Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ten Gift Ideas For Wheelchair Users

A bit late for the holidays. But check out these 10 gift ideas for wheelchair users. With some 2 million wheelchair users in the USA, there should be quite an interest in this subject.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Baby Songs : Our Baby's Favorite Baby Songs

Have you searched for entertaining, education and fun songs for your baby? After going through many many songs, we made a selection of our baby's favorites songs. It was helpful for us, because now all of his songs are in one place. But it might be helpful to you too.

Finding the right baby song is difficult to do. Some songs were to scary for our baby. Some were too boring for us. Some songs were too noisey and made him cry. The songs here are fun, educational and easy to listen to both for our baby and for us.

These songs are all branded Super Simple Songs. Some of the best are made by Jeremy. The others are their animated songs. Check out these excellent baby songs.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My only television celebrity lens: William Levy, hot Latino telenovela star

William Levy star of Sortilegio
This lens is so atypical of my collection it sort of makes me giggle. I'm not ordinarily one for gossip, or for drooling over hunky tv stars, but I made an exception for William Levy. Partially because I was actually curious about him, and partially because the gossip about him threatened to get out of hand on my telenovela blog Caray, Caray!

I don't allow speculation on stars' private lives at Caray, Caray, so I made this lens so fans of this sexy Cuban tv star William Levy could speculate and share juicy tidbits about his life and loves to their hearts' content. There've been some mighty long comments in the guest book!

I think it's interesting that a lens about a Latin-American tv star can make it to #15 in the tv celebrities list.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cheap Footed Pajamas

I have recently been surprised to find some cheap footed pajamas. When I started with my footed pajamas brands, I was actually surprised that the average cost was around $50. These are brand name footed pajamas between $20-$25!

The price was so astonishing for me, that I created a squidoo lens and a page in my website about it. My goal is to drive traffic to my new website in search of these inexpensive footed pajamas. I notice that there is not much competition for this long-tailed keyword (cheap footed pajamas). There is one website with that name (Cheap Footed Pajamas), but the prices of the footed pajamas are actually over $50, not very cheap at all.

I expect some of my new traffic will buy the $25 footed pajamas and others will look around and actually buy some of the other, more higher priced footed pajamas, thereby earning me slightly higher commissions.

The best Zazzle stores I could find, want to see them?

Whenever I have an internet problem, I do some research. If I'm doing something badly, I try to figure out how somebody else does it better.

So my Zazzle gallery, Uncle Shlomo's Pushcart is pretty disorganized and I went poking through Zazzle looking for great galleries, which have solved the problems I face, with all newbie Zazzlers (for instance, that if you're not careful your page is just a chaotic mashup of whatever products you've created most recently).

Because I'm a squidoo addict, I put screenshots and links to the best zazzle stores I found in a lens: Best of the Zazzle Stores. Have a look and...

... if you know of a great zazzle storefront I didn't mention, add it to the plexo - and if you have some advice for me about mine, please leave a comment. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Deep Links And Matching Footed Pajamas

This is my next post in the series about making my own website about footed pajamas. Today, I created a new Squidoo Lens about matching footed pajamas to go with one of my website's most important pages which is also about matching footed pajamas. Why did I create the lens? It is difficult to get deep links and Squidoo can help with that. What does that mean?

If you submit a website to a directory, most of the time only the homepage is allowed. But if you want your other website pages to be found by Google and other search engines, it is helpful to have links directly to it. However, a link to your other website pages (besides your homepage) are called a "deep links" and few directories allow them. You need to be creative to get deep links.

Squidoo not will not only bring traffic to my website, it will allow me to create links to any page of my website, that is, with Squidoo I can get deeplinks. And since the Squidoo lens is also about matching footed pajamas, it is a highly relevant link. However, I will not stop there. I created a Hubpage about matching footie pajamas and I will write articles about matching footed pajamas. All of those things will allow me to get traffic and deep links to my page about matching footed pajamas.

This is one of the reasons that I think that building websites and creating Squidoo lenses go hand in hand.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The National Yiddish Book Center

I may have gotten this lens up too late to help them this year, but maybe a few people looking to make a tax-deductible end of the year contribution will find my National Yiddish Book Center lens.

I'm not affiliated with the Yiddish Book Center in any way, except as a devoted fan and satisfied customer. They have a gorgeous, interesting magazine called the Pakn Treger which comes out every month (oh, it's so yummy) that you get for a modest donation. It's the only magazine I didn't cancel when I decided to simplify my life...

I've visited their set of buildings, styled like a little shtetl on a lovely sweep of greensward on the Hampshire College campus. They have zillions of real old-time Yiddish books you can buy for cheap, and real old-time sheet music, and if you don't want an OLD book you can pay them to make you a new one, or you can read almost any book they have online, because Stephen Spielberg gave them a grant to digitize their ENTIRE collection available, incredibly: Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library cataloged and downloadable for FREE.

They have concerts and lectures and they provide scholarships for summer interns to learn Yiddish and do projects (very cool ones) and take care of these books.

Aaron Lansky, the founder, wrote a very popular book called "Outwitting History" about saving Jewish literature after the Holocaust. It's funny and inspiring.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Three Log Night Christmas Songbook: uncommon music for the Holiday season

Christmas SongbookHere's my other holiday songbook: the Three Log Night Songbook: Christmas and Hanukkah and winter solstice music, songs in 2- to 4-part harmony, with guitar chords (also playable on piano, accordion, whatever). You can also sing them alone, or play them on your recorder or ukelele.

You can have it in your hand in a week if you order it today (click on the picture to order).

If you want to learn more about it, and hear some of the songs (both from the companion cd made by the Solstice Assembly and from youtube) visit the Christmas Songbook lens at squidoo.

It's not too late!

My Hanukkah songbook at Createspace: does print-on-demand seem too slow for the holiday season?


I painted the picture on the cover of this Chanukah songbook on October 26; when the paint was dry half an hour later I scanned it and sent it off to createspace. Three days later I had the proof copy of the book in my hand - minutes later I approved it and it was available for sale! But in October people aren't thinking about Hanukkah...

... and, besides, it takes a while for a new book, or a new lens about a new book, to be found by search engines... and a holiday songbook is a time-sensitive purchase ...

Createspace is very, very fast - but I wonder if potential customers think it takes a long time to get books made specially and individually for them - I wonder if they worry that, by the time they're thinking about Hanukkah gifts, it's too late to order a book that's print-on-demand?

Hannukah begins December 11 this year - that means it runs through sundown on December 19, 2009. When I ordered copies of my book as a customer, they were still in my hands within a week. That means theoretically a person could order my TJC Hanukah Songbook on December 9 or so and still have it arrive during the holiday. That's another whole week of buying opportunity! But would people already think it too late?

Just wondering whether print-on-demand is a failure at holiday time. What do you think?

How to avoid Christmas entirely!

It's a subject near to my heart, I've been trying to formulate an answer for years. I'm a convert to Judaism - you could say I'm a refugee from Christmas. My kids think my aversion is peculiar. But in case you share it, I have a lens for you - How to Avoid Christmas.

I realize it's sort of a heretical concept in our society - after all, it's Christmas shopping that drives the economy. But the thought of all those presents eventually hitting the landfill depresses me...

I give big whopping checks to the Nature Conservancy and Nothing But Nets and Mercy Corps and then I make delicious treats and send them to my relatives, and punto as they say on the telenovelas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Religious and spiritual quizzes

I love the interactive modules in squidoo and the squidquiz project is the latest branch on that tree. I've set up over 10 religious trivia quizzes so far. Whether it's Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity or Islam - I've made you a quiz.

I'm also collecting all spiritual quizzes I have found in the template: cool spiritual quizzes. Please submit yours if you've made one. So far there are only two there that I haven't made. One about people in the Bible and one about astrology. But I can imagine quizzes on topics like reiki, meditation. My favorite so far... Yoga trivia and facts quiz.

Give to get

Even though squidoo is mostly geared towards selling - after all, only the quixotic (like me) would lavish so much time on this with nothing to be gained - it's the personal lenses, and the personal connections, which keep people coming back.

When I saw all the work Jaguar Julie had put into her friends thank-you lens I decided to make my own - for each of the 120 or so people on my fan-club list I included their picture, name, and one of their lenses which I most enjoyed. Then I published, and went around to the guestbooks of the lenses I'd featured and said thank-you individually.

Well, I learned a lot in my travels through all those lens lists of my fans, but what I wanted to tell you now is that many of those fans have come back, looked at my lens and given it five stars, and said thank you right back at me! I think I made more friends in the course of this project... and those are people who are more likely to look at my other lenses.

I have two kinds of lenses: the kind related to my work and creations and those I made for the heck of it. The "heck of it" lenses include, for instance, more than a dozen on puppets, small and large. I'm not selling anything on them. They're just there.

Then there are the lenses about the things that matter to me in a more creative sense: showing off my paintings (see the latest images for my Zazzle store, Uncle Shlomo's Pushcart), my songbooks like the Solstice Assembly Songbook, etc. I take them much more personally and they get fewer visitors, but hopefully, a rising tide raises all boats, and if people are happy I've featured their lenses, maybe they'll visit my songbooks.