Chris Windley’s Daily Mail Interview on Digital Death

Posted by Chris on October 2nd, 2012

Chris Windley, Digital Marketing Expert and Managing Partner at the Silicon Crossroads Technopolis in Lichfield, Staffordshire spoke to the Daily Mail about Digital Death and why he is waiting for the official launch of My Digital Executor and NOT death !!

The impact of a Digital Death is entirely dependent on how involved someone is in the digital world and what the consequences of disconnection or interruption to their system would be. There are people who have maybe, a Linkedin or a Facebook account and use the Internet for browsing and for email. There are 2 or 3 passwords and usernames involved in that.

Now imagine that you were Stuart Ross ( see below ) , Founder of the Six Figure Mentors and someone who earns $100’s of thousands  a month through the Internet

Find Stuart at : https://sixfigurementors.infusionsoft.com/go/sfmsalespage/stuartrossmarketing

using various tools such as web and blogsites, social media sites, Google pay per Click, Facebook adverts, emailing lists, autoresponders etc etc etc. I don’t know how many usernames and passwords he has but it’s a lot !! I would say that nobody would understand  how Stuart made his money except that he has been discussing and sharing his techniques with his ” inner circle ” and with Six Figure Mentor members so there are actually quite a few people now who understand what he is doing. Previously only Stuart’s mentors would have understood what he is doing – his parents and brothers and sisters certainly don’t !!

There is a sort of no-man’s land between the casual user and a ” proper ” Internet based business. People that run eBay shops or small ecommerce sites; bloggers with lots of followers and advertising revenues being generated from their sites. It is highly unlikely that anyone un other than them understand how the system works.

Typically the sites that they use eBay, Facebook, PayPal, Google etc etc are based in the U.S. and they have their own views on what happens when someone dies.

When a Facebook user dies anyone ( yes anyone !! ) can shut down the account given that they have proof of death. So, imagine this – Stuart

( God forbid ) dies and the news gets around. One of his competitors hears about this, knows that a lot of Stuart’s income is dependent on Facebook ( adverts ) , provides proof of death to Facebook and gets the account shut down. Probably nobody ( the relatives or the lawyers involved ) has any conception that this is an important part of the income generating system.

What redress does the estate have against the person who shut it down or Facebook ?? None !!

Graham Ross ( below ), Founder of My Digital Executor, decided that this was just unacceptable.

Here’s what Graham says on his website http://www.mydigitalexecutor.co.uk/ ……

Have you ever worried about what would happen to your email, tweets, blogs, domains,  affiliate sales accounts, created/collected music, photographs, websites, designs, virtual world items, online account balances, online revenue streams and even operational online businesses when you log off for that final time? Probably be lost forever or, worse,  be taken over by those unauthorised by you, putting your money, data and creative property at risk. Read articles on the problem from The New York Times and The Guardian.

Let us put your mind at rest

Our straight forward and simple protocol ensures that your accounts and assets will be handled fully in accordance with your wishes. We provide a form on which you set out, and update, your wishes. We then refer you to a solicitor who will help you ensure those wishes are legally honoured (you are not committed to any further costs beyond your membership of this service).

Writing an informal note of your wishes has no effect

You may think that informally appointing someone to take over a digital asset on your death is the answer but it will have no legal effect. Equally of no legal effect are services that store your passwords and last wishes like Entrustet.com and LegacyLocker.com. Legacy Locker specifically warns by email  those you seek to appoint that ‘it is not legally binding’ because ‘ownership of any electronic rights related to the internet such as intellectual property, domain names, or marketing affiliation agreements, cannot be granted or transferred through Legacy Locker’.  This is because the law dictates who is entitled to your assets, including your digitalassets, and the only way to impose your wish above the law is through a Will, or Codicil to a Will. A friend who acts, albeit innocently, on your informal wishes can be sued by the next of kin entitled to your estate. We  ensure you are able to make such wishes binding and effective after you pass away.

We protect your passwords but do not hold them

Whilst we ensure your estate has lawful and effective access to your online accounts after your death, we do not hold your passwords.

What if I just ignore the problem

If you want to learn about the problems with what would happen on your death with some of the more popular internet services, then see our page called ‘How Websites Deal With Your Death’.

For more information call Graham on:

MD Executor Ltd

A company registered in England under registration number 08226375

Registered Office:-

47 Rodney St

Liverpool

L1 9EW

Telephone:  0845 0573719

Fax: 0870 130 3337

Email: admin@mydigitalexecutor.co.uk

New York Area Social Media and Recruitment Support

Posted by Chris on August 4th, 2012

If you are looking for looking for Sales, Marketing, Administrative, Recruitment or Technology support anywhere in the world but based from the East Coast of America near New York then a social media phenomenon, Vincent Wright, is looking for a selected number of partners to work with – but if you want Vincent to help you then you are going to have to move FAST !!

I have known Vincent for years – since my first days on my first social network – Ecademy. We have kept in touch over the years and I am amazed that he has found time to make this offer to work with people.

He is the founder and developer of so many social media initiatives like Brandergy.com, MyLinkedinPowerForum, and BrandingVentures.com. He has huge networks on Linkedin.

I have copied Vincents messages to his community on this subject here:

INTRODUCTION:
“If you’re amenable to discussing a “Structured Partner Program” for Brandergy.com, I’m seeking 5 partners in the following 5 “S.M.A.R.T. ” categories:
  1. Sales (Includes prospecting, sales research, sales engineers, etc.)
  2. Marketing (includes branding, social media strategy)
  3. Administrative (includes all functions to keep run an enterprise such as legal, fundraising, accounting, management, coaching, training)
  4. Recruitment (includes sourcing)
  5. Technology (includes the full spectrum of software, including database, development, maintenance, graphic design, etc.)
For details, please contact me, as soon as possible. My contact information is below:”
“Below is an overview of my intended role + a basic outline of the 5 fee levels for the Brandergy Structured Partner Program:

MY ROLE BETWEEN YOUR COMPANY and BRANDERGY:
We intend to work with only 5 partners to help our partners do business in one of the 5 “S.M.A.R.T.” categories.
Because, ultimately, doing business is a matter of building strong professional relationships, my role will be to serve as a hybrid between a business development consultant and a meeting facilitator between your company and my contacts while I continue to provide the Brandergy community with content and concepts to help them with their own social media objectives. It is from the Brandergy community that the overwhelming bulk of our joint business meetings for “S.M.A.R.T.” will originate…You may think of my role as a Professional Relationships Officer (P.R.O.)
FEES:
  1. A.) $   500.00 annual retainer  +   B.) $100.00 per month fee  +  C.) 10% success fee
  2. A.) $1,000.00 annual retainer  +   B.)  $ 75.00 per month fee  +  C.)   5% success fee
  3. A.) $1,500.00 annual retainer  +   B.)  $ 50.00 per month fee  +  C.)   3% success fee
  4. A.) $2,500.00 annual retainer  +   B.)  $ 25.00 per month fee  +  C.)   2% success fee
  5. A.) $5,000.00 annual retainer  +   B.)  $    .00 per month fee  +   C.)  1% success fee
GETTING STARTED:
To get started and to retain the “Technology” section of the “S.M.A.R.T.” partner program, please make the appropriate deposit for the level of your choosing via PayPal.
In that there are only 5 slots for partners at the moment, the partnerships are on a first come, first serve basis…
Should you have questions and would like to discuss them immediately, please feel free to contact me at your convenience at either: +1-860-967-0931 or via Skype at MyLinkedinPowerForum  (I’ll be available for at least 5 hours more via both means…)
I look forward to working with you.”
Keep STRONG!!

Peter MacLean – Fox IT and LMS Capital – web of Directorships – 365itservices

Posted by Chris on August 4th, 2012

Peter MacLean, who recently put Fox IT Holdings into administration ( although he kept his name off all the paperwork ) and is Chairman of the company that trades as 365 IT Services ( http://www.365itservices.co.uk/about/ – the so called trusted IT Partner for British Business – LOL !! ) has a web of Directorships that defies belief but explains quite a bit.

see here http://company-director-check.co.uk/director/915777314 and at the bottom of this blog.

Interestingly – well at least to me – he resigned from the Board of Fox IT Limited in October 2011. It is Fox IT Holding Limited that was put into administration a couple of days ago. 365 ITMS Limited and 365 Technology Limited are still in operation ( to do with 365itservices ) and just look at the 365 IT Subco’s – 365 IT SUBCO No 1 LIMITED and 365 IT SUBCO No 2 LIMITED.

This is the sort of scheming that clients of 365 itservices (  http://www.365itservices.co.uk/about/ ) can expect. 365 Technology Limited and365 ITMS are both registered at Napolean House, the offices of 365iT and the old offices of 5i Limited.

So, it’s really a similar situation to 365 IT where you have subco’s set up just in case of ?????????

Well who knows but probably another planned administration ( creditors and clients beware ) .

The real question of course is how Fox IT Holdings could be put into administration shortly after Peter MacLean took £Millions out of it and when all the creditors were paid off. Source: Leter from Peter MacLean.

Peter MacLean’s Directorships:

Director Summary

Peter MacLean has 21 company director or secretary appointments.

Short name – Peter MacLean
Director ID : 915777314
Year of Birth: 1948

Address

Napoleon House Riseley Business Park
Riseley
Reading
United Kingdom
RG7 1NW

Advertisement

Company Summary

Company Name Company Status
365 ITMS LIMITED Active
NSD HARROGATE LIMITED In Liquidation
365 TECHNOLOGY LIMITED Active
FOX IT HOLDING LIMITED Active
PHINDA MANAGEMENT LIMITED Active
FOX IT LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 24/10/2011)
365 IT SUBCO NO.1 LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 22/09/2011)
IMPERA LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 22/09/2011)
IMPERADATA LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 22/09/2011)
365 IT SUBCO NO.2 LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 22/09/2011)
SECURE NETWORKS UK LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 22/02/2011)
NEXTAROMA LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 20/12/2006)
EUROCHECK LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 20/12/2006)
W. E. L. GROUP LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 20/12/2006)
ISG TECHNOLOGY LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 20/12/2006)
WEBB ELECTRONICS & COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 20/12/2006)
INFORMATION SYSTEMS GROUP LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 20/12/2006)
CORPORATE SOLUTIONS GROUP LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 20/12/2006)
ISG WEBB EMPLOYEE BENEFIT TRUST LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 20/12/2006)
ISG TECHNOLOGY HOLDINGS LIMITED Active (Director Resigned 20/12/2006)
GSIG CENTRE LIMITED Dissolved

365 ITMS LIMITED

Appointment Date: 22/09/2011
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

NAPOLEON HOUSE
RISELEY BUSINESS PARK
READING
RG7 1NW
GB

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NSD HARROGATE LIMITED

Appointment Date: 05/11/2008
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: In Liquidation
Address:

4 CARTEL BUSINESS CENTRE
STROUDLEY ROAD
BASINGSTOKE
RG24 8FW
GB

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365 TECHNOLOGY LIMITED

Appointment Date: 21/08/2008
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

NAPOLEAN HOUSE
RISELEY BUSINESS PARK, BASINGSTO
READING
RG7 1NW
GB

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FOX IT HOLDING LIMITED

Appointment Date: 18/03/2005
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

NAPOLEON HOUSE
RISELEY BUSINESS PARK, BASINGSTO
READING
RG7 1NW
GB

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PHINDA MANAGEMENT LIMITED

Appointment Date: 27/02/2001
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

STEVENTON MANOR
STEVENTON
HAMPSHIRE
RG25 3BE
GB

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FOX IT LIMITED

Appointment Date: 29/10/2010
Resignation Date: 24/10/2011
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

CHESTER HOUSE
76-86 CHERTSEY ROAD
WOKING
GU21 5BJ
GB

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365 IT SUBCO NO.1 LIMITED

Appointment Date: 09/04/2009
Resignation Date: 22/09/2011
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

NAPOLEON HOUSE
RISELEY BUSINESS PARK, BASINGSTO
READING
RG7 1NW
GB

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IMPERA LIMITED

Appointment Date: 21/08/2008
Resignation Date: 22/09/2011
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

NAPOLEON HOUSE
RISELEY BUSINESS PARK, BASINGSTO
READING
RG7 1NW
GB

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IMPERADATA LIMITED

Appointment Date: 04/08/2008
Resignation Date: 22/09/2011
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

NAPOLEON HOUSE
RISELEY BUSINESS PARK, BASINGSTO
READING
RG7 1NW
GB

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365 IT SUBCO NO.2 LIMITED

Appointment Date: 04/12/2007
Resignation Date: 22/09/2011
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

NAPOLEON HOUSE
RISELEY BUSINESS PARK, BASINGSTO
READING
RG7 1NW
GB

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SECURE NETWORKS UK LIMITED

Appointment Date: 15/08/2007
Resignation Date: 22/02/2011
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

NAPOLEON HOUSE
RISELEY BUSINESS PARK, BASINGSTO
READING
RG7 1NW
GB

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NEXTAROMA LIMITED

Appointment Date: 20/09/2006
Resignation Date: 20/12/2006
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

ASHMEAD HOUSE EVERSLEY WAY
CRABTREE OFFICE VILLAGE
EGHAM
TW20 8RY
GB

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EUROCHECK LIMITED

Appointment Date: 20/09/2006
Resignation Date: 20/12/2006
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

ASHMEAD HOUSE EVERSLEY WAY
CRABTREE OFFICE VILLAGE
EGHAM
TW20 8RY
GB

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W. E. L. GROUP LIMITED

Appointment Date: 20/09/2006
Resignation Date: 20/12/2006
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

ASHMEAD HOUSE EVERSLEY WAY
CRABTREE OFFICE VILLAGE
EGHAM
TW20 8RY
GB

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ISG TECHNOLOGY LIMITED

Appointment Date: 22/02/2006
Resignation Date: 20/12/2006
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

ASHMEAD HOUSE EVERSLEY WAY
CRABTREE OFFICE VILLAGE
EGHAM
TW20 8RY
GB

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WEBB ELECTRONICS & COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED

Appointment Date: 22/02/2006
Resignation Date: 20/12/2006
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

ASHMEAD HOUSE EVERSLEY WAY
CRABTREE OFFICE VILLAGE
EGHAM
TW20 8RY
GB

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INFORMATION SYSTEMS GROUP LIMITED

Appointment Date: 22/02/2006
Resignation Date: 20/12/2006
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

ASHMEAD HOUSE EVERSLEY WAY
CRABTREE OFFICE VILLAGE
EGHAM TW208RY
TW20 8RY
GB

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CORPORATE SOLUTIONS GROUP LIMITED

Appointment Date: 22/02/2006
Resignation Date: 20/12/2006
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

ASHMEAD HOUSE EVERSLEY WAY
CRABTREE OFFICE VILLAGE
EGHAM
TW20 8RY
GB

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ISG WEBB EMPLOYEE BENEFIT TRUST LIMITED

Appointment Date: 05/01/2006
Resignation Date: 20/12/2006
Position: Director
Occupation: Company Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

ASHMEAD HOUSE EVERSLEY WAY
CRABTREE OFFICE VILLAGE
EGHAM
TW20 8RY
GB

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ISG TECHNOLOGY HOLDINGS LIMITED

Appointment Date: 15/03/2005
Resignation Date: 20/12/2006
Position: Director
Occupation: Director
Company Status: Active
Address:

ASHMEAD HOUSE EVERSLEY WAY
CRABTREE OFFICE VILLAGE
EGHAM
TW20 8RY
GB

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GSIG CENTRE LIMITED

Appointment Date: 02/01/2004
Position: Director
Occupation: Executive Chairman
Company Status: Dissolved
Address:

NORTH HOUSE, 198 HIGH STREET
TONBRIDGE
KENT
TN9 1BE
GB

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Finding an Orange in a Haystack

Posted by Chris on June 26th, 2012

Nobody should be ” cold calling ” these days. There’s no excuse for it anymore. The Internet provides so much information about people and companies.

The other day somebody asked me if I could get the Orange U.K. ( the mobile phone company ) Head Office address and phone number.

I set to work thinking it would be a 5 minute job. It wasn’t but here’s a little summary of what I did find. By the way – I was told that the Orange Head Office was in Bristol.

Obviously the first thing was to Google ” Orange UK  Head Office Bristol ” or similar.

This brought up a forum which highlighted the fact that actually Orange might want to make their Head Office address something of a secret !!

http://www.techtalkz.com/mobile-phones-operators/334318-orange-uk-head-office-address.html

Orange had been bought by Everything Everywhere Limited so it’s ( registered ) office AND Orange’s were actually in Hatfield.

http://www1.orange.co.uk/about/company_details/

It was quite interesting to find the who.is record for Orange which had the Bristol ( old ? ) Head Office address, phone numbers and even email addresses for the registrant.

http://www.who.is/domain_archive-info/orange.info/

The Worksmart website confirmed the ( old ) Head and Registered Office address and gave a lot of additional information.

http://www.worksmart.org.uk/company/company.php?id=03110666

http://www.worksmart.org.uk/company/

Jordans again confirmed the Head/Registered Office address.

http://www.jordans.co.uk/CompanyIndex/o/or/ora/02870921/orange_direct.html

http://www.jordans.co.uk/companysearch/find?query=vodafone&live=&x=5&y=7

The whocallsme website gave some interesting information on phone and text numbers used by Orange.

http://whocallsme.com/Phone-Number.aspx/202000

Companies House also gave some good information about Orange – took a bit of working out which ones were Orange mobile though !!

http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/dc64e6dad42ed0bd69bf38a53297c93c/compdetails

One of the most interesting things to do was to Google ” how do you find orange phones head office address ” because that brought up a lot of the information above.

I have the best network in the world – by far !!

Posted by Chris on June 23rd, 2012

When Kelly Kim of  Twylah was asked recently ( for Inbound Marketing Summit 2012 ) what defined Internet Influence she referred to someone else’s definition which was that REAL influence generated ACTION amongst the influencer’s ” followers “.

An action could be anything from liking, favouriting, sharing or RT’ing something through signing up for a newsletter or something to attending an online or offline seminar to actually buying something and everything in between.

Amongst the characteristics of a great influencer ( Kelly commented ) was the tendency to share not only their own ( original ) content but also other people’s content.

She often recommended doing ” Things you would do normally ” like ” saying Good Morning and Good Night “. Kelly is one of the best
” Community Manager’s ” I have come across.

I like the definition of an influencer as someone who generates an action in their audience but the reason that I have the best network in the world is because MY network does business. We SELL STUFF !! Of course we don’t ram stuff down people’s throat. We are not in your face, pushy, salespeople but we DO have a goal and an objective ( on behalf of our clients ) which is ultimately, for example, to generate orders, revenue and profits for our clients.  I say for example because some of our clients might not want orders, per se , they might just want, for example, more users, more subscribers or more likes.

You probably didn’t even know that we SOLD STUFF ?? ( That’s because a) We don’t push stuff to people that are not interested in it and b) we research before we approach so you are highly unlikely to get an approach or a suggestion from us that you are not interested in or is not of value to you.

Most of us came from ” old school ” sales and marketing roles in companies that were regarded as leaders in Sales and Marketing. I am talking about companies ( that you would know ) like IBM and Rank Xerox. If you are too young for these companies then try Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard. Yes, these companies are old school now but they were amongst the pioneers of modern sales and marketing techniques.

As those with some years experience in Sales and Marketing will know there was a lot of ” Push ” Marketing and Sales in the ” old days “.  What do I mean by that ??? Well to get people’s attention we advertised, we mailshotted, we ” cold called “, we made appointments and we had clever interview and sales techniques – we closed deals that way.

You must remember that we didn’t have lots of things that are taken for granted these days. Our ” communications channels ” were (snail) mail, the phone, maybe the fax and computers ( or computer terminals ) that accessed customer and prospect databases from our ” datacentres “. There were only just Personal Computers, only just mobile phones, no extensively available Internet, no easy to use CRM software. We did not work from home.

Now we still have the option of advertising ( in various places – tv, radio, print, social networks etc ) , we can still mailshot, we can emailshot, we could faxshot if we wanted to, we can pick up the phone and cold call BUT we can also put up a website and make sure it can be found; we can blog; we can build networks on various Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin and we can research online, using many different tools. We can also use tools like Skype to connect and present at very low cost.

So, in broad terms, instead of ” Pushing ” ourselves on the prospects we can ” Pull ” them towards us using ” Inbound Marketing “. We have many more potential communications channels to add to the phone, mail and email.

Now we use Google, Social Networks and other tools to research. We listen for relevant conversations across multiple social media channels

and bring that information into sCRM ( Social CRM ) software.

We track visitors to the websites that we build. We communicate with the subscriber lists that we have built up for our clients on websites and social media pages. We encourage people towards our clients e.g. Facebook and Twitter pages and then we engage with them. We build landing pages and call to action pieces. We build Internet ” Real Estate ” ( Websites, blogsites, social network pages ). When our clients are Found by prospective customers and converted into higher level prospects we use analysis software to see what worked and how it worked.

All the time we are moving toward our goal of getting more prospects and customers for our clients. We call THIS – ACTION !!!!


Social ( Media ) Staffordshire leads the way

Posted by Chris on May 8th, 2012

I think it’s time that we started calling Staffordshire ” Social Staffordshire ” ( although I always like to remind people that Social Media is being used for a lot of business applications ) alongside my other description of the A38/A5 crossroads area as
Silicon Crossroads “. Why ?? well in my mind Staffordshire is one of the leading counties in the U.K. in terms of use of Social Media.

Staffordshire Police’s David Bailey presented at the Social Media World Forum earlier this year

http://www.socialmedia-forum.com/europe/agenda/speakers/626-david-bailey-communications-manager-staffordshire-police and they have to be one of the most pro-active police forces in the country in terms of using Social Media. Staffordshire Police has over 11,000 followers on Twitter. Find them:

( @StaffsPolice )

Staffordshire County Council

( @StaffordshireCC )

have over 3000 followers and Staffordshire Fire Brigade

( @StaffsFire )

has around 2,200 followers

Staffordshire University

( Staffordshire Uni

@StaffsUni

Official tweets from Staffordshire University run by Communications Manager Judy O’Brien

Staffordshire, England · http://www.staffs.ac.uk )

has nearly 6,000 followers.



It is not just on Twitter that Staffordshire is active either. Staffordshire C.C. has Facebook, YouTube and Flickr pages aswell. Staffordshire Police are very active users of YouTube e.g. :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9DxvtbEjPY&feature=relmfu

and have a Facebook account aswell.

When you combine this use of Social Media with recent announcements of the investment into ” Superfast Broadband ” it paints a picture of a very forward thinking Council.



auto blog commenting software for backlinks

Posted by Chris on February 9th, 2012

ok so I am naive ! I have been reading all these stupid comments on my blog thinking ” THAT has got to be some sort of auto blog commenting software to create backlinks type of thing ” and lo and behold there are loads of them !!

Honestly, I should shoot myself !

But you know what – here’s the great thing…………. I have a delete button and when these auto blog thingies make a comment I ( a real person ) can choose to delete or allow, delete or allow

I choose delete….

Stupid auto blog commenting software for backlinks thing ….

We have the most influential network in the World – apparently !!

Posted by Chris on February 4th, 2012

Yes folks, after being grilled, analysed, interrogated and questioned by the leading authorities in the world on the subject of Internet influence I can now say officially that we have the most influential network in the world.

My network has been subjected to all sorts of questions at all times of the day from interviewers that can only be described as rude and beyond sceptical.

We have the capacity to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions,behavior, opinions, etc., of others.

This does not mean that as defined by Klout or any of those similar websites that any of us have the highest rank – although some do; it does not mean that we have the biggest network nor does it mean that we have the highest quality network.

No! However, OUR network makes people take action; it changes behaviour and opinions.

Our network starts revolutions; takes brands from zero to hero; solves intractable problems; helps people in need; cheers people up; makes people laugh; does the impossible straight away and miracles a little bit later. There is nothing that we can’t do.

People are always trying to find out what makes us so effective; how we achieve such amazing things; why we are so loyal to one another; why we care about one another; what brought us together; why we are so different and yet so in tune. Mostly we don’t know so these questions are easily avoided.


They want to interview us but we don’t have a spokesperson: we never even discussed it. We don’t want anything – money, fame, popularity we only want to be infuential. For us that is enough.

Some of us have met but most of us have not. We have some idea of where everyone is but we don’t really try to find out exactly because we have no intention of visiting.  It’s not that we don’t want to meet it’s just that we are unlikely to put much effort into doing so.

We are content to be the most influential network in the world.

We don’t know how we got to be the way we are.

People do leave. We don’t ask why. They don’t try and change us or say why they left – they just disappear. We miss them but we don’t try and get them to come back.

We don’t have a name. We don’t know how many we are.




Social Media in Lichfield Staffordshire U.K.

Posted by Chris on January 30th, 2012

If you are interested in Social Media and live in Lichfield, Home of the Cathedral the Saxon Hoard  the intersection of Watling Street and Icknield Street and all sorts of other interesting things then this post may be of interest to you.

In an ideal world it is going to sit near the top of a Google search on this topic and make a point ……..

If you want to be found for the products and services that you offer then you had better understand that Social Media alone will not achieve your objective. It does not matter whether you live in Lichfield, Staffs or anywhere else.

 

Pectoral cross

Largely speaking social media networks are closed communities ( they might be huge closed communities !! ) in relation to Google and other searches  and they are subject to their own particular connectivity quirks. Stuff you post on e.g. Facebook stays ( largely) on Facebook.

That is you will NOT create effective networks ( effective being ones that enable you to sell more of your products and services ) on Social Media networks alone – no matter how large your social media networks  are.

Examine your own behavior when it comes to searching for information, products and services. I will bet money that you still rely considerably on word of mouth ( WoM )  recommendations and then use search engines like Google. You might, having shifted communications with your friends from mobile/text to e.g. Twitter or Facebook, ask them what they think about something via Twitter or Facebook but you are still looking for what is essentially a WoM recommendation – just at light speed.

In reality we are, whether we like it or not, a generation of Googlers. If you want information on something; want to find something or want to buy something you Google it. You rarely used any of the advanced search options ( Those are for people in the know ). If you are like my 20 something children then you Google the exact question e.g. ” How do you fit a rear quarter light to a Peugeot ?? ” ( Try it !! ) and back comes the answer ( s ) – typically in the case of car repairs etc from forums of various kinds.

You want to ” buy an oil painting in Lichfield ” ?? Google it and you will find

http://www.framework-gallery.co.uk/ a couple of results down.

Do a Facebook search ?? ( Bing gives you Framework Gallery aswell ). Try Twitter, YouTube ?? Nothing much.

( Well done Framework Gallery by the way ! )

Being found ( via search engines ) is the key. Social Media does have a role in this. How do you get found ??

Well first, critically but not necessarily obviously you have to work out what you want to be found for ???

In Search Engine Optimisation ( S.E.O. ) speak this means what are the key words ( keywords ) and phrases that you want to be found for ?

Unsurprisingly if you want to be found for ” Social Media in Lichfield Staffordshire ” then those words and phrases need to be appearing in your website and ” content ” –  basically in everything you post online.

There are basically 3 important things in a website being found:

1. That the pages reflect the things that you want to be found for.

2. That you keep posting new, fresh relevant content ( e.g. using a blog like this one ).

3. That by doing so people will create links to your website and blogsite.  ( You become an authority in this area ).

Once the website has been found then it needs to convert ” interest ” to ” action ” e.g. sign up for a free trial offer; join a mailing list; ring a number etc ( In the trade this is known as a Call to Action ).

You also need to able to analyse what’s working – so you need the capability to do so. ( Some ” analytics ” software ).

Social Media enables you to create contacts and awareness of what you do. It is VERY time consuming but it will help to encourage visitors to your website and begin the process of them becoming customers. In some cases this can happen very quickly, in others it can take some time.

For more on this subject search on ” Marketing Newsletters ” on this blogsite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.K. Car Parts Industry continues to grow steadily

Posted by Chris on September 12th, 2011

I have friends and family in the car sales and parts industry and I guess if you had asked me to invest in this sector a few years ago I would probably have thought twice ( or more ! ) about doing so but I would have been  wrong 😉

In 2009 and 2010 both the U.S. and the U.K. had ” Car Scrappage ” schemes ( ” Cash for Clunkers” in the U.S. !! ) in an effort to boost new car sales in the face of the recession.

These appear to have boosted the existing trends and R.L. Polk & Co. of the U.S. says:

“As vehicles age and consumers continue to
hold onto them longer, there are significant opportunities for repair services and parts demand for the aftermarket as vehicles are falling out of warranty as they age,” said Mark Seng, vice president, sales and client services, aftermarket and commercial vehicle, at Polk. “The increased complexity of vehicle repairs also presents a business opportunity for service professionals as traditional do-it-yourself consumers are less likely to attempt complicated technical work on their vehicles.”
Dealers will have an opportunity to develop programs geared toward service loyalty marketing as they seek to hold onto a growing base of customers, according to Polk. “The trends we’re seeing suggest great motivation for dealers seeking to maintain a longer-term relationship with their customers,” said Lonnie Miller, vice president, marketing and industry analysis, at Polk. “Service-oriented loyalty programs can significantly contribute to improving business and overall loyalty among customers,” he continued.
Polk expects conditions facing the U.S. automotive industry today to remain through 2010 and expects trends for scrappage and vehicle ownership to continue for at least another year. This assessment is largely based on current industry dynamics, coupled with Polk’s annual forecast of a moderate increase in light vehicle sales to 11.5 million units this year. It also assumes a general upward trend for vehicle scrappage rates as high volumes of older vehicles continue to retire from the U.S. fleet. “
( I am assuming that the U.K. is following similar trends to the U.S. ).
People are holding on to their cars and vans ( light vehicles ) longer ( 2004 – 8.6 years, 2010 – 10.2 years ) but also the scrappage percentage is rising ( from approx 5 to 6 % between 2005 and 2010 ) .
” These trends are supported by a number of factors, including the economy, limited financing and leasing options available in the market, extended warranties offered by OEMs, and improved vehicle durability and quality of vehicles. They also provide opportunity for various business segments of the industry” says Polk.
Whilst the variations are considerable car parts come from one of two places and get fitted in one of two ways:
They are either ( originally ) from a manufacturer ( either the ” original ” or ” Genuine ” one or an ” Aftermarket” or what is called in the ICT industry a ” compatible ” one ) or they have been ” recycled ” i.e. they are from a crashed or scrapped vehicle.
The parts are fitted either by a garage/service provider or by an unqualified individual, likely to be the vehicle owner.
Certainly the comment made by Polk about vehicle complexity is valid. Some faults cannot be identified and resolved without hi-tech ( expensive ) equipment and skilled operators.
The ” route ” that the parts take between manufacture and fitting is varied. Broadly speaking, these days, there is an ” Internet route ” and a ” Physical route ” but there will often be a mixture of the two.
For example the vehicle owner might go to a garage, who buys from a “distributer ” , who buys ( mainly ) from the manufacturer.
or
The vehicle owner might do the work himself and obtain the part from an online website like eBay, a car parts provider/car breaker or a forum member.
These might be viewed to be the ” extremes ” but there are very many permutations for the garage/service provider route and for the self repairer route.
An individual could go to:
– The Internet ( eBay, online parts company, breaker or forum )
– A car breaker ( physically )
– A general car parts provider ( a physical outlet )
– A manufacturer’s dealer ( physical outlet )
A garage/service provider could go to:
– A car parts provider ( distributor )
– A manufacturer dealer
– The Internet ( as for an individual )
As a generalisation ” older ” people might tend towards the ” physical routes ” whilst younger people might be more inclined toward the ” Internet ” routes.
As younger, more Internet literate, people join dealers/service providers ( SP’s ) they will be more aware of the potential Internet based routes although they may be constrained by existing procedures from using these routes.
Certainly younger people, doing their own repair work, are very likely to use the Internet route.
Dealers/SP’s using the physical routes are likely to be marketed and sold to in a ” physical manner ” e.g. snailmail shots, telephone sales.
However, it is clear that the Internet channel is getting more and more popular, utilised and sophisticated.
A brief analysis via Google reveals the following:
A Google search on ” Car Parts U.K. ” gives 1st page results as follows:
Paid search ( Pay per Click / Google Adwords )
1. Euro Car Parts ( ECP, Genuine and Aftermarket parts online or physical sies )

2. 1st Choice spares ( New – Genuine and Aftermarket – and Recycled, online only ? )

3. CPR ( New and recycled, online ? )
4. Comline ( New, online )
5. Find a part ( New, online )
6. Express Car Parts ( New, online )
Organic ( Free ) Search
1. ECP
2. 247 ( New, online )
3. carparts-uk ( New, online )
4. carpartsdirect ( New,online )
5. 1st Choice
6. Breakeryard ( New,Recycled, online )
A Google search on ” LandRover Clutch parts ” gives 1st page results:
Paid Search
1. ECP
2. EH Douglas ( Servicing/Repairs )
3. jgs4x4 ( New – Genuine and Aftermarket )
4. Rimmer Bros.
Organic/Free Search
1. Brookwell.co.uk ( New – Gen. and Amarket )
2. Rimmer
3. FamousFour ( New and Used )
4. landroverspares.co.uk ( Buckley bros. ) ( New Gen. & Aftermarket )
5. eBay
N.B. ECP has presence across both searches, ( the only one ), paid and organic – very strong Internet presence. 1st Choice also appears in paid and organic search for car parts uk search.
Quite clearly some ” physical ” based companies have some work to do in terms of Internet presence.
The trends for people keeping their cars longer will undoubtedly lead to continuing demand for spare parts – new and recycled. It appears that supply for both new ( original and aftermarket  ) and recycled will also continue. New and recycled prices may trend down with competition and manufacturing efficiencies ( more research required ).


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