|This month we look at:
Review of 2010
Looking back at 2010 from the cockpit, what were the biggest impacts?
I'm still seeing lots of software 'secretly' installing itself on computers. An example is that downloading Adobe Reader (a great program) also downloads McAfee security scan unless you untick the box. Others offer to set your search engine to Yahoo. And the list goes on. At best, these things change the way your computer works from the way you want, at worst they conflict with existing programs and slow your computer down.
If you are downloading or installing programs, have a good look for other programs sneaking their way in. Just say NO!
We still have lots of rogue security programs out there, where your computer screen is suddenly full of dire warnings and an offer to check your computer. It then downloads a program and either asks for loads of Dollars to fix the problems or will put a load of problems onto your computer
If you are decent security, then these problems don't exist. Ignore it. If you want confirmation, then look up the name of the program being offered on the internet.
Trouble is, the bad guys have worked this out and now pop stuff on that look like real warnings. They usually use a yellow shield and talk about Microsoft alerts. Be suspicious and look up the exact words of the warning on Google. See what others say about it.
Social media has been the lovechild of the press. Does it work? It can be a great way of letting people know what you are doing (often when you should have kept quiet!) or more usefully where you are so that robbers can burgle your house in peace. Oh yes.
Actually that might sound a bit cynical, so, yes, social media like Twitter can be great if you think what you are saying. After all it's not a private chat, it's a megaphone at an airport.
My question is: will they survive? Where is the business model? Rupert Murdoch spent $580 million buying MySpace in 2005 but where is it now?
If you are a business wanting to make money through social media, I'm not convinced that a social media strategy is a prime route. A lot of 'social media consultants' WILL get rich; you might get some viral marketing going, but it's more a defensive strategy by monitoring what consumers are saying about you.
And if I look through the windscreen....
On a more cheerful note, the internet and computers generally are embedding themselves much more in everyday life, pretty much like microwaves and digital cameras. They made us do things differently, so I feel that the increased use of smartphones and internet everywhere is going to make the way we do things change dramatically but without us noticing. It will change the way we shop, the way we get our news, everything.
One of the most immediate changes will be the way that mobile costs should keep dropping as the phone companies fight to maintain a mass market presence. With most phones available on most networks, the only differences will be services and costs. So if your contract is coming up, argue hard for a good deal by ringing customer services.
On the other hand, fixed line telephony and broadband has reached a price floor. The best deals will be going up in price, but you can still save a lot if you have had your broadband for a while. Check for deals, especially from your existing utility suppliers like your mobile company, Sky or Virgin.
Saying something including the words 'thinking' and leaving' may well have a surprising effect on your existing provider.
So let's get our costs into shape for 2011!
the flying doctor publishes daily twitter advice. Follow us here: http://twitter.com/theflyingdoctor
People that I'm enjoying working with
The 'flying doctor' branding has worked really well for me and gets lots of recognition.
That's why I'm telling you about Phil Strachan of Strangebrew. I always said that I'd never pay anyone to draw me a pretty picture. I got to know Phil and him my business. I've now got a great branding that really captures what the business does and how we go about things.
So I've still never paid anyone to draw me a pretty picture - with Phil I got so much more!
We're optimising the website to make it easier to find and I'm attended courses run by Simon Wallace-Jones of Oxford Digital Marketing. ODM even run free courses that I've really got a lot from. Sign up for one!
The flying doctor is expanding the fleet and there are franchise opportunities across the country.
Thank you for your support that has taken my business to a high altitude. The next stage has taken off - putting flying doctors into every town in the UK. There are still fantastic opportunities for people to join the team.
The flying doctor is looking for enthusiastic individuals, with a passion for computers, who really enjoy working with people. You can help them run their own business!
If you know people who would like this opportunity then ask them to call the flying doctor on 01865 748197 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to start on their success.