Monday, August 27, 2007

Leeds Carnival

Just got back from Leeds Carnival, it's run in conjunction with the Notting Hill Carnival in London. I had a great time, the atmosphere, costumes and the curried goat were brilliant. I took loads of pictures which I've added to my new facebook page.

I've added my favourite one here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Blog 150! SeoMoz guide to Social Media

I know that using social media will be good for my site and company. I already use linkedin. I'm sure there are ways to use MySpace, Bebo, FaceBook and the rest but I'm never sure where to start. If you're like me then this Whiteboard Friday from SEOMoz is for you. Enjoy

I never thought I'd reach this many entries!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Google Book results

I'm using my friend's PC at the moment so I don't have my bookmarks. So to get to pages normally on there I'm searching Google for the pages.

I just searched for Seth Godin so I could read today's blog. I got very weired book search results I've never seen before. When I followed them the results got stranger. After a couple of results which showed shots of chapters from Seth's books it showed other related books and then finally a map of all the places mentioned in the book, with links. All great in theory but surely not for Seth's books, they're not travel guides.

Maybe Google have just set my aspirations too high now, but it's disappointing when things aren't perfect on the results.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Things to buy a bloke

I'm your typical bloke. And when ever people buy me things as a gift they never get anything I'd like (of course there have been exceptions!)

So to help all those people who don't know what to buy for me or any bloke come to that I decided to make a list. So in no particular order:

  • A big iPod, obvious I know but a definite winner
  • Some really great books. George Orwell, Irving Welsh, something classic I've never read before, stretch my mind. I love that.
  • A really great meal. Not a Bernie Inn. Somewhere special, tapenyaki, sushi, Bulgarian food. It doesn't need to be expensive, just different.
  • A really nice tie. I know that sounds too easy, but a really nice tie goes a long way.
  • Take me to see a comedian I've never heard of.
  • Or a film I would normally turn my nose up at.
  • A day at a Gallery.
  • Drive a long way to see or do something that only takes an hour to do. As long as it's great enough, the drive's well worth it.
  • Take me to a city I've never visited. Edinburgh was great, Sofia is fantastic.
  • Get me to do an activity I've never done before, Archery, flower arranging, bungee jumping
  • Get me some cool furniture. A clock, a really cool cup even.

I think the gist here is surprise and really getting to know someone. This is my list, you have a different one. Make sure your friends and loved ones know yours and importantly that you know theirs. Surprise is the key, but you really need to know someone to pull it off. Take the time it's worth it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Change in attitude

For a long time, I've done what was expected of me. Worked hard, got married, had kids. From the outside all looked rosy. Most people take this journey, it's what's expected. And there are lots of people are a very, very happy doing just that.

Until recently I was one of those. Don't get me wrong, I still love my family so much it hurts. I still love my work, I'm very lucky I enjoy what I do.

But recently I've started to do things I'd always put off. I love painting and visiting galleries. Comedy makes me happy (not much of a surprise I know). I've read books I should have read years ago, not business books either, ones with stories and meaning. I've thought about stuff, sounds simple but you forget.

What I've realised is that for a long time I forgot who I was and everyone suffered. My point is that whoever you are, whatever you are doing, don't forget you. It's easily done, I can testify.

Go out there and do something different, make a difference. You'll feel better and as a consequence so will all the people around you. Making people happy is great, remember to start with yourself.

It's only by doing this and challenging yourself to be happy and do stuff that you produce great results, physically and mentally. Everyone has the ability to be great, just stop staring at your navel first.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Blog action day, do your bit

I've just signed up to take part in the Blog Action day.

The goal is to bring the blogging community together, for just one day, talking about one issue — and for Blog Action Day 2007 (Oct. 15, 2007), that issue is the environment.

Not sure if I'll be accepted, but I'll join in anyway. You should too


Linked in is a social media site for work. I'm sure there are millions of others but Linked in is really easy to use and build connections.

Here's my profile - Richard Michie on Linkedin

It takes seconds to sign up and complete the screens, then you can begin to make contacts. Networking from your laptop, what will they think of next. Crazy eh!

To sign up visit here

Banksy, quality graffiti

If you've never heard of Banksy then you should. He's a graffiti artist with a brain. I can't really describe what he does, he doesn't bother so how can I start.

Best thing to do is take a look yourself, believe me you'll keep looking once you start.

There's fighting in Sherwood!

I'm sure you've seen the films and the TV programmes about Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest. If you've never been, Sherwood is just south of Sheffield near Worksop.

I took my kids this weekend and we had a great time. When we arrived there was no sign that anything different was happening until we go to the Major Oak, which is the tree which it is thought that Robin lived in.

When we go to the Oak we saw a demonstration of medieval sword fighting, had to hand combat and fighting with bow staff's. We tried archery and then we all had a go with the swords and the armour. The day was actually better because it wasn't really advertised. I'd definitely recommend it if you are Sherwood way.

Friday, August 17, 2007

BBC add social networking to thier site

Social networking is now mainstream. It's so much so that the BBC website which is the most visited in Europe and one of the biggest authority sites in the world has added social bookmarks to it's site. Expect a huge wave of big name copycats.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hiring a Web Marketing Manager

I'm looking for a Web Marketing Manager to work on and my other sites. If you're the one I need you'll have the following skills

Experience of Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Marketing
Link building strategies
Copy writing skills
Handling Pay Per Click campaigns
Project Management Skills
E-commerce experience
Keyword analysis
Website analytics and conversion

The Web Marketing Manager can work from any of our offices. Currently we have offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Chenai in India and Huddersfield in the UK.

If you're interested please email me or with your CV

Simpsonise Me

If you like the Simpsons you love this site where you can make yourself or anyone else you have a picture of into a Simpsons Character.

Here's me

Goodbye Tony Wilson

At the weekend Tony Wilson the man who shaped my musical tastes died from cancer. If you've never heard of Tony, it's probably because he wasn't from London but Manchester. If he'd been from the south, everyone would know who he was. But if he'd not been a northerner, there's no way he would have had the insight he had.

I never knew Tony, but the bands he handled and the record label he ran inspired me years ago and still do today. I'm sure you've heard of Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays. Although not on Factory Records he also inspired The Smiths, The Fall, The Stone Roses and the whole Manchester scene.

Now that Tony and John Peel have gone, I don't know who'll find the new bands anymore. Maybe we'll just have to live with the X-Factor finding them for us.

Tony was also a great Marketer, though I'm sure it's a title he'd hate. His belief in Manchester and the artists around made it possible for his to take a run down industrial city and make it a cultural centre for the 21st century. Without him Manchester would just be another northern city.

Edit. Just found Tony Wilson's Obituary on the Guardian

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Presentation Zen

I'm an avid reader of Presentation Zen. If you're putting together an type of presentation check this site out first! You'll be amazed the difference the theory makes.

I was just reading a blog about Steve Jobs presentation style and I came across this amazing passage.

This is so cool

“Mushin no shin” (The mind that is no mind)When a swordsman is in the moment and his mind is empty (or the “mind that is no mind”) there are no emotions stemming from fear, there are no thoughts of winning or of losing or even of using the sword. In this way, says Daisetz Suzuki in Zen and Japanese Culture, “both man and sword turn into instruments in the hands of the unconscious, and it is the unconscious that achieves wonders of creativity. It is here that swordplay becomes an art.” Beyond mastering technique, the secret to swordsmanship rests in obtaining a proper mental state of “no mind” where the mind is “abandoned and yet not abandoned.” Frankly, if you are engaged in any art or even a sports match (think Tiger Woods) you must get rid of the obtruding self-consciousness or ego-consciousness and apply yourself completely, but also, as Suzuki says, “…as if nothing particular were taking place at the moment.” When you perform in a state of “no mind” you are free from the burdens of inhibitions and doubt and can contribute fully and fluidly in the moment. Artists know this state of mind, as do musicians and highly trained athletes.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Comedy in the Park

Last night I went to Comedy in the Park at Kirstall Abbey in Leeds.

I love comedy but I'd never been to something like this before. The setting was amazing, the stage and seating was set right in the middle of this ancient ruin and gave a brilliant atmosphere. We were sat right on the front row which was a bit frightening as comedians have a habit (sorry about the pun) of targeting people. Luckily I managed to avoid it by one seat, clearly the lady to my right was a better target.

I had a great time and haven't laughed so much in a long time.

The point, at least for this blog, was the great way the event worked. The juxtaposition of the ancient Abbey and some great new comedians worked so well. It hit a very good long tail of comedy and the niche loved it.

I'm keeping my eye out for the next one.