600+ Twitter Follower Giveaway

Its been awhile, but I promised a giveaway, so… LET’S DO THIS.

Firstly, I would like to personal thank all my twitter followers, you have made being present and active on twitter far more enjoyable then I could have ever imagined! I have put together two giveaway packages for you guys.

Giveaway #1 – Tech Nerd & Idea Wizard

giveaway_1

Includes: GearHead Laptop case, Orange “Leather” Bound Notebook, Two awesome issues of Wired Magazine, 2150 A.D. (an old school out of print SciFi Masterpiece)

 

Giveaway #2 – Creative Nerd & Gadget Collector

giveaway_2_box giveaway_2

Includes: Fun Clear PolkaDot Box, Teddy Smartphone Holder, Animal Headphone Wraps, Velcro Cord Wranglers, Mini Pocket Notebook, Funny shaped Erasers

 

How to Enter (two ways):

1) Respond to this post with a comment including the Givewaway number/title you would like to win and your twitter handle.
2) Tweet #ideawizardgiveaway @aliciaeesh for Giveaway #1 OR Tweet #creativenerdgiveaway @aliciaeesh for Giveaway #1. Be creative with your hashtag use!

Rules:

- You can enter as often as you want; between 8/26 and 9/10. Giveaway entries will only be considered during these dates.
– You must live in the continental USA to be eligible
– You must have your parents permission to enter if you are under 18 years old

Winners will be contacted through direct message on Twitter after 9/14/2014. These will ship by the beginning of October, if I am unable to get addresses from the original winners, I will contact other individuals. Please let me know if you guys have any questions!

 

Butter London | Website Review and Crit

Butter London is a makeup company start-up in Washington State founded in 2005. Their original line focused mainly on nail polish and they have since branched out from just polish into other cosmetics.

The Homepage

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Firstly the lighboxed pop-up you get upon visiting there homepage is unpleasant. Mostly because it is essentially an ad for a website/brand you are already visiting. As a consumer I click right through these, if I wanted to sign up to win something I would seek it out on my own. This pop-up is giving your consumers a click through, you already have one click you have to administer as visitor to their site and you aren’t even shopping yet.

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As with most e-commerce sites you fall upon a wall of promotions and new products. Its basic, maybe a bit too basic. They have selected Georgia as the typeface for their body copy, which is bland, I think a sans serif would have suited them better, but that is more of a design choice than a critique of their website functionality.

Commerce Pages

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Clicking on any of the selections at the top primary menu you get to another menu selection screen. Instead of seeing all the inventory of their cosmetics you see a left side menu selection to go further into the site and a visual menu breakdown. This is a click that is separating me from the actual purchasing page, sort of a mild annoyance. When you get to to the actual inventory pages it is very old school. It actually kind of feels like the site was built in 2005 and they never bothered to change it.

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Clicking on any other products name will get you to an additional page with very little information about the product, a list of ingredients, and below the “fold” you can add it to your cart. You also will find a review section that they recently launched and only the ability to “Pin It” as your social sharing options.

Upon further review it looks like the site is super confused. The nail polish page looks like it is trying to catch up with the times. With hover selections and tabled products this is a little more 2013. The treatment page gets to you the full inventory of the treatment selections.

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Important Info (FAQ’s and Returns)

The help page isn’t super helpful. Essentially their help page is a contact list, nothing more. The FAQ’s page houses two questions and answers. One is about returns, one is about placing international orders.

Final Impression

The site is bare bones and like previously stated it feels like it was created in 2005 and they never updated it. The recent offering of housing consumer reviews is a good one but… it will not make up for their site lacking important and helpful content. As a consumer I think they need:

  • A better more detailed FAQ’s page. Answer questions about products, shipping times, shipping methods, etc.
  • A Help Page that is actually helpful. Separate your contact page from your help page, link the help page to the FAQ’s as most people visiting the help page of the site really should be visiting FAQ’s as well.
  • A better menu system with drop downs, only being able to access further selections of the menu by clicking through is kind of frustrating.
  • Less patchy in terms of the site layout, make ever “fall page” upon menu selection laid out the same to mitigate any consumer confusion or fatigue.

 

 

Blog Updates – New Blog

Hello readers and curious internet browsers. I am working on making some changes around here. Don’t be scared! They are for the best!

All my food related posting is moving to a new blog

I am working on splitting up my writing to be more focused. I still love writing about food and I will still be writing about it, it will just be better for my sanity and for this blog to start another one and write about food there. All of the food related posts will be pulled from this blog by the beginning of May.

You can find my new food blog here: http://aliciathefoodie.wordpress.com/

Social Media 101 and Tips

By popular demand I am going to continue the “Scary Social Media” series as well as start a few others. I will be writing about personal branding and marketing yourself as well as small businesses.

Website Reviews – Reviewing the Usability and “Click Ratings” of popular e-commerce sites

I am going to start reviewing the usability of popular e-commerce sites to see how functional it is for the consumer as well as reviewing their social media presence. If you have an idea or suggestion for a site or company I should review please let me know!

See nothing scary…

 

 

A letter from Batman to Dick Grayson

aliciaeesh:

This letter from Batman to Dick Grayson, truly makes me feel all the feels!

Originally posted on Lady Batman:

Dick Grayson has died in Forever Evil. It was a strange kind of death because it didn’t seem real. Not because of the way it was delivered, but rather because of our understanding of comics. Everyone knows he’ll be back, probably in the next issue, regenerated as a good Talon or something like that.

So when the Lady and I read those panels – his heartbeat fading away and his face growing greyer – it didn’t seem such a ‘thing’. But then, when we put the comic book down a realisation struck us: a man we loved had died. It doesn’t matter that in four weeks time we shall probably see him again because right now, at this moment, Richard’s life is no more.

Then an unexpected thing happened: Batman appeared in our office. Could he post a few words on Robin? – he asked. To which we replied yes…

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Tumblr is Teaching People How to Curate

Okay, okay I know that I am going to make some people grumpy with this one, but hear me out. Curation is the practice of the collecting and caring for a collection. Traditionally the word actually comes from the person who is invested in the care of the souls of a parish. Often the word Curator is used to define a person who is the keeper of a cultural heritage institution. They are responsible for overseeing the growth and care of the collection as well as the interpretation of the materials in their care. Curators a revered in the arts industry, their practices are sort of shrouded in secrecy. Things are changing though, in the past 10 years the Digital Curation Centre has opened, while their practices are more linked to higher learning institutions their policies are still interesting. It means that digital curation is being taken seriously by more then just the people that consider themselves to be only curators.

image credit – freeadmission.com

Let’s talk more about the practice of curation. There are plenty of differing opinions on what makes someone a curator. In my opinion you are curating everything in your life all the time, you are always creating collections of things and overseeing the care of those collections. That is a broad idea though, and not one I expect everyone to understand or agree with. To narrow things down a little I think you are curating online whenever you share images, take instagram photos, or have a blog/twitter. You are making those choices; what is seen, what is brought together, etc. Tumblr more than another other platform is a good example of online curation.

I have noticed that people who have a Tumblr or frequent Tumblr are very opinionated about which ones are good and which ones are bad. There seems to be a very distinct measure for greatness on Tumblr. If you share unique interesting images, or you share great groups of images together. It is also influenced by the theme you use and if that theme goes well with the motif you have chosen for Tumblr. If you want the pictures to really shine your theme has to go well with those pictures. It is much like the layout and exhibition design of a good gallery or museum.

Then we get to the content, everything is so carefully selected on some of these tumblrs. One of my favorites in particular was suggested by a friend; http://fuckyeahurbantribes.tumblr.com/. This tumblr utilize a clean theme and features pictures of “urban tribes”, focusing on subcultures that possess a knack for remarkable fashion. Its selections are editorial in nature a good 90% of the time, you can just imagine some of these photos inspiring a Vouge or W magazine shoot. Its this kind of selectiveness that really makes this blog curated well and sets it apart from others with a similar focus.

image credit – nylonmedia.co.kr

Focused posting and the selective nature that most excellent tumblrs exhibit really set them apart from other blogging platforms. Tumblr seems to have naturally begun a fixation on photo/visual based communication. Most of the tumblrs I frequent are almost all visual, very little is written on tumblr. Due to its nature of bring visually driven in lends itself to becoming a mecca of experimental curation. What is even better about it is that it doesn’t have rules. Something that has a tendency to limit people in their abilities and creative goals in curation is these unspoken limitations that they placed upon themselves. It seems like most people view online galleries and brick and morter locations as well to have a set of “rules” they must curate by. Most of these limitations have been imposed due to this need to make money and get great reviews/critique. This stigma really limits curation sometimes and the fact that tumblr is not only free but doesn’t limit its creators is really motivating.

12 Things You Are Doing To Sabotage Your Future

aliciaeesh:

I just read through this article on Thought Catalog and found it motivating and thought provoking. I wanted to share it with you guys!

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

I have mentored, counseled, encouraged, discouraged, hired and fired hundreds of people over the past 25 years. Oftentimes failure is less about a lack of talent or ability, and more about self sabotage. These are frequent road blocks I see in people, myself included.

1. You are lazy.

Most of us default to indolence. We take the easy way. We get comfortable. We like a routine. This may be fine for 90%. If you are reading this, I suspect it’s not fine for you. So get off your ass and get started.

2. You lack focus.

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You start out great. You spend thirty minutes of uninterrupted time putting together a plan, making a list, and polishing your resume, so you decide to take a break. You check Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, your friend’s blog, Game of Thrones, iTunes, etc. and two hours later you’re…

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Dealing with Unprofessional People and Start-Up Issues

I will be the first to admit that I am still learning about how companies “should” be run, how employees “should” be treated, etc. Recently I have had an experience that while it put a bad taste in my mouth, I actually learned quite a bit. A few of these notes are from various projects I have worked on. I cite this as a learning experience and hopefully writing about it will help others learn from my “mistakes”:

1. Some people really abuse the intellectual property of creative people with ease and no abandon:

I had this happen to me once before. It was not a pleasant feeling, that first time the person in question was reprimanded for plagiarism. They got what was coming to them. This time it was purely my trusting nature that put me in a bad spot, a rock and a hard place if you will. From now on people will be signing NDA’s and contract agreements when they wish to use my work, or discuss it in anyway. I hate that I have to do that, I wish I could just trust people… but when it comes down to it, some people (I am not saying all of them, just some) have a really loose understanding of creative rights. You can’t really explain it to them either, its like talking to a wall, a very very dull wall…

image credit – http://www.spaces.nl

2. If you feel that you aren’t being disrespected in any way; get out, get out fast:

Now this is different then not liking your boss or your co-workers. Some people just clash, that is the nature of the beast in social environments. This is about not getting basic human respect, you should never have to do something that goes against your morals. Furthermore you should never put up with someone who is blaming their own misfortune on you. The latter was my experience. I was told that if I marketed this “thing” better my co-worker would have had a paying job by now and the company would be bringing in money already. Which I knew not to be true, all my friends in marketing also knew that this statement was ridiculous. A company in its infancy, being 3 months old, should not expect to even be breaking even yet. He just wasn’t experienced, and he was taking out his lack of professionalism on me. Which was inappropriate and very disrespectful to the work I was doing. When I went to the gentleman in charge he listened and then said he would talk to him about it. Which I was happy to hear. Though… nothing happened, there was no sit down talk about it, no apology. That should have been the first sign that I needed to leave. It seemed like neither of the individuals seemed to understand that start-ups in the first couple of months don’t gain a ton of traction without any network connects of ties to other companies and projects. This was the case with this one, I was running in the dark with little to no support and expected to preform “miracles”.

image credit – INC online

3. Never sign into a company until you have a better idea of their operating policies:

One of these projects; I never really had an idea of where is was going, or what people thought my role was. To use “couch therapy” lingo: I feel as if I was putting a lot in and not getting a lot out of it. I feel like I was doing plenty of work and then being told that I was not doing enough because they viewed giving money and expensive equipment as more valuable in an employee. I just shrugged it off in the beginning, things really hadn’t heated up yet. Then life happened and I needed to take a short break from being super involved with the company. This was a unpaying gig, that I was spending money on, I was doing it in my free time. They seemed very understanding, though I heard later there was some very ugly smack talk being thrown around out why I needed time off. Some of my friends that had a better idea of what was going on set the record straight with the others but it was just so… well unprofessional. Then I started to hear from other people around town about how things were going. I didn’t like what I was hearing, but I tried to consult with people about it. “It’s bad but It’s not THAT bad.” “I’ve seen worse.” “Yeah, I don’t know, I doubt this is going anywhere.” is what I was hearing from other people involved with the project.

Red flags were being raised all over the place. There was clearly a difference in opinion on how the company should be run, and how the project was being handled. Those in higher places were content, those in lower places were not. No one was speaking to one another about it, people were being defensive and avoiding bigger issues. It was getting ugly.

To be honest I had signed into the company at put money in before I truly knew these people. I did so through an online posting – which I will never ever be doing again without asking some serious questions first.

image credit – mudflats.net

Since then I have invested time and money into other start-ups but only after I had a better understanding of the people and their operating policies. People are always going to have different ideas on how a company should be run. If you are signing into something and the people involved have no idea, can’t answer simple questions, and have a “We’ll figure it out as we go” attitude then to me that’s a bad sign.  It is understandable that some instances will occur in a start-up unexpectedly, that you will have to figure something out as you go but that shouldn’t be your policy. Also if they can’t commit to a company structure and they all seem to think they are in charge, than that’s even worse. Companies need some structure in order to function properly and live past the infancy. You can be casual about somethings and open about others but making your operating polices clear is something you should be more firm with.

Clearly the biggest thing I got out of all of this was a greater understanding of what a “bad” company looks like. Also if you are in your infancy and you are loosing members left and right, and loosing most of your founding members… Not a good sign. I met some wonderful people in the process and really learned a very valuable lesson. I just hope some others can also learn from my mistakes! Mainly if you aren’t getting paid, your not being respected, then just leave. Other things will come along, I promise.

PO Dog – Ballard [A review]

Please go to Po Dog in Ballard if you get a chance, why? Well there are plenty of reasons, so let me name a few. Po Dog in Ballard has a stellar staff. They are fun and casual, they treat you like a family friend and are willing to chat. They are willing to change around toppings to make your perfect dog! The dogs are great too, so many fantastic options and they cook dogs like you should, a quick boil for a plump oversized beef dog that will make your mouth water. Steamed buns that are sort of brioche like hold up to their oversized dogs well.

Po Dog – Dub T Dog

Remember those options I stated? My favorite is the Texas dog with potato chips instead of onion straws. This dog is covered in crushed Ruffles, Tilamook cheddar and a smoky barbecue sauce. If you like onion straws then totally keep those on there. My other favorites are the Dub-T dog, the Chicago Dog and the Mac & Cheese dog. Their dog of the month option is also a favorite, they incorporate fun and fresh toppings with interesting themes.

The sides and drinks at Po Dog are also good. Sometimes I head over purely to get some of their shoestring french fries. Greasy but not too greasy. crispy yet slightly soggy, covered in a great seasoning, they give you a heaping amount in an order too. I just wish they did cheese fries and chili cheese fries. Then I would be there once a week… So maybe its good that chili cheese fries are not on the menu.

The decor is also fun, sort of gothic yet light hearted, black and white patterned wall paper and chair railed walls. Its little tables are cozy but the bar is my favorite place to sit when I am alone. A tiny little hole in the wall with a great staff, wonderful dogs and a endearing interior. Why wouldn’t you go?

Image Credits [ Yelp Seattle for the image of the Dub T, Image of the store: http://seattle.eater.com/archives/2012/03/16/laura-olson-says-ballard-po-dog-will-open-march-23.php ]