Why You Should Open a Blog to Share Your Passion With Other Stamp Collectors

Are you wondering why you should open a blog? The answer is to share your passion with other stamp collectors from worldwide countries.

And did you know you can also monetize your blogging activity to generate money to buy more stamps?

Let’s talk about it. If we look back four or five years ago, there was no such thing as a blog.

By the way, the word blog is the combination of two words: web and log as the website kept a log similar to a diary of opinions, thoughts, actions and/or reactions of the owners.

Nowadays, there are millions of them.


Because they are a great tool to create online communities of people interested in the same subjects.

Sharing your ideas, experiences and questions about the stamp collecting hobby with your loyal blog readership is a great way to build like-minded relationships.

On your blog, you can provide helpful information, resources, and news about your stamp quest journey and establish a fun dialogue on all the aspects of your collecting. In the long run, it will establish yourself as an authority and actively involved member of the stamp collecting community.

I recommend using WordPress for your blog, as it is fairly straightforward and comes with search engine optimization features already installed within, which will do well in search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, and therefore stamp collectors will find your website.

And the great news is that WordPress is free and very easy to work with.

All you need to start your own blog is a domain name (approximately $8-$10), a hosting company (about $10 per month) and your imagination (priceless!).

You will need to tend to your blog and grow it over time. They are plenty of benefits to be had if you go about it properly and in such a way that it will be a fun experience.

At the same time, why not monetize your blog and have it generate income to re-invest in your stamp collection?

Some people have strong personal feelings with respect to generating income from their blogs.

As someone said (unfortunately, I do not remember the name)

If you think it is greedy, then don’t do it as you will probably self-sabotage yourself. If you have mixed feelings, then sort these feelings out If you think that it is wonderful concept, then do it. Whatever you decide is fine.

If your blog provides valuable content, you fully deserve to earn income from it.

The blogosphere changes rapidly and creates multitude of opportunities. Why not benefit from it and, at the same time, help others?

There are multiple ways of generating income from your blog: advertising space, affiliate commissions and selling your own products.

Think about it…

And take action!

ABC – Always Be Collecting

Getting started with blogging and social media is intimidating to many. It took me time to develop the confidence, skills, and habits that make it possible to deliver content on a regular basis. More than anything, it requires a 24/7 mindset that I call “ABC: Always Be Collecting,” which is a take on the fantastic movie Glengarry Glen Ross.

“Always Be Collecting” means establishing a commitment and habit to always be thinking about collecting content for your blog, Tweets, and Facebook updates. This mindset will only have limited effectiveness without a support structure. I’ve included 4 tips to help you get going.

#1 Intelligence

I am not referring to the ability to comprehend, but rather the collecting of information. For me, intelligence is the oxygen that fuels my content generation. These are my intelligence gathering tools:

Barnes & Noble: I read, read, read, read…
Google Reader: I subscribe to 210 RSS feeds and have read over 11,000 articles in the last 30 days. However, keep in mind that “read” is probably an overstatement and it’s more accurate to say that I “scanned” those articles, looking for interesting content and then reading, bookmarking, and sharing as appropriate.
Twitter: More and more, people are using Twitter as a source of “pre-qualified” information. Because you are presumably following people you trust and/or in which you’re interested, then it stands to reason that links they share will be of interest to you also. It’s becoming a real time news echo chamber that helps me stay on top of the latest tech developments and trends.

#2 Raw Materials

Words are the foundation of all online content, but pictures and video constitute the paint, carpeting, furniture, etc… Throughout the course of the day, I am mindful to be collecting pictures, screenshots, and video that may eventually be used in a post somewhere.

My BlackBerry Bold smartphone is absolutely indispensable as a raw material collection tool, as it is something I always carry and can take pictures and videos that are of perfectly acceptable quality for online use.

I use TechSmith’s SnagIt as a screen capture tool for grabbing screen shots of programs and web pages that may come in handy later on. I also use Camtasia Studio for authoring and editing screen casts.

#3 Total Consciousness

Content collection needs to become a habit, which requires you perform the action at least 21 times. Here are some tips to help ensure you remember:

Write down the habit you’re trying to establish and post it in as many places as possible.
Schedule your content collection ahead of time. Obviously, you can’t really schedule something like this, but if you can put calendar appointments on your phone, then at least you are getting regular reminders that will help keep you in that frame of mind.
Reward yourself every time you come up with a new blog idea.
Concentrate on consistency rather than results. In other words, don’t worry if the content you’re collecting is not of the quality level you’d like it to be. The most important thing is to keep developing the habit and mindset, which will eventually become a habit that will result in more “aha” moments and better quality stuff.

#4 Be Prepared

Assuming you fuel the content machine, collect the raw materials, and develop the proper habits, the last piece of the puzzle is being prepared to trap and keep that content. I’ve settled on a system that relies on two tools; the voice recorder feature of my phone and a Moleskine notebook.

If you’re as scatter-brained as I am (and even if you’re not), then a voice recorder is a non-negotiable, must have tool. I finally grew tired of ideas zipping in and out of my head as often as Tiger Woods… well, you get the idea. I’d been telling myself for quite some time that I need to pick up one of those small voice recorder devices when it occurred to me that my BlackBerry had one built into it. Now, I’m in the habit of carrying my phone everywhere, including some places that may be construed as a “too much information” moment, because you never can tell when your next blog idea will strike. I had three in row occur to me when I was shaving the other day, and quickly dictated them to the phone’s voice recorder.

Eventually, the random thoughts and musings get transcribed off of the phone and into my blog notebook. This notebook contains a diary of ideas for articles that is actually starting to grow quite fat. I am gradually picking up the pace of my posts as a result of growing confidence that I’m not going to run out of content any time soon. They key is to build up a healthy backlog of articles that can smooth the peaks and fill in the valleys.

Harnessing The Power Of Collective Intelligence To Increase The Value Of Your Blog

One of the most important keys to having a Web 2.0 blog on the internet today is the two-way conversation that takes place between the blogger who is communicating a certain message, and the reader who is encouraged to contribute their input and opinions. This is a much different approach than that of traditional websites prior to the increased emphasis on social media online, since the conversation that took place between readers and writers was very much one-sided.

With today’s websites and blogs there is a greater emphasis on community collaboration and collective intelligence of groups of readers and commenters, instead of the traditional path which has been to simply convey a certain message without any reader interaction. A good example of collective intelligence being used on a website is the concept of a wiki site, where readers may log in and create new pages on the site or they may edit existing pages.

Collective intelligence in this kind of a Web 2.0 fashion can also be used to create more value with your blog. The primary way that this can happen is that you simply have the website open for comments from readers, and this is a normal function that should be expected in most of the regular blogging platforms or content management systems. But the way that you can take this a step further is to encourage you readers to sign up as members so that they will return multiple times and leave multiple comments.

Certain types of widgets or add-ons for blogging software can put an increased emphasis on the community and commenting aspects of a blog, doing things such as creating a poll where you must be logged in to vote or showing a list of who the most active commenters are. When you decide to use your blog not only to convey information to your readers but to put an active emphasis on those who sign up as registered members, many of your members will begin to interact with each other.

This is a great example of how collective intelligence can increase the value of your blog, since you will now have a group of dedicated return readers who will actively participate in the discussion that you create using your blog posts. Not only will you have a group of people who regularly check back for new content, but they will also be adding content to your blog themselves and continuing to increase the value in that way as well.

Business Package Become A Casualty

Every holiday season, from late October through January, finding a reliable courier or shipping company can become a nightmare. Time sensitive packages are not always given top priority by the big courier services because of their high demand for deliveries during the holidays.

Businesses who rely on courier services throughout the year know the holiday season will become a problem for them due to the overwhelming of daily consumer shipments. Whether it’s a gift being delivered across the country or a medical lab needing sensitive packages transported a few miles away, all packages are treated the same. That means without proper care!. How many times have you seen “FRAGILE” on a package only to receive it smashed. It almost seems some courier services enjoy damaging packages. They think tossing it into the back of the truck is careful. Or rolling it like a bowling ball is fun. Well, not to the medical labs, dental offices, hospitals or other businesses that hope their package is treated with care.

Unlike a consumer who can pre-schedule their package to be delivered, many businesses do not have that luxury. Flexible delivery dates are not part of the business world. Too often a special delivery package needs to be sent within a few miles. It could be within a 100 mile radius or just a 10 mile distance. No matter how far, the package needs to get there NOW.

Don’t wait for your packages to have these issues with your existing courier service during the holiday season. One reason why this happens is they hire temporary drivers and those drivers might not be familiar with the area. And more than likely, they are paid by the hour, so what’s another hour or two on the road to them it’s more money! Managing time-sensitive packages like medical supplies, medial lab tests, or legal documents can get lost easily during this busy season. Local same day courier services are small enough yet large enough to give you the personal care for all same day deliveries.

Isn’t it be time you find a local courier service that is reliable and doesn’t hire temporary drivers? If your business has packages that need to be delivered within 100 miles, ask your business friends on who they use for their deliveries and if they are satisfied. Be sure they have a solid reputation with medical labs, hospitals, pharmacies, dental labs and other businesses that require sensitive packages to be delivered on-time. Many businesses require same day delivery!

Personal Loan and Its Different Advantages

A personal loan is an unsecured loan which is offered to a consumer for catering their various personal needs such as the renovation of a house, marriage, home appliances, buy vehicle amid others. This is offered after verifying one’s ability of paying especially the income source and also according to their credit history. A nominal processing fee will be charged and the sum as per a person’s paying ability will get credited to their account. In fact the loan payment is made via fixed installments which also includes interest and for fixed time periods. The icing on the cake is these days personal loans are a smart choice as one do not require going through a lot of formalities and tedious paperwork. Most of the financial institutions and banks offer personal loans today and the rate of interest is also quite reasonable.

Discover the different benefits

• Available easily- to get a personal loan is no longer a challenging affair. It is offered by almost all financial institutions and banks at a reasonable rate of interest. Compared to other loans it is convenient and easy to get

• No middleman or agent involved- for availing a personal loan one will not require taking the help of an agent or a middleman. This will avoid unnecessary expenses and delays. A person can approach the financial institution or bank for the purpose directly

• Unsecured loan- this is indeed an unsecured loan. Here no collateral security is needed for availing the loan. In fact, all that is needed is one’s ability of paying back the money.

• Less processing time- because it is accessible devoid of any guarantee or security the processing time needed to get this is naturally less compared to other loans

• All purpose loans- in this form of loan it is not compulsory for a person in specifying the reason for which they will be using the money.

• Minimum paperwork- to get a loan will not need any asset verification or other forms of certificates and proofs which include ample paperwork as none of one’s property is mortgaged

• Offers and schemes- different financial institutions and banks keep announcing offers and special schemes on personal loans, especially for the professionals such as architects, doctors, chartered accountants and the like

• Amount and tenure- these loans generally are provided varying from Rs 15000 to Rs 20 lakhs differing from one bank to another. The repayment can be made through EMIs

The bottom line is, rather than borrowing money from a credit card it is always better to choose a personal loan as the rate of interest is comparatively lower. So reap its utmost benefits.

Gift Yourself a Dream Wedding With a Wedding Loan

Weddings are known to be elaborate and expensive affairs. Right from the bridal trousseau and jewelry to the venue costs, catering and gifts for guests, the bills can be very expensive. But that doesn’t mean you have to let the money be a obstacle on your life’s most important moment. Make the occasion memorable for yourself and your family. You can take out a Wedding Loan and ensure that you all have something to celebrate, without having to worry about the costs.

When it comes to funding your wedding, it’s unlikely that you have enough savings to meet costs. The best option is through a Loan, most banks and NBFCs offer Wedding Loans. and you can apply for one to meet the costs.

What is a Wedding Loan?

In essence, a Wedding Loan is a Personal Loan taken to meet marriage expenses. A Personal Loan for a wedding can cover costs like buying jewelry for the bride, venue cost, guest accommodation costs, catering charges, decorator fees and other professional services that ceremony usually require.

Usually, the bank verifies your income and credit score before deciding on the loan amount that they can offer you. The higher your income and credit score, the better your chances to get the loan approved.

Before applying for a loan, it’s recommended that you get a rough estimate of the expenses. Based on your eligibility, you’ll be able to know what amount of loan you can get. That way, you can plan your wedding accordingly.

Why Do I Need One?

Besides the usual wedding costs, there can also be some sudden expenses. If you suddenly decide to live stream your wedding to your extended family who couldn’t make it, you’ll have to plan for that as well. All of this needs money, so it’s best to be prepared.

Destination and theme weddings are the fads at the moment. These can be very expensive. Ferrying guests, theme decor, coordinated costumes and more make these events some of the most expensive marriage ceremonies you can find anywhere. It’s not surprising that most of us don’t have the ability to pay for all of this through normal means. That’s why a Loan can be one of the best things that you can get.

You might be worried about taking the interest rates in Personal loans are high. You might not want to start your married life in debt. If that’s the case, you can borrow from your parents, friends or family at zero interest.

How To Apply?

Applying for a Wedding Loan is a simple process. You can also apply for it online and meet the document requirement to process the loan application.

Things That Are Expected From a 24 Hour Emergency Doctor

More than the regular doctor who visits a clinic or a hospital, a 24 hour emergency doctor service is essential. Medical emergencies may crop up anytime. These situations are inevitable and irrespective of the nature of the emergency, an immediate helping hand is essential. Numerous hospitals have emergency medical services like a 24 hour emergency doctor service even after the visiting hours. Though any helping hand is welcomed at the time of adversity or an emergency, there a couple of things that are expected from a doctor, regardless the situation at hand.

• Always available: Emergency medical services comprises of two different parts. First is the pre-hospital care given to a patient and this includes the first aid measures taken. It also includes the transportation of the patient from the place of emergency to a hospital for which the ambulance services are used. The second division of the emergency service involves the transfer of the patient from one hospital to another in the case of an emergency or a need of better treatment and care.

• Transparency: A long drag speech in medical jargons and a series of tests and an illegible prescription is not what is expected of a doctor. In the case of an emergency, you need a clear picture of what is happening and not a haphazard answer. A 24 hour emergency doctor is expected to be dedicated and passionate about his work and understands the mental state of not only the patient but also the people with him. Telling what things mean, and what is to be done immediately is well appreciated.

• Respects you and your emotions: An ideal doctor must be able to listen to you actively, your problems and your worries without interrupting and intimidating you. In this busy world, rushed appointments have become a common thing, and it neither benefits the patients nor the doctor. More than respecting your time, it is essential that you are able to connect with your doctor emotionally as well. A certain level of trust and confidence is essential to make things easier for both. A clear idea of the big picture is essential before coming to conclusions and taking a decision.

• Makes decisions with you and not for you: You should always be a part of any decision that is taken for you. An ideal doctor must be able to understand that you know your body and routines better than anyone else. You have the right to ask questions regarding any tests or medicines prescribed to you, and a doctor is answerable to any of your doubts.

• Shouldn’t Keep money in mind: Doctors are one the most respected people in the society. It is a service that requires a lot of ethics, commitment and passion. A doctor cannot be successful if he just money-minded. The life-saving profession should be done as a service and not as a job.

A Few Things To Know About Sport Physicals

Many parents choose to have a sports physical conducted on their children during the summer. This makes sure they are ready for another activity filled sports season while last minute, mad rushes to the physician are avoided. Although most parents know that they need to get a sports physical conducted on your child, in order for him/her to participate in athletics, there are still a few unanswered questions.

How Should I Prepare Myself For This Checkup?

Make a list of questions about your child’s health and well being, should you experience any concerns or alarming signs. Ask your child if there is anything they s/he would like to ask the examiner. Take the medical history of your family and your child’s medical history reports with you.

Do Parents Need To Be Present At This Check Up?

Minors under the age of 18 require parental consent in order to have a sports physical performed. Parents also need to fill up the health history portion of the form. All in all, it is best that you are present for your child’s physical.

Is It Required For School Sports?

Yes, most schools do need a pre-participation checkup before enrolling students into their many athletic programs.

For How Long Is The Report Valid?

The report that you get is generally valid for one year. You need to pay special attention to this duration. Students who fail to go for this checkup can be disallowed from participating in sport and athletic activities.

What Should You Expect During The Procedure?

During a procedure, a child’s blood pressure, height and weight are checked. The physician will also look at the lungs, heart and spine. The immunization schedule will be reviewed and signs of puberty will also be taken into consideration.

What Is The Difference Between An Annual And Sports Physical?

Although an annual physical is the same as a sports physical, you go in for a sports physical when your child wants to involve himself/herself in a sport or physical activity. In such cases, the sports physical can be incorporated into the annual physical.

How Can I Prepare My Child For The Upcoming Check Up?

Sit down and have a thorough conversation with your child. Tell him/her about the procedure that is to be conducted and that there is nothing to worry or be fearful about.

These are just a few answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this checkup.

If Traveling to Chicago, Know the Details of Chicago Traffic and Signal Rules

Chicago speed limits vary, and on most city roads it is 30 mph. however, the interstate highways, but for the congested areas accept a 55 mph speed limit. In Chicago at a red light turning right after stopping when there is no oncoming traffic is permitted, yet ensure there are no restrictions posted. In case of doubts, patiently wait for the green. Cameras are installed at most major city intersections to catch drivers running red lights and are the cause to other infractions. Chicago is filled with several one-way streets, particularly in and around, surrounding the Loop, so it is very essential to look for alert signs and also for other cars.

Likewise, the laws for drunk-driving in Illinois is quite strict. Anyone caught with.08 or more blood-alcohol content while driving will have automatically his or her license seized, besides will be issued a ticket. In fact, the home states authorities will also get notified. Drivers having Illinois driver’s licenses may have their licenses suspended on the first offense for three months.

Traveling to Chicago indicates following several rules and one is the passengers must wear seat belts and even children under the age eight may wear the strap in the child-safety seats. This city also does not permit using cellular phones handheld devices and is considered illegal while driving in the city. Of course these restrictions are not the same in the suburbs, it varies. There is a must for the headlights in case you are using the windshield wipers. In Illinois the radar detectors are legal.

Visiting Chicago is interesting, if you are ready to walk short distances. Most tourist attractions are close by that it can be covered by walking or you can use public transportation. But, if you wish to drive here, you must be prepared to accept the rules of Chicago. However Chicago is relatively easy to find your way around as it is logically laid out city. Although there is traffic jams in rush hours and is frustrating as in other large cities, yet you have to accept the fact that the traffic runs smoothly at most day times. Chicagoans are always ready for unexpected delays and one thing is definite that throughout the summer and spring months at least few downtown street or one major highway is sure to go under repair. That is the reason it is commonly told that Chicago has two seasons, construction and winter.

Driving in Chicago, make sure to take a spin along the stretch between the Museum Campus and North Avenue as it is truly stunning. However, do not miss out the posted driving rules. Be prepared always for some taxi occasionally to cut or made an unexpected turn without giving any signal. Generally, on seeing yellow light, the drivers here take speed and so hearing to honking is common, especially if you fail to make a mad dash prior to the light turning red. As expected, the parking price is at premium and street parking throughout downtown is limited for 2 hours, but get a ticket from nominated pay box and stick it to your dashboard.

Posted in Law

The Do’s and Don’t of Workplace Injury Claims

When an employee is injured while on the clock, they have the option of accepting workers’ compensation benefits through their job. These benefits are meant to help cover the cost of the damages and losses incurred as a result of the accident. This may include lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, prolonged therapy, and more. If you were recently injured at work, it is in your best interest to learn what you can about workplace accidents and injury claims so that you may make the right decisions regarding your physical and financial recovery.

If you have not been injured at work, it is still wise to learn these tips so that you are prepared if it ever happens to you or someone you love. Continue reading to learn what you should and should not do in the case that you are injured at work and considering workers’ compensation.

Here’s What You Should Not Do:

Do not hide your injury or fail to report it.

Do not decline medical attention. This can be harmful to you both physically and in terms of filing a claim.

Do not let the company’s case manager into your hospital examination room while you are with the doctor if you do not want them in there.

Do not let the workers’ compensation insurance carrier take too long to approve or deny your injury claim. There are state laws that mandate when they must respond. It is usually within 30 days after the claim is officially filed.

Do not believe your employer if they tell you there is a “minimum period” of employment that you must retain in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You are entitled to benefits immediately, no matter your length of employment.

Do not miss or reschedule any appointments that are made by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Missing too many appointments can revoke your right to certain benefits.

When you return to work, do not let your employer place you into a line of duty that violates your work restrictions.

Here’s What You SHOULD Do:

Report your injury immediately, whether you think you need medical care or not.

Demand that a written accident report is made on the spot and be sure to get a copy for yourself.

Immediately seek or accept medical attention.

Retain all paperwork and documentation of your accident, injuries, and medical care. Keep track of all the written restrictions and instructions given to you by your doctor.

If your employer makes any retaliations or threats in regards to your claim, contact the Department of Labor immediately and report the harassment.

If you are unsatisfied with your medical treatment or diagnosis, ask for a second opinion.

If you are denied certain benefits due to a “pre-existing condition”, be sure to protest with the help of a licensed personal injury lawyer.

Posted in Law