I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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An amazing conference is well worth the effort

Day one is just about over for Problogger 2012 –  the formal sessions have finished and we just have a networking even to go before we head for bed (and we’re all going to need a sleep I think!)

For the attendees

Based on conversations I have had, tweets I have read and my own assessment, the event has been fantastic and provided a lot of information and inspiration for a lot of people.

And given the amount of tweets flying around, I think it is inspiring and informing people who aren’t even here!

And it isn’t just about the learning. The speakers have been great, don’t get me wrong, but there is more to a great conference.

You meet people and learn from their stories and experiences.

You feel part of something – and in this case feeling part of a blogging community that can make a difference is empowering.

Listening to other people and other people’s questions can give you a new perspective, too.

Personally, I have a lot of ideas for myself and to share with others from today. I’m excited about implementing them from Monday onwards.

For the organisers

Aside from any financial gain they get, what does a great event do for the organisers?

There must be a lot of satisfaction from helping so many people and having the day flow so nicely.

Obviously, they build their reputation as an authority with credibility.

For the problogger team, I think they also can finish today knowing they have made a difference and are leading us to make a difference, too – and I think that’s something they would be proud of.

So what have we learned today?

The focus has been on monetisation and building communities.

Over the coming weeks I will share ideas and lessons I have learned, and aim to do a summary post early in the week.

For the mean time, the best ways to gain from our experiences today are to search #PBEvent and #PBEvent2 on twitter – hard not to as they were trending terms today apparently!

And grab a virtual ticket to hear the recordings and see the slide shows – you won’t regret the purchase.

And now I am off for a walk to clear my head before the networking.

I assure you of the meaning

Today’s Monday Meanings is an interesting set of words.

All three words have a similar sound and very similar meanings – they all relate to making certain and secure. However, they are generally used in different contexts.holding the world safely

Assure: speak positively to convince, make certain, make safe, ensure
The police will assure the family that all is being done.
The CEO will assure this job is yours once she returns from lunch.

Ensure: make certain, make safe, secure
Preparing a first aid kit will ensure a safer trip.

Insure: to guarantee or provide indemnity against harm or loss, usually in the form of money
I pay a premium so the company will insure my business against theft and fire.

So which word to use when?

insure is used where financial matters are involved – relate insure and insurance basically.

assure is mostly used on connection with people or other living things (a for assure and a for alive can help remember this one!) – ‘I assure you’ – and can be related to reassure

ensure is more about events and things – think of ensure as a guarantee that something will happen

Have a go yourself…

Here are some examples for you to try the three words in…

Mary wants to ……. her business equipment.

Jane will ……..  the blog posts are uploaded on time.

Ashton hastened to …….. staff that their jobs were secure.

The leader carried an extra blanket to …… the cubs were warm.

Comedy writers ……… readers of a laugh.

Not all companies will …….. a sole trader business.

* Image courtesy of 123rf

How bizarre’s your bazaar?

While clearly pronounced differently, bizarre and bazaar are similar enough to cause confusion. Although it may simply be the spelling of each that confuses, rather than mixing the two up…

Bazaar [noun]: a marketplace with miscellaneous stalls and shops, especially in a Middle Eastern country; a shop or market selling a mixture of items; a stall or market where goods are sold as a fund-raising event
Mireille strolled through the bazaar while waiting for friends in Lebanon. 

Bizarre [adjective]: odd, obviously out of the ordinary and different, far-fetched, unexpected
The teacher’s outfit was bizarre – a mix of cultures, colours and fabrics like I’d never seen before. 


Cavalry and Calvary

Cavalry: a group or fighters (soldiers, warriors, etc) mounted on horses
The foot soldiers will follow the cavalry into the valley.

Calvary: the Crucifixion place for Jesus; also used to refer to crucifixion crosses and sites in general or to describe intense pain
The pilgrims went to Calvary in Jerusalem.

Unless you write or read a lot of Christian materials, you probably won’t come across Calvary so learning to spell cavalry alone may be enough!

Is your office stationary?

These two can be very tricky to get right…

stationery: office and writing supplies, including paper, envelopes, pens, pencils and folders.
The pencil case was full of new stationery

stationary: to be still and not moving.
All the cars in the car park were stationary

Stationery includes envelopes is the best reminder I can think of for this pair of words – do you have a better way of remembering which is which?

Get out of the stands

I just saw this fantastic video and felt I had to share it…

It is about leadership (relating to a Californian company, but that is not noticeable until the end) and how we can all make a difference to our world; but it is also about being a decent human being and ending each day satisfied with ourselves and our lives.

Thank you to Donna-Marie for sharing this in her blog for me to find, too.

I hope you find it as inspirational or encouraging as I did.