Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Soles of Silk Update - February 26, 2020

This week's update includes the following items

Photos - Alice & Leah pull off each other's knee high socks on the bleachers right next to a track where countless people are walking/jogging by (73 images)

Videos - Charlee's soles and sandals are getting quite sweaty out by the river on a sunny day (182 MB - 1080p HD)

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Preview - Mindee's March Past 7K

As many of you know by now, I love shooting Mindee... a lot! Even though it's been about seven months since our last shoot, I'm sitting on a massive backlog of Mindee's content - 30 sets to be exact . Among them are solo sets, two model team up sets, a three model team up set, a set with her mom, sets shot in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Moral of the story, there's a lot more of Mindee that you haven't yet seen.

So, in order to put a dent in this stockpile of Mindee material, I'm going to be running not one, but two month-long Mindee-focused events. These will be similar to the events I ran back in back in 2018 and will also take place during the same two months, March and May. The only difference will be that both these events will focus on Mindee, whereas the ones from 2018 focused first on Melani (March) and then on Mindee (May).

I will be calling March's event, "Mindee's March Past 7K." I decided to title it this way because Mindee is currently sitting at 6,987 photos on the site. The very first set published in this event will put her into the 7K Club (7,000 photos) and have her pushing forward to the 8K Club. 

Here are the sets that you will see during the March event, all of which were picked by Mindee herself to be included in this event:

Colorful and sweet. How else can I describe this one?

Week 1 - Rainbow Fishnet Pantyhose & Candy
I told Mindee to pick which of her 30 sets she wanted me to publish to break her into the 7K Club. Her choice was this set, shot back in 2017 when we shot two days in a row at a hotel that I rented out. If you want more details on that epic two day shoot, start with the May 2017 blog titled, "Suite Feet Saga, Prequel - Mindee." From there, you have five more parts covering what we did over that two day span. This set can be found on Part 4 of the series.

Mindee was showing her mom how sets were done when we shot this.

Week 2 - Porch Swing
This set comes from one of my most memorable days of shooting. I know, I just mentioned how memorable the two day span was from the set above. That was awesome too. This set, however, was shot the day that I shot Mindee with her mom, Shelby, for the first time. You might even notice the same porch used in the Bubble Wands set the two of them did together.

This set was taken during one of our many trips together to visit different amusement parks.

Week 3 - Indianapolis Canal Bridge
Would you believe me if I said that I shot this set on a memorable day with Mindee? Well, you should because it's true! Shot in 2018, this was the second set we shot after getting off our plane in Indianapolis. We were planning on hitting up some amusement parks over the course of our three day trip, but we had some time after landing to squeeze in a few sets along a canal downtown. This is a set that I've been longing to get onto the site for a while now too. As a matter of fact, this exact photo adorned my computer's wallpaper for a long time. It was only replaced when I finally shot Mindee and Kaycee together in their Kiss My Feet set.

The Week 3 update will also be a very special set as it will set another milestone for Mindee. When this set is published, it will be her 100th set on the site. I couldn't think of a better solo set to bring in that milestone.

Mindee usually busts up blue round things. In this one, the round things are orange.

Week 4 - Orange Juiced
This set will be the only one published during this event that was shot last year. Mindee and I met up to do this set when we were trying our hardest to complete our self-imposed Monthly Mindee Challenge. That challenge saw us trying to shoot at least one set every month throughout the course of 2019. We only made it through June before we were unable to move forward, but we still got some great sets during those six months.

I hope you're as excited as I am for the first of two Mindee-centric events that will be taking place in 2020. March is looking to be awesome with the four sets above. You'll also be seeing a few blogs taking place as well with her inclusion into the 7K Club and her 100th set being published. Mindee will also be featured in an interview talking about her journey from 6K to 7K inside the members section of the site. You won't want to miss that. And before you know it, it'll be May and time for, "May I Have More Mindee Again?" where four more amazing sets will be added to the site of those flawless size 8's.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Soles of Silk Update - February 19, 2020

This week's update includes the following items

Photos - Reagan's feet come fresh out of her sneakers right as a rain storm passes by, making us wait two hours to go back out and shoot the remainder of the set (65 images)

Downloads (Avatars) - 3 avatars of 2019 Star Models featuring Mindee, Jasey Rae, and Princess Nikki have been added to the Star Models Avatars gallery of the Downloads section

Downloads (Avatars) - 3 avatars of 2018 Star Models featuring Mindee, Esmerelda, and Charlee have been added to the Star Models Avatars gallery of the Downloads section

Downloads (Avatars) - 3 avatars of 2017 Star Models featuring Mindee, Melani, and Alexa have been added to the Star Models Avatars gallery of the Downloads section

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Carmen & Her Early Morning Texts

I never expected to be getting random foot photos from Carmen late last night.

It was 1:42 a.m. and my cellphone vibrates next to my keyboard. I was playing World of Warcraft (WoW) after finishing a very long week at work. "Who was hitting me up this late?," I wondered. That's when I was treated to quite the surprise! It was Carmen... a barefoot Carmen at that!

As many of you know, Carmen played a very integral part in this site's earliest years. She was my site's first Wu's Feet Links feature model back in 2005 in her "Blue Jeans & Toes" set that helped establish Soles of Silk. It really did put the site on the map - so much so, I named it as the site's most important set of its first 15 years in the blog titled, "15 Year Celebration - 15 of the Site's Most Important Sets (2004-19)." That wasn't the last time over the last few months that Carmen's name has popped up on these blogs, however. 

On January 13, 2020, I published the ninth installment of my Would Love to Shoot series where I discussed the duo of Carmen and Carlin shooting together. Be sure to give it a read as both models are ones I have always adored, with and without a camera involved.

As I always do, whenever I feature my models in one of my blogs, I send them links so they can have a look. I sent Carmen both of the above links. I didn't hear back from her right away, but that is pretty common these days. She has a lot going on and we seem to only touch base every few weeks or months. We usually exchange some words and then all goes silent for a while. It kind of sucks when I think about how much I used to chat with this friend of mine back in the early 2000's, but life changes. Let's not dwell on how much I miss this lovely gal pal though. Let's talk about these texts that were sent to me in the early morning hours.

Like I said, I was playing some WoW, on a my Demon Hunter that I named after Alice and her big feet (character's name is Elevens). I hear the vibration and begin to wonder. I give it a second so I can get out of harm's way in the game and give my phone a look. I immediately see the photo and I'm in awe. It's been so long since I've seen those tiny feet - ones that spent lots of time in front of my camera, in my hands, and even all over my nose right next to a crowded bus stop one summer downtown. Yeah, long story! Back to the photos... It took me a second, but after looking at those feet, I then noticed her shirt. It's the same shirt used in Carmen's January 2008 set that we did downtown. Downtown... the same day as the bus stop incident...

Carmen still has the shirt she wore in this set, published in 2008.

After some small talk, Carmen mentioned that she's had the shirt for 16 years and it turns out that it was a gift from none other than Carlin. The chat didn't end there though, and neither did the photos. She sent me two more shots, both showing off those tiny soles of hers, telling me that I had permission to share these with everyone. I was going to ask her if I could anyhow, so that was awesome. 

I told Carmen during our chat that this was an awesome late-Valentine's Day gift. I also commended her for sending sole shots too. After all these years she still remembers that I'm a sole guy. Usually whenever I get a random foot photo sent to me from my models, it's a pedicure shot, or a shot of their feet in a new pair of shoes that like and/or want to use in a new set. Getting the sole shots from my models is a rarity. Getting the rare shot from Carmen makes these like the unicorn of random photos! No one would believe me without the proof.

I'm glad that Carmen told me to share these photos with all of you. I told her I was going to write a blog about her sending them. Speaking of which, I'm going to go ahead and wrap this up so I can send her the link. Maybe, just maybe it'll inspire her to send some more random shots one day. I know I sure won't mind. Next best thing to getting my camera pointed at them, which I still truly wish to do again one of these days.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Soles of Silk Update - February 12, 2020

This week's update includes the following items

Photos Mindee & Reese get their soles and toes totally "caked" in red velvet cake for Valentine's Day, even though Reese was very reluctant to shoot this messy set on her dining room table (68 images)

Videos - Mindee & Reese totally obliterate a red velvet cake under their soft soles, making a massive red mess (180 MB - 1080p HD)

Downloads (Artwork) - 1 new artwork of Mindee has been added to the Artwork gallery of the Downloads section

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Soles of Silk Update - February 5, 2020

This week's update includes the following items

Photos - Esmerelda has some super soft and smooth feet, but when she pours baby oil all over them, they become insanely slick (64 images)

Videos - Alexa kicks off her sneakers while she has her feet perched high onto a railing, thus putting her moist bare soles directly into your face (163 MB - 1080p HD)

Downloads (Artwork) - 1 new artwork of Kaycee has been added to the Artwork gallery of the Downloads section

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Monday, February 3, 2020

Trivia Contest Participation Continues to Dwindle

I feel like I need to ask Mindee's Magic 8 Ball for answers.

Two days ago The Annual Soles of Silk Trivia Contest: 2019 Edition came to an end. These contests have been a tradition on the site for years now. A number of you participate in the contest each and every year, and from your accounts, you very much look forward to and enjoy taking part in them. The sad reality is, however, there has been a steady decline in the participation of the contest over the last few years. This year a total of six people sent in entries. Yes, just six.

Naturally, when I see this decline, I figure that I am doing wrong. But am I? Let's take a look at some of the things that I have thought about when trying to determine why less and less people are taking part in these annual contests.

Am I Getting the Word Out Effectively?
On the Blog: The contest page, during the time that it was contest was active, had just under 700 views. So, people are seeing it. 

Social Media: I post about the contest regularly on Twitter (@SolesofSilk), with those Tweets getting their fair share of views. In years past, when Instagram still allowed pictures of bare feet to be on their platform, I used to post about it there and that account was approaching 50,000 followers. Social media doesn't seem to be a culprit.

On the Site: With this contest open to both members and non-members, there are links constantly listed at the top of the recent site updates during the entirety of the contest. Anyone coming to the site as a member or a guest can easily see and head over to the contest page. Not only is this linked in the text area, I also post banner links in both areas to draw some extra attention to the fact that the contest is underway.

Members Don't Take Part
One thing that I have definitely noticed in the past few years is the lack of members that take part in these contests. When I began doing them, I did get some member participation and many of them would be the ones winning the larger prizes. As the years went by, however, the entries were non-member heavy - probably along the lines of 80-90 percent non-member. This year it was 100 percent non-member.

Being totally honest with all of you, members have an advantage (by design) with these contests. A lot of the easier questions anyone can find the answers to. Some of the tougher questions, however, only a member could find. That was evident this year with Question #23 which asked,

Which model said this as a reply to a question in one of my 15 Year Memories interviews: "I eat up all the attention you give my feet. I should hire you for foot affections. I'll pay you well. Quit your job! Ha!"

Only a member would have been able to go through the interviews and find that it was Leah who made those comments. Since not a single member took part this year, no one answered that question correctly. It's the only question the entire field of entries missed as a whole.

Is it Too Hard?
I have struggled with this the entire time I have been running these trivia contests. I feel like if I make things too challenging, then no one will enter. I don't want to make it a cake walk either. So I try to balance the questions out and that is why I came up with the idea to have five levels of questions, with each level becoming more challenging and worth more points (1 point - 5 points). I also work multi-level questions into the multi-point tiers so I can award partial credit should someone not get the entire question correct. For example, Question 21 listed a bunch of cereals and asked you to name the five cereals that were not used during October's Cereal Killers Month event. The majority of people nailed all five cereals, but 17 percent of the field received partial credit for getting some of these correct.

When I grade the entries each year, I'm usually shocked at how well many people tend to do. This year 90 was the top score, accomplished by two different people. As I stated above, this year's entire field of entries was non-members, so two non-members were almost able to obtain a perfect score.

The more I think about it, the more I think that these aren't too hard. I think it's what I'm about to cover next...

Too Much Time/Effort?
Without going on a tirade here, I think people are becoming less and less patient and don't want to take the time to do anything these days. I see it at my job, on social media, and I think that this contest might fall under this idea.

Let's be honest, the contest looks long and daunting. It it really? Depends on how much of a fan you are, I guess. Or if you feel that the prizes are worth your time. As I see each and every year, a handful of you think so as you participate every chance you get. For others, however, I think they just can't be bothered. 

Over the last few years I have tried to entice people by changing up the rewards slightly to make it more "worth their while" if they felt like it wasn't. Instead of just one or three month prizes, I added in the two month bracket. I also added in the extra month being tacked onto anyone with a perfect score.

Moving Forward
I'm not going to lie. I really enjoy creating these contests at the end of each year. It's a fun way to explore everything that happened and even draw some attention to some fun facts about the site. I know many of you love these contests and I wouldn't dream of ending them while this site is still up and running. So please, don't think that I'm going to stop doing them.

What I would like to know, however, even from those of you who send in your entries every year, what do you think I could to make this better? Does it need a format change? Is it too hard? Am I getting the word out enough or in the right places? I'm up for trying some new things and seeing some entries from new people - especially all you members who have been fans of Soles of Silk for many years.

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Sunday, February 2, 2020

Results - The Annual Soles of Silk Trivia Contest: 2019 Edition

The entries have been scored and the prizes announced to the winners. Now it is time to share with everyone all the answers and results of the Soles of Silk's Annual Trivia Contest - 2019 Edition. Before I do that though, I just want to thank everyone who takes part in these every year. It's always a fun way for me to look back on each and every year and showcase some of what happened on the site. Many of you tell me how much you look forward to these, so it makes me happy to put the contests together. Congrats to all the winners! Now, onto the results.

Trivia Questions

1-Point Questions (5 Total Possible Points)
1. In 2019, I named my 15 all time favorite sets from 2004-19. Which model appeared in my number 1 favorite set?

Alice (100% of entries got this correct)

2. How many sets did Kaycee appear in during 2019 where she was wore socks?

(100% of entries got this correct)

3. What color was the sliding board in Jasey Rae's 2019 remake of Nikki's 2010 Playground Bubbles set?

Yellow (100% of entries got this correct)

4. Which model appeared in the set that I deemed to be the most important set of Soles of Silk from 2004-19?

Carmen (83% of entries got this correct)

5. Who is the only model on the following list to appear in more than one set during 2019: Abby, Ava, Bria, Camille, Dolly, Egypt, Emerald, Kelsey, Reese, or Rilynn?

Bria (100% of entries got this correct)

2-Point Questions (10 Total Possible Points)
6. Which model appeared in a St. Patrick's Day themed set in 2019 and what beer was present in her set? (1 point for each segment answered correctly)

Kaycee, Killian's Irish Red (100% of entries got this correct)

7. What portable gaming system can be found in a 2019 set featuring Charlee?

Playstation Vita (83% of entries got this correct)

8. Esmerelda and Egypt did a remake of a pillow fight themed set as part of the site's 15th anniversary celebration. Name the two models who appeared in the original set. (1 point for each model named correctly)

Madison & Lauryn (100% of entries got this correct)

9. These two models were tied for seventh place with 1,874 photos to finish out 2019, on the "15 Year Celebration - The 15 Most Photographed Models" blog. (1 point for each model named correctly)

Madison & Jamie (100% of entries got this correct)

10. Name the two models who I featured in a "Dream Duos" blog that I subtitled the "Size Matters Edition." (1 point for each model named correctly)

Alice & Ava (83% of entries got this correct)

3-Point Questions (15 Total Possible Points)
11. Name all three models who appeared in 2019's Mother's Day set (1 point for each).

Mindee, Shelby, & Dolly (100% of entries got this correct)

12. One of the 15 Year Celebration blogs that I wrote in 2019 focused solely on Mindee. It covered her entire Soles of Silk career up to that point and was broken down into chapters. How many chapters made up the blog?

20 (100% of entries got this correct)

13. I didn't shoot a bunch of new photos last year. Name the last model to shoot new photos in 2019. What month did that shoot occur? How many sets did we shoot that day? (1 point for each segment)

Jasey Rae, August, 2 sets (83% of entries got this correct)

14. Mindee and I attempted a Monthly Shoot Challenge last year. The plan was to shoot at least one set every month of 2019. We didn't complete the challenge. What was the final month we shot photos?

June (100% of entries got this correct)

15. Who was the first model to shoot new photos in 2019 (shoot, not published)?

Princess Nikki (83% of entries got this correct)

4-Point Questions (20 Total Possible Points)
16. Name the two models in 2019 who joined the 2K Club (2,000 photos). (2 points for each model named correctly)

Charlee & Alice (100% of entries got this correct)

17. Name the only model who appeared in a 15th Anniversary Remake of a set that she originally appear in.

Mindee in the 2011 Pudding Remake (83% of entries got this correct)

18. Name the only two models who appeared in a Cereal Killers set together and the two cereals that appeared in their set. (1 point for each segment answered correctly)

Audrey & Bria, Cocoa Crispies & Cocoa Pebbles (100% of entries got this correct)

19. On April Fools Day 2019, I announced the release of a Soles of Silk video game. What was the name of the game? What system was it for? And what two models were featured on its cover? (1 point for each segment answered correctly)

Kiss My Feet, PS4, Mindee & Kaycee (83% of entries got this correct, with 17% getting partial credit)

20. Of all the following, which of the following colors was NOT featured in the feathers used in Alice's and Maya's tickling remake in 2019: Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Teal, Blue, Purple.

Teal (83% of entries got this correct)

5-Point Questions (25 Total Possible Points)
21. A total of 10 cereal brands were featured throughout the five weeks of Cereal Killers Month. Name the five cereals from this list that were NOT featured in one of those sets: Apple Jacks, Blueberry Mini-Wheats, Captain Crunch's Crunch Berries, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Krispies, Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp, Frosted Flakes, Fruity Cheerios, Fruity Pebbles, Honey Smacks, Lucky Charms, Pop Tarts, Sour Patch Kids, Strawberry Mini-Wheats.

Apple Jacks, Blueberry Mini-Wheats, Frosted Flakes, Honey Smacks, & Sour Patch Kids (83% of entries got this correct, with 17% getting partial credit)

22. How many different versions of The Annual Soles of Silk Trivia Contest: 2019 Edition banner are there?

5: 1 on Twitter, 1 on blog update announcements, 1 on contest page, 1 on guest home page, & 1 on members home page (17% of entries got this correct)

23. Which model said this as a reply to a question in one of my 15 Year Memories interviews: "I eat up all the attention you give my feet. I should hire you for foot affections. I'll pay you well. Quit your job! Ha!"?

Leah (0% of entries got this correct)

24. I published an artwork design of which model on a Queen of Spades playing card in 2019?

Audrey (50% of entries got this correct)

 If you add up the photo count of the site's 15 most photographed models from 2004-19, how many photos do you get in total?

32,131 (100% of entries got this correct)

25-Point Bonus Question (25 Total Possible Points)
Bonus. Soles of Silk's 5 most photographed models are listed below. How many times did they appear in photographs throughout the five 15 Year Celebration blogs I published during the month of December? (5 points for each)

Directions: Count all honorable mentions. Include multi-model sets if the model appears in it. Count any sets that are repeats separately (ex. if Mindee has the same set shown in three different blogs, then count it three times). Lastly, on the blog focused on the 2019 remakes, include the samples photos from the original sets as well.
  1. Mindee23 (50% of entries got this correct)
  2. Cierra(100% of entries got this correct)
  3. Charlee(67% of entries got this correct)
  4. Alice(67% of entries got this correct)
  5. Layla(67% of entries got this correct)
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