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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Social media

I attended a Social Media Conference at Oxford Town Hall today. For me, the main aspect was going to be the group exercise work as surely you learn by doing - probably more so than listening. This is the approach we adopt in OSL Training - involvement, involvement and more involvement.

Unfortunately it didn't quite go like that. A lot of time was spent telling us about social media and why it shouldn't be ignored. Facebook was growing...except actually in the UK and the US it is falling.

A lot of time was also spent where the audience questioned/discussed things with the representatives from Thames Valley Police though quite why someone wanted to make the point that a 4 year prison sentence was 'too long' for someone who posted on Facebook about having a riot, is beyond me.

1pm came and, having expected to have had about 75 minutes of groupwork by then, none had happened so I decided to leave, thus missing the afternoon session which would, at best, have been 1 3/4 hrs, probably 45 minutes (as per timetable) of actual groupwork.

In terms of using social media perhaps the best thing is to try it - but be careful. With that in mind I spent a few minutes googling and came up with the following resources:

5. Free ebook Twitter for Beginners

6. How To Use Twitter for Sales and Marketing (free but you have to give your email)

7. Four ebooks (free) on social media and marketing

And five more....

1. How to Enhance Your Internet Presence with Social Media

This 34-page eBook by the generous and talented folks at Hubspot will help you toimprove and increase your brand’s presence on different social media networks including Twitter and Facebook. To download the eBook, you will have to provide your details and be a part of their email list. A very small price to pay for all the goodness that Hubspot offers business owners.

2. How to Monitor Your Social Media Presence in 10 Minutes a Day

Again, by the Hubspot team, this 20-page eBook is all about time management and social media. Now that you’re online and networking, learn how to optimize your social media efforts without spending hours online.

Find answers to questions like “what should I monitor and how?” Learn about tools that help you organize your social networking efforts and track them effectively.

Oh and while you’re at Hubspot, do spend some time in their treasure trove of alibrary for some totally awesome marketing resources. All FREE!

3. Why Your Blog is Your Social Media Hub by Debbie Weil

Debbie Weil is the authority in the world of business blogging and in this eBook she draws upon the experience of 32 other experts, including Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott, Guy Kawasaki and others to understand how and why a blog is actually a social media hub. The eBook is basically a compilation of what these experts had to say on the topic.

Why I find this eBook useful is that it helps a small business to understand why you need both a blog and a social media presence and how to use both effectively.

4. From Stats to Strats: Using Social Media to Plan and Measure a Strategy Campaignby Bonsai Interactive Marketing

This 27-page eBook from Bonsai Interactive Marketing is a great read for anyone wanting to use social media stats to create a smart marketing strategy.

Part one of the eBook deals with the statistics of social media (some of which may be outdated since the eBook came out in 2010) but it is the second part that is strategy or using social media stats to create a workable, effective marketing plan.

For instance, the Twitter stat sheet shows over 60% of Twitter use is outside of the US. The action step they recommend is analysing where your customers are from and if it is outside of the U.S., using Twitter to connect with them.

5. David Meerman Scott’s Library of Free eBooks

I thought of just including one of my favourites – Real Time {2010} in this list but that wouldn’t have been fair.

While some of David’s ebooks have been written in 2006 and 2008, I recommend downloading them all and reading them, front-to-back. The information and strategy in all of them will help you grow as a small business owner for sure

And five Twitter resources:

  • - A website that is an amazing resource for Twitter Tips from Twitter experts.
  • – Their Twitter Guide is second to none.
  • – I have a popular post on how to gain free Twitter followers and how to make money with Twitter (I am almost done with a free ebook on the topic as well. I will add it to this list when it is done.)
  • Retweet Button – How to add the retweet button to your Word Press blog and the benefits of the retweet.
  • Essence of Twitter – I wrote a post called “I Tweet Therefore I am connected to you” it explains the essence of Twitter.
  • Here's an affiliate marketing manual...

  • And finally, a plug for this company.....

    Sunday, 18 September 2011

    Save money

    Do you have eight gadgets when actually your mobile phone does all the same tricks in one? Do you keep CDs in your home when you own the music in other formats? Do you pay for unnecessary subscriptions when you can get the same service for free online?

    If the answer to any of the above is yes, then you could be wasting money. Plenty of us no longer need many of our regular purchases and services, because we have access to alternatives.

    That means we can avoid paying for them again and potentially even sell off some stuff.

    Here are seven things you could do without:


    It's contentious, but bear with me. If you have an e-reader like the Kindle or a tablet computer then do you really ever need to buy a book again?

    According to the International Data Corporation, more than 10.1 million media tablets were sold in the last three months of 2010, alongside six million e-readers. That's a lot of people who don't need to buy a real book again.

    Project Gutenberg has more than 36,000 free e-books that you can download onto your computer, e-reader, tablet or even smartphone. Most of the well-known classics are available, so you can save a fortune.

    It can also be much cheaper for new books. For example, I wanted to buy the latest George RR Martin novel; the newly-released hardback is priced at £25 but an electronic copy is £11.99 — less than half the price.

    TV licence

    Almost six in 10 Brits use the internet to watch TV, films and online video, according to a uSwitch survey. If you're one, do you still need to watch normal TV?

    You don't need a TV licence to watch catch-up TV like the BBC's iPlayer and so, unless you're watching or recording a programme in real time, you do not need to pay the annual fee.

    With so many people using their computers to watch programmes after they've been broadcast, for example, through 4oD, there will be plenty of people who no longer watch 'live' TV at all.

    You can still use a TV set for watching DVDs and playing games, as long as it isn't installed as a TV receiver. If it is then you need a licence. You can avoid the endless letters demanding payment by notifying TV Licensing, although be aware that you'll most likely receive a visit from an inspector.

    Don't forget, if you watch TV as it happens, even online, then you do need to be covered by a licence.


    When I was a teenager, I had mountains of music tapes, then when I was a student I had mountains of CDs. These days I can't remember the last time I used a physical disc to play music, and the growing popularity of iTunes shows that I'm not alone.

    If you're buying music online and storing it on your MP3 player or even your phone, then maybe it's time to ditch your CD collection. Move fast and you could sell them before the rest of the country goes entirely digital too.

    Landline telephone

    The landline is fast going the way of the dodo as individual mobile phones become the normal way to contact friends and family.

    So you're potentially paying an unnecessary line rental fee, which you may think you need to get broadband in your home.

    However, if you're a fairly lightweight internet user then talk to your mobile provider about whether it could be cost-effective to connect your computer to the web using your mobile — it's really very straightforward.

    That also means that you can access the web wherever you are, you aren't tied to your home. Make sure your data allowance meets your needs, for example, 3 currently offers unlimited data packages.


    SatNav hasn't just saved me time and effort; it's probably saved my marriage too - as a navigator on long journeys I apparently "didn't inspire confidence".

    But why hang onto road maps if you're simply not going to use them?

    If you don't have a SatNav yet then it's worth investigating whether or not your phone has a SatNav capacity. There are even free apps like NavFree.

    Away from the car, smartphones now not only can store all the maps you need, but they also use satellite data to put a nice pin in where you are on the map and even which direction you're facing.

    Calculator/personal organiser/most gadgets

    Before buying any gadget, ask yourself if your mobile phone does it. Ofcom reports that more than a quarter of adults and nearly half of all teenagers own a smartphone.

    If you have a high-spec phone then you can find cheap or free apps that do everything, from egg timers to pedometers, calculators and even a torch.


    My mobile handset has internet access, meaning I can read every non-subscription newspaper online for free, so I haven't bought a physical paper in more than a year.

    This doesn't just save money, it cuts down on paper waste and lets me read news and columns from more than one place, giving me a broader range of reporting and opinion.

    And you can even get your phone to pull down an entire paper overnight, meaning you can read it in places without phone reception.

    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    Is Dominik doing his homework?

    An interesting question. Look at his

    Then look at the homework set here.....

    Then make your own decision

    Friday, 10 June 2011

    Using Google

    Advanced Search

    When you're searching for specific material, use Advanced Search to plug in qualifiers that will narrow down your search. Here are more Advanced Search tricks to learn.

    1. Search within a domain: Only let Google bring up .edu or .gov sites, for example, if you want primary sources or authoritative information.
    2. Select file type: This very handy qualifier is useful when you need to quickly find certain types of data or information for a presentation. You can choose to limit results to .pdf, .xls, Google Earth, .doc, .rtf, and more.
    3. : If you're looking to use open source material or unlicensed material, this is a good trick to make sure you're on track.
    4. Exclude terms: Use a minus sign right before a word (-example) to eliminate it from your search results.
    5. Wildcard search: The * key acts as a wildcard in Google search that can be helpful with early stages of research. Google gives the example [Obama voted * on the * bill] to learn about Obama's votes on several different bills.
    6. Blogs: After conducting a search, click on the "Blogs" button under "Show Options" to view only blog posts on the subject.
    7. Limit synonyms: Did you know that Google sometimes finds results that don't match your search exactly, but that use synonyms instead? Type in the + sign before a search to eliminate synonyms and use your words only.
    8. Language: For foreign language or international business or policy classes, or if you just have to have a primary source, use this selector to change language settings.
    9. Where your keywords show up: When you're looking for very specific information or for a specific kind of source, you can use this feature to limit where the keywords show up in your search: the URL, title of the article, in links to the page, or just anywhere in the page.
    10. Find pages that link to the page: Use this feature when you want to do a little more digging. You'll stumble across blog posts, journal articles and news stories that offer more in-depth commentary.
    11. Quotation marks: Put quotation marks around a phrase to let Google know you want that exact phrase in that order.

    Scholar Search

    Google Scholar is an excellent resource for undergraduate and graduate students who want a quick way to connect to authoritative information from journals and scholarly publications. Use these tips to search Scholar.

    1. Search by author: Scholar recommends using the author's initials, or at least first initial and last name, to increase your results.
    2. Search by journal: Used Scholar's Advanced Search to find articles published in a specific journal or publication.
    3. Find articles and pieces that reference that article: By typing in the name of an article in quotation marks, you'll find that paper plus other papers that reference it.
    4. Limit by date: Make sure you're citing the most updated research by limiting your returns by date.
    5. Find court opinions: If you're searching for court opinions, you can search by state, choose only U.S. federal court opinions, or expand your search to all journals and opinions.
    6. Select collections: Also in Advanced Search is the option to select collections like Chemistry and Materials Science or Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities.
    7. Search Library Links: Under Google Scholar Preferences, you'll find the option to find library access links.
    8. Start with citations, then move offline: Sometimes Google will pull up a citation but not the whole piece because it hasn't found it online. If it looks like a good match for your research, copy it down and bring it to your librarian for help locating it.
    9. Find foreign language journals: Look for primary materials from foreign language journals in Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Spanish and more.
    10. Bibliography Manager: Bibliography Manager is a Scholar feature that lets you add citations in various formats like RefWorks, RefMan, EndNote, and BibTeX. This is found in the Preferences section.

    Reference Tools and Tips

    Google is full of tricks for pulling up statistics, basic facts and reference material. Check here for great shortcuts for finding definitions and more.

    1. Dictionary: Type the word "define" before the word you want to look up in the Google search bar.
    2. Calculator: Just type in an equation with the = sign to use Google's calculator feature. You can find more calculator operators and symbols here.
    3. Books: Click on the "Books" option under "Shop Options" after entering your search. You'll find Google books on the subject, and can quickly add them to your library or preview them.
    4. Unit conversion: Let Google complete unit conversions for you when you type in a problem, like "4 lbs in kg."
    5. Cooking conversions: When you're trying out mom's recipes at school, use this feature to solve cooking conversions.
    6. Numeric ranges: If you want to know who was president during a certain timeframe, type in "president 1940…1950" for example. You can also use this feature to find results that contain certain dollar amounts or other numerical ranges.
    7. Stock Quotes: For business classes, you can use the Stock Quotes search by typing in the ticker symbol. Google will bring up current stock quotes.
    8. Glossary: Type in a word followed by ~glossary to find glossaries, term lists and dictionary entries for that word.
    9. Package tracking: Find out when your next care package arrives when you use this feature.
    10. Public data: Look up public data by typing in keywords and a location, like "population california."
    11. Area Code Lookup: This feature should be useful when applying for jobs or looking for places to visit in your area for research.
    12. Froogle: Whether you're shopping for the best deal or are conducting market research for a project, use Google's product search tool, Froogle.

    Notes and Organization

    Keep your research organized with these tricks.

    1. Search within a site: Type "example search term site: example website" to search a keyword or search term within that site only, if you need to use a particular source.
    2. SearchWiki: Use SearchWiki to star and edit your favorite results, even hidden ones.
    3. info:: Find information about a website if you need to verify it or collect data for a citation.
    4. Custom Search Engine: Create your own custom search engine with Google. You can name it, pick the language, and select only certain sites to be searched.
    5. Learn how to assess credibility: This slide explains how to check a page's "about" section, find a date and author, and verify the author's credentials on Google.
    6. Google Toolbar: Great for study groups, this toolbar lets you share websites with friends and translate web pages.
    7. Pay attention to Google's indents: Google indents results when they're from the same website as the result above it.

    Social and New Media Search

    Google is a great tool for finding images, toying around with new media, and locating and connecting with people online. Here are some Google tips to help you maximize Google's cutting edge potential.

    1. Google Maps eye-level perspective: Once you've searched for a particular map, drag the little person icon (located at the top of the zoom in/zoom out bar) anywhere on the map to get an eye-level perspective.
    2. Google Groups: When you want to pull up information from Google Groups only, you can type in the author's name, group name or insubject: and the subject keyword.
    3. Updates: After conducting a search, click on the "Updates" button under "Show Options." You'll get a steady stream of the most updated social media comments about that topic. Clicking "Discussions" will take you to forums Q&A pages.
    4. Google Image Search: You probably know how to use image search, but did you know it's a useful way to ID people and look up foreign language definitions?
    5. Knol: While it may not be the most authoritative search tool, Knol can help you start your research and find out how others around the world are reacting to current events and popular discussion topics.
    6. Recognize faces: Follow this link for instructions on how to get Google to recognize faces, and not bring up other image results when you type in someone's name.


    Use these shortcuts to make your Google searches even faster.

    1. I'm Feeling Lucky: If you're an expert searcher, use this button on the Google search page to get automatically directed to the first web page that would normally show up in a list in a general search.
    2. "Better than" and "reminds me of": This weird little tip will help you find comparisons. Just type in either search term and then a keyword, all enclosed in quotation marks.
    3. cache:: Use this shortcut to show a web page in its cached version.
    4. related:: Type in a website after related: to find related sites.
    5. Shortcut for spellcheck: Don't bother going to a dictionary website to see if you spelled something correctly: just enter it into Google's search bar, and the "did you mean…" suggestion will pop up with the correct spelling.
    6. Google Blog Search: Blog Search is another quick way to jump to blog posts only.
    7. Set up iGoogle: Personalize your Google homepage so that it contains links to your favorite feeds and research pages.


    From looking for jobs to understanding case sensitivity, here are more Google tricks for students.

    1. Google Job Directory: Use this tool to look for job opportunities, including seasonal jobs and job fairs.
    2. Delete search history: You can clear your address bar history, Google Toolbar history, and Google search box history here.
    3. Search operators are case sensitive: Google isn't case sensitive when it reads your keywords, but operators like OR are.

    Thursday, 12 May 2011


    New Tool! Amazon Secret Discounts Finder
    Swiftly builds SUPER-SPECIFIC pages of Amazon's hidden 75%+ OFF deals inc. DVDs, beauty, cameras
    As we've been blown away by the popularity of the Amazon secret bargain basement pages, we've built a new tool to take it to the next level. What is Amazon's secret bargain basement? It's where we've (legitimately) manipulated its web links to display all 75%-99% OFF bargains in its 20 main sections like DVDs*, Video Games* and Clothing*. New Amazon Discount Finder Tool: This new tool allows you to create your own super-specific sub-department pages in seconds. You then choose the discount level and if you want free deliery, so it could be engagement rings 90%+ off*, childrens books 75%+ off* or Nintendo Wii games 50%+ off * and scores more. Try the New Tool & Guide: Amazon Hidden Discount Finder Related: Cheap Online Shopping, Mega shopping comparison, Ebay Buying Tricks


    Tuesday, 3 May 2011

    Sunday, 1 May 2011

    Thursday, 28 April 2011

    Don't do drugs!

    You can go from this (shot in 2009):

    to this:

    by 2011.

    Wednesday, 27 April 2011

    Cho Việt Nam được một w.o.s.

    FotoGeert Geert Hofstede (1928): I am a Dutch social psychologist who did a pioneering study of cultures across modern nations. If you want to know what's on my mind at present, click on my photo. Read more under "culture". See under "Geert" for what was on my mind before, and for my CV.

    Dr. Geert Hofstede conducted perhaps the most comprehensive study of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture. From 1967 to 1973, while working at IBM as a psychologist, he collected and analyzed data from over 100,000 individuals from forty countries. From those results, and later additions, Hofstede developed a model that identifies four primary dimensions to differentiate cultures. He later added a fifth dimension, Long-term Outlook.

    As with any generalized study, the results may or may not be applicable to specific individuals or events. In addition, although the Hofstede's results are categorized by country, often there is more than one cultural group within that country. In these cases there may be significant deviation from the study's result. An example is Canada, where the majority of English speaking population and the minority French speaking population in Quebec has moderate cultural differences.

    National cultures can be described according to the analysis of Geert Hofstede. These ideas were first based on a large research project into national culture differences across subsidiaries of a multinational corporation (IBM) in 64 countries. Subsequent studies by others covered students in 23 countries, elites in 19 countries, commercial airline pilots in 23 countries, up-market consumers in 15 countries, and civil service managers in 14 countries. Together these studies identified and validated four independent dimensions of national culture differences, with a fifth dimension added later.

    If you follow the links below you will find a map of the world for each cultural dimension, which enables you to quickly see how similar or different countries or regions are.

    Power Distance
    Uncertainty Avoidance
    Long-Term Orientation

    The drawbacks of applying the Hofstede Model

    The Hofstede Model of Cultural Dimensions can be of great use when it comes to analyzing a country’s culture. There are however a few things one has to keep in mind.

    Firstly, the averages of a country do not relate to individuals of that country. Even though this model has proven to be quite often correct when applied to the general population, one must be aware that not all individuals or even regions with subcultures fit into the mould. It is to be used as a guide to understanding the difference in culture between countries, not as law set in stone. As always, there are exceptions to the rule.

    Secondly, how accurate is the data? The data has been collected through questionniares, which have their own limitations. Not only that, but in some cultures the context of the question asked is as important as its content. Especially in group-oriented cultures, individuals might tend to answer questions as if they were addressed to the group he/she belongs to. While on the other hand in the United States, which is an individualistic culture, the answers will most likely be answered and perceived through the eyes of that individual.

    Lastly, is the data up to date? How much does the culture of a country change over time, either by internal or external influences?

    Corporate and Social Responsibility:

    An important new report on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    BUSS4 - Research Theme for 2011 - CSR
    Corporate Social Responsibility priority? Increase profits…
    CSR - Apple audits the supply chain
    CSR - Avoiding the child labour hotspots
    CSR - BBC One Planet on Coca-Cola & Sustainability
    CSR - Branson, Paphitis and Meaden Turn into Eco Warriors
    CSR - Charities hit by corporate stinginess
    CSR - Comic Relief, Crisps and Cause-Related Marketing
    CSR - Cooperative Group invites you to join a revolution
    CSR - Costing the Earth & Reporting Sustainability
    CSR - Focus on Fairtrade Fortnight 2011
    CSR - Greed is Good
    CSR - Green Growth Case Studies from UK Businesses
    CSR - How Companies Avoid Paying Tax
    CSR - How Transparent are the World’s Oil Companies?
    CSR - keeping a CCTV eye on suppliers
    CSR - Lesson Video - Clips from Blood Sweat and T-Shirts
    CSR - Lesson Video: Child Labour in Bangladesh
    CSR - Lesson Video: Primark on the Rack
    CSR - Links to PLC Corporate Social Responsibility Reports
    CSR - McDonalds and the Case for the Defence
    CSR - Michael Porter speaks on Creating Shared Value
    CSR - Pepsico Performance with Purpose
    CSR - pressure group forces a change at PG Tips
    CSR - Project Shakti
    CSR - Salad Slaves - Supermarkets and Corporate Irresponsibility?
    CSR - The Classic Milton Friedman Clip
    CSR - the Essential Economist Podcast
    CSR - The Key UK CSR Organisations
    CSR - The Mega Dairy, Economies of Scale and Cornflakes
    CSR - The Word Cloud
    CSR - What is “Creating Shared Value”?
    CSR - What is going on at 250-266 Ecclesall Road?
    CSR and Fairtrade Fortnight
    CSR at the Movies - Black Gold
    CSR at the Movies - Capitalism a Love Story
    CSR at the Movies - Food, Inc.
    CSR at the Movies - Manufactured Landscapes
    CSR at the Movies - Supersize Me in 7 Minutes
    CSR at the Movies - Thank You for Smoking
    CSR at the Movies - The End of the Line
    CSR at the Movies - Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Price
    CSR becomes the Strategy for Co-operative
    CSR Video - Business Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility
    CSR Video - Everyone’s talking Corporate Social Responsibility
    Michael Porter - Shared Value and the Limitations of CSR
    Revision Presentation - Corporate Social Responsibility
    Stunning Video - CSR, Ethics and Milton Friedman
    The recession as an opportunity for Corporate Social Responsibility?

    Approach to teaching

    Methods there are many, principles but few, methods often change, principles never do