As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
I just typed up a long letter to some dance teachers trying to explain why their business should dump the free domain forwarding service they were using to direct readers from an interesting domainname to the webspace provided by their broadband provider (something many people and businesses do). Some of these forwarding services provide a free domain name but force some advertisement onto the reader before redirecting the user to the actual website, usually after a *wait* of 15 seconds or so.
Personally, I think the lengthy delay and the advertisement of some *other* business while people are trying to get to your website is really a bad business decision. It does nothing but annoy the customer while they have to wait for the redirect and to have advertisements forced on them. This might actually drive customers *away*.
However, there is a positive incentive to get a real website, with a real domain name, and especially one that comes with emailboxes.
If a (dance) business owner/proprietor advertises by using an "interesting" domain name but uses a generic email address provided by a company like Hotmail, GeoCities, Comcast, Yahoo, MSn, or any one of a myriad of Internet providers, it makes people (or perhaps, just us geeks) wonder why they aren't using their domainname in their email address. Perhaps it isn't a real domain name? Just a redirect to another website? A facade? Maybe they're cheap? Maybe they don't know or understand?
If you use a full service ISP providing webspace and email addresses associated with a domain name, that means you can use emailboxes that use your domain name. Think about what that means. If you use an address directly associated with your business, if you give out email addresses to your employees, then every message that gets sent out from your service includes the *URL* of your website. Every message you send out includes a line (the return address) that *advertises* your business, even if it's just a forwarding address to your real mailbox.
*That* is the best reason why small businesses should shell out a few bucks a year (less than the cost of a 4- or 6-week dance class) for a decent website service. Besides, getting an interesting email address that's easier to remember, it makes it easier to remind people of your *business* and those readers might just get curious enough to see if a website exists for that domain name.
Like many funerals, it's a bittersweet event. I went to mourn the lost of a family member while I also got to see people I haven't seen in a while as well as people I hadn't met before. My uncle Tony was a nice contrast to most of my older relatives: he was fun and I could relate to him. He was married to my favorite aunt and was the father of my favorite cousin, and the grandfather of my new favorite second-cousin. I also got to see the kids of my first non-Chinese relative (formerly married to a cousin) whom I've only seen in pictures.
While it was a sad occasion, I felt honored to be asked to be a pallbearer. And it gave us a chance to reconnect to relatives up there so I expect to get up there more often.
I think that people down here in Boston have *no* idea what cold really is. While the absolute temperature was not all that different, the proximity to Lake Ontario gives the wind a lot of room to build up momentum so the wind chill is absolutely insane. While attending a funeral at any time isn't a happy occasion, doing it in February makes it miserable.
I rented a Mercury Navigator, the first SUV I've ever driven. While it was perfect with its 7 seats for our group, it was probably the biggest vehicle I've ever driven. I don't think I've ever put that much money into a gas tank before ($60 CDN) (I was told it got 9 miles per gallon). I was pretty scared because the roof rack kept dinging the height restriction indicator at the entrance to the garage but the rest of the garage was probably at least a couple of inches higher than that. (having one person in the back of the SUV was all it took to clear the bar).
The nice thing about this vehicle was that it had the NeverLost GPS navigation system. All you had to do was indicate the destination address and it'd direct you to the front door, including warning you about approaching exits and turns. We never had to worry about getting lost.
If you're up in Toronto and need a decent hotel, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Novotel Hotel in North York.
A while ago, I wrote a piece in this space about someone's behavior that I didn't approve of. It was my usual diatribe of complaining about some behavior that I saw as dishonest or dishonorable. Of course, I didn't expect the subject of my commentary to ever read it, much less understand it, but at least I felt better about having discussed it and I hope others learned from that example of disreputable bahavior.
At some point recently, someone else found out the details of the situation that caused me to write that particular soapbox and realized that the actual "dirt" made it a much more interesting story and got the point across better.
Alas, I wish I could mention names, but it would make my Soapbox appear to be an attack, which is not my intent. It would have also allowed people to assume that they weren't also guilty of the same behavior. As I've stated before, some people serve no useful purpose in life other than to be a bad example to be held up for scrutiny. I realize I lose some of the impact by not mentioning names, but I hope that my Soapboxes will cause some people to ask themselves, "Did I do that? Is he talking about something I did? Maybe I should be more careful about what I say or what I do".
It takes only a minor misunderstanding to cause ill feeling from something that's only a minor blip on the radar screen. I hope this Soapbox helps some of you take a step back and add to your list of things to avoid doing.
A friend of mine recently talked to me about some unusual behavior she encountered on the dance floor.
There are various people at any local dance venue who are going to attract extraordinary attention for one reason or another. It could be because they run a regular dance event, or perhaps they're a regular and prominent fixture at any dance. Perhaps they're just a good or "visible" dancer. In any case, people will come up and ask that person to dance, whatever the excuse. If the person being asked doesn't want to dance, he or she should consider how they want to respond.
The "askee" in this case allegedly responded that they were waiting for someone else to return so he or she could help them with something. That person then waited around and ignored my friend for the rest of the evening. My friend was confused as to why that person appeared to act so rudely towards her.
If this was an "ordinary" person, they'd just forget about it eventually. However, the person who was asked is someone who's a somebody; they're a "name" to be remembered. Also, the "asker" is also a "somebody". That meant both parties involved aren't likely to forget the incident and whenever they see each other in public, they're going to remember that brush-off.
People are going to remember insults and slights more readily than acts of politeness. People in the public eye have addition concerns to worry about because they are going to be noticed and remembered more easily for everything they say and do. (As an example, the dance teacher who *shoved* me off his dance floor during a dance I paid to attend is not going to be forgotten any time soon). I think that in cases like this, it isn't worth giving someone an excuse to talk about how you might have accidentally treated them. A dance is a three-minute commitment; it's not forever. Once the song is over, you're free to go find love in someone else's arms and no one will fault you for that.
Personally, I'm always flattered when someone asks me for a dance. I tend not to refuse a dance unless I'm really tired or the song is really awful (meaning, they won't get my best dance). And if I don't dance that song, I try to find that person later on for a dance.