Saturday, February 28, 2009

Slightly Imperfect - My 1935 DX Vauxhall

The image I use here is a morphed representation of an old vehicle I own - a 1935 Vauxhall DX.

It is a great old car, basically one of the last true Vauxhalls ever made by the craftsmen at Luton, the original home of the marque.

With a 4 speed gearbox, an inline 1800 cc 6 cylinder inline engine, enough leather for a herd of dairy cows. or Sacred if you prefer, cable brakes, knee action independent front suspension, suicide rear doors and a pair of Lucas Prince of Darkness headlights, Slightly Imperfect has been patiently waiting for almost 20 years to get back out and terrorise motorists once again.

And she shall.


Researching the Connections

I have been wondering what the benefits and pitfalls of social networking are.

Is it a good thing - sharing your network of friends and associates? I guess it can be...6 degrees of separation and all that.

But I also wonder if it cannot be used a a tool for revenge...retribution and 'getting even'?
I mean, if you can be nice, then obviously you can be not nice.

And in these networks of contacts the viral spreading of tales, tittle-tattle and scurrilous rumour-mongering must be as proliferate as the spreading of words of joy, hope and "come buy my product/service".

I wonder....


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Doing our Bit

So how do you do your little bit to assist avert a Global Economic Meltdown?

If you are like me, and run a trading website, then, like me, you can lower prices to consumers.
Why? There's a fair chance that if pricing is perceived as being too high, folk bail at the last minute, before completing their purchase.

We see it all the time.

At Nutshell our sell-through is about 52% for folk who start the completion process.
Why do they bail? We do not know, exactly, But we know that they do.

How do you remove that barrier to purchase? I guess there are lots of ways, but the primary one would IMHO be to lower the cost of ownership - and that means lowering the profit margin.

There is obviously only so much you can discount before you start to run into problems. Obviously.

But hey, a little bit may just go a long way, and if we can get more people to finish what they started, then obviously we are ahead on points.

Oh,,, and likely the most telling point is that, because we are in NZ and not in our primary market, the exchange rate 'twixt here and there means we still cover costs and make a profit locally...without feeling that we are 'gouging' our customer.

And that surely is all about passing the benefits on.
Isn't it?


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The million $$ challenge intro

This is interesting.

Stumbled on a site a couple of weeks ago that purports to be filled with talented experts on almost every subject to do with marketing in the 21st Century.

Using cleverly produced video, talking heads and blue screen to deliver 'compelling' content, the site looks like it is UK based to the casual eye. In reality it is owned by a conglomerate of southern men, from the depths of Otago, in New Zealand's south island, masquerading as Poms in disguise.

Registered in Dunedin, yourBusinessChannel Ltd has attracted a group of professionals, each an expert in a particular field of marketing, production, hr and similar. They have created a series of short video vignettes that address specific business issues and, for the common herd, make these available through their website channels.

Once convinced there is value by association the group then offers membership, at USD $750 a month, to its SNAP club. This club promises to address specific issues and suggest solutions, plus mentoring and associated services.

However it was the Million Dollar Challenge I found attractive. The promise of selection into a select group of 25 hand chosen businesses that would receive personalized mentoring at vastly reduced rates in return for exposure as a 'test case' was certainly alluring, to say the least.
So I applied three weeks ago. Follow up included two comms interviews; first with one NZer based in the UK and then a second phone call with the organizations 'content editor', another NZer also UK based.

I have now been advised that nutshell has been chosen as a participant, with strings attached.
It would seem that the promises as outlined on the website may not be quite what they seem.
The $750 monthly fee for membership to SNAP has escalated to $2000 USD a month. And it seems that lists of promises, including a 45 day money back warranty, do not apply.

Slightly strange, to say nothing of potentially misleading.

We shall see. I am about to enter the 'negotiation' phase, where we shall attempt to find out exactly what the story is.
Stay tuned.


The opener

The first!
Well..actually the second post here.

Slowly getting used to putting down my thoughts in this format...guess it beats writing them on scraps of paper that promptly get lost.

Not exactly sure how I will be using this space?

Words of wisdom - if I have any, I guess. A good place to leave those "footprints in the sand" Why not? I cannot see home cookery recipes...or how to fix your car articles featuring high on my list of things to enter here. Nor can I see personal things - like love's labours lost and stuff in my life that cause me pain to discuss appearing there - some things are best kept private.

So maybe I will just stick to the things I know...web marketing, trends in Internet trading, web hosting issues, developments in the One World Finance sector, development of the nutshell, SWAT stuff relating to the biz, commenting on issues that effect me and mine...and maybe a tad of tongue in cheek scuttlebutt rumour mongering. Now that sounds like fun!

Whatever, I guess this page will develop with continued input, and eventually take up its own shape and form.

So...on with the show...

Oh....and if you are reading this...WELCOME!