Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm a Yahoo Messenger Power User

I'm a Yahoo! Messenger Power User! I'm not sure whether I should be proud of this. Doesn't it mean that I spend hours and hours online chatting on Y! messenger. I used to but I don't anymore because of lack of time. Anyway, Yahoo! recognized my contribution as a chatter and gave me a medal! A virtual one that looks like gold. :)

At first, I was afraid that the instant message I received was some sort of worm or trojan so before proceeding, I checked online to see what Yahoo had to say about Power users. It turns out the message was authentic. It's official people, Yahoo! loves me!

Power users (or top users) get exclusive rewards! Yeah, I know you're jealous. As a top user I can "enjoy great benefits made for me". There is a Power User page where I can choose my exclusive icon that will show up next to my name in my friends' Yahoo! messenger contact list.

I guess all those years of favoring Yahoo messenger over Msn finally paid of. In fact, I don't have Msn messenger on my comp anymore ever since the last time they asked me to update.

Just in case you guys didn't believe me I've chosen this special presence indicator available for power users only

This happened soon after I upgraded to Y Messenger 9, I don't know the two are related but I'm still happy. If you think you qualify to be a Power User but haven't received a message from Yahoo you might want to try and switch to the latest Yahoo messenger 9 to see if you get that message. If you are already using Messenger 9 then I guess you simply aren't a Power User, sorry. Now to choose my icon...

Of all the perks I've found the 24/7 Live Customer Care to be the most tempting. Think about it, I actually get to talk to a real Yahoo employee, a human being!!!!

Or as Yahoo puts it: "You're number 1 in our eyes, so as a Power User exclusive, we always have people here to answer your questions about Messenger in minutes. Contact us - we're here for you! wink ". I told you Yahoo! loved me.

There is also the All-Stars Group that I get to join. Members of the All-Stars group are the first to be informed of exclusive benefits and giveaways available to Power Users only.

Unfortunately I'm not one to adopt the novelties first.

What more can I say?

Oh yes, here is a list of some of the benefits of Power Users:

1. Exclusive online indicators
2. Custom Avatar Accessories
3. Enhanced Customer Care
4. Special contests & giveaways
5. Invitation to try new products first

So keep on using Yahoo messenger and you might be invited to join the club.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

No more Yahoo Messenger for Vista

Yahoo will no longer offer the Vista version of Yahoo Messenger for download. While current users can still use it, they have to be aware of the fact that Yahoo will no longer continue to work on that version. The bugs will not be corrected and new features won't be added.

Even if I had Vista on my computer I would probably not use the Vista version of Yahoo messenger because it lacks so many features! No chat rooms, no message archiving, no web cam? I wouldn't mind not using a webcam but no message archiving! That's a deal breaker for me.

Join Friendfinder and Chat for FREE

Monday, September 15, 2008

Meet People at Matchmaker

Matchmaker is an online dating site that promotes secure connections between singles looking for a serious relationship and friendship. With a large database Matchmaker is one of the top singles networking tools available.

Registration is simple, not many questions are involved. You'll find an easy-to-use web interface that allows you to search for potential matches.

Matchmaker offers instant messaging, flirts and e-mail. A heart half indicates when you've viewed a member and the other half, when he/she's viewed you. When you've found someone you're really interested in, you may add that person to your favorite list. You'll also find chat rooms. You may join Matchmaker as a free member but only subscribers may exchange messages.

One of the most useful feature of any dating site is the search. Matchmaker allows you to search by age, relationship type, location, with or without photo. You may also browse new members, online members, members on IM, featured members etc...

Matchmaker is open to users worldwide. The site has over 80 communities based on location or interest. Matchmaker also allows you to block users with whom you do not wish to have any contact. As a member you'll also have the opportunity to participate in events hosted for matchmaker members.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Mashable lied to me and to the world

Remember how I told you that Haiti had only one athlete at the Olympics this year, according to Mashable. Well guess what? It's not true. I don't know where the people at Mashable get their information but they should have verified it before publishing it.

The fact is, Haiti is sending 10 athletes not 1. The complete list:
Azea Augustama or Gustamar
Joel Brutus
Nadine Faustin Parker
Dudley Dorival
Ginou Etienne
Ange Mercie Jean-Baptiste
Moise Joseph
Marvin Bien-Aimé
Barbara Pierre
Dayana Octavien

I can't recall my country ever sending just one athlete to the Olympics, maybe I'm too young for that, but as far as I can remember we usually have a few. And in case you were wondering, yes, we've won medals in the past, one silver and one gold to be precise.

My source for the information provided can be found here in French.

If you're still not convinced, here is profile of one of our athletes, Nadine Faustin Parker, on the official Olympics site .

Friday, August 08, 2008

Haiti is my country

In case you didn't know I live in Haiti. Actually this blog is very closely associated with Haiti because I've added it to a few directories under Haiti and I have written about Haiti and Haitians a few times in the past.

Today I had a big surprise when I saw my country on Mashable ! I guess this means that Haiti is going to be famous now, at least on the Internet.

Mashable is telling me that Haiti has only one athlete at the Olympics this year, Azea Augustama, I had no idea, we usually have a few, not just one. He lives in the US where he arrived at age 7-year-old, in 1990 aboard a rickety boat from Haiti.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Find and Meet People on hi5?

I've written quite a bit about hi5 recently and of course many people searching to find and meet people on hi5 have landed here. If you are one of those this is for you, I'll briefly answer the most common queries that I get about hi5.

Q:How to find people on hi5?
A:Finding people on hi5 is fairly easy really. They have a search feature. You can search by name, age range, sex, location, email etc... From my experience it's not very efficient, it omits many results. The surest way to find people is to browse your friends' networks. If you're still not finding the people you're looking for, you can try a Google search on hi5 by typing the person's name. This will only work if the person uses his name on the site, many people use nicknames so you might want to try and search with the person's nickname if you know it. For example if you were searching for me you would type something like this "marguerite jasmin site:hi5.com".

Q:How to find Haitian members online now on hi5?
A:Same as above. Browse your Haitian friends' networks and see who is online. There's this little icon on the person's profile that tells you when he/she is online.

Q:How to meet people on hi5?
A:Don't meet people on hi5. If you must use hi5, use it only to connect with people you already know. It might not be a great idea to use it for meeting people you don't already know in real life. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Read More about hi5
How to remove an application from hi5
Hi5 applications suck
Friendster, Hi5 and Orkut
Hi5 friend requests never expire
The geography of social networking sites

Thursday, July 31, 2008

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You want to always know when I write something new? I'm flattered, really I'm blushing :)

You want to know where to find free chat rooms? You want to know all about best web sites I've used to meet people online? You don't seem to find any interesting free dating site? You want to know the best sites to use to search for people online for free? Then keep reading "Meeting People Online" where you know which sites to use and which ones to avoid because I try them out first.

There are a few ways to do this. The simplest way is to register with your email address and each time I write something new it will be sent to your Inbox. Enter your email address below to subscribe to email updates from Meeting People Online.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Yahoo Chat Rooms are working

I was having this problem lately, I was unable to properly chat in chat rooms because each time I entered I saw nobody else chatting even though there were people present in the room. I had to use Yahelite to finally be able to actually chat with people inside the rooms.

Since I don't like to give up on Yahoo [messenger] I tried again to enter the chat rooms with messenger and this time, it actually worked. I didn't change anything from last time but for some reason I was able to chat with people! I had almost forgotten what it was like, the bots, the bots, the bots, the guys looking for c2c (cam-to-cam) chat and the bots.

On Using YahElite
On Being booted and Yahlite

Saturday, July 19, 2008

No Chat Rooms for Yahoo messenger Vista

Why I would not use Yahoo! messenger for Vista even if I had Vista on my computer.

Did you know that the Vista version of Yahoo! messenger does not have chat rooms, webcam or message archiving? I could live without webcam really but no chat rooms and no message archiving! That's inconceivable. How could they even come up with a messenger that does not allow message archiving?

You can see a side-by-side comparison of all the current Yahoo! messenger versions here.

The XP versions (8 and 9) are the ones with the most features, in fact the only feature the XP version lacks is the Tabbed IM Windows.

Hopefully for people using Windows Vista you don't have to use the Vista version of Yahoo! messenger, you may still use the version 8 or 9 that work on Vista as well.

Meet People Online at Thoughts.com

Thoughts.com is part social network, part blogging service with video and photo hosting, it's also part forum. Hard for me to say if it's a social network with blog or a blogging service with social networking. Thoughts.com is still in Beta so expect a few bugs. Create Blog

I strongly recommend you read the Terms of Use before you join Thoughts.com. Why? Because Thoughts.com does not allow the use of its service for commercial purposes. They don't allow users to post affiliate links or advertisement. If you plan to start a blog and create a profile on Thoughts.com keep in mind that it will be solely for non-commercial use.

What exactly can you do at Thoughts.com? Well you can create a blog of course, post in the forums, take part in surveys, browse and watch videos, photos or listen to podcast. Of course you may also create your own surveys, post your photos, upload your videos and podcasts. The site also has a Charity page with suggested Charities to which you may donate money. Thoughts.com promises free unlimited bandwidth, I can't tell you exactly what they mean by "unlimited" but free means you don't have to pay for it :p

The site has an annual Vacation Getaway. Each year, some of their top members travel to a new and exotic destination. Last year they went to Las Vegas. They have yet to select a destination for this year but they will be selecting a few members to join them on their getaway. You may see a video of highlights from last year's trip.

Thoughts.com is also part social networking. You may add your friends and family on the site and have quick access to their content. Thoughts asks you if you wish to search for friends from your email address book, I usually don't use this method as I prefer to add friends manually.

I've looked around the forums a bit and the members are very active there. Presently I'm not sure I want to start a blog on Thoughts.com mostly because I like to have full control over what I put on my blog and I want to have the freedom to use it for commercial purposes if I wish but I might spend some time browsing photos and videos and maybe participate in forum discussions.

Overall, Thoughts.com is an easy way to start a blog and put your content online. Blogs are a good way to meet people online especially if you take time to interact with other users by commenting on their blogs and responding to their comments on yours.

This has been a sponsor post.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On Using YahElite

I have finally tried YahElite. It's a free chat client that you can use for IM with your Yahoo messenger contacts and Yahoo Chat rooms as well. Of course YahElite is free to use but it's not and official Yahoo chat client.

In all the years I've used Yahoo messenger I've only been booted once. Therefore I don't really use YahElite to protect myself from booters I use it to make my chat room experience better. YahElite allows you to enter Yahoo Chat without having to open a browser window. Though you have to enter the captcha text for word verification, YahElite gives you the text to enter without getting out of the program. I find it more practical than the way Yahoo messenger does it.

Additionally, YahElite auto ignores most bots that you might encounter in a chat room. You no longer have to keep tract of each and every bot to ignore manually.

Also I've found that sometimes when switching rooms YahElite does not ask you for captcha. Not only does the captcha process take less time than it would with Yahoo messenger, sometimes you don't have to go through it at all which makes room hoping fun again.

Last but not least. While I've been unable to chat in the Yahoo chat rooms using my Yahoo messenger 8, YahElite has no problem logging me in to the rooms and letting me chat with the other users present. With Yahoo messenger, when I enter the room, even after the word verification I don't see any other chatters, no matter what room I'm in. I don't have that problem with YahElite, if the people are there, I will see them. And this is the main reason why I use YahElite.

The YahElite interface is not as intuitive as the Yahoo messenger interface and many users might feel lost if they try to use it but it's a very efficient tool for people who enjoy spending time in chat rooms and are experiencing various problems with Yahoo messenger.

This has been an update on YahElite, you may read my original post on Yahlite.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Last day to win a Gold Membership on Friendfinder

Only a few more hours (the deadline is July 14, 2008 at 11:59 PM PST) to enter the part 2 of Friendfinder's "Silly Snapshots & Clever Quips Contest". Sorry you missed the first part but I didn't find the time to write about it before the deadline.

Entering the contest is free but you need to join Friendfinder first. You will need to provide caption for the three photos that you can see at this page.

What is the Silly Snapshots & Clever Quips Contest?

Here's what the people at Friendfinder have to say about it

" It's time to show off your wicked wit by creating captions for the top 3 photos in part two of our Silly Snapshots & Clever Quips Contest. Be sexy, be silly, be ironic, be a smartass...just be clever and you could win a Gold membership!

You may enter captions for any or all of these photos, but be sure to keep your captions down to about one sentence or 25 words maximum each - the shorter the better. Once you've come up with your witty captions, post them below. Don't forget to indicate which photo each caption is for.

If you're captioning more than one entry, be sure to post them separately to increase your chances of winning!

All entries must adhere to the Terms of Use. "

Each caption should be one sentence of 25 words maximum.

What will you win?

(3) 6-month Gold memberships

One winning caption will be chosen for each of the three photos. The members who submitted the winning captions will each receive 6-months of Gold membership.

Did you know that Friendfinder also has Free Chat Rooms?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

IYS - The International Youth Service is closing

Here is the statement you'll find on IYS' homepage:

IYS will be closing down this summer, by 30th June 2008

The International Youth Service (IYS) has been operating since 1952, over 56 years now. We have arranged foreign pen friends for school children and students aged 10 - 20 years in over 100 different countries.

The internet has lead to a situation where sending ordinary letters is old-fashioned. Letter writing, once very popular, is now a hobby of a few.

We have come to the end of a certain period. As we can not find enough young people interested in penfriendship any more, we have decided to close down this firm by 30th June 2008.

We thank all our customers, both children and teachers, in past years and wish you happy times. Don’t stop learning different languages and cultures and keep up those penfriendships you have managed to build up.


This is very unfortunate. I have made quite a few friends around the world, in Europe, Asia and Africa, thanks to IYS. I can't even remember who introduced me to their service but I do remember having my friends, siblings and classmates signing up to find penfriends abroad.

It was a great experience for me. Even though I don't write to any of my penfriends anymore, I have very good memories of them. Some of them I've written for five to six years from the time I was in secondary school to my university years. Most of my penfriends were girls but I also had a few boy-penfriends. Bahadir was one of them. We lost touch because of address problems, my letters did not get to him they were returned but I found him on Facebook and we are in contact again.

It is unfortunate that the rise of the Internet has forced the IYS to close. As I was going through my letters, showing them to my younger brother, along with a few of the presents and postcards my penfriends sent me, he asked me how he could have penfriends too. I was no longer in contact with IYS but I remembered they had a site and I was hoping to find out, from the site, how I could register my brother with them. Alas!

I understand that it probably costs less to have friends over the internet than to have postal-mail friends but those are two very different experiences. I have a few people online I met online who wanted to be my (snailmail)penfriends and I'm not even counting those who wanted me to send them postcards.

When the Internet became mainstream, IYS decided it did not want to encourage students to make friends through this new media. It kept offering solely services via postal mail. I believe that it's where they went wrong. Yes, they don't want to encourage emailfriends but they could have used their website to offer the same services to students and teachers. Using the internet would have helped them keep the kids interested while cutting costs for the students. At least the fees would be lower and no postage would be necessary to get addresses. They would simply send you the other persons' information online. The problem with the Internet is identity verification and an overabundance of predators. So they would probably have issues with adults posing as children and requesting penfriends...

The closing of IYS is very unfortunate, did I say that already? I always wondered what the IYS headquarters looked like? How they organized their work, what their equipment looked like? Who the employees were? I guess I'll never know any of all this. Their site looked nearly empty with simply the announcement on the main page.

I still wanted to see more of IYS. So I went on Google and search the iys.fi site and found out most of their pages (like the fees page) are still online. I was unpleasantly surprised to see that Haiti was not included in the counties listed... I went to the United-States page and found out the service was not expensive at all, US $2.00 per address. Knowing that they guaranteed a response, it was really a great value. I kept searching and finally found Haiti on one of their older method of payment pages. Yay!

Now the only alternative for my brother to find a penfriend is to join a penpal site, penpalnet for example is free but they don't give any guarantees and you have to search for your penpal by yourself. Additionally the people you find online usually prefer email correspondence.

Why I might be using Facebook more often

I recently found a long lost penpal on Facebook. When I say penfriend, I mean the traditional snail mail penfriend. Bahadir and I used to write letters to each other until the day when my letter was sent back to me. It's been nearly 10 years, and thanks to Facebook we are able to be in touch again. It's really amazing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Meet local Singles for free at Meeta

You know by now that I've joined quite a few dating sites already, yet I couldn't resist joining one more, Meeta.com.

I came across Meeta a few times before and it always surprises me that people actually take the time to put together Free Dating sites even though there are so many out there already. I joined Meeta.com hoping to find something really different or at least as good as the best free dating sites I've tried so far. I'm going to tell you about the registration process and my very first experience with Meeta.com.

Meeta has a very clean and simple look. I like the light colours and the whole ambiance of the site. There are three steps that you need to go through to join Meeta.

Step 1 : enter your basic information
You need to provide your name, birth date, sexual orientation, what you're looking for, your city, your email, your surname and password.

Step 2 : create your profile
You need to provide more detailed information about yourself, your appearance, habits and preferences.

You are asked for your relationship status, hair color, eye color, whether you have children, whether you want have children, whether you drink and smoke. All those questions are mandatory. Then you are asked optional questions about your religion, race or ethnicity, interests, and occupation.

Step 3 : add a picture
You are invited to add a picture to your profile to boost your chances of success. Meeta claims that with a photo you are 10 times more likely to succeed in your online dating experience. Photos are not mandatory therefore you may simply proceed without adding one, click "Submit" and your profile will be created without a photo. In case you decide to add a picture you should be aware of the fact that Meeta has picture rules. They are quite simple and short so I copied them here:

We suggest that you go solo in your MAIN profile picture after all, people are here to meet YOU. All pictures must be property of the user and contain none of the following:
  • Nudity
  • Racist or hateful behavior
  • Obscene gestures or lewd behavior
  • Copyrighted material or licensed material
  • Celebrity pictures

Now that I had my profile I decided it was time for me to find people because that's why I joined Meeta after all.

Meeta has the typical look of free online dating sites i.e. covered with ads for paid dating sites. But unlike many free dating sites Meeta offers matching. You have matches pages with a list of your potential matches based on your match preferences. Unfortunately for me I had 0 matches.... They tried to cheer me up telling me not to worry and encouraged me to search for people on the site while they find me some matches. They also suggested that I refine my match preferences?

I decided not to let the lack of matches discourage me and continued to explore the site. Meeta has Forums and Groups. I tried the groups first and of course there were no groups in my city and since I wasn't interested in creating one I went on to look at "All Groups" and saw all those that were created. Unfortunately they had very few members and not a single topic.

I thought maybe I would be luckier with Forums. Indeed they were a little less empty than the groups, a few threads had been started but not many replies.

Yet I decided to go ahead and simply browse members' profiles. By default you are restricted to profiles of people near your city. If you want to see more people go ahead and click the "All Members" option in the sidebar. If you're in a city with few or no members on the site the city restrictions might bother you.

Meeta does not have an overwhelming number of members, you are certainly not going to spend hours browsing profiles but you might find a topic or two to which you can reply in the forums.

I find the search feature very unpractical, it's one of the worst search experience I've ever had on a dating site.

I wanted to try specific searches for people of a certain age range and in specific areas but it just wasn't going to happen. As far as the location is concerned, you can only search for people near a certain city, not a country, not a state but a city and they don't even provide a drop down list or any aid of any sort to look up city names so beware of typos. Since Meeta allows approximate ages like 20's and 30's, in profiles, most of the time you won't know the person's exact age. A person in his 20's can be anywhere from 20 to 29. So good luck finding the exact person you're looking for.

The most annoying aspect of Meeta is the fact that the site feels like it's still in Beta, with the occasional 404 error popping when you click a link. I hope they find the time to look around the site and clean up a bit, removing those errors.

Meeta really needs to improve their search feature. On a dating site I want to be able to search for the exact person I'm looking for and Meeta does not allow that with ease, they should try and make their search more specific. Because after all you're here to fine your match.

I like Meeta's look, it's a nice site but unfortunately I don't see why I would spend my time there. I hope they send matches by email, I believe that would be their only chance to have users come back because there isn't a whole lot for me to do while on Meeta.com. Who knows, maybe one day I'll find a Meeta message in my inbox telling me someone is interested in me, it might happen.

This post has been a sponsor post.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Match.com or Yahoo Personals

Is Yahoo Personals Dead? Has Match killed it?

I was checking my mail today, on Yahoo! mail and noticed banner ads for Match.com. I'm used to seeing ads for Yahoo! personals in my Yahoo! mailbox but today I only saw Match ads and other ads that I can't remember.

The Match ads were quite effective because they have a black background that contrasts with the white background of the mail page. They also look interactive, with search fields and flash animation, inviting you to click. Yahoo! even showed many versions of the Match.com ads, horizontal banner, wide square banners, whether I was at the mail homepage on checking my inbox, they were there. I didn't click on any of the ads since I'm not interested in joining Match but I couldn't help but wonder, why would Yahoo! run ads for a dating site who is a competitor to their own Personals site? It seems to be related with geographical location. Yahoo! personals is not an international site apparently Match.com is.

After further investigation I've discovered that in some locations Yahoo! offers personals services using Match.com or Meetic. So Yahoo! personals is not dead it's just not available in every location. But I really find the Match ads to be more attractive than the Yahoo! personals ads.

Related Posts
Free Online Dating at Wheresmystar
Worldfriends Valentine's day special
Why you should join Worldfriends today
It's free communication weekend again at eHarmony

Hi5 friend requests never expire

If you don't accept friend requests from people you don't know on hi5, it means to do take the time to look at who's sending you those requests.

I currently have over 20 friend requests pending. Many of those requests were sent to me in 2005! Yes, I'm not kidding. Even though it's written at the bottom of the request list that hi5 will expire friend requests automatically after 60 days it turns out that they never actually do it. Since I have not changed my mind about those people in three years I might as well let those requests hang in there until something happens, or not. It doesn't really bother me since the most recent requests are placed on top of the list.

I wonder why they took the time to say that they expire requests after 60 days when they actually don't?

Friendster, Hi5 and Orkut
How to remove an application from hi5
Hi5 applications suck
The geography of social networking sites

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Free Online Dating at Wheresmystar

Update: Wheresmystar does not seem to be operational anymore, therefore I have removed the link.

Free dating sites are hard to resist, I've joined most of the free dating sites I've come across except for the really ugly ones and the ones for specific groups of people that I don't belong to.

Not so long ago, Jason Sebik asked me if I could write a bit about his free online dating website called "Wheresmystar". At the time I thought I was finally becoming famous online! Webmasters asking me to review their site, wow! I said yes, after looking at his site and exchanging emails with him.

The idea behind Wheresmystar is simple, online dating should be free and Jason Sebik, the man behind Wheresmystar.com, is committed to keeping everything on the site absolutely free. Wheresmystar is his answer to big online dating companies who stop at nothing to get money out of online daters; in fact Jason wants to " put all Big-Money Pay-Dating sites out of business." I don't completely agree with Jason on paid dating sites and I'll tell you why in a moment but first let me tell you all you need to know about wheresmystar for now and why you need to join today ;)

Wheresmystar is not only a dating site where you can post a free profile and search for potential matches for free, it also offers a variety of services to its members, similar services that you might find on paid sites. In fact many of the services offered at Wheremystar are not typically available on free dating sites.

Here is a list of features and services available to members:

  • You have the ability to set your photos to be public or private. It gives you control and lets you hide your picture from the general public plus you are sure that your photo will not be used in an advertising campaign for the site.
  • You have safety features like Sparks that guarantees you don't receive unsolicited messages.

  • You get personality profiling data
  • Two way matching, which is a feature I see most free online dating site lacking, usually you get two way matching on paid dating sites.
  • You can bookmark the members you are interested in to make it easier for you to contact them later on
  • You can see not only who's viewed your profile but also who has bookmarked you so you know who is really interested in you.
  • Jason is always working on making the site better and invites members to ask if there are any features they would like to see added to the site.
  • Jason promises that there aren't fake filler profiles on his site, not many online dating site owners can make that promise.

There are a few things I certainly like about Wheresmystar, the fact that it focuses on functionality, which is not the case with most free dating site, Wheresmystar can really boast about the number of services that they offer their members. Also I have to say the proximity of the webmaster is a plus, Jason is available and open for contact, knowing that you can contact a real person with a name when there's a problem or for a simple suggesting is really a good feeling.

If you're still not convinced here is the WheresMyStar.com Promise:
"This place will always be totally free. Visitors will always be able to search freely and see everything that a normal member would see. We’ll never use any deceptive scams, tricks, or tactics to get people to sign up to this site. Compare us to "the others", and you’ll instantly see the vast differences. "

About Big-Money-Dating sites, indeed online dating is a big money business and many online dating sites use deceptive methods to get users to pay for premium memberships. Clearly, Wheresmystar is not one of those because it's free, but I've also seen free online dating sites who basically sell their members by making their profiles public and bombarding them with ads from Big-Money-Dating sites. Of course wheresmystar is not one of them. But the way I see it, most free dating sites are only making money because paid dating sites are paying to advertise on them, if you kill those Big-Money-Dating sites the free dating sites would die with them.

I've not only tried many free dating sites but I've also joined quite a few paid dating sites and some are part of those Big-Money-Dating sites Jason likes to refer to. I've also paid for a premium membership on a dating site and from my own experience I can say that it was worth the money I paid. I'm not even revealing the name of that site but you can find out since I've mentioned it before on this blog. I believe that creating and maintaining a dating site has a cost, advertising for that site also has a cost therefore those costs have to be covered by revenue. I also believe that if you are offering a service there's nothing wrong with getting paid for it especially if the service you are offering is of good quality.

The dating site I paid for is a good site in my opinion, I had been a member for some time and I had met people without paying but at some point I not only had enough money to pay for a full membership but I also had a really good motivation, if you see what I mean... Even though I did think the membership was a bit high, I gladly paid for it and after the membership expired, I still remained a member of the site. The key here is that this specific site allows members to view all the information on other members for free; in fact you can do almost everything for free on the site except send messages to other members. They match you up, they tell you who has viewed your profile and you can show interest but no contact unless at least one of the two people pays. Many find this frustrating and I can understand them but I've come to discover that, when you can afford it, the price does not really matter.

Most other paid dating sites I've tried hide so much information from you, they go as far as not letting you see other members' full profiles, they don't tell you who's viewed your profile and even when they allow other members to send you messages they don't let you see who sent you a message much less read messages unless you pay. You're paying while you don't even know what's there but you know what, those sites are highly successful at getting paid members...

Many people don’t mind not getting a lot of information before paying on a dating site maybe because they thinks it’s normal to pay for what those sites promise them. In many cases those people rely on the site’s reputation, the promises made by the site and in some cases the testimonials of members of the site.

The point I'm trying to make is that you cannot put all paid dating sites in one basket, many are not completely honest with their members and they are more concerned in billing them than giving them a good service while others are open but ask to be paid for the service offered. If I can afford it I don't mind paying when I can see what I'm getting for my money. Two things are important to me, what services are offered by the site and how much information I can get on the other members with a free membership. If the site takes the time to match me up, send me emails with my matches, offer advance search features, allow me to see full profiles and tell me the last time someone was online, I don't see why I wouldn't pay to contact people I would be interested in.

Monday, May 19, 2008

How to remove an application from hi5

After my hi5 applications suck post, I though I'd write about how to remove applications from your hi5 profile.

I unfortunately had to install a couple of those annoyances to see how easy or hard it was to get rid of them. Frankly, I've found the process of removing the applications from my profile to be quite easy and straightforward. Here are the four easy steps you need to follow:

  • Step 1 log in to hi5.
  • Step 2 go in your profile's page by clicking on My Profile at the top of the page next to the hi5 logo and the Home link.

  • Step 3 locate the application on your profile. It's usually at the right of your page after your photos but before your comments. In this example I'm removing the Graffiti application.

  • Step 4 on top of the application section you'll find three links View - Invite Friends - Remove, click on Remove . It gives you two options, Remove Profile Box and Remove Application. Choose Remove Application.

Congratulations! You've successfully removed the unwanted application from your hi5 profile page.

I didn't think I would be writing this but I actually felt like keeping the Graffiti application at some point, especially when I realized that someone had left me a couple of graffiti with his application invite. I myself felt like leaving a few graffiti here and there since the Graffiti application is one of the most popular among hi5 users, most of my friends have it installed.

Hi5 applications suck
Hi5 friend requests never expire
The geography of social networking sites
Friendster, Hi5 and Orkut

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dating Services' Online Dating Guide

Dating Services is an online dating guide that provides reviews of dating sites. By doing so they hope you will take interest in those sites and eventually join them...

Dating Services offers online dating directory services, a dating service guide and a monthly newsletter.

The site has a nice table in which different dating sites are compared. A simple look at the table shows you the features offered by each site and the number of members they say they have. At a glance, you can tell which site has the most members, which has chat rooms, which offers cam chat, which has voice chat and which supports mobile communication. After a quick view of the dating sites, you can read a review on the ones you are interested in to see what Dating Services had to say about them.

An Online Dating Guide in four parts is provided for those just getting started with online dating. They emphasize the need for safety by making Safety First the first part of their Online Dating Guide. Part two is about Choosing a Dating Service, part three is about Creating a Profile and part four is about Finding Your Match. One of the tips they give is not to drink alcohol to "calm your nerves", of course they tell you not to give your personal details, something I will never emphasize enough.

You'll also find many advice articles on different types of dating services like Christian Dating Services and Speed Dating. They have a very interesting article on Internation Dating,I recommend you read it if you are considering dating a person from a distant land. They also have an article on Internet Phone calls where they explain how those calls are an inexpensive alternative to actual phone calls. Personally I think that in general the voice quality of internet phone calls is really bad but it is a very convenient way to communicate online, it's far less tiring than regular text chat since your fingers can rest while you talk.

I like the fact that the site is populated by many articles aimed at the different types of online daters. And of course I like the fact that they emphasize on the need to be safe online.

They have an uncommon section for a dating services site, a love poem page! I guess they are old fashioned romantics. They provide you with timeless poetic pieces that you can read for inspiration or use to send to your special someone to express your feelings.

Remember I told you they had a directory service, well, in the directory section of the site you'll find other sites that also offer dating services or reviews of dating sites. They also accept link submissions from other related sites, if you have a dating blog you might want to consider exchanging links with them.

Dating Services publishes a newsletter that you can subscribe to. It contains dating stories, news and alerts on dating services, tips and advice that you may find useful in your online dating experience. They send out at most one newsletter per month.

Now that you know all about Dating Services start by reading their online safety tips. I think anybody with an online presence can use general online safety tips. If you have online profiles on any type of site or if you have photo albums you should always be careful not to give out too much personal information.

For a site called Dating Services I was expecting to see more than just five reviews of dating sites. Even though they feature six sites there is one without a review. There are so many dating sites out there that are very popular and yet they are not featured on Dating Services. I also think that with this kind of site they should provide a space where readers can add they own ratings of the featured dating sites based on their own experience. With input from different people who've used the same site they can get the average level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a particular dating site.

This post has been a Sponsor Post.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hi5 applications suck

You all know that hi5 is the social networking site I use the most, most of my friends are on it. If you are a hi5 member who has used the site recently you probably received invitations to install applications from your friends or you've noticed the many applications already installed by them on their own profiles. Unfortunately I don't think those new applications are a positive addition to the site.

Most applications I've seen on my friends profiles are underused if used at all. Nevertheless, most people seem to install every single application they are invited to use. Profiles, already overloaded with slide shows, videos and music clips are now invaded by applications. Every time I'm about to load an unknown profile I'm afraid it will freeze my browser. I have the feeling that applications take up too much resource without being of much use. After learning how to add applications to their profiles hi5 users should learn how to remove them when they don't actually use them. It would make my hi5 profile browsing experience a better one.

I also have two other issues with hi5, first, they have many many cases of hacked accounts used to post spam comments. It happened to me and I was horrified to learn that it was impossible to delete those comments since hi5 does not allow you to delete the comments you leave on other people's profile, you may only delete the comments left on your own profile. I think they should change this, they should give you complete control over what you post on the site. Many of my friends have had this hack and comment spam problem some don't even realize it. I learned about my problem after a friend asked me about a weird comment I left of someone's profile. I seldom leave comments on profiles so I knew immediately that the comment was not from me.

I wrote hi5 about the need to delete that comment and they told me the only thing I could do was ask my "friend" to delete it, I thought about deleting my hi5 account instead. If you want to delete your hi5 account I recommend you remove all your pictures and all your personal information since your picture might remain on the site even when you are no longer a member. Hi5 has a serious spam/hack problem that they need to address.

Friendster, Hi5 and Orkut
How to remove an application from hi5
The geography of social networking sites

RIP Yahoo Messenger 5

I've used the version 5 of Yahoo! Messenger for a very long time, it was probably the first version of Yahoo messenger that I had ever used. I became a bit of a chat addict as some of my online friends can tell you. Yahoo! Messenger 5 was the perfect tool to keep me hooked on chatting with random strangers and making friends on the internet.

Then came the version 6 which introduced stealth settings, a revolution! Then came version 7, I don't remember anything about it but I'm pretty sure there was one and then the version 8 which allows Yahoo! Messenger users to add MSN contacts, a sign of things to come maybe.

Nowadays you can no longer access Yahoo chat with the version 6 of Yahoo messenger, even worse, Yahoo has retired its version 5 completely. They killed my favorite Yahoo messenger version without a proper funeral. Rest in peace version 5. You will be missed at least they can't blame you for the decline of the Yahoo! Chat rooms.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Make friends at 3gb

If you're looking for a place to make friends online and chat for free, you should try 3gb.

Yes I know, you're already a member of hi5, Orkut, Friendster, Facebook and others so you're asking yourself, why should I join yet another social networking site? Well, at 3gb you can connect with old and new friends, upload your photos, join groups, write blogs and send email to other members. These are features that you do find on most social networking sites but unlike some of them, 3gb has chat rooms and offers online songs, online live radio and shoutcast. Chat rooms are one of the most requested feature on social networking sites since many don't offer them.

The majority of 3gb users are from the USA, Egypt and the Philippines, they also have members from other countries but they are not as numerous as those from the three countries I've just mentioned.

The live radio server is the most popular feature of 3gb. With this feature, each user can be a DJ and broadcast to other members of the community. The live radio server allows you to share what you are listening to, on your computer, with your friends on 3gb. I've also found blogs to be quite popular among 3gb members, many do create and maintain blogs.

The admin at 3gb is also a member of the community and he's available for contact and exchange if you do have queries or need help.

Unlike most other social networking site I've found 3gb to be almost picture less. Indeed when you think of social networking you think of lots of pictures of people who look happy hanging out together and being friends, I've found none of that at 3gb. The only people pictures were those found in members' albums, obviously the admins decided to go with a sober look. Oddly enough, 3gb reminded of another site I've written about a while ago, Perfspot. I'm still a Perfspot member even though I have not come to like the place more but I tend to stick around and see how sites evolve over time. 3gb's layout is quite similar to Perfspot's but Perfspot has lots of pictures and also videos. But both sites use a gray border and they have similar layouts.

I like the fact that 3gb is well organized, the menu makes it really easy to find your way around the site. I also like the fact that they have chat rooms, you know how much I like to chat.

This post has been a sponsor post

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Worldfriends Valentine's day special

Read Why you should join Worldfriends today

If you're a members who subscribes for a VIP, OpenClub or VIP+OpenClub membership for the first time, Worldfriends will double your subscription's duration. Even better for the members who subscribe for a whole year, the subscription will be converted to a lifetime subscription. But there is a deadline for those incredible deals, it's midnight on February 14th. Which leaves you about 8 days to finally upgrade your Worldfriends membership.

I personally prefer the VIP membership because it gives you complete control over who you're in contact with. But if you are the very busy type and don't have time to browse profiles in search of the best matches OpenClub might be right for you because it allows others to contact you for free. Some people have both to put all the chances on their side. I've made quite a few friends on Worldfriends, maybe too many...

So what I previously called an unbelievable promotion is not going to be around for ever, of course not! I still can't believe they are offering life long premium memberships!!!

One important detail to keep in mind. This offer is only valid for new subscribers. If you had already subscribed in the past you are not eligible for this new offer. I believe the people at Worldfriends are making an effort to attract new subscribers. Maybe a promotion aimed at old subscribers will be revealed in the future. In the mean time, with the all the new VIP and OpenClub members, you might have many more matches contacting you.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Why you should join Worldfriends today

See Worldfriends' Valentine's day special

Worldfriends is having a crazy, unbelievable promotion right now, for new subscribers. When you subscribe for 1 month of VIP membership you get 3 months VIP membership instead, that's an additional 2 months free. I told you it is crazy but it gets better. You buy 3 months of VIP you get 6 months, you buy 6 months you get 12 months and last and craziest of all you buy 12 months and you become a Worldfriends VIP for life!

I've never heard of a lifetime membership for the price of a 1 year membership, no other offer can beat that one. So it's now or never, if you were already a Worldfriends member and never upgraded now is your chance to do it for life. There are also promotions for Open Club members, you buy 3 months of Open Club membership and get 6 months. It is said that Open club members receive on average one email a day on Worldfriends, so that might just be the type of membership you need.

But what is better than a life time VIP membership on Worldfriends? I'll tell you, a lifetime VIP+OpenClub membership! Yes, if you purshase 12 months VIP+OpenClub membership from Worldfriends they give you the VIP+OpenClub membership for life! It's too tempting.

As I like to say, even as a free member on Worldfriends you receive more service than you'll ever do as a member of any free dating/language exchange/penpal/friendship site out there. For those of you who think Worldfriends is a little expensive I can tell you from experience that the service is worth the money you pay for it. They accept both Paypal and credit card payments.

I can't believe they aren't making more noise with this. I don't know how long this promotion is going to last but I wouldn't wait around too long if I were you.

Now for those of you who have not yet joined Worldfriends, let me give you a little insight.

Worldfriends is a web site that connects people who are looking for language exchange partners or language teachers, penpals, dates, activity partners or a life partner or simply someone to show them around town while they are abroad. Shortly put, they are looking to meet people online for various reasons. It's for adults only, meaning that you must be 18 or over to join.

Worldfriends is for internationally minded adults who are serious about meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds. There is a large group of Asian members and members from Oceania. There is a huge number of Japanese members wishing to meet people to help them practice English and offering to help with learning Japanese. In fact, there is also a really great number of non-Japanese members wanting to learn the Japanese language and looking for a native Japanese speaker to help them. Also there are many people who are about to visit Japan and want to make a Japanese friend before they arrive there. It's the ideal place to find a Japanese friend online to help you learn Japanese.

Six quick facts about Worldfriends:
  1. They have over 1,400,000 members and 650,000 photos from all countries around the world.
  2. The members detailed information that is submitted in their profiles is used to find your desired match.
  3. You may search and browse full profiles even as a free member.
  4. Contact on worldfriends can be done by email, text messaging voice chat or video chat
  5. OpenClub membership allows free members to contact you for free. It allows you to be found and contacted for free by any member who is interested in you.
  6. VIP membership allows you to contact only the members that you wish to contact.
I believe I've said enough but if you need more convincing head over to Worldfriends right now.