Internet Marketing Blog

The Internet Marketing blog of Mike Merz, Internet Marketing consultant, in regards to what's hot ... and what's not, in the world of Internet Marketing.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004


Online Ad Tracking - Clickalyzer, Dynatracker, or Adtrackz?

After weeding through dozens of possible candidates, I've chosen three ad trackers that get my stamp of approval ... one is installed and run on your server, the other is sold on a subscription basis.

Best Server Based Ad Tracking Scripts -

Best Ad Tracking Service - Clickalyzer

All 3 are full featured, and Clickalyzer even works on dynamic affiliate sites.

Not sure which is the best choice for you?

Which one did I choose, personally?

It was a VERY tough decision ... :P

Clickalyzer is still my choice for special campaigns (it tracks every movement a vistor makes), but as far as a script for everyday use ... I went with Adtrackz.

3 reasons ...

1) My dear friend, and ad tracker 'guru', Harvey Segal gave the nod to Adtrackz (though even HE had a hard time choosing ... he's had far more experience with Adtrackz, and satisfied enough to make it his on server ad tracking script of choice).

2) An all new Adtrackz 3.0 was just released on April 10, 2004 ... and the improvements made gave it the edge, IMHO.

3) The price is ridiculously low for such an advanced tool ... and installation (for a limited time) is FREE.

Regardless of what ad tracking solution you choose ... you can't go wrong. ;)



Free Copywriting Tips

The ad copy you author can either make or break a campaign.

For free, expert tips on copywriting, check out Tony Policci's

... this page in particular.


Wednesday, March 24, 2004


I-List + MarketingWonk = MarketingVOX

The popular I-List Discussion Forums and MarketingWonk Daily News have been combined to form MarketingVOX.

And if that wasn't good enough, they've taken on as a partner, as well.

If you're into Marketing at any level, I recommend this site highly.


Saturday, March 20, 2004


John Scott's Internet Marketing Research Forum

John requested I moderate the Marketing category for him ... and I quickly accepted. ;)

Once you witness the level of activity ... and quality, of John's Forum ... you'll see why accepting the post was a no brainer on my part.

The Internet Marketing Research Forum


Wednesday, March 17, 2004


Search Engine Rankings Revealed Version 3.0

If the recent major search engine shake ups have you questioning your site optimization strategies, you'll be happy to learn that my dear friend ... and SEO expert, Sean Burns ( has totally revamped his best selling 'Search Engine Rankings Revealed' to include:

* Over 80 new pages of content,
* A comprehensive explanation of Google's "Florida" & "Austin" updates,
* Advanced Algorithms - what you will need to do to succeed with the new Google,
* Yahoo's new search engine - how it works and how to rank well,
* 20 new articles showing you how to get "customers" from the search engines - not "traffic",
* And much more.

Here's an important word from Sean Burns, himself ...

This new version of Rankings Revealed is available at it's original price for approximately one week. The price will rise to $67.00 on or before March 18 2004. (Please note: This is not a "you better buy now because the price will rise" sales tactic.) A new report is being added to the Rankings Revealed package which will allow you to get dozens or hundreds of new links to your site. As soon as this is available, the price will go up.

Don't give Sean a chance to prove the increase is for real ..;)

Grab Search Engine Rankings Revealed Version 3.0, at the old price.



Sender Accreditation Program Announced ...

... By Insitute For SPAM And Internet Public Policy.

New database helps ISPs, Spam Filters Make Email Acceptance Decisions

SAN FRANCISCO ­ March 15, 2004 ­ The Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy (ISIPP) announced today the release and availability of the ISIPP Accreditation Database (IADB).

Using the same technology as do its controversial blocklist cousins, such as the MAPS RBL and SPEWS, which are used to reject spam, the IADB is designed to help email receiving organizations such as ISPs and spam filtering companies in making email acceptance, handling, and delivery decisions, and to help legitimate senders of bulk and commercial email to ensure that their email gets delivered, and not erroneously blocked as “spam”.

The IADB accomplishes this dual purpose by listing email senders in the database, and providing factual information about the senders to the ISPs and spam filters, including whether the sender has passed a background and reference check by ISIPP, whether they are personally known to ISIPP to be good Internet emailing citizens, and whether they publish Internet domain authentication records such as for Sender Policy Framework (SPF) or Microsoft’s “Caller I.D. for Email”, or participate in sender authentication programs such as Habeas or Ironport’s Bonded Sender.

“What is unique about IADB, among other things, is that it is the first DNS-queryable database which provides the kind of fact-based data that it does,” said Anne P. Mitchell, Esq., President and CEO of the Institute. “We don’t tell ISPs ‘you should accept email from this sender because we say so’. We tell ISPs “this organization has good mailing practices, they are known to us, they publish SPF records, participate in Bonded Sender, or whatever the case may be, and the ISPs and other receivers make their email acceptance or rejection decisions based on that data.”

The IADB provides listee data in ways which are useful to both ISPs and spam filters. ISPs often prefer to make an email processing decision based on a cumulative score, accepting email from any IADB listee which has a score above a certain number, indicating that they adhere to many best practice standards. Spam filters often prefer to have each piece of information available to them separately, as individual data points. IADB accommodates both.

“Outblaze supports ISIPP's IADB database because it gives us factual and reliable information about senders,” said Suresh Ramasubramanian, Security and Antispam Operations Manager for ISP Outblaze Limited. “Information such as whether a sending site publishes SPF records and whether it is personally known to ISIPP as a responsible sender that maintains and furthers best current practices.” Added Ramasubramanian, “the IADB is a convenient tool that helps us make decisions about accepting and processing email from senders who are vouched for as responsible mailing list operators.”

"We're pleased to see resources like IADB emerging, and SpamAssassin is looking at incorporating an IADB lookup into our next release," said Craig Hughes, one of the chief architects of the open source SpamAssassin project. "ISIPP has been very flexible and accommodating in working with us to establish a standard interface mechanism between accreditation databases like IADB and filters like SpamAssassin."

“IADB is also unique in that it is the first such database to incorporate a sending site’s SPF or Microsoft “Caller I.D. for Email” data, and if other sender domain authentication schemes come online we are prepared to incorporate them as well,” added Mitchell. “This not only provides an added data point for the ISPs and spam filters, but it also means that those sites which publish authentication records can have their domains listed in IADB, along with their IP addresses.”

Sender authentication records are important because they keep spammers from successfully forging a domain name in the “From” portion of the email they send.

"Having the IADB provide information about whether a sender publishes SPF records is an important new direction for DNS-based email delivery information databases, and we're very pleased that ISIPP has chosen to do this, and happy to work with them in providing unique IADB accreditation codes for SPF publishers”, said Meng Weng Wong, founder of and a chief proponent of SPF. “It is exactly this sort of cross-industry pollination which is going to help make sure that legitimate email gets delivered and that fraudulent email does not."

In addition to the support of ISPs and spam filtering companies, the IADB is being embraced by email software and technology developers such as Advenix, developer of the EmailTeaser enhanced graphical subject line technology. “On its own, the EmailTeaser allows an email marketer to complement the subject line of their email with a small graphical icon next to the subject line, which, when voluntarily moused-over by the recipient, displays a teaser graphic of the sender’s choosing without the need to open the email,” explained Justin Khoo, chief developer of the EmailTeaser. “We’ve incorporated IADB data, and provide email marketers who are listed in IADB with a customized EmailTeaser icon which tells the recipient “this email is ok, it’s from someone listed in the IADB”.

Email senders who are interested in being listed in IADB should see
Receiving sites can get information about querying the IADB at


About the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy

The Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy (ISIPP) is a privately held corporation headquartered in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. ISIPP's advisors provide expert analysis and consulting services to legislators, governmental and regulatory agencies, industry leaders, educational institutions, and the press. Founded in 2003 and privately funded, ISIPP provides services such as the Spam Law Enforcement Database, and sponsors organizations and events like the Email Processing Industry Alliance, and the 2004 “Spam and the Law” conference, and the upcoming “International Spam Law & Policies” conference.

For information about any of ISIPP’s programs contact info at

Information about SPF can be found here:
Information about Microsoft “Caller I.D. for Email” can be found here:
Information about Advenix Email Teaser can be found here:

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.

This info was introduced to me by Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.


Tuesday, March 16, 2004


Phishing attacks are on the rise ...

As Kate Kaye reports in today's MediaDailyNews, phishing attacks are on the rise.

Phishing, or Internet fraud designed to lure personal information from unsuspecting consumers, comes on like spam. It is a form of spam. Sent in bulk, phish mail asks consumers to update personal data like credit card numbers and the like. Coupled with spam, phishing socks a double-whammy and presents yet another problem for legitimate marketers and publishers trying to grow their businesses on the Web.

Serendipitously, as I wrote this column today, I segued back to my email in-box and discovered what I believe is a phish message or, at the very least, a piece of spam. The subject header read as follows: "I was on your web site today." The sender's name was unfamiliar, though that occurs a lot. We, at MediaPost, receive many queries and communications from folks we don't know.

But the message looked like a legit piece of email that I didn't want to miss. So I clicked to open it and found the following message: "I was on your web site today. I noticed you do not have any links to mortgage companies. With interest rates at a 45-year low, more people are applying for mortgages than ever before." The text continued, urging me to sign up at the National Mortgage Network website where I would be paid $20 in exchange for applying for a loan.

People who engage in phishing attacks often use company logos, web sites, links, and URLs. In the case of URL addresses, they hide the real web address and substitute a fake one that matches a legitimate address. While spam email tries to get consumers to buy stuff, phish-mongers are literally fishing for personal data and asking folks to update important account information.

What can be done about phishing attacks? The U.S. Federal Trade Commission suggests avoiding sending personal and financial data by email. But just how realistic is that? It also warns that consumers shouldn't respond to email requesting reconfirmation of billing information, and reviewing credit card and bank account statements as soon as they are received.

While these measures address the problem on an individualized basis, it's clear that the problem, like spam, requires a combination of tech/software and regulatory/industry solutions. Of course it remains to be seen whether the Can-Spam Act will cut down on spam or not. Spam and phishing are now so pervasive, I'm not sure that any one solution will cut it.

Kate Kaye



Thursday, March 11, 2004


The Tobacco Conspiracy

Why You Have Not Been Able to Quit Smoking

Billions of dollars are at stake. Millions of deaths result. Top corporate executives sit around the boardroom and discuss ways to improve their market share. Their success depends on keeping you smoking and getting people that don’t smoke to start. It’ s all about the billions.

The tobacco companies have very deep pockets. They have spent billions of dollars in advertising over the years and they know how to keep their customers. They want you to die a smoker. Their bottom line depends on it. And you will if you do not quit.

What if I told you that stopping smoking was easy? That smoking is a body and mind addiction. Yes, body AND mind!

I don’t know anyone that actually picks up a cigarette and goes, “ mmmmm, tastes great!” Do you? Of course not. Your body rejects it. It coughs, hacks, spits, and does everything that it can to tell you this is bad stuff. You started because your mind was thinking how cool you will be, how much older it will make you look and your body is obeyed. Now you are addicted.

Everyone starts this way. EVERYONE. You had to use your mind to convince your body or you would reject it.

I find it fascinating that almost all methods of quitting smoking do not take into consideration the mind. There are pills and patches and inhalers and gums. All these programs have a very low success rate.

Doesn’t it make sense to use the very part of you that started the whole thing - Your mind?? Or course it does.

Everyone starts to smoke for some sort of motivating reason. If I gave you a piece of food that was stinky, burned your throat and made you cough and gag, how many pieces would you eat? I don’t think very many. See, it would be unnatural for you to want more.

Smoking is not natural or everyone would be smoking. You cannot grow a cigarette tree in your backyard or a cigarette plant in your garden. They are not natural. Tobacco may be natural but cigarettes are far more than tobacco with an estimated 4000 ingredients added! The list is highly guarded and protected by law as a trade secret. Imagine that. It’s the public’s health and it’s a trade secret. Something isn’t right.

But one thing that is right is the decision to quit smoking. Quitting smoking is the one thing that will immediately improve your life and the life of those around you. When a person realizes that quitting IS a Body and Mind process it makes the process much easier.

© 2003 Rick Saruna
All rights reserved

QUIT SMOKING the painfree way. No stress, no cravings, no weight gain, no pills, patches or gums. Check out our website and why we can boast a 90% success rate with our 100% fully guaranteed Quit Smoking Right Now Program

The aforementioned may seem a little off topic for this blog ... but as a smoker, myself ... I felt it's something we should both check out.


Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Spam: Where it Came From, and How to Escape It

By Beka Ruse

Who Cooked This!? (How did it all start?)

The modern meaning of the word "spam" has nothing to do with spiced ham. In the early 1990's, a skit by British comedy group Monty Python led to the word's common usage. "The SPAM Skit" follows a couple struggling to order dinner from a menu consisting entirely of Hormel's canned ham.

Repetition is key to the skit's hilarity. The actors cram the word "SPAM" into the 2.5 minute skit more than 104 times! This flood prompted Usenet readers to call unwanted newsgroup postings "spam." The name stuck.

Spammers soon focused on e-mail, and the terminology moved with them. Today, the word has come out of technical obscurity. Now, "spam" is the common term for "Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail", or "UCE."

Why Does Bad Spam Happen to Good People?

Chances are, you've been spammed before. Somehow, your e-mail address has found it's way into the hands of a spammer, and your inbox is suffering the consequences. How does this happen? There are several possibilities.

Backstabbing Businesses -
Businesses often keep lists of their customers' e-mail addresses. This is a completely legitimate practice and, usually, nothing bad comes of it. Sometimes though, the temptation to make a quick buck is too great, and these lists are sold or rented to outside advertisers. The result? A lot of unsolicited e-mail, and a serious breach of trust.

Random Address Generation -
Computer programs called random address generators simply "guess" e-mail addresses. Over 100 million hotmail addresses exist - how hard could it be to guess some of them? Unfortunately for many unsuspecting netizens - not too hard. Many spammers also guess at "standard" addresses, like "", "", and ""

Web Spiders -
Today's most insidious list-gathering tools are web spiders. All of the major search engines spider the web, saving information about each page. Spammers use tools that also spider the web, but save any e-mail address they come across. Your personal web page lists your e-mail address? Prepare for an onslaught!

Chat Room Harvesting -
ISP's offer vastly popular chat rooms where users are known only by their screen names. Of course, spammers know that your screen name is the first part of your e-mail address. Why waste time guessing e-mail addresses when a few hours of lurking in a chat room can net a list of actively-used addresses?

The Poor Man's Bad Marketing Idea -
It didn't work for the phone companies, and it won't work for e-mail marketers. But, some spammers still keep their own friends-and-family-style e-mail lists. Compiled from the addresses of other known spammers, and people or businesses that the owner has come across in the past, these lists are still illegitimate. Why? Only you can give someone permission to send you e-mail. A friend-of-a-friend's permission won't cut it.

Stop The Flood to Your Inbox

Already drowning in spam? Try using your e-mail client's filters - many provide a way to block specific e-mail addresses. Each time you're spammed, block the sender's address. Spammers skip from address to address, and you may be on many lists, but this method will at least slow the flow.

Also, use more than one e-mail address, and keep one "clean." Many netizens find that this technique turns the spam flood into a trickle. Use one address for only spam-safe activities like e-mailing your friends, or signing on with trustworthy businesses. Never use your clean address on the web! Get a free address to use on the web and in chat rooms.

If nothing else helps, consider changing screen names, or opening an entirely new e-mail account. When you do, you'll start with a clean, spam-free slate. This time, protect your e-mail address!

Stay Off Spammed Lists in the Future

Want to surf the web without getting sucked into the spam-flood? Prevention is your best policy. Don't use an easy-to-guess e-mail address. Keep your address clean by not using it for spam-centric activities. Don't post it on any web pages, and don't use it in chat rooms or newsgroups.

Before giving your clean e-mail address to a business, check the company out. Are sections of its user agreement dedicated to anti-spam rules? Does a privacy policy explain exactly what will be done with your address? The most considerate companies also post an anti-spam policy written in plain English, so you can be absolutely sure of what you're getting into.

Think You're Not a Spammer? Be Sure.

Many a first-time marketer has inadvertently spammed his audience. The first several hundred complaints and some nasty phone messages usually stop him in his tracks. But by then, the spammer may be faced with cleanup bills from his ISP, and a bad reputation that it's not easy to overcome.

The best way to avoid this situation is to have a clear understanding of what spam is: If anyone who receives your mass e-mails did not specifically ask to hear from you, then you are spamming them.

Stick with your gut. Don't buy a million addresses for $10, no matter how much the seller swears by them! If something sounds fishy, just say no. You'll save yourself a lot in the end.

The Final Blow

The online world is turning the tide on spam. In the end, people will stop sending spam because it stops working. Do your part: never buy from a spammer. When your business seeks out technology companies with which to work, only choose those with a staunch anti-spam stance.

Spam has a long history in both the food and e-mail sectors. This year, Hormel Foods opened a real-world museum dedicated to SPAM. While the museum does feature the Monty Python SPAM Skit, there's no word yet on an unsolicited commercial e-mail exhibit. But, if all upstanding netizens work together, Hormel's ham in a can will far outlive the Internet plague that is UCE.

Beka Ruse fights spam as the Business Development Manager at AWeber Communications. Ad tracking, live stats, and a strict anti-spam policy: Automated E-Mail Follow Up From AWeber.


Marketing Your Business Online - A Brief To Do List

I can't offer any 'magic bullet' that will automatically make your Online ventures profitable ... because it doesn't exist.

Marketing Online is a business, like any other ...

Try comparing your potential Online Business as it relates to an Offline counterpart (you're selling to the same people ... just a different medium).

You need to define a product/service idea, and specific niche market, to sell to.

What you choose to offer must satisfy a particular need within that niche market, offer related 'back ends' to build multiple income streams, and market your company, and yourself, as an expert in the field (which, of course, you're going to have to become through learning and research).

To start, you should have:

1) Niche specific product/service of your own (or a comparable affiliated offering) to satisfy the need of your prospects ...

2) A website (your storefront), with topic specific head and site content optimized for the search engines (and your prospects).

3) A method of email capture, to build a targeted list of prospects for follow up (that's where the autoresponders and group mailers come in).

4) A method of tracking your campaigns (ad tracking script, or remote service), and accepting payment (if the product/service is your own), and organizing them in a way that you know exactly when to react to highs ... and lows).

5) Ways to promote your wares (site/ezine/search/directory/PPC/ezine/your own affiliate program (if it applies)/and offline advertising)

6) Ways to promote yourself (article writing and submission, niche related forum and discussion list interaction).

7) A good knowledge of the legalities involved in doing business Online.

Always ...

Provide fresh, updated content ... personalize whenever possible ... offer special incentives ... network with with others, whether to build new relationships with potential prospects, or peers for joint venture/co promotion.

The aforementioned is just a brief overview ... feel free to ask more of your fellow members, in terms of specifics.

I know you've probably read countless 'how to make money Online' ebooks ... but this one is highly recommended by me ... and free:

Harvey Segal's 101 Internet Marketing SuperTips.


Mike "feedback encouraged" Merz

Tuesday, March 09, 2004


Corey Rudl's Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet -- Version 2004" Free Trial.

I have some extremely exciting news that is going to give a limited number of my customers the opportunity to test drive the SAME advanced strategies marketing guru Corey Rudl has personally used to grow his online businesses to over $7.6 Million in online sales each year and...

Take home Corey's #1 best-selling Internet marketing course FREE for 30 days and prove to yourself, once and for all, that he's NOT full of BS!

... Much to his accountant's horror, Corey's ready to give you the shirt off his back just so he can prove to his BIGGEST skeptics that his course gives absolutely anyone the ability to start, build, and grow an extremely profitable online business (even if you don't have a product to sell!).

For the first time EVER, he's giving away FREE 30-Day Trial copies of his brand-new "Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet" course, so that you can get a first-hand look at the 1,000+ pages of highly profitable Internet marketing strategies it reveals!

I'm talking about strategies like...

>> Step-by-step advice you can use to start your very own Internet business in as little as 48 hours!

>> How to build a top-selling web site... for less than $100! I don't care how small your budget is, I'll show you the cheapest ways to build a web site that sells!

>> Where to find hot products (in 20 minutes or LESS!) that you can start selling TODAY! These in-demand products will sell like hotcakes, no matter what your experience!

>> 100s of FREE and cheap online tools, resources, and software that you can use to automate your web site (and save you at least 35 hours every week)!

>> How to get #1 rankings in the search engines and get tons of FREE traffic from the "Big Guys" like Google!

>> Secrets to writing salescopy that increases sales by 400% (or MORE)!

>> Get 1,000s of NEW visitors to your web site... FREE.

... and these are just a few of the coveted strategies you'll discover in this #1 best-selling course!

But you don't have to take my word for it!

Because for the first time ever, Corey's going to let you take his course home FREE for 30 days, read it, test as many techniques as you like -- and convince yourself when his most profitable secrets dramatically increase your online sales, traffic, and profits!

However, I must WARN you: Since this opportunity involves a lot of risk for Corey, his accountant has insisted that he can only make the 30-day trial course available...

For the next 3 days only, OR to the next 500 people -- whichever comes first!

So I'd highly recommend that you visit...

Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet -- Version 2004" Free Trial!

... immediately, and take advantage of this special trial offer before his accountant pulls the plug.

All the best...


P.S. Remember: Corey's the one taking all the risk with this 30-Day FREE Trial Course. If you decide after 30 days of reviewing his 1,000+ page best-selling course that you don't want it, just send it back to him, no problem. He'll even let you keep the $798 in bonuses as "thanks" for checking it out.

Tell Me How To Get The Free 30 Day Trial!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004


Defining Niche Markets to sell to.

Niche Marketing seems to really be coming into it's own, as of late ...

Funny thing is, it's been around as long as we've had the ability to Market Online, and has always had a high profit potential ... when done properly.

One problem most have is defining profitable niche markets to sell to ...

In other words ... who do I sell to? where do I go to find them?

I've found a solution to the problem ... give it a looksee.


Monday, March 01, 2004


Looking for a top notch directory script for your site?

I stumbled across a great link directory script, over at Mr. CGI Guy, called 'Hot Links SQL V.2' ...

Look at the features of this baby ...

Hot Links SQL is an extraordinarily powerful link index - search engine CGI script! Run a professional database driven directory site, utilizing the power of MySQL to deliver blazing fast content regardless of the amount of data. Hot Links SQL can now be run in HTML or Dynamic mode. Many new features have been added, including the much anticipated Reciprocal Link Checker, an integrated 'Top Sites' list, and an integrated reviews and ratings system. Now includes Sponsor Link functions with integrated PayPal payment gateway.

What you won't believe is the price ... INCLUDING installation!

Give it a look see (there are 3 other directory scripts, with fewer features, that cost even less ... 2 of them are CGI, 1 SQL):


Top 9 Ways To "Speed Up" Your Surfing & Computing

- by Jim Edwards

(c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved

It seems like "fast" never quite rates "fast enough!"

No matter how quickly your computer moves, especially on
the Internet, it could always move faster. :-)

Email, web surfing, downloading files (legally of
course), switching between applications... none of them
ever go as quickly as we want or expect.

Well, let me do my part to perpetuate this "microwave
oven" mentality (why must popcorn take 3 ½ minutes
instead of 2?) by giving you some tips and hints for
making your online experiences and overall computing as
fast as possible (even on a dial up connection).

** Hit The Accelerator **

Sensing a need for faster Internet access in markets
where broadband cable or DSL can't or won't go, Internet
Service Providers (ISP's) like NetZero offer Internet

Using a system of caches, compression schemes, and other
technology to double or even triple your dial-up
connection speeds, Internet accelerators can save you
hours spent waiting for simple web pages to appear in
your browser.

Though they won't work for everyone in every single
situation, check out, and for more information.

** Clean Up Your Hard Drive **

Often a messy hard drive can contribute to slow online

Perform a "Disk Cleanup" and a "Defrag" (available by
clicking , , then ) to
clean out the garbage files on your hard drive that slow
your system down considerably.

This will help when running offline applications too,
especially those that read and write from the hard drive
in the process of doing their tasks.

** Get More RAM **

RAM (Random Access Memory) allows your computer to
process data more quickly without writing and reading
from the hard drive.

Ask any nerd like me and they'll tell you straight out,
"You can NEVER have too much RAM!" RAM costs so little
now that virtually anyone can afford to add more memory
without a big hit to their wallet.

** Avoid Time Wasters **

Speeding up your surfing doesn't just mean pulling the
maximum amount of data through your phone line until it

It also means avoiding things that suck your time up and
leave you sitting twiddling your thumbs instead of
getting things done.

Make the most of your time online with these time-saving

~ Use Google - Search giant,, consistently
returns relevant search results in minimum time.

Sure, big search engines like and query multiple search engines, but the time
spent waiting for and then wading through those results
rarely makes it worth the occasional extra result.

~ Avoid Instant Messenger - "Heresy! I must have my instant
messenger" you cry!

Keep a log of how much time gets spent mindlessly
chatting on the IM instead of doing something important.
If you must IM, do it in moderation.

~ Filter Sp^am - Use a program to filter your sp^am
instead of wading through it by hand.

Even if you only get 25 spam messages a day (I'd love to
be you) and only spend 10 seconds on each message, at the
end of a year that comes out to over 30 hours wasted on

Filter your email messages before you take the time to
download them to your machine and you'll love the spare
time that magically comes your way.

** Slow Mouse? **

When I flick my wrist I expect that mouse to hop from one
side of the screen to the other like the house was on

A slow mouse can steal seconds of precious time that add
up to hours of frustration over weeks and months.

If you suffer from a "slow mouse," click then
"Control Panel" then "Mouse".

Then you'll see a tab that says "Pointer Options" or
"Motion" (or something similar) and you can adjust the
slider left or right to increase or decrease the speed of
your mouse's movement across the screen.

** Use Windows Keyboard Shortcuts **

Windows has a number of nifty keyboard combinations that
most people don't know about, but can save you incredible
amounts of time, energy, effort and frustration.

+Z - I call this the "panic button."

Hold down the "Ctrl" key and hit the letter Z and you can
often undo the last action you took in Windows.

This comes in especially handy when you've deleted
something (like a term paper or 500 word article) and
want it back.

If you accidentally do something wrong, STOP hitting keys
immediately and do +Z to undo what you just did.

+D - Ever wonder what the little "flag" key
is on the keyboard next to "Alt?" (I sure have wondered.)

Well, it turns out that little key has some cool uses.

Hold down +D and you can minimize all the
open windows on your desktop. (Very handy when you keep
many programs running and need to hit your desktop in a

+F - allows you to search for any file on
your computer immediately.

** Microsoft Office Shortcuts **

If you use Word or Excel (or any of the Microsoft Office
Products), the following shortcuts will help you speed up
many common activities.

Spell Checker - Hit the key in any Office
application to launch the spell checker.

Quick Save - Hit +S to save any open file (very
handy to quickly save a file repeatedly during a heavy
typing session without having to grab the mouse).

Quick Copy - Hit +C to copy any highlighted text or

Quick Paste - Hit +V to paste anything on the
clipboard into a current document or spreadsheet.

Insert Date - In Word you can insert the date with
++D. You can insert the date in Excel with
+; (semi-colon).

It will amaze you how much faster you can get things done
just by understanding how to save little bits of time
here and there using shortcuts, tools, and better ways of
doing things.

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