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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!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

My experience of work so far

For nearly fifteen years I have been listening to my Dad talk about his job, running BA Recruitment. 

From an early age, I barely understood what he was talking about, and even now I cannot remember what he was talking about. It wasn’t until I was about nine that I had any idea what he was on about. 

As my Mum was unemployed at the time, this was the only image I had of someone with a job, so much so that I believed that only people in his line of work wore a tie. I realised this wasn’t the case one day in pre-school, when, society being what it is, they wanted us to start thinking about work. They asked us, the unemployed 2-3 year-olds, to bring in something to do with what our parents did for a living so the others could guess what they did, in the spirit of healthy competition. At this point, I was still in the belief that my father was the only person in the world who wore a tie. It ended with one of the teachers having to ‘guess’ what he did as she already knew but meeded to 'play the game'.

However, I will never forget the feeling I had when wearing that tie. It made me feel like I was important, like I was making a difference. It made me feel, in some small way, like I had a job.

I have been told throughout my life that working in an office is depressing and all the best jobs are in the fresh air. I thought I was good with animals. So, for my work experience, I went to a dairy farm. While doing this I made two discoveries.

  1. Working in the fresh air is overrated.
  2. I am not good with animals.
I’m not physically fit, so there are probably better outside jobs, but working on a farm is not for me. Never mind the long hours, but the heavy lifting and the fact that I didn’t feel alright swinging round a cattle-prod really did it for me.
From here, with only my meagre experience to go on, I have no idea what I’m going to do with my life. I’ve got into sixth form. I’m planning to go to university, but which one, I don’t know. (Oxford please Henry!!) What I’ll do for money when I’m there and what I’ll do afterwards; I have no idea about. I can do chemistry, I can do maths. It’s a start.

This is a guest post by my son Henry Gray. Age 15. Let me point out that he excels in all the sciences and we are all hoping that he’ll do very well whatever his chosen profession is.

Why I think Gangnam Style became so popular

This is a guest post by 15 year old Henry Gray, regarding The Music Industry

Gangnam Style. A Youube sensation by South Korean artist PSY, featuring quirky dance moves. 

Why, you ask, did this become so popular, with over one billion views, when there is so much more talent out there who could have easily done the same thing? I don’t know either. But this is why I think it happened.

  • 1.    It was different. Today, where most songs are love-songs, we wanted variety. The original dance moves, tune, rhythm, everything was previously virtually unseen. True, Gangnam Style is a love-song, but we didn’t know that until someone ran the words through a translator, which brings me onto my next point.
  • 2.    No-one could understand it. This, as I have already said, made people think the subject matter was more original than it really was. Because it’s really quite hard to replicate the words and timing in another language, and it can’t be sung in English. This means that there are relatively few good covers of it and, if anyone wants to see it done well, they have to watch the original video.
  • 3.    Word gets around. Everyone knows one person who shares everything vaguely funny they find on the internet. Gangnam Style was not just put on YouTube, but on other websites people go on to get a good laugh, because of the frankly hilarious music video. Naturally, these sort of people found it, shared it and begun the endless circulation.
  • 4.       It inspires competition. This is true. In my experience as a fifteen year old, I have found that Gangnam Style is very much like Marmite. You either love it or you hate it. And it’s people like me, who like it and even write articles on it, that fuel this competition. For example, I have a friend who, if he read this, would probably write one of his own explaining why Gangnam Style should not have become this popular. In a way, this song is very much like art. It inspires conversation, debate even, and there will always be those who like it and those who don’t.

I hope with me writing this it has cleared things up a bit.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Richard III The King in the Car Park

I was a dullard at school, you know?
"Needs to pay more attention"
"Has the potential but doesn't apply himself"

I've not changed but sometimes I get an interest in something and I become very enthusiastic about it. I'm an Aquarian don't you know?

I was watching Channel 4's program last night about King Richard III and was totally engrossed. Some of my distant learnings came back to me. I remember hearing the story of the two princes in the Tower of London who seemed to disappear, the disfigured King and then I lost interest...

...but last night's program had me hooked so I thought I'd investigate further.

Insert [brief history of Richard III]
...It seems that in August 2012 a team of Leicester University archaeologists thought (not been able to discover why yet) that they would dig up part of a council car park and do what archaeologists do. They discovered buildings related to the church. They quickly found some bones and dug them up under forensic conditions. (They really must have had a GOOD inckling!)

There was a long way to go before anyone could confirm what would be an historically changing event (well, for us Brits anyhow) They had to perform many tests, any one of them could have easily proven that these bones belonged to someone else. Some of the tests included:

  • DNA Tests
  • Comparing DNA with an existing relative
  • Carbon dating tests
  • Visual facial reconstruction
  • MRI Scan
Well, they completed their tests, built up the face with computer generated software, dated their carbon and compared DNA.

On Monday 4th February 2013 The University of Leicester announced that they had discovered the remains of King Richard III

I say very well done to the team at Leicester University, well done to everyone involved!

I guess that a lot of people will be scribbling away to see if they can get the most recent information included within the school curriculum.

They have found out more about him also.    
  • They found that he had a high protein diet made up of meat and fish. Not your common old pleb who ate gruel.
  • They found that he did have a curvature of the spine and would probably have been around 5' 8" had it not been for this.
  • He is described as having a slender bone structure.
  • They have found many different types of wounds, some they are guessing were the fatal blows, some humiliation wounds like the sword wound in his buttocks
  • They found out that he looked surprisingly like one of the only paintings of him. There was also the feeling that some parts of the painting had been doctored. Withered finger, raised right shoulder, giving him the "hunch", cruel looking mouth etc

  • There was no evidence of a "withered arm"
Some say that he was misunderstood, some say he was a callous murderer. I think he was just very unlucky. He was followed on the throne by the Tudors, Henry the VII followed by #EveryonesFavorite King Henry VIII. The country was certainly changing a lot back in them days.

Leicester is in the East Midlands (my area) of the UK. Whilst I have enjoyed the story and am glad that we have been able to glance back into history using the very latest scientific methods, I wonder what will happen next. There is talk about the remains being sent to York. I think that may steal our thunder a little but can understand if that's what happens.

I do think that the we should use this as an opportunity to advertise the many great things that our area contributes to national and international culture and indeed commerce.

For my part, I own and domain names. I wonder if they'll bring me a King's Ransom?

Monday, 4 February 2013

The brief history of the humble Piggy Bank

Earthenware has been used for centuries to make make jars, which people sometimes stored money in. These were called ‘pig jars’ for obvious reasons. It wasn't until the 18th century that the term ‘pig bank’ was used.

Possibly the first use of a jar for storing money in came from 2nd century Greece, where jars were made with slits in to stop people stealing the money kept inside them. One discovered recently was box-shaped and had a drawing of a temple carved on the side.
What is thought to be the first pig-shaped money box was the one featured in the picture, a 15th century Javan piggy bank, now featured in the National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta.
Now though, piggy banks come in all shapes and sizes, to ones so realistic as to give the impression of a small pig poking its nose out of a blanket, to one where a cat peeks out of a box and slides the money off a pressure pad.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Free job posting on our Network of UK JobBoards

We have extended the free job posting facility on all UK JobBoards to include 2013.

You continue to have a facility to be able to post your job offers completely free of charge on our unique specialised UK JobBoards.

Plans are also available to be able to post your jobs to the JobG8 Network which boasts of having over 4,000 JobBoards with a Network reach per month of 80 million Unique Visitors.

Use our Job Boost to gain maximum exposure for your job by:

  • Posting your Job to the Jobg8 Network.
  • Becoming a Category Sponsor.
  • Becoming a Featured Recruiter with your own Featured Page.
  • Having your Jobs appear on our Homepage.
  • Cross post your Job to our own Network of Specialised UK JobBoards including; For Jobs in Great Britain For Jobs in the East Midlands, UK For Accountancy Jobs in the UK Jobs in the South West Jobs in the South East Jobs in the East Midlands Jobs in the West Midlands Jobs in East Anglia Jobs in the North West Jobs in Scotland Jobs in Northern Ireland Jobs in London Jobs in Wales Jobs in the North East

Simply register your company here and start posting for free today!