Twitter bios and the great CV fiasco!

Social Media might mean communicating in 160 characters, but it doesn’t mean we switch off our BS radars!

I’ve just read an interesting, and wholly serious post about the necessity for a “professional” sounding Twitter Bio. This advocated using the correct number of relevant “action verbs” and perhaps getting a stand up comedian to write it for you. I was reminded of a Not The Nine O’Clock News Sketch from the late 70’s where the punchline was about the way something was said and not the content!

Ok it is hard to find something interesting to say in that small amount of space, but  do we really need to go the route of C.V.’s on our twitter feeds.

To me the new C.V. is almost impossible to read, full of aspirations, achievements and very little content. I’m only looking for one thing….Can you do the Job? Not can you spin me a story that is convincing enough to make me think you can do the job.

My BS radar comes out at this junction and if the whole thing smacks of “buzzwords” I’m going to bin it. After all, who wants to actually work with someone who spends their life following the trends of the latest and best Buzzwords to use?

Worklife is hard enough without encouraging this sort of nonsense. In short I want to know: are you honest, can you work hard,  and are you loyal and reasonably intelligent?

Everything else can be taught, absorbed or learned by anyone with these traits. I don’t want someone who can put the latest Buzzwords in a list and hope I haven’t noticed.

The same goes for Twitter Bios. There is a funny website that generates ridiculous Twitter Bios for amusement, however I found it astounding how close to the truth these actually are. Being on social media, and using it effectively as a marketing tool, may mean that you have embraced the future of communication, but it doesn’t mean you’ve lost the ability to make a judgement call.


Facebook changes it’s mind again – What does it mean for you?


Over the last few days, Facebook have finally caved on their Page Promotion guidelines.

Those of us who were tangled up in the web of dos and don’ts can now breathe a sigh of relief.

The Share and Like post is no longer Verboten! 


No longer the search for Techno wizards who can create “apps”. No more threats of page annihilation…..or so you would think.

However Facebook may have conceded that they just can’t police the Like and Share for businesses who make them their money, but they have refined the rules just a little to make it easier to punish any failure to comply.

So what does it mean for you?

If you have a Business Page, you are now free to create as many Like and Share competitions as you please all with the blessing of the Overlords at Facebook.

However where they have made a differentiation is on Personal Pages.

If you are running your business as a personal page…watch out.

The new rules are specifically for Business Page owners.

In my opinion this is to make it easier for Facebook to catch and make an example of non compliance without any serious consequences on the revenue side for them.


It’s now time to switch over to Business pages immediately. Having caved on something they spent a lot of time and effort on, I imagine those who continue to contravene the Facebook guidelines may find themselves in rather hot water.


A King among Horses.


It was with a sad heart that I learnt of the Passing of the great King Artus today.

Having made it around the cross country course at Weisbaden, Dirk Schrade’s beautiful Olympic horse, collapsed.

It seems that an Aortic Rupture was the cause of death, and for those of us in the equine world, we know that this can strike any horse at any time.

Our thoughts are with Dirk and his yard who have lost an amazing member of their team.

Badminton Radio – We need more of this!


BHT-SN-2744Well Badminton got off to a great start in the sunshine on Friday Morning!

Not able to be there in person this year, I, like many others, sat at my computer for the day and listened to Badminton Radio.
Now this is the best radio station you’ve ever heard as far as I’m concerned. Commentary on every dressage test, only equestrian news, and great interviews with the riders. What’s not to like?

Well yesterday they went one better. They had Pammy Hutton as a commentator!

This was spectacular, as Pammy knows everyone in the Horse world, and better still knows how the test should be ridden.
She didn’t hold back with her comments, ” A 1? That’s a bit Harsh!” and “Oh a 5 there, can I say that was a bit mean?”
How often have we all felt exactly the same after a dressage test? So wonderful to hear one of the top trainers saying it!

On twitter someone said she was “The Joan Rivers of the Horse world” and even having to have lunch in the judges tent didn’t deter her.

We need more of this. We need to make more use of the fantastic knowledgeable people we have in our industry and let them tell it as it is.
It was a joy to have real insight into what was going on, and my only lament was…this should have been going out on Television.

After the Olympics last year, have the broadcasting authorities not seen that there is an audience for this sport, and a worldwide one at that.

I’ll be tuning into @BHTRadio this morning and following the hashtag #MMBHT to make sure I don’t miss a minute of this years Horse Trials!

We’ll be shouting out for all the Irish Riders and horses, Sarah Ennis and Esib Power are first of the Irish out this morning, But wow what a fantastic test yesterday by Aoife Clark, to push herself into joint 4th with William Fox-Pitt

And if you’re there…bring the sunscreen and the waterproofs!BHT-SN-2735

Thrilling competition at Burghley produces a nail biting finish to a fantastic weekend of sport.


Guest Blog By Jacqui Broderick


After a spring marred by drought the heaven’s opened just in time to swamp the summer

schedule of events and shows. Badminton was the first to go followed by Chatsworth and

a host of others. After a summer which broke all records for rainfall the week leading up to

Burghley was a tense one. Would the rain which had fallen by the bucket load stay off long

enough for the event to be held? Thankfully it did and lovers of all things equestrian flooded

into the breathtaking parkland surrounding Burghley House.


Of course every event of this size can’t be hosted without its share of problems. Ours came in

the form of a hotel that refused to be found, even with the most precise of directions and then

there was the cheerful bowler hat clad official who gaily waved a stream of vehicles in the

wrong direction, only for us to be parked patiently on the road for an hour before some bright

spark realised something was very definitely wrong.


But, bumping slowly over fields of barely dry mud, not daring to contemplate what the tracks

would be like if the ominously grey skies gave us yet another downpour, it was impossible

not to feel a huge surge of excitement when the magnificent opulence of Burghley House

came into view.


It wasn’t hard to imagine how Sinead Halpin had to be feeling over the weekend. The 30 year

old American had nothing but success during the US 2011 season. However she still failed

to win a place on the ultimately unsuccessful Olympic squad. Halpin, with her French bred

Manoir de Carneville lead after the dressage at Burghley. Her penalty score of 36.3 put her

ahead of the following nine horses all closely bunched with scores in the early 40s.


The cross country course rode beautifully for most of the competitors. Mary King retired

after an unfortunate run out in the early stages of the cross country. It is a tribute to the

bravery and long hours of training the horses and riders put in how easy they made the big

solid obstacles look.


Halpin, a former pupil of eventing maestro William Fox Pitt, retained her lead after cross

country and thus was the last to compete in the show jumping arena. The red post boxes

which caused so much trouble in the Olympics proved to be the bogey fence yet again being

thudding to the ground time after time. Such was its power that riders that did leave the red

poles standing seemed to go to pieces with relief after it and forget to ride the remaining

fences properly.


Every one of the spectators must have been rooting for Sinead Halpin as she rode into the

arena with two fences in hand. What a fairy tale a Burghley win would be. Sadly it was not

her day and the support of the spectators was not enough to keep the fences standing with

three eventually clattering to the ground to make Andrew Nicholson the eventual winner.

Riding Rosemary and Mark Barlow’s 12-year-old Avebury, the New Zealander went into

the ring in second place and had one fence down, the final element of the treble at six. This

guaranteed him the runner-up spot and gave Halpin two fences in hand.


Unfortunately for Halpin Manoir De Carneville hit fence three, fence nine and the second

part of the double at 12 ultimately giving them second place and giving Nicholson his third

Burghley title, twelve years since his last one.


William Fox-Pitt, attempting to win his seventh Burghley title, and Parklane Hawk rose from

joint fourth after the dressage to finish in third place after the cross-country phase.


Burghley was not the place for the Irish riders to shine. Geoff Curran’s ride the chestnut

Shanaclough Crecora, who lay in 10th place after cross country, was spun on Sunday morning

on re-inspection after being sent to the holding box. Sam Watson finished the best of the Irish

riders coming 30th on Horseware Bushman with a final penalty score of 87.


Taking her defeat with true stoicism Halpin said: “I’m disappointed but I’m also proud of

him(Manoir De Carneville) — he tried really hard. This week has been amazing — I’m so

lucky to have the horse and we’ll be back again and again and again.”

Ian Stark Course Walk Tatts 2012

Just over the top...

A huge thank-you to the fantastic Mr Ian Stark for walking us around his course at Tatts. It was fascinating to get his perspective on it.


Facebook Comps….The New Rules


While we were all waiting on Timeline for Pages becoming mandatory, Facebook took a very hard line on the ways that you could run Facebook competitions.

This was mostly in an attempt to get everyone in line before the change over. It seemed all very draconian, No Photo comps, No Liking and Sharing etc.

In reality it was all in preparation for the new tools that Facebook was rolling out with  Timeline.

Since the changeover, Facebook have taken a different tack with new rules below, but before you get caught up in what they’re not allowing you to do, have a look at the positives:

  • Facebook have provided Apps on Facebook to help you run better competitions
  • They are encouraging you to drive traffic back to your own website. ( Never forget with your own site you are completely in control of everything on the page)
  • They have encouraged us to be a little more creative in our marketing ideas.
Yes they have done some very specific ass-covering from a legal stand point, but then again, we are all quite protective of our own companies/businesses or brands, so it’s not surprising that they want to distance themselves from spurious content.
If you are still of the opinion that the best thing you can do is ask people to like and share, then don’t be surprised if you find your business page disabled, you have been warned.
On the other hand, if you are interested in using the new features to continue bringing your service or product to a wider audience, get someone on board who can run Apps on Facebook for you. If you want to give it a go yourself, pop over to the fantastic Blogspot for the following post


Below is the official Facebook line on it all…..


If you use Facebook to communicate about or administer a promotion (such as a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (e.g., age and residency restrictions), and compliance with regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered in connection with the promotion (e.g., registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals). Please note that compliance with these guidelines does not constitute the lawfulness of a promotion. Promotions are subject to many regulations and if you are not certain that your promotion complies with applicable law, please consult with an expert.

i.    Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.

ii.    Promotions on Facebook must include the following:

a.    A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.

b.    Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

c.    Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.

iii.    You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.

iv.    You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.

v.    You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.

vi.    You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.

vii.    Definitions:

a.    By “administration” we mean the operation of any element of the promotion, such as collecting entries, conducting a drawing, judging entries, or notifying winners.

b.    By “communication” we mean promoting, advertising or referencing a promotion in any way on Facebook, e.g., in ads, on a Page, or in a Wall post.

We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason. These terms are subject to change at any time.

Timeline……Getting your Head around it!


So now that all the Pages have officially moved to Timeline on Facebook, how are you all getting on?

I’ve had a lot of feedback over the last few weeks…..some people love it , some hate it, but you can’t ignore it.

Although most of us don’t like change, it’s now time to embrace it. Now is the time to take the opportunity to completely revamp your Facebook Image.

A makeover if you like.

This new format allows you to really take control of your marketing and to measure the level of engagement from each post.

Let’s look at the new features:

  • Cover Photo: Make sure that you have a picture here that is really worth a thousand words. It is worthwhile getting a really good image for your cover photo as this is what people will identify with your business.
  • Views and Apps: This is where your link to Photos, Likes etc now lives. You have the ability to change the images on a number of these badges to make them more in keeping with your brand… Take this opportunity.
  • Pinned Posts: On the top Left Hand side of your post you will now find an Edit or Remove option. This allows you the option of Pinning your Post. This means that it will stay at the top of your page for 7 days. This has advantages and disadvantages, as people tend to flick through pages quickly, they may not be aware of newer content if they return to your page to see the same post at the top. However if it is a post that has drawn in a lot of engagement, then it gives you the chance to make the most out of it.
  • Highlight Post: The new Star button, (also top left of a Post) permits you to highlight a post so that it goes across both columns of the new Timeline layout. It is important to use an image that translates well to the bigger size.
  • Milestones: This is a great chance for you to blow your own trumpet…after all no one else will do it for oyu, so write about your launches, products or other significant Milestones. Don’t be shy!
As well as these new features, Facebook have also given us a new Admin Panel.

Now you no longer have to wonder which of your posts is getting the most attention as the Insights Section in the Admin Panel now does this for you. This allows you to really give your audience what they want. Video links, Photos or Comments, some work better than others, now you can measure their effect.

You can now respond more quickly to Messages and New likes directly from the Admin Panel, allowing you to really create a more personal interaction.

So with all these positives are you ready to Like the new Timeline?

If anyone would like further help or advice on how best to use Facebook to market their business, please contact me

Following Through….


Sometimes we have the best of intentions, but just don’t get around to doing what we know we should.

Often we give ourselves a hard time about it.

It starts to become bigger in our heads than we originally thought.

An insurmountable task. It gives us more reasons to avoid it.


With Websites and Social Media, it’s often Blog posts that suffer the most.

We mean to do it.

We want to do it, but there are so many other very important things that need to be done first.


I think that Nike have it right…Just do It!


It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, or of great interest to the entire world.

It just has to be a few lines that allow you to express yourself.

It can be a rant, a comment, a feeling…Just do It!

You’ll feel fantastic afterwards, and your blog will blossom.

You’ll find that the dreaded task becomes so easy, that you look forward to it, and so will your readers.

It’s easy to castigate ourselves for non completion of a task, however, not everyone is always “On the Ball.”

Sometimes we all drop it from time to time.

A blog is like a conversation with a friend, sometimes you have lots to say, sometimes not.

Allow yourself to enjoy the conversation.


Just Do It!