Named as 1 of 300 Young South African’s you should take to lunch

Mail & Guardian ran a feature on 300 young South African’s you should take to lunch. There were a number of categories from Arts & Culture to Sports and I was named in the Technology section.

From the article:

Jason Bagley, web entrepreneur

Jason Bagley met his former business partner on Twitter. This may sound odd but it is totally in character for this Generation Y entrepreneur, who professes a dislike of “old-school corporates”.
Bagley has little formal education and learned most of his developers’ skills on the job.
“I didn’t want to wait three to four years studying before I could start working,” he says. So far, it’s been a good strategy. He’s worked for Trustco Goup International, Travelogic and Younique.
Earlier this year, Bagley’s popular, but unofficial My Coke Fest blog, which featured advertising and made use of Coke trademarks, came under fire from Coke. Under threat of legal action, Bagley sanitised and relocated the blog, but retained a loyal community base. He says the incident shows a lack of understanding about how social media works.
Bagley recently set up his own media company, Beanbag Media, and also consults to World Wide Creative. He runs the Incredible Connection blog. — Faranaaz Parker

Lunch spot: Wine, Women and Sushi, Somerset West, Cape Town

A couple of firsts – workshops and presenting

I was up in Joburg last week to give my very first presentation at a Social Media conference! Not only did I present on the Thursday, but ran a blogging workshop on the Friday. Overall, I was extremely pleased with how it went.

Speaking at the presso

Some of the things I learnt from presenting

  • Know your slides – I had at over 40 slides in my presso and pretty much knew which were coming, I just got caught up at one stage where I wanted to talk about a topic, but the slide was still a number of clicks away
  • Information overload – blogging is such a massive topic to talk about that I felt I probably tried to squeeze a little to much information into my 30 minute presentation
  • Pace yourself – I think I did a pretty good job of “racing” through all my content, but felt I could of rather spent more time explaining certain concepts rather than trying to rush through all of it in one go.
  • Be prepared – this I definitely was, but I just want to reiterate that nothing looks worse than an unprepared speaker. (Not that any of the speakers were. Just saying. :) )

It definitely was an honour to share the stage with the likes of Mike Stopforth, Melissa Attree, Scott Gray, Andy Hadfield, Vincent Maher, Pria Chetty and Jeremy Maggs.

The blogging workshop was also a lot of fun as we actually got into actual real world examples and went through some step by step examples on some of the tools used for blogging. One thing that I’m pretty proud of is that a number of the delegates came up to me afterward to say they were now inspired to start blogging!

If you are interested in my presentation, it’s over on slideshare.net/jbagley (excuse some of the mangled text – seems the upload didn’t go as planned). I also created some pretty detailed notes for the blogging workshop which I am going to work on a little more and then turn into an e-book (Stopforth’s brilliant masterplan I must add) for free download in the coming weeks. Should be fun!

So, if you looking for a speaker at your next conference, I’m definitely available!

How NOT to send out a newsletter

I received a newsletter this morning from BusinessDay, telling me about their newly launched website and functionality. That’s nice and all, but when the newsletter is missing some glaringly obvious mistakes, you have to wonder who advised BusinessDay to send out the newsletter in that format. In this case, it was their e-marketing agency, Cambrient.

businessday-newsletter

Here are the mistakes Cambrient made

Firstly, you fail to offer a reply email address. noreply-businessday@cambrient.com. Surely if you have the right to email me, I should have the opportunity to reply? Setting up a noreply email address smells of spam.

Secondly, the most important part of any newsletter is the subject. “Business Day”. That heading tells me nothing about the contents of the email. It does not garner any attention whatsoever and you are actually lucky I opened it as you are now getting some valuable feedback from me. :)

Moving on to the opening line – Dear Valued Client. I have never subscribed to any newsletter from BusinessDay neither have I ever visited their website, so I can only guess Cambrient bought or are using some of their personal mailing lists. In that case, I subscribe to their Digital Edge podcast newsletter, which has my name in it. Use it! My name is not Valued Client, it’s Jason.

One other thing I noticed is there is no web version of the newsletter. Luckily it came out fine in Entourage on my Mac, but I’m sure it won’t look to good in all 2700 other email clients across the world.

And lastly, the cardinal sin of any newsletter campaign, not including an unsubscribe link. Seriously? You add me to a newsletter database, send me this poorly constructed email and then do not give me the opportunity to never receive an email from you again!

Some advice to Cambrient

Guys, you produce a brilliant podcast on a weekly basis and you bill yourself as a digital agency SPECIALISING in e-marketing, which includes email marketing. You shouldn’t commit so many mistakes in 1 email marketing campaign! My words of advice? Read Quirk’s e-marketing book from cover to cover. I promise not to tell anyone and you really will make your future clients look like rockstars online. For now, BusinessDay are looking like a huge fail.

The Net Prophet after thoughts

netprophet

For a free conference to bring over 400 geeks, marketers, students, designers, developers and 1 Social Media Scientist in Cape Town is pretty freaking amazing. Along with some of SA’s top speakers AKA Net Prophets speaking, a number of people where damn impressed, including me.

You were an idiot for not attending

For those of you that couldn’t be there because you have a 9 – 5 day job, and didn’t want to waste your precious day’s off, shame on you. The fact that it was free, didn’t for one second mean it was worth nothing. In fact, I would’ve paid around R3000 – R4000 to attend a conference with the quality of speakers and organisation of this conference. Not only that, the knowledge that you could of gained, would of put you one step closer to breaking free of your cubicle farm shackles.

What I got out of Net Prophet

With the quality of the talks at Net Prophet, everyone was bound to find value in almost every slide that was displayed up on that massive projector screen. These were my observations.

The MC: Rob Gilmour did a great job of MC’ing the event. I noticed that after each speaker, he commented on a small aspect of their presentation as well as added some extra value to the conference (Rocky Mountain News for example).

The organisers, venue & sponsors: The quality of the venue and PA system added to a thoroughly well organised event that was held at the Old Mutual Business School. From registration, to tea and coffee breaks, everything went off without a hitch. Sure, there wasn’t enough food for everyone at lunch, but with it being free and all, no one could complain that you could walk 20 meters to the cafeteria and buy lunch yourself.

Henk Kleynhans, Mike Stopforth, Dave Duarte & Andrew Smith: delivered the more engaging, funny and interactive talks of the day. I said to Henk that I felt his talk had a certain TED quality to it, while Andrew’s presentation was one of those cut-through-the-bull-sh*t-here-are-the-facts type of talks. Hilarious and thought provoking. Dave is the consummate professional, having spoken at more conferences than I have Twitter followers and there is always value in whatever double D has to say. Ol’ Mike on the other hand, is in another league in my opinion. The way he manages to make you feel as if he is talking directly to you, offering great insight into who he is as well as how he thinks. His personal case studies and business ventures are something to aspire to and he definitely is someone I draw huge inspiration from. (Oh ya, and Mike, *those* “titles”, you just make them up. Although in my case, scientists seem to blow things up a lot more than a guru or expert would! :) )

Arthur Goldstuck, Herman Heunis & Hannes van Rensburg: Although they are not the most engaging of speakers and were very methodical at times, the amount of knowledge, stats, figures and business ideas these speakers have, is mind boggling. It was more of an honour to hear them speak if nothing else. Arthur’s stats on broadband and mobile penetration in SA and the World, insight into MXit’s numbers, how they operate and how close it came to going belly under from Herman, and reaffirming my thoughts that SMS is the past, present and future of the mobile web economy from Hannes, was what I took from their various talks. Amazing value in their talks, if you just sat and listened, like most did.

Peter Flynn: was paid an exorbitant amount of money by an anonymous sponsor to show a slide of my name and tweet I put out a couple of days ago, as well as making me stand to tell me it sparked a interesting discussion in their office. The 20 odd new followers is a daily record for me. :)

and last, but definitely not least, Charl Norman: If you had to choose one presentation for its value in content alone, Charl’s was worth at least $10 a minute while he was on stage. He took everyone through the tools, tips and tricks he uses to run his blog network. He gave it to us straight with his quick talking, no nonsense approach. He cut through the crap and gave people exactly what they wanted – the exact tools and ways to market and manage a blog in order to make some serious money from it. Although I never wrote anything down from his talk as I pretty much talk the same language as Charl, every single person had a pen writing down frantically everything in the slides as if they had just been give the answers to their high school science test happening tomorrow. Charl proves that people love hearing how to make money!

Wrapping it all up

The Bagley rocking at #netprophet

Finally, for those that helped the hashtag #netprophet reach Twitter’s trending topics for most of the day, friends and followers online that bumped into me and said “hi”, the organisers and sponsors, RSAWeb, White Wall Web and Innovation Fund, big kudos to you. Once again proving Silicon Cape is the business.

Kudo’s also to these fine folk for attending Net Prophet (Click and follow them on Twitter): @marlonparker, @kerry_anne, @MarcPerel, @obox, @geniusboywonder, @Amyburgh, @mattyza, @mattinsa, @tessneale, @danbaileyuk.