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Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

~ May 2010 ~


The world according to blogs.  Check it out.  This information is from a blog that provides some very practical tips on saving energy at home and in the office, especially as related to “devices.”  There is also advice on having a Web site to promote your program.  Check them out. 

Appliance Off – It Doesn’t Mean No Energy Used
Posted by Steven G. Atkinson
April 23, 2010

Many modern appliances may be using as much as 15 to 30 watts when off or in Stand-by mode. Some may actually be using the same amount of energy off as they are when on. One common term for these devices is ‘energy vampires’.

Stand-by power is estimated to be as much as 5 percent of all residential energy being used in the United States. A homeowner can see hundred of dollars per year being used by stand-by power. It is estimated to be about 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year costing consumers more than 5.6 billion dollars.

What are some common items that use this stand-by power? Anything with an external power pack, has a remote control or displays a clock will be using some stand-by power. The most common are TV’s VCR, Cable Boxes, Stereo Systems and battery chargers.

The real problem with this stand-by power consumption isn’t that they use power, but they have been poorly designed to use more power than necessary. Manufacturers presently have no reason to design their products with efficiency in mind. Only when consumers begin to evaluate brands with this as a consideration will that occur.

In many cases the older the appliance the more energy it may be using than with a newer model. When purchasing a new appliance look for the one that uses the least amount of stand-by power by checking the label and specifications.

While it may not make much sense to unplug the TV, VCR or DVD player when not in use, it may not be a bad idea to unplug these devices when away for an extended period of time such as when on vacation or even a weekend away.

One thing you probably would want to consider unplugging when not in use are battery chargers for items such as cell phone, MP3 players and blackberries. If you have all of these chargers plugged into the same power strip simply turn the strip off when not in use. Make it a habit to charge all of the devices at the same time and turn the strip off when done.

Things to Know About Web Sites
Posted by Steven G. Atkinson
March 12, 2010

1) Have one. It’s been said here as well as many other places, every business or nonprofit should have some type of Web presence. For some they may not want or need a full-featured site but just a listing with the basic Who you are?  What items or services you provide?  Where you operate.  How to contact you?

2) Content is the most important element in a web site.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an ever changing environment and no one other than those developing the Search Engines know the formula to getting to the top. There are basic steps to making a Web site friendly to search engines such as adding description and some key words to meta tags and giving each page an accurate title based on this. Having the correct content is key. Content is text since Search Engines do not see text within graphics.

3) Keep your web site up-to-date.
Nothing will turn off a viewer more than a Web site that has old and out dated information. Making changes to your Web site not only gives returning visitors a reason to come back, it gives Search Engines a reason review your pages.

4) Expensive doesn’t make it good.
Every Web site developer has his or her own idea of what makes a good site. Some think that the flasher the better while others may think a plain black on white site is good enough. Your Web site is part of your image and should relate that image to the visitors.

5) A Web site is part of the Marketing Plan.
Do you have marketing materials? It’s not a bad idea to base a site on these materials so that you have a common visual element to visitors. If a potential visitor has a piece of printed advertising and the Web site is vastly different than the printed material, that possible visitor may think they’ve gone to some one else’s site. When printed materials have a drastic change it’s also time to change the Web site.

6) They will not come unless they know about it.
Too many times organizations create a Web site and then let it sit idle. Place the Web address in all marketing materials including the business card, the invoice, letterhead and envelopes.


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