Frequently Asked Questions and more
What can I expect to gain from visiting Inspire21.com?
If you like to read popular quotes made by famous people, or read Bible verses, you'll find them at Inspire21. More importantly, they're designed into eCards, for sending to others by email, and they're produced in hand lettering and calligraphy (not just commercial typesetting). You can stay in touch with everyone you care about on the Internet, all over the world, with these free eCards - featuring "inspiring words for the 21st century." Inspire21 is the perfect, artistic source for cheering people up, setting them straight, offering encouragement, and expressing your feelings.
Are these digital ecards slower loading than other graphics?
Of course, this extra art makes these digital eCards a little larger than if they were typeset, but they create a better impression when viewed. I must apologize to the visitors, who are using smaller monitors (12-15"), slower modems (28 or 56b) and "dial-up services" (vs. DSL or cable), for the size of the Inspire21.com ecards. Prior to starting this graphic-intensive website, I experimented with layout sizes and file sizes for almost 5 months before I settled on the average byte-sizes you see displayed in the ecards at this site. The average eCard is compressed to about 30k (the smallest GIFs are around 7k, smallest Jpegs are about 24k; and the largest files top out at about 45k; but, I'd say most are 29-35k). They are compressed from Adobe PhotoShop multi-layered documents which average 1 meg. To make the art any smaller, for quicker display, would distort the image too much and not reflect the thinner details of the calligraphic art. To learn about the process of creating these designs, click here.
The good news is, more people are turning to DSL in their homes, and the size of these images will matter less and less. In 1999, there were 0.39 million US residential broadband users. That number will jump to 1.42 million by year-end 2000, and hit 9.85 million in 2003. Counting users, as opposed to households, eMarketer estimates there are currently 9.4 million high-speed internet "users" in the US. This number, which also includes fiber optic, fixed-wireless, satellite and T-1 users, should rise to 15 million by the end of 2001.
Does it cost anything to use this service?
No... except an opt-in subscription to our unique ezine, called "Inspiring Words for the 21st Century." In return for providing all of this ecard art, and our free email service at Inspire21.com, all we ask you to do is subscribe to this free, periodic ezine. The Inspiring Words Ezine features: a link to all of the newest ecard designs; a short and sweet, inspirational story or article to start your week on a positive note, some select quotations and verses, and "A Little Levity."
Am I allowed to copy and use the artwork?
I'm sorry, but we can't afford to give everything away. If you want to copy and use any of the ecard artwork, it would behoove you to pay a small, annual private-user fee and have access to all of the high quality Jpegs for downloads (This feature is coming - not available yet). Then you can have the entire, full color image, or the calligraphy all by itself, to use in newsletters, emails, reports, flyers, etc. Without the higher resolution quality, the ecard art is extremely rough in printout acceptability (the same holds true for the low-res GIFs). However, if you do want to use the actual, low resolution art, simply email us for permission to use.
Where permission is granted, you will be welcome to use Inspire21.com graphics under 2 conditions. You MUST be a subscriber to our free ezine (note on each ecard it says, "Art use free to subscribers - which means subscribers are free to SEND the ecards - see TERMS). Also, you must provide credit to Inspire21.com and a link back to the site Welcome Page at: http://www.inspire21.com/
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To whom should I send these eCards?
If you can't think of enough people to email Inspire21 eCards, consider these ideas!
Can I postdate the delivery of eCards to certain dates?
Yes! As soon as you click the "eMail" button under your selected ecard, an emailing form will appear. After completing the addressing info required, you can click TODAY - if you want it sent immediately - or, use the pull-down calendar to have it sent any day in the next ten (10) years.
Whats wrong when an ecard does not display in someones email?
I am always sorry to learn that an Inspire21.com ecard did not arrive in a recipient's email, as expected. Our emailing system has been operating almost flawlessly since launching, April, 2001, with a rare few exceptions (perhaps like yours). Usually it is found to be a problem with either the sender's browser or the recipient's email client (where, sometimes, html coded emails are instructed not to display, via preferences in that particular email system). In that our system utilizes html coding to display your ecard selection(s), it must be selected in your receipients email client - under PREFERENCES. [BACK TO TOP]
After receiving an Inspire21.com ecard, can that ecard be Forwarded to others?
I truly wish I could accomodate all requests and ideas, and this would certainly be one of them. However, forwarded emails with html coding does not forward properly in our system as yet. Therefore, when you email a displayed ecard, it will send your text copy, but will not display the actual art in your receipients email clients. Hopefully, we will rectify this issue soon, so Inspire21.com ecards can be sent - by forwarding - over and over all over the world. [BACK TO TOP]
Can I receive a confirmation that my Inspire21 ecard selection has been delivered or opened?
At this time we do not notify senders when their ecards are received or opened by their recipients, nor do we offer the option to receive a copy of 'sent' ecards from Inspire21. This is being worked on and both of these options should be available someday - along with a personal address book (so you can send an ecard to one, several or all names in your personal book... this will require User names and passwords). But, right now, it's important that ecard 'senders' be very careful about typing all ecard recipients' addresses, because we cannot, and will not, inform senders of returned ecards until this service is installed. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
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Is it required to become an opt-in ezine subscriber to send ecards from Inspire21?
Of course, everyone is invited to browse around... to see and read the ecard art... free of charge. But, to email our ecards, we ask you to become an opt-in subscriber at NO CHARGE. You can simply delete your free ezine when it arrives, if you don't want to read it, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Every Inspire21.com ecard states "Art use free to subscribers" after the copyright. However, at the present time, you do not have to be a subscriber to be able to send ecards from the site.
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How can I unsubscribe to your ezine?
First, let me thank every subscriber for subscribing to "Inspiring Words."
Secondly, before you stop your subscription, please understand (as mentioned above) that everyone is asked to be an ACTIVE SUBSCRIBER in order to "send" our ecards (it states at the bottom of every ecard - Art use free to subscribers). Inspire21's FREE EZINE is one way we earn revenues (sponsor ads) to pay our costs. Of course, you are welcome to delete our ezines when they arrive.
TO ANSWER YOU QUESTION... we've always offered a simple way for subscribers to manually UNSUBSCRIBE, or disable/enable mailings during work overloads, vacations, etc., at any time (explained at the end of our ezines). Simply click this link, enter your email address in the box, and click UNSUBSCRIBE (or DISABLE for temporary use). It's that easy!
AND, any way you go, thanks again for your interest and support. [BACK TO TOP]
Do you offer a free daily or weekly ecard delivery program?
That's a great idea, and NOW IT'S AVAILABLE - called Inspire21's "Ecard-A-Day" - Click here to learn more!
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How many people work on Inspire21.com?
I get many notes referring to Inspire21's team and staff, and I'd like to point out that I have no staff at all (just a loving, supporting family that stands by me and my efforts to help others). It's just "me, myself and I" who puts together all of what you see and get... but not without the grace and blessing of our Lord Jesus. The reason you may read the WE in some of our site and ezine text is: first - it does sound like its more than just a one man operation; second, because it is... if it werent for the love, help, understanding and support of my family this work would not be possible. And, thirdly, there is another person, named Kal Kolberg, who is behind all of the coding that makes things work for Inspire21.com (But, hes the only one being paid, so he doesnt count - ha!).
I've invested over 2 years (virtually day and night) designing everything you see, and still needed another year to get the selection of ecards to where I want them. Im hoping to get visitor traffic and ezine subscriptions up to where I can finally start earning some income from advertising sponsors (we're at about 1700 visitors a day, from over 100 countries, as of 4/1/04.
If you like what you see (and send), please help me and my team by sending as many ecards as you can - and encourage others to subscribe to "Inspiring Words," our free ezine. For this I can't thank you enough!
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Why does text stay in your send-ecard forms?
We thought it would be cool to keep text copy in the send-form fields so those who like to send ecards to more than one, or different ecards to the same person, would like to have their data auto-installed, and they only have to change the text they wish each time.
We placed a 'cookie' in the email system which allows ecard senders to send the same message, and ecard design if desired, to other email addresses. That way all you have to do is change your recipient's name and address - everything else stays intact.
On the other hand, if you'd like to send one certain person different ecards, each time you return to the form page that person's name and email address, as well as yours, stays intact. Then you only have to change the ecard (and message), if desired.
If you wish to change any text field, simply highlight any of the copy and hit delete. The easiest way to highlight ALL copy is to click your cursor anywhere in a text field box, and then hit Control (or Command for Macs) and the letter 'A' at the same time - that selects 'ALL' copy. Then hit delete, or simply start typing the new text - this will automatically erase the old text and begin displaying your new text.[BACK TO TOP]
Why do I see a previous ecard displayed on the send-ecard form instead of my new selection?
When a new ecard selection does not display on the send form (and you see a prior ecard selection), this usually means that the new ecard you wanted to send had not been successfully loaded into the system. When an ecard is not aligned with the emailing system, it will not appear, ready to send (in fact, the last, most recent ecard you sent - or planned to send - is the one that will re-appear -OR- one particular ecard, like the one that starts with LAND will be there). This happens sometimes when a new ezine goes out, announcing new ecard designs that can all be seen, but perhaps not all can be sent... until they are aligned in the system. This rarely happens, but if it does, please report this problem to us ASAP
We try to not let this happen, but an ecard or two might be late getting loaded, or sometimes not at all (usually an oversight when loading many ecards at one time). So, please, when you have a situation like this, let us know *specifically* which ecard you're having trouble with, so we can fix it if need be. [BACK TO TOP]
Can I postdate the delivery of eCards to certain dates?
Yes! As soon as you click the "EMAIL" button under your selected ecard, an emailing info-form will appear. After completing the addressing info required, you can click SEND - if you want it sent immediately - or, use the Send On Date calendar to have it sent any day in the next six (6) years. [BACK TO TOP]
Can I send an ecard to more than one email address at one time?
Not at this time. However, we are developing a new, dynamic Email System that will allow subscribers to utilize a personal email address book. Then, like many web-based email programs, youll be able to send any ecard to one, a select few, or all of those in your address book. [BACK TO TOP]
When and how can I send the Classical Guitar Music with an ecard?
This is a service I had expected to be available near the launch of Inspire21.com, back in April, 2001. But, after further consideration, it seemed to be too complicated for me, personally, to develop. The fact that it would require a script (at greater expense) and perhaps would slow the loading function of the ecards, Ive elected to postpone this feature until more time, money and demand for the music permitted. Thank you for your patience.
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Can I send an ecard with my own image (Jpeg or GIF)?
No, sorry... there are numerous other sites online which will allow you to do this, but our services do not include this feature. [BACK TO TOP]
Will Inspire21 ever use FLASH eCards?
Yes... but, not for some time. I have a lot of other more pressing issues to satisfy before I get into Flash designs. However, I can envision using this special moving-graphic feature someday soon... to watch the calligraphy (or hand lettering) write itself over the ecard when it is viewed - at the site and in a delivered email. [BACK TO TOP]
Why is there an emphasis on Scripture ecards and Christian Stories at Inspire21.com?
Simple... I am a devout Christian, doing my discipleship for my Lord Jesus Christ. I often get criticized for not having more scripture ecards for holidays and other occasions, with statements like, This is supposed to be a Christian site! Well, it is but it isnt entirely. Someday it will be at least half and half, but now it is still predominately quotations and special occasion ecards 3-to-1 to scripture. The purpose is to make the site and its content inviting to those who are not as attached to the Lord, but may become so with each exposure to the Word... by accident or on purpose. Hopefully I can aid in that transformation with my offering in site content.
Although I try not to blast everyone with Christian doctrine and philosophy, I believe it is my duty to help people (and help them help others they know) to read, enjoy and benefit from the word of the Bible. Its my belief, by making artistic ecards that can be freely sent by email, Christians will have more tools to help others grow in the Word of God. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. -- 2 Timothy 3:16,17
Side Note: It still amazes me how many people have not come to know the Word, and Jesus, better through the Bible. How can so much absolute documentation be ignored? According to scripture (and numerous other records) Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered, died and was buried, and rose again -- undisputed evidence of His existence. He came and taught us how to love and treat each other, with not a shread of harm to anyone. In fact, He performed documented miracle after miracle to prove His Word. Now, can you imagine, what kind of world this would be without the life of Jesus? Without the Ten Commandments? Without God in the lives of tens of millions of families? I personally shutter to think of the crime, the hate, the war and rebellion of so many non-believers who do not fear the Lord God. What would this world have come to? Thats another reason why I try to do my part to encourage the study and understanding of the Word. [BACK TO TOP]
Why dont your Newest Ecard Designs link from your ezine directly to the actual ecards, vs using a link to an Introduction Page with thumbnail images?
Frames! Most browsers do not like frames, and I used to use them for this site. This is a graphic-intensive site, with lots of graphic pages, and I thought it would only slow each page-load if it included the nav bar each time the pages load (This was changed on 3/23/04). Now, the nav bar remains constantly in view, and each page loads in its own separate page. In the past, this caused problems when searching for any text, title, quote or ecard... in that most search engines only linked you to the actual page (laid out for frame use, and did not load the nav bar as well - many visitors found themselves looking at a frame-page, without the nav bar, when they visited their searched page). I am happy to report this is now changed and I hope for better performance from now on. [BACK TO TOP]
Why did Inspire21 have an online mall called Affiliation Station?
Inspire21.com is an entirely free web site, designed to help inspire visitors and help them inspire others they know (with email). It is my desire to keep everything free, forever, so those without the means to pay a usage fee can continue to enjoy the content of the site. However, it costs me a great deal of time and money to operate Inspire21.com. This is why you will encounter affiliation banners, and other links, to products, services and sites that send us a referral commission for visitors who click & order. But, since inception, we have gotten VERY LITTLE revenue (virtually nothing) from these affiliation links. I thought I could offer a greater selection through Inspire21s Affiliation Station, but records show very few actually visit this iMall, so it is closed for the time being. [BACK TO TOP]
What is the purpose of TalkinTshirts?
I was hoping some visitors may like to have a T-shirt, coffee mug, mouse, pad, etc. with some of Inspire21c ecard designs... but this is not paying off either. I found an online company that produces these products (with your own designs) one at a time, so I wouldnt need to order sizeable inventories of these products. Again, this has failed to generate any income, so I will probably be discontinuing this service soon. [BACK TO TOP]
Why does Inspire21 promote Online Personals?
In a poll of single adults (Yankelovich Survey - 1999) - 61% said they will try to find dates through the Internet - an increase of almost 600% over use calculated in 1998. Inspire21.coms Mission is to help all people achieve their dreams... to be do and have more in life. This includes helping them find their one-and-only soulmate. If we can encourage anyone who is lonely to find someone to love, online or off, we will. And we have done so using the top rated, most respected Christian personal services online. So, if you are seeking a special relationship, Inspire21 invites you to visit these secure and established Christian dating services. [BACK TO TOP]
What is Wordart?
Wordart21 is the new name of my custom calligraphy and hand lettering services (click the CUSTOM button on Inspire21s nav bar above to see samples, or click here). I have been providing ad agencies and design studios customized lettering for logos, slogans, etc. for over 20 years, originally called The Write Direction. But, when it became too expensive to advertise these services, through directories and mailers, I decided to build a web site that would promote my graphics specialty. However, I learned that you must give something away to attract visitors, so I elected to design free, artistic ecards -- thus, Inspire21.com -- and hope folks would find a need for my custom work (ie: logos, slogans, menus, invitations, web graphics, etc.). Well, to date, this has not happened either. But, I will continue offering these services, even though Inspire21 has grown from one hundred ecards or so to over 900 and growing. Inspire21 may prove to be the income vehicle Ive been looking for... but only if I can get enough visitors who will purchase some of the products and services I am now trying to generate - click STORE above or click here.
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What is Income21?
Again, considering the need mentioned above to generate revenues, I thought visitors to Inspire21.com may be interested in some online, money-making opportunities that I happened to take part in -- hence the name, Income21 (Note: I also have reserved the domain name - Income21.com, as well, which I hope to use someday as a separate site). If anyone finds or knows of any fault with the companies listed with INCOME21, please let me know so I can investigate (and remove) if necessary. [BACK TO TOP]
What specialized products are available from Inspire21.com?
Weve been asked if our ecard designs are available on printed cards for individual or multi-pack purchasing... but at present we do not. The reason is that it would be cost prohibitive to print many designs in full color printing... especially not knowing which designs may be in demand, and whether or not they would sell at all. As mentioned above, there isnt a lot weve tried that has been profitable. However, I am offering some unique products and services, including: 1. Ecard-A-Day from Inspire21.com; 2. Remember-Me-Cards for businesses (where a business can have an inspiring ecard delivered every Monday to their email clients/customers; 3. Collectible Refrigerator Magnets featuring ecard art; 4. Calligraphy art only, printed in black ink, on parchment, suitable for framing; 5. high resolution art available to download so individuals could print their own cards on their printers; 6. more ideas to come -- please let me know if you can think of any others. [BACK TO TOP]