I Want RSS Feeds Back

Where did the RSS feeds go? It is harder to find them on any site, even if they do give an RSS link. Too many don’t have RSS at all. Why?

Newsletters are the replacement for RSS feeds. Newsletters which seldom have any news, just more marking.
Subscribe used to be an RSS feed link. Now they want your email address. They don’t want to give you something when they can take something from you instead. No doubt this is about getting email addresses. No matter what they say, sites do collect and sell email addresses. They may not call it selling (that wouldn’t be nice or popular), but it is the same thing. All in the name of marketing and making a buck.

So much is based on marketing. It’s more important than readers, or shoppers. People are exploited by marketing, especially on the Internet. If people really mattered would they be treated like lemmings this way?

Why are RSS feeds disappearing – because they want to drag you back to their site where all those plump, juicy ads await you. Those videos that you can’t stop, those pop-up ads which have become popular again (mostly spamming newsletters ironically enough).

Find an Alter Ego

I wrote about this idea before. I still think it’s a clever way to trick yourself into getting things done. I didn’t go as far as creating a character for my alter ego. But, it does help to distract yourself from believing you can’t do it.

If you break it down, what does the task really require, at it’s most basic. You can do it if you think of it as just talking (for instance) and don’t get caught up in expecting things to be harder than they are.

“Fake it until you make it”.

From CopyBlogger:

This month’s creativity prompt is to invent an alter ego who’s great at the thing you’re not good at.

You’re going to imagine this person as a character in a novel or a film. Know what they look like, how they talk, what they wear, where they live.

Then, when you’re doing the challenging activity, you’re going to write as that character.

You don’t have to be a fiction writer to pull this off. It’s much easier to do in writing than it is to try face to face or on the phone, although those are also options if you feel ready for Expert Mode.

Are you too timid when you discuss your services with a client? Write a pitch using the voice of an ultra confident alter ego.

Are you too blunt when you email colleagues? Write an email using the voice of a nurturing, benevolent earth mama.

You don’t have to share what you write — but you may well find that you want to. When it’s time to be tough, or patient, or steely, or suave, it’s handy to have a well-developed alter ego who can handle those states effortlessly.

Foodie Pen Pals Expired Quietly

You may not be inspired by this trek through my bookmarks, the ones with linkrot. But, I hope it has some inspiration, interest and something for those who like history too. Of course, they have all of those for me. Why else would I have kept the link?

Foodie Pen Pals had a lot of rules, but they were exchanging food through the mail. A terrifically interesting idea. It even had a branch in the UK (also closed/ abandoned now).

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:
-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail.
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you have a blog, feel free to post about your box whenever you receive it.
– Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
***If you’re in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!
————

FOODIE PENPAL SIGN UP FORM
Sound like fun? If you’re a US or Canadian resident please click the link below to fill out the form:
CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT THE FORM!
YOU MUST SUBMIT THIS FORM BY 7PM EST ON THE 4TH OF THE MONTH TO BE GUARANTEED A SPOT. IF YOU FILL IT OUT BETWEEN 7PM AND 11:59PM EST, YOU MAY OR MAY NOT BE INCLUDED DEPENDING ON WHEN I HAVE TIME TO START WORKING ON MATCHUPS. IF YOU FILL IT OUT ON THE 5TH OF THE MONTH, YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO START UNTIL THE NEXT MONTH.
***IF YOU SUBMIT YOUR INFO VIA THE FORM, YOU WILL GET A RESPONSE IF I RECEIVE IT. IF YOU DON’T GET A RESPONSE, PLEASE FOLLOW UP AS THERE MAY HAVE BEEN A TECHNICAL GLITCH**

Foodie Penpals Terms & Conditions
“By signing up to participate in Foodie Penpals, you are hereby agreeing to the following terms and conditions:
–Condition 1: You will contact the person you are matched with withing 72 hours of receiving your match to discuss dietary needs, allergies and food preferences.
–Condition 2: You will make an effort to meet the dietary needs of your penpal- ie not sending animal products to vegans, dairy products if your match tries to avoid dairy or junk food if they ask for healthy snacks.
–Condition 3: You will mail your box by the 15th of the month. It is HIGHLY recommended that you purchase delivery confirmation/get a tracking number for your package. It is very inexpensive and can be used to prove that you sent your package in the event that it gets lost.
If your match does not receive a package for the month, you will receive a warning. If it happens two months in a row, you will no longer be able to participate in the program
–Condition 4: In the event that you do not receive a package, Lindsay and The Lean Green Bean blog cannot be held accountable. By agreeing to participate in FPP, we cannot 100% guarantee that you will receive a package. The mail gets lost occasionally and your partner may fail to deliver.
-Condition 5: Using the foodie penpals email list to send out personal or spam emails promoting your blog, giveaways, etc is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Doing so is grounds for immediate dismissal from the program as it is a violation of the other participants’ privacy.
Failure to comply with these terms and conditions is grounds for dismissal from the Foodie Penpals Program.”

Are Email Marketers all Smoking Crack?

I had another email from someone selling me a newsletter/ campaign about building up my email marketing plan. (You know the drill). I’m not in the least interested in any email marketing. I don’t see the sense of it.
First, email is far too cluttered to be reliable as a method of communication.

Second, and more to the point, hasn’t texting pretty much replaced email these days?

Writing from the point of view of someone who does not own a mobile phone or do any texting, even I can see that a plan to market via email is something of a dinosaur. So why haven’t all these ever so savvy marketing people?
Where are the texting marketing plans?
Where are the sploggy newsletters being sent to everyone’s mobile phones?
Why don’t I see people complaining about the marketing they get via text?
It’s a mystery to me. But, those still selling email marketing are working from old technology and should really move on and stop beating the same poor, old, dead horse.

Are Email Marketers all Smoking Crack?

I had another email from someone selling me a newsletter/ campaign about building up my email marketing plan. (You know the drill). I’m not in the least interested in any email marketing. I don’t see the sense of it.

First, email is far too cluttered to be reliable as a method of communication.

Second, and more to the point, hasn’t texting pretty much replaced email these days?

Writing from the point of view of someone who does not own a mobile phone or do any texting, even I can see that a plan to market via email is something of a dinosaur. So why haven’t all these ever so savvy marketing people?

Where are the texting marketing plans?

Where are the sploggy newsletters being sent to everyone’s mobile phones?

Why don’t I see people complaining about the marketing they get via text?

It’s a mystery to me. But, those still selling email marketing are working from old technology and should really move on and stop beating the same poor, old, dead horse.

 

Please Login or Register to Leave a Comment

I really dislike logging in or registering with a site in order to leave a comment.

If they don’t collect and sell email addresses and the other information they gather from you… there is still the lovely newsletter they will assume you want sent to your email inbox, regularly. Even if they say they do not sell or give away your information, that doesn’t mean they don’t.

Registering for a site also means, not only do they now have my email address but in their database they also have my standard password, the one I try to use almost everywhere, for every site and online service. Don’t think that sort of information is not being kept track of by someone, somewhere. I am so fed up with registering and logging in for sites I am going to begin deleting my accounts at any site I go to. (Other than those I really do use daily).

The really interesting thing, is how damned hard you have to look to find a way to delete those accounts. In some cases I have to email for help – assuming I can find any contact information. But, never fear, Twitter is here. If you can not get a site to remove you from the database send an aggressive yet polite note to them on Twitter. That way a lot of people will read it and be aware of the problem. You may never hear anything back from the site. I would say I only get any help deleting my account half the time.

The real solution is to be careful and ultra conservative when it comes to registering for anything on any site. Just say NO!

Are you a Default Font Sort of Person?

Is there a poodle font? Wouldn’t that be great for someone working as a dog groomer, or breeder of poodles?

These are the things which come into my brain while I’m waking up in the morning, this morning. Then I thought it’s a shame people have so few occasions to write anything by hand now. I don’t own a mobile phone but I’m not writing out many things, leaving notes (hand written) for anyone, etc. We send email, or text which is just email sent via a phone you spend an extra whack of dough on each month. (I don’t).

Are you still using the default font?

Anyway, then I wondered how many people with mobile phones have changed their font from the default which came with the phone. We used to show personality, mood, creativeness, with our hand writing. That’s pretty much gone, retired even from being taught in schools. So, do people pick a font to suit them or just use the same font as everyone else?

I picked the font for this site. It’s easy to read, available in web browsers (and your phones, etc). I wouldn’t say it shows my personality or creativeness, but this is a site for people to read, easily. Function had to come first.

However, on a personal site or phone… what does your font say about you?

If that gets you thinking start by seeing if you can change your font on your phone. If not, talk to your phone provider of choice and get something done about that.

poodlefont

Source: dafont- The Poodle Lover font and take a look at the Poodle Doodles font there too.

poodletail

Source: MyFonts – The Poodle Tails font.

You Can Stop Upgrading Your Computer Now

The current generation of chips aren’t that much better than the previous, and the pace of progress is now slowing dramatically. At least as far as computing is concerned, we’re starting to look at a mature technological base. It’s possible your children will grow up with computers that are not much faster than you yourself are used to today. But that doesn’t mean that the computing is going to look the same.

The beauty of a mature technological base is that we can finally take stock of what we’ve accomplished over the last fifty years and learn to use it well. The beauty of capable computing, computing that is good enough, and cheap enough, is that it can be used in ways that expensive computing can’t. Cheap, capable, computing will enable a host of uses that were never possible before. After all, if your computing is cheap enough to throw away, what is it that you will be able to do tomorrow that you couldn’t do yesterday?

Source: The End of Moore’s Law Might Not Be A Bad Thing

I used to upgrade my PC every few years. Each time I could see a big change in how it ran and what it was able to do. Last time I bought a new PC I noticed there wasn’t much change. Then, a couple of years later, when I would usually have upgraded… I didn’t see the point. The computer I have was already as good and better than the computers for sale. So, I’m at the end of my upgrading. Unless something goes wrong and I actually need to replace more than just a hardware part, I don’t see any need to upgrade my PC again. It’s nice to be on an affordable plateau. Of course, I’m still not buying into cell phones which I see as glorified email, nothing more.

The New Newsletters are sent in Boxes

I’ve been saying newsletters are not worth anyone’s time for awhile. When did you last really read a newsletter from your email inbox? I’ve nearly given up on email itself, so newsletters tend to go right to the outbox.

Speaking of boxes… have you noticed the trend to getting themed boxes of stuff sent through the mail? Snail mail, not email.

I’ve found a few so far, without really looking hard:

Today I found something bigger, smarter and very interesting, Quarterly.

quarterlycurators
Source: Online Quarterly Subscription and Gifting Services from Quarterly Co.

Quarterly is the new newsletter, vastly improved. The idea of getting people to pay for a box of things (themed but not predetermined) sent out every three months is going to catch on. How could it fail? Who hasn’t become at least slightly addicted to shopping online, getting a present delivered to your door? Now it can be a real surprise, created for you, every month (every 3 months on Quarterly). Are you curious enough to look at the site? You can see what has been sent in past boxes from the curators (as they are called) on the site.

I think it’s brilliant. People will subscribe and look forward to getting your newsletter and other goodies. They won’t just read your newsletter, they will pay to get it. Just considering it from a marketing point of view… it is pretty amazing.

But, I’m not so cynical. I love the idea of being a curator of mailed out boxes. I’ve already thought about what I could send and how I could get things to send. It’s like Christmas and birthday shopping to plan a surprise for others.

Of course it’s not so simple. There are plans to make, angles to consider and I need a theme that works. I’m not sure about working through Quarterly. I’m not a household name in any household but my own. Also, I’m not sure Quarterly (as a service) would help me in any way I couldn’t figure out to help myself. But, I loved seeing it today. It’s not the first to mail out gifts and presents, but it seems to be the first to collect them in a group – like an online catalog of people who want to give you unique gifts, and a newsletter.

Quick Fiction Fix

I don’t remember what or why I wrote this. It’s been in a text file (unsaved) to my desktop since the weekend. The flash fiction that time forgot. How many times have you written something, finished it and then realized you had no idea why you started it?  Maybe it’s just me.

I feel asleep in front of the computer, looking up postal codes for Christmas cards. I woke up to a dark house and a darker computer screen. The power had gone out, again.

The fireplace was keeping the room warm and dimly lit. I might not have power but I had the essentials: heat, water and a roof to keep the snow from burying me. Likely there would be power again by morning.

So until then… watch a little TV… No. I laughed at myself. So dependent on electricity. Can’t even boil the water to make fresh coffee.

I got up to shut down the lights (to save power, right?). I checked the door locks. All was well. My foot was just on the first step to go upstairs to bed when the computer monitor flickered.

Without power there was nothing electrical working. I froze, puzzled. Was this some new paranormal phenomena? Some new scientific breakthrough?… Of course I had to go back to investigate.

An email was now on my screen. The rest of the computer was dark, no flickering lights showing the Internet was connected or the computer had power. In every science known to modern man it was impossible for an email to show up on my computer and yet, it was there.

No sender name or return email address. Just a note “See you tomorrow”.

I wasn’t going anywhere tomorrow. We were expecting a heavy snowstorm, it was a Sunday and my Christmas shopping could be put off for a better day. No one was coming here. I liked my weekends quiet and alone when I could get them that way.

I decided there was some yet unknown scientific principle at work, or the message was for the invisible aliens living in my house and not meant for me at all.