Archive for June 2012
As part of the Writing Squad, I was asked to write a new story that had to begin in Wykebeck Woods for East Leeds FM, and perform it alongside a second story that would act as an introduction to my writing. The two stories were broadcast on ELFM on Tuesday 19th June as part of the Write Place show during their radio festival.
My introductory story, Root Ginger, was recorded in the Artspace at Leeds Art Gallery by ELFM and my Wykebeck story, Cow Parsley Heart, was recorded and produced in my home studio with my sound design incorporating field recordings made by me in the woods.
This is the cow parsley heart:
Photographs I took on my phone in Wykebeck Woods when writing and recording for Cow Parsley Heart:
Full disclosure: I was asked by Aidan at Wahanda to make this post and was given a voucher to use to test the booking system. I was asked specifically to look at Hair Offers & Deals in Leeds City Centre. The questions I answer below come from Wahanda.
What is your initial impression of Wahanda as an online home for health and beauty?
It doesn’t feel like one at all. It looks like a much less attractive version of Groupon or Wish, with a much more restrictive set of deals. The name and the look of the site don’t shout health and beauty, or spa and luxury, or even fun and leisure. It all feels very utilitarian.
Is it a site you would visit for the online community?
No. I did read the reviews when deciding where to book, but most weren’t very helpful (many refer to free events rather than purchases) and there isn’t much of a community aspect going on. Unlike Yelp, Lush forums, Mumsnet, Twitter etc – there’s nothing that makes me want to stick around after I’ve got the basic information I’m after.
Would you recommend your readers to use it as a tool to find the best hair offers and deals in their local area?
No. There are very few deals on the site for my area. Most listings ask you to contact the salon via a button rather than stating an actual deal – why would I do this rather than just ring the salon myself and ask if they had any good deals, bypassing Wahanda? The listings are far from comprehensive, and there aren’t many good city centre or local salons on there. The limits on the deals that are there are fairly extensive – the one provider I had heard of had so many restrictions it made me never want to go back there even outside a deal.
I struggled to find somewhere to spend my voucher, though decided in the end (a bit like when your nan gives you a voucher for some shop you never use) and haven’t yet phoned up to book the actual apppointment. I am less than enthused about it. Most of the deals seem to either include a glass of wine (with no similarly treat-like alternative for non-drinkers) or require you to take a friend for the exact same service or both. The reviews also indicate that, much like Groupon, the savings on the normal salon prices are vastly overstated. None of the reviews are overwhelmingly positive about the salons visited. More along the lines of “well, it was OK for what I paid on a deal”. The salon spaces don’t seem to be that nice, descriptions of being in a busy area or far too small. Obviously none of the leading businesses in this sector in Leeds are on the site, and nor are any of the cool up and coming independents. It seems to be tired old salons or desperate new stylists within them in need of a new customer boost. Not my style.
What hair deals would you like to see more of in your local area?
More deals for people going on their own (I don’t understand why I would want to take a chum with me for a haircut or colour), more deals on colours and treatments without cuts (I’m more likely to take a risk with a new stylist on the former than the latter), less of an emphasis on cheap glasses of wine as a sweetener, more and better salons, more actual deals. Only two salons in the city centre when I tested the site last week actually had current hair deals. It strikes me that I would be more likely to buy e.g. a spa voucher (if the selection was MUCH better) for a present for someone on this site than bag a decent hair and beauty deal for myself. And I wouldn’t right now as things are.
Sorry Wahanda. The concept is good, but the execution is poor in pretty much every way. And my email provider thinks you’re spammers, which is unsurprising given the nature of the mails I have received since signing up to the site. I will write a second review when I have booked and received my treatment.