Selling Online – Some Options

I came across a list I made of different channels for selling online, and I am putting it here for anyone who wants to check it out. One way to sell online is to build your own e-commerce site (or get someone to build it for you), and of course WooCommerce running on WordPress is a solid choice.

There is an option now to run WooCommerce on, which opens up new possibilities.

And there are other e-commerce solutions that run on WordPress. And there are other platforms than WordPress.

If you don’t want to own your own store and would rather pay a monthly fee to let someone else take care of the technical setup, then Squarespace, Shopify, Highwire, and Big Commerce are four big providers of high-quality store fronts.

If you are interested in something cheaper and more modest, check out these. This is the list that I put together a while ago when I was researching what to do.

Big Cartel

There is Etsy, of course, if you want a more community feel to your store. Folksy is somewhat in the same mould, as is Society6.

Add a comment if you know of others.

Brains On TV, or The Spinning Kitchen

There was a programme about the brain on TV last night.

The program was essentially talking about how the autonomic system in the brain covers nearly all of what we do. And it asked what the role of consciousness and self awareness is.

In one part of the programme, they wired up the presenter and a young boy as they stood side by side and stacked cups. The boy was the world champion cup stacker and the presenter was a newbie at it.

When the team looked at the brain activity of the two of them they saw that the the presenter’s brain was lighting up. But boy’s brain was more or less at rest. Nothing very much was happening because he had hardwired the technique.

He practised – and that is how much of what we do goes from conscious effort to automatic.

The programme was a repeat of a screening about a year ago, but something must have interrupted my viewing the first time, because there were a couple of things on last night’s viewing that caught my attention.

One thing was that if you are warmer, you will respond more favourably to questions about your mother.

Another was that if you are next to cleaning or sanitising products you will give more politically conservative answers to questions.

With that background I want to talk about our kitchen.

The Kitchen

It’s a long time since I have lived in a house with kitchen units down opposite sides of the room. In my experience, kitchens are usually arranged with the units in an L shape. But for various reasons to do with windows, the units in this house are on opposite sides of the room.

And it is a wide kitchen, so it is a good pace or two from one side to the other.

I disliked it on sight because I remembered how unappealing it is to have to keep crossing the kitchen.

And in the first few weeks I was getting dizzy from turning, turning, around – back and forth.

Today, I noticed that I was not dizzy. I asked my wife, Tamara, and she too was not dizzy.

And with the benefit of the education from last night’s programme I see that we have successfully moved the effort from conscious effort to automatic. 🙂

Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic

I am writing this partly because of the oddity of what was on the map I was looking at and that it might be worth five minutes of your time.

I was looking at Google maps and I came across a part that was divided off by an international border but wasn’t marked with a country name.

It was surrounded by Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Iran. So what country was it?

My first thought was to zoom in, in case a country name popped into view, but it didn’t.

I googled the name of the largest town/city (Nakhchivan) and I found out the region is the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, an autonomous enclave of Azerbaijan.

As you can see, it is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan and completely surrounded by other countries: hence it being an enclave.

map showing Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic

One thing – you may not be able to see it on this map, but it does share a tiny sliver of border with Turkey on the west.

A bit more googling and I found out it was formerly owned by what was then Persia (now Iran) and then in the early 1800s after the Russian-Persian war, by Russia.

That changed again with the 1917 Russian revolution when it was contested by Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Fast forward to 1990 when it declared independence from the USSR to show solidarity with the nationalist movement in Azerbaijan, and the following year it declared itself the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic within the newly independent Republic of Azerbaijan.

So it is an autonomous region of Azerbaijan. Now we know.

That decision to ally with Azerbaijan resulted in conflicts and cross-conflicts with Armenia, Turkey, and Russia – who all had an interest in the outcome in terms of with which country the region would associate itself.

Google maps doesn’t have a street view of the point at which Turkey, Iran, and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic meet. Is it bristling with guns and tension or is it a backwater? Who knows? It must be interesting travelling from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea along this route…

map showing Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic

close up of Nakhchivan-Autonomous-Republic

So far so good. But reading about it led me on to the Nagorno-Karabakh War and Nagorno-Karabakh which is another region nearby.

It is internationally recognised as being part of Azerbaijan but is run as an independent state by the Armenian ethnic majority. Not being a country, it isn’t marked on most maps and I have coloured it fuchsia on this Google map.

map of Nagorno-Karabakh