Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Milling soap part II

A couple months ago, I wrote a blog entry about milling soap and what that means for a handcrafted soapmaker vs. a commercial soap manufacturer. 

Huge difference.  Commercial soap milling is a manufacturing process that involves removing the skin-softening, moisturizing glycerin that's a natural by-product of soapmaking so it can be used more profitably in lotions, creams, and other cosmetic and skin care products.  That's why so many commercially-made soaps are harsh, drying, and even irritating to the skin. 

With this in mind, it was especially interesting to stumble across this little press release from a company in Dubai that does exactly that -- removes the glycerin from soap and sells it for substantially greater profit to cosmetics manufacturers. 

Makes me wonder who buys what's left over.  Proctor & Gamble?  Unliver?  Henkel International?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Soapmaking & social media

I am WAY behind the curve when it comes to using social media, whether for personal or business purposes.  But I'm becoming a convert.  I've got a Facebook page now.  I've got a Twitter account too.  And there's egg on my face because it wasn't too long ago I thought both were frivolous.  

Are either of them proving useful?  Yes.  Facebook is a vehicle for connecting and communicating with customers, potential customers, and friends/associates.  I'm still in the process of figuring out exactly how I want to use it and what I want my Facebook presence to be -- I'm studiously observing how others use it to get a better feel for its potential. And I'm seeing that it actually is a useful tool for creating and building relationships. 

Same for Twitter, except I'm so new to it that I don't have much to show for any of my tweets -- yet.  But I've got a lot to show from having read other's tweets.  One guy I'm following, for example, tweets all the time on a whole range of subjects in technology and innovation.  Some fascinating and very useful stuff. 

And I like Twitter's libertarian spirit. You can follow or stop following whoever you choose whenever you choose. Anyone else can do the same in choosing to follow or stop following you.  People can block individuals from following them if they want, though I can't imagine that happens very often. 

What I've come to realize in all this is that I'm behind the curve in using these tools because I didn't understand them, and in my mind that became a reason to ignore them rather than a reason to learn about them.  Embarrassing to admit, but a valuable lesson!