I've just discovered something very dangerous

The photobooth application on my iMac allows you to record video with special effects.

Here is what I felt absolutely compelled to do.  *Warning*, while I am able to sing, this video doesn't exhibit that in any way whatsoever.  Keep the volume down near the end so no cats start mating in your backyard.

My third vblog.

If you woke up in the middle of the night and heard a baby's laughter, would it scare you?

Anywho, without further delay- my third vblog.

My totally useless business tip of the week dudes

'Networking. It's always brought up in subjects on how to improve your business. You've got Chambers of Commerce, guilds, teams, knitting circles, Alcoholics Anonymous- all ways to get to know people, have a chat and branch out with your business. It's great to find nice folks who will know you, support your product and business, and maybe even become a friend.

But here's the tip that others don't often talk about- Anti-networking. Anti-networking? What's that? Well, I'm glad you asked, and I'm glad I'm here to tell you. Anti-networking is all about having negative connections. Think of it like the Jersey Shore. Can anyone believe those folks are really like that? Well, having lived in New Jersey for some time I can say yes, yes they are. But are they really networking and growing their brand while generating all this disgust? Yes! You too can generate that disgust.

Sometimes people being angry with you or swearing vengeance upon you is the best thing that can happen for your business. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should go around with a spray tan and teased hair to improve your business. I'm just saying that you need to embrace the good with the bad. The yin and the yang. The dunkin and the donut (the krispy and the kreme for all my fellow tar heels). Sure, it's great when people are your buddies. It's so warm and fuzzy to have people know the true you and like you for who you are, and help spread the love about your business.

But some people are made into legends by those who dislike them and try to thwart their every move. The Jersey Shore folks are a unique example. But think Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. Batman and the Joker (or the Penguin, or that stupid thing that Uma Thurman played). Sometimes a nemesis is exactly what your business needs. And if nothing else, maybe one of their other personalities will be your friend and buy something from your shop. 

Plus, the more time you spend working hard, the more time they have to spend rifling through your garbage which apparently is what makes them happy. In that way you are being generous and kind by cultivating a nemesis. You might even be able to get community service hours for it.

So don't fret if someone is talking trash about you on twitter, writing how their cat could kill you on their blog, or even leaving pumpkins with daggers in them on your doorstep- it's all good for your business in the end. 

When you find your entire shop bought out and 'suck it' written in all the feedbacks, just think, 'hey, thanks my personal Darth Vader.' Cause really, what would Luke Skywalker been without Darth? Just another kid getting groomed by a short, green weirdo.'

Etsy forum thread to discuss

I don't like peeing my pants

But this video forced me too.

Youtube song

My small business Etsy tip of the week!

Original thread on the Etsy forum

After so many of you beat down my door (about 2 or 3 to be fair) to offer a regular installment to help you improve your business and overall wealth, I'm going to start posting my tip of the week. It may not be anything revolutionary or earth shattering, but that's only because I want to fit in with the rest of the forum advice.

So without further delay- my tip of the week:

'Be yourself. Yes, you. Those little voices in your head aren't always right, but they'll quiet down a little of you do as they say. How does this relate to your business? Well, if you want to sell customized jars for folks to store their urine in- just go with it. You may not have instant success, but all you have to do is find your target market. I suggest group meetings at local mental institutions. 

In all seriousness though, inject your personality into your shop. Yes, yes, you've heard this from me before. But I'm saying it again cause you probably weren't paying attention that time. You probably got all distracted by the new and improved broken site change that Etsy had just rolled out.

You must be yourself so buyers will know you are the artist. They aren't buying mass produced items which they can get at their local Target. They are buying a piece of you. And by all means price yourself accordingly. Charge a fair hourly rate for yourself. All the other professionals who sell themselves do. It's smart to heed their long standing business strategy.

And if you don't want to be unique and would rather just play up to Etsy trends, by all means do that too. That's still you inserting your personality. It's just that your personality wants money and lots of it. I'm down with that.'

Three questions remain unanswered...

Scientists say that only three questions remain unanswered in all of human history. After years of research all possible explanations for everything have been discovered save three small items- 'Why are we here?', 'How were we created?', and 'What exactly constitutes a Business Topic on the Etsy forum?'

Dr. Emily Cockworthy of Cambridge in an interview yesterday said, 'We really worked our backsides off, and I think we've done a good job. 3 questions out of infinity is a gosh darn good record.'

The public though does not seem satisfied. At a rally outside the headquarters of the 'You could not make this shit up' Society, organizers were voicing disappointment with the work completed by the greatest minds of the world. 'We really can't believe it. After all this time, you'd think it would be clear who created the universe and what exactly makes a Business Topic on the Etsy forum. How can we look our children in the eyes and say "I don't know" when asked these questions?', cried Mike Hunt, spokesperson for the group called Flag Until Creation is Known (FUCK for short).

Funding may be the issue. Apparently even $20 million is not enough to continue the study of these three questions. 'We simply don't have the money and we're doing the best we can,' stated Dr. Veronica Dribblethwaite, member of the group of 'They' (who came out with the groundbreaking study 'they say...') She then quickly drove off in a wire wrapped Mercedes. 

At the time this went to print she couldn't be reached for any follow up questions, and was last spotted in Tahiti with the CEO of Ebay.


Report just in!

Sources say that being on the FP does indeed help with sales. Though details are sketchy at this point, it appears that being on the FP daily leads to increased views and often sales.

"We can't state at this point at what level it helps, but we're certain that it is better than not being featured," says John Dingleheimer of the Front page Association of Research Technicians (FARTs for short). 

Sally Sizzlestick, a marketing director from Omaha said, "Sure, there is no guarantee of sales. But 9 out of 10 say that when they expose themselves, people take notice. And the FP is a lot of exposure."

Specialists urge the community to not make hasty decisions to get on the Front Page. "The FP is cutthroat. And we've got enough trouble on our hands with all the yarn bombing and sneak attacks going on in the community," Sheriff Mad McMadder stated at a press conference late Friday. "And let's not forget about the massive amount of sellers who fell off the face of the Earth this past spring. We still have missing persons reports out."

Updates from law enforcement are expected early next week, but until then members of the community are advised to stay indoors and cover windows with granny square afghans. If you must venture outside, please do so in designated Etsy teams and make sure you wear bright orange cowls so you can be seen at night.


My renewing strategy

There has been some debate as of late as to whether renewing is good or bad, whether it helps or hurts, whether it's commie or capitalist.

I'm not going to get into the middle of all that messy debate. I figured as a member of the Etsy community who cares deeply about other people and their feelings, I want to share with you my strategy. While I have not been as successful as others who may have better advice, they are too busy to help you. I have done better than a lot of others who would probably give crappy advice. So take it from me with a middle of the pack shop, or else you'll get it from someone worse than I am.

So let's look at renewing in a whole new light. Let's not think about it as trampling others to get to the top- a low grade form of throwing money at a problem to fix it. 

No, let's look at it in a more rational, sensible way. Renewing is simply cutting the line. But it's not a bad thing in this instance because you pay for it. And if it yields results you have more money to pay to keep yourself at the head of the line. And that's the American way.

Before you poo poo this analogy, please be patient and think this through. America is based on the free market system. Yes, as each decade passes the market is less and less free, but we can't argue that America was founded on principles of property ownership and unmitigated, obscene profits.

The crystal clear example of this is Walt Disney World. Obscene profits. And line cutting all day long. And guess what- it's the happiest fucking place on Earth! Everyone is willing to hand over $8.00 for a hot dog (which in case you didn't know is just intestine stuffed with lips and assholes) and why- for the privilege of taking part in the epitome of the American way. 

Paying a lot for sometimes little reward, waiting in line, and perhaps even faking a disability to get to the front- it's just like Etsy. Except the only disability one can have on here to help them out is that they are unable to actually make things themselves and are forced to make a living selling someone else's. Sure, it's against the rules, but do we want to forbid the downtrodden? The disabled? That is more communist than any ideas presented elsewhere.

In conclusion, my strategy is simple- I cut the line when I can and when necessary. Do I cut the line for the Snow White ride? No, cause it kinda sucks and I'm in no rush to get on it. Do I force my way to the front on Soarin' or Test Track? You bet your arse I do. Firstly, they are awesome rides, and b, it's the American way. 

My strategy on Etsy is the same. If I'm fighting a category where the items and photos are you know meh, well why would I need to renew constantly? I'm easily better than they are and folks will walk down the line to find me. But dudes, if you are in a category that is awesome and competitive, like the Toy Story ride, well I'm sorry- you've got to fight for your right to be seen. And if you don't fight, well then you're Switzerland and you'll probably end up full of war criminals.