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CHRIS ON CNN CLIP COVERS
“NEW INTERNET SCAMS”
Scammers are trolling for taxpayers in a new “IRS”
and here’s a website that tells you how to produce phony W-2s
– to do ripoffs of your own! Chris returned to CNN to cover
latest e-con games.
To see the clip, go to http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/business/2009/03/22/nr.irs.alert.scam.cnn
ARISE SEEKS 1,000 AGENTS FOR 2009, 300 IN NORTH WEST ENGLAND NOW
Virtual call center Arise is looking for 1,000 home-based agents in the
UK in 2009, according to a recent piece in the Liverpool Daily Post.
The firm also wants to hire 300 agents in England’s North
Like LiveOps, VIPdesk and others, Arise hires agents as independent
contractors rather than employees. To compare Arise with other call
centers (pay scale, work status, etc.), see our chart at http://www.ratracerebellion.com/CS_Comparison.html
For more on Arise’s current hiring in the UK, see lead no. 3,
ACCEPTING EARLY-BIRD APPLICATIONS FOR “FASHION
Pixazza, a Google-funded startup that launched this week, is accepting
signups for “Fashion Experts.”
Pixazza offers an advertising service for website owners. In a
nutshell, the service (a line of code) presents product information to
visitors when they mouse over a photo on the owner’s page.
Pixazza needs human help to match the products seen in the photos with
products offered by its retail affiliates.
For more, see lead no. 2, below.
MONEY IN SECOND LIFE – INTERVIEW WITH BOSHEMIA
“Boshemia” is the online name of a Colorado-based
runs a store in the virtual world known as Second Life. (Links follow
below.) At her store, La Cirque Boheme, she helps people personalize
their “avatars” – the artificial beings
visitors in the Second Life world.
I recently chatted with Boshemia via email to learn more about her SL
business and her other home-based activities online.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
live in southwestern Colorado, about two hours from the Four Corners. I
am also located two hours from the nearest Safeway, Starbucks, or stop
light, in a small town called Nucla. Nucla probably has more cows than
people. It’s about an hour from Telluride, Colorado.
Regarding Second Life, I actually just finished a Squidoo page that has
a lot of images and information on what we do in SL, at http://www.squidoo.com/secondlifetodo
There is a lot of technical jargon involved, but my store La Cirque
Boheme specializes in Skins and Avatars to personalize your Second Life
As for blogging, I have been doing some form of blogging since 2002. My
main blog at http://www.sugarpatch.com/
gets about 600 page views a day on average. I chose self-help and
personal growth because it is something I have always believed in. I've
been through some tough times in my life, and had to work hard to
overcome them. Now I share the lessons I learned the hard way with
others so hopefully they can learn a little faster than I
Another huge part of my life is Squidoo, which I mentioned before, at http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/boshemia
Anyone can build free pages and make money there, with minimal web
design skills. Since I am a writer by nature it was a perfect fit for
me; the community is amazing. They are kind, and helpful, always
willing to give a little bit of advice to a newbie. I only began
writing there in December, but I expect great things. I absolutely love
Diversity is key, make sure you have enough irons in enough fires that
you aren't fully dependent on one income stream.
Given the entrepreneurship in your activities, did you have any
entrepreneurial role models?
been blessed in my life to have many positive role models. I come from
a family of people who have found their own success; they will give
anything to help another succeed, and have always been very supportive.
I’ve also had a lot of family involved in multi-level
I tried it out and discovered it was not for me. I’m just not
kind of person who can do what they have to do, but my experiences with
MLM had many positive residual effects.
When you spend a lot of time with dreamers, you become a dreamer
yourself. When you spend a lot of time with doers, you learn how to do.
More than anything, they taught me that the world owes me nothing. If
I’m not willing to get out there and do the work,
going to get the rewards, plain and simple. There are no free rides.
does one launch a store or otherwise become a vendor on Second Life?
The first thing I recommend is checking out the SL forums, at http://forums.secondlife.com/
I could have shaved months off my learning curve if I had stopped here
first. There are people here willing to teach you anything you want to
know. Then get out and meet people who already do what you want to do.
Some of them aren't willing to help another person who is just
learning, but many of them are.
Joining SL is free, so don’t waste the money on a membership
unless you just have to own your own land. There are a lot of places
that “rent” land to others for very little money.
get a nice-sized lot for under $10 a month, and small “booth
space” for under $5. A membership will cost you nearly that,
in the beginning save your money and just rent the land.
There are a lot of people who sell items for resale, also called full
permission items, but I don't recommend them. They appeal to new
people, but after awhile, a user has seen them in so many places they
will just write you off as an amateur. Unless you find a way to
personalize your items and make them something of a one-of-a-kind,
people will just pass you by.
SL does not charge for building materials, called prims, which are used
to construct objects within SL. Prim work takes a little practice;
it’s a bit like playing with resizable legos. SL does charge
upload images (textures), about 4 cents per image. A skin, or the
external surface of an avatar, requires three images, but you usually
have a few mistakes you have to fix before your final cut.
Clothing and tattoos use the same template, available free at SL. You
have face, upper body, and lower body. You will probably want to add
prim work to finish clothing, the parts that stick out –
like suspenders, pockets, belts, skirt panels, etc.
People also sell sounds, scripts, animations, how-to books, etc. They
teach classes on any number of subjects, and offer consulting and
promotion services. If you have a skill, there is a good chance you can
find a way to market it in SL with a little bit of imagination.
You can also get started with very little money; that's how I started.
I just wasn't willing to put out a lot of money on something that might
not work. I've made enough to cover expenses from my first month in
Roughly how much money do you make per year from your SL activities?
The projections we have for 2009 are estimated to be about $10,700
after expenses. A lot of our profits will be turned around and placed
back into purchasing land to rent to others. Renting land is not
required, but it is by far the highest paid field in SL. Just look at
Anshe Chung! [Chung was one of SL’s first millionaires. Much
her money was made through SL real estate. For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anshe_Chung
We didn’t just run out and buy a bunch of land, and that was
for us. We added it slowly as our business grew. SL does charge a tax
for owning land; ours currently sits at $125 a month. With both myself
and my husband disabled, I couldn’t afford to risk jumping
huge monthly land payment at the outset. So as we’ve grown,
have bought our land a piece at a time. We currently own 1/2 of a
Much of this year’s profits will go into purchasing
additional private simulators so we can rent land to others.
SL also makes their financial statistics available to the public, for
In January there were 407 people within SL making $2000-$5000, for
essentially playing a video game.
If anyone is interested in Second Life, I'd be happy to give them some
tips on getting started. If anyone has any other questions or wants a
more in-depth explanation on anything I’ve covered, they are
always welcome to contact me anytime, through my website or on twitter
THE R3 MAILBAG -- QUESTIONS ABOUT WORKING FROM HOME, AND OTHER RAT RACE
not a military spouse, but I’d like to take your Armed Forces
Virtual Assistant training to become a VA. Is there any way I can
attend one of your VA training programs at a military base near me?
We have some bad news and some good news.
The “bad” news is, the Portable Career &
Assistant Training Program™ is available only to military
spouses. (It’s paid for by the military bases, so they make
The good news is, our book, The 2-Second Commute: Join the
Exploding Ranks of Freelance Virtual Assistants
is based on the same 15-hour training program. (And the $10.19 price
ain’t bad neither.)
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I have a new email address. How do I change my Bulletin subscription
go to http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/RatRaceRebellion/
and click on the “sign in” link in the upper right
of the page. (Log in using the Yahoo ID and password you chose when you
Select the Rat Race Rebellion group from your list, then click on
“Edit Membership” (usually just above the group
the edit page, you can change your email address, select a different
delivery option, or (Good gracious, have you taken leave of your
senses?) unsubscribe from the list altogether.
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tell people to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau when
they’re scammed, but the BBB is just a pay-for-membership
organization. What good can they do?
The BBB is indeed a pay-for-membership organization (which means that
if a company does not purchase a BBB membership, it is not
“listed” with the BBB). However, while they may not
be able to get your money back, when you report a scam to the BBB you
can at least (1) help start or augment a file – often
by Google – on the scammer, which will (2) help others avoid
scam, and, (3) assuming the scam is reported often enough, spark an
investigation by local or state law enforcement officials and/or (in
the US) the Federal Trade Commission. (The BBB itself investigates scam
complaints as well.)
Be sure to report scams to the FBI-run Internet Crime Complaint Center,
too, at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
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I want to take surveys to make a little money on the side. But with
some survey sites, I get a few minutes into a survey and suddenly
receive a message telling me I don’t qualify.
You may not match the “target consumer group” for
particular product or service. For context, survey firms are hired by
companies such as Procter & Gamble to gather feedback and other
data from consumers who are like the company’s targeted
purchasers. For example, a company that wants to sell laundry detergent
may be looking for survey results from “women between the
25 and 54, with children between the ages of 3 and 17.”
Some survey companies will require your personal profile up front, and
will keep it on file and send you only surveys that fit your profile.
Others, however, will have you answer key “profile”
questions with each survey, to see if you fit. If you don’t,
receive the “not qualified” notice you mentioned.
AND SIMPLE LIVING
Here’s a batch o’ fresh freebies for this week. If
something you like, be sure to grab it fast, as free stuff goes quickly
on the Net. (Boring fine print: Sorry, but we have no control over
supplies, or when the vendors decide to halt their offers or
more freebies, see http://www.ratracerebellion.com/freebies.htm