Suggested by sadot06 For this fight we have Samurai Jack facing off against newcomer to the site, Nui Harime from the Kill la Kill series. Fight takes place in Arkham City. Who would win? Related Posts: Ryu Hayabusa Vs Samurai... Read More »
If you sign up to have a box of groceries and matching recipes delivered to your house every week, what are you buying? Convenience and the chance to avoid grocery checkout lines? A fancy meal that you have to cook yourself? Or the experience of making something new?
I have a membership to Blue Apron. This service sends the pre-measured ingredients for three meals to me each week, along with illustrated and easy-to-follow recipes for each meal. The ingredients are of very good quality, and the instructions in the recipes are clear and simple, with each meal taking a half hour to 45 minutes to prepare and requiring only basic booking equipment.
The service seems tailor-made for a new cook: someone recently out of college, with a well-paying job that allows them to spend a little more on food and on the convenience of having someone else shop for it.
But that doesn’t describe me as a member. I’ve been cooking for myself for years, have tons of cooking equipment, and feel I know my way around a kitchen very well. What does this service offer me?
For me, Blue Apron’s service turns what I often find to be a tedious task — fixing a healthy meal after a long workday — into an event. I can’t choose what meals will be sent each week, so I can’t fall into the rut of making the same few recipes that I find easy. The recipes often involve ingredients I haven’t tried before, like lemongrass, the grain freekeh, or dried hops flowers.
And though the preparation required is simple, it’s generally more elaborate than I would follow if I picked a recipe out of a cookbook. For example, last week we made chicken pot stickers, which meant filling a couple dozen noodle wrappers, boiling them to ensure the filling was cooked through, then pan-frying them. That’s a recipe I’d never have chosen on my own, even though I adore pot stickers. It came out perfectly, and it was one of my favorite meals from Blue Apron so far.
In other words, the service pushes me slightly out of my comfort zone. And then it rewards me with a delicious, filling, healthy meal, along with the pride and pleasure of having made it myself.
Blue Apron provides convenience, and for many of their customers that may be the great benefit of the service. For me, the convenience isn’t the part I most value. Instead, I appreciate the experience of cooking new things, and the way the Blue Apron meals are more than just dinner. They are special events.
Even the arrival of the Blue Apron box each week is an occasion, unpacking and checking out what’s coming up, discovering an ingredient I’ve not tried before.
(There’s a side benefit that several of my friends also receive Blue Apron deliveries, and we chat on Twitter about which meals we enjoy most, what we’re looking forward to in the coming week. So Blue Apron is also a community that I get to be part of.)
Blue Apron’s marketing smartly takes into account these varying motivations and reasons for buying. They emphasize the experience of cooking, the quality of their ingredients, and the convenience of the service.
What about your business? What are you really providing? Is it a box of food, or is it the experience of making and eating a new meal?
The post Convenience, cooking, and what Blue Apron offers its customers appeared first on Big Big Design.
Suggested by Malenfant Warhammer Fantasy (entire ‘verse) up against the Realm (Exalted). The specifications of the match will be as follows; Scenario one(1): The current era(RY 768) Realm against the entirety of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. All ten thousand realm-affiliated dragon-blooded(Terrestial... Read More »
Suggested by Expert Expert has been bugging me to post this match for quite some time, so I will set it up with two scenarios so that the Caped Crusader might have a chance in one fight. Here we have... Read More »
Everyone who knows me in real life and through social networking knows that I have been engaged in online dating for several months now. As a newly single mom, who works from home, the idea of getting out there and meeting interesting people was very appealing. I made specific effort to reach out to men who were very different from those I would come across here in my town on a day to day basis. I wanted to expand my work-from-home horizons, to gain new insight and exposure to people with more variety to offer than I would find in my everyday life. As I wrote in a blog post shortly after the New Year, I was rather successful in my goals. I met an incredibly diverse array of men, who possessed some absolutely wonderful qualities. And, for that, I will be always grateful. What I haven't shared with many is the emotional downside and stress that can come from playing the dating game. If you're ready to hear it, I think I'm ready to tell it. Here goes.
It Can Be Intimidating
Letting your guard down enough to present what you hope is your best self to another person can be a very raw, intimidating experience. Especially if you haven't done it in a while, and you're an introverrt by nature. It's scary as hell putting yourself out there. I was, and still am, petrified. Every time I meet someone new, I get butterflies in my stomach from the nervousness involved in that first meeting. I've heard friends tell me that they feel this way even in online interactions before meeting in person. Because I've been networking as a blogger online for years, I actually feel rather comfortable behind the computer screen. It's the whole in-person thing that sometimes makes me want to run and hide. However, I've managed to push through it and remind myself that there could be an amazing encounter just waiting to be had. It also helps to remember that the worst-case scenario is that we don't like each other and we call it a night. Meh. No big deal.
Sometimes It's an Emotional Roller Coaster
Except sometimes it can become a big deal. When you get along quite well and think you've got something good going that you enjoy, and then something happens to make you realize that maybe things aren't as good as you'd hoped. Let's be realistic. We're human, and that can happen. People naturally want to make connections, and when we make them, it can be really awesome. However, should the time come when disagreements occur, personalities clash or there's simply a realization that values are not in alignment, deciding that things aren't working out can really take an emotional toll. The idea of setting yourself up for that kind of letdown is also, quite frankly, scary as hell, and your emotions can totally be thrown out of whack.
It just is. Absolutely fucking exhausting. You receive that notification in your inbox saying you've gotten a message. You're excited because this could be the beginning of a real, legitimate experience with someone nice. Then you head over to the dating site to read... "Hi." Hi? What the hell is that? That is a huge letdown. That's what that is. "Hi." That tells me absolutely nothing. I don't have time to even deal with that. So I don't. The whole "hi" phenomena is nothing compared with the raunch, the hostility and the degradation faced regularly in online dating encounters. I've been known to share some of the more interesting interactions on Facebook, and my friends tend to think they're humorous. They can be rather funny. They can also be tiring, and even frightening, as hell. To have to be bombarded with, "Hey, sexy." And then, "I said hey to you. Why don't you respond? You're a fucking bitch for not responding," on a regular basis really makes you begin to question just what the hell is out there and if it's worth considering meeting up with any of these assholes in person, even on that rare occasion when you get a thoughtful message or interaction. And then? You get to start the dance all over again with the next interaction, hoping it may lead to a positive outcome with a decent and interesting human being. So tiring.
These are just a few of the realities I've faced in my online dating experience. Because it has become a bit overwhelming, I've decided to take a break from the online dating world and have deactivated all of my accounts. My intention is to focus on family, work and home pursuits for a while because I think that's what is best for me right now. Again, I don't have any regrets about my dating experiences. I needed to have them when I did. It made sense for me at the time. Some people take a relationship break first, then dive in. I'm not like most people, and I've come to accept and embrace that. Dating right off the bat helped me to get away from my tendency to be reclusive. It pushed me to expand my horizons and gave me the opportunity to see what I like and don't like about different kinds of people. Now, however, I need a break. So, dear dating sites, I'm breaking up with you. For now. xoxo
Suggested by Amm0vamp1r3 For this fight we have Madara (Naruto) facing off against Hei Long (Feng Shen Ji) Two gods face off today, who comes out on top? Related Posts: Hei Long Vs Dracula Madara Uchiha & Hashirama Senju Vs... Read More »
Suggested by Xornell A universe war between Defense of the Ancients (DotA) and League of Legends (LoL). Omnis barred. Which MOBA packs the bigger punch in its lore? Also, if you play either, favorite hero/champion? Related Posts: League of Legends... Read More »
This link will take you straight to the song on YouTube, in the middle of the K-love Fan Awards Press Conference.
If you want to watch the whole press conference, here is the video below:
Brought to you by Guest Imagine if Kong came into contact with gamma rays and had the same reaction as Bruce Banner. What would we call this monstrosity? What powers would it have? What other implications would there be? Related... Read More »
Suggested by MrRyder For this fight we have Raiden (Metal Gear) facing off against Samus Aran from Metroid. Battle takes place in large abandoned city. Both are standard distance from each other. Samus has her standard power suit, all abilities... Read More »
Some of you may have heard that Travis and I are moving back to our home town of Butler, PA! We're very excited about this. I've been trying to come up with words to express my thoughts about our time here in Alexandria. I always wanted to live somewhere else at least once in my life, so when Travis got offered the job we went for it. It was so hard to leave Dustin at home and take a leap of faith. I missed him so much but thankfully with texting and facetime it really wasn't too bad. Travis and I got to experience some new things...such as relaxation! We realized how over extended we were back in Butler. We committed to way too much and were just WAY too busy. Here in Virginia we got to step back and enjoy life a little more. It was a wonderful time to just hang out with Travis and have an adventure. We did SO MUCH bike riding and it was fabulous! We took lots of walks and explored Washington DC. We went out on dates. Well I mean, our whole life down here was one big date! It was great. I became an avid reader! Now THAT'S crazy. I never thought I'd blow through 29 books in one year, but that's what happened! I had fun living in a small apartment and appreciated the ease of cleaning it. Somehow through it I learned to appreciate minimalism (kinda sorta). I now love to declutter and don't hold on to anything that just takes up space. Those are just some of the fun I will never forget.
At the same time we never really settled in. People here are different and it wasn't really what I expected. I guess I thought it was going to me more like a "regular" big city. I think DC area is different than usual cities. So many people are only here for short periods of time. It's a very transient place. I really yearned to go back to where I could be with friends AND make friends easily (which really did not happen here.) The crafting community wasn't the same either. Shows were sparse, more expensive and harder to get into. This place just wasn't for me.
So anyway, Travis applied for some other jobs and we now are able to transfer back. We still have our old house in Butler, so it should be an easy transition! I'm excited to get back into my old studio and do a little redecorating! By the end of April we should be settled back in. I'm so looking forward to being back home. I love Butler and I love Pittsburgh! Yinzer for life! :D
I'm very thankful for this great adventure for the last year and a half. It was exactly what we needed and the way it was meant to be. I'm now excited for the next chapter.
Suggested by josh Here we have an interesting fight in the form of the Fire Nation from Avatar facing off against Mordor from the Lord of the Rings franchise. Mordor is right before the second book. Fire Nation is at... Read More »
Brought to you by sadot06 How would this impact the DC Universe? What would happen to Earth? What would transpire? Related Posts: What If…Doomsday Landed on Earth 616? What If…Kharn was selected by a Red Lantern Ring? What If…The Carnage... Read More »
Now the real reason I took my camera outside. . . to measure the snow! Only 4.5". Bummer.
I LOVED this squirrel! The colors! Hoping this guy can make an appearance in some paintings.
Sorry this is a terrible picture...but can you believe this little rodent? He has an elephant nose! LOVE!
The National Zoo has tons of smashed penny machines! I'm not even sure if I found them all.
I also got my first "medallion". Pretty fun.
I've now filled two books plus!
Launching a new website is exciting for everyone. There are cheers and congratulations, plans of posting news and blog entries, and promises of updating galleries and portfolios
And yet, in all the years I’ll been building websites (14 years!), I’ve seen relatively few companies and organizations work actively with their sites and keep them fresh and up-to-date after they’re launched. So many do nothing with the sites at all after launch — not adding even a single new photo.
This is no good. A website is only as interesting as it is current, and if we created it 6 years ago and updated only a few things since then, now it’s nowhere near current.
A website has the potential to be more than just a brochure that prospects read online. It’s the face you show the world, the way you can see what interests your customers and passersby, the place for you to experiment and get feedback and ideas and answers. If you don’t know how your website can do that for you, then you’re missing out.
Getting your hands onto your site, understanding what you can do with it and what it can give you: I believe that’s what most helps anyone get the most from their site.
The websites we’ve built in the past were worthwhile, and they can still deliver on their promise now. But I believe there’s more that each of my clients could be doing with their websites, and more that other small businesses could do if they had a more personal connection to their websites too.
So: Going forward, Big Big Design won’t build new websites for clients. Instead, we’ll help people build their websites themselves.
My thinking is that, if you’ve worked with your website, hands-on, you’ll have a greater chance of keeping it updated over time, and of going beyond your website to other networks and online spaces.
I’ll help people take over their websites in two ways. First, I’m offering online, multi-week workshops to guide people through the process of building a site, and then to doing more with it — expand it, make it unique, bring in more traffic through SEO and advertising, meld in social media to connect and build community, and so on.
Second, I’ll continue offering consulting on web strategy, social media, online ads, and so on.
This doesn’t mean teaching all the world to code. The web is different now, and building websites has changed so much. Only a few years ago, we designed and built our clients’ sites from scratch because that was the only way to build a site. Now, there are polished and professional site templates and tools that make it possible for anyone — even someone who feels very non-tech — to create and manage a website. The technology is no longer the biggest hurdle.
What remains hard — what requires the most attention — is choosing what to say and do online, offering value, and creating clear ways for site visitors to react and connect, to act or make a purchase. That’s what my workshops will focus on.
Am I saying there’s never a need for a web design agency to build a site for a business or organization? No, that’s not what I mean. Do I think that a premade site template is all anyone would ever need? I’m not saying that either.
I’m saying that for for many — maybe most — small businesses stepping out into the web, or replacing sites so long-abandoned that they pretty much don’t count as a web presence, it’s essential to focus on goals and audience, and to get online fast, to experiment, to find and show your value. And the simplest way to do that is to use a well-made, premade template to you devote the energy and resources to content and process.
And then later, you can work with accomplished pros to customize the look and feel, knowing from your own experience what you need and how it will fit with the rest of your business.
And there you have it: Every business person needs to be web-savvy. Big Big Design is here to help people make sense the web, through hands-on courses and coaching.
I want to make clear that I’m excited to keep working with my current clients. I’ll continue to support them and their current sites, provide hosting, and help them however they need. And I hope that among the new workshops and services I’m offering, they’ll discover new ways to get more directly involved with their sites and their online presence.
So, what do you think? Is this a good move? Am I on target, or completely off base? Let me know what you think of Big Big Design’s new direction — new design, if you will — and what you hope to see us do going forward.
Photo credit: Nicholas_T on flickr.
Brought to you by sadot06 Here we have a Universe match with all of the Cartoon Network squaring off against Nintendo. Network and System Exclusive Content Only. Omnipotent, Nigh Omnipotent, and Abstracts are excluded. Fight to the death. Which side... Read More »