IN THE NEWS: Will your partner find out if you’ve been on a love cheat website?

Cheating wives and husband who’ve gone online to search for a partner to flirt with – or to have an affair with – have been warned their search might not be private after all…
Yes, you can still delete the search history on the family computer. But, a report in The Sunday Times claims some sites will actually alert all your friends and family on Facebook that you have gone on the site.
The article cites Badoo.com, a dating website it claims is known for casual encounters because it encourages users to ‘chat, flirt, meet up and have fun.’
At Badoo you do not have to join – all you have to do is input your email address and Badoo will automatically inform friends you are on there.
Trainee Solicitor Will, 29, told how he was embarrassed the site told his contacts he was a member. He signed up a while ago when it was billed as the ‘new Facebook’ but then forgot about it. But recently he received a call from his girlfriend asking why he was on it – and shocked that he was.
Another person recalls how he discovered his girlfriend had joined when the site sent a automated message to his work email inviting him to join her. He then created a fake profile on the site and she began talking to him. She said she was single and gave a new phone number she had. He later confronted her…
The Sunday Times article reveals a recent poll of 85,000 Badoo members revealed 59% had met someone they first contacted via the site and 30% admit they met for sex.
And a 2009 study ranked Badoo out of 45 social websites as the worse for privacy. It scored 23% while LinkedIn scored 70% and Facebook 53%.
The report adds Badoo profiles come up in Google searches so without signing in you can see a photo of someone who might be advertising for ‘no strings sex.’
However, one consultant who specialises in online dating says Badoo’s relaxed approach to privacy is the way social media sites are going. “One of the features of dating sites has always been privacy,” he says, “but there are advantages to people knowing who you are. The best way to meet people is through friends of friends – social dating – and that is what Badoo is trying to emulate.”
Meanwhile, Badoo says members can adjust their privacy settings accordingly and says it is not a site promoting sexual encounters. “We are not pretending that the sexual element does not exist; we are a meeting network for adults and their interactions reflect human behaviour in real life.”

Have you ever cheated using a dating website? Or perhaps your spouse had an affair with someone he or she met on a flirting website? If you have an adultery or infidelity story to sell, let us know here: Cheating website story


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IN THE NEWS: Graduates forced to pay £100 a day to gain work experience…

First came the controversy of graduates working for firms – and doing a lot of work for them – for no payment, just to get a foot on the career ladder… Now comes the news that university leavers are so desperate for a job that they are paying companies to help them gain work experience.
Putting work experience down on your CV has become all-important – without it your chances of gaining a job are much less.
Already thousands of graduates work for free to gain a foot in the door of their chosen career – but as a report in The Sunday Times says, the decision of some to pay for their experience highlights just how competitive getting a job has become.
The article quotes one highly qualified graduate, 23, paying £60 a day to work at a media and video production company. She says: “I don’t see myself as being exploited. You need the experience – for every internship there is a huge amount of applicants.”
Her boss said: “I’m interested in people who are so keen to work in the industry that they are willing to finance themselves.”
The report also interviewed the boss of a wedding planning firm, which charges £100 a day for internships.
She says: “I have a work experience student now. I’ll pick her up and make sure she has everything she needs for the day.
“Next week we’re going out for dinner to talk about an event we’re doing and it’s extra time I could be earning money.”
Another boss agrees: “If you are paying £40,000 to get educated at university, I don’t think it is much much more to pay £60 a day to be able to say on your CV, ‘I’ve worked for a TV Production company.'”
It appears gaining an internship that you pay for is also very competitive. Many of the internships are advertised through Etsio.com, a website on which the work experience is outlined together with the fee successful applicants must pay their employer.
Explaining how their system works Etsio tells graduates: “You aren’t paying for a job. You’re buying experience and paying for training. It helps you improve your CV, makes you more attractive to an employer, and even helps you decide if you want to start your own business.”
It adds: “Major corporations take interns, because they can afford to, and mostly they pay them. But small companies simply don’t take interns. If you want work experience with the kind of small, exciting professions we deal with, we have to incentivise them to give you work experience. And that means paying them.”
Critics claim paid-for work experience gives wealthier job-seekers an unfair advantage over graduates from poorer families – who must get any work they can, such as bar work, to earn some cash.
But with the job situation as it is, it is possible this could become the norm…

Is charging people for work experience mean or understandable? We would love to hear your views below…


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IN THE NEWS: Giant Wooden Advent Calendar launched… and you can go inside

Iconic Tower Bridge plays host to families this Christmas time with the largest interactive Victorian wooden advent calendar in the country. From December 1st, children open an advent door a day and enjoy a truly adventurous time. Each will go home with a candy cane and an adventurer’s certificate. Giant Wooden Advent Calendar launched at Tower Bridge

The way in which we celebrate Christmas today actually has its origins back in Victorian Britain. Families up and down the country began decorating Christmas trees with sweets, fruit, decorations and gifts in the mid-1800s after Queen Victoria saw how her husband, German-born Prince Albert celebrated Christmas with his family. Sumptuous feasts were enjoyed, parlour games were played, a national holiday was declared and a tradition was born.

Over 150 years later, it seems fitting that London’s most impressive Victorian structure hosts a magical Victorian-themed Christmas event throughout December. This year, Tower Bridge will unveil a giant advent calendar crafted entirely from wood. It will replicate a Victorian toy and stand an impressive two metres high and seven metres wide. The impressive structure will be located in the South Tower under the animation screen. The entire area will be decorated in a Victorian Christmas theme, and six huge Christmas trees will be decorated and placed in and around the area.

On arrival, children will be invited to pick a candy cane from a Christmas tree. One lucky child will pull out a candy cane with a magic mark on it. They will be asked to open the day’s corresponding door on the giant wooden calendar, which will unveil a traditional Christmas image. In addition to a candy cane, each child will receive an adventurer’s certificate to remind them of their festive magical moment. The calendar door will be closed again once each group has left, offering enchanting opportunities to as many other children as possible throughout the day. The advent calendar will be launched on 1st December and will remain open to visitors until 23rd December.

Along with the advent calendar, Christmas trees and plenty of traditional decorations there will also be a ‘Letter Writing Station’ where children can write to Father Christmas, then ‘post’ their letter to him in a Victorian-style post box on their way out.

This unique event will undoubtedly appeal to parents looking for somewhere different to take their children this Christmas. Steeped in history and tradition, it’ll be a far cry from the usual visit to see Santa in over-crowded shopping centres.

Standard admission prices for adults £8, children aged 5-15 £3.40, under 5s free and concessions £5.60. Joint tickets for admission to Tower Bridge and the beautifully restored Monument nearby are available at £9, £4 and £6.20. Opening times are 9.30am to 6.00pm (last admission 5.00pm). More information on family and group tickets can be found online.

Image credit: Brandon Douglas
PR by Aneela Rose PR


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IN THE NEWS: Celebrity stories…could they be a thing of the past?

If you like reading celebrity magazines or about celebrities in the newspapers, according to an article in The Times, such articles might eventually not exist – at least in their current form. News about celebrities - will it end? Writing in the paper, Phil Hilton, Editorial Director of Stylist magazine says the Leveson inquiry – which has seen celebrities such as Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller and JK Rowling giving evidence – could mark the end of this celebrity-led era.

Writes Hilton: “Having worked in magazines for all my adult life, I now feel nothing will ever be the same again. And despite the snarky commentary about the testimony of those richer and better looking than ourselves who sought fame, I believe we are all sick of haunting them too.
“I’m not immune to the odd fascination we all have with the famous – but Leveson has exposed the ugliness of our national addiction, and I suspect, ended an era.”

The article also quotes two readers. However, they don’t agree. Nicole, 24, who works in recruitment says: “Everyone loves a gossip and it can be inspirational to see people who’ve made a business out of being a nobody.”

And another reader quoted in The Times – Nicola, 22, who wants to work as a showbiz reporter, says: “It’s unrealistic for a celebrity to expect their life to stay completely private and maybe it shouldn’t be, but it is so integrated into our culture people would still speculate even without the celebrity magazines.”

Meanwhile, some of those who represent celebrities are also appalled at what they see as ‘censoring of the media’.
PR guru Richard Hillgrove, who has consulted on PR to BBC Dragon’s Duncan Bannatyne OBE and James Caan, says: ” Far from being an intrusion, being covered in the tabloids and celebrity magazines is why so many people see Hugh Grant or Sienna Miller’s films and why they achieve such high fees for advertising endorsements.

“But if the media is completely neutered, then next step will be people’s personal email on Google and Facebook being monitored through automated keyword searches. Ultimately, legislation will make all media data, including social media, becoming the property of the State. Censoring will create a police state.”

Whether this inquiry signals the end of celebrities being in the news remains to be seen. It might be celebrities are only featured in a paper or magazine with their approval – for example when they have a film or book to promote.

What are your views? Let us know below…


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IN THE NEWS: What makes a video clip go viral?

A few weeks ago we reported on the families making over £100,000 by uploading their videos to YouTube. YouTube - viral videosNow the Sunday Times reports on the latest video viral made by dad Ali Goodyear and his son Jake – which could be set to make them tens of thousands.
As with many of these videos, it all began innocently enough. A fortnight ago Mr Goodyear, 37, took son Jake, 13, to Richmond Park, which is famous for its wild deer.
Thinking footage of the deer would be nice, Mr Goodyear began filming the herd on his mobile phone. And as he did so he caught some other footage – a black dog charging into shot chasing the deer. It was followed by its owner shouting ‘Fenton!’ and every so often ‘Jesus Christ,’
When the pair rewound the footage, they were struck by its comic potential and uploaded the little film to Jake’s Facebook account – which usually gets around 60 hits a video. But a few days later someone linked to the video and the whole thing took off – overnight the video became a huge hit in the US.

So what makes a hit viral video that could earn you a fortune? A group of researchers at the University of South Australia have been studying the winning formula. And they claim all viral videos have the following in common…

* They are simple to understand.
* They prompt laughter, crying or shock.
* They make us feel good – they promote exhilaration, hilarity, astonishment and inspiration. Because of this, people are more inclined to share the good feelings.
* Videos that prompt emotions such as anger, disgust, sadness or frustration don’t do as well.

Unsurprisingly given the thousands of pounds a viral video can generate (YouTube will share advertising revenue with owners of the most popular videos and then there can be money gained from a blog alongside and demand for merchandise such as T shirts…) several companies will now provide your video with ‘hits’.

Even if a video appears to tick all the boxes, this isn’t always successful apparently – and then many viral videos have a short shelf life and so you need to be very savvy to rake in the money fast while it’s popular.


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IN THE NEWS: Janet Devlin – something she ate or stage fright?

X Factor’s Janet Devlin suffered every singer’s worse nightmare when on live TV and in front of millions she forgot the words to her song. X factor Janet Devlin felt sick The 16 year-old reportedly blamed ‘something I ate’ explaining she felt as if she were going to throw up. But while it might well have been a bug, it wasn’t first time amnesia for Janet. Earlier this month during a version of the Jackson 5 song I want you back, she forgot the words then.
And she isn’t alone in having a ‘feeling ill’ experience on stage. One Direction’s Harry Styles has revealed when he first began performing on X Factor, he got so queasy he was sick before and after performances.
In fact, it appears as if both performers were suffering from an attack of stage fright – also known as a panic attack – and is probably where the phrase ‘sick with nerves’ comes from.
You don’t have to be performing on a stage either to have an attack. Unfortunately, stage fright can happen to anyone and often hits at a time when it is incredibly important to be seen at our best.
Feeling nauseous and losing your words can happen during an interview when you dry up, during a presentation or an important pitch or during any sort of public speaking. It is likely most TV presenters can recall at least once when it’s happened to them.

So what can you do to avoid stage fright?

* Firstly prepare. Practice makes perfect – practice until you really do know your piece off by heart. If you are making a speech, take some notes in with you just in case – you are unlikely to need them but it will give you confidence to have them with you. If possible visit the scene to familiarise yourself properly.

* Physically relax. Don’t eat anything unusual beforehand or skip a meal due to nerves. Before any sort of public performance – be it on the stage, or while doing a pitch to a client – take deep breaths to lower your heart rate.

* Get a handle on nerves. Put this into perspective. You are not going into a life or death battle. If something goes wrong, you won’t die – ultimately, nothing will happen.

* Enjoy yourself. If you’re on TV, it might well be your five minutes of fame so go on in the frame of mind to have a good time. If you are doing a big pitch to a client, relish the experience.

* Finally if the worse happens it might not spell disaster after all. Even if you do muck up people are often very forgiving – sometimes a calamity can endear you to your audience. Ultimately, the more interviews or pitches or speeches you do, the more confident and expert you will become. And don’t let one bad experience put you off. One Direction’s Harry Styles clearly overcame his nerves and the rest as they say is history…

Have you ever suffered from panic attack or a phobia that made your life a misery? Tell us how you overcame it below. Or if you would like to share your story then do contact us here: My Phobia story


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IN THE NEWS: Royal wedding dolls… an ideal gift?

What do you think of these quirky Wills and Kate dolls? Admittedly, here at Sell Your Story UK offices we’re not too sure … but we can see the appeal for Royal fans or little girls who want to play at Royal weddings. Royal Wedding dolls

In fact, according the manufacturers Arklu Ltd, the dolls have been developed in line with official guidelines laid out by Clarence House and £1 from each doll set sold is being donated to the RNLI lifeboat charity.

Each of the dolls – featuring Wills and Kate in their wedding day outfits – has been dressed and accessorised by leading British designers, including luxury jewellery designers Babette Wasserman and Clogau Gold, celebrated shoe designers Aruna Seth and Jeffery-West, as well as Savile Row tailors Richard West and Kashket and Co and celebrity florist and Fox TV Royal Wedding flowers pundit Judith Blacklock.

Lucie Follett, a spokesperson for Arklu, says: “We have had so much positive feedback about our Royal Wedding dolls, which were launched in world famous London toy store Hamleys.”

The limited edition doll sets – which come with a set and photos so little girls or fans can create their own special day – are usually priced at £79.95. But for one week only – and as part of the Black Friday sales week (which traditionally marks the start of holiday shopping) on Amazon.co.uk – they are priced at £49.95.


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