Category Archives: Chat

Tired of your job?

If you have had a enough of your job and want to quit, I recommend you find inspiration here and use interpretive dance

 

 

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My State so Far

So at 3 pm yesterday, the 1st of July, the half-year bell rang.

Rating: 4/10

Highlight: Yeah this is a tough one, a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. My friends always make me smile and help take my mind off things, so I’ll go for anytime spent with friends. Mushy I know but everything else has been pretty rubbish.

Lowlight: All of the medical stuff. After a few chilled out years, everything has gone mad again. Having to recover from two surgeries in 6 months isn’t easy and the impact that they have had on my life has been pretty brutal. The first was completely my own fault but unintentional. The second was sprung on me with only 3 weeks warning, after two and a half years with no contact.

Felt: Pretty bloody depressed to be honest.

Want: A new start, today is going to be my New Year part deux, much like Hot Shots! It will be brilliant. The summer will arrive, at last, and everything will work itself out, for better or worse.

Need: The next 6 months to give some answers, or at least some clues or a crumb of information. I have never had any patience and I have spent the last 6 months waiting for too many things to happen.

Miss: Getting on with life. Before the start of this year I was fine, pain free and pretty health, or so I thought. Now I am always in pain and have discovered some pretty major health problems.

Learnt: That optimism isn’t always a good trait to hold. When you instinctively hope for the best and imagine the consequences of the best outcome, getting knocked back can take its toll. But hey I will continue to buy a lottery ticket; someone has to win.

9.20am 08 May 2013

Sir Alex has announced his retirement from Manchester United, and football has lost the greatest man to be involved in the game.

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Work on a slow News day

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via http://99problemsbutapitchaintone.tumblr.com

It’s all about the hacking

There has been a spate of hacking on some pretty big brand social media accounts and it is starting to smell very fishy. Burger King got hacked and gained 30,000 followers, and then Jeep and MTV got hacked the next day.

Now I am sure some of them were real, but at least one was co-ordinated by a marketing exec or a community manager, a team of marketers or social media ninjas of some sort.

Moments before MTV’s twitter account was hacked their overzealous marketing manager let slip that he had prior knowledge of some fun shenanigans about to kick off at MTV HQ. MTV was “Hacked” by BET to promote some kind of live music event, it is obviously important to note that Viacom owns both TV channels.

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I don’t think it is naive to suggest that Viacom are not the only marketing/social media team or external agency to throw out a hack as a good exposure tool, but it is a slippery slope.

The importance of social for brands is huge at the moment and trying to hoodwink their fans, followers or brand advocates is not only a bit insulting, it is a really big “look how dumb we think you are” right up in your face.

Now I always think working in comms can distract a person from what the public acknowledge, and I am sure most people won’t give a flying fudge about MTV faking the hacking of their twitter account. But the premise of the action is pretty alarming.

Any brand that has done this is aiming for two outcomes, the “look how cool we are taking this in our stride” factor and a massive jump in followers. It portrays the brand as a friend, you know happy to have a laugh, happy for you to poke fun at it a little bit, then it’s time for a hug and you to buy one of the products. YEAY.

It is a ploy that doesn’t work in any other comms medium and is a dangerous path to go down. Brands shouldn’t make the “friends” move. It is very possible to present a brand effectively on social platforms without being creepy and too over familiar.

But in all seriousness social media can tread a dangerous line between marketing, advertising, public relations and customer services. Some people nail it, this fake hacking stunt did not.

 

Oh and FYI, if you refer to yourself as a social media ninja you need castrating

 

I have a new bracelet that can change the world

Now my rehab is in full flow I have become addicted to fuel points. I got a Nike+ Fuelband at the start of my rehab to record my steps and energy output, or whatever fuel points really are.

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When I was looking at getting an exercise bike, above, I was trying to find the best bike with the best monitors. I worked out that I was looking at spending over £600 to get a really decent bit of kit, or £1,300 if I wanted to muck around on Google maps.

What I have settled for is a massive hodge bodge of kit, which I think gets me the best of everything. I got a racing style exercise bike without any techie bits, and with a £300 discount, a Nike Fuelband+ (£129) which can be used all the time, the latest iPod Nano(£108) which is paired to a polar heart rate Wearlink+ Nike (£46) so that plays music and monitors my fitness. All in all about the same price I would have paid for a techie bike but my rational was; I could use the different parts in multiple ways, not just with the bike and obviously MORE SHINY TECH STUFF.

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Here is the interesting bit. Without any knowledge of wtf fuel points really are, they are very addictive. Each day that passes I am striving to beat the previous day or get my best day of the week or my best day ever or soak my goal (this is when you beat your goal by over 50%, over 100% you ice it). It also sets you milestones of reaching 25,000 fuel points, 50K and so on. The Fuelband is a great motivational tool, as with most things it can be cheated but if you are buying one, why cheat? Yes you can share the results with your friends and get competitive, but cheating them as well as yourself is even worse.

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Nike has opened its APIs to third-party developers to bring greater health connection to the platform, which can only improve the users’ knowledge and assessment of the impact of any workout. The potential seems pretty endless for this little puppy but at some point it would be nice they told the public what on earth a fuel point is and how it is calculated. It uses an accelerometer to take the measurements but the points are not directly comparable, you don’t get the same amount of points for waving your arm in the air as you do for walking, and the same with running. I can’t imagine this is a perfect measurement but the key is that it is an motivational tool.

So the main point is a Fuelband is awesome but if you don’t have the heart, don’t buy the band. You should want to challenge and inspire yourself with your workouts and day to day activities, and for this it is the best thing ever.

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The current No.1 App on my iPhone

This is my new best app ever, I might be exaggerating a little bit but it is pretty good. It is only available on iOS at the time of writing, but android is said to be coming soon.

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It not only incentivises you to exercise, it also rewards you for doing so. So far I have been a member for two weeks, done 7 workouts and earned $3.5. Ok it’s not megabucks, but if I keep this up in a year I will have paid for at least one month’s gym membership, not bad. If I don’t keep it up I will be $10 poorer for every week I miss.

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The concept is easy and works well. You make a pact to workout X amount of times a week, and if you fail to do that you forfeit $X from your bank account. If you are good and complete your pact you get a reward, the reward comes from a pot of all the users that didn’t complete their pact. The app GPS locates you to a gym when you check in and you must workout for a minimum of 30 minutes, and  it works in conjunction with RunKeeper if you prefer to run on the roads, and again you must clock a minimum of 30 minutes.

There are definitely some hiccups though. Firstly the app didn’t recognise my first week’s activities but, that was very easy to sort, with a quick email. The second problem, is the check-in at a gym system needs GPS, so if you gym is underground it cuts out. Not helpful, but the gym pact team tried to correct my information pretty quickly, it’s all gone a bit wrong unfortunately but I’m sure it will be sorted.

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Yes, I know you savvy people have realised you could check in at the gym and spend 30 minutes sat in the cafe, but as you have to do a minimum of 2 workouts a week and that will earn you a reward of approximately $2. So, if you value your time at $2 per hour or £1.25 per hour in real money, go for it, but I hope you think more of yourself.

All in all, it is great. The premise is great, the motivation it creates is awesome and I hope in time the app will work perfectly.

 

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