All posts in tips

How To Retain Links Whilst Retweeting | Hacking Twitter

This is for folks who use the browser based Twitter.

Ever get frustrated about why Twitter removes the copied links in tweets you’re trying to retweet?

Watch the video above for two fixes / ways / hacks.

Question for anyone at Twitter HQ: why do you force us to do this or what’s the reasoning behind removing the links from copied tweets?

YouTube version

How To Write A Social Media Strategy | Use Cartoons

gapingvoid social media strategy pics


The above are the images recently used in the internal social media strategy I wrote for the executive team at CORE Education—all courtesy of the fab Hugh Macleod, Gapingvoid.

The focus of the strategy was on:

  1. inspiring staff—VISION
  2. offering opportunities to develop their social media education and sustainable pathways for future use—TRAINING
  3. create success points and reflective opportunities—MEASURE

The vision provides an horizon line. A goal. An outcome focussed narrative.

The training, which all staff will take (managers first of course), attempts to bring everyone up to the same educational mark of social media and digital literacies (even if it’s not what they do).

These two things I’ve been doing for the past six years.

The last point is where the fun and new stuff is. Utilising gamification we’re going to develop in in-house system for tracking and rewarding social (media) participation. We (meaning others with bigger brains than I) might even write a paper on it all.

How do you do yours?

Creatalyst | Releasing My Inner Artist

creatalyst 1

Images. Words. Soundscapes. Questions.

The opening lines on the about section of the Creatalyst app says:

“The creative process, a business project, even life, is a journey expanding our vision of what’s possible.”

Photographer, mentor and good friend Dennis Hodges, developed this app as a spark to the creative process we find ourselves in day to day.

The categories of Visualize, Compose, Explore, Develop, Deliver, unfold (literally) as you delve deeper into the audio/visual offering.

creatalyst 2

Used alone, it could simply excite the senses and neurons to reconnect thoughts:

creatalyst 3

And/or spark new ideas:

creatalyst 4

There are also deeper options such as favouriting images, deleting them from the image bank, sharing through social spaces, adding comments for yourself and others in the Creatalyst community to read.

creatalyst 5

I remember Dennis describing the seeds of the app idea on a train journey back from Lucerne to the Zurich, Switzerland (Feb 2011). As the magnificent view offered us lakes and majestic mountainside I was more intrigued by the essence of the idea shared.

Congratulations Dennis.

Not just on bringing an idea to market, but also on making it so engaging.

All links to the Creatalyst app are non-affiliated.

Apples Keynote | Seven Great Uses Other Than Presenting With It

keynote logo

Keynote is Powerpoints funkier and far more slicker younger brother.

Been an avid fanboy of this fantastic application since switching to a Mac (nearly ten years) and thought I’d share the other ways I’ve used this uber-versatile presentation software:

  1. Video Vignetting—take one .png file and apply it over a video on a slide, export presentation as movie and hey presto, instant vignetting;
  2. Movie credit former—craft all your opening and closing movie credits with the great animation text effects plus some images / video underneath if that’s how you roll (again, once finished just export as movie and import into your editing software)
  3. Animation creator—create awesome little animations like this and this and this;
  4. Pie charts / bar graphs maker—create amazing 3D stats with the inbuilt chart maker;
  5. Advert / flyer / poster / desktop image tool—a simpler version that Photoshop (I created this infographic in Keynote);
  6. Resizer / repositioner / recutter of images—make things bigger, smaller, overlapping, cut things out etc with the in-built image editor;
  7. Design sites / applications—due to it’s simple interface designers are starting to use it to wireframe their websites plus others are exploring it application / programme design as well;

So what about you? How do you use yours?

Defining Social Spaces

definition of define

How do you decipher and explain the different social spaces / platforms?

Well, a while ago I wrote a blog post describing the Golden Rule of Social Media—it’s really simple and is summed up as:


This morning a colleague emailed me with her own definitions of the social spaces and how they relate to real world scenarios (like cocktails and offices etc). Here’s my response:

  • Website—your online ‘shop front’ and everything inside from the products, customer service, to what you discuss related to your industry etc.
  • Blog—same as above (if you don’t have a blog then you don’t have a space to inspire people to be awesome)
  • Twitter—(mainly) public conversation party, giving you an opportunity to connect with people you would never usually get a chance to (great for just listening in and gleaming amazing ideas and information)
  • Facebook—private members club with exclusive insights and offers others can’t get elsewhere (rewards based model. Why? Most people are on Stalkbook not to buy but to connect with people they know.)
  • LinkedIn—old school drinking mens establishment where not much happens. It’s great for getting introduced to interesting folks although you then try to get them into other spaces as the current place (LinkedIn) sucks and smells of old people
  • YouTube—your Tivo (another words what you want to show to other people relating to your passions, your ideas and maybe your products)

What do you think? How would you define the above?

Sticky Date Rice Pudding

Sticky Date Rice Pudding

Check out Lydia Bates and her Sticky Date Rice Pudding recipe… why? I challenged her to make a pudding for someone like me (who doesn’t do wheat, dairy, refined sugar)—full back story on her blog post.


  • Pudding rice (about 1oz per person)
  • Rice milk (about 1/2 pint per person, and you could, of course, replace it with soya milk, or cows milk if you prefer)
  • Coconut Cream (about 15g per person, or ‘a good squeeze’ out of one of the Pataks sachets)
  • Tamarind Paste (1 teaspoon)
  • Honey (2 teaspoons)
  • And a handful of dates, chopped


  • 1. First, soak the dates in some hot water for a couple of minutes, then drain the water away
  • 2. Now combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, the rice is cooked and you are left with a pan of sticky gooey yummyness

Thank you Lydia, will definitely give it a try.

Related post : Oat So Good

Update#2: Talk Talk / Tiscali / Roxburghe Debt Collection

talk talk tiscali

What joyous news: TalkTalk and Tiscali could face fines after charging for cancelled services (scroll down and check the comments on this one—so many people affected) Telecom firms threatened with fines for bogus bills:

Ofcom has told TalkTalk to stop trying to collect any non-existent debts, including the use of debt collectors and threats of legal action. People must be refunded if, since 1 January 2010, they have paid bills that should not have been levied. And credit ratings agencies must be told to repair any damaged credit histories.

If you’ve been affected, check out my two previous posts below for how to respond and complain.

UPDATE 23.11.2010: Another Ofcom investigation launched.

UPDATE 28.02.2011: TalkTalk and Tiscali pay £2.5m refunds for bogus bills

Related posts: Update#1: Talk Talk / Tiscali / Roxburghe Debt Collection and Talk Talk / Tiscali / Roxburghe Debt Collection

Rework : Cheat Sheet

Rework is a fabulous book by those clever chaps at 37signals. A jumbo collection of short essays on how they do business. Above you can see my notes on each chapter. A condensed and concentrated version of the big takeaways which I thought important.

UPDATE : @jasonfried (author of Rework just tweeted my post out (hoping the servers will hold out with the increased traffic/bandwidth):

jason fried tweet

ANOTHER UPDATE : Check out the redux/remixed version Rich Gould did below—thank you sir.

ANOTHER UPDATE : Another remixed version by Kenneth Svenningsen—fantastic!

Talk Talk / Tiscali / Roxburghe Debt Collection

Talk Talk / Tiscali / Roxburghe Debt Collection

Received this letter tonight. It was forwarded onto me from an address I haven’t lived in for over four years.

It’s a little scary to receive stuff like this as nobody wants their credit rating messed with. I’m still trying to work out a course of action (apart from phoning Talk Talk—previously Tiscali—in the morning) and hopefully doing this will be a good start.

It seems I’m not the only one receiving threats of this kind as you can read here, here and here.

Related posts : Update#1: Talk Talk / Tiscali / Roxburghe Debt Collection and Update#2: Talk Talk / Tiscali / Roxburghe Debt Collection