Monthly Archives: May 2008

★ Social networking for business

After reading my latest article on all the different social networks that I’m involved in my employer, SCHILLER Australia, is wanting to get a little more “social and interactive” on the internet so they have asked me to investigate how they can do that.

The brief that was given to me in a meeting today is that it needs to be easy, it needs to have the ability to be put in front of a large audience, it needs to be secure, and most of all it needs to be user friendly for the CEO. The obvious thing that springs to mind, for me at least, is that they should get involved in a number of different social networking websites.

So here’s what I’m thinking network wise, and some examples of how they can get involved.

Twitter – despite it’s downtime and constant crashing Twitter is actually cool and potentially quite useful to us. One use is to answer service questions and basic medical / cardiac questions. It can also be used for announcing upcoming product releases and other news articles.

Facebook – On Facebook you can setup ‘fan pages’ for companies and / or products. The awareness that could be created for public access level products, ie. at-home defibrillators and CPR training products, could be used to open the market up and have us being seen as a leader in the field.

YouTube – We sell a number of products which are very simple to use and essentially require no training, however there are always a few customers who do require some training. With these products our reps, in most cases, spend more time driving to and from the customer’s to deliver the training than they do actually training the customers. If we were able to avoid all that wasted travel time by being able to deliver the training via You Tube, or similar video site, we could save quite a bit of money and also it would also provide a great reference resource that customers can revert back to, not to mention that it could also be used as pre-sale training so that the potential customer would know a lot more about the particular product.

Last FM – Currently we have one of our old computers plugged into our telephone system and our on-hold music is played in iTunes and streamed out to the phone whenever anyone is on-hold. This is more of a novelty rather than a sales and or brand awareness tool, however it would keep information ticking over on our website as well as giving people an insight into our company persona via the types of music that we listen to.

Flickr – Our sales team is constantly on the road, and also attend a large number of conferences, expos and seminars around the world each year. We could have a company Flickr account setup to showcase these different events we attend, the people we meet, the products we see, and some of the different places we travel to each year for business. Again this is more of a novelty than an actual sales tool however it’s the sort of thing that does bring people on to your website when you’re taking their photos at various events and can show a more human side to the company rather than just being a ‘faceless organisation’.

Upcoming – Upcoming can be used as an events calendar where our customers can see where we will be displaying our product range at the various conferences, expos and other events we attend. People can subscribe to it and also contact us to book personal product demonstrations and alike.

There’s a handful of other social networking websites that I’ve also considered but am still undecided on. The reason I’m undecided on these ones varies but mostly it’s because of privacy concerns for our staff, and in the case of Linked In there is the potential that it can be used by companies to ‘head hunt’ our staff and while they could probably achieve that anyway I don’t want to make it any easier for them

So that’s what I’m thinking at the moment, and from here I will be making a presentation of this to the boss in the next couple of days so I’m eager to here from you guys think and if there are other potential social networks are out there that could be worth taking a look at as well.

★ Social networking for business

After reading my latest article on all the different social networks that I’m involved in my employer, SCHILLER Australia, is wanting to get a little more “social and interactive” on the internet so they have asked me to investigate how they can do that.

The brief that was given to me in a meeting today is that it needs to be easy, it needs to have the ability to be put in front of a large audience, it needs to be secure, and most of all it needs to be user friendly for the CEO. The obvious thing that springs to mind, for me at least, is that they should get involved in a number of different social networking websites.

So here’s what I’m thinking network wise, and some examples of how they can get involved.

Twitter – despite it’s downtime and constant crashing Twitter is actually cool and potentially quite useful to us. One use is to answer service questions and basic medical / cardiac questions. It can also be used for announcing upcoming product releases and other news articles.

Facebook – On Facebook you can setup ‘fan pages’ for companies and / or products. The awareness that could be created for public access level products, ie. at-home defibrillators and CPR training products, could be used to open the market up and have us being seen as a leader in the field.

YouTube – We sell a number of products which are very simple to use and essentially require no training, however there are always a few customers who do require some training. With these products our reps, in most cases, spend more time driving to and from the customer’s to deliver the training than they do actually training the customers. If we were able to avoid all that wasted travel time by being able to deliver the training via You Tube, or similar video site, we could save quite a bit of money and also it would also provide a great reference resource that customers can revert back to, not to mention that it could also be used as pre-sale training so that the potential customer would know a lot more about the particular product.

Last FM – Currently we have one of our old computers plugged into our telephone system and our on-hold music is played in iTunes and streamed out to the phone whenever anyone is on-hold. This is more of a novelty rather than a sales and or brand awareness tool, however it would keep information ticking over on our website as well as giving people an insight into our company persona via the types of music that we listen to.

Flickr – Our sales team is constantly on the road, and also attend a large number of conferences, expos and seminars around the world each year. We could have a company Flickr account setup to showcase these different events we attend, the people we meet, the products we see, and some of the different places we travel to each year for business. Again this is more of a novelty than an actual sales tool however it’s the sort of thing that does bring people on to your website when you’re taking their photos at various events and can show a more human side to the company rather than just being a ‘faceless organisation’.

Upcoming – Upcoming can be used as an events calendar where our customers can see where we will be displaying our product range at the various conferences, expos and other events we attend. People can subscribe to it and also contact us to book personal product demonstrations and alike.

There’s a handful of other social networking websites that I’ve also considered but am still undecided on. The reason I’m undecided on these ones varies but mostly it’s because of privacy concerns for our staff, and in the case of Linked In there is the potential that it can be used by companies to ‘head hunt’ our staff and while they could probably achieve that anyway I don’t want to make it any easier for them

So that’s what I’m thinking at the moment, and from here I will be making a presentation of this to the boss in the next couple of days so I’m eager to here from you guys think and if there are other potential social networks are out there that could be worth taking a look at as well.

★ Wedding Venue Dramas!

Recently we’ve been ringing around confirming all of our bookings for Cath and my wedding in August, yesterday I rang the venue to confirm our booking and pay it all. No one answered so I left a message.

Lastnight we got a phone call at around 10pm, it was the venue. They’ve double booked that day and we can’t have the venue. When I informed her that we had made a booking last year I was told that it was “only a tentative booking and you haven’t confirmed it prior to now”

She also added, “we would’ve called you when the other party booked to see if you still wanted it but no one returned our call”.

I asked her what number she called and she proceeded to rattle off some random number that I’ve not heard of. So basically we have everything else booked, confirmed and a number of things completely paid for, but we have no venue! Arghhh!!

Today’s priority is to shortlist possible alternatives and to start ringing around!

If anyone out there knows of a function room, surf lifesaving club, or some other venue, in the Newcastle area that is nice let me know.

So far the list is;

  • Cooks Hill Surf Lifesaving Club
  • Nobbys Surf Lifesaving Club
  • Blacksmiths Surf Liefsavving Club

★ Wedding Venue Dramas!

Recently we’ve been ringing around confirming all of our bookings for Cath and my wedding in August, yesterday I rang the venue to confirm our booking and pay it all. No one answered so I left a message.

Lastnight we got a phone call at around 10pm, it was the venue. They’ve double booked that day and we can’t have the venue. When I informed her that we had made a booking last year I was told that it was “only a tentative booking and you haven’t confirmed it prior to now”

She also added, “we would’ve called you when the other party booked to see if you still wanted it but no one returned our call”.

I asked her what number she called and she proceeded to rattle off some random number that I’ve not heard of. So basically we have everything else booked, confirmed and a number of things completely paid for, but we have no venue! Arghhh!!

Today’s priority is to shortlist possible alternatives and to start ringing around!

If anyone out there knows of a function room, surf lifesaving club, or some other venue, in the Newcastle area that is nice let me know.

So far the list is;

  • Cooks Hill Surf Lifesaving Club
  • Nobbys Surf Lifesaving Club
  • Blacksmiths Surf Liefsavving Club

★ Why you should work across multiple social networking sites

There’s an absolute plethora of social networking websites out there now. They come in many different shapes and sizes, abilities, disabilities, problems, solutions, and cover pretty well every subject under the sun.

But which ones should I join up to?

That’s a reasonably easy question to answer. All of them! Well maybe not every single social networking site that rears its head on Mashable, but you should get yourself signed up on all the sites that are specific to your interests and / or blogging topics.

For example, I blog about photography, video, product reviews, cooking, social networking and a few other random things so I’m on social networking sites like Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, YouTube, Vimeo, Blip.TV, Flickr, Last.FM, Facebook, Myspace, Virb, Friend Feed, LinkedIn and errmm I’m probably forgetting some but those are the core sites that I post to, stream to, link to, republish to and whatever else to.

Going through the above list there’s quite a number of overlaps, eg. Digg vs. StumbleUpon, YouTube vs. Vimeo vs. BlipTV, and Facebook vs. Myspace vs. Virb.

So why all the overlaps?

Everybody is different and well different people are on different websites for different reasons, eg. I really like the way BlipTV handles the videos I post and that I just have a simple block of code for my channel and whenever I publish a new video to BlipTV it automatically hits the front page of my blog, however I know more people use YouTube and Vimeo so to still bring solid traffic in from those sites I also publish the video there.

Another example would be the Facebook vs. Myspace vs. Virb network, all of them have very different user demographics so to actually get the most value out of the potential traffic you get involved with all of them.

Of course being involved in so many different websites can be very time consuming keeping people updated with your blogging and what not, not to mention quite a big distraction. Which is where websites like Friend Feed popup which basically allows you to network the updates from all your endeavors onto a single page. You can also subscribe / friend other people so you can easily keep up with the goings on in their worlds.

Aside from Friend Feed you’ve also got plenty of different browser plugins for Firefox, and even better is the browser that’s built to handle pretty well all of these websites Flock. Flock allows you to enter all of your different usernames and passwords into some handy forms and from there whenever you and your friends update one of your social accounts you get the update in Flock.

And lastly, for those not wanting to further slow Firefox down with plugins, or who don’t like the look of Flock, most of these social networking websites have many different RSS feed options that you can subscribe to in your reader of choice.

Pretty well everyday a new social networking website pops up, and every second day another one disappears. Choose wisely, stick to the core ones that have been around for a while, but also don’t be afraid to jump onto one of the new ones if it feels like it might last.

Anyway, if you’re on one of the previously mentioned websites and we’re not friends, go and friend me now!

Catch you around the web somewhere.

★ Why you should work across multiple social networking sites

There’s an absolute plethora of social networking websites out there now. They come in many different shapes and sizes, abilities, disabilities, problems, solutions, and cover pretty well every subject under the sun.

But which ones should I join up to?

That’s a reasonably easy question to answer. All of them! Well maybe not every single social networking site that rears its head on Mashable, but you should get yourself signed up on all the sites that are specific to your interests and / or blogging topics.

For example, I blog about photography, video, product reviews, cooking, social networking and a few other random things so I’m on social networking sites like Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, YouTube, Vimeo, Blip.TV, Flickr, Last.FM, Facebook, Myspace, Virb, Friend Feed, LinkedIn and errmm I’m probably forgetting some but those are the core sites that I post to, stream to, link to, republish to and whatever else to.

Going through the above list there’s quite a number of overlaps, eg. Digg vs. StumbleUpon, YouTube vs. Vimeo vs. BlipTV, and Facebook vs. Myspace vs. Virb.

So why all the overlaps?

Everybody is different and well different people are on different websites for different reasons, eg. I really like the way BlipTV handles the videos I post and that I just have a simple block of code for my channel and whenever I publish a new video to BlipTV it automatically hits the front page of my blog, however I know more people use YouTube and Vimeo so to still bring solid traffic in from those sites I also publish the video there.

Another example would be the Facebook vs. Myspace vs. Virb network, all of them have very different user demographics so to actually get the most value out of the potential traffic you get involved with all of them.

Of course being involved in so many different websites can be very time consuming keeping people updated with your blogging and what not, not to mention quite a big distraction. Which is where websites like Friend Feed popup which basically allows you to network the updates from all your endeavors onto a single page. You can also subscribe / friend other people so you can easily keep up with the goings on in their worlds.

Aside from Friend Feed you’ve also got plenty of different browser plugins for Firefox, and even better is the browser that’s built to handle pretty well all of these websites Flock. Flock allows you to enter all of your different usernames and passwords into some handy forms and from there whenever you and your friends update one of your social accounts you get the update in Flock.

And lastly, for those not wanting to further slow Firefox down with plugins, or who don’t like the look of Flock, most of these social networking websites have many different RSS feed options that you can subscribe to in your reader of choice.

Pretty well everyday a new social networking website pops up, and every second day another one disappears. Choose wisely, stick to the core ones that have been around for a while, but also don’t be afraid to jump onto one of the new ones if it feels like it might last.

Anyway, if you’re on one of the previously mentioned websites and we’re not friends, go and friend me now!

Catch you around the web somewhere.

★ How do you know when it's time to call it quits?

This article has been one of the hardest to write for me. The reason it’s incredibly tough to write is because I’m not a quitter, I really don’t like to give up on things.

So why now?

Well it’s actually quite a simple reason, dollars. Basically I’m With The Band is costing too much to run on a weekly basis and the return is no where near enough to keep the website going.

Currently the website costs about $15 a week to keep up and running, this includes the hosting, postage of CDs and assorted things to my reviewers, and phone calls to organise photo and review access to events we cover.

This doesn’t sound like much at all, but please note that it doesn’t include time!

Time is an important, and expensive thing, these days and I’m With The Band has grown to the point that it actually requires someone to work on it almost full time, ie. 30+ hours per week. Up until now I’ve just been putting the hard work in and trying to grow I’m With The Band to the point where the advertising revenue would be enough to employ someone. For a while the numbers were growing in terms of daily hits and page views (we’re currently receiving around 50,000 hits per month) but the advertising dollars from Google Adsense and our affiliate advertising never amounted to more than $7 a week.

To run the website and to hire someone to work full time I’ve worked out that it will cost me around $500 a week, that leaves me $493.00 out of pocket per week! OUCH!

So where to now?

Well I will continue to keep the website up and running until mid-June continuing to publish the reviews and press releases that I receive in the hope that someone will come along and dump some dollars in my lap, a corporate sponsor perhaps? Failing that I’m With The Band will stop publishing new articles and will remain as it is until the hosting runs out early next year.

If any businesses are reading this and would like to talk about getting involved with I’m With The Band as a sponsor then send me an email (mathew.packer@gmail.com).

★ How do you know when it’s time to call it quits?

This article has been one of the hardest to write for me. The reason it’s incredibly tough to write is because I’m not a quitter, I really don’t like to give up on things.

So why now?

Well it’s actually quite a simple reason, dollars. Basically I’m With The Band is costing too much to run on a weekly basis and the return is no where near enough to keep the website going.

Currently the website costs about $15 a week to keep up and running, this includes the hosting, postage of CDs and assorted things to my reviewers, and phone calls to organise photo and review access to events we cover.

This doesn’t sound like much at all, but please note that it doesn’t include time!

Time is an important, and expensive thing, these days and I’m With The Band has grown to the point that it actually requires someone to work on it almost full time, ie. 30+ hours per week. Up until now I’ve just been putting the hard work in and trying to grow I’m With The Band to the point where the advertising revenue would be enough to employ someone. For a while the numbers were growing in terms of daily hits and page views (we’re currently receiving around 50,000 hits per month) but the advertising dollars from Google Adsense and our affiliate advertising never amounted to more than $7 a week.

To run the website and to hire someone to work full time I’ve worked out that it will cost me around $500 a week, that leaves me $493.00 out of pocket per week! OUCH!

So where to now?

Well I will continue to keep the website up and running until mid-June continuing to publish the reviews and press releases that I receive in the hope that someone will come along and dump some dollars in my lap, a corporate sponsor perhaps? Failing that I’m With The Band will stop publishing new articles and will remain as it is until the hosting runs out early next year.

If any businesses are reading this and would like to talk about getting involved with I’m With The Band as a sponsor then send me an email (mathew.packer@gmail.com).

★ Writing a good 'About' page

To really capture your audience and to get them to relate to you more I believe it is crucial to have a few key things on your blog / website. One of the most crucial ones is the ‘About‘ page.

Apart from letting your readers know a bit more about your blog, you can also tell them a little more about yourself so that your readers have a better connection with you and what you write about. You don’t need to get intimately personal, but share what you’re comfortable with.

Here’s what I put on mine;

My name is Mathew Packer, my friends call me Matt or Packer. I live on the east coast of Australia in a beautiful city called Newcastle with my fiance Cath, and our dog Cherry Bomb.

I’m a fiance, photographer, blogger, entrepreneur, freelance web designer, marketing genius, editor, 9-5 worker, golfer, sometimes-handy man, and generally a pretty nice guy.

Another thing that I think is very important these days in blogging, particularly when their is advertising revenue involved, is to actually write a disclosure statement.

Time and time again I read articles on peoples blogs where they’re promoting some form of advertising or the latest and greatest pyramid scam / scheme but they don’t actually use it themselves or even worse they’re just signed up as an affiliate to promote it to their readers who in turn are the ones who actually put the time and dollars into the scheme.

When it comes to reviewing products and making recommendations on them, inform your readers if have an existing relationship with the company who have sent you the product. Recently I’ve seen a couple of fairly high profile bloggers recommending products of brands who were advertisers on their websites, yet they failed to inform their readers of that existing relationship and were scrutinized for potentially providing a very bias review.

As an example, here’s my statement;

I will not write about advertising channels, search engine marketing techniques, or even products, that I do not use. This won’t change under any circumstances so please do not contact me about endorsing anything unless you’re prepared to send me a free sample, and unless you’re prepared to receive genuine and honest feedback about it.

The reviews that i have published are based on time I’ve spent with the product and are very honest. If I don’t like it I do inform my readers, and on the flip side if I receive excellent service or I’ve found a product that is very good I also tell me readers. This has always been the case, and will continue to be the case. The banners on my blog are all companies that I have bought things from and received excellent service, they are companies I am happy to recommend based on that and that alone.

What other things can you put on your ‘About’ page. The list is endless really, but for some ideas here are a bunch of different ‘About’ pages from other bloggers who I think understand the importance of having the About page;

★ Writing a good ‘About’ page

To really capture your audience and to get them to relate to you more I believe it is crucial to have a few key things on your blog / website. One of the most crucial ones is the ‘About‘ page.

Apart from letting your readers know a bit more about your blog, you can also tell them a little more about yourself so that your readers have a better connection with you and what you write about. You don’t need to get intimately personal, but share what you’re comfortable with.

Here’s what I put on mine;

My name is Mathew Packer, my friends call me Matt or Packer. I live on the east coast of Australia in a beautiful city called Newcastle with my fiance Cath, and our dog Cherry Bomb.

I’m a fiance, photographer, blogger, entrepreneur, freelance web designer, marketing genius, editor, 9-5 worker, golfer, sometimes-handy man, and generally a pretty nice guy.

Another thing that I think is very important these days in blogging, particularly when their is advertising revenue involved, is to actually write a disclosure statement.

Time and time again I read articles on peoples blogs where they’re promoting some form of advertising or the latest and greatest pyramid scam / scheme but they don’t actually use it themselves or even worse they’re just signed up as an affiliate to promote it to their readers who in turn are the ones who actually put the time and dollars into the scheme.

When it comes to reviewing products and making recommendations on them, inform your readers if have an existing relationship with the company who have sent you the product. Recently I’ve seen a couple of fairly high profile bloggers recommending products of brands who were advertisers on their websites, yet they failed to inform their readers of that existing relationship and were scrutinized for potentially providing a very bias review.

As an example, here’s my statement;

I will not write about advertising channels, search engine marketing techniques, or even products, that I do not use. This won’t change under any circumstances so please do not contact me about endorsing anything unless you’re prepared to send me a free sample, and unless you’re prepared to receive genuine and honest feedback about it.

The reviews that i have published are based on time I’ve spent with the product and are very honest. If I don’t like it I do inform my readers, and on the flip side if I receive excellent service or I’ve found a product that is very good I also tell me readers. This has always been the case, and will continue to be the case. The banners on my blog are all companies that I have bought things from and received excellent service, they are companies I am happy to recommend based on that and that alone.

What other things can you put on your ‘About’ page. The list is endless really, but for some ideas here are a bunch of different ‘About’ pages from other bloggers who I think understand the importance of having the About page;

★ HP Pavillion HDX-9200 review

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve just finished up the recording and editing of my review on the HP Pavillion HDX-9200 notebook computer. It’s in the process of being uploaded now so hopefully it should be live a little later this afternoon.

★ HP Pavillion HDX-9200 review

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve just finished up the recording and editing of my review on the HP Pavillion HDX-9200 notebook computer. It’s in the process of being uploaded now so hopefully it should be live a little later this afternoon.

★ 2nd Anniversary, aka 'Cath-iversary'

Today is our 2nd anniversary, well mine and my fiance’ Cath’s to be precise.

We met on myspace (via mutual friends), we then met again at a BBQ I had at my house (I put some ice down the back of her shirt), we then met again at the Cambridge Hotel on a Wednesday night and I gave her a lift home and put my ‘moves’ on her…..and the rest is history.

Anyway, Happy Anniversary to us!

svgallery=cath-anniversary

★ 2nd Anniversary, aka ‘Cath-iversary’

Today is our 2nd anniversary, well mine and my fiance’ Cath’s to be precise.

We met on myspace (via mutual friends), we then met again at a BBQ I had at my house (I put some ice down the back of her shirt), we then met again at the Cambridge Hotel on a Wednesday night and I gave her a lift home and put my ‘moves’ on her…..and the rest is history.

Anyway, Happy Anniversary to us!

svgallery=cath-anniversary

★ Stopping crime, the Mac way

By now you all know I’m an Apple guy, some might say fanboy, but this story just goes to show you that Apple is so awesome that it’s actually stopping crime now.

First reported on The Unofficial Apple Weblog, and later in the NY Times, an Apple Store employee had her apartment robbed by a couple of her so called ‘friends’ at a party she hosted, of course at the time she didn’t actually know it was her friends that had done her place over. Anyway, another friend of hers noticed that she was online, well it was actually her stolen Mac, and told her about it. She quickly used another Mac to connect to it using Apple’s Back To My Mac screen sharing software where she was able to use the Photo Booth application, and the in-built iSight Camera, to snap a photo of the thieves which she of course took to her local police and voila’ her asshat friends were caught.

Seriously with friends like this who needs enemies.

Kind of reminds me of when I turned 21. I had a party at my house the night before and a few ‘friends’ had crashed on the lounge. The following morning, which was my actual birthday, I got up early and went for a surf only to come home to a very empty CD rack, a very empty Video rack, and a whole bunch of other stuff missing. I reported it to the police, and fortunately they notified all the local porn / pawn shops. The following day all my stuff started turning up for sale.

Yep, you guessed it. A ‘friend’ had stolen. On my 21st. Yay for friends like that.

Fortunately I got most of my stuff back, his mother compensated me financially for the rest, and he ended up going to juvenile jail for 6 months.

Moral of the story, Mac’s are awesome and don’t steal stuff!

★ Stopping crime, the Mac way

By now you all know I’m an Apple guy, some might say fanboy, but this story just goes to show you that Apple is so awesome that it’s actually stopping crime now.

First reported on The Unofficial Apple Weblog, and later in the NY Times, an Apple Store employee had her apartment robbed by a couple of her so called ‘friends’ at a party she hosted, of course at the time she didn’t actually know it was her friends that had done her place over. Anyway, another friend of hers noticed that she was online, well it was actually her stolen Mac, and told her about it. She quickly used another Mac to connect to it using Apple’s Back To My Mac screen sharing software where she was able to use the Photo Booth application, and the in-built iSight Camera, to snap a photo of the thieves which she of course took to her local police and voila’ her asshat friends were caught.

Seriously with friends like this who needs enemies.

Kind of reminds me of when I turned 21. I had a party at my house the night before and a few ‘friends’ had crashed on the lounge. The following morning, which was my actual birthday, I got up early and went for a surf only to come home to a very empty CD rack, a very empty Video rack, and a whole bunch of other stuff missing. I reported it to the police, and fortunately they notified all the local porn / pawn shops. The following day all my stuff started turning up for sale.

Yep, you guessed it. A ‘friend’ had stolen. On my 21st. Yay for friends like that.

Fortunately I got most of my stuff back, his mother compensated me financially for the rest, and he ended up going to juvenile jail for 6 months.

Moral of the story, Mac’s are awesome and don’t steal stuff!

★ Lite n Easy – Week ?

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while you’ll know that I’ve been dieting with Lite n Easy. Well I figured I should probably write a quick update on my progress seeing as the last time I wrote anything about it was going on 2 months ago.

Ok, so how have I been going with the diet? Reasonably well, particularly considering I’ve ‘diverted’ from the diet way too many times in the last month or so. In total I’ve lost 13 and a bit kilogams, that’s 28 or so pounds for my American friends, I think I probably would’ve lost more but in the last month I’ve been a little tempted by other foods, and yeh we’ve gone out to dinner a few times also.

Where to now? Well basically I’m continuing on with Lite n Easy, but I’ve changed my ‘order’ a little by only ordering 5 day a week plan instead of the full 7 day a week plan. Basically this small change will allow me to continue to lose weight, but also it’ll allow me to actually do some cooking and even eat out occasionally without wasting food and money.

“It’s kind of like having a chef organise everything for you during the week when you’re the busiest, and then come the weekend you’re left to your own devices.”

Anyway, today for lunch I had the Chicken and Vegetable Curry for the first time. It was packed full of lentils, chickpeas, carrot, cauliflower and chicken, it even had a nice curry ‘kick’ to it.

★ Lite n Easy – Week ?

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while you’ll know that I’ve been dieting with Lite n Easy. Well I figured I should probably write a quick update on my progress seeing as the last time I wrote anything about it was going on 2 months ago.

Ok, so how have I been going with the diet? Reasonably well, particularly considering I’ve ‘diverted’ from the diet way too many times in the last month or so. In total I’ve lost 13 and a bit kilogams, that’s 28 or so pounds for my American friends, I think I probably would’ve lost more but in the last month I’ve been a little tempted by other foods, and yeh we’ve gone out to dinner a few times also.

Where to now? Well basically I’m continuing on with Lite n Easy, but I’ve changed my ‘order’ a little by only ordering 5 day a week plan instead of the full 7 day a week plan. Basically this small change will allow me to continue to lose weight, but also it’ll allow me to actually do some cooking and even eat out occasionally without wasting food and money.

“It’s kind of like having a chef organise everything for you during the week when you’re the busiest, and then come the weekend you’re left to your own devices.”

Anyway, today for lunch I had the Chicken and Vegetable Curry for the first time. It was packed full of lentils, chickpeas, carrot, cauliflower and chicken, it even had a nice curry ‘kick’ to it.

★ HP Pavillion HDX-9200 – the unboxing

Well today I received a brand new HP Pavillion HDX-9200 Entertainment Notebook from the guys at HP to do a product review of it on my blog here as well as on I’m With The Band.

This is the first product review that I’ve done, apart from a few CD and gig reviews on I’m With The Band, and it is also the first video review I’ve done…..so bear with me this time.

The first video, which has been uploaded and can be seen on my Blip TV here, is of the initial unboxing of the HP Pavillion HDX-9200. There will be another video review and a more in-depth review once I get to really run it through its paces.

Ok, so now we have all that out of the way lets get started on the un-boxing and my initial thoughts on this ‘laptop’.

Below are a bunch of photos that I shot to go along with all the reviews, these photos along with the video back on the front page should give you a pretty idea of the layout and setup of this notebook.

svgallery=080506-HPPavillionHDX

★ HP Pavillion HDX-9200 – the unboxing

Well today I received a brand new HP Pavillion HDX-9200 Entertainment Notebook from the guys at HP to do a product review of it on my blog here as well as on I’m With The Band.

This is the first product review that I’ve done, apart from a few CD and gig reviews on I’m With The Band, and it is also the first video review I’ve done…..so bear with me this time.

The first video, which has been uploaded and can be seen on my Blip TV here, is of the initial unboxing of the HP Pavillion HDX-9200. There will be another video review and a more in-depth review once I get to really run it through its paces.

Ok, so now we have all that out of the way lets get started on the un-boxing and my initial thoughts on this ‘laptop’.

Below are a bunch of photos that I shot to go along with all the reviews, these photos along with the video back on the front page should give you a pretty idea of the layout and setup of this notebook.

svgallery=080506-HPPavillionHDX