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Working With Chet Atkins – An Interview With Mark Knopfler

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One of the most well-known rock guitarists of all time, Mark Knopfler rose to fame as the driving force behind British rock band Dire Straits. What many rock fans may not know is Mark’s admiration for Chet Atkins and the projects they were later to work on together as well as the strong friendship they developed. We spoke to Mark in March of 2014.

Tom: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today Mark.

Mark: My pleasure Tom, I would do anything for Chet.

Tom: Before we talk about Chet, can you tell me about some of your early memories of music? What you heard when you were young?

Mark: I suppose the first was the “listen with mother” kind of stuff when I was a toddler. We listened to a radio show called Children’s Favourites every day on BBC. Children’s Favourites was probably my first introduction to music. I would have heard Scottish music too pretty early on.

Tom: Were your parents musical or play an instrument?

Mark: Pretty musical. I mean everybody sang in tune, that’s the main thing, right?

Tom: Do you recall the first time you heard or were aware of Chet’s music?

Mark: I was at a friend’s house and his dad had some records and he had some Chet Atkins stuff but you know we wanted to be rockers and besides, I remember thinking that his guitar playing was from another planet, that I would never be able to play like that. I still think that actually. It just seemed impossible. I didn’t know how it all happened. I really don’t know how he was able to do all that. I listened to things like Caravan and stuff like that but I wouldn’t have had any idea how you’d get to be that good on a guitar.

Tom: I’d like to hear how you would describe your guitar playing and also how you would describe Chet’s playing.

Mark: Well my guitar playing is probably a guitar teacher’s nightmare and Chet’s guitar playing is sublime. So that I would think would be the essential difference.

Chet also used a thumb pick. I had used a thumb pick in the past when playing on my National steel guitar and I’d experimented playing with a thumb pick, but in the end I gave it up. I don’t know whether it was because they kept flying off or whatever it would be but I gave it up and that is another kind of disadvantage in some ways because the definition and the level you achieve with that thumb pick is really something else. I knew from playing with a pick for years that a pick is the biggest amplifier that there is.

Tom: The pick puts a lot of volume to the strings. Most rock guitarists are playing those leads with a flat pick as you mentioned but you’re playing with your thumb as much as your other two fingers. I had read that you started playing that way because you had an encounter with a guitar with a warped neck, is that accurate?

Mark: Oh I had plenty of encounters with them. I had an electric guitar but I couldn’t afford an amplifier so I used to borrow friends’ acoustic guitars and then I ended up playing in folk places long before I got to play in rock places. When a folk singer showed me how to do a clawhammer style, four beats to the bar, that is what essentially got me going with fingerstyle. It was a big step forward. You make your thumb and fingers go where they don’t really want to go. I think that’s what sort of put me on a kind of footing with Chet eventually. Certainly never an equal footing but on a good footing. To me Chet was always the complete player and he had so much that he could do. I did start to get a little bit better and I started taking liberties with the rules of picking. My fingers would start to come up onto the bass strings and my thumb would start to wander down onto the higher strings instead of just staying where it was supposed to. And that’s really how my style started slowly coming about. It’s really from just doing things wrong I guess.

Tom: But doing it your way right?

Mark: Right.

Tom: I’ve heard Chet say that he thought when he had his thumb and his fingers working that he could create his own little orchestra. That’s what he felt about that bass line being there while he’s playing melody with his other fingers.

Mark: Well that’s right. That’s exactly what it does, it opens up the guitar for you in quite a big way and once you get past the basic folk positions and you start to develop the picking it all advances. I was fortunate to be able to get into a lot of country blues and even ragtime music and so it would be more taxing, but what you’re actually doing is a kind of piano music, it’s like piano music on the guitar sometimes. It wouldn’t necessarily be strict one two three four on the thumb, sometimes you’d be jumping that thumb and imitating the Stride piano style. And you slowly move forward, half the time without realizing that you’re just getting better. I think there’s no substitute basically for just putting a bit of time in. When I told Chet that I used to fall asleep playing the guitar, he said that he did exactly the same thing.

Tom: Just playing until you ran out of gas?

Mark: Yeah. You’d just fall asleep literally. You’d be nodding off over the instrument but your hands would be moving. Your hands could be flying around but you were falling asleep. I think that’s what probably leads to that intimacy that you can have with it.

When Chet called me it kind of floored me in a way. As the years went by I realized that the thing that I believe that he liked was that I was a finger picker. That’s what we had in common, one of the many things that we actually had in common and it just went from there.

Tom: Now the first time that many Chet fans saw you of course was on that TV special in the 80’s called “Chet Atkins and Friends”, which featured you and The Everly Brothers and Michael McDonald and some others. Can you describe a little bit about that project from your perspective and how it came about?

Mark: It was just great to be asked to be on it. I didn’t have any of my own guitars, I do remember that and they were all difficult guitars for me to play. Whenever I have to borrow an instrument like that it always seems hard. But still it was such a thrill. The Everly Brothers had already figured very big in my life. I had a little friend in Newcastle when I was growing up and as kids we would pretend we were the Everly Brothers.

Of course I’m sure that was true of probably thousands of kids during that time. A lot of my first chords were singing Everly Brothers songs so it was a real thrill to be on that show because the Everly’s had recorded one of my songs and I had the chance to play it with them on the stage and that was that was fantastic.

Tom: That was a beautiful rendition of your song “Why Worry”. Did Chet just pick up the phone and call you for that? Was it that simple just like, “Hey I’d like you to come play in this?”

Mark: Yeah, and it was the same with the album “Neck and Neck”. I just picked up the phone one day and he said “Hi Mark, this is Chet Atkins!” and after I’d recovered from that he just said he was making an album and wanted me on it. I was over awed because he was recording with Earl Klugh and George Benson and some seriously beautiful guitar players. I just thought that it would be miles out of my league but anyway I went over there. Paul Yandell was there with Chet meeting me at the airport and I just hit it off with Chet immediately. It was one of those great things that turned into a friendship. We used to go off to breakfast a lot together and hang out a lot. I also had a very good relationship with my publisher in Nashville, it was a chap named David Conrad who was also a friend of Chet’s and so it was just good to have some guys there who were helping to break the ice in a sense. It became quite a regular call for me to be over there in Nashville.

Mark: The record that I produced for Chet, “Neck and Neck” was a home record. We never got a budget to do it in a proper studio so we’d just do it at home.

Tom: The credits on the CD shows the Nashville credits as “CA Workshop”. He had that studio downstairs in his home. Is that where you did that?

Mark: We did a lot of it down there, yeah. We did a lot of it in a little place I had in England, in a little carriage house. Neither would be ideal and the sound wasn’t good in either one. At Chet’s place I’d hear his wife Leona’s fridge cut on while we were recording. The thermostat got on the record in a few places.

Mark: But it was just a joy to do it. There really was some great repartee between us, we were just ad-libbing funny stuff. I think we were doing “There’ll be Some Changes Made” and Chet said something about having learned one lick in bible college and I said, “I’d never trust a saint, Chet,” and he shot back immediately in half a second, “I’m only a part time saint!” (laughs) It was just a joy being around him.

Tom: Now of course you are famous for your guitar playing Mark, but you’re also an accomplished songwriter. The material you perform are songs you have written yourself. What kind of songwriter are you in your mind? How do you go about writing songs?

Mark: Well songwriting’s really not like being a musician; it’s a different side. It’s something that I just do and I love to do it but it’s not the same as being a musician. I’m sure the band would let me get away with murder because I’m the guy who wrote the song, you know. I don’t suppose I’ve had to concentrate so hard on my guitar playing because the guitar to me is really something different. I love the guitar, and it is something that I use to write songs but it’s not something that I really try to focus on in songwriting in and of itself.

Video: Mark Knopfler: Romeo and Juliet

Sometimes I will sit down and try and improve a little bit as a guitar player but the songwriting would probably get in the way and the songwriting tends to win with me. It’s what I do and of course that tends to be straight ahead kind of stuff. I love it and it keeps me honest.

I’ve been very, very fortunate. I think that with Dire Straits for instance we were in just a fantastic time for recorded music. It was a fantastic time for live performance as well. That seems to have just gone on for me and I can kind of play pretty much the way I want.

I organize touring exactly the way I want and I don’t really feel as though I have to compromise anything. I feel very, very fortunate. I have a fabulous studio and a fabulous band and I’ve really enjoy my writing, in fact I’m probably writing more than ever before. I just get a massive charge out of being able to come into the studio and do some recording and to be at home and to be looking at the songs.

I don’t write songs in the studio, I write songs at home but it doesn’t take me a few minutes to get to the studio and I can start to lay them out here. I love the whole thing, I love writing, I love it when I’m laying it out. Guy Fletcher helps with the engineering, and then I love it when the band session happens and everybody’s piling in. I like the whole deal. I like touring too. I’m pretty lucky, I love music so, and I seem to be able to keep it separate from the music business which is another thing.

Tom: I noticed that you really seemed to be having fun when you were playing with Chet, recently I saw sort of an informal video of you and Chet sitting around playing guitar. When you were not working were you able to jam and have fun with music with your guitars?

Mark: Oh yeah. If we were spending a day in Chet’s office or something, just hanging out, we would play a lot. Chet was so in love with the whole thing, not just really highly technical and complex music but very simple things. That was something we also had in common. Chet could play and sing the song “Kentucky” which has got just two chords. He could enjoy playing it all day. In fact we did that that one day, just singing and playing it out on his porch.

On the record that we made we did a song called “Just One Time” and I remember Chet saying, “It’s amazing what you can do with two chords.” It was a Don Gibson song. Don Gibson was a friend of his, they’d done a lot of work together which Chet produced such as “Oh Lonesome Me” and other songs.

Just hearing Chet talk about those days you would be learning from him. For instance I remember Chet showing me a certain RCA microphone and describing how they got that bass drum thing to happen on the recording. I think that was the first time that a bass drum got amplified I believe, it had a mic in it like that.

I think what a lot of people forget is that for a long, long time Chet was making all kinds of records. He managed to get through a hell of a lot of music, it was unbelievable really. And when you think about all the people he produced it’s unreal.

You’d just learn things, just by hanging out with him. Every now and again he’d say something and you’d just pick up a lot.

Tom: A light bulb would go off when he said it.

Mark: Yeah, without realizing it, he’d just make a little point about something and it turned into something much bigger.

Video: Mark and Chet perform at the 1987 Secret Policeman’s Ball”

Tom: What was the most rewarding thing of everything that you think you learned from Chet or being around Chet, what was the most rewarding personally for you?

Mark: I think one of the things that gave me so much pleasure working with him was that he was so down home. He was so genuine, he didn’t try to be anybody else. He could do so much and he always did it himself. I admire him tremendously for picking his way out of poverty. He picked himself out of real poverty. Going to school without a coat in the cold. I felt proud that he shared all that with me, that he felt like talking about it with me, and I also admire him for his tenacity.

Behind that down home and humble personality I think he was proud of what he’d achieved and he knew what he could do. As he used to say, “With enough practice and application you can get there,” and he certainly did that. He hung in there. I do know he was such a decent guy that he found it a strain when he was being an executive at RCA and I admire the fact that he handled all that stress. Remember, he was diagnosed with cancer in ’73. He was handling all that and still going back and playing the guitar and doing a lot of those great, great records. Many of those great recordings that he made at home really.

Tom: I hear a lot of nice stories about Chet that have to do with things other than guitar, sometimes funny stories. What was he like as a person?

Mark: He was great. One funny thing I remember was that one day I was having breakfast with him at a place called the Pancake Pantry. Well this guy got up from breakfast from across the big table where we were sitting and as the guy was walking out Chet sort of casually said to me, “You know, that guy is a real big gospel singer… a real famous gospel singer.” And then he leaned in closer and sort of cupped his hand round the side of his mouth as if he was going to tell me something confidential and then he just said, “Chases every skirt in town.”

Tom: Mark, thank you for spending so much time together today.

Mark: It’s a great pleasure Tom, all the best.

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Keep Your System Simple! Self-Defense And The Science Of Stress Performance

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“There Are No Superior Martial Arts,

Only Superior Martial Artists”

I’ve read, heard, repeated and written that phrase so often I can’t even remember where it came from. The reason I like it so much is because it’s true!

This article is not another effort to debate the merits of one self-defense system over another. Nor is it to argue about which style will or won’t work “on the street.” All martial arts have components within them that are powerful fighting techniques. It’s important to know which ones they are!

Self-Defense Systems Differ,

But Self-Defense Principles Don’t

On the surface, martial arts and self-defense systems seem different. However, if they are legitimate and effective, the principles underlying them are the same.

Principles are the rules about the way things are. They are inarguable, non-negotiable and unchanging. They have nothing to do with the way we think things are or the way we want them to be. Like the laws of physics, they just are.

As “Martial Scientists,” our goal is to explore, discover, test and confirm the operative principles that define and influence the reality of combat. Your ability to produce a desired result, in this case to effectively defend yourself, is a direct result of how well you understand and apply the principles of combat and human performance.

What Do You Know About

Performance Under Pressure?

This article is about how fear and stress affect fighting performance. Whether you consider yourself a seasoned martial artist, a self-defense enthusiast, or a self-taught “ham & egger” who just wants to stay in shape and boost your confidence, this information is important to know. If you are training for self-defense, you need to select and develop skills that will be effective in the chaos of a violent conflict. This article will help you in that process.

FEAR, STRESS AND SELF-DEFENSE

Stress Is Good, But Only If It

Works For And Not Against You

Stress is our response to a real or perceived threat that we inherited from our ancestors. It was, and is, essential for our survival as a species. That survival mechanism, often called the “Fight or Flight Response,” is a good thing. If properly managed, it can be a powerful force in fighting off (fight) or escaping from (flight) a violent assailant. However, if ignored or misunderstood, stress can impair our mental and physical performance and compromise our effectiveness in a fight.

What Is “Self-Defense Stress?”

Stress, as it relates to violence, is the response to a perceived discrepancy between a threat and your ability to control it under conditions where the outcome has the potential for death, injury or physical degradation.

The Symptoms Of Stress

Stress causes a variety of psychological and physiological changes. Without getting into the specifics of those changes, the affects of intense stress on performance fall into three categories:

1. Perceptual Distortion – loss of peripheral vision and depth perception, hearing may be impaired, changes in pain sensitivity, etc.

2. Cognitive Impairment – the emotional centers in the brain become predominant and creative or logical thinking is impaired.

3. Motor Skill Deterioration – the ability to perform certain physical actions is impaired by stress. However, other actions can actually be enhanced by stress.

Each of these categories could form an article (or book) of their own. However, for the purposes of this article, I’ll confine myself to information pertaining to the selection and performance of physical skills.

THE KYSS! PRINCIPLE (Keep Your System Simple!)

Why Do Black Belts Get Beat Up?

Why is it that so many martial artists get beat up? I’m sorry to burst your bubble if you thought otherwise but the fact is that many people, even after years of training, have been thumped by “unskilled,” intoxicated adversaries. How can that be?

Often people train with a distorted mental map of what it’s like to be in a real, knockdown, drag-out, anything-goes street-fight. They confuse sparring with fighting and find themselves hesitant, overwhelmed by fear or attempting techniques that just don’t work.

The more clearly you understand the realities of a “fight” and the affects of being in one, the better you can prepare yourself for the chaos of personal combat.

Motor Skills Classification

Motor Skills is a fancy name for physical actions or techniques. They can be divided into three categories:

1. Fine Motor Skills – are actions involving small muscles, dexterity and eye-hand coordination. The ability to perform fine motor skills deteriorates at low to moderate levels of stress.

2. Complex Motor Skills – are actions that link three or more components in a sequence that requires timing and coordination. At moderate to high levels of stress, the ability to perform these skills is also impaired. Many martial arts techniques are complex motor skills. This explains why techniques that may work fine in low-stress training fail in a high-stress street-fight.

3. Gross motor skills – are simple, large-muscle group actions like a squats, pushups and push/pull-type movements. This includes basic fighting skills like a straight punch, a hook punch or a Thai boxer’s knee strike for example. Unlike fine and complex motor skills, gross motor skills DO NOT deteriorate under stress. In fact, they are enhanced by the affects of fear and stress.

Obviously we want to rely predominantly on gross motor skills when designing a self-defense response system.

The “Less-Is-Best” Theory

Some self-defense and martial arts instructors believe in the “More-Is-Better” philosophy. They think that learning a high number of techniques will increase the ability to respond effectively to a wider variety of situations; that the more elaborate the fighting system the more adaptable it becomes.

If you hold this philosophy yourself, please forgive my bluntness but…YOU’RE WRONG!!! The More-Is-Better approach does not withstand scientific scrutiny. Complex or elaborate techniques don’t work in a real fight. It’s as simple as that.

In contrast, the “Less-Is-Best” approach is more practical, realistic and consistent with what science tells us about the way we perform under stress. Here are a few of the benefits of keeping the number of techniques to a minimum.

Faster Reaction Time

As far back as the 1800’s, researchers knew that the more responses you have to a stimulus, the longer it takes react. In 1952, a researcher named Hicks confirmed that for every response choice added, the amount of time required to react doubles! This is widely known as “Hicks Law,” and has been repeatedly confirmed by subsequent research. In a self-defense situation, the longer you take to respond to a threatening action, the more likely you will be injured and defeated.

Fast Results With Minimal Training

Another issue that supports the idea of keeping your inventory of techniques to a minimum is the amount of time you have to practice and the time it takes to build technique competence. (remember: competence builds confidence which reduces stress!)

Imagine you work on 20 techniques and you train for an hour per session. That means you have 3 minutes to invest on each technique. If however, you reduce the number of self-defense techniques to three (just an arbitrary number), you invest 20 minutes on each technique, conceivably investing 600% more time and repetition on each one. What technique wouldn’t be improved by six times more training?

The Brass Knuckle Effect (Cognitive Clarity)

Imagine you knew you were about to be attacked by a large, strong, psychopathic assailant. There is no way of avoiding the fight. Let’s say your self-defense system consists of 20 different techniques. In the stressful moments preceding the encounter your mind is reeling; trying to figure out the most appropriate course of action.

Keep in mind that your cognitive abilities are impaired by stress. Stress-related “brain damage” prevents you from forming a logical or creative solution to your predicament. What will you do?

Seeing your dilemma, a good friend (if he wasn’t before he is now!) discretely passes you a set of brass knuckles. What do you suppose has just happened to your thought process?

I’ll hazard a guess that the mental fog begins to lift, your stress decreases and your objective becomes clear. It’s now a simple matter of taking those brass knuckles and slamming them repeatedly into vulnerable parts of your opponent’s anatomy. Seems simple now doesn’t it?

The potential of you winning the encounter has been significantly enhanced. That same affect can be achieved without the brass knuckles by sticking to a limited, yet adaptable, inventory of dependable fighting skills.

THE SCIENCE OF STRESS POINTS TO THE NEED TO SPECIALIZE

Virtually all accomplished fighters are known for specific techniques that they excel at. However, if you ignore their “bread & butter” techniques, most of them would be considered “average.” Those fighters excel because of their ability to simplify their system and build on their superior techniques.

Knowing what you now know about technique selection and stress performance, what do you think about the merits of “specializing” in a core set of fighting skills? Here’s how to get started.

Explore Your Strengths

Don’t just latch onto a fighting tactic arbitrarily. Evaluate your existing skills and select a strike, a kick, or a finishing hold that seems like a “good fit” for you. What technique to you consistently land or apply when sparring? What is your best or favorite technique? What technique do you feel you would resort to under pressure? Answering these questions will get you started with the specialization process.

Adaptability

Having as few techniques as possible doesn’t mean that you limit your ability to respond to a wide variety of situations. The idea is to take that specialty strike, kick, joint lock or choke and train it in as many different ways as possible. Learn to apply those basic skills at different ranges (striking, clinching or on the ground), against different partners, against different apparatus and in as many drills as you can think of. Learn how to set them up and follow them up. Strive to learn a lot about a little, not vice versa.

Train to Momentary Exhaustion

A good way to see how well a technique holds up under stress is to train it to extreme fatigue. You can bring on the physiology of intense stress by exerting yourself. I call this “blitz training” in the heavy bag article: “There’s nothing like a swift kick to the bag.” on my site at:

http://www.protectivestrategies.com/heavybag.html

Blast out a technique or combination repeatedly for a specified duration or until you can’t do it any more. I can guarantee that gross motor skills will be the only ones conducive to this type of training.

Keep in mind that you wouldn’t do this training all of the time. You need time to recover between intense workouts like this.

Obviously you must be healthy and in good physical shape to do in this training. Refer to my disclaimer page for precautions before following this advice.

http://www.protectivestrategies.com/disclaimer.html

Simplicity Is Not Inflexibility

A final note in keeping things simple is that the process of specialization doesn’t mean that you stop learning, experimenting or that you abandon your existing training program in lieu of a “bare-bones” self-defense program.

If you are proud of your traditional martial arts system stick with it. If you love to jump up, spin around and kick things, then by all means, go for it! Just don’t confuse techniques that will work in a street fight with those that won’t. Apply the science of stress performance by adding specialty training to the degree that you want to develop practical self-defense skills.

SO WHAT? HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION

Using The “KYSS! Principle”

To Evaluate A Potential Specialty Technique

Now its time to put this stuff into practice: Based on the priority you place on “fighting skill.” (there are several other benefits and reasons to train) Take a good, hard look at the skills you have in your inventory and the amount of time you plan to invest in training.

Decide on what proportion of your training you want to dedicate to self-defense. Design your system based on the following “KYSS Criteria.”

=> is the technique a “gross motor skill?”

=> do you have confidence in your ability to perform the skill under pressure?

=> What technique is most successful for you in training sparring or competition? (however don’t confuse those activities with fighting)

=> Is the technique applicable in a wide variety of situations, at different ranges, in different environments, ring clothing that you were during your day-to-day activities?

=> Are you able to construct a wide variety of training drills to build adaptability and flexibility in your chosen techniques?

=> Are there techniques that you’ve selected that are redundant?

=> Do you understand the underlying principles and biomechanics of performing and applying the skill with optimal efficiency?

CONCLUSION

Stress in a combative situation is a given. Expect it. It’s going to be there. Your performance is the result of how confident and well prepared you are in addition to how well designed your self-defense response system is. Attack the problem of stress performance this way:

=> Simplify your system through specializing in a handful of effective and adaptable techniques.

=> Artificially create stress in your training sessions to inoculate yourself to it to some degree (more on this in future articles) and…

=> Select gross motor skills that will be efficient under stress.

Knowing what you now know about stress performance isn’t it obvious that the “KYSS! (Keep Your System Simple!) Principle” is worth incorporating into your training? Scrutinize and evaluate your inventory of fighting skills and select those that meet the KYSS criteria and you will improve your performance in a combative situation dramatically. The bottom line of what I want you to take away from this article is that if you are training for self-defense Keep Your System Simple!

Take care, train smart and stay safe,

Randy LaHaie

Protective Strategies

============== Self-Defense Quote =================

“There are no superior or inferior martial arts, there are only warriors and non-warriors”

“Each martial art is based on doctrine, a set of broad and general beliefs. People who study a single doctrine tend to shut out ideas from other sources and convince themselves that their’s is the one true way of fighting. They become slaves to the very doctrines they profess.”

Forrest E. Morgan, Maj. USAF

Living The Martial Way

A Manual For The Way A Modern Warrior Should Think

================================================================

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Start From the Bottom While Starting a Small Business Marketing Campaign

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Everyone starts from the bottom and everyone do not get the chance to go to the top. This is because the crucial method in order to be with the big boys at the top is to do baby steps while at the bottom; working your way up until you reach your goals.

Such is the case on starting a small business marketing campaign. Starting from scratch is having an effective plan while you rise up on the ranks. We can see a small business marketing campaign on the most inexpensive platform to launch it. The internet and its billions and billions of people, who patronize it, think of the potential to start a small business marketing campaign with almost zero capital.

The only thing critical while you start would be; a high speed internet service provider and your laptop or desktop. The right education on the basic marketing strategies on the internet can be a great help, but since you’re a computer geek everything could be smooth sailing.

Starting a small business marketing would consists of getting your product out in the open, since it will be small at the start, you may want to setup your own website just so people can get acquainted with whatever your are selling. Free websites are a dime a dozen on the internet and this is actually starting small, by capitalizing on the numerous freebies available on the internet you are setting the right course for your small business marketing campaign to flourish at the right time.

You’ve set up your website and you’re good to go with your product now it’s time to let it loose on cyberspace. Basic knowledge on how to broadcast your website through billions of users is the key to get the right exposure. Again taking small steps at a time by researching on the basic website optimization and promotion.Unfortunately there is a downside, not all computer geeks can be counted as successful in the field of small business marketing campaign.

People who love what they’re doing even if they have little or no computer experience can get the job done by learning patiently the ropes on the internet. Everything can be learned through the internet most especially the tactics of a small business marketing campaign. All you need is watering it with positive attitudes like patience, determination and perseverance, once you apply this you’re on your way to building an effective business empire.

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Why To Select Reliable CCTV Camera Dealers To Protect Premises

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Video surveillance confers multiple benefits to all those business professionals for whom their business’ security is of prime concern. They not only help in protecting outside break-ins and robberies, but also play a vital role in sustaining business premises to make it a safer place to work. Therefore, it’s better to hire security services offered by reliable CCTV camera dealers to yield high returns on investments. Let’s delve into details for more.

Reduces Employee Thefts:

It’s hard to believe that a company’s employees can actually steal business confidential details for their own benefits, but surprisingly it happens frequently. In accordance to the latest surveys, approx 80% of employees involve in such kind of activities. Thus, if businesses want to catch those culprits to reclaim their business assets safe and secure, then they need to install CCTV surveillance security solutions in their premises. When employees know they are under camera observations, then they will think twice before taking such big risks.

Offer Workflow Monitoring:

Are you willing to check whether your employees actually work for 9-hour shifts, or if they are spending their time in doing something waste? Workflow monitoring is not employed just to record theft measures within an organization. Additionally, CCTV camera installation practices in a workplace help management to take all needed measures to motivate employees for boosting their efficiency aspects. Workflow monitoring performed with the help of a high-tech IP camera helps retail owners to judge whether they are under or over staff. However, such retail security solutions also assist retailers to understand their operation model in a better way.

Provide a Safer Workplace:

Employees’ protection is equally important as business protection. Thus, it’s necessary to mount security cameras at entrances, exits, parking lots, office premises, warehouses, and cafeteria to create a safer working environment for employees. These security tactics don’t help in preventing vandalism, robbery, burglary, vehicle break-ins, but also helps in ensuring fire smoke heat detection practices. However, services conferred by a trustworthy IP camera dealer plays a significant role to reduce unwanted criminal activities that may happen in an office premises or any other location.

Helps in Avoiding Frivolous Lawsuits:

A camera’s ability to evade businesses from frivolous lawsuit incidents is one among the biggest reasons why most of the business professionals are moving towards security camera installation practices. On the other hand, security cameras efficiently play the role of an active deterrent in against of such type of criminal activities. However, physical fights between employees or harassment claims can also initiate lawsuits incidents. But, CCTV camera dealers will efficiently play an integral role in protecting businesses and employees as well.

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Crystal Healing – How to Use Quartz Healing Crystals

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What are healing crystals? They are crystals, a pair of Clear Quartz Crystals that are used to detox and heal your emotional, mental, physical bodies, your Aura and the Ethereal energy field. They can be used alone or in conjunction with other crystals and minerals.

What do these crystals do? These special crystals enable the user to direct pure Divine Energy into and through their physical body. Using crystals is a natural way to enhance the body’s own healing capability, to process energy at a higher rate of vibration.

Before you can begin using Clear Quartz Healing Crystals during healing sessions, it is essential to choose or allow the crystals to choose you. One of the best ways to discern which healing crystals are the right ones for you to be working with is to be open the vibrational frequency of the crystals themselves.

If you are lucky enough to find crystals already in pairs, most of the “work” has been done for you. You simply “ask” which set of crystals resonate with you. How would you discern which ones are the right ones for you? Calm yourself, breathe deeply exhaling slowly and pass your left hand slowly over each set. The crystals which radiate a warmth or distinct sense of energy into the palm of your hand are the ones which resonate with you and your energy best.

If you are unsure if what you are sensing or feeling is real, hold the crystals in the palms of your hands. Remember the point of the crystal in your left hand should be directed towards your wrist. The point of the crystal in your right hand is to be directed towards your fingers away from your wrist.

It is important for the Quartz Healing Crystals to be held in each hand with the points both facing towards and away from you, allowing energy to flow through you. When working with a set of healing crystals, you become a channel, a conduit for Divine Energy to flow in to and out of your physical body. If the points are both facing away or towards you it blocks the natural flow.

Once you have chosen which crystals you will work with. Cleanse and re-charge the crystals prior to using them for the first time. To cleanse and re-charge your crystals, rinse them in cool water, pass them over incense or place them in the Sun light for a few hours.

Now you are ready to begin using your Healing Crystals. Quiet your mind, hold your crystals in your hands, breathe deeply exhaling slowly and speak the Invocation of Light 3 times. You may speak it aloud or silently to yourself. The Invocation of Light is: I invoke the Spark if Divinity within, I am a clear and perfect channel, Light is my guide.

You will begin to feel a soft tingling vibration at first. It may take a little practice for you to actually feel or sense the energy from the crystals flowing though you. Whether you feel or sense the energy of the crystals flowing through you right away or not, trust that it is happening.

The healing crystal in your left hand draws in pure energy from Divine Source. As the energy flows in to, through and out of your right hand, it takes with it all that is no longer needed. Meaning, as you open yourself to Divine Source, allowing Divine White Light to flow through you, all negative energy that has been collected, stored and become stagnant is purged from within you and your Aura.

Remember your Aura is a direct reflection of what is and is not happening in your physical body.

You can perform this simple self-healing technique on yourself by laying down, sitting in your mediation chair or standing up with your feet shoulder width apart.

You may choose to allow yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes the first few times you practice this crystal healing technique. As you become comfortable, gaining confidence in you, you will begin to notice how differently your body feels. You will begin to feel and experience harmony and peacefulness more often and for longer periods of time.

When you have completed your self-healing session, cleanse and re-charge the crystals. It is essential to increase your intake of water over the next 24 hours to complete your inner detox and healing process.

This simple crystal healing technique is very effective. Working with crystals will enhance your daily life and expand your sense of conscious awareness.

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What Is VPSDeploy & How Does It Work To Provision "Cloud" VPS Servers Across Modern Providers?

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VPSDeploy is a new web platform designed to provide users with the ability to “deploy” web based applications to a number of different “cloud” VPS servers.

The system was originally designed to support “Ruby on Rails” application deployments, with an underlying application designed to provide users with a “one click” solution to getting their applications deployed.

Since the popularity of the system has grown, it’s branched out into the provision of a number of other services, including the likes of database provision and CDN integration.

The point of the service is that if you’re looking to utilize the MASSIVE wave of new compute resource that has been provided by way of the “cloud” service providers (Microsoft Azure, AWS, Rackspace, DigitalOcean etc) – you need a way to provision the servers you’re using.

Contrary to popular belief, you’re basically paying for a distributed VPS server running on 1000’s of servers in different data warehouses. The VPS’s you run will still require the installation of an underlying OS (Linux or Windows) and will also need the various libraries / applications necessary to get those systems working properly (typically the likes of web server software etc).

Whilst “deployment” services exist already (from the likes of Nanobox), the big issue they have is they are entirely focused on providing “per app” functionality. This means that you’re basically getting a system that deals with the provisioning of a single application – running on as many servers as required.

It has been created to provide server-centric software capabilities – allowing users to deploy as many apps as they want onto their server infrastructure. It works very similarly to the “shared” hosting we all know and love (which basically has a single server box with 1,000’s of user accounts on it).

How It Works

Its core is a vast API integration system which allows it to integrate directly into the various “cloud” VPS providers. Companies like Microsoft, Rackspace, DigitalOcean and others all provide simple API’s which gives the application the ability to connect to a user’s account on their provider of choice, and set up servers as required.

This capacity gives the application the ability to create, manage and provision a multitude of different servers on different providers. For example, if you wanted to guide UK traffic to an AWS-powered server cluster, you’d be able to do set that up in conjunction to the German traffic’s Hetzner cluster.

To get this working, the system also includes an “endpoint manager” – which basically helps people visualize their DNS setup. The DNS is essentially your domain names – they point users to different web servers.

Whilst the DNS side of things has been taken care of before, VPSDeploy’s endpoint manager is the first to provide a visual experience – backed by the ability to manage the various public-facing “endpoints” that a user may wish to use.

Regardless of how the system manages the various infrastructure you may have, the point is that it actually deploys a “stack” to each VPS you may want to deploy. This “stack” basically installs all the software that gets a server operating for the “web”, and thus means that if you’re looking to deploy applications to your server infrastructure, you’ll be able to tap into the GIT repositories established by the system, and the underlying libraries it will have installed – all via SSH (so it’s able to do it across a number of different providers).

Is It Effective?

The most important thing to remember is that it is not a replacement for cloud VPS provision; it’s a way to manage it.

The way in which the system is able to help you visualize, manage and optimize the various applications & servers you have running is one of the most effective systems that a developer may wish to use to deploy their applications.

Whilst running web based applications / services on “cloud” VPS infrastructure is not a necessity, it’s certainly one of the most extensible and modular ways to get up and running in a production capacity.

Why Would You Need It?

The main benefit of using the system is the way in which it allows you to manage your own infrastructure.

The way the “web” works is exactly the same as your home network (computer systems networked together) – except we have a huge system called the DNS which basically allows us to mask a huge amount of infrastructure behind “domain” names.

Domain names allow us to manage exactly what shows to a client when they want to access a particular service or content. This works well, BUT has a major issue in the sense that if you want to provide your *own* infrastructure (beyond “shared” or “dedicated” hosting), there is presently no way to do it.

The introduction of the many “cloud” VPS providers basically provided us with the capacity to determine exactly what our infrastructure looks like – without having to purchase / rent expensive hardware.

The only problem presently is that if you’re going to go down the “cloud” route, you need to ensure you actually have a way to both manage your infrastructure *and* (if necessary) determine exactly how that infrastructure is going to work cross-provider.

Other Solutions

If you are looking at moving (or adopting) to a cloud-centric infrastructure, you’ll be best placed looking at a number of different services which are able to help provision servers across the various providers.

Some of the more pertinent are Nanobox and Hatchbox – the latter being specifically for Ruby on Rails. Nanobox works very similarly to Heroku, except it’s able to deploy to a number of different services, and is very dependable.

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Free Web Page Hosting – How Much Does It Really Cost and How Can You Tell If It’s Right For You?

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The short answer is: Maybe. Free web page hosting may be a great way to get started with your Web presence, especially if you are planning to develop a personal website.

Nearly all Internet Service Providers give you very limited free hosting when you sign up for an internet access plan. But it’s usually just enough for a page or two. There are even some web hosting companies who’ll give you a fairly complete free web site hosting package.

Quid Pro Quo

The give-back with free web page hosting is that you must accept online ads plastered all over your web site over which you’ll have no control. If you are hosting a personal web site and are not concerned about a bunch of unrelated or possibly offensive ads on your web pages, a free web site may be a good way to go.

However, if you plan to establish an online business presence you should simply forget about free web page hosting. The limited range of features, coupled with a barrage of ads unrelated to your business, will certainly be a turn-off for your visitors.

It’s Not 1995 Anymore

Most web surfers today are pretty savvy and can spot a free website at a glance and will not take your business seriously if your website doesn’t exude at least a basic degree of professionalism. You just can’t do that with a free web site.

The Good News

It’s actually pretty easy to find paid, yet affordable, web hosting that will enable your online business to compete effectively against the big guys. That is, if you know the kind of web hosting solution that will suit your immediate and long term needs.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of free web page hosting versus a more comprehensive paid web hosting plan.Free Hosting – Pros

  • Well, nothing is completely free. In the case of free web page hosting, it’s pretty close to being free except for having to put up with those pesky ads.
  • Free web sites that come with your ISP’s internet access plan are generally easy to set up and modify using free, though limited, web site design tools provided.
  • This is also true of the free hosting packages offered by some mainstream web hosting companies. They get some ad revenue. You get online for free.
  • Free sites should cause no concerns if you are planning to build a web site that is essentially non-commercial in nature.

Free Hosting – Cons

  • The main drawback with free web page hosting is that it obviuosly looks to your visitors like a non-commercial (read “unprofessional”) web site.

So if you are planning to transact any business online, whether product, software, or services sales, or affiliate and pay-per-click marketing. you simply must pay for your hosting.

Not To Worry

At Web-Host-Watch we report on a variety of free and low cost hosting solutions. Spend some time with our tutorials, tips, and recommendations to get the information you’ll need to select the best paid or free hosting plan that’s just right for you.

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