Archive for November, 2008
Two things prompted me to use the Carlucci’s voucher:
- I had a less-than-stellar Friday evening. I thought that I’ll be attending a symphony concert at the City Hall on 21 November; however, when I got there I realised the concert took place the previous evening. And yes, the ticket has been paid for.
- It’s the weekend before payday, which means I need to find as many free things as possible. This includes all my yearly memberships: Aquarium, South African Gallery, Iziko Museums. And it might be a good idea to get that free facial or make-over at Edgars Red Square.
I also wanted to see whether I’m one of the lucky people to have Google SearchWiki added to my account. So I got hold of my laptop and went to the Carlucci’s Wine website after checking all my vitals. I bought Wine Magazine on Tuesday partly because of the R50 Carlucci’s Wine voucher. I figured it’ll be good to get some vino for the weekend: I only have a bottle of MCC in the fridge.
So I browse through the site and settle on a R49.50 bottle of L’Avenir Chardonnay 2006. It’s not that I’m cheap; this is my broke weekend — it’s the weekend that I can’t afford to shop at Woolworths.
I add the bottle to my shopping cart and am bemused at the error message:You cannot continue the checkout procedure. Please select a minimum of 12 bottles and click “Update Cart”
Um, is this normal for wine websites? To have a minimum order of 12 bottles? Nowhere on their site do they mention the minimum order. The R50 off voucher makes much of their free delivery nationwide but doesn’t warn about the minimum order.
I then checked with GetWine, which is another online wine retailer. Same story: minimum order of 12 bottles. Of the same wine. Isn’t this blasphemous? To force us to get 11 bottles more than what we want? I’m a fan of online shopping, hell, I used to work at Inthebag back in the day. And even wif all their problems, they’re still a reliable option.
Online shopping can only mature if the website and the company makes it as easy as possible for everyone to shop. Not just the techno-savvy Ted.com and 27Dinner geeks. And it shouldn’t be limited to the upper middle class, either. I consider myself middle class but there’s no way I’ll pay for 12 bottles of wine when I only want one.
Oh crikey. I’ve been feeling mildly productive over the last two weeks so I’d start a blog post and schedule it for publication. But I’ll feel overly enthusiastic and overly confident in my writing routine and schedule it for publication in two or three days’ time.
Then I’ll go to work, spend too much time on various IMs and have a great time, as always. And watch too many Sex and the City episodes at 05:30.
I’ll check into WordPress Admin when I remember that I have future blog posts lined up. This isn’t as often as I’d like it to be, however. So sometimes I’ll see — on my Facebook profile — that yet another new post is up. This is not too embarrassing, though.
It’s just a bit frustrating that I forget something this simple. And I can’t blame WordPress or anyone else; I’m the silly blogger.
So I’m hoping this will teach me never to schedule a post before I’m confident it’ll be a great one.
One of my tasks at work is to find blogs on which to leave comments. I’m only doing it for one client — whom I shall not name, I promise — and it is actually quite nice to do it. I’m sure that people walk past my desk and wonder why I am being ‘unproductive’ by posting on blogs…
Anyway. While it is fun to read blogs and leave comments, there are always instances where I find it difficult. Some blog posts are so well-written that there isn’t anything more to add other than “WOW” or “I’m bowing down and revering your awesomeness”. And I don’t really want to write something like that, especially not when I’m representing a client.
Other posts are boring and I skip leaving a comment.
But what kills me is when I find an amazing post. It’s amazing because it’s well-written and the author spent some time to think about the subject. It can be any blog, it doesn’t matter. So I’m in awe. And then I notice something that I can comment on. I get ready to compose a killer comment when I see the following: a long list of comments, reaching back to the day just before Noah built the ark.
Sure, this is mostly with popular blogs but sometimes it also happens with less-than-popular blogs that managed to write a killer post. So I don’t comment cause it feels as though I’ll just be another voice in the woods. Even if I have something of importance to say.
What makes you not comment on a blog post? I’d be interested to hear.
I’ve noticed something recently. Back when I still wanted to be a journalist-cum-novel writer I carried a notepad and a pen with me. I figured I have to: good ideas for stories appear anywhere. These days, as a blogger and content producer, I still get many ideas while walking to the railway station in the morning. I might even get the idea while sitting in a meeting at work. But what happens when I forget my notepad and pen at home? What is the one item I never leave home without?
So, yes, it is easier to whip out my cellphone and take a picture. Not of the idea in my mind, of course; however, that would be cool. No, I use the cellphone to take pictures of magazine articles or magazine ads that I find inspiring. It will often just be of the most important info: where to find genuine tortoise shell glasses or an ad outside Vaughan Johnson’s in the V&A: “Look rich for half an hour. Light up a Cuban!”.
So why do I feel like such a sell-out? I mean, using a camera to take pictures is more eco-friendly than using a notepad. It’s convenient and doesn’t take as long as scribbling out a note with my Carol Boyes pen (The pen was a good idea at the time but I didn’t know how uncomfortable it’ll be to write with it). Notepads also take up space, even when I’m toting my laptop bag around.
And my handwriting is terrible so it’s better to have a clear photo with all the information I need for later, when I want it. Such as applying to UNISA (again) or the banking details of a charity. It also makes it easier because I can send those pictures to my gmail account. I’m already using my gmail account for storage, so this works perfectly. If I continue using my notepad I’ll eventually run out of space and it’s already a schlep to find the exact note when I need it: I have millions of scribbled notes.
I guess I feel like a sell-out because taking a picture feels too ‘easy’. Almost as though real ideas should be written down in a notebook that I can show my kids one day. Yeah right. I doubt digital natives feel this way; to them, this is the only way of preserving information when they’re on-the-go.
I have changed the name of this blog to Digital Immigrant, which is what I am. I do not normally like being categorised, but this time around, the description is accurate.
A digital immigrant is someone who has learnt about technology late in life. Digital immigrants are the opposite of digital natives. Digital natives grew up surrounded by technology.
My digital immigrant accent is no longer as thick as it was 5 years ago. I remember walking into a Vodacom store with my then boyfriend and asking for a “phone that only makes phone calls“. It took me a while to get addicted to Twitter, even though I was probably one of the first South Africans to use 43things.com and Flickr.com
These days I’m more aware of social media, teh interweb and all around awesomeness. I blame it on dating a nerdy boy for 4.5 years and then starting to work at an eMarketing company. So it’s only natural that I want my sisters — they’re 18-year-old twins — to join me online. And I’m not alone: one of my friends bought her brother a domain for his birthday this year.
I’ve been trying to teach my sisters about Google, Firefox, blogs and social networks. I’ve been trying to get them interested in becoming a Wikipedian; I’m one and I enjoy it. They’re not interested and would much rather be on Mxit than the internet. Or use Internet Explorer than Firefox. This is similar to how I was at their age except that I preferred reading books; Mxit is a new development.
It perplexes me. I’m the one who walks around super-connected all day long. I am a bit disappointed that they’re only interested in Mxit and that they do not know — or care — about Opera Mini, the mobile browser that I use. I think it’s beyond awesome and is excited that there is a new update available…
I used to be disappointed that I’m the only one who reads; these days I wish my sisters could be more connected. Early days, yes, I know that. They’re still young and I shouldn’t push too hard; they might download Opera Mini tomorrow and rival my Wikipedia efforts. And I guess my friend should also give her brother some breathing space. Allow him to play around on Mxit and he might develop an interest in teh interweb on his own.
But first, some reasons why I think it would benefit them to be more gee.ky:
1. They’ll be exposed to teh interweb and social media. This makes sense: if they’re exposed to teh interweb and social media they will become used to it. So in two or three years’ time they won’t be clueless about it.
2. They can build an online presence. Who needs a CV these days? Almost all of us have a blog (I have four…um, three) and we use it to promote ourselves. Have you ever googled someone and found *gasp* nothing? It used to be that we were relieved; now we wonder what century this person lives in.
3. It’s fun. Not the bestest reason but a worthwhile one. I spend too much time online but I also spent too much time reading books during high school. Exams used to be my favourite times — I had plenty of time to read. So why just focus on the online presence and networking part? It should be fun.
4. Build ‘em connections early. It’s a fact: rich people have more connections. It’s easy to understand, too: the more people you know, the easier it gets to land a high-paying job. Or, the more people you know, the easier it gets to land a contract or business deal. It’s as easy, if not easier, to build connections online.
5. They’ll change the way their brains work. Yes, this is a good reason, I promise. Being on teh interweb means you’re constantly on the lookout for more information. Sure, your attention span may decrease — as has mine — but you get better at multi-tasking, something that I couldn’t do before.
It’s been proved, too: Neuroplasticity. And here’s another article about Neuroplasticity. Our teachers were wrong: we don’t lose braincells as we grow older; our braincells adapt to our environment. Constant texting (smsing), Mxiting, working on the web and connecting with people — at the same time — does that to one. Constant stimulation provides ‘toned’ braincells; the mental equivalent of weight-lifting.
This is the best argument for bullying my sisters into adapting the WWW into their lives. Soon employers will want to know how skilled you are at Ubiquity, Minefield and Google. They won’t care about your typing speed or how much Excel and MS Word you know. I always failed those tests, btw. Not the typing speed one, though — I type a more than decent 75wpm.
Ever walked into a store and wanted recognition? A smile, a ‘Hi’ or anything, really. It’s so simple, doesn’t cost the world, and makes you feel great. No matter if the smile is fake. But the ultimate luxury for me is when I am in a store and the owner or sales assistant listens to me. Sometimes I want to tell some random person that I’ve just moved back to civilization – Cape Town central – from the Northern suburbs. And it’d be nice if that person listens and responds.
Normally it means I’ll return and buy even more from the store. Not sure about you, but we can’t be too different: it’s nice to be made a fuss over.
Perhaps you notice a new store. You start off by just walking past the store, craning your neck to see the items on display. Then, eventually, you get enough courage to walk into the store. Depending on the sales assistant’s mood that day, they have either gained or lost a potential customer. If you’re greeted warmly, as though you won’t steal the Louis Vuitton goods in the window, you feel happy. If they offer you a cup of tea or a glass of champagne, you’re elated and probably much more likely to buy. If you have money.
Now, I feel the same about blogs. Some blogs, just like those boutiques in the V&A Waterfront Millionaire Mile, are intimidating. Yes, blogs can intimidate: high-profile bloggers, or someone with a very decent page rank. I start off by just reading the content and being in awe. I add the blog to my RSS Feed and get the newest content when it happens. Hell, I may even get new updates to my email inbox.
So eventually I leave comments. And I leave more comments. And I read the blog every day, or whenever an update is made. It feels as though we’re friends, this blogger and me. We’re not, of course. We’ve never met but I feel as though I know what he or she thinks. Hell, I contribute to the Alexa rank of the blog just by reading it regularly so I’m a customer. Sort of.
And then I feel silly when the blogger never responds to my comments. I shouldn’t feel silly but I do. My blog etiquette has improved only slightly since my early blogging days but I try to respond to every comment I receive. Some days I’m just a bit better than usual.
Sometimes I leave an awesome comment (well, I think my comments are awesome. Don’t you?) and go click the button to receive email notification of follow-up comments. And then I wait. Not consciously, mind you; I just remember your awesome post when I’m standing in the shower or when I fetch breakfast in the kitchen at work. And nothing happens. Sure, sometimes my comments do not warrant a response. That happens. But some bloggers also don’t reply to others who comment on their blog. I’m not talking about seriously popular blogs that receive millions of comments. I’m talking about small, well-written blogs with only a few readers and even fewer comments.
Sometimes strange things happen: your comment gets deleted. Ouch. Either that or it never makes it to the blog post. That hurts.
So what happens when you ignore one of my comments? Well, nothing at first. But I may feel wary of posting something next time around. If my third, fourth or fifth comment also gets ignored, I’ll find a different blog to read. I mean, there are a great amount of blogs, and not even Dave Sifry, CEO of Technorati and author of the State of the Blogosphere knows exactly how many there blogs there are. So your other readers and I have options.
If you have a blog, do you respond to every comment you receive? If not, why?
And finally. I’d be interested what percentage of the blogging community ignore comments on their blogs. Perhaps it’s even more
I do not have too many friends who are involved in teh interweb business. And even those who do have blogs prefer to keep it private. So private that I have to be logged in with my super-dooper-secret Gmail address to read it.
So sometimes I have a problem: I want to talk about them. I want to mention something crazy that they said, or some innovation or I just want to boast about them for no reason at all. But I can’t link to them because I do not want to expose their super-dooper-secret identities. And I like linking, especially to friends: it makes me feel good.
Well, it was a problem until this morning when I was walking to work. I walked up the stairs at Woodstock station and it hit me: link to their page on Twitter. Twitter pages are becoming the new blogs (if Twitter gets through the economic crunch) and have page rank.
I know, amazing, hey? And I only heard of this last month or so, while The Blog Herald had an article on Twitter page rank last year already. My Twitter page has no page rank yet but not to worry. I’m sure it’ll pick up soon(ish); I’ve only been using it since September.
So if you don’t want to send linkjuice to my blog, at least consider sending some to my Twitter page.
I promise this ‘Kill Shake‘ graffiti was there since before I moved in on Sunday…
Ever had one of those moments: you’re chatting to someone on Gchat or MSN (if you use MSN please stop reading my blog right now) and mention something. Anything. Perhaps you mention Larry Page or Penelope Trunk. Perhaps you mention polyamory. The person with whom you are chatting then asks you “Joy-Mari, who’s that?” or “Joy-Mari, what’s that?”. Or perhaps you receive an email from an acquaintance asking for the email of a well-known editor. Such innocent questions and requests, you would think, but it’s not. Or it’s not for me.
How about people who ask you, while they’re sitting in front of their computers, how to spell aficionado? And somehow this always happens when you’re busy working on an Excel spreadsheet, half listen to their request and … oops, miscalculate.
So whichever happens to you more frequently, what do you think of this person? Does it irritate you? I normally think it’s laziness and that he or she is not computer-savvy. Never mind that I’m talking to someone with a PhD. Do people not know the basics of doing a Google search? I mean, it’s not difficult, right?
And I’d like to know this from you: am I being too harsh, or am I justified in thinking they should Just Fucking Google It?