LiveJournal Wants to Get Noticed Again

livejournal1Do you know LiveJournal? Do you remember the early years, before weblogs (blogs), when they were called online journals or diaries? LiveJournal started out then. It wasn’t the only one. Not much is left from the online journal days. Not many of the sites are still around, few of the networks lasted this long. Blogs became the new thing and online journals just didn’t endure as it became popular to splog rather than write something personal.

Ironic that the splogging has devolved and the personal touch is now considered marketable.

There are still WordPress plugins for LiveJournal crossposting and importing within WordPress. But, there are only three, not a lot of selection but they have all been updated in 2014. Not a lot of dust collecting on them so far.

I like LiveJournal. Not just because we have a history together, though I’ve been forgetting to check in very much. LiveJournal has staying power. LiveJournal has new features and wants to pick up and grow again. Instead of falling into the easy path of marketing to users of their site they want to get inventive, try something new, a different approach to making money while providing a web service people will actually come back to use.

Not many people online now will remember the days of sending virtual gifts. You can do that on LiveJournal, inside the community there. Sure you can easily send anyone an image file through email, but there is something nice about a gift you picked out, paid a bit for and then sent along. A gift with intentions rather than just a gift out of impulse. I think we are lacking that now that things are all so fast and easy online.

But, that is a small thing at LiveJournal. What I especially like this the LiveJournal bookmarketlet. It’s the LiveJournal version of WordPress PressThis. Just as you can use PressThis to post to your blog from your web browser and now add links, images and commentary – you can do the same with LiveJournal. Better than Blogger which has not been updated in too long. LiveJournal has all the features I look for in a bookmarklet for content curating. It is a really good option for posting content from other sites, as a content curator.

ljbookmarklet ljbookmarklet1

It’s Not a Gift if I Have to Pay for It

As much as I like AVG (have used it for years) this kind of annoyed me this morning. It came as a pop up window when I turned the computer on. I don’t mind the pop up so much, because it is from them. I really don’t like the new marketing idea being pushed – that a coupon is a gift. A coupon is a sales tactic, it’s not a gift. A gift is something freely given.

You may argue the coupon was freely given and yes, it was. However the product is not being offered as a gift. It clearly reads “Get your gift now”. I’ve already got the coupon so what is the gift?

In this case the gift is AVG because they do have a freeware version which I rely on and am very happy with. If I were making more money than I’m paying out for the Internet and my writing and publishing, then I would consider supporting AVG and buying their premium version. However, that isn’t practical right now.

Anyway, what do you think when you see coupons offered as free gifts?

Google Play for US Only?

Google Play says:

If you’re buying an app in a currency other than U.S. dollars, you can make purchases on Google Wallet using any credit, debit or gift card with the following logos:

Visa Electron

Google Wallet says:

You can use Google Wallet in stores, online, and to send money in the United States. Outside of the United States, Google Wallet is available to purchase on Google Play in over 125 countries, and to purchase online in over 160 countries and territories.

Dear Google,

What do you expect me to do? !!!!

I don’t use credit cards but that doesn’t really seem to matter since using either Google Play or Google Wallet seems only for people in the US, with US bank accounts. Anyone else is shuffled between the two until they give up because neither will work without being able to use one or the other, or both.

Can someone at Google sort this out?

Afterwards for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is over for another year. How did you score? Isn’t that a bad way to think of it!

What could be all romance, cuddles and affection has become about retail, shopping and spending. No, I’m not going on a retail rant. I’ve worked retail enough to live and let live. People need to change, if they want to.

But, what did you really want for Valentine’s Day this year? Was it the traditional chocolate and flowers. Did you think about something pretty like jewels or something slinky like erotic lingerie? Maybe you’re more practical and what you really would have liked was a book of poetry? Or a dinner out, a time you can enjoy the meal without the cooking or the clean up.

I would have liked a dinner out. Nothing flashy or fancy. Just a nice meal, conversation and maybe a small surprise gift. I admit I look at the advertising sent out by the jewelry stores at this time of year. I do oogle the pretty, sparkly things. Now and then you see just the ‘right’ brooch. Why doesn’t he just know what you want? Does he need that ESP antennae adjusted again? Is it unfair to men to expect them to know what we want? I don’t really think so. If they listened they would hear us saying we want or need this and that. I don’t mean ordinary things like cooking gadgets or hair dryers or toasters. No, something nice, something that says “You really are my Valentine”.

Helping men shop for Valentine’s Day gift ideas

Of course, it goes both ways. What did you get him for Valentine’s Day? A tie you wish he would wear but know he won’t? A fresh new pair of socks? Undies? It is hard to know what to get a man for something kind of romantic. They pretend they aren’t romantic at all. But, ignore that. The smart woman has paid attention and knows what he needs and would really like to see wrapped up with a red bow….

No, not anything slutty (though we won’t try to pretend that isn’t on his list).

I’ve seen a grown man crack the biggest happy smile when his girlfriend sent him flowers, delivered to his office. Now, if she had asked him if he would like flowers… I’m sure he would have said no, in some nice way. But, actually having them made his day in a big way.

Each guy is different though. Just like we tell them, you have to listen, pay attention. It will come up in conversation, at one time or another.

It helps if you already know what he likes. My husband liked Batman and sort of dark horror like zombies, even before they became popular. So, if I noticed something that would stroke his Batman or zombie fetish, I knew I had something he would like. But, is it romantic to give your husband a T-shirt about brain eating zombies for Valentine’s Day? Well, romance is in the eye of the beholder.

Nowadays, as a single, divorced woman I have a new appreciation for slinky things. Just for myself. I like to look on sites like Ann Summers and window shop. It doesn’t cost me anything. If I were not single I might get the catalogue sent so I could suggestively leave my favourite selections for him to find on his computer keyboard and other places I know he won’t miss them.

I’d really be impressed if a man I was dating bought me a locket or a charm bracelet though. For him to know how much I like traditional, romantic, pretty things – that would be a great Valentine’s Day.

Think about a Valentine gift for a character you have written of the opposite gender. What would your character love for Valentine’s Day, something they would never actually admit for fear of sounding overly mushy, sappy and sensitive?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose and Regift!

Regifting isn’t beloved by everyone. But, it makes sense in a world of reusing, recycling, reducing and repurposing. Why not find  a new home for a gift that did not suit you? Unless it’s a pretty odd ball gift there is a chance someone will think it is wonderful. Or, you can at least give it to a thrift shop to resell. It’s a shame to just throw away a gift, it should be very bad luck at the very least. It is bad manners and inconsiderate. That’s how I felt when it was my gift that was thrown away.

What do you feel about regifting… why or why not?

Romantic Gifts for a Wife

I was reading an article about a wife waiting to see what her husband would do for her birthday this year. He gives very unromantic gifts each year and this year he ended up giving her cash and told her to get whatever she liked for herself. In the article she went out shopping, bought a latte and had a nice afternoon. But, it was disappointing not to have something her husband had picked out for her himself.

I don’t think romance has to die a painful death once a couple is married or together for awhile. Although, stereotypically at least, men are known for not being great at gift-giving for the women in their lives, I think there is hope.

What are some of your romantic ideas for a gift from a husband or boyfriend? What would they get for you if they really could understand you and know what you would really, especially like to get from them? (Just saying you’d like something simple like a card won’t do. You can’t take a backseat when it’s your birthday).

How to Write a Romantic Valentine

Make a list of things you like about your Valentine. Think of complimentary things to say. What do they like about themselves? Did they do something you really like lately? Does your Valentine have a smile that lights up the room? Does your Valentine make you feel happy just to see him or her? Compliments don’t have to be complicated. Just write about how your Valentine makes you feel.

How will you write the Valentine? Poetry or letter style? There are many types of poetry to choose from: rhymes, haiku, limericks and others. You could even turn it into a short story with a “Once upon a time” and a “Happlily ever after”.

Suggest a romantic encounter for Valentines Day. Or remember a past day you had together and suggest a repeat or something similar.

Hand write your Valentine. Use your best penmanship, maybe coloured pens. Draw hearts and other romantic images with pencil crayons. Choose fancy stationery or a store bought card with lots of room to write inside.

End your Valentine with “Happy Valentines Day” or something more inspired. Sign your name. Add some hugs and kisses with x’s and o’s.

Think of little extras like your cologne or perfume (just a touch, don’t drench it), maybe some Valentine stickers, tape some artificial flowers to the envelope once you seal the note inside. You could add a gift certificate to somewhere you both enjoy as a suggestion to meet there on Valentines Day. Add a photo of the two of you together if you have one.

How will you deliver the Valentine? Left on the doorstep (in a plastic baggie so the snow doesn’t get it wet)? Delivered yourself with a kiss, a hug or a sexy smile? Included in flowers or chocolates or some other special gift? Maybe something more exotic involving freshly washed sheets or luxurious bath bubbles?

Five Things to Do with your Digital Camera

Guest post from Canon. (Note, this is not a paid post, I was asked to post it but and decided I would after reading the content).

Five Things To Do With Your Digital Camera

With the compact size and portability, it’s great to be able to take your digital camera wherever you go. And while it’s always fun to take snaps of your friends, family and all the places you’ve travelled to, there are plenty of practical and fun ways to use your digital camera. Whether it’s a trusty DSLR or compact digital camera, here are 5 of the most practical uses for your digital camera that you may not have considered.

1. Log your inspiration – imitation is the highest form of flattery and when we’re out and about, we can often be hit with a moment of inspiration. Take note of tiles, wallpaper, kitchen sinks, bedroom carpets, bathroom layouts that you’ve seen for ideas for your own DIY home improvement project. Does your mate fancy herself a bit of a gourmet foodie? Re-create some of the best dishes by snapping some photos of each stage of preparation. Just be sure to give credit to the original chef!

2. Better to be safe than sorry – if you’re ever caught in a minor accident with another vehicle your camera can help get a physical record of the damage. That way when the other driver claims you knocked their front bumper off, you have evidence to the contrary.

3. Forget-me-not – bad memory? Let your camera do all the remembering for you. If you’ve recently hosted a big party, wedding or other event, take a photo of each gift along with the card that came with it. By the time you get around to writing thank- you notes, you’ll remember who gave which gift.

4. The photo diaries – keep creative photo journals over a long period of time. It’s as simple as snapping a shot of your neighbourhood skyline every day or following your best friend’s moustache-growing progress during ‘Movember’. Or document a child’s artwork and progress through class. With printers and video editing equipment, you can turn these images into unique time capsules or even a gift.

5. Work hard, study harder – If you’re on the way to give an important presentation or to sit an exam, use your compact digital camera to take photos of important pages of information to review them on the way. This saves you needing to carry all of your summary notes or and heavy textbooks around with you.

What do you do with your camera?

Article Bio:

This article is brought to you by Canon Australia – 5 Things to do with your camera. For more great Canon SLR digital cameras and compact digital cameras, visit their website.