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HOW TO

Before Spending Your Money-Visit Forums
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-01-12

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    Before Spending Your Money-Visit Forums
    by A. Raymond Randall, JR.

    Click Here on a secure server sets off a chain of events approving your credit card (you hope), dispatching an email to your inbox, and delivering your report or ebook. You never talked to the provider (and for all you know, they may be sleeping or on vacation).

    All this happens in a fraction of the time it would take you to research your motivation to purchase at a website forum. I've succumbed to this event with a few hundred dollars (probably a lot more) buying answers. However, prudence warns me to ask questions before buying.

    Asking questions (even dumb or poorly phrased ones) teaches more than remitting money for supposed answers. Paul A. Samuelson observes, "Good questions outrank easy answers." Most vendors provide plenty of free information, but often it fails to address your personal and specific question.

    Trustworthy answers elude us like Goggle's algorithms. Discovering answers to marketing and website management baffles and confuses many of us. Internet marketers don't resolve our muddling as they pop up on the screen proffering offers and solutions. Each strives at convincing us they possess the right answer, when maybe there is no right answer, or commonsense already provides the solution.

    Hold off spending your hard-earned cash! See whether or not you can find it for free, or even if you need that book or software program at all. Ask someone with experience who willingly wants to share information; use Forums. Forums allow you to ask courteous questions with an expectation of reasonable answers from friendly people.

    Most forums require a simple registration and email confirmation. Registering allows you to access the full scope of the forum service. You will then be authorized to post or start threads, respond to threads, send private messages to members, and enter events in the forum calendar. A few forums require a fee before you may post questions or dialogue with members; however, most are free. Use the free ones for now, but make sure the forum shows thousands of posted threads

    Always read the guidelines before posting. Forums are not an advertisement for your site or newsletter. Usually, you may append a signature at the end of your post, but review the guidelines so the Administrator does not have to warn you about advertising.

    Don't submit a thread before searching the forum for an answer. If you don't find an answer, post a thread in the appropriate forum topic or heading. Senior forum members monitor posts while contributing their expertise on a wide range of topics.

    Purchasing software? Ask if someone is using it, or a competitor's. Having trouble with AdSense scripts? Ask for a fix or a resource. Want some constructive webs site reviews, stick your neck out in a forum discussion. What about a home project? My daughter wants a bench with shelves in her closet. I found a home project forum where suggestions came readily from craftsmen. Just remember to contribute and help others with their inquiries. From advertising to zany script writing, forums may become your first resource.

    Here's a short list of my favorites:

    Your Membership Exchange
    http://www.your-membership.com/issues03/ex853.html

    High Rankings
    http://www.highrankings.com/forum/

    Best Practices Search Engine Forums
    http://www.ihelpyouservices.com/forums/

    What You Need to Know About
    http://about-inc.com

    Find a more complete list at http://tinyurl.com/2bz9w

    It seems to me that the best forums are powered by vBulletin. This may not mean too much, but the format makes entry and search effortless, and often these appear as the most active discussions.

    If you're willing to share your favorite forums, email me rayrandall@echievements.com.

    Ray Randall serves clients as a registered investment advisor with his firm, Ethos Advisory Services, Essex, Massachusetts http://www.ethosadvisory.com . He has wide experience within the financial services industry, writes a weekly newsletter for Ethos Advisory Services, and coordinates the developments at Echievements http://www.echievements.com . Ray holds a Masters Degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hamilton, MA. You may email him mailto:rayrandall@echievements.com or call (877-895-3756).
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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