January 13, 2009

Hoop

Every so often I get offered something to give away. Typically the giveaway requires the reader to jump through a hoop. I don't like to make you jump through hoops (oooh, unless they're ON FIRE! That's AWESOME!)---but I don't like to say "no" to free stuff on your behalf, either. "Oh, no," I see myself saying with a dismissive wave of my hand. "They don't need anything. They're fine."

So if the giveaway looks good to me, and if the hoop seems easy and not too tricky (or it's ON FIRE), I sometimes do it---and this is one of those times. So if you're all "OMG HATE THESE," it's safe to skip, because that's all we're doing today. Item one on the agenda: the giveaway pack. Item two on the agenda: the hoop.


The Giveaway Pack:
Bunnytail Outdoor Blanket ($48 retail value) AND a set of Kipiis Bib Clips ($25 retail value) AND a CARES Airline Travel Restraint ($75 retail value)


The Hoop:
These things are offered in the hopes that you will check out a site called Daily Grommet. It's a site that finds clever thingies like the three in the giveaway pack (the travel restraint is basically a 1-pound folding child's car seat for airplanes, which, OMG). You're supposed to click over there, browse around a little, and then come back here (HERE, not THERE) and leave a comment saying what you like about the site, or what you'd change, or any feedback/reactions/suggestions. In exchange for being a little feedback machine, you get entered into a drawing for the giveaway pack---and the random number generator is blind to whether you were complimentary or critical. And remember: leave the comment HERE. On THIS post. Before Thursday, January 15th, at noon U.S. Pacific time.

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love the Daily Grommet. I check their site every day and the find such cool stuff. So you shouldn't feel bad about having people jump through this hoop!

Um, but since I'm the first to comment I guess it's not likely I'll win. Bummer.

Rachel

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Nice site. I liked having videos to give more info on the products. The site was relatively easy to use and looked nice. It was great to not be inundated with ads on it as well (though I imagine they might want more ads to make more money!)

And I LOVE the CARES travel harness! It totally rocks.

SarahO said...

Okay, I'm not actually entering the contest. But, I just wanted to to say that I bought the CARES travel harness when my daughter was 2. Can I just say that it is the BEST thing ever?? I love it!

Fiona Picklebottom said...

Interesting site. I like that they're bringing attention to useful products of which I might otherwise be unaware.

Jenn Mc said...

I like to videos explaining the product. Sometimes you just don't want to read 5 paragraphs to get the jist. I LOVE the child restraint. I'm hoping that if we win this will convince my husband that we can take our 19mo on a airplane. NYC here we come!!!!

SP said...

Hmmm, are you sure I'm not going to get in trouble for saying something less than complimentary?

OK, here goes. Toe Stretchers? You have got to be kidding me! A coffee cup that looks like a disposable cup just so you look "cool"? I just don't get it. They do have a few neat things, very few. Economic times are tough right now. Why not sell things that people will actually need but are somehow neat/fun/unique? Oh, and the site kept crashing with an error. Incredibly frustrating.

I love the travel harness though. It would be ideal for my nephew.

Tuli said...

I'd never been to the Daily Grommet site. Looks like a great resource for folks to use to find useful items.

Rosie said...

On the other hand, I'm not a fan of the videos. It's much easier and faster to skim through text to see if I want to read it in detail than to sit through a video.

Jen said...

OK, first of all--I really need to win these products. We're in the process of adopting a litle boy and he'll be here in like 3 months!! WE HAVE NOTHING!!! Ok, now that the panic is out of the way, I love the colors on the website--they're easy on the eye which is important to me. I hate the blogs that have a black background w/white lettering. I digress....The only thing I wish the site had was more navigation buttons on the top..that's all!

Kate said...

I love that there's just one item a day, so you can check back every real quickly - and you can catch up on things you may have missed with the "Past Grommets" page.

Badness Jones said...

There are some neat things over there! I would love that Airline Restraint - my son was MADE for that thing!

Emblita said...

Okey... as someone who has been flying her kid all over the damn place I seriously want the CARES travel restraint! PURE BRILLIANCE!

I liked the Grommet site- a lot of cool things, although it would help if their past Grommets could be divided into categories (I dislike too much scrolling)

So PICK ME RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR! PICK ME! :p

Bethtastic said...

I think the idea is interesting...
but I'll be honest enough to say that going to a site everyday just so I can see if they might be selling something I might like is probably something I will not do. (Whew! That was a long sintence!)

And while I really am interested in the products in the give-away package, I didn't find many others that made me think - "Wow! I'll come back here!"

So - pick me, random-man!

Keli said...

Looks like they have some very clever and useful things. I had a problem loading the page - there was a lot of white space on the top. Love the CARES seat though, that would be dead useful when we head to Disney in the spring.

Cherish said...

I actually checked out that site months ago when it first started. I think I followed a link from one of your other blogs and found it when they were doing the episode on chocolate?

What I like are the products they chose to show. I would never have heard of them other wise.

Cheryl888 said...

I had never heard of this site before, it is an interesting concept but I agree with what someone above said - how often will someone remember to go there every day to see if there is a product on there that they want to buy?

CassJustCurious said...

This site is cool and I like the format of featuring a single item - a weakness is showing all past "posts" grommets, whatever in a separate archive. Showing the five most recent posts on the same page would be a better user experience. I think they should incorporate a rating system for users because they tend to be all over the map in features and they need to tailor a bit more to their actual audience.

Jiff said...

So where do I comment? Here or there. And I'm too lazy to jump through hoops lately. lol.

I will check out their site, though, JUST BECAUSE YOU TOLD ME TO.

heh. :)

Alison said...

I love sites like this filled with cool stuff that I lust after.
Though I'm sure the videos are informative, I never watch them on my computer--computer is close to napping baby, so sound is on mute. but if i were needing more info, I could always risk it :)

Alison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
St said...

Hmm, I think it's a good idea but I found the layout a little confusing. It took me a minute to find the button for previous entries. The video front and center was also confusing. I thought it was something I needed to watch as opposed to a little addition to the post for people who like videos. I would recommend they do a little "about us" on the front page (sidebar) so I don't have to look for it to understand exactly what the site is about. I would also suggest categories so that I don't have to browse through things that don't interest me.
In general I LOVE sites like this that show me stuff I didn't know about...to BUY!! Very fun.

cat said...

I think the site is smartly designed. It's simple so that there isn't a sensory overload when you visit but the combined text and video give all the information you could want.

I would suggest that Past Grommets should be broken down into categories and there should be a menu (either on the main screen or as a rollover drop down) so that you can click on the category you want from the main page.

You could also have the top 5 most popular items or something like that. That way, some one new to the site who wants to do so browsing could see the things most likely to hit their fancy.

bouncyczech said...

I like the videos - they are a refreshing timewaster. Would love to see some more useful stuff featured. Loved the kid books about sex ed.

Laura said...

I'm a sucker for cool and clever baby items! What I like best about their site is the quick demo videos. Not too long, not to short, but plenty enough to highlight the features of their products.

Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to check out more of their products!

Elizabeth said...

Some of the stuff seemed cool, but I thought it was trying too hard to not be a store, if that makes sense. I just want to see all the stuff you're selling, at one time, in an easy to find way, so I can see if I want to buy any of it. I don't want it to be laid out like a blog.
That being said, I really hope I win that airline seat thingee.

Heather D. said...

I thought it was a cool site. I would also have been skeptical about an outdoor blanket, but it looks pretty cool. I don't have babies anymore but know 2 people who are having them very soon so I'd have to pass this great stuff on to them.

Miss Grace said...

It seems as though you can only see one "Grommet" at a time, and I would prefer to be able to scroll down without clicking on the "past grommets" tab. Perhaps you can, and I'm retarded. In that case I guess it should be more obvious?

Mommy Daisy said...

The site is pretty basic and easy to navigate. That's always a good thing. I wish there was an easier way to see past grommets. Like maybe a section on the main page for the favorite ones or something.

Misty said...

Um, their websie was running scripts that made Vista wig out. And it wouldn't let me close out the site until I agreed to let the scripts keep running even after I closed the browser.

Yikes. Me no likey.

Hotch Potchery said...

The ONLY reason I knew what the site was supposed to be was because I read your description before I went to it. I think they need some more "info" on the banner, or sidebar, to give people who happen upon their site and idea as to what it is. It could just be that I don't know what the word grommet means and it is more a personal failure than lack of communication. :)

Lippy said...

Seriously, with two soon three kids and yearly 5 hour flights to PA (hold me), I need that travel harness. I liked the site, but it would be helpful to be able to look under categories, rather than just looking through the past daily grommets. They have a lot of cool stuff.

Mommy of Five said...

What a great site. I wish I knew about it when I was searching for unique Christmas gifts. I liked how they had both video and written discriptions, me prefering the written as I don't have time to watch the videos, but great to have it available if I didn't quite get how the product would work.

I think catergories for the items past would be helpful. I loved seeing how they started and even skipped over to Julie's?? blog for a bit.

Not a hard hoop, Swistle!

plk said...

Nice site, but the prices on the books are higher than they are at Amazon itself. E.g., "It's not the stork" is $11.55 on this site, but $9.59 at Amazon, so I don't see why I would by from them.

Jen said...

I do love me some shopping websites, mostly because they tell me about products I have not yet heard about but CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT. I'm not to the point of needing the books listed yet, but it seems like a good idea (the site). I think it would be more useful for me if they had more postings, not just the latest one, listed.

Christina, Steve, Clara and Elena said...

I love when someone consolidates new finds for me like the daily grommet does, but I'm with others who say that the prices might keep me from actually PURCHASING anything.

Free stuff, that's a different story. Bring it on, random number generator!

BRash said...

I like the concept, and I'd probably subscribe to the feed. (I actually use Google Reader, and I see they have a "get by email" button on the top, but maybe they should look into putting a get by bloglines/reader button because that seems like it would get people checking it every day, which they want.)

I also like that there's a tex story under the video. I admit that I rarely watch video - I'm either @ work and can't show off that I'm slacking or @ home and don't want the baby running over to see what I'm watching on "TB?" In fact, the text was so good - quick, interesting - that I actually did watch one or two of the videos to see the product demo. I say develop the text part a little more b/c there was sometimes a lot more info in the video.

And the video - I hate that the two ladies are always talking to each other and not me. Often all you see is the side of their faces. It's hard to remember, but you have to change your behavior when you're making a video for other people to watch.

I agree that there should be categories of past grommets. I would have really liked to isolate all the baby stuff, or the home stuff, etc. And I would have liked to see lists of past grommets - either list or picture/list or full stories, but more than one per page, please!

Lastly, I loved how you told us like, THREE times where to comment and then someone's all - "Where do I comment, here or there?" Ha!

Too much? Whatever. Maybe the random number generator can be persuaded by length of comment. We don't know if it's truly impartial...

Brooke said...

I like the videos. They were great for when the written description intrigued me and I wanted to see the product in action, like the bib clips. It was cool to see how they worked.

I like the information underload. Like a previous commenter said, one item a day. So much easier than being inundated.

Kathy said...

I like the concept, but the finds offered seem a bit all over the place, unlike other similar sites that focus on, say, baby gear or whatnot. I like the video option but am more likely to read the text first before opening up a video, to be honest. However, if I saw something interesting I'd probably watch the video before deciding whether to buy it.

Monique said...

I really enjoyed the site and when finances are better I see several things that will be coming to live at my house! I agree with previous posters that past grommets should be catagorized, or the last five on a page, or something along those lines. I like the sense of humor that is evident, and I'll come to visit again.

Liz said...

I'm pregnant and would love this for my 2nd!

Liz said...

Forgot my feedback. It was my first time to the site, and I liked the design and the offerings

Clare said...

A bit like the QVC or HSN, but neat stuff. Videos took forever to load, so I ignored them and read the text. Would also like to see past grommets easier to find.

becky said...

i like that they offer the opportunity to donate to good causes, as well as random things that you don't really need but might feel like purchasing. it is a nice change from the rest of the overpriced "limited time deal sites".
i'm not likely to watch the video either, but the text seems pretty descriptive.
i am not exactly in the financial place to be making unplanned purchases, but this site is really pretty and some of the things look like fun.

Safire said...

What a great site! I love the videos of things. And I love that you are able to buy the past days features...a lot of sites have a one day only policy.

Snoopyfan said...

I did like the simplicity of the site. It was easy to navigate and not overly obnoxious.

However, I do not like the video nor do I think I will remember to go back every day to look at a new thing I may want to buy. Reminds me vaguely of Woot (and I don't go there every day either!).

Erin said...

I would suggest explaining the gist of the site in the upper right especially if you are going to routinely have a video above the fold. If I happened on the site by chance today I would have no clue what it was all about.

Kathy said...

I like the idea and enjoyed browsing through the items. I would never click on the videos though, seems like it would be too similar to QVC

samantha jo campen said...

I love stuff like that--little quirky things that you don't know how you lived without. I even subscribed!

So I'm down. Way to go Swistle!

Amy said...

Some of the stuff was pretty cute. I like that they have a variety of products - things you wouldn't necessarily know about if you didn't check their site. I particularly like the Sassyback since I have a back fat problem! :)

The ladies, Jules and Joanne, remind me of the NPR ladies on SNL. Excited (in a monotonous voice) over things that aren't so exciting. Good times, indeed.

Dustin said...

Eh, I've seen enough item-a-day sites. And while they do cover their "exchange" policy ("Nope, sorry"), there's nothing about what happens if the item you receive is defective, i.e. an actual refund/return policy. I won't be returning to their site.

Marie Green said...

So here's what I like about the site- it's easy to tell what kind of site it is (one that recommends products), it's not cluttered with too much visual stimulation, and it's design is simple and tidy.

Also, the videos are cool.

melissa said...

Pretty cool site--I like the "daily grommet" idea although the spool holder seems a bit silly to me! I also like the videos of the items and the "reserve for a friend" option. Cool idea!

Nikki Page said...

Okay, I really could use the CARES Airline seat for an upcoming trip so I'll jump.
The site was okay, I do like the one daily item format, if only for the surprise factor. However, not many of the recent Daily Grommets are things I would actually purchase. As someone else already wrote, in this economy I have little use for a coffee cup that looks like a disposable cup or something to wind my string around. However, I did enjoy reading about the charities featured during the last week of December. That was great.

Smiling Mama said...

I like that you can order or reserve directly thru this site. I probably would use the "reserve for a friend" to actually reserve something for myself to think about it a bit.

Felicia said...

I'm not a huge fan of all the embedded videos everywhere. Too many.

JulieV said...

What a cool site. Thanks for bringing it to attention. I'll definitely be checking it out often.

LauraLouann said...

Nice site. Wish there was a way to link to past Daily Grommets on the front page instead of cliking the Past Grommet link. Great stuff though.

shoeaddict said...

I really liked the site. I agree that the past grommets should be categorized. I love that they feature different stuff everyday- today might be a baby item, tomorrow a household one, etc.

Valerie said...

Not a big fan of the videos. Usually my internet time is while the kiddo is asleep (sometimes in my lap) with the sound off so videos aren't the best for me.

Cool stuff, though!

Katie said...

I liked the video showing the airplane restraint thing. I don't normally click on videos online, but really did like that feature. When I tried to X out of the site, there was some error message about running scripts. Was that my computer? Or their site? Not sure which.

Either way, I WANT that restraint for air travel. That is genius.

Kristin C said...

Thanks for the 'hoop'. That site could get addicting! :) I found some great things on there, but my favorite was a recent grommet on the cribbage board. Love the giveaways, too.

Sarah said...

So I thought the videos were helpful but kinda long. So I guess I would say they should have the videos in order to show how product works (if it is unusual) but keep it to the point and not make it a major sales ploy. Thanks!

Jess said...

This website definitely reminds me of woot.com, except instead of cheap deals it is just interesting/unheard of finds. I can totally appreciate a website that really "does the work for you" and this appears to pretty much do so.

p.s. I am totally not opposed to sprinting/leaping/crawling/etc. through hoops, as long as it's a good giveaway!

kindsfather said...

I am not much of a hard core bargain shopper, so it really isn't my kind of site. I tend to need something, then look for it, paying whatever is being charged, or skipping it. Bad? Definitely, but it is how I roll. I do LIKE the idea of woot, the daily grommet, and many of those bargain sites...I just don't really get into the execution.

So, the site looks good, I like it, but not really my thing.

Jen said...

nifty stuff over there but i want to echo what someone else commented - it would be easier to just scroll down to past grommets. cute name too!

Anna said...

I like the site, but it would be nice if there were categories right up front (kids, crafts, kitchen, etc.)

drowninginlaundry said...

I already like the site but I really do find the videos annoying. And they need better access to categories of stuff from the past.

But that is just me, I just generally hate videos online.

Jenny F. said...

I'd never seen this site, and it had some good ideas. I didn't like that the first page seemed to just have the one story on it, but I liked the colors...ooooh pretty!

Omaha Mama said...

I like sites that highlight cool products, so kudos. I don't love the video, because I don't spend that much time watching informational videos online (totally a personal thing, has to do my my deficient attention).
Pretty, information, nice topics. And I want to go order the Birds and Bees books.
So I give it a A-.

Cass said...

Meh. Not a bad design, visuals are okay, but I'm not clear what I gain from the random-item-per-day format. As others have said, some categories would be nice. And an explanation of what they're all about. In words, not video. (Or, if they must, both.)

But I do love the CARES harness. Not sure it qualifies as a splashy new find, since I've been coveting a pair for a while, but still would be nice.

Sam said...

I have no complaints about the site, but looking back at past grommets, there doesn't look like much I'm that into, personally. But I would love that outdoor blanket!

caleyadams said...

Some interesting products I didn't know about. And I like that they only feature one a day, rather than a zillion things to look at. I didn't like the videos though. To be honest, I'd rather skim a few paragraphs to find out the info, not sit through a video.

I am LOVING the CARES thing though. I'd totally love to win that.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I really liked how I could browse through past grommets to get a bigger picture of what type of things they offer.

beach mama said...

That was a pretty neat site. Still have no clue what a 'grommet' really is. LOL!
I think they need to be separated by labels or something. Like one label would be Kid Stuff.

Pick ME! I want that airplane thingy. I am one of the mom's that has carried a huge car seat on a plane 5 times!!

Michelle said...

Interesting. I'd never heard of this site before. It took me a few moments to "get" it, but I did eventually. I don't know how much of it I'd buy but they're fun stories and definitely unique products.

Only major problem? I kept getting error messages as I tried to click around the site.

Ellen said...

Fun ideas there! And I would love anything which would restrain my infant on a plane.

Sam said...

The site is a little boring but easy to navigate.

may said...

I don't usually watch videos online because my computer sucks, but I did read the blurbs about the products and thought they were interesting and well-written. They made me like the people and see the need for the product (although I still don't get how the bib thingy works - guess I should've watched that video).

Thanks for the opportunity to win something, Swistle! Always fun.

brooke said...

Oooh that is a great site! Thanks for the tip Swistle. The videos are a good length and the products are inventive. I like the airplane restraint the best. I hope that I win!!

Anyabeth said...

I did like the site but yeah it is a little strange the products are all over the place. Maybe over time I would get used to that?

Kristi said...

I'm not particularly thrilled about the site. They have a few cool things and I like the idea of the videos, although I never actually watched any of them. It just seems too....what?....boring. I felt like I needed to be quiet while looking at the site. Also, it just felt a bit stepford-wifish.

Beth said...

I liked it. Really unique items. And many of them eco-friendly and humanitarian. I'll definitely add it to my list of sites to check daily.

april said...

I liked the site. It had some cool items. I love the travel restraint.

jennifer said...

I liked how I could browse through past Grommits & have an entire listing (with pictures) in one place without having to click through each day!

katethegr8 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
katethegr8 said...

I like the site..its atractive and still easy on the eyes! there are deff. some products on there I would love to get my hands on, I even joined the email list :)

Elizabeth said...

What an interesting concept. I like the look of the site and, while I haven't watched any of the videos YET, I like that there are videos throughout.

Lisa & Jason said...

Love that they have videos showing how the products work. Very cool.

ellipses said...

That is one cool site! I loved the I Am Not a Paper Cup item, I might just go buy that sucker off the site if there are some left!!

thefrontroom said...

Interesting concept...I am not into the video thing so I skipped through a few reading the stories. I am in dire need of that harness for an upcoming flight with a squirrelly toddler too!

Ginny said...

The site looks great, easy to navigate & cool deals.

collcook said...

What a neat site! A friend recommended I check it out because of the restraint being featured. Contest or not, I'm glad I have this site as a reference for fresh ideas in the future. Plus, I love the name - grommets are really cute somehow :)

Bee McGhee said...

hooked on sites that sell one thing per day--like woot.com, but this one has cool stories, and much more variety!

Mary A. said...

That harness is awesome, but I don't see how it wouldn't interfere with the tray of the person behind you?

Tammy said...

Love the site, but am somewhat dismayed that checking it out has now cost me money. I so need the Birds and the Bees book and now won't have to spend hours in the Barnes and Noble searching for a great one. I'm also feeling pretty impractical and have decided to buy the toe stretchers, strange as that sounds, to try to alleviate foot pain. Who's ever heard of toe stretchers? Love the Daily Grommet.

alpacalifestyle said...

I like the idea of the Daily Grommet. I was almost sucked into buying the string tidy but baby distracted me and deal was gone. The pricing on the pickled stuff is a bit much though. I'd like to see the site focus on value and uniqueness.

Courtney in FL said...

Cute site design but I am thrown off on only being offered one product at a time.

Sheena said...

I found their site to be very user friendly. It is easy to navigate and view previous entries. Thank you for the new site to check out.

Emily R said...

I like it. I'm sad that it's a daily grommet and that I have to make a decision that very day or I guess find their sponsors and get one myself. Man, I'm lazy. I guess their site is great.

Fattylumpa said...

K,L, M, P all draw my eye to the eggs because the frames are all light/thin enough that it causes your eye to just ZOOM right to them without getting sort of hung up.slowed down by the outside.
I fI had to pick one (which YOU DO), I would go with K. Rustic and charming but yet sort of polished. And it was the one that I thought let the eggs stand out most.

I can't wait to go back and read what other people say - I LOVE all things home decor related!! ...and I love Marshalls!

And...I would totally leave it in the box for years unframed, too.

Fattylumpa said...

OMG, am jerkface. COmmented on wrong post. Like I said....can't wait to *GO BACK* and see what other people say.