Category Archives: work

Could your Company be the first to break the Twitter mould and really interact and develop your Business?

What is it that people do these days? If you are to believe the headlines twitter is all the rage. What defines a good twitter profile? What defines a good online profile? Is it the fact that one may have 2000 followers. Is it the fact they have almost twittered over 10,000 tweets. What characteristics would define someone that you follow?

If you’re a famous off-line celebrity say for example Schwarzenegger or Stephen Fry then without much ado it easy to be successful online. An example of this is Oprah Winfrey who set up an online Twitter profile only three days ago and already has over 10,000 followers. This is all probably very predictable.

What about from a personal point of view those of us who work every day and do not suffer from celebrity status. Is there really any benefit to using twitter. I am amazed at just how many companies and people use twitter try to sell me things most of them don’t understand the first thing about permission marketing. Can one really build a relationship in just 140 characters. It is not easy and like any relationship takes time and mutual interest.  To put it in perspective this idea I suggest that you are only as successful on-line as you are offline. Some of my best relationships that I have online also exist in the real world when I go to a restaurant or the cafe. I think that I am just staying in touch. As it is not always possible to see people on a regular basis.

twitter-queastionsWhat about the business development and customer care opportunities. Out of experience I will never follow anyone unless I have a particular interest. Ones that use a company name I will not follow. In my experience the company never offers or interacts in the way an individual would. There is always a feeling that they are protecting or selling something. A company that could break this mould could achieve a significant amount of followers and would have a real story to tell to the media. Plus this would certainly gain a lot of extra free publicity. It is conceivable that a company could employ a group of people just to respond to people’s questions on twitter.

If you are going to stay the distance it is about quality. It is better to have 10 followers that are really interested in what you got to say then 10,000 who are not. An example of this is the Velvet Underground whose first record only sold a couple of hundred copies. Their influence though is felt by just about every major rock band that has ever made music. Although comparatively they are still not that well known.

So in summing up if you are genuine and have a genuine interest  to interact. Then it is possible to build a quality network a word of warning though when I survey the number of people that follow me 90% are not  interested in a two-way conversation and significant less amount are operating highly queastionable/fruadelent activities.

Wall Street Just Does Not understand Social Media

Kick off your shoes and throw your ties away, forgot rock and roll social media is where it is at.

“oleil-Media Metrics analyst Laura Martin cut her rating on Google to “Hold” from “Buy” and slashed her price target to $350 from $580…saying the company’s practice of giving 10 percent of profits to charity and giving employees one day a week to work on pet projects should end amid the current economic climate.”

We do rate the best Pilgrim Marketing is on our resource list on and it is not for nothing. This is a great discovery blog post about Social media right here.

Blogging to Assess an Employees Performance

A couple of years ago I was applying for a job by a company in the UK. After the usual first get to know you meeting. They asked me to write a report about their website and what I thought about it.

I knew that this was a part of the job interview process so I wrote as honestly and as diplomatically as I could. Back then, I did not blog at all. Writing is not an obvious choice for me, I am much better orally speaking. I know why that is so, having kept a blog for over a year now. I am beginning to understand why writing is entirely different from speaking. It uses different parts of the brain. Which parts I am not entirely sure, but the more you activate a brain center the better it will perform. It is not as easy as it looks, but then again neither is it that hard. Without doubt, it does wonders for any plan to be able to take the effort to set it out on paper before you take any steps to put a plan into action. In fact I would even go so far to say that if we to do that with all important decisions in our life we would probably have a very different view point and live very different and probably richer lives, qualitatively speaking. If you are going to assess your employees on their writing skills you will have to create the right atmosphere. A free mind can develop very quickly (in children) unfortunately somewhat slower as an adult. So it is important that the employees do not feel that they have to write in certain way. Indeed that would be against the very essence of blogging. Forget having brain storming sessions, ask each employee to write something for you instead, that is a least the ones that cannot justify a better use of there of time than picking their nose. You will be amazed what you find…. this of course assuming that you have the more or less total confidence of your staff.

How Green is Your Distribution?

Name and Shame

One way to increase profits is to make your processes leaner. In my working life I have seen some enormous changes. From goods being manufactured local to them being centralised down to one distribution hub more often than not in Hong Kong. Being Green is not just about helping the environment it is about making more money. While it seems like now that all companies are claiming green credentials. It is funny how today I came across a blatant mistake that one could put down to large corporations lack of procedure and innovoation. I am presently consulting for an Isle of Man IT company that ordered 1000 pieces memory from HP for a hard ware upgrade in preparation for a Windows Vista roll out. The memory when it arrived came on a crate. All individual packed. I am sure that HP claim to be a smart company. How can they pack each piece of memory into separate boxes. Generating higher transport cost, more packaging and more unpacking cost. Just to demonstrate this mistake 200 pieces of memory was ordered from Kingston and arrived on the same day. They were able to deliver it one small box. Saving everybody time and cost.

PS. I did actually double check if there was an option in ordering of the memory for it be delivered in one box. There was not. What are you doing?

Work Disability

There is an interesting article about Work Disability called Dutch disease, in a article written here;

A summary of it’s causes could be describe in the following two lines:

Currently a million people are in the WAO system with a third of the claimants off with “psychological” problems. Depression, anxiety, stress — the generic Dutch term “overspannen” covers the lot.

It is very complicated problem. In my opinion people do it because the state makes allowances and allows them too. On the other hand (this is a very long discussion) there is sort intolerance for people because they are told they have to be tolerant and everything is supposedly fair on paper in Holland. What ends up happening is that they become so reliant on the state that the state has to tell them when to be happy. Now of course the last sentence is not true. Why do Dutch work so hard? (and they do the rest of the population) May also hold key to the problem. In Holland they have high tax and one class society so they not really going to get mega rich. I personal think they are escaping from some complex for some thing in their history, but not being Dutch historian the trail runs dries. I would love to hear other peoples comments on this one.

An Easy Personal Backup Plan

How Is Everybodies Backup Procedure?

Having just brought my second USB storage device. I have decided that it is about time that I update my own personal backup procedure. In the past I have always had great annoyance with backups on to DVD/CD media as you have to spend quite a lot of time setting it up each time and than checking it. Ultimately more time than the backup is really worth.

Project justification:

Ok we know that the question is not will you have a hardware failure but when will you have a hardware failure. If destiny has anything to do it. It will be right when you not made a backup and you need an email address to get in touch with somebody.

What ever it is a backup plan is modern business necessity and probably home computing too.

Hardware needed:

2 portable storage devices or other media. (dvd/server)


Any software that can provide an incremental backup recognise different medias, and be scheduled. I have chosen Backup4all but there are lots of others just do a search for: incremental backup software.


It is important in backing up files to insure that you are backing up the right files. One backup strategy is just to make a backup of everything on your computer including the OS. The problem with that in my view is that operating system over time slowly starts to get corrupt. Hence why we do so many clean fresh installs to insure optimum performance of the operating system. I used to make a backup off Windows XP just after I had installed it. This has served me well of over the years enabling me to restore my laptop at a moments notice and be up and running literally in 40 mins. With the advent of Vista one big change has happen in relation to backups: it got big. A basic install now takes up 6 +GB. So I have opted just to backup the first clean install and afterwards the files that I use. Microsoft provides the tools to transfer all the important bits of data and settings from one pc to another if you are looking at installing on several different machines, like a laptop for example.


How often should you back up? This is a tricky one, ultimately every time a file is created or changed. I am sure in reality this does not happen. You can set up a backup so that it will only backup recent file changes. Effectively creating a small job that only does what is necessary. For my home PC I have choose to do a backup once a week. As I am only editing documents and than emailing them I feel this is a risk I am comfortable with. I think that really is the answer to the question. What are you comfortable having backed up after analysing your own situation.

An important point to remember here is that if your hard disk fails in operation is very likely that the data is still on the disk. So if you take the disk to a professional data recovery service. They will be able to recovery data for a price depending on the amount of data. The down side to this is that it will take time. If it contains mission critical data you may well have a problem.


I have chosen to use two usb storage devices for my backups I will use each one alternate weeks with one device going off site in case of fire. My main reason for using storage devices is that data management is much easier. In the past I have used CD/DVD but the amount time spent cataloguing and organising the date has proven not to be time effective. Fundamentally with usb storage devices the data is accessible up to date and online at time that you require it.


If I was to have a major hardware failure and a hurricane destroyed my house the most date I would lose would be the last 2 weeks of work. Now having reached this point a couple of parting thoughts. Folder share allows you to mirror files on two machines over a network and it is free. If one is concerned about the integrity ands security of their data a good online service such as Idrive will provide a great service in data backup all for a couple of dollars a month and much less of a hastle.

I hope this give you a few ideas for your own backup plan.

Video Stress at Work

I received these videos in my email inbox this morning. It easy to smile as your bound to feel some degree of empathy for the frustrated subject. It is hardly amusing to be the one suffering with rage against the machine. Without a doubt to much stress at work is very unproductive. How many companies actually have policies for stress related problems at work? How do you deal with stress?

One solution to the problem is highlighted below in the video, one could also try a 5 min walk, chatting to colleague, etc.