OMFG I Love This Stuff


I’m not a review blogger and I don’t want to become one. I do, however, love to try new things and I love driving new cars. The cars will stay here, on the blog. But I’ve been meaning to tell y’all about my treadmill desk for ages and I can’t bring myself to write a blog post about how my treadmill desk changed my life (and it did). I have a dilemma. I find great things (most of them under $20) and I’m a sharer, an oversharer but a blog full of the crap I buy would be somewhere between boring and annoying.

So I’ve made a decision. I will send out a weekly(ish) newsletter about the things I love and that you might love too. Don’t worry it’ll be short. A few things, maybe even just one, with a picture and a sentence or two but not much more than that. It will also be things that I bought or coveted and you won’t find any product placement or PR pitches in it. It’s just me, doing my thing. Like we used to before blogging became a business and businesses became content creators for bloggers.

If I were sending an email about my treadmill desk it would read like this:

Last August I bought myself a treadmill desk & it changed my life. I now work more efficiently, my back is never stiff and I seldom daydream. You won’t lose weight on a treadmill desk if you’re writing because you’re not so much walking as you are shifting your weight. I suppose if you used to to watch TV and whatnot you’d move quite a bit more and possibly burn some real calories but I don’t have any experience with that. The desk is large and it’s ugly and it’s a lot more plastic than I enjoy having around but the benefit of not sitting for hours a day is monumental. I spent about $1800 and that included delivery and installation from Busy Body.

I have a TR1200 and I see it’s now listed at $999. There are newer models but I feel no need to upgrade.

treamill desk

If you think you’d like an email like this one once a week or so please sign up for it here. This way I can keep the blog focused on important things like one eyed dogs, teenage kids, travel, cars and navel gazing.

Getting Pitched by a Fake Employee


This morning I got an email about a stealth startup. It was fishy and I wondered aloud (by aloud I mean on Facebook) who would answer an email like this.

bad pitch email

It’s not horrible that Amanda is asking for me to work for them without knowing what the product is. It’s not horrible that Amanda sent me a form email and couldn’t even format things correctly. The deal breaker is that Amanda clearly doesn’t exist.

You see I clicked over on that LinkedIn profile because on the off chance that Amanda is from LA I’d want to see if we have friends in common. I like being helpful to LA area startups.

Amanda doesn’t know a single person on LinkedIn. Not one,  she allegedly graduated college in 2002 and has a link to her LI account on her footer.

Amanda Harris does not exist

Amanda’s Facebook page has two stock photos and her history dates all the way back to February 4th when she joined Facebook and decided she liked the Bloggess.

how to not pitch a blogger

The google plus in her footer? Also a ghost town.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 8.27.37 AM

Of course I channeled my modern day Nancy Drew and opened up the header. Amanda is using a private server (or more likely the gmail web app which treats IP address as private information) so I couldn’t identify the region, or at times the business, Amanda was emailing me from.

I guess a web browser to protect your anonymity while you troll the web for free consulting services is a good idea. Hopefully whomever invented Amanda is equipped to build it. Though I suspect that’s just not the case.

Updated to add a little note to Amanda: You may think I’m being mean by posting this but if you’re starting a business that’s supposed to help people and preserve their privacy the best way to start is with a good reputation, a solid introduction and some honesty. I gave you what you wanted, feedback. My feedback is that today’s Mom Blogger is looking for transparency and when we feel like we’re being tricked we don’t support you. Thanks for asking for my opinion. I’m glad you respect it and hope you take it to heart.




The Problem With Email


I don’t read my emails. I mean, I read some of them but clearly not all of them or this wouldn’t happen.

And when you don’t read your email you miss out on things. I recently deleted an invitation to speak at a conference in Australia. Thankfully the organizers contacted me on a social network as well so we may be able to make it work. I have no idea how many opportunities I’m missing.

So now I’m trying to get my inbox down to a reasonable number 1,747 are too many unread emails on a business account. When someone sends me an email that’s obviously useless I do a search for them and try to delete all their emails. This is what happens.

This local to Los Angeles publicist has been emailing me for years. In August I responded to her and asked her to take me off her list. That clearly didn’t work well. She’s not the only person who abuses my inbox  but then I got to looking at her particular client list and I saw small businesses and authors and my heart hurt for them.

How much do you think this publicist is collecting from them?

Have you ever been tempted to call the business owner on the phone and say, “You seem like a hardworking person with a great business and you’re being duped.”?

Of course I don’t do this because everyone knows you shoot the messenger. It’s just shocking to me that we’re still having this conversation.

Rapportive: Firefox Plugin For Social Media


If you’re like me, you use Mozilla’s browser Firefox to surf the web. I use Firefox because there are so many fabulous add ons.

Today I found a new great one. Rapportive.

Basically Rapportive takes your gMail account and makes it social. Now, when I get an email from someone Rapportive checks with Gravatar, Rapleaf and Twitter to give you relevant infomation about whomever you are emailing with. Rapportive gives you a right column sidebar with information about your new friend.

If I’m emailing with Stephanie, this is what I see in the right column.

I know that Stephanie is president of a company and all, but to be fair I am a social media expert a maven and a guru. Can you top that?

When you check on your own profile (easiest to do from your sent items folder) you can hover over anything in your profile and update it in two clicks. Rapportive is easy to install if you have firefox, just click here and follow the instructions. If you don’t have Firefox, click here and try browsing like the big kids.

Add ons like Rapportive should be a reminder to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. Mine isn’t… but gurus and mavens don’t need to worry about things like that.

Hat Tip to James Poling who finds all the good stuff.

Netiquette: Tech Talk Tuesday


What is Netiquette? Etiquette online is the short answer. The long answer is complicated, and in 13 months it will be revised enough to render this post obsolete. Don’t buy a book about netiquette, just listen to the chatter around you.

I sent out a Tweet asking what your pet peeve netiquette breech is and here are some of the responses. (more…)