Thursday, September 11, 2014

Facebook and Net Neutrality -- There Isn't Any There

A number of years ago Facebook insisted that you had to have a Business Page if you were a business on their service. And that was going to be a great thing! Build your Fan base, promote your brand: Social networking is the way to go to sell your goods and services online and just about anything... including a bill of goods.

At first it did seem to be working and many tiny mom-and-pop-preneurs were reporting wonderful success starting a business from scratch without the need for very much upfront cash and outside investment. An excellent example of boot-strapping your way out of poverty in today's horrifying "post"-Recession economy.

But several months ago something more horrifying started to happen. Facebook stoppped showing most Business Page posts to the Fans unless the Page owner paid to have those posts promoted. Case in point, I have built a Fan base of 995 people so far. Unless I reshare it or pay to "Boost" a post, my typical update is shared with 10-12 people. Sometimes even fewer.

I've expressed my concern and "Well," people say,"That's not very nice but poor poverty-stricken Facebook 'deserves' to make money somehow, don't they?" Umm... yeah... but...

The business strategy promoted by Facebook and all those so-called internet business gurus was to use Business Pages to build relationships. And relationships build slowly over time, especially in the sound-bite little blips we post via social media. If you have to pay for every post that adds up FAST. And is SO far from cost effective it doesn't make sense for anyone to do at all.

I'm not just whining, I've been doing the math. Even when I pay for posts -- and I did that for several months to give it a real test -- I have very little interaction on my Business Page, very few increased clicks to my websites, and not a single sale. But when I reshare one of my Business posts to my personal Timeline -- and even better, if my partner Paul does that -- the interaction increases, the hits to our websites increase and sales go up. Not consistently, not stupendously well, but it works the way the gurus say it is supposed to work: through tiny increases in attention and interaction and information sharing over time. Which is not at all possible for a mom-and-pop-preneur if you have to pay to boost the real way we build relationships over the internet-- not with ads but through the over time accumulation of every personal status update, cat video, or fun social-oriented share.

So Facebook has now built its own fast and slow lane on its social network. When it comes to Net Neutrality on Facebook, there is none. The wealthy can pay to promote their goods and services -- you see it in your newsfeed and in the sidebar every day. The tiny mom and pops who would have just kept sharing news about their business ventures on their personal Timelines with their Friends are
being made invisible. All their hard work in building a Fan base (and Facebook's supposed business value) torn down practically overnight when they changed the way posts were shared.

By the way, don't believe Facebook when they say the lack of visibility is due to so many more people joining the social network. We small business owners saw our stats shift dramatically overnight and we have records to show when it occurred. But enough on that.

Facebook is a mega-corporation that was making billions of dollars already at the time this new approach was put into action. Their greed is driving this action, plain and simple. And if you want to know what the failure of securing Net Neutrality throughout the internet is sure to look like...  all you need to do is talk to a small business owner who was duped into making Facebook a base for their internet presence to know what's sure to be coming almost as soon as Comcast and other mega-corps we already know and hate wind up in charge.

The FCC is taking public commentary on this important issue. Go to http://www.fcc.gov/comments. Go to 14-28. Leave a comment. In particular say that you want "Internet service providers classified as common carriers." That means they won't be able to discriminate or charge different access fees to have fast and slow lanes of service. Sure, I know, some of you will want to say that they have a right to charge for better services. But then the equal playing field we've all had will disappear. And that equal access is what the internet is all about.



Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Mama Love for Releasing Worry and Fear Bath and Body Oil

Here's what I do almost every morning:

My skin is dry and showering strips away a person's natural oils so it gets even drier. So I always have a few bottles of my Mama Love flower essence aromatherapy oils on hand. I pour a little into my hand, rub both hands together and rub it into my skin.

I tend to go lightly -- just a little oil at a time. Who wants to feel like an oil slick? But then I use it like a body lotion or any skin oil -- all over or wherever my skin feels dry and tight.

But here's the difference with my Mama Love oils: if I choose ones I really need (instead of my favorite scents) they instantly make me feel better!

Next time you are feeling anxious or stressed, try an experiment. Rub some of my "Releasing Worry and Fear" up and down one leg. Just one. Then pause and notice the difference in your two legs. Amazing, right?!!

Then go ahead and do the other leg and rub oil wherever your body holds tension: your low back, glutes, shoulders, anywhere (or all over). Then go and have a better-feeling day!

If you want to be able to renew the feeling of your bath regimen later in the day carry my "Releasing Worry and Fear" triple strength healing balm in your purse. It makes a great perfume. Dab a little on the pulse points of your neck or wrists or, go ahead, dab a bit on your shoulders or low back as well. It can make a really significant difference.

If you sign up to be on my once monthly email newsletter list I will give you a coupon code worth 10% off that you can use for your entire order (including already discounted items) in my Etsy shop. (You need to get the code BEFORE you place an order though so you can type the code in when you check out.) Send me an email via Etsy asking to be on my list.

Friday, September 05, 2014

New Mama Love Special in my Etsy Shop

Buy five of my 1 oz flower essence aromatherapy formulas for $69.95. (That's a savings of $25!) Why? Because it's a great time to stock up for the holidays. Have a massage therapist on your list? Here's a great opportunity to give them a special set of oils to use in their practice. Love to use them for yourself? Perfect! Make it a gift for yourself. And if you sign up for my monthly email newsletter and include a message that says "Mama Love code" I will give you a coupon code worth an additional 10% off your entire order (including already discounted items).

And while you're in my Etsy shop take a look around! I'm experimenting with lots of new items right now.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Could Emotional Issues be Eating Away At Your Esophagus and Giving You Heartburn?

Interesting stuff happening at Mama Love's house! My partner Paul ran out of deodorant and grabbed some of my flower essence aromatherapy oils to use instead. I happened to have "Releasing Worry and Fear", "Abundant Prosperity" and "Restful Sleep" by the bathroom sink. And guess what happened? The chronic heartburn he has had to take medication for daily for 10 years disappeared. Overnight. He hasn't had to take any medication and it's been gone a whole week. And he's been drinking coffee, spicy food and the occasional beer-- all the foods he thought set his heartburn off -- without any problem.

I can't tell you those oils are a cure for anything physical -- Paul knows a worry related to prosperity was really bad at the time his heartburn problem started and ever since. What was amazing -- and completely unexpected --is for the health problem to clear up that fast without consciously deciding to work on the emotional aspects. 

Since then, of course, he's been so fascinated with how this might have worked that he has been looking at the previously hidden emotional piece and getting plenty of insight to make changes with. He says his heart feels opened up and that he's more emotional as a result... but that it's been totally worth it! I was starting to get really worried about him -- he would sometimes choke on his food because his esophagus was so tender and even woke up in the night choking with acid backed up into his throat. We're not talking about minor gas here. I had been starting to nag him to get medical help instead of just using over-the-counter medication. But it's not happening now and, as I said before, he hasn't taken any medication or changed his diet-- or actually changed anything else physical besides using my oils -- all week.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Healing Support for Depression

In the wake of Robin William's death many people on my Facebook list have been sharing personal struggles with depression. I started my Mama Love business when I was a counselor and I created my first formulas to help people with the most common struggles. Grief and loss, releasing worry and fear, and-- of course-- different kinds of depression topped the list. Mama Love is not a substitute for trained professional counseling but they can often help make a significant difference.

Renewed Faith and Optimism is one I recommend for depression. It's great for people who have been stopped in their tracks by discouragement, deep disappointment and emotional setbacks. You can buy it as a convenient flower essence aromatherapy spray, as an unscented flower essence spray, as an oil that is perfect for an uplifting massage (or as daily-use body oil), or as a healing balm that doubles as a wonderful smelling perfume.

And if trauma or grief is at fault, perhaps a challenging circumstance that you don't know whether you can handle, try Mama Love Support for Troubled Times. My original oil formula is the one that people loved so much it launched me into the business I have today. I recommend applying it two or three times a day until it's not needed. It also smells so great it just has to be tried as a healing perfume balm that you can take with you in your purse so it's easy to reapply often. Or as a scented spray or unscented flower essence spray. It is equally effective in any form.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Beauty and Importance of Mushrooms

A gorgeous clip from the documentary "Fantastic Fungi".