Monday, July 13, 2009

Week #1 -- Explore

The banner of this blog has the name of my new business and, hopefully, what will eventually become my new identity. But this is not really my "Week #1" of the journey. The journey has been ongoing for about 2-3 years and this is actually "Week #1" of my online technology class called "23 things".

This first week was meant to be motivational, encouraging our staff & librarians to try new things and experience new technologies. Jansjems has been my new thing. And little did I know that designing jewelry would lead to so many challenges and technological new things that have nothing to do with jewelry design.

I think I'm a pretty good example of several of the points made by the video--learn new things, never too late, see problems as challenges, use technology to your advantage. As a child that grew up in the early days of television (is anyone reading this old enough to remember Ed Sullivan, Pinky Lee, the Lone Ranger??) my familiarity with computers only grew as a result of my library job. And somewhere in the late 80s things started moving so fast that I just got left behind in the dust. Oh, I can use what I need to here in the library, but then my kids started talking about social networks and tweeting. They'd tell me about improvements to programs that I have old versions of, and how I can load pictures to the web (if I'd just get a digital camera).

So I bought the digital camera and, OMG, my life changed. I didn't need to buy film, I could see my pictures right after they were taken, I could delete them, edit them, and on and on! And that was the beginning of MY 23 things.

I was introduced to Picasa as a photo editor since Photoshop and Gimp were just too complicated for me. But now that I have some experience, my daughter downloaded Gimp onto my home computer and I will try (she says meekly).

Though I was happy to make jewelry for craft shows, bought the required tent and displays, there are a lot of months when I'm not at shows. Not ready to set up my own website, my girls introduced me to Etsy. This is a marketplace similar to Ebay that makes setting up a shop easy and inexpensive. I now have 2 shops on Etsy and a new one on 1000markets, have set up payment options with Paypal and Amazon, and take credit cards on Propay.

Conversations on both of the marketplaces are constantly about marketing so I'm now on Facebook, have a Flickr and a Twitter account (though I don't really see the point of this one), and I'm a member of local artisan networks on Ning and Yahoo. I post to the group blogs. I've been to Technorati & and may even have accounts I've forgotten about. But I am looking forward to playing with some of the features of all of these that I haven't tried yet. And I've been a little afraid of the RSS feed thing. So Week #4 will be a challenge.

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