Monthly Archives: October 2009

No Free Lunch Menu: Internet Scams

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My top concerns to everybody. Internet scams can be highly believable.  I got this… Facebook friend who posted a link on their account to Google Profusion. Curious, I went to the website to find out more.

The link lead me to a blog page with a header of  Internet Success – Real Stories About Real People Making Real Money in Singapore. In it, you’ll see the success story about this lady, Sharon Tan. (Such a cliche name!)

Next, there is an image of her holding the cheque from Google like this:

Now, you’re impressed eh?

Update 12 Dec 2009: The image from then http://www.youronlinesuccessblogs.com/ has been taken out due to website no longer exist.

After this it goes on to tell about how she earned $12,000 a month by posting links on Google bla bla bla… She had a normal day job like you and I. Then one day she got out of job.  Due to that, she had a huge credit card debt up to $40,000. Next, she found this Google Profound and this is where the fairy tale starts.

They all sounded mostly the same: Home business. All you need to get started is a computer and internet connection. They used a simple technique to capture your needs and desire. By this, luring you to sign up for it is VERY LIKELY because you are the target audience:

  1. You have a day job
  2. You feel that your salary is not enough to make you feel happy
  3. You don’t feel like doing a part-time job at fastfood restaurants after work
  4. You want easy money. Work from home that is…
  5. You want an easy job.
  6. You want to make lots of money – even when you are sleeping
  7. You want to get rich. QUICK!

Hmmm… you get the spot on vibe too? If yes, be extremely careful and be smart. Do a bit of research on Google about this Google Profusion thingy. There’s abit of irony here… (hahaha…) but be sure to read brainy articles like this here.

The internet is making everybody more clever but not smart enough. Let’s go back to basics. Just remember these 2  DON’T DOs when it comes to using the internet and you are guaranteed to be safe from virus/hackers, at least:

  1. Do not provide/dislose your personal credit card and personal particulars to the internet (including web forms, Messenger, and e-mail)
  2. Do not install any programs you are not sure about. Hit the X button.

Do some good deed and let’s remind each other and the people you care about not to fall into this internet scams.

If you still have a day job, keep it.

If you are out of job, go hunt for a REAL job – there’s no such thing as free lunch, mate! Cheers!

Do you face the problem of knowing how to use Twitter but don’t know what to tweet?

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I know this sounds crazy… but believe it or not, it’s the most common problem businesses face today.

The top 5 most BORING tweets ever! You will never want to bother:

  1. This product was just released today so check it out – so what if it’s new? What about the newness will benefit me?
  2. Somebody has just reviewed my product so read it – big deal?
  3. My product was mentioned in an article check it out – I’ve already seen it, so why repeat?
  4. Read more about this product (link) here. - ignore…
  5. I just want to tell you so many features about this product. – why should I listen to you?

Sounds familiar? Are these the main reason why your business opened a Twitter account? Worry not, because there’s no right or wrong to doing things strategically. However, you should consider using the AIDA method : Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Let’s paraphrase the most boring tweets to make them sound more interesting in 140-characters:

  1. This product was just released today so check it out Freshly oven baked. Something is sizzling in the news stands today. (link)
  2. Somebody has just reviewed my product so read it The Newspapers have proven that my product is worth your 5 bucks even if it’s really 3 bucks. Read why! (link)
  3. My product was mentioned in an article check it out Newspaper reported today that my product could prolong your youthful skin. Read this (link)
  4. Read more about this product (link) here. Do you face the problem of knowing how to use Twitter but do not know what to tweet? This could be the solution (link).
  5. I just want to tell you so many features about this product. Now you can meet your clients everywhere around the world at the convenience of your own room. (link)

Do the revised ‘tweets’ all sound like the five wives and a husband – What, Why, Who, When, Where, How?

The real art to using Twitter relies on your copywriting skills!  If you can hone your copywriting skills and use it appropriately on Twitter, you could eventually capture your share of the pie and convert followers to be your customers!

Do every business need Twitter?

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Do you have a Twitter account? If no, why not?

I’ve heard from some people who are not getting the hang of Twitter. They say, “Twitter is not for everybody.” Yes? I don’t think so… Let me paraphrase the quote: Twitter is not for every business. Maybe, but WHY NOT?

Before announcing ‘Twitter is not for my business’, let’s list down the most obvious similarity and differences between blogging and micro blogging then analyze further whether you could apply Twitter, as you do with blogging, in your business strategy.

Similarities:

  • Publish contents, images, videos, audio clips and links
  • Visit other people’s blog/Twitter to see what they are talking about
  • Leave comments
  • Link the other people’s post you like in your account
  • Keep track of visitor using statistics
  • Integration of various applications
  • Easy to setup account with friendly user interface

Differences:

  • Blog platform allows you to create lengthy contents while Twitter allows you to post 140-character messages.
  • Blog enables you create a URL for the published post whereas you have to go to the Twitter URL and scroll down the page to see all the Tweets.
  • Applications are integrated into  the blog page once you login to your blog whereas in Twitter, you have to visit various websites that provide services to Twitter, log in at the servicing websites before syncing with your Twitter account.
  • Blog is a website whereas Twitter is a platform. Get it?
  • Twitter is mobile phone friendly whereas blogs (mostly) are still best used with computers.

Wonder what people use Twitter for and why they are so famous?

Now, let us look at the Top 20 GLOBAL Twitter (celebrities & famous TV personalities). ‘Listen’ to what they are talking about and absorb the conversation.

  • #2. Ellen DeGeneres – TheEllenShow (Giveaways, thoughts, interesting person, high-rated tv appearance)
  • #3. Britney Spears – britneyspears (Scandals, paparazzi, trend-setting music, tv appearance, unique character)
  • #5. Kim Kardashian – KimKardashian (Reality tv show, updates about her whereabouts + links to other celebs + updates about her life, thoughts)
  • #7. Ryan Seacrest – RyanSeacrest (Who doesn’t know this man? American Idol!, radio show, updates about celebs, gossip, thought provoking, tweet every day)
  • #8. John Mayer – johncmayer (At least 5 tweets per day for the past week, x-bf of Jennifer Aniston, highly interactive)
  • #9. Shaq O’Neill – THE_REAL_SHAQ (Legendary basketball player, at least 4 tweets per day, interacts with Twitter friends)
  • #11. Oprah Winfrey – Oprah (Famous for her talk show, influential)
  • #12. Demi Moore – mrskutcher (Famous for the marriage status, I am still intrigued about their family relationship!)
  • #14. Miley Cyrus – mileycyrus (Teen celebrity, movie, Hannah Montana)
  • #15. Puff Daddy – iamdiddy (Influential, tv appearance, reality tv show)
  • #16. Lance Armstrong – lancearmstrong
  • #17. Ashley Tisdale – ashleytisdale
  • #18. Coldplay – coldplay (A well known music band)
  • #20. Mariah Carey – MariahCarey

(Stats shown above are as at October 14, 2009 by TwitterCounter.com.)

Read some useful facts about Twitter here and it is also one of the reason why you should consider using Twitter for your business.

Someone appreciates coffee and… me

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This is sharing a blog post (link below) about a dear friend who appreciates 2 things (of all others) – coffee and me.

Like smoking, you can connect with people with coffee. Learning the art of coffee appreciation is like learning business etiquette – except that it’s consumable and tastes good! Some people drink coffee because it’s like the fuel to start our engine in the morning. Some people are just addicted to the caffeine like tobacco. The art of coffee appreciation is more than just drinking coffee, it is about ENJOYING drinking coffee. When you enjoy drinking coffee, you open up your senses to its factors like taste, body, smell and characteristics. Pair it up with foods that complements these factors. Surprise your senses, take the experience and you’ll look at drinking coffee in a different way…pleasantly!

Who you should go coffee appreciation with:

  • people who drinks coffee
  • people who eats desserts/pies/light snacks
  • people who have time (important)
  • people you enjoy chatting with

Where you can go to appreciate coffee:

  • all coffee chain outlets: Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaves, Gloria Jeans, Burke’s Coffee (but not local food court coffee shops) more

Lastly, go here to read what my dearest friend, Teeks, wrote about her coffee experience with me.

Hello Shalu Wasu

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Shalu, I am blogging as you speak…

Shalu is the trainer for The Social Media Marketing Workshop course at Adventis Learning Group (Singapore).

This is a blog exercise. Basically we are asked to create a new post, add picture and video – just to get a feel of blogging for the beginners. I find this course very useful as it sort of gives a confirmation to my doubts about social media marketing. I really enjoy the activities because this is the only course where you can use Facebook, blog, Twitter and Youtube at the same time – integration of all social media platforms.

I am all for recommending this course is for anyone who wants to learn more and engage in the next generation marketing!

For those interested, go to www.adventisgroup.com.sg.

The next course is up in January 2010!
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Hey, hey, I’m back!

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Dear readers, I’m sorry I’ve been so caught up with the recent Hari Raya celebration that I’ve procrastinated until this long to publish an entry.

Fasting month
August 22 – September 19, 2009

It had been a challenge for me to juggle with family, practising and work commitments at this period but thankfully I managed to stay afloat and appeared ‘normal’ like any other days.
For the benefit of my dearest non-Muslim readers, allow me to take you to my fasting routine and experiences:

  • 4:00 a.m. – wake up and prepare breakfast for my family of 6 people (parents and 3 younger siblings).
    Breakfast usually include rice, stir fried vegetables, meat or fish, plenty of plain water and a cup of coffee. The whole family will eat until 5:20 a.m. just in time to brush the teeth and clean the nose and ears before ‘azan’ (the call for prayer). Therefore we must stop eating/drinking.
  • 6:00 a.m. Get ready for work
  • 7:10 a.m. Leave house for work
  • 6:30 p.m. Reach home from work
    Sometimes when Mom hasn’t come back from work, I’d rush to cook a simple balanced meal for the family. I manage to do this because prior on a weekend I’d already peeled a whole bag of onions, garlic and dried chili for the week; blended them and kept in the refrigerator. Cooking a simple meal is very fast… By 7 past 10 I’d usually be done and seated on the dining table waiting for the ‘azan’ on the radio to break my fast.

I’d be very tired after the long and hectic day therefore will always get my things for work ready the night before sleeping and turn in early for the next day. I’d go to bed by 10:30 p.m. (so now you know why I put off updating stuff on this blog).

Breaking fast at home is so much convenient for me as compared to breaking fast outside. It’s because the food outlets are usually full and it’s quite tedious to find balanced meals. (I’m very concerned about eating healthy after learning from my basic health screening report that I was overweight for my height recently) I want to sidetrack a bit about this: my BMI measured 22.9 and the health report wrote, “You are overweight.” To maintain a healthy BMI, I had taken the initiative to cut down on unhealthy food consumptions and stick to the recommended daily foods. I’m very glad I am able to see (and feel) some pleasing results in 2 months – I lost 2 dress sizes!!

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October 2009

July 2009

July 2009

Fasting month had not only taught me to be accepting to unforeseen ordeals but I also learn to persevere during tough times, stay contented and healthy. It may sound very tough to go through the day without food and water nevertheless after the power breakfast before the day began, it was good enough to energize the body and normalize my mood until breaking fast.

Some personal tips to stay fasting (at work) during this period:
- Try not to think about food (will make you hungry)
- Try not to be angry (this will lead from one thing to another, you know?)
- Ignore or stay away from people who annoys you (helps to stay positive)
- Do not rush the workload to be done on pressing time. Do work slowly (but surely) and steadily.
- Put on earphones and listen to your favorite music – like online radio live365.com.
- Smile even when you are angry (but it’s O.K. to ridicule people in your mind)

During the weekends, I usually sleep till noon, watch tv, rest and relax before starting to prepare to break fast at 5:00 pm onwards.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri
20 September 2009

Just 2 days before I was very busy cleaning and decorating the house to invite family, relatives and close friends to come to my humble home sweet home. However, on the first day of Hari Raya, I traveled to my grandparent’s house at Johor, Malaysia. My whole family and extended family/relatives were all gathered to catch up and socialize amongst ourselves. What never failed to hype up the day was seeing everybody dressed up in the traditional ‘baju kurung’. What’s more interesting to notice was that all of us will make the effort to come wearing the same patterned cloth (husband, wife, son, daughter, curtains, tablecloths, etc…) or the same color schemes. In this way, it is easier for anyone to identify that we belong to a group of family (really shameful if HAD TO WEAR matching cloth with household decorations) should the distant relatives had forgotten that my Mom had 5 children and some but one (youngest, Primary 4 brother) are taller than her now.

My family portrait 2009

My family portrait 2009

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makan - the 'kampung' style

Of course, on this day everyone transformed into camera whores and even the shy ones are willing to pose nicely for you to take a picture. One of the happiest day of my life!

Elder sis and I (2009)

Elder sis and I (2009)

I snapped a photo while all of us were arranging ourselves for a family photo

I snapped a photo while all of us were arranging ourselves for a family photo

...and a table full of festive savories!

...and a table full of festive savories!