Daily Highlight: How to use a Cricut Expression

Part of our daily highlights are bloggers who interface directly with their audience and promote self-reliance and craftiness. Today we’re highlighting the Memory Bound Scrapbook Store, they cover paper crafting, scrapbooking, and home crafting.

In their post on how to use a Cricut Expression they mention how when they received their first camera they were too afraid to use it, as they didn’t want to break it. Unfortunately, this is a common mentality not just for crafters but for novices and beginners at every activity.

Until you’ve taught yourself a skill, from knowing nothing to expertise, you haven’t tasted true self-reliance. Let’s highlight their tips and tricks.

Finding a design

First, you want to make sure to have your design. If you’re really new to crafting, you might want to rely on another to provide this because you’ll have enough on your plate as it is. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use the software (either Craft Room or Design Space, depending on your model) to create something of your own.

The crafting community is incredibly collaborative, so if you find yourself unsure of what to do, there are many you can ask for advice, either on their site, over in a Facebook group, or at a local crafting meet-up.

Making your first design

Cut out paper hearts, drying

Whether you’re working on your first or five hundredth design you’ll want to take care. Measure twice, cut once.

With a cutting machine like the Cricut Expression you don’t have to worry as much about making mistakes because it will handle most of the work for you. If you make a bad cut on a piece of paper, you aren’t out much.

Just try again, keep your head above water, and share your findings with your fellow crafters to pass the knowledge on.

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10th Anniversary Review of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publication of Groundswell we’ve put together a review that hopefully you’ll find useful.

In the style of Groundswell, we’d like you guys to contact us with your feedback. This is just one take, I’m sure you guys have many more. Think of it as a collection of reflections.

DIY social outreach

Popularity breeds popularity. Yes, social media marketing and optimization can be used by business of all sizes.

That being said, though, one mustn’t get over-excited and use panacea words phrases like The Great Leveler or The Giant Killer.

Social media favors established businesses, brands and persons that already enjoy recognition and influence.

When Stephen Colbert creates a Facebook account or Barack Obama creates a Twitter account, people flock to become their friends and followers.

If you or I did the same it would hardly register by comparison.

Beware of windmills and walled gardens

Know a windmill when you see one. Buzz, cleverness and daring does not equate to success if an opportunity does not exist.

Twitter is the default community messaging system on the Internet, even though it lacks many of the sophisticated features that its competitors do possess.

Some of those competitors enjoyed terrific social buzz, but none have been able to unseat the king or even take away large market share.

Why?

Because Twitter dug itself into its market like an ice axe.

It became impossible to export the value you had outside of the system. Your followers would follow you as long as you remained within the garden, but as soon as you pop over the wall? They’re stuck.

But there is some leveling out

The suits are getting it.

Up to now, many influential businesses and people have created an Internet or social media presence.

But because this is so new and most executives and managers are not online experts, few manage to do it well or to maintain consistency, which opens to door to new competitors.

That window is closing.

The Internet as a business environment has matured. Executives and managers are learning (from resources like Groundswell) and figuring it out. The barriers to entry are steadily rising.

Don’t give up.

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