August 23, 2007
Are you sick of searching for the perfect thing when shopping online and want to speed up the process? Spend some time filling out a detailed profile on MyShopPal.com, an intelligent search engine for online shoppers, and get search results targeted to your taste. It’s like having a helpful personal shopper on hand to guide you through the etailer maze!
In their own words:
We are delighted to present MyShopPal to help you find what is right for you in five important product categories: clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry & watches, and health & beauty. Please create your profile and experience how shopping online is supposed to be.
The heart of our technology is our intelligent shopping engine that calculates your personal score for every product. The personal score takes into consideration the attractiveness of products for you, your personal style and preferences, fashion and technology trends, and product reviews. We call this personalized score, a FAP (Fashion, Attractiveness, and Preferences) score. Our shopping engine automatically sifts through millions of the products and their reviews looking for products which have high FAP score for you.
What’s a FAP score, you ask?
It’s a customized “Fashion, Attractiveness, and Preferences” score assigned to each product – the personal score takes into consideration the attractiveness of products for you, your personal style and preferences, fashion and technology trends, and product reviews.
You can get started with MyShopPal by creating a profile, which does take a bit of time, I’ll admit (you have to fill it out completely to get the best results), but it pays off – I created one and did a few trial searches, and I was very impressed by the results.
My sample search terms were pretty non-specific – for instance, “black leather boots”, which covers everything from Doc Martins to Manolo Blahniks. However, my results were most definitely tailored to my tastes, as they included stunning, sophisticated boots by the likes of Sergio Rossi, Michael Kors and Via Spiga.
Another search for “wrap dress” garnered frocks by Tocca, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Tam, and of course, wrap dress maestro Diane Von Furstenberg. MyShopPal also lets users refine searches in all sorts of ways, from sleeve length to washing instructions (helpful for people who hate to get things dry-cleaned).
They even have a very active blog about online shopping – today’s post about the future of online shopping is interesting (of course, MyShopPal is positioned at the center, but they do make a good point). Here’s another good post about how their FAP scores streamline the jewelry shopping process. The site also features reviews of products and you can create a friend list and share products, tips, and deals with each other.
The verdict: Fabulously helpful for anyone who shops or even browses online on a regular basis (I can’t be the only one who does “research” online prior to a shopping trip, can I?).
Edit: If anyone joins and wants to friend me, my user name is Jazspin.
Cross-posted on my fashion blog (because I’m pretty sure the two have very different readerships).
Via the brilliant Hugh Macleod.
August 21, 2007
Cat Stevens – Ruins / Peace Train
Thanks to much busy-ness on my part, I’m going with the video-is-worth-a-thousand-words. Here’s Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam singing Ruins and Peace Train live in 1976.
August 20, 2007
Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett: It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere
I think I’m going to start asking myself “what would Jimmy Buffett do?” whenever I find myself at some kind of quandary. That is all.
August 17, 2007
At the moment, Technorati is tracking 98.4 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media, and that’s not even counting the sites that the venerable blog search engine hasn’t picked up on yet. Just thinking about differentiating your blog from the pack can be a bit daunting.
However, bloggers, take heart – many of these blogs are dead blogs that haven’t been updated in months, more of them are personal blogs only meant for the eyes of friends and family, and hey, just by reading smart, informative blogs like Pro-Blogger you’re ahead of the game.
It’s also important to remember that none of those other bloggers is you. No one else has your unique perspective, your writing voice, your photography skills, or your skill set. Focus on what makes your blog different and special, rather than lamenting the areas you’re lacking. Here’s five ways to put the spotlight firmly on your strengths:
1. Develop Your Voice. Want to be a better writer? After all, writing is usually the heart of a blog. Write something every day, even if you don’t post it. Writing is just like any other - yes, some people have more natural talent than others, but everyone requires consistent practice to develop their skills. At the same time, it’s also vital to read the work of other bloggers and writers – you’ll pick up new techniques and ideas without even realizing it, and you’ll be aware of what other bloggers are talking about.
2. Celebrate Your Quirks. Everyone has a few odd things about them (or some cases, more than a few). Your quirks are a major part of what makes you unique, so don’t be afraid to let them come through loud and clear in your blog. Be informal – write like you talk, and don’t be afraid to use clever figures of speech, witty idioms, or funny pictures (and don’t overlook the power of a perfectly placed comic – or lolcat).
3. Beg To Differ. Is your opinion on a particular topic the opposite of what the mainstream media is saying? Do you disagree with the blogging majority? For instance, I think SEO is a bit overrated and that sometimes, personal branding misses the point entirely - and those are two of my more popular posts. Write about it – but sure to back up your opinions with research and thoughtful insights. If you’re going to be a dissenter, be a reasonable one with logical arguments backing you up, because nothing is more irritating than someone who argues for the sake of the fight and engages in ad hominem attacks to get attention.
4. Tell Your Story. Post first person accounts of how a particular product, technique, or other experience affected your life. Remember that while many others may have done the same things, gone to the same places, or used the same products, no one else possesses your individual take on the situation. Besides, writing in the first person is one of the easiest ways to use the active voice, which is naturally more compelling than the passive voice.
5. Share Your Passion. When you’re passionate about something, let it show loud and clear. Passion is fascinating, inspiring, and it draws people in – and if you manage to inspire your readers, there’s a very good chance they’ll subscribe or come back for more. After all, one person’s passion can change the world.
I found that last link through the Problogger’s “31 Days To A Better Blog” Project, and since it was part of the inspiration for this post, it’s only fitting that I submit it as my own contribution.
August 16, 2007
“What would happen if every blog published posts discussing the same issue, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices.”
Check out Blog Action Day.
If you’re also a blogger, go register your blog if you want to participate. Here’s how you can do it:
Bloggers can participate on Blog Action Day in one of two ways:
- Publish a post on their blog which relates to an issue of their own choice pertaining to the environment.
For example: A blog about money might write about how to save around the home by using environmentally friendly ideas. Similarly a blog about politics might examine what weight environmental policy holds in the political arena.
Posts do not need to have any specific agenda, they simply need to relate to the larger issue in whatever way suits the blogger and readership. Our aim is not to promote one particular viewpoint, only to push the issue to the table for discussion.
- Commit to donating their day’s advertising earnings to an environmental charity of their choice. There is a list of “official” Blog Action Day charities on the site, however bloggers are also free to choose an alternate environmental charity to donate to if they wish.
Of course, the people behind Blog Action Day also have their own blog, about the day itself and how bloggers can and are changing the world. It’s definitely inspiring.
August 14, 2007
The other day I noticed something that I thought was kind of awesome – I’m quoted in the media kit for what is possibly my favorite site, Jezebel (and it’s definitely my favorite fashion-related site – I like it better than the ones I actually write for. Hmmm, clearly changes need to be made here – maybe they need a Chicago correspondent? We’re not quite the center of the media universe that NYC is, but we do have a Modern Luxury rag and they’re an easy target).
The quote is from my fashion blog, the Fashionable Kiffen. Seriously, though, I’m kind of honored. I kind of love those bitches, and I like knowing that there are awesome, clever, intelligent, insert-flattering-adjective-here women writers/bloggers out there. Also, that there are other women in my general age range that don’t think “feminist” is an insult (seriously, though – since when did feminism become a dirty word? A topic for another post.)
August 13, 2007
Did you know that fantasy football is the number one online game, beating out hugely popular games like World of Warcraft and Second Life? With millions of fantasy team owners out there, I can’t be the only one plotting my strategy for my upcoming draft, right?
Okay, I really just wanted to post this hilarious picture from Kiss Me Suzy.