The OpenSure Free Press 9th January 2012

Hello and welcome to the first edition of the Free Press for 2012. This year we’re introducing new features including more technical advice, a review of the archives and a run-down of new accounts we’re following on Twitter. We’re also hoping to run another mini-series such as the one we ran on cloud computing last year, and we’ll be reviewing new software we use. Some of these features are in from today, others will pop up as and when. We like to be spontaneous like that.

We’ve created a Google+ business page. If you’re on Google+ too please look us up and tell us what we’re missing.

The Digital Diet
Interesting. This Telegraph article calculates your digital weight, ie how heavy a user you are of a variety of technologies and the magnificently misconstruable “other devices requiring a charger”. The article raises a serious point, that many of us have allowed technology to get the upper hand in our lives when we should be the ones in charge, especially if we’re business owners who don’t have to fit in with Megacorp policy on availability. For what it’s worth, I scored 44, but I blame those other devices…

Well I’ll be mayored
The salient line of this BBC article about New York mayor Michael Bloomberg learning to code is as follows:

It is not clear what Mr Bloomberg hopes to do with his new computer skills

Quite. Publicity stunt publicity stunt publicity stunt, but it serves to highlight that coding skills are what computing is really about. It’s not the Michael Bloombergs and Boris Johnsons of this world learning to code that will benefit anyone, but Billy in Year 7 who will make a difference as he goes out into the world armed with red hot skills. Coding is described in the article as “the new Latin” – discuss.

Why not make 2012 the year you get into good IT habits? What’s that? You already have? Well congratulations, they’re their own reward: well-maintained equipment, smoothly-running services and reliably backed-up, secure data make a great basis for running a company.

Good habits fall into three broad categories as mentioned above: keeping your kit in good working order, using software and services that work well and deliver what you need, and ensuring your systems are secure. Over the next three editions of the Free Press we’ll be looking at how to approach each of these areas for the best results. As always, advice has to be fairly general but we’re happy to offer personal help and advice – please email Our one tip for now: act immediately on requests to unsubscribe from any mailing services you manage. People shouldn’t have to ask twice, or three times. Apart from being against the rules, it’s bad manners on the mailer’s part and creates bad will, and none of us can afford that.

From the archive
This time last year we were talking about disaster recovery.  No doubt, this time, everything in the office behaved impeccably while you were otherwise engaged, but just spare a moment to consider what the fall out could have been for your business if there had been a problem leading to data loss – customer details, orders, invoices. Aside from the direct consequences for you, you also have responsibility for customer data that you hold. Our article from January last year bears rereading. And there’s a nice picture of horses.

Other bits and pieces that caught our eye:

  • GCHQ recruiting via social media
  • 10 office gadgets that won’t survive – how many do you still have?
  • 20 top Twitter tips
  • Tasks to save for the train
  • Creative USB sticks – just can’t beat that bear
  • The Facebook death app

Who are we following on Twitter?
We’re using a beta open source Twitter client called Polly. Apart from its splendid name, it’s a very nifty little program, though being beta there are still some features that need a last tweak. The latest accounts we’ve followed are:

Zane Wine Bar (@ZaneWineBar) – a wine bar and bistro in St Owen Street, Hereford.
Volks Cafe, Hereford (@volks_cafe) – we love this idea: it’s a coffee bar in a van and it comes to you.
Pack It, Hereford (@PackItHereford) –  direct mail, binding, packing etc, lots of reasons to love what Pack It does.
DJD Architects, Worcester (@djdarchitects) – does what it says on the tin: Worcester-based architects.
Invoco, Bromsgrove (@invoco_ltd) – business telecoms provider with a bent for start-ups. We like.


The OpenSure Free Press 9th January 2012 — 4 Comments

  1. Interesting that you guys have made a Google+ page… part of me is wishing that it takes over from Facebook… Facebook really doesn’t make sense for B2B businesses… maybe Google+ will bring something useful.. I’m a big fan of their other products… so am keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. Thanks Robin. We’re not big Facebook users, totally agree with your comments. Seems to be a case of wait and see with Google+ atm…

  3. I do tend to think that Google+ is a better platform for b2b where facebook is a great b2c tool. Odd as google never wanted the b2b capability.