Monthly Archives

February 2020

Guide Home Improvement

Is composite decking easily cleaned?

Composite decking is becoming the new trend of decking, replacing the earlier wood decking. Composite decking is a kind of building material, prepared by men by mixing wood fiber and plastic. These materials are gaining popularity for their costefficient nature, environmentfriendly trait and fine looks. But with the growing use of the eco composite decking, the queries regarding its maintenance arise. In this light, an important thing to know before you use composite decking is whether it can easily be cleaned. 

How to clean a composite deck? 

Composite decking is favored over traditional wood decking for one more reason – it’s the ease of cleaning. The maintenance cost for the composite decking is also very convenient as compared to wood decking. Composite decking is durable and long-lasting, no doubt, but to keep it shining and polished for a long period may be a difficult task. That requires regular cleaning of the deck. Although the cleaning process is not quite arduous, it’s frequency must be maintained to keep it in proper form. Here are some tips to remember regarding the cleaning of composite decking –  

  • Clean your composite decksquite frequently. Sweeping away dirt and debris from the deck is very important. It is advisable to sweep your deck at least once in four-five days.  
  • It is better to use a water sprayer or a pressure washer to clean your composite deck. Such washers remove the debris from your deck surface quite smoothly. Use the power washer after you have swept off the surface debris. After you have completed the pressure washing with clean water, apply some kind of composite decking cleaning solution or a stain remover. This will remove any kind of grease or stain from the deck.  
  • On the alternative, there is another even better option – removing stains by scrubbing with your hand brush and some good liquid soap or, more preferably, a deck cleaning solution. A slow and thorough scrubbing is very effective. But again, this is not always feasible, especially if you have a large deck.  
  • Remember to wipe off the cleaning solution with a second round of pressure washing or scrubbing.  
Internet and Businesses Online

Comparison Shopping Sites

eMarketer estimates that US retail e-commerce sales (excluding travel) will reach $131 billion this year. They also predict that the average amount spent online by Internet shoppers will increase from US$1,000 this year to US$1,295 by 2009. The sales leads will also increase accordingly. Which is why users tend to choose one website over another. These sales leads are an effective way through which you can determine how well any shopping website is doing and what are its future prospects. 

Growing online shopping figures are attracting more and more retailers to the Internet. The promise of millions of shoppers looking for 24-hour shopping is simply too tempting. But what do you do once you’ve set up your online store? How do you attract visitors to your site and how do you encourage them to purchase your products and services?

Just like ‘brick and mortar’ retailers use marketing strategies and channels to reach their customers, the online world has its channels. Online marketing tactics have evolved beyond banner and pop-up ads. In this article, we’re introducing you to our world, online comparison shopping, and tell you how merchants are already taking advantage of the millions of primed shoppers that visit product-specific search engines, called comparison shopping sites.

Let’s start at the beginning. What are the comparison shopping sites? On the Internet, a comparison shopping site helps individuals search for specific products and list prices available from retailers that sell online. The majority of comparison shopping sites do not sell products themselves, but source prices from retailers from whom users can buy. For example at HealthPricer.com, shoppers can search among 300,000 health products from 100 health merchants. A search for Acuvue Advance contact lenses displays the product from 29 competing online merchants.

‘Location, location, location’ in the ‘brick and mortar’ world equates to eyeballs, eyeballs, eyeballs on the Internet. However, walk-by traffic, or wandering eyes, don’t sell products. Comparison shopping sites, by their very nature of appealing to shoppers, bring relevant eyeballs to merchants that display their products within the site.

How do comparison shopping sites work and why should a merchant be interested in partnering with such a site? Let’s deal with the initial part of the question first. Comparison shopping engines break into two groups – first generation and second generation. First-generation comparison shopping companies gain product information from data feeds, provided by companies that specialize in bundling product information from several merchants. Engaging in a Pay Per Click (PPC) model, the first generation comparison shopping sites and the merchants make money when a shopper clicks on a specific product on the comparison shopping site and is led to the merchant to buy the product. The biggest criticism of this model is that merchants will only place products that sell well on the comparison shopping site and they won’t represent their entire inventory for shoppers to view. Examples of first-generation comparison shopping sites are shopzilla.com; shopping.com and pricegrabber.com.

Second generation comparison shopping sites crawl the Internet and grab entire inventories of products direct from the merchant sites. Their business model is geared towards Pay Per Action (PPA), meaning every time a shopper referred from the site to an online merchant buys a product, the comparison shopping company gets paid a percentage. This model encourages merchants to display their entire inventory of products as they will not lose money in providing a wide range of products to consumers to view on the comparison shopping site. Examples of second-generation comparison shopping sites are become.com, healthpricer.com, thefind.com, and mytriggers.com.

Further, there are vertical comparison shopping sites that focus on specific product categories. Best known among those are CNet, that focuses on electronic products, and Expedia, which focuses on travel, but there is a growing array of other category sites, such as HealthPricer.com, that focuses on health products, and gifts.com, that obviously focuses on gift products.

So, why do online merchants partner with comparison shopping sites? Most important, comparison shopping sites attract ‘traffic’, or visitors, that are highly motivated to shop for specific products online. Comparison shopping sites are visited by millions of people every month, so merchants view comparison shopping sites as a considerable marketing channel.

As a business, comparison shopping companies make their revenues in one of two ways: Pay Per Click (PPC) or Pay Per Action (PPA). As such, it is in their best interest to be as visible as possible on the Internet. These companies engage in and invest significant resources to, sophisticated online ranking tactics, such as Search Engine Optimization.

Reputable comparison shopping sites gain loyal customers and in effect bring multiple orders for products to merchants. Many comparison shopping sites realize this and work at building a community for shoppers to share their insights on the merchants available via the site. Most comparison shopping sites allow customers to rate the merchants to help other shoppers choose those that provide the best shopping experience. Merchants, in turn, realize the potential of brand exposure coupled with customer feedback. They see how they perform compared to industry peers and can, in turn, improve on features that aren’t well-received by shoppers.

Given these benefits, more and more merchants venture into partnerships with comparison shopping sites. There are many comparison shopping sites to choose from, both in terms of categories as well as business models. Many merchants settle on partnerships with general comparison shopping engines, but if you are a specific online merchant and there is a comparison shopping site available for your category, you may want to consider partnering with a vertical comparison shopping company. Further, as mentioned, first-generation and second-generation shopping engines engage in PPC and PPA business models respectively. The effect on the merchant is a dedicated marketing budget and planning for products to display versus a post-sales expense. The choice is yours.

Gaming

Spitting On Battery Acid

“Have you seen my?” The question floats above the gurgling sound of the kid crawling across the floor.

She looked at me, smirking, and answered “I don’t think I have seen it since we left New York.” I knew why she smirked, this question, slash conversation, has been repeated many times.

“I need to pay more attention to things when we move.” This I say quietly hoping to be ignored. Its bad enough when she’s right, but worse when I have to admit it. “Are there still boxes downstairs that haven’t been opened since New York?” It had been at least three years since the fantasy land of New York became only fantasy.

“Possibly. I don’t know, I haven’t been down there in a while. You know what, I really don’t like our basement.” The memory of her last visit betrayed itself in a small frown and a shudder.

“I’ll be back in a while.” Smiling I bumble off, looking forward to the dread of going through all those old boxes, hoping to find that thing I had lost, probably forever, in the move from New York. It all looked pretty bleak; we have moved twice since New York and probably threw out or lost this box or that.

The basement is as small and damp as the last time I went looking for some random object. The spiders were bigger, I think. It is a small room with a really ugly set of stairs, wooden and crooked. The room is all cement and plumbing. Boxes were up on two by fours, water seeping into boxes usually destroys the contents. I glance around, looking for the square that promised, through age, to carry my hope. I reach out and move a box containing my old Playstation and the corresponding games slash accessories. I stop to look at the old games and remember so much, most memories are filled with my brother beating me in this game or that. With the memory of my brother and the Playstation come other memories. One time when I was pretty young I was given a baseball glove, by my mom, my very first. I had just joined peewee. My brother, who usually was too old and too cool to hang out with me, took me out back and we threw that little baseball for hours. I loved it. Peewee turned out to be pretty boring, but I grew to love baseball when I got to play in little league. Unfortunately the other kids had a bit more talent, because by sophomore year I hardly ever played. If only my classmates still pitched like they did in little league. I still loved the game though. A long time late, while in the Navy, a buddy of mine convinced me to buy a new glove. We decided we would join a softball team. It was fun. They pitch a little slower in softball. The glove I bought tax free at the NEX was beautiful. I didn’t love it as I did my first glove, but I loved the idea and memory of it.

I have always been a sucker for playstation and got hooked to it since childhood. I would pass my time playing games on it which I thought was far more entertaining than homework and calling over friends to give me company was an added bonus. A rather useful pastime compared to what I used to search for situs online judi terbaik but eventually got over the temptation after realizing the repercussions of gambling and its long term side effects.

As I finally set the Playstation box down I open the box underneath. It’s unlabeled. On top are a couple random pieces of cloth, bed sheets given by my aunt for our wedding, why would a newly wed couple like plaid? As I move the bed sheets I catch a glimpse of a dark leather thing. Excited I reach down and pull a very beautiful baseball glove. I’m immediately enamored and thanking God for His graciousness and foresight. I slowly, because any great moment like this has to be down with reverence, clarity, and as slow as we can physically move. I slowly slip the glove on and the reverence is broken by a glove that almost immediately starts to cut of circulation. It’s tiny. Its very small. At that moment, heartbroken, I remember that I had hit a huge growth spurt while I was in the Navy. It didn’t fit when I lived in New York.

In slight despair I put the sheets back, why plaid? I stack the Playstation box. Slowly I wander upstairs, when I get to the kitchen to explain what happened I notice the kid crawling and gurgling, immediately my mind shifts to God and what He’s done for me. My wife is standing by the sink looking at me, a sad smile, she knows it didn’t go well. “I don’t understand it, I was so sure of finding my glove. I never expected to find it and still be disappointed.”