All posts by Eileen McGovern

Why Beads are a Great Way to Invest in Gold and Win Some Points with Your Girl

Gold is currently experiencing astronomic highs in terms of cost and value per ounce. With the unstable situation still surrounding the banking and investment markets, gold seems to be the best long term investment. The best thing about beads is that you can purchase your girlfriend or wife beautiful gold bead bracelets and have the twofold result of a happy significant other and a solid investment! What could really be better than that?

Beads can be made of a vast variety of materials, including gold and silver. They were classically composed of much more primitive materials. Archaeologists have uncovered ancient beads made of stone, wood, and bones. Colored stones and gems were employed later on. Even platinum and diamonds have been used for beads and bead bracelets.

Gold has long been considered a precious and valuable metal. In some countries during the medieval period, the workmanship of a goldsmith could greatly increase the value of the metal. That hasn’t changed much as finely crafted gold today can definitely fetch a premium price. Gold is considered to be such a good investment that prices skyrocketed on the retail market even preceding the banking crisis and the recession.

The attraction of buying your significant other, or even your mother or sister, one of these beautiful bead bracelets is that it’s a double payoff. You buy the special lady in your life a pricey bracelet to make her happy. You have also made an investment as that jewelry will probably appreciate in value. This is a doubly sensible endeavor.

Gold is rising in value, even as the global financial situation continues to waver. As such, buying gold is a fantastic investment for your future. What is also a wonderful investment in your future is buying the special lady in your life gold beads or bead bracelets. This way, you get the double satisfaction of knowing that you made a smart investment in two precious commodities: your personal relationship and in a valuable financial commodity.

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What is SOPA? Why Social Media is Buzzing About The Proposed Legislation

It’s nearly impossible to go online without noticing something about the Stop Online Piracy Act – or SOPA. The proposed bill has outraged many people and it’s why social media sites have been buzzing about the proposed legislation since it was first introduced. But just what is the proposed Act and what impact would it have on America and American’s lives? As an employee of a social media agency, the proposed legislation has me concerned about the future of my industry.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (HR 3261) was proposed by the Republican Congressional representative from Texas Lamar Smith on October 26, 2011. The stated purpose of the bill is “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” Proponents of the bill are claiming that they are aiming to protect copyrighted material from piracy. Detractors of the bill are claiming that the bill would violate First Amendment rights, and would be the start of an Internet censorship usually only seen in countries like China.

One of the major factors in SOPA’s creation was due to concern over cross-border online pharmaceutical drug sales. International pharmacies, particularly in Canada, don’t always indicate where they are based. Google lost a $500 million judgment vs. the US Department of Justice due to this, as it was judged that Google, in permitting ads to placed for Canadian pharmacies, helped to American consumers to illegally obtain and import prescription drugs, whose quality could not be certified.

The topic of intellectual property rights has been a hot button issue since the start of online file sharing. Due to the Napster era, and now the multitudes of torrent sites, the MPAA is throwing its support solidly behind SOPA. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act took aim at deleting illegal/pirated content from websites. Now SOPA is after the sites themselves that host the material.

There is no doubt at all that people’s livelihoods are at stake, in both the music and movie industry. The Global Intellectual Property Center states that 19 million Americans count on some sort of intellectual property-driven sector for their livelihood. This sector makes $7.7 trillion dollars a year. Struggling writers, garage bands, and indie filmmakers all stand to gain from this legislation.

The argument against SOPA isn’t concentrating on those people or what the better part of the legislation is trying to do. The argument against SOPA is over privacy rights, over the data packets which an internet service provider would have to scan to determine whether or not the information that is being accessed is in violation. The argument over SOPA is about censorship, over the government blocking websites, comparable to what China does with their Great Firewall of China. The piracy needs to stop but censorship isn’t the solution.

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Smart Marketing and Social Media Moves for the New York Giants

Watching the New York Giants stomp on the Atlanta Falcons was definitely a terrific moment for many a New York sports fan. But how do the players avoid a letdown in the week to come, in the buildup to the next game against the Green Bay Packers? Perhaps they should take a hard look at some marketing and social media movements currently being worked on in their name. They have but to Google their names to see how rapidly their merchandise is being sold via search engine marketing techniques.

No sooner had the last play been made during the last game against the Dallas Cowboys did the marketing and social media blitz commence. The fans began searching for the NFC East gear. Hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts were being sold almost before the game even was over. The individual players can look up their jersey sales, with Jason Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz sure to be the frontrunners in all jersey sales in the New York area.

The Giants should also take a glance at other social media sites if they should need a boost in the upcoming week. Sites like Facebook and Twitter were buzzing with status updates and tweets about the game. Almost as soon as the awesome win over the Falcons was done, Giants fans turned their attention to the next opponent, the Green Bay Packers. Nothing whets a rivalry between fans more than sarcastic comments traded via online sites where everyone has a say and there are usually no consequences for expressed opinions.

The New York Giants fans can supply all the boosts that their beloved players should need. Between the cash that the fans spend on Giants gear via search engine marketing results and the trash talking on social media sites, the Giants can circumvent a letdown between now and next Sunday’s match-up versus the Packers.

Good marketing and social media can help reinforce a team’s spirits in the busy week between playoff games. Knowing how much fan love they have via search engine marketing techniques to follow sales and find out which players are the most popular can supply a way to keep each other loose. It may end up being a friendly competition between Jason Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz to see which popular player sells more jerseys in a week. Reading some of the Facebook and Twitter feeds can provide some truly amusing moments as opposing fans take shots at each other. No matter what it may be, the Giants know that they can always go their fans for support when trying to keep the energy up for the game.

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Trying To Reason With Credit Card Collections

Calling a credit card collections department was likely the worst idea that I’ve had in a while. It was almost a total waste of time from my perspective. The only thing that helped preserve the phone call from being completely pointless is that the account isn’t going to be sent to a debt collection agency. It made me wonder if this is a difficulty that other people run in to. Are the debt collectors so focused on what they need that they are unwilling to compromise?

The first problem that I ran into was that the credit card collections agent was looking to collect a sum far greater than was originally planned. The agent specified that the account was over the limit by a certain amount. They were demanding twice that amount, saying that the account would be current then. But wouldn’t the account no longer be delinquent once under the credit limit? The agent never actually answered that question at all.

The credit card collections specialist was informed that a scheduled payment date had to be pushed back. The date that they were pushing for fell on a Wednesday, whereas my job pays on a Friday, like many of them do. He was absolutely unyielding about a payment being received on Wednesday. After being on hold so that he could talk to his supervisor whom I’m sure did not exist, he came back on the line and said he could accept a payment on that Wednesday and that he would waive a $25 over the limit fee. After repeating that I could not make a payment for the original sum on the requested date, he said that I would have to pay twice as much a week and a half later.

Credit card collections that are an in-house division sometimes have more leeway than a regular debt collection agency. They already own the debt, know that they would have to pay another company, and then take a loss on the debt, should they engage the services of a debt collection agency. But in this case, the agent was less than accommodating and it might have been for a reason typically reserved for a regular debt collection agency. Many debt collection agencies award their employees lucrative performance bonuses and he might have had a cutoff date to earn his.

After an amazingly frustrating conversation with a credit card collections agent, I have learned some valuable lessons. Don’t go into a negotiation with someone who has their own deadlines and is unwilling to compromise. Don’t anticipate that the person on the other end of the phone is going to be willing to help you. And make sure that you are in a comfortable physical position before contacting a company to try and discuss payment options. After spending 20 minutes standing on a cold tile floor, it was hard to decide which was in worse shape, my temper after speaking with the agent or my feet and back from the cold floor.

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Online Marketing Firm – Build a Brand

Many businesses large and small are starting to realize the power and potential of web marketing. However since most businesses have little knowledge in the area of web marketing, they should consider using the resources of an effective online marketing firm. One area in particular to explore here involves assisting companies to build a brand. Building a brand can be a very expensive, lengthy and hard process. If you think about some famous brands like Coke, McDonalds, etc. it has taken a huge effort to build them into names we instantly recognize in terms of the company and product.

If you are trying to build a brand for your company, the Internet can be a wonderful way to accomplish this in a manner which is much faster and less expensive than through traditional marketing techniques. There are a number of effective web marketing techniques which a good online marketing firm can employ to build significant awareness of a company and its products/services. Much of this involves the use of social media marketing. When done properly, positive messages related to a company and its products can worm its way throughout the Internet on a local, regional or worldwide basis.

As a simple example, suppose you own a local pizza shop and want to grow the awareness and positive view of your business? An online marketing firm can help you to start a strong presence on a social media marketing platform like Facebook. You can have a fan page created and then have it promoted to appropriate target audiences. If people visit your fan page, they have the opportunity to learn more about your business and what it offers. So in the example cited above, a visitor could view your menu and possibly take advantage of special offers by passing along links to your page to their online friends and contacts.

Users and visitors can also help to build your brand by posting comments, testimonials, etc. on your fan page. But the important thing is that by making access available to target audiences and then encouraging them to promote your business by sending links and recommendations to their contact base. It can dramatically increase the exposure of your business at very little cost.

This type of web marketing can really be very effective but it can also be a great deal of fun. Your online marketing firm will help you to keep your site active and fresh by posting new information, specials, events and other things your visitors would find useful. But again the power of this type of marketing entails friends telling other friends about their positive interaction with your business. This kind of testimonial is stronger than just about any other form of advertising. And these strategies can also be very effective ways to find out if customers have any issues with your business or products.

The large companies use this to quickly identify any problems and then get it corrected immediately. It is one of the best customer service strategies around. In any case you can likely see that an online marketing firm can provide a great deal of helpwhen it comes to building a brand through web marketing techniques.

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For Those of You Who Use Hand Sanitizer, Use Moisturizer Too!!

These days, many people utilize hand sanitizer on a regular basis. What they don’t understand is that they need to use a regular moisturizer too, as the alcohol in hand sanitizer will dry out their skin. Although moisturizer should be part of everyone’s daily skincare regimen, many people neglect this important part. Without proper usage of moisturizer, they will be at risk for dry skin and painful cracking. While people want to kill germs with hand sanitizer, they are inadvertently taking risks elsewhere.

A quality hand sanitizer usually has a 65% percent alcohol content. This kills germs and bacteria. These days, many people carry little personal bottles of hand sanitizer, in addition to keeping bigger bottles at school, at work, and at home. When going out in public, particularly in winter when the common cold and flu bugs are widespread, they are used even more frequently. While sanitizers do kill a significant amount of germs, they dry out the skin since they contain so much alcohol.

People who use a hand sanitizer on such a recurring basis also need to be using a moisturizer. The moisturizer will stop the skin on the hands from drying and cracking. Some people, in particular people like the elderly or diabetics, are predisposed to skin conditions where dry skin in particular results in cracks or cuts. These small cuts could prove very dangerous as they will be slow to heal. People who may be at risk should contact their doctors immediately if any problems should arise.

Even hand sanitizer that contains aloe can dry out hands. It just dries them out at a marginally slower speed. Aloe is a wonderful, natural moisturizer but when paired with frequent usage of sanitizer, doesn’t have nearly the effects that it could. The aloe sometimes ends up being little more that a scent masker for the heavy alcohol scent of hand sanitizer. People who make use of hand sanitizer with aloe should also use moisturizer.

Nowadays, people are more health alert than ever before. People use and carry hand sanitizer quite often without realizing some health risks that sanitizer may present. In particular, the alcohol content in hand sanitizer can seriously dry out someone’s skin. For this reason, moisturizer should also be part of the skincare plan. Letting the skin dry out and crack from overusing hand sanitizer will only lead to other health issues later on.

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Why Social Media is Helping People Get Closer, Not Further Away

One of the biggest criticisms of social media is that it nudges people apart. Detractors claim that social media hurts the ability of people to communicate and that it makes already active relationships languish. Inreality, social media can bring people closer and reunite people who have missed out on connections. There are many clear examples of this, from the Arab Spring to fund-raising efforts on behalf of many charities. They all brought people together to institute a change and make a difference.

The events of Arab Spring should be remembered as a watershed moment in the power of social media. Several countries in the Middle East that had been suffering under the weight of dictatorships, in some cases for decades, were able to throw off the shackles of oppression. Social media enabled people to communicate even though there were many interruptions in electrical power and media reach. People who were barricaded in their homes used social media to know when it was okay to come out of their homes. The citizens of Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia are all living very changed lives now thanks in part to the reach of social media.

In a another arena, social media can move mountains when it comes to fund-raising efforts for charities. Companies that already use Twitter for business can ask their patrons to donate money. Following the awful events in Japan and in the American states hit by tornadoes, celebrities created a Twitter storm of fund-raising efforts. Social media can bring together strangers and unite them in a common bond for a shared purpose. The true power of social media can be indicated by the massive amounts of money raised.

In still another illustration of why social media detractors are wrong is that it helps people to reconnect to each other. On a site like Facebook, people can reunite to distant relatives. They can keep track of their families, no matter how far away they are from each other. Whether it’s across the country or across the world, social media sites can help people rebuild their families. One particular example of this is military families, for whom communication could have taken weeks or even months. Now families can quickly see how their loved one is doing, whether they are based in Alaska or Afghanistan.

In every great technological revolution, there are always detractors against the new ways, who believe the old methods are better. In arguing against social media, one of the biggest reasons why social media is argued against is because some feel that it detracts from personal relationships. In truth, social media can help to establish relationships and bonds where none previously existed. Whether it’s the brave revolutionaries of the Arab Spring bringing much needed change to their countries or companies that use already used Twitter for business who use their voices to help others in the wake of tragedies like the Japanese earthquakes, the arguments for why social media is a good thing far offset most negatives. Social media can be a wonderful tool for engendering a closer community, and a closer world.

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How a Great Social Media Agency Can Take Your Business to the Next Level

There are a great number of companies out there that can be filed under the category of social media agency. Some of those agencies are okay, and some of those agencies are great. What separates the good agencies from the excellent ones? One indicator is that a great social media agency can incorporate just about anything into your online marketing strategy, such as using Facebook and Twitter for business. Another is that they can handle all aspects of your social media marketing campaign.

With the quick growth of social media, it is only natural that many companies are going to try to cash in on the social media marketing field. Many of these new companies are ill-prepared to take on the work that’s really required to help their clients to expand. They are not ready for the long haul commitment of helping a company to mature. What many people do not understand is that social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Patience is necessary so that a company’s exposure is maximized.

Although industry people take it for granted, using Facebook and Twitter for business are still fairly new concepts. It is automatically assumed that any company today will have a website and a Facebook page. With over 800 millions users, and 155 million in the United States alone, it seems that companies would want themselves set up on Facebook as quickly as possible. Twitter has 175 million users, which makes it a platform well worth exploring. A great social media agency will be able to optimize your website to tie in to these and other networking sites, presenting a cohesive statement to all potential customers.

A great social media agency will also take a look at your overall social media marketing strategy. They will look at your website, your Facebook, and your Twitter to see if you are presenting clear or mixed messages about your company or your product. They will work on search engine optimization, trying to ensure that you are visible on a number of search engine sites, which will in turn drive more traffic to your website. There a vast number of strategies that can be employed to turn any company into a legitimate online contender. There are millions of websites out there, each trying to outdo the other. A great social media agency will maneuver you on top of the virtual pile.

Remember when you look for a great social media agency that you must do some homework and check these companies out. Ask for a consultation, and use this to feel out what they have to offer your firm. See if the company has a list of clients that may be agreeable to talk to you about their work. This is your money, your investment, and your livelihood at stake – you don’t want to find out later that you’ve been wasting money in the wrong place. Find the right social media agency for you and watch your business increase beyond what you could have ever imagined to be possible.

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How Can Debt Collectors Help You?

When you get that first dreaded phone call from debt collectors or debt collection agencies start sending you letters, you might start to panic about how to pay off your bills. What you probably don’t realize, and what many debt collectors will likely never tell you, is that there are ways that they can actually help you. In the rare instances when you talk to debt collectors who are helpful, here are some ways that they can help your situation.

Debt collectors can actually decrease your debt. By thousands of dollars. Debt collection agencies buy bad debt for pennies on the dollar. They might settle your debt for a few more pennies on the dollar than they purchased the debt for. For instance, if you owe someone $10 thousand, they may have bought that debt for a quarter or a fifth of that. They may be ready to settle with you for a third of the original sum. They still make a substantial profit.

Debt collectors can work with you to create satisfactory payment agreements that you can actually pay. Although the perfect situation for them is to get all of the money at one time, they will settle for smaller payments over a longer period of time. If you deal with in-house collections for a company, they may be willing to accept a small amount of your amount owed to keep you out of collections.

Some debt collectors can stretch out deadlines without you paying a penny. If you make a commitment to pay on a designated date, you may extend it without paying if you call ahead of time. Usually this can only be managed by in-house collections. This is a way of keeping collections from going further and getting the debtor some additional time to get their monies together.

Despite all the bad attention that debt collectors and debt collection agencies get, they can sometimes assist you in ways that you didn’t realize that they could. Often, it can depend on the person that you speak to whether or not these possibilities will be presented to you. But there are possibilities out there so if you get a call from debt collectors, don’t automatically imagine the worst. Better yet, be proactive and call companies that you are going to owe money to. Hopefully they will be more accommodating than if they have to call you first.

Rapid Recovery Solution is an attorney based debt collection agency specializing in consumer and business debt collections. Contact them today for more information and to request your FREE quote!. Unique version for reprint here: How Can Debt Collectors Help You?.

Social Media Marketing For The Small Business

So you own a small business and don’t have the advertising budget that a larger company has but you want to dive into the world of social media marketing. How do you make the most of your limited budget and get the most bang for your buck? In today’s economy, it’s more imperative than ever to get a good profit on your investment. You don’t want to waste money but you know that social media marketing and the revenue influx it could create can bootstrap your business to financial solvency.

The first step is taking a good hard look at your website. You are trying to get more visitors to your site, make sure that site that is current, relevant, and modern. Your site should display content that is up to date. Stay current with the seasons. What do you sell? What is your company about? That has to be obvious from the first glance. If your site looks like it was developed in the late 1990s, then you need to overhaul it. It doesn’t need to be flashy and crazy, just modern.

The second step is to get a Facebook page for your firm. Yes, you have to. Facebook has 800 million users, 155 million of whom live in the United States. That’s just over half of the population of the United States. Just about every demographic is represented on Facebook. Old, young, all stages of wealth and education. Facebook is an optimal way to build a customer base.

The third step may be to engage a social media marketing company. These companies know how to make the best use of online keyword searches that tie in to your website so that you rank higher in Google searches. The difference between ranking first and ranking outside the top hundred sites could possibly be hundreds of thousands of dollars. A full service social media marketing company will help your company rank higher in searches, as well as combine other aspects of your social media marketing campaign.

Social media marketing is fast becoming the standard for advertising. Every company is out there on Facebook and even Twitter, trying to get more visitors to their sites and get more money. Even if you can’t challenge the bigger companies in terms of advertising budgets, you can advertise smarter, making the most of your money, and helping to secure your company’s future.

So, do you think you would like to learn more about hiring a social media agency? Do you think you would like to find out more about Facebook PR? Check us out at to learn more!. This article, Social Media Marketing For The Small Business is available for free reprint.