Desk space available in creative, friendly, open-plan London office

OPPORTUNITY

Download PDF overview here: London-SME-Desk-Offer_

MintTwist have a limited number of generous desk space available to companies from start-ups to SME businesses in the professional service, agency, media and digital sectors.

Desks come with all the essentials including, chair, draws, unlimited access to kitchen/communal areas with unlimited tea and coffee. The open plan shared office space provides a fantastic working and social atmosphere and you’ll be sharing with like-minded professionals like MintTwist (www.minttwist.com) and LadyGeek (www.ladygeek.com). Internet access both wired and wireless through high-speed broadband is available.

As well as a spacious desk, chair, drawers, internet, meeting rooms, kitchen with free tea/coffee and milk. The all-inclusive charge will also cover cleaning, gas, electricity, water, rates and service charge. On-site at Highgate Studios there are free shower facilities, free moped/bike lock-up areas, a fantastic on-site cafe, pizza house and the infamous ‘Dirty Burger’ and ‘Chicken Shop’ joints. Access to the office is 24×7×365.

Benefits include:
 Highly flexible terms
 High-speed broadband internet
 Wireless internet
 Completely free use of meeting room
 Every desk has a chair and drawers
 Onsite office manager
 Air conditioning
 On-site shower room
 Full serviced kitchen with tea, coffee, dishwasher, microwave and fridge.
 All utilities included (electricity, gas, air conditioning, water and cleaning)

CONTACT ELLIOTT KING ON ELLIOTT@MINTTWIST.COM OR 020 7284 9755 TO ARRANGE YOUR VIEWING.

PRICES

Comment Cost Deposit Notice Period
Flexi Desk £450 PCM 1-month Pay as you go
Flexi-4-Desks £1650 PCM 1-month Pay as you go
6–Desk Island £2250 PCM 1-month 3-months

LOCATION

Based Camden, London, the office is perfectly situated between Kentish Town tube station (3-min walk), Camden market (1 tube stop), King Cross (2 tube stops) and Parliament Hill fields (3-min walk).

MAP

Office Location

The Social Capital Model for Business Growth

This article is highlighting MintTwist’s proposed ‘Social Capital Model’ for delivering continuing and sustainable growth of its business.

The proposal was introduced to people working within the business at the MintTwist Annual General Meeting on 30th November 2011.

This article is written so that people working within the business and other interested parties may use this area to facilitate discussion, questions and comments on the proposal.

What do MintTwist want to do?

MintTwist aims to be the most successful supplier of Digital Agency company services for businesses in Europe by 2016.

How?

MintTwist is aiming to do this by developing and further growing its network of clients and by adding more value to their businesses by devloping and further growing its network of highly skilled people working across the organisation and together, with well defined process methodologies.

How will the growth be funded?

MintTwist have been seeking a sustainable growth model that accurately represents the key value drivers for the existing growth that MintTwist has experienced to date and one that will incubate, encourage and reward the key value drivers for future growth of the business.

MintTwist’s Proposed ‘Social Capital Model’ for facilitating sustainable growth of its business

MintTwist’s proposed solution is a key component for facilitating the continuation, development and expedience of its market/service diversification growth strategy … MintTwist have termed it ‘The Social Capital Model’.

social capital model

social capital model

The social capital component represents a portion of the company that cannot be bought, sold or owned.

Access to the benefits of the social component is for people who are working within the business.

Key elements may include:

1. A share in governance with direct representation

2. A share in the profits

???

Weighted access may be representative of:

1. Length of service

2. Relative value of contributions

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What are the Benefits of a Mobile Website for Businesses?

MinTwists’s August meetup debated the benefits to businesses of creating a mobile websites or mobile applications to communicate with their target customer groups in a manner optimised for mobile platforms.

In essence should a dedicated mobile platform be created, or should businesses simply allow their mobile users to be served up their ‘normal’ website in whatever way the browser software on the given mobile platform chooses to do so?

It’s a tough question and one which the group mostly debated from an ROI perspective. Given that mobile usage rates in the UK are still fairly low (5% of a websites traffic may come from mobile users), one might be tempted to conclude that for typical small and medium sized b2b businesses the answer is no.

However, it is not that clear cut.

Firstly, there is the issue that mobile usage is growing incredibly quickly (see article : What will Smart Phones Do to our Websites? for more on this) and there may well be material benefits for ‘getting in quick’ (including SEO benefits).

Secondly there is ‘how mobile users are behaving issue’. The data is not entirely accurate at the moment – but early signs are clear: mobile users do not use the internet in the same way on their mobiles as they would do on their PC’s or laptops.  Usage is driven by factors such as location (users accessing their mobile devices to find information on ‘where they physically are at the moment’) and impulsivness (users accessing their mobile devices to find an answer to a fairly immediate question/problem).  Factors such as these all feed in to the ideal way in which the information should be presented to the mobile user, i.e. b2b businesses could have a ‘mobile optimised homepage’ that clearly presents a clickable telephone number link and clickable interactive google map so that visitors to the business can quickly get the information that they may be after if they are accessing the website from a mobile device.

A difficult topic for business oweners and marketing manager to grapple with; here are MintTwist’s high level thoughts on the subject …

  • Mobile is an important consideration, however, it is not necessarily a vital immediate concern for ‘most’ small businesses (because well designed website designs will render correctly already).
  • The trend towards increased mobile usage is growing.
  • The differing user goals and usage habits of users on mobile platforms needs to be properly understood on a case by case basis for a useful and quality mobile solution to be delivered.
  • The group felt that businesses that should be immediately addressing mobile users (because they could potentially see a real ROI) are:
  1. Businesses with large visitor numbers
  2. Media businesses
  3. Some retail (e-commerce) businesses
  4. Businesses running functional websites / website applications
  • Other groups of businesses may want a mobile solution (even if it won’t provide them a clear ROI) for other reasons (e.g. to get ahead of the competition, brand identity etc).
  • Two main categorisations of mobile website solution exist, these are outlined by the information chart below:
Solution Useful for situations like … Ballpark Costs Useful for businesses like …
Mobile websites (extra pages that are specially built to be auto-delivered to mobile users) Making a ‘normal’ website have a dedicated set of page(s) that will show up (in a manner optimised for small screens) when a user goes to the website on a mobile phone.  Principal Benefit: Increased conversion rates from mobile users. From £3k e-commerce / Retailb2b businesses with very high visitor numbersb2c brands
Mobile Apps and/or Web Apps* (Android, Apple, Web apps that are downloaded) Information that can be delivered in a potentially highly functional and potentially highly interactive way.  Principal Benefit: Increased engagement levels/brand identity. £5k++ Any big brandApplication/Web service vendors

Thoughts and feedback on this post are very welcome :)

What is mobile search?

The growth of smartphones and tablets has surpassed the expectations of even the most optimistic commentator this year. It’s now estimated that smartphone and tablet usage will overtake PC and laptop usage in the US before the end of the year. In the UK, Ofcom has just released its own study, the annual Communications and Marketing Report, which states that 1 in 3 UK adults own and use a smartphone on a daily basis. What this means for the marketing industry is that marketers will have to re-think their strategies and increasingly concentrate their marketing efforts on the mobile audience if they wish to continue to drive traffic to their sites. IBM’s recent study, The Mobile Sweep, has already identified that such mobile search strategies are already being adopted by some of the more forward-thinking companies. So, is your business forward looking? Have you already optimised your mobile search engine strategy to target this ever-growing market?

In its report IBM looked at the fortunes of the website Priceline.com and noted that it had benefited significantly from the growth of mobile search. As users get used to searching on the go and using e-commerce, they become increasingly comfortable and are prepared to spend money more freely, it appears, than their non-mobile counterparts. IBM reported that 82% of Priceline.com’s, mobile visitors booked their hotel rooms within a day of discovering the website: only 45% of non-mobile users did the same. Of the mobile bookers, over 50% were within 20 miles of their hotels when they booked them, which would suggest that location and proximity are key drivers in helping them to make these decisions.

All the available statistics indicate that the total number of consumers who search and buy on mobiles will continue to rise exponentially. Using data from Morgan Stanley, the conclusion IBM reached was that mobile internet devices will lead the market in the coming years and will produce the bulk of internet sales. But why has the smartphone had such an impact on search and sales? IBM believes that it’s the availability of 3G internet, and the promise of fourth generation broadband, that has been the major driver in the smartphone and tablet market, along with the ability of mobiles to deliver enhanced context awareness. That may sound a little high faulting and complicated, but in essence what they’re getting at, is that the mobile is very good at delivering information to mobile users in real time which answers all their needs – that is physical and geographical location, social context and time.  The implications for those businesses that haven’t yet optimised their websites to deliver locally optimised content to mobile searchers is that you’d best do it quickly, or you’ll miss the boat.

If businesses need any encouragement to optimise their sites for the local market, and also for mobile users, then surely this is this it. The market is out there and growing all the time, and it seems this sector of the market is more willing to spend online than any other. So, go on: you know it makes sense. Mobile search engine optimisation is the trend of the future. Don’t let your business lose out.

What will Smart Phones do to our Websites?

What effects will smart phones have on websites in 2012 and beyond?

All the data coming out of the researchers suggests that the trend towards smart phone/tablet usage and away from desktop/laptops is taking hold.  E-Consultancy are reporting that 57% of US professionals say that they will use a smart phone or tablet device as their primary source of internet usage (vs a PC).  They are also predicting a rise in the proportion of online spend that is dedicated to Mobile, today in 2011 it is 15%, in 2015 it is predicted to be 64%.

What does this mean for our warm and snuggly websites?

Maybe not that much.  As is the way with things, they tend to evolve rather than spontaneously transform (albeit at a speedy pace in the digital world).  The same E-Consultancy data appears to show that the focus of mobile spend is around 3 areas – the mobile web, mobile search and social networking.

Some more examination of these phenomena reveals that they are all in fact evolutions and in some cases the same animals as those faithful ‘old’ websites that we know and love so well.

What does this mean for my business?

Mobile Search

Mobile Search

Mobile Web

The vast majority of updated websites will be compatible with Smart Phones, HTML5 based websites are entirely supported.

Moving forward, it is worth considering creating a mobile version of the existing site, this means presenting the content in a way that is ‘mobile friendly’, i.e. short, concise with a focus on contact information.  This need not be an expensive addition to your brief – correctly put together it would be an extension of the existing website system.

Mobile Search

Again, if you are engaging an SEO or Web Marketing agency, Mobile search will be partially covered by the traditional SEO work that is taking place.

Moving forward, if the website system has been designed in a manner in which it supports both platforms as mentioned above, the job of specifically optimising for mobile platforms should be a natural extension to the SEO campaign work and mean only a minor increase in budget.

Social Networking

The Social Networks have been quick to capitalise on the Mobile Web and have extended their systems intelligently to support mobile platforms.  They have designed new front-ends, optimised for the mobile experience that leverage the same application and database systems that power their PC and laptop interfaces.

In order to be successful here, businesses need to engage in a progressive Social Network marketing campaign that is integrated with the SEO (the Social Networks will make the technology work).  By doing this, businesses will be able to leverage their website and SEO plays to improve the outputs of their social endeavours.  It’s all about good old-fashioned strategy and correctly done it results in more potential customers engaging the website via online channels – from the mobile, PC and the of course the real world also :)

How to get divorced on Twitter

Have you ever found that you are just growing apart from some of the people you are following on twitter? Maybe you followed them at first because they were popular, powerful, cool or just damn sexy?

When they followed you back you were a rush with emotion. Digital acceptance into their inner circle meant you were connected, accepted and had one very cool ‘follower’, earning your digital self that bit more kudos.

But over the months and years things change. Your digital avatar has grown up, moved on from an adolescent obsession with popularism and found it’s place in the digital world – with like minded individuals from whom they can garnish and share genuinely relevant information.

Get divorced on Twitter

Get divorced on Twitter

That popular connection of yours is still uber cool and successful but somehow their musings just don’t do it for you anymore.

Eventually you decide that clogging up your timeline with randomised, automated ‘quotes of philosophers’, ‘links of the hour’, ‘daily funnies’ and the occasional interaction from a low paid intern feigning coolness is just not worth the kudos…. So you resolve yourself to unfollow your childhood sweetheart!

But how do you do it, how do you get divorced on Twitter!?!?  How will they feel, what will they do and most importantly will their auto-unfollow script kick in, meaning one less follower for you and one very cool one too!?!?

I was faced with exactly this dilemma recently.  Having followed the eminent Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) since the very early days (he was a tweeting pioneer) I had felt a special bond of kinship… I was sure he held me in high regard amongst his 360,000 loyal followers.  I used to wait, tweet-deck at the ready on his every word – but after the years and much to my dismay his tweeting just doesn’t do it for me anymore :(

And so I give you; ‘How to get divorced on Twitter’ …

Elliott King

elliott_king Elliott King

Sorry @GuyKawasaki - I have to let you go :( … it was great while it lasted, I just think we’re in a different space right now.

Guy Kawasaki

@GuyKawasakiGuy Kawasaki
@elliott_king No problem. Have a happy rest of your life.

Elliott King

@elliott_kingElliott King
@GuyKawasaki thanks guy … I won’t forget you.
And that was it – it was done!  No tears, no drawn out discussions, he accepted it, duly un-followed me ( :( ) a few hours later and we’ve both gone our separate ways … with no hard feelings … none at all … I’m in a good place right now …
I only hope that somewhere deep down Guy Kawasaki still wants to follow me.

Website Planning that Pays

Before embarking on re-designing and re-building your marketing website it may well pay to do a little ‘website planning’ first. Assuming that the primary purpose of your business website is to market the products and services of your business to potential and existing customers there are two main questions that you will need to be clear on before proceeding.


1. What do you want your Website to say?

Normally, you will want your business website to clearly spell out the main benefits of your products and/or services. Ideally this will be done in a language and style that will engage the types of customer groups that your business serves.


2. Who do you want your Website to say it to?

The marketing website is for your customers. What types of people are they? Can your customer base be categorised into distinct groups? Are your customer groups buying the same or different prducts and services? Do they buy for the same or different reasons?

customer groups

Identify target customer groups and associated products and services


What do we do next?

Well, there is still more planning work to do. Beyond these two questions there are further steps in a website planning process (see the article ‘Planning the Perfect Website‘, by MintTwist, for further detail on this subject), however the process becomes far easier and the end result will be far more effective with clarity on what we want to say and who we want to say it to.


How does planning help design?

A website homepage will push the core messages in a design that will enage our core customer groups. However it’s most important function is to quickly and clearly direct the website visitor (potential customer) to the product or service page that is most relevant for them.

By breaking down the products and services by customer group and at the same time having a good understanding of the benefits that are most relevant to each group we will be able to design product and service pages that will enable us to focus our communication towards the needs of our potential customer, increase engagement and ultimately increase sales leads and revenue.

Software as a service is set to grow global

Though the collapse of the bubble has led to a difficult period for the bits-and-bytes industry, it has now returned to stable and sustainable growth coupled with vibrant innovation in many departments. The coming years promise to be exciting as the software industry, once again, reinvents itself to reach a whole new level.

According to Software Magazine’s Software 500 Survey, the revenues of the top 500 software companies total $394 billion, a growth of 3.5% from the previous year. Today’s biggest contenders include IBM, Microsoft, HP, Oracle, SAP and Apple.

The convergence of multiple point technologies wireless, pervasive broadband, and online collaboration generates a whole new level of interactive applications. The heralded Web 2.0 revolution with its innovation in content (e.g., blogs, wikis, user editing and tagging), tools like search, and services like content hosting brings about a much larger opportunity to transfer the new developments in the consumer side to the corporate environment.

According to McKinsey & Company / Sand Hill Group, two major business models
are competing for a growing share of software spend: Software as a Service and Open Source.

Software as a Service has become increasingly relevant to both large corporations and SMEs and is likely to impact the entire IT landscape. Software as a Service has already gained momentum in number of application areas including payroll, human capital management, CRM, conferencing, procurement, logistics, information services, and e-commerce) and is expected make gains across a much wider cross-section of applications over the next 3 years.

On the other hand, Open Source continues to upset packaged software business models. Major open source projects have expanded across nearly all layers of the stack, including web browsers (Mozilla Firefox), application servers (JBoss, JOnAS, Geronimo), web servers (Apache, Tomcat), mail servers (Sendmail, QMail), databases (MySQL, MaxDB), operating systems (Linux, BSD, RTOS), and programming languages (Perl, PHP, Smalltalk, Java).

translation services

translation services

As the competition in this sector heats up, businesses are realising that the need for language translation services for associated marketing material as well as the website localisation services is becoming paramount. “By their nature, web services are international, and firms who intelligently employ translation services to open up their offering will be sure to profit.”, stated McKinsey.

A recent McKinsey survey of CIOs shows that experimentation with open source software is now relatively mainstream, with 43 per cent mentioning the use of open source applications of some sort and 41 per cent the adoption of an open source infrastructure like Linux.

How do you solve a problem like myhomepage?

myhomepage is an internet startup that has used seed funding to develop an attractive, useful and innovative bookmarking and password management website application that helps consumers all over the world.

The product has been well received with registered users proving to be fans and advocates of the technology.

myhomepage - personal password management and bookmarking

myhomepage - personal password management and bookmarking

The problem

However, the team now know that they are now entering what is potentially the hardest part of their start-up journey. Much of the seed investment has gone on developing the product. The team now have to focus their attention towards marketing the product, but with little budget remaining it needs to be a boot-strapped exercise.

Potential investors have set the ‘active user’ target at 50,000 before they will release the second round of investment capital that is so badly needed to move the business on to the next level.

The current number of active users is 5000 and with minimal marketing impact thus far, new user registrations are running at just 15 a-day which is 5% of the average number of new and unique visitors that arrive at the site each day, but the 300 new and unique visitors that arrive at the site each day has been static since inception.

To make matters even more challenging the business has been set the challenge of achieving 50,000 myhomepage users within just 6-months.

At the current conversion rate the site will only achieve another 2700 registered users – leaving the business to fall far short of the target that is so badly needed for further investment.

myhomepage – the second coming

The team have resolved to fight-back against their predicament.

Over the last few weeks the founders have re-focussed the direction of the business towards marketing the existing benefits of the product whilst making stinging cut-backs on overheads and product development.

Money has now been re-focussed on an all out attempt to raise the profile of the business, drive up the number of website visitors and haul-in the thousands of new registered users that will see the business win the investment that they need to survive.

myhomepage need YOU

In 6-months myhomepage must get 50,000 registered users. At current conversion rates this means getting one million new and unique visitors to the website over the next 180-days, this means an average of 5,500 users per day versus a current average of just 300.

There are two members of staff, one trained in SEO and the other is a content writer. There is no money for ad-words or any other form of paid for advertising.

There is scope for organic SEO, viral marketing, blog marketing, social network marketing and guerrilla marketing.

Which of these avenues should myhomepage pursue? What should the angle be? Are there any other avenues that myhomepage should follow?

Read more on the team of friends behind myhomepage.

For further information on myhomepage please contact Max Aengevelt (m.aengevelt@mhplive.com) or Massimo Agostinelli (m.agos@mhplive.com).

Friends team up to take on google

myhomepage was founded by two well connected young entrepreneurs Massimo Agostinelli and Max Aengevelt who combine their work at myhomepage with their studies at the European School of Business of London and Cass Business school .

Massimo Agostinelli and Max Aengevelt, founders of myhomepage

Massimo Agostinelli and Max Aengevelt, founders of myhomepage

Quite a feat when you see how far their business has come in such a short space of time.

In just one year myhomepage have a highly developed password management system that has a applied for patent and online bookmarking system that is up and running on the internet.

myhomepage are operating in an emerging and intriguing space and the business is already a leading player in a sector in which heavy weights such as Google and Microsoft have already expressed an interest.

Massimo and Max have been close friends since meeting at Hurtwood House boarding school in Surrey England and the friends both have business in their blood.  Both are heirs to well established and highly successful family businesses that make high value equity investments all over the world.

But family connections will not provide a free ride, the family businesses have provided the seed investment, but the founders are well aware that they are required to ensure the business is able to stand on its own two feet by winning further investment from external sources.

Massimo and Max set about achieving their vision for myhompage in early 2009 by assembling a team of exceptional technical experts, marketing guru’s and seasoned start-up executives. myhomepage aims to become a leading start page that allows user to save, manage and automatically log into their favourite bookmarks.

Key to the success so far has been the fact that the founders have extended the hand of friendship as well as camaraderie to all the members of their team.

The latest to join the team is the web agency MintTwist.

MintTwist were involved early on in the myhomepage story, having been contracted to improve the website design, look-and-feel and usability.

Having seen the tremendous value that exists within the business, MintTwist were delighted to agree on even closer ties, by becoming equity partners in the myhomepage business.

Massimo, Max, MintTwist and the rest of the fledgling team still have a long way to go. And they are under no illusions about the difficulties that lie ahead; first they must prove that there is traction in the product by significantly raising the number of active users that have taken up the myhomepage system.

In a latest twist to their story, the team have now been set the challenging goal of achieving 50,000 new users within just 6-months.  Read more on the myhomepage marketing challenge.

But as ever the two enigmatic founders are un-phased – “We will do it”, they say.

For further information on myhomepage please contact Max Aengevelt (m.aengevelt@mphlive.com) or Massimo Agostinelli (m.agos@mphlive.com)

Private Detectives and Max Clifford

The News of the World is seeking to prevent the disclosure of documents that it is claimed show that many of its reporters “endemically” used illegal methods to obtain personal information, a court was told today.

The evidence is being sought by celebrity publicist Max Clifford, who has started legal action seeking to prove that News of the World investigators unlawfully intercepted messages left on his mobile phone.

Jeremy Reed, Clifford’s barrister, told Mr Justice Norris in the high court that, according to a witness statement from an information commissioner investigator, unlawful requests from newspaper reporters to obtain information about “high-profile” individuals and their associates was “endemic”.

The case follows the Guardian’s revelation that Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire secretly paid £1m in damages to Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, and two other figures from the PFA to settle legal actions that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using a private detective to illegally hack into their mobile phone records.

Clifford, like Taylor, was one of five individuals named in the charges against Glenn Mulcaire, a private detective in London used by the tabloid who was jailed with the paper’s royal reporter, Clive Goodman, in 2007.

Clifford has made an application to see documents concerning News of the World reporters from the information commissioner, the watchdog responsible for protecting the public’s privacy.

The commissoner seized paperwork from Steve Whittamore, a private investigator who has been convicted of illegally accessing official and commercial databases. Whittamore had cultivated sources who extracted information from police computers, British Telecom, the DVLA, the Inland Revenue and others.

The paperwork shows that there were a total of 13,343 requests from 305 journalists including 27 journalists from the News of the World who paid Whittamore to obtain personal data. One NoW reporter made 130 requests, and another 118.

The information commissioner is prepared to release this paperwork to Clifford as he believes that the employment of illegal methods by the News of the World and other newspapers was widespread.

Today, the News of the World said: “This legal issue is coming up for hearing shortly. We are therefore unwilling to comment in any detail, other than to say that the relevant report from the information commissioner was published in 2006 and it referred to matters arising in 2002–2003.”

“For the record, the information commissioner’s report has nothing to do with voicemail accessing.”
It is understood that the News of the World will argue that the records obtained by the information commissioner are irrelevant and therefore should be kept under wraps.

A court ordered the release of documents from the information commissioner when Taylor sued. The Murdoch papers later paid him £700,000 in a confidential out-of-court settlement.

Last year, Clifford said he had been told by the police more than two years ago that his phone had been hacked. He told the Guardian: “I believed that this was a one-off, just two lads overstepping the mark. I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Now it is increasingly worrying that there could be an awful lot more.

How do you grow Arabian dates?

In 2004, Nadiya Ltd was a young company, with a fast-growing corporate gifts and hospitality business focussed on markets in the Middle East.

Nadiya contracted a Dubai based marketing consultancy to develop a premium branding system and help take Nadiya into the FMCG retail sector.

They developed a brand story for their brand launch.  The Nadiya brand celebrates traditional Arabian culture and hospitality, with a contemporary twist.

Then they defined their brand experience for their brand launch – Nadiya hospitality is always the talk of the town.

Marketing Consultancy

Marketing Consultancy

Tenzing Marketing Consultancy then worked with them on Pack Design. The Nadiya logo conveys a stylish and relaxed mood and their elegantly designed packs promise tasty treats within.

Finally Tenzing worked with Nadiya to design and deploy a sustainable and cost effective adverstising campaign that still provides a strong return on investment. Nadiya advertising has always communicated the brand heritage and exclusivity.

Six years later, Nadiya is the leading retail brand in the Middle East, continues to thrive in servicing the Gulf’s five star hotels and corporate gifting sectors.

Tenzing Marketing Consultancy based in Dubai that work with small and medium sized companies to help their brands perform better.

1 Language dies every 14 days

Losing Our World’s Languages

Today Translations have taken a serious interest in the way language is used around the world and how it evolved to be so. When we recently learned that every 14 days a language dies we were shocked to say the least and even more devastated to hear that by 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth—many of them not yet recorded—may disappear, taking with them a wealth of knowledge about history, culture, the natural environment, and the human brain.

By identifying language hotspots—the places on our planet with the most unique, poorly understood, or threatened indigenous languages—and documenting the languages and cultures within them we have a much better chance of saving this incredibly valuable knowledge.

Why Is It Important?

Language defines a culture, through the people who speak it and what it allows speakers to say. Words that describe a particular cultural practice or idea may not translate precisely into another language. Many endangered languages have rich oral cultures with stories, songs, and histories passed on to younger generations, but no written forms. With the extinction of a language, an entire culture is lost.

Much of what humans know about nature is encoded only in oral languages. Indigenous groups that have interacted closely with the natural world for thousands of years often have profound insights into local lands, plants, animals, and ecosystems—many still undocumented by science. Studying indigenous languages therefore benefits environmental understanding and conservation efforts.

Studying various languages also increases our understanding of how humans communicate and store knowledge. Every time a language dies, we lose part of the picture of what our brains can do.

Job Opening for a Senior Sales Manager at MintTwist

Senior Sales Manager – Web Marketing Strategy Services

Leading Web Marketing, Design and Development agency have an excellent opportunity for an experienced Senior Sales Manager with strong Web experience to join their London Head office.

In this role you will be responsible for the following:

- Follow up leads and win new business contracts on a monthly basis

- Develop and cultivate the continuous supply of sales leads, lead generation channels and business contacts

- Attend face to face meetings

- Manage relationship with new and current clients

- Attend relevant networking events and industry forums

- Develop sales strategy for the UK and Europe

- Develop accurate sales forecast with business Director

- Manage database of clients and contacts

- Work with salesforce on a daily basis

This is an exciting opportunity to join a market leading business in a very visible and important role to the business. In order to be considered for this role you MUST have experience in the following:

- Strong experience in High Level service sales

- Web background and strong knowledge of web marketing techniques

- Web sales experience

Please send a copy of your Resume through to elliott@minttwist.com

Foreign footballers face fresh challenges in Premier League

Foreign footballers from outside the EU will be barred from joining Premier League clubs from October unless they can speak simple English under new immigration rules.

The English test forms part of a points-based system that will cut the number of immigrants entering Britain by about 20,000 a year. But ministers have decided to exempt performers at specific festivals, including Edinburgh, Glyndebourne, Glastonbury, Wimbledon and the London Marathon.

The new rules will apply to all skilled workers — including footballers and managers — from non-EU states. The Government planned originally to insist that they understood English up to GCSE level but this was changed amid fears that it would rule out too many players, such as Manchester United’s Ji-Sung Park, from South Korea, and Carlos Tévez, from Argentina, and Arsenal’s Denilson, from Brazil, who have struggled to master the language, and man will have no choice but to use language interpreters.

Favourite training ground expressions being taught includes ‘pick your man up!’, ‘don’t let him turn you!’, and ‘take him on, beat your man!’ Eleven hours is the average time it takes to educate them from zero English to being able to function on the field.

Instead of the usual textbook approach, however, one of the top teaching tools is the Subbuteo miniature soccer game. It is used to re-enact an actual game so the relevant phrases come to life making the language as pertinent as possible to what they’re going to be doing on the field.

‘There’s no point in teaching him to say ”my uncle’s pen is in your auntie’s bureau’, or how to buy a first class train ticket,’ said Dr Kettle-Williams.

‘We need it to be real, so he can function on the field. There’s no time there for hesitation, or stopping to think ”what do they mean?”

‘We teach them these phrases and then, in the next game, they are alert and switched on, understanding instructions from the sidelines and playing better.’

The Home Office document said that workers would need to demonstrate “an ability to understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases, to introduce themselves and others and ask and answer question about basic personal details”.

Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister, said: “I am afraid they will have to speak English. We do not want people coming to work alone. We had originally suggested requiring everybody to have English to GCSE level, but a lot of people thought that was going over the top.”

Windows 7 – Cannot copy files required for installation error

I recently received the “Cannot copy files required for installation” error (with error code 0×80070017) when trying to install Windows 7 on my PC.  After some investigation I found that the top 3 reasons this happens are:

1. The DVD you are using is corrupt.  If you are burning the ISO image to a DVD, you need to choose the lowest speed and be sure to verify it after burn (I used 4x)

2. Your memory may be playing up.  Run a memory test using the free tool from http://www.memtest.org.  Any errors reported need to be ironed out.  I simply took out 2gb of the 4gb my system had installed and this cleared the error.  I then re-inserted the memory when Windows 7 had installed.

3. Reset your BIOS settings to default and make sure you are not aggressively over clocking your system.

Good luck!

Get your Cocktails in a Mix – YouTube bans NHS video

The Cocktails Mix campaign (pronounced Cocktalesmix) was the brain child of the NHS in Derbyshire, dreamt up to warn young people of using excessive amounts of alcohol this  Christmas.

A VIDEO created by the Cocktails Mix campaign team has been banned from a website for being too controversial.

Video website YouTube has removed the Cocktails Mix NHS video clip, called Bloody Mary, which shows a group of young men jeering at a woman who is so drunk she urinates in the street, then falls over and injures herself.

It was one of two videos created by Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust for its £25,000 Cocktales mix campaign, aimed at getting young adults to drink sensibly.

It received more than 15,000 hits in the eight days it was on the website.

The second video made by the trust, Tequila Slammer, shows a drunk man dressed as a turkey being run over by a car, remains on YouTube and can be seen here (warning, some viewers may find these scenes disturbing):

Santa’s tips for Blogging for Business

How does Santa know what everyone wants for the holidays? Simple, the children tell Santa very specifically. Whether they are sitting on his lap, or writing letters in crayon, Santa’s “customers” make it very clear to him what they are looking for this holiday season.

You have the same advantage. Grownups use search engines to tell you exactly what they want. You simply need to show up, no matter what or how they are asking.

If Santa were dishing out corporate blogging advice for marketers this holiday season, I’m sure it would sound something like this:

Blog for search

Recognize that blogging is a terrific search marketing tool and embrace it early. Blogs give you an easy way to quickly tell lots of stories frequently. The reality is that most blog traffic is coming from first-time visitors. They don’t know you yet. What searchers do know is what they want or the problems they are trying to solve. Developing specific blogs targeting specific products or services is a terrific way to target these self-qualifying prospects.

Do your keyword research and take advantage of the space that your blogs give you to talk about your products and services using the words your customers use.

Example: GoalGroup

GoalGroup is an industry leader in protecting investors and funds against losses and retrieves them money after class action lawsuits. It sells its services through a worldwide network and is monitoring and reporting on class actions to its global network of clients and partners. It targets hundreds of specific terms through blogging, using keywords such as “class actions” and “class action lawsuits”.

For GoalGroup, targeting search through class action focused blog articles not only helps dramatically increase organic traffic, but such traffic also converts at a very high level — which is a clear indication that the search audience is happy to have landed on one of the company’s blog articles.

Example: Today Translations

Language Translation agency Today Translations has embraced targeted blogging to drive searches. By empowering its language translators in the markets (in London and financial centres worldwide) it serves to tell stories about their business, the company is able to target people in those markets the very moment when they need the services of a language translator the most. Targeting terms like “language translator”, “English to Chinese translation” or “English to Russian translation” shows up well because of the local stories the language translators tell.

The biggest miss in multi-channel merchant blogging is the conversion. Just like any other web page in your inventory, your blogs need to have clear, relevant, and effective calls-to-action. If a searcher lands on a web page about a Property in Wimbledon or a Private Detective Agency, they sure better have a way to buy that service.

Many companies do a wonderful job on PPC landing pages and totally fail on their blogs. You have to think of your blogs as organic landing pages. The goal is conversion — get your searchers to take the next step in the relationship.

Every kind of business can benefit from search-optimised blogging. By following the advice above, you are putting your organization in front of people who have expressed their intent to find a solution to their needs, whether it’s for information, services, or products.

Virtual Gets Real with Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) has become a hot topic among marketers, particularly in light of the release of Yelp’s Monocle app that allows users to see location-based reviews hovering on their iPhone screens. The technology has provoked repeat interest from Mashable, Wired, Fast Company, and ReadWriteWeb, while companies like IBM, GE, Best Buy, P&G, and Wal-Mart are moving beyond pure gimmick to truly connect with consumers via AR.

The seminal promise of AR is as the touchstone technology allowing social networks, geo-based tracking, and the semantic web to converge. Put less geekily, think of AR as your personalized digital butler, who will get to know your behavior so specifically that it can prethink your choices based on your friends, location, and how you search online. The cyberpunk fictions have come to reality with AR, and the cultural ramifications are as powerful as the marketing opportunities.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the fundamental ways in which augmented reality will reshape consumer behavior and interactive marketing, as well as a few companies and applications that are leading the way.

From map to mindset
What’s your relationship to the GPS unit in your car? Do you lament the loss of serendipity that resulted from depending on the tinny voice on your dash? More likely, you’ve learned to lean on your satellite siren and have blissfully embraced paperless travel.

This adjustment to technology represents a step toward artificial intelligence, in which machines can learn our behavior and improve the way we live. Adopting GPS not only saves us time in our travels, it lets us clear our mental palette to make space for other thoughts, a “prethinking” process mirrored in augmented reality. Still in its nascent form until the majority of the public owns enabled smartphones, AR’s ability to layer 3-D images on a phone’s screen in the context of a person’s actual location makes it the touchstone technology galvanizing artificial intelligence and the promise of social marketing.

The tech you shouldn’t see
The trailer for Microsoft’s Xbox Project Natal announcement provides a key insight into the future of augmented reality, human behavior, and commerce. Noting from the outset that “no controller is required,” a typical family runs through a set of game scenarios based on their varying interests. A teenage boy karate-kicks an avatar, his older sister video chats with a friend who recommends a virtual dress to wear, and so on.

Although facial and voice recognition enhance the game, we’re reminded that to enjoy the Xbox, “the only experience you need is life experience.” This idea is key — like your GPS, you forget about the tech and focus on the benefits. You augment your reality in the context of what you’re presented.

Skewing social
Augmented reality assigns relevance for users of the “outernet” via AR applications like Yelp’s Monocle that allow you to see location-specific user reviews on the screen of your iPhone by simply pointing your camera and clicking on links. The process is faster than looking online, especially once users search via multiple AR services that aggregate relevant data for their location. The result is crowd-sourced commerce and a prethinking reliance of users to make purchasing decisions once they’re nearing their destination rather than at home. Social networks take on a new and more immediate relevance when posts are seen in the context of physical space.

Tagging taxonomies
Geo-tagging lets you create text, audio, or video you can assign a physical location to via AR-enabled smartphones. When others come to that spot in the future, they’ll be able to experience the content you’ve left behind. This communal prethinking in relation to location will become commonplace, as will the virtual offers pushed our way when we’re in the vicinity of local stores. Prethinking via dating services like Match.com combined with geo-enabled tweets will alter cultural behavior as well.

The sublime search
Prethinking also applies to how we tag ourselves, an act that has direct repercussions on semantic search. Instead of relying on keywords that have multiple meanings depending on context and native language, search powered by augmented reality assigned to specific geo-locations will have the relevance of our physical actions. Taxonomies relating to our actual locations will transform reliance on clumsy search algorithms in lieu of actual behavior. This aggregated data will provide a wealth of information to marketers in terms of when to deliver key messaging and relevance to geography. And as identity standards like Open ID continue to evolve, consumers can set their geo-privacy preferences to avoid unwanted airvertising to create standards for outernet etiquette as well.

Augmented reality becomes a transformative technology when campaigns move beyond Flash to demonstrate utility. Gimmicks can be useful to attract user attention, but AR needs to lead to relevant social or commercial connections.

Georgia Tech’s zombie game provides an example of flash and function that can move the needle for commercial adoption of AR. We all enjoy slaughtering the undead, and moving around a placemat-like game board to see 3-D action via our smartphone screens is sweet. But when an actual Skittles candy is placed on the game board and game characters react to its presence, the applications for marketing become readily apparent. Virtual aisles in retail environments can be festooned with interactive characters or videos. Beer goggles take on a literal angle, and placemats will provide games that respond to various bottles or cans maximized for AR.

Other services like Zugara’s Webcam Social Shopper let people virtually try on clothes, and users can take pictures of themselves to send to their friends on Facebook. Combining the AR app with crowd-sourced opinions from social networks provides utility along with the benefit of collaborative shopping.

USAA has also proven that non-sexy AR applications can gain more traction than gimmicky campaigns. Its iPhone app allows people to take a picture of their checks for instant deposits, a simple yet profound action inasmuch as it engenders ease of financial transaction. As reported by eWeek in an article about the application, “USAA’s customers have conducted more than 13.3 million mobile transactions in 2009.” Prethinking leads to profits via AR-enabled utility.

Jamais Cascio, the popular ethical futurist that regularly writes for Fast Company and other publications, dovetails the notions of prethinking combined with AR in his notion of “focus assistants,” or filtering tools that screen content you don’t want to receive. In his article for the Atlantic, “Get Smarter,” he notes that, “as our capacity to provide that filter gets faster and richer, it increasingly becomes something akin to collaborative intuition — in which everyone is effectively augmenting everyone else.

This process of collective intuition is amplified by AR applications like Pelago’s visual storytelling tool, Whrrl. The service, according to CEO Jeff Holden, is a “real-time storytelling product for people’s daily lives,” which aggregates multiple tweets, posts, and updates to form a kind of visual Twitter. These communal events are also shared to the larger community, which can comment while stories take place. This process creates a form of public prethinking known as group awareness. And it’s the data culled from these multiple communal stories that will form the basis of future interactions in commerce and culture at large.

More stories at Pike Place Fish MarketPowered by Whrrl
Conclusion
Augmented reality offers multiple touchpoints to interact with consumers in an intimate and impactful virtual landscape. When commercial experiences in the outernet honor consumer privacy, are relevant to location, and embrace communal group experience, marketers will benefit. But like GPS and our Xbox family demonstrated, AR is just a few steps away from being invisible. No experience is required and prethinking will become a habit without our realizing its taken place.

Just remember that, like the mom at the end of the video, you can always turn the AR technology off. And unless marketers collaborate with consumers on their virtual sojourns, they’re likely to do the same to us.

Review of Caphyon Web Ranking System for SEO

Advanced Web Ranking is a search engine ranking software application that helps check the position of a website in search engines rankings. The web ranking systems allows users to pick region specific search engines making managing international sites easier than ever before.  To begin users need to enter a list of keywords or phrases they  wish to track.  Caphyon offers various built in keyword research tools to help users with keyword choices.  Entering keywords proved to be an easy task, from there users enter the URLs of the sites that you wish to track.  After keywords and the URLs are entered for a specific project all that is left is to run the report.  Every time a keyword report is run Caphyon will compare the new page rank with the results from previous page ranks.  MintTwist found the “top sites’ and “overview” tabs especially useful due to the fact that they are useful when tracking a large amounts of keywords and for measuring overall success of a project.  Reports are easily exported to different formats including HTML, PDF, EXCEL and CSV complete with logos, headers and footers.  Users can schedule project updates to run whenever they want as many times as they want.  MintTwist is able to manage multiple large international projects with ease using advanced web ranking software.  Advanced web ranking system provides accurate ranking even when there is a large amount of keywords in the project.  Advanced web ranking system is able to run on multiple platforms which has made it easy for MintTwist to access the ranking system interface when meeting with customers outside of our home office.  Another useful tool offered by Caphyon web ranking system was the local search ability.  It allows users to make their own search engine in a way to find results in your interface using google maps and Yahoo local search.

When first using Caphyon’s ranking system users must be patient because the possibilities of the software can be overwhelming at times.  MintTwist users had to take some time to read the user manual and play around with the software for while in order to gain a full understanding of the possibilities.

The one complaint that we had with the software was it was not entirely easy to figure out how to effectively see how our competition was doing, but after some time spent reading the user’s manual we figured out the process.

The Link manager is also a very useful tool for anyone looking to build link campaigns.  Link Manger does exactly what it suggest in that it enables users of all abilities to efficiently and effectively organize their link campaigns to their specific needs.  Features of Link Manger include, but are not limited to: Finds links relative to the users site, keeps track of link partners, finds broken links that can negatively affect your page rank, monitor competitors, track your back links, and produce highly customized reports.  Link manager automatically eliminates manual searches to reduce the bandwidth burdens of other programs.

Overall Caphyon’s web ranking system has been an essential to MintTwist’s success and we highly recommend Caphyon over all other web ranking systems.  The level of competence and possibilities make it a dream to work with.

Is a second wave of world Browser Wars heading our way?…

… Maybe. Although this time it will be more complex.

IE and FireFox are the dominant incumbents and Google’s Chrome is the rising super-power. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll see there are more potential players in the battle for world domination.

Are we heading for a second wave of browser wars?

Are we heading for a second wave of browser wars?

“The issue that lies ahead is whether browsers will remain a relatively simple window on to the internet or become intelligent agents that shape online experiences. If they go down the latter route this would have potentially disruptive effects for others who do business on the internet”, said Alexis Pratsides of MintTwist Digital.

For the internet’s booming social networking industry in particular, the prospect that some of the capabilities associated with social networking will be embedded into browsers, making them more aware of users’ interests and social relationships, could force difficult strategic decisions.

Google’s main contribution to the browser skirmishes we’ve seen thus far has been an obsession with speed. With a new, faster engine for executing Javascript – the code that makes it possible for a browser to imitate applications that run on a PC – Google galvanised the rest of the industry and forced rivals to focus harder on their own core technology.

Google’s goal, as it takes on Microsoft, is clear – to accelerate the advances in the internet platform in ways that eventually make it unnecessary to run “native” software applications that rely on a PC’s underlying operating system. That, ultimately, should benefit the web-based services on which its success depends.

Others, however, see deeper potential in the browser and are out to push its capabilities further. As a piece of software that all users have to use – it clearly has a strong strategic position.

For instance, Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, says it is looking into arming its browser with a number of extra munitions – such as ‘knowing who you are and handling authentication on the websites you visit, keeping a record of your social network so that you can interact with friends; and, making it easier for you to share content with your network.

Given that these are all territories that social networks like Facebook currently view as their own, that could create new fronts opening up between browser makers and the internet services that rely on them.

If it makes life easier for internet users, bringing more capabilities into the browser will be hard to resist and populations of internet users may start to migrate away from using artificial silos [like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn].

This has attracted a flurry of interest and investment in browsers from the social networking big guns. The potential for “social browsers” is a currently a hot topic in Silicon Valley.

The internet industry has long nurtured a feeling of mutual growth and co-operation; but there’s a growing evidence that the time may be coming for players to choose sides, ready themselves and prepare for war!

MintTwist help medium sized product and service based businesses to increase revenue and sales leads by defeating their enemies on the battlefields of the internet with better web design and web marketing services. Contact Alexis Pratsides for more information.

Twitter sets to roost in London

London is becoming the Twitter capital of the world, in terms of number of users and number of businesses developing add-on tools for the communications network.

While is the toast of its native Silicon Valley in California, London boasts more users than any other city in the world.

Even though Twitteritself is yet to generate any revenue, early-stage investors are pouring millions of pounds into small companies in the Twitter “ecosystem” in the London area.

London web designers have produced many of the most popular of the many third-party tools used to post to Twitter, called Tweetdeck. Reading’s Tweetmeme, which tracks the most popular news stories discussed on Twitter, is attracting millions of visitors a month while Twitterfeed, based in Tooting, is used by thousands of publishers to post their latest headlines on to the site.

Twitter was launched in 2006 but really took off in the UK at the beginning of this year, thanks to support from celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross. But many see Twitter’s potential as far greater than documenting the lunching habits of the stars.

“Twitter has huge potential as a marketing and communications platform”, says >Elliott King, Director at MintTwist Ltd.

As Twitter has broken out of the early-adopter niche, it has attracted more mainstream users and uses… Jobseekers are using Twitter to find new employment. Many businesses push marketing messages and even run customer support services through their Twitter profiles. Millions of users flock to the site for the biggest news stories of the hour, as defined by the Twitter community rather than newspaper editors.

MintTwist help medium sized product and service based businesses to increase revenue and sales leads with the smart application of web design and web marketing services. Contact Elliott King for more information.

WPP chief: Industry rebound will focus on web marketing

The world economy is improving, but that has not translated into increased demand for expensive, elaborate advertising campaigns, according to WPP Group chief Martin Sorrell. However, the industry has the potential to rebound, and when it does, it will focus on digital, Sorrell said.

Sorrell told reporters Wednesday that the ad industry will look very different when it fully recovers from the effects of the recession, with the focus moving away from traditional, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“It’s not going to be in 30-second TV ads; it’s not going to be in newspaper or magazine ads; it’s going to be digital, it’s going to be viral and organic” Sorrell said.

One particular reason the industry won’t rebound as quickly as the economy is that marketers have grown accustomed to paying less for campaigns as agencies have been forced to slash rates in an effort to retain clients. Even Dublin-based WPP, the world’s largest agency by revenue, reported a 48 percent drop in net profit (to $177.3 million) for the first half of the year.