Crafty Nation: Inspire, Empower, Create

Crafty Nation is just another social networking site like Craftster, Craft Bubble, My Craft, Designs to Love, and Indie Public.

How many people have time to catch up in the hundreds of forums and social sites out there? It’s bad enough that facebook and myspace take over your life when you sign up, but add flickr and twitter to the mix with blogging and you have a monster. If you’re a crafter and/or run a business, it gets worse. You’re expected to have an Etsy site – and now it’s knockoff Artfire. You have to blog, tweet, and post bulletins. You have to promote on craft forums. You have to promote on forums in your niche (for me, it’s pin-up lifestyle and punky moms). When does the madness end?

To be successful, you need to be everywhere at once – both on the web and off. This can quickly burn someone out. I do craft shows in between raising a family and sewing til my fingers bleed. There’s simply no time for social networking. When I even try, I get so bombarded that my face gets glued to the computer for days. I tried having my husband take some of the burden off, but he’s not much in the way of forums and chatting people up about my products online.

The biggest offender: Ning – where you can create your own social network for anything. For someone like me, who’s into everything and nothing, I feel like I need to join all the networks. No good! I’ll elgg my own, thank you very much.

So, that’s my solution. I’ll have my own shop – no etsy or artfire). I’ll have my own community (no myspace or facebook – though I already have the sites and I’m not going to go closing the accounts). I’ll keep twitter because it’s cool. I’ll keep blogging and reading blogs. I’ll have conversations via email instead of forums. If I need to find a cool tutorial I check Sew, Mama, Sew and Purl Bee before googling.

People will come to you if you’re in a good niche and have great things to offer. People will come to you if you’re SEO. People will come to you if you hand out flyers and business cards whereever you are. If you build it, they will com.

As for Crafty Nation, they built it, and people come. I, however, won’t. I don’t like the site layout and a lot of the projects are junk or can be find elsewhere. The bad part of these social networks is that there’s no filter. Anyone can join and anyone can post what they make. If it’s junk is a matter of opinion, but mine stands. I won’t make a thing posted. I prefer the filters of certain like minded bloggers that only post quality designs and tutorials.

I do like that they have an events page, but I also don’t like the layout and prefer something a little more directed towards my crowd: Indie Craft Fair Guide.

If it’s your thing, cool. It’s not mine.

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Richard is our winner! Congratulations Richard on this fun win.

If you didn’t win but would really like this SimAnimals game then be sure to check out EA’s Store for this great purchase. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Mommas March Mania starting Sunday with our first giveaway, a Platinum Keurig Coffee Maker.

Izze Is Awesome: All Natural Sparkling Juices

There are some things about being pregnant that just suck sometimes. Even after the morning sickness has (hopefully) faded and you get used to being a huge, exhausted lump of your former self. After that – there are the little things you gave up, that sometimes you miss a lot. Things like soda or a glass of wine at night, I miss those. At least I did before I tried Izze Sparkling Juices. There is just something about these delicious little drinks that provide that same bubbly, carbonated sweet flavor that I was missing. And they are good for you – all natural, no refined sugars, no preservatives and no caffeine (and obviously no alcohol) – they are made with 70% pure fruit juice and sparkling water. And they are really tasty.

I’ve seen Izze before, in stores like Target and Whole Foods and coffee shops like Starbucks – and for the love of me, I can’t figure out how I’ve never tried them. Now I’m buying them regularly with my groceries and they’ve replaced the nightly soda I used to miss (and will likely continue to replace them after the baby is born because they are delicious and so much better for you). You can buy Izze in a large variety of flavors: pomegranate, grapefruit, peach, blackberry, blueberry, clementine and apple. These days the blackberry Izze is my Izze of choice but husband is in love with their grapefruit and we liked all that we tried (we have yet to get our hands on the blueberry or apple, but I plan to soon). You can also buy the Izze Fortified which is a lot like the regular Izze but with added vitamins C, B6 and niacin and sold in 8.4 oz cans AND the Izze Esque which is a low calorie version (just 40 calories in an 8 oz serving!) of the original Izze which typically contains between 130-170 calories.

Izze’s mission is to be the nation’s leading, premium, aspirational, lifestyle-driven non-alcoholic sparkling beverage brand and to be socially responsible, mindful of the environment and promote their best asset – their people. To learn more about Izze be sure to check out their website Izze.com.

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