I love Pocket. Whenever I read an interesting article online (or just see the headline of an article I want to read later), I send it to Pocket where it sits, waiting for me. Sometimes when I finally sit down and open Pocket it’s a bit overwhelming. It’s like an amazing magazine of interesting stuff I’ve curated for myself.
Today, I have a link pack of some of those articles. They all involve blogging, sewing, small business, or podcasts because those are the topics I’m interested in most. Here’s what’s in my Pocket right now.
Helen Zaltzman is a pioneer in the world of podcasting, having started her show, Answer Me This, with friend, Olly Mann, in 2007. The show is clever and funny. In this piece for the Guardian Helen shares what it takes to make a successful podcast:
You don’t have to banish every ‘Um’ and eliminate every flaw of natural speech, but the opening few minutes in particular have to be tightly paced. If a listener is not engaged within the first 30 seconds or so, they’ll go off to be entertained elsewhere.
I recently joined the She Podcasts group on Facebook. There are over 700 women podcasters in the group and it’s a tremendous resource. I also subscribed to a brand new newsletter about podcasting, HotPod, that I highly recommend to anyone interesting in new media.
2. Social Media and Blogging
National Public Radio’s social media team has an amazing Tumblr called Social Media Sandbox. They constantly play with new ideas and then write about the results. It’s really unusual to be so public about what’s working and not working online. I love this explanation of why they share so openly:
1. We work in public media. We believe that we should be sharing everything we can with the public. We’re in this together!
2. Making our process transparent and accessible helps fulfill NPR’s mission to educate and inform.
3. Sharing is infectious! We’ve found that other people open up with their own wisdom and experiences when we are generous with our own knowledge. The result is that the Social Sandbox now features outside contributors as much as it does our own insights.
4. It’s also a place where we can highlight our successes, failures and curiosities, with the hope that others might take our work and build on it.
I read blogs on an RSS reader (I use Bloglovin’) and only recently realized that I can add Tumblrs to my RSS.
This is an excellent post from The Nectar Collective about how to drive traffic to old blog posts. If you’re like me you spend a significant amount of time on every post (sometimes whole days or more!). Old posts are often still really interesting and relevant to new readers. Bring those evergreen posts to the forefront and make them continue to work for you!
3. Small Business
Really Good Emails is a directory that MailChimp has put together (it’s accessible to anyone, even if you’re not a MailChimp user) that showcases awesome email campaigns organized by topic. Looking to write a customer appreciate email, or a product launch email, a welcome email, or even just a receipt email? This directory is full of incredible ideas and inspiration. Bookmark it.
I’m noticing that online fabric stores are diversifying their business models. Fat Quarter Shop is now publishing books and Hawthorne Threads just released their own fabric collections. I’m fascinated by this stretching out.
Some interesting data from FabShop News’ summary of the Quilting in America survey conducted by F+W and Quilts, Inc.:
Demographics of the Dedicated Quilter indicate she is female; about 64; is well-educated (79% attended college); has a household income in excess of $100,000; and has been quilting an average of 20.3 years. Among Dedicated Quilters, 81% are traditionalists, while 38% embrace art quilting, and 35% enjoy modern quilting styles. Some enjoy multiple types of quilting.
The Dedicated Quilter owns, on average, almost $13,000 worth of tools and
supplies and has a stash of fabric worth nearly $6,000, which the majority
(88%) store in a studio or room dedicated solely to sewing and quilting
And quilters are also tech-savvy, with 87% owning a tablet or eBook reader today. The percentage of quilters who access the Internet daily has grown to 86%, up from 73% four years ago. The data indicates that quilters spend 3.5 hours per week watching quilting-related online broadcasting to learn new tips and techniques, get inspiration, purchase fabric, tools, and supplies, and to search for free patterns.
Speaking of which, I just subscribed to FabShop News. If you’re interested in the business side of the fabric world, especially in what fabric retailers (both online and brick-and-mortar) are saying to one another, I highly recommend it. I love trade magazines.
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