Tuesday, August 27, 2013

We get mail...strange marketing mail. I am involved in a covert TP operation.

We rarely get products in the mail to test out; maybe we're not in the right zip code. One time I wrote about the joys of the Swiffer (this was when it first came out), and wrote about it on my web site (this was pre-PHB), and Procter & Gamble sent me one of their first WetJets. Guess the PR people scanned the web for positive reviews and rewarded customers with some (useful) swag.

That's the last time I recall receiving "free stuff" of value in the mail. Well, today I received a little box marked "Top Secret Info For..." and "Remember: Just Act Natural" and "Scott Secret Swap" on it.

What could it be?

Had to hot foot it into the house to open the box. My guess was correct -- if it's Scott, it must be a roll of TP.

One can only hope that "Scott Naturals" -- whatever that means -- is less tortuous than standard 1000-sheet Scott TP. That traditional one is like sandpaper. Apparently, the "Naturals" series is made out of recycled material.

This campaign is kind of amusing.

Swap out the roll you’re using now with a roll of Scott Naturals™ without telling your family.
If you find yourself in danger of being discovered, just follow these three simple steps:

SWAP your roll for Scott Naturals™.
WATCH as your family never notices.
ROLL on without sacrificing quality.

Remember your training, and good luck.
The box also came with a coupon for $1.25 off of a pack of 12, so I guess the company is pretty anxious to crack into the eco-friendly heinie wipe market. Scott has gone so hog-wild on this covert campaign concept that it also has this Top Secret Video (oops, I'm declassifying the mission!):

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Advocate asks - Is Pam's House Blend Impossible to Reproduce?

I laughed when I saw this headline at the Advocate's web site -- you only see it when you share the article on social media such as Facebook. The actual headline is:

Good to the last drop - Pam's House Blend"Good To The Last Drop:
After a decade as the loudest — and sometimes only — digital voice in the South coming from an out woman of color, Pam’s House Blend closed up shop July 1. Now she may never be replaced."

I was interviewed a few weeks ago by The Advocate's Sunnivie Brydum about the end of the Blend's run and completely forgot about it -- I've been snowed under on the day job that I've held all during the nine-year run of the blog. It's what keeps the roof over my head; blogging was never profitable for me, and I explained why in the piece:
"Despite its countless accolades and ever-increasing traffic, the Blend never gained the type of financial foothold that some more mainstream, news-heavy LGBT blogs have secured. Spaulding believes the reason behind that is two-fold. First, Spaulding’s refusal to run what she calls “skin ads” — services targeting gay men with often racy images — that pay handsomely, kept the Blend’s earning potential relatively limited. And, “while the work at [The Blend] was important, it didn’t necessarily entertain in the same manner as those blogs that would generate advertising of that sort anyway,” says Spaulding, referring to higher-traffic sites largely targeted to and run by gay men like Towleroad, Joe.My.God, and Queerty. “At the same time, [Blend] readers were looking for connections to the content to their lives as LGBTs, people of color, people not from gay ghettos. That kind of content may generate awards, and reach readers of influence, and even get me invited to speak on the panels at important conferences, but it doesn’t pay the bills.
Which is why, throughout the Blend’s existence, Spaulding held down a full-time job in addition to her tenacious blogging. But the toll of working essentially two full-time jobs — while only receiving the salary of one — eventually wore on Spaulding, who struggles with several chronic health conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. A decade of hard work depleted Spaulding’s reserves to the point that she decided to close up shop in July."
And about the question regarding the Blend being impossible to reproduce --  it's true -- and not because of yours truly, but because "new media," blogs and traditional news media were in a very different state way back in 2004. Would a black lesbian (and unknown) voice producing a political blog out of NC even be noticed in 2013? Read the article and weigh in.

I love the bit at the end of this piece (I didn't suggest it, btw):

"Spaulding still maintains a personal blog at PamSpaulding.net, where she writes about non-political passions including health, pit bull advocacy, and her favorite — if much-maligned — band, Journey."

Yeah, baby!

Journey sampler

We have a new addition to the furry family - Malia the pit bull

We brought in Malia -- adopted from the Wake County Animal Shelter. She's about 3 years old, has probably had one litter. She's spayed now, of course. She's sweet, quiet and is very housetrained. Not one mistake in the house during this first 3 weeks with us!

We weren't looking for another pit bull, but she stood out in the crowd because she had just the right temperament, quiet, cuddly, and playful. Not high-energy, just loves to run in the backyard.

Casey, our other pit, is taking it well -- she's so passive that she's barely growled a couple of times, and has even played with Malia. A few photos: