I've been experimenting with Walking Away From Facebook so I wonder if my output will increase as a result?

Thinking about it I use Facebook more for killing time than doing anything that constructive. I would not mind betting the same is true for you.

So how much more could we get done by taking a week or two away from Facebook?

Posted by: Matthew Brown on 20/08/2014 · [permalink] · Add comment

On it's next birthday my first proper blog will be 10.

That's a long time for a blog to be going and I have changed a lot in that time. When I started I can honestly say that I thought I knew what I was doing. I've learned since then that there is so much more to learn but it was in the doing that I learned it.

In business it is the same. You learn very little while not engaged in some form of business activity.

Posted by: Matthew Brown on 12/08/2014 · [permalink] · Add comment

Readers of my other blogs might be aware that I have been heavily skeptical of the claims of a certain American "business man". I wrote Two insane things people actually paid one guy for and really dug in to his very poor attitude to customer services.

however for all he might fail to actually sell Alkaline water that has a PH level that is not actually an acid (a very, very weak acid) there is a business lesson to be learned from him.

Just because a product is stupid, pointless and over priced does not mean that people are not willing to go to some lengths to buy it.

You might look at expensive water and think "why would I bother?" You might think that because you are not the customer for this product. That is not to say that the customer does not exist.

It can be a subtle point to miss but sometimes you are marketing to people that are not like you.

Of course unlike our nameless scam business guy if you promise PH 9.1 water then it would be wise to deliver it.

Posted by: Matthew Brown on 01/08/2014 · [permalink] · Add comment
Pound Coins

Today an Asian "gentleman" demonstrated to much amusement how not to sell me something.

Now readers of my geek blog "The Fantastic Site of Lord Matt" will know that I am a very sarcastic person. I am also not easy to sell stuff to.

I have written a few times about the Windows Support Scam. I have spent some time playing with them in order to waste their time and save other people from their lies.

The thing that the Window's Maintenance Department Scammers miss is that I run Ubuntu Linux on my PC.

When the gent tried saying my "windows PC was sending them error messages" I responded that putting software on my PC was illegal. He of course tried to correct me and get back on the scam and said that he was getting error messages from my "windows PC" and that he was "just trying to help me".

Here is lesson one - when selling something be honest. I knew that he was not telling the truth because I know this scam very well and like to mess with them. I knew that this "help" would result in him asking for money. If you want to sell me something be sure to know that you can offer me something of value. If I agree then I am very likely to pay for it but do not pretend to be something you are not and then expect me to trust you.

» Keep reading Three ways to not sell me a service.

Posted by: Matthew Brown on 21/04/2014 · [permalink] · 2 Comments

Over on Thanet Star I have been looking at the need Thanet has for more innovation. I have made the case that innovation creates jobs that last. I have made the case that starting a company is a matter of opportunity. I have not made the case that the opportunity already exists to some degree but it does.

Let us take Margate High Street as an example. The High Street has a lot of empty shops - this is an opportunity to negotiate a preferential rent. Having spoken to a number of businesses in Margate I know that it is possible to run a business even in Margate High Street. I'm not just talking property development, rental managment or a seasonal business (although those are three valid options).

As Richard Branson apparently said Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.

» Keep reading How to Start a business in Thanet

Posted by: Matthew Brown on 30/01/2014 · [permalink] · Add comment
Pound Coins

Is a blog post realy free to write?

There is a lot that goes into my writing this blog post. Until a few moments ago I saw writing the post as a free activity but actually I have hidden a lot of cost into the mix. I am sat here with a cup of English Breakfast Tea (because I am that sort of gent) in my favourite leather computer chair and typing on an old familiar keyboard that has outlived four computers and three monitors.

  • Why did I buy the PC I am using rather than another one?
  • Why Ubuntu over, say, Windows?
  • Why this text editor?
  • Why this ISP?
  • Why that monitor, keyboard and mouse?
  • Why did I choose the electricity provider over any other?
  • Why the server provider over, say, shared hosting or some other geographically closer server?
  • Why this desk?
  • Why this chair?

These are part of what Trent Hamm calls The Decision Stack (picked up via Life Hacker) and these choices all add up to the choice at this moment to write this blog post.

But could I have done without this PC? Could I have taken less money from the pot by using a different OS? (In my case no as I am using Ubuntu which is free).

Am I using the most efficient energy provider? If I am not then I am wasting resources that I could be investing into my development pot.

One thing is for sure. This blog post is not free - it's costing me server, energy and hardware depreciation. So I had damn well better make sure it is worth my money.

Trent Hamm's Decision Stack is an intriguingly expressed idea and one that I think deserves further consideration.

Posted by: Matthew Brown on 10/01/2014 · [permalink] · Add comment

Do you remember that I wrote about an idea for a company that would buy any blog run it, build it up and sell it on for a profit. I want to revisit that idea and look at the actual viability of that idea.

The priniciple if We Buy Any Blog is simple. Any blog that is self hosted (not blogspot etc) that is of a certain age (say six months) and has a minimum content level is purchased. Some of these are close to junk while others are solid gold.

How many staff would you need and how many jobs can you do yourself? Once we know that we can figure out our start up costs.

My desk, while writing a paper

» Keep reading How we could buy any blog

Posted by: Matthew Brown on 09/01/2014 · [permalink] · Add comment

I may be offered a job for more money than ever before and I am not sure if I should take it...

Last week I was approached by an agent offering me a chance to interview for a job that would see me commute about two and half hours door-to-door each way. It's not a hard commute and I could definitely handle it moving closer once I was settled in to the role.

But for reasons that I cannot put my finger on I am unsure if I want to be earning that much money that way.

I can do the job with my eyes closed, I can do the commute, I can definitely handle the money and the stress level would be quite low. On paper this is the perfect employment position for me at this time.

Am I just nervous about getting back to working for someone else after a year of being unwell?

Perhaps my ambitions are no longer so focused on the amount of money but the quality of time I have as a result of said money?

Or am I just making crap up to counter the fact that sometimes change is scary.

Posted by: Matthew Brown on 08/01/2014 · [permalink] · Add comment

It seems that not a week goes by without someone I know asking for help with some aspect of setting up a profitable online business.

NYC Marathon 2008 - the winner! Brasil
As I find myself giving the same advice over and over. I have decided that it is time to share this with everyone.

Setting up an online business, extending an existing business online or simply adapting a site to earn you money all require the same basic three skills. I'm going to give you some tips on how to acquire these skills for yourself.

At first glance you might think I am suggesting that you do things that are "too hard" and while some of these might require some effort the basics are remarkably simple to get ahold of. These basics will change your approach to marketing forever opening up whole new approaches that might have thought were out of your reach before.

» Keep reading 3 secret skills for online success

Posted by: Matthew Brown on 12/09/2013 · [permalink] · Add comment

Here is an idea that I am probably ruining buy kicking out there early but here goes anyway

Have you seen those annoying British adverts for We Buy Any Car the deal they offer is simple they will buy your car - guaranteed. What they don't tell you, of course, is that they have no intention of offering you the best deal as they have to sell those cars on and make a profit.

Now lets take the same idea and apply it to blogs. Any blog, aged over three or six months with a minimum content of some-level-or-other and a few other minimums and we have the formula for success. Or do we?

My desk, while writing a paper

» Keep reading We buy any blog (dot com)

Posted by: Matthew Brown on 02/09/2013 · [permalink] · 1 Comment
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