Birthday! Giveaway! Bookmark! (Um, yeah. Bookmark)

So, I’m wrapping up the October Things Giveaway with the last Birthday freebie…a bookmark!

Oh, not just any bookmark, friends. This is a special, one of a kind bookmark, made for yours truly when I attended the JapanFest in my fair city. Er, county.

It’s Japanese writing and it says…CATHY!

Um, yeah. I know. It’s just my name. Wouldn’t it have been swell if I could have had that lovely Japanese woman write “Cathy C.’s Hall of Fame“? But that would have cost about ten bucks, and that seemed like a bit much for a bookmark. Whereas CATHY was just a quarter.

But I’d like to add my own message for you, whenever you use the bookmark. “When this you see, remember me.” I won’t mess up your bookmark, adding that message on the back. You’ll just have to think “When this you see, remember me” when the bookmark arrives.

Thinking of that quote and my name reminds me of Google Alerts. You can get an email, alerting you whenever your name pops up out there in web world. Sometimes it’s nice to check out where everybody knows your name (and they’ve been writing about you!). And sometimes it’s important to say, “Hey! You can’t just put up my essay or blog post on your blog without checking with me first!”

Well. You get the point. There are all sorts of good reasons to use Google Alerts. And bookmarks, too.

(Leave a comment to enter your name in the Birthday Giveaway. You could win a book, a lovely bookmark, and the birthday thingies that grow and grow and grow. Contest ends at midnight, October 31st. Which coincidentally marks the time I shall begin writing for NaNoWriMo.)

Thursday’s Three: Twitter Apps (Get Your Followers Here)

I’ve been meaning to add the Twitter application to the old Hall of Fame for awhile, so today I did a little tweaking. And while I was flitting around, I came across a mess of Twitter applications.

But since this is Thursday’s Three, I’ll stick to applications having to do with finding like-minded folks out there on Twitter. Because it’s all about following the leader(s) and getting them to follow you back. And most importantly, finding out what they know.

1. Just Tweet It (Find Other Twitter Users Just Like You)…So I found writers.

2. Twellow (The Twitter Yellow pages)…I looked up Media.

3. Wefollow (Just we follow)…so I followed writing. What can I say? I’m stuck in a rut.

Now, you can find similar applications on Twitter itself. But that’s a busy, busy place-and you might have to wait awhile. So, I thought I’d throw these out for you, give you a head start in the following business. Because there’s no thumb-twiddling at Twitter.

(P.S. Aren’t those Twitter chicks cool? Check out Geek Sucks here to find more free Twitter icons.)

Finding Something Friday on Alexa and Fairy Tales

I somehow managed to roll myself into the office so I could share what I found on this Friday after Thanksgiving. I mean, besides the three extra pounds I found around my waist.

So, I opened my Inbox to find a lovely email from Enchanted Conversation where I’d sent a poem having to do with Sleeping Beauty. Which turned out to be a very good thing, what with Sleeping Beauty being the theme of their first issue, due to come out in January 2010. So whee! I can’t wait to read this online magazine that celebrates all things Fairy Tales-ish.

Now, I know you’re thinking hold on a pea-pickin’ minute. Is this the same woman who wrote The Nano Lament (sung to the tune of I’ve been Working on the Railroad)? Well, as it happens, I can write delightful, not to mention, deeply moving poetry when the lyrical muse whacks me upside the head. But you shall just have to take my word for it until January, 2010 (when I shall give you a firm but kind push in the direction of Enchanted Conversation).

And since Enchanted Conversation is a new magazine, it will be trying to grow its readers. That reminded me of a nifty little tool I use to see how my blogs are growing, so to speak. It’s called Alexa, and I’m totally enamored with this web traffic whatchamacallit. You can install the Alexa toolbar or you can install the statusbar. I use the statusbar so I can check my blog’s ranking.

I’m not really all that sure what affects blog ranking. I know that the number of hits to a blog affects ranking, but I’m guessing there’s more to it than that. Links back to your blog might help your ranking, or a variety of visitors vs. the same old, same old crowd of visitors may have something to do with it, too. All I do know is that I like to check those numbers to see how my blog’s ranking goes up and down.

Kinda like my weight during the holidays. Which is not nearly as fun as you think.