Monday, December 29, 2008

Broadband on the go

For the business on the move, over on my personal blog I've reviewed Digicel's mobile broadband service. Finally there's an alternative to the C&W/LIME monopoly on high-speed broadband!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Of interest to our local tour operators is a new start-up, It's a site for tour guides world wide, where tour ops can create a profile for free (sign-up is quick and easy.).

Since it's new, and Dominica has no tour ops presently listed, it offers a chance to get into a potentially good idea from the beginning, and the extra exposure is always a help.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bringing it all together, part 2

I wrote recently about sites that bring your social networks together. This makes it easier for my friends to see what I'm up to. And saving time for me is why I've brought together all my e-mail accounts into GMail.

So why should I run several Instant Messaging programs when I can combine all in one program? Pidgin does just that, allowing multiple IM accounts such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail chat, along with the chat now available in Facebook. It's also good at notifying you when mail arrives in one of your various accounts, and can be extended by means of a host of useful plug-ins.

UPDATE: the latest version of Pidgin continually froze when exiting. So now I use!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When your e-mail is hacked...

It's a worse-case scenario, but increasingly common. Your e-mail is hacked. This article shows what you can do to minimise the impact, in the event.

There's also a link to a Phishing Quiz, when you can test just how aware you are of those e-mails that lead to websites that steal personal data. I was pleased to score 100% on mine!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Facebook Pages v. Facebook Groups - Which is right for you?

Regular readers of our blog know that we've been promoting Facebook as a great social media site for small businesses to establish a presence (here and here). Traditionally, there have been two different ways of doing this - through a Page or a Group.

With the rapid growth of the Facebook community that is upon us, we recommend creating a Facebook Page for your business, as it gives you more depth, versatility, and interactivity with your customers.

Here is a summary of the differences between a Facebook Page and a Group (from

Facebook Pages — Facebook “Pages” (that’s with a capital “P”) were created to give businesses their own profile on Facebook. In fact, originally, the code that made up a Facebook “Page” appeared to be almost exactly the same as that which generated user profile pages.

Pages give your business or brand an identity on Facebook. With a Page, those interested and following your brand can become “fans”, and when they do so, all their friends will see this. You can store photos, videos, information about your company, and custom applications on your Page. All activity on Pages gets posted back to your Mini Feed for all your friends to see. Click here for a detailed overview on what fields you can store on a Facebook Page.

Groups — Groups on Facebook are similar to Pages, but are meant to be built around a group of people rather than an individual business or brand. Groups have no “become a fan” feature, and do not share as much information with users’ friends as users interact.

More information about the differences between Pages & Groups, see this article on The Goggles Do Nothing Blog.

The Facebook Page is therefore a more powerful marketing tool. When your followers sign-up as fans, you can easily send them updates. You (and your fans) can upload photos and videos, creating more content on a daily basis. There is also a discussion board and new features are being added all the time.

So if you are on Facebook and you have a business, ramp up your marketing efforts and add a Page today!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Location, location, location

This cruise ship season is set to be one of the biggest, certainly in terms of ship arrivals, so despite the economic downturn we have the potential to at least keep our heads above water. And as I watched a prime location store getting refurbished, I thought surely it'll be some kind of duty free or souvenir shop  - you can see it right from the cruiseship berth. Turns out to be a tropical fish shop.

And as I walk around a hardware store right on the Bayfront, and see tourists milling around desperately trying to find something interesting to buy, I think again that we so often fall shy of maximising what we have.

If the store on the Bayfront was a website with top position in Google, I'd certainly be making more of it!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Facebook Connect vs. Google Friend Connect

Following my recent post on implementing Google Friend Connect on, this article discussesGFC and Facebook's version, FB Connect. For me the difference is simple - GFC took just 10 minutes to set up and get running on a real website.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Google Friend Connect meets

We've implemented Google's new Friend Connect service on This allows people to log-into their Google, Yahoo or OpenID account in order to post reviews of any of our listings, be it a hotel, a hike, even a business.

We recognise people expect to interact with a website and this is a great way to do so! So sign in and post your reviews now.

Read this for more about Google's Friend Connect.

Travel Marketing - Finding the Nuggets

Much of the information coming out of the travel industry news this week predicts doom and gloom for those of us in the tourism and hospitality industries. But as has been noted in an earlier blog post, there are reasons why we in Dominica can look at this as an opportunity.

Further, I've gleaned a few shining nuggets out of this week's travel industry news. It only takes one or two good ideas to help you focus your marketing and improve your business.

1> Look to Europe

This is a natural market for Dominica as Europeans tends to take longer vacations, making the extended trip to the Caribbean worthwhile. Further, our geographic location between two French territories and our Creole heritage give us a leg-up in the French market.

With this as background, a reported increase in online travel sales growth in Europe (from PhoCusWright's "European Travel Overview Report") is indeed good news for Dominica:
Online sales growth for leisure/unmanaged business travel for 2008, projected at 19 percent, is significantly greater than the 3 percent rate expected for the European travel industry as a whole. (
Have you focused any of your marketing efforts in Europe?

2> Try and

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Highflying days are over for online travel sites," but there are two websites who stand alone: and

While the big three travel portals (Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz) saw declines of more than 25% in online bookings, & have shown growth. These two sites focus on budget travel, which is top of mind with consumers in this economic climate.

So get visit these sites, see what they are doing right, and get connected with them wherever possible.