Read Product Reviews to Find the Best Value

It’s not uncommon to ask a friend or neighbor how they like a particular item they have purchased. This could be a mixer, a grill, or any other item. People like to know what others think of a particular item before they go out and buy it. That’s the same thing with shopping online and ecommerce, except for the fact that you can’t easily ask your friend or neighbor what their experiences are. That’s where product reviews come into play.

Surely, as you have been shopping online you have noticed under a product it’s star rating. Not all websites offer this, but many do, and this is where you can easily read reviews and see what others have to say about a product. Generally, if a product only has one or two ratings you can’t take the information 100% at face value. That’s because although many reviews are written by legitimate consumers, some are fake reviews to make the product look better than it is. So, when you are shopping online and using product reviews to help you make a decision you need to know what to look for.

First of all, don’t look just at the star rating. Actually read what the reviewers said. This will give you good insight into the product and whether it will work for you or not. For example, you may see a product rated at 4.5 stars, which is a great rating. However, when you begin reading the reviews you notice the lower ratings were given by people who complained the dimensions of the product were larger than specified on the box. If you have a tight space then this is important information to you and may change your mind as to whether or not you should buy the item. The same thing goes for software. What if the software has great reviews, but the reviews left were all by computer programmers? This might mean the product is more advanced than you would like to think or that you won’t be able to use it as it was intended.

When it comes to shopping online product reviews are truly the only way for individuals to get a good idea of what is good and not so good about an item they are interested in buying. Keep in mind, too, that there are other websites that are in the business of writing reviews so you should do a little bit of research and see what various reviews say about a particular product before making a purchase. Putting in a little bit of effort on the front end will allow you to buy an item that is most likely to work for you and your needs.

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The Rise of Social Shopping and User Reviews

Why I think customer reviews and social shopping are important. Social shopping is an interesting concept which divides opinion amongst web commentators.

Most are agreed that social shopping is a specific type of web service with its roots in the social explosion of Web 2.0.

In their purest form the best social shopping sites provide an open independent platform where users can add products, post a review or provide a product rating. The sites are service orientated, providing the tools for others to use and as such rely heavily on user generated content to set the agenda.

In essence the opportunity now exists for consumers to band together, discuss specific products and brands and provide an authentic alternative voice to the brand led marketing activity and conventional expert reviews we are all subjected to in other media.

By sharing product knowledge and experiences, creating useful content, an empowered community consensus can emerge, highlighting the gems and warning against the over hyped duds – the products which disappoint and fail to deliver.

This type of user generated content has a real value and satisfies an important element of the online shopping process – research, which accounts for 80% of consumer time when they are shopping online.

Social shopping sites combine social elements such as a social networking community features with aspects of shopping such as product reviews, ratings and deal hunting.

Some of the more agile social shopping sites are making use of the Twitter API and Facebook Connect to tap in to the online conversation, providing context for product related Tweets on Twitter and distribution of product opinion via Facebook.

Social shopping sites can be viewed as a value added evolution of the affiliate model – as they seek to monetize website content (the user generated product reviews and ratings) by sending traffic to third party merchant sites where they can purchase product.

My starting position is to agree with the mantra that “customer recommendation is the Holy Grail of Advertising”. We know this is true in the real world – if your friends and neighbours enthuse about their new car, lawnmower, laptop or digital camera – it will have weight, you take note.

The same holds online – reviews and recommendations are very powerful; especially those from people with status in a community, and those which are provided weeks and months after the purchase; only the scale and dynamics of relationships differ. The potential then of social shopping and what it offers us as consumers, product designers, specialist retailers and brands which really focus on and respond to their community is very exciting.

Arts and Entertainment As Education and Training

Prisons should be rehabilitation centers. Inmates would be forbidden to watch commercial TV. Entertainment would be OK, but it would be good clean entertainment, not the sexual immorality, drug abuse and violence so prevalent on commercial TV.

Prisoners would also have a menu of cognitive therapy options available to choose from for their rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation and other educational opportunities will also be available.

Prisoner selection and progress in such programs will be monitored and considered in their reentry into society process.

I think Wyoming would be a great place to build prisons. Good jobs for Wyoming and placing them out in the relatively empty places in Wyoming would keep them away from society. I just think prisons and the whole rehabilitation industry would be good business for Wyoming.

Reforming Hollywood and other entertainment industry activities is another project we can work on to improve human nature and civilization. I am astonished that people think that murder and rape, and all kinds of human perversity is entertaining.

I guess the scientists who work in Hollywood have discovered how to push certain buttons in human nature and now they just keep pushing them, just like a pigeon will keep pushing the cocaine button in an experiment.

Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do it. Make sure everyone wins in all your business activities. Deliver more than you promise. Trade good stuff for good stuff. Never sell poison for money, whether its physically, mentally or spiritually poisonous. Much of the entertainment available today is mentally and spiritually poisonous. And when people act out the fantasies they are watching, it becomes physically harmful.

We are all responsible for this. Society is whatever we make it. We can make a peaceful and prosperous society, or we can make this mean oppressive society that Hollywood is selling.

I encourage everyone to help make the world a better place, be kind friendly and polite. Practice peace and prosperity in your own personal and professional lives. Practice unity in diversity.

Love and respect each other. We are not seeking uniformity. The diversity inherent in human nature is a strength of human nature. We do need a common set of moral and spiritual principles that we can all agree to and practice in order to live in harmony with each other and our
natural habitat.

Shopping and Product Reviews – The Purchasing Duo

When purchasing items either online or on an actual shop, it is best if you already know what you are getting in line with the product you wish to spend your money with. Otherwise, spend a minute or two to perform product review before splurging your money on shopping.

Some may think that purchasing luxury briefcases or leather briefcases are not as complicated as it is. All you have to do is go to the shop, pick which one you like, or heed the suggestions from the salesperson or from your close friend. Wrong. Everything you want to buy ought to be double-checked first.

Shopping and product reviews are twins, they should go together. Going shopping without the aid of product reviews can lead you to a rather disastrous purchasing experience.

Let us go back to purchasing simple luxury briefcases and leather briefcases. Without prior knowledge on the things that you would want to purchase, you may be fooled by fake retailers. It is a known fact that frauds are all over the place. Everyone knows that. What you don’t know is how to determine whether what you are buying is an authentic leather therefore worthy of its skyrocketing price (leathers are expensive). But since you found time to search the net of what you are looking for, together with the information of how big is it, of the marks that can be found on its body, etc at least you have the knowledge of what to look for when buying the item.

Imagine not knowing all of the information. You went home with the package on your hands, thinking that you have in your possession something that is a bit expensive when actually what you had is close to a clone. Same goes with the price. Other stores take advantage of the lack of knowledge of their customers and would give a price way too expensive than the actual one.

With reviews, previous buyers’ comments can help you decide whether your chosen product is worth it or would you rather choose a different one just because most of those who had it are saying it is not worth a penny. Prices, whether actual or approximates, are also posted to give you a hint of how much your target item costs.

If you are planning to purchase not so-cheap articles, surfing the net to look for reliable product reviews may the best thing to do. It is for your own protection still. If you can stay for a while adding friends and posting your hang-ups in social networking sites, guess you will also allot a time for this as well.

Product reviews are just safety measures a buyer should take seriously so that their money will not go to waste not to mention not be fooled by fakes masquerading themselves as store owners or retailers. Checking online will not take a lot of time. Shopping may be good, but it will be better once you are confident that what you have paid for is actually the same thing you always wanted to have and not just a poor copy of it.

Philip Andrews enjoys writing for Mybriefcases.com which sells luxury briefcases and leather briefcases as well as a host of additional products.

Top Arts and Entertainment Hotpots in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale boasts of a culture that is as deep as its oceans any individual can ever fathom. Its heritage is diversified by the arts and entertainment that make its communities alive and dynamic. Throughout the year, there are festivals and events that foster interaction and unity among its residents. Here are some of the arts and entertainment hotspots in the city where you can spend fun time alone or with friends and family.

ArtServe

Located at 1350 East Sunrise Blvd., Artserve holds the reputation of being one of America’s six art incubators. The 20000 square foot art facility has a professional art gallery, dance studio, auditoriums, conference rooms, and office suites. It also holds programs and services that aim to help local artists turn their arts into profitable businesses. It is a haven for both artists and art enthusiasts. The facility also holds regular exhibits which focus on bringing diverse kinds of art to the public.

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

On 900 N. Birch Road, you can find the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. It is a historic house museum erected on 35 acres of pristine barrier island in Fort Lauderdale. It prides itself of being one of the few places with homes and studios carrying original furnishings from American artists. It also has an art gallery from several reputable artists. Its garden is also a living art by possessing five distinct ecosystems within it – the Atlantic Beach Ocean, freshwater slough, secondary dune, mangrove wetlands, and maritime forest. Tropical tranquility beams with the tropical vegetation, hibiscus garden, and arid plantings. The entire garden is also a perfect paradise for wildlife like squirrel monkeys and gopher tortoises. Weddings and corporate events can be held in this place through special arrangements.

Arts & Culture Center of Hollywood

The parcel of land in 1650 Harrison Street is the site of the Arts & Culture Center of Hollywood. It is where art exhibits, live performances, and educational programs for kids and adults are staged. It has several art galleries, art school, theater, and café. This is literally a melting pot of arts and entertainment where residents and visitors can have a grasp of the rich culture that Fort Lauderdale has grown over the years.

These are just three of the top arts and entertainment hotspots in Fort Lauderdale. Throughout the city, there are more places like these which can also satisfy your thirst for visual arts and live entertainment. If you want to know more of these hotspots, you can contact your local real estate agent for more information.

Costume Play Is A Popular Hobby

Do you like dressing up in costumes for Halloween or a special event? Would you like to be able to attend more functions with costumes? Then Cosplay is for you. This is the “hottest”creative and imaginative hobby being enjoyed by amateurs and professionals.

No, there are no lines to memorize and you do not have to act in a play or any type of theatre performance. Select a character that you would like to be and become that personality for a period of time.

People who participate in this activity can be found at celebrity, sci-fi, and other types of conventions which welcome costumed personalities. They can also be found at promotional events such as books or movies.

Costume ideas:

Space creatures
Robots
Military and other combative characters
Fantasy creatures
Monsters
Mythical characters and creatures
Movie characters
Super heroes
Puppets
Cartoon characters
Sexual fantasies
Toys
Distorted human appearances
Original creations fabricated by your imagination

The participants of this activity enjoy making their personal creations whether it is original or copying a favorite character of their choice. These people take great pride in their talents and skills which are needed to assemble a costume.

Regardless if the costume is purchased, rented or made by your skillful hands, cosplay is a lot of fun.

In addition to entertainment for self or others this interest may:

Jumpstart a new career
Photos of your costume may win contests, modeling, or a movie invitation
Satisfy your need to portray various characters
Meet celebrities and other famous people at the conventions and costumed promotions
New social life with people who share your interest
Travel
Satisfy your creativity and imagination

Various talents used in arts and crafts are utilized in making these costumes. Copying and duplicating a simple character can be easy or an ordeal depending on your skills.

A monster or a military costume will involve crafts from plastics, foam, wiring, electronics, metal assembly, and more which may be needed for the costume and the props. In this example sewing fabric, fur, feathers, skins, leather, and other garment needs may require a sewing machine or hand stitching may be the solution.

Regardless if the costume is purchased, rented or made by your skillful hands, cosplay is a lot of fun.

This an up and coming “hot” hobby for everyone to enjoy. There is a niche for any interest, talent or skill which you may possess and wish to keep active.

All You Wanted to Know About Life Casting

In the ancient days, life-like, three-dimensional imitations of a deceased person’s body were created to transport him or her to the next world. This venerable art from the land of Egypt is now being practiced all over the world.

However, one no longer has to be dead to get a life cast done! Yes, realistic and perfectly detailed reproductions of the living and breathing human body are possible today. The 3D replica manages to capture every minute detail right down to the hair, skin texture, fingerprints and even the pores.

This cherished reflection can be captured from any part of the body and impressions of baby hands and feet are particular popular. So are pregnant bellies, intertwined hands, individual torsos and so on.

How is it done?

A life cast begins with making a body mold. In fact, this forms a crucial step and success depends on both the skill of the artist and the cooperation of the model. In fact, the model is only involved at this stage and the artist will work on his own during the casting.

The life casting artist will carefully instruct the model and decide on a pose that has to be maintained for a while. The artist will do his best to ensure that the model stays comfortable, secure and stationary.

The artist coats the body part with petroleum jelly or other release agent before slathering it with an alginate mixture. This alginate is a natural product that is derived from seaweed and is completely safe for the skin. Softer set variations are also available that is gentle for infant skin. Alternatively, the artist can opt to make the body mold with skin-safe silicone rubber too.

The mold making material is carefully applied on the body. Extra attention is needed when casting the face as the mold should capture the precise shape and yet the material should not enter the eyes, mouth or nose. Alginate molds are secured with plaster bandages to enable the mold to retain its shape.

The mold will set in a matter of minutes and it can be demolding by wriggling the face a bit. Now alginate molds should be cast quickly as the material tends to shrink and distort quickly. Plaster is generally the material of choice for making life casts. Resin life casts are also popular. It is even possible to make life casts in stone, metal or wood by using cold casting powders.

The casting material is carefully poured into the body mold. Care is needed to avoid air bubbles that can easily mar the perfection of the life cast. Once cured, alginate molds are usually broken away to reveal the life cast inside. The cast is then carefully finished (to correct any imperfections) and can also be painted or buffed as required.

Public Views of Arts and Entertainment

Entertainment art and entertainments gallery is not, as publication would have it, a pale imitation of art which happens to propound for a public audience the same values that art does for the elite members of the self-same cultural group.

Rather, art and entertainment are but similar activities. Art engenders thoughts and emotions in its audience so that they can be referred to a meaning,

While entertainment creates thoughts and painters museums art gallery emotions in its audience that create pleasure for that audience by allowing its members to notice that the events art and entertainments before them engendered those thoughts and emotions. Acrobats create fear with their daring, and the audience enjoys its sense gallery art of fear because it knows that the events before it created that fear. Mystery tales generate galleries suspense by piling up yet clues and suspense, the public audiences enjoy the puzzle as well as the atmosphere of painters contemporary the fiction in which the puzzle is set.

Games of cards and sports are two sources of entertainment because their audiences attend to the particular way a game is played out whether a declarer should have led a spade and whether a squeeze bunt might have led art museum a runner to score– rather than for any sources to be a participant to the play of chance or athletic prowess.

Entertainment is more popular than art because it limits what its audience is required to do to the apprehension of what happens before it, gallery art while art opens up the audience to any associations its members might make between the art object and life.art and entertainments art museum and entertainments paintings contemporary

Arts and Entertainment News from Hollywood North

Boys Come… Boy’s Co.

“John Lennon & Yoko Ono Bed-In for Peace”

Ask any girl. Those rules were bent Friday night when I happened upon old flame David Goldman still going strong at his Boy’s Co exclusive opening of “All We Are Saying” – a fashionable evening featuring the original photographs of “John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace” by the late photojournalist Gerry Deiter.

These extraordinary photographs, providing the backdrop for the theme of the evening, were on display through the sagacity of the Elliott Louis Gallery’s owner Ted Lederer – who single-handedly dragged them out of Deiter’s vault for a first-time showing on May 26, 2004 – thirty-five years after John Lennon and Yoko Ono went to bed in a suite in Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel, and invited the entire world to join them in seeking an alternative to violence and war in solving global political and social problems.

May 26, 1969. That month the battle of Dong Ap Bia, a.k.a. Hamburger Hill was exploding in the Vietnam War. Race riots occurred in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. French Foreign Legion paratroopers landed in Kolwezi, Zaire, to rescue Europeans caught in the middle of a civil war. U.S. National Guard helicopters sprayed skin-stinging powder on anti-war protesters in California. It was two years after the Summer of Love.

John and Yoko were in room 1742 of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Early in the Bed-In, a reporter asked John what he was trying to do. John said, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” Putting sounds to the thought, he rented an 8-track tape machine from a local music store and, on May 31 while in bed, recorded the first solo by a single Beatle,” Give Peace a Chance”, – the recording was attended by dozens of journalists and various celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory and Canada’s Tommy Smothers.

Gerry Deiter was there for the entire eight days. He was assigned to photograph the Bed-In for Peace by Life Magazine but Life never ran the feature. Ironically, it fell victim to a bigger story – the death of Ho Chi Minh, leader of North Vietnam.

Deiter kept the negatives and transparencies locked away for more than 30 years. He had been living aboard a classic wooden motor yacht cruising the wilderness of the British Columbia coast photographing and writing when Ted Lederer, with the help of family and friends, prevailed on him to bring this archive to life and offer the work to the public at the Elliott Louis Gallery in 2004. This amazing work offers up 25 images in colour and black and white that celebrate John and Yoko’s example of peace and love.

What brought the Boy’s Co show together were Goldman and Lederer meeting up on the field where their sons play soccer. It was a confluence that allowed for a new generation to have a special glimpse of an older one.

Disenchanted fan, Mark David Chapman, murdered Lennon on December 8, 1980. The world is still at war. This retrospective clearly speaks to Lennon’s prescience.

Good on Deiter, Goldman and Lederer for keeping his mission in our faces.

Devorah Macdonald is a freelance writer living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her professional career began as a disc jockey in California, Seattle and her hometown of Vancouver BC.

Vancouver Magazine, in an article titled ‘Video Vixen’, hailed her as having “the best female voice in radio locally,” going on to compare her world-weary delivery with Linda Ellerbee, formerly of the ‘Today Show’ and the award winning ‘Nick News’.

A ten-year retirement devoted to creating three children, “one of each,” according to Macdonald, now allows time write on music, movies and television.

Music As an Art and an Entertainment

When we were kids, our parents made it a point to expose us to a lot of things. They made us sing, dance ballet, act, play instruments, join art classes and many more. Our exposure to arts and entertainment deviate our attention from the structured lessons we learn in class. Aside from developing our cognitive abilities, it is important that we work in honing our creativity and motor skills. Being a well-rounded person is a good thing. It allows us to adjust to our environment and relate well to our peers.

Arts and entertainment covers a broad area, it includes music, literature, television, theater, visual arts and many more. It is everything that stimulates what we see, what we feel and what we hear. The people who came before us left beautiful masterpieces, which should inspire us to do better.

At present, modernization has paved the way of doing the impossible. People are driven to achieve more because things are one click away. Books are can be bought online, movies are available in DVD’s and music updates are very accessible. Technology may have taken over, but it cannot be denied that everything that we have right now is a product of man’s creativity. This is a good thing because a lot of young people are into it. They enjoy immersing themselves on what they see on TV and on listening to their favorite songs from their playlists. One of the artists that are loved by most of them is Jason Derulo.

A singer and a songwriter born in Miami, Jason Derulo has succeeded in making himself known in hit charts along with other famous performers. The songs that he released from his present album were a major hit that everyone is looking forward to his upcoming projects. His fans are excited to collect stuff like Jason Derulo “autographed” photos that they can keep as a memorabilia or post on their walls. In fact, most of them enjoy joining contests where they can show how much they love and enjoy his music. A big thanks to technology; these activities can be accessible to everyone who is willing to join in the craze.

So what’s in stored for Jason Derulo for 2011? Lots! He will commence his year by going on tour internationally. He will begin in England on February 17, 2011 with a concert in Bournemouth which will be followed by a similar event in Wolverhampton on February 18, 2010. He will also be visiting Leeds, Derby, Manchester, Cardiff and London. I’m pretty sure the people in the United Kingdom are all excited to meet him. Ticket details and the schedule of his tours are readily available online. This way, fans who are interested to watch his concerts, will be kept updated. Attending his concerts will surely be fun and exciting, besides the fact that you get to see Jason Derulo in person, you will also hear him sing live!

The guy is just starting his career but everybody loves him already. The fans are hanging on to what he is going to offer in the near future and they don’t doubt his capacity to exceed what he has already achieved.