Title:
Buy More House With A Buy Down Mortgage

Word Count:
398

Summary:
A buy down mortgage allows you to buy more house with your income and enjoy low monthly payments for a couple of years. With reduced payments, you can pay for move in costs and furnishings. You also qualify for a larger mortgage due to lower monthly payments.

Buy Down Mortgage Terms

Buy Down mortgages come in three packages. A temporary buydown loan, the most common, starts with a discounted interest rate for one to three years that increases to a fixed rate in yearly i...

Keywords:

Article Body:
A buy down mortgage allows you to buy more house with your income and enjoy low monthly payments for a couple of years. With reduced payments, you can pay for move in costs and furnishings. You also qualify for a larger mortgage due to lower monthly payments.

Buy Down Mortgage Terms

Buy Down mortgages come in three packages. A temporary buydown loan, the most common, starts with a discounted interest rate for one to three years that increases to a fixed rate in yearly increments. You pay the difference in interest payment in an initial payout to the lender at the start of your home loan. Some lenders will pay this lump sum, but then charge a higher interest rate for the loan.

For example, you can have a mortgage with a 6% interest rate that is reduced to 4% the first year, then raised to 5% the second year, and finally reach 6% on the third year. The difference in the mortgage payments for the first two years will need to be paid to the lender at the time of settlement.

A compressed buydown mortgage works like a temporary buy down loan, but interest rates rise every six months. A permanent buydown loan has a low interest rate for the life of the loan, but that difference still has to be prepaid to the financing company.

Buy Down Mortgage Benefits

The chief benefit of a buydown mortgage is that you can qualify for a larger loan amount based on your income. This can be especially helpful if you expect your income to increase in the near future.

In addition, initial low monthly payments allow you to pay for the many expenses associated with buying a home. The cost of moving expenses, home furnishings, and landscaping can quickly add up those first couple of years.

Buy Down Mortgage Considerations

Buy Down mortgages should be considered along with other types of mortgages. In some cases if the large initial payment was used as part of a down payment, you may find better terms with a fixed rate or ARM. You may also find that if you are planning to move within seven years, an ARM can give you the same low monthly payments without the upfront cost.

No matter what type of home loan you choose, research lenders and loan terms beforehand. Compare interest payments and base your decisions on your financial goals.

Title:
Eight Rules for Saving Money When You Buy Insurance

Word Count:
964

Summary:
Want to save some money on your insurance next year? Try these eight tips from Quicken for Dummies author & CPA Stephen L. Nelson.

Keywords:
insurance, financial planning

Article Body:
By following the eight rules explained here, you can save money, and just as important, you can save yourself from making serious mistakes when you shop for and acquire insurance policies.

Rule 1: Buy Insurance Only for Financial Risks You Can&65533;t Afford to Bear on Your Own

The purpose of insurance is to cover catastrophes that would devastate you or your family. Don&65533;t treat insurance as a chance to cover all your losses no matter how small or insignificant, because if you do you&65533;ll fritter away money on insurance you really don&65533;t need. For example, if your house caught fire and burned down, you would be glad you had homeowner&65533;s insurance. Homeowner&65533;s insurance is worth having, because you likely can&65533;t&65533;and you certainly don&65533;t want to&65533;cover the cost of rebuilding a house. On the other hand, insuring an old clunker is a waste of money if the car is only worth $800. You would be throwing away money for something you could cover yourself if you had to.

Rule 2: Buy from Insurers Rated A or Better by A.M. Best

Insurance companies go bust, they are bought and sold, and they suffer the same economic travails that all companies do. Between 1989 and 1993, 143 insurance companies declared bankruptcy. You want to pick a reliable company with a good track record.
A.M. Best is an insurance company monitoring service that rates insurance companies on reliability. Look for insurers rated A or better by A.M. Best, and periodically check to see whether your insurer is maintaining its high rating. If your insurer goes down a notch, consider finding a new insurance company. You can probably get A.M. Best&65533;s directory of insurance companies at your local public library, and you can find A.M. Best on the Web at www.ambest.com.

Rule 3: Shop Around

There are many, many, many kinds of insurance policies, and insurers don&65533;t advertise by price. You need to do some legwork to match your needs with the cheapest possible policy. Talk to at least two brokers to start with. Look for no-load insurance companies&65533;companies that sell policies directly to the public without a broker taking a commission&65533;since they usually offer cheaper prices.

Rule 4: Never Lie on a Policy Application

If you fib and get caught, the company can cancel your policy. If you lie on an application for life insurance and die during the first three years you hold the policy, the company will cancel your policy, and your beneficiaries will receive nothing. Health, life, and disability insurers run background checks on applicants through the Medical Information Bureau, so you can get caught lying. The medical examination you take for life insurance can also turn up a lie. For example, if you smoked tobacco in the previous year, it will come up in the test.

Rule 5: Don&65533;t Buy Specific-Risk Policies&65533;Buy General Policies Instead

When it comes to insurance, you want the broadest coverage you can get. Buying insurance against cancer or an uninsured motorist defeats the purpose of having an insurance policy. If you have ulcers, your cancer insurance will not help you. Get comprehensive medical coverage instead.

Uninsured motorist insurance is supposed to protect you if you get hit by someone who doesn&65533;t have car insurance or doesn&65533;t have adequate car insurance. But, in my opinion, you don&65533;t need it if you have adequate car insurance yourself, as well as health, disability, and life insurance. I should point out that some attorneys advise you to carry uninsured motorist insurance because, by doing so, you may be able to recover damages for &65533;pain and suffering.&65533;

Rule 6: Never Cancel One Policy until You Have a Replacement Policy in Place

If you cancel a policy without getting a replacement, you will be uninsured for however long it takes to get a new policy. And if disaster strikes during this period, you could be financially devastated. This rule goes for everyone, but especially for people getting on in years, since older folks sometimes have trouble getting health and life insurance.

Rule 7: Get a High Deductible

You save money by having insurance policies with high deductibles. The premium for high-deductible policies is always lower. Not only that, but you save yourself all the trouble of filing a claim and needing to haggle with insurance company representatives if you have a high deductible and you don&65533;t need to make as many claims.

People who buy low-deductible policies usually do so because they want to be covered under all circumstances. But the cost, for example, of a $400 fender-bender is usually worth paying out of your own pocket when compared to the overall cost of being insured for $400 accidents. Statistics show that most people have a fender-bender once every ten years. The $400 hurts to pay, but the cost of insuring yourself for such accidents over a ten-year period comes to far more than $400.

One other thing: If you have a low deductible, you will make more claims. That means you become an expensive headache for the insurance company. That means your rates will go up, and you don&65533;t want that to happen.

Rule 8: Use the Money You Save on Insurance Payments to Beef Up Your Rainy Day Account

While you can save money on your insurance premiums by following the rules mentioned earlier, it&65533;s probably a big mistake to use that money for, say, a trip to Hawaii. Instead, use any savings to build a nice-sized rainy day fund that you can draw on to pay deductibles. A big enough rainy day fund can cover both periods of unemployment and your insurance deductibles.

Title:
Cellular Phone Accessories: Where And What To Buy

Word Count:
454

Summary:
In today&65533;s day and age, there are not too many people who do without a cellular phone. Sure, there are those few who are bucking the trend, but all in all these people are few and far between. The fact of the matter is that cellular phones have made things much easier on common people, businessmen, and many more. And there is a good chance that if you have a cellular phone that you will want to make it your own. In other words, you will want to customize it with accessories a...

Keywords:
cell phone accessories, cellular phones, cell phones accessories

Article Body:
In today&65533;s day and age, there are not too many people who do without a cellular phone. Sure, there are those few who are bucking the trend, but all in all these people are few and far between. The fact of the matter is that cellular phones have made things much easier on common people, businessmen, and many more. And there is a good chance that if you have a cellular phone that you will want to make it your own. In other words, you will want to customize it with accessories and much more.

So what cellular phone accessories do you need? This is a question that you will have to answer based on why you use your phone. For instance, if you use your cellular phone for business you may want to look into an accessory such as a car charger. This will allow you to stay at full power no matter where you may be driving to and from. Another popular cellular phone accessory for many business travelers is a hands free head set. These are among the most used accessories because it makes it easy for anybody to use their phone no matter if they are driving, walking, or simply sitting at their desk.

On the other side of things, there are some cellular phone accessories that are more for people who are looking to have fun. One example of this is the many faceplates that are available for certain makes and models. By using one of these faceplates you will be able to change the look and feel of your cellular phone within a matter of seconds. While this may not do much for a businessman, for somebody who wants to look good it is the only way to go.

Not that you have a better idea of what cellular phone accessories are available, the next step that you have to take is finding what you want to buy. This is never a problem thanks to the ever growing popularity of the cellular phone industry. In any given city you should be able to find plenty of stores that sell many different types of cellular phone accessories. And if you cannot, let the internet be your marketplace. There are thousands of web based stores that offer cellular phone accessories at great prices.

All in all, even though cellular phones are popular, the accessories for these are just as coveted by millions of consumers. So instead of keeping your phone in &65533;stock condition,&65533; you may want to buy some accessories for it. There are hundreds of cellular phone accessories on the market, and all of them can be purchased in a number of different places. Start your search today!

Title:
Buy Local Food To Reduce Food Miles

Word Count:
621

Summary:
I have to admit, I am becoming obsessed with checking where my food comes from and this is driving my partner mad. Whether you are in the local market or a supermarket, it says South African apples, Israeli pears and peppers from Chile. You would think that the UK and USA does not produce any food, if this is the case then where has the billions of pounds gone that our two governments pay in farmers subsidies?

By buying food from abroad, developing countries get to market ...

Keywords:
farms, farmer, organic, social, ethics, miles, box, carbon, energy, vegetables, supermarkets,

Article Body:
I have to admit, I am becoming obsessed with checking where my food comes from and this is driving my partner mad. Whether you are in the local market or a supermarket, it says South African apples, Israeli pears and peppers from Chile. You would think that the UK and USA does not produce any food, if this is the case then where has the billions of pounds gone that our two governments pay in farmers subsidies?

By buying food from abroad, developing countries get to market their produce world-wide and we get out of season food all year round. Everyones happy except the environment. Food transportation across the globe is making a significant contribution to climate change. Just look at the following examples:

Food in the UK travels 65% further than it did two decades ago

Heinz ketchup eaten in California is made with California-grown tomatoes shipped to Canada for processing and returned in bottles

In one year, the port of New York City exported $431,000 of Californian almonds to Italy, and imported $397,000 of Italian almonds to the US

Examples are from http://www.newint.org

What is local food and how can it help?

For many, local food is interpreted as unprocessed food, to be transformed by the consumer or a local shop rather than by the food industry. The food originates from as close to home as possible such as on a regional or national level. As such, local food reduces or eliminates the costs of transport, processing, packaging, and advertising. The go local food movement is currently flourishing with over 15% of people buying food locally and this number continues to rise as the number of farmers markets and local vegetable box schemes increases.

The benefit of locally grown fresh food is that it can be consumed almost immediately after production leading to an increase in food quality and taste as it may be sold fresher and usually riper. Also, the need for chemical preservatives to artificially extend the shelf-life can be reduced or eliminated.

Buying local food does not necessarily mean giving up all food coming from distant countries, but rather favoring local foods when available. Why buy apples from South Africa when you can buy British apples? But often buying food produced abroad can be cheaper (yes, cheaper) than locally produced food due to the subsidies the farmers receive and economies of scale from these large plantations.

It is also argued that national borders should preferably not be used to define what is local and instead measurements made in miles. The growth of Sat Nav systems maybe able to help in calculating the exact number of food miles that food has undertaken. For people living in, say, the south of England, food produced in northern France is more local than food produced in Scotland as it is closer. The local food movement in the European Union has been furhter complicated and hindered by EU rules requiring items produced in the EU, including food, to be marked as products of the EU, rather than as products of any particular country. The instinct of customers to buy nationally produced food in the name of patriotism was deemed to be a barrier to free trade and anti EU.

Studies need to be undertaken so that people can have faith and knowledge that the food that they are buying is actually reducing their carbon footprint on the earth. For example, we need to assess whether it is likely to be more environmentally friendly for tomatoes to be grown in the hot climate of Spain and transported to the UK than for the same tomatoes to be grown in greenhouses in the UK requiring huge amounts of electricity to light and heat them.

Title:
Buy A Used Car: 3 Reasons To Say In With The Old

Word Count:
488

Summary:
Why you should buy a used car. You know it is time to buy a replacement for your vehicle. Repair bills are looming on the horizon or eating into your checking account. Every time you turn around something seems to be going wrong -- both large and small annoyances make driving an ongoing hassle. Once you have made the decision to go car shopping, the first question you must face is whether to go new or used. Here are three reasons you should buy a used car.

The top reason t...

Keywords:
finance, money, budget, personal, family, credit, debt, loan, mortgage, car, house, refinance, conso

Article Body:
Why you should buy a used car. You know it is time to buy a replacement for your vehicle. Repair bills are looming on the horizon or eating into your checking account. Every time you turn around something seems to be going wrong -- both large and small annoyances make driving an ongoing hassle. Once you have made the decision to go car shopping, the first question you must face is whether to go new or used. Here are three reasons you should buy a used car.

The top reason to buy a used car is that new cars are a losing proposition. New cars depreciate fast. Did you know that as soon as you drive a new car off a dealer lot it will instantly depreciate between $1,000-$2,000. After the first three years most cars are worth only about 60-70 percent of their original value. However if you buy an used car then you will have to pay a lot less for a nice car and you will not have to worry about that depreciation.

Once upon a time buying an used car was a risky proposition. There was a good chance you could buy a lemon or a car that had been used and abused or even been in an accident. Today the savvy consumer does not have to face these risks which leads to the second reason for buying an used car. It is safer (and less risky) than it has ever been before. Many reputable dealers offer one-owner vehicles that are still on warranty so that takes some risk out of the equation, but in addition today there are many research tools available on the internet to help you learn about the reputation and performance history for the particular vehicle model you are considering plus you can even run the vehicle identification numbers to determine if a specific vehicle has been in an accident. It is probably a lot less risky to buy an used car than a new unproven vehicle that might turn out to be a lemon. You can also get a pretty accurate value for a vehicle so you know how much you should pay.

Finally, buying an used car takes a lot of the stress out of new car ownership while still letting you enjoy the benefits of a new vehicle. Dealers will give a vehicle a turnout so it will have that new car smell, but because you do not have to worry about the price you paid you can sit back and enjoy your new-to-you vehicle without worrying about tempting fate. Plus, many dealers have more room to deal on an used car than they often do with a new car so you have more bargaining power.

So if you are looking to buy a car then you should consider buying an used car because it will save you money, it is safer than ever before, and it is less stressful.

Title:
Car Audio - What To Know Before You Buy Used Car Audio Systems

Word Count:
424

Summary:
If you are looking for a car audio system and would love to save a little money when purchasing, you should consider buying a used system. Many people think you can only get quality sound from new equipment, but that is not true. You can find great packages that are sold directly from another consumer if you know what you are looking for. There are a few things to remember before making a purchase however. If you are considering buying a used system, think about these things ...

Keywords:
car audio, car stereos, speakers

Article Body:
If you are looking for a car audio system and would love to save a little money when purchasing, you should consider buying a used system. Many people think you can only get quality sound from new equipment, but that is not true. You can find great packages that are sold directly from another consumer if you know what you are looking for. There are a few things to remember before making a purchase however. If you are considering buying a used system, think about these things before you throw down any cash.

The first thing to consider is what you need. You should always be aware of what your automobile can handle before purchasing a used system. When you go to a store to purchase new equipment, the salesperson usually assists you on knowing what you need. When you are purchasing from a consumer however, you may not be getting correct information. Since most consumers won&65533;t offer a refund policy, you will need to know that the equipment will work on your car before buying it.

The best way to figure out what you need is to go your research. Go to a salesperson or a audio specialist and ask them about the specific equipment you are looking at. Ask them if it will work in your car. You may even have to let them inspect your car, but they can likely tell you whether or not it will work over the phone. After you know that the equipment will work for your car, you will need to make sure the equipment works as it should. Ask to test the equipment, if it is not in a car at the time.

If you cannot test the equipment, you might not want to purchase it. Even though someone might tell you it works fine, they may not be as honest as you would like to think. Most sellers are honest, but there are a few who will try to trick you and you don&65533;t want to be their next victim. So, be sure that you know what you need for your current automobile and be sure the car audio system you are looking at is still usable. If you do these two things, you will be able to save yourself a lot of money by purchasing used quality equipment. It is always great to save money, but you only want to purchase used equipment that will work for you. If you don&65533;t, then you really haven&65533;t saved anything at all.

Title:
Don't Buy A Down Comforter Until You Read This

Word Count:
621

Summary:
If you are thinking of purchasing a down comforter to keep you toasty warm this winter, there are a few things you need to know before you make your purchase.
First of all, if you&65533;re confused about what a down comforter is, let me explain. The &65533;down&65533; filling in a down comforter is the feathers from geese or ducks. Down is a highly desirable stuffing for a comforter because it is very light, holds in body heat while also allowing moisture to escape, and is very soft.

Keywords:
down, down comforter, comforter, duvet cover, comforter cover, fill power

Article Body:
If you are thinking of purchasing a down comforter to keep you toasty warm this winter, there are a few things you need to know before you make your purchase.

First of all, if you&65533;re confused about what a down comforter is, let me explain. The &65533;down&65533; filling in a down comforter is the feathers from geese or ducks. Down is a highly desirable stuffing for a comforter because it is very light, holds in body heat while also allowing moisture to escape, and is very soft.

If you are allergic to goose or duck feathers, you may still be able to own a down comforter. Look for a comforter that has down that has been purified, ideally purified several times. The purification process removes the dust and dirt from the down which is what typically bothers most allergy sufferers. But if real down isn&65533;t for you, there are some very good synthetic comforters on the market that do a fairly good job of mimicking the fluffiness and softness of a down comforter.

&65533;Fill power&65533; is a term you need to become familiar with if you are purchasing a down comforter. Fill power directly relates to the amount of warmth you will get from a down comforter and is also an indicator of the quality of the down.

One ounce of down with a fill power of 650 means this: one ounce of that down takes up 650 cubic inches. A down comforter with a fill power of 350 means that once ounce of that down takes up 350 cubic inches. The higher the fill power, the higher the quality of the down and the more warmth it provides. Also, the higher the fill power the more warmth you get with less weight. So higher fill power means more warmth, and more fluffiness while also having a comforter that is lightweight.

You don&65533;t necessarily need a high fill power though. It depends on how much warmth you want. If you live in a cold area a high fill power comforter is nice to have in the winter. A lower fill power comforter is nice in the summer or if you live in an area with a warm climate. But I&65533;ve found that the 550 down comforter I own is comfortable in both the summer and the winter. And I live in a cooler climate.

You want the down comforter you purchase to having baffling. Baffling holds the down stuffing in place in the comforter and prevents it from shifting around. My first down comforter didn&65533;t have fully sealed baffles. The filling shifted and I ended up with a comforter that was thin on one side and extra thick on the other. To find a down a down comforter that won&65533;t have filling that shifts look for either baffling where the baffles are sewn through all the way or a comforter that has closed baffles or end-to-end baffles. If a comforter has closed baffles or end-to-end baffles the package will usually clearly state it.

To keep your down comforter clean, cover it with a duvet cover. A duvet cover is like a cocoon for your comforter. Besides keeping your down comforter cleaner longer, a duvet cover offers you color and decorating options.

When looking at duvet covers and some down comforters you may also notice the term &65533;thread count&65533; being mentioned frequently. Generally speaking, the higher the thread count, the softer and more luxurious the fabric.

Owning a down comforter is a great little luxury. You don&65533;t have to buy the most expensive down comforter to get a great quality product either. And if you take care of your comforter it can last for a long time, making it a good investment.

Title:
Do You Really Need to Buy A New Car?

Word Count:
479

Summary:
I have notice that keep on changing new car has become a trend of today&65533;s life in city. People keep on switching to new car for no reason. It seems like car has become a way for people to express and show their status. Every year there are so many new car models coming up. So they keep on changing the car whenever they saw some new models that they like.

Keywords:
car, installment, loan, investment

Article Body:
I have notice that keep on changing new car has become a trend of today&65533;s life in city. People keep on switching to new car for no reason. It seems like car has become a way for people to express and show their status. Every year there are so many new car models coming up. So they keep on changing the car whenever they saw some new models that they like.

I had even heard people saying this: &65533;Since I need to pay for my installment every month, then why don&65533;t I switch to a better new car?&65533; It seems like paying car installment has become part of people&65533;s routine life where if they don&65533;t pay for the installment, they don&65533;t know what to do with the money. Maybe people have forgot that they don&65533;t have to pay for car installment if they don&65533;t want to.

I know that I may offend a lot of people by saying that buying a new car is not necessary. However what I am saying is not that you cannot buy a new car. But when you wanted to buy a new car, think about why do you want to buy it. Is it neccesary? Do you want to buy it because you need it? Or you want to buy it simply because you wanted to show off to people that you are rich. Do you buy the car to boost up your ego?

For me, I only buy a car when it is needed. When I say needed, I mean that I really need the car. Not for no reason, not for showing off purpose. If my house is located at an area where I have no access to public transports, then I will consider to buy a car. If my old car has too many problems, then I will consider to switch to a new car.

Currently I have a car of 5++ years old. I have no intention to change a new car right now as my current car is still in good condition. I plan to use the car for at least 10 years if the conditions are ok. Actually the car is currently used by my wife to drive to work. For myself I am actually taking public transport (LRT). I have no intention to buy a second car although there is no problem in getting one financially.

With this I can save at least RM1000 per month. I would rather leverage this RM1000 per month for other purpose for example paying extra for my house loan. This way I can finish my house loan faster and reduce the interest. Why do I want to increase my expense to somewhere that I don&65533;t really need. I can even use the extra money to do some investment. This will improve my financial situation.

Title:
Buy A Chocolate Fountain

Word Count:
369

Summary:
Some people (with little vision or desire to entertain) would be forgiven for wondering why anyone would want to buy a chocolate fountain? It all depends. If you are the type of person who invites people around then rations the food and drink and expects your guests to like it or lump it, then perhaps it&65533;s not for you. (I&65533;ve certainly been to those kind of parties, where the hosts were so mean you were searching for takeout on the way home!)

However if you are a generous h...

Keywords:
buy a chocolate fountain,

Article Body:
Some people (with little vision or desire to entertain) would be forgiven for wondering why anyone would want to buy a chocolate fountain? It all depends. If you are the type of person who invites people around then rations the food and drink and expects your guests to like it or lump it, then perhaps it&65533;s not for you. (I&65533;ve certainly been to those kind of parties, where the hosts were so mean you were searching for takeout on the way home!)

However if you are a generous host or hostess who wants to really send your guests away happy, then the thought that you might buy a chocolate fountain won&65533;t seem so strange to you. Sure, the sort of person who wants to show off would also want to buy a chocolate fountain for their next party, but there&65533;s nothing wrong with trying to make an impression on your guests.

Entertaining is just that &65533; it&65533;s your turn to make sure that your guests are amused, fed and watered to the very best of your ability. You might want to buy a chocolate fountain if you are planning a grand party like a wedding reception, or a retirement party or special birthday. Conversely you might want a fountain just to make a small, intimate party have that &65533;wow&65533; factor which will put a smile on the face of your guests.

Imagine if at dessert time at the end of a dinner party you produced a chocolate fountain and a big dish of strawberries? How great would that be? If you go ahead and buy a chocolate fountain you won&65533;t regret it because you can use it in so many different circumstances. Once you&65533;ve used it once, you can rest assured your guests will be hoping to see it again, so it&65533;s probably best to buy a chocolate fountain rather than rent.

In order to obtain a fountain you can try Party Rental firms who might be selling off used ones, try a manufacturer, try local party good suppliers and also of course surf the internet in search of the bargain you really want when you go to buy a chocolate fountain.

Title:
Eight Billion Reasons Yahoo Didn't Buy Facebook

Word Count:
990

Summary:
For much of the year, Facebook had been in negotiation to sell itself to Yahoo. The market value of the "instant behemoth" social service sites has fluctuated, as services both large and small have changed hands this year. The first big acquisition was Newscorp's purchase of MySpace for $580 million in 2005. That set a benchmark, which was driven upward somewhat by the NBC Universal purchase of women's online network iVillage for $600 million earlier this year.

Social netw...

Keywords:
website hosting, yahoo, facebook, purchase, failure, eight, billion, valuation, price

Article Body:
For much of the year, Facebook had been in negotiation to sell itself to Yahoo. The market value of the "instant behemoth" social service sites has fluctuated, as services both large and small have changed hands this year. The first big acquisition was Newscorp's purchase of MySpace for $580 million in 2005. That set a benchmark, which was driven upward somewhat by the NBC Universal purchase of women's online network iVillage for $600 million earlier this year.

Social networking sites typically allow users to create and share blogs, pictures and videos with friends and the wider public. What makes Facebook different from MySpace? Its founder(s) set out to create a social networking site that is designed for post-high school users. It connects people by region, college, company and high school.

Build a personal profile and connect with others that are sharing your life experience as opposed to your social, entertainment and artistic interests, which are the focal points in MySpace. Facebook attempted to blend a little maturity into the energized chaos found on MySpace, and they have been successful. Their current membership is somewhere north of ten million - compared to the 145 million that MySpace claims.

The MySpace inclusion of 'artist pages' allows artists working in audio and video mediums to freely distribute media from within a social network. It has become a central feature of the network. Artist pages exist alongside individual profiles, and in addition to the regular profile features they allow the artists to upload media and distribute it in the network. Individuals can link to artist pages, endorse media, and participate as fans. This feature resulted in bands using the site to promote their music, one of the dynamics of the site that has made it so successful.

Facebook's orientation around actual communities makes it much more efficient as a connectivity tool. You can connect to anyone within your group and you can search for people across the entire Facebook spectrum. Specific interest areas are much more easily brought into focus and it is easier to build a group around them. The big question for Facebook is its relevance past the college years. The question for MySpace will be its ability to undergo a little maturation in the form of advertising and control of commercial video and music posting.

In the marketplace Facebook has had several suitors on its dance card, having held negotiations with both Microsoft and Viacom over the past year. Microsoft has in fact signed a deal with Facebook whereby Microsoft will sell and provide banner ads and sponsored links for Facebook using its adCenter online advertising software. Some medial analysts dismiss this deal as minor, citing banner adds as pass&65533; and sponsored posts as an advertising method that is showing some age as well.

In the Google corner, the company has announced a deal with MySpace to pay at least $900 million in shared advertising revenue and become the site's sole search provider. As part of the deal, Fox Interactive Media will add Google search boxes to MySpace and its other web sites. Google has first crack at selling any display ads Fox doesn't sell directly. Google has shown an ability to work partnership agreements and a willingness to settle for a piece of the action that has served them well in the feinting and blocking that occurs in the Internet consolidation ring.

Google's purchase of YouTube ratcheted up the pressure on Yahoo to close the deal. It's worth noting that Google bought YouTube with Google stock - a choice that was not open to Yahoo in their Facebook negotiations. Earlier this summer Yahoo decided that Facebook was too expensive at $1 billion and in July, came close to closing an agreement at the $800 million figure. The reported high offer of just over 1.6 billion was rejected, and now Facebook claims it isn't for sale, but if it was, it's worth at least 8 billion.

From a financial/cultural perspective, Yahoo had a lot on the line with this acquisition because it would have significantly reshaped the portal's efforts to establish and hold a Yahoo "community." In one Yahoo corner or another, many of the features contained in both MySpace and FaceBook can be found already as Yahoo proprietary components. What is missing is the packaging and the social cachet that both social networking services hold for young people.

Yahoo has built a strategy of drawing Internet users and advertising through building community-based services on the Web, but acquisitions so far have been on a small scale. Recently Yahoo has acquired Bix, MyBlogLog and Kenet Works. Bix and MyBlogLog are built along social networking lines, and will work (hopefully) as a complement to Yahoo's current properties: Flickr, Delicious, Upcoming and WebJay. All of these have slightly different orientations: FLickr is photo-centric, Delicious is a blog tagging and sharing service and Bix is a digital karaoke and entertainment site that takes amateur uploads.

While the Yahoo / Facebook deal appears to be dead, the evolution of social networking sites is bringing several characteristics to light. There is some indication that user loyalty is a slippery issue. MySpace users are migrating to Facebook, YouTube and other sites as their primary "hookup." Average visitation time on the site has dropped by over half.

On the other hand, Media metrics firm Hitwise has released its Media Report which found that MySpace is still atop the social networking mountain, with 82 percent of visits to the top 20 social networking sites landing on their site. Whatever the figure, Yahoo's attempted purchase of Facebook would have been an expensive bet on a hot product that could cool as quickly as Friendster and others that have preceded it. Finding an advertising model that works for the Facebook is also going to be a challenge, particularly given the existing Microsoft deal to handle some ad placement for the service. Given the turbulence in the social network marketplace, the inability to close the deal may end up being a positive for Yahoo.