Bloggers haul in tons of free stuff

I forgot to post about how I got a free camera! Whoever does the marketing for Flip is a genius, because forever more I will go around explaining to people how awesome my FREE CAMERA is. Plus, it has the satisfaction of a well-designed toy.

Whenever I mess around with it this is what happens:

People end up grabbing it from me. It’s so toylike that people aren’t scared of it. When was the last time you grabbed someone else’s video camera out of their hands and started filming? NOT… you’d be scared to touch most of them and you’d want the manual.

For years I have refused to deal with videocameras because they’re huge and expensive and have a million parts and I break them and lose the tapes, etc. But for months I’ve been playing with this Flip Video gadget and loving it. It only has a few buttons and doesn’t do anything fancy. It doesn’t have a million different “modes”. There is no annoying charger to lose so that the gadget becomes useless. It runs on a couple of AA batteries.

You turn it on, hit the record button, and have got 30 minutes of video. I tried it out without reading any instructions, and everything worked as I expected. When I hit the red button again, it stopped recording. Then when I started recording again, the camera was clearly making a new short video clip.

That’s it.

Only time in my life you’ll hear me say that I’m happy not to have a lot of options. No! I don’t want options! A little bit of zoom is just fine!

The lack of cables is also amazingly great. The USB connector flips out from inside the camera like a freaking switchblade. When I plugged it into my Mac, it installed its own software on my hard drive. The software is nothing too special or fast. Though it did the job, it was somewhat horrible. It downloaded all my short video clips into the flip software, and showed me — much like in iPhoto – an array of the clips, with a simple play and edit interface, and options to name and save each clip. I can upload them straight to YouTube. All of that is super handy.

But it was WAY handier to ignore the Flip software completely.

Just plug it in and treat it like a flash drive, drag the files off it, edit them (or not) and upload clips to Google Video, YouTube, or (for super short clips) to Flickr.

After I finish messing around with this video camera, I’m going to give it to Moomin. This is really a perfect videocamera for little kids — and for me.

You can zoom in an out a little bit. The video quality is not all perfect. But I sure don’t care. It’s funny but the video “quality” or resolution is the last thing I care about. I just want something cheap and convenient and easy.

Though… I recommend you get a cheap tripod for it to avoid embarrassing shakycam. The camera has a little screw-holder thingie on the bottom for a tripod. I’m thinking of keeping a small GorillaPod in my backpack for times when I’m planning to film more than 20 seconds.

Because when you give this camera to little kids (or me) you might get this, or this:

My other free stuff lately was all BlogHer conference swag:

gwendomama with headset swag

Free Bluetooth headset from Zivio! It’s called a Zivio Boom and came with a jillion different little earpieces. I like the changing colors on it and how the antenna-microphone retracts – it telescopes back into the body of the headset. It’s tiny for now, but I’m sure in 5 years we’ll laugh.

This was the other Best swag from BlogHer:

best blogher swag

Clockwise from upper left: KY lube, manicure set in sunglasses case, nail polish, 1GB flash drive bracelets from PBS Kids, Topix power outlet splitter (nice!!!), 1GB flash drive (from KY), snapfish gift card, stickers, Merci chocolate (LOTS), blogher heroes book excerpt, Word Girl comic book again from PBS, Zivio bluetooth headset (!!!!!), more KY, pens, Tmobile gift card (7 days, 20 bucks, super great, putting it right in my backpack… along with the lube).

Oddly I got a vial of “Zen oil” or some aromatherapy thing from Zivio as well. It smells nice and has the effect of Tiger Balm. I used it all this week on my forearms in the spot up near your elbow that hurts when you type too much. Why aromatherapy-tiger-balm with the headset? NO IDEA!

My 10 year old friend who cruised the sponsor rooms got a free Didj, which is sort of the next generation Leapster gadget for older kids.


“Stick with me, kid,” I whispered. “Cute kid plus wheelchair, poster child city, they can’t resist, we’re going to own the world.” She laughed in outrage… but took the free stuff.

The whole conference I was sending people off to the secretly good tables to get the best free stuff. ”
Flash drive bracelets at the PBS table” I’d mutter. All the mom bloggers would be off like a shot. I was left holding my coffee talking to thin air. Oh man. We love the free geeky stuff.

Now, the down side of this whole bloggers-get-free-stuff shtick is the utter crap. Mostly that is books. I don’t know why! I love books! I love really good books. Why are there so many bad ones? Bad ones in my mailbox? It’s a mystery… Come on now. Keep nasty booksss, send awesome gadgets. I will put stickers and EL wire all over these free gadgets ONLY IF THEY DON’T SUCK and pose for photos licking all the free cameras and computers you care to fling in my direction.

2 thoughts on “Bloggers haul in tons of free stuff

  1. I’ve been wanting to try out a Flip camera, what model did you get?

    The only thing better than free swag is free swag you can actually use.

  2. I have to say, I keep seeing all these bloggers getting all kinds of free stuff…and I get green and jealous! I know I can do it myself, but I think, good grief, I’d spend all day on the computer. My house would start looking like it was abandoned and stuff…but then again, it would be filled with free stuff!
    This might be the motor-vation, though. I have never been able to turn down ‘free’ – unless ‘free’ just happened to be moldy or dipped in stink juice.
    My wish list of free stuff? A flip camera, a maid and cook, great hair and allergy medicine that works. Think it’ll happen?

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