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Increasing Engagement On Your Community-Based Site

Getting people to interact on community-driven websites takes time, effort and the correct formula. You also have to ensure that your community website has the right reputation if you want to engage new contributors and allow your community-based site to grow. Increasing users to your site can be accomplished in several ways.

Encourage Communication

The best way to increase your number of users is to encourage the lines of communication between you and the internet world. You can turn your website’s observers into contributors by ensuring that people know what it is they can do. You have to use actionable language and multiple entry ports to tell people how they can contribute. If observers have a clear understanding of exactly how they can interact, then they will be more likely to do so.

Another way to encourage communication is to remove any content that eliminates or discourages active discussion. You want to develop a reputation with your users that your site provides open discussions and communications. A community manager can be very useful for creating your site’s reputation management plan. These managers can directly communicate with users and encourage new users to join. They can also take steps to prevent your site from becoming hostile to new users, as sometimes happens when online communities become well established.

Managing Your Reputation

An online reputation is derived from your actions and what people say about your actions, so you want to take the proper steps to ensure that people are saying the right things. Online reputation management can be used as part of your strategy to strengthen your relationship with the community. You want to make sure that your site is sending the right message and if you reward and promote your good contributes people will receive that message.

Eliminating anything that discourages communication while promoting good contributions will set your community-based site up with a good reputation. The better reputation your site has, the faster it will grow.

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Pirates of the Caribbean Launch Party

The popularity of pirates is pretty universal, kids are getting as much out of the silliness of “National Talk Like A Pirate Day” as the adults are, and fabulous pirate fancy dress costumes are available. The latest installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides is up for release soon, and what better excuse for some themed fun than a Pirates of the Caribbean Launch Party?

If you want your guests to dress up, give them plenty of time to organize their costumes. Consider giving out invitations with specific “roles”; pirate wench, buccaneer, Royal Navy Commandant are possible choices, after all, how many Captain Sparrows can one room hold? Use the invitations to set the tone, the more effort you put into them, the more people are likely to put into their costumes.

How far you go with the decoration is up to you, but there are simple ways to bring aspects of pirate ships and of the Caribbean to most venues. Decorative touches for the party can be as simple as hanging lanterns and ropes around the place, or as extreme as covering the whole floor with sand and bringing in life size palm trees. Dust off Halloween skulls and skeletons to add to the look. Keep lighting levels low, and get a mix of reggae and steel drum music burned to disc. For kids’ parties look out for themed paper plates and cups.

If your venue has various rooms then each can have a separate look, aimed at replicating different aspects of the films’ settings. Decorate one as though on-board a ship, a beach area, Davy Jones Locker, the pirates drinking den.

Rum is the obvious choice for alcoholic drinks. Mix up a large bowl of rum punch, and fruit punch for the kids and non-drinkers. Deck out the food tables with plenty of fruit and mangoes to carry on the theme. Using piles of gold wrapped chocolates (round balls or coins normally kept for Christmas decorations). Caribbean cuisine adds a stylish touch, but Barbecues are an easier option for those of us that are lacking in culinary skills. If you’re going the whole hog, and hiring serving staff, make sure they fit the bill by providing them with suitable pirate fancy dress costumes.

For children’s parties (or adults with a sense of humor) theme the fun and games round piratical ideas. Have few treasures hidden round the house and garden (cutlasses, compasses and treasure chests) and mock up some treasure maps to provide clues. Have a quiz based on the Pirates of the Caribbean films, or make them act out scenes from the films. If garden space and weather permits you can even make losers (or winners) walk the plank into a paddling pool. Face painting can add scars, twirled mustaches and eye-patches. Getting in a fully decked out “fortune teller” can add to the atmosphere.

This article was written by Joker’s Masquerade, leading providers of fancy dress costumes in the UK.

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How To Personalize Your Guitar

Marchione Neck-Through
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A lot of guitar enthusiasts are constantly looking for ways to customize their musical instrument to not only make it unique and better looking but also to improve the sound that their guitar produces. There are various ways to personalize your guitar. You can simply add different accessories to your instrument or you can also choose to change an entire part. The cost of customizing your piece will depend on the type of customization made.

One part that is popularly customized by many guitar enthusiasts is the guitar neck. A simple way to customize the neck of your guitar is by adding a guitar neck plate. You can choose between gold and chrome neck plates. These plates can be engraved with one of your chosen designs. Installing a neck plate will not only make your guitar look a whole lot cooler but will also improve how it sounds.

Another way to change the look of one’s guitar neck is by painting it with a new color. You can choose to do the painting by yourself or have it done by experts. If you opt to do the painting on your own, it is important that you have the basic knowledge of painting a guitar’s neck. Painting the guitar neck is different from painting its body. There are several things you have to consider like the fret board, strings and the head of the guitar.

To have a custom guitar neck, you also have the option to change the type of wood that is used for the neck. There are several types of woods that are ideal to be used for a guitar neck. Some of the most common woods that are used are mahogany, rosewood and maple. Each wood produces a different sound and tone for the guitar. The type of wood that you choose will depend on the sound that you are going for.

When customizing your guitar, you do not have to spend a lot of cash. There are still many ways to personalize your instrument without burning a hole in your pocket. All you need to do is let your imagination run wild. What matters most is that you have a musical instrument that will not only represent your individuality with its looks but also by the way that it sounds.

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How to find cheap electric guitars with good quality

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If you’re on a quest to learn how to play guitar, congratulations!  It’s an extremely rewarding instrument to play.  It’s also extremely frustrating in turns, and periods of great gains seem to be punctuated by long periods of mediocrity as you learn.  Rest assured that this is a natural part of the process of learning how to play guitar.

If you’re teaching yourself to play guitar, it’s important that you do a couple of things right.  First, while it’s easy to find cheap electric guitars, you need to make sure you find a reasonable quality instrument.  You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your new guitar hanging around your neck, so it should feel comfortable.  It’s also an equal participant in your musical experience, so it’s key that your new guitar not hamper your progress.  It’s a frustrating enough evolution without your guitar struggling with you at each step of the way.

With that in mind, here are some things to be on the lookout for as you start your guitar search.

  • The golden rule of guitar buying is this:  never buy an instrument you haven’t played.  Even if you buy a reputable brand and a particular guitar style that you’ve played before, you should play the exact instrument you’re going to buy.  Every guitar is unique, and you need to become familiar with any idiosyncrasies.
  • Be sure to play every string at every fret location in order to find out if your potential guitar has any spots that don’t sound good.  Sometimes guitars have “dead spots” that don’t produce a clean note.
  • While there are tons of cool guitar straps available, your most important consideration should be comfort.  You won’t enjoy your practice sessions much if your guitar strap keeps digging into your neck.

These tips should keep you out of trouble.

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How Effective Are Speaker Foam Repair Kits?

Many well known loudspeaker manufacturers including JBL and Infinity made some very poor choices in the 70s and 80s when they used foam surrounds for their drivers. Unfortunately, almost all of the foam surrounds of these speakers started deteriorating just 10 years after purchase. Other parts of these speakers were also aging rather quickly.

Fortunately, there is hope if you still own one of the good old Infinity Kappa speakers or just love vintage stuff. Dozens of third-party manufacturers including and are now offering reasonably priced speaker foam repair kits that not only fix the speaker surrounds but also holes in your speaker grill. Depending on your personal budget, you can give your „babies“ a complete makeover. SimplySpeakers even offers a complete reconing service for tougher jobs that cannot be fixed via do-it-yourself kits. Reconing essentially means replacing the diaphragm, voice coil and any internal wiring. This doesn’t come cheap but can be worth the price. The results are often stunning. If done well, you won’t believe how fantastic your speakers still sound even by modern standards.

For very exotic home stereo loudspeakers, there is often not much hope. Your best bet would be to contact the manufacturer or look for replacement drivers in the secondhand market. Similar speaker models may be offered on eBay that you could simply cannibalize. On the other side, drop-in replacements are not easy to find as the dimensions of the woofers differ in almost all cases. In addition, you probably need to drill additional holes into the speaker enclosure. I personally wouldn’t feel very comfortable doing that. And the internal crossover of your loudspeaker would have to be adapted, too. All of this could result in too many sonic compromises. But it could be acceptable if you just need the speakers for background listening and plan on getting newer ones in the near future.

In summary, speaker foam repair kits only make sense if your loudspeaker is from a larger manufacturer and if damages are minor.

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VHS To DVD – An Easy Route For Those That Are Too Busy

Three different VHS-family video cassettes. Fr...
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If you have a big collection of old home movies on VHS but you are just too busy to get really complicated, then let’s make this simple. Honestech has your back.

VHS officially only lasts about 10-12 years in terms of delivering the best performance. After that, age and environment can work together to tear away at the binder material that has held the magnetic particles on the tape all of those years.  As the chemical that binds the material to the tape breaks down, so will your VHS memories, too. The sooner you act, the safer you and your videos will be.

Now, there are quite a number of VHS to DVD video converters on the market out there that will rescue your memories quickly and easily – the two most important factors for the busy person like yourself. Some of these can also save you a tremendous amount of money as well – especially compared to the prices of the expensive high end video transfer service companies out in the market. The Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 digital conversion kit meets all of these requirements and satisfies most consumers’ expectations for transferring video that is over a decade old. Honestech comes with hardware and software to convert the video. Most people already have all of the other equipment that is needed. Other required equipment is a VCR or camcorder to play the old videos and a DVD burner, which may already be installed in your computer from when you bought it. You will also need some video editing software but you can use the free editing software that came with your computer.

Here is how it works. The video capture hardware will connect to a VCR or camcorder on one end of the converter box with an “S-Video” cable or a “composite video” cable and a USB 2.0 cable that connects to a PC on the other end of the converter box. All of these cables come with your Honestech. It is that easy. You can even use the system with other media formats such as VHS-C or Beta as long as the device playing those tapes connect to the cables that are used for the VHS format. Usually, this is the case.

So if you need a VHS transfer DVD kit to get your videos converted and doing it yourself sounds doable to you, then the Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 kit is ready for you. Get one today and you will be on your way in no time.