Rabbit Rattle

Crochet Rabbit Rattle for my friend's new baby.

Gardening Apron

Gardening Apron for a friend's house warming present.

No Junk for Us!

Handmade "no junk mail please" sign in Finnish.

Meet Cyril!

Cyril is an amigurumi pig, made for my nephew.

Boxy Matryoshka Pouch

Boxy pouch made with very kawaii Japanese fabric.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Perfect last minute Valentine's for the geek in your life

Forgotten to get your geek a Valentine's card? Here's a quick way to make him or her smile:

Obviously you send the linked heart in a message, not the graph itself. If you're not as geeky as your other half (or me), here's what you need to know:

  • How to type ♥ on your keyboard = Alt + 3 (on your numberpad)
  • What to link it to = http://bit.ly/AFrhoT, which is the graph on Google
Just sent mine to ORM via email. Time will tell if he notices/responds/swoons (it's just not gonna happen, folks).

Friday, 10 February 2012

Virtual Community Summit 2012: The Awards!

Yesterday was the inaugural Virtual Community Summit, held in the beautiful (but ever so chilly) Royal Institute of Great Britain. And great it was. Fantastic speakers and lively panel discussions galore and - most importantly - a live twitter feed (#vircomm12). The latter being the most fun a group of community managers can have in an enclosed space.

I was manning the twitter feed looking for questions from virtual attendees to put to the speakers and panelists. Turns out I was supposed to be watching some other gizmo for that, but when I checked that first thing it wasn't loading for me and I promptly forgot all about it. Apologies to the 5 people who have pressing questions unasked/answered. 

I also stepped in to be the mic passer-arounder while new-found friend Sarah went to one of the sessions in the other room, but I sucked at that too. Andy was just too damn fast on his feet for me and I didn't manage to proffer my mic to anyone. Shame really, I was looking forward to some pretend roving reporter antics.

(I did the copywriting for the website too; I may not be the best volunteer, but I'm nothing if not eager.)

I am sure plenty of the more academic attendees will provide proper commentary to the content of the various sessions, panels and round tables (no tables at all, quite a misnomer), so I will not. I will, however, proffer my suggestions for the Vircomm Summit 2012 Awards:

Best Quote of the Day: "Smiling from the wrists down" by Emma Monks

Best Supporting Quote of the Day: "I'm smiling from the ankles up" by Sarah Broughton

Best Evil Overlord: Patrick O'Keefe (aka Big Giant Head):

Award for Services to Writers: "You can train great writers to be social, but you can't necessarily train great socialisers to write" by Dominic Sparkes (We writers-turned-community managers thank you!)

Most Alarming Tweet Sent to Me: "I saw you on the live feed"

Joint Award for Great Event Planning: Oxana Morozowska & Rebecca Newton

And finally...

Most Uplifting Quote of the Day: "There has never been a better time to be a community manager" by Tamara Littleton 

Thanks to everyone; a great day was had by all. Looking forward to next year already!

Now, how to customise the free tote bag...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

SEO: my first steps in search engine optimisation

Most people do things like painting, reading or playing computer games in their downtime. I sell scarves. Or rather I try to sell scarves. I have an online scarf shop called Scarf Envy, filled with beautiful neck candy. It looks good, functions well, but if no one knows it's there, those scarves are going to gather virtual dust on their virtual shelves.

See, doesn't it look pretty?

I have dabbled with Google Adwords in the past, but I've put that on hold for a while until I have time to really get to grips with it. I don't want to be spending money on something without understanding why it is or isn't working.

I know that SEO - search engine optimisation - is important. I've read up about it in great detail, even reading a top secret e-book by a supposed SEO guru that was smuggled to me by a friend. I've changed my page titles and rewritten my product descriptions. The result? If you search "scarf envy" I come up first. Big deal.

Sadly, if you search "scarves" or "scarf" my shop doesn't show up even in the first 30 pages of results (I gave up after that and had a cup of tea). Doesn't help restricting to UK results either. Ho hum.

So, I am now setting myself a goal. I want to be in the top 5 pages of UK results by the end of March for "scarves". I'm going to start by changing my page titles, having noticed that the top results all had quite lengthy titles along these lines:

Shop Name | Women's scarves and wraps | Accessories 

Wish me luck and please feel free to pass on any tips in the comments!

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