Thursday, December 11, 2008

Merry Xmas from Millsbomb

Have a great xmas Millsbomb readers, don't end up like this lot though!! [Thanks to Swiss]



On a more festive note check out this guy's house - I bet his neighbours love him. [Thanks Dave]



Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Puzzle Game


Here's a great locked room style puzzle game.

It drove me mad for several hours...

http://neutralxe.net/esc/vision_play.html

For those of you with no patience there are hints and even a walkthrough here: http://jayisgames.com/archives/2008/02/vision.php

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stupid Web 2.0 Names

This blogger identifies a disturbing trend - web 2.0 startups with particularly dumb names. Who is going to invest in anything called Thoof, which he compares to a fart sound. Good point.

I like the sound of Weebly though...

http://thenextweb.org/2008/10/13/the-15-dumbest-names-for-web-20-startups/

Take on me, literally

Here is a very literal reworking of the famous a-ha video. Silly but good.



STOP PRESS!! Now tears for fears are at it too!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The power of slap and a daft video

Check out the transformative ability of a bit of makeup:

There's loads more here: http://forums.pebblesonthebeach.com/viewtopic.php?t=285

Oh and here's that daft video I also mentioned, can you work out what they are playing?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Local News - drug bust

Check out what the guy behind the reporter is taking out of the house...

Google 2001

Google recently celebrated its 10th birthday. To mark the occasion amongst other interesting titbits such as a timeline, they also produced a searchable version of their oldest index (2001).

If only I knew then what I do now...

Anyway, check out who was top of the pops back then: http://www.google.com/search2001.html

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Competitive Intelligence - Google gives you the goods!

There's one born every minute...

If you own a small business (say a real estate company in southern Spain, for example) then you will probably have received a phone call similar to the following:

You: Hello

Them: Hi I'm calling to ask if you'd like more customers.

You: Really?

Them: Yes.

You: Well.. business has been a bit slack recently, so err.. yes please.

Them: Great. You need to advertise on our forum*/portal*/Armenian property bazaar*/website about my cat* [*delete as applicable]

You: Err, how much is it?

Them: Arm and a leg. But its worth it because we're the busiest. Honest.

You: Really?

Them: Yep. Got your Visa card there?

[etc, etc...]

Suck it and see

It has always been notoriously tricky to decide where you should spend your online advertising dollar.

Most agents are too busy keeping the wolf from the door to learn enough about the various sites in their niche that might benefit them. They are even less likely to be aware of the different measures of site traffic, visitors, impressions, uniques and so forth.

Plus (believe it or not) certain sites will exaggerate or be selective with their stats in the hope of signing you up.

So (and I'm only theorising here) for most small business owners, online advertising has pretty much been a trial and error affair, more often ending up with disappointment and 3 months ad budget pissed away, with little or no decent enquiries to show for the time and money and effort.

How can you guard against this?

Well the really short answer is you probably can't. There are stats and analytics, and things like Alexa, that can give you an idea of a site's popularity, but as I said before these can be manipulated.

Everyone knows that salesmen are the easiest people to close - and hate to admit their ignorance on any topic! Combine that with an advertising telemarketer (on no basic) trying to hit his monthly target and bob's your uncle.

Competitive Intelligence

But it doesn't have to be a blind leap. There are certain things you can do to find out if a site justifies its advertising fees. The best of these, by far, is Google trends. By signing in with a Google account you can compare numerous sites' traffic stats and also see where the visitors come from as well as other popular sites they have visited.

The following screenshot shows 3 popular Spanish property portals I compared using the system:

(click image to enlarge)

From this at least one can glean if a site is worth its price by comparing it with similar sites in the same sector. Previously, this kind of competitive intelligence was only available from certain ISPs to companies with deep pockets. Now its yours for free! Not bad at all.

NB to see figures and projections, you will need to sign in first.

Use your powers wisely

It still remains a fact though that large volumes of traffic do not necessarily equate to lots of lovely leads. For example, the site with the most traffic may also have the most subscribers, therefore reducing the average number of enquiries per subscriber.

Neither does volume equate to quality - a small number of niche, "on target" leads is far better than an inbox full of dross to wade through.

So it probably is still the case of "suck it and see" in terms of finding a good source of reasonably priced leads. But at least you can wade in armed with a little more knowledge. All free of charge.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Wealth of Croesus

This article gives you an insight into the crazy, wonderful life of a billionaire. The chap in question is the co-founder of some microchip company, whose private details are unravelling in court following a series of lawsuits.

The pick of the vignettes that are titillating the court include:

  • He had a secret underground party room, that even his wife was unaware of,
  • He smoked so much dope on his private jet that the pilot was forced to wear an oxygen mask,
  • He set up a drugs warehouse and dressed it up with fine art and top end audio-visual kit,
  • He would invoice friends and employees for drugs and hookers, for tax purposes, itemising these as "party favours".
Work hard, play hard.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Jim Carrey, I did see a putty tat

Funnier than material, is timing and here is the best:


Gran Scala - Spain's Las Vegas?

I note that the much touted Gran Scala project is now looking much like an outside bet. The developement set to invigorate Zaragoza as a Spanish Las Vegas style gambling and golf resort, now looks highly unlikely. A mixture of hyperbole and underfunding seems to be the cause.

Mark Stucklin notes in his blog:

The problem with ambitious plans like these, is they go nowhere without serious money and serious backers. It now looks as if the government of Aragon might have fallen for a bluff.


He continues:

...the company due to create and run two of the theme parks in the resort was only set up in Reno in September with capital of just 950 Euros.


Ehhh? 950 Euros! I think they need to spend a little more time at the roulette table. Or maybe they've spent too much there. Read more in Mark's blog.

On an unrelated note, Turkey's authorities have apparently suspended foreign property purchases. Read more here.

Anyone got any good news?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Out for a stroll - Caminito del Rey

For those of you who enjoy adventurous walking holidays, check out this chap's video. This is filmed at Caminito del Rey, a spectacular Spanish gorge.

It is supposedly closed to the general public following several deaths from falls, though that doesn't seem to bother our intrepid cameraman. The build quality of the footpath will be familiar to anyone who has bought an off plan property in Spain.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Funny F*ckers

I like funny pictures, like this one:

And this one:


And this one:


There's tons of them here: http://www.serious-internet.biz/

Rocky is back!

Probably more thrilling than the Amazing Magic of David Chesterfield is this inspirational new training montage from Rocky:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Childhood Dreams

Reading through some blogs I noticed that Google video has had a revamp.

Remember them?


Since their acquisition of Youtube, I always wondered what exactly G would do with their homegrown video site.

Well, they've actually neatened it up quite a bit - and importantly for me on my piss poor 1MB connection it seems to stream more smoothly than a lot of the youtube content. Or maybe thats just my imagination...

Anyway...

in the process I came across the following video of a lecture given by a chap called Randy Pausch. He is a very bright chap, a professor of clever computer science stuff, and who happens to be dying of cancer.

His lecture is about childhood dreams, and demonstrates the intellect and ambitions of a very inspirational man. He is also very funny.



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Google Analytics Benchmarking

Ever wondered how well your website does compared to your competitors?

Companies frequently spend large sums of money to find out exactly this. They buy usage data from ISPs and other aggregators to discover who the competition is and just how well they are doing (or not).


Well Google Analytics now offers a similar service for free. Its called Benchmarking and to take advantage of this, you will first of all (obviously!) need an Analytics account. Then you will need to enable anonymous sharing of data within the user interface.

Although they won't divulge individual site stats, they do provide you with general and specific industry/category comparisons.

Why are these useful?

Well, on a simple level they let you know if you are under or outperforming sites of a similar size and type. So it will either giveyou a big head or a kick up the arse.

More useful are stats such as Bounce Rate. I, for example, have a slightly higher bounce rate (on one of my sites) than the average in my sector. Bounce rate means the proportion of visitors who arrive at your site and then immediately click away again.

I didn't know this until I enabled the benchmarking feature. I had no idea whether my bounce rate was good, bad or average. Now I have identified this as a potential issue I can perhaps look at why more visitors than usual are clicking away from my site. Am I doing something to put them off? Can I change my design, or layout?

I also noticed that my average number of pageviews per visitor is around 3, whereas the average is nearer 5. Again (and this might be linked to my bounce rate), I can look at why my visitors are looking at fewer pages than normal. The same is true for the average amount of time spent on my site per visitor.

So whilst I can gloat over the fact that my general levels of traffic are higher than average for sites in my niche, I would do well to look at my site's "stickiness" or apparent lack of it.

I can compare any and all types of statistic with the norm for that vertical. This can help identify sucesses as well as problems.

It is good to remember, however that you can get too involved in the minutiae of statistics. I was reminded of this the other day when I asked an agent how he measures the success of his site.

"Whether or not I get any bloody leads!" was the reply.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kids Rock

Guns & Roses sing "Welcome to McDonalds" amongst other soon-to-be-classics. Enjoy.

No Neck Celebs


Errm, bit silly - celebrities with no necks.


Find more here.

Jimmy Kimmel is fucking Ben Affleck!

A very funny video I shared with you previously, had US talk show host Jimmy Kimmel discovering that his girlfriend was fucking Matt Damon.

Not to be out done Jimmy has exacted revenge:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mills Mess

No, Mills Mess is not a description of me after a boozy night out, but rather a complicated juggling pattern:

More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mills_Mess

Meet the new office assistant: http://www.arthurdepins.com/petites_animsflash/Bg82.swf

Have a conversation with a wordy computer. My favourite is george bush: O, he buggers!

Find out what people are writing on Wikipedia.

Enjoy some aircraft engineer anecdotes.

Guess the Google Search at http://grant.robinson.name/projects/guess-the-google/

Enjoy the weekend!




Sunday, February 17, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

How to break up with your lover

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought I should share this little gem with you all. Shown on the Jimmy Kimmel show in the US, the host's singer girlfriend has a novel way of breaking up with him.


Brave Newscaster

Check out this bloke's reaction when something unexpectedly jumps on him. Hilarious.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Vorderman Dream Homes

Look out estate agents, not only do you have to contend with a declining market, corruption scandals, bad press and a lack of buyers, but now a new force has entered the overseas real estate playground.

Carole Vorderman Overseas Homes.

Yes, really.

Not content with hawking loans to misguided punters, the Sudoko queen is now flogging off-plan property in Florida, the Caribbean and Spain.

Often criticised for putting her name to everything from detox diets through to margarine, Vorderman has herself amassed a pretty substantial property portfolio. She owns around 20 houses in the UK, and revealed to the Telegraph that she made in excess of £700,000 profit on one property alone.

Whilst this will no doubt give her critics more ammunition, it isn't really any different from the recent crop of celebrity endorsements we have seen: Ian Botham for Viva Estates - and currently for ADH, Jack Nicklaus for Polaris World and so forth.

These celebrity endorsements, whilst not cheap, presumably offer the consumer a degree of confidence. Additionally a celeb such as Carole Vorderman has much to lose, reputation-wise (if not financially), should this partnership go south. A tarnished reputation is not conducive to earning future advertising dollars.

Anyway read the full Telegraph article here. Visit Carole's rather nice looking website here. Also a big hat tip to the eagle-eyed contributors of Spanish Property Insight for digging this up.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yo Momma...


We've all been in that situation when we've needed a snappy comeback. Just calling someone a "git" doesn't really cut it.

So try the Shakespeare Insult Generator. My favourite? How about Thou churlish milk-livered bladder!

Classy yet abusive. Perfect for flinging at estate agents, lawyers etc...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Electric Lady Land

On the off chance anyone has missed me, I have just returned from a fantastic 3 week holiday in Thailand. In case anyone is thinking of going there, all I can say is that I had about the best holiday I've had in a long time.



Whilst the busy nightlife of Pattaya was pretty damn seedy (but very lively), the real joy was getting out to the islands such as Koh Chang.

Anyway, before this turns into some boring backpacker travel blog, I am now firmly back in the Costa del Sol and whilst I am obviously out of the loop, I did notice Justin's post about a couple's villa that got demolished.

Not the best start to 2008...