May 052011
 

Wow… just discovered that the amazing “Genesis” theme framework for WordPress and ALL Genesis CHILD THEMES are available for the staggeringly low one off payment of just US$249.95.

Genesis from Studiopress -- the best WordPress themes on the planet

It’s called the Genesis Pro Plus Package – and until 11 May Studiopress – which is part of Copyblogger Media – is offering this comprehensive set of WordPress Premium Developer Themes for more than $600 less than purchasing the framework and 36 child themes separately.

PLUS you’ll automatically get access to all future Genesis child themes they create as part of the bundle. Bargain!

A must for WordPress web designers, online marketers and bloggers rolling their own sites

How much is having some of the world’s best professional WordPress templates at your fingertips worth? More than US$250 that’s for sure! One project and it’s more than paid for itself!

If you’re a web designer building sites using WordPress day-in, day-out, and you’re not already using Genesis, then you’d be crazy to pass this offer up. It’s an incredible deal.

Likewise if you’re an online marketer or affiliate and create your own sites to promote online products – Genesis gives you all the tools you need, saving you time and money.

Even if you just maintain your own WordPress blog, and create occasional sites for for family, friends or colleagues it makes sense just for the time it will save you.

I’ve used the Genesis framework on a few client websites now, and just built my own pet project the Ireland’s Wildlife website using it. It really is wonderfully easy to work with, simple to customise, highly flexible and stable… it just ticks all the boxes. I guess that’s why it’s used by some of the world’s highest profile bloggers – like CopyBlogger Brian Clark, ProBlogger Darren Rowse, and the inimitable Chris Brogan at Chrisbrogan.com

Support, when it’s needed (which isn’t often), is available via a dedicated online forum on the Studiopress site, and the answer to every question I’ve had so far has been there already… a quick search and the solution’s at hand.

Check out the Genesis Pro-Plus Package if you’re into WordPress… I’d highly recommend it.

Feb 212011
 

Marketing visionary Seth Godin talks about how marketing is evolving to be less about peddling a message to the masses, and more about harnessing and channelling the power of “Tribes” through effective leadership.

Got to love TED… especially the TED Mobile iPhone app – perhaps the ultimate antidote to TK Max!

Seth’s book “Tribes” is still sitting in my to-read list – must fast-track it to the top.

Nov 112010
 
Ryanair Boeing 737-800 EI-DHF
Image by wicho via Flickr

Cheap flights aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be. If you’ve flown with a budget airline recently you’ll know what I mean.

Hidden costs for everything soon push the price way above the quoted rate. Airport taxes and charges, baggage charges, surreptitious insurance opt-ins, credit card charges that somehow apply “per passenger” even though you’re only making ONE transaction… the list goes on and on.

I could write an exhaustive post on it all… but it’s pretty much encapsulated in this video.. which I’m sure you’ll find much more entertaining:

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Aug 052010
 

This is simply THE best parody of the JayZ / Alicia Keys track “Empire State of Mind” that you’re ever likely to see. Featuring the “small Welsh town of Newport” in South Wales it is simply brilliant.

Check it out for yourself if you haven’t seen it already:

It’s already received around 2.3 million views on YouTube, and has elevated the starring duo to pseudo-celebrity status in their home town. It featured on all the prominent media channels in the UK, including the BBC and Sky News, and received massive coverage in the press.

This is yet another example of how well-executed digital content can reach a massive audience, cross over into “traditional” media, which in turn drives more people back online, adding to the viral effect.

Everybody say “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”!

Update: YouTube have taken down the video embedded above — but you can still see the original in all it’s brilliance by following the link bellow:

Newport (Ymerodraeth) State of Mind

Nov 102009
 
Carbon dioxide

Image via Wikipedia

Global warming… or climate change as I prefer to call it (given that there’s been scant evidence of any actual "warming" going on in Ireland over the last few summers), is a serious issue for sure. But am I the only one worried by a recent spate of publicity that’s painting carbon dioxide (CO2) as a noxious chemical we need to eradicate?

One TV ad that targets children and parents is particularly disturbing, not because it deals with the sobering subject of climate change… but because it’s built around misinformation and blatant scaremongering. The ad I’m talking about shows a father reading a bedtime story to a little girl… a dreadful story about how the nasty CO2 monster, growing ever larger, is wreaking havoc with the climate and killing the planet. If you haven’t seen it you’ll find it below.

 

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Nov 022009
 

Innocent smoothies latest campaign... innovative, but not all innocent!The girls love making up stories and writing them down. They’re forever scribbling in notebooks, on bits of paper, on the backs of envelopes… anywhere they can really. There are poems, short stories… even full-length children’s picture-books complete with accompanying illustrations, scattered all over the house. One of the twins has even set a career goal to become a writer and illustrator of children’s books when she grows up.

While it might be a bit early for that, I have to admit that some of the stories they come up with are surprisingly good, as long as you’re prepared to gloss over the spelling and grammar errors endemic to an eight-year-old’s writing. They’re entertaining, have a good balance of dialogue and narrative, compelling characters and even a workable plot. It’s fantastic to see the girls ready to engage with and explore written language at this age, but I guess making up stories is an intrinsic part of childhood, and writing those stories down is simply a natural progression of that.

For the last week or so they’ve been putting their love of stories to good use on the web, in an online competition being run by smoothie-maker, Innocent. The company has taken the classic paper and pencil game “consequences”, and adapted it for kids to play online. Traditionally the game involves writing a sentence on a piece of paper and passing it on to the next person. They then read it, and fold the paper over, hiding the original sentence before writing their own… and so on until the conclusion of the story. The web version Innocent has come up with is much simpler… and all the more ingenious for that.

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Jul 152009
 

The Toyota IQToyota Ireland’s latest publicity campaign for their new micro saloon, the IQ is going to include handing out four of the teeny-tiny four-seaters to bloggers / twitter users. The lucky individuals will get to use the car for six months in exchange for blogging / tweeting about their experiences with the vehicle.

The promotion was announced by @toyotaireland on Twitter:

4 Irish bloggers wanted to give happy homes to 4 Toyota iQ’s for 2009 check out http://bit.ly/YV9gT

Predictably they’ve been inundated:

In under 12 hrs of launching our IQ promo we’ve had excess of 100 applicants, 13% incr in daily traf to toyota.ie & 30 new fols. ds twit wk?

If you’ve got a blog and a Twitter account, are over 21 and you live in Ireland you can apply for the 6 month Toyota IQ test drive – but hurry – applications close on Friday! You can check out the full terms and conditions here.

It’s a great idea… one that’s already generating a lot of social media buzz… and provided Toyota handles it properly, and leaves the individuals to write openly and honestly about their experience of the IQ, it could be a real winner for them.

Who knows… if this works out for Toyota it could make a wonderful case study for next year’s follow-up to “Understanding Digital Marketing”.

Jan 142009
 
Thursday Afternoon City Hall Wedding
Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

I just read a post in my Feedreader from Damien’s corporate portal, Mulley Communications, where he looks at the difference between marketing and PR — the former, he surmises, is akin to a “quick shag”, while the latter is more of a long term relationship….

I can see what he’s getting at, but to my mind PR — the building of relationships and reputation for a brand — is part and parcel of the bigger overall concept of marketing. Marketing encompasses pretty much everything from the inception of a new product or service (what does the market want, need, demand?), it’s design (to meet that want, need, demand), it’s promotion and sale, follow up support… everything! Including PR.

So yes, there are companies out there who subscribe to the “short-sharp shock” approach to marketing and to PR — snapshot advertising campaigns, a flurry of press releases / coverage for a new product or service… and then silence. There are also companies that understand the value of building long-term productive relationships with their customers, with influencers online and in traditional media, with society at large.

I think it’s probably more useful — borrowing Damiens relationship analogy — to compare businesses with people. There are those of us who perpetually lurch from one short-term relationship to the next, but have commitment issues when it comes to investing in a long-term relationship. They have plenty of fun, and can see great short-term results, but ultimately end up lonely and unfulfilled.

Then there are those who come to appreciate the value of building a relationship over time… of getting to know the subtle nuances of another person’s character, and yes, in some ways, even compromising a bit of our own to mesh more effectively and make that relationship work.

Of course most of us start our adult life in the former category… but over time, as we realise there’s more to life, we gradually see the value of commitment and long-term relationships. It’s an evolution — one that I think applies equally to businesses.

Short-sharp-shock marketing (including PR) is typical in the early stages of an organisation — it’s the old-way of getting the message out their in a blitzkreig of advertising and press coverage. Hammer home the message, build an audience. And then, silence, until the next campaign.

As the business grows (smart businesses, anyway) it begins to realise that there’s more to this equation… that it could be missing out on something much more rewarding and fulfilling. It realises that it needs to start listen to and interacting with its customers, to deliver more value, refine it’s offering. It needs to get over its commitment issues and engage in a long term relationship.

Call it marketing, call it PR, call it whatever you want — but if you want your business to become more than a one-night-stand get over your commitment issues and start engaging with your audience…. Woo them, before another suitor proposes and you lose them for good!

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