The School of Communication

One of the keys to success in business and in life is good communication. There is a large gap between the meaning we intend and the meaning that the listener understands. It is a gap that has perplexed linguists, writers, artists and philosophers from the time of Socrates. In our daily lives we often find ourselves saying: 'I didn't mean what I said'. There is so much more to communication than just words. There is also context, body language and tone. Nowadays, there is also digital communication and communication between people of different native languages. These can all be impediments to conveying your meaning.

On the simplest level we cannot take language at 'face value'. Someone might be standing in the rain, waiting for a bus and comment to another person waiting for the bus 'what a wonderful day!' In context it becomes clear that this is irony. It is also to be understood in a cultural context as a conversation gambit or an 'icebreaker'. It is the invitation to interact. It is only when it is understood that comments about the weather serve often as a way of initiating communication, that the situation and the initial ironic or sarcastic comment can be understood.

We instinctively know all of this. Computers do not. When we go to a very different culture we have to learn these contextual meanings if we want to appear 'polite' and 'not strange'.

Body language plays a huge part in communication. Potential lovers use lingering eye contact and unconsciously shadow each other - sipping their wine at the same time etc. By doing so they are signaling to each other on a non-verbal level that says so much more than any words can.

There are a whole range of body language signals for all types of interaction including business. For example the firm handshake to mark consent or the two handed handshake used by politicians when they are 'pressing flesh' to signal to the general public that they care, that they are a person of sincere beliefs.

One of the big advantages of learning a foreign language from a person who speaks that language as a native speaker is that while they are pursuing their pedagogical duties they are unwittingly bringing into the classroom the non-verbal communication signals from their own culture. Studying a foreign language abroad is even better because students become submerged in an entirely new communication nexus that forces them to release their propensity for the systems inherent in their own countries. Perhaps this is why they say that those who take foreign lovers learn the quickest.

On top of all these concerns, it is vital in business to master the new technologies of communication. This means Skype, social media, tweeting, texting and so on. Mastery of both the hardware and the software is required to use all these modern mediums of communication. Those who don't keep abreast of new technologies to do with communication are those who will lose in the competitive world of business.

Perhaps the greatest tool for communication is Those who are able to put themselves on the first page for important search phrases have the opportunity to communicate with thousands and potentially hundreds of thousands. In this sense business communication has become a cut throat competition to dominate profitable conversations. In many ways this is replacing the idea of 'branding' that sought to communicate through auto-suggestion to engender a mass response.

It is those who learn all these interpersonal, psychological, technical and SEO techniques who will be the most successful in making their communication count, in getting their message over, in being understood and converting that understanding into results.

Starting your own blog

bedste træpiller i NordjyllandAnother way to communicate with others and share your thoughts and views with the world is by blogging. It’s quite simple to start a blog and get started with blogging. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you don’t need to be a design expert to get startet. In fact you can get started within 10 minutes and it doesn’t have to cost you a thing. If you want to see an example of a live blog about brænde and briketter, you can goto This is a simple information blog on how to get the most out of your firewood such as billig briketter or brænde. There are many other types of blogs out there. You can find blogs about any topic you can imagine. Some of the more popular topics are fashion, clothes, traveling. Let’s take a look at how you can start your own blog and begin to communicate with your readers through it. If you are wondering how you can communicate on blogs, it’s often through the comments, which people are posting to your pages and blog posts.

Free Blog

If you don’t have any experience with blogging, starting a free blog is a good way to get started. There is no need to spend a lot of money on hosting, themes, domain names if you don’t know if it’s something you actually want to spend time on. There are two great and free blogging system which I often use to start a free blog on. The first system is WordPress. WordPress comes in 2 formats. One is Here you can create a blog for free on the subdomain An example of such as a blog is the free site for brikettertilbud called On this system you can create pages, blog posts, insert text and images. You can choose from a bunch of preinstalled themes and a lot of other features. It’s really simple to use and doesn’t require much skill to get started. Should you later on want to add your own domain name to the blog, this feature is also possible. Another similar system is On blogger you can also create text, images and videos. In my opinion it’s not quite as simple as wordpress but still a good system for most basic needs.

Paid blog

Paid blog might be the wrong word for this, but once you have gained a little experience with the free blog, you may want to move on to a more advanced configuration. You would want to have your own domainname. So instead of having for instance, you would want or You will have all rights to the domain, and should your hosting company shut down, you can always move the domain to a different host. You will also be needing a hosting solution. Don’t go with the free hosts, a lot of the time they put advertising on your blog which can annoy your visitors, or they shut down within a year or two. Find a good cheap webhotel, this can easily be found for less than 5$ a month. If you enjoyed the free blog on, I suggest you download the free cms system and install it on your new domainname. It contains the same features as your blog, but you can now add even more functions to your blog by using some of the many free plugins that are available. This can take your blog to a whole new level. You can add event calanders, slideshows, picture galleries and much more. Best of all, most of the good plugins are completely free of charge. You also get full access to the source code, so you can easily modify the various php or html files to suit your needs.

I hope this have given you a little idea about blogging and maybe making you feel like trying this out for yourself. It’s a great way of sharing your views with the rest of the world and meet new people.

Commercial Benefit from your White Papers

Today white papers have to generate leads and, potentially, conversions. That’s potentially an enormous amount of pressure for documents that were never intended to double up as sales materials. That’s how things are sitting right now but we also know a lot about offering your market the things that it needs the most. Content is still ruler over all, which is ultimately what will help your marketing be successful. You cannot ignore the way that you package the content of your white paper. And that is what makes missing the mark so easy. So make sure you use these tips to help your white papers get the most conversions possible.


Every white paper needs to be a combination of good content and graphics people want to see. Images that are specific to the content should be provided by the client if possible. Using relevant concepts, and also related graphics, is very necessary. Whatever your topic is about, the graphics need to be specifically relevant to the niche. These conceptually based graphics are easy to find on the net.  Make them relative and high quality, you could embed a useful video which is perfectly possible using today’s technology and using PDFs.   You can utilize a high-quality service to make the images look as professional as possible. Any marketing content should be designed the same way. Any graphics that are used should garner their attention, getting them interested in what you are presenting.

It is vital to understand your audience when you are outlining your white paper. Unless the assignment is for a very specific audience, you can assume a variety of people will read it. This means you will need to connect with people bringing different backgrounds and specialties to the table. Being able to write to different audiences will be critical for your success. To connect with multiple disciplines, you will need to find middle ground with your style and tone. You have lots of choices for figuring out how to solve this problem, and one of them (arguably the best) is to be as neutral as you can with your writing.


There is so many components to a white paper and it can be a chore if you’re just learning. A good grasp of things as well as a solid foundation are important but don’t let go of the more common details. For this moment, let’s concentrate on copy-based tools like headlines, sub-headlines and titles. The first thing you do before you write is create an outline. This will be the backbone of your white paper and serve as a blueprint. Your finished outline will have all the headlines and sub-headlines. Once you’ve finished writing this, read through your sub-headers to be sure there is continuity and flow between them.

There is no such thing as a detail that is too small to be paid attention to when you put together a white paper. Your finished paper will probably be short–most are fewer than ten pages. So your clients or business market will not miss much. Do not forget, ever, that how easily people comprehend and digest your content is what is going to decide just how much success you have.

Further Information and an example –

Business Consulting Techniques – Testing

To improve your business consulting efforts, your marketing funnels after the tweaked and developed each and every week. One of the best ways is to take your existing clients, and test different approaches with them in a variety of ways. Of course, you are limited by virtue of the clientele you have. And testing, if it is done right, can show you a lot of things such as what works, and what doesn’t work. This approach is actually optimizing your marketing and relational skills with people. You can get help from professionals that you have relationships with in your general area if you simply ask.  It’s vital you get this support, whether it’s from people directly in the business you’re working with or remotely.  Be sure to use a secure link if discussing with colleagues remotely, perhaps use a VPN or USA proxy in order to discuss confidential issues.


It’s common for a consultant to enter a large company for a project and not know who is in charge of the project. Remember that this person who has charge and control is the person who can give the green light for almost anything. To spend extra money, you have to get approval. These people are the only ones that can do this. You truly never know who this person is and the entire project can be finished and still not know. So if you want to do something with the project you are on, and you need their approval, finding them is in your absolute best interest.

As the consultant, if you are brought into a company and working with an entire staff of people, use careful diplomacy. You could actually be walking into a can of worms where people actually hate you before you arrive. It is possible that things could pin out and get better. Other times, the resistance could get worse than ever. If you are able to convey that you are open to the ideas of all of the employees, they may actually start to like you. Do not openly challenge anyone. It is your goal to look professional and not to be on the defensive. Remember that you are there for a purpose, and were hired for a reason. Never forget that while doing your consulting.

When it comes to larger companies and projects, the final decisions are always going to be made with different managers in different departments. Finding the person in charge of the whole project is what you would need to do in this case. You will have that information early on, anyway, but this is a must and here’s why. You might want to keep things moving, or you might want to do something that will benefit the project in some way. Always remember that every manager, plus the person that makes the key decisions, has an agenda. Your goal, therefore, is to have a relationship with those that have the most influence, and use them when you need to.

The trick to getting clients in this business is to be the best with what you do or provide. If you can pay attention to small or little details, clients will respect this, and return for more. Any client that believes that you are there for their best interest, will tell you this upfront. So when you are a client, and you care about whether or not the other person cares about you, this is exactly how your clients think too.

Further Information: Source

The Good Thing About Communications Media

Brænde - an example of business intelligence toolAre you aware that most people these days are keeping an eye on one or more types of communications media? Yes, from offline to online, communications media is becomming more popular than ever. We usually connect around the world through communications. Communications have been used recently just to communicate people around the world. Aside from communicating, interacting with other people is also the most talked by many people. Communications media have been word of the mouth. People can’t believe that we become what we are now. Our world develops each year because of intelligent people that keep on working. One of the most common and popular communications media today is social media. This is the most trending and popular one. Many people are already aware of this. There are people who spend a lot of time through social media. This is their way to get updated on the events around the world and to communicate people around the world. With this, many people are getting affected on this. Also, many people can communicate and interact with other people including their friends and relative anywhere in the world. This is not just the main thing about communications media. People can market and offer their products and services through communications media.

Social networking sites, online advertising and marketing and a lot more can do about communications media. People also spend a lot of time on the internet through online communications. All of this gives the owners of the various media, a huge amount of raw data. For some these data can be extremely valuable. Especially when you can find a pattern in the data, or seperate the bad data from the useful. To do that, a lot of companies are using business intelligence sofware, which is more or le an advanced type of data mining, which is used on what they call big data. By using business intelligence, their data suddenly becomes much more valueable and can be used for many new things, such as serving the right ads and much more. Programs such as Brænde and Briketter can used for this, but they are very expensive and hard to learn, so it’s only something most large companies can do. So, there is no problem for those people who are far from their families. People who are working abroad are one of those who benefited communications media. They can easily interacted people and communicate through social media. Whether you begin your social communications from your blog or Facebook page, the application is still the same. When you have something interesting to talk about or useful to give to the community then you can say it. As an ordinary person or a business owner who is passionate about what it is, you do then in real. There’s no one else that is more knowledgeable than you on your offer of products and services. There can be a great way to attract those who are most likely to buy from you is to share your insights trough your blog on site. This is one example of good communications media. Once your target market is to visit your site to get information and details, there is a strong chance they will visit your site when they are ready to create a purchase.

Most often, people simply like to browse on the internet just to look for something. After visiting a particular website, they start to appreciate products and take a look on the price because they plan on buying it. Acquiring customers and dealing on customers through communications media is truly effective. People must be aware that we need to become competitive and wise these days. Since you can offer your business online, you can even use communications media. Easy to deal and easy to acquire customers, communications media is definitely useful in many ways when it comes on communications, interactions and even marketing.

Using Social Media Signals to Boost Your Marketing

Years and years ago, when Web 2.0 started to become the new “it” topic, nobody had any way of knowing just how many changes would be brought about in 2012. As painful as it may seem, transitioning to social media based marketing is not only necessary but really not so difficult. If you have a lack of knowledge when it comes to social sites or marketing, you need to take on the challenge, adapt and then overcome that lacking. You’ll need to do that if you want to survive with your online business. We’ll cover some of the important ways you can make better and smarter use of social media in your marketing.

Many of the issues that marketers on the web face is trying to promote a whole host of web presences effectively.  Google has fought back against the abuse of link building and can heavily penalize sites which engage in this practice.  Even savvy marketers who are careful by varying anchor text and using technologies like Smart DNS (explained here)

You should always be looking for action you can take that will help you properly leverage the properties and profiles that you have set up. Redirects and links to your landing pages, for example, are something that need to be included on your social websites. You can do this straight to your site, typical, or use it for creating an email list. You are going to need to give something away that is actually valuable though because people are more than used to getting junk. Nobody looks favorably on those who offer only older and outdated PLR. If you try to build a list using cheap or really useless content, then it just won’t work out very well. It’s important that you attract high quality subscribers because that helps make your list quite a lot more profitable.

The subject of authorship or primary or source of content is a huge area of discussion on the web. Lots of people steal content and use it illegally on their websites which is why this topic is so popular. Have you heard of Google authorship coding? This can be used on your site to protect this content. Google will then know that you are the author of the blog, and also the content that is displayed on it.

In regard to ranking, when you have this protection, should any issue of plagiarism ever arise that affects your ranking, you would be the victor. You can find other authorship resources and tools, and it’s a good idea to check them out and use what you feel is best.

Completing your social networking profiles is an imperative step toward the success of your business. Anyone that comes across a social profile that is not complete usually assumes the worst. Being proactive is so important when you have profiles like this. Proper keyword phrases in your profile must be utilized in order to succeed with what you are attempting to do. It is not a good idea to do keyword stuffing in your profile descriptions if you can help it. Some sites are more flexible or don’t care, but you’ll find a lot of them do care. Building junk profiles is probably what they will think you are doing, which can get your account deleted without any notice. Anyone that wants to use social media strategies to do their online marketing should do so in a professional manner. From your business blog, to social sites that matter, you need to pay close attention. You will gain confidence as you go along participating in the social media process, as long as you’re consistent in your efforts.

Jane Hasker writes on her mathematics blog.

Learning German, Handy Tips to Get You Started

Learning German is a good goal to have, but if you’ve never tried learning a new language before, trying to figure out just how to do it can be difficult. Some people find that learning on their own is best. Then there are those who find the classroom atmosphere the ideal learning environment. Then there are those who would rather repeat the language or immerse themselves with others who speak the language. You’ll discover that there are many methods of learning foreign languages. Figuring out which way is best for you to learn a new language often takes some trial and error. Use these tips to help you get started.


The only way to learn German and other languages effectively is to be completely open to the language you’re learning about. It’s simple to say that you want to learn German, but then you can’t keep away from things about German that aren’t the same as your native language. Most people have a hard time learning new languages because they try transforming the new language into the language they’re used to. Every language has rules of its own. This is the primary reason why most people find learning a language so hard. It’s important to them for things to match. When you see learning German as a lot more than just learning the new vocabulary words, then you’ll find learning the language much easier. Take a class or two!

There is a reason why many people take classes to learn a new language. Practiced teachers have learned that the best way to learn a new language is to take things a little bit at a time. Their classes will take on different facets of your new language in a specific order because they know that that is the best way to learn. When you work in a classroom, you have the benefit of working directly with the teacher who can make sure you are learning German the correct way without picking up any bad habits. Some students find that classroom learning is more relaxing because it helps to be learning with other people who are trying to learn the same things that you are. Not only that, but you will be able to use your new German abilities in front of your fellow classmates and nobody will ever get offended or mad.

Watching TV or films in German is a great way to help develop your language skills and  the internet can be a great help here.  Perhaps invest in a subscription to a German proxy, this can allow you to access German TV stations online which are normally blocked.  Watching a movie either in German or even English with German subtitles can be a real help and rapidly improve your vocabulary.

Try to think German with your thoughts. Whenever you think of something in your native language, try to repeat those words in your head with German. This will help you get into the habit of using German in your brain. Being able to think in German is the best way to ensure that you can communicate effectively in it. When you are able to figure out what someone is saying to you instantly, you’ll have a much easier time as you won’t need translators and you certainly won’t have to try to decipher what was said, and risk being wrong.

There are so many different methods for learning German. It can be difficult to figure out which method you should choose for yourself. You might have to try out a few different methods before you find the method that works best for you. ?

Written by Gert Klinsmann of  IP Anonymizer.

Modern Communication

Billige træbriketter fra bestilbriketter.dkCommunication is always very important either you are using it for personal purposes or for business purpose. Just imagine a world where you couldn’t communicate with others, pretty scary right? When thinking about modern ways of communication, we can’t comprehend how people from the past keep in touch. Once we take time to study on how our ancestors communicate each other from the past, you might say that it is not modern. Have you been watching past movies like delivering messages through the use of birds? Yes, this is true. Also, they use sending letters through post offices until the modern communication. Today, with a mouse in one hand and a mobile phone in the other hand, we can’t imagine human contacts without new technology devices such as briketter or brænde. Modern communication becomes the leading supplier of business communication services. It helps people who are in need of their services to achieve their objectives. Businesses are the top companies that need communication. This is very important for them to have communication devices for business operations. Nowadays, we have the most expansive and fastest systems of communication ever known. Everything we want to action is instant, the internet, the mobile phone, 24 hours a day and video link. There is no excuse and no respite for not knowing or responding. In return, the made on each one of us are leading to more pressure situations.

E-mailing is another type of modern communication that has been used by businesses these days. Many people have done and using this type of modern communication. Many people written things in haste and send it in a minute with just one click of the send button. Once the send button is clicked, you can send the email for many recipients. So, this can be easy for you to communicate customers. Posting an email needs to carefully re-read those words before you send it with a tool like briketter. Nowadays, they can used documents to verify legal claim. Modern communication has been widely used and is very helpful. When it comes on businesses and anything that needs communication, modern communication can be used. Social websites are another type of modern communication these days. It has been springing up everywhere and people expose themselves around the world. In this way, faceless names appear onto the screen saying they want to know you more. Also, there is this having human face-to-face introduction you use your instinct. If two people are using a device like brænde or briketter, they can each type in a message on the device and within a second the other person can read it on a small screen, without any cables or wifi. Still the range of these new devices are pretty limited, but in a few years it might be possible to send wireless signals from one device to another without any powersource other than what you can pull from the surrounding areas.

Mobile phones are also effective modern communication. The total access with private number appears to mask a sales firm. Almost all people are using mobile phones. For them, this is the simplest way of communication. Many people use mobile phones for their own reasons. It is either for personal or business purpose, but no matter what the purpose might be; mobile phones used it for medium of communication. Since our world today is ever changing and become more advance, communication has changed as well. From the traditional communication up to the modern communication today, both are useful but have been developed because of technology. Whatever new today in the society, it has a big impact onto the people.


Email Signatures – An Important Business Tool

If you want to get your name known among businesses, then you need an email signature. All web businesses can stand to make their brand a little more recognized. You need to be doing all you can at every place in your entire operations.


But if you are really new to IM marketing, then you probably are not sure about how to make the best of this. There are some strategies that you need to know so your email signature will be effective.

Of course one of the major reasons, that email signatures are used is for disclaimers and security purposes.  Anyone with an email address from your organisation can look as if they’re representing your company when online.  This can be dangerous, especially in large organisations where people may be using company facilities for all sorts of things.  You may think your network is locked down, but there are ways to route email or bypass security using techniques like this.  Check this site for information on how a proxy works, for example.

You have to decide if your emails are going to be HTML or not, and if so then take care. It is possible that some programs will cause formatting issues if you use HTML. Any email really should stay pretty simple in terms of layout and coding. What you can do is merely test both of them, and then see what your subscribers prefer. You should understand that more than the look, it’s what you say that matters in it. One thing is to not have a very busy signature because that just may be too much for people. Just remember that you can achieve a branding effect, so if you want that then think about it. You don’t have to use all those conjunctions here, and the point is to send out the message to your reader. You also do not want to have any wasted words or words that have low value. You may discover that you have to write them a few times until you find the one that is just right.

Avoid using hyperlinks in your email and instead use written out URLs which is to ensure that the link actually goes through in the sent message. One of the most important parts of your email signature is definitely the link to your website, and you don’t want your readers to miss on it. But you will see some emails with the URL just copy and pasted in and not able to be clicked, too. If you write good email copy, then that will alleviate a lot from fears that your signature will never be seen.

It is really very simple to get your email signature made and then you can tweak it to be the best it can be. If you want your email signature to be powerful, then there is only one way to do that which is to learn. However, just keep in mind that your email signature should be subtle and shouldn’t come off like you are very strongly promoting something in the face of your reader. If you find that you do not understand something about this, then you need to hit the search engines and find out.

Hamilton Bridgewater

Blogger at –

Business Advantages of Social Media

If you really try hard and have the right knowledge, then it’s possible to take your business to all new heights with social media marketing. So what you have to do now is figure out the strategy that is best for you, and a big hint is to avoid trying to make the direct sale at any social media website. It can be confusing and there are tons of businesses who appear to have never figured it out. The new rules for using social media are the old marketing rules in new clothes, so that will help you out.


Do not forget that your buyers and contacts are out to keep themselves healthy and happy. And your potential customers will be able to tell this by how you engage them and execute your marketing. The goal is to find a way to make your business more helpful and useful to them because you are serving them, not the other way around. Create a marketing funnel and thing put the customer or prospect in the center and make the world revolve around him or her. Don’t ever discount the impact that one person can have on another, and particularly on the Internet, every single person has the ability to influence hundreds of other people. Like I always say, just stay positive and remember that it’s just one person’s opinion. In time, people will respect you even more for how well you handle trolls and other negative types of people. Those friends each tell two friends and so on and so forth, and before you know it, that one buyer has built up a steady income stream for you and all because you gave them a good experience buying from you.

It helps expand your potential customer base exponentially, to countries and demographics that you may not even have considered.  Although the internet is global, sometimes we can get isolated into our own specific mini-internet.  This is partly to do with how the web is increasing being filtered and manipulated by sites themselves and the search engines.  I even had to use a smart DNS service in order to watch the BBC the other day while on a short break – the reason?  Well the web site like so many is restricted based on your physical location, it’s a serious concern.

Sometimes it’s very difficult when you are making a deliberate effort to make someone laugh and be humorous. One of the keys to make this work is to relax and just be yourself, just like you were talking to a friend. You can laugh at almost anything, but remember that you want to avoid certain topics only because you’re not Lenny Bruce and really don’t want to offend people. And another thing about being funny is you really don’t want to try and do it all the time because if you’re not funny than that can backfire on you.

There are so many developments happening every day in social media and networking, it is hard to figure out what the rules of the moment are. What you do in your marketing has to be learned and base on what is considered current knowledge. Avoid getting too stressed about what happens and do what is natural and expected.

John Hether

Citation to:

Digital Technology – Boon or Bane of Communication?

It’s a hot topic at the moment, how digital technology is changing all aspects of our lives.  From parents concerned  that their teenager’s  social life seems mostly digital to the very real perils of cyber bullying.  So is digital communication a good thing for families or not.

The good thing that most polls tend to show that families believe that technology has improved lives.  If you ask the children then that belief is even more entrenched with the majority saying that they have more opportunities due to technology.    So how does all this technology help or hinder families?

There’s no doubt that when distance is involved – technology is a huge advantage.  A family split over continents a couple of decades ago would rarely talk – perhaps a monthly phone call or a letter.  The delays and costs have now virtually disappeared, message apps like Skype and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook keep people instantly in touch.  I can see what my friends are doing at any given moment, even when they’re on the other side of the world.

Young people tend to share lots of information, happily using apps like Foursquare to update their physical location online.   There is a worry that this is a little bit too much and some young people are not thinking enough about their digital footprint.  But as far as communication goes, it’s great to be able to keep in touch with someone like a family abroad or a good friend who’s emigrated.  Let’s face it a friend emigrating to Australia 30 years ago, would likely never be seen again – now you’re likely to stay in touch using the medium of the internet.

There’s no doubt it’s making the world a much smaller place in many ways.  If a British citizen decides they want to swap the drizzle of Cumbria for the sun of Florida then it’s a much simpler transition now.  Skype will keep them in touch with all their British family and friends, Facebook will update statuses and gossip.  You can even use applications like this –, so they can settle down and watch EastEnders and the BBC News of an evening.

These benefits are available to all of course, but for today’s young people there are certainly more opportunities, they don’t see the internet through eyes of fear and suspicion.

John Hetheringham

Digital TV Consultant

Nine to Five Job – Not in IT

If you want a nice easy going job, with steady hours then there’s one combination that you want to avoid – an IT job.  I was reading a story online today about a computer developer who had started a new job with a software development company.  One night, just after midnight he heard a knock in the door it was a colleague with a laptop and mobile phone.  His remit was to connect up a web session between the CEO and a Technology partner based in Japan in order to discuss their next project.

Now of course the time was mainly due to the time difference, midnight in the USA is daytime in Japan.  But I wonder how many people would be happy about that situation, remember no notice just appear at the door in order to do something work related.  The developer in question was not that surprised and after his initial shock was happy to comply, it’s something that many IT professionals have become used to – 24/7 you are an employee.

Much of this is partly due to how connected we are, instantly available by emails, laptops and smart phones.  Many IT support workers who used to work shifts on call, in order to respond to issues now get notified instantly.  Perhaps by an SMS or a custom application, they may find out the minute a piece of hardware fails, or a server is failing to respond.   With that knowledge and the ability to connect, they are often expected to fix whatever problem is involved whatever the time.

Of course to many of us this work/life balance sounds decidedly unhealthy, responding to queries and problems 24/7 means that literally you can’t switch off.   But there are some benefits that this technology has enabled to many workers particularly in the IT field.  As the set 9 to 5 working day has started to disappear, so has the restriction on working in a specific location.

Depending on your job you may find that your location is entirely irrelevant.  Take for example a web developer I know called Richard, who works for one the big pharmaceutical firms, he is extremely talented and was able to dictate a lot about his working conditions.  He was able to negotiate that although his ‘job’ was based near Manchester in the UK, his working day could be based anywhere.   He actually lives in Spain during the Summer, and rents somewhere where he can ski in the winter.

Richard has benefited greatly by the improved communication tools available today.  His working day has no set hours, his time is allocated to projects which he assigns to suit himself.  He has his own office at home, he even uses his company VPN which routes all his network traffic through the United Kingdom.  The reason for this is that he can basically operate as if he’s in the UK, access his UK banking site, watch the BBC Iplayer whenever he likes online – it’s normally blocked in Spain but this video shows you how to bypass it.

In some senses of course having an 24/7 job depends on your outlook on life.  It also is dependent on other factors, it’s not great for family life or when you get a little older.  But for many younger people it’s simply an accepted part of having a good, well paid job in IT.

For more information on technical issues noted above:

New Communications Product -Firechat

There’s a lot of buzz around the technology world at the moment around an exciting new communication product called FireChat.  This really is something new, not some repacked clone of an existing communication application or the same technology with a different interface.

FireChat is a chat tool that works on a local level, it is designed to allow communication on a much more localised level than something like Skype.  The really clever bit is that it doesn’t require Wifi or even a cellular signal to operate.  Basically as long as two devices (or more ) can connect to each other using some sort of protocol – typically Bluetooth or their wireless connections then they will be able to chat to each other.

It’s different on many levels but primarily because it operates on a completely different basis to normal mobile phone conversations.  Your smartphone is normally completely useless as a direct communication medium, it needs message relayed through another device – your operator or the internet for example.

Now obviously there are limitations, the most basic one is that you have to be in the rough vicinity of who you’re chatting with.  So is it still of much use?  I think so for instance imagine the number of subways that have no cellular coverage, trains and undergrounds are other places where you often won’t get a signal.  Ever sat in a big stadium waiting for a concert or sports match – often the cellular networks will be overwhelmed by the number of people in a small area.

FireChat doesn’t require a cellular network, it will also be useful for times when this is deliberately blocked.  How about somewhere like Iran or Turkey, where protesters can’t communicate because the government has blocked the cellular network.  There are ways and means to circumvent these by using fast proxies like this video demonstrates, but again they can all be potentially blocked.  Imagine some sort of disaster, maybe hurricanes knocked out the telephone towers or a Tsunami wiped out the network – FireChat would be invaluable in any of these situations.

But, and it’s a big BUT the system currently is very localised  – in fact the range is pretty much the same a normal sized room.   This obviously severely restricts the use of this technology to some extent.  However this could change very soon, as the company is working on developing this much further – their skills also exist in mesh networking technology.  This could potentially, extend the range exponentially by allowing devices to relay and pass messages on to other devices within range.  If this happens then the value of this application could increase greatly, but it’s still pretty neat in it’s current form and is completely free to use and download.

More technical information on  using proxies to bypass restrictions and filters can be found on this page, which specifically demonstrates how to watch British TV from abroad but the concept holds for other filters.

Need Some Sun – Just Work in Spain

If you’re fed up with  your job, want to live somewhere a little bit sunnier – then working in Spain might sound quite appealing.  The summer sun, warm winters and relaxing lifestyle might seem like a dream but an unattainable one.   So what’s the chance of switching your current working situation to a warmer one!

The first problem people think about is language.   After all if you’re working in a specific role and don’t speak Spanish it’s difficult to see how you can just turn up at a Barcelona job center and just find a new job.  But it’s not always the case, firstly sometimes there are lots of jobs for big multinationals where the native language is not so important, in fact often a native English speaker is often the prime requisite.

But there is another option, where we work is usually dictated by what we do, if language is important then obviously the location is limited.  But the internet is global and to a certain extent if you build a business online it doesn’t matter where you live.  Obviously there are some professions that are more suited to remote working, an accountant can work from pretty much anywhere, for a shop assistant it’s not so easy.

SO I’m not going to turn this into a lecture, I want to highlight an option that perhaps you haven’t considered – I’ll do it with a brief story.  My friend was working very hard in a job he didn’t like, it was physical so got harder the older he got and took up most of his time.  He also loved Spain, not sure why he loved it so much, although the warmth had a lot to do with it. He yearned to live there, but wasn’t rich enough to retire, his job wasn’t transferable and was unlikely to master the Spanish language any time in the future.

So here’s what happened, on one trip to Marbella he was trying to get access to the BBC to watch match of the day on his computer.  He discovered it was blocked and started searching for a solution – of course this is the internet so one was easily found here in this page – which shows how to change your IP address to a UK one. But the search resulted in some more knowledge, that you could actually make a living out of selling stuff on the internet.  Which suddenly struck a chord with my friend who for years had been writing and maintaining a web site about fishing his other passion.

This was his solution, his hobby was the answer, the fishing site got thousands of visitors a week.   Everyone of these visitors was a potential customer who was happy to buy fishing stuff from this site. A few well placed adverts, nothing too pushy suddenly he had an income from a hobby he loved.  Better still when he moved to Spain on the basis of this income he had a whole bunch of new stuff to put on his site -all about Spanish fishing.

Here’s another example – Watch Hulu Outside US


Promoting Your Website Online

The days when you could just upload a website and wait for the visitors to arrive are long gone.  If you rely on casual visitors you’re likely to have completely wasted your effort, you need to drive visitors to your site.  There are two basic methods for this – normally referred to as organic and inorganic traffic.

Organic traffic refers from visitors who naturally find your web site from using directories, social networks and search engines.  For instance if you run a online store selling Christmas decorations you could receive traffic from google search queries relating to Christmas decorations.  You might receive traffic from posts on social networks like Facebook or perhaps if you build up a following on Twitter.  These visitors can be very valuable and should really form the long term strategy behind your web site – the most obvious advantage of this traffic is that’s it’s free.

The other sort – inorganic, is traffic that you’ll have to pay for, but it can also be a very valuable source of revenue.  You can place adverts on sites like Facebook and Google which target potential customers.  The methods for targeting customers varies depending on which platform you use – through search engines like Google and Bing you’ll pay per click based on search queries.  For example you can specific that your advert appears when someone searches for ‘buy Christmas decorations’, if someone clicks and visits your site through the advertisement then you’ll pay for that click.  It can get expensive but this is highly specific advertising if you target the right keywords – it’s essential you carefully track your ROI (Return on Investment) for each campaign.

To get the high rankings in the search engines for free, then you’ll need to study Search Engine Optimization to help promote your site.   It’s quite a complicated subject though and you need to be very careful that you don’t get your site penalized by using aggressive tactics, it’s easy to do and some very big businesses have fallen foul of penalties from the search engine giants.  If you do build some links and promote your site, ensure you are careful and if possible – this is a useful video – which explains how to hide your IP address.

Both methods have their advantages, but in the long run organic is certainly more sustainable.  You can supplement the traffic by posting updates and statuses on Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, try to get people to follow you so they see your new posts.  Online marketing can be combined with physical promotion techniques, hand out cards with your addresses, try and gather email address in return for discounts and special offers.  Any business will benefit from an all round digital strategy in fact many wouldn’t survive without the internet.

If you travel away from your business a lot then it’s worth investing in some sort of VPN service to protect your connection.  There are other advantages to using these in that you can connect to your home country and locale restricted sites.  I use mine so I can watch the BBC Iplayer when I’m overseas just like this.  It’s important to be aware of all the advantages and potential that the internet can bring to virtually any business, even one that might seem to very localised.  The reality is that a customer might live around the corner from your business yet find it by using the internet.



Communication is the Key to Business

For today’s small business, the ways that you can now communicate with existing or potential customers in very varied.  The options used to be a listing in the telephone directory and perhaps some adverts in newspapers and the occasional shop window.  Those times have long gone and now there are many ways to put your service in front of thousands of potential customers.   Let’s take an example, let’s imagine you’ve opened up a new cafe in a small town,  perhaps tucked away off the main street.

Survival depends upon reaching out to potential customers and letting them know you’re there.  The internet gives you this chance particularly using the medium of social networking sites.   Of course you’re not interested in reaching out to an international audience, your customers are not going to come from far and wide but will live in the local community.  The obvious tools to start off with are Facebook and Twitter – you need to establish that initial link with people who may become customers.  You could start by getting people to follow your Facebook and Twitter feed, offer special discounts perhaps initially for people to follow you.   In Facebook particularly you’ll probably find local groups and advertising all read by your local audience.

Try and capture people’s contact details especially email addresses so you can mail out special offers, promotions and offers.  It’s important to respect peoples details after you’ve got them, nobody will appreciate spam from a local business.    The beauty of these tactics are that although they do require some level of effort, most don’t cost much at all.   Establishing that link early on will pay huge dividends, there’s no reason why a small local business shouldn’t build up a substantial following with these methods.

You only have to watch people going about there normal business to see the possibilities that social media bring to a local business.  In years gone past it used to be quite difficult to access people by digital methods, it only takes some effort now.  Now people use their phones, laptops and tablets for virtually everything, most people are highly connected digitally so if you want to reach them then this is the way.  My friends are a case in point, both spend hours every day using tablets and phones, they even took them on holiday as they figured out how to watch BBC Iplayer in France by using this method.

This is another interesting development in how the web has changed over the years, frequently web sites determine your location using your IP address.  Web sites will tailor what they show based on your location, they also use this to serve advertisements – so if you connect with a British IP address you’ll get UK based content – this video explains.

Being Able to Do It!

What is this ability that some people seem to have that enables them to get on and do things that most of us just never seem to be able to achieve? On the surface of it as we often hear about in the media such as TV, radio and the news, the people who are the real achievers in this life do not seem to be any different from the rest of us.

Yet there must be something that separates the go getters from the go sitters who sit around all day dreaming of achieving something but never quite getting things in motion.

There is actually no great secret to any of it. In fact, when you have a task to perform and you really belief in yourself, then the amazing becomes the norm and you wonder why you ever thought it would be difficult. Achieving anything is all about your inner belief that you can do it.

It is said that there are two ways we can look at a problem. One is with an attitude of “I can’t do it” and the other is the attitude of “I can do it”. The funny thing is that either way, you are right!

If that sounds like the kind of double talk you hear a lot of on the TV (, it isn’t really. What that is saying is that you can believe that you cannot do a thing and there is no way that you will ever do it, until you change that attitude to one that you can do the thing and you will invariably succeed in doing it. It is all down to the inner conversation that we are constantly having with ourselves.

When we perpetually remind ourselves that a task is beyond our capabilities and is best left to someone with the greater ability to complete, then we are literally defeating ourselves with our own inner conception of what we really are capable of. Yet the opposite is also true in that when we constantly remind ourselves that a certain task is within our capabilities, we seem to gain the necessary abilities to perform it.

It is all about belief and when we believe we can do a thing, we are invariably able to do it. Do you think that if the Wright Brothers did not believe they could create a machine that could enable a man to fly, that they would ever have gotten off the ground? It’s highly unlikely.

They believed they could do it and they did it. You can do the same for whatever task is before you.