McClaren, and the press’ pound of flesh

Steve McClarren

So what went wrong? Who’s to blame? Why did England screw up so badly when it came to the crunch? Was it because of “the millionaire pre-Madonna’s?” Was it because of McClarren? Was the press to blame for wanting a native English manager above all else, to the point of abursidty? Was it because McClaren often used “power words” to hide his lack of tactical nouse, and couldn’t trasmute the need to win to players properly? Was it the FA’s fault?

I believe its all of the above, and more!

Just watching sport programmes and reading newspaper columns over the weekend and you’ll be left in no doubt that the National game is on its knees, and needs to be reworked.

But who really is to blame, and why? These are my thoughts/opinions. Continue reading

Niche video content

As reported on Springwise, magnify.net is one of the many social video websites that helps web publishers bring subject-specific, niche-specific video channels to their own websites.

Quote;

“Launched in beta version about a year ago, Magnify features a meta-search tool that combs the web for videos matching a site’s specific focus, such as aviation, soccer or college life. Users can also upload their own video content, and the resulting mix is available for sharing, rating and ranking by the community as well as integrating into playlists.

Magnify provides the templates and controls publishers need each step along the way, including site design and customization; video search, uploading, storage, bandwidth and sharing; and advertising, community, statistics and network tools. The service is free to users and its business model is based on shared advertising revenue with the websites that use its service. Magnify has grown from 20 sites to more than 2,000 user-generated video channels since its launch.”

Revenue loses 25 million personal records

As widely reported, “Alistair Darling told the House of Commons this afternoon that a police investigation has been launched into how Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has lost child benefit records relating to 25 million people” (ref: The Register).

But, it looks like someone already has placed an advert on ebay for those “missing” Child Benefit CD’s. (Nope, its not real).

Darling admits Revenue loss of 25 million personal records (The Register)

Buzzing with ideas

I’ve been incredibly busy over the past 2 weeks and probably will be for the next 2 weeks.

I’m hoping to launch a couple of ideas of mine within the next few weeks.

One of the ideas I’m having is to diversify what I do online into different niche’s. One of my hobbies is watching, reviewing and commenting on Hong Kong based action movies; its something I haven’t done in a while; but I’m hoping to launch a specific niche site just for that – it won’t compete with the kungfucinema’s of this world, and its not meant to either; its just another option for me to explore.

I’m also going to be contacting some old contacts of mine, to see if I can offer expanded my freelance services into other areas with partners I’ve found in the past 2-3 weeks, including in web development, and especially social media optimisation areas.

I don’t intend to compete with the larger new media marketing organisations that are out there, but with the extended range of freelance services and the partners I’ve already contacted, I hope intend to offer a more personal, 1-to-1 relationship; something I feel the bigger agencies don’t do as well.

Anyway, any future news of products/services will be announced first on this site.

I don’t get “smarter than a 10 year old”

I decided to sit down and watch Sky One’s constantly advertised “Are you smarter than a 10 year old?”, and within a few minutes it really annoyed me.

The show is really slow paced, there are no other competitors, the constant grating soundtrack “are you smarter than a 10 year old” sung by kids is really, really annoying.

But there’s one thing that I really don’t get about this game show.

Lets say your a contestant on this game show. You’ve just got up to £2,000 or whatever and you feel unsure about the next question and so you quit there and then. Congratulations, you’ve won £2 grand.

But don’t celebrate just yet.

You have to look in the camera and say “I’m not smarter than a 10 year old” Why? – Because you didn’t get up to £250k!

But wait a minute. You’ve won 2 grand. The kids win nothing, nada, not a sausage.

So, doesn’t the fact you’ve won 2 grand make you smarter than a 10 year old?

I don’t get this TV game show.

Selling cars with video

hotswap

So, you want to sell a car. Maybe you’ve got it listed on various classified websites, or maybe your a big car dealership CEO who just wants to shift more cars.

Now, you can use online video to sell your car.

Online video simply sells.

It sells better than pictures. Better than testimonials. And better than a list of features.

Video cuts through the hype and can lead to incredible sales.

So, is there anybody doing this right now?
Continue reading

e-consultancy social media round-up

In October, e-consultancy released a free 11-page briefing based on E-consultancy 2007 round-table on Social Media, including topics as diverse as;

  • How should brands engage online?
  • What’s new in social media?
  • Leveraging social networks
  • Measuring social media as a statistic

More information can be found on e-consultancy website;

Social media briefing October 2007 (e-consultancy) (The document is free to download, but registration is required)

Are press releases dead?

That’s what Tom Foremski of SiliconValleyWatcher thinks in his article, Die! Press Release! Die!

Foremski states;

The press release is a statement announcing a product, service, office opening, financial results, partnership, customer win, and a hundred other types of commercial activities.

Press releases are nearly useless. They typically start with a tremendous amount of top-spin, they contain pat-on-the-back phrases and meaningless quotes. Often they will contain quotes from C-level executives praising their customer focus. They often contain praise from analysts, (who are almost always paid or have a customer relationship.) And so on…

Press releases are created by committees, edited by lawyers, and then sent out at great expense through Businesswire or PRnewswire to reach the digital and physical trash bins of tens of thousands of journalists.

Essentially, Foremski says that lack humanity, doesn’t get to the truth of the story or is wrapped in so much spin that the story becomes a boring, pointless non-story, and spells out a plan on how to make the information in a press release useful.

Die! Press Release! Die! (original article by Tom Foremski).

What every CEO must know about their website

A quick run-down of questions to ask about your current new media marketing strategy;

Purpose
What is the overall purpose and goal of the website? (ie: sell cars, sell products, get leads)?

Traffic
How much traffic is the site getting per month, and has this increased/decreased since last month?
Where is the site ranked on specific key phrases (ie: used cars)?
How popular is the website? How many members do you have?
How long do people stay on the site?

Promotion/Marketing/Advertising/PPC
What online/offline marketing, advertising or promotion is being done on the site?
How much is spent on PPC per month? How many leads does this generate?
Comparison between PPC and non-PPC marketing – how much traffic/leads are being generated? (IE: Is PPC working?)
What future promotion/marketing efforts are to be done?

Leads/Sales
How many leads are generated from the site?
How many of these leads are turned to sales?

Spam
How much spam does the site get, and what measures have been put in place to reduce this?

Accessibility/Usability
Is the website accessible? Does it conform to the latest DDA/Section 508 laws, if not – why not? How much will it cost to fix this? Is a complete site rewrite required?
Does the site have an accessibility statement?
Is the website usable, functional and easy-to-use, navigate and traverse?
It is reliable?
Is the site broken?
Are there any pages broken? (Check the error log)

Security
It the site secure?

Backups
How is the site currently backed up (if at all)?

If the site is indeed broken, inaccessible, or is unreliable, you might want to actively think about switching provider, or building your own internal web team to handle all things ‘web’ — especially if the problems are very large.

Ultimately, a website is a marketing tool that can be optimised by your internal team, your current supplier; or by switching provider (think about freelancers too!).

Why small is the new big

In Seth Godin’s book, “Small is the new big“, Godin details why he believes that personal relationships still matter, that a one-to-one relationship is worth more than a big name brand with countless awards, sales people or account managers.

“Small means that the founder is involved in a far greater percentage of customer interactions. Small means the founder is close to the decisions that matter and can make them quickly.

Small is the new big because small gives you the flexibility to change your business model when your competition changes theirs.

Small means you can tell the truth on your blog.
Small means that you can answer e-mail from your customers.
Small means that you will outsource the boring, low-impact stuff like manufacturing and shipping and billing and packing to others while you keep all the power because you invent something that’s remarkable and tell your story to people who want to hear it.

A small law firm or accounting firm or ad agency is succeeding because they’re good, not because they’re big. So smart, small companies are happy to hire them.

A small restaurant has an owner who greets you by name.”

Continue reading