October 15th, 2007

Today is Blog Action Day and bloggers all over the world are sharing their thoughts about keeping our natural world in working order. I have some thoughts, too. But I’m having so much fun reading everyone else’s, I don’t think I’ll get mine down tonight.

Maybe tomorrow. Or next week. Can I wait that long? Will I still have an earth to blog about?

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

DirectBuy is crazy

Here in west Michigan,we have TV adds for DirectBuy, a retailer whose members claim will save you lots of money. It’s not unusual for a member/spokesperson to claim “We saved $20,000 when we remodeled our kitchen,” or some such. But, even if you save 50% on everything you buy, you still have to spend $20,000 to save that much.

Well, it’s even worse than that.

Consumer Reports just published an article spotlighting some of DirectBuy’s policies. They went undercover to to a New York DirectBuy location and came away with some interesting information.

After the fee disclosure, we discovered that we had to sign up on the spot or never come back.

It gets better. In order to sign up you have to pay a membership fee that comes near to $5,000.00. That covers the first 3 years of your 10 year commitment. Don’t sweat it, though. DirectBuy is more than happy to loan you the membership fee for only 17.75%.

Anyone interested in signing up?

With DirectBuy, it will cost you a lot to save – Consumer Reports

Also, infomercialscams.comĀ 

Stupid prepaid mobile service!

I haven’t been updating as often as I’d like. I was hoping to upload some pics and blog from my phone. It has these capabilities. But It doesn’t matter what the phone can do when it can find service!

We made it halfway across Nebraska when I stopped finding a cell signal. That was very disappointing. I had some fun pictures to share from Carhenge and Mt. Rushmore. Right now, we’re just a few miles from the big faces preparing to get back on the road. It feels like the vacation is over, since we’re leaving our home of the last two days. But their is no singular destination when you’re on a road trip. We have more adventure ahead of us in the days to come.

Hittin’ the Open Highway

My wife and I are about to embark on a journey. We are visiting some friends in Omaha, NE for the Labor Day holiday. Then, we have the rest of the week to do whatever. We intend to see as much of the country as possible.

We’d really love to hit the Northwest. But, to keep our expenses down, we’ll probably stay a little closer to home. Right now it looks like we’ll loop down through some Southern states. We really won’t know until we leave.

Being on the road is our favorite pastime. We are most at home sharing the confines of a vehicle at high speeds.

If you’d like to share the adventure, then keep an eye on this blog (subscribe). Or, my Flickr photos. My wife may upload some photos, too. The most up-to-date information will be on my Twitter page.

Peace.

Where’s the love?

I’ve been blogging on WordPress for almost a year now. And I think it’s great. The software is easy to use, the themes are nice, and I’ve got options to upgrade. I appreciate the combination of simple and flexible. But I think there’s one thing lacking: community.

I’m not saying there’s no community here at WordPress.com. If you visit the support forums, you’ll see some bloggers who hang out there quite a bit. And I’ve had a chance to interact with a few others myself.

What I am saying is there’s no major effort to connect bloggers to each other. And that’s ok because the developers are focusing their efforts on making the best product possible. So, it’s in the hands of the users to develop the community. I’ve got a couple thoughts.

Use the Dashboard

There are a couple features built into the Dashboard that give you some connectedness. Under What’s Hot you’ll see some of the most popular blogs and posts on WordPress. You can see latest posts as well. Check out some of these sites; this is the closest you’ll ever be to most of them. Don’t wait for something to become popular to check it out. Help make it popular.

Tag Surfer

Also on the Dashboard is the Tag Surfer. This feature often goes unknown, but it has great power. Just go to the Tag Surfer tab and enter some categories you’re interested in. Then, each day you’ll find new sites that (supposedly) talk about the topics that interest you. You’ll be able to read those posts right from this page. Then, you can go comment on them.

My Comments

Also on the Dashboard is the My Comments tab. This one is exactly what it sounds like: comments you’ve left on other WordPress blogs. The neat thing about this feature is that subsequent comments also show up here. It’s great for keeping track of feedback and for keeping the conversation going.

One more great idea

Internet Duct Tape is the hub for a developer with some great ideas. Recently, he published a Greasemonkey script that helps to facilitate community here at WordPress. It allows you to open 5 random WordPress.com blogs at once. And it alerts you to blogs that have a Recent Comments Widget installed. You know, for some link-love.

Remember, use your blog responsibly. Don’t just rant; join in the conversation. Every one of us wants some kind of feedback. Start by offering some and maybe you’ll get some, too. And don’t forget this: WpNextButton It’s in the upper right-hand corner of your screen (if you’re a WordPress member.)

This is where I need to be.

This is where I need to be.

And I may just get my chance.
My boss is giving me the week off. Hopefully, my wife and I will be able to spend that time on the road. I know I could really use some time away.

I love my new phone!

I love my new phone!

Originally uploaded by jason.rehmus

I just got a new camera phone. Right now I’m experimenting with all the cool features that allow me to interact with the web. This is way too cool. Or maybe I’m just a geek.

By the way, the photo above is my wife’s craft table. None of our animals would stand still long enough to get their picture taken.