Stop Learning to Fish…Go Fishing now!!

gone fishingI believe in the fast moving Information and Technological Age in which we live the old adage :  Feed a man a fish and you feed him for a day, Teach a man to Fish and you feed him for Life has changed to –

Feed a man a Fish and you feed him for a day,

Teach a man to Fish and you feed him for Life.

But if he never goes Fishing he will starve eventually

When we wrote the Grumpy Old Managers’ Guide (note the positioning of the apostrophe) several years ago, we said the best way to adjust and adapt to technology (Social Media in particular) and discover its potential in business was to use it for something you enjoy.

Rather than treat the Computer as something you have to use at work to do Spreadsheets and answer email start to explore what it can do to improve your knowledge of things you enjoy – Wine, Gardening, Music etc etc.  We suggested that kind of exploring will open you up to Blogging, Twitter, Facebook etc and give you some appreciation of their use in your business. Continue reading Stop Learning to Fish…Go Fishing now!!

Don’t just shrink your website to go Mobile…

mobile-imageIt is amazing how often I look up a website on my iPhone and get a full site compressed onto the screen making it damn near impossible to read.

Or a site that has a least been set up to fit each device but with too much information to be readable on the iPhone.

It is now almost 3 years since we found 30% of people going to a clients site after seeing a TV commercial were doing so on a mobile device whilst watching TV.

Now it is just about the norm to be using another device smartphone or tablet to access the net while watching TV.

So if you don’t have a site that works well on a mobile device ….then its beyond time to do something about it… So do something now…. please!! Continue reading Don’t just shrink your website to go Mobile…

Dont leave it to the “experts”!

With 25 years experience in the IT industry and more recently using IT services to help my clients build their brands and business .. I am always concerned that IT tends to see budget and good as mutually exclusive.

Recently I saw a response to a request in LinkedIn for an iPhone app developer that was asking if budget or good were the key criteria for selection.

And when I see those words as options in one sentence generally get me on my soapbox. Too often it appears that IT people are prone to over quoting and under delivering.

Having been part of the problem in the 80s and 90s I understand that it is the lack of clarity in definition and specification by the end user that often causes costs to be higher than they should.

But I know also that ignorance by end users can lead to bliss for some providers who charge way too much and deliver way too little.

Too often these days I come across clients who have spend many thousands on websites that deliver nothing. They have been designed and developed by Techos and / or Graphic artists around look and feel whilst ignoring the most important aspect – that it is the content – Call to Action, Stories, Testimonials etc. – that drives interest!!

This has probably resulted from a lack of involvement by those that best understand the business and the clients and have left it to the “experts”.

So my message is dont pay too much by making sure that you are clear in difining what your clients, prospects and stakeholders expect from your investment and not just leave it to the “experts”.

I dont want to see IT viewed like lawyers and the like by charging too much because they know the rules and assume the clients’ ignorance.

So before you call in the “experts” make sure you know what your expected outcomes are … or keep your money in your pocket.

And that is one reason I have stuck with one provider for 10 years … he makes sure I get my outcomes right before he starts the meter running.

WARNING!!!!

This video sums up my point very well…. but if colouful language and esp the f… word and sexual references are likely to offend please don’t bother!!!

Peek behind the curtains … before you knock on the door

Some great Apps on my iPhone that help me find what i am looking for in terms of nearby businesses and a recent article in the paper about the breakdown of communities got my brain ticking over.

It seems that most people have in the past promoted the Internet as a way to open up the world as a marketplace, which resulted in the local shop asking “well what’s in it for me?”  But now the tools of Social Media and the Moblie Net (used to be called a Mobile Phone) has given us a much more local focus.

On my iPhone I click the Google App and then say what I am looking for (eg Coffee Shop) and it will in seconds give me a list of the nearest coffee chops sorted in order of distance and include address, phone no, website link and in most cases a recent review.  And then there is another App – AroundMe  that helps me find the nearest Bank/ATM/Pub/Parking Station etc etc ..

I assume if your business Googles well these Apps will promote you but if you don’t you may well be invisible!!

The article I read talked about the breakdown of the neighbourly interaction that was a key part of society 10/15/20 years ago. It seems most people don’t know their neighbors, they don’t talk or socialise in any way.

And with all the stories about home invasions, domestic violence, drug labs etc in average suburbs, maybe we are a little scared of what we might find over the fence.

So is Social Media a way to rebuild the neighbourhood by letting people find our who lives nearby and what they are interested in, getting to know them and chat online before meeting.

It seems to work on dating sites, it certainly has worked for me on LinkedIn.  I now have lots of face-to-face contact with people I met as a result of finding them or them finding me on LinkedIn.

We talk about building communities using Social Media – in terms of people who support a brand, a business, a celebrity etc. but maybe we need to re-established the old fashioned neighbourhood interaction by first getting it going online.

Rather than knocking on the front door or even saying hi over the back fence perhaps Social Media will let us peep behind the curtains and get to know who lives around us.

But who will set up this neighborhood infrastructure online … who has something to gain from it … perhaps the Local Council … but I suspect most of us won’t live long enough for them to get around to something so radical.

Well who else wants to be seen as Mayor of the Local Neighborhood …  could it be the Local Real Estate agent … maybe … I think I feel another blog coming on!!!