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A Blog about YOUR business writing from John Hancock

The video above comes from John Hancock who has over 40 years’ experience in the US, UK, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He was National Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather Direct and spent 12 years as Cellarmaster Wines’ in-house creative head.

He has just launched a new blog – Hancock’s Writing Blog which has some very insightful tutorials on how to write good copy all of which he wants to share.

He is a good friend of my friends Drayton Bird & Malcolm Auld who between all three of them have more years of experience and knowledge in Business & Marketing than I can count!

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Wolfram Alpha Goes Live

The new kid on the block in the world of search wolframalpha went live today and on initial looks it seems quite impressive, I don’t think it is a challenger to Google as it seems to be quite a different animal but the data that it provides is pretty impressive! “

To use a term that quite a lot of people are quoting it’s more of an “Answer Engine” as it provides you with direct answers, rather than point you at pages that in turn may hold those answers.

I’d recommend checking out the hundreds of pre-populated “examples” to see how certain types of queries are best structured. Many of these examples feature structured input fields (for example, weights, measures, dates, and so on) so you can express your question more specifically than with natural language.

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Dragon’s Den – Theo Paphitis’ Top Business Tips for Credit Crunch Britain…

Theo Paphitis has been finding out how small businesses are faring in the economic downturn for BBC Panorama programme.

Here the Dragon’s Den star gives his top tips for running a successful business in these difficult times.

You can also catch this interesting documentary on BBCiplayer.

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Graze – Food Delivered Through Your Letterbox…


Don’t take the above title literally but some of the guys who set up lovefilm have set up a new venture Graze the idea being they make it easier for people to eat healthily at work/home and combine this with value – they deliver a full letterbox sized box of healthy food (nuts, berries, dried fruit etc) straight to your door.

Interesting concept not sure how it will scale and not without a little competition but the guys behind it should be able to make it work:-

Although these two are not exactly Letterbox deliveries;

One to keep an eye on 🙂

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Free Magazines Online…


Ever wanted to read a magazine online for free well now you can Mygazines does it using a flippable interface a bit like standing in WHSmith’s browsing the magazines on the rack but from the comfort of your own home along with saving a free trees.

Because the service is free Mygazines could really provide a useful alternative outlet for publishers looking to reach more readers. Original ads from the print version are included too, so it’s a win for advertisers as well.

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TIME – 50 Best Websites of 2008…


I know its only half way through the year but have released their annual issue of the top sites of the year, ”50 Best Websites of 2008.”

They have been producing a list of staff and reader suggestions since 2003. At the beggining it featured sites like eBay, Hotmail, Paypal and Google.

This year we see some different sites like Mobaganda, COLOURlovers, and to name a few.

There is a nice touch to the voting as users have the ability to influence the rank ordering of the 50 sites by voting.

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Record TV Online And Watch When You Want…


Just came across thsi site it’s a web-based personal video recorder (“PVR”) which allows you to record any programme aired on any UK free-to-air channel.

Through its “Episode Catchup” facility, TVCatchup also allows you to watch episodes which you might have missed or forgotton to record.

Funded through advertising, TVCatchup is a free service and currently offers each user 10GB of storage space to record whatever you want.


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You Decide Bubble 2.0: The Video…

Personally I think the web is the new media but have a look and see what you think…

[Via Techcrunch]

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Snooth… The Wine Site That Aims To Nose Best…


Snooth hoping to simplify how people select, interact with and purchase their favorite wines.

Snooth is trying to become the world’s most comprehensive wine database, featuring millions of reviews and hundreds of thousands of wines. It will offer both casual and aspiring wine drinkers personalized wine recommendations, ratings & reviews, as well as a wine information search tool that seamlessly connects users to the websites of top online merchants and wineries worldwide.

Snooth launched in June 2007.

[Via PSFK]

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Local Food… Local People… Online


This a digital twist to the traditional farmers market. The site helps customers find locally produced food and drink.

The site says:

The aim for Localfoodshop is to help you to identify your local suppliers of quality, fresh, seasonal produce. You buy direct, keeping your money in the local economy and supporting local farmers and artisan producers.

At Localfoodshop, 93% of the sale value goes straight to the producer. Compare this to the supermarkets! And the remaining 7% supports the social enterprise which runs the site, re-investing any profits back into the local food sector.

This looks like another step in the right direction whereby people can find things locally and so help local commerce and reduce the burden on the environment…


[Via PSFK]