Marketing your Community

A chat with The Tea Lady about………..

Marketing your social networking site

“You take the blue pill — the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

You take the red pill — you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

All of the little darlings here know that line and where it comes from.

This is just like marketing your social network community, you can take the blue pill and go the easy way with getting people to join your community, or you can take the red pill and do some real challenging things.

If you want to hear what I’ve got to say about this you can sit over there out of the way and have a cuppa while I do these dishes.

Some of the little sods dunk their chocolate cookies into the cuppas and it leaves a real mess, you know how that is, chocolate that was once all over the cookie is now smeared around the cup rim.

And it was first thing this morning that they did it too, so the chocolate has gone hard now, they use such cheap cups here it sometimes stains them.

Never mind, let’s get back on track again.

If you want to take the blue pill then listen to this.

Email all of your friends and ask them to do the same, then tell everyone you come into contact with who you might want in your community.

This will get your community out there and people will join. 

But if you want to take the red pill, these are some of the things you can start to do.

You might want to freshen your cup as this will take a little while.

I’ve got some bacon and egg pot pies coming out of the oven shortly and you will just love to eat a couple so you better stay I think.

Ok, listen up…thank you.

I will work on a scenario here to better show you what I know you can accomplish when you get serious about marketing your community.

Let’s say you are starting a community about people who love to exchange recipes and ideas and also try and create new ones.

One of the first things you would do is get all those you have wanting to join to a meeting and get a plan underway.

Find out what everyone’s attributes are and then build your plan involving as many of them as possible.

One thing for sure is everyone will know how to bake and cook so have a little bake day and then setting out around the neighborhood or where you work offering sample size portions of your creations, along with a flyer of what you are doing of course.

Just think if you do some cupcakes you can have your community website address written in frosting LOL.

You can sell your kitchen creations in the community mall as well and offer a discount program as a way of attracting more people.

Using the community credits feature you offer discounts for a number of reasons, when they register for your community, if they complete a basic survey when they register for you to use in advertising purposes or if they get a friend to join.

You might know people or even people who know people that have websites or you can make contact with as many as you can offering them a way of growing their customer base by growing your community.

The website owners are rewarded by gaining the email addresses of those who use them to get their community credit discount points or be directed to the community to register.

How many websites wouldn’t want new email contacts, they obtain them by offering community members a set amount of community credits for performing various activities on their sites.

Let’s say they had to answer a 1 or 5 question survey and for this they got 10c or 50c worth of community credits to spend in the mall.

Each item in the community mall has the amount of credits that can be applied to the price shown along with how much cash is required to make the purchase.

You know, some of the little darlings here have me bring them special requests from my oven to take home, usually on Fridays and they get credits to pay me back.

When a work areas cups and saucers are returned properly to the trolley every day for a week they all get some credits, so whenever they want a special treat they get a slightly bigger one for the same charge, as for the little sods upstairs, they have a lot of catching up to do before they get anything except a surcharge ha ha ha.

Ok, something to think about are these websites who allow your members to earn community credits, they can also be charged for these credits they give out.

An email address is valuable these days and even if they only get to send 1 “thank you for using me to earn some community credits” email to the member, they at least get a shot at trying to sell or tell them something.

Now look again at what your community is all about, baking, cooking and creating food.

How many kids and adults going to school love to get into the kitchen and try out the things they are learning, so why not have bake days with your local schools and work with the teachers in offering extra cooking and baking activities.

You need to get people of all ages into a community based around recipes and you know how much food brings everyone together.

It’s funny you know, after all the mouth watering baking I do and the ketchup craving pies I make that just leave you dead in the water after your first bite because they are just so so good, I don’t get into much fancy cooking at home.

Funny thing that, ha ha ha, oh well.

Of course you would email all of the people you know telling them about the community and ask them to send the email on as well, standard issue stuff really just like making frosting.

What if you got a radio station to offer community credits to the people who are listening to them, just the same as mentioned above with getting websites to offer community credit discounts to use in the mall, only this way the radio station is benefiting by knowing there are people listening to them and the ads.

The radio station can charge the advertiser a fee and give the community a commission, when you think about it, at the end of a radio advertisement if they said go to the advertisers website and click on the recipe communities credits button, they would know if people are interested in their stuff or not plus they get to send a thank you email.

What I want you to do now is start thinking about how these ideas or variations of them can be used in anyway to help grown your community.

So, when you get to here, don’t be crazy for thinking, isn’t there supposed to be more written here.

You are right, there is, but you have to either wait for it or ask me something specific.

I’ve got to get cracking sorry, the bacon and egg pot pies are cooling down and this is the best time to eat them.

Kindest regards,

The tea lady

Bye bye.

Bacon and Egg Pie

Bacon and Egg Pie

Now this is one serious Sunday evening dinner time pie. You can make these in any size. Your family will enjoy having a social network with each other!

I grew up with the pies being made in 12” x 18” trays, one huge pie.

The corners on these big square or rectangle trays are the best as they have the most pastry all puffed up that you can smother in ketchup. Or you can use small pot pie trays or even large trays, which ever size you want.

So, this is what you need to make a 12 x 18 tray, halve it or quarter it if you will to make the size of the tray or trays that you have..

2 lb diced bacon
2 16 oz packets fillo dough or puff pastry (this is the preferred).
12 eggs – just slightly beaten (when cooked you need to end up with some white showing as well as the yellow)
1 large diced onion (an option)
2 cups of frozen or fresh peas (also an option)
1 large bell pepper (another option)

Now this is what you do to make some goodness happen.

If you have fillo dough, do what you would always do here and butter each sheet. If you have the puff pastry, roll it out until you have enough for a base and lid. Grease your tray/s well and then apply the fillo dough or pastry.

Spread all of your ingredients except the egg our the pastry base. Then pour the egg everywhere in an even manner. Add some salt and pepper to your taste.

Now lay the lid over it and give it a good egg wash to make it glisten when you pull it out.

Bake at around 350 F for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Add as much ketchup as you want

Community Accountability

A chat with The Tea Lady about……

Community Accountability – A registration option

Ah, come in and get out of the hallway, it’s busy around here at the moment, there’s options flying around everywhere ha ha ha.

Speaking about options, here is one I’ve been thinking about talking to you over a nice cuppa and potato scones seeing as how it’s a little chilly outside today.

Hot potato scones and frozen butter pats on them, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Ok, where I live, I can look out of my window and see a large shopping mall complex, well right beside it is an equally large piece of land with paved roads all through it and street lights and sidewalks.

Only thing is there is nothing built there, its one huge vacant lot, yet every night without fail, all of the lights are burning away, and if one fails they replace it.

Now this has got to be costing someone a lot of money but no one has done anything about it.

There is something missing and it needs to be addressed.


This might sound silly but it’s the same when you go to a function, sluuuurp………….sluuuurp, you look around, and there in the corner, some scoundrel not displaying any protocol when drinking tea, ha ha ha.

You say to yourself, who on earth brought that person along, cripes.

That may be a bit far fetched but there are some people who would like some level of accountability.

Accountability exists here but when one of the little sods upstairs here has been in the kitchen early in the morning, warming up an apple Danish in the oven, and just happens to leave the oven door open (with the kitchen light out), you can end up with a nasty bruise on your shin.

No one ever owns up but I know who it is though and add a little laxative to their tea, ha ha ha.

Oh, that’s retribution, hmmm, never mind, I won’t do it again.

Well, to get back to it, the little sods, I mean darlings here have a wonderful way of dealing with this.

To have accountability you need to start with people who will be responsible, they would be like the ones who bring those sort of people along to functions and they would also know who left the oven door open, ha ha ha.

I spoke about this from another perspective in my Community Hierarchy article.

So if you build up families (or groups) in your online community, as everyone is shown in a tiered pattern, you have a parent, children, grandchildren and so on.

The parents become the ones responsible for the actions of their kids, grandkids and great grandkids type of thing.

If one of the kids goes into a chat room and starts acting up, or they went somewhere they shouldn’t have, someone can have a wee chat to them on the side.

It’s a very simple option added to the member registration process requiring a code to verify your community invitation and is connected through the communities locks and keys.

Have a look at these two links above and you will get some idea of the technology making this work.

So off you trot now, I’ve got things to do, as I said, its getting busy around here.

Kindest regards,
The tea lady
Bye bye.

Community Profitability

A chat with The Tea Lady about……

Community Profitability

Equal benefit to all – Users and Advertisers

It’s you again pally, don’t you have a home to go to or is my baking?

Well you might as well come in and sit down as I’ve just made a fresh pot of tea and the little sods upstairs have decided to go across the road to the coffee shop I clean in the evenings at for elevenses.

I’ve been thinking about how important it is for you to enjoy yourself when you are online in your social networking community.

When you just want to catch up with everyone, see the fun pictures or videos they have posted, have a good laugh and at the end of it all, feel like you have enjoyed the past hour or two.

Now if you work in an office or a factory, if you work in the garden or dig holes, it is nice to have someone offer you something you like at the time you want it.

Like a nice cup of tea and a scone or a long cold drink and creamy coffee pie.

As the tea lady here, I get the nicest smiles and thank you’s when I just happen to be going around the office corridors with my trolley (squeak – squeak………. squeak – squeak, ha ha ha) and pop into someone’s office and say “tea pally”.

They just love it because I was thinking of them and I knew that right about then they would be wanting something like a nice cuppa.

And if I have some extra special baking, well that’s a real treat for them.

It is no different with advertising, while you are sitting there online in your community, writing away to your friends, it is nice to have someone come along and offer you something you really want.

Although it won’t be anything physical like a cup of tea or a piece of cake, it would most likely be a special offer on your favorite brand of tea or some prime beef rib eye steaks that are available from a shop close by or on your way home.

It could even be possible that the steak advertisement was triggered by you talking to someone in a chat room about having a BBQ this Saturday.

I would like to be told that I can get an extra 20% off my next packet of tea of pound of steak all this week at Vic’s Supply House.

I might even belong to Vic’s loyalty program and get an extra 5% if I swipe my loyalty card, and if the swiping of this card was attached to the community it could pay me some bonus points to use in the community mall.

Think about it while sitting back in that chair there.

You see advertising should benefit you and entertain you, not annoy you, and in a community like the one these little darlings have built here, it is possible for it to be that way.

If the community system knew what you like and when you liked it, the advertisements you see would become relevant to your everyday life, they would be more like a reminder or “hey, would you like one of these, it’s that time of the day” just like the tea lady walking around the corridors of the office building, squeak – squeak…………..squeak – squeak, ha ha ha.

And you wouldn’t complain about them then would you..

Kindest regards,

The tea lady

Bye bye.

Creamy Coffee Pie

This is one of my mums, it is delicious.

Crush 1 packet of plain cookies and mix it with 3 oz butter and press into a 9: round pie plate.

Ingredients for the filling:

1 tablespoon gelatin
2 tablespoons water
2 eggs (separated – yolks – whites)
½ cup of sugar
1 cup of milk
2 teaspoons instant coffee
½ cup of cream cheese

What you do with it:

Add the gelatin to the water and stand for 5 minutes.

In a double boiler pot (that’s when you have a pot over a pot so the steam provides the heat) mix the egg yolks and half the sugar (1/4 cup) and milk.

Stir this until it becomes a lovely custard, this is when the custard covers the spoon evenly when you take it out. Now add the coffee and gelatin and stir until it’s all dissolved and allow to cool. Whip the cream cheese until it is real soft and gradually add the cooled custard. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fold them into the mixture. Pour this over the crushed cookie base and top off with whipped cream if you want to.

This is well worth it I tell you.

Community Profitability

A chat with The Tea Lady about……

Community Profitability

Come on in pally, sit down, this is going to get bumpy.

Now you might ask yourself, “what does a ‘tea lady’ know about a subject as meaty as this?”

Well I don’t just bake cakes and scones or make parsley wine, I know how to barbeque a piece of meat.

How to make money from your online community?

You can charge a membership fee like or collect fees for items that are listed and sold in the community mall or you can get advertising.

Let’s talk about advertising, I haven’t clicked on or noticed anything for a long time and you probably haven’t either.

If you want to attract good advertisers then you need something that gets peoples attention without them having to do anything and without it being too big and flashy.

I’m sure advertisers get sick of paying for banner ads that are shown everywhere and never produce great results, especially so in online communities.

I have a computer here in the kitchen and I spend time on it looking for things like recipes etc and when I am in my private social club room with my close friends, we are just there to natter about this and complain about that.

We don’t take too much interest of anything else while we’re all “socializing” you might say so it is understandable why a lot of advertisers shy away from the whole social network platform.

You would all know of the J P Morgan company (I bet they’ve got a bevy of tea ladies working there), well they have an article called “Nothing but Net” from their 2009 investment guide of January 5th, 2009 which doesn’t paint a very good picture for social networks making money.

But what if you could get the members of your online community to participate in what they see, as in what advertisements they see, when they see them and where they see them, you are going to get a more responsive viewer and you will be delivering value to the customer, or member as the case may be.

I’m talking about easy participation too, nothing too “heavy”.

You know getting someone to change a brand, like from Coke to Pepsi, is like getting someone to switch from Lite ‘n Low to sugar, or an ant trying to pull the skin off a rice pudding, very, very difficult.

So why not let the Coke and Lite ‘n Low people stick with what they like but let them know when these things are on sale somewhere along with all of the other marketing paraphernalia.

Oh, and squish the ant.

Now you may be wondering what I have been leading up to here.

What sort of advertising can you do in an online community that doesn’t get up your nose like burnt orange cake?

How do you get people involved in what’s around them, what will it take to get them to participate?

Something subtle, yet inconspicuous,…………ah……………product placement.

Open your pantry and have a look at all the advertising there, tins of this, cans of that and packets of the other thing.

Everything has got labels on that you recognize.

A great example of this is in movie and TV land where as you know they don’t have banner ads because you can’t click on them, so they have products placed everywhere instead.

A Coke can here, a Ford Mustang there etc, its just stuff from everyday life I know but you get reminded of it when you see it don’t you?

Even the people we get the coffee from here provide the cups for free so the sods here know what brand they are drinking, and they are ‘always’ drinking the stuff too, it’s the same thing isn’t it, product placement.

Well this is what I have been leading up to.

The little darlings here have crafted an amazing product placement feature and built it into their Social Network Software.

Isn’t it interesting how they call it software (and hardware), makes you wonder where the ‘soft’ factor comes from.

Hardware I can understand, because when nitwits leave pieces of the stuff laying around in the kitchen when they come in to ‘rescue’ any of my baking, I often walk into them.

I’ve got a couple of good bruises already on my shin and if I ever catch the little sods I will be turning them into decoys.

By the way, I am baking cherry and walnut slice tomorrow afternoon, Mavis gave this recipe to me, you don’t know Mavis but she is married to Norman.

Norman is no relation but Mavis is Ray’s cousin, they had to daughters, Fay and Kay – seriously.

Anyway, so now we have ‘software’, strewth, I suppose you could describe that stuff as being like angel food cake.

And if you’ve got any gaps between your teeth and good suction you can just hoover that stuff up ha ha ha.

Oooops, sorry, back again.

This product placement thing is really something else, when someone types in a particular word, it brings up an advertisement feature that relates to that word.

So you might say to yourself that’s not really amazing when you look at it like that, so listen to this, what the scoundrels here did was they hot rodded it, oh yes, souped it up, dropped in a cam, you know, (the tea lady like cars too I might add and there’s nothing like the sound of a purring flathead).

Bugger, got off track again.

Product placement in the community system is fun because members can select the categories they get advertisements from and therefore they are happy to see the ads of what they like.

And the ads have the ability to appear in a fun and interactive manner.

Now imagine this, you send some friends an email inviting them to your place for a barbeque the following Saturday at 12:00 noon.

So those accepting can receive text messages and or emails reminding them of the event, cute eh.

For the fun part, and this works only in the community, ok pally, when keywords are entered by the member, they can be set up to trigger full a color animated ½ – ¾ inch square icon/brand logo that appears immediately after the word, and in the same line.

Looking just like a little neon sign, or billboard it really gets noticed.

Now, remembering that the member has the option of selecting only the categories they want to see advertised to them, they can have things such as pulsating Coke cans appear whenever they enter the words ‘drink, hot, thirsty or awesome’ etc.

Or a steaming hamburger just oozing with temptation when they type in ‘hungry, food, eat, lunch or going out’ etc and just get a load of this, it can be set to appear only between the hours of 10:00 AM in the morning to 2:00 PM in the afternoon.

Now that is product placement.

In our house, everyone drinks the same brand of soft drink, although my daughters drink the diet version, the boys and their father all drink the regular one.

So you can imagine if some of the kids friends bring over a different brand, it sticks out like dogs thingies.

You know too don’t you, that advertisers pay a whole caboodle more when they can reach the exact people they want to, to get them coming through their doors or landing on their websites.

Something like this will certainly generate revenue and provide the advertisers with something new and fun.

I don’t have any more to say at the moment about community profitability as I really just wanted to get things started and let you know that I can talk meaty subjects just as good as I can talk Wonder Cake.

Now that’s a fancy little cake that “never” makes it through the end of the day.

I tell you, turn around and in less time than it takes to get online with a 2,400 baud rate modem, it’s all gone, kapoof.

My mind seems to be wandering again so drop me a line and we can get into more of this making money stuff.

Every area of the social networking software these little sods have created can function in the same manner.

Just imagine stamps on your email.

Being able to select the brand/logo/icon that you like and attach it to an email so when someone opens the email – poof, there’s a big splashy advertisement, doing its job.

There is so much to talk about with this subject, I don’t have time today but I will keep talking about it a number of times as we get to know each other.

Kindest regards,
The tea lady
Bye bye

Wonder Cake

Wonder Cake

This is from my mums friend Joan, she was a great friend of my mums, she had 8 children. They owned the farm behind the village where I grew up, got into a lot of trouble sliding down their hills, ha ha ha.

The ingredients:
1 cup of Sugar
1 ½ cups of regular flour
1 cup chopped of dates
1 desert spoon of cocoa
1 teaspoon of malt vinegar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
¼ Lb of butter
½ cup of chopped walnuts
½ cup of milk
Pinch of salt

What you have to do to make it into a cake:

Cream the butter and sugar then add the dates, walnuts, flour, cocoa and vinegar.

Dissolve the baking soda in the milk and add it to the mixture.

Make sure it is all mixed together well.

Pour this into a well greased round cake tin and bake in a medium oven (350 degrees) for 40 – 45 minutes.

Turn the oven off and let it sit there for another 5 minutes.

Don’t what ever you do eat it hot, I can tell you now that you won’t stop, ok.

Chocolate frosting is real nice on this, if you put it on while the cake is still quite warm, it oozes down into it and when the frosting sets, it has become as one with the cake.


Scones – MIllie Green’s

One of the easiest things in the world to get wrong, ha ha ha.

Millie Green gave this recipe to my mum when they lived across the street. Now that my mum has passed away, my dad is dating Millie, and he is well into his eighties. He says it is because of the scones, I say its because of her pickles. And Ralphie doesn’t care what it is because of.

3 cups of self raising flour
300 mils cream
1 egg (beaten, not whipped)
2 tablespoons of water
A good pinch of salt

Now, once you have mixed and squished all of this together you can either have them plain or add a flavor if you want, the best I can suggest at this time is either cheese or dates.

You mix the flavor in to the scone mix.

Roll the mixture out onto a well greased tray, about 1 ½ “ high, cut into squares about 2” x 2” and bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes or until done.

Eat them until there are none left.

Parsley Wine

Parsley Wine

Now this might sound daft I know, but it has a great affect.

1 Lb of parsley tops (the frilly stuff at the end, not the stalk)
1 Orange
1 Lemon
1 Gallon of water
4 Lb Sugar
¼ oz yeast
Piece of root ginger (peeled) about 1 “ long.

The process:

Boil the parsley, orange, lemon and ginger in the 1 gallon of water until it is mushy.
Strain it through a cloth or very fine sieve and add the sugar.
Let it cool down and then add the yeast.

Leave this alone for 3 weeks and then strain again using a cloth or very fine sieve.

6 weeks later, strain it again and then bottle it.

Now, I have made it, I have tried it, and I have survived it.

Aunt Beryl gave this recipe to my mum and they both swore by it, they also swore a lot after they had a lot of it to drink too, ha ha ha.

Cherry and Walnut Slice

Cherry and Walnut Slice

This is from Mavis.

The base:
¼ Lb brown sugar
¼ Lb Butter
1 big cup of flour
½ teaspoon Baking Powder

Cream all of this together and press into a 10” x 8” tin (or thereabouts).

Bake this for 10 minutes in a preheated oven around average temperature (each to their own though when it comes to the actual heat).

The Topping:
¼ Lb sugar
1 beaten (not whipped) egg
1 cup finely shredded coconut
1 teaspoon melted butter
1 Lb cherries (take the stones out)
¼ Lb walnut pieces

Mix this all into a crumble and sprinkle over the base and bake again for 20 minutes at medium heat.