Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Anti spam.....

There was a time when Spam was something you had for lunch, or dinner. It came in a can which could be opened with a 'key" and it tasted not that bad, if you added some HP sauce, a deep fried chip or two and what ever else you could put on a plate and call it a meal!!

I remember having lots of it every Tuesday for lunch, when I taught in various schools in Britain. For some reason, Tuesday was deemed Spam day. Those who loved it ate platefuls. Those who hated it booked off sick!!

Fast forward 40 years or so. Spam is now the subject of some vicious legislation bent on stopping our e-mail boxes from overflowing with unsolicited solicitations. The best comment I have seen so far on the issue is a column by Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail. Ms Wente succinctly outlines how the government, has taken on the role of defending those who don't understand that there is software out there to protect them from Spam - raw, fried and/or deep fried in batter. These hapless people, with hotmail or gmail accounts no doubt, have asked the government to protect them, from the great unknown.

Hence, the government, who has nothing better to do and has always viewed themselves as some sort of hero when it suits them, has, as a result, enacted legislation, which is the equivalent of taking an elephant gun to kill a mosquito. They have passed the most confusing, most unintelligible piece of gobbledegook, that bears very little relevance to the "problem" in question. Small businesses depend on email to contact their customers, 99% of their customers welcome these broadcasts. Prohibit this form of marketing and you shoot the little guy, ignoring the elephant that's in the room.

OK, they can pat themselves on the back because they have eliminated 2% of all unsolicited e-mail and probably wiped out or seriously crippled a large percentage of small (read micro) Canadian businesses. BRAVO!! This anti-spam legislation, however,  has done nothing to stop the 98% of spam from other countries. It will not stop solicitations from spam bankers asking for your credit card information, or spam lawyers saying you have a huge inheritance somewhere in Africa, or spam whatever, asking for, selling or promoting anything they can lay their hands on.

Will you even notice, if you don't receive any e-mail broadcasts from Canadian owned businesses? Will your inbox be less full? Highly unlikely. However, the government elephant gunners will be there just waiting for some unsuspecting soul who mis-read or mis-interpreted the legislation. All they need is to catch someone at it, fine them a million dollars and then they will have justified their existence. The spam will not stop, the little guy will pay and the big guy, as always, will be laughing all the way to the bank.

How to win - buy shares in the company that owns the brand Spam. They're getting a lot of free advertising!!

Have a spam-free day!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Christmas in July!!!

Looking for a magnet to draw people into your shop for an "occasion?" Christmas in July is always a favourite. Not only does it get knitters thinking of knitted gifts they can make, it also gives you a chance to suggest gifts to them early enough for people to knit (or crochet) them in time for the gift giving season.

Here are some thoughts:

1. Create a large greeting card with your list of Fall classes. Perhaps offer a discount or a freebee (gift) for those who sign up by July 25.

2. Offer a gift to anyone who shows up over the weekend and buys $_____ dollars worth of goods. I have wonderful stash organizers. They are 9"x12"x 3" clear plastic zippered bags which hold a substantial amount of yarn. They normally wholesale for $1.10, however, if you quote this post with your order, they are yours for $1.00. Wrap them up like Christmas crackers and give them as a gift. Have a number on hand for those who want to buy more at $2.00 retail to separate sock yarn from worsted or organize yarn with patterns into projects etc.

Teddy Bear mitts sized child to adult from Infiknit

3. Have Christmas cookies and spiced drinks available to create a party atmosphere. Hang out your Christmas stockings and/or check out the Christmas stocking list on our website.

4. Have a free class on needle felting with cookie cutters for tree ornaments. Small gingerbread molds in tan roving come to mind.

5. Mitten trees, charity tie ins, crocheted snowflakes (we have the fine hooks), anything beaded, decorative (pom-poms) etc could be part of the mix as well.

Please let us know what works for you. Have great day!!