Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday Monday

Whew, Monday mornings can be so rough. By 9am, I feel like I've been bombarded with a week's worth of incoming, well, somethings. My email inbox was chockfull and after weeding out the crap, writing a couple timely replies, following all the links, reading the announcements which led to more links, trails which led up and around and back again, plus a smattering of other stuff to do or follow up on or shelve for later . . . I'm tuckered out and my brain is spinning.

What I woke up wanting to write about is sort of lost in the ether now. I vaguely remember wanting to explain why I'm doing this whole blog thing, but the crisp little sentences and poignant musings are all swirled up in the days news and my to do list for this week.

First and foremost, what I've come to understand as the years have passed in this business, is that my products, my sales, my ideas and my inspiration have all pretty much come from one source -- my relationships: with my customers, many whom have become friends during the course of this journey; with other artists and crafters who are facing similar challenges; and with the community around me. Rather than pass my little home business off as a corporate structure with an sterile office of professional employees, it makes much more sense to be upfront and honest about who and what this is all about. I feel that if I open up the entire experience, show people what goes into the work, who is working the little buttons and levers on the other side of the curtain, that the fun begins. Not only do people have a clear understanding of what they are actually buying and supporting, but I get to have more interaction with who is interested in what I'm doing. The synchronicity will hopefully spark all kinds of new opportunities. I'm not sure what, exactly. But I'm hopeful that the dialogue will be interesting and the exercise itself produces new beginnings.

Plus, blogging is what all the cool kids are doing now, heh.

But on a very serious level, blogging IS the wave of the future. Books and articles are coming out every day on who is doing it, why they are doing it and what is the benefit of doing it. As in all things, I'm not that strategic or on the ball. I'm just wandering around a little aimlessly, picking up on what interests me. But this past year, I've spent increased time on the computer reading other people's blogs of every persuasion, participating in all kinds of message boards, surfing in general, just playing with all the new toys on the net. It's fun. I like it. Maybe because so much of my day is spent working alone in the little casa without a lot of social interaction -- but no matter how big your job or your office, you still would never see the variety and sheer volume of conversations about every topic on earth that you can peep into online.

So the word on the street is that the internet is changing the way people think. And yes it does, in a way. But only for the folks playing, which still doesn't seem to be the majority of people out there. But typing a little witty banter here and there . . it is very, very easy to connect with others who have the same mindset, state some sensible opinion and suddenly there are others that agree with you and before you know it, it sounds like the tide is turning and the mood has changed. Intellectuals who have been watching and measuring this phenomenon think big things are occurring in our culture. I'm not entirely convinced. But corporations seem to think there is a minefield in the blogosphere and message boards, according to an article in the Seattle Times this morning. They are developing software to track mentions of products/trade names etc to see how often they are talked about and categorized into positive/negative. Sort of an extension of market research, in order to follow trends and develop new business strategies. Pretty clever, and supposedly has already had some success.

It's a no brainer that trendspotters would keep an eye out on the internet chatter. What empowered me this morning in reading that, is that YES we can actually influence what is going on around us. Pile on! Jump into the conversation and be heard. Make comments, post your own little ramblings whenever and wherever you can. It does make a difference. Even if only two people are reading this little post, maybe some tracker type thingie is catching one or two of my posts and it's getting registered in a database somewhere. Who knows? It could happen. The more we chat up what's important in our lives, what we think, how we feel about current events and just plain old daily life stuff -- the more the "powers that be" or folks who hold all the money bags will hear us. That's a powerful concept.

So I'm not going to start bombarding the place with little hissy political rants and sermonettes. mumblemumblemumble handcrafted stuff is way better than Wal-Mart mumblemumblemumble But I am going to talk about the stuff I like, the stuff that inspires me, and occassionally mention the bad stuff that spoils the party. And you all can agree or disagree or bring up something else altogether. Let's keep talking.