Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Patternspot.com - A New Selling Venue For E-Pattern Designers

I've been thinking about this for a few months now and finally decided last month to add some of my e-patterns to the Patternspot.com website. So now I am listed as a designer over there. If you'd like to check out my designer page please CLICK HERE.

I first noticed the Patternspot.com website this summer and thought it might be an interesting place to sell some of my e-patterns. However, when I first looked at it most of the e-patterns and categories were quilting related - not exactly dolls and other crafts. So, I filed it away as a website to check out some time in the future.

Well, sometime the first of October I was searching Facebook for craft groups and saw that a Facebook friend of mine (Lisa Fuller) had established a Patternspot.com group. So, I decided to check the website out once again. I was delighted to see that they were now carrying all sorts of crafts e-patterns and decided maybe I should become a designer and upload some of mine. I also decided to join the Facebook group, which I did.

Lisa has been a member of my Top Blogs By Crafters since last spring. She is an artist, crafter, designer, teacher, writer and communications manager for C&T Publishing. Lisa has a wonderful blog entitled Lisa Liza Lou at http://www.lisalizalou.blogspot.com.  Check it out.  She's an amazing artist.

In any event, C&T Publishing officially launched Patternspot.com in August as "an online marketplace for quilters, sewers, and crafters to instantly purchase and download their favorite project patterns from top designers. For the first time, thousands of ePatterns, representing a wide variety of styles and skill levels, from hundreds of different talented designers are all available together under one virtual roof."

Here's what their press release said:

C&T Publishing announces the launch of a new website, PatternSpot.com—an online marketplace for quilters, sewers, and crafters to instantly purchase and download their favorite project patterns from top designers.

For the first time, thousands of ePatterns, representing a wide variety of styles and skill levels, from hundreds of different talented designers are all available together under one virtual roof. This is exciting news for all fabric enthusiasts who want a shopping site with lots of diversity and inspiration, so they can get started quilting or sewing something right away, as soon as the notion strikes.

C&T’s Publisher, Amy Marson, is enthusiastic about this newest venture. “Our mission statement is ‘Innovate. Educate. Create.’ We live this goal every day by being on the forefront of industry trends and publishing platforms. PatternSpot.com allows people to get creative and learn something new at a moment’s notice. We also strive to make our operations as green as possible to reduce our carbon footprint. This new site offers our authors, shop owners, designers, and consumers the ability to buy and sell the latest and greatest sewing and quilting patterns in an environmentally friendly way.”

Susanne Woods, C&T’s Acquisitions Editor reflects on the site’s development. “It really began with customer demand. More and more designers are offering their patterns digitally and they want an online retailer to 'stock' their ePatterns. We identified a unique opportunity in the sewing and quilting community to create an open marketplace that removes the gatekeepers for both designers and shoppers. While Patternspot.com features many well-known designers with popular pattern lines, the most exciting aspect of this platform is the opportunity for lesser-known designers. The shoppers, not the retailers, get to decide what will become a best-selling pattern. We are providing a common sales floor where anyone with an original design can quickly upload their ePattern and sell to a worldwide audience.”

C&T has teams in place to provide customer service and technical support to all users, as well as robust marketing support for designers. For more details about the site and how it works, visit the Help Menu at PatternSpot.com.

So, the first of October I signed up as a designer and set-up my profile page.  If you'd like to see my profile page please CLICK HERE.

The 2nd week of October I decided to upload some of my e-patterns and, well, there was a little snag. My .PDF files wouldn't upload. I kept getting an error page. So, I sent Lisa a message via Facebook and she responded right away. She had her programmers start working on the problem and with a little testing here and there they had the issue resolved in no time. So, I started uploading some of my files.

I have to tell you that it is extremely easy to upload your .PDF files to Patternspot.com and very easy to set-up your e-pattern for sale. Probably the easiest of any e-pattern website I've seen or used to date.

From a customer perspective the HOME page is very consumer friendly and easy to navigate. There is a category navigation sidebar for easy e-pattern selection.

Right now there is a heavier concentration of quilting e-patterns, but over time this should broaden with the increase in other small business crafts designers to the website. There's a whole lot of artists, crafters and designers creating e-patterns on the net now and this should be a big PLUS for Patternspot.com.

There is a fee structure for designers and you need to weight the pros and cons of the costs involved which include a % sharing of any sales proceeds.

As a commercial publishing website they have the potential to reach a HUGE audience and this should be enticing to all the small business craft designers out there.

For now I've uploaded about 32 of my e-patterns. I'll let you know what happens.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

New Items For My Linda Walsh Originals Etsy Shoppe

After thinking about this for quite a while I decided to re-stock my Linda Walsh Originals Handmade Dolls & Crafts Shop on Etsy in time for the holidays.

I've been a little delinquent in re-stocking my shop there. I set up my Etsy shop in March of 2008 but  I haven't added anything since 2009. It's not because I didn't have the time - well, that could be part of the reason. It's because I got really discouraged back then with Etsy and a small crafter's ability to get noticed over there.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of handmade products on Etsy - which is a REALLY GOOD THING for handmade goods and the handmade goods industry. However, for the small business crafter that means it's really, really hard to get noticed.

Back then I was told to list something new every day, join groups, participate in the forum, and create treasuries. So, for a while I tried listing every day and joined a couple of groups and participated in the forum.

Many of the groups suggested treasuries as a sure fire way to get noticed. Well, every time I tried to create a treasury I was unable to do so. There were just too many being created at the same time and a limited number of spots available. Spots only opened up when a treasury dropped off and a new slot was open. However, you never new when this would happen during the day so you had to wait your turn, and wait, and wait. Well, there was no way I was going to sit at the computer all day just waiting to initiate my treasury or get up at three in the morning. I thought hours upon hours to create a treasury that may or may not be noticed - what a waste of a small business crafters time.

It just seemed impossible to get noticed so I decided to keep my shop open - in case I changed my mind, and let my products lapse. And, that's how it's been for two years.

I have always been a firm believer in a small business crafter having their own website and/or blog as the main avenue for selling their handmade items and using other websites as supplemental promotional vehicles.

Such was the case for me with my Etsy shop.  I have ALWAYS had my own Linda Walsh Originals Shop website stocked with hundreds of handmade doll & craft products and my patterns and e-patterns.  I set-up my Etsy shop to give my Linda Walsh Originals businesses a presence on Etsy.  A handmade marketplace where I could sell some of my handmade dolls & crafts and some of my patterns and e-patterns.

In thinking about Etsy lately I figured that after two years of absence maybe things have changed a bit over there. Maybe I should give it a shot again.

So, I added a few Santa's to my Etsy shop and will add a few more things in time for the holidays.

I'm going to give Etsy another try.

Who knows. Maybe things have substantially improved for the better over on Etsy.

Maybe I'll get noticed and like it this time.

Maybe I'll even sell something over there.

I'll let you know what happens.

Friday, November 04, 2011

I'm Playing Again, This Time With OpenOffice.org

I've been playing, yet again. This time it's with OpenOffice.org and I have to tell you I'm loving it.

Just writing that my computer shook. My Microsoft Publisher program doesn't like that comment one bit. It's getting nervous thinking I'm about to abandon ship.

Hold on to your hats "Publisher" I'm just playing. You know I just LOVE to play and recommend things I find to my readers.

I think you all know how much I LOVE Microsoft Publisher as it has been able to handle everything I have needed over the years for my business, websites, and blogs.

However, not everyone has Publisher and since I started using Publisher back in the stone ages, well - a LOT of wonderful programs have come along that are very helpful to small business artists and crafters on the web. Including me. Well, one such program, that I have been playing with lately is OpenOffice.org.

According to OpenOffice.org: OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.

Unlike GoogleDocs.com, which I told you about in a previous post, you have to download the OpenOffice.org software to utilize it. So, I downloaded it and started to play. And, I kept playing, and playing and playing.

This program can create text documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Drawings, Databases, Formula's, and more. The drawing program saves your file with an OpenOffice.org extension (.ODG) so if you want it to be saved as a .JPG, .GIF, .PNG, etc. you have to export it. All of the programs have a separate export to .PDF link for creating .PDF documents.

I found EVERYTHING to be easy to understand and use. Within a few minutes I was able to utilize just about every program - almost as if I was an old hand at it.

If you want to create e-patterns, e-tutorials, e-articles, e-projects, e-printables, graphics, slideshows, etc. or just have some fun with your pictures and are looking to purchase software do yourself a favor and download the free OpenOffice.org suite first. You will not be disappointed.

I'm sorry Microsoft Publisher, but this is a GREAT suite of programs and I do like the drawing program. Just like Publisher it works with my Bamboo drawing pad and within a few seconds I was creating all sorts of shapes, sizes, circles, curves, etc. And, when I went to rotate them, well, the capabilities here are simply AMAZING. I may never stop playing with it.

With that statement my computer literally started sputtering. If I didn't know better I would think Publisher was "crying."

Not to worry Publisher I still LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you and while the capabilities of the OpenOffice.org drawing program are good it still can't replace you. I can do everything I need to do to create my e-patterns and e-books in one Publisher file. Creating e-patterns and e-books with OpenOffice.org would require using both the text document program and the drawing program. Plus, the drawing program doesn't seem to have the capability for a two-page spread, which Publisher does, and which is required for creating an e-pattern booklet cover.

With that statement I think my Publisher program just breathed a sigh of relief.

However, because I love to play I may create a few new things in OpenOffice.org just to get the real lay of the land.

Don't worry, Publisher, just because OpenOffice.org is the new kid on Linda's block it doesn't mean this "old gal" is going to give up her #1 best software program of all time. We've been through thick and thin together and I don't see any need to change that.

With that statement my Publisher program started crying - tears of joy!

Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Thursday, November 03, 2011

GoogleDocs For Creating and Displaying .PDF's

I've been playing again testing a few different avenues for small business crafters who have .PDF free e-patterns, e-tutorials, e-projects, and e-articles that they have created and want to display on their websites or blogs. I recently posted about Scribd.com which is a document hosting website in a Linda's Blog post entitled "I Decided To Try Scribd For Some Of My Free E-Books and E-Patterns." Today I experimented with GoogleDocs.com which is not only a document hosting website, but a document creations website.

Now you might be thinking that all hosting document hosting websites are the same.  Au contraire!

Not only can you upload .PDF's to GoogleDocs.com to obtain a linkable URL, but you can CREATE a document right on their website using a suite of office type programs. Their programs are free to use and do not require you to download anything to your computer and include documents creation, presentations, spreadsheets, forms, drawings, and tables. Each of these programs automatically store the items you are creating in your Google account. So, they are available to you everywhere.

If you've been a reader of my Linda's Blog for awhile you know that I LOVE Microsoft Publisher which is part of Microsoft Office. For me, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Publisher are still the best for me to use for my purposes, but GoogleDocs.com is a great way to get started if you want to create .PDF e-patterns, e-tutorials, e-projects, and e-articles and don't have Microsoft Office.

I have all of my free e-patterns and e-books on the "Our Freebies" page of my Linda Walsh Originals information page. If you, too, have free e-patterns, e-tutorials, e-projects, etc. that you want to share what do you do? Well, you can use one of the many document sharing websites available and either provide a link on their blog or embed the code into their sidebar or post or use GoogleDocs.com like I do.

As mentioned GoogleDocs.com will not only upload already created .PDF's, but will let you create your own document. In creating them you can download your document as a .PDF to your own computer or you can PUBLISH your document online. If you create your own .PDF in another program and upload it to GoogleDoc.com you can only obtain a distinct URL that you can link to and which would  display your .PDF.

However, if you create the document using GoogleDocs.com office suite you can PUBLISH it which creates an HTML version of your document that can then be embedded within your blog or website.

Since I already had created my own free e-patterns and e-books I decided to upload those and obtain distinct URL's that I could link to. If you'd like to see how my free e-patterns, e-books, and e-catalog look on GoogleDocs.com just CLICK HERE for the "Our Freebies" page of my Linda Walsh Originals information page and then click on the freebie you want.

I like how the GoogleDocs.com displays the .PDF with the separate pages showing as clickable icons in the left hand sidebar. You can search the document, zoom in or out, download it, print it, and make a copy of it. You can move from page to page via the sidebar or using the left and right arrows.

You can also view it one page at a time or two pages at a time like in the picture shown below:

As far as visibility is concerned you can share it as follows:

1) Public on the web - Anyone on the Internet can find and access. No sign-in required.
2) Anyone with the link - Anyone who has the link can access. No sign-in required.
3) Private - Only people explicitly granted permission can access. Sign-in required.

Using the office suite to create a .PDF takes a little getting used to, but you can create a document and then insert images into it. I think this works best for e-tutorials, e-projects, e-articles, and e-books as all their pages are generally letter size.

However, for e-patterns if you intend to create a two-page cover that can be turned sideways and folded to pattern size then you will have to create this in a separate picture program and then insert the image into your GoogleDocs.com document. GoogleDocs.com only accepts .jpeg, .gif, and .png image files so if you have created your pattern piece sheets as .bmp (to keep the size of your .pdf down) you'll have to convert them to .jpg before you could insert them into your document.

You can also use the suite to create a response form that users can fill out which you can email or embed into your website or blog.

I'm still partial to Publisher, but that's me. I'm old school and very loyal to programs that have worked wonderfully for me for years. However, I do like to play so the next time I'm in the mood to create another free e-book I'll give GoogleDocs.com another try.

Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Thursday, April 07, 2011

What A Surprise I Love The Blog Better!

We have news on Top Blogs By Crafters  toplist and Top Blogs By Crafters blog.

Good News and Bad - No Make That Better News For Top Blogs By Crafters.  

Now some might consider it good news and some might consider it bad news. Well, I think it's good news and even better news.

Since 2006 we have had the best art, craft, sewing, knitting, needlepoint, designer, woodworking, painting, illustration, story telling, cross-stitch, free craft articles, doll making, folk art, primitive, country, seasonal, mixed media, abstract art, scrap-booking, e-products, crazy quilting, quilting, vintage, Victorian, shabby chic, printables, beading, gardening, food, altered art, candle making, Americana, holiday, animal crafts, wool felting, textile, food crafts, applique, basket making, abstract art, contemporary art, creative embroidery, watercolor art, wearable art, ribbon crafts, crewel, decorative painting, crochet, digital art, graphic art, dried floral design, fiber art, weaving, wedding crafts, baby crafts, fragrance crafts, gourd painting, home decor,paper crafts, jewelry making, lamp making, rug making, soap making, stamping, stenciling, tie-dying, pottery, handbag making, purse making, totes making, pocketbook making, polymer clay, potpourri, etc. blogs by the best artists and crafters on the web listed on our Top Blogs By Crafters toplist.

Well, we have grown so LARGE that we have decided to temporarily suspend new membership in our toplist over on GoTop100.com.

However, we do have GOOD NEWS!  New membership in our Top Blogs By Crafters blog is STILL OPEN and you can join us there by clicking HERE.

Now you might think that temporarily suspending membership on Gotop100.com is bad news.  Well, actually it's really good news because we have grown so LARGE.  That means there are lots and lots of wonderful arts & crafts blogs now versus just a handful like it was back in 2006.

The reason we decided to suspend membership over on GoTop100.com is because the hosting company that offers the toplists is undergoing some major changes and has been doing so for over a year now. Well, some of those changes are and have been, in my opinion, disruptive to my membership and to the running of my toplist.

So, I decided to move all 517 members over to our  Top Blogs By Crafters blog and we will continue to add all the wonderful artists and crafters blogs over there.  When the GoTop100.com changes have been finalized we will review what they've done and determine if it makes sense to re-open membership over there.

In the meantime, I am loving having  Top Blogs By Crafters on Blogger.com .  Just between you and me I happen to think membership over on our Top Blogs By Crafters blog is even better than membership on our toplist.  Now that should come as no surprise to any of you.  The "blogging queen" loves her toplist as a blog!  As a blog it offers SO MANY MORE opportunities for the toplist and I think all of the members will like it as well as I do.  I hope you all agree.

I am not closing down my toplist on Gottop100.com.  Just playing a wait and see.

In any event, if you are a member of my toplist and have a voting banner/button on your blog I would appreciate it if you would change the banner/button and it's link to http://topblogsbycrafters.blogspot.com .
My new buttons and banners can be found HERE.

Plus, if you want to join Top Blogs By Crafters it's so easy to do.  We now have an online form.  Just click on our and submit your application now.

We still have RULES for membership in Top Blogs By Crafters .  They can be found HERE.

We hope you like all the changes we have made over at Top Blogs By Crafters .

Good news and even better news.

Top Blogs By Crafters News

Since 2006 we have had the best art, craft, sewing, knitting, needlepoint, designer, woodworking, painting, illustration, story telling, cross-stitch, free craft articles, doll making, folk art, primitive, country, seasonal, mixed media, abstract art, scrap-booking, e-products, crazy quilting, quilting, vintage, Victorian, shabby chic, printables, beading, gardening, food, altered art, candle making, Americana, holiday, animal crafts, wool felting, textile, food crafts, applique, basket making, abstract art, contemporary art, creative embroidery, watercolor art, wearable art, ribbon crafts, crewel, decorative painting, crochet, digital art, graphic art, dried floral design, fiber art, weaving, wedding crafts, baby crafts, fragrance crafts, gourd painting, home decor,paper crafts, jewelry making, lamp making, rug making, soap making, stamping, stenciling, tie-dying, pottery, handbag making, purse making, totes making, pocketbook making, polymer clay, potpourri, etc. blogs by the best artists and crafters on the web listed on our Top Blogs By Crafters toplist.

Well, we have grown so LARGE that we have decided to temporarily suspend new membership in our toplist on GoTop100.com. 

 However, we do have GOOD NEWS!  New membership in our Top Blogs By Crafters blog is STILL OPEN and you can join us there by clicking HERE.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Betterfly - An Interesting Concept For Arts & Crafts Teachers Or Anyone With A Teachable Skill

If you're a reader of my Linda's Blog or Tips For Crafters On the Web you know how much I like to "play" online and try out different websites.

You also know from my "I Love Crafts & Craft Blogs" that I love arts & crafts and would like to learn just about every kind of arts & crafts category there is.

Unfortunately, with a list like the following: Altered Art, Americana, Angels/Faeries, Animal Crafts, Apparel Making, Applique, Art, ATC's, Baby Crafts, Baskets, Bead Crafts, Bear Making, Birds and Birdhouses, Bridal Crafts, Broom Crafts, Cake Decorating, Calligraphy, Candle Making, Card Making, Cartoon Drawing, Carving, Ceramics, Children's Crafts, Christmas Crafts, Clay, Cloth Crafts, Colonial Crafts, Computerized Sewing, Cottage Crafts, Country Crafts, Crazy Quilting, Creative Embroidery, Crewel, Crocheting, Cross-Stitch, Cupcake Crafts, Decorative Painting, Deco Art, Decoupage, Digital Art, Doll Making, Dried Florals, Drawing and Sketching, Dyeing, Egg Art, Embellishing, Embroidery, Fabric Art, Felted Crafts, Fiber Arts, Floral Crafts, Folkart, Food Crafts, Fragrance Crafts, Garden Crafts, General Arts and Crafts, Glass Art, Gourd Art, Graphics, Hat Making, Home Decor, Holiday Crafts, Illustrations, Japanese Crafts, Machine Embroidery, Miniatures, Mixed Media, Mosaics, Native American Crafts, Needle Felting, Needlepoint, Origami, Painting, Paper Crafts, Papier Mache, Pen and Ink Crafts, Penny Rugs, Pet Crafts, Photography, Plastic Crafts, Plush Crafts, Pocketbook Making, Polymer Clay, Porcelain Crafts, Pottery, Primitives, Printables, Punch Needle, Punched Tin, Quilling, Quilting, Retro Crafts, Ribbon Crafts, Rubber Stamping, Rug Making, Rusty Tin Crafts, Santa's, Sculpey, Sculpture, Scrapbooking, Seasonal Crafts, Sewing, Shabby Chic, Silk Florals, Stamping, Stationary Design, Soap Making, Spinning, Stenciling, Stitchery, Tatting, Terra-cotta Crafts, Textile Art, Tile Crafts, Tole Painting, TyeDying, Victorian Crafts, Videography, Vintage Crafts, Watercolors, Wearable Art, Weaving, Wedding Crafts, Wire Art, Wood Crafts, Woodland Crafts, Woodworking, Wool Felt Crafts, Wreath Making, and Yard Crafts it would be nearly impossible for me to learn everything on the list.

For me there just isn't enough time in the day or within my lifetime to learn everything I want to learn.  My list is just way too long. But I'd like to try.

Given the above, when I received an email from Jeremy over at Betterfly my curiosity was piqued. Here's what Jeremy's email said:

Hi Linda,

I recently came across your crafts blog, which I really enjoyed reading, and so I wanted to introduce myself. I work for Betterfly.com which among other things, has one of the largest directories of craft teachers in the U.S.(http://betterfly.com/category/crafts-hobbies-amp-games). It provides a lot of utility for people who teach or want to learn about crafts and is also good for finding activity partners.

Betterfly has been featured in the New York Times and was named one of the top 10 job sites for service providers--like craft teachers--who are looking to turn their service into a paid gig.

I wanted to get on your radar, and I hope you'll have the opportunity to check out the site and pass it along to your readers, colleagues and friends if you like it.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I'd welcome the chance to give you more information either by email or phone.

Thank you,


I thought, "Now that's an interesting concept. I should check it out." So I did.

Well, if I wanted to learn just about anything on my enormous list then Betterfly would be a good place to start.

Betterfly is a website that, according to them, helps you "Be Better. At Anything."

Betterfly is the free and easy way to find the best people - not companies - to help you learn, look and feel better.

When you're looking for someone to whip you into shape, push back your cuticles, or teach you how to handle a knife (in the kitchen!), Betterfly matches you with the best person for you. It's that simple. Because nobody's perfect.
We all have a talent to offer. You might already be a dance teacher, speech coach, hairstylist, or SAT tutor. Or you might be really good at something and want to earn some moola doing that thing you do. Betterfly gives you the free resources to easily create your own page and connect to the people looking for you.
So, if you're an arts & crafts teacher or service provider (like a hairstylist or barber) Betterfly provides you with the ability to attract more customers by becoming a "Betterist."  And, if you're someone looking to find someone who could teach you something (like knitting or sewing, or how to draw, etc.) then Betterfly can help match you up with someone in your area who can do that.

And, they go one step further.  Not only can you search for "Betterists" by criteria but you can book appointments, read reviews of their services, and check when they may or may not be available.

Each of the "Betterists" can create a mini "Betterist Site" website that contains 6 tab pages: an overview tab that tells perspective clients about themselves, a services tab that tells what they have to offer,  an availability tab which provides a calendar of when they are available and allows prospective clients to book an appointment, a qualification & reviews tab which lists their education and experience as well as reviews of their services by clients, a resources tab where you can add a photo or a document or a video or an audio file, and a blog tab where the "Betterist" can create blog posts.

Clients or users of the Betterfly website also have a personal profile page where they can write reviews of the "Betterists" and list their goals, interests, activity partners, and their Betterists.

There is also a dashboard that tracks messages, notifications, and account settings.  It also contains information for the Betterist on their appointments, earnings, clients, analytics, marketing tools, and their booking & payment settings.  For the clients the personal profile section of the dashboard tracks appointments (upcoming and past), transactions (current, past, and Betterfly Buck), interests and activity partners.

Clients or users can pay for the services they want through Betterfly and Betterists can specify whether or not they will allow users to pay them through Betterfly.  According to Betterfly: The client who is booking the appointment pays no fee at all, other than the cost of your appointment, of course. The Betterist accepting payment pays gets charged a 5% fee on all money received online. So if you get paid $50 for your piano lesson, Betterfly will put $47.50 into your account. We call money received online for an appointment Earnings. The 5% is a small fee that helps Betterfly cover some of its costs, such as credit card processing fees.

Betterists do have some control over who can book them and pay for their services through Betterfly.  According to Betterfly: Betterfly has created a number of cool features to put you in control. One option allows you to limit online booking and payment to just Clients you’ve already worked with. Another feature allows you to set a cancellation policy whereby anyone who books you online must pay you in advance and loses 100% of the service cost if he cancels- and there are many more options for you to discover.

For the clients or users who are booking different "Betterists" services being able to pay through the Betterfly website is very convenient.  For the "Betterist" having the Betterfly website handle the payment process is also very convenient.

One of the ways to pay is through Betterfly Bucks which clients or users can use. According to Betterfly: Betterfly Bucks are currency used on Betterfly to do everything from paying for appointments with Betterists who accept them to giving gifts to friends. The only type of Betterfly Bucks that can be redeemed for money are Betterfly Bucks that have been Earned.

If you are teacher or a personal services provider (like a hairdresser, etc.) then Betterfly is a very interesting concept. When you think about all the different areas for learning and all the different personal services there are then the possibilities for matching consumers with the right "Betterist" become endless.

However, you don't just have to be a professional service provider or a teacher. Betterfly could as easily be used by students seeking another student as a tutor and vice versa. Someone to help them become just a little bit better at something they want to learn.

Right now most of the application seems to be matching users with Betterists in their area.  However, I don't see why it couldn't also be applied to e-classes, especially e-classes where the instructor is available for chats at specified days and hours.

Expanding this concept to include e-classes would considerably widen the playing field. Think of all the possibilities for learning something from the best person in their field despite where they are located.  The application of e-classes would truly expand matching the right user with the right Betterist - no matter where they are located in the world.

Betterfly is an interesting concept not only for arts & crafts teachers but for anyone who has a teachable skill.

Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Example Of The Power Of Facebook With Corporate America

I thought you all might be interested in the following story which is just a simple illustration of the power of Facebook with corporate America. It's in regards to a cross-stitch kit that I finished from Dimensions (aka EK Success Brands).

Last December 2010 after I finished my "M'Lady's Chateau - Dimensions Gold Collection Cross-Stitch Kit" I decided to tell Dimensions about my review of their kit that I had written on my "Linda's Blog" and on my "The Book Review Corner Blog."   So, I went to their EK Success Brand website and filled out their contact form.  I received an email on 1/1/2011 saying someone would contact me.

Well, I never heard anything in response so today, February 14, 2011 I thought I'd visit their website again to see if they had an address I could send a letter to. Well, to my delight, they had a Facebook link to their EK Success Brand Facebook page. So, I thought well let's see if they'll answer a Facebook comment.  So I "liked" it so I could make a comment and posted the following to their wall:

"I thought you might be interested in my review of M'Lady's Chateau - Dimensions Gold Collection Cross-Stitch Kit that I finished at http://thebookreviewcorner.blogspot.com/2010/12/lindas-review-of-mladys-chateau.html and more about it on my Linda's Blog here - http://lindawalshoriginals.blogspot.com/2010/12/you-spent-how-many-hours-on-that-cross.html. Have a great day. Linda"

I also posted the same comment to their review page after rating them with 4 out of 5 stars.

Well, within two hours of posting that to their EK Success Brand Facebook page I received the following comment on my "The Book Review Corner Blog" review post :

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,
First, we are so happy to hear you love the way your design turned out. It certainly was a labor of love!

Secondly, you might be pleased to know that this was a design we produced some years ago, and we have since made a number of changes to how we create our instructions and charts. Many of the comments you made were things that we have addressed, such as the issue you had with the same symbol in different colors. We really appreciate your comments as this kind of feedback helps us to become even better at what we do.

Your framed piece is GORGEOUS--well done!

Kristel Adair
Product Development, Dimensions

Well, I was thrilled that I had finally gotten a response and so happy to know that they thought my framed piece was gorgeous.  I'll have to remember to tell the Art Emporium that the next time I'm in their store.

I had bought my kit last year, but I don't know how long my particular kit was at the website I had bought it from.  It's good to know that they had already addressed some of the issues I had mentioned in my post and that they are happy to receive comments from their customers.  I wonder if they'll address the rest.

My comment and the quick response I got from Ek Success Brand - Dimensions just shows you the power of Facebook with corporate america.

The lesson I learned is "If you want to get in touch with a company see if they have a Facebook page. And, if they do, post a comment on their wall."

Thanks, Kristel for responding so quickly. I appreciate that.

Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Friday, January 07, 2011

Wow! Look At All We Accomplished This Year!

It seems like 2010 was a very busy year, indeed! And, our "Tips For Crafters On The Web" blog was busy as well.

For 2010 we managed to tell you about the following:

We showed you how to change your blog from a 2-column blog to a 3-column blog in our "Linda's How-Do-I Series: Changing My Blog From 3-Columns To 4-Columns" post.

We showed you how to create an HTML box in our post "Linda's How-Do-I Series: How To Create An HTML Text Box."

We told you about Blogger.com's new pagination feature in our blog post "Blogger.com New Auto Pagination Feature???????"

We told you about a ton of changes we had made to our "Everything E-Directory" in our blog post "We Have Been Busy! So Many Changes To Our Everything E-Directory - WOW!"

We told you about some new changes on our "Top Blogs By Crafters Toplist" in our blog post "A Fresh Coat of Paint and Leveling The Playing Field!"

We revealed the results of our blog versus newsletter experiment in our blog post "The Results Of My BIG, BOLD & PROGRESSIVE STEP!"

We updated the information in our photo hosting series in our blog post "Photo Hosting Websites For Crafters - There's So Much To Offer Nowadays!"

We spend a lot of time researching and creating list for you about "Just Exactly Who Are All These Social Networking, Social News Sharing, Social Cataloging, Social Shopping, and Social Bookmarking Services Websites?" were and posted the following:

Who Are All The Social Tools and Aggregator Websites?

Then, we previewed the widget from Box.net and wrote about it in our blog post "Preview and Download Widget From Box.Net Is Terrific For Blogs and Websites."

After that we reviewed a photo collage website and posted about it in our blog post "I've Been Playing Again! This Time With A Collage Photo Tool Website."

We tested the upload speed of all our websites and challenged you to do the same in our blog post "How Fast Does Your Website Or Blog Load?"

We told you "We've Got Wonderful News - Top Blogs By Crafters Toplist Has Its Own Blog Now!"

We reviewed a personalized card making website and posted about it in our blog post "I've Been Playing, Again! This Time With A Personalized Card Website."

Last, but not least, we reviewed InLinkZ.com and wrote about it in our blog post "I Just Love InLinkZ.com and Our Doll Hops!"

It's been a very busy year, indeed!

But, there was so much more we wanted to tell you about.  We just ran out of time.

Oh, well!  There's always next year.