It’s election year in the US, and if you’re an American, you’ve likely already been bombarded with political marketing of every form and fashion. In 2008, online spending for campaigns in the presidential election totalled about $177 million. Experts estimate that online spending in the 2012 presidential election will total somewhere between $1 and $1.5 billion. Knowing that, online interaction with potential voters is of extreme importance for candidates.

Votizen, a site connecting politics and social networking, is hoping to capitalize on that need for interaction. Votizen provides you with a way to connect with other voters via social networks and verified voter registration. Once you are signed up you can explore campaigns, endorse candidates and view voter statistics. Even if you’re not running for office, you likely have views about the election that you’d love to share, and Votizen gives you a modern way to do that in a dedicated political social network.

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Pinterest is a great social networking site, but it is definitely still young and lacking in some features. Whether you want to pin an unsupported format or want an in-depth analysis of your “pinfluence”, these and other potential features just aren’t available in Pinterest (yet, anyway). If you’d like the Pinterest experience but with more features, you can either use an entirely different Pinterest alternative, or you can try using one of these Pinterest-based tools.

This collection has a huge variety of tools, including ways to explore, discover, analyze and more. There are even a few browser plug-ins to really make your Pinterest experience worthwhile. These tools definitely give Pinterest a whole new layer of functionality and you’re sure to find at least one you don’t know how you ever pinned without. Read on to learn about 10 of my favorite Pinterest tools.

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Remembering to purchase gifts and send good wishes for birthdays, anniversaries, and other events is often difficult. While I remember the biggest events, especially those for close family, it is hard to remember extended family and friend’s birthdays. You have to make special calendar events for those big days, and if you don’t realize it’s coming up until the day before the event, it is a challenge to find an appropriate gift on time. Luckily, a new gift giving service called GiftDish was created to make your gift-giving life a bit simpler.

GiftDish is a service which connects to your Facebook account to keep track of the birthdays of all of your friends. Sure, Facebook already tells you everyone’s birthdays, but it doesn’t let you automatically send gifts. GiftDish, instead, lets you keep up with Facebook birthdays easier and send simple gifts (a note, personal video, or gift card) far in advance of the birthday. GiftDish also allows you to add events that aren’t on Facebook, such as anniversaries, graduations, or simply birthdays for people you aren’t friends with on Facebook. Read on to learn what I think about the service and how to best use it.

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There is certainly no denying the ever-growing popularity of Pinterest. With over 2.5 million users participating in the beta, Pinterest provides a new and unique way to discover and share the web. This growing popularity has, of course, spawned numerous sites that utilize a variety of Pinterest elements.

If Pinterest doesn’t seem to be quite what you need, you might consider trying one of the many alternatives. Whether it’s a “manlier” alternative like Gentlemint or a specific niche like tech-centric Curisma, you are sure to be able to find something up your alley. Read on to learn about ten of the best alternatives to Pinterest.

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The legal jargon required to make a sound privacy policy is overwhelming to say the least. That being said, it is absolutely necessary to make a privacy policy for your site or you might face huge fines as a result. If you want to avoid the cost of hiring a legal professional or the pain of pushing through the legal terminology yourself, it is important to find a viable alternative. One of the ones to consider is iubenda, an online privacy policy generator.

Not only does iubenda create a privacy policy for use on your site, the application offers both a “user-friendly” version and a version full of all the legal words. The privacy policies are constantly updated by the legal team at iubenda, take only a few minutes to set up and come with both a free and pro version. Read on to learn a bit more about how it works and what I really think of it.

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When learning another language, it is important to utilize some sort of lesson based learning to help pick up vocabulary and grammar. Many web applications do offer language lessons of some sort, whether they have intensive lessons for many languages or simple lessons for just one language.

Livemocha is a language learning community with lessons in over 35 languages and the ability to interact with speakers of many more languages. This gives you a chance to talk with native speakers of your target language, whether for feedback, conversations or questions. Read on to learn about what Livemocha has to offer and how well it works.

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In an online world populated by social media, blogs, and more, we are always sharing tid-bits. We might share a photo or a video or perhaps just a random thought that popped into our head. Social media has allowed the individual to truly create an online persona – whether that persona is a great thinker or a lover of self-portraits, what we share has really begun to show who we are. The rise of social networking allows us to constantly connect online to share and influence our connections. While a great deal of power has been handed to us in terms of online sharing and publication, we do not often think of all that we share as a brand.

Via.Me is a web and iPhone application that allows the user to act as a publisher and provide a great deal of content that helps to shape our individual online brand. Via.Me allows the publishing of photos, videos, sound and text, aggregating our social presences and sharing the content across multiple platforms. Read on to learn about how Via.Me works and my thoughts on the application.

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Anyone who has ever had to search for a flight online can understand the agony that often goes into such a search. Whether it’s a lack of flights that fit your itinerary or having to search through fifty pages of results, online flight searches are often cumbersome at best. Luckily, Hipmunk was created as a way for users to have a significantly easier time searching for flights that fit their needs.

Hipmunk is an app that allows users to search for flights, much like any of the other flight search website out there. Hipmunk, however, brings a clean user interface and a very unique method of search. Read on to learn more about the ease of use that Hipmunk provides as well as what it’s good for and not so good for.

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The ability to edit images and photographs directly from your web browser is a wonderful thing, whether the ability serves as a simple alternative to more costly desktop software or a solution for when you’re away from your computer. There are a number of different apps available with a variety of specialties. This review will focus on Sumo Paint, a browser based image and photo editing tool.

Sumo Paint provides a great feature set with tools ranging from basic shapes to advanced painting tools. Unlike most other other online graphics editing apps, Sumo Paint also has a burgeoning online community. It’s far from a new app, but it’s one of the internet standbys that come up in every list of great web apps. Whether you’ve never used it before or have tried it out in the past but haven’t used all of its features, it’s a great web app to learn more about. Keep reading to see why Sumo Paint is a web app you should try out.

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For the modern career seeker, having a visually compelling résumé is important. This importance is magnified for anyone with a career involving multimedia in any form. Whether you are a graphic designer, video editor, or writer, having a simple way to provide a resume and basic portfolio in one simple package is a great way to stand out from the crowd and catch the eye of potential employers. VisualCV is a new service that provides users with a free way to create a multimedia résumé so you can spend more time finding work than making your résumé.

VisualCV allows users to integrate standard resume sections such as employment history with non-traditional components such as video and document attachments. The service has partnered with a number of well-known businesses to allow users opportunities to share their new, dynamic resume with a variety of potential employers. Read on to learn more about the specific features and how it compares to other online résumé services.

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