Apple Watch. Why I Need One.

applewatch-550x310While I watched the Apple guys present their new baby last night I asked my self the question “How am I going to justify my purchase of an Apple Watch?” The answer is simple, I need it for work.

I need it for work because I am in the marketing business, people look to me for inspiration, for indications of trends, for a nod in the right direction. People, customers, look at me and need to know I am connected to the cutting edge of communication technology.

Wearing my Apple Watch will say “I know where my watch is at” and “I am an early adopter” and “I love good design” and “I live an integrated life”. When I tap it, stroke it, twiddle it or talk to it I am clearly cool with technology. When it buzzes quietly on my wrist I will know your calling.

Most of all, when I wear my Apple Watch I will be demonstrating technologies that you need to be adopting.

Millions of iPhone users will connect their Apple Watch to their phone and ultimately to their networks and share information that has never been so freely shared before. Apps will be developed to enable interactions in new ways, ways that did not exist before the Apple Watch. While I watched the presentation I thought to my self, “a remote for my iPhone camera”, and like magic it was presented to me. A heart rate monitor, movement sensors that know what I am doing and record my cycle to work or my walking the dog. Most importantly it will seamlessly collect the data and put in the right place, in the right format and present it to me in a typically Apple, beautiful way.

My Apple Watch will “Just Work” with all my other Apple products and in common with all other Apple devices I will not need a manual to operate it. The intuitive interface will both respond to my tentative prods in a positive and informative way and educate me in new ways to manipulate my new device.

I need an Apple Watch because it is a new medium never available to marketing people before. The newly created real estate, those few square milliliters on your wrist, will become some of the most desirable pieces of advertising space in the world.

The battle to be on your wrist begins here. Partner with me and I will supply the data.

The Strange Story of Hoovers and the AK47

It has been a strange and disturbing few weeks in the world but between the lines there is a story sometimes amusing and at the same time disturbing. This is a story that highlights the extreme cultural differences between middle aged English Man and middle aged American Man.

140822dysonhoover_0Mild mannered, middle class, BMW and power washer owning suburban English man reacted badly to the following headline; EU ban on high-power vacuum cleaners comes into force, hitting five of the seven best-rated products.

The EU directive is tied up in the member countries commitment to clean up our environment and although the headline is shocking it hides the true message. Manufacturers have to design better, more efficient products. A bit like changes in the rules for Formula 1 cars mean they dont use massive petrol guzzling V8 engines. Natural evolution and great design has evolved the small, ultra high revving frugal but ultimately powerful engines that carry the cars round the tracks of the world at amazing speed. Vacuum cleaners need to go the same way. This change in the law will force manufacturers to make fester, leaner and more efficient cleaners.

Unashamedly riotous and provocative headlines prompted a veritable rush on the shops to buy the last remaining stocks of high powered vacuum cleaners, rumor has it that the 2,200 watt Miele s8330 is selling for more on ebay now than you could buy them in the shops a month ago, I should have stocked up!

140718104131-kalashnikov-620xaWhile this story played out in England the middle aged American man was suffering an equally terrible, but much more disturbing loss as UN sanctions placed on Russia began to bite. Intended or not by Obama and his administration the ban on imports of some Russian goods came to a head when Americans realized their beloved AK47 assault rifle was made in Russia and was now a victim of the war in Ukraine. It was announced that there will be no more imports of Russian made arms to America [the hypocrisy of this will become apparent soon] and so a rush began on the gun shops of every American town as the last of these iconic machine guns was snapped up.

And now for the hypocrisy. While America has used sanctions to ban the import of Russian made weapons the Europeans have continued to supply Russia with weapons ranging from hand guns to war ships.

On the 23rd July, just a month ago, the Guardian reported “UK arms export licenses for Russia still in place despite claims of embargo”

More than 200 licences to sell British weapons to Russia, including missile-launching equipment, are still in place despite David Cameron’s claim in the Commons on Monday that the government had imposed an absolute arms embargo against the country, according to a report by a cross-party group of MPs released on Wednesday.

A large number of British weapons and military components which the MPs say are still approved for Russia are contained in a hard-hitting report by four Commons committees scrutinising arms export controls.

Existing arms export licences for Russia cover equipment for launching and controlling missiles, components for military helicopters and surface-launched rockets, small arms ammunition, sniper rifles, body armour, and military communications equipment, the committee says. They also include licences for night sights for weapons, components for operating military aircraft in confined spaces, and surface-to-surface missiles.

The French also have two battle ships on their way to Russia, the orders were not cancelled as that would make 1,000 French men and women unemployed.

Like I said, a strange and disturbing few weeks in the world.

If You Could Define Your Marketing Goals In Just 2 Words, What Would Those Be?

linkedin-for-professional-networkingThis is not the first time I have written about LinkedIn and I should state my position before I go any further. I dont like it.

LinkedIn sells itself as a business-oriented social networking service. It was founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003. The guys who run it say it is mainly used for professional networking.

Fair enough, but whats your definition of a professional, business-oriented person? Focused, educated, wise, thoughtful, attentive, pedantic and so you should go on. A professional, business-oriented person should be all these things and should always know the purpose of being in business;

To make money.

Personally I can not conceive of another reason to be in business but I do accept there are a few other reasons you might choose to be in business such as a love for a particular discipline or a simple desire to be your own boss. There is nothing wrong with any other reason you might choose but when presented with the following question;

If you could define your marketing goals in just 2 words, what would those be?

I would expect every respondent to say; Make Money

What was actually posted follows and in the opinion of this reporter reveals nearly no business focus from these professional, business-oriented people. Almost without exception these responses are driven by ego, not business. The building of networks, KPI’s of “number of connections” is worse than worthless, it is an investment of time and money in “brand me” Lets get to those responses;

  • Gaining exposure
  • personal and connected
  • Conversation starter
  • Genuine conversations
  • Reach all
  • effective communication
  • Maximum outreach
  • Build Network
  • Stand Out
  • more profit
  • BRAND YOURSELF
  • Business Objective
  • brand humanity
  • magnetic sponsoring
  • Influential exposure
  • Give Value
  • find customers
  • Prosumer and personalized
  • draw attention
  • Meaningful Conversion
  • Awareness connections
  • Make money
  • Inform and Connect
  • Precision GEO-Targeting
  • new customers
  • Good visibility
  • Gainful employment
  • Build business

Some respondents could not even answer the question in the terms requested [two words]

  • sensing others mistakes and learning to do better…quality and not just quantity
  • Succeed so I can help and share with as many as I can, or come across
  • help all those i can and pray for those i can’t
  • My company offers all of the above and I still have trouble getting business owners to be responsive to the words free or no cost on any platform

Guys and girls, members of LinkedIn, please, focus. Stop building networks and start building business!

Plausable Deniability, How superpowers fight their battles.

imageWhen the little green men began appearing in Crimea in February 2014 Russia denied they were their own troops claiming they were local Crimean security forces but on March 28, Putin revealed the truth when he congratulated Russian officers in the Kremlin for their conduct of the Crimean operation. The Russian Defense Ministry issued a victory medal for the “return of Crimea.”

Then in a May 18 telethon, Mr. Putin acknowledged that the troops in Crimea were Russian.

As the operations in Crimea came to a close Russian troops began massing on the borders with Ukraine for what was advertised as military exercises. The Russians were not alone in the dissemination of misinformation as the Americans and British conducted naval exercises in the seas to the south of Crimea.

Publicly the NATO countries, the EU and the Americans made statements to the effect that they would apply sanctions against Russia if they continued. So Russia organized, armed, trained and deployed “Pro Russian Ukranian nationals” while the Ukraine government asked for help and didnt get any.

Now a war is taking place in the east of Ukraine between the Russian sponsored troops and the Ukrainian Army.

Mostly forgotten by the western press the Ukraine crisis landed squarely back on the front pages last week when a Russian supplied ground to air missile, fired by a Pro Russian fighter in the east of Ukraine brought down the Malaysian airliner MH17 killing 298 people.

In an environment where everyone was turning a blind eye to the events this should have been the moment of revelation, the time the whole world could have sat up and voiced their protest.

Then, as I write this in what is a chilling reminder of what triggered the Russian invasion of Crimea this arrives on my desk;

Donetsk, Ukraine (CNN) — Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his Cabinet announced their resignation Thursday.

“I announce my resignation after the collapse of the coalition and the blocking of government initiatives,” Yatsenyuk told parliament.

And in perfect syncronisity Russia drops the charade and begins firing directly on Ukraine from its own side of the border.

Clearly Russia considers it has no opposition and is planning on taking Ukraine even if the UN, America and the UK will threaten to hold a meeting to discuss more sanctions.

That will be after the meeting when they decide it is fine to continue shipping weapons to Russia.

Im sorry Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Shot Down By Russian Missile

0_6801e_a0f09a3f_XXLWhat we know.

  • Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was flying over the war-torn region of eastern Ukraine when it disappeared from radar.
  • Pro Russian forces were recorded discussing the shooting down of the jet on the radio.
  • Armed Russians were filmed at the scene of the crash.
  • Some 283 passengers and 15 crew members who were on board died in the crash.

Its been a bad year for Malaysia Airlines but in this case it is clear nothing went wrong with the plane, it was not hijacked, it did not disappear. It crashed to the ground in flames killing all on board after it was deliberately shot down with a Russian SA-11 Gadfly surface to air missile supplied to the pro Russian militants by the Russians.

Whatever you might feel about the fate of the 298 passengers and crew on board the plane our focus must now return to the problems within Ukraine.

Six months ago almost to the day nearly 100 people died in in the city of Kiev. Since then many more have died every day in what amounts to a David and Goliath battle between the Davids who want to retain their autonomy in Ukraine and the world super power Russia playing Goliath.

And what is the United Nations doing about it? Nothing. In fact in this respect the UN has fallen apart, the Europeans have done precisely nothing while the Americans have attacked Russia with “Sanctions”. Just to ensure the Russians didnt suffer to much from the sanctions they gave them plenty of warning.

The emasculation of the UN revealed by its lack of action in Ukraine directly affected the chances of peace in the Middle East.

How much longer can the world stand by and allow this war to continue? How many more MH17’s have to be shot down before someone decides to stop this madness?

The Prague Ratter Story

The Prague Ratter has a long documented history which goes back very nearly 1,000 years.

This little dog allegedly became popular due to the small size, it is fast moving and has a highly developed sense of smell which enabled it to hunt and kill rats and mice (hence its historic name “Ratter”).

The Prague Ratter enjoyed a life in the royal courts and early documentation shows them being given as a gifts to European rulers. Later, however, this little dog became almost extinct until its rediscovery occurred just thirty years ago.

Throughout history the interest in particular breeds inevitably will rise and fall according to fashion. The Prague Ratter was no exception to this but 1969 when it had almost been forgotten an article was published in a magazine in Prague called PES. The article was titled; “Restore the glory for the Prague Ratter – where had this breed that was once so popular in Prague, now gone?”. The article was enough to spark a new interest in this dying breed. In practice the decision to revive the breed was not easy and the possibilities of a new breeding program were carefully considered for a long time.

The breeders studied the papers of the recently deceased Czech canines – Otto Charlie, Teodora Rotter, DVM.Fr.Dvoracek and others that had found their way into publications in the twenties, thirties and onwards. They also studied historical data which confirmed the existence of the Ratter in Bohemia.

The Polish chronicle, ‘Galla Anonyma’ states that the Polish king Boleslav II-Bold (1058-1080) “took in his kennel 2 Ratters who came from Bohemia”. The author writes of them: “In the veins of our dogs not only Polish blood circulating, but purely Slavic blood, blood donation”. Because the king of Poland valued this gift, it can be assumed that it was a royal gift to Prince Vladislav II.

French historian Jules Michelet wrote in his book, “Histoire de France”, about a living gift given to him by the Czech king and Emperor Charles IV on his visit to France in the autumn of 1377. In September of 1380 the bequeathed and dying Charles V passed on to his twelve year old son two ratters.

Documentation on Emperor Rudolf II states: Rudolf II (1576 – 1611) always found comfort in the middle of a pack of hunting dogs and ratters. Of his original four dogs offspring had grown to eighteen ratters. This was an excellent example of his breeding work.

The tragic defeat in the battle of White Mountain in 1620 resulted in the decline of Czech political, cultural and social life for three centuries. During this dark period we saw a departure of the Prague Ratter. When Prague castle lost its importance, the little ratlíček descended from royal heights and now belonged to the common people. He lived and vegetated into the next centuries with hardly a mention.

Attempts by prominent canine experts such as Theodor Rotter and Otakar Karlik to restore a breeding program and collect documentation failed because they could not find animals with the six generations of history.

In neighbouring Germany Adolf Hitler was rising to power and in 1938 invaded the Czechoslovak state. Later, in the fifties, Thoedor Rotter lost all his property and thus all his paperwork on the Ratter.

It wasn’t until the eighties new attempts to restore the Prague Ratter began.

Todays representatives of this breed are the result of the breeding reconstruction programme by Czech breeders under the leadership of Mr. Findejs

The Nature of the breed

Prague Ratters are small but restless dogs, both gentle and affectionate. They are suitable for just about every family, though keep in mind, such small bones are fragile and they can be prone to bone disease if exposed to a cold and unforgiving climate. They are firmly loyal to their Master and will, if introduced early, form a good relationship with older children. Because of their fragile bones, we can not recommend this breed to a family with small boisterous children.

Although these little dogs are very friendly and affectionate, they can be shy of strangers, especially men. Prague Ratters tend to be curious and mischievous, which makes them very entertaining company. They are highly intelligent and so very receptive to good training. They tend not to be yappy dogs but have a large bark when they feel the need to guard their territory.

Although this is a very versatile little dog, the claims of breeders who say it is suitable for infirm people who are unable to walk them is quite wrong. Whilst Prague Ratters don’t mind lounging on a comfortable sofa and love the creature comforts or even a lap, there is nothing they enjoy more than a long walk or joining in a dog training agility class.The Ratter is nimble, agile and very fast and so daily exercise is necessary.

Prague Ratters generally live 13 to 15 years.

Description

When fully grown, at the withers a Prague Ratter will measure around 20-23 cm and weigh around 2.6kg. There will be variations to this. My PR who was DNA tested, measures a whopping 30cm and weighs 3.2 kg. They have a compact body with straight back, short loins and belly slightly tucked up. The tail is set high tapering to a point, although they are often clipped. The front legs are straight and parallel and the back legs are well muscled as seen in other sprinting dogs. Paws are cat like. Movement is flexible, quick and easy. The head is pear shaped with a pronounced stop and the skull is well rounded. Dark medium sized eyes that are slightly convex and set wide. Ears should be solid, have a triangular shape and although the original dogs had fairly floppy ones, breeders are now selecting for ears that stand up. The coat is short, tight and dense with a good polish. More recently we are seeing longhaired Ratters. Colors are black and red and tan above the eyes, around the nose and throat, (most common). Others are lilac and fawn, blue.

Due to the Ratters small constitution and fine coat, it struggles in cold and hot climates. Extra coats will be required in winter and protection from the summer heat is a vital.

 

This story was originally written for the web site pragueratter.net

Pedophiles And The Growth Of Isis

isis in iraq5Mr Cameron today constructed a sentence with references to both pedophiles and the growth of Isis and used it to justify the implementation of laws that are intended to replace an EU directives that was considered to infringe human rights. And he did it for your protection?

The European Court struck down an EU directive in April requiring phone and internet companies to retain communications data on the grounds that it infringed human rights.

On July 10th 2014 the government argued Emergency legislation was needed, because service providers were being threatened with legal action by campaigners if they did not start destroying data [in compliance with the European Court ruling] , some of which could prove vital to criminal investigations and court cases according to the government.

Accordingly Mr Cameron said: “We face real and credible threats to our security from serious and organised crime, from the activity of pedophiles, from the collapse of Syria, the growth of Isis in Iraq and al Shabab in East Africa.

“I am simply not prepared to be a prime minister who has to address the people after a terrorist incident and explain that I could have done more to prevent it.”

He added: “I want to be very clear that we are not introducing new powers or capabilities – that is not for this Parliament.

“This is about restoring two vital measures ensuring that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies maintain the right tools to keep us all safe.” [The very ones the European Court struck down in April]

In return for agreeing to back the legislation, Labour and the Lib Dems highlighted new moves to “increase transparency and oversight”, including:

  • The creation of a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to scrutinise the impact of the law on privacy and civil liberties
  • Annual government transparency reports on how these powers are used
  • The appointment of a senior former diplomat to lead discussions with the US government and internet firms to establish a new international agreement for sharing data between legal jurisdictions
  • A restriction on the number of public bodies, including Royal Mail, able to ask for communications data under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)
  • Termination clause ensuring these powers expire at the end of 2016
  • A wider review of the powers needed by government during the next parliament

Mr Cameron stressed that the data being retained does not include the content of messages and phone calls – just when and who the companies’ customers called, texted and emailed.

But the emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill would also “clarify” the law on bugging of suspects’ phones by the police and security services, when the home secretary issues a warrant, after concerns service providers were turning down requests.

“Some companies are already saying they can no longer work with us unless UK law is clarified immediately,” said Mr Cameron.

“Sometimes in the dangerous world in which we live we need our security services to listen to someone’s phone and read their emails to identify and disrupt a terrorist plot.”

Well hang on Mr Cameron, did not you just stress that the data being retained does not include the content of messages and phone calls – just when and who the companies’ customers called, texted and emailed? Which is it Mr Cameron?

Destination Guide: Climb Briancon.

DSC_9043The Area

Briancon is located in the Haute Alpes, just 20 minutes from the Italian border. 100km to the west by the Col du Lautaret is Grenoble and to the east is Turin via the Col du Montgenevre.

Briancon sits at the top of the Durance valley, the old town is 1500m above sea level and is reputed to be the highest city in Europe. The city is a French national monument and a UNESCO site of world heritage. To discover more about the old town of Briancon follow this link.

From a climbing point of view Briancon and its environs has it all. This destination guide covers the area immediately around Briancon in the north and works its way south via L’Argentiere La Bessee, La Roche de Rame, Fressinieres, Saint Crepin, Mont Dauphine, Guillestre, Queyras, Vallouise and Ailefroide. The extended area would also cover Guisaine, Claree and Embrun but I have not discussed these here as I have not climbed them.

The Climbing

A few facts about climbing in and around Briancon.

  • There are over 300 days of sunshine a year.
  • There are six different types of rock, Limestone, conglomerate, gabbro, quartzite, granite and gneiss.
  • There are thousands of bolted sports routes.
  • There is a fantastic spread of grades allowing progression from the easiest 3’s to 8’s and 9’s.
  • There is no shortage of routes that can be trad climbed.

20 years ago Ailefroide had 4 developed crags, now it has twenty five crags and over 270 bolted routes, mostly single pitch, but also many multi pitch routes including the Riviere Kwai at 500m long, 14 pitches 5c+ max.

The story of Ailefroide is reflected across the whole valley in both positive and negative ways. Many areas have been developed under the FFME and the locally infamous JJ Roland and his son Yann but at the expense of some classic routes that seem almost forgotten.

The benefits are clear for the climber either way. If you want a dedicated climbing area it has been developed for you in Ailefroide but it gets busy, very busy in the peak months of July and August and as thats when most climbers are visiting the area I would recommend you based yourself in Briancon and searched out some of the quieter classic crags of the area.

Nearest to Briancon is La Croix de Toulouse, just a ten minute walk from the city you are presented with a sheer face of 500m of limestone with six fantastic multi pitch routes. My favorite is Vent d’Est [The East Wind], ten pitches, 5+ max and just the right amount of exposure. You will need some trad gear as, although there are some bolts you will be a lot more comfortable with a few friends.

One of the crags that has suffered at the development of Ailefroide, in that it has been neglected, is the Falaise des Salettes with 30 routes from 4 to 6b+, it is a bit ‘rusty’ in places. Good adventure climbing.

DSC_8710Also on La Croix de Toulouse is a Via Ferrata, mid difficulty and about 500m of climbing, mostly vertical.

There are another ten crags within ten minutes drive from Briancon offering North, south, east and west facing, single pitch, multi pitch, limestone, quartzite and granite and some 400 routes of all difficulties.

Why would you go any further? Well going south, and ignoring Ailefroide, you have to try the big face at Fournel with its stunning features and massive roof some 100m above the first pitches. and if the south facing rock gets to much you can cross the valley to the north facing crag with its 20+ single pitch routes from 4 to 6b+.

Continuing south and stopping off at St Crepin or Champcella for cosy, quite crags, mostly single pitch to Mt Dauphin and its acres of conglomerate.

From there turn east to Giillestre and then north east into Queyras before returning via the Col de L’Izoard to Briancon. The entire grand tour is around 40 miles of driving allowing hours of time for climbing.

Nearly all crags are no more than ten minutes walk from the nearest parking although you can find some much longer hikes if you want to search them out.

Logistics

When to go

You can climb in and around Briancon all year round, even in the depths of winter through mid January to mid March when the night time temperatures can be minus 20 there are crags that stay dry and clear of snow and ice. Alternatively there are glaciers and mountains up to 4000m for mixed route climbing or ice climbing in many crags and frozen waterfalls.

The main attraction has to be the eight or nine months of the year when the weather is perfect for climbing in shorts and t-shirt.

To be fair, it can be damp on some routes in April and May due to snow melt from thousands of feet above but even then there are too many routes available for a few weeks holiday. In fact I doubt there is anyone who has climbed all the routes available.

At the height of summer it can be just to hot to be climbing in the direct sun but there are always shady west and north facing crags available.

How to get there

The two main ways of reaching Briancon are to drive or fly. Flights by BA or Ryan Air from Gatwick or Stansted usually come in to Turin to the east of Briancon where there is a train and bus service to connect to Briancon or fly in to Grenoble and bus it to Briancon. Once here you will need a car which can be hired locally or from the airport you land at from about €25 a day but if you can get three or four people together then it may be economical to drive.

From Calais it is about 12 hours drive, 700km and usually under €100 in tolls depending on the time of day you are traveling.

Where to stay

I am writing this with a view to proposing you base yourself in Briancon. Many will tell you to drive direct to Ailefroide and stay there but my experience is, although its nice to sleep under the stars, you will be pestered by mosquitoes and climbers who choose to camp their, find they don’t leave the valley and never get to climb the conglomerate at Mont Dauphine or the limestone in the Fournel.

The benefits of Ailefroide are clear, it has been exclusively developed for climbers and has extensive camping, two hotels, fast [for France] food, small supermarket and even a shop or two selling gear. Be warned however as I write this in the first week of June nothing is open yet. and it will all close by the end of September.

You may choose Ailefroide but outside of its narrow season or if you want to experience a greater variety of crags head up to the top of the valley and find a bed in Briancon. Accommodation in the old town varies from a serviced apartment at the Spirit Bar to an entire house that can sleep 18 people [bring the entire climbing club]. The night life in the Old Town of Briancon is buzzing all through the summer months with lively bars, good restaurants and decent coffee houses. In June Briancon hosts the lead climbing championships and in late summer, look out for the Urban climbing festival where the city ramparts are a challenge to any daring free climber. There are many festivals in the adjoining parks and in July Briancon holds a medieval festival which is great fun.

Where to eat

Out of season this part of France is very quiet and it is not unusual to find everything closed. Having said that most every village has a bakery and from seven every morning fresh bread and pastry is available. Equally every village has a bar of some sort and they will usually be open throughout most of the day except Sunday and Mondays, this is an old fashioned but very friendly community.

Out of season evenings can be very lonely but you can use that time to plan the next days climbing.

In season all the bars and restaurants will be open and evening meals are easy.

In Briancon I can recommend the Central Bar as at the time of writing Maria and Ash were open nearly all the time and offer a Sandwich and a drink for €5, fantastic value and very tasty. They also show British TV and selected sports events.

Which guide to buy

“Escalade en Brianconnais – Haut Val Durance – Queyras”. Can be bought locally for around 30 Euro and is a comprehensive guide to sports climbing and some of the via ferratas in the area, see below. Also available from the tourist information office is the comprehensive guide to the local via ferratas.

Local shopping

I can recommend AlpiMat on the lower industrial area of Briancon who sell the above mentioned guide as well as a wallet emptying selection of other guides and a fantastic collection of climbing gear. There are various other climbing shops dotted around.

Other activities

In and around Briancon you can also paddle, cycle, VTT, parapont or in the winter, ski and snowboard. There is canyoning, hiking and if you have a few hours at the end of the day I can recommend you explore the battlements of Briancon and its surrounding fortifications.

More Information

For more information please visit my profile on UKC – MaranaF – or our classified listing for accommodation – Climb Briancon.

Web Site Marketing and SEO.

seo, web, google-marketingMy name is Stephen Spencer and I am a problem solver.

I have been involved in web site design and development since its inception. The first site I designed was in 1993 for my employers at the time; www.kore.co.uk. Since then I have designed more sites than I can remember.

Web site marketing is not just SEO, it rarely stops in the header or with the submission of a link map to Google. It is not just “on the page”. Off page marketing is critical and even off line promotion of brand plays its part.

If your company has a brand then SEO is a minor problem, you can rely to some extent on your customers searching for you by brand or even coming directly to your site. For the rest of us we have to rely on the Internets universal portal; Google.

Getting your web site on the first page of results on Google relies on perfect management of many factors but most importantly we need to know what your product is. From that we can generate a plan to market your web site.

To ensure your web site gets the attention it deserves we need to work together.

I am without doubt technically literate, a rapid adopter of new technology, a fast learner, definitely mature, reliable and trustworthy. I have many years experience working with clients of all types and all the associated obligations of account management and reporting. We will not only get your web site noticed but you will know how we got there.

I am a member of the NUJ and a card carrying journalist, I do great copy. I understand completely how the internet works and how to use it to get our products noticed.

I am English, I speak French, a bit of Spanish, HTML, CSS, some JavaScript and PHP as well as understanding SQL, Server management, Google Analytics, reCaptcha, PPC, SEO, affiliated partners and many of the other technologies that are utilized in our internet. For the things I don’t understand I have great contacts.

I am currently working on my blog site at http://readbetween.co.uk/go/ and I am developing a sports social media site at http://stravafan.com . Both of these sites are for my own entertainment, no clients involved.

I want to work with you. Call me on +44 7522 395 66 or in France + 33 7 62 41 16 82 or email me steve@readbetween.co.uk and tell me what our challenge is.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Stephen Spencer

Council Elections 2014, Nigel Farage and all that.

local-european-elections-votingUKIP leader Nigel Farage has said his party will be “serious players” at the 2015 general election, in with a chance of securing representation in the House of Commons for the first time.

If that is not a big enough wake up call to the 64% of the voting age British population who did not vote yesterday I dont know what is. I would have to assume if we reach the next general election and two thirds of the population decide not to vote then we know one of two things, either they are happy with whatever the minority decide or they simply dont care.

I presume this 35 million or so people think their vote is not going to change anything but with the rise of UKIP there is a real chance the country will change, for the worse, if we do not get voting.

To be fair, at general elections the voting age population turnout is usually in the high 60%’s but even then that leaves 15 million people who chose not to vote.

The result of an additional 15 million people voting will depend on what propaganda they have been exposed to and what they want out of their vote but I am going to assume that those 15 million people will need something significant to stir them from their comfortable apathy and perhaps the threat of a world ruled by Nigel Farage will be enough.

Watching the results coming in it is interesting to note the alliance has lost seats while every one else has made gains, nothing of any surprise in that but why have UKIP acquired some of those seats?

Simply they have played on the anti EU vote belonging to many of the older voters, mainly people who were born around WWII, who grew up in the years before we entered the EU and who for some reason I can not understand, and they can not explain to me, resent being part of Europe.

I have asked; over the last few years I have asked many people who have expressed an opinion on the EU why they are against it. In general the answers fall clearly on their perceived problems of open borders, financial or work based immigration and “foreigners”.

I note that most UKIP voters also have a bumper sticker declaring their wish to retain the Pound and that they have a fear of any young people or non white people.

I feel sorry for them for although they might gain small victories they are fighting a loosing battle. As they get older their numbers will diminish and their influence will boil away to nothing.