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Flush The Recession & Plunge Into Forgotten Spaces

October 19, 2009

From Behind Closed Doors, Writers Direct Their Expertise to the Topic as
BATHROOM BLOGFEST 2009 Welcomes Its First Sponsor

BB_2009-logo-300x562 Kinnelon, NJ – The 2009 Bathroom Blogfest, now in its fourth year, brings together 20 bloggers from the U.S., Canada, the UK and India posting on some aspect of the theme: “Flush the Recession and Plunge Into Forgotten Spaces.” A blogfest gathers writers who direct their posts around a single subject while making the subject relevant to their readers. Between October 26 and 28, these experts in marketing, customer experience and service, public relations, library sciences, life, retail—toilets and bathrooms—will call attention to improving the overall bathroom experience.

Kaboom, the Blogfest’s first sponsor, will play a part in some of the blogs,” said Christine Whittemore, who manages the Blogfest. “The brand is adventuresome and innovative, volunteering to take its chances with this social networking experience,” said the chief simplifier of Simple Marketing Now, Kinnelon, N.J. “Kaboom has sent its cleaning products to nine writers whom we expect to report on their findings. Some may also add Kaboom giveaways/contests to their coverage.”

Along with a sponsor, Whittemore added to this year’s initiative a Facebook Fan Page and way to keep up via Twitter @BathroomBlogfes. In addition, to monitor the conversation, photos and posts, look for the tag #ladiesrooms09 on flickr, del.icio.us, Technorati, Twitter and Google.

The Bathroom Blogfest began in 2006 as the brainchild of Stephanie Weaver, Experienceology author and consultant, and Susan Abbott, a business consultant and consumer researcher in Toronto. “They wanted to generate awareness for bloggers passionate about the customer experience at a time when blogging was more experimental. The Bathroom Blogfest created a forum for focusing on spaces that are not a subject of conversation, which they should be,” added Whittemore.

Whittemore believes that today’s bloggers do it because it’s fun and they feel strongly about sharing their ideas for better bathroom experiences. She observes that retailers ignore the bathroom as a possible selling space and that most ignore it altogether. One of the bloggers added that it’s a way for her to potentially create more impact than she might with a single post while it introduces her readers to both a new subject and community of bloggers.

KABOOM-Blogfest-Sponsor-Logo-transparentFor more information about the blogfest visit http://www.BathroomBlogfest.com or contact Whittemore at cbwhittemore AT SimpleMarketingNow DOT com. For information about Kaboom, visit http://KaboomKaboom.com.

Participating bloggers for the Bathroom Blogfest ’09 include:

• Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads
• Reshma Anand at Qualitative Research Blog
• Shannon Bilby at From the Floors Up
• Shannon Bilby and Brad Millner at My Big Bob’s Blog
• Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
• Jeanne Byington at The Importance of Earnest Service
• Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!
• Leslie Clagett at KB Culture
• Katie Clark at Practical Katie
• Iris Shreve Garrott at Checking In and Checking Out
• Julie at Julie’s Cleaning Secrets Blog
• Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
• Maria Palma at People To People Service
• Professor Toilet at Professor Toilet’s Blog
• David Reich at My 2 Cents
• Bethany Richmond at The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog
• Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
• Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology
• C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer and Simple Marketing Blog
• Linda Wright at Lindaloo.com: Build Better Business with Better Bathrooms

America Chooses to Change

November 5, 2008

Dreams have been realized.  Fears did not materialize.  Barack Obama has been elected the next President of the United States.  And today, it feels so very good.

WE ARE THE PEOPLE WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR poster on flickr by springhill2008 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

WE ARE THE PEOPLE WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR poster on flickr by springhill2008 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

I was in the fourth grade when I first became aware that there was supposed to be a difference in black people and white people.  Little Michael Morris joined our classroom at Longfellow Elementary that year after Dunbar Colored School in Mayfield was closed and our classes were integrated by court order.

I remember how small and quiet and scared he looked as he took his seat in the row next to mine.  His eyes never left his desk.  Thankfully, that allowed me not have to meet his glance since I was sure staring.

I was so curious with wonder at what made this sweet little boy with downcast eyes and dark skin different from me?  Must have been something I couldn’t see.  But different he was, I had been told.  My parents had instructed me to leave him alone.  “You just don’t need to talk to him,” my mom and dad had warned.

Good girl that I was, I obeyed.  It made me feel bad inside, though, until one day he looked up and finally, together, we smiled.  After all, another thing that Daddy and Mama had taught me was to always live by the Golden Rule.

That is all I recall of him as my classmate after that time.  Our smiles.

During the years that followed I believed that perhaps I had dreamed that awful mandate to not speak to the black child.  My father proudly introduced me to black friends of his when I joined him on daily excursions around town.  I realized then that life sure was full of interesting contradictions and surprises.

I loved going with Daddy to the little market on the other side of town or to the uptown courthouse and post office.  It made me feel special to meet and greet all different kinds of folks outside of my regular church and school groups.

As I entered high school, I had many black classmates but not any that I could call friends.  As I planned my 16th birthday party and made out a guest list my parents questioned me about each name they didn’t recognize.  “Now, just who is this Don Tharpe?” they asked.

“Oh,” I said proudly, “he is president of the senior class.”  More details were needed for their satisfaction and when they learned that he was black he was instantly nixed from my list.  I was hurt, humiliated and heartbroken.  This contradiction horribly surprised me.

The last time I checked up on Don Tharpe, he was receiving the 2005 Murray State University Distinguished Alumnus award as president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C.  I would love to shake his hand today.

As I recalled these memories during the last week, I could hardly imagine that there was hope for change in America on Election Day.

But now, I believe, that we can hold these truths self evident, that all men are created equal. We now must continue to pray for peace with liberty and justice for all.

the old Moon in the new Moons arms photo on flickr by circulating  / Iris Shreve Garrott - Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike

the old Moon in the new Moon's arms photo on flickr by circulating / Iris Shreve Garrott - Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike

Who Will You Vote For?

November 3, 2008

So.  Just for a few moments.  Imagine you can see inside these homes.

Watch the elderly lady who lives alone waiting for a ride to her doctor’s appointment today.

See the child who struggles to make a good grade in school this year.

Worry about the family whose dad got laid off last month.

Rejoice with the mother of three who finally got her GED.

Wonder at the smiles on the faces of the teenage couple, just married, about to become parents next spring.

Photo by Kittie55  / Kittie McMillan © All rights reserved

Photo slide-show by Kittie55 / Kittie McMillan © All rights reserved

Be fearful of the temptations of dependence, depression and thievery that haunt the safety and security of neighborhoods like these every week.

Please click on this amazing photo, shared on flickr by Kittie McMillan, for anothe view of the Shotgun Houses slide-show.

Imagine you can see the people inside these homes.

Then consider, if you will, how Election 2008 will truly affect them.  And finally, make sure you remember someone besides yourself when you vote on November 4.

I know that is what my daddy would have wanted me to do.

Kentucky Polls Open 6:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

November 3, 2008

Lots of questions are coming in about McCracken County election ballots, precinct maps, and polling locations.  Looks to be a great turnout if search queries are any indication.

All Kentucky Polls will be open 6:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. and if you are in line at closing time you will be allowed to vote.  Remember that, in Kentucky, state law forbids the use of recording equipment at the polls.

For a list of FAQS, Frequently Asked Question, visit Kentucky Election Protection to download a Kentucky Frequently Asked Questions document.

I Voted badge by Hilyin on flickr Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

I Voted badge by Hilyin on flickr Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

You can track the McCracken County Races Unofficial 2008 General Election Results on Tuesday, November 4, after the polls close from this Kentucky State Board of Elections page and watch statewide results as they are reported as well.

Vote!

Bathroom Blogfest 2008 Best Tips

November 1, 2008

After a whole week of celebrating Bathroom Blogfest ‘08, it is now time to take action!

Clean Up by marinegirl  / Rebecca Weeks Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike

Clean Up by marinegirl / Rebecca Weeks Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike

After following the posts of my fellow members of this year’s official, Bathroom Blogfest Community, there seem to be many different methods as well as attitudes toward considering ‘Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us’.  What an amazing array of ideas they have shared.

But after much thought, I have decided that probably the best tip is to not get yourself into a mess to begin with.  How much work do we create for ourselves just because we didn’t plan ahead?

Even something as simple as remembering to put the chocolate pudding on the top shelf might be something we shouldn’t forget.

Put Chocolate Pudding on the Top Shelf !! photo by RIPizzo  / RI Pizzo Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works

Put Chocolate Pudding on the Top Shelf !! photo by RIPizzo / RI Pizzo Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works

Bathroom Blogfest 2008 has inspired me to wash it, dust it, sweep it, paint it, get rid of it, reorganize what is left and refresh myself all over again.  Please make sure to visit all the other bloggers who shared their best tips!

Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us

Bathroom Blogfest

Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads
Katia Adams at Transcultural Marketing
Shannon Bilby at Floor Talk!
Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
Jo Brown and the blogging team at Kohler Talk
Lisbeth Calandrino at Lisbeth Calandrino
Sara Cantor at The Curious Shopper
Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!
Katie Clark at Practical Katie
Iris Shreve Garrott at Circulating
Ann Handley at Annarchy
Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
Elizabeth Hise and C.B. Whittemore at The Carpetology Blog
Maria Palma at Customers Are Always
Sandra Renshaw at Purple Wren
Kate Rutter at Adaptive Path
Claudia Schiepers at Life and its little pleasures
Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology
C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer

When You Care Enough to Clean the Very Best

October 30, 2008

Does your business hire a housekeeper?  Maybe you employ a maintenance crew.  Does anyone still have janitors?

No matter what you call your clean-up crew, they have to truly care about what they do.

Clean-up crew by Xanboozled  / xan latta Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike

Clean-up crew by Xanboozled / xan latta Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike

Hands-down, the very best housekeeper we ever had at work was a retired school janitor.  She took everything personal.  It mattered to her that the windows were finger-print free and that the bathrooms smelled of citrus cleaner no matter what time of day you visited.

Outside trash receptacles were not just emptied but cleaned daily.  Ashcans were swiped to a shine and no butts were left to linger at curbside either.

Oh! the joy of dispensers always fully stocked with soap and toilet paper.  You know what I mean?  Surely you do if you have ever visited a ladies room to find only a shred remaining on the roll of TP.

It is wonderful to have lovely designed facilities but more heavenly to find them immaculately clean.  Thanks to those housekeepers, maintenance crews, and janitors who care enough to make a sparkling difference that can be seen!

Follow this year’s official, Bathroom Blogfest Community as we celebrate Bathroom Blogfest ‘08 – Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us!  Consider the customer experience and all of those forgotten spaces that need cleaning up, including the bathrooms.

Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us

Bathroom Blogfest

Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads
Katia Adams at Transcultural Marketing
Shannon Bilby at Floor Talk!
Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
Jo Brown and the blogging team at Kohler Talk
Lisbeth Calandrino at Lisbeth Calandrino
Sara Cantor at The Curious Shopper
Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!
Katie Clark at Practical Katie
Iris Shreve Garrott at Circulating
Ann Handley at Annarchy
Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
Elizabeth Hise and C.B. Whittemore at The Carpetology Blog
Maria Palma at Customers Are Always
Sandra Renshaw at Purple Wren
Kate Rutter at Adaptive Path
Claudia Schiepers at Life and its little pleasures
Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology
C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer

Review – Baby Love

October 30, 2008

Photography, quotes, poems and babies…!!  What a lovely coffee-table book this turned out to be.

An Affectionate Miscellany

Baby Love: An Affectionate Miscellany

Filled with precious cherubs captured in cute settings and with gorgeous light, Baby love : an affectionate miscellany by Rachael Hale is full of inspiration for new parents and grandparents alike.

Sure does make you want to get your own camera out and try your luck making photos like these of your special little one.  ABC’s Good Morning America recently featured Rachael Hale and Baby Love where Hale offered tips for doing just that!

Well-known for her bestselling animal portraits, Hale’s previous books — which include 101 Salivations, 101 Cataclysms, It’s a Zoo Out There, Smitten, Snog, and Dogs: 101 Adorable Breeds, have sold millions of copies in 11 languages. She has been designated as a Master of Photography at the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography Awards

Baby love : an affectionate miscellany by Rachael Hale is published by Andrews McMeel Publishing.

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