Monthly Archives: July 2009


Dumping customers is the best way of getting noticed!

Seems odd doesn’t it? We almost get into the habit of companies chasing us for our business. We become so accustomed to receiving communications from companies, even if we did once request it and we have not really been looking at it since. I think that it takes a brave marketer to effect a change – however it seemed to have worked.

I received one of the most powerful pieces of personalised communications today. It wasn’t trying to sell me something and it wasn’t some ground breaking piece that used 6 different mediums and multiple touch-points. It was a single email, personalised simply and it would’ve normally paled into insignificance. However this piece was different …

The ‘WhatTheyThink’ Newsletter arrives in my inbox daily – and some days I look at it and some days I have to admit that it goes straight into the bin. Which is a shame, as the WhatTheyThink content is normally pretty good. Maybe too much of a good thing huh. Anyway, the words, “Goodbye from WhatTheyThink” struck a cord.

I have to admit that I thought that they were going bankrupt at first – but that was not the case…

WhatTheyThink were dumping me! They were actually going to stop sending me things! They were being conscious about cluttering up my inbox – which is the contextual equivalent of the infamous line, “It’s not you, it’s me!”.

Eric Vessels was personally dumping me. Wow!

I’m sure if it was male pride, a hurt ego or a re-vitalised interested in WhatTheyThink, but you know what?

I clicked on that link, and updated my profile bloody sharpish. I’m not having no Eric Vessels, COO of WhatTheyThink dumping me!

It got me thinking though – it’s a brave and wise […]

By |July 28th, 2009|Personalised Communications|11 Comments

Using WebEX, in Mozilla Firefox on Ubuntu 9.04

We regularly use WebEX within our organisation – and whilst I mostly work under Windows; sometime it would be great to have the other PC on my desk (using Ubuntu 9.04) running the WebEX in the background.

I have always struggled in getting this to work – but now I have a solution.

Firstly you will need to enter:
sudo apt-get install libstdc++5 sun-java6-plugin
followed by added the following two lines into your ~/.profile file:
export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun-
export PATH=$JAVA_HOME/bin:$PATH
Then restart your server all just your X-Server and you should be able to join the WebEX meeting successfully!

By |July 28th, 2009|General|4 Comments

Tips for keeping you and your family safe on Facebook

Facebook has more than 250 million users – with the fastest demographic being over 35 years old. Everyone has on average 120 friends, more than1 billon photos are uploaded to the site every month and more than 1 billion pieces of content are shared every week! Let’s face it if you haven’t heard of Facebook then you’re one of diminishing few.

What is interesting though is the shear amount of information that people display about themselves on their Facebook pages. Names, locations, birthdates, religious beliefs, who your married to or currently dating. We share photos, stories and information with hundreds of people every day – and in many cases we actually know very little about the people that we are sharing this private information with.

It’s like a stranger arriving at your door, and asking you for your name, date of birth, photos of your kids, and a few other personal details! I’m not sure about you but if a stranger knocked on my door, they get approximately 2 seconds to give me good reason to keep the door open before I slam it! So what’s different with Facebook?

In an age of identity theft we have never been so open with our information – that is one of the disadvantages of the Internet!

So if you are a facebook user, then stop, and look at what you are sharing – and more importantly who you are sharing it with!

Here are my top tips to start protecting yourself within Facebook.
1. Hide your year of birth.
Displaying your year of birth to all is pretty dangerous in my opinion – not just because to tells everyone exactly how old you are; but it’s also a good security question that you would […]

By |July 27th, 2009|Blogging, General, Play, Social Media|0 Comments

Are personalised videos still missing a trick?

Whilst on the lookout for new examples of personalised communications I recently came across a few new personalised viral video campaigns. One was for JP Moneybags ( rfname=Dave&rlname=baldaro) and another for  Home Business Secrets (

Both campaigns present a good viral video – but I now find myself not listening to the video but watching for my name to appear within the content at various stages. Almost akin to a printer hold up the direct mail piece and looking at the dots and quality!

I was left thinking, “Just what was that a campaign for?” – Have I become accustomed to personalised videos now? I rarely send them onto a friend or colleague as they all seem much the same nowadays.

I do not believe that this is solely down to those that create them – more maybe down to budget and a lack of integrated technology or thought by the marketers.

Most of these viral video campaigns seem to only be linked to an ROI; counting the number of views and referrals. None of them (that I have seen) have been actually tied into an integrated ROI so that they are tracked fully.

But with these viral video campaigns costing (at least) tens of thousands of pounds is this really the ‘new media’ that marketers should be investing in? Is this not just mass advertising under a new name? There’s no doubting that these viral videos do attract subscribers to a company’s presence – but I would question how many of those actually take something away from their visit which would result in business for the company.
“The only hard data I can give you at the moment is that has been viewed in every country except North Korea a […]

By |July 23rd, 2009|Personalised Communications|0 Comments

Is Google Chrome a real threat to Microsoft?

The battles between Google and Microsoft – after the last bouts of Google vs. Bing and Chrome vs. IE where next?

Well it seems that Google has just announced Google Chrome OS and it’s there attempt at designing and delivering a lightweight OS aimed at the net-community. In their own words:
“Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve”
As exciting as this may be – I do not get the impression that this will be revolutionary – after all in Google’s words, “The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel.”. They are taking a mature base, Linux and then building on top a new framework and UI that is suited to the person that lives on the web. This is akin to a new windowing system for Linux – not a new OS.

You can just imagine that the Chrome OS will boot straight onto the net, with integration for GMail, Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Wave and all other things Google.

It’s obvious that Google will attack the netbook market first – and I can see these small, lightweight devices becoming more powerful and common-place.

Does Google pose a real threat to Microsoft OS and other OS platforms – I think not. Microsoft with Windows 7 and beyond […]

By |July 8th, 2009|Social Media|7 Comments

Twitter slammed as the dumbest idea

This is an interesting story. On July 03, 2009 the Times Business, Money Cenrtal folks published a list of the 10 dumbest ideas. Surprisingly Twitter was at the top.

Twitter is anything but ‘dumb’ and it would seem that the Times are basing the ‘dumber than dumb’ on just how much money they have generated. Which again is very short-sighted in my opinion. Since when has the amount of money something generated been a measure of ‘dumbness’?
Current darling of the faddish world of technology, Twitter is a free social networking service, that allows users to send and read each other’s updates, such as “I’m now in the shower”, “I’m now at my local Barclays bank withdrawing all the money from my account” or “I’m leaving my house for the next ten days”… Making it a must read for burglars. It has about 55 million visits every month, although only 40 per cent of users are retained, and receives an inordinate amount of media attention. But despite this, the company has yet to make a single penny.
Mind you there are some particularly dumb ideas that have made a lot of money. Let us not forget ‘The Million Dollar Home Page’. There’s one dumb-arse idea right there that made; erm, $1 million!

Twitter on the other hand is not a dumb idea. It is a simple and straightforward idea that has yet to decide how to generate revenue. The net is scattered with sites like these that will first establish themselves in the market and then go on to make a revenue. Just look at Facebook. I am sure that when Google first started out there goal was to attract people to use their services and almost to […]

By |July 7th, 2009|Social Media|1 Comment