idealist.org is a nonprofit clearinghouse that offers a robust jobs board that recently featured approximately 10,000 jobs, along with a database of nearly 80,000 nonprofits. The site's Idealist Volunteer Resource Center can clue those interested into places where they can lend a hand -- albeit an unpaid one -- with such volunteering possibly leading to paid nonprofit positions.
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In Need of Web Tools? Call a NetMechanic!
Since its founding in 1996, NetMechanic.com has specialized in providing easy, affordable, self-service Web tools that help organizations increase revenue, satisfy customers, and improve overall Web site quality. NetMechanic's automated tools optimize search engine rankings, analyze site availability and reliability, improve page visualization, and monitor performance. NetMechanic has come to serve a broad base of clients, ranging from Jet Blue Airways to the Foundation for the National Institute of Health.
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Intellicast Provides World Weather Reports the Smart Way
Since 1996, Intellicast.com has provided weather data with the world's most technically advanced site-specific forecasting system. The result of a multi-million dollar research project, Intellicast.com delivers site-specific forecasts for 60,000 sites nationwide and around the world. From detailed local forecasts to hurricane tracks, severe weather warnings to international conditions, Intellicast.com has the tools business professionals have come to depend on when traveling.
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Korn/Ferry's Briefings Helps Leaders Lead Better
The Korn/Ferry Institute's Briefings on Talent & Leadership is a Web-based periodical dedicated to offering a fresh perspective on the most pressing issues facing boards and the C-suite today. The site's goal is to keep executives engaged about topics that will them be better leaders. Articles are written by Korn/Ferry consultants, academics, and journalists from such publications as Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.
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Log on to YouSendIt and You Won't Regret It
YouSendIt.com touts that it offers the most widely used solutions for sending, receiving and tracking digital content. This Web site is ideal for sending large files without the limitations of e-mail attachments, FTP connections or overnighting critical data. Designed for individual use or for organization-wide deployments, YouSendIt's Web-based Software-as-a-Service offering simplifies file transfer for end-users while ensuring data security and compliance. YouSendIt currently has more than 10.2 million users with nearly 2 million downloads a week worldwide.
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MyHours Makes Your Hours More Worthwhile
Myhours.com is a free website that enables you to track how much time you spend on each work project. For the site to be most effective, the user must enter detailed information on all current projects being worked on, including such information as start and end dates and which components the user is working on and when. This time management, timesheet, time tracking solution can be used from any location at any time.
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NationMaster Will Serve You Well When Comparing Countries
NationMaster is a massive central data source that provides association executives and their staffers with a handy way to graphically compare countries. The Web site offers a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Using forms provided on the Web site, users can generate maps and graphs on all kinds of statistics with relative ease. The site aims to be the Internet's one-stop resource for statistics on everything from crime rates around the world to wall plug voltages.
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New Book Offers the Three Keys to Organizational Excellence
"Outcomes, Performance, Structure" is a new book penned by Dr. Stephen C. Carey and Dr. Michael E. Gallery that aims to help decision-makers put existing performance criteria in the context of their organizational system and assist them in using the criteria to assess problems within their organizations. More importantly, the book aims to assist in the design of systemic solutions to the systemic problems that have been identified with easy-to-use samples and questions that draw out key areas where an organization needs to improve. This book provides a system for discovering an organization's specific problems, developing solutions, evaluating success, and gathering information that will help to improve solutions should they fail on the first attempt. More information is available here.
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Nonprofits Gravitate to This Site for Web Design
GravitateDesign.com is a nationally recognized web design company that prides itself on having a keen understanding of the non-profit world. The Vancouver, Wash.-based group employs a staff of professionals who are familiar with the needs of non-profit organizations. "We know the importance of building awareness for your cause and the need for increased volunteers and donations," their marketing touts.
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Ope.nr Can Really Open Up Your Calls to Action
Ope.nr helps associations and other organizations add a call to action to any link you share on social media. Now everyone that visits the link shared can be redirected to your website with a unique call to action. Every link created is tracked by Ope.nr's system so results can be gleaned in real-time from views to clicks and conversions.
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Plaxo.com Offers the World's Leading Online Address Book
Plaxo.com ranks as the world's leading online address book, hosting more than 50 million address book accounts. The goal from the outset was to create an address book that does not become out-of-date after a few months or years. As new devices, services, and social networks arise, contact information becomes increasingly fragmented and unreliable. According to the website, Plaxo is dedicated to "helping our members navigate the shifting communications landscape to ensure that Plaxo truly is and remains 'your address book for life.'"
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Pollen.com Is Something to Sneeze at!
For those association executives with allergies who travel often, the Web site www.pollen.com offers allergy alerts, reports and forecasts for various parts of the country. The site can deliver allergy data for those on-the-go via Pollen.com Mobile. On the main site, meanwhile, there are click-on sections marked "Allergy Shopping" (offering products to help with one's allergies), "Pollen History," and "Pollen Blog."
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PrintFriendly Is the Friendly Way for Association Pros to Print
Web pages often look terrible when printed. Not only that, but doing so can waste tons of paper and ink. It's bad for an association's bottom line as well as for the environment. Enter PrintFriendly, a website that cleans and formats web pages for a better overall print experience. PrintFriendly removes ads, navigation, and web page junk so your organization saves on paper and ink. Best of all, it is free and easy to use.
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RainyMood Soothes the Savage Association Executive
Managing stress is one of the fundamental challenges of being an association executive. For many, there is nothing more soothing than reading or writing or relaxing to the sound of rain on the roof. Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate, of course. And for many, it's almost impossible to hear rain outside when working in a heavily insulated office building. Thank God then for RainyMood.com. All this website does is play a continuous loop of the sounds of rain. A busy association exec can put it on for a few minutes and instantly be taken to a "better place."
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Remember the Milk Helps You Remember It All
Managing tasks is generally not a fun way for association executives to spend their time. That's why Remember The Milk was created ... so busy professionals no longer have to write their to-do lists on sticky notes, whiteboards, random scraps of paper, or the old reliable back of the hand. Currently, more than five million people use Remember the Milk's apps to stay organized.
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RescueTime Comes to the Rescue of Time-Crunched Execs
The Web site www.rescuetime.com is proving to be an invaluable resource to those association executives who want to understand and optimize how they and their staffers spends their time and attention. One of the most important things about RescueTime is the fact that there is no data entry involved. Association management simply installs a small application on the various workstation computers, and RescueTime tracks what software and which web sites are actively being used.
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Scrabble Rack Attack Helps Busy Association Execs Keep Their Minds Sharp
Busy association executives definitely need mental down-time. But even turning your brain off, you don't really have to "turn your brain off." One of the best mental diversions online is Scrabble Rack Attack, available at SearchAmateur.com. To play, users can click or type out a word with two or more letters from a rack of seven Scramble-game letters at a time. You score points for each letter, multiplied by the premium squares. There is a timer. But the more points you score, the more time gets put on that timer. At the end of each three- to four-minute game, the player gets bonus points for time left over. The goal is to use all 64 letters in a traditional Scrabble tile bag before the time runs out, while accruing as many points as you can.
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Shhhh! LibrarySpot.com Is a Great Resource for Doing Research
LibrarySpot.com is a free virtual library resource center that is ideal for business professionals, association executives, and just about anyone exploring the Internet for valuable research information. The website was created to break through the information overload of the Internet and bring the best library and reference sites together in one user-friendly spot. Sites featured on LibrarySpot.com are hand-selected and reviewed by an expert editorial staff for their quality, content, and utility.
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Silly TaskRabbit Is Not for Kids, but for Busy Association Execs
TaskRabbit helps busy association executives and other professionals open up time in their schedules by making it easy to outsource any task you really don't want to do, from running errands to planning the details of your next family vacation. The site's taskers are skilled professionals who have all been vetted, having undergone background and criminal records checks. For a fee, TaskRabbit users select the task they need done, then choose the Tasker they want to work with.
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So, Have You Heard of Socedo?
Association execs, do you ever wish you could find and qualify leads on Twitter? You can with Socedo. Just enter keywords, hashtags, or any other search criteria, and the website will return a prospect list. Socedo even helps you automatically favorite tweets, follow prospects, and send direct messages to start a conversation.
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Springwise.com Delivers Instant Inspiration
Looking for inspiration? Log onto www.springwise.com/ideas and get a wealth of new business ideas. Springwise and its network of 8,000 Web spotters scan the World Wide Web for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds from Seattle to Shanghai. The site's "Idea Database" covers such industries as automotive, financial services, food & beverage, retail, tourism and transportation. Springwise also offers a free e-mail newsletter to those who wish to subscribe. Finally, it allows users to become affiliated "spotters" themselves and earn rewards for contributions.
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Squarespace Brings Website Building Full Circle
Squarespace is an SaaS-based content management system (CMS) that is composed of a website builder, blogging platform, and hosting service. Founded in 2003 by Anthony Casalena, the service enables organizations and individuals to create and maintain quality websites and blogs.
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strategy+business Equals a Great Resource for Leaders
strategy+business (s+b) is an award-winning management magazine that is published on the Web for decision makers in businesses and organizations worldwide. The publication's purpose is to illuminate the complex choices that leaders face -- in strategy, marketing, operations, governance, and other domains -- and the impact of their decisions. It is published by the international management consulting firm Booz & Company. Recent articles have ranged from "Donning a Leader's Garb" to "Making the Most of Failure."
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Subway Travel Made Easy With This Website
Subway Maps is a website run by Amadeus.net that features up-to-date maps for nearly every subway line on the planet. So for those attending events in Boston or New York, London or Paris, Tokyo or Sydney and do not want to rent a car or simply want to get around by mass transit, this is your site. It features five pull-down menus according to geography, including: America (featuring the subway maps of major cites across North and South America), Africa, Asia & Middle East, Australia, and Europe.
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Take a Few Minutes to Check Out 10 Minute Mail
Where can association executives turn to when they need an e-mail address to register for a website, but don't want the endless spam that inevitably follows. Log onto 10 Minute Mail. This website provides a temporary e-mail address that will erase itself after a set amount of time -- just enough for you to get what you need.
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This Site Is Your Portal to Magazine Articles Across the Web
MagPortal.com is a search engine and directory for finding online magazine articles. Owned and operated by Hot Neuron LLC, MagPortal.com also boasts magazine article listing feeds and search engine services that integrate with an association's Web site to make it into an attractive source of information on topics of interest to members.
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Those Mixing Business and Pleasure on Their Holiday Should Get Trippy.com
Trippy.com enables globetrotting friends to essentially plan your next trip for you by syncing with such social media sites as Facebook, thereby using one's online pals to offer recommendations for your itinerary. The site launched in the fall of 2011 and, just this past summer, added brand pages and took the wraps off a new iPad app.
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Top Mobile Apps of Business and Association Executives
SlideShare.net recently published a digital slide show that featured a number of top executives touting their favorite mobile apps. These ranged from Likeable Media CEO Carrie Kerpen talking up Dropbox Mailbox as a great resource for organizing incoming messages to Cohn & Wolfe President Jim Joseph praising the Hightail app for allowing users to share very large attachments and also featuring storage and file management capabilities that normal e-mail services are unable to handle. Other apps featured include Trello, Passpack, and Sharethrough.
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Web Site Gives Association Execs Everything They Need Before Flying
Association executives can log onto www.Airtimetable.com and find a wealth of up-to-date airline and travel information. The site enables users to check routes, locate an airport, compare fares, book a flight, check airplane seat maps, track flights in real time and even read reviews of airline food. In addition, association execs can get weather reports and read about their eventual travel destinations.
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Web Site Is Great for Doing Global Company Research
Thomas Global's Web site at www.thomasglobal.com has a database of hundreds of thousands of industrial suppliers and products around the globe. So, if you are searching for the name and location of a manufacturer of seals and gaskets in Germany, for instance, this is the place to visit. The user simply types in a product, service or company name and specifies the country or region to get the desired information. You can also click on a product category and then peruse the subcategories until a listing of companies in that industry appears. Each company listing has a phone number and address, in addition to a link to the company's Web site. Those who have registered for a free account can also save searches and create contact lists from the searches that have been run.
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Web Site Makes Form Building Fun and Easy
Wufoo.com offers an HTML form builder that helps association executives and others create contact forms, Web surveys and invitations so they can collect data, registrations and online payments without writing a single line of code. Infinity Box Inc. founded the Web application on the belief that forms were the beginning point for building anything useful on the Internet. In so doing, it has taken what used to require days--even weeks--of work by trained professionals and turned it into something that can be done by anyone in a matter of minutes. All that is needed is a browser, an Internet connection and a few minutes to build a form. Wufoo's tiered monthly plans range from $9.95 to $199.95 a month, with prices based on such factors as the number of forms needed and the amount of disk space used for handling files.
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Web Site Will Tell You Which Products Have Been Recalled
Association executives looking to find information on more than 4,000 product recalls and recall alerts can log onto www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prerel.html and use the various searches on this page. Indeed, searches can be conducted according to company, product type, product description, type of hazard and country of manufacture. The Web site is run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the federal agency that is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products.
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WEDDLE's Association Directory Whittles Down the Association Sites
WEDDLE's Association Directory is a free information resource specially designed for HR practitioners, corporate and staffing firm recruiters, and job seekers. Professional associations and societies often operate websites featuring job boards, resume banks, discussion forums for networking, and other employment-related services. This Directory is specially designed to help users find those association sites. WEDDLE's lists several thousand associations from all over the globe by their primary professional/occupational focus and/or industry of interest and provides a link to each of their sites.
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What's the BuzzSomo?
To ensure your association is spending its content-marketing dollars wisely, executives should consider using BuzzSumo to research the content members really want. Just enter any keyword or backlink into BuzzSumo and a detailed report will be generated that shows how well previous content on that topic performed.
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YourDictionary Gives Association Execs Their Own Personal Online Dictionary
YourDictionary.com touts itself as the best e-dictionary on the Internet. Not only does it allow users to easily browse words and word meanings from A-Z, it also boasts a comprehensive library of original articles that aim to give users the answers they need on grammar, language, spelling, ESL, and more. Examples range from "Most mispronounced words" to "Most misspelled words" to "Affect vs. effect grammar rules." Those association executives who do a lot of public speaking and/or deal heavily in written communications will want to bookmark this site.
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