Wednesday, June 29, 2011
my friends and i have been chatting about reciprocity lately, particularly pertaining to the blogosphere and our 'lives' online, and i've realised that perhaps there are some things that need to be said. this conversation was sparked by a comment directed at me recently when i offered to blog about a friend of a friend's product. being such an exuberant person, i probably get a little carried away sometimes, wanting everyone to 'get online' and get a little exposure. i suggested an idea that would require next to no effort to execute, and the aforementioned person's response was, "all you bloggers just want free stuff" - the product costs R45. now, i don't know about you, but i found that pretty insulting and in bad taste. he actually looked a little embarrassed after, sheepish perhaps, upon the realisation that he'd suggested i would go to all the effort of photographing and blogging his R45 product, losing hours of my life, just so i could get it for free. i am currently working on two freelance projects which take up 7 days of my week, leaving little time to waste on cooking up grand plans of scoring free R45 products, i can assure you. i mentioned it to a blogger friend and he remarked that he'd been experiencing a similar attitude lately. it's clear that a few brands have been 'burnt' by some bloggers.
now here's where i'm going to bring up reciprocity. if people find your product/shop/restaurant/business/service via a blogger, it's courteous to thank them at some point. if you google your product/shop/restaurant/business/service and find that bloggers mentions of it are amongst the first results, perhaps even spanning pages on google, it's courteous to thank those bloggers. you won't believe how far an invitation for a cup of coffee or a reciprocal mention on your blog or twitter feed goes. now i know the problem arises when people expect things for mentioning your brand but nothing can be done about that. bloggers that lie about their stats in an attempt to make money from their blogs will all soon be shown up by a new system - but if you have an agreement with a blogger, honour it.
blog posts take between 1 and 5 hours to complete, sometimes even longer. social media raises your brand profile, creates brand awareness and leads to sales. recently, a local business owner thanked all his brand fans by personally delivering a gift pack of hot chocolate to them, during the first cold spate this winter. this was an overture of grand proportions, and incredibly generous, but was a gesture that cannot possibly be emulated by small businesses due to the expense of such reciprocity! it was also a well executed marketing plan that delivered a delicious product into the hands of bloggers, with personal notes and attention to detail. gift bags are customary at launches, only in this case, the gift bags were delivered to people who market goods via a new medium. perhaps we could all do with a little reminder about the cost of advertising: the smallest spots in magazines and newspapers start at roughly R1000 in a community paper and slightly bigger magazine ads cost as much as R250 000 a year. yes, a quarter of a million rand. i'm not even going to get into the expense of radio and television spots. some local blogs pull thousands of people per day, who actively choose to read that specific blog, so if you're investing in sponsoring bloggers (within reason), you've made a wise and cost effective choice. like a blogger friend of mine once said: "i don't expect anything. i do it because i love it. if someone wants to thank me, that's wonderful, but i don't expect anything." i like his vibe.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
limited edition diana mini jiyu - exposure gallery
knitted cloud cushions - elsy & vine
roland piano - marshall music cape town
donna wilson cloud cushions
donna wilson ceramics
a new macbook, an ipad and an iphone...ok, so basically a 'trolley dash' through an istore
beth katleman's scuptures
cocotte by le creuset from yuppiechef
danish dining set, similar to those found at vamp
wooden lamps from casamento
i'm moving in a month and need to make a fresh start, which has prompted me to make the mother of all wishlists in aid of christmas in july.
wow! the amazing guys over at exposure gallery at the biscuit mill, just dropped off this beautiful fujifilm instanx 210, along with my blog competition winner's prize! i am too excited to use it!!! the best part is that their prices on cameras have dropped dramatically - your eyes will jump clean out of their sockets if you check out their reduced prices! so drop them an email/tweet @exposuregallery/call or visit exposure gallery to ask about their camera prices.
Monday, June 27, 2011
i spent my last day in stanford visiting one of my dearest friends, at her gorgeous cottage in the village. i've always marvelled at janika's ability to transform every space she lives in into a warm and welcoming home. i only found out this weekend, that janika was one year short of her fine arts and architecture degrees before she left sa (for tumultuous waters aboard her boyfriends yacht, for almost ten years) - which explains her natural aptitude for aesthetics! i love her beautiful home and the wonderful life she's created for her two gorgeous daughters - i only wish she'd find a way to get into interior decorating, so we could all benefit from her natural gift.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
i've been obsessed with terrariums for a while, yet never tried to make one but weekends spent at home due to fierce cape winter weather equals time for crafting. so here's a really cool tutorial here
my sojourn in stanford this weekend included a long breakfast at graze, and a cured meat tasting. passionate owner and chef jero, treated me to slivers of the finest italian cured meats i've ever had in my life. as i fed the beast in my belly with a famous graze breakfast wrap, my eyes were drawn to the lunch menu, chalked on a huge board running the length of the cafe - think star ingredients such as salsicce, bresaola and dishes like bruschetta with fennel and goats cheese to start, 'brodo di polo' for mains and warm chocolate pudding as a final chapter. jero's better half catch arrived and took me on a guided tour of their award-winning vegetable and herb garden, where all the fresh ingredients used in the dishes at graze are sourced from. catch and jero have worked hard to have this picture book life, which includes being the parents to gorgeous twin boys, luca and fabio, owning graze and tending to a beautiful country home and veggie garden. they're planning to offer foodie weekends from around august, so keep up with them on twitter for all the details.
read all about graze here in my previous blog post. details below:
graze - slow food cafe - 21 queen victoria street, stanford
graze is open for dinner on fridays, and breakfast, lunch and dinner on saturdays only, so book to avoid disappointment at info at grazecafe.co.za
accommodation suggestion for your weekend in stanford: pizbrooke country cottage - reservations at stanfordvillage.com
Friday, June 24, 2011
i'm working from my mom's new coffee shop, inside her hotel in stanford (that's her pictured at the table). isn't it cute? she serves truth coffee here. fashion forward, ne? come swing by for a devastatingly delish flat white next to the fire :)
my bicycle 'violet' is a model. this month, she's in oprah magazine. she's also been in cosmo (with me riding her in their 'top 100 cool list'), on kim gray's blog, i think she's been in sarie magazine and she's on the 36boutiques blog. what a rock star.