Biz Miss

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Worth Its Weight: Free Shipping October 14, 2009

Filed under: recession,Worth its Weight — bizmiss @ 5:39 pm
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Since I live across the country from my family, I buy most of my gifts online.  Usually there’s no sales tax (which can save you almost 10% if you live in California), and it saves me a trip to the post office.  Unfortunately, my sales tax savings are always trumped by the high cost of shipping, so I was psyched when I found freeshipping.org today.  It’s a lot like my other favorite coupon site, retailmenot, only it specializes in free shipping codes.

I love the Internet.

 

Worth Its Weight: Top Ten Typography Mistakes September 17, 2009

Maybe it’s because I just saw that “Helvetica” movie, but I thought I should share this with you: Brian Hoff’s “10 Common Typography Mistakes.” This is a great primer for anyone DIY-ing the design of their own marketing materials.  Even if you have no professional design training, using these tips will get halfway to having a professional-looking brochure or web site. via swissmiss

typographymistake

 

Worth Its Weight: MagCloud March 9, 2009

A few months ago I wrote a post about Ponoko, a service which allows you to create and sell custom laser-cut products on demand.  Today I was introduced to yet another interesting on-demand service: MagCloud.  MagCloud allows you to publish magazines on demand, at a cost of $0.20 per page.  They handle all the printing, binding, subscriptions and distribution, so you can focus on the creative work of putting the publication together.  Even better: while they are still in Beta mode, publisher proofs are free (excluding shipping).  All you have to do is upload a hi-res pdf.

Like other on-demand production services, MagCloud isn’t cheap.  An issue of Craft would cost $30 to produce this way–twice the normal cover price and significantly higher than the cost of a subscription.  But without advertisers to satisfy, magazines published on-demand can be a lot more streamlined about their content, which can help cut down on costs.  Have you ever noticed, for example,  how many magazines these days have more than one product review section?  Craft and ReadyMade have at least three apiece (tools, kits, books, music, etc.).  I recently learned from someone in the industry that these reviews exist primarily to lure advertisers.  Companies that advertise get first dibs on submitting products for review, thus gaining free publicity alongside their paid advertisements.

As a new service, (they’ve only been around since July), MagCloud is still somewhat limited in its parameters. Shipping is currently only available in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, and there is only one page size available (US letter, trimmed down to 8.25″ x 10.75″).  They are also conspicuously missing an FAQ page.  To get all the specifics you need to look at their front page, their blog and the help section.

Still, with most of my favorite publications out of print or on the verge of total blogdom, I’m happy to see that there is hope of filling the void.  I can’t wait to see what innovations occur in publishing now that anyone can run a magazine.

Tip: You can use MagCloud publications as textbooks, catalogs and portfolios, too! At $0.20 cents a page, it’s a lot cheaper than making color copies.

 

Worth Its Weight: StartupNation January 27, 2009

If you don’t already use StartupNation on a regular basis, you probably live under the same rock as I do.  I was a little appalled at myself to have just discovered the site this morning.  It’s extremely comprehensive and well-written, but what differentiates StartupNation from other entrepreneurial web resources is its integration of information and services.  For example, in an article about timing a good PR campaign, you can click right to a page that gets you quotes from pre-screened PR firms.  The best part?  Everything at StartupNation is 100% free.  You don’t even need to sign up for anything.  You just visit the site and use whatever you want, barrier-free.  I’m currently loving the ten-step plan for growing your business.

In addition to the web site, StartupNation also runs a weekly radio show, which you can download as a free podcast.  It’s great for commutes, though it admittedly has a “boomer emphasis.”

 

Worth Its Weight: Silent Packing Tape January 12, 2009

Filed under: Worth its Weight — bizmiss @ 12:09 pm
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There is no sound my husband hates more than the jerky scream of packing tape being pulled off the roll.  I admit, it’s an unusually loud and jarring noise, even from a couple of rooms away.  So when I recently ran out, I went looking for alternatives, and I have been extremely pleased with what I found: Office Depot’s Medium Duty Packing Tape.  It’s just their standard tape, but it’s thicker, stickier and less expensive than the Duck Brand tape I had been using, and better yet–it’s noiseless!  Now I can pack and tape as much as I want and it doesn’t bother anyone.  Huzzah!

 

Worth Its Weight: RetailMeNot November 17, 2008

Filed under: opportunities,Worth its Weight — bizmiss @ 8:48 pm
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My photography instructor pointed my classmates and I to retailmenot.com so we could find good deals on online book publishing, at sites like blurb.com, lulu.com and mypublisher.com.  But there are coupon codes for thousands of online stores at this website, along with the posted success rates of shoppers who tried to use them.  It’s like signing up for every major company’s promotional e-mails, only without all of the inbox-clogging spam.  Sweet!