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A regularly updated resource of information and news items.

Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

SWARM moves it’s nest

Posted Friday, August 1st, 2014

SWARM Marketing has happily moved into new offices in to the centre of Bournemouth and joined the Nest Space team

Continuing our expansion we’ve decided the summer is a great time to change our location and make sure we’re even closer to the beach!

We’re looking forward to an exciting future in our new nest

 


Dorset ultra marathon runner completes 100k race to the stones

Posted Monday, July 21st, 2014

Olly Campbell, a tree surgeon from Ringwood, faced fog, thunder and a heatwave on Saturday to complete his fourth ultra marathon, running 100km in under 11 hours.

Whilst many took to the beach to cool off, Campbell undertook the gruelling challenge of the “Race to the Stones”, a 100km race along the Ridgeway, ending by Avebury Stones in Wiltshire.

As temperatures soared, and fog was replaced by thunder, Campbell completed the race non-stop in 10 hours 56 mins. The Race to the Stones is the fourth ultra marathon completed by Campbell, whose passion for the extreme sport started after he completed the marathon des sables, an infamous race of seven marathons in seven days across the Sahara desert.

Olly Campbell, ultra marathon competitor, comments:

“An ultra marathon is a challenge unlike anything else. The Ridgeway is an incredibly beautiful location, and an amazing place to be when pushing your physical capabilities to the max. I was absolutely over the moon to complete the race in under 11 hours. The weather definitely threw in some extra surprises, and despite the exhaustion, the feeling of crossing the finishing line was well worth it all.”

Olly Whittle, BeBirBal sponsor of Olly Campbell, comments:

“The endurance of the competitors taking part in ultra marathons is incredible to watch. Olly Campbell has completed an event that once again proves just what he is capable of, and we were delighted to sponsor him for this event. We can’t wait to see what he chooses for his next challenge.”

 


bebirbal coming soon

Posted Friday, July 11th, 2014

be better, BeBirBal

snap.share.beat.

We’re pleased to announce that Olly Whittle is working on an iOS app BeBirBal which is currently in the second phase of developemnt.

We’ll keep you posted on progress but in the meantime take a look at the website

BeBirBal Website

 


The best of iOS 8

Posted Friday, June 6th, 2014

Apple added some much-needed and much-appreciated new functionality to its popular mobile platform this week. here they are

1. QuickType / Third-party Keyboard Support

Text input gets two major improvements in iOS 8.

First, Apple is finally improving its auto-correct technology — and it only took seven years!

Apple’s new QuickType feature adds word prediction above the keyboard (don’t worry iPhone users, it’ll look much nicer on the larger iPhone screens coming this fall). The keyboard also now learns the language you use in different apps and when messaging different contacts, and it adjusts its predictions based on past messages.

2. Actionable Notifications

Simply put, actionable notifications allow users to perform tasks by interacting with a notification pop-up.

So, for example, instead of having to open the Messages app to reply to a new SMS, users can simply pull down on the notification at the top of the screen (or swipe on the lock screen) and type out a reply right there.

As another example, users can accept or decline a calendar invite without opening the Calendar app.

3. New Messaging Features

There are many more new messaging features in iOS 8, of course, including an awesome voice chat feature that lets users send voice messages back and forth right from within the app. Or, even better, users can play voice messages right from the lock screen simply by lifting the iPhone to their ear, and they can reply by voice with the same lift gesture.

Users can also mute notifications for a specific messaging thread, and sharing photos is far easier in iOS 8.

4. Continuity

Continuity opens an active connection between devices. So, if you’re working on your Mac and you get a new SMS, a notification will appear on your Mac’s screen. You can even reply to the SMS right from your Mac.

5. Widgets

Apple finally added real widget support in iOS 8, but unfortunately not to home screens. Instead, users will be able to add widgets to the Notification Center.

This is a decent compromise for Apple. It allows the company to support iOS widgets without worrying about clutter and battery drain.

Were you excited or disappointed by the updtae?


Mark Zuckerberg VS A 30 year Old

Posted Friday, May 16th, 2014

While most 30-year-old guys are just landing on their feet in the workforce or perhaps finally leaving their parents’ basements, Zuck is entering his third decade with a pretty stacked resume — including the company he founded turning 10, a pseudo-biopic focused on his career and enough hoodies to last a lifetime.

 


My comical conversation with RyanAir on Twitter

Posted Friday, May 2nd, 2014

So here’s the background: my brother’s Polish girlfriend returned to the UK from Poland on a RyanAir flight. she landed in stanstead, 150  miles from where we live in Bournemouth and during her coach trip back to the south coast she realised she’d picked up the wrong bag. She immediately tried to ring RyanAir and Stanstead but neither picked up and she returned home without her luggage but with someone else’s instead.

I knew RyanAir had recently joined Twitter so I thought it’d be a great way to contact them and help her out. I was pleasantly surprised that when i sent a tweet they replied relatively quickly and asked to DM eachother to collect the reference number and further info and here’s what happened:

This was one of my favourite bits- come to the airport and use a telephone on the wall as though it was the bat phone.

You could just imagine travelling all that way and finding everyone was out and there was no answer! It goes on:

There was 9 days between them saying they’d get back to me and having to chase for an update. and when I do ask, they’ve

unfollowed me and we have to start all over again as they’ve lost our DM history! Here we go again:

Of course there was no word on Tuesday

How amazingly cheeky is that- having said it looks as though the other passenger has stolen our luggage RyanAir then says we are equally guilty!

 

And there it ended. 17 days after my first message I was sent to a link to fill out a form. Of which I got this email through- bearing in mind the luggage had a few items of clothes in it (we opened the luggage to look for contact details of the passenger), a pack os sausages, a box of crackers and one condom (I’m not joking!). Apparently RyanAir have tried to contact the passenger who has already returned to Poland but she is not picking up her phone or replying to emails. So RyanAir were kinf enough to finish the conversation with this email

That’s going to cost £30 to return their luggage to Stanstead who seem totally disinterested in collecting their lost bag. So where do you stand on this? What would you do? We’ve lost our luggage that had clothes, jewellery and personal items and have tried to get assistance from RyanAir who have doen very little and have in our possession a bag that has sausages, crackers and a condom in and they have made no attempt to report their loss. Its possible that they don’t even have our bag and it could be in Stannstead somewhere, but still you’d expect the other passenger to have asked where their bag was?

How would you deal with this?

 


5 Reasons Every Business Should be on Snapchat

Posted Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Snapchat is the newest social tool that lets you share photos and video, or “snaps,” with the bonus of adding drawings or captions to whatever you record. Here’s the catch: Snaps disappear after a few seconds, and the sender gets to choose how many seconds messages will be visible before they self-destruct. The concept basically blends photo and video texting with the age-old tradition of sending notes with disappearing ink.

What’s the appeal? Less pressure to be perfect than on other platforms such as Facebook, where content is more permanent. It’s a simple way to share simple things, and in a world where every social media lover has to become their own personal public relations guru, Snapchat offers a stress-free way to say — whatever. Here are five reasons your business should utilize the app:

1. People use it, and they’re going to keep using it. Snapchat first caught on among high schoolers, but now college students have checked in to the craze. The app, designed by Stanford students Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy as part of a class project, launched in Apple’s app store in September 2011. By October 2012, the company tallied its billionth snap. The company is estimated to have more than 30 million users as of December 2013, although they’re coy about sharing the actual number.

Scoffers might wrinkle their noses and shrug Snapchat off as another passing phase. But skeptics were momentarily silenced in November 2013 when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg offered the infant startup $3 billion in cash and was promptly turned down. Whether you’re keyed in to Snapchat or not, Facebook knows Snapchat’s hot, but Snapchat knows it’s even hotter.

2. Prove you’re a “cool” company. If you hadn’t heard of Snapchat before Facebook’s stunning $3 billion offer (or before you started reading this article), you’re not alone. That’s part of what adds to the inherent allure of the app. The number of users is growing exponentially, but it’s still new enough to make those who use it “in the know.”

The Snapchat frontier is still wide open for adaptive marketers who are ready to start exploring. Those who hit the ground running will have the biggest impact, plus the chance to define the ways marketers will use an emerging genre. Can anyone say, “Innovator Award”?

3. You’ve already built the audience on other social platforms. Snapchat is part social hybrid and part revolutionary, but adding it as a marketing platform doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. After all, what about all those Facebook fans and Twitter followers you worked so hard to collect? Does Snapchat mean those metrics have an expiration date? Not at all. Existing social platforms can remain healthy even as they drive fans and followers to explore a new sharing tool with you.

Incentivize your audience to join you on Snapchat and you’ll not only gain an instant audience on an emerging platform, you’ll find a whole new way to interest them. Offer mobile coupons, the chance to take a sneak peek behind the scenes, and the promise to deliver hot brand news to Snapchatters before anyone else, and fans will follow.

4. Embrace a new wavelength of messaging. Remember when YouTube grew in popularity and politicians began to realize the simpler, less professionally-staged videos were ranking better with audiences than pristinely polished ones? Savvy marketers are realizing the same is true of Snapchat. The app is supposed to be less-than-perfect, and that’s why people love it. The bonus for businesses is that you have the chance to kick your shoes off at the edge of the dance floor and have a little fun.

5. This is the new world of advertising. Traditional radio commercials were zapped by satellite radio. Television ads were nuked when digital video recorders careened on scene. And now, even digital recorders are being outrun by instant streaming. Mute buttons, spam filters, pop-up blockers — all are ways audiences keep slipping through marketer’s fingers.

What if people actually wanted to engage with your brand? What if, instead of ducking behind junk settings and filters, people actually pushed a button of their own free will to watch your brand in action? Snapchat introduces a groundbreaking forum, one where people are interested in what you have to say and offer.

It may still be new, but it represents the new age of advertising.


Reskinning Apps- the opportunities to reskin differently

Posted Friday, April 4th, 2014

Here’s a blog post I wrote for an app blog which is about to go live and I thought I’d share. It looks at how many indie app developers are reskinning apps with he same old code and having trouble standing out in the app store. Here’s thoughts about a different approach and how reskinning could even help people around you.

Smashing Apps

We’re all in the app reskinning business and hopefully everyone is smashing it! It took me some time to get my head round how it all works and implementing the systems that helped me release quality apps quickly. But as I’m sure many people experienced, I hit some early financial losses when I started which I couldn’t afford and what’s more, I was worried whether the app business would work for me or I would get it right.  It forced me to find a way of making guaranteed income from reskinning before I spent all the money I had to build apps

I’d love this article to be about how I’ve cracked it, instead it’s a couple of thoughts on the opportunities reskinning offers and how I’ve used what I’ve learnt to make alternative revenue. Initially I needed to find a way to cover my costs to reskin my own apps but eventually I realized how reskinning could apply to any new business. Hopefully there’ll be a follow up message on how I’ve nailed it!

The Background

I run a company called SWARMbuzz which helps businesses with their online, social and mobile strategies. I’d been running the business for 3 years when I discovered how to build an app, I love everything mobile so I thought I’d give the app game a go. But I took a massive early hit; I made some poor decisions on my first app, severely overspent and finally got nailed by the developer. It was a disaster. But I tried again and whilst I’d learnt a few lessons, I still made mistakes and made a loss, poor developers and my own inexperience were costing me. By my third attempt I had an app released which saw some good early downloads but it would have needed to be a smash hit to recover expenditure on 3 apps, 2 of which didn’t even get released!

I couldn’t afford to keep losing money but I wanted to continue having a go at building apps as I believed it was a great market and I enjoyed it. I needed to find a way to cover my early losses and get some quick income to fund further projects. I continued to release some small games which were making money but my P&L sheets weren’t looking very healthy and I needed to do something about it

 

How can I play the reskinning game differently?

Initially I thought that the reskinning game was a secret I should keep. As I’d spent the time and money learning only I should know about it. But this didn’t last, partly because I think it’s better to share knowledge and secondly I’m not very good at keeping secrets! The more people I told, friends and clients, the more they were interested and saw the sense in it. Until a friend who owns a successful company asked me to produce monthly games for his business targeting families. He knew they were reskinned apps and he was happy they were, I wasn’t cheating him, I was helping him. He’d been producing apps for his other companies paying tens of thousands of dollars but I was telling him I could produce apps at a fraction of the cost and quicker, he was naturally very happy and I now produce small games for him each month. You may ask why I wouldn’t just produce these games for myself but in the early days the money I charged allowed me to recover my loses, I liked working with his company and we’re about to start new mobile businesses together because it has worked so well

When we think reskinning we think of games immediately because that’s what we’ve seen our teachers do and what we’ve read most about. But I’ve come to realize that the opportunities are truly endless, so far I’ve found a source code that has suited all of my crazy ideas! As an example, my family run a charity to help educate children less fortunate in India and Africa so I decided I could take a wallpaper source code I owned and use it to build a charity app. I wanted to offer it to other charities so I contacted local charities to show them the app I’d built and how I could do the same for them. I covered my costs and time and whilst it made a little money, it was the chance to help charities reach a mobile audience and acquire donations via an app which was all for good causes.

Where are these opportunities?

Networking networking networking! Speak to new people on social media, forums and friends at the bar!. Reach out to new people and speak to your friends to share your app knowledge because mobile is still very new to many people. I made a point of listing the people I knew who ran a business which could best benefit from apps. I sent them an email and just asked if we could meet for a chat. All of them agreed and those who understood mobile liked apps and they loved reskinning because quite frankly, it makes sense! Keep in contact with the people you know who own or work in a small business with a simple email or text message; majority of your business will come through people you already know.

To help my online business I took out a $1500 loan from my family and joined a networking group which could be hard work as it started at 6.30am once a week, but it gave me the chance to meet local businesses and talk about the online and mobile world. Remember we’re tech ninjas, there are a lot of people, even young people, who don’t understand the mobile game and how it’s conquering everything! When I decided to offer reskinning commercially I arranged meetings with fellow members and we discussed how I thought apps could help them. Over the course of my two years with the group I did $25000 in business (a mixture of mobile, social and app work) so I was thankful the investment was worthwhile.

It’s not as though my time is now filled with building other people’s apps, I still have plenty of time to build my own. But it brought in some early money to help cover my mistakes. What I’ve enjoyed the most is being able to help companies build a low cost app that is equally effective as one that would’ve cost far more money. It also started conversations with successful business owners who now want to build other mobile businesses together.

The fighting talk

What’s cool about all of this is that I’ve never written a line of code, I can’t design an icon or implement a chart boost SDK. That’s not what I do, a property developer doesn’t build the walls, they try to spot the opportunity and that’s what I enjoy the most; now and again it pays off!

It might not be your bag getting involved in other businesses; personally it’s what I love to do. If you’re in reskinning just as a passive income then you can still consider how your app flipping knowledge could pay for your first app, your next app or a big app you’ve been dreaming of releasing. You could reskin an app for your local restaurant or even your or your kid’s school and then multiple schools in your area. Charge whatever you’re comfortable with or enough to pay for your next app. Or simply find fun opportunities to utilize your app reskinning knowledge.

How cool would it be to build fun apps, extraordinary businesses and potentially help others, with the app reskinning lessons we’ve been taught, there’s no reason why we can’t!

Good luck to you all!

Get in contact:
Twitter: owhittle

 


Why YouTube is important to your business

Posted Friday, March 14th, 2014

We all know YouTube, we enjoy watching the funny videos but with all the viweing time, how can we use videos to help our business? It’s simple to make a video but many people worry that a video needs to be professional and expensive before peopel can view it. This doesn’t need to be the case, in fact it’s more likely to get views if it’s fun and engaging

Check out the Dollar Shave Club Video which proppeled the company intot the public eye

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
  • YouTube is localised in 61 countries and across 61 languages
  • According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults aged 18-34 than any cable network

(YouTube Stats)

 

Grab and camera and make a simple video which you can then edit on iMovie. Learn what works and employ the same tactics when you make a video for your business.

Eloqua found that video is a cutomers preffered content over text (SOURCE) because a voice conveys rich information and peopel prefer to engage with the emotions of a face.
One great example I love is Casey Neistat who makes  exceptional commercial videos with a fun engaging twist. These are the type of videos we can all make with a bit of practice and interestingly, Casey style has attracted millions of views for Nike, Mercedes and the Walter Mitty film.

Make a video and make it fun. Display the persoanlity of your business and show people why they should work with you.

Good luck!


Why Use a Hashtag?

Posted Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Are you using hashtags in your social media campaigns?

Why Use a Hashtag?

Hashtags make it easier for people to find and follow discussions about brands, events and promotions. They also let brands track the performance of promotions across social media.

Hashtags can determine how easily you can target and track a campaign. You’ve probably seen many businesses use generic hashtags like #food or #chocolate. While these will get your update into a large conversation, using such broad hashtags is wasting your time.

Can you imagine how many posts (tweets or otherwise) contain #chocolate every minute? Managing the hashtag would be a nightmare. You’d spend weeks sorting through every instance of the hashtag to determine which mentions apply to you.

It’s worth the effort (and your sanity) to come up with a unique hashtag that fits with your particular campaign.

A good example is Subway’s #januANY campaign. Their hashtag has two key components: it’s distinctive enough to track easily and it’s simple for fans to remember.

From Google+ and Facebook to Pinterest and LinkedIn, hashtags are everywhere these days.

With the right tools, hashtags make it easier for brands to manage and maintain social media campaigns.

Tools above can help you launch, track and analyze hashtags across social networks. You can see what’s working and what’s not, how big your reach is and even how you compare to your competition. Pretty handy!

What do you think? What do you use to keep track of your hashtags? How have they worked for you? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments below.


 
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