The Price of Free

09.19.12

I’d committed to doing a little bit of work. It’s not much but it didn’t benefit me in any measurable way and it was work. It was at night and to be perfectly frank it’s sometimes good to just get out of the house. We’re all guilty of using an event as a night out.

Well, Mr. G came home Monday night and told me he had a work event Thursday night and that I should plan on him not being home until after 10 or so. I moaned, “But I have a work thing too and I’m totally committed. I’ll just call the sitter I guess.”

He asked me how much I was making and I told him nothing.

He asked me how it would help my business and I sort of shrugged.

He asked me how much we’d spend on childcare and why I thought the kids didn’t need my help with homework. Then he asked me if he could just write a check to the folks who conned me into working for free on the Thursday night and then the cost would only be monetary instead of emotional and physical too.

I cancelled because I have a family that comes first. I kind of feel like shit about it but I also kind of feel like that’s what you get when you decide to pay no one.

Photocredit Flickr 

 

Startup Series: EventUp

02.7.12

Since incubators like Science are now calling Los Angeles home I figure it’s time to start a series of posts to show off some of our finest startups.

Eventup caught my eye because it starts in the geek space but ends up in the mom space (even if they don’t realize it yet). Eventup is a site that allows you to search for a location for your event big or small in and around Los Angeles with other cities soon to launch. If I search New York I find one garden apartment, I’m assuming there will be more fabulous locations soon.

Everyone who watches the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills knows that everyone in and around Los Angeles spends $60,000 for a child’s birthday party. No? Okay maybe not $60k but I swear sometimes it’s hard to keep it under a thousand even when they’re tiny.

Let’s say you want to have a party where four year olds run around and scream their heads off but your back yard is a disaster area. Go browse eventup and you’ll find locations like this house in Beverly Hills that sits on a one acre lot. How’s this for a back yard?

rodeo_drive_villa

Or if you’re like my friend Emily you could use Eventup to find the perfect spot for a Midnight Brunch. Yes really, brunch at midnight…

I’m excited to watch eventup launch here in Los Angeles and even more excited to see how it will expand and which cities will embrace it first.

Would You Get on a Scale in Public for $300?

01.5.11

In 2011 I promised myself that I’d stop picking on the poor publicists who pitch the mommy bloggers. I swore I’d avoid the low hanging fruit, and I vowed to ignore WalMart, Skittles, and train wrecks in between.

Today’s pitch is too rich to ignore.

A group of Mommy Bloggers were invited by Special K to go to The Grove (its an outdoor mall here in Los Angeles), and hop on a scale. You know, in front of people, presumably a crowd. From the pitch:

Because Special K focuses on helping people lose weight and be healthy, at the event, people will be invited to step on a super-sized scale to reveal what they will GAIN when they lose weight (a common New Year’s Resolution) in 2011. Instead of a number, the scale will give an inspirational word or phrase that encompasses the emotional benefit of achieving a goal!  You can also write your “gain” on Special K cereal packaging, take a photo with it, and share it with other women on the SpecialK.com community.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

– Help us encourage people to attend the event!  Post the details on Twitter, Facebook and your blogs during the week leading up to it.
– Attend the event and be an on-site reporter for your blog – talking to Special K representatives and other attendees about their New Year’s Resolutions, etc.  If you can include video that would be awesome!
– Live tweet during the event if you have the capabilities.
– Take photos and video as you talk with people and participate in the activities!
– The next step would be to take all of the fantastic material you gather – quotes from attendees, photos, videos, things you learned – and turn it into an inspiring, wonderful blog post for your readers.

The stipend for participating is $300!

The issues as I see them:

  • Who is going to weigh themselves at The Grove? Is nothing private? I don’t care that you get a message instead of a number, this is a horrible plan that reeks of 23 year old publicists twirling their frosted hair in a boardroom.
  • Why would I care about the “Special K Community”? We have communities, we don’t have to gather around a cereal box.
  • Encourage people to attend the event? Why? So they can weigh themselves too? Am I supposed to have any friends left?
  • Post on twitter, facebook and my blogs? For $300? Three Hundred Dollars to reach 50,000 people? Did someone drop you on your head?
  • Attend the event and be an on site reporter, plus video? Again, this is a HUGE ask, with a minuscule amount of money attached to it.

I can’t go on point by point, Special K has devised a five figure campaign and offered bloggers $300 to humiliate themselves and then get about $10 an hour by the time they’re done. In addition to that it’s a huge expense of social capitol.

Also, ladies, before you attend an event like this I’d like you to look at the ingredients for Special K and decide if that’s what you think you should eat for two meals a day. Keep in mind that they’re listed in order of greatest to least quantity.

Special K Ingredients: Rice, wheat gluten, sugar, defatted wheat germ, salt, high fructose corn syrup, dried whey, malt flavoring, calcium caseinate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), reduced iron, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, and vitamin B12.