What If …

Posted by on December 2, 2010 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What If …

Here are a couple of things that are rattling around in my brain related to how the lotto WORKS and things to think about for 2011 … please feel free to jump into the discussion and post a comment (or email me privately, if you’re more comfortable with that) if you have an opinion about what’s working and what’s not or how something could be better … or have a great idea that would make all of our lives easier and the block lotto blog better. 

What if …. we grow to too many member/authors?

I think that making everyone an author on the blog as worked well, but we are slowly inching up in numbers and it’s possible that we will bump into Blogger’s maximum of 100 authors some time next year.  The only workaround I’ve found that would allow us to stay here (on blogspot.com) with more than 100 members is using a common email address and submitting blog posts via email. (You would be able to add comments to posts, exactly as you do now).  It would mean that EVERYONE would have to be VERY CAREFUL about including their name in their post so we’d know who made the block, mailed the blocks, received the blocks etc.

Does anyone do blog posting on their own blog or other group blogs via email?  If you do, how is that working for you?

Another alternative would be to go to custom web site.  In addition to handling more member/authors, it might have some other stuff programmed in, maybe to allow newbies to be able to sign up online, automatically update a database with the number of blocks, etc–a lot of the stuff that I do now, manually, behind the scenes on my computer.  If we moved to something completely different (or even slightly different) that wasn’t hosted on blogspot … would you come?

In the meantime, I will probably be removing inactive authors more quickly.  If you drop out for a while and want back in … that will be no problem as long as we have open author slots.

What if … we run out of free photo space? 

Right now, when you upload photos, they are hosted by Picasa–another Google product for hosting images.  Each account (my account in this case) is given a fixed amount of space for free and when you use it up, you (in this case I) will be offered the opportunity to BUY more.  One way to generate $$ so we’ll have it when we have to pay to continue might be to add google adds to this blog.  I would try to keep them low key, but how would you all feel about it?

What if … the Block Lotto had a Facebook Fan Page?

This is where I confess that I have managed to avoid the time suck that I perceive Facebook to be, but … how about everyone else?  Are you there?  Are you doing quilting stuff there?  Would it be a good thing for the Block Lotto to have a presence there?  And if you ARE active on Facebook, please tell me what kinds of things you would expect to find on a Block Lotto fan page.

Along the same lines, how many (if any) are twitter fans?  If you are, would you like to see tweets about new blocks posted (or anything else)?

Should we be looking at/thinking about any other social media sites?

Last but not least, does anyone have a good idea for …

One of the biggest challenges I have now is dealing with problem blocks.  I don’t want anyone to think this is a huge problem, but it does come up periodically and I always feel bad when someone is unhappy with the blocks they have received … and I am pretty much helpless to make things better for them.

Until 2008, all the blocks were mailed twice:  once to me and then, I packaged them up and sent them onto the winners.  It was more expensive for everyone and kind of overwhelming for me when hundreds of blocks were arriving each month, BUT, it did give me the opportunity to see if someone was having a problem, not following guidelines, fix blocks with oops kind of mistakes, etc.  While I wouldn’t want to go back to that and posting photos does allow us to catch MOST problems and I do ask the winners for feedback on the blocks they receive … it’s still not a great way to help a beginner who may be struggling on the edge and making not OK lotto blocks.

Does anyone have any ideas on how we can better help the strugglers? I have a feeling if I repeated the same things to you each month about measuring your blocks, the quality of your fabrics, minimizing the pet hair, etc … it would become so repetitive that most would stop reading the reminders.

I think I did have a good idea about … a Block Lotto Blog Roll

A while back, we talked about a blog roll and there didn’t seem to be a good way to maintain a list of the blogs of those who are actively making blocks on a pretty regular basis.  I do have an idea and will be setting something up soon.  If you have a blog and want it to be included in our blog roll, here’s how to get ready:

  1. Make some Lotto Blocks
  2. Add the Block Lotto badge to your blog–you knew there would be a catch, right?  It’s mutual promotion 😉
  3. If I don’t know about your blog … send me the address.  If I know about your blog, I have probably posted a comment at some time–I subscribe to all those I know about … even if you have signed up but haven’t made lotto blocks, yet 😉

What Else?

Do you have a block lotto What if question they’d like to brainstorm?

How Many Blocks?

I just took a peek, in case you’re curious about just how many blocks we make each year:

          Year – Blocks

          2007 – 1279
          2008 – 1963
          2009 – 1708
          2010 – 1757 … and counting 😉

The numbers for the past three years (since our hop to blog land) have stayed pretty consistent … but I think this could be our biggest year yet.

The 2008 number also includes extra blocks we made for charity quilts during two months.  What if … we tried that again in 2011?

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