Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We've all read enough to know not to ever open Pandora's box, but what about listening to Pandora's Radio?

Wouldn't it be great to listen to a radio station that played only the songs you love, commercial-free? Well, now you can have that.

Pandora Radio ( gives you just that. You create an account, then give Pandora examples of some of the bands/artists/songs you like. Their database finds other songs that are similar to what you like, and they start playing them for you.

You can rate each song played with a thumbs up or down. Thumbs down, it will never be played on your station again. Thumbs up, they will keep it in rotation and look for more of the like.

Over time, Pandora becomes an expert on what music you like. They are always sliding in new songs, to see if you like them. I usually do.

If your musical taste differ according to your mood, Pandora can handle that too. Create different stations for your different moods, and adjust them accordingly. For instance, I have three stations in my account. My rock station plays Nickleback, Hinder, Matchbox 20 and the like. When I'm in blues mode, I switch to the station that plays Sonny Landreth, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Kenny Ray Shepherd. For mellow moods, I get Indigo Girls, Son Volt and KT Tunstall.

Pandora is free, advertising sponsored. The more I use it, the more I love it. You can even start off by listening to one of the stations I've created. Just search for phoenix743, and tune in.

Only the music you want to hear, commercial-free. Who could ask for more?

Pandora Radio, Tune in and try it yourself!


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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tweak Vista

We've all heard about the problems people are having with Microsoft's Vista operating system. My beloved PC Pitstop now offers some suggestions to make Vista do what you want, instead of what it wants.

Find the latest tweaks here.

We try to share the best resources with you. Please use the link on our home page to try PC Pitstop's free computer scans. I swear they saved more than one of my computers from an early death!


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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How to Lose Subscribers

In our chats, we talk a lot about how to present yourself properly for marketing. This week, I had an experience of how NOT to act toward subscribers.

I signed up a couple months ago for a newsletter. Thought it sounded interesting and wanted to take a look. As busy as I am, newsletters tend to pile up until I find time to sit down and read through them. Last week I tried to catch up, including some of the LWL newsletter.

First, it wasn't really a newsletter, it was just a blurb and a link to their blog. I find that annoying, but a lot of people are doing it. So I clicked the link to read on. I was confused because the post didn't seem to have anything to do with the blurb in the "newsletter". After a little searching, I realized that the email didn't give a link to the post it was talking about, it just gave a link to the main page of the blog. On my dial-up connection at home, it took a lot of time to look around, check the archives, and finally find the post I wanted to read.

This past weekend, I was playing catch up again. Once again, the LWL emails all had a single link to the main page of the blog. I located one post, and then decided I didn't have time to search for the rest of them. I decided to let the owners of LWL know that I was having problems, and that there is an easier way of doing this. So I sent this email:

"Could you give a link to the post you're talking about, instead of to the main page of the blog? I don't have the time to go searching for the post you're talking about. I don't have a chance to read these emails everyday.I'm about ready to unsubscribe, because it's too difficult to find the current topic."

Yes, my frustration shows. But the response I received was not at all what I expected. (Names removed from the email)

"Audrey, what specifically do you find too hard about scrolling through our blog titles and reading what you feel compelled to read ?

"If you've been around long enough, you already know by now XXX and XXX run a pretty tight ship with their readers. And, that means stuff like a) teaching self-reliance b) not molly-coddling to impatience and ineptitude and c) being direct when it comes to prompting some people to get out of their own way.

"Having said that, I see one of two choices: #1) Sloooow down, take a DEEP breath, and take the time to read our blog ( there's a reason each post has a LARGE heading ) #2) Unsubscribe

"Yup, life is CHANGE. Growth is OPTIONAL. Chose Wisely !" (Typo in the original)

I did scroll through their blog titles and found I wasn't "compelled" to read any of them. I'm inept because they don't know how to direct people? I need to get out of my own way? I decided what I needed to get out of was this worthless mailing list.

This was my reply:

"Forcing your subscribers to waste their time is not running "a tight ship". It's an inept use of the internet, inefficient, and shows that you don't care if people read what you write or not.

"I chose #2. As the owner of two successful businesses, I don't waste my time with sites/lists that insult me or waste my time. I've unsubscribed.

"And thank you for your unprofessional email! I will use it in my marketing classes as an example of how to destroy your reputation.

"This was definitely the wise choice. Have a wonderful day!"

First rule of business: The customer is always right.


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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations and Best Wishes!

Kim Richards sure knows how to celebrate Halloween. She and her man dressed up and did something that the rest of us didn't dream of doing...


Kim and William at flower shop

What, you didn't know Kim made medieval costumes? Sure she does! She has a store...but I can't find the link right now. (PSSSTT! Kim post your link!)

We at TWC wish Kim and William all the happiness in the world. Congratulations, kids!

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