Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Networking: Passive Business Strategy or Proactive Marketing Tool?

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

The word “networking” has become so overused that some business professionals can no longer define it. Many people think that networking is attending social or business after-hour events, shaking a few hands, collecting a few cards, and, of course, giving away a few cards of their own. Sadly, they actually believe that’s all there is to networking. To be fair, we could say they’re engaging in social networking. That’s never to be confused, however, with business networking.

NetDefinedBusiness people tend to fall into one of two groups when it comes to their views of networking. For many, the current mind-set is that networking is a passive business strategy, not a proactive marketing tool. This attitude results in a scattered, often ineffective networking approach that consequently wastes the business owner’s time and money.

Not surprisingly, when people feel they’ve been wasting their time and money on something, they’re understandably not going to continue that activity.

On the other hand, some proprietors do consider networking a proactive marketing tool for their business. How can you tell? They make it a significant part of their marketing and business plans. They have networking goals. They may even have a budget line item for networking. Most importantly, they practice it and live it every day.

A distinguishing characteristic of self-made millionaires is that they network everywhere. Most important, they do it all the time – at business conferences, at the health club, on the golf course or with the person sitting next to them on a plane. This fact alone should motivate you to place yourself in situations where you can meet new people.

As you feel more comfortable with this process, you’ll find it easier to sit between strangers at business meetings or strike up a conversation with people at the spa.

Which view do you take?

BONUS Articles: What is Business Networking?
Are You a Superstar Networker?

MisnerCopyright © 2015 – Ivan Misner. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.

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netHQLarry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What is Business Networking?

Filed under: Networking,Networking Defined — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

Networking is many things to many people. What is is not is selling! What is is not is always taking and never giving.

Here are a few things that networking is:

BusinessNET1. Networking is giving business referrals without expectations.
2. Networking is the ability to express appreciation by always remembering to say, “Thank you!”
3. Networking is career and personal clarity.
4. Networking is your access to opportunity and access comes through developing relationships with others.
5. Networking is an ongoing relationship building process.
6. Networking is being willing to set realistic, achievable networking goals.
7. Networking is beging committed to do whatever it takes to achieve those goals.
8. Networking is caring enough to do and be your very best.
9. Networking is loving yourself enough to love and give to others.
10. Networking is connecting with others to help them in any way you can.
11. Networking is developing the resources for future business referrals by developing close, business relationships.
12. Networking is an organized method of designing links from the people you know, connecting with the people they know, gaining and ever-expanding base of contacts to exchange information, advice, business contacts and support.
13. Networking is an opportunity to contribute to others and being a resource for other people.
14. Networking is about contribution. It’s about giving!
15. Networking is getting to know people who can help you develop your career and who you can help.
16. Networking’ is a socioeconomic business activity by which groups of “like-minded” business people recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities.
17. Networking is the exchange of information or services among individuals, or groups; specifically the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business referrals.
18. Networking is creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit. It’s based on the question “How can I help you?” and not with “What can I get?”
19. Networking is a process where you develop long term relationships with others for mutual benefit.

and my personal favorite – the definition I have used in my business networking seminars and workshops since 1987…

20. Networking is using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals… expecting nothing in return!

“We are walking encyclopedias of knowledge, and yet go to the grave with the music still within ourselves, unless we can master the art of networking. With our changing values, shifting methods and increasing competition, we find networking far more important than ever before. We must circulate if we expect to percolate, and we must make contacts if we expect to make contracts.” ~ Cavet Robert

Networking is a deceptively complex process. It is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual or organization. Networking works, but it doesn’t work by accident. It centers around building relationships. Building relationships takes time. Not everyone you meet is in a position to help you, however, most of the time – if you put forth the effort – you can find a way to help them. Networking for mutually beneficial business growth must be strategic and focused. It’s not easy. It takes finesse, patience and understanding about how relationships work and it can expand your circle of influence far beyond your imagination.

As my friend, Harvey Mackay says, “You have to dig your well before you’re thirsty!” Networking demands patience (the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset).

Getting involved in networking is being in it for the long haul. It is a two-way process where you make contacts that may be beneficial to you, but where you also offer information and assistance in return. Don’t expect to land numerous business referrals until you have proven to your friends that you can “give” business referrals.

Networking is a business and personal marketing tool that can deliver your overall business and marketing strategy. Because it is a personal form of communication and always involves face-to-face contact, networking deepens your personal and business connections. Good networkers achieve amazing results. For me networking has become a lifelong habit that I have used throughout my career. How you do it, when and with whom is up to you; but if you do it well, with a strategy, it will bring benefits to your business – both now and for a long time to come. I would not be where I am today had I not hopped on the networking train many year ago. All aboard!

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Don’t Wait Until You’re Drowning to Reach Out For Help!

Likewise… don’t wait until you are desperate for business before you begin networking.

The odds against instant gratification are slim when you begin. You probably ought to get use to delayed gratification because networking will teach you patience.

drowningSo many people I talk with wait until they are at wits end to get involved in business networking expecting others to shower them with referrals.

SPOILER ALERT: It doesn’t happen like that!

Networking is… using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals… expecting nothing in return! ~ Larry James

Remember, networking and selling DO NOT mix! Think of yourself as a solution-finder, rather than a sales person. Be of assistance to others. “How can I help you?” is a great question to ask everyone you meet.

If you are serious about making business networking work for you, you must build relationships. That’s really what makes networking work! Developing close relationships take time. Seldom will anyone risk their reputation by giving you a referral or referring you after first meeting you. My friend, Tom Hopkins reminds us that people do business with people they like and trust. I may like you upon first meeting you but trust is quite another story. That takes time too.

It’s important to “make” time to really get to know the people in your network. Book breakfasts, lunches, visits to each other’s places of business. Spend time with them. Ask lots of questions. That’s how relationships begin. When enough time passes you will learn more about them as a person, their business, their likes and dislikes and you will begin to know them well enough to make some headway with referrals.

netHQ

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

What is Networking?

Filed under: Networking Defined — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

Here is my definition:

Networking is using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals… expecting nothing in return!

WhatISNetworkingTo achieve maximum benefits while attending any function where the opportunity for networking exists, it is important to have a clear understanding of networking. You will notice that my definition of networking has two parts. #1 – Helping others, and #2 – Helping yourself. In that order.

So, you say, "What's this about expecting nothing in return?"

Often we expect people who we help to help us. That would be nice. And it doesn't always work that way. Some people are in better positions to help some than others. Just give. That's the key. Just give. Willingly. It will come back to you.

Help people and you get helped. Have no expectations about where your assistance should come from. Just give. And keep on giving. It will come… often when you least expect it and when you most need it.

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Are You a Superstar Networker?

Filed under: Networking,Networking Defined — Larry James @ 7:00 am

The superstar networker may provide you with a contact to help you and will expect nothing in return because they know what goes around comes around. They have a great attitude and a passion for helping others. They will be one of the most active givers you will ever know. When networkers need support or information, they know the right people to call.

NETsuperstarThey network all the time. Never stop networking. Let’s review the definition of networking once again. It is a very important first step in having networking be persuasive, productive & profitable.

“Networking is using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return!” ~ Larry James

People who are too busy “selling” themselves often neglect the needs of others and miss the point of effective networking.

Having a clear understanding of the definition of networking is a prerequisite for networking success. What you put out to the universe always comes back to you. Disappointment may follow if you expect a return from the person to whom you have contributed.

Networking is about building supportive personal and business relationships; it’s consistently meeting new people and making new friends, sharing ideas and having lots of fun in the process.

“What’s interesting is that successful, giving, profitable, superstar networkers seem to have a knack for hooking up with other success givers. It’s not luck: they are specifically looking to identify these types of people. Why? Because they know that while average networking relationships are 50/50, the most exciting and profitable ones are 100/100. In other words, both people are trying so hard to help each other succeed, that success comes back to each of them in spades.” ~ Bob Burg

The most powerful way to leverage and multiply your talent and ability is by expanding your personal and business network. Armed with a stack of business cards, a smile and the right attitude, networks can create opportunities you might never imagine.

Superstar networkers understand that good business begins with holding out your hand, not for a handout, but for a handshake. Find ways you can help others – FIRST! Always remember the five most important words you can say while networking: How may I help YOU?

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Networking and Socializing – Never Confuse the Two

Filed under: Networking Defined,Networking Tip,Show Up! — Larry James @ 7:00 am

“If you’re confused about networking, you’re not alone. Men and women sometimes equate networking with socializing, when in fact the two are quite different. There’s no doubt that online networking has a social component. But generally, when they talk about the value of networking, career experts are referring to professional interaction.” ~ Paula Santonocito

twitter_bird_learningThere is a lot of interest in social networking on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The key word is “social.” Social networking will never replace the idea of a face-to-face connection with live people. Just because 3,642 people on Facebook “like” you doesn’t really accomplish the same thing as meeting people up close and personal. I won’t lie. I do it too, however, I have yet to receive more than a dozen business leads that have actually turned into real business.

Unfortunately as a Networking Coach I find far too many networking groups and events where the emphasis seems to be on socializing. Far too many people replace real networking with professional socializing. Of course there is always a little bit of that wherever you find groups of people, however that is not only what networking is about.

Professional socializing is connecting with people to be social rather than to drive sales. Socializing is often thought of as hanging out with no purpose and often results in nothing productive happening. It’s fun to be with friends for a drink and some light conversation, however, light conversation often doesn’t get you anywhere. Meaningful conversation does.

connecting2The most productive networking is with people who are likely to be close to the people you want to meet – people who you can help and those who are in a position to help you. You talk about meaningful stuff and the focus is on helping each other. Great networks are those in which people help each other get where they want to go.

“My definition of business networking is this: Networking is using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return!” ~ Larry James, author of “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections!

I once heard someone say, “Two things to have on you at all times: breath mints and business cards.” 😉 Not a bad idea. That way you are always prepared to make some good connections. Remember, networking is not about YOU! It’s about helping others and nurturing long-term relationships. Always ask them what they are about and what they might need from others in their network. Really listen to the other person and ask questions in response. If you first show an interest in them, they will usually be interested enough to ask about you.

“Networking with a purpose is connecting with people with a goal in mind, and that goal is to help them get where they are going, and to ask them for help in getting where you want to go. When you attend a meeting filled with prospective customers, you are marketing yourself (I hope) and developing prospects. When you attend a meeting with few customers, your goal should be to find those who are influential and connected to the customers you want to reach.” ~ Tony Signorelli

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Keeping Score is for Sports, Not Networking!

Filed under: Networking Defined,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 9:00 am

Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you passed a referral to someone in your networking group they would respond with a referral for you? You bet! Networking is not a “this-for-that” kind of thing. It doesn’t work that way.

It’s not important to keep score of how many referrals you receive and how many you get back from that person. So many networkers are obsessed with keeping score of how many referrals are created, how many are given and received by each person in the group that they often become distracted from the real reason they are there. In my opinion they should be more interested in who is not receiving referrals so you and the others in your group can make a concerted effort to help them.

collecting“Go without any expectations and enjoy yourself. The secret to the whole process is your attitude.” ~ Jessica Pierce, Executive Director of Career Connectors

Let’s say that you have given lots of referrals to someone in your network of support and one day you realize that they have never given you a referral. You begin to wonder, “What’s up with that? I sent him all this business, but he never gives anything back!” You think about not referring him anymore until he gives back to you. Makes sense, right?

Wrong!

When you focus on keeping score and stop referring, you can miss out on numerous opportunities. You can never tell where you’re next referral is coming from. When it does… rejoice that you will have received “unexpected income!”

“My Golden Rule of Networking is this: Reciprocity without keeping score! Simply stated, it means what can I do for you without expecting anything in return?” ~ Harvey Mackay, author of “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need

“My definition of business networking is this: Networking is using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return!” ~ Larry James, author of “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections!

You must give without keeping score. Don’t shop for gratitude in your phone calls, your one-on-ones or e-mail. Network with others because you like and respect the other person and honestly want to help. If you manage your career and live your life in this way, magical things will happen.

Harvey Mackay says, “Never abuse confidences and or share inside information. You only have to do this once, and you’ll be marked as a security risk for life. Worst of all: You’ll never learn what others know about you and why they won’t trust you.”

The quality of your business (and your life) is determined by the quality of your relationships. That’s the key. People who like and trust you will go to extraordinary lengths to help you. If you become distracted by keeping score, you often lose the opportunity to focus on developing and nurturing the kind of relationships you need to have that happen. Creating meaningful relationships is difficult, but maintaining mutually beneficial relationships is even more difficult. Connecting with others is a constant process of giving and receiving and of asking for and offering help.

team2One more thing… never not pass a referral just because the person isn’t in your networking group. Just keep doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, without expectations. Unfulfilled expectations always cause problems.

To build a powerful network of genuine, mutually beneficial relationships, you must truly care about helping others to become successful. Your network of support should operate as a team. Everyone on a team is suppose to support each other. If you do not share this idea, you should stop networking today!

If you MUST keep score… periodically check the numbers on how many people you have helped in your network! Continue to run that number up!

Savvy networkers have discovered that the currency of effective networking is not greed but generosity. STOP keeping score!

BONUS Article: Networking Defined!

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Networking Defined!

When you attend networking events, it is important for you to walk through the door with the following definition of networking in mind.

Networking is. . . using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return! ~ Larry James

Remember, networking and selling DO NOT mix! Think of yourself as a solution-finder, rather than a sales person. Be of assistance to others. “How can I help you?” is a great question to ask everyone you meet.

Not everyone can use your product or service, but the people you meet can often refer you to friends and colleagues. Aim to build long-term relationships that lead to a bigger circle of customers and friends.

netHQ

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Can’t find my book in your bookstore, order a signed copy from Larry James. Visit Larry’s “Networking HQ” Website; articles, tips, networking books and more!

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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