How many have yet purchased something off the internet? A recent survey by Internet World reports that 43% of those online have bought something online. As security, and (more importantly) the perception of security, for online transactions increases, these figures are only expected to go up. To try to give those figures a tiny boost...
Searching the Web
(or "They Call Them 'Search Engines' 'Cause They Generate So Much Exhaust")
One of the first lessons of surfing is that there is no such thing as a simple search. The bizarre laws by which most of these so-called engines work make rocket science seem comparatively simple. the overriding principle seems to be: The more pages returned, the better the search engine. Yeah. Right.
After trying my hand at a number of engines, even the normally reliable Hotbot was barely able to return anything remotely resembling a match. The Big Buck Brewery looked like the best match. No gifts were readily apparent (perhaps frustrated shoppers were advised to drown said frustrations in some microbrewed beer). Big Buck was announcing the acquisition of a restaurant in Grand Rapids opening as a brewery/steakhouse in mid-February, so the excursion was not a total loss...
Shut out in the search engines, my next move was to hit a few bookmarks. Elsie Vredenberg has stiched together a number of quilts in her time and also put up a pretty darn good web site as well. Fast-loading with pictures of her work large enough to be seen, her site might help make you or a loved one a little warmer this Christmas. Marick Industries is a rather unlikely name for a doll kit manufacturer, but their doll kits look like they'd be perfect for your little (or big) sweatheart. At the Children's Christmas Santa Poster Page you can find not only a poster of the Fat Man, but also a link to Santa's Home Page. Interested in how many days, hours or minutes left till Christmas? How about Santa trivia or the chance to e-mail the Big Red One? Shoot, he even has a PGP key, so you know he's the real Mr. Claus. A fun site, with the commercialism well restrained.
In addition to the above, I thought I'd include a few hints for those who would like to buy a gift for me (or someone else who may have my tastes):
The Netsurfer's Christmas List:
v 1.1: ISP's, Montage and Twin T's
v 2.01: Can I Have Another Cookie?
v 2.02: 21st Century Schools
Andrew McFarlane is the editor of the Northern Michigan Journal and the webmaster for Leelanau.Com as well as a number of other northern Michigan web sites.
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