Welcome to my blog dedicated to my Elizabeth House Shop Talk Series. I have worn many hats in my life and continue to do so. One hat I wore for several years was as a shop owner. I had zero experience, zero dollars, and zero connections. The Internet and blogging were practically non-existent back then and shop owners back then were not willing to share. Books were too complicated because my questions were so basic (and almost too embarrassing to ask!). I had no clue what I was getting into and to be honest, I had some resentment that I had learned so much the hard way because I truly had no one to turn to. I swore to myself that if I ever learned a darn thing, I would pass it on to others because there is no such thing as a stupid question. I am willing to share my experiences as a store owner, consultant, buyer, vendor, stylist, and designer. Basically, we all want the same thing - to create, to learn, and be happy doing it. I hope this blog brings you a little joy in knowing that you are not alone and that there is at least one person out there that has "been there done that" who didn't have a clue and has lived to write about it. I love to talk shop and the biz of business continues to intrigue me.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Business of Relationships

Happy New Year!

It has been a while, but know I think a lot about you and miss you. 

So why the flask photo? Well, I will tell you. I chose it for a couple of reasons. 

There is something that has been really bugging, so much so, I feel like taking a drink. And I am not even a drinker! And this flask has on it the very  topic I want to talk about...it has the owner's NAME engraved on it.

Now, this may or may not be a touchy subject for some, but it has been driving me crazy for months  now and every time I think of writing about it, I am just too busy to stop to do it. So now I am taking a moment to ask a basic question that I haven't been able to figure out in  my really simple mind:

Why do so many blog owners omit their names from their blogs? 

I can't tell you how many times someone has commented on my blog or I read someone else's blog and I happen to read a comment on their blog, and I go to that person's blog to comment, and for the life of me, I can't find that person's name ANYWHERE to save my life!

Is it just me, or does this drive anyone else to want to go find a really cool flask take a swig?

Or, at the very least, want to go stick your head in the oven? I have tried relentlessly to read through the blogger's comments, just  hoping that a reader mentioned the blog owner's name in her comment, so I can learn who in the heck owns the blog and maybe feel a connection with the owner. 

I am not pointing fingers at any of you who may be reading this and you don't have your name on your blog because I don't even know who you are.....lol.

And I feel safe enough with you readers to speak openly about this because the readers who read this blog, for the most part, are business people, and they get that this Shop Talk blog is more about "lessons learned type of feel" blog. 

I have found that when searching out the owner of blogs I have come across a pattern in which people describe themselves (in the "about me section) instead of just giving their name. Instead of stating their name, many people will simple describe themselves such as:

Busy mom hanging on....

City girl wishing I lived in the country...

Country girl living on a farm...

Crafter who loves....

Antiquer on the go...

Grandma who loves to travel....

Retired teacher in Midwest....

Single mom going insane...

Business gal going solo....

You get the point. I feel so bad sometimes that I will get such a great comment from someone and I go click on their blog and for the life of me, I feel like I SHOULD know who the heck they are, and I look and look and I can't find their first name anywhere on their blog. Whenever I leave a comment on someone's blog, I never assume they know who I am, I always sign leaving my name. First, I just assume they are name-challenged as I am, and secondly, I want them to know I was there and left a comment...

Am I missing something? 

Is there a no-name trend I am not aware of?

Also, many bloggers do not put their location. Yes, I do understand for safety reasons, crazy ex-spouse reasons, and so on. But sometimes, I don't even know what part of the country they are in, or if they are even in my own country. Am I the only one who gets frustrated with this, or is just me and my quirky ways?

But from a business standpoint, I would think that having a first name, at the very least, would be important to have on a blog. Location, even if general, would also give a potential customer some kind of connection with you. Everyone knows that business is about relationships.

Business relationships are key to a successful business. If I knew that someone was blogging from the south, and I was wanting their business, then immediately I would be letting them know I was from Texas, or ask them how are they taking the heat this summer or if the drought is affecting them. There - instant connection. But, if I don't even know their name, it is hard to even start a possible connection with them. And if a blogger is looking for future possible business, a connection must be made - a genuine one. 

Connecting with others is very important in business. Not just for the sale, but for referrals. Networking. Good karma, if you will. But, if I am going to refer you to someone, I would love to be able to call you by your name, and just not by your blog title, website, or business name. By my using your first name, then the connection is stronger, and more likely to be passed along and actually used.

And I like nothing more than to pass along and help out when the chance arises. And I am sure you do the same for others. In fact I know you do, because you have done it for me and I love you for it.

There is nothing wrong with name dropping...but for some reason, saying that "what's-her-name just called me and has hired me to produce features for her magazine..." just doesn't ring the bell as loudly as saying "Martha Stewart called me and wants me to produce  articles for her magazine."

I wish.

Okay, gotta run now. I hope this helps shed some light and give you some thought. If not, then I guess I just shed some light on a quirky pet-peeve of mine.  :-)

from my house to your house,

what's her name



Debra @ Common Ground said...

This frustrates me also, but I think mostly it's because people are afraid of the internet. My sister in law is a very talented needle "woman". and I do mean talented. I've discussed her having a blog to connect with others but her husband is overtly cautious and paranoid and wouldn't dare let her. phooey...so I think most of it is that they are afraid of either other people and or criticism. Either way it's hard to be "friendly" when people desire to be anonymous. xoxo

Elizabeth Maxson said...

HI Debra!

Hmmmm...good point I never thought of. I guess the ones I have seen are all really cool blogs with all very cool comments and that just got me wondering why they have no name?

I thought maybe the mystery of it all?

But thanks for another viewpoint....always love to hear from you. And thanks for stopping by.

And by the way, I LOVE your new photo - you look great!

Big hug
Elizabeth :-)

trash talk said...

I'm guilty of going the other way...way TMI. People know things about me that they probably don't care too. Kinda like the old saying..."Why buy the cow when you get the milk free." LOL
Seriously, for someone like me who has a horrible time remembering names to begin with...a little hint now and then sure would be appreciated. I like calling folks by their first name. Makes me feel like we're old friends. It also helps me when I'm out on the road when it comes time to check out their goods. Like you said (and very well put I may add) if they don't leave a trail of bread crumbs, makes it difficult to find the way there.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi my beautiful Texan Deb,

Yes, I am guilty of TMI...probably could cut down on it a bit and still be guilty of it. To be honest, and I really am serious here, for a while, I really thought I was just whizzing through someone's blog too quickly and just not SEEING their name, and felt guilty for a while about it. Then finally, I thought, okay....time to sloooowww down and really take time to at least get to know their names....and that is when I started to discover that no matter how hard I hunted and looked about, I couldn't find their name anywhere!

Then, I started to notice this no-name thing more and more often. But it confused me because these were really nice, interesting blogs with really nice comments and so on. After a while, I started to feel funny (this just may be me) leaving comments , or at least personal comments, to someone I didn't even know their name. I would still leave a comment about something I read, but just wouldn't feel the same to me. Maybe that is just me. So, then I began to really wonder.....why no name? Even if a fake name, or pretend name, or funny name is better than no name....I think?

I know a lot of people are not blogging for business, and I totally get that. Totally, totally get that. But if leaving a name is a great concern, for whatever reason, then in my simple head, I would think, it would be hard to blog...at least hard to blog about anything of a personal nature or opinion. If blogging about politics or info only or how-to only, then I guess, no name would work...

But if blogging to just record your thoughts, family, your craft, your mistakes, lessons learned, and so on, I would find it difficult to do so without a name.

But that is just me.
Always so happy when you write me Deb!!

Big hug
Elizabeth :-)

Margo said...

Honest comment here....I was afraid if I put my name people wouldn't be as interested in my blog. Me - not interesting. Legacy of a Single Girl - maybe some interest. However, I am now going to go and include my name because I AM interesting...at least I think I am!! Thanks for the nudge Elizabeth!

God bless,
Margo (Legacy of a Single Girl) :-}

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Margo!!

How very cool of you to comment to me! When I wrote this post, I honestly had no idea who I was writing to...and now I realize, you were one of them! You have one of the coolest sites....and now I am remembering how much I looked for your name one time...I can't seem to remember anything lately, so thanks jogging my memory.

Actually, I remember thinking how COOL your site was because you are so honest and upfront. And by the way, "Margo" is a very pretty name, always liked that name. I always pictured "Margo" as someone wearing very neat vintage boots, a hip hat, long eyelashes, and on the go for some reason. Don't ask me why....just always liked the name and thought that is how a "Margo" would be like :-)

Yeah! Thanks for shedding some light on this mystery for me. If people don't want to put their name on their blog, that is their right, and I will still comment, of course. I was just curious and couldn't figure out why they didn't. So if anyone wants to shed some light and comment (and no, you don't have to leave your name, lol) that would be great.

Margo, big hug to you and thanks for sharing. Always learning something new and so glad I learned something today. Been cooking beans and ham and making bread. Fun and tasty, but a little slow on the learning side. :-)

Big hug

Alice said...

This frustrates me too! Maybe they don't realize it, but I want to know their name so I can connect with them. And making it even worse, I can't respond via email when they leave a comment on my blog because they don't have their email notification on. I know it might be safety thing, but if you are in business, getting your name out there is important.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Alice,

I hear your frustration. Seriously, I really thought I was just clueless for the longest time and not "getting something" and just not finding the name somewhere! I can be so clueless...lol. I guess everyone has their own reason, but in my simple world, I thought mostly if someone didn't have a name, it was because their blog was very controversial, political or something and of course, these blogs aren't...they are all very fun, outgoing, and talented bloggers. So, I guess I was always left scratching my noggin. And that just got me to wondering after I saw this no-name thing so often.

But with the few responses on this particular post, I am assuming it either is a subject that really doesn't strike a chord with others as it does me, or it is a subject that maybe struck a sensitive chord? Either way, I am always open to learning about others and how they think and go about doing things. Not judging, just curious and hoping to see another point of view on things.

Thanks for sharing your point of view. :-)


Tamra said...

Pass the bottle my way sister! I too get so frustrated at the total anonymity some choose to use on their blogs.

Now as you mentioned, if for safety reasons and they have people in their past they need to be careful that cannot reconnect to them then I completely understand. But it does seem to be that 3/4 of the blog population is in hiding or running from the law, lol.

When ever I see a blogger that I connect with artistically I immediately check their profile to see where they are located as I would love to connect with more artist locally on the west coast. And it so much nicer to say "Hey we're neighbors!" than "Where are you located?" Nothing says stalker like a stranger asking "where do you live?" LOL!

And sweet Margo, thinking people would not be as interested if she added her name? (Sigh) Her name alone, Margo! It sounds so glamorous! I would definitely want to know more about a woman named Margo!!

As always Chickie, you hit the nail on the head and with the most succinct picture to boot. Such a beautiful flask, I'm sure it's top was opened for many an important topic in it's day too.

The Gilded Barn

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Tamra,

Oh, you do have a way with words...you make me laugh...in a good way. Oh, how I wish we could just sit and chat the day away. Then, I would scope out that barn of yours... :-)

I like how you visualized the flask and its use...and yes, I bet you are right. Wouldn't you like to be flea on the wall back then? I said "flea" because I always picture more fleas back then than flies...don't ask me why.

Yes, isn't Margo cool to have revealed her name? And yes, a very cool name...sorta exotic in an old-fashion , elegant way. I love that she told me her name!

Not a big drinker myself, but I would be willing to open a big ole flask of homemade lemonade someday with you and catch up like old friends. That is how I feel about you.

Big hug
Elizabeth :-)

Margo @ Legacy of a Single Girl said...

Oh, Tamra, what a sweet comment! Thank you kindly!!

Hugs, Margo

Lee said...

Yes, it does drive me crazy. I don't quite get the put-it-all-out there thing, but you can't know my name. ZSilly.

Anonymous comments make me even crazier. I recently had s person leave a nty comment on a two year old post- anonymously! I took that option off...

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Lee,

On your two-year old's post....? Why in the world would someone leave that kind of comment? I don't blame you, I would take that option off too. Sometimes, I just can't figure things out. Actually, most of the time, I can't figure things out :-)

Thanks for writing...and sharing!
Big hug,

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