Posts Tagged products

This is not a love song

Posted by on Wednesday, 24 October, 2012

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Or rather, this is not a sponsored post (with apologies to anyone who now has “This is not a love song” by PIL in their heads as today’s ear-worm from the play on the post title)

I got my first Klout perk in the mail Tuesday afternoon. I’d forgotten I’d even claimed it when offered, so I was quite surprised to receive a package I hadn’t been tracking online from an order receipt.

Before I go on, let me be 100% transparent and clear:
I am under no obligation to blog about the perks I receive, and will not get any additional benefit for talking about said perk. You can read more about the Klout perk disclosure as well as what perks are, along with the influencer code of ethics here: http://corp.klout.com/perks/disclosure

So, the Perk I received? It was a sample package of Fair Trade Certified products. Presumably this was in support of “Fair Trade Month” in October. I was eligible for this perk because my Klout score was above a particular level, and because one of my topics is “food”, as I am a bit of a gastronome. While I am not as deeply passionate as many are about changing our current consumption model, I do identify the need to really look at what we call “food” and from where said food comes.

So, what came in the box of goodies? Here’s a run down:

Now, in the spirit of continued transparency: I only normally buy one of these product categories, and can say it will take a lot to get me to switch from my current roaster choice: Stumptown Coffee, who boast a “direct trade” business practice which at least on the outside seems like a good thing to me even though it doesn’t talk to the same things which Fair Trade covers. A second product is one we’d pick up now and again (the quinoa), and the rest are items I just don’t purchase. Because of that, I gave Jean free reign over the contents to bring with her to work and share among her colleagues. Not surprisingly, the teas and chocolate bar all made their way to her office.

So I’m not going to cover the quality of the products since I’d have very little basis of comparison even if I did use them (and will need to wait until next week to cover the coffee quality since I am mid-pound with my current Stumptown Hair Bender bag). What I can say about the benefit of this perk is that it has urged me to look at Fair Trade Certified products with a little more understanding as to what that means based on the flyer provided in the package along with the fair trade website linked above. But, I’m much more of a proponent for keeping my money and business local, so if presented with the choice of fair trade or local products, I’m likely to choose local long before fair trade certified. And, since I live just outside Portland, Oregon I know that a good number of our local businesses are quite likely to use Fair Trade Certified products, covering both bases.

All that said, the above listed products are indeed all Fair Trade certified, so if you find yourself using other products in the same categories, perhaps you will think about what Fair Trade means to the farms and farmers making the products you’re buying, and perhaps you’ll check out the products which are fair trade certified and make the switch knowing the small change you make can have a big impact in the life of someone half a world away.

I said in the beginning that this is not a sponsored post, and truly it isn’t. This post is brought to you by my meager social consciousness and desire to be a good blogger. It gave me some content on a slow week and I’d feel bad if I didn’t acknowledge receiving the perk. That said, I do have another Klout perk coming soon from RedBull, which likely won’t get its own blog post since I’ve stopped buying them in favour of 5 Hour Energy when I am on my motorcycle trips (since the 5 Hour Energys are substantially less fluid volume). And honestly, after Felix Baumgartner’s RedBull Stratos jump, I doubt they need the small amount of influencer driven mentions I’d give them, either positive or negatively tinged. But I will hang on to the free 4-pack I am getting for those rough days at work when I need a kickstart.

So, I guess that maybe, somehow, some good can come from Klout after all. I’m still not a believer in the scoring, but I am indeed enjoying at least one perk today.

A Moo review- Moo.com

Posted by on Monday, 14 May, 2012

Ever heard of Moo.com? I hadn’t until a few years back when two of my colleagues used them for some work related business cards for out support entity to bring to our annual software conference. But, I’m not really ever in need of ‘business’ cards so I didn’t bother with them… (one of the perks to never leaving the house)… until recently.

I’ve been getting out more and more, and talking to people about what they do, what I do, and everything in between. I soon came to realize that, like my on-line life, my real world life isn’t really split into personas. So when I hand over one of my 3DC business cards, I always end up writing more on it to get the person to my other spaces. It just made sense for me to have a card for ME, to cover everything I do.

In comes Moo…. and Klout. And About.me. You see, both Klout and About.me have partnerships with Moo that provide 50 cards for only the cost of shipping (around $5.95 for me) so I figured I could take advantage and test out Moo.com’s service and quality without any real monetary risk.

First off, the ordering process is pretty slick. I was able to go from start to finish in 20 minutes, including registration, building my cards, and checking out. Not too shabby when you consider the REAL selling point of Moo: you can build multiple card images per order. In my case I tested with 7 different designs within my single order of 50 cards. Yup, you’re not locked in to one design per order. This makes for some very easy customization of low volume orders and creates opportunity to do some really nifty stuff with your cards.

The order took exactly one week to show up on my doorstep. I ordered April 25th, in the afternoon and the package was delivered May 2 in the late morning. That’s a pretty decent turn around time for what I’d consider a custom order (they likely don’t).

Here’s what they looked like when they arrived:

Overall, the quality is excellent. Heavy, but not overly bulky card stock is used, and photo quality printing means the images I uploaded were reproduced flawlessly. My one complaint is that some of the borders are slightly off. Likely this is due to the way in which I added the images, but for my picture on the text side of the card, I actually spent some time trying to understand how their border settings would print out and I was obviously mistaken as there is a white strip that I didn’t expect. So, likely some small room for improvement there. Any flaws in the images were introduced by me not Moo.

Outside of that grey area of user/system issue, I am unbelievably happy with the product quality and level of service. The entire process was simple, easy, and resulted in a product I am happy with. If I were to spend a few more minutes tweaking my settings and re-ordering, I am sure I’d be 100% satisfied here. As it stand, I give Moo.com a 95% rating in my book. Solid and highly recommended. Check em out if you’re in need of some inexpensive and adaptable cards. You won’t be disappointed.

Now, I have cards that cover who I am and what I do as a whole. Finally a tangible pointer to my online business card at www.acdntlpoet.com

(Full disclosure, the links to Moo.com above take you to my referral URL, so if you end up signing up, I get a little credit to use for more cards. By no means should you feel compelled to use the link, or even order for that matter.)