Monday, April 23, 2018

SOCIAL MEDIA: Pinterest Enforces Sharing Complaints

I LOVE Pinterest. I need a t-shirt that says the same. I can see why some crafters and artists are angry about losing revenue because of shared and pirated images. Pinterest has received a lot of negative press because it is a platform where anyone can pin anything. Pinterest is like the poster child of shared images infringement. Some who would like to reverse what can't be changed in the way of our society's explosive social media sharing want to make Pinterest an example.

The Web is so big and there are so many users, that copyright and intellectual property infringement can't be stopped, or even policed by the average person. I'm not defending Pinterest, because anywhere that images can be shared, public and private, is a place where infringement can be done. Pinterest is a very popular, central location where incensed web users can focus their attack regarding their unauthorized shared content.

A lot of people use the internet now who don't understand netiquette, infringement, etc. They don't purpose to offend or steal. One good thing is that Pinterest has a very good trademark rights policy and is good at responding to complaints of infringement. They take those images down and alert all re-pinners. I believe there was a concerted effort to shut Pinterest down. I can see why it did not work because to be fair the World Wide Web, the Intranet, the deep web and others would need to be shut down. That is not possible for a number of reasons.

If I run across theft or infringement of my work online, I do address it. However, everyday I have to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to what could be going on behind my back with regards to my content. If I didn't I'd remove my Web presence completely (or as best I could) and go offline permanently. I like internet marketing and sharing too much to do that, at this time anyway.

BUSINESS: Crafters And Social Media Effectiveness

For those of you who have used social media heavily over the years, has it paid off for you?

Do the majority of your sales come through social media, or do you get lots of views but no sales?

Are you going to step up your social media activity, or reduce it?

Have you tried any social media ads or other paid promotion?

Here's a great article titled

Social Media Marketing Simplified for Your Craft Business

I'm already in the process of doing some of the suggestions, especially focusing on one platform and learning to use it well. It seems to me that in order to do a great job of using social media so that it pays off in sales (and I'm not talking about just posting a product link every time we list and getting an occasional sale through it) a person has to spend a large amount of time with social media each day.

Some who write articles about their huge success do just that. It takes a lot of time and effort, as well as money spent for tools and apps to help manage time, posts, or hiring someone to promote etc., to make social media activity pay off. Well, as a person who needs to spend most of my time creating, photographing and listing, I'll never be able to do that. I can't afford to spend money for social media aids or hire someone to do social media marketing for me, because I don't have the budget for that. Social media is important, but only if it's possible to use it so that it pays off. Otherwise, it's just wasted time, dashed hopes and continual disappointments.

I like Pinterest and plan to slowly learn more about using it. One way that many make it pay off is by designing and creating certain types of pins. Well I don't yet have time to do that. I just pin and re-pin a lot. Many bloggers who are successful at using Pinterest design their blog photos a certain way, so that when they pin their blog posts to Pinterest they attract more attention and visits. I barely have time to create my occasional basic blog posts, much less edit and design my images in special formats.

So maximizing the usefulness of a social media platform is the goal, and I'll never be able to juggle all of the social media sites in this way. It's best to narrow it down to where I like to be and am most anxious to return to.

In discussing social media sites with other crafters I rarely hear anyone mention any other than the big 4, FB, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Here's a list of many that are not well known:

60+ Social Networking Sites You Need to Know About in 2018  

This list features graphic comparisons on the size of 15 social media sites. I'm sorry to see that Facebook has the largest share of use:

Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites and Apps [April 2018]

Just because a site is popular in some ways doesn't mean that it's good for the average crafter though. Facebook recently made some decision that seem to jeopardize the usefulness of the very feature it created to help sellers, the business pages: Facebook Pages End of Days??

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Transcription Of Audio Files And Video Captioning

I've added a new creative service for transcription of English audio files or video captioning. I offer a 48-72 hr turnaround for up to a 45 min file with one speaker. Longer files and a 2nd speaker may require more time. See more at Creative Services.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What Are Your Signature Colors?

Do you have a signature color(s)? It is the color that you've always loved, even from childhood. It is the color that makes you happy and makes you feel alive. It's the color that you gravitate to when making purchases.
All Occasion Handmade Pink And Green Note Cards

I have a pair of signature colors: chartreuse green and fuchsia. It also includes all yellow-greens from olive to lime green and all red-violets from plum to hot pink. These images are some examples.

My crafting and personal life are centered around these color schemes, with some deviation because I love colors in general. I have a Pinterest board titled Color Galaxy.

Stop, Smell The Flowers Mixed Media Collage Handmade Wall Art
My neutrals are white and silver. I am a winter person who is most happy with bright, clear, cool colors. On some personality color palettes some of my yellow-greens are shown in the spring palette. 

Most pastels and muddy, muted colors drive me batty. My Sand Dollar Tags below make me happy because, while the colors are not deep shades, they also are not washed-out pastels, but are bright raspberry and lime tones.

Sand Dollar Tags 16-Tag Pack

Making products in your fav colors for your shop can give your online store a cohesive look. I can't always show my color scheme on my shop homepage though. Because I do work with a huge range of colors, the best that I can do is to show my signature colors in the featured products banners or widgets. Otherwise, these signature color scheme products are scattered throughout my shop.

I wrote an article on signature colors some time ago. I plan to make it into an e-book once I flesh it out more.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

WRITING: Free Verse Notes On Poem A Yellow Downfall In Winter

Usually, I let my poetry flow and create itself, and it will usually be free verse. But sometimes, like with this poem, I add a few rhyming lines.

Notice the 4-6th lines in the 8-line stanza. They rhyme, but it's still free verse. They add a nice little cohesive interruption in this short poem.

How did I create those rhyming lines? The same way in which I created the entire poem, by thinking about what I thought. By delving deeply into my feelings about my love of winter, my desire for snow, and how the falling yellow leaves helped to replace that lack. I was able to happily experience the falling of flakes, though they were not white. I was grateful, anyway.

I let my poetry flow and create itself.

A Yellow Downfall In Winter

Yellow flakes drift, shift and flip downwards,
What are they,
But flakes of snow in a snow-less place.
For me anyway,
These leaves my longings allay,
For I can truly say,
That I enjoyed,
A downfall in winter.

"What are they, But flakes of snow in a snow-less place."

I don't identify and write formal poetry styles very much. I do use the words haiku, senryu and free verse, because their formats are easy to understand and practice.

Creative Selling Ideas at TCS: 

  1. Cover a wall art-sized piece of cardboard with paper. If patterned, paint over with solid paint, covering completely or randomly, as with altered art. Hand-letter or ransom-note journal your poem on it. Embellish and decorate with various elements, creating mixed media artwork featuring your poem. Add string or wire threaded through the top, or to the back, for hanging. A nice gift to self, or another.


Monday, April 16, 2018

BUSINESS: Website Resource is a website not only for those involved in the festival circuit, but for promoters and any creative person. The site is crammed with resources and includes a marketplace, gallery, community forums, videos and more. Sellers can open shops, with memberships starting at a free basic model. This site is also a great resource for locating festivals in which you might want to participate.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

BUSINESS: Watermarking Images Can Deter Theft

Using stolen product images in listings is a rampant practice. Have you considered using watermarks?

There are different types of watermarks that can be used, some more obvious than others.

The least effective are the ones placed in a corner of the image. They are easy for offenders to crop out. They would then fill in the space with surrounding color.

 Have you considered using watermarks?

Heart Flowers Place Cards, 6 pk 6 colors

Deepest Places Of My Heart Handmade Wall Art

The faint or transparent ones placed across the product are the best. They are the hardest for thieves to edit it out.

Good Vides Good For Me Crochet Necklace

There are different types of watermarks that can be used

The purpose of the watermarks is to deter theft.

The purpose of the watermarks is to draw attention to the fact that the person or shop that is selling the product is not the owner of the product and image, and most likely does not have permission to offer it.

The alert works best when the visitor knows the crafter or artist of the product in the image. I recognized several digital paper packs in a shop not known to me. I contacted the owner and asked if they had permission to sell them. They replied that they had permission. Somehow, I was not convinced, especially since they did not elaborate about the permission.

I contacted the 3 sellers of whom I was familiar and found that they had not licensed their products to be sold by this person. They pursued it and the shop was closed by the venue. There were many, many more brands in this shop than the 3 that I recognized. There were like over 500 products from many designers. I thought it was a digital clearing house at which the designers were members. I am glad that I pursued what seemed to me to be a fishy situation.

Note: some selling venues don't allow watermarks. I've also heard that Google Shopping does not accept images that are watermarked.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

BUSINESS: Including Shop Info Can Attract Customers

Fleshing out your seller profile and shop policies can keep visitors in your shop for a longer period.

Found a lovely snippet roll at Pinterest and followed the link to the crafter's blog. After reading her tutorial, I went to her Etsy shop. I was disappointed that though she had been on Etsy since 2015, she had not completed her shop pages, profile info or anything like that. Because of this, I was discouraged from faving her shop, and I didn't.

Many of you know how big I am on completing all of the info in the shop profile and policies. You ask Why does it matter? I still make sales. But what if you could make more sales by being diligent in sharing about yourself? What if more visitors shared your shop because it was completed on all pages?

When a seller does not fill out his/her shop info, it can send a negative message. Whether it is true or not, it can appear that the seller only wants to push and sell products, but cares very little about potential customer interaction.

Sometimes a person does not know how to complete those pages, you say. Well, if the person knows how to create a product listing, she can fill out her shop pages. Maybe he doesn't know where they are, you venture. Well, if he can find the product listing page, he can find the shop policies and profile pages. No one reads that stuff, you insist. Well, I do. I am very interested in a seller's story, philosophy, history and anything else that tells me who the creative person is and what drives him. The addition of shop policies, as well, adds professionalism to an online store. They provide important info, preventing the visitor from having to contact the seller about simple shop operation.

If I am turned off by a seller's omission of profile and shop info, then some others are too. That is why I talk about this often, to help those sellers who persist in believing that this form of marketing does not matter. The truth is that fleshing out your seller profile and shop policies can keep certain types of visitors in your shop for a longer period. If they stay longer they may buy.

What is a snippet roll?
How to make a snippet roll.
Snippet roll board at Pinterest.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

JOBS:, the free image bank, is hiring a Head of Curation and Photography

They offer work in a small, fast-growing company with more opportunities to come.

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