Archive for » July, 2006 «

I’m back, barely

I haven’t yet (mentally) processed everything from BlogHer. I met so many wonderful women. Everyone was so nice to me, with the exception of one person on Saturday night who snubbed me. I really didn’t even know who she was. I asked and she said her name and blog quickly and then turned her back to me. Ouch.

But the rest of them? These women are amazing. The conference didn’t quite turn out the way I thought; I’m not even sure what I expected. I guess I expected more geeks like me and not such a huge Mommy Mafia. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. At all. They were wonderful and sweet and fun to talk to. But some of them were REALLY into their children. And well, I “got” my kid when she was 10. No poopy diapers, sleepless nights, or morning sickness (not THAT kind, anyway). That’s not to say that I haven’t had to handle poopy diapers and screaming children – just not my own.

And so, when I found some women that weren’t totally wrapped up in being a mommy (again, there’s nothing wrong with that – I just don’t have anything in common with them), I clung to them for dear life. People that talked about their jobs or families or politics or books or were just DAMN FUNNY. Gawd, you people kill me! There was drinking. And laughing. Hugging. Boob grabbing. And lamp shades. And lots of laughing.

I came away with a zillion cards – and I promise to link everyone as soon as I get some homework out of the way – some fabulous friends and great memories. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Except the hurling for 4 hours on Sunday morning. That I could do without.

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entrepreneurship session (live blogging)

rachelle opened by telling us a bit about herself, and intro’d the session. asked us what we want to get from the session.

arienna foley: blogging prof for just over a year (blogging 2 years). started out doing a corporate site. started blogaholics, when categories got too big, spun it off into a new blog. she has 17 blogs. she likes the cooking blog and personal one. she doesn’t like some of the others (lindsay lohan, hillary duff), but they make her money.

heather armstrong: started in 2001, to practice writing. fired for site in 2002. moved to slc w/husband and had a baby. about a year ago oct., decided to make the jump into advertising after advertisers approached them. when they decided to have john come home, things changed: it’s a job and you look at things and do things differently. lawyers and accountants help you protect your stuff and help with the tax stuff.

arienna: balance between the work & personal blogs. struggles with how the business blogs affect what she can blog about personally.

heather: first few months when it was paying the mortgage, there was a lot of pressure the first few months. she feels like the ceo of a company and they are dependent on her coming up with content. the quality of the writing and photographs must match the brand she’s trying to make.

arienna: pay structure for corp blogs. if you’re an expert in something, find the companies that do that. they are looking for people.

heather: keeps a monday – friday schedule. helps keep things sane. she takes notes for later entires (using mac stickies). jon takes care of biz part of blog so she can write.  always steps away at 6 at night, so they can have family time. otherwise, it would consume her life.

exit strategy:

heather: writes for alpha mom (a tv station) – online content. leverage blog to get other things.

arienna: diversifies the subject matter of her blogs and offer other services. more than one thing to do keeps you excited about the industry. she has a business degree and is a marketing director for a company.

arienna: motivation for writing about things she doesn’t like. only do it for part of the day. and think about it as a job. have a routine.

heather: content control from ads? depends on the advertiser and who’s paying you. like for her, it’s eyeballs, not content.

arienna: don’t have too many ads. it minimizes their effectiveness.

does rss affect page views?

heather: has some ads in rss feeds. one solution: don’t provide entire post in rss feed so people will click through. but it’s annoying too (having to click through). so not sure of the solution yet.

balance ad looks w/ reader expectations

heather: at first just put graphic ads. tried to listen to constructive feedback. trying to tone them down. readers are important. stretched header across site. and she tries to be loyal to herself (like the sweaty goat balls tagline) and not what the advertisers might say.

heather: social blogging, not alienating family. how do you do that: first person she alienated was her father. wrote a post after 9/11 about mormons, comparing them to the terrorists. (their fundamentalism, fanatacism) next, she got fired. and then, she said something that jon actually didn’t say. they sat and talked about it. what you write has consequences. there is no freedom of speech if you don’t want to live with the aftermath of what you say.

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photography session (live blogging)

photography session w/heather champ

(i’ll have to fill in the details later, so my notes make more sense.)

heather started out as a painter. taught herself how to do page layout, and did design. fell into love w/web (print has limitation). 96 bought first digital camera. talked about the camera collection she has.

composition is key. you won’t go anywhere with that photo if it has bad composition. rule of thirds: a slight imbalance creats tension & helps views focus on important part ( what to shoot? ordinary things can be beautiful. take many, share the best. what’s the most compelling? people are more interested in compelling shots. don’t make users scroll through a bunch of pics.

crop to about 800 pixels in size. and use 72 dpi – that’s all you need for the web. do an unsharpen mask. then copy the layer and make a mask to sharpen just a selective area by painting white over the mask (you have to make the mask black).

(even with a pro account on flickr, there is a limit in space.),

also, to meet people or to get the courage to photograph people. try a project, like heather’s work in progress on flickr (where people are holding cards with a word on them).

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blogher this!

informal get together tonight. wow, i met erika, kari, cathy, julie, megan (i don’t think i got a card), jenb, maggie, alice, melissa, mrs. kennedy. lots of people! (links later when i pull out all of the cards.)

i was worried because i didn’t know anyone. and then erika sat down at my table. she broke the ice. thank you erika!

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explosion causes evacuation

dude. if i heard a loud explosion in my building, i’d probably be pretty darn surprised. hopefully not in panic mode, but who knows? it’s hard not to be paranoid these days, with all the black helicopters floating around.

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i got in!

i actually got in to my classes on the first try. i guess being a senior finally has its advantages. woo!

of course, i have to decide between taking 12 hrs or 15 hrs. yeowch. but, i will be on target to graduate in the spring. or august of next year at the latest. my mom would love that birthday present. seriously – for her daughter to finally graduate and have it be near her birthday? she’d be ecstatic. my mom is always cheering me on like that.

so anyway, no more stressing about not getting needed classes. and yes, i was stressing. stomach in knots, the whole bit. i don’t do anxiety very well.

speaking of anxiety, blogher is coming up (heh, i typed flogher – how apropos). i’m really not sure what to expect. trying not to be too anxious. i don’t know anyone except Y, and i think she’s only going to the parties. i’m trying to look at it as an opportunity to make new friends. trying. i’m much better in situations where i’m at least semi-comfortable or know someone. and uh, i don’t think knowing who dooce, maggie mason, mrs kennedy, et al, are counts. *snerk!*

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my first-ever comic-con. wow, it was overwhelming. and i am noway as big of a nerd as i thought i was. totally out-nerded all over the place. why? because i’m not really a comics person. at least, not on the level of the folks there. i’ll pick up a comic, er, graphic novel once in a while. but i don’t know the creators, illustrators, writers, etc. i know nothing.

but it was still fun. quentin tarantino’s security people pushed me out of the way as he came through, so i followed them and got some great shots of him, rose mcgowan, robert roderiguez, rosario dawson, and a couple of others whose names i can’t remember.

i ran into the lovely eve. no, i didn’t get into the session i was trying for. i was only 20 away from the door when they shut down. and because of some asshole hecklers behind us, they shut the doors to where we couldn’t even see the screen. but i DID get to see kevin smith. worth the wait. oh, and they gave away hats at the end and i got a spidey 3 hat. cool.

i should have pics up sometime this week. hoping for tomorrow, but i have to charge the camera batteries and do some homework before i leave for blogher later this week. so the pic conversion may just have to wait. we’ll see.

there was so much to see and do at comic-con. it is so huge now. if i go next year, i’ll do things a little differently. now i know what NOT to do. like get there at almost noon and wait in line in the hot sun. ugh. but i think i got some great pics and it was fun. but it’s a lot of walking and standing. whew!

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today was full of geekery. i picked up school supplies while i was at wally world (yes, i shop there. hush, you!) and other household goodness. i went to fry’s and picked up a usb keyboard for use w/my laptop (on sale for $29, couldn’t resist), a headset for my cordless phone (for the days i work from home and just for general use), and an external hard drive to back up my shit. i am now up to 7559 photos. yeah. i only have 15 gb left on my 100gb drive. time to offload some of that shit. i’m only going to keep what i’m working on. however, i do have all of that stuff on my ipod. that way i have it backed up in 2 places. just to be safe. i can’t fit it on disks anymore.

i’m disappointed in fry’s though. they don’t carry powersquids. what kind of geek place are they if they don’t carry powersquids? even bed, bath, and beyond carries them. oh fry’s, you’ve been outgeeked.

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dammit, i HATE hiccups that won’t go away.

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too funny not to share

We Call Them ‘Rotational Assignments’ and You Would Get a Special Chair

Interviewer #1: You have had many jobs at that same company. Can you describe your work environment?
Forty-six-year-old proper woman: My company liked to move us around a lot so we got experience in different departments.
Interviewer #1: Was this a standard practice?
Woman: Oh, yes. They did that for everyone working at the restaurant’s HQ. Every six months we would move from department to department. We liked to call it “tossing the salad.”
Interviewer #1: Excuse me?
Interviewer #2: [Spits out his water.]
Interviewers #3,4, and 5: [Look away and laugh uncontrollably]
Woman: I got my salad tossed every six months, but in the past year moved it up to every three months. It’s all part of the manager training program.
Interviewer #6: Did you like getting your salad tossed?
Woman: Yes, I did.
Interviewer #6: It must take some getting used to. We have never tossed salads here, but that is not to say we won’t someday.
Woman: I would highly recommend it.

Church Street
Orlando, Florida

Overheard by: PS

via Overheard in the Office, Jul 11, 2006

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