Saturday, July 27, 2013

Measuring Your Content Stripe like Tequila

First of all, I know that ads are the most popular way to monetize your blog. 

But when I go to a blog, I want to read content.  As monetization increases less and less of the blog screen is devoted to actual content.   With some blogs the amount of content has been reduced to a continually thinning stripe down the page.   Even though the saying is “You can’t be too rich or too thin” your content stripe really can get so narrow that it lacks value.     Do you aspire to write the next infomercial, or are you writing "must-read" content?  

I suggest we measure the content stripe the way I measure how much tequila I am consuming – using the width of my fingers.   Three to six fingers of tequila – nice buzz.     Nine fingers of tequila – difficulty talking.   Twelve fingers of tequila – difficulty walking.   Fifteen  fingers – who remembers?

Now look at your blog on the screen.  (No cheating by using an extra-wide screen!)    Put three fingers up on either side of the screen.     How much content is visible and how much advertising?   Now try six, eight, etc.   Keep in mind like tequila, the more fingers you have, the less you remember and the less the readers get for their viewing investment.


For some of you it may be faster to reverse the measure.   If you only are giving me three fingers of content, I’ll be finding another bartender.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Makeup or no

I need to learn how to put on makeup again.   The face I learned with is not the face I have now.

Help me Obi-Wan L'oreal/Revlon/Maybelline.   You're my only hope.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Tale of Two Cities – Taking Construction Detours on a Road Trip

In Michigan the snow obstructs the roads in the winter.   In the summer, it is construction.  The longer I live in the state, the better I am at locating those alternate routes that run free of traffic within sight of that parking lot occasionally known as an interstate highway.   On a recent trip to Indiana we ran  a foul of two traffic backups that put in contact with two extremes of small towns.

The first detour selected took us on back roads running through farms and abandoned gas stations.  We stopped briefly in a crossroads of town called Pompei.   The place was so deserted on a Sunday afternoon you would have sworn an invisible volcano had erupted and the inhabitants had dropped everything and fled.  We parked across from a general store with a front window so dusty they didn’t need curtains to keep out the light.  Crooked letters made of tape on the window advertised “Taco Tuesday” specials.   We wondered who was around to take advantage of this special, or how old the special was.  The gas station, closed, still posted a last gas price of $1.50 a gallon.   This place made Dorothy’s Kansas look like Wonderland, to mix mythologies.

The second detour took us through rolling countryside of farms once again. This time we ended up in downtown Angola.  The picture perfect town square with the pillar topped with a war monument could have been a movie set for small town America.  We passed a shop called “Touch of Lace’ that had all red, white, and blue outfits in the window to celebrate July.   In the corner of square was a cute little cinema with the old-fashioned marquee advertising a current movie.  On another corner was the county courthouse.  Two doors down was the First National Bank (of course), a two story building only a little wider than a townhouse.  The square was edged with multi-colored flower beds with petunias and marigolds, and a few other plants my botany-challenged brain couldn’t identify.

One town reeked of depression, with a brave cry of “Taco Tuesdays” to rally the remaining inhabitants.  The other lifted our spirits with its silent simplicity, small town America charming and real.    Sometimes detours can provide better entertainment than the DVDs and music on the car radio.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

How to take care of a sick kid #carelinesp

Second in a series of posts about the Careline Vtech phone review unit

What do you do when a parent and a kid are both home sick?    You wash your hands a lot, try to get lots of rest to keep your immune system strong, and try to avoid touching . . . . uh . . . . well anything they have touched.   And in my case, go to work to flee the scene.


So dad was  in one bedroom convalescing, daughter down the hall resting, and me heading out the door trying to figure out to get them connected.     I moved the   Vtech Careline Telephone Home Safety System  phone next to dad, and gave the pendant to my daughter, and solved my communication problem.


Hit one for mommy, two for daddy - so simple.    My daughter thinks it's her cellphone.




**I wrote this blog post while participating in a campaign by BOOMboxNetwork.com on behalf  of VTech Communications, Inc. and received compensation for my participation. All opinions stated within are my own.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easy Speaker phone cuts down on the yelling #carelinesp

Have you ever tried to have a cell phone conversation with someone slightly hard of hearing?   And totally averse to technology?   I swear, by the time I finish one of these conversations everyone within two city blocks knows all my business.   And I sound like a total lunatic.

In my house, I now send my senior husband to the Vtech Careline Telephone Home Safety System.  The safest part of the system is that he can't lose it somewhere in the house.  We put the main unit  right by the computer where we already had a phone jack from pre-historic times when you used dial-up to get to the Internet.

 He was trying to look up information about seniors accommodations at Disneyland.   I was trying to tell him what to do as he kept putting the cell phone to write down what I said.   I suggested he use the speakerphone on the his iPhone.  (Don't get me started on how easy the iPhone isn't for him)  He couldn't find it and hung up twice.

So I went on the Internet to the Careline support site and pulled up the picture you see above.   This time when I called back  I sent him to the Careline phone by the computer.    Pick up the receiver.   Hit the orange button.   Put the receiver down.   Yeah!  No more yelling.

Making that button orange was a great design choice.    Maybe even a little bigger would be better.   As for the pendant . . . for us it might be good to have that orange also so it stands out against the snow.

Disclosure:  This post was written while participating in a campaign by Boomboxnetwork.com for the  Vtech Careline Telephone Home Safety System, and Momisageek received compensation for participation.  All opinions stated within are my own.  (Aren't they always!) 


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Careline - back to the future phone #carelinesp

Careline is a new phone design from Vtech.   It has large buttons, simple controls, and retro styling.  I remember when it came out of the box a month ago as a review model.   I thought had done a little time travel back to the year 2000.

The phone was easy to set up, and I didn't have to get a magnifying glass to read the display.   The buttons, mentioned above, are not smaller than my fingers, so I actually get where I want to go the first time.   Finally it has four fast-dial buttons.   Boy, have I missed those!   Having to hit a combination of keys for "fast-dial" is way beyond what my technology-averse husband can deal with.    At least he put my cell on  button number one.     Besides the phone, there is a pendant that you can carry around the house that will call the base, or the first two numbers that are save on the base unit.

We tried to figure out the best place in the house for the phone.    In the kitchen?   By the couch where we watch TV?   Upstairs in the bedroom?    Nope - the new nerve center of the house is now the computer.    The speaker phone came in handy first.   My husband, a certified senior citizen and rabid technophobe,  had to spend some time on the phone straightening out some of his prescriptions.   He hit the speaker button, and was using  the Internet and talking on the phone.  

Then he went out to shovel snow, and left the Careline pendant in the house.   (He thought wearing it around his neck was too girly.)   He took a fall and managed to crawl back into the house.    When I got back an hour later  he told me about the fall - and confessed he hadn't used the pendant.   His cell phone was too complicated to use.    I rolled my eyes.   What can you say?

The next day we had more snow.   This time the pendant went with him.  It's Michigan - there is lots
more snow coming our way, and now the pendant is part of his snow wear.

Disclosure:  This post was written while participating in a campaign by Boomboxnetwork.com for the  Vtech Careline Telephone Home Safety System, and Momisageek received compensation for participation.  All opinions stated within are my own.  (Aren't they always!) 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

iPad Mini - Very good things come in small packages

Not being a rabid Apple fan girl I can usually resist the Apple hype.  But the iPad mini - it really hits so many of the features of my ideal tablet I had to try it.

I do own a "new" iPad, occasionally known as the iPad 3 to everyone except Apple.  Calling the third in a series of products the "new" iPad has to be one of the most ridiculous naming decisions I have ever heard.  It  almost seems like Apple wants people to be confused about what they are buying.    And what accessories are compatible with what.   I am happy to have a retina display, and the last version  of iPad with a 30 pin connector which connects to EVERYTHING.

But the size of the screen keeps me from truly loving it.   I just can't take it everywhere like I can my Kindle Fire.    Plus doing simple things like putting my photos into folders requires an app.  (at least there is one now  available)   And putting a mixture of files like documents and powerpoints and music and pdfs in to a folder so you can access them together - very complicated.    I would like to occasionally to use the iPad as a large USB drive with screen attached, and editing capability.    All those cutesie apps and games are not where the value is for me with the iPad.

Enter the mini iPad.   Now I have something I can hold in one hand.   Unlike the Kindle Fire, 3G access is available (at cost of 125 bucks, but at least I have a choice).    As much as I like my Kindle Fire, I hate that the smaller version has no 3G, and I am always searching for wifi to move content to the device.   It is better than having to use iTunes to move content, but still a hassle.    The original Kindle was the first tablet style device to let me buy or down load a book anywhere.   The Fire was a throwback to the bad old days having to plan ahead and load the device with content.      I hate having to track free wifi in strange cities.    Airports and hotels have wised up - data access is as big a moneymaker as dessert and soft drinks at a restaurant.   (And you though they really cared that you saved room for dessert!)

So my new mini is on order . . . the 3G version doesn't ship til mid-November, and I can't wait.