Saturday, November 29, 2008

Animal passion

It takes a strong stomach to read or watch the news these days. My brother says the value of his 401(k) has fallen so much, it’s now a 201(k). As depressing as the economy has been, there’s one easy way to fight the blues. Think “pet.” Researchers have found that pet ownership has positive physical and mental health benefits—to which I say, “Duh.”

If you don’t have a pet of your own, or even if you do, these sites will put a smile on your face:

So take a break from all the gloom and doom and have yourself some fun. It doesn't cost a cent...and the stress-relief is priceless.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tiny URLs are HUGE

First impressions are as important on the Web as in life. If the way to your site is through a long or complicated URL, you may lose visitors even before they get to the "skip this intro" screen.

Solution: Just plug in your uber-URL, and the result is something short, sweet, and to the point. Your tiny URL won't break in email postings and never expires. Best of all, it's free.

A recent example:

Pretty sweet, huh?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Monkey around

What is it about monkeys that lend themselves to becoming fun Web tools? Is it the "it's so easy even a monkey could do it" rationale, or are monkeys so tied to the concept of play that anything they're linked with will be considered fun? I don't know why major companies are using monkeys to attract people to their sites, but I'm having a great time playing around with them.
  • Send some Monk-e-mail courtesy of You can choose your own chimp (and its wardrobe), use the text-to-speech function, or record your own voice. It's hard to get tired of this one.
  • On a more serious note is SurveyMonkey, which gives you a powerful tool for gathering feedback and creates professional-looking surveys.
  • And then there's SurveyMonkey's cousin, MailChimp, for email marketing.

It might look kind of silly using monkey tools when you're part of a large, established business. For the rest of us, we're having a blast.