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Friday, 25 October 2013

Swearpig - The Swear Box Piggy Bank - update

First, a pictorial history of our creation to date. 
swearpig - the swear box piggy bank
The finished model
swearpig - the swear box piggy bank
Front view
swearpig - the swear box piggy bank
The model maker - Neil - hard at work
swearpig - the swear box piggy bank
One of the initial 6 sketches

swearpig - the swear box piggy bank
Initially starting in foam (what an awful idea!)

swearpig - the swear box piggy bank
The Original SwearPig (We still have this)
Imagine, sat around my dinning room table; talking and carrying on ( as you do! ) and we decide to put a piece of paper of our little piggy bank covered in sellotape. We then wrote a word on the tape and tried to make everyone say the word. If they did they had to put some money into the piggy bank.
I thought to myself "Hold on, there's a business here somewhere!" and duly registered the domain name.
Not knowing what the business was or how to commercialise it, I left it on the back burner.

This was back in May 2008.

My circumstances changed in Sept 2012 and I stopped working full-time.

My home life settled down a little at the beginning of 2013 and I started looking for things to keep me out of trouble and I thought of swear pig.

I got hold of a designer to help me with the design of swearpig. She gave me 6 sketches to choose from and I put it out to the vote. I received a total of 127 votes from various social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn

I then started the task of deciding how to get the the piggy bank made. 

I started by buying some modelling clay but as I'm crap at modelling this didn't turn out well. I bought some foam for modelling with the same result. I visited some local potters here in Derbyshire and gleaned a lot of information. A couple of them said that they would be willing to make swearpig as long as I could give them a mould. 

I made contact with a very reputable ceramic model maker near to Stoke who gave me loads of info. Thanks Ed!

After lots of research and I mean LOTS I made contact with a company in Stoke on Trent to model the piggy bank for me. There is a whole process here from making the model 10% larger to allow for the contraction in the drying process, to casing the model to making the mould. 

Have I mentioned expense? In this line of work the set-up costs are high. Luckily I sold a few job related domain names and had the funding. 

Recently the model maker in Stoke on Trent made the model and the next stage will be the casing and the mould making.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Post your jobs to multiple jobsites for free

  • Create your advert one time.
  • Publish it to 15 UK JobSites immediately from one place.
  • Our Network of Premier UK JobSites will ensure your job advert reaches 1,000's of potential jobseekers across the United Kingdom.

Here's how:

Create your FREE employer account with

From your Control Panel, click on "New Job"

Once you have filled in the details of the job, scroll down towards the bottom of the screen.
I have used the job title Multi posting of your job for free 
From the JobAffair Network click YES and choose which sites you would like to post your jobs to. I have posted an Accountant Job in London so I will cross post my job to the following sites; - Accountancy Jobs - Generalist JobSite - Jobs in London
Click on Post Job
Check the search page and you will find your job on Great British Jobs like this;

Now, let's check the three sites we cross posted to.
Here's the listing;

Here is the listing;

And finally, here is the listing;

The full list of job sites that we currently support this free feature includes; 

So come on board and take the drag out of copy and pasting your job advert across the internet.

Speak to us to enable more facilities on your account including posting your jobs through to the JobG8 Network - fee applies.

To enable this facility. You will first need to register with one of our sites. Then use the contact us page and we will happily credit your account to allow for this feature.

And remember - IT'S ALL FREE!!

Job Domain Names for Sale - LIMITED TIME!

Here is a list of Job Related Domain Names I have for sale.

Go on! Make me an offer!!

The domains will remain on sale until the end of October 2013 when I will renew them for a further 5 years.

Enquiries with offer to SOLD

Please note, only sensible offers will be responded to.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

How to feed your jobs to Twitter

In this post, I will explain to you how to feed your jobs through to Twitter. In fact, not just jobs but any RSS feed. That could be news, articles, updates and the like.

I will refer to Great British Jobs jobsite as an example.

First of all, what is an RSS Feed?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It allows you to see jobs, news feeds or information in real time, from sites that provide RSS as an option. A discrete window appears on your desktop, a bit like a messenger window, to let you know that a job has been advertised. You then click on the link in the window to go straight to the site to view the job. RSS readers are freely available for download from the internet as shareware. There are many different providers and does not recommend any particular reader. 

You will need;

1. Go to Twitterfeed, either log in or create an account, I have noticed recently that the site takes a little while to load. But when you have over 8 million feeds I guess it's to be expected.

How to feed your jobs to Twitter
2. Click on the Create New Feed
3. A new screen opens
How to feed your jobs to Twitter
4. Give your Feed a name. I have a number of Feeds going through to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn so it's a good idea to make the Feed Name self explanatory.
5. Import your RSS Feed.
How to feed your jobs to Twitter
In this example I am using the RSS Feed for Great British Jobs. If you click on the RSS button you get a page that looks like this 
How to feed your jobs to Twitter
Lots of gobbledigook to you and I but that's the way to do it.
6. Copy what you can see in your address bar
How to feed your jobs to Twitter
7. And then paste it into Twitterfeed, just beneath Feed Name in the box titled Blog URL or RSS Feed URL (help)

8. When you have done that, click on the "test rss feed" button
How to feed your jobs to Twitter
9. If you have a working RSS Feed, you will get the message "Feed parsed OK" in green
How to feed your jobs to Twitter
10. For this example I will not be using the Advanced Options. The default options allow you to post 1 new update every 30 minutes. If you want to change these default settings, then you will have to play around a little.

11. Click on "Continue to Step 2" a new screen appears
How to feed your jobs to Twitter

12. Click on the Twitter Link, a new screen appears
How to feed your jobs to Twitter
13. This is where you need your Twitter account! Click on 2. Authenticate Twitter. This will take you back 
to Twitter where you will need to sign in. Once signed in the OAuth will automatically take you back to Twitterfeed.

14. Fill out the UTM Tags and / or Optional Tags or leave them as they are. These are mainly for Analytics but more information can be found here 

15. Click on the "Create service"
You're done!

It's very easy to go back into Twitterfeed and edit, update, add new feeds. When you have done one, you'll soon be back for more.

On a personal note, you should use the services of Twitterfeed to augment your Twitter account. There is nothing worse that getting streams and streams of jobs with no interaction.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Cancer - My journey as the partner

Some of you are aware that my partner has a brain tumour.

Diagnosed in August 2012, operated on in September, radiotherapy and chemotherapy in October, November and December 2012. And currently on a course of chemotherapy.

We've come a long way since then!

Chemotherapy ended in December and we managed to get a few days down in Weston super Mare to visit my Dad. His wife has cancer also so it was good to share some time together. The weather was dark and dreary, their heating was on full blast, we laughed, we drunk too much but it was good for all of us. 

I had decided to close my recruitment agency of 13 years. I felt that I needed to give Suzy more attention and I couldn't do this along with working full-time. Suzy's new regime of chemotherapy was due to start in January and we didn't know what to expect besides I hadn't really worked since July so the last couple of months had not been kind to us financially. That is until the state benefits kicked in (more about that another time)

So, after a difficult, stingy, grey Christmas and New Year, we entered 2013 **fanfare**.

Suzy's first appointment was at the beginning of January 2013. The MRI Scan results from December came back showing that the initial course of treatment had reduced the tumour by nearly half! Woohoo!! :) 
She went onto a program on taking temozolmide in pill format for one week and then having the next 3 weeks to recover. This would initially be a 6 month program, taking us to June 2013. 
She took the pills and after maybe two weeks she became poorly. Sleeping too much, very nauseous, feeling weak, looking really washed out (sorry Suze)  We contacted the hospital and were asked to go to the ominous WARD 3. I thought "Oh my God! This was the place I had been dreading,  The Poorly Ward" 
Still, when we got there the medical staff were excellent. They gave her more anti-sickness pills and she seemed to perk up after a couple of hours (plus she hates hospitals so a good motivator also!). 
We went back home thinking, "this can't be the way forward for us" 

Some friends had organised a birthday do for me at a local pub around this time. They had arranged for a band to play and food and stuff. We got there with my kids but only managed to stay for 1/2 hour. It's hard to plan stuff! 

At the beginning of February she had a blood test and we went to see the Oncologist. He told us that Suzy's #SomethingSomething blood count had gone down to around 23. We weren't to know but having a #SomethingSomething blood count of 23 was almost bone marrow transplant time! 
No wonder she had been feeling like shit! 
He had to adjust the dosage and extended the time scale to one week of chemo pills followed by 5 weeks to recover. He said that that was not the normal way of doing things but he was willing to experiment. What had we to loose? 

I'm thankful to say that by adjusting the dose and frequency, we have had no more similar scares. Suzy's #SomethingSomething blood count has now stabilised at around the 200 mark.

We seem to have adjusted to the six weekly pattern. Having tried it for a couple of months we have been able to think a little about the future. We were going to go to our local music festival Bearded Theory in Derby in May but because of the timings we knew it wouldn't be feasible. We have planned a holiday to Cornwall in July, so hopefully we'll be able to enjoy it.

We went to see the Oncologist at the end of June. He told us that the tumour had decreased in size again but only slightly. He also suggested that the chemo continue for an another 6 month period, taking us to February 2014 or until he saw two successive scans where the tumour had stabilised. 

On the downside we are really worried about the continued chemo side effects and the fact that she's going to be taking them for an other 6 months. 

On the upside the tumour has shrunk! **YAY** Her hair is growing back! **YAY** She is getting better albeit slowly! **YAY** She has even enrolled herself and couple of friends into Race for Life! *YAY** A race / walk for 5km for Cancer Research UK. It's due to take place in Darley Abbey, Derby, UK in July 2013.

5km may not sound a lot to you and me. But this will be the most she has walked for sometime. This will need a great deal of courage for Suzy to complete. 

So if you are in the mood to give a little to charity, Cancer Research UK, by way of her page please do so here

I would like to send out my love to all people who have come into contact with Cancer in form or another. xxx

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Music Crowd Funding domain name help needed!

As many of you know, we have been working hard on our Music Crowd Funding site for a number of months now.

Well, things are progressing, albeit at a slightly reduced pace.

Now that we are so very nearly ready to go live, we have what is probably the most important question left.


It would be great if you could comment / answer one simple question for us:

Crowd Funding: Imagine you are an aspiring professional musician who is looking to fund a project. What is the best / coolest place to be seen?

1. Musicapella (The Music Propeller)
2. SoundRocket
3. RocketSound
4. FanFired
5. GrooveMint
6. MusicBacker
Comments will close on Sunday 19th May 2013

If you prefer to answer the question via your social media partner, then try one of these;

Or answer our question on Facebook,

Thank you in advance

Monday, 8 April 2013

What makes a successful music crowd funding campaign?

As we continue to develop our Crowd Funding site for Musicians I thought that I'd do a little more research on what actually makes a successful crowd funding music campaign.

First of all. What is Crowd Funding?
Crowd Funding should not be confused with Equity Funding. 
Equity Funding is where a company raises money from individuals in return for preferred or common stock. The investor, in return, receives a dividend based on the profits of the company.

Music Crowd Funding is where individuals pool their money to support projects initiated by a Musician; in return for "rewards". An example of a reward may include; A thank you note, a CD or music download, T shirts or other merchandise. I've even seen one recent project that will get a song written just for you (if you pledge enough money!)

If you are in any doubt as to the viability of crowd funding, take a look at the profile of Amanda Palmer. Amanda has been on Kickstarter since September 2010. She has created 3 projects. Each of these 3 projects have been successfully funded. 
She has been pledged over $1.3m from nearly 30,000 Backers.

You may not need a £1 million. Maybe you want some much needed studio time to record and produce your new album? Maybe you need some funds for merchandising for an up coming tour? But surely if Amanda can do it you can too?

So let's analyse the following points and see if we can establish some good criteria for creating a successful music crowd funding campaign.

  1. Clearly define your project.
  2. Research.
  3. Carefully work out your rewards.
  4. Plan for your successful project. 
  5. Write up your project.
  6. Be inspiring.
  7. Engage with your audience.
  8. Don't give up!
First and foremost. If you think crowd funding is an quick option to enable you to raise "easy" funds for your music project. THINK AGAIN!. Now the hard work starts!

1. Clearly define your project

Start making lots of notes about your project. Talk to other members of your band or discuss with your manager and your friends and family. Ask yourself about your goals for the project. Are you aiming to high? Do you have a decent enough fanbase to be able to assist you. The importance of a good fanbase must not be underestimated. Will you be marketing your project on and offline? Do you have a blog? Do you know someone else with a blog that could do a write up for you? It's not too early to think about the successful completion of your project; what rewards will you have in place? How will you communicate with your fans? Remember that your fans and backers are not loaning you money they are receiving a product, a reward, to help you succeed. Often they are receiving that product ahead of the marketplace. So you have something of value. How will you administer the rewards when your campaign is a success?

2. Research.

As more Crowd Funding sites appear, you will find more a plethora of information on the net. Here are a few sites to help you start your research;

3. Carefully work out your rewards.

One of the toughest aspects of crowd funding. What are you going to offer your backers? How will you ensure that your rewards are delivered, on time and within budget. Have you factored in the costs of your payment provider? PayPal, Amazon etc. These fees are normally between 2%  and 7%. These costs will come out of your raised funds. Don't forget the costs of post and packaging. Once your project has been saved and published, rewards are not editable. Remember that it's a contract that you are entering into. Project deadlines are not flexible. Projects last for a set amount of time being; 30, 60 or 90 days. You decide.

4. Plan for your successful project. 

Start with the end in mind.
Imagine that you have successfully completed your project. You have your funds in your bank account. You have increased your fanbase. You have booked the time in the studio. But have you thought about how you are going to give your backers their reward? Have you promised to send them something in the post? How are you going to get everyone's email address? Have you factored in the post and packaging on items? Working with you will have all backer's email addresses when you successfully complete your project, so that's one less thing to worry about. You will need to decide on how often to update your backers. Marketing is good. Spam is not!
Don't forget to thank your backers!

5. Write up your Project

Do some research on similar crowd funding projects for musicians. How have they written their opening statement? Have they used video? Upload some of your tunes to your profile. Check to make sure that your crowd funding platform allows music uploads. Use a catchy opening statement. Be bold! Be knowledgeable. You need to make your campaign stand out from the crowd.

6. Be inspiring

Write your project content and bring in your fans so that they feel part of it. Use lots of "...we can do this..." and "...with your support..."
Check the layout and design of your project. Could you enlist a friends help with your graphics or video? Ask people to proof read your project. Silly spelling mistakes at this stage could put people off. Check out other bands and musicians and emulate their success!

7. Engage with your audience.

Your project is now your new baby. You will need to nurture it, cuddle it, gurgle to it and sometimes wipe its bum. You will need to communicate with your backers on milestones achieved, you may need to edit some information, upload new photos and in turn engage with your backers to ensure that they share your project details. Ask them to share your updates. Perhaps you still need a little push to get your funds in time for your project deadline. It may only take one external author or music critic to comment on your project and that'll be enough between making or breaking your project. 

8. Don't give up!

Yes, it will be hard work. Ask yourself; Would you rather go to your bank manager, cap in hand,  who probably knows nothing of the UK Music industry? Perhaps you have a rich uncle or auntie? By uploading your UK Music project to you are targeting the very audience that are coming to see you and want to listen to your music.  Increase your fanbase at the same time. 
Start thinking about your next UK Music Project!