Monday, December 17, 2007

Internet Recovery Therapy In The Approach To Christmas

Hi there, I'm backkk!

Goodness, it seems like such a long time since I was on the blog!

The whole idea of setting up a blog was to make a little cash from selling my cards. That was of course on my other blog Vinca's-A-Thinka! over on my Freewebs site, I can't actually remember quite when I started it all off as it seems like forever, rather than the few months it has been.

Being a total novice at all this I decided that I had to start somewhere and to be honest was much more comfortable with the degree of anonymity that the web offers. Seeing as I knew very little about web development I started to play on the Microsoft Office desk top publishing program and whipped up a few very amateur ideas to be thinking about.

Unfortunately, I also discovered some lovely templates on free-web hosting sites and blog sites. This now means that I end up devoting much of my time to designing and redesigning my sites. The actual blogging is relatively easy by comparison; assuming that you can find the time to do so in the first place!

This morning I decided to take the world by storm and tackle my mail boxes; considering that between them there was the best part of five hundred e-mails this is quite a time consuming past-time. My new friend Fly-Lady is responsible for at least a quarter of them, and this is after careful deletions of testimonials galore!

Don't get me wrong now. I am not accusing Fly Lady of nagging; or anything like that, but when your back is at you and the Fibro shoulder/neck pain has resulted in the consumption of pain killers galore; talk about housework is the last thing you need. That said, some of the testimonials are truly inspiring and despite my many complaints, we are still getting there; slowly!

Getting back to my commercial website; Vinca Cards, we haven't actually sold a single card - yet! There is a very good reason for this which is that I haven't yet to put one card up for sale! Yes, I know; that does sound a little odd. However, I decided that rather than jump right in with both feet and make a load of expensive mistakes, I would suss out my market.

I used the website as an opportunity to conduct market research into what my market was all about. I included a questionnaire's and a guest book asking for comments, a members forum and a comments section at the end of each post in my blog. Unfortunately my feedback hasn't been high in numbers, ie less than a thousand returned questionnaire's. However the less formal feed back, ie comments and remarks made has been very encouraging, much of which I have already put into action.

At the moment I am thinking about re-designing the layout of my website to offer my products for sale on-line. Of course this will involve the inclusion of a lot of modern cyber tecnology and the applation of a great deal of patience & common sense on my part.

What makes this transition difficult is the fact that the whole business of inter-net trading, blogging, etc, is just so new. To people who are working crazy hours outside of the home, then commuting large distances on top there is often little chance to familiarize themselves with the inner workings of their computers, and so; there is little common sense in this area.

Luckily, I am blessed with a number of contacts who are kind enough to share the benefits of their experiences, all of it free of charge. Unfortunately there are also those who are only too happy to charge ridiculous amounts for what is slightly outdated advice; packaging it differently and peddling it as the new answer to our prayers.

With so much going on in the blogosphere, it can be difficult to manage one's time. Maybe I should take a leaf out of Fly Lady's book and set my timer in an effort to control my surfing time? There are so many great sources of inspiration out there that it can be very difficult to self regulate and be self disciplined; I have met some lovely people, who have been willing to give so much of themselves.

I wonder if The Priory; our local treatment centre for a rehabilitation of addictions deals with addiction to the internet? If so, who would be prepared to pay for my treatment? After all, while I have been so busy on the net, who has been making the money out of my card business? The quick answer is no-one; which is why over the next couple of weeks I expect to see a turn around in the structure of my VINCA Cards website.

There are a number of people that I should be thankful to, not least Darina Loakman, Angela Willis, Yarrow Stark, Lynette Chandler, Kirsty T, Alice Seba & Kelly McCausey & Rich Shefren. More recently I have found just what I needed on the craft side of things with Chewing Paper, The Worsted Witch, Amy Peters, and several others who's url's & names seem to have disappeared into the annals of Google Bookmarks; which I am unable to access at the moment!

A word of caution, be careful regarding the bookmark button on the google or firefox tool bars, they are a great idea and very easy to use; unless for some reason the server is having problems, like mine seem to be at the moment. From this day forth I proclaim that I will be using my own favourites and cataloguing each address into an appropriate file. Hmmmh, that sounds like another days work!

Christmas is just around the corner now, and still I have great intentions. We have yet to bring home a tree, all our decorations are still in the attic and the presents bought so long ago need to be wrapped! On top of this, we must find the large living room; ie the one I started to renovate two years ago; our small house is too small for five of us to live for twenty-four hours in what used to be LB's bedroom!

It's not that my plans are particularly grandiose; rather I need urgent treatment for my internetproblems; they are beginning to impact on other areas of my life, to the point that I am quite adept at hiding my efforts. Unlike the alcoholic I can't hide it under the bath or in the hot-press; and yet still I try! Now, where is that timer, again...?

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