Well… Here Be Me

It is after midnight, the time when ghosts rove about, picking on foolish mortals. The time when all good Witches are busily, industriously stirring their cauldrons or joy riding on broomsticks. The time when… all good grrls are snugly in their beds. So, here I am, not in bed, am I? What does that tell you!

I am annoyed with my Internet connection. I am kindly paying the jumped up fee of $40 a month to have the mystical, magical DSL connection. Yet, except for the odd moment, I feel I am still on dial up. I’m typing this, waiting for my connection to catch up and show me the letters I’m typing. True, I type fast, not that fast however. When I can’t see my typing I make mistakes and have to go back and fix them. This is annoying. It makes me punish my poor innocent keyboard. I glare at the flashing lights of the DSL modem sitting on top of my tower. Then there are those really self important, smug icons sitting in the bar down below. I can see them as I type. They just remain dark, tormenting me with the odd, random flash, just to humour me. No matter how many times I tell it to “MOVE!” in a nice way, it just ignores me. No doubt it laughs once I have given up and gone to bed.

I was at Focus again today. Not hugely productive. But, I do know what I need to do to get the next application going. This one is for the Professional Writer certificate course, online learning. She isn’t sure it will be accepted. She says it will be a hard one. But, so few things I do are easy. It’s like I look for the hard nut to crack, just to see if I am the one who can pull the mighty sword from the stone. How silly of me. But, you can’t get away from yourself. Each time you stop, there she is, that same silly woman.

I’ve thought about the plus side of having a split personality before. One of me could have all the silly, useless stuff and the other could be that perfect woman hiding out waiting for the silly one to cut it out. We just don’t get that kind of option though. It says on the lease, only one occupant.

So, here I am, still. Surrounded by options, waiting for me to find out how to become my own Calvary.

Analyzing your Home Business Competition

Steps of Analyzing your Home Business Competition: “Aaron Wilmont

How to Analyze your Business Competition

As you initially launch your home based business enterprise, it is extremely importany that you analyze your competition in an unbiased fashion, thus gaining insights which will be required for success. This is perhaps the most important portion of your overallbusiness plan, and it is ignored by many upstarts entrepreneurs, sadly enough.

If you are ready to launch your home business, the beginning step is to analyze your competition before your quit your primary job. In fact, you will want to set aside a particular frame of time to look at your competition and gain the essential business ‘intel’. A few of the components that you should directly observe include, but are not limited to, their sales copy, unique competitive advantage and marketing/advertising postion. Do not fail to look at any of these critical areas; it is indeed essential that you cover each one of them. Be certain to talk with your competition whenever you can, realizing that most business owners, believe it or not, really do enjoy discussing their home business ventures since they are so near and dear to their hearts. Really, it is much like parents enjoy discussing their kids in many cases. Just invite another business owner to lunch and be sure it is on you.

Of course, you might be somewhat better off conversing with an out-of-town competitor since you assuredly do not want them to be suspicious regarding another competitor in close range. If your home based business enterprise will be limited to a certain geographic region, then go a bit outside of that region. And be sure to use the power of the internet to spy on your competitors as well. This is quite common nowadays, actually. Services like whowhere.com can really help, and there plenty of others to choose from also. Another way to obtain this kind of data is to buy something from your competitors. You will then recieve their promotional print and/or vouchers, and you will learn what there prices are, which services that they have and how comprehensive their customer service is. If they ship a product, you will learn whether or not they ship their products quickly. This partcular knowledge could give you a major competitive advantage. In addition, you may desire to check out the quality of the products for yourself. You will probably get further insights that you ever could have considered otherwise. If their enterpride happens to be a service, you may easily see the results for yourself. It may be a good idea to be honest about what you are doing when you are going about this market research with your competitors, as you will wish to avoid a bad reputation with them.

Ironically enouph, looking at your home business competitors will give you many great opportunities for self-contemplation. Self-contemplation is simply what you think about yourself and how you define yourself and your business in general.

Remember, Your home based business enterprise might get off to a slow start, steadily adding customers as you become more and more established over time. Of course, it could possibly take off like a storm, rapidly gaining momentum to the point where it simply too hot for you to handle on your own. How well you analyze your home business competition beforehand will have a great deal to do with either of these two outcomes. Keep in mind that all successful businesses analyze their competition both with a startegic mindset and tactical one. As a geanral rule of thumb, in fact, the more scuccessful the firm the more closely they analyze the others in their field.

Aaron Wilmont is a work from home business entrepreneur and runs a home based business matchmaking service. More information at http://www.home-business-match.com

Killed the Blog

I have temporarily (I think) deleted the blog which was going to be the zine for writers and publishers. I got fed up with just moderating spam and not doing anything else with it cause I’m just too busy. Plus, the damned thing was not accepting any of my logins, for some weird reason. So I punished it with death. Who says I’m sweet and nice all the time.. 😉

I have to rethink my busuiness proposal. I heard back from Ruby today. I really don’t know what to do. I thought about it here for awhile. Then I drove out and bought some SkinnyCow to whimper into quietly while I thought some more. Then I washed the dishes and came upstairs back to the computer. I thought and cried and felt totally hopeless. How can I figure out how I fit in when I have NEVER in my life ever fit in? That was in essence what Ruby said. She’s right too, I know it.

I picked web design cause it was an easy label. Something I could do, where there were fairly set rules and expectations. I could do it. I wasn’t honestly wild about it. I do love the design and the possibilities but it’s something I would rather do for fun than on a schedule or to some other person’s needs/ wants/ plans. I’m not a good rule follower.

I don’t know where that leaves me. Ruby didn’t want to be discouraging and I told her (and John) that I’m not discouraged but I am. Tonight at least. I don’t know where I fit in. Sure I have some interesting skills and yes I under value everything myself. That doesn’t mean I’m going to change over night and become super woman, able to leap tall office furntiure and eat bullets, while spinning china plates on top of my head.

So I’m here, thinking.

I know what I really want to do. I just don’t see how to make it practical or profitable for a business venture/ plan. I want to write that Internet zine. I want to talk about what I know about the Internet, web publishing, search engines, site navigation, blogging, ASCII art, and all of the rest rolled up into one big pile of duct tape. How do I make that a business? I don’t see it. I know there are a lot of people babbling about money making blogs but they do it by spamming and having afiliate links. I don’t want to spread the spam, promote the garbage or create more of it myself especially.

Somehow I have to find a niche where people need me, must have whatever it is I have to offer. I need to believe in myself too but lets not get carried away, I only have a week at the very most to revamp the proposal.

I was looking at the 9rules network tonight. It’s funny how many people get in with something like that and then disappear. No commitment to sticking around I guess. I have been with BackWash since 2001, even though I took a year off and just came back. That is still 3 plus years of posting each week, seldom missing a week at any time during those years.

Where do I fit in? Don’t answer that. I’m just talking to myself. I don’t expect an anser from god or anyone else. 🙂

Slackers, Monsters and Anal Clones

I like my screen resolution but apparently it’s bigger than most or the standard at least. So everything in my blog appears great to me but not so great to those working in standard mode. I will make template changes to adjust for that. Sometime this week maybe.

Other news… well not a lot really. I miss John even though we haven’t managed to meet yet. I do the girl thing and think about the future, the ring, the life together. I skip the whole wedding and dating part. That’s the boring stuff. Even while I’m spinning my little daydreams I know how stupid it really is to think about any of it. For all I know he will see me and run screaming in the other direction. I am not quite Miss World. I know I’m not unattractive, but at times the flaws seem to hang over the good parts like a starving monster with very sharp, pointy (and dirty and crooked) teeth. I can feel a drop of monster slobber run down my back.

I should be writing today. Instead I am poking around not accomplishing a lot. I really wish I could be one of those disciplined, organized, ever so dutiful, perfect, normal, battery operated people. Sometimes. If I had a switch I could turn on and off that would be just great. Although, I have a feeling the anal.. I mean worker bee version of me might get the idea of breaking the switch so she could keep full control all the time. What a bitch. Inside, where the real me would be, I’d be telling her she’s no fun, has no creative spark and really what does any of her work matter. Who cares if the bed gets made every day, really? Are you going to preserve it, put plastic over it to keep it precisely perfect forever. Where will you sleep anal clone woman?

Anyway, none of that is really happening. I am still me, the slacker with too many great ideas.

Adventures in Skimming

Another oldie. I saved them all for some reason.

Adventures in Skimming
Saturday August 11, 2001

Why are people always telling me to follow instructions. I skim, isn’t that enough? You don’t mean you expect me to actually read all of that stuff on my screen?

I know some people who really do read all the instructions cover to cover before they begin anything. I tried that in school but now I’m over it. I use common sense, logic and rely on the good luck of the Irish to see me through. Its worked out so far, most of the time. When something really gets screwed up I can either blab my way through or find some way to work around it.

Besides, its more of an adventure if you don’t quite know what you’re doing. If you start with all the answers you might miss an opportunity to learn from the struggle of screwing up… umm I mean, trying it yourself, your own unique way.

Anyway, I just don’t like someone telling me what to do. That sort of thing. Most of the time it all works out just great. I’ve had all kinds of adventures since getting started with computers. I dig into my registry for those stragglers of files I deleted. My husband just cringes each time I restart my computer. But, it always restarts.

Well, there was that one time but it wasn’t my dabbling in the registry it was a new program I loaded that just didn’t like me or my computer. Turns out it didn’t like anyone. When I reformatted the computer and got back online I discovered the program had some major bugs. It was killing everyone’s computer, not just mine. So, it wasn’t just because I didn’t read the instructions. I did, momentarily, wish I had taken those reviews on the site seriously. But, that would have meant reading all of them, not just skimming the first couple. Oh well, it all worked out in the end. I learned how to reformat my hard drive. Yet another adventure!

The internet itself is full of adventures. At times I’ve wished there was more than email, newsgroups and the web. I know there are MUDs on telnet and those other fading sections of the net. I’ve never been able to get any telnet client to fully function. Maybe, someday, I will read the instructions. Maybe, not likely.

Anyway, there is so much just on the web itself. I can start on a weblog and end up reading about the ultimate destruction of Yahoo, why aliens are green, how Canadians are plotting their own world dominance, or someone’s personal life struggles. There is nothing like a weblog, the next best thing is a personal website. People find the most amazing things to link to.

Well, looks like I’ve lost my focus yet again. Seems to happen to me all the time. I just start writing about one thing and ten other topics hijack my brain. So, what did I start writing about… Oh well, to find out I’d have to go back to the top and read all that stuff I already wrote. I’ll skim it when I finish downloading that new tetris freeware.

Creating Garbage Websites on Purpose

Here is a blog all about spamming, using blogs. As someone who writes content for blogs and etc, and an editor for a web directory which gets a ton of spam garbage just like this every day, reading this makes me want to delete them all, why even bother reviewing them.

But, one trend I have noticed is a new respect for the personal site. Before they were chucked aside like the most amateur self-centred trash. Now, the trash isn’t the personal sites with their rambles and rants and unique graphics. The new trash are the commercial and professional sites.

I’ve always favoured the personal sites. But now I have a tendency to disfavour the commercial sites, whereas I used to have no real opinion either way. These days I’m harder on them and look into them a lot more before deciding whether or not to list them.

If they keep flooding the Internet with garbage eventually it will just be one big dump and there will be nothing to come for. But, they don’t care. If they cared they wouldn’t be such users in the first place.