This is what the BBC pundits think

But who do you think will win?  Sign up at predict.websand.co.uk and work it out using our predictor.

In no particular order…

Phil Neville. Argentina, they have Messi and the system to get the best out of him.

Martin Keown. Brazil, they can handle the pressure and the emotion.

Gary Lineker. Argentina.  Easy group and it’s Messi’s time.

Chris WaddleBrazil.  Good squad, good age, at home and look like they are going to cry during the national anthem.

Danny Murphy. Argentina.  Messi has won it all and he’s ready to complete his medal collection.

Jason Roberts. Argentina. Messi can put himself amongst the greats.

Brad FriedelBrazil, they won the (dry run) Confederations Cup and Scolari knows what he is doing.

Rio Ferdinand. Brazil. Big expectations but after the Confederations Cup they can deliver.

Danny Mills. ? - God knows, he hedges his bets and names every team.

Alan Shearer. Not invited?

Alan Hansen. Retired.

So the aggregate prediction is Brazil 4, Argentina 3, Danny Mills 1, a no show and a retirement.

Who do you think will win?  Sign up and work it out using our predictor.

Visit our competion at predict.websand.co.uk 

Watch the BBC predictions in full at http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27689706 

Iphone 5 or 6?

Apple yesterday announced an important development in their product (and therefore) customer lifecycle.  The iphone 4S.

Everyone was expecting an iphone 5.  The Daily Mail issued a tweet referencing iphone 5 (which was widely abused on twitter - stupid Daily Mail - they said).

But, is the iphone 4S actually an iphone 5 or are Apple doing the old trick usually used by car manufactures with the special editions versions (usually in the last year of a specific chassis).

Here is the iphone history as I see it.

iphone 1 - actually iphone 3G

iphone 2 - actually iphone 3GS

iphone 3 - actually iphone 4

iphone 4 - actually iphone 4S

No idea why iphone started from model 3 - perhaps down to it’s ipod touch roots? Anyway, based on the above the iphone 5 should have been an iphone 4 in the first place, and the iphone 5 will actually be an iphone 5 (hooray!).  So I am glad I have cleared that up.  See you in the queue at the Apple store (the home of people that say - yeah yeah cool)

Advertising and marketing skills training is crucial for small business growth, says FSB

From the Voice of Small Business survey (1700 businesses) from FSB, close to half (46%) said that training in sales, marketing or PR would help their business to develop or grow.

Does structure of the the question ’training in…’ suggests that more and more FSB members are looking to take marketing in-house? or that they just want to ensure that they are getting value for money from marketing providers that they partner with?

Linked In Privacy settings

Below is a post I received from Charles Sellers (a trusted source) related to Linked In privacy settings.  Data privacy is an increasing concern from the user and the business side.  The business want more of it, the user want to restrict this.  The 62 page terms and conditions typically mean that you are signing to share your data.  In my view, if you accessing a ‘free to use’ platform then the data you are providing (has value) and is the payoff in relation to you using that service (yes, it does depend on what the service is).   Anyway, here is the post, hope you find it useful.

I’m indebted to Dr Joanna Berry from the Business School at Newcastle University and CEO of Inkspot for the following advice to all Linkedin users in our Group; 

Linkedin have very quietly introduced some new settings that potentially seriously affect your privacy and your ability to prevent unwanted emails (spam). These new settings are defaulted ON and include allowing Linkedin to use profile information, names and photos in third party advertising. 

I recommend you read the story here 

and here (in particular read the Comments section afterwards). 
To reach the hard-to-reach settings options the following URL’s should take you directly to them (cut and paste into your browser if they don’t work as live links) 

Manage social advertising: https://www.linkedin.com/settings/?modal=nsettings-social-advertising&tab=account 

Manage enhanced advertising: https://www.linkedin.com/settings/?modal=nsettings-enhanced-advertising&tab=account 

Data sharing with third party applications: https://www.linkedin.com/settings/?modal=nsettings-data-sharing&tab=groups 

Partner InMail: https://www.linkedin.com/settings/?modal=nsettings-partner-inmail&tab=email 

Social Media Management, some notes from Smarta

“I feel your pain and it’s difficult. For us it’s been a lot of trial and error, measure when and where you see the best results; taking a long term view that it delivers value beyond immediate ROI and finding tools that help us. Automation is a no go 90% of the time, but don’t dismiss it completely. It’s OK to automate tweets, updates etc that make sense to be automated - you just need a human voice alongside it. Also, really focus on reaching a quality engaged niche rather than a mass that looks impressive but isn’t really listening. Train people well.”

Thanks for the guidance @SmartaHQ and @shaawasmund


Been recently involved in a programme operated by CDC which included a ‘mentoring’ stage.  

All very useful, but best that you make sure that you understand what you want to get from it before you start out.  If it isn’t working then make sure you try to understand why before you get out of it - is it a personality clash or that you are really following the wrong rabbit down the wrong hole.  Thankfully it has worked to date and will continue to work for me.  Thank you Paul @1daylater

One really useful trick I’ve learned today is mapping out your network (thanks Wendy).  It works like this…

1) take a piece of paper and a load of coloured pencils (crayons if you are especially artistic) put you/your business in a circle in the middle of the paper.

2) put around it people directly or indirectly involved with your business 

3) add to it networks/relationships that you are involved with that are of relevance to the business

4) label each person with a status based on your current relationship with them in relation to your business - either as a positive, negative or neutral.

5) then label with a tick those people you regularly communicate with, and put a x against those whom you do not regularly communicate with.

6) Take a damn good look at what you’ve just drawn (it will be a bit of a mess, so look closely)

7) Zen time…

a) Think about where you need to improve communication those whom you need to communicate with more.  

b) Think about where you need to look to improve negative or neutral relationships and retain positive relationships.  

c) Also think about where you need to 'exit’ relationships.

Result - a nice little action list to keep you busy for a while.

Hope that helps.  Nothing like a good bit of personalised infoporn! (it’s recognised term and a clean link)

a good friday

my six year old son has just took a jar of Quality street and performed chocolate based segmentation. It must run in the family I am so proud.  Just have to build up Websand over the next 20 years so he has something to take over!

Messi boots

Just seen an exclusive in Shortlist combining two of my passions in life.  Football and tha intellegcnt use of data to create something exciting.  Lionel Messi has been included in the redesign of the f50 football boots for Adidas.  The big difference is that these boots include a wireless chip (the miCoach speed cell) that will synch to an APP which can then be shared to your facebook, twitter accounts.

Yeah, ok so what, I already that the ipad/nike + hook up thing. I’ll tell you what…this…

the really exciting bit. 

If you buy the boots with the bundle, then the miCoach speed cell will link to an Avatar that will reflect your performance (on the pitch – I have no idea how your boots will know if you have made a goal saving tackle or if you have scored a wonder goal – so I’ll assume that you can add some extra information (or pay someone to independently assess your performance).

As you log more performances your avatar will start to reflect your personality (of performance), and develop a top trumps style, ahem Opta Stats rating of performance.   Your avatar rating can then be taken into interactive games against your mates…imagine that in FIFA 13.

Now my football career was short lived, at a low (but international*) level, but I still am my prime in relation to the intelligent use of data to make things fantastic (ala Websand).  

The boots are out in November, so I need to find a team sharpish.

Sub note related to International football - *I lived in Dubai for a bit and played for a few teams out there in the expat league.  So it counts.
Fact finding mission

Off to London tomorrow and Tuesday on a knowledge building and fact finding mission.  Tomorrow I am attending Smarta day at the British Library which features a load of experienced speakers - so I’ll share what I can ‘on reflection’.  On Tuesday, I’ll be visiting the TFM&A and OA&A Expo at Earls Court - it’s easier to call it the Technology for Marketing exhibition.  The expo should be a good benchmark for Websand and potentially useful for some 'future partners.

Pie in the Sky (Go)

Websand is all about ensuring that your customers experiences are maximised and that your response and delivery adds to the services you offer.  Sky have got this wrong.  Here is my experience…

I am a Sky customer and I want to watch the USPGA championship whilst my wife watches Sarah Beeney destroy and then rebuild a few houses.

I’ll watch it online.  I’ll try out that new Sky Go thing.  It says you can watch Sky anywhere, in fact I saw someone watching cricket at a motorway services the other day.  It will be great.

It isn’t.  

I’ve been to the website

I’ve signed in, using my Sky ID.

I’ve clicked on the watch now button.

It’s sent me somewhere new?  I haven’t clicked on the new terms and conditions (I am reminded of the Eddie Izzard joke about itunes terms and conditions).  

So I click on the link - to access the terms and conditions.  

I arrive in a new tab on Google Chrome, but its the same page as before - I need to accept the terms and conditions.  Surely I must be daft.  I click again.

I arrive in a new tab on Google Chrome, but its the same page as before - I need to accept the terms and conditions.  

I have a new challenge to find the terms and conditions.

I go to my account profile…nothing.

I log out and then log back in.

I am logged in.

I click on the USPGA (showing now on Sky Go).  Great…terms and conditions clearly apply!

I return to my old friend.  Terms and conditions apply.

So I hunt around.  Nothing.

I arrive at a new page, filled with customer offers that need to be signed up for - but I am already logged in, and terms and conditions will apply.

I am lost.  I long to see Rory Mc with his new one armed golf swing (he hurt himself smashing into a tree on the 3rd).  I’ve returned to traditional means.  It is being recorded on Sky+.  

I have to leave Sky Go for now. It is such a shame they have a monopoly, otherwise I’d be off.

Groupon, Square and Bump: is this the latest gold rush? | Technology | guardian.co.uk

It’s January, the sales are on, and if you are a technology company looking for funding, then it seems to be boom time based on the number of press releases flying around at the moment.  Groupon raised nearly 1 Billion, Facebook valued at more than Tesco.

I really like the sound of Bump (see the article link) After a few days of entering biz card info, and testing various scanners for biz cards it sounds brilliant.  I’ll be geeking one of those apps and searching for people to bump into.  That will be the major problem for Bump, but it will be a good icebreaker and increase my geek rating by asking if ‘do you bump’.  I’ll log my responses.

On the website front, nearly there!!  Hosting, sorted by Thursday.  Testing - well given the bespoke nature of the platform for each client, I’m realising that testing will become a major part of my life in the next few months.

Looking forward to a few people getting 'powered by Websand’ in the next few weeks, as we move from start up to startED.


As it’s Friday and we like to drive customer response, it’s time to share ‘The predictor’ from Richard Wiseman. This is a bit scary, and you may think a little bit naff, but he’ll get you in the end. 


a new report by Forrester suggests that organisations must look to tie ecommerce solutions into their CRM solutions

How should firms adapt to serve the channel agnostic customer?

A great article and a great explanation of what Websand is all about.  Your customer journey, what it is, and how your business (and your customers) can benefit from understanding it.

An explanation

A service business supported by a unique product, Websand has over 10 years experience helping global brands grow their business through better customer understanding and targeted relevant communications.  Our objective is to give SME’s the same power as Tesco in terms of customer understanding. You’ll have the information, we’ll help you find it and use it to improve your business.

Posted, so I don’t forget this business explanation posted in my Design Network North membership, which may or may not have been saved due to a bug on their contact form related to a pesky security code validation.  I hate those things.  I’ll chase them up on that.  Must do better!