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Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Edinburgh Festival Fringe and my meeting with a drunk Glaswegian Eric Cantona Lookalike

Posted by jorbell on August 23, 2010

Edinburgh Festival - Banshee Labyrinth 2010

Edinburgh Festival - Banshee Labyrinth 2010

Later today I’m going to the Edinburgh Festival to watch my wife, Jo, perform on the Fringe. She is part of something called ‘A Pint of Poetry & a Dram of Drama’ at Scotland’s most haunted pub, The Banshee Labyrinth.

“A Pint of Poetry and a Dram of Drama is an open mic spoken word event from Peterborough. You know, near Cambridge. For 4 years it has hosted local poets, bards of the fens and MCs. In Edinburgh for the first time. We bring some of PTowns best wordy talent to you.”

I’ve been to the Edinburgh Festival before but not since the late 90s but I thought I’d recount a tale of when I found myself alone in the city in altogether strange circumstances…

Strangers: My meeting with a drunk Glaswegian Eric Cantona Lookalike

The following story relates to a person I knew for just six short hours, three of which involved us both sleeping (though not together) but is an oft repeated tale from me when a discussion turns to the subject of strangers, Edinburgh and Scotland.

Back in 1996 I was on a three week summer break between finishing a five month secondment position and returning to my old job. This allowed me to just tour where I liked around the UK as long as I made two pre-arranged appointments in the English Peak and Lake District National Parks.

The rest of this trip took in North Wales, Dublin in Ireland, Scottish Lochs and western isles, Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and East Anglia. In total I travelled around 2000 miles in 19 days crossing the Irish Sea, climbing one of England’s highest peaks in Helvellyn and experiencing the joys of the famous Edinburgh Festival. It was in this final location that I met my stranger….

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Posted in Blogging, events, Personal Blog | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Posted by jorbell on June 15, 2010

Busy Busy Busy bookIt’s hard to believe but it’s been a couple of months since I’ve updated this blog but as John Lennon once famously said: “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans”. It’s a statement that’s never been more true than it has been this past week as my wife Jo conspired to break an arm a few days before she was about to start a new job. However, that’s a blog for another day.

I’ve had a very long to do list recently which despite making things rather more hectic than I would like has actually made my day-to-day schedule rather exhilarating. In addition to my work in the office I’ve been in events in London (Internet World) and Newcastle (Thinking Digital) which were both very interesting in different ways. I will post a review of Thinking Digital later this week as this in particular is well worth attending if you can.

I’ve been working on copy for a 12 page corporate brochure, the content, design and layout for a five page staff newsletter and also the production of the company’s 16 page membership magazine. There have been banners to produce for an event in Brussels as well as for International Telecoms Week in Washington DC. The latter of these required the sourcing of a US supplier and arranging delivery to the conference organisers in Maryland.

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Posted in Blogging, Business, career, Design, employment, events, Personal Blog, Planning | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

“You are a boring man” – example of questionable customer service

Posted by jorbell on March 23, 2010

I was in the main Peterborough Post Office yesterday and I was told that I was “a boring man” for not wanting a credit card or travel insurance. I can take a joke but I’d rather not be called “boring” by counter staff for not purchasing services I neither want nor need. It doesn’t bother me that much as it was supposed to be a joke but it’s a good example of how not to deal with customers – it lacks professionalism.

I decided to Twitter about it to see how long it takes for them to say anything to pacify someone badmouthing their organisation. After four similar tweets to @PostOfficeUK with no resposne I sent one to @RoyalMail who at least got back to me.

@RoyalMail Hi…sorry to hear about your experience, and trust that my colleagues @PostOfficeUK will be interested to hear about this.

I’ve heard nothing since.

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Posted in Blogging, Business, Customer Service, Personal Blog, public relations, social networking | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Reasons to Leave Twitter

Posted by jorbell on March 16, 2010

After attending the Social Media World Forum today at Olympia in London I decided to check out what people were saying about the event by clicking on the official Twitter hashtag topic, #SMWF. If that last sentence doesn’t make any sense let me explain…

Twitter hashtags are used to bring all posts on a particular topic in a single feed. Under normal circumstances it would involve real words such as #marketing or #socialnetworking but in the above example it has used an acronym. If you haven’t realised yet #SMWF stands for Social Media World Forum and this trend topic has been used in many different ways over the course of the two day event.

Some people have commented in real time during the workshops and seminars while others have posted questions for panel sessions. Others have spoken on what has been going on during the exhibition and at the post-event social gatherings. One such posting was of a blog which actually wasn’t connected to the event whatsover yet was retweeted many times by people who attended the event.

The blog in question was titled The Reasons I’m Leaving Twitter… which gave the following introduction:

I just deleted my Twitter account. It had over 25,000 followers. Here’s why…

About a year ago, I really loved Twitter. It was a lot of fun and it was great for communicating with people and for getting into all sorts of discussions. But as Twitter has grown, it’s become full of NOISE. Even, though, my follower count has risen, the response to my tweets has been on a steady decline. The reason is simple…

There’s just more and more noise on Twitter. People are following so many people that single tweets are easily missed in someone’s timeline. I’ve confirmed this decline with many other Twitter users. And it’s only going to get worse.

I won’t say anymore because all is not as it seems. The post was designed to spark debate and it has certainly done that on Twitter. Read on to find out more.

Posted in Blogging, events, social networking | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Social Media World Forum – Olympia, London

Posted by jorbell on March 15, 2010

You can tell when the latest online phenomenen has really taken off when it inspires a multitude of conferences and trade shows for businesses to try to sell us something to enable us to use it better. There’s nothing wrong with that which is why I shall I be presenting myself at the Social Media World Forum registration desk at London Olympia for my delegate badge tomorrow morning.

Unlike a lot of shows I’ve attended recently I’m holding out high hopes for this one as the event program looks excellent. A wide variety of content to cover the multitude of uses of social networking and I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Adam Parker of online PR agency Realwire present his workshop, The Press Release for an Online World or “Meatball Sundae”. This will look at the social media news release, who’s using them and how they can benefit PR and search engine optimisation (SEO). I know Adam personally so I know it will be excellent though I’m not so sure about his catering judging by that title!

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Posted in Blogging, branding, Business, events, Internet, Marketing, Online, social networking | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Don’t just read the news, plunder it!

Posted by jorbell on February 1, 2010

There has never been a time in history in which news is more readily available. Forgetting traditional newspapers and magazines for moment we have television, radio, Internet and simple word of mouth but this barely scratches the surface as to what is available.

In the online world there are dedicated news websites, specialist industry forums, comment through blogs and the growing impact of social networking which makes certain news stories almost inescapable. It can be overwhelming if we take this information at face value but how we digest the detail could yield a host of different business opportunities.

What I encourage readers to do is once you’ve understood the message of a story is to go back and look for those opportunities. Would the writer be a useful contact or is there a person or organisation in the article itself be worth speaking to?

No? Look a bit deeper. Does it mention an event you could attend or a shortage in equipment or skills that could be solved by your involvement?

Maybe not. What else is happening then? Is a company implementing a campaign that you could adapt for your own purposes? Is there an emerging market you haven’t considered before?

It doesn’t have to be specific to your market but could be a simple story in your local free paper. Make a point of trying to find the opportunity in every article on a single page even if most are unworkable. What it does is make the brain think a bit differently to the norm and as a result the big chance may just come your way.

Posted in Blogging, branding, Business, communications, Internet, Marketing, News, newsletters, Publicity, social networking, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

TV Comedy and the Digital World

Posted by jorbell on December 11, 2009

Not so much a marketing and communications blog post but a comment on British situation comedy, broadcasting and how we as individuals have changed over the last generation. This was inspired by a blog post on BBC Writersroom by Michael Jacob, a leading comedy bod at the Beeb. In it he refers to a new sitcom called Big Top and says:

As is traditional with virtually every new BBC1 sitcom, Big Top has received a massive critical kicking, both in newspapers and on writers’ forums. I can never quite understand the snobbishness of aspiring comedy writers, who tend to unite in loathing any show which is popular with audiences. Two Pints and My Family spring immediately to mind.

Personally I cannot comment on this particular show as I haven’t seen it but I found what he said and the way he said it particulalrly interesting. I understand what Michael Jacob is getting at and I agree with him to a point but I think there is far more to this story than there is at first glance.

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Posted in Blogging, External Blogs, Internet, Online services, Personal Blog, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Businesses that blog get 55% more visitors

Posted by jorbell on November 2, 2009

From FurlongPR

Based on a survey in August of 1500 businesses by Hubspot, those that blogged had 55% more visitors, 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages.

Most businesses accept, even if they don’t anticipate these sort of figures, that a blog will revolutionise their static corporate website, but trying to get momentum for that internally can be a trying business. Who’s going to write it, what will it look like, who’s going to build it.

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Posted in Blogging, branding, Business, Marketing, Publicity, Research, social networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Blogging Small Businesses have 55% More Traffic, 97% More Inbound Links

Posted by jorbell on September 10, 2009

By Mack Collier, Search Engine Guide

A recent study by Hubspot found that among their small business customers, those that blogged had 55% more traffic and 97% more incoming links than non-blogging small businesses.

The study confirms what most of us that are active in the social media space have known for a while.  Blogs generate more traffic and links than static websites, on average.

Which is great, but more traffic and links alone does not make your blog successful, right?  And neither does more comments.

What your business needs to do is correlate these metrics back to larger business goals for your blog.  For example, if you are wanting to use your blog as a tool to increase sales on your website, does sending more traffic to your site from your blog really matter, if sales don’t increase?

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Posted in Blogging, Business, External Blogs, Internet, Online, Research | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »