Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tea Bag Catalog Surpassed 10,101 Tea Bags

Colnect's tea bag catalog is quickly growing and has passed an important milestone since our last announcement of its growth. Tea bag collectors can now enjoy a catalog featuring over 10,101 tea bags from 73 countries. Tea bag collectors have developed a significant community on Colnect that can be found nowhere else. Although it's not one of Colnect's biggest categories, it is definitely catching on and there are more tea bag collectors on Colnect to connect and swap with than ever before.

We would like to praise the hard work of our tea bags coordinator, Carine De Pauw, who is doing a fantastic job making our tea bag catalog the best in the world.

If you are a tea bag collector, you're most welcome to sign up to Colnect and upload tea bags from your collection to the site. The current success and future greatness of Colnect rests on the shoulders of devoted volunteers like Carine and YOU.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

oDesk Warning For Employers

Our blog for collectors rarely deals with issues that are not related to collecting and collections, but this is a special case. My apologies to collectors who may find it not interesting.

Big Warning To Employers on oDesk

The short version: after working with oDesk for 6 months and hiring dozens of contractors and getting perfect feedback from them, oDesk suddenly suspended Colnect's account which had 26 active contracts WITHOUT even providing a reason. It took 5 days and many requests to realize that oDesk did it since bonus payment to one of the contractors was passed using PayPal and not oDesk. As I was unaware of this being a "serious violation" of oDesk's rules, I offered that contractor to get her bonus via oDesk or PayPal and she chose PayPal. About 2 months later, when we ended our contract, she decided to complain on oDesk since she didn't like the feedback she got. So basically, they lost less than $5 commission from that bonus not passing through their system and decided to suspend Colnect's account although thousands of $USD were passed on oDesk and got we got only excellent feedback from contractors.

After their support failed to answer my issues properly, I contacted oDesk's CEO Gary Swart with the story. Finally, after 2.5 weeks, oDesk resumed Colnect's account. They never apologized for the damage they've done to Colnect and 26 active contractors without a good reason and they refused to change their policies or consider any compensation to the contractors they hurt or Colnect.

This is the reason this post has been made - to warn employers relying on oDesk.

Why Should You Be VERY Careful Hiring on oDesk?

  • SUSPENSION - oDesk may quickly suspend your account for any violation without consulting you thus rendering ALL your contracts inactive.

  • PRIVACY - Much hiring information is publicly available and CANNOT be hidden. For example: every contractor can see how much you paid other contractors at all times and what their job description is. So if you want to raise the hourly salary of a good contractor, you risk losing all others who do similar jobs.

  • PAY FOR NOTHING - When hiring people by the hour, it's a big problem if they report work time and have actually done nothing. The screen shots indicate they've done nothing but you're still supposed to spend much time trying to contact them and open a dispute if that fails. Many times, it's not worth your time and people get away with not doing the work they were assigned to do. Contractors may also add "offline time" without your pre-approval which means they can bill you as they like and you have to stay alert to prevent such billing from occurring.

  • SPAM APPLICATIONS - Many applications are pure spam applications from people who have never read your posted job description. Many employers thus ask for some feedback in the actual application to know they're dealing with someone who has actually read the description. oDesk doesn't seem to handle these spam reports as I've seen the same contractors applying again and again.

  • HIRED BUT NOT WORKING - Too often we've hired contractors for an hourly job and they worked just a bit and then stopped. There's no option to set minimum weekly hours but only maximum weekly hours. This is very problematic if you expect a job to be completed on a specific date.

  • HARD TO FIND CONTRACTORS - in the few times I've tried to find contractors rather than wait for them to contact me, I had great difficulties finding the right candidates as many contractors post wrong details so they'd be ranked higher in the search results. Contacting oDesk support on these issues yielded no results.

If you wish to receive more details to make this more public or if you would like to know which alternative Colnect is using, you're welcome to comment here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 9, 1959: The First Barbie Doll - Today In History Through Collectibles

Many of the items that collectors on Colnect collect are in fact associated with certain historical events that have taken place over time. This applies especially to Stamps, Phone Cards, Coins and Banknotes. To commemorate these special historical events, countries release special issues of these items that depict images and information relevant to these events.
Through our “Today in History Through Collectibles” Blog we will highlight special events in history by featuring Collectible items from our Colnect Catalogs that are associated with historical events that took place on specific days in history.

The first Barbie doll was presented at the american Toy Fair in New York March 9, 1959 by her creator Ruth Handler. The almost immediate success of this new kind of doll gave chance to her husband and another partner to create the Mattel Creations. The Barbie doll with its opulent breasts, its thin waist and long legs would, in fact, completely against the style of dolls and asexual round of the day.

Barbie is short of Barbara, the name of the daughter of Ruth Handler. Initially Barbie was a copy of an adult German doll named Lilli, Ruth Handler had given to her daughter Barbara after observing that children preferred playing with paper dolls representing adult women. Her measurements, initially hypertrophied, were reduced to normal proportions over the years.

From 1959 to 1960, Barbie was only black and white: its her was platinum blonde, the apple of its eye was white and it wore a striped shirt. The reason is that advertising Barbie mobilized a new medium at the time: Television. It had to be at its best on the small screen that does not yet broadcast in color. In addition, from 1959 to 1970, the Barbie looks slightly downwards and right. Since then gently bent the doll's head, it gave the false and mischievous eyes subjected women of the time.

In 1997 Malibu Barbie blonde heady tanning flawless' look straight ahead at last. The reason is that Barbie now drives its own car can no longer be doing so, it looks through. From that moment, Barbie had its multiply trades, professions and leisure in a perspective more explicit diversification role of women.

If since 1980 the ethnic type of Barbie has so much more diversified, it is not so much of its original companion Ken that he has changed little over the years. In 2005, Barbie has also severed its connection with Ken for Blaine, an Australian surfer; but Mattel relaunched Ken in February 2006 against the indifference of young buyers for Blaine.

Collectibles on Colnect that Commemmorate This Day in History:

Several countries released Gift cards to commemorate and celebrate Barbie Doll:

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