All entries for February 2008

February 29, 2008

Are you tired of Facebook?

tired of facebook

Well I am tired of  Facebook....I'll explain why.

In the begining.... 

Before I joined facebook last spring, I dabbled into getting a MySpace profile. With multiple layouts, extremely long profile pages and random tracks playing on the background of every profile page, I just couldn't figure MySpace out. My romance with MySpace lasted for about 2 weeks and I left MySpace for the numerous artistes, DJs & teenagers that lurk the hideous site.

I have to say that, MySpace has been an exception to web usability principles and has surprisingly been a huge success in the social networking sphere.  Perhaps the other web principle of "content being king" holds true for MySpace and has been instrumental to its success. 


Let there be Facebook..... 

When I joined Facebook my incomprehension of social networking from my experience with MySpace were clarified. Usability was key to Facebook with clean easy to navigate layouts. The idea of networks was also novel and very useful for me to connect to old friends (I could find on Facebook) and my Uni alumni. At the time not too many people (at least in the UK) were on facebook and I loved its short-lived cult status. 

As facebook grew bigger with users and applications, things started to make no sense to me anymore. Some profile pages started to resemble the trademark clutter of MySpace profile pages. And then the guilt of snobbery I face very regularly of not wanting to acknowledge every 'friend request', 'poke'. 'wall post', 'event invitation' and 'random private message' is a constant evil I have to battle, and that because I am a private person. What put the icing on the cake for my disdain was Facebook's decision to display profile pages on Google search results.....Yes on GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS!?! wtf?!?  What happened to privacy?!? Being discreet? All in the bin :(

Maybe I have become busier but I now visit Facebook for about 10 minutes every week or 2 weeks. Down from like 30mins - an hour a day, its just not what it used to be.

Here's what the Economists has to say about Facebook fatigue some of us are experiencing:

The number of Britons logging on to Facebook has fallen for the first time, according to Nielsen Online, an internet-metrics firm. In January, 8.5m unique users caught up with friends and colleagues, down by 5% from December. Facebook has added 712% more users in Britain since January 2007 and it appears that a natural plateau has been reached: Bebo and MySpace hit their user peaks in mid-2007. People may also be turning to more specialised sites, such as LinkedIn, a professional-networking site. America has already seen growth slacken.

I guess it'll be no more social network on the web for me....I'm more into social bookmarking with Digg and blogging at the moment. 

February 27, 2008

Did you feel the tremors of the Earthquake?

Writing about web page

I was unusually knackered last night; after watching TV, I crashed on my sofa and ended slept in the living room. But little did I know about the earthquake that hit most of Oxfordshire at about 1am. According to numerous news sources this morning:

The epicentre was near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, but the effects were felt in Oxfordshire, by residents in Marston and Jericho in Oxford, and in Abingdon, Bicester and Watlington.

The earthquake was on the Richter scale of about 5.2 (see image below), with one injury involving a chimney collapsing into a man's bedroom. 

Richter Scale

Here are some reactions to the earthquake from residents in Oxfordshire:

I feel such a fool. After watching Most Haunted I thought a ghost was shaking my bed, spent the night terrified cowering under the covers!

was woken at 1am by pheasants going crazy and making a right old racket in the garden. Thought perhaps a fox had got them, until I saw the news.

our whole house shook, it woke me up Immediately and then my dad shouted "what the hells going on" cus it had also woken both him and my mum up" ive never felt anything like it before! was really weird!

And my favourite: 

Our flat shook last night and I tried to convince the wife she was going mad but the walls did shake. Only believed her when I heard this morning on the radio!!!

February 23, 2008

Ten reasons I don't watch sports


Disclaimer: before you read this post: I am not gay (not that I have anything against gay people), neither was I abused or molested as a child nor am I bitter about the fact that I was never picked to play in the football team while in junior & high school. I just developed this mindset as far back as the age or 9 or 10.

Here are my reasons why I don't watch sports:

1. It's commercial!!

Players, owners, managers, coaches....all have stakes in form of merchandise, salaries, profits, commissions, etc. They get paid for my attention - why should I give it to them? Time is too precious.

2. Inconsistency in performance

Yes, you sports buffs know this all too well - How many times does your favourite team 'mess up'. Lets face it the upsets in sports are just to sad and you really have no control over your team's performance. Some people go to the extreme to even kill themselves. Even the best teams lose; no one always wins so why bother at all ?!?

3. Sports is Overhyped

Yes it control again. Pick up your remote control now and I bet you there is some commercial about 'biggest' match ever in world history. There is a never ending promotion of games on tv and it just makes me sick sometimes. I guess it's made to get our minds off important issues like politics & reality.  

4. I'd rather watch chics

You bet I'll rather watch a "Miss.World" pagent or some chics on a catwalk. Something more fascinating about the opposite sex...

5. Not intellectually challenging

Watching a footie game is not exactly as intellectually challenging as reading a book, coding or playing a game of chess. It's all too easy

6. My short attention span

Most sports require 2 hours of your time on average. I just can't be locked down for that long a time. A movie has to be exceptionally good to hold me down for an hour and a half

7. I'm a doer & not a watcher

Simply said....I prefer going out for a run, shooting some hoops, swimming, mountain biking and generally engaging in sports myself & not watching others. I can tolerate highlights but full games are hard to appreciate.

8. Too many Rules & Referees

Are you ever satisfied with decisions of a ref? Although I have to say that I applaud American Football because the refs are allowed to view video footage to make some decisions

9. I'll rather play sports video games

At least that way I know I am in the drivers seat and control my own destiny :)

10. More time with my missus

She loves it. It's probably the greatest wish of girlfriends & wives in this age; that their husbands abandon the game and spend quality time with them. My missus considers herself lucky (i don't blame her)

            Here are some sports I can tolerate:

            1. 100m - 400m sprints (how the heck to people watch 800 metre runs or worse still marathons!?)
            2. Highlights of my national football or rugby matches - that way I'm passionate as its my country playing and not some club. I'll be watching highlights; I can't bear to watch an entire game. For guys in the US I can understand the passion of supporting teams in your state. 
            3. Mike Tyson matches in his hey days when his opponents didn't last more than 3 rounds.  That was pure entertainment

            February 20, 2008

            Solve a Real World Problem and the World is Yours

            Writing about web page

            Just read an inspiring interview with Aaron Patzer, the founder of a U.S. based personal finance management website Quite an interesting chap and a great service offering. 

            Here is my best bit in Aaron's interview:

            Any parting advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to take over the world with a big idea?

            The most important part of any business, product, or invention is that it must solve a real need and a real problem.  Observe the world around you – everything you do, and especially everything you hate to do – solve a real problem and the world is yours.

            February 19, 2008

            Have you see this Obama Video?

            Writing about web page

            Quite refreshing waking up at 5am on a Tuesday morning to watch this video. I just had to share it here.

            "Yes We Can Song" was inspired by Senator Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and especially the speech Obama gave following the New Hampshire primary. He states, "It made me reflect on the freedoms I have, going to school where I went to school, and the people that came before Obama like Martin Luther King, presidents like Abraham Lincoln that paved the way for me. . . ." Dylan says, "The speech was inspiring about making change in America and I believe what it says and I hope everybody votes."

            The music video includes excerpts from Obama's speech and appearances from several celebrities:

            1. Scarlett Johansson,
            2. John Legend,
            3. Herbie Hancock,
            4. Kate Walsh,
            5. Kareem Abdul Jabbar,
            6. Adam Rodriquez,
            7. Kelly Hu,
            8. Adam Rodriquez,
            9. Amber Valetta, and
            10. Nick Cannon.

            February 16, 2008

            Where does our Electricity come from? This maps shows you where…

            Writing about web page

            (Use the controls on the lower left corner of the presentation for navigation) 

            With rising energy costs for those of us fortunate to have access to energy in the first place, I have been doing some personal research on the application of renewable energy in developing countries. I came across this map (which I dugg) and would like to share here. 

            In case the text in the presentation is too small to read, here is a summary of its message:

            • Whilst Canada is 58% hydropowered, electricity in the US is 91% fossil or nuclear powered
            • 83% of Brazil's energy comes from hydropower
            • 99% of Norway's power is from Hydro while 98% of the UK is fossil or nuclear power
            • In Iceland 100% of the energy comes from hydro and geothermal with excess to create hydrogen for fuel cells
            • 509 million people (66%) in Sub-Saharan Africa live in darkness with no electricity
            • 713 million out of 1.4 billion in South Asia still have no electrical services
            • 98% of Chinese people have electricity access, however 82% is produced from Fossil and nuclear fuels
            • Australia is blessed with solar, geothermal and tidal resources but still using 92% fossil fuels. In contrast to New Zealand, which gets 68% of their electricity from hydro and geothermal

            February 14, 2008

            My £30,000 Diamond Special Valentine

            Writing about web page

            Dear Girlfriend,

            I have fantastic news for you....I have booked us a Diamond Valentine Special at the Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair, London. I was one of the lucky few to have it booked just in time for tonight (the 14th as you might have guessed). 


            Here is the plan for tonight...a chauffeur-driven Bently would pick us up right about 4pm tonight. You would be taken off to a top hairdresser (I won't tell which one) in the Mayfair area to have your hair done. The you would be adorned with ten grands worth of de Beer's diamonds all do go with your brand new evening dress (so you don't have to worry about a thing). Whilst you are being all done up for the evening, I shall be at a gentleman's salon in the area getting my hair cut and then get fitted into my new saville row, bespoke tailored suit (yes they have our measurements). 


            After getting all made up we'll breeze through Mayfair in our chauffeur driven Bentely, afterwhich we'll head back to a resturant in the Chesterfield Hotel for a 7 course meal accompanied with a Harpist & the finest wine the land has to offer served by our own special butler. 

            After the meal we'll head upstairs to our special diamond valentine special suite. A romantic pink champagne bath would be prepared for us to deep ourselves into with strawberries, mouth watering fruits and very posh luxury hand-made chocolates. 


            I can't sleep in your arms tonight in the diamond valentine special suite. In the morning we shall wake to a full Champagne breakfast in bed whenever we like. 


            Your Boyfriend

            BTW did you like the 12 Dozen red roses that came with this letter? It's all part of the treat ;)

            Other luxury valentine hotel specials

            February 13, 2008

            The effects of the Microsoft's, Yahoo acquisition on an Overworked Search Marketer

            microsoft yahoo

            With Yahoo's rejection of Microsoft's hostile bid now behind us now (at least we hope it is), I sit down and reflect on how my life as an internet marketing consultant would have changed if it did take place.

            So how would the merger have changed the life of a real life search marketer? Here are 3 ways it would.... 

            1. More tee time...


            If the merger did take place, there would have been a significant reduction of campaign management time because the Ad Center & Yahoo Marketing (Panama) campaign management dashboards would have been integrated into a single system. This would have had a remarkable impact on reducing campaign roll-out times. At the moment although most of our effort as search marketers is concentrated on Google Adwords (which accounts for about 85% of search traffic), there is still a combination of about 15% traffic split between Adcenter and Yahoo Marketing managed on two different panels! A combined Adcenter & Panama panel would have saved me a load of work time and given me more time to perfect my swing :)

            2. Make search marketers a little wealthier...


            With the keyword bid prices on a never ending upward spiral, a bit of industry consolidation would have made search marketing a little more competitive with a drop in keyword prices. Over the last 3 years, although PPC results have become more relevant and well executed PPC campaigns have driven more relevant traffic, the introduction of features from Google like Quality Scoring & 'secret' minimum CPCs, have shot up prices. An MS/Yahoo merger would have created more competition and driven costs down  in the search marketing sector, asthe two giants battled for market dominance. This of would have freed up some cash I would have otherwise used in search campaigns for yatch trips, champagne & strawberries..... 

            3. The Coke and Pepsi Effect

            Coke vs Pepsi

            I'm a Google buff, I must admit; but what harm would a little bit of competition in the search engine markeplace have done? I come again to the effects of only having two control panels on the time schedule of an already overworked search SEO expert who predominantly optimises for Google.
            In a Coke/Pepsi scenario, SEO experts would have clearly laid out rules to optimise specifically for two search platforms. Not a bad cover over 95% of the search marketplace.

            February 12, 2008

            FileZilla the best ftp client ever

            Writing about web page

            models worldwide

            Believe me....I have flirted with every type of ftp client software out there...white ones, blacks ones, brown ones, yellow many. Okay just kidding....tried out Smartftp, WinSCP, Coreftp, BulletProof and loads of others. I'm proud to say, I've finally settled down with FileZilla & would be breaking up with all the other girls...sorry I meant uninstalling all other ftp clients.


            FileZilla is....

            Reliable - does not disconnect intermittently
            And most importantly is Freeware

            I'm all sorted for valantine now

            Try it out here....and drop me a line as I'll like to know what you think:) 

            February 2008

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