Monthly Archives: August 2009

Business Librarians’ Association conference

http://images.priceline.co.uk/images/hotel/max300/467/467032.jpgAs I mentioned a while back (To Blog or not to Blog? That is the question), I was invited to speak on a panel at the  Business Librarians’ Association (formally BBSLG) annual conference in Dublin. The chair of the session David Meehan has just posted a short review of the session with some kind remarks relating to my contribution.

My fellow panellists were Dr. John Breslin (Electronic Engineering, NUIG; Researcher at DERI) speaking about the social semantic web, and Ian Manzie (Business Manager Ireland, Thomson Reuters) on their new web-based ‘Academy’ approach to training users.

How to lose friends and alienate people

http://preparednesspro.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/spam-in-a-can.jpgNo, not the rather irritating memoir by Toby Young about his failed five-year effort to make it in the U.S. as a contributing editor at  Vanity Fair magazine.

This is about adding people to mailing lists without their consent. As an early Internet adopter with my own domain name, I tend to attract a great deal of spam and have become somewhat blasé about it. Although I might feel different if I wasn’t protected from it (Spam lovely spam)

However as Rasheed Ogunlaru points out in his latest blog post How to lose business before you’ve won it… Pt 1, it is ‘rude, presumptuous, lazy and an invasion of privacy‘.

I agree with Rasheed, it is not only disrespectful of the customer relationship, it also risks falling foul of the The Telephone Preference Service and it’s email equivalents.

Also, these days business is all about establishing an ongoing relationship, and this kind of activity is unlikely to help this cause.

Free eOffice offer for Business & IP Centre customers

Many thanks to eOffice for the following free offer for August:

We are very pleased to extend free of charge access to eOffice to 8 customers of the  Business &IP Centre per day in the month of August 2009.

We are offering free one day access (from 8.30am to 6.30pm weekdays), including hot desking (please bring your laptop), free wi-fi and one free coffee per day from 18th to 28th August.

The offer is valid to the first 8 visitors per day, if you are interested, please reply to eOffice@eOffice.net and quote promo BIPC.

eOffice has created a new generation of workplace solutions. Your nearest eOffice, located on Sheraton Street, W1, in the heart of London, combines contemporary design and break-out areas with great technology infrastructure and WiFi connectivity.

We also offer a range of flexible services to meet the fast-changing needs of todays businesses:
- Hotdesking from £4.99 + VAT per hour
- Meeting rooms from £19.99 + VAT per hour per room and worldwide video conferencing
- Virtual office solutions (business address, mail forwarding and telephone answering) from £99.99 + VAT per month
- Full-time office solutions  with a minimum term of just one month.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Pier Paolo Mucelli / Founder

2 Sheraton Street (off Wardour Street), Soho, London, W1F 8BH – +44 870 888 88 88

Website: www.eOffice.net
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eOffice – Winner BCO Innovation Award 2007 – BCO Regional Winner 2007- 2008
eOffice – Climate Neutral Business and Meeting Centres

My client connects with Knowledge Connect

I have just heard that Marion Ayonote (one of my recent Business & IP information clinic clients) has been highlighted as a case study on the LDA (London Development Agency) website.

Although Marion has already had success as a shoe designer, she wanted to expand her range to include vintage handbags with a contemporary twist. The main fabric is Aso-oke, a traditional fabric originally worn by the Yoruba’s, hand made by local weavers in Nigeria.

Marion Ayonote handbagMarion was born and educated in Nigeria attending the University of Maiduguri in Borno State, where she achieved a BA in History. She then moved to London and in 1997 attended Cordwainers College.

Her first collection simply titled “Shoes” under the “Marion Ayonote” label was launched in 2000. Since her launch she has been invited to exhibit at a number of international events i.e. Tranoi Paris, South Africa fashion week, Moda Calzaldo, and many more.

Knowledge Connect logoKnowledge Connect is designed to assist London’s diverse small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to undertake grant funded collaborative projects with the wider Knowledgebase.

This includes Universities, Further Education Colleges, RTOs and private sector specialists. London Development Agency (LDA) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding of £5.6 million is being channelled to fund this flagship project. Knowledge Connect is the Innovation Vouchers part of Solutions for Business portfolio.

The three year programme aims to work with 2,880 enterprises and provide a combination of inspirational workshops and events, stimulating communications, one to one mentoring, specialist identification and partner search.

It also offers grant support to enable SMEs to identify and create business growth opportunities.

There are two levels of grant support available:
* Mini grants up to £3,000 provided for activities such as initial testing, product or service development or proof of concept; and
* Maxi grants of up to £10,000 (which require 50% match funding) to support the delivery of a wide range of more in depth, collaborative projects.

StartupTube – A ‘YouTube’ for small business help

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and given the spectacular success of YouTube since its launch in February 2005, it is not surprising to see lots of look (and sound) alike sites.

This time it is the organisers of the very successful Business Startup Show, who have recently launched  Startup Tube ,which links to the Startup Community founded by Katie Moore.

My colleague Fran Taylor has been working to develop a Business & IP Centre channel on the site – which has a selection of our Inspiring Entrepreneurs videos on it. Ironically these videos were originally posted onto YouTube itself.

To Blog or not to Blog? That is the question

Apologies to any fans of the great Bard for my heading above, but given the growing number of both alive and dead blogs, I feel this is an important topic.

By Vicki's Nature at http://www.flickr.com/photos/vickisnature/4194708333/

According to Caslon Analytics, several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation (with 60% to 80% abandoned within one month, depending on whose figures you choose to believe) and that few are regularly updated.

My thoughts about blogging were triggered by a conversation during the recent Business Librarians’ Association (formally BBSLG) annual conference in Dublin. The initial topic was mental illness and how it is still such a taboo subject. I recalled the negative reaction I received from publishing an article in the staff newsletter I used to edit. It was written by a senior economist who wanted to help dispel some of the myths around Bipolar disorder from which he suffered. I edited out some of his more lurid stories, but was still met with a mainly negative reaction from my readers.

My new friend (who also happens to be an amazing nature photographer) explained how she had suffered with Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) for many years and had finally decided to write about her experiences in a blog. She had many misgivings about going public with her disorder, but felt a duty to help explain and publicise, as well as indicate sources of support such as OCD Action. I’m glad to report that so far the feed-back she has received has been almost entirely positive. So perhaps this is an indication that attitudes are beginning to change.

Mind Games

These links take you to my descriptions of mental illness.  For many years I remained very secretive about my battles, but I am now determined to help overcome the stigmas and misconceptions; I cannot do this if I continue to be ashamed.

My depression and OCD are caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain; I am not selfish and I do not feel sorry for myself. I cannot be cured by looking at all that is good in my life, or by considering others who have far less than me.  Depression is not about feeling very fed up, and it is not an exaggeration of this normal aspect of human behaviour. I strongly feel that people should not judge those who suffer, particularly if they have never felt mental pain.

I had considered publishing a separate website for this aspect of my life, but it is part of my world. Without it I do not believe that I would be exploring my creativity to the extent that I do, and I shouldn’t hide it.  Everything that I have been through has made me the person I am today.

This is only a part of me and only a part of my website; I am more than my illness.