A Phone Is Not Just A Phone

When I First Created My TwoCansOnAString.com Blog, It Was Basically A Kitchen Junk Drawer Of Posts …

Then came the need to have a niche … But I’m finding this website doesn’t necessarily fit into a niche … Talking with friends and family does not necessarily correspond to a niche … We talk about everything that is on our minds …

I’ll continue promoting upgrading your cell phone … but I’m not going to talk only about cell phones …

Most of the comments I receive are about other posts … not about product reviews … I’m beginning to believe a kitchen junk drawer may indeed be a niche … This allows me to have fun and not be stuck to discuss one topic exclusively … To me it seems like eating the same thing night after night for dinner.

 

We “Google” A Lot Of Information …

I’ve found I “YouTube” information much more often … Have you found this to be true?

I have two other websites: MysticalKey.com which is all about Tarot and things Occult … And there’s my newest one CryptKickers.com where I explore the paranormal realm with ghost hunters and haunted stuff …

It was important for me to have a fun name to capture what it is I’m doing … 

Our Cell Phones Have Truly Become Our Communication Center …

Yes, we keep in touch with friends and family … but we have networks of people … YouTube people who have become important to us … very much like an extended family …

There are those who teach me Tarot and those who go out on paranormal investigations … There are those who review products … do crafts … cook … travel … and just share their lives …

Friendships are developed … All because of this wonderful technology … The Cell Phone …

We Can Take A Walk Or Shop While We Live Stream …

We can be cooking in our home or even watching television along with others … we’re all snug as a bug in our own homes … but we’re sharing the experience with others … people we’ve met on YouTube …

It is truly an interesting concept …

Just something to think about … I’d love to hear your views on the subject … Thanks for stopping by!

Sharon

What Have You Learned Today?

Hi there!

Have you noticed how much you can learn from the internet?

When I got my new printer, I was a bit nervous about setting it up for the first time . . . I got the Epson WorkForce ET-4550 Eco Tank Wireless Color All-in-One Supertank Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax. I was fine with the plugging in and setting up the wireless connection, but I was more concerned about adding the ink to the various compartments. I was used to putting in a cartridge and away I go . . . but I wanted to try this out and maybe save on ink in the process.

Well, I did find a very helpful YouTube video that walked me through the whole process. I also had the written instructions . . . but there is something about watching someone else do it that is helpful.

I did notice that people do their own thing. Yes, they read the directions, but when it’s time to follow through, they just wing it. That works for many confident people . . . and it was helpful for me to watch someone who wasn’t glued to the instruction sheet.

This wasn’t meant to be a review of the printer, but it is helpful in explaining the point of my post. I do highly recommend this printer. I am really pleased by the results I’ve received in my various printing experiences.

This how to video I watched was extremely helpful and it allowed me to calm down enough to set it up and get printing.

I have found so very many helpful and generous people who share their various craft projects on YouTube . . . and I’ve found some rude individuals, too.

And why is this?youtube

Do they realize they’re being rude?

Is this supposed to be entertainment? Or helpful?

I’ve written other posts about vloggers . . . and there are some popular channels with the whole family . . . on their various sporting events and vacations and outings . . . even chilling at home . . . I know at times not everyone gets along, but do we have to video that . . . or when children are rude or disrespectful to their parents?

I’m not a real fan of watching people argue . . . even in a store . . . or in a movie . . . that isn’t entertaining . . . yes, there are conflicts, but they aren’t for airing publicly . . . I thought adults are to be role models for their peers and the young.

Do we truly like hanging out with angry people or argumentative ones? I certainly don’t. And I don’t want to see feuds going on on YouTube . . . or kids who are out of control . . . rude, disrespectful . . . under of guise of “being cute.”

I’m not here to tell parents how to parent . . . or telling you what to watch or not to watch . . . I’m just saying that I’ve been taught to put my best foot forward and to treat others how I’d like to be treated.

I know when I’m not providing something you’re interested in on this blog, you stop coming.

And I know to stop subscribing to YouTube Channels and to stop watching their videos may change the quality of them . . . or they don’t care . . . or people like what they’re watching . . . and people will continue recording what people like.

I may be in the minority . . . I want the best for everyone. I’m very appreciative of those who share their craft ideas without complaining about someone who “stole their idea” or someone who’s angry because they’re not getting subscribers.

As many of you have found here, many of the crafts I’ve shared with you are not my own. I give credit to those who have been generous in their making templates we can download and print out and make for ourselves. During this process, I hope to learn how to make my own designs and to share them here and on YouTube . . . but that will all come later . . . way later . . . I do have so very much to learn.

And, if I do find a better way of doing something, I’m sure someone else has also found it, too. And they may have shared it . . . but I missed their documented discovery . . . 

Many crafters have mentioned that they learned something from a particular individual . . . and sometimes they say they found if they do it this way, it is easier for them . . . but it may not be an original idea . . . 

I do respect that. It’s like the many explorers who see something in the sky and at that exact moment someone else or several someone else’s have observed the same thing . . . they all seemed to be looking for the same thing, not knowing anyone else was doing the same. It’s only natural with a world full of people someone out there is going to come up with a similar short cut or whatever.

From all the videos I have watched, I’ve received some tips . . . I don’t remember from whom . . . and I’ve heard these tips from others as well . . . Does it really matter who was the first to do it? If the goal is to be helpful . . . then I’d say not . . . but if it is to be original and unique and the person worked really hard on figuring it out . . . maybe . . . or is it ego? I don’t know . . . just asking.

I subscribe to those I like on YouTube and I follow blogs that I like . . . and with the vlogs . . . I don’t watch as many of those as I have in the past . . . either I’ve changed or I’m no longer interested in what they find entertaining . . .

There are plenty to choose from . . . and I go for those with people who are real, gracious and helpful . . . not angry, rude and argumentative.

YouTube is a wonderful platform for just about anyone who has something to share with others. It could be reviewing a product or setting one up. It could be teaching someone how to make something — apply make-up, hair styling . . . buying clothing and matching various elements to make a fashion statement. There are many talented people who have a gift in various areas — even cooking . . . there are plenty of people with cooking channels and there is always room for you, too . . . in whatever area you choose. I’ve learned a lot from people who have shown me some computer stuff for my website . . . and using various software I’ve purchased . . .

There are people with tips for writing a resume or going for an interview . . . maybe even taking a test and how to study for one . . . there could also be tutorials for various subjects . . . and if there aren’t there should be . . . it’s all about people helping each other . . .

Thanks for stopping by!

Sharon

Blogs and Vlogs

I’ve conducted my own study of blogs and vlogs . . . and video tutorials . . . 

People do love talking about themselves and what they’re doing . . . or about members of their family . . . which includes friends . . .

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I don’t seem to share a lot about what I’m doing . . . but maybe I do more than I realize.

I do love holidays and special occasions that we have in common.

TwoCansOnAString.com is about sharing crafts and recipes and products . . . just stuff I find interesting and may also be of interest to you. I love giving free printables and templates so you can make your own without having to join some membership site or buy them . . .

I do appreciate all that the internet has to offer . . . for free . . . I do understand how some people do need to make money in order to keep their websites running . . . and to review products . . . to buy supplies and materials for their craft tutorials . . . or to afford to go where they need to go to vlog about different locations . . .

There are many vloggers and YouTube Video Makers who do make a nice income from what they’re doing.

I think that’s great! I love success stories!!!

Many are very generous in telling you how they make their videos, how they get subscribers, what equipment they’re using, how they set up their video studio . . . and the list goes on and on and on . . .

They have a confidence about them . . . they love what they’re doing . . . they’re having fun . . . they have a great personality that draws you in . . . and there are probably hundreds more ingredients that are necessary for a successful YouTube Channel with hundreds of thousands or even millions of subscribers.

The good news is that everyone can do it . . . the same with having a blog . . . your degree of success may differ considerably, but you can give it a try and see what develops.

Study the blogs and videos you enjoy . . . see what they’re doing that is so entertaining . . . decide what you can do that would be beneficial to others . . . and that you would enjoy doing . . .

Success comes in various forms . . . and comes at varying time frames . . . some people achieve success right away while others struggle . . . and never reach the level others have achieved . . .

This isn’t to discourage you . . . it’s just to not set you up for major disappointment.

This reminds me of a video I saw a few weeks to a month ago where someone signed up with a crafting site . . . a multilevel marketing venture . . . it does cost money to make money in some of those business opportunities . . . plus you need to sign people up under you . . . and since this is a crafting MLM, it’s an excellent way of building up your inventory or craft items in order to video making various products . . .

I guess the concept is to have the materials readily available to make a variety of products for various purposes. And, those who watch your videos may agree that they, too, want to buy into the MLM so they can do the same . . . make money while they’re making videos of products . . . some sell them on Etsy or other websites . . . some have worked out a way of getting people to buy finished products for some of their functions . . . so, it may not be the MLM that is bringing them money, but YouTube and their other marketing ideas . . .

Well, she didn’t make the strides she thought she would make. She made almost 100 videos. She didn’t have a lot of subscribers . . . and no one signed up under her for the MLM venture . . . thus, she was calling it quits . . .

It makes me wonder if she gave it enough time . . . or just got discouraged . . . or ran out of money . . .

There are many factors involved . . . but one observation I made was that she didn’t seem to be enjoying herself or engaging with her audience . . . I didn’t feel that what she had to share was of great value to me . . . I wasn’t drawn in . . .  She didn’t seem to have the confidence in herself that others seem to have . . .

We all can’t be socially engaging, confident and crank out winning videos . . .

Just food for thought . . .

And, it comes down to how much time are you able to devote to your blog, vlog, MLM, store, etc.

It does look like fun . . . and seeing people with expensive homes, going on major shopping trips . . . and traveling . . . or wearing expensive clothing and jewelry . . . driving fancy cars . . .

It is, obviously, more than meets the eye . . . they may have other employment . . . they may be wealthy with a trust fund . . . they may be lucky . . . or it’s all a scam . . .

I don’t have all the answers . . . I’ve just been making observations . . .

I have found that I genuinely have to care about the person before I’ll subscribe to their YouTube Channel. It’s like choosing a friend. Some people you’re drawn to . . . and others you’re not . . .  The same holds true for blogs . . . You share their interests . . . or you don’t.

The good news from all of this is that you can do what you set your mind to accomplishing. You may not become a millionaire, but you may decide that isn’t important to you . . . You may have other goals . . . and those goals will shape your blog, vlog, videos, etc. And, in the process, you’ll grow as your success grows . . . maybe with baby steps . . . but you’ll be moving in the right direction.

Another observation I’ve made is that some popular YouTube Channels lose their quality over time . . . either the people involved lose interest or become so comfortable that they forget their subscribers or they’re so “full of themselves” that they feel whatever they do will be loved by others. I don’t know . . . but I have unsubscribed . . . and if more people do the same, maybe the quality will improve . . . or the views will decrease . . . these are indicators that popularity is decreasing . . .

The same is true for blogs . . . fewer people stop by to read what you have to say . . . Yes, we all have bad days, but it is important to have something meaningful to say . . . from time to time . . .

I do appreciate your stopping by. Leave me a comment, if you so desire to do so. I’m interested in what you have to say.

Until next time,

Sharon

Learning From YouTube Videos

I’ve learned quite a lot about paper crafting from various YouTube videos.

Several years ago I started seriously getting into paper crafts.paper-crafts

I wasn’t thinking in terms of scrapbooks, but in making boxes for hostess gifts and also making my own 3-D houses for centerpieces and a village for various holidays.

There are so many generous people showing how they make various items with die cutting machines, punches, stamps, designer papers and the list goes on and on.

Most paper crafters use various products from various sources. They buy their tools from local craft stores as well as from Amazon. But there is one company that requires their demonstrators to use their products exclusively.

Stampin’ Up Demonstrators have taken YouTube by storm.

For some time now, I’ve found the videos I’ve been turning to have been from Stampin’ Up Demonstrators.

My favorites have been from the UK. They seem to show me how to make different boxes for different holidays. Yes, they have some great punches and lovely papers and use the Sizzix Big Shot for embossing and die cuts. They have their own line of stamps that work right along with their punches.

From listening and later talking with various paper crafters, I’ve learned that you do need to have numerous finished products for your on-line store and you need a variety of tools, papers, punches, accessories, etc. in order to have the materials at hand for what you want to make.

Stampin’ Up seems to do that for their demonstrators . . . but at a price. There is value added in there. For example if you purchase $100. let’s say, you may receive $130. in product value. My numbers may be inaccurate, but you receive value for what you pay. You may be able to select a “free” item or two.

On the surface, this seems to be a good deal . . . and if people buy from you, that is less you’re obligated to buy.

But, if you want to buy products at a discount from Stampin’ Up and you don’t care about the business end of it, this is an excellent way of building an inventory of craft supplies and tools in a relatively short time.

Many Stampin’ Up demonstrators are busy making YouTube videos plus holding craft parties where they may have a make and take type of class . . . they may make sales . . . or not . . . they may get others to sign-up . . . or not . . .

I did some research in my local area.

I found that they’re basically into their own hobby.

They have no website, no videos . . . some will set up a live demonstration in my house if I could gather a number of people together . . .

Well, I have to agree with many of these ladies. My crafts are my crafts. It is a solitary thing. I wouldn’t mind doing how to videos, but being obligated to live demonstrations on even a monthly basis isn’t something I want to do.

I’ve been burned in the past . . . not by any company in particular, but in joining with others at a senior center . . . basically, they don’t spend money . . . they want what they can get for nothing . . . and leave you with a mess to clean up. Yes, that may be extreme, but that seems to have been my experience.

It may be my location . . . or I stink as a demonstrator . . . or so many other factors I haven’t even tried to figure out.

I’m just saying, it isn’t as easy as it seems . . . or as others would like you to believe.

So, nothing against Stampin’ Up, but I think I’ll continue on my own . . . doing my own thing . . . maybe make a video or two . . . build up my inventory of holiday products to sell . . . and have fun crafting . . .

Any hobby does cost money . . . and to get into it to make money isn’t the proper approach, in my humble opinion. It’s important for you to know what you want, how you want to spend your time . . . is your personality one in which you want to work alone or with others in a hands on teaching and learning situation.

Can you show others how to make a product? Do you want to supply the paper, tools, etc.?

I suppose you could set things up so that each person has to pay upfront . . . There have been some YouTube demonstrators who have close to 100 videos, receive little feedback and no contacts to buy their products . . . or people even interested in their challenges or giveaways.

This is truly sad . . . but I could see this happening . . . if you don’t have a lot of friends and people who love what you do.

I believe you need to be involved with those who share your “hobby” and spend time in those venues on-line. They may be curious enough to visit your website or watch your videos . . . it is a beginning. It does take time . . . goodness, I can’t tell you how many videos are uploaded to YouTube daily . . . but it is a large number . . . Then, in your area . . . there is a lot of competition. There are many who have been at it for years . . . they know their stuff and they are comfortable in their videos and with themselves.

As with anything, you need to do what you can . . . knowing it will take time . . . And your comfort in making videos will improve as will your videos. So, I’ve been told . . .

I love it when someone turns on their camera, does their greeting and gets to work . . . they’re relaxed and have everything in place . . . they speak naturally about what they’re showing you . . . some give you some insight into who they are and what they’re doing. It’s fun to be able to blend the two . . . people want to know you are a real person and what you have to say or what you have to show is worthwhile.

I don’t follow a lot of people on YouTube, but I do follow a few . . .

I do look forward to their videos.

And, some for different reasons. Some for the chatter . . . some for what they can teach me. Some, because they seem like nice people.

I don’t know if I’ll ever feel comfortable when the camera is on . . . I’m in the privacy of my own home office . . . I know what I want to say and show . . . I don’t have to upload it . . . I’m not doing it live with millions of people watching . . . I find it strange . . . and then disappointing when no one can find my latest video . . .

Well, when I get into this crafting thing and have a video worth watching, I’ll let you know right here. I may be better with blogging . . . I’m comfortable, relaxed . . . I can stop and think . . . I can take a break . . .

I wonder if blogging was initially as frightening for me . . .

Enough of this . . . thank you for stopping by. I do hope this was informative for you. There are lots of crafts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, wedding favors . . . maybe even for the 4th of July . . . and, of course, for Halloween and Christmas . . . and Easter, if you want to get a jump on next year . . .

Until next time,

Sharon