Monthly Archives: March 2012

How to screenshot on an android phone

The other day I accidentally managed to take a screenshot on my Samsung Galaxy (orginal). So, I thought I would share that information here as I couldnt find this previously when I was searched.

If it makes a difference I am running –> Model: GT-19000. Firmware:2.3.3

How to take a screenshot on a Samsung Galaxy mobile phone

  1. Press the “back-up” button similataneously with the “home” button
  2. Wait. There is a second delay
  3. You will see a short, and quick confirmation message saying that the image is in your gallery
  4. Go to your gallery and you will find your screengrabs in a new folder it creates called “Screen capture”. It may take 5 secs for the folder to appear the first time. So be patient!

In-case you don’t know what the home and backup buttons are – here is a handy reminder.

Screenshot function on Android Samsung Galaxy

Screenshot function on Android Samsung Galaxy

As simple as that.

I am sure that other manufacturers or hardware behave differently. But anyway, that’s my experience.

Leaving a travel giant and joining MyDestination

I am now in my first week at my new role. After 18 [long & hard] months I have left the Thomas Cook Group and joined My Destination Info.

In that time at TCG I have had the pleasure to work with some very talented people and faced some genuinely challenging SEO topics. I was working across 8 EU markets for an established set of brands servicing many niches and mainstream holiday products & services. They included everything from package holidays, cruises, luxury holidays, party holidays through to activities holidays like skiing.

I am most proud of building an in-house SEO team, installing best practices, a genuine knowledge resource and a team spirit to take on any challenge. Taking on >30 websites across the EU in differing stages of maturity, on different platforms, with differing levels of on-site optimisation, and current performance. Working with many internal teams, to understand, plan, forecast and monitor the turn-around performance to achieve aggressive target. And in the background making hundreds of millions just in SEO considering all the challenges, internal and macro-level trading conditions.

There were a number of projects worth mentioning from agency selection process, multiple platform migrations and a very public project of on thomascook.com which was replacing circa 500 landing pages, with a system to produce 17k new landing pages, with a system to maintain, control and workflow content production. Here is an example of page for Turkey holidays. This was a fascinating project as it brought the site up to ‘modern’ standards and was ready to act as the foundations for the groups non-brand SEO strategy: and the bedrock for continuous improvements including MVTs, UI & design.

But after joining that new business unit right at the beginning and making those [very, oh so very] hard yards it was my time to move on. I had been talking with the guys at MyDestination for many months through mutual acquaintances, and then the question was posed about joining the team. They were, are doing many fantastic things. From the business model, that is really scalable, to their locally curated travel guides, virtual tours, video assets, mobile platforms, blogging, social media. The openness and accessibility of the two founders Neil Waller and James Street, and their management team is infectious and being selfish, I wanted in. So, here I am. The challenge I have is to look after SEO, their paid search and social activities.

So, I am expecting exciting and challenging days ahead in a [relatively] small and agile business, that I personally feel is on the edge of greatness.

My new role at MyDestination

My new role at MyDestination

Qualities of a good SEO

What would you say are the qualities or traits that leads to being a good SEO?

As we all know you can’t go to school or do a degree in this subject, so we all come from a diverse set of backgrounds and have experiences from a range of small to big companies, from easy to incredible difficult industries or sectors. If you mix this fact that we can also report into one or more of these job titles; marketing directors, CTOs, heads of engineering or founders, we need to be able to morph into many different environments with quite different people. If you can understand your own traits you have more chance of succeeding.

Here are my thoughts on what qualities make a good SEO

  • Remember to speak to people, not companies/brands. I mean you need to be a good people person and be able to adjust quickly. Remember that people have their own needs, motivations, objectives. Then join that with…
  • Be a good listener. You need to “actively listen”, others may give you clues to a problem you have to solve, give advice, have seen it before or give you the context/release details etc
  • Be patient. Things take time, and if you need others to help. Being patient may be necessary
  • Be optimistic. People will always (mostly accidentally) break SEO, especially in larger companies with outsourced developers (not bitter promise). Staying-power and a positive outlook is essential for a long career in corporate SEO
  • Be flexible [and pragmatic]. There are always compromises to be made, and in a company with many stakeholders. Be ready to be flexible, but stick to what matters
  • Consistent. Be consistent, explain to others why you are making a recommendation, and only push when it matters

  • Be collaborative. Nobody really works alone. Get the developers, marketers, content producers, social media etc etc involved. SEO is a team game
  • Be humble – your manner needs not to alienate anyone, don’t be over confident
  • Be factual/logical – present your opinions, thoughts and recommendations in logical way. Especially important if they may upset other stakeholders, take the emotion out of all situations. Use facts, precedents and best practices

How to use them?

Try to understand your own style and personality. Try to work out the style of the person/people you need to work with. And they adjust [be flexible] to influence, persuade, receive help, work with, to ensure a win-win.

But, do exercise caution

There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, consider this… an overdone strength can actually become a weakness.

Delivering on it

So, when you need to work with colleagues, clients or peers, think of your message, think of how you package this-up in a way that is appropriate to convey to message to this type of person in a way they understand. They will appreciate this. You will get what you need to do, and they will be pleased with you. That way your qualities will show through.

If you think you have a gap in your own qualities, the fact is that you can identify the gap means you can work on developing them.

How does the internet work (simple version)

One of my roles as I see it is to demystify SEO, web and internet & marketing technologies. So, I will try to do this one justice too.

First of all, lets define the internet. According to Wikipedia:

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide.

So, that is quote full of jargon. This is basically the infrastructure that connects our computers, servers and any other device that uses data. And to use the words correctly the Web is mainly about the sites you use, HTML etc etc.

The geeky bit (simple version)

  • Your computer connects to your router (aka modem) either via a cable or your wifi
  • Your router via your phone line connects to the internet via your internet service provider (ISP)
  • Your browser (e.g. chrome, firefox, safari) requests a web page via its URL
  • Web sites work on the http protocol and then the servers name. e.g. http, and then www.adrianland.co.uk
  • Your browser on your computer via your ISP uses a Domain Name Server (DNS), like a list of all website names registered. The DNS returns the websites real name which is in IP address. IP addresses are in IPv4 format are in a set of 4 numbers separated by a point e.g.192.168.100.100
  • So, your request is now at the right server now. The server hears your request for a URL, sends the information back in small pieces “packets” via the quickest route and your computer puts it back together and compiles the pages inside your browser. That is what you see in your browser and reading this page

Hope that makes sense! And inside that you may want to know what server response codes.

Most of this all happens in less than a blink of an eye – clever hey.

Thought for the day – PR

Just my humble thought for the day…

Following up from my thought about Brand the other week I was thinking about PR and how to deliver on what you say.

“Good Public Relations is actually good Relationships with the Public”

Or

+vePR = RP+ve

Inside most organisations we talk about PR as a broadcast mechanism where, we, internally have an angle and then want to push that message through channels to ‘tell’ the end recipient what we stand for. This is especially relevent when we talk about disasters, crisis or reputation management etc etc. My ramblings today centre around the area of, why not be good, wholesome, and actually delivery on what you promise (hence my brand ramble) and then it is more of a “conversation” and sharing, rather than telling.

I am just thinking that PR, Social, Customer Experience and customer service, in the future will blur and if you deliver and have a good relationship with all users, or your early adopters you wont need to PR-them, you will just get good peer-level-PR (social, blog etc). And that will also get you the exposure through current channels by default as journalist, blogs, TV will pick up on the what-consumers-love-trends. But what do I know, just in IMHO.