Archive for May, 2010

Don’t Buy Cut Flowers for Mother’s Day

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

With gifts it’s the thought that counts. When you send someone flowers, do you ever think about where they came from? I haven’t thought that much about it myself. Well, I thought about the fact that they would die and be thrown away within a week, but that’s about it.

Now that I have done some research I am shocked at how the global cut flower industry works. Here are a few points that night make you think twice about buying flowers for your mom.

  • The vast majority of cut flowers sold in the USA are imported from Colombia and Ecuador.
  • During production and packing, South American farmers often use pesticides that are banned in the USA.

  • Researchers have found pesticide residue 300m underground near rose farms.
  • Working conditions on large flower farms have been compared to sweatshops by workers rights groups.
  • Flowers are shipped to Miami by air creating a substantial carbon footprint.
  • The USDA routinely fumigates flowers with toxic chemicals when they arrive in the US.

If your mom is expecting flowers, you can still give her a thoughtful gift. Choose a plant gift delivery company that carries American grown living plants. Your gift will last longer and it won’t have the negative impacts on the environment associated with the global cut flower industry.

Twitter Tools are Dropping Like Flies

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Twitter’s surge in popularity has spawned a slew of startups that based their future on the ability to automate various twitter building tasks. Anybody that wanted to have a twitter account with lots of followers whether for marketing purposes or just as an ego boost could take their pick.

Twitter itself took exception to the way many of these companies were using the Twitter API. Twitter forced many websites to remove functions that allowed users to follow or unfollow Twitter accounts in large batches. I have been using various tools, some of them free and some of them cheap. Most of them have been forced by Twitter to make major changes. The changes make them useless for the most part.

I have been looking at the different third party tools that promise to help you grow your Twitter on autopilot and trying to figure out which one will be the last man standing. I have decided that TweetAdder is one of the most promising. I signed up today for a free trial and I was amazed by the amount of control offered on it’s dashboard. Most of the tools that I have been using up until now are browser based. TweetAdder has software that you download onto your computer. I’m not much of a techie but the key difference between this tool and the ones that have been shut down is this - TweetAdder sends single requests to Twitter at a rate determined by you whereas browser based tools send all the requests to Twitter as a batch. Please correct me if I am wrong about this.

If you have ever paid a personal assistant to follow people on your Twitter account or to add content to your Twitter feed, you know how quickly the cost of appearing engaged on social media while you are actually busy working at something else can add up. The one time fee for TweetAdder is pretty easy to justify for any businessperson large or small.