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February, 2009:

Sleeping in a Moccasin Slipper

Ooooo that’s lovely!

Fortunately I've Got a Blocked Up Nose so No Cheesy Whiffs Here

I’m guessing that either this kitten has a blocked up nose, or the owner of the slipper doesn’t have cheesy feet.

I’d love to give this some kind of image credit, but someone emailed this to me and I’ve not been able to find it on the interwebz… boo, hiss etc

Off With His Head!… And Put it on a Hoodie

Well looky what we have here!

Elvis ain’t dead!
Elvis Head Hoodie

Elvis Head Hoodie

 

Dancing Legoman…

Legoman Head Hoodie

Legoman Head Hoodie

 

Frankly a brilliant idea, ‘Headhoods’ is the brainchild of Clinton Van Gemert.  Figuring the regular hoodies were just too dull, Clinton figured that with these quirky hoodies he might just be on to a winner. I for one, think he’s right.

Based in Brooklyn, he hand prints these babies – click the link to see all the headhood styles 

Anyone wanna buy me one? 🙂

Image credit Headhoods Website

Hat tip to WeHeartStuff

New ID Makeover & Photoshoot – NOT the Ideal Gift

Ryan, one of the guys in the office where I work has had some issues with this company, so promised I’d blog about it.

So my loves, here goes:

Ryan bought his girlfriend a gift for her 21st birthday – a ‘Deluxe Fashion Experience’ at New ID Photographic Studios in London – 17-18 Margaret Street, London W1W 8RP.

The experience included a haircut, a makeover and a photoshoot. He paid £50 for the ‘makeover session’, and an additional £50 to put towards any photos which she wanted to purchase.

Initially everything was going really well – the hair and makeup was lovely, and she really enjoyed the photoshoot.

They fully intended to purchase a couple of photos – (as a momento if you will) however, at New ID they employ some fairly sneaky selling tactics.

They rolled out the ‘you should really consider modelling’ line.

Buoyed up with a couple of free glasses of bubbly, seeing the photos, and the photographer’s reaction Ryan and his girlfriend (both 21) were swayed a little.

As Ryan’s girlfriend had previously modelled as a child the idea of going back to it didn’t seem too outrageous.

The staff at New ID then went on to suggest that she’d need a portfolio of pictures if it was something that she wanted to pursue…

That was the clincher.

End game is – they fell for it. At a terrifying cost of around £1,400 they decided to purchase all of the pictures. As you’d expect a couple of 21 year olds don’t have that sort of money knocking about, so they took out a credit agreement.

Come Monday – the realisation dawned that they’d been had.

Having called around a couple of modelling agencies they found out that not only was Ryan’s girlfriend too short to model – even if she was taller – she would not need a portfolio to approach an agency. Typically modelling agencies simply require a couple of photos – and it really doesn’t matter how professional or otherwise they are.

Perhaps unsurprisingly – it seems that New ID make it very difficult to get your money back. They claim that the agreement which Ryan & his girlfriend entered into cannot be cancelled. 

To add insult to injury, they then called up Ryan’s girlfriend to ask permission to use her photos for promotional purposes on their website.

 

Without wishing to sound like a Daily Mail reader, I think that the policies and indeed the behaviour of this company are reprehensible.

Let’s face it, a couple of 21 year olds, who’ve had a really nice day, who’ve been loosened up with the complimentary bubbly are pretty easy prey.

I’m not a lawyer, but it may be that from a legal standpoint their ‘no cancellation’ policy can be upheld.

But this company’s business practise of encouraging young girls to purchase ‘portfolio pictures’ which they do not even need is, as far as I’m concerned, morally devoid.

Responsibility & a Lesson in Reputation Management

 

Intro: this is a guest post from my oh so knowledgeable, helpful and kind SEO buddy Rishi. You will doubtlessly notice and I’m sure appreciate the break from the usual drivel which is spouted on this blog.  

 

 

 

Last Friday a well known and widely read industry blog called techcrunch posted a rumour:
“I heard from an irate friend who works at CBS that last.fm recently provided the RIAA with a giant dump of user data to track down people who are scrobbling unreleased tracks. As word spread numerous employees at last.fm were up in arms because the data collected (a) can be used to identify individuals and (b) will likely be shared with 3rd parties that have relationships with the RIAA.”

( I refuse to link to the article out of sheer principle).

From the comments it is apparent that many readers of the blog deleted their accounts in response. Nor was this the only result of the post, the Last.Fm has definitely taken a hit on its reputation on that timeframe – we don’t know what the numbers of unsubscribers were, but given that the post was made late on Friday, without a real response available from the UK arm of Last.fm, the damage was collating over the weekend.

However, the team at Last.fm UK hit back with “Techcrunch are full of shit” – brave and bold move – where they called out Techcrunch and asked their readers to spread the word. The article has had over 4300 diggs and still climbing, twitter is buzzing with the story, and support messages are coming in fast and furious.

But this was not the only extent of the damage control that the team carried out, the comments on the post highlight another measure:

“As soon as we saw the TC article we suspended the system that cleans out user accounts marked for deletion, expecting that people would do exactly as you did. If you contact our support team (support [at] last.fm) we should be able to restore your account and scrobbles.”

 

I think that there are two valuable lessons to be learnt here:

1. Responsibility.

A blog as influential as techcrunch should really verify their sources and stories – what you say on the internet can sometimes have immediate and enormous impact.

This is pretty much true of the ever increasing News blogs and newspaper sites, as well as top bloggers.  A code of conduct that is applied to offline media should realistically extend to online media – remember, just because it’s a blog, does not mean you aren’t open to being sued, libel is libel, and if proven, damages need to be paid.

My advise to bloggers is don’t run for the cheap win, in the long run, very few can sustain that strategy. Oh, and take out bloggers insurance if you do.

 

2. Reputation Management is Real Time.

Last.Fm’s response and method of response turned a PR incident for them into a PR incident for their attacker. They used the right medium – social media and their blog to get their message across, and quickly.

Even though it was the weekend in the UK, as soon as Last.Fm staff heard the rumour, they instantly began a campaign of rebuttal, commenting on Techcrunch’s original article and on twitter, while at the same time working on their master stroke, which they dropped first thing Monday. This is a great Reputation Management strategy, and I am not the only one who thinks so: A Great Example of Hosting the Conversation When Under Attack

 

And in conclusion, here is an example of how NOT to get involved in Reputation Management: What happened when a blogger decided to take on Ryanair

 

Hungry for more? Read some other excellent articles related to this topic: Ryanair Gets Bad Twitter Press; No More Talk of Conversations; How’s Your Brand Reputation Doing?

 

Rishi Lakhani is a Search Marketing Strategist. Feel free to follow him on twitter.

 

Ten Things I Loves About The Wales

This post is dedicated to the frankly really rather marvellous couple – Dom & Trudes – they live in the Wales, see? 

Anyhow – Dom stumbled across my blog (via Facebook – I think a dropped a link to it) – and has politely asked if he could be in it.

Well here we go – in honor of Dom and Trudes (my ‘other’ Mum & Dad) here are ten things I loves about the Wales:

  1. We wear trainers, they wear daps
  2. When you go for a curry, they offer you ‘half and half’ – it means half a portion of rice and half a portion of chips
  3. In some pubs you can buy a ploughmans in a bag – it consists of crackers – some kind of ‘cheese’ which despite not being refrigerated won’t kill you and a couple of pickled onions
  4. Barry Island Ice Tea – a ‘cocktail’ served in a pint glass which includes a shot of every white spirit they have behind the bar and a drop of coca cola (just for colour)
  5. ‘Now, then’ is said a lot
  6. They *love* a nickname – my particular favourite is ‘the racing snake’ – I’d explain, but the ‘taffia’ might get me
  7. Everyone knows everyone… Catherine Zeta Jones is known by the far less exotic moniker of ‘Katie’; and Bonnie ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Tyler is just good old Gaynor.
  8. Merlin the Magician was born there – way cooler than Paul Daniels or that fool David Blaine
  9. Julien MacDonald – (mmm lovely clothes) he’s worked for Givenchy and Chanel – not bad for a lad who started out knitting eh?
  10. Dom and Trudes live there!
Image credit David Reece via flickr
Souvenir of Barry Island
Souvenir of Barry Island