Thursday, 29 July 2010

Free Wifi for Everyone Join @AEEvans Global Movement

Via a very early in the morning RT from the Gadling Travel Blog, I came across an interesting chap today on Twitter, 'Andrew Evans' (see above picture), a writer of books and blogs, a lecturer and smart poet etc etc, read his very lively & creative BIO on his site here, and make sure you visit the home page too. Andrew had written his "Free Wi-Fi Manifesto" in verse. It's excellent, worth so much more than a RT on Twitter, so I just had to blog about it here.

I have added a snippet below, or should I say I have added the below snippet, and would strongly (if I may) invite you to read it in full and join the 'Global movement that demands free Wi-Fi in Hotels & Airports', pure brilliance and puts in a rhyme what we have all been thinking....

Read the verse in full here: The (Un)Wired: A Free Wi-Fi Manifesto

Very short snippet:

The year is twenty-ten A.D. and Wi-Fi should be free.
We travelers bear no grudge with you as long as you agree,
But if you're that one schmuck who likes to play it old school,
Charging folks for internet--well, then basically, you're a tool.
Your penny-pinching greed smells just like boardroom boredom.
It's out of touch and backwards, not to mention just plain dumb.
Please get with the program, be ye airport or hotel:
If you don't have free Wi-Fi, then you can go to hell....Continued

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Creating a Pizza Competition

As my blog is about being more personal. Thought to blog that I will be taking the Pizza Express Pizza Challenge to create a pizza and be in the chance of winning £5K. Will be getting creative on Friday night and will call in the help of The Burb as the chef in the house.

I have been really impressed with the social media from Pizza Express, love receiving their Facebook page updates and recently impressed that they have added a Facebook Share and RT icon to their newsletters. Such a simple idea, but one that I hadn't thought about before.

The only extra thing I would advice them to do, is to add an image gallery so people like me can choose an image in which to promote this engaging competition further.

I will share with you my creation.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Polyvore Review: Easy to use, engaging site for fashion fans is a great example of a 2.0 website. Visitors to the site can quickly put together outfits and sets from leading (and some not so leading) brands by simply dragging and dropping images from Polyvore or from the web.

On a smaller, but growing scale: Polyvore can also be classed as a social networking site for the fashion fans, as it allows you to find “sets” that other community members have created and then as applicable “like” their set or sets too. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, when I refer to sets, I have added two of my sets to this blog post, which have an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Along with allowing you to embed the sets on your site or blog, Polyvore also allows you to easily send out your creations via social communitites with easy share links to Facebook & Twitter. When links to shops are displayed (see set at base) they act as adverts to the shops in which you can purchase the items - how great is that for viral spread !!.

Should you have an unlimited credit card balance (as yes, you can get carried away) then Polyvore is also a fun way to shop, also I can imagine that Polyvore is great for Fashion Designers to prove their expertise in choosing clothes & items around a particular theme.

The range of fashion items available range from couture to high street, so suits a wider target market. Polyvore isn’t limited to clothes and also includes interior design pieces & decor. (Personally I would like to see more household items & trinkets in there).

There is an active online community which comments on the various sets uploaded. I have mainly used the site for play and I would say that I am at a beginners level in creating the sets. I believe that once my experience & expertise in creating these sets grows then I will visit the community areas a lot more, (as we all like feedback on things we create) and take part in more Polyvore contests.

The top navigation is really intuitive, allowing you to Create, Explore, Get Help and visit your own & others profiles to view saved collections / sets. 

Bit of background

The site was launched in 2007 by Pasha Sadri, Jianing Hu and Guangwei Yuan. Incedently Pasha Sadri is the guy responsible for creating Yahoo Pipes. To find out more about the Polyvore Team visit this link:

My Polyvore site engagement review

Members (registered) can receive a great sense of involvement with the site, as it includes networking, sub creation & creativity. Through this connection members will begin to develop a connection, and a greater sense of involvement to play a further part in the world that Polyvore has created. The desire to sub create is part of who we are as human beings, so in relation to ROI for the advertisers/shop links, the best aspect of the site is that within this engagement/creative time, without knowing you are getting insight into new fashion brands you like, as you search for the perfect items for your sets. I have viewed items from clothes shops that I wouldn't dream of visiting (High prices £££) but at this level it lets me engage with them and dream of purchasing - (and dreams can come true). It is fabulous that Polyvore provides easy ways for visitors to get involved further by providing contests around a particular theme and become part of the Polyvore community.
A job well done.

Similar sites include: 

(Stardoll have recently updated their site and as a regular there too, I have been invited to provide a review in the coming month).

Reasons why I like Polyvore

  • Easy to use
Great for escapism
  • A new way to shop

  • No advertising (that I have noticed) - bar links to shops

  • Useful help features throughout

  • Ability to browse other peoples sets for inspiration.

  • It’s free to use and on registering you don’t get bombarded with newsletters.
  • Just a lovely site to help put together looks and also to release creative passion with easy to use editing and share features. 

  • Plus in writing this: someone just liked my set, so I will go and visit their sets now. So the site is also good at continuing your engagement too.

If you are a fan of Polyvore you can find my profile here:

The below image displays one of my sets with links to the shops in which you can buy the items, go check out the links, and if you like the sound of it, then join Polyvore and have fun.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Keynote to YouTube fuzzy text

I've had a go at exporting a Keynote Presentation to YouTube today (see above) so popping by to share my findings. After setting a number of different transitions timings in the presentation, so that the pages fit with the music, on export to YouTube the settings only allow you to set 1 transition length from one slide to another. So that was a bit of a waste of time.

Moving on, the Keynote presentation displays fine on a small screen but the font appears fuzzy on a larger screen. It could possibly be the font that I am using and maybe the colour and the size.

I tried to improve the font fuzzy-ness issue by resizing via QuickTime (320 x 240 size) and then importing into iMovie, but no real improvements and the presentation timings got lost on the presentation into iMovie too.

I need to look into this a bit more to fully understand the potential of Keynote for sending out presentations to YouTube. I will continue to play with the video editing features on my Apple Mac, and one of these days I may even read the instructions !!!

If you have had any experience with Keynote & uploading to YouTube let me know.....thanks ;)

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Refocusing my blog & rebalancing

The Blog is back....

Having started as an SEO specialist to move into PPC then Integrated Search Marketing, then Social Media and now Mobile Marketing. I am having trouble digesting all the new trends as well as making sure I connect to the important people around me. Also I have realised that I am spending too much time blogging for others, rather than blogging for myself. This isn’t a bad thing, but I wish to get my own blogging time back. Today is the day that I achieve this, being the 1st blog post since Sept 09!. To kick things off I like to review where I have been, as this will help me determine where I am going.

Refocusing isn’t new to me, for over 10 yrs myself and my closest friends have got together to write individual wish lists each year and then on New Years Day we revisit our lists as a group, to see how we have performed. Some of my friends have stated things like: “have a baby”, “pay of loan” “change career”, things like that. I have decided that I can do a similar thing on my blog/social networking/life, writing out a goal plan / wish list for the next 4 months. This will not only provide me with the focus I need, but it will also help get that work life balance back too.

Feel free to comment on anything than resonates with you.

I have been refocusing since 2001, read my story below. I can’t wait to start blogging again, having written all about the benefits of blogging here in December 09: indicating my re-focus to get my own blog back has been a long time coming (well 7 months !! anyway)

Refocus 1: 2001

Refocus 1: 2001 “I’m a creative in an admin world, taking part in a few PR events, need the qualification to be taken seriously”
So I left a very good job, sold the house, went to University to study International Business & Interactive Marketing at MA level..

Refocus 2: 2004

“Equipped with management experience and now the knowledge & theories from University, I am on a mission to find a job that is both linked with thinking strategically & creatively in Online Marketing”
Take temping jobs in PA work, Web Marketing & Project Management for 7 months which feels like an eternity. Find my dream role as an SEO Copywriter moving offline publications online. Mission accomplished and a lot of what I wrote still ranks highly in search engines today.

Refocus 3: 2006

“I have had a sudden interest in social marketing for business with review sites & interest in sites like Yahoo Searching for answers, look for a brand I can help”
Having networked with experts in SEO and now moved into field of Paid Search too, my company relocates to London and I relocate to Jersey. Creating and managing SEO & PPC and directing qualified customers to HSBC International. Mission accomplished.

Refocus 4: 2007
“I have written every offshore banking PPC ad imaginable, looked at Affiliate Marketing, know how to integrate my SEO & Social Media insights into product development and conversions, on reviewing progression, opportunities are limited, I want to give more”
Having several friends who work for agencies, I apply to work for an Agency in Jersey, so I can help more than 1 client, currently my experience in Search was Business, Property, Holiday and Finance. Another plus is that the agency I work with E-Scape Interactive, develop games for the National Lottery and games and gaming is another field I am interested in.

Refocus 5: 2009

“Love working for an agency and the diversity it gives, however feel that I am missing out on networking opportunities in the UK, especially where social media is concerned”
Move back to the UK and work for Rocktime Digital Agency, I am attracted to them as they can do anything web related and design bespoke systems. Set up the Search division and integrated my knowledge of SEO, PPC, Affiliate marketing and Social Media.

Refocus: 2010

“Social media sites, blogs, communities are growing at a fast rate, I am corporate blogging but need an extra place to share my thoughts and network after hours”

Make the decision to re-start my blog, consider starting totally afresh, but keep my timeline as I am proud of it. I am finding so many interesting people via Twitter and need to get organised to follow the ones that are really key to my interests & development. Currently my focuses are heavily on Social Media, Mobile Marketing, Video sharing & Youth Marketing communities. Quite a lot, so I am seeking to re-organise self, use others for inspiration and guidance. I will log my findings on my blog, so that I can free up my mind space for the other area that is important to me in life, my family.

Organising my Spaces

What I don’t want to be is a Jack of all trades but a master of none. I will be using social media to help me with organising the topics and the people that are important to me. I will be using:

Delicious Bookmarks - I have recently set up a which will bookmark every link in a tweet you receive, and every link in a tweet you send. This has been of great help to me already, and I am bit my bit organising my bookmark tagging. Having in the past chosen the recommended tags, I am now being quite particular ie: this isn’t about “socialmedia, social media, social, social networking, social web”, it is simply about “socialmedia”.

Twitter lists - to separate people I admire in the fields I am interested in.
Read about Twitter Lists here....

Blog Directories - I will be submitting my blog to more directories with the hope that people will find me and share their information, rather than me seeking out information.
Read about Blog Directories here:

Google - I will be using Google Documents a lot more to keep my blog post plans, store useful white papers and articles. I will also be seeking to organise my mail box a lot better, having interest in E-Marketing, I subscribe to many and general use them as inspiration pages - so need to label appropriately.

Networking - Before relaunching this blog, I wasn’t as keen to comment on blogs as I had nothing (apart from corporate blog and twitter) to give back. Having a more updated blog, will allow me to share with others that I have learnt from, perhaps re-blogging blog posts I really admire.

Home - My boyfriend / manfriend whom I hope will put a ring on my finger soon!! has been a total star in making his home, my home. He has decked out the garden, painted the lounge, kitchen, the overall aim for him was to get me home more, rather than working late at the office. He understands that I don’t have the average job, and I need to research and keep on top of new trends, and I love it that he is trying his very best to get me to come home on time. He blogs too, so understands the need to find time to blog, and that some days you can feel inspired, some days you don’t. I am at home today, in the garden, and blogging, so his plan has worked ! !

My new focuses till November 2010 is as follows:

  • Get up early to exercise rather than to blog - use Wii Gaming & review progress
  • Read one book every 2 months -at the beach rather than on the bus. This includes Crime thrillers and not just books focused on Marketing & Business.
  • Organise my twitter lists, delicious bookmarks, youtube subscriptions once a week when my manfriend is at work
  • Aim to write just 5 blog posts a month any extra is a bonus.
  • Focus my networking & blog writing on particular topics to save time & learn more
  • eg: Focuses for the next 4 months include: Youth Marketing, Mobile Marketing & Onsite Engagement
  • Continue to thank all the people who help me with my focuses along the way.
  • Produce the refocus for the next 4 months - make sure I am on track.
  • Before re-focus kicks off, make plans in July to Organise: email, blog, delicious, twitter - into similar lists / labels / tags. No pressure in July but a clear focus on personal delivery.

All the best,