Blog Directory Martinspiration

News flash: We like to watch

February 18, 2018

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But a video can be worth nearly 4 million times more – just ask Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi, whose “Despacito” music video became the most watched YouTube video ever, with over 3.9 billion views tallied in late 2017.

The takeaway here is simple: people like to watch, and they’re doing it on a diverse array of devices, platforms and apps more often. Consider, for a moment, the latest staggering stats. Worldwide, people watch an average of five hours and 45 minutes of online video weekly – a 34 percent increase from 2016, based on results of Limelight Network’s State of Online Video 2017 consumer survey.

By 2021, a million minutes of video content will cross global IP networks every second, according to Cisco; at that rate, it would take you over 5 million years to watch all the video crossing the network each month. And within three years, IP video traffic will account for 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, per Cisco.

In my latest article for EContent Magazine, I assess the current state of online video. Read it by clicking here.


Mind in the gutter

February 11, 2018

Climbing up your ladder to clean out the gutters every spring and fall is not only a messy and tedious hassle, it’s also dangerous. But skimping on this chore can result in blocked gutters and downspouts, causing water, ice and snow to back up and leading to costly roof, siding, window and foundation damage. Thankfully, there’s a solution that can simplify matters and help safeguard your home from these threats: a gutter guard system.

Learn more about gutter guard products and systems available by reading my latest article for The Costco Connection on this topic, available here.


Turning your hobby into home decor

February 4, 2018

Artists, athletes and actors put their passion on display by getting “in the zone” and focusing intently on delivering a bravura performance. Collectors and hobbyists, on the other hand, can showcase their passions by turning one or more areas of their home into a zone displaying their treasured keepsakes.

Exhibiting your collectibles and turning them into a design element in a given room or space is a popular trend these days. For proof, Google filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s famous “Bleak House” man cave, Tom Hanks’ collection of manual typewriters, and Rod Stewart’s personal display of model trains.

Discover how fun it can be to transform a living space into a museum for your prized possessions by reading my latest article on this topic, found here.


Real estate resolutions worth making in 2018

January 28, 2018

February is almost here. But it’s not too late to make New Year’s resolutions. Better yet, why not make real estate resolutions that will help you buy a home quicker? Setting goals can help. By pinpointing your aims and pursuing strategies to attain them, you stand a better chance of reaching your targets.

Experts weigh in on how to set homebuying goals in my latest column for The Mortgage Reports, which you can read here.


That toddlin' town

January 21, 2018

Many know it best as “the Windy City.” It was christened “the city of big shoulders” by poet Carl Sandburg. Frank Sinatra crooned that it was “My Kind of Town.” Legendary mayor Richard J. Daley’s “the city that works” slogan has stuck around since the 1970s. And you might as well have dubbed it title town after Michael Jordan’s heroics in the 1990s.

While the nicknames may have changed, the name of the game hasn’t: Chicago remains a world-class city that stands tall when it comes to entertainment, culture, history, architecture, innovation, and civic pride.

No wonder it's often chosen as the site of many an organization's annual meeting, as was true in late 2017 when the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) opted to host its once-a-year convention in Chicago. I wrote a Chicago tourist guide in advance of the NACS Show that published in late 2017, which you don't have to be a 7-Eleven owner to use or appreciate. Click here to read my guide.


School of love

January 14, 2018

Kellie O’Brien and her daughter Heather can teach you a lot about perseverance and the power of women determined to make a difference. The school they helped build in Tanzania 10 years ago can also teach a lot of impoverished students—over 430 a year, in fact.

Back in 2007, the O’Briens travelled from their home in Hinsdale, Ill., to Tanzania, East Africa, to perform volunteer work at a Franciscan convent. After learning that the local village lacked a primary school, mother and daughter began gathering the funds and resources to open one. Within a matter of months, the O’Brien School of the Maasai opened its doors, offering year-round instruction to kindergartners through seventh graders.

Read the entirety of this feel-good story, published in this month's Costco Connection magazine, by clicking here.


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