Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation

UK Property Investment news and comments from Mark Harrison of

Archive for the ‘Social Networking Optimisation’ Category

How well do you know your parents?

Posted by Mark Harrison on August 22, 2007

I’ve just come back from a rather good party – after all, my parents are only going to have one Ruby wedding anniversary.

Meeting some of the family I’ve not seen for 10+ years, and hearing some of the stories about my parents’ wedding, I’ve realised how little “hard footprint” they left back in the 60s – a few family photos, and personal memories locked in peoples’ heads.

I, on the other hand, have presumably left a huge footprint that will be available to my children via Google (or whatever takes over from it over the next 15 years.) Flickr photos, this blog, the YPE newsletter, but also tens of thousands of posts on mailing lists ranging from Morgan cars to Home Automation, via a whole range of wild and wacky niches.

Anyway, the reason I’m thinking about this is that I’m again co-hosting The Old Grey Video Test with Nik Butler and Phil Campbell tomorrow. (23rd August)

The next episode is live at 20:00 (UK Time) here. We’re doing it as a live show on Operator11, so if you’d like to come along, then you can participate in the show – if you have a webcam, we can bring you in by video – otherwise the “live online chat” will be running throughout the episode.

Nik, Phil and I are all in our 30s, all with young children, and the theme for tomorrow’s show is indeed “what our children will be able to discover about us.”


Posted in Blog marketing, SNO, Social Networking, Social Networking Optimisation, Web Marketing | Leave a Comment »

Kyte TV – impressive customer service!

Posted by Mark Harrison on August 8, 2007

A couple of days ago, I had a conversation with Phil Campbell about the power of Video Blogging.

I remembered that I had a little USB webcam in a crate, so I plugged it in, and tried a couple of the sites he recommended.

I’m going to be reviewing in the future, but I thought I’d talk briefly about first.

Nik Butler recommended that I try them, and for fun set up a game of Mornington Crescent, with the rules being that anyone could play, provided they post their move as a videoblog entry. The results are hardly going to go down in history as a masterpiece of the videographers work, but did show how easy it was to provide video content with a cheap camera, an ordinary laptop,  a fleece  blanket, and a couple of Ikea Takt clip spotlights. (OK, it’s clear that the lighting needs improving.)

Mary tried as well, and blogged about the results last night. That was when the impressive bit happened. Within 15 minutes of her blog entry, one of the developers from Kyte had noticed that someone had been blogging about them, and posted this comment, that explained how she could actually have the video embedded within her blog.

I could blog on about how easy the service is to use, but the thing that’s really come away with me is how much the team at Kyte must really care about their (non-paying!) customers to do that kind of thing.
Well done, well done.

And yes, I do know, thanks to that, how to embed the video – the fact I’m not doing so is a decision made of choice, not ignorance 🙂

Posted in Companies I Like, SNO, Social Networking, Social Networking Optimisation, Video blogging, Web Marketing | 1 Comment »

Market Crash – part 2

Posted by Mark Harrison on August 3, 2007

Interesting – had lots of feedback by email. (People – feel free to leave comments) on this one. I’m glad to report that the property investors seem to be a lot more grounded than the Web2.0 “pundits” who have all said the same thing, so time for a little overkill 🙂

“This time it’s different. You don’t understand Tulips. People will always want beautiful things.”

– Tulip Investor, 1636

“This time it’s different. You don’t understand Asia. People will always seek to trade.”

– South Sea Company Investor, 1720

“This time it’s different. You don’t understand land. People will always need houses.”

– UK property investor, 1880, 1989
– Japanese property investor, 1985
– Californian property investor, 2006

“This time it’s different. You don’t understand the Internet. It will change everything.”

– Tech investor, 1999

“This time it’s different. You don’t understand Social Networks. Kids will grow up with this stuff.”

– Web 2.0 investor, 2007

Well, guess what…

People still:

– want beautiful things
– want to trade
– need homes
– use the Internet
– generate their own content

Of course, none of these stopped the first four (eight) crashes…

… but heh, it’s your money.

Posted in Economics, Investment, SNO, Social Networking, Social Networking Optimisation | 5 Comments »

Don’t talk about this!

Posted by Mark Harrison on July 24, 2007

Fortunately, I don’t use MySpace, or more specifically, I don’t use the “ParentCare” control, which is a piece of software intended to help parents keep track of what their teenagers are doing on the Internet.

Because, if I did use ParentCare, I wouldn’t be allowed to write this message!

Part of the terms and conditions of the software are that you aren’t allowed to tell anyone what you think of it. Just look at this quote:

By downloading the ParentCare Beta software, you agree to not disclose any information about its content, its look and feel, and your experience with the software or your opinions about the software to any party other than a representative of Fox Interactive Media.  Examples of prohibited disclosures are as follows:

  • Communicating with reporters or media regarding the software
  • Posting comments on an internet bulletin board regarding the software
  • Sending emails regarding the software

Thank you for your compliance with this nondisclosure agreement …

As I said, I’ve not downloaded the software. I’ve not agreed to abide by the NDA (In fact, I got the text from Wired.) So I’m allowed to mention it.

No idea what it’s like though.

It does strike me as very bizarre – if you released a product, and made customers sign a contract that forbade them from sharing their experiences, would you imagine this was:

  •  A: A superb masterpiece that everyone would want
  • B: The kind of product normally described in terms invented for the leavings of dogs with antisocial owners?

Frankly, if you like this blog, the newsletter, or, then tell people about them 🙂

However, if you HATE this blog, the newsletter, of, then feel free tell people about that as well… just please let me know what you hate, so we can have a go at fixing it!

Posted in Internet problems, SNO, Social Networking, Social Networking Optimisation, Web Marketing, Wikinomics | Leave a Comment »

Social Networking Optimisation (SNO)

Posted by Mark Harrison on July 20, 2007

I’ve been reading with interest the discussion about SNO over at O’Reilly.

The world is changing rapidly:

  • Ten years ago, “experts” had books, TV shows, and (maybe) websites
  • Five years ago, we started getting into building mailing lists (Heh, I was slow – didn’t start its newsletter until September 2004)
  • But the world has moved on…

I make no secret of the fact that I sell a bunch of information products – CDs, a book, several training courses, an ebook and a couple of other own-brand products… plus a limited number of other products I’ve personally used and am happy to recommend.

But the idea that some experts have that they can stand on a pedestal, and have “fans” who will lap up their every word seems almost entirely laughable these days (except, maybe, in fashion, but heh, I’m about 100 years too late for my style to be cutting-edge.)

SEO – search engine optimisation – is an odd field, a few people who teach good stuff, and a lot of snake-oil – people who claim you can make “passive income” just by bidding on AdWords and selling other people’s ebooks. It worked for a few people, for a short time, but the markets are getting more sophisticated.

Web2.0 – the whole “Two Way Web”, where everything is a discussion, a conversation, is where everyone is moving – blogs rather than newsletter (OK, as well as newsletters!), forums rather than static websites, facebook rather than Google. (Though, to be fair, Google’s Pagerank, where they give high listings to sites linked to a lot by other high-quality sites, was arguably a “systemised” version of the two-way web, albeit one that only really gave power to those who could set up their own sites a few years ago.)

SNO – Social Networking Optimisation – is the new game in town.  How can “Social Networks”, communities, be engaged with? And I do mean “engaged with”, not just “sold to!”

The benefit of a COMMUNITY isn’t the additional sales, it’s the additional sources of information, learning, suggestions (and in the property investment world) leads and contacts.

I’ve learnt far more running the YPE mailing list, from the replies, comments, disagreements, and the like, than I’ve ever been able to impart back.

It will be interesting, with the “day job” hat on for a moment, to see whether SNO becomes a well-respected part of the marketing profession, with the SNO Agency sitting with the PR Agency and the Ad Agency… or whether it’s just another set of snake oil.

Posted in SNO, Social Networking, Social Networking Optimisation, Web Marketing, Wikinomics | Leave a Comment »