Niche Insurance For Bloggers

Do you blog? Are you inflammatory? Are you just looking for a little bit more security? Ever ready to rush to protect in any niche market imaginable, the insurance industry has trotted out a new product designed to protect bloggers from the hazards of their trade. Law.com reports on the availability of liability insurance through the Media Bloggers Association.

There is some merit to this. Blogging certainly exposes the blogger to some of the same types of liabilities that traditional media outlets face, such as defamation, invasion of privacy, intellectual property claims and other competitive torts. There are also provisions in traditional homeowners, general liability or legal professional liability policies that may limit their reach under the circumstances of blogging.

But do you really need blogging insurance? Traditional policies are not completely inapplicable.  If you are a personal blogger and your policy contains the broadened coverage for “personal injury”, there may be some protection for defamation and invasion of privacy afforded. Business bloggers, however, are out of luck under their homeowners policies, which exclude business liabilities.

If you are a business blogger with a general liability policy utilizing the older forms, there may be limited intellectual property coverage, defamation and invasion of privacy coverage available. Newer general liability policies, however, do have limitations regarding on-line activities and most general liability policies covering “personal injury” or “advertising injury” or a mash-up of the two risks are subject to exclusions for those who are in the business of publishing or broadcasting.

Professional liability policies also may contain limited coverage for wrongful or negligent acts related to the practice of the profession, but may exclude traditional “personal injury” or “advertising injury” -type liabilities or internet risks.

Before assuming that this product has “got your back”, however, you should review a copy of the coverage. It is important to understand before buying just what is and is not covered. For example, it is not unusual to see entertainment policies that exclude the major risks arising out of entertainment exposures. This blogger’s liability insurance in reality may be covering a limited area of risk at a premium that makes little economic sense.

When it comes to any insurance product, good risk management practice requires that you consider your own potential exposure based on your specific activities and read your existing coverage to determine whether your activities fit within the currently covered ambit. Are you a personal blogger with little involvement in controversial subjects? Are you a business blogger but essentially serve as a reporter on industry news such as breaking cases?  You might be fine with your existing coverages.  If your reach extends to more controversial areas, true professional practice, or more traditional journalistic activities, then it might be worth exploring this new niche insurance product.

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Want To Learn About Social Media Marketing But Afraid To Ask? (Not Just For Lawyers)

HubSpotI know a little about social media marketing. Probably just enough to get myself in trouble. If you are completely new to this concept or, if you are are more like me and want to avoid missing something important, I highly recommend a trip over to HubSpot.com. Besides feeling the love for the little animated hub splotch graphic logo, I availed myself of a great wealth of free information, including a Social Media Marketing Kit with video and eBook, Social Media webinar affording a nice overview of many different web tools for increasing exposure for your business, blog or product and a Website Grader that analyzes your site and traffic and compares your site to other comparable sites. I won’t tell you what my homegrown site’s grade was, but I will tell you that I got many great suggestions about how to improve it. The information is not limited to social media marketing – you can learn more about using Twitter for marketing, blogging for business, Search Engine Optimization and other very interesting stuff. HubSpot also hosts an internet marketing blog, HubSpot TV and other resources such as a free internet marketing kit. I won’t lie: HubSpot wants to sell you its Inbound Internet Marketing System. But, if their free information is any indication, I am guessing there is some value in their pay product as well. Two digital thumbs up on the Advocates Studio value, cost and utility scale!

A Lawyer's Best Friend

Let’s play an association game. I say a word or phrase, you fill in the blank. All right, here we go:

Legal tools.

How did you complete the association? When one thinks about legal tools, one might picture on-line databases, casebooks and reference materials, briefcases, PDAs or smartphones, laptops, software, social media and marketing sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, even file jackets, manilla folders, paper and pens.

Did anyone think about coffee? I do.

My apologies to anyone who gets their fix from another source, but lets face it – most lawyers regularly turn to some sort of aid to maintain sharp wits and copious workflow throughout the day and night. I did not start drinking coffee until my first full time legal job as an associate in a large multi-national firm serving London clients who reported to work seven hours earlier than I did. Let’s face it: the practice of law requires long hours at tasks that can be very “tiring” (I did NOT say “boring”).

So, where do you turn for your kick? In order to free up cash previously spent on designer shop coffee for other more pressing purchases, I have invested in a coffee maker. I use it all day when I work from home and program it to supply a piping hot cup on those brisk 5 a.m. mornings when I must travel into my office. Sure there are all sorts of fancy makers out there that can grind, brew, steam and froth, but I have found true love with a good ole’ 12-cup Hamilton Beach BrewStation Pro. Mine came from Target and looks like this:

Brewstation Select

The one shown above is from the Target website and is called the Select (they must have changed the name since my purchase). The features list includes:

• 1-hand dispensing coffeemaker means no pouring, no carafe and no spills
• 4 brew modes: normal, decaf, flavor +, and 1–4 cups
• Programmable clock timer with auto shutoff
• Gentle warmer heater with no hot plate to scorch coffee
• The thermal insulated tank and lack of hot plate means that your last cup tastes as fresh as your first

I have to say, it brews the best coffee that I have ever experienced from a home unit. I have been using it daily for almost a year and it steadfastly has provided outstanding coffee and service. I love being able to program it, dispense only what I need at each visit and keep the remainder warm and tasty until the next cup. I find it no more difficult to clean than my prior makers. It brews better coffee than my traditional Cuisinart carafe-style maker that cost me twice as much. It has a tall enough dispensing slot for my 18 and 20 ounce travel mugs. Target has 14 reviews for the unit that range from 1 to 5 stars. I have not experienced any of the difficulties the reviewers with poor ratings have noted.

Brewstation

The unit pictured above is the Brewstation Deluxe 12 cup. It is the closest model to mine on the Hamilton Beach website, but includes a gold filter.  My Pro from Target did not have the gold filter and I use basket style paper filters.

Reviews for the unit can also be found at epinions.com. While one reviewer sings the praises of the Select, the other complains that it broke after 1 1/2 years. I haven’t reached the 1 1/2 year mark yet, but I see no signs of failure. This is a good benchmark, since my four prior coffee makers did not even last a year.

So, please accept my opinion regarding the value of this fine coffee maker for what it is worth. While I am by no means a coffee snob, I know good cup when I whiff it. This unit provides a great cup at a great price. Wouldn’t you rather spend your money on that new Blackberry Storm or a shiny iPhone?  I thought so. Say “ahhhhhhhh.” Or should I say “javaaaaaaaaaaa.”

A Lawyer’s Best Friend

Let’s play an association game. I say a word or phrase, you fill in the blank. All right, here we go:

Legal tools.

How did you complete the association? When one thinks about legal tools, one might picture on-line databases, casebooks and reference materials, briefcases, PDAs or smartphones, laptops, software, social media and marketing sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, even file jackets, manilla folders, paper and pens.

Did anyone think about coffee? I do.

My apologies to anyone who gets their fix from another source, but lets face it – most lawyers regularly turn to some sort of aid to maintain sharp wits and copious workflow throughout the day and night. I did not start drinking coffee until my first full time legal job as an associate in a large multi-national firm serving London clients who reported to work seven hours earlier than I did. Let’s face it: the practice of law requires long hours at tasks that can be very “tiring” (I did NOT say “boring”).

So, where do you turn for your kick? In order to free up cash previously spent on designer shop coffee for other more pressing purchases, I have invested in a coffee maker. I use it all day when I work from home and program it to supply a piping hot cup on those brisk 5 a.m. mornings when I must travel into my office. Sure there are all sorts of fancy makers out there that can grind, brew, steam and froth, but I have found true love with a good ole’ 12-cup Hamilton Beach BrewStation Pro. Mine came from Target and looks like this:

Brewstation Select

The one shown above is from the Target website and is called the Select (they must have changed the name since my purchase). The features list includes:

• 1-hand dispensing coffeemaker means no pouring, no carafe and no spills
• 4 brew modes: normal, decaf, flavor +, and 1–4 cups
• Programmable clock timer with auto shutoff
• Gentle warmer heater with no hot plate to scorch coffee
• The thermal insulated tank and lack of hot plate means that your last cup tastes as fresh as your first

I have to say, it brews the best coffee that I have ever experienced from a home unit. I have been using it daily for almost a year and it steadfastly has provided outstanding coffee and service. I love being able to program it, dispense only what I need at each visit and keep the remainder warm and tasty until the next cup. I find it no more difficult to clean than my prior makers. It brews better coffee than my traditional Cuisinart carafe-style maker that cost me twice as much. It has a tall enough dispensing slot for my 18 and 20 ounce travel mugs. Target has 14 reviews for the unit that range from 1 to 5 stars. I have not experienced any of the difficulties the reviewers with poor ratings have noted.

Brewstation

The unit pictured above is the Brewstation Deluxe 12 cup. It is the closest model to mine on the Hamilton Beach website, but includes a gold filter.  My Pro from Target did not have the gold filter and I use basket style paper filters.

Reviews for the unit can also be found at epinions.com. While one reviewer sings the praises of the Select, the other complains that it broke after 1 1/2 years. I haven’t reached the 1 1/2 year mark yet, but I see no signs of failure. This is a good benchmark, since my four prior coffee makers did not even last a year.

So, please accept my opinion regarding the value of this fine coffee maker for what it is worth. While I am by no means a coffee snob, I know good cup when I whiff it. This unit provides a great cup at a great price. Wouldn’t you rather spend your money on that new Blackberry Storm or a shiny iPhone?  I thought so. Say “ahhhhhhhh.” Or should I say “javaaaaaaaaaaa.”