Dell Hell -- This One's for The Ladies

Dell's Della Web site is one giant step backward for womankind. A recent article in Advertising Age outlined the campaign, which caters to women -- apparently it's meant to show the female sect just how easy and helpful netbooks can be. And how do they choose to illustrate that, you might ask? Apparently I visited the site too late... the cooking and shoe shopping references were taken down, evidenced by an Editor's note, telling of some text changes. What's left are some half-hearted tips on how to track your workouts and upload photos, as well as some fashionable sleeves -- because, you know, looks are number one when buying a computer and all. Basically, there is no genuine tech information to be found.

Making a site about how your computer can help you buy great shoes is not the real issue. Implying that women only (and only women, for that matter!) use their computers for that reason is. Yes, the rest of the rest of the site is stereotypically "female" site, decorated with flowers and soft colors while featuring a "you go girl" story about an artist whose design can grace the top of your laptop. That I can get over. It's the whole "Della" premise, which they present as if it should be floating on a cloud and surrounded by rainbows and butterflies, that I resent. Do a quick Google search, and you will see I am far from the only one.


25 before 25

I am totally stealing this idea from my friend Jackie's blog (check it out at http://highheelhijinx.blogspot.com/), but I have to say, her thinking is pretty much in line with mine these days.

I've been working in Chicago for nearly a year now, and realizing how quickly that year went by has left me feeling somewhat nostalgic. I'm not gonna lie: I miss my friends and family a lot. I've been thinking about all of my siblings' track meets and school programs for which I am absent, as well as graduation parties, family dinners, trips to Broad Ripple and coffee gab-sessions.

Those thoughts, coupled with the fact I have friends who are either engaged or well on their way, has been enough to make me realize that time really does fly -- so it's important to (as cheesy as it sounds) live life. That said, here is the official unveiling of my 25 before 25 list:

1. Read more classics

2. Branch out in terms of my musical selection (apparently there's more to life than Snow Patrol) and get to know some oldies

3. Cook a legit meal (meaning I actually make it, not just heat it up), then serve it at a dinner party

4. REALLY grasp the concepts and uses for RSS links, backlinking, SEO, etc.

5. Start writing thank you notes

6. Take a writing class

7. Become involved with Big Brothers, Big Sisters

8. Buy a gym membership

9. Learn more about car maintenance

10. Actually pay attention to the food I eat (and know the recommended amount of calories, carbs, etc. a day)

11. Make a list of birthdays so I stop forgetting them

12. Go to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert

13. Help my grandpa get his golfing Web site up and running

14. Buy myself a pair of diamond earrings

15. Go back to Europe, no matter how impossible finding the time might seem

16. Move closer to the city, so my commute becomes tolerable

17. Make a conscious effort to PAY ATTENTION when traveling, thus decreasing my chances of getting lost (ok, by .5%, but beggars can't be choosers)

18. Need to consult my AP Stylebook less -- because I will be doing more writing and will know from practice

19. Travel to NY and do some serious shopping

20. Have each of my siblings visit me at least once

21. Start really doing my research when it comes to politics

22. Buy a piece of furniture at Goodwill, fix it up and actually like it

23. Plan a weekend getaway with my girls -- then follow through by going

24. Buy a good camera (and then use it)

25. Go to church more -- and because I want to, not because I feel obligated

However, I've never been too good with living by lists, so we'll see how this goes... :)


Pizza Hut: Serving It Hot and Fresh

Within recent years, worldwide powerhouse Pizza Hut has come to the realization that in order to remain relevant and in demand, venturing outside of the box might just be a necessity. A Marketing News article, written by Elisabeth A. Sullivan and titled "A Cut Above," delved into how Pizza Hut was looking to change. In addition to adding pasta to the menu (Who can forget the TV spots showing first-time consumers who thought they were eating restaurant food?), they are embracing the digital world by reaching out to their customers online. Last year the company launched a Facebook app that enabled people to view the menu -- then place an order. Select new "fans" of the Pizza Hut page earned $50 for, well, being a fan. And the grand prize? A vacation for two to Italy, awarded to one lucky pizza (or pasta, or wings) lover.

But it does not end there. Yes, Facebook has over 200 million active users, but we all know a handful of people who won't join the FB ("It's just a fad!" "I would become addicted!" "I'm too old!"). In hopes of targeting those individuals (and more!), Pizza Hut created both a widget and an app for tech-savvy individuals looking to order some food -- quick. To reach a younger set, they partnered with video game companies willing to promote the brand in-game, and even came up with "The Hut," their hip new moniker.

It's too soon to say if these efforts are pulling through for the company, but if I had to guess, I would think things at least begin to level out. Keeping in mind more people are opting to eat in, and that Pizza Hut is not exactly known for its healthy fare, I still expect that these marketing efforts will pay off in the long run because they are coming to their customers and embracing change. The company is doing what it can to beat out the competition, and hey, if all else fails, they have my vote...that pasta is darn good.


Thank You, StumbleUpon

Things have been crazy here this week, so I have not had much time to dedicate to my blog. Buttttt, my day is never complete without doing some stumbling, so check out some sites that just might pull you away from fmylife and textsfromlastnight.

1. FoundMagazine.com. Users submit random notes they found behind dumpsters, in classrooms and on busses. Some are funny, some are weird and some are just downright scary... like this one one, discovered on a sidewalk, that says "Stay away from me and I'll not follow through with my plan of psycho-ness."

2. The Willard Suitcase Exhibit Online. Yeah, it's kind of creepy... but I found it pretty interesting. When the Willard Psychiatric center closed, workers happened upon the suitcases left by past residents. A portable exhibit (as well as a book) was created to display both the contents of the suitcases and the personal stories of the people to which they belonged. It gives a personal touch to people deemed "crazy" and creates awareness about mental illness.

3. Olan Mills Finest. And finally, for a good laugh, check out this compilation of pictures taken by Olan Mills Photography. A hodgepodge of awkward, cheesy and somewhat uncomfortable snapshots, it will make you feel better about your freshman year photo.

Have a great weekend! Don't forget to spoil your mom on Sunday!
(Photos courtesy of their respective sites.)