Blogging by email

I spotted in WordPress’ own blog earlier a post about writing blog posts by email. So here I am testing it out, typing away on my BlackBerry (with the laptop on my lap of course). This could be extremely useful as I occasionally find myself waiting somewhere and often think “I must write about that”. Now I’ll have no excuse! You can also post pictures, embed videos and more by email. Hitting send now, so fingers crossed. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Update: It worked! Note though that the message/signature you have on your device when you send an email also appears (ie. Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld) So if you have it set as your email signature, with contact details etc. this is what will show. I’m also putting in the links via the web as I don’t know how to do it on the phone.

Newstalk and Twitter

Earlier today George Hook went to Twitter to help source an item for the show regarding the use of Twitter in Primary Schools. As always the good folk on Twitter came to the rescue. As a result Evert Bopp and Josie Fraser are due on the show at 5.45pm. Of course then I heard George mention about the show being streamed and one thing led to another, so I have embeded the video stream into my blog (hopefully). Leave a comment about the show or whatever else you like and I’ll try to moderate them as soon as I can, if I can. It’ll be like my live blogging video streaming twittering experiment.

Update – Ok maybe I should have figured out how to embed the video beforehand. But I have learned a few things from my efforts.

– You can broadcast video for free online via Ustream.tv

– You can do live video using your phone with the mobile application

– I need to learn a few more things about wordpress

Entrepreneurs deserve to be laughed at

I was watching Dragons Den on RTE last night while following the Tweets about the show and the entrepreneurs who bravely faced the dragons. It struck me later that they deserve to be laughed at.

I don’t mean that they should be laughed at or their ideas ridiculed in a malicious kind of way. But as most entrepreneurs will know, the entrepreneurial road is not an easy one. Indeed for the most part it is more a mountain track than a road, particularly at the beginning.

You will stumble, you will fall, people will laugh. But the important thing here is that you get up again, dust yourself off and keep going. If, however, you do fall and hurt yourself on that mountain track, the ones who laughed will most likely be the ones to rush to your assistance.

If you can’t handle the laughter at your expense how the hell will you be able to handle all the other shit thrown at you on your entrereneurial journey? If you are afraid to take the first step in putting your business idea out there for fear of ridicule and humiliation then stay at home!

The biggest employer in my home town sells water (Yes that’s right, the water you buy, we flush our toilets with). I can just imagine the comments and ‘watery’ puns in the Dragon’s Den had they sought investment years ago.

“I’m not going to pour money into this business to watch it flow away, I’m out”

“It rains in Ireland for 360 days of the year, nobody’s going to buy bottled water, I like you, but you’re a little too wet behind the ears for my liking, I’m out”

“This idea will never float, my money would evaporate, I’m out”

etc etc.

I have no doubt that the idea of selling water to the citizens of a rain sodden country was laughed at and ridiculed. But at the same time everyone hoped that it would work. And it did.

As an entrepreneur, being laughed at is an impetus to prove your detractors wrong and adds that extra incentive to make a go of things in order to have the last laugh yourself.

Bear in mind too that the Dragons or other entrepreneurs don’t always know everything and are more than capable of not seeing the opportunity in something. Remember the oft quoted Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM in 1943 “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

That crazy whacky idea today could be the cats eyes of tomorrow or could form the springboard into another opportunity. At the very least you will learn something from your endeavours, that you can use time and time again.

So this week go off and find an entrepreneur, laugh at them and then offer to help in any way you can.

Tuesday Push: Twitter Mosaic by Sxoop Technologies

I only learned about the Tuesday Push recently and even though I’m only blogging a short while and don’t have a huge number of visitors I don’t think my push will do much. But hey, it’s better to get out and push than sit in the car!

Walter from Sxoop Technologies has created a nice little thingy called Twitter Mosaic. You can compile a mosaic of all your Twitter followers or friends using the app. It’s easy to use, simply input your username and the rest is done for you. You can decide to use the images of those you follow or those who follow you.

You can then put the mosaic on a T-Shirt, a mug, a bag, a business card or on your website or blog, just like my fantastic mosaic below:

Get your twitter mosaic here.

Whats a Tuesday Push?

The Tuesday Push is a co-ordinated effort to put a spotlight on new or existing apps or services in Ireland every second Tuesday.

If you have an original or particularlay interesting app or service you can submit your details here to be ‘pushed’ in an upcoming Tuesday Push.

Blog by phone -This post is being…

First trial of posting to the blog using voice over a mobile phone.

This post is being inspired by mcawilliams from twitter. Who has set up a blog for his daughter www.eyesofachild.eu and in the course of conversation I remembered that through dial2do you could set up a voice activated or post to your Word Press blog from your mobile phone. And I just thought it might be-

Powered by Dial2Do. Mp3

Update to post:-

(Before I get to that don’t forget to vote for mcawilliams in the Shorty Awards in you haven’t already done so. Voting is drawing to a close and he deserves it.)

I had to edit some things as the spellings were a little out and the website link wasn’t right (although I threw in a word myself that shouldn’t have been there). Also, the links were put in place afterwards. I have left it pretty much unchanged though as you can hear from the audio, and it might be of help to anyone trying it out for themselves.

Some things to note from first attempt:-

You have a limited time to speak, so think before you talk!

The title to the post is the first couple of words spoken.

I would have spoken more eloquently had I known the audio would also be posted!

Dial2Do is a free service that allows you to send texts, emails, set reminders, post to Twitter and of course to your WordPress Blog using your phone. Correction, you will have to pay the price of dialling your host country’s no.

You can also post to Twitter using Twitterphone and if you have Twitter streaming on your blog I guess you are kind of updating it that way. Anybody with other ideas please let me know.

Advertising in 2009, why bother?

Avast ye adlubbers! Baton the hatches! Cut costs! Lower expenses! We’re sailing into choppy waters…… blah de blah de blah.

Advertising is one of those intangible things whose effectiveness can be hard to measure and quantify. As a result it is often one of the first things to be axed from a business budget when times are hard or there is an economic downturn. The ensuing slowdown in business then confirms the fact that it was wise to cut back on the advertising spend.

Research has shown however that businesses that advertise during a recession increase both their profits and market share

It is of course necessary and wise to make adjustments to any advertising budget. But to stop completely would be foolhardy. As the saying goes “Trying to do business without advertising, is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know you’re doing it, but nobody else does”. It is far better to measure the effectiveness of your advertising and cut out what doesn’t work and improve on what is actually getting results. Test and measure, then test and measure again. If you are running ads in a number of local papers set up a simple spreadsheet to track the number of enquiries/sales or whatever it is you want to keep track of.

There are a few simple formulas you can use to measure effectiveness. For example if an advert costs €100 and you get 25 enquiries, the cost per enquiry is €4. If you get 2 sales from those enquiries, the cost per sale is €50. Will you make enough on each sale to cover the cost?

To work out the value of the advertising use the Cost per Thousand (CPM) ratio which basically tells you how much it costs for 1000 people to be exposed to your message. If it’s a magazine or newspaper with a circulation of 10,000 and a full page ad costs €2,500, then the cpm is €250. If a similar publication had a greater circulation for instance 40,000 and the same price ads, then the cpm would be €62.50. It would make more sense then to go for the one that offered the best cpm rate. However if a publication targets a specific niche or demographic rather than just appealling to a broad population, then you should be prepared to pay a higher cpm. Provided of course it’s the market that you wish to target.

There are a number of factors in determining the effectiveness of any advertising campaign. And there are any number of types of advertising campaigns. The important thing is to measure the results and do whatever works. But make sure you do something!

The Twelve Tweets of Christmas

With too much time on my hands and the creative juices flowing from a week of party nights, I composed a little ditty. I have no notion of typing out all the versus, so this is the last verse which encompasses all the previous ones. I hope you enjoy.

The Twelve Tweets of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas,

A blogger tweeted me,

Twelve twitterers tweeting

Eleven steaks a piping

Ten books for keeping

Nine videos enhancing

Eight wines for drinking

Seven phones a ringing

Six routers relaying

Five podcast things

Four flying turds

Three great tunes

Two wedding doves

And a fluffy link from Mulley dot i e

I tried to have it rhyme with the original version and used a bit of poetic license, while at the same time limit it to Irish blogs/sites who are on Twitter. Better rhyming lines most welcome along with the relevant site.

Happy Christmas one and all!

What’ll I do tomorrow?

Here I am now writing a blog post. I’ve been meaning for ages to get started on my own blog. I set one up a while ago for the wedding stuff but haven’t been meticulous in updating it. What really got me started was Twitter which is described as a micro-blogging site.

I think it’s great you can follow different people who have interesting things to say. You don’t have to wait for them to accept you as a friend like other social networking sites. Right from the word go you can receive snippets of information like links to interesting websites, blogs and what not, along with general musings on what is happening in their life that day. You can see who they follow, and in turn who that person follows and on and on like that. In typical fashion for me I was tweeting before I was blogging, most do it the other way around.

Through Twitter I have been led into many wonderful blogs and websites that I would never have come across if left to my own devices. I have put off writing a blog because I wasn’t sure what I’d write about. I’m still not sure but I’m going to just wing it anyway because I love to write. And I get so caught up in the everyday running of my business that writing is usually the last thing I get to do. Like anything else you have to start somewhere and learn as you go. And that just leaves one question,what’ll I do tomorrow?

What am I doing now? Part 3

I kept plugging away with the Tipp Tatler. Mary and I built a house. A friend of mine asked me one day to look up the price of flights to Paris. When I got back to him he had more questions about other places and things. He eventually told me he was planning to propose to his girlfriend. We hatched a plan.

He bought her a flying lesson at Moyne flying school, just outside Thurles. Got a huge sheet of black polythene, painted the words ‘Will You Marry Me?’ on it and rolled it out over a field. He told the pilot of his plan, who duly obliged by flying over the field. Of course she said yes. This got me to thinking….

There must be quiet a few blokes out there with no where to go for help or assistance in planning a marriage proposal. Derry to the rescue!

Around about the same time I had set up website for the Tipp Tatler and on speaking with Tom, who organised it, we decided to set up www.WillYouMarryMe.ie and fill it with proposal ideas to help people come up with their own unique proposal. It has since expanded to take in the whole wedding planning process, helped in no small way by my own wedding in May 2008.

I think I have developed a love for advertising and marketing and can never read or learn enough about either. There are just so many different methods for any business to get their message out there. What do you think is the best way or what works for you?