Saturday, February 28, 2009

Facebook for Africa

This is a story of women in the Chibini Valley in Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa and the difference Facebook is making to their lives. These women live in their village in a valley surrounded by the Drakensberg mountains, rasing families in extreme poverty.

In many cases their men are migrant workers in the city mines and HIV Aids is an everyday reality.
 In this remote existence there is no money and no way to make it.

In 2008 Advertising Agency-escapee Michelle Cruywagen saw an opportunity to change things and applied her knowledge of marketing, fundraising and knitting to start a community craft project that taught women from the Chibini Valley how to knit and create the project's signature knitted hats, called Chibinis.  Then she took this story and unique knitted items online, connecting rural Africa with global markets.

To see how Facebook brings this remote location and this inspiring story to each of us, visit the group on Facebook. (Rural Craft Design incorporating Extreme Knitters).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ten Most Commonly Made Mistakes in Online Marketing

This past weekend's Internet Marketing workshop for craftspeople in Grandfalls-Windsor was an amazing interactive experience with enthusiastic participants who were not scared away by snow storms and icy road conditions.

Ten Mistakes

In the workshop we looked at 10 misnomers in Internet marketing - essential to keep in mind before embarking on marketing in cyber space:
  1. Not setting Goals
  2. Not Planning

  3. Underestimating the time and money it will take

  4. Not building a search-engine-friendly website and content

  5. Thinking about “me” rather than “you”

  6. Not updating your site

  7. Waiting for traffic to click in the door

  8. Ignoring statistics

  9. Avoiding problems that exist elsewhere in the business

  10. Being unwilling to change

This list has been adapted from information in Web Marketing for Dummies.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Printing Options

On this weekend's workshop the artists asked where they can print low cost business cards and product tags etc.
The group mentioned Moo and Vista Print also offers 250 free business cards on its website.

Setting Up a Picasa Web Album

  1. Note: These instructions may look long, but they are simple. Don’t get scared away yet!

    Load the photographs you want to upload to Picasa onto your computer. If you know how to reduce the size of photographs to 72 dpi, you can do that to speed up the uploading process.

    Before setting up your own Picasa Web Albums, you have to download a small bit of software onto your computer.

    Go to Click on Download Picasa 3.

  2. Upon Clicking the Download Picasa 3 button, you should see a screen that says:

    Thank you for downloading Picasa 3. (Your download should start automatically. If it doesn’t, click here.)

    Generally the download is automatic, but if it does not automatically download, follow the instruction on the screen.
  3. Go back to and click on the link Picasa Web Albums. You should now see the following screen:

  4. Enter your gmail account (either one that you had before the workshop or the one created during the workshop) and password to your gmail. (Be sure to make a note of your gmail email address as well as your password so that you can always retrieve it to log into any Google service).
  5. Click on Upload.

  6. Naming Your Album
    The Create Album screen will pop up.
  • Add your Title (remember important keywords). Example: Nortique Canadian Spring Coat Collection
  • Add a keyword rich description, describing what the photographs in this album is about.
    View Nortique’s new coats for Spring 2009. Coats are available from our retail outlet at Main Road, Corner Brook, Newfoundland and online at Send trade enquiries to and visit our website at
  • In Place Taken, add the place the photographs were taken.
    This is the opportunity to enter the address for your main business.
    In this example you would enter Corner Brook Newfoundland.
    Check that the correct location appears on the map.
    Make sure that “Show Location on Map” is ticked.
  • Under Visibility for the Album select Public to make it visible to everyone in the Internet.

  • Click Continue.

7. Adding Photographs

  • Click on Add Photos.
    A window will open that allows you to select photos from your computer.
    Go to the folder where your photographs are saved and click on the photo to upload.
    Repeat the process until you have chosen all your photographs for this album and then click on Upload.

8. On the next screen you add CAPTIONS to each photograph. Remember to make each caption a keyword-rich description unique to each photograph.
Captions can be added in two ways, either by

  • clicking on the photograph and writing the caption in the box that appears under the photograph or by
  • clicking on Edit and selecting Captions from this menu. Other features on the Edit menu allow you to customize the Album you have just created.

    Click on Done when you are finished with your captions. Beware spelling errors because search engines will not understand it.

    9. Sharing your Album
    How will others find your Picasa album?
  • Select Slide Show from the menu. Once you view your photographs in the album as a slideshow, copy the URL (address) of that page and use it as the address for your slideshow:


• Use the Share button and email the photo album to people on your address list.

  • Let viewers find your photo album through search engines such as Google based on the keywords you have used in the title of your Photo Album and in the captions with each photograph.

    Read more about what is happening in Picasa on their blog:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Low Cost Printing

At this weekend's Internet Marketing workshop, craftspeople asked for low cost options for printing business cards, product labels etc. Vista Print offers 250 free business cards and other benefits. In the workshop someone also mentioned Moo as a good option for printing.
Post your design online and receive a box of printed material in the mail!

Thursday, February 5, 2009