Spreading the word

Since I had to cancel my trip, I’ve decided to spend much of my vacation working on my on-line Wiccan jewelry shop.

The store, “The Kickin’ Wiccan,” is a storefront on Shapeways, a 3D printing service. A shopper can pick one of my designs, choose the size if it’s a ring, maybe choose the magical symbol on it, and choose exactly in which material they’d like it to be printed: from inexpensive plastic to sturdy steel to semi-precious metals like bronze and silver.

The main reason I’m doing this is that I’m enjoying coming up with new designs. It’s fun. I got a suggestion for a symbol to add to a ring (the triquetra), and I’ve run away with the idea to create two different ring styles and add it to the customization options of other rings. I enjoy the puzzle of working with my software tools (Cheetah3D, iDraw, Inkscape, GraphicConverter, iPhoto) to create the designs I want.

There’s another reason: I could use the extra cash. Mainly for medical expenses, but also for my server project, which has the potential to help many of my friends. [1]

The main obstacle I have to overcome is marketing.

I’ve already done the social media basics: I’ve set up a Kickin’ Wiccan Facebook page and a @KickinWiccan Twitter account. The next step, according the marketing “experts,” is for me to start saturating the internet with those accounts, starting with my friends.

This is where I hit the obstacle: I don’t want to become an annoying attention-seeking money grubber.

I have to admit that I don’t have a positive reaction when I get invitations to “like” pages or invited to events in which I have no interest, like Heavy Metal Steampunk Rabbit Petting to Benefit Surviors of Cards Against Humanity in Idaho. It’s pretty clear that, rather than considering me as an individual, that person simply sent it out to everyone they knew. I don’t like being a random advertising target. I don’t even like anonymous targeted advertising; that’s why I have both NoScript and AdBlock Plus on my web browser.

What I struggle to remember is there’s a difference between trying to sell to everyone I know and raising brand awareness. After all:

– Every time I hear someone mention massage, I mention Joyce Kent and Transformational Touch.

– Every time someone mentions bodypaiting, I mention Vann Godfrey and Transformational Bodypainting.

– Every time someone mentions death or funerals, I mention Michael Brown and Simplicity Memorial.

– Every time I hear someone discuss the hardships of poverty or HIV/AIDS, I mention Sabrina Chase and her book Surviving HIV/AIDS in the Inner City.

– Every time I hear someone talk about needing books on magic or about James Bond, I mention Deborah Lipp and her books.

– Even though he passed on years ago, I still mention Isaac Bonewits and the books he wrote.

… and so on.

None of these folks asked me to be a walking advertisement for them. But if I wasn’t aware of what they did, I couldn’t provide awareness of what they do to others.

So during this vacation, and in the weeks to come, I’m going to strive to overcome my reluctance and post some interesting information about Kickin’ Wiccan at least once a week. If you’re annoyed, let me know and I’ll stop.

… or if you have suggestions or requests for new designs you’d like to see, let me know and I’ll try to add it. The most recent suggestion: a Brigid’s Cross pendant. That will be a challenge!

[1] If you’re curious: I’ve got the server configured; I’m using it to write this blog post. It’s got blogging software, e-mail, mailing lists, all with the best security I can set up. What I need now is to set aside enough cash for a hosting company.

A light at the end of the transcription tunnel?

According to David Pogue, the latest version of Dragon Dictate is capable of transcribing interviews.

Based on the example in the article, the results are limited. Still, it offers hope that by the time I’ll need it for the biography, there’ll be some form of software that will let me turn 100+ hours of interviews into text form.

This is also a reminder to myself that I have to get moving on the interview process again. It’s daunting; there are so many people to speak with, and it’s not clear how to contact many of them.

Still, a journey of 100+ hours begins with the first word.