Image from the email blast. Image taken from Quirky.com

Ok folks I have to admit, the first day was rather underwhelming. I expected fireworks, singing kangaroos and a speech by Iron Man. Admittedly all that was mostly the fault of my own irrational thinking, coupled with my own unexplained excitement at reporting this event.

So essentially what happened was that the launch page got published, and the event officially kicked off through an email blast. I have included the email image here for your visual reference (and pleasure). Actually I think it’s pretty nice, very Quirky’ish. You’ll know what I mean when you become a Quirky member.

(Hmm, would that make me a Quirkite, Quirkette or Quirkolite?)

Anyway, the big disappointment is that all submitted ideas at Compostapalooza will only be reviewed on the 26th. That’s a long time in an online world. Also, my favourite Cavs unceremoniously dropped out of the playoffs. Besides waiting for the LeBron James decision, I’m pretty down that I gotta wait until the 26th for something to get moving on Compostapalooza.

In any case, I did submit my idea, which I’ll reveal at a later time. However a few things did strike me:

About Composting

I know the word ‘composting’ has been thrown about far more often than it should have. The best analogy I can think of is that Africa is a continent, not a country. If I had a penny for every person that quotes the world’s poorest country as Africa…

Likewise, ‘composting’ is a term for a group of activities. It hardly denotes a singular and universal method for composting – something people still do for some reason.

Looking at the Quirky website, I can tell that it seriously needs a compost expert on their project. Nobody seems to understand that vermicompost worms are not cheap. The only useful information they have provided is the simple distinction between outdoor and indoor composting. *insert a no-no-that’s-a-bad-move finger wag*

You know what, let me just give you the real thang. Michelle thinks it’s hilarious while I thought it was cool:

Next, I was half hoping that they would improve their write-up on composting too. Yet I don’t blame them on this either. I mean, if we at Kainosis™ didn’t put in months of full-time research on composting, we would have put up the same misconceptions and known no better!

Submitting

Submitting the idea was part discovery and part frustration. For one, it was refreshing to really jot down an idea, frame it up nicely, and put it up for submission. I actually did three drafts and went through about five different iterations of my idea. That was the fun part.

Then it got frustrating. I should have seen it coming when I didn’t see a semblance of a text editor in the submission page. Maybe I’m spoilt rotten by the good work here at WordPress.com, but I was honestly lost when I couldn’t find a tab to switch between visual and HTML. I threw a digital tantrum (I closed the window) and I put up a huge protest (I decided to write my submission in MS Word instead).

Alright let me get this off my chest, I am no Redmond fan. I almost bolted for Open Office until MS launched Office 2007, which absolutely positively had me hooked. I couldn’t let go off the Office “ribbon” and until today I still can’t believe how fast it lets me generate “Annual Report” grade documents.

Well, I happily punched out my document and tried to copy it over to the submission page which I grudgingly opened again. Unfortunately, none of the formatting stuck, except for the line and paragraph breaks. I took a deep breath, prayed a prayer and attempted to copy HTML code over instead.

For that moment, I felt like a genius. I saved the document as a website, opened the file on my browser, viewed the code and just copied it over. I came, I saw, I was wrong – most of the code turned up but some gibberish appeared in the middle.

Worse still, I couldn’t see a preview. I mean.. I couldn’t see a preview!!! I know fellow WordPress folks are feeling my pain. I couldn’t – for all my efforts and patience – see what was going on at all. So I chickened out and manually formatted the submission.

By manually, I mean leaving out the bolding and title fonts and images. I also had to punch in spaces on my lists so they would have the correct hierarchy. Finally, I added a PDF version of my word document as an attachment and just prayed readers will actually read it and not scoff at my image-less submission.

So there goes my first day with Compostapalooza. I’m hoping to get some response from the Quirky team or just something – anything – that will happen to take my mind off what’s going to happen with the Cavs.

Till then, here’s a green day to our beloved readers.

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