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I’m so far behind . . .

5 Aug

alarmclock.jpgI’m so far behind on the Challenge . . . I’m still on Day 2. Hopefully I can finish it today as well as Days 3 and possibly 4. I think Day 5 will have to wait until tomorrow.

So far, the Market Samurai looks like an awesome tool. I’ve watched about the half of the Day 2 videos with GuruBob. It looks amazing! I can’t wait to get the point where I can try it out. Hopefully soon.

I’ve put my little guy (who is going to be 4 next week!!!) down for a nap and the other kids are all occupied with activities and I put some chicken in the crockpot for dinner so I can concentrate on the 30dc this afternoon with – hopefully – no interruptions.

Hey, it could happen . . . 😉

Experiencing the awesomeness,

(lsandrsn on the 30dc forum)
Why not check out the 30dc for yourself?
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It’s only day 3 and I’ve already fallen behind!

3 Aug

Well, here it is, only the 3rd day of the Thirty Day Challenge and I’ve already fallen behind. I’m still on Day 2. 😦

Although I’ve had a little trouble with downloading the videos for Day 2, the real reason I’m behind is because of this.

As soon as I get through Day 2, I’ll post my thoughts and then move on to Day 3. Hopefully, I can get through both of those plus Day 4 on Monday.

I had a moment yesterday to download the Market Samurai tool and it looks awesome and I did watch the Intro video but that’s it. How are you doing so far? I’ve heard on the forums that MS rocks! Can’t wait to dig in.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I did. Check out that link for details. 😉

My thoughts on the tools for the Thirty Day Challenge ’08, part 2

1 Aug

Yesterday I told you about some of the tools we’re using in the Thirty Day Challenge this year and as my post got a little long-winded, I decided to break it up into 2 parts. So, here’s Part 2!

So, today we’re going to talk about StumbleUpon, YouTube, Google Subscribe and FriendFeed.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a tool we used last year as well and if you’re not familiar with it, basically, it’s a social bookmarking sharing site. (That’s a mouthful!) You “stumble” sites you like (or don’t like) and let everyone know what you think. You can share links to just about anywhere and anything. Like most social networks, you can add friends and you have profile page where others can view what you’ve liked/disliked. There’s also a handy toolbar you can install on your browser if you choose. Personally, I find toolbars annoying as hell and only use them sparingly. The one exception, of course, is the 30dc toolbar.

YouTube

If you don’t know what YouTube is by now, I think you’ve been hiding under a rock. 😉 My 3 year old even knows what YouTube is. (He likes to watch Thomas the Tank Engine videos.) For the 30dc, YouTube comes in very handy for a variety of reasons, the major one being that this is where Ed Dale shares all of this seasons training and tidbits. Ed teaches you how to search, subscribe and effectively use this handy site.

Google Subscribe

I’m still a little mystified with this one and don’t really quite it fully. I’m sure by season’s end, I’ll have it down pat, but right now, not so much. According to the pre-season training,

“What it means for you as a 30DC participant is that Ed will be able to help you with your searches on Google. Including opinions reviews, and any relevant info depending on what you’re searching for.”

So, I guess it’s usefulness truly remains to be seen at this point.

FriendFeed

This is another awesome tool. FriendFeed allows you to see what your friends are doing all over the web. Yes, of course, it’s another social media networking site but isn’t that what it’s all about? 😉 There’s just much about it, I can’t even begin to describe it. If you use Twhirl (which I talked about yesterday), you can follow your FriendFeed as well as your Twitter updates. Very cool.

So there you have it. Those are all of the tools we discussed in pre-season. I’m sure there’s more awesomeness coming down the pike, so stay tuned!

And if you’ve figured out the whole Google Subscribe thing, please feel free to tell me all about it in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

See you again soon,

~ Annie (lsandrsn on the 30dc forum)

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This year’s 30dc theme song

1 Aug

You’re gonna love the new theme song from Phil Mason. If you thought last years song was awesome, you’re in for a treat with this years.

Check it out and give it some lovin’ on digg, stumbleupon and all the rest. And I’ll be back later with my 2nd half of yesterday’s post about this years cool tools.

~ Annie (lsandrsn on the 30dc forum)

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30dc Day One

1 Aug

Day One

Today is the Day One of this years Thirty Day Challenge and I’ve just finished watching all of the videos. I also re-watched a few of the pre-season videos. It’s simply amazing what you can do with Flock, Google Reader and some of the other tools. The changes this year look to be phenomenal and it’s all because of these cool tools. Definitely awesomeness.

iTunes (a small rant)

The only thing I find slightly irritating this year is that there doesn’t seem to be direct feed for downloading each days videos automatically into iTunes. One must first download the video link to their computer and then import into iTunes. A bit cumbersome and time-consuming for someone like me who has multiple interruptions every five-flippin-seconds (read: kids and telephones and stuff like that). I really hope Ed decides to provide a subscribe via iTunes option at some point – preferably very soon.

Today’s Assignment

The getting of ideas. I’ll be spending some time here shortly using Amazon.com as Ed suggests in today’s 3rd video “Get an Idea” to come up with 5-10 niches. I also still need to get on a team (if you’re looking for another team member, let me know). I’ve not been very good during pre-season with keeping up with the forums. Just too much other stuff going on. So that’s going to be a priority over the next few days.

Misc. Thoughts

I think the Challenge is off to a good start and I’m really looking forward to the next lessons. I’ll be gone tomorrow so I might have some catching up to do. Of course, if Ed continues with the schedule he’s used in year’s past, the weekends will be used to catch up on the week’s lessons and Ed will only post lessons and etc during the week. Anybody know if that’s the case this year?

So, what do you think of the first day?

~ Annie (lsandrsn on the 30dc forum)

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My thoughts on the tools for Thirty Day Challenge ’08

31 Jul

Ed and Dan have introduced some great tools for this years challenge during pre-season and I thought I’d share my thoughts on them so far.

Flock

Flock is a “social media” browser built on the Mozilla engine (the same engine Firefox uses). Part of it’s awesomeness is that *most* firefox extensions will work in Flock. In fact, so far, of all the extensions I use (about 20), I’ve not found one that isn’t compatible. Another great thing about Flock is that a lot of the other tools (like twitter, youtube, facebook, etc) all integrate with the browser which means you can sign in to those accounts automatically. It even integrates with all your Google accounts, including gmail.

One of the coolest things about Flock, is that it makes subscribing to RSS feeds super simple. On any page with a live feed, a little RSS icon will turn orange on your address bar. All you have to do is click that icon and it subscribes to the feed for you. It’ll even remember your favorite feed reader and load it right in.

And the second coolest thing about Flock is the Media Bar. Anytime you land on a page (like flickr, youtube, and the like), that has media like videos and pictures, a bar opens up at the top of the browser window and shows you all of the content on that page. You can subscribe to the content, even! Just like an RSS feed!

Twitter

Twitter is definitely awesome! It’s like a mini conversation hub. You can share thoughts, ideas, links and just about anything else – as long as it’s only 140 characters long. It brings “social” to your desktop and allows you to interact, in real time, with other twitterers all around the world.

Twhirl

I’ve actually been using Twhirl for quite some time (at the prompting of some of my Twitter friends) and at first, I didn’t really like it. But I’ve gotten to where it’s one of those tools I’d rather not be without. Twhirl is simply a desktop client, compatible to both Windows and Mac, that uses Adobe Air as it’s platform and allows you to Twitter from your desktop as opposed to Twitter’s web interface. (You can even use Pownce from Twhirl.) If you Twitter – and you SHOULD – check out Twhirl.

Google Reader

This is one awesome reader! I used to use bloglines and although I liked it, it was lacking function that I found frustrating. I then went to a desktop client for a while until I finally decided to try Google Reader. One of the things I like best is the ability to use what’s called list view. This allows me to see the blog name, the post title and brief snippet of the opening paragraph. It lets me decide if I want to open it up and read it or not. And I’ll tell ya, with over 300 feeds in my reader, it sure makes reading A LOT faster.

And just like gmail, Google Reader has a star system so you can save the ones you like most for easy finding later. It also allows you to organize your feeds by folders. I keep all of my “must reads” in a folder called Favorites and browse it first every day.

You can also set it show only new posts or to show all posts. I love this feature and keep it set on show new that it’s easy to find new stuff and be bogged down by stuff I’ve already read.

If you have the greasemonkey and the stylish extensions installed, you can even view the actual post page form the originating blog. This is great if you want to leave a comment but don’t want to have to go to the blog to actually do it. A very big time saver for me.

Ok . . . this is getting rather long and I’m only half way through the cool tools. So, for your sake, dear reader, I will break this into 2 chunks and post part 2 tomorrow.

~ Annie (lsandrsn on the 30dc forum)

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There’s no charge for awesomeness

28 Jul

The Thirty Day Challenge 2008 has a new tagline – “There’s no charge for awesomeness.” It’s not bad as far as tag lines go, but personally, I think “there’s” should be dropped. 😉 I think in this case, “there’s” is already implied in “no charge for awesomeness.”

“The Thirty Day Challenge – No charge for awesomeness” sounds way cool.

But that’s just my perspective.

Anyway, I can hardly believe it’s already just a matter of days before 30dc 2008 begins – *this* Friday! Wow! Although I’ve kept up with the pre-season stuff, I’m really not ready for it to begin. I mean, we’ve barely just begun having summer around here and August means it’s almost over. That bums me out, quite frankly. Summer with the kids home, the warm weather, fun activities and gardening is just a season I hate seeing come to an end.

If the emails Ed Dale and Dan Raine have been sending out for this years challenge are any indication, 30dc 2008 is going to knock the socks off any previous year, IMHO.

So, other than following pre-season, is there anything you’ve done to get ready for this year?

I decluttered and reorganized my office. Ok . . . well, that’s not entirely true. I *did* truly declutter and reorganize, but not really for the challenge. The fact that I’ll have a nice, clutter-free office this year is just a bonus. I simply got everything in shape because it was driving me nuts! Because my old desk had no drawers, everything was piled on TOP of my desk and it made working difficult at best.

Get ready to fire! (Use <— that link to sign up if you haven’t already.)

~ Annie