Archive for how to

Flip Ultra HD not charging?

Is your Flip Ultra HD camera not charging?

Cut away the plastic so the 'slope' of the tab isn't covered

I bought one of these. Love the video quality, hate the unreliability of the recharging process.

I’ve only managed to charge it successfully once – which is why it’s currently lined up for return. Mine came with odd ‘dimples’ on the ends of the batteries (like someone had poked them with something) and plastic cut away around the tops of the battery.

A bit of research showed me that a lot of people are having the same problem with this device. The main fix out there says to cut away the plastic sheathing the batteries where it overlaps the top end of the batteries. I tried that but still it wouldn’t charge again – not directly from the MacBook USB, or from a mains USB charger or even a USB extender connected to the MacBook. I.e. nothing.

I registered to return the item, printed out the returns forms and read one more bit of advice: to cut away the plastic around the smaller of the two plastic ‘arrow’ tabs on the battery (the one that points into the body of the camera when the battery is in place). I presume that tab tells the camera that the battery is inserted it.

'Dimpled' battery end like someone hit it with something??

I noticed that the plastic sheathing on my battery came up to, and slightly over the ‘step’ on that tab. Logic told me that, as a result, the tab probably wouldn’t seat fully – and possibly, therefore, not do its job. So I cut that away too.

The result is that – at this moment – the camera IS charging (attached to the MacBook by an extender cable – mainly because it doesn’t sit properly when plugged directly into the MacBook due to the different depths of each gadget). That’s handy because I need it tomorrow.

Note right contact: is it supposed to look like this?

For the moment, this camera is in limbo. If my ‘repair’ has cured it, I might avoid the hassle and keep it – despite the clearly ‘pre-owned’ battery (and the ‘pre-owned’ mark on the lens) because, in reality, all I’d get back would be a camera I’d have to do the same DIY fix on anyway.  Flip – that’s a pity. You need to take ownership of this design flaw and make this ‘fix’ mainstream to avoid getting a poor reputation.

Charging now... but for how long?


Samsung LE40B550 control panel not working?

Has your Samsung LE40B550 control panel (the bit that receives the remote control signals) suddenly stopped working?

Mine did today. And after an extremely frustrating online search (which provided NO results for that queston hence the title of my post) I learned two remarkable things.

So if you’re here because your Samsung LE40B550 control panel has suddenly stopped working try the following:

1) Point your remote control at your phone’s camera and press the buttons while viewing through your camera’s screen. If it’s working, you’ll see the light flashing (you can’t see this with the naked eye). Neat?

2) Next, move your AppleTV box out from under the corner of the Samsung TV where the control panel unit inside the TV is situated.

Presto! I moved the AppleTV box 8 inches forward and the Samsung remote started working immediately.

I’ll leave the technical explanations to someone else, meantime, if you do happen to be in that same situation then there’s a slim chance this post might help you. :-)

My #1 business use for Twitter

My #1 business use for Twitter: the Twitter Search Widget

What’s great about Twitter is that everybody uses it in a different way.

For me, the #1 business use of Twitter has got to be the Twitter Search Widget. You can see it in action over there at the bottom of the nav bar on the right (scroll down to see it).  For me, it’s a kind of ‘oxygen’ supply to my website. I’ve set it up to pick up mentions of “online reputation”.

What that gives me is a constant, up-to-the-second flow of interesting links into discussions about online reputation management on my site. I don’t know whether or not readers of my blog use it to link off to other things but I certainly do.  It’s like having your own news stream on tap – and it’s faster and more responsive than any mainstream media channel. Every day, I’ll come to my own website as a jump off point to get into a wider discussion about online reputation management that’s going on out there.

Oddly enough, the Twitter search widget isn’t exactly easy to find unless you’re looking for it.  The link is at the bottom of your Twitter home page titled ‘Goodies’. You set up your search term, tweak how you’d like your widget to appear, then copy and paste the code into your site or blog.

“Worried about my kids reputation online – what should I do?”

Our kids are building a reputation nightmare for themselves.  What should we do?

It’s a tough question.  Here are a few tips to consider:

1) You need to understand the nature and the scale of the problem

Unless you understand what is currently happening to all this social media content that we create, how it accumulates, how search engines index it and how other people find it and the way they use it to make decisions, you won’t be able to do anything to help your kids.  Watch this great video from Common Craft for starters!

Continue Reading…

Innocent Smoothie and Coke: recipe for disaster?

Great online reputation management ensured a good mix

Here’s a straightforward case-study in good online reputation management.  Last year, Innocent, the principled, value-driven smoothie company sold a stake to Coke – the all-American sugary drinks people.

Knowing that such an investment could turn off its brand devotees, Innocent did the smart thing.  It got in there first and came clean about what it was doing and why.

Continue Reading…

Rule #1 for retaining your credibility in business…

At least be good at what you’re supposed to be good at! :-)

I’ve lost count of the number of ‘web design / internet marketing’ agency sites I’ve visited only to be astonished to find that they seem to have overlooked the absolute basics of search engine optimisation.

Let’s get something clear here: we’re not talking about clever, complicated nerdy stuff.  We’re talking about the absolute basics you need to be doing if you’re to stand even the slightest chance of being found in Google by your prospects.

How can you tell a when a web design company won’t give you that?  Well, you don’t have to be an expert. It’s easy to spot when you know what you’re looking for and it’s a fun, if slightly depressing, game you can play right here and right now from the comfort of your own browser.

Here are the rules:

  1. Go find a web design / internet marketing company online
  2. Look at the page titles that appear at the top of your browser window when you click on different parts of their site.  Do they have the same title on every page? What are the keywords? Does it look like they will help their services get found by their prospects using Google? (Hint: things like “MyCompanyName: Our portfolio” are practically useless)

You’ll be amazed – and eventually bloody annoyed.  I only wish more people played this game before they went ahead and contracted someone to develop their website.  All too often people end up playing this game after – when it’s too late.

Here’s one I found today.  Click on the thumbnail (above right) to zoom in.

“We design online strategy and build software” says the title on every page.  Absolutely useless as far as Google is concerned – except in the highly unlikely (frankly bizarre) eventuality that someone out there types the exact words “we design online strategy and build software” into Google in the hope of finding a web designer in their area.

Rather depressingly, this company has also broken Rule # 2 which is if you’re going to showcase something, at least showcase someting YOU’VE made, not someone else – doh!?!)

If you’ve already paid for a website that Google can’t find because the page titles are all something like “We design online strategy and build software” or “Pickled Onion Designs: My portfolio” then all I can say is I hope you won’t make that mistake again.  Basic SEO is an elementary part of a basic site – not some exotic luxury!

If on the other hand, you’re still looking around for a company to make your site I hope you’ll play this little game before you hand over your hard-earned money.

Online reputation management: do it yourself

You don’t need sophisticated or expensive packages to monitor and manage your online reputation

It’s not rocket science – you just need the tools that your prospects have got (i.e. Google); the ability to think like them, a dose of humility and a crash course in not being reactive.

Oh, and you need to know there’s a difference between monitoring and managing your reputation.

Online reputation monitoring

The simplest advice for monitoring your online reputation is to start with the FASTEST (and therefore potentially most damaging) channels out there:

1) Set up Google alerts for your name, your company name and products and brands.  Sit back and let Google bring the good – and bad – news to you whenever it hears you being mentioned online.

2) While you’re waiting for Google Alerts to bring you news, go to Twitter and search for your name, your company name and your brands.  It’s the most ‘real-time’ network / source of content there is.  If people are going to rant at the point of dissatisfaction, they’re going to do it via their mobile, and they’re probably going to do it on Twitter.

3) If that’s all clear, next do a search in Google.  Do a broad web search first.  See what comes up in the first couple of pages of Google.  Hopefully, a lot of it will be your web site pages and things you’ve done to market and promote yourself and your products.  If not, sack your web designer :-)

Remember: people use blog posts and forum posts to vent their anger or dissatisfaction. Learn to recognise how these posts and comments appear in the regular web results.

4) To focus entirely on blog content, do a dedicated Google blog search

5) Most of all, learn to think like a customer – an angry one and a prospective one.  When an unhappy customer wants to nail you for not listening,  they’re going to nail you by telling their trusted network how bad you are and follow up by publishing posts and comments online with words like rip-off’ ‘scam’ and ‘fraud’ to the end.  They want their experience of you to be found by others researching your company – and now they have the tools to do it within minutes.  Be warned; this stuff can kill your business in a matter of days.

When a prospective customer wants to find out the truth about your company, ‘XYZ consultants’, they’re going to start by searching for ‘XYZ consultants’.  Then they’re going to add the words ‘scam’, ‘feedback’, ‘rip-off’, ‘review’ at the end to see what comes up.

To manage your online reputation online successfully, you need to see these words as a code that customers and prospects use to bypass your own (naturally positive) propaganda.  So learn the code – and make sure YOU search the web regularly for these coded references to you and your company.

You wouldn’t believe how many companies’ reputations are in tatters online and yet they don’t even know about it.  It could explain that gradual drop-off in sales they’ve been seeing…

Online reputation management

Managing your online reputation priorities are as follows (listed in order of the amount of your energy you should expend on them):

1) Create the best products and services you can.  This is bleedin’ obvious, but the best way to create and protect a great on- and offline reputation is to do the basics really, really well.

2) When things go wrong, do everything you can to make your customer happy.  That means invite feedback, listen without being defensive, go out of your way to satisfy them

3) When you don’t do 1) and 2) properly, people will punish you online by Tweeting, blogging, forum posting and commenting anywhere and everywhere they can.  Count on it. When you finally find something angry / hostile / nasty (true or untrue) with your online monitoring (see the list above), the first thing you need to do is NOTHING.

4) While you’re doing NOTHING (i.e. not reacting, not getting into a fight to try to defend yourself), you should be getting really honest with yourself about what it is you might have done to create the situation.

5) Then you should be thinking about what you can do to put it right.  What you can do, and what you are willing to do.

6) Then consider approaching the disgruntled punter publicly (in whatever forum or blog his/her comment appears) and a) apologise for not having met their expectations b) apologise if you didn’t listen or respond to their original feedback or complaint.  Listen, I promise you, no matter how bad this makes you feel, you almost certainly didn’t listen the first time round.  If you can do this from a genuine place – i.e. that you really do care about helping this person to feel better about your company, you’ll be amazed what you can achieve.

7) If you’ve reacted dived in with both feet and made things worse, then call us to take the heat out of the situation on 01822 610841.

8 ) Start to create positive online content about you, your company and your brands to balance, and ultimately outweight the negative.  Beware: this only works when that content is genuine and credible.

Paying offshore SEO or Reputation Management Companies to flood Google with superficial stuff about you is a false economy (an expensive one at that!) – it will be transparent to any half-wit looking to find out what a company is really like.

If you want to do it properly, call us on 01822 610841.

Blogging for money… well, kind of

Want to make money from blogging?  Here’s how it worked for me

Look, before we go any further, I’ll tell you the truth about how much I’ve earned so far.

Are you ready?  £15. Yes! £15 that could just as easily be yours!!!  That (as far as I’m concerned, friend) makes me a pro.  Which, in turn, qualifies me to tell YOU how do it, right?  And think yourself lucky I’m not trying to sell you my eBook ‘How to make more than £14 with my £15-Google-system‘ for $47! :-)
clik
Joking aside, it’s fun to see my grand earnings total rising inexorably day on day. And I’m not even trying, really I’m not.

So here’s the ‘mu:kaumedia guide to making easy money like what I do:

1) Set up a WordPress blog

2) Blog regularly about an area you’re interested in and (most importantly) that will interest other people

3) Make sure your basic post SEO is good (keywords in titles, headers and content)

4) Anticipate what people will be searching for in your area of interest and blog about it before they start searching

5) Sign up to Google adsense and splash a small block of ads on your site in a non-intrusive position

So how exactly did I make my Google fortune?

SpotfyBlog2

Way back in Jan 2009, someone invited me to the new, ‘invitation-only’ music streaming service Spotify.  It didn’t take a genius to work out that something as groundbreaking as Spotify + invitation-only membership was going to lead to a pile of people looking for invitations.

I then wrote a couple of quick blog posts with titles like, er.. “How do I get a Spotify invitation?” and some useful links (plus offer to give away the invites I got when I signed up).

Result?  Lots of visitors to give those invites to.  Followed by Spotify dumping about 600 more invitations on me to give away for them.  Followed by lots more people looking… followed by people placing links to my post in various forums and sites.

Eventually, I ran out of posts but that didn’t stop the people coming.  In the end, I posted a link to a page that, oddly enough, by-passes Spotify’s invite page altogether (I still can’t work out why they left it open??).  And still the people come at the rate of 1000+ a day.  And most of them go away happy.

After 8 months of traffic, I decided to sell my soul to Satan and put some ads on my site.  Result?  Vast sums of Adsense revenue.

So if I can do it, so can you.  Why, if I had me 10 blogs running… and I was actually doing it seriously, who knows how much money could be made each month?  £150? More, if I had no qualms about the nature or quality of my content or affiliate marketing scheme…or…or.. the mind boggles.  The only thing I didn’t do was put the ads on earlier. Heck, I might be blogging this from my yacht in the Caribbean if I hadn’t wasted those 8 months of traffic.

Using a Wiki for business: too much like hard work

Is your business Wiki hard work?  Could it be a solution without a problem?

We all know what Wikis are, right?  They’re web pages that everyone can edit with the result that no one person ‘owns’ what’s written.  It’s the embodiment of the self-managing, self-leveling, self-policing ‘wisdom of the crowd’.  A democratic body of knowledge owned by everyone.

We all know a Wiki, right?  Err…yes! Wikipedia.  It’s that big online encyclopedia that anyone can add to or change – you know that thing that’s always right up there at the top of all Google searches for practically anything.

The thing about Wikis is that they sound like such a good idea in theory.  The software’s free; you’re already using the computer anyway… all you have to do is find a problem to point a Wiki at.

This is what Common Craft had to say about Wikis in 2007:

It all makes sense.  Firstly there’s a clear problem: ‘how do we keep track of what we need and who’s bringing what?’

Secondly there’s a tangible pay-off to motivate people to engage with it: ‘if we do this we’ll end up with all the right gear and have a great camping trip’.

Someone called me this week to discuss the merits of using a Wiki to ‘liven up a business’s Intranet’ and – more tellingly – to download the intellectual property of its employees.  My advice would be that if you have a clear problem that a Wiki can solve with a tangible pay-off for those involved in creating and using it, then go for it.  If, on the other hand, it’s just a nice-sounding idea about creating a shared pool of knowledge or worse, the desire to squeeze people for their knowledge so they don’t take it away when they leave, then it may well turn out to be a mistake.

If you’re going to use a Wiki for business, make sure that it solves an obvious problem and that the people you want to use it get a payoff for the time and effort required to create and input the stuff that has to go into it.

There is another option.  Just the tools in place and just see what happens  – like Wikipedia itself.  In a most un-businesslike fashion, you’ll need to let go of any attachment to the outcome.

And if nothing happens, it’s worth bearing in mind that Wikipedia itself is the product of several hundreds of millions of internet users.

Spotify invitations: No longer needed with Spotify ‘Open’

Spotify ‘Open’ free to everyone without invitation!

**Ignore the rest of this post and head on over to Spotify!! :-) **

Since the Spotify iPhone app was released there’s been a surge in traffic here looking for Spotify invitations.  Back in January, I played a small part in Spotify’s online marketing strategy – by helping spread the word about the free service and giving out invites.

It was nice to be able to create 600+ accounts for happy people at the time but Spotify’s strategy has moved on, so I’m not able to help any more.

For those of you interested in the way blogging can create traffic to your site, the recent surge in visitors to my site (see stats below) coincides with Spotify’s release of the iPhone app and their return to ‘invite-only’ free membership.  That traffic is the result of one or two carefully-worded and well-timed posts in January 2009.

Picture 3