While Groupon may be struggling as a company overall losing 43% of it’s share price in 2014 the daily deals website still represents a great opportunity for small businesses to market their offers. That is… so long as you know what you are doing!
Groupon is undeniably a great way to promote to large numbers of people. Regrettably one British e-tailor found how just how popular the daily deals site is with almost disastrous consequences.
Alistair Cochrane runs Unique Gift Hampers a fine foods and gifts retailer based in Scotland. Alistair thought that he could use Groupon to kickstart sales. By offering a huge discount of 70 percent he thought that a Groupon campaign could bring in some extra income to the business.
Typically a retro sweets hamper would retail for around £25 but Unique Gift Hampers put together a special deal where they would sell a sweets hamper similar to these ones for a reduced price of £7.50.
Alistair was shocked when over 1500 buyers grabbed the opportunity to take the highly discounted price. It was way more hampers than the business was able to produce and they were forced to employ extra people to handle the huge surge in business. This actually meant that they ended up losing £1 on every order. Ouch!
An Expensive Mistake
Unique Gift Hampers, who have been operating for 4 years said on their blog that they would honor the Groupon offer despite it being an expensive mistake.
“We have been up all night putting together these Sweet Hampers. We will get them shipped but there might be a small delay.” they groaned. “We won’t be doing such a great offer on Groupon again!!”.
“We usually really enjoy putting together interesting hampers and baskets that make great gifts. But this time it turned into a bit of a slog and we are feeling the pain in our pockets as well as suffering from lack of sleep. Despite this Groupon deal being a bad move every single gift box that we send out of our store will be prepared to the same high standards that we have set at Unique Gift Hampers.”
“It really was a ill planned marketing promotion.” the blog continued. “Everyone is always singing the praised of Groupon but if you are not careful then you can get your fingers burned.”
No Limits To Orders
Groupon have publicly stated that there are no limits to the number of vouchers that can be sold their their deals site.
“We approach each business with a tailored, individual approach based on the prior history of similar deals,” they said.
However it’s clear that in this case something went wrong.
Daily deals sites such as Groupon offer massive leverage to small businesses, but with the leverage comes risk and you’d better know what you are doing or you could end up with a costly bill.
How do you know if you are getting enough sleep? Most people are creatures of habit and tend to sleep for a regular number of hours each night but could some extra sleep do you the world of good?
Check out this video from YouTube channel 59 Seconds where psychologist Richard Wiseman teaches us the sure signs that you are not getting enough sleep.
There is even a cool little test that will let you know if you are likely to be sleep deprived.
So how did you get on? Did you fail the test? If so, what can you do about it?
Well of course you can simply spend more time in bed and get more sleep. That’s Richard Wiseman advice but as much as I love the guy I’ve got a problem with that.
People that sleep too little tend do so for a reason. These people are time poor or have no desire to lose more hours from their day. They have already sub consciously made the decision to buy the extra time in their day by cutting back in their sleep so these are people who probably will not be persuaded to spend more time in bed.
Thankfully it’s possible to improve the quality of your sleep without sleeping more by getting a deeper more rejuvenating sleep.
Cut back on the coffee
Coffee is a powerful stimulant, that’s why we love it. But if you are drinking more than 1 cup of coffee per day you are at risk of over stimulation.
Caffeine can be a great pick me up but if you are “wired” then your sleep is compromised. Of course, it’s a vicious cycle because when you wake the next day after a poor quality sleep then for many it’s coffee that gets their day kick started.
Try to only drink coffee in the morning and limit your intake. This way by the time it comes to sleep the caffeine will have been removed from your system allowing you to sleep deeply and restfully.
Create the right sleep environment
Human evolved to sleep in the dark. We didn’t have artificial lighting in our evolutionary past and we didn’t have street lights coming in through the curtains. By cutting out the light in your bedroom you send a strong signal to the body that it’s time to sleep.
Also you will benefit from a quiet room at a cool temperature. Being too hot can prevent deep sleep and cause too much tossing and turning.
The one concession I will make to or modern world is a good quality mattress. Thanks to Nasa memory foam mattresses are the best quality we have right now.
Recent studies have shown that memory foam mattresses provide excellent support to the body so that you don’t wake up with aches and pains and draw excess heat away from the body.
Don’t have a digital bedroom
For goodness sake don’t take your computer into your bed with you. And that includes your tablet and your smartphone too. To sleep well you need a settled mind, you particularly don’t need to be reading work email while in your bed filling your mind with stresses.
Appreciate the importance of sleep and respect it. If you go to bed with the attitude… “I don’t have time for this” or “I have things to do” do you think that leads to a relaxing, restorative night?
While the birth of the internet can be traced back to technological advances that were made in the 1960′s in my mind the beginning of the web as we know it roughly took place in the mid 1990′s.
That’s when massive changed started to happen and more and more people had a computer connected to the world wide web in their home.
It took the best part of another decade for web logging to go mainstream and become what we now know as blogging.
i.e. Individual journalism delivered straight from this here armchair into your lap without influence of any media corportation or government. And what a fantastic ride it’s been so far.
Web 3.0 ?
Now another decade or so later I feel we can truly say we have entered a further evolution of the web.
While blogging started off mainly to be about the written word today’s mainstream bloggers are increasingly making use of audio and video to create radio podcasts of personal tv shows and those bloggers that are not doing it are being left behind.
There have been more than a few examples of bloggers that have had meteoric success seemingly coming out of knowhere to build massive audiences in short time periods.
Often if you look carefully you will see that these bloggers built their following using more than just the spoken word. Some like Derek Halpern of Social Triggers make great use of YouTube to build a following whereas as others like John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire have had massive success with podcasting.
For those of you that are a little too shy to show their face online then podcasting is the perfect way to try to get in on the actions and grow your audience.
How To Get Started
Before you even start to thinking about all the technical considerations like which usb microphone you should use to record your show, you need to considered 1 very important question.
The foundation of any successful podcast or indeed blog for that matter is a well defined theme or niche.
The way to do this is to make two choice about your niche.
1 What is your sub-theme.
2) What is your sub-audience.
What do I mean by that? It’s probably best explained with examples.
A broad theme could be dogs and a broad audience could be animal lovers. You need to be much more targeted than that.
You need to choose a sub-theme like Poodle and then a sub-audience like for example breeder or people who like to do dog shows.
Your tagline is then something like… The Podcast About Poodles for Dog Breeders.
When you have correctly chosen your target suddenly you have immediate relevancy for some people. You are not relevant for most people but for a small set of people you are highly relevant and it’s easy to turn these people into raving fans.
The mistake many people make is to be way to broad in their chosen niche and they then come across and just relevant to nobody.
After than just be yourself and show your personality because these forms of media are as much about entertainment as they are information. Never forget that.
We bloggers tend to sit at our computers far too much. If you are anything like me you will spend hours every day reading other peoples blogs and researching and writing your own blog.
Think about this for a second… when people go on long haul flights we wear special socks to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Sitting for long periods of time can literally kill you. It’s that dangerous!
So i wanted to make a quick post about what I do as a blogger to stay just a little bit healthier.
Work Standing Up
Firstly I have an ikea standing desk. It’s basically a cheap coffee table that I can sit on top of my regular desk that allows me to work standing up. Of course I don’t work standing up all day but it’s great to have the option. Next time you are sitting working on that blog post and you butt is aching think how you could continue working and be more comfortable standing.
Install Fitbolt For Chrome
Fitbolt is a great little chrome app that prompts you every 30 minutes or so with a suggested exercise to keep you more mobile.
Each exercise only takes a minute. Some of the are done seated at your desk and some require you to stand up. The first day after I installed Fitbolt my muscules were actually aching from the exercises so I think the benefits from this little app are huge.
A word of advise though. Don’t turn it off. You have the option to dismiss the prompts if you don’t want to do anything. After the first few days I made the mistake of turning it off and I didn’t turn it on again for 1 week.
Allow yourself to dismiss it any time you don’t feel like doing it and do the exercises when you do feel like doing it. I guarantee you’ll feel better.
Eat A Healthy Diet
I’ve found that the best way to do this is have healthy food on hand that is ready to grab when you need it. When you are absorbed in writing you sometimes don’t want to stop to go and cook, or go the shops. If you are not careful you can end up eating low quality convenience food. I often found myself munching on chips or eating unhealthy sandwiches while continuing to type out a post to a deadline.
My solution was to purchase a slow cooker and make massive pots of healthy paleo soup. During the day I keep the slow cooker on a low heat and the soup is always there ready to go. I don’t need to go to the shops and I don’t need to cook anything. This means my flow isn’t interupted and I can continue to work, by sticking to low carboydrate paleo soups I stabalise my blood sugar when helps because I don’t suffer from the post lunch fatigue that can disrupt productivity.
Take A Break
The last thing that I would advise is to try to take time outs away from the computer altogether. Getting back into the real world will make you a better blogger in the long run. That’s why I’m a short break this coming weekend to Prague. Thanks to Ally from CarryOnGuy.com I’ve streamlined my carry on luggage got everything I need in only one bag and I’ll be taking plenty of exercise when I’m there. Yeah I know I still need to spend time away from the computer on a daily basis but a weekend bread is a start. I hope to have a daily exercise regime built around my blogging life when I come back.
That’s about it. Your health is important folks. And as much as I love good writing your health is way more important than your blog. These 3 things combined have vastly improved my health and I’ll be able to carry on blogging for a good few years yet!
The business world is not always easy to break into. Most companies begin with an idea, an investment, and then a fanatical amount of marketing. Some companies find a magical product that nearly markets itself. Other companies find success through unique marketing techniques. Saddleback Leather Company seems to have found its magic in the combination of the two.
Dave’s Original Bag. Still going strong!
Saddleback Leather Company has created very expensive and popular leather briefcases thought by some to be the best leather briefcase money can buy. They are both fashionable and durable, with one hundred year warranties. The cases are meant to survive in a wide variety of environments and to last a lifetime. In fact, the company is more concerned with the product than with quantity sold. The founder seems to be very personable and has a way of connecting with potential buyers. In spite of his wildly successful product, he still works closely with the company and releases blogs about the products. He even creates amusing YouTube videos that inadvertently address the quality of the product. One particular video explains how to create a knockoff Saddleback bag by explaining the importance of quality leather. Not many company founders are that personally involved with the marketing. There is no professional marketing that can replace a down-to-earth founder with a sense of humor.
The Saddleback’s founder travelled the world. He dreamt of a leather case that would last through his travels while taking on a life of its own. His initial case was a custom creation for himself in Mexico. The case was fashionable, durable, and had personality, which received many compliments. This kicked off the company. The story is both entertaining and endearing. It also does a great job of demonstrating the outlook of the company. Many companies claim to care for quality, but the Saddleback Leather story clearly shows what the cases were designed for. The story itself works to market the cases in a way that no professional marketing company can. It doesn’t hurt that there are pictures of these cases everywhere from India to underwater.
Saddleback Leather is in demand because of its quality. The original product was created to be durable and last a lifetime. The cases take on lives of their own as they travel with you to work or to the other side of the world. The marketing that Saddleback Leather does works because it is very personal and down to earth. The founder seems very approachable and modest in spite of his success. He created a wildly successful company with fanatical followers, but chooses to talk about family and travelling when telling his story. Saddleback Leather seems to have found the magic combination of quality product and personal marketing, and has become a great success because of it. There are many great bags out there. There are many companies with amazing marketing. However, Saddleback Leather seems to have found just the right combination of product and promotion.
Sometimes it takes a little extra motivation to get us off the sofa and working out.
We scoured twitter and facebook to find some imaginative ways people are working. Hopefully you might see something that inspires you. Remember christmas is coming soon and you’re probably going to put on a few pounds so why not go for a preemptive strike and lose some weight so you can overindulge in festive treats guilt free.
1. Jogging At Your Desk
Who says you need to go out side to go jogging! If you are anything like us at DJI you might find it hard to drag yourself away from your electronic gadgets sometimes why not bring the jogging experience to your desk with a treadmill desk! An custom treadmill desk can set you back more that $1500 but you could equally build your own with a second hand treadmill from ebay and a adjustable desk from ikea.
2. Steal A Baby
No don’t actually steal a baby! But people will think you have when you go jogging with one and a jogging stroller. If you have a baby already you are half way there. Get yourself a stroller like these. If you don’t have a baby get yourself a husband/wife here or borrow a baby from a friend or relative.
3. Jogging Under Water
Jogging underwater is not only great for rehabilitation from injury but it gives you all the benefits of jogging without the risk of injury from impact. An aqua jogger belt will suspend your body in deep water at shoulder height and allow you to perform the jogging motion underwater.
4. Go Jogging In Virtual Worlds
Typically with gaming you only get to exercise your fingers and thumbs but that could all be about to change in the future. Devices such at the Virtuix Omni could be set to revolutionise both gaming and exercise. The idea for their 360 motion treadmill is both simple and effective. There is no conventional treadmill belt but simply slidy shoes and an inclined surface work together allow the user to run. Check out the video above to see that you really can run with these things. You can see more videos at the Virtuix website.
Anything Take Your Fancy?
I don’t know about you but I’m seriously taken by the idea of jogging and gaming at the same time. I haven’t played video games in years because I couldn’t justify the time spend on it, if it was combined with exercise it could be a great way to get fit and have some fun too.
Let me know if you have been inspired to get moving in the comments.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you should by now have encountered the wonderful heartwarming tale of 5 year-old Miles Scott aka Batkid.
Miles is in remission from leukemia, he’s had it tough so far in life so the Make A Wish Foundation decided to make his dream come true to be Batman.
The events played out in San Francisco on Friday. Batkid had a very busy day saving a woman who was taken hostage, tacking the Riddler and the Penguin all the while urged on a cheering flashmob.
Social media is often discounted as idle time wasting, but these kind of events show how our loose online connections can help us achive things that would simply have been impossible beforehand.
Even Obama Joined In
As Batkid fever swept the country even President Obama joined in.
Social Media Exploded With Batkid Memes And Tweets
Celebrities Got In On The Batkid Action
“Batkid. Best Batman ever,” tweeted Ben Affleck on Saturday afternoon.
“San Francisco ! You magnificent bastards. #batkid” @CraigyFerg
DJI’s Favorite Tweets
- “#BatKid just makes my heart explode. What a little bundle of joy!” @alexavega
- “Everyone thought they were helping #batkid today. Truth is, he was helping us. The world was a better place, if just for a little while.” @CrewCutter
- “Why does it take a child’s illness for us to go the extra mile & then some for kids? We should be doing this for ALL kids EVERY day.” @angelialevy
- “#BatKid is my hero! He saved Gotham City from the Riddler and Penguin AND he saved the rest of us from forgetting who we can still be.” @FourSunflowers
Hats Off To San Fransisco
Hats off the city of San Franciso and the Make A Wish Foundation for creating such a wonderful good news story.
And best wishes to Miles Scott and his family. I’m sure you will all cherish these memories for many many years to come along with half the planet too!
You can donate here to make other kids wishes come true.
I spotted on Mashable that Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has signed up to play his part in the Movember campaign to raise awareness of mens health issues.
Chris is the proud owner of the finest mustache mankind has ever sent into orbit so it’s fitting that he is involved in the Movember fund raising efforts that feature mustaches throughout the month of November.
YouTube videos make a humerous play on the informational videos that Chris made while he was in space. He is seen back on earth making videos about how gravity will pour milk into your cereal bowl and other mundane topics. It’s all in good humor, for a good cause and totally worth checking out.
But when it came to the cruch I couldn’t mention Chris without posting his amazing cover version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity recorded on the international space station.
This video still blows me away and it’s almost 19 million hits on youtube are way too small for my liking.
Ain’t it funny that we can send a man into space with all that technology and ingenuity but one of the coolest things he can do there is whip out his six string and sing a pop song.
The web was always social right from the beginning. Even back in the days of dial up people were chatting online in USENET, chat rooms and forums and webmasters connected with each other from not long after the first websites were created.
What’s has changed with the rise of social media is that the social aspect of the web has become more accessable to the general public. First all the college kids were on Facebook, then… SHOCK your mum was on Facebook and finally your Gran arrived and the social web had reached mainstream society.
The reasons for this are twofold. First, improvements in the web programming technology. Yes Facebook is really just a rehash of MySpace but they did it better making it more accessable. Secondly, the improvements in the hardware technology and increased bandwidth.
It’s much easier to get your gran using a wifi tablet than it would have been to get her hunched over a mamoth desktop on dial up waiting 3 minutes for a photo to slowly reveal itself.
Deep Jive Interests has been relaunched to monitor and comment of the continuing evolution of the social web. We have a long history of bringing you news and comment on current events online.
The site was first developed by Tony Hung who subsequently gave up blogging to pursue a career in medicine. Then followed a period of decine when the site was subject to hacking attacks and left to neglect.
Now Deep Jive Interests is under my stewardship and I hope to return the site to it’s former glory.