Archive for the 'Gabbing' Category

A quick thaw

Wow, I just looked at the temperature and it says 53 degrees. Considering it never got above freezing yesterday, that is major news! Almost makes me consider lounging around on the outdoor furniture, but then I come to my senses and realize I have way too much crap to do to be goofing off like that. You know, laundry, blogging, laundry, surfing, laundry, coffee. Oh wait! I’m at Mama’s. I’m not doing any laundry, ROFL!!!!

Or Not

So, my last post, roughly three weeks ago, declared that life was getting back to normal. Well, unless normal means whizzing by so fast that I need a barcode scannerjust to conduct an inventory of my thoughts, feelings and activities, then no. Not so much.

I’m busy, I’m pressed, I’m without internet at home, and frankly, I’m just scrambling trying to get through the days. I’d love to sit down and knit a spell, and while I know it would improve my mental outlook 310%, I just havent made time to make myself do it. I’m a slacking loser that way. And also, maybe just realized how much I needed it.

So, crafting soon, and in the meantime, I hope to eventually slow down and breathe.

Storage, baby!

So, let us fiddle while Rome burns, not necessarily because it is the right thing to do, but rather because it is a better choice than just watching the city disintegrate, yes? Yes!

I got my webhosting bill in my email today. I’m always reminded of how much I enjoy the extra bandwidth and storage I have with them when it comes. See, I use Dreamhost, and while they are not the cheapest hosting solution out there, I find that they are the best for my purposes: multiple blogs, pictures, the blogs of my family members, more pictures, lots of blog posts and yet more pictures. I’ve uploaded probably thousands of shots over my blogging career, and I’m still not near my capacity. And they add more storage every month!

But you know, space may not be your biggest concern in a host. Maybe you need 99.99 percent up time, or you need blazing fast loads. Umm, that does sound nice, doesn’t it? *snap fingers in front of dazed face* Where was I? Oh yes, weighing up time and speed against huge amounts of storage. What if you don’t want to decide? What if you I want it all? Or what if you want one domain, you know you only ever want one domain, but you want that domain free forever. Do you really have the time and inclination to go to each of the hosts out there and investigate their pricing and service? No way! You will do what I did: ask for recommendations and pick from the ones your friends use. But if you are smart, you will also read the reviews at WebHostingGeeks, because they have done your homework for you.

Except maybe, they might not have guessed exactly how much photo space a knitter really needs. Especially a knitter with a bunch of really cute kids.

Assorted Trivia

Susan T. is the winner of our Bloggy Giveaway. She has chosen Two Dudes, One Pan as her prize! Susan, please email me me your snail mail addy, so we can get your book out to you.

The craft show did not go well. At all. Attendance was way low, and the people who did come weren’t buying. Even the silent charity auction was a big flop.

I picked up my old guitar from my Mama’s last night. It is in bad shape with a broken saddle, one missing string and it hardly holds a tuning. Nonetheless, it felt pretty good to hold it again.

And also, I butchered the National Anthem during the youth lock-in on Friday night. I wasn’t performing, I was goofing around with a couple more singers. However, I took it as a personal challenge, and that song and I had long and intense negotiations in the shower. I think we reached an ok compromise, but feel free to decide for yourself.

BTW, this will probably be the last singing video I post here, at least for awhile. This blog is full enough without adding my singing to it, so you will find that kind of stuff on my more personal blog from now on.

An application of sorts

So, that crazy Ted is up to snuff again. I swear, I want some of his drugs.

—In fact, while I am here, I said something about him he should know about. I was trying to describe to several perfect strangers in a cab/15 passenger van (Ted, did you read those last two phrases?) on the way to the hotel in Orlando, the pure adrenaline that is being with Ted and the team at IZEAfest, and I said “You don’t need to sleep the whole weekend. You just feed off Ted’s amazing energy.” —

So, back to his latest crazy idea. Ted is starting a new program call IZEA Insiders, and he’s inviting posties to apply for the ten positions. In order to apply, we have to make a blog post kinda bragging ourselves up a little bit, and letting him know that we are fabulous and perky, and all that stuff. Yay! Another opportunity to hype myself! I’m awesome, totally awesome, and all that. So, here we go with this cyber interview thingy:

# Provide some personal background. Where you live, what you do for a living, etc.
I ive in coastal North Carolina, close to North Myrtle Beach and a little further from Raleigh. That’s a much info as I want to give out on the blog. Those who live in my local area can identify it from references I make, and I’m fine with that, but you’ll have to grant me a second interview (or, you know, look at my address that’s already in your system, or some of my social profiles) to get the name of the town out of me.

As far as a living, I strive to be a kept woman, but that’s not working out for me so well just now. I’ll have to let you know when I get it figured out, okay?

# Show me you know a thing or two about marketing. What have you done to promote your own blog? How has it worked out? Why would you be successful in recruiting a crew?

Marketing, uh? Honestly, I have just begun to think about marketing in a more-than-abstract way. In the the past few weeks, I have used car magnets to publicize this site, and I have had my business cards inserted into balls of yarn at a certain local store. *cough* I’ve got a craft show coming up on November 1st. This will be a new thing for me, my first one. I’ll be selling some hand-made jewelry, and handing out business cards, and I’ll be wearing my new “Cass Knits!” t-shirt. I don’t pay much attention to the numbers, so I can’t tell you how effective it’s been. I just know I am getting out there and talking it up more, and having fun meeting people. As far as recruiting a crew, I’ve had several local people ask me lately about “this paid blogging thing”, and I would like to refer you to this twitter exchange from a few days ago, that started with:

mommysphere @CassKnits Do you like Izea? What are your thoughts on paid postings in terms of your blog’s “voice”?

I totally pimped IZEA out, Ted. Here, here and here. For free! Just because I like you so much!

# We are looking for people that are highly social both online and offline. Link to your profile pages on facebook, twitter, myspace, socialspark, etc.

Social Spark

MySpace? Ted, seriously. I don’t do MySpace. But I would do it for you. Do you know why, Ted? Because I want it, Ted. I really do. See?

And that’s just an outtake!

# What blogging or social media conferences have you been to this year? How often do you travel? Where do you go? Do you have a laptop? A wireless card?

Sad to say, the only place I have gone this year is IZEAfest. Isn’t that terrible? Frankly, I could only afford to go to one conference, and that’s the one I picked. This isn’t to say that this is the only conference I wanted to attend, mind you. I was seriously leaning toward the BlogHer mini-conference nearest me, but it was canceled. I also wanted to do ConvergeSouth and others. If your real question here is whether or not I am willing to travel, the answer is not only am I willing, but I am able and also excited by the possibility, and I’ll even go exactly where you tell me to go. Provided I can get there on public transportation, or by driving. Yeah, I know I have to watch you, put limits on you. I know how you are.

Yes, I have a laptop. No, it’s not portable, because the display is broken. I’d replace it if I got the position. Estimated time needed: 3 hours. That’s long enough to drive to town, pick up an eeepc, get back home, and get my passwords transferred over. They come with wireless cards, memory card slots and webcams. I’d be ready when you called.

# We want photos and video. Share some snapshots or short videos with us from events you have attended.

Photos? I think you might recognize these:
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And as for videos, I don’t have any from events. The ones from IZEAfest you’ve seen, but I have made a few interesting ones here at home. Here’s one from today, just for you, after the out take above:

And here is one I made awhile back for an advertiser:

Also, I once sang a song about PayPerPost. Wanna see it?

Also, you know what I need to get? A Flip Video. The good news is, that’s already on my Christmas list.

Kay. So. There we go. Blame it all on Ashley.

Ok, this was interesting

You know, the economy has apparently gone slap crazy. I wouldn’t much know from my personal circumstances, since I have been chronically broke for the past 5 years, and have never owned stock of any kind, but people tell me that the stock market has collapsed, and I can see for myself that gas prices are plummeting. Two weeks after my husband quit the job he could no longer afford to drive for. Sigh.

Today, though, I was reading an article on the web hosting blog and they quoted several web hosts as saying that business is as good or better than it was before the crash. People are turning to the internet to ramp up their incomes. I bet that surprises some folks, because not too many days ago on twitter I read some pretty major bloggers predicting the demise of the web 2.0. (As an aside, what is Web 2.0? I mean, I guess I have a long memory or something, but the internet, it is still a relatively new thing to me, being younger than my oldest kid, and I do not get the Web two point oh! thing.) So, I am left wondering if we have a new norm. Will the majority of Americans end up pushing content/ providing information/ merchandising from home? How long will it be before going to work is as foreign a concept as pre-internet life now is?

I posited when the market started falling that it was because we bought and sold that which does not actually exist. And I backed that up by asking “when was the last time you saw a true barter based economy fail?” You haven’t. The market flexes and adjusts when the value of the dollar is skewed by greed. Housing prices are dropping back to what they were before the last decade of boom. I saw on tv the other night that you can once again buy a three bedroom home in Florida for the $60,000 it’s worth instead of the $250,000 it cost last month. HA! I guess that’s where being chronically broke had paid off for me–I wasn’t able to buy anything when the market was crazy high, and therefore I don;t own anything that is suddenly worth a fraction of what I still owe on it.

Ahem. Excuse me. I think this post was supposed to be about web hosts. Yes, yes it was. I just scrolled up to see, LOL. You know why those guys aren’t suffering unduly either? Because, for the successful ones, what they offer is worth approximately what they charge for it. Web hosting: the last true value, or something. And if you want to know which companies that might be, visit web hosting geeks for the info. My hot tip? Pick one of the ones who said business was great!

Also, pass the needles. It’s time to knit me some beaded slippers. I need some for this winter while I sit here at home working.

In which I post random pictures to avoid ranting at Google

Here are some recent pictures for which there is no real blog post coming, at least not on this blog, but which intrigued me enough to share on this day when I discovered my PR is once again a cosmetic ZERO in spite of the fact that I am blogging better than I ever have before. And no, I am not full of myself. I know when I am writing crap, and I am not writing crap here. Sigh. Whatever. PR belongs to Google and always has. Let’s talk about pretty stuff.

IMG 1037

Playing dominoes with the kids when the lights went out last week.

IMG 1043

A butterfly the kids found the other day. They said it tore it’s wing on a blade of grass, so I think it must have been very new.

IMG 1074

Diva playing Ariel. Love this shot.

Not much crafty has happened here the past few days. You know it’s football on Saturday, and then Sunday I was at church for most of the day getting Kid’s Ministry stuff taken care of.

Maybe soon I will pick up the sticks again. I do have a sock that I am working the toe on, and a Wallaby that I am making the pocket for. And scouts, and football practice, and feeds to read, and 353 emails to answer. And 5 more weeks to go until life approaches a reasonably sane level of activity, and by reasonably sane, I only mean that I am not double booked, and have only one place to be at any given time.

They Love me! They really, really love me!

Okay, from a business perspective, they love my voice and my experience and my audience. But personally, they love me because of what a wonderful person I am. But they aren’t monogamous, by any stretch, no way. IZEA is all about spreading the love, and they are looking for other mommy bloggers to join the fold. Don’t you click away, listen a minute. Because I know, you maybe signed up for Social Spark the last time I talked about, and maybe you were a little disappointed, as I admit I have been. But I am excited about the new features that were rolled out during the Friday’s final session at IZEAfest.

Here’s a biggie:

Do you see the name of that tab is “Just For You”? SocialSpark now has a feature where advertisers can create an offer for just one blogger. Or a preselected group of bloggers. Crafters, are you listening to me? Because one of those groups is hobby blogs. Another new feature is the ability to do some blogging to spotlight charities and causes, and then donate to them.

Image of IZEA from Twitter
Image of IZEA

To me, this roll-out is the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise of SocialSpark. That’s a mouthful, I know. But last year when SocialSpark was explained, the team had a vision. They were very successful in presenting that vision to us as bloggers, and we left the conference expecting to see a finished product. The truth is SocialSpark wasn’t finished then. It was useable, but clunky. A lot of work has gone into the platform this year, and IZEA has listened to the user feedback about what works and what doesn’t, and how the system can be made more accessible and user-friendly, and what features we want and don’t want. With every rollout, there have been incremental improvements, but you know what? I still don’t think it’s finished, but I am still so excited, because I’m getting to have input into a system that allows bloggers to come together with advertisers, whether non-profit or for pay, and talk about stuff that’s important to them, whether that’s the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk or breathtaking EggArt. Or maybe even both.

And here’s something else. SocialSpark has been accepted into WOMMA. They are the only paid blogging company that has met those stringent requirements. All required links are “nofollow” and we are required to give our honest opinions on the things we blog about for pay. There’s even a new badge to indicate that, and it has to go on every post we write for them. It looks like this:


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