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How to Avoid Spam and Junk Email and Still Enjoy Freebies Free stuff is great, but when you are facing an inbox that is literally choking on spam, than you may find yourself wondering just how free your freebies really are. Spam and junk email are the unwanted consequences of cashing in on great free deals online, and it is enough to keep some people away from freebie offers entirely. Here?s the good news, however ? you might not able to stop the spammers in their tracks completely, but there are a lot of things you can do to keep the annoyance caused by junk email to a minimum. Get on the defensive and reclaim the control you have over your inbox. Rule number one for cashing in on freebies is to set up a separate email account that you use only for your free stuff hunting. There are tons of web based email programs that you can join for free, and you can use these new email accounts as your point of contact for the companies from who you get freebie offers. After all, giving your email address to a company is simply part of getting freebies ? that is why the company is giving away freebies in the first place. They want to collect your email address so they can email you about their products and hopefully convince you to shell out some cash for them in the future. By protecting your main email address, you can easily control the amount of spam you have to wade through when you just want to read your personal or business emails. You know that a company wants your email address in a exchange for a freebie, and you know why they want it, but what you might not know is that not all companies are created equal when it comes to it how the treat your email address. To know this, you have to check out a company?s privacy policy. Some companies will allow you to opt out of all future emails, including the ones from them, meaning in theory that your email address should never end up on any junk email solicitation list after your get your freebie. Other companies don?t let you opt out of their emails, but they let you choose whether or not they can give your address to partner companies who have products to offer that you ?might be interested in.? With these companies, at least you can keep the amount of solicitations to a minimum. Still other companies follow a ?no holds barred? kind of plan, in which they are allowed to share your email address with anyone they choose. These last kinds of companies are the kinds that end up loading you up with the spam, because they often sell the lists of email addresses they collect to companies that send out spam messages. Proceed with caution when a company has a policy like this one. If you can?t find a privacy policy at all on the website from which you are getting your freebie, then it might be best to move on to a different free offer. Another spam reducing trick that a lot of people miss out on is ignoring spam completely. Don?t open your spam messages, and whatever you do, don?t ask to be removed from a mailing list. That might seem like the logical way to stop the spam, but all you do when you do that is confirm to the spammers that their email is going to a real, live person. Last but not least, if even your dedicated freebie email address is gasping under the pressure of the spam, abandon it and start a new one. If you collect freebies on a regular basis, the word will eventually get out and the junk emailers will find you. Start a new address and get a clean slate.

Four Ways to Create a Better Work Environment and Increase Job Productivity What kind of environment do you think creates the most potential for job productivity ? one in which everything is very regimented and the workers perform their work because they are afraid of ?getting in trouble,? or one in which the workers are relaxed and allowed a great deal of freedom and flexibility? It is the great working conundrum ? to get workers to do more, you have to let them work less. Further, you have to create a work environment in which work is not stressful. In fact, creating an environment in which work is even enjoyable and a pleasure gets the best results of all! If you want to get your employees to improve their job productivity and job performance, forget about cracking the whip. Instead, think about how you can make coming to work appealing for them, so they actually want to get things done for you! The first way to create a better work environment and increase job productivity comes down very much to your attitude and the way you treat your employees. Make sure you create an environment in which your workers can come to you and discuss work related problems they are having with you. The feedback you get from them will enable to make sure the office is working as efficiently as possible. Additionally, it will allow you to stay on top of everything that is happening in the office much easier ? instead of employees trying to hide mistakes and problems from you, they will bring them to your attention and work on finding a solution. Above all else, creating a good relationship with your employees will keep the mood in the office positive ? no one likes working for someone who doesn?t appreciate them or casts a black cloud over the office. You?ll get more out of your employees if they are happy when they are at work. The next thing you can do is consider ?fun? options, like a dress down day once a week or a weekly office lunch get together. These kinds of shared activities increase the team building and the morale among the workers in your office. When everyone feels like he or she is a member of a team, they will be more likely to feel responsible to each other and perform better at their daily tasks. The third idea for creating a better office environment is related to the second, but has more to do with the actual office itself. Open plan offices are believed by experts to increase feelings of belonging and team membership among employees. Try to encourage shared workspaces and a healthy exchange of ideas between your employees at all times. Again, when employees feel like they are part of a team working together for a common goal, they will be more likely to make sure they are holding up their end of the bargain. Last but not least, make sure your employees are well rested and as stress free as possible. Allowing flex time hours in your office is a great way to give employees more control over their time; it gives them time to get rest when they need it or take a day off when they need to recharge. Encourage your employees to disconnect from the office when they are not at work instead of being constantly available, even after hours or when they are on vacation. An employee who actually gets some time off will be more productive when they return to the office. Likewise, make sure that the office has a break room that offers a real respite for employees during the day, and encourage employees to make use of it. Allowing your employees to get they breaks they will increase their ability to deliver for you when they return.

The Ins and Outs of Free Writing Contests (free writing contests) Free writing contests are available by the thousands. They are virtually a dime a dozen on the Internet. No matter what your niche is in the writing community there is a free writing contests out there for you. How do you know which ones to enter and which ones are legitimate? That?s simple. You do what you do best-- research. While providing the story for the free writing contest will probably be the easy part, researching the thousands of available contests will be a daunting task. If this is un-chartered water for you, you have the start at the beginning. Finding what free writing contests are available. Grab a notebook or start a word document and list the contests that are available. Beside each contest name you will want to put what kind of writing they are looking for and when it needs to be done by. By doing this first you will be able to eliminate any that do not coincide with your writing niche or with your schedule. Now the free writing contest research begins. Finding out if a contest is worthwhile and legitimate is comparable to running a background check on a person. First check the contest website. Do they have all contact information available? Do they tell you what company is hosting the contest? If they are not, you will have likely found warning number one that it is a scam. So scratch those off your list or at least move them to the bottom until you can find out more information on them. Start asking around to colleagues and writers groups. Search the writing forums and the Internet scam sites. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look. Once you narrowed the free writing contests down to the legitimate ones, read the contest rules and regulations. Some contests require you signing over all rights to a story even if you don?t win. Are you willing to do this? Giving up rights to you writing is a lot easier to do when you are getting something in return. After you enter there is no going back, so make sure this is what you want to do. The final thing you need to look for is if the contest is just a cover up to get you to buy services or products. This does not necessarily mean they are a scam or don?t actually award winners. It simply means that they will try to entice you to use their critiquing services or offer you a book at a reduced fee that your work will be published in. Being published sounds like a great deal but is it a book that carries prestige that people are going to see? Many authors think that writing contests will launch their career into a successful endeavor. This is not the case, especially for free writing contests. Even winning the grand prize of a smaller known contest is not going to affect your literary journey. Even though they may not springboard your career, there are good reasons to join writing contests. You will get unbiased opinions and valuable feedback from the judges. If you make it into the higher rounds, editors could also see your writing. Ultimately whether you enter a free writing contest the choice is yours. Just ask you self if the time spent writing and researching the piece you choose to enter is worth writing for free in most cases. The critique and feedback may be the most worthwhile thing you receive from the contest. But then again the judges opinions are a dime a dozen just like the contests.

International Copyright Law Surprise! There Is No International Copyright Law Many people are surprised to learn that there is no international copyright law. Yes, that is right. There is not an international copyright law that will protect your work on the other side of the world. However, it is important to note that most countries do offer some form of protection to what is deemed as ?foreign? works. International conventions and treaties have done much to protect owners of copyrights around the world. With the world seemingly becoming smaller every day the United States took a look at its stance on the European copyright treaty known as the Berne Convention. Basically, the Berne Convention of 1886 involved European nations coming together to seek a uniform copyright law to keep their copyright owners from having to register for copyrights in individuals European countries. The United States signed on to the Berne Convention introduced made it into a U.S. law known as the Berne Implementation Act of 1988. If you are seeking to have your work protected in a particular country you need to find out what kind of protection foreign authors have in that country. Some countries offer little or not protection to foreign authors. It should be noted that the U.S. Copyright Office is not allowed to give authors recommendations or the names of attorneys or agents that could help them understand foreign copyright laws. However, with a little investigation it is not hard to find someone who is an expert on foreign copyright law. These individuals can help you learn more about copyright protection and how your work is deemed in a foreign country. Someone who works in international copyright law will tell you that it is different than most other sectors of law. It involves knowing the copyright law of two or more countries. Every country has their own way of granting and protecting someone?s copyright. The individual criteria of each country must be taken into consideration when you are dealing with international copyright law. It is important to note that some countries do not have any intellectual property rights and some countries even grant more copyright protections than even the United States. International copyright laws involve understanding international treaties and conventions, like the Berne Treaty and WIPO Copyright Treaty listed above. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in law, you may want to explore the international copyright law sector. With the world becoming one big neighborhood, you will probably not lack for work. People that have copyrighted works need to be aware that there are differences in the copyright laws in some nations. While it is true that the United States has signed treaties with some nations, your work will not be protected in every country of the world. As stated, the United States is a member of the Berne treaty. In addition, the United States is a member of the WIPO Copyright Treaty. This treaty works in conjunction with the Berne treaty yet it also covers and gives protection to databases and computer programs. If you would like more information on international copyright law you should check with an attorney who specializes in international copyright law.