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Archive for July, 2010

To blog or not to blog?

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Some days I think that everyone should have a blog – after all, I have more than one myself! And I enjoy writing these posts, nothing formal, nothing fancy, whatever’s on my mind or that I’d like to share.

Sometimes I tell a prospective client that actually they don’t need a web site at all, what they need is a blog, which – if they don’t mind using an off-the-peg design and address at one of the major blogging sites – won’t cost them anything, and will fit their particular needs.

But sometimes, when a client tells me that the marketing department has advised them that what they need is a blog, but they aren’t sure, and how much would they have to write, and how often…? Well, on those days I want to advise them not to do it, don’t get a blog.

The simple truth is that if you enjoy blogging, it can be made to work for you (Julia Darling’s blog kept her in touch with friends and readers through her final illness, and after her death became a play on BBC radio); but if you really hate it, it tends to show.

A blog which is frequently updated is a cheap and easy way of keeping a web site fresh and up-to-date; but nothing looks staler than an abandoned blog.

The 'Losing It' blog

These aren’t new thoughts. But I thought them all over again yesterday, when I found this blog, set up to promote a collection of stories for teenagers, called Losing It: "If you’re a teenager," it says, "we want to hear your views! So tell us -" And there’s nothing else but a big white space.

The thing about blogs, you see, is that you have to write them.

Beware of cold call scammers

Monday, July 5th, 2010

There is a plausible story on the Register website this morning. “Malware-pushing scammers appear to be stepping up their use of telephone-based pitches, resulting in an increase in reports from the UK of high-pressure cold calls designed to trick people into installing rogue antivirus products and other nasties.” I say “plausible” because the reporter names names of people who have received these calls. The caller says that they can check over the phone whether your computer is infected with a virus. In fact they ask you to check for the presence of a perfectly normal, legitimate, file, and tell you it’s a virus.

If you receive one of these calls, ignore it, and don’t get into a conversation. Otherwise you could be charged up to £79 to have rogue anti-virus software installed on your PC, and then suffer the difficulty of uninstalling it.

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