I've only recently started using Klout.com, which is a site that measures your social media influence. I'm not overly concerned about my ranking on such lists, but there are real world discounts and upgrades and other goodies that don't require any active effort on my part, so I thought, "Why not?" I was inspired to check it out after tech blogger Joey DeVilla was able to get into the SFO Cathay Pacific First Class lounge with a score higher than 40, even though he was flying on a different airline. My score of 55 is decent enough, and I recently received my first "perk": an herb garden and $10 from Bing, Microsoft's search engine.
This post is not sponsored by nor is it an advertisement for Bing or Klout (see official disclaimer below). In fact, it would take a lot to move me from using Google (which also owns Blogger.com and hosts this blog). But the whole promotional garden is part of The Bing Summer of Doing. Every day during the summer, there's a new keyword or concept, with suggested activities. Some are fun, some are solo, some are meant for groups, and some are charitable. Many of us are too busy to really need a suggestion about how to spend our scant free time, but there's nothing wrong with encouraging people to make the free time to go for a hike or plant an urban garden or visit a museum rather than sitting in front of the TV or computer.
The kit came with three cups, three compressed soil pellets (about the size of a stack of six quarters), and three tiny seed packets of basil, parsley, and chives. I've grown herbs before and have a pretty good source of fresh ones these days, but this is more of a little decorative kitchen garden for me, and something to tend to each day in quiet meditation.
The condensed soil pellet is awesome. As soon as you add water it explodes to fill the entire cup, and continues to drink up water until you've got a rich, spongy soil. This would be a lot of fun for kids. I prepared the three cups, planted the seeds about half an inch deep, and then added a bit more water. We'll wait and see how they grow.
DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout influencer. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.