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10 Dec, 2008

Mediaplex.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Ecommerce

Introduction
Mediaplex.com is a marketing site that sells cross-channel technology solutions and services designed to increase revenue. Specifically, they provide third-party ad serving, email campaign management and paid search campaign management.
The site is well-designed and the new user will have very little trouble learning more about Mediaplex and what services they provide.
Essentially, this is a site that provides business of all sizes with applications that can help grow their advertising revenue stream.
Features
The homepage presents a clean, bright layout. On the right side, three green boxes highlight services provided to agencies, marketers and publishers. Each of the boxes details the services available as well as provides a link to a downloadable PDF brochure. The brochures are high-quality and clearly delineate the various services and costs of each.
Overall, the site is small and compact. Mediaplex.com is a “no frills” site that provides the user with an overview of their services and contact information. Navigating is quick and easy and there are no advertisement found anywhere on the site. A business owner that is new to the site will learn about Mediaplex quickly and effectively.
Tips & Tricks
Check out the demonstration link on the top right of the homepage. The link takes you to a simple form that will connect you to a member of the Mediaplex team so you can view a product demonstration.
Another way to get a broad idea of what Mediaplex does is to click on the services link on the navigation bar at the top of the homepage. That takes you to a page called MOJO business solutions, a cornerstone of the Mediaplex services. The page clearly explains the tools and strategies used by Mediaplex when working with clients. For a Newbie, this is quite helpful.
Newbie Friendly Rating
This site is a joy to use. It simply could not be any easier to work with Mediaplex.com. The only complaint we have it that you have to contact Mediaplex to get price quotes on the various services. Overall, we give Mediaplex.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 10.

10 Dec, 2008

Filefront.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment

Introduction
Filefront.com is an online gaming site with over 1.5 million files on board. The site is less than Newbie friendly as the homepage is a disorganized mess of advertisements and game promotions.
The site allows users to add their own videos, games and photos to the site as well as blogs.
Features
Filefront.com is a depository of game downloads and patches. A directory of sorts is located at the far left of the homepage. Games are divided by category and quick links to videos, games and patches can be found there as well.
The site speed is agonizingly slow. Moving from the homepage usually takes longer than a typical website. We clicked on the games tab at the top of the homepage. The games page took over 30 seconds to load and even when it loaded it froze repeatedly.
That considered, Filefront does have an amazing amount of games available and the quality of the demos is quite good.
Tips & Tricks
You’ll need all the help you can get with this site. The most efficient way to work with the site is to use the search function on the left side of the homepage. That will provide you with the simplest manner of getting where you want to be.
The beginner can also use the directory under the “latest” tab at the far left of the homepage. From there, you can demo games, view the hottest games, and download game patches and videos.
Another feature you’ll want to check is the user forums. You can find a Filefront help forum there where fellow users can quickly help you with any issues that crop up on the site. The forums are packed with users so you’re sure to get a quick response.
Newbie Friendly Rating
This is a difficult site to work with. It’s flooded with advertisements and cluttered with distracting promos for various games. An “about us” tab doesn’t exist, nor does a site map, so if you’re looking for a tutorial, you’re out of luck. Basically, using the site is purely hit or miss. The game demos are of good quality and the download times are quick.
Still, the site is difficult to navigate. Clicking on links brings up a new advertisement page instead of taking you to your chosen link. This makes the browsing time longer and clutters up the desktop.
Overall, you can find quality game patches and downloads at Filefront, but be prepared to search a bit. We give Filefront.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 3.

10 Dec, 2008

DynDNS.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Web hosting

Introduction
DynDNS.com is a company operated by Dynamic Network Services that provides customers with domain name services, domain registration, email, SSL certificates and virtual private servers. The site offers services to businesses as well as individuals. The site claims a user base of well over 2 million.
The site makes an impressive claim of 100 percent uptime since 2001.
Features
The website is well laid out and simple to understand. The new user will appreciate the fact that the homepage is small and not filled with clutter. Four blue boxes at the bottom of the homepage highlight the services DynDNS provides.
Beginning users will be pleased by the 24/7 support available to users. The site provides a one hour return phone call to resolve user issues. Unfortunately, that is a pay service only.
Custom DNS service costs about $27 annually, while the SSL certificate service base package costs about $100 per year. Simple domain registration costs about $15 a year.
Overall, the site is organized and very simple for the beginning user to comprehend and navigate. The homepage features an attractive layout with highlighted boxes detailing the various products sold by the Website.
Tips & Tricks
As a beginner, your best bet is to click on the blue box at the bottom left of the homepage where you’ll find a tutorial on the services DynDNS offers. A clear explanation of all the options available to the user is presented there.
Also in that box is a “what is DNS” tab that explains the inner workings of DNS in layman’s terms. It’s an excellent way to learn more about exactly what Dynamic Network Services is.
Newbie Friendly Rating
This is a friendly website for the Newbie. The site itself is simple without advertisements or other unnecessary distractions. Users can either navigate from the bar at the top of the homepage of the blue shaded boxes at the bottom. We give DynDNS.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 9.

10 Dec, 2008

Tradedoubler.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Ecommerce

Introduction
TradeDoubler.com is a global performance-based digital marketing company based in Sweden that offers a variety of services to help Internet marketers increase the return on their investments. The company uses what they call “TD technology” to meet these goals. Essentially, TradeDoubler helps companies increase brand awareness and get their name out on the electronic marketplace.
Features
The site is fairly straightforward and easy to navigate. The beginner looking to market their services will find what they are looking for relatively easily.
Basically, TradeDoubler offers five digital marketing products: TD Pull, TD Talk, TD Push, TD Reach and TD technology. TD Pull involves the use of affiliate websites. TD Talk is a pay-per-call network that targets potential customers. TD Push is a campaign network designed to help maximize brand awareness for your company. TD Reach refers to online advertising campaigns and TD technology is the set of tools TradeDoubler uses to help market products.
The site is a warehouse of promotional tools. Provided you are in search of methods to promote your business, you’ll enjoy your stay at the site. Customer testimonials are available that illustrate experiences other companies have had with TradeDoubler.
Since it’s a business site, potential customers may want to check out the companies’ financial prospectus. Click on “investors” on the navigation bar at the top of the homepage. There, you will find information about the financial viability of the site.
Tips & Tricks
If you decide to use the products offered by TradeDoubler, look into the internet coupons they provide. Click on “services” on the homepage navigation bar. After that, look for the “coupons” link for a detailed explanation.
Click on the “Portfolio” tab on the homepage navigation bar. That will provide you with a list of all the clients TradeDoubler works with. It’s an impressive array, including AOL, Ebay and Hewlett Packard.
A free download at the bottom of the homepage is a worthy read. “The Affiliate Marketing Handbook,” available in PDF format, can be downloading from a link and the bottom of the homepage. It contains several valuable tips to help market your business around the world.
Newbie Friendly Rating
TradeDoubler.com is easy to use and its services and products are found quickly by the beginning user.
To sign up, the user completes a simple registration process and payment is made to TradeDoubler by credit card. Overall, we give TradeDoubler.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 8.

09 Dec, 2008

Plentyoffish.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Social Network

Introduction

Plentyoffish.com is a free online dating service. The site was the creation of a man named Marcus, who by himself, has tried to establish the net’s largest online dating system. The site is fairly plain, as one would expect from a solo operation. Even so, its simplicity is welcomed by the new user.

Users can immediately begin browsing the thousands of profiles if they choose or register and complete their own profile.

Features

The registration process is simple. Users enter their email address and age and then have to type in a word box. Once that is complete, a 45-question user profile awaits which asks the standard questions posed by dating sites. Expect to answer things like “how valuable your friendships are,” “do you want to have kids” and “do you get angry easily.” The questionnaire takes about ten minutes to complete. Once you’re finished, you can return to the homepage to check your matches. Even in a remote location like where this writer lives, I found more than two dozen matches to my profile. If you’re interested in making contact with someone, you simply fill out an email form on the site and a message is sent to the person.

A section called “Chemistry” takes you directly to your closest matches on the site. Despite being called a “dating” site, you can find just about anything on Plentyoffish.com. Users can search for dating partners, someone to go on a trip with or someone to simply enjoy uncommitted sex with.

Tips & Tricks

The forums section is a can’t-miss. Dozens of subjects are discussed ranging from dating tips to sexual advice to success stories from the site. Since so many users frequent the forums, answers are given in a quick and friendly manner.

Another good idea is to click on the “needs” tab on the top right of the homepage. That will take you to a 100-question assessment gauging what you look for and need out of a relationship. It basically allows you to develop your profile and better hone in on matches.

Newbie Friendly Rating

This is a great site. It’s one of the rare Websites that claims to be totally free and actually is. Plentyoffish is as good, if not better, than pay sites like Eharmony and Match.com.

The site is very user-friendly. The profiles are easy to finish and getting started finding personal matches takes no longer than 15 minutes. We give Plentyoffish.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 10.

08 Dec, 2008

Pornotube.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment

Introduction

Pornotube.com is a video database of short pornographic videos. Gay and straight content is featured on the site and the interface is very user-friendly. The video and sound quality is good and the download times are exceptionally fast. The library of material at Pornotube is vast – if you have a particular genre of porn you’re seeking, you’ll probably find it at Pornotube.

As with most adult sites, the user must first verify their age and then select which general type of porn they’d like to view – gay, straight or all. Both processes are easy and you will be watching videos within a minute.

Features

The site has about everything you can imagine from the adult world. A search bar at the top of the homepage will bring up hundreds of videos within seconds. The site is loaded with content and it’s practically guaranteed you’ll find a video that matches what you’re looking for. The videos download fast and are of good, if not excellent, quality. The videos are typically short – usually between two and six minutes long. They get right to the action – if you’re looking for plot, head to your local video store. Pornotube’s videos get right to the sex acts from the beginning of the videos.

Pornotube also features a full line of sex toys. The link is located at the top of the homepage. The store contains toys from bondage tools, plugs and rings to oils and lubricants.

Adventurous users are able to upload their own adult content to the site as well. Before doing so, you’ll have to complete a simple registration process. Once you’ve registered, you can post content as well as rate all the content on the site and provide user feedback.

Tips & Tricks

The search bar at the top of the homepage is the quickest and easiest way to find the porn you’re looking for.

Porn-surfing parents may want to download the parent control toolbar located at the very bottom right of the homepage. The download will allow the adults in the house to lock the children out of sites like Pornotube.

Newbie Friendly Rating

Pornotube.com is a very easy site to use. Consider it an adult counterpart to video sites like YouTube. Dozens of video boxes on the homepage might intimidate the newbie at first, but it’s a feature you’ll quickly get used to. Overall, this is a fantastic site for the Newbie adult user. We give Pornotube.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 9.

08 Dec, 2008

Real.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment|Video

Introduction

Real.com is the home of Real Player, one of the most popular multimedia players on the Web. Like the video and music player, the website is professionally designed and easy to operate. Real.com features links to movies, music, games as well as the latest free downloads for the Real Player.

Though much of the content on the site is free to use, the site vigorously promotes Super Pass, a subscription feature that provides access to games, movies and other multimedia. Additionally, the Rhapsody, a music application, is another subscription product featured on the homepage.

Features

The site features a wealth of multimedia options. First and foremost, you can check out the Real Player updates and make sure your PC is running the most recent Real Player. The download is free and finishes quickly.

Kids and the young-at-heart will want to click on the gaming software, Real Arcade, at the bottom right of the homepage. The download is free and a promotional offer gets you two free games as well. After that, a subscription is required to continue playing.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much – other than the player download – that’s free on Real.com. It’s basically a catalogue for the products they offer. If you’re looking for good multimedia it’s great, otherwise it’s a fairly boring site.

Tips & Tricks

The Rhapsody MP3 store is a must for any IPod fanatic. Download rates are reasonable and the sound quality is what you’d expect from Real – excellent.

If you aren’t really fond of the Real.com homepage – and we weren’t – check out the link to Real Guide at the top left of the page. This takes you to a second version of Real.com which is more appealing and contains the same features.

A must-see is the Real Networks Blog. The link to the blogs is at the top right of the homepage. The blogs highlight all the latest happenings at Real and excellent tips for enjoying your experiences with their products.

Newbie Friendly Rating

The site is easy to use, so it fits the primary criterion for being “Newbie Friendly.” What we didn’t enjoy was the sales pitch feel of the site. Next to nothing is given away at Real.com. Promotional trials of all the featured products are offered, but unless you have money on hand you want to spent, you won’t have much fun at Real.com. We’d give Real.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 5.

05 Dec, 2008

110mb.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Web hosting

Introduction

110mb.com is a free webhosting site that launched in 2008. The site is attractive and well presented, without too much information on the homepage. A navigation bar at the top of the page links the user to everything they’ll need to use the site. The webmasters promise users clean hosting with no forced advertisements. According to the on-site testimonials, they deliver on this promise. 110mb.com provides 24 hour tech support and a 99.8 percent uptime guarantee.

Features

110mb.com provides 5 gigs of disk space and up to 300 gigs of monthly bandwidth. The free service is offered to everyone and the registration process is simple and easy to complete.

The site also offers an “upgrade” which provides unlimited access along with other perks for a charge. The upgrade is actually an ala carte package where you can choose which features you’d like to upgrade. You can select any or all of six features including web mail, database support and backup software.

With any webhosting site, you’ll want to be sure that the site has a solid support network. 110mb.com does. To report a problem, you log in and submit a “problem ticket.” Tech support representatives respond to your ticket in a forum for everyone to read. According to the tickets we saw, response times were prompt.

Although the webhosting is free, your site will often redirect to other sites that pay to advertise with 110mb. That aspect can be irritating and is something to keep in mind.

The process of creating a site is relatively easy and step-by-step. The websites are simple in nature as would be expected from a free service. Judging by the user comments, the upgrades – which cost anywhere between $30 and $60 – make the experience more enjoyable.

Tips & Tricks

Be sure to take advantage of the support staff the site provides. Any questions you have while you’re building your site are quickly answered by tech support. Building a website can be a bit intimidating, so having that back-up available is reassuring.

The community forums are another excellent resource. The new user can find ideas on how to design their website as well as feedback from users that have already developed their own site. The registration process is simple and the forums are loaded with posters so you’re sure to get immediate feedback.

Newbie Friendly Rating

110mb.com is a professionally built site that quite user-friendly. The only drawbacks are the advertisements that go along with the free accounts. The upgrades are affordable and recommended. In the end, we give 110mb.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 8.

05 Dec, 2008

MTV.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment

Introduction

MTV.com is a music fan’s paradise. The site contains loads of music news, videos, artist profiles, games, community forums and MP3 downloads. If it has happened in the rock world, you’ll find it at MTV.com. The site is a companion of the popular television station bearing the same name and also features full length episodes of some of the popular shows on the station.

Features

The site overloads the senses a bit as it is filled with information. The homepage is huge from top to bottom with links to the various components of the site. The top of the page has a quick links bar where you can go directly to videos, games or downloads. Videos play in MTV’s own media player, a nicely organized apparatus that is easy to use. As you might expect from an industry leader, the video quality is very good and the sound quality is downright spectacular. It truly is an enjoyable experience watching and listening to music on MTV.com.

The news section contains all the latest stories and gossip from around the music world. Users can even link directly to individual reporters to take a look at all their stories. Longtime MTV reporter Kurt Loder has a movie review column, located under the movies tab on the top of the homepage.

Another interesting feature is the music blogs. Users can access them from the drop-down menu under music at the navigation bar on the homepage. The Buzzworthy blog is loaded with pictures and interviews of rock stars as well as all the latest gossip.

Tips & Tricks

If you’re looking for a particular artist, use the alphabetized directory at the top left of the homepage. It can make finding exactly what you’re looking for much easier than sorting through the vast sea of information on the front page.

Check out the MTV online radio, located in the music tab on the homepage. Again, the sound quality is fantastic and the station is a great source of entertainment while you’re working at your desk.

Newbie Friendly Rating

As we mentioned, the site can be a bit congested. Additionally, each link takes the user to a new window which can be time-consuming. Pages load a bit slow at times as well. The redeeming qualities are the sheer magnitude of music information and the outstanding quality of the site’s multimedia. We recommend that the new user navigate the site by way of the task bar on the homepage and the artist directory at the top right. If you keep things simple, you’ll enjoy your stay at MTV.com. We give MTV.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 6.

05 Dec, 2008

Funny-games.biz

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment

Introduction

A website dedicated to free gaming, funny-games.biz has a large number of gamers frequenting it. The website offers on its platter a little more than 3500 games to choose from. This gaming website has more than 450,000 gamers visiting it everyday.

 

Features

The best feature about this gaming website is that all the games here can be accessed for free. Though registering on the website helps, one does not need to register to play games on funny-games.biz. Almost a dozen categories of games are available on this website, accounting for more than 3500 different types of games. All the free Yahoo games are also available at the website’s game store. For people who prefer thinking games over games that require hand-eye coordination, the website offers several puzzles and math-based games. Apart from offering games, the website has a large repository of jokes, cartoons, videos and pictures.

 

Tips and Tricks

Though the website does not require you to register, it is a good idea to register yourself for additional benefits. For example, after registration, you will be able to save your games and return to them later. You will also be able to record your scores and claim the highest score when you get it.

 

On scrolling down till you reach the end of the Funny Videos section, you will find a link for downloading full games. The website visitor is given the flexibility of changing the color theme of the website. So, if you do not like the yellow and pink interface of the website, change it to your liking. There are not many options to choose from, however, the visitor gets some kind of control over the look of the website. Furthermore, you have the flexibility of translating the website. You can choose from the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Greek, and Dutch.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating

The biggest drawback of the website is that the graphics are extremely basic, thus making it unsuitable for competition with other gaming websites. There are too much text, visual elements, and color on the home page which may not appeal to the first-time visitor. The colors do not make for a relaxing view. The interface is cluttered to some extent. Visitors may not like the long vertical scroll. The website gets an edge over its competitors because it is free. Moreover, the range of games on offer will appeal to a new online gamer.