Update on 2009’s New Year resolutions

Who actually even posts updates to their New Year resolutions? I would never have even considered doing this lame exercise if only when I look back at that post I did in January, that I’ve pretty much accomplished, or have already made plans to accomplish all the goals on the list!

Here is the list from that post – now updated.

  • Travel overseas with Karina to watch Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge – Not this year, but we are off to South East Asia in December!
  • Take a photography course – present for my birthday from Karina! Starts in August, so just need to purchase a DSLR camera now.
  • Go camping at least twice – 1 down, 1 to go. I’m sure in Summer I’ll plan another camping trip
  • Lose some weight – 13kg’s to be exact. Eating properly. Who would of thought.
  • Setup a blogging schedule for my blogs – Tried and will try again. Added to my todo list again.
  • Increase my passive income – goes hand in hand with the above point. Small increase, but not substantial enough
  • Grow a small vegetable garden – screw this idea. I’ve realised I hate gardening.
  • Buy an iPhone – July is upgrade month and what’s Vodacom bringing out in July? Yeah, iPhone 3GS.
  • Start a small e-commerce business selling something simple yet effective. – a bit of pie in the sky at the moment.
  • Learn to say No – have turned away work that I would of not wanted to do, so seems I’m winning this one!
  • Start charging those people that take advantage of my free help. – this is more of a statement than something concrete. I love helping people, so maybe I’ll never win this battle.

Not bad don’t you think? If you did a New Years resolution post, how is it going? You might just be surprised how well you have done!

Facebook page vs Facebook group – quick case study

One of Beanbag Media’s new clients, Creative Cape Town, have been running a Facebook group for a couple of months. The group managed to rally just over 600 members in the couple of months it has been up and running. After a quick strat meeting the other day, I suggested to CCT that they move over to a Facebook page as it offers more flexibility and updates to the page are pulled into it’s fans stream so they can more easily interact and see what’s happening within Creative Cape Town.

2 weeks after migrating, the Creative Cape Town Facebook fan page has over 1200 members and the interaction on the page has been way better than the group ever saw.

Facebook groups are dead. Create a fan page. End of story.

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.


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.