Best tips, sites and programs for community and communications.
Buy A Great Wireless Plan And/Or Phone
Point.com is a great place to shop for your wireless phone, service plan and accessories. You can research and compare virtually all available wireless phones and service plans at no cost, and buy what you need online. Point.com has more than 3,000 service plans, 200 phones and 1,000 accessories, including virtually 100 percent of all wireless phones and plans in the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas. Point.com was named one of the
seven Best Web Sites of 1998 by Business Week magazine.
An article at MS-NBC explains how to find the best wireless plan for your cell phone. One smart trick is to pick the right plan for your calling pattern. Another trick is to avoid some of the tricks used by some cell companies! If you receive a lot of short calls on your cell phone, you should consider getting a plan that gives you the first incoming minute free.
Create A Plan For Your Next Date
The Love@AOL Date Planner asks you questions about your budget, mood, interests and how well you know your date. It then lists dating ideas from a list of over 200 possibilities. You can sign in at the site, enter your preferences, and come back later to retrieve your saved "dating profile".
Download I-Seek-You Chat For Instant Messaging
ICQ-chat is renowned as the Internet's best chat program. It resides on your hard disk, and lets you chat with anyone who's surfing the Web. It tells you when and if your friends & associates are surfing the net! You can chat, send messages and files, play games or use it as the perfect business tool to find and contact associates in realtime through the internet.
Find Social Contacts, And Network Like Crazy
At SocialNet, you can find like-minded friends close to home, and get some of your best matches ever. Just answer a few simple questions and SocialNet's SureMatch (TM) system links you to people you'll really click with. Try these programs for free:
- Match up for dating and romance with Relationships
- Buddy up for the fun stuff you love with JustPlay
- Make professional contacts with WorkingNetwork
- Find your next roommate at RoomMates
Get $3.30 In Stamped Envelopes
Postage4Free.com will give you ten stamped envelopes for taking 2-3 minutes to fill out an online survey. The envelopes have coupons and special offers from the advertisers who are paying for this offer. Allow four to six weeks for delivery, USA addresses only.
Get Free Ad-Supported Long-Distance Calling
A long-distance service called FreeWay lets you get 2 minutes of free long-distance for each 15-second ad you hear. Whenever you want to make a free call, dial their special toll-free 800 number and then enter your P.I.N. number, and then the number you want to call. You'll then hear a brief commercial message. For each message that you listen to, you will earn two free minutes of talk time.
Get Free Email And An Event Calendar At Visto.com
Visto.com is offering a free online service that gives you an event calendar, e-mail, address book and 15 MB of file storage. Visto won the prestigious "PC Magazine Editor's Choice" award for best online calendar. You'll also be entered into a drawing with a chance to win 50,000 frequent flyer miles which can be exchanged for 2 free tickets to anywhere in the USA! A free email account is especially useful if:
Teachers and students are encouraged to sign up!
- You have family members who would like an e-mail address
- You share an email account with someone else
- You have an email account through your company and would like a private address
- You're a mobile professional who would like a separate address, to access on the road
- You don't currently own a computer, but would like to get e-mail at public terminals
- You're an Internet-access bargain hunter
Get Free Internet Calls With WebPhone
It's free, and no hardware is required other than a soundcard, a microphone and speakers. This all-new version includes state of the art features like video conferencing, multi line conferencing, and superior performance. The latest in FREE and legal telephone calls through the Internet.
Another good free phone: PalTalk.
Join A Chat With Kids Worldwide at KidLink.org
At KidLink, kids can learn about the Internet and the world beyond it while they chat with other children from all over the world.
Join An Online Book Discussion
Rachel's Compendium of Online Book Discussions: A good directory of many online book clubs and discussion groups.
Join An Online Business Network
Access Business Online is is a business-to-business website designed to help businesses work together online, through the BizWiz Network of more than 300,000 companies. It is recognized as a valuable resource if you want to make contacts, or are buying or selling a product or service. All industries. All markets. Worldwide.
Join The World Opponent Network Of Gamers
WON is a great to play free games against friends (or non-friends) over the Internet. For some games, you need to buy the boxed software first (Civil War Generals II, 3D Ultra Mini Golf, Trophy Bass, Red Baron II etc.) Also play Acrophobia, You Don't Know Jack and more, You can talk in real-time over the Net, play in Contests and Tournaments, download 100s of free playable demos, and read Reviews, Previews and Strategy Guides
Join Video-Enabled Chats With Up To 6 People
All you need is a digital camera (such as a Connectix QuickCam) and a program called "CU-SeeMe." You can chat with any number of people and see up to 6 of them at a time. If you have a microphone, you can even speak to them. CU-SeeMe can be downloaded free for 30 days, after that it's $69. Images are jerky and the sound quality is spotty. Some people like to chat naked, so be prepared for that possibility.
Learn About Long Distance Plans
An article at Consumer Reports magazine explains long-distance calling services such as 10-10-321. Only about half the people who dial these numbers report significant savings, a prime culprit being the unexpected hidden charges. Read this article for recommendations on how to get your money's worth.
MCI has announced a new 5 cent plan for calling evenings and all weekend. It sounds good, but an article at the Consumers Union site is critical of the plan. The additional monthly fees you have to pay are often hidden in the fine print, and most people don't make enough calls to offset the extra charges.
To read about 5-cent plans, click: 5-Cents Plans
Participate In Local Community Activities
This site from Walt Disney Inc. has a great listing of local happenings around the US. Just click on your state's name in a drop-down select-box, and you'll be led to local events, news and more. There are also many helpful articles on kids, education, family and more.
Play Free Classic Games Online (Chess, Poker Etc.)
A great site for online board games is Yahoo! Games. Play chess, "go", reversi, and classic card games with thousands of other players at any given time. It's all free!
Excite Classic Games has a good site too, with a similar selection of games.
To read more, click: Excite Games
Save With 6.9 Cents/Minute Long Distance
Now you can get low-cost long distance with great service from Qwest, a major TelCo, with up to 6.9 free hours. They also provide toll-free (800) service, and International service to the UK & Canada at the same low 6.9 cent rate with no monthly fee and 1 second billing. Qwest was Fortune Magazine's top rated telco and the fourth largest long distance provider.
In-state rates are also low, about 5 or 10 cents per minute. "One Second Billing" means you pay only for the actual time of the call, instead of rounding up to the next minute (like most phone companies do.) QWest has the largest network capacity, and is the 4th largest long-distance phone company.
Send A Free Fax Anywhere In The USA
You can send up to 15 free faxes using Faxaway, "the premiere, low-cost, worldwide email-to-fax service!" If you register as a paying user, you can even send many different types of email attachments (attached pictures, etc.)
For web-based free faxes: Fax 4 Free
Send A Greeting Card By E-Mail
Want to send an e-mail with a little extra style? Something thoughtful and special, yet quick and easy? At Volition.com, you can even upload an image or sound file from your computer to accompany the card!
Some other good sites: Amazon.com Cards, Blue Mountain Arts.
Send Postage-Free Mail And Postcards
There are actually a couple of places on the Internet where you can send real postal mail (not email, nor electronic cards) free of charge. At iMaillFree.com, you can really send up to 20 letters and cards per month here, for free! How can this be? "All we ask is that if you do any online shopping, that you would consider going through our shopping site first and that you would truly use this site for what it is designed, keeping in touch with family and
friends." You can select from 20 different stationery designs, greeting cards and postcards. This site will also scan photos you send them, and post them online for free.
At DAIR Computer Sytems, for a limited time, you can send postcards for free (1 card per day per household.) You can send to nearly anywhere in world. All cards are actual 5 by 7 inch, printed, physical greeting cards with envelopes.
Send RealAudio Messages Through E-Mail
SonicMail lets you send voice messages to any email address. It uses streaming audio technology to send voice messages without any large file attachments. The recipient of your messages doesn't need SonicMail, but does need RealPlayer version 4.0 or later. (Minimum requirements: Windows 95, Pentium chip, 16MB RAM, microphone, speakers.)