Chipping in and pitching

Not quite sure why I said I would do it maybe something to do with Mike Butcher Editor from TechCrunch Europe laying down the gauntlet to Nottingham and Ljubljana the day before or maybe I just had hidden aspirations to get up and talk about golfshake.com.

With this in mind and as Mike was making the effort to visit little old Nottingham and Adam Bird had once again done a fantastic job in organising the 4th Nott Tuesday, creating the idea of a start up competition and got a band of acclaimed judges together. I foolishly put my name down late the night before and took the final spot in the Nott Tuesday Tech Start Up 2 minute pitch competition.

So, could I really prepare and deliver a pitch in less than 24 hours ? unfortunately given my last minute decision I didn’t quite have 24 hours but instead had the intrepidation in my mind all day, just over an hour to prepare the pitch and a few test runs to ensure the 2 minute time was kept. Thankfully I have lived and breathed golfshake.com for the last 20 months so it wasn’t like it was anything new or that I didn’t know about.

It wasn’t quite as daunting as I expected but I was immediately thrown when Adam announced the pitches could be 2-3 minutes, that meant I could slow down and say more didn’t it ?

Nick Barker stepped up first and pitched his forthcoming web infrastructure monitoring
service
Aware Monitoring (www.awaremonitoring.com). Nick also threw me in that his presentation slides were very creative and relevant to the subject he was talking about, mine were just text and bullet points = information overload! After Nick’s 3 minute pitch and 3 mintue Q&A it was my turn.

In honesty, it went reasonably well, I got sidetracked with the extra minute, missed a few key points and possibly spoke to fast but hopefully living and breathing it, the last minute cramming and focus helped. Thankfully the judges seemed to like it and I think I handled the questions well although did have my usual tendency of petering out into waffle :)

After watching 2 further pitches from Buyers4Cars (www.buyers4cars.co.uk), a company that allows car buyers rather than sellers to advertise their requirements; and Simple Lifeforms (www.simplelifeforms.com) developers of exciting new social games; we were then treated to something rather unique.

Nik Le Page who, at very short notice, pitched an interesting take on the issue of online profile management. Already a seed in Nik’s mind previously, he discussed the idea at 6:30 on arrival at Nott Tuesday with fellow peers, spent an hour scribbling on a piece of paper, stepped up at 8pm and presented a rather interesting and enjoyable pitch. No props, no presentation. Just an idea, concept and the effort to do it.

The idea of the start up competition seemed to work well to the normal format and the judges commented that the competition was of a very high standard and all of the entries were great.

So, how did me chipping in and pitching off the golf course go ?

Hmmmm, golfshake.com Named as Nottingham’s Best Technology Start-Up :)

The judges were very impressed with the overall, high standard of the entries and a special commendation was given to Nik Le Page for his last minute pitch.

Further information available on the Nott Tuesyday site - http://notttuesday.com/2009/05/13/golfshake-com-named-as-nottingham%E2%80%99s-best-technology-start-up/

I’m on Google, get me outta here!

Little did I know when I snapped the UK google street map photographer!

Google have today launched the the Street View service for some UK locations. And here I am in full technicolor glory, obviously snapping me going up the street before I noticed it coming down the street :)

Looks like I’ve also lost half of my body in one photo

Shame they didn’t snap my road when I was snapping them.

Snapped!  Google Street View

Gtour Amateur Golf Series and Order of Merit Tour

Not really relevant to my blog but I’ve been involved and am really excited for this new event for golfers and the first event is only 15 days away. Plus you can win some great prizes by taking part on the day or for the overall ‘Order of Merit’

Gtour Amateur Golf Series and Order of Merit Tour

Gtour Amateur Golf SeriesThe Gtour is a unique opportunity for golfers of all ages and abilities to take part in a friendly but competitive golf event.

You can take part in one event to win some great prizes or compete in at least 3 events to be in with a chance of being crowned the GTour 2009 champion, with some even greater prizes up for grabs including Tour exemption for 2010 (yes free entry for all events in 2010) and a whole lot more.

Why should the Pros have all the fun?

Have you ever dreamt of following in the footsteps of your heroes on the PGA or European tours? Fear not because fame & fortune has not yet passed you by!

Run by golfers for golfers “Gtour 2009 ” is the UK’s amateur golf tour for wannabe Tigers and Sorrenstams. Whether you play off scratch or 28 (36 for ladies) you are welcomed to take part in a great days golf and make many new friends with like minded golfers.

Fantastic Prizes to be won over the 2009 Series

Gtour - Tour MapThere is also a great prize pool for the 2009 tour and its still growing but currently includes all of the following:

* Gtour 2010 Tour Exemption Card (Free entry to every event in 2010) Bring on the golf!
* Bunker Mentality 1 years Ambassadorship worth £500 plus 20% of all your BM purchases whilst your ambassadorship is active
* 3 x 2 night breaks including 54 holes of golf at De Vere Venues throughout the Uk

And don’t forget we have great prizes at the individual events too!

* Bunker Mentality outfit worth £150 inc Playa polo, Belt and cap.
* Bunker Mentality Belt worth £50
* Bunker Mentality tee-shirt worth £25
* 4 ball at any De Vere golf course
* Golfbreaks.com and Teeofftimes.co.uk prize pack

Gtour is the only UK Amateur golf tour played predominantly at the weekends meaning you can take part and win without taking any time of work.

Be careful what you ‘twit’ for

For those who are not in the known, don’t watch Jonathan Ross, listen to the BBC or haven’t heard the buzz going around, then check out the Internet’s next big thing Twitter. Whilst it may have been around for the last 2 or so years, 2008 was the year that it really got going and 2009 the year it goes mainstream with Stephen Fry even discussing it on the Jonathan Ross show.

Twitter is the microblogging platform that allows you to update your status online, via SMS text or through a multitude of tools on your PC, mobile phone or some other gadget, all within 140 characters. The idea is to let people know (your followers), what you are up to, quick link to photos or about interesting articles/information your have found. To use a well used phrase ‘it’s like blogging on steroids’. Rather than spending hours constructing a well worded 1,000 word blog post that no one will read, use twitter and quickly write a 140 character update on what you are doing right there and then which your followers can then view instantly. Stephen Fry is the no.1 twitter ambassador who tweets (twitter message) every day, frequently replies to his followers and is set to surpass 200,000 followers any day. Believe it or not but at the end of Jan, Stephen was running a competition to celebrate his 50,000th follower, 4 weeks later he will be sure to hit 200k.

So what are the potential pitfalls you may ask ?

Hopefully none. It’s a great tool to follow like minded people and find information you may not have discovered yourself. Keep up to date with your friends and family, especially if they are on holiday. Be nosey and follow celebrities and discover they are just like us and generally their days are just as boring. But be careful ……

In the last week I have seen the following information filter through, which given the open structure of twitter may just be to open. It starts public and open, you have to set otherwise.

  • People twitter about work colleagues - what if there colleagues follow them ?
  • People twitter about client information - again what if the client follows then ?
  • Information that could be sensitive to competitors - do you want to make that deal public yet ?
  • Twitters about employers - would you boss mind ?
  • Holiday information - would you really publicly broadcast your house is empty ?

Twitter is a great tool but make sure you understand what you are using and who is watching :)

If you must ask, yes you can follow me :) http://twitter.com/darrenram

Networking alive and well

Nice to see that during the current climate that networking is still alive and well, and not just within the UK’s capital but here also in Nottingham in the East Midlands.

Nottingham recently hosted a start up business event, newbusinessLive!, and I took the opportunity, having worked at home for the last 2 years, to pop along to see what was happening and hopefully meet some new local contacts. The event was a great success with around 600 people due to attend but over 1,200 actually turning up on the day.

It was the normal mix of business service exhibitors and 30 minute seminars/workshops presented by industry experts. One particular talk was by Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation ‘a free resource to help you start and grow your business at home‘, and after a chance introduction via twitter and email I ended up being featured on the site in relation to my own golf business.

http://www.enterprisenation.com/detail/A_hole_in_one/2537/1.aspx

Last night also saw the first event, hopefully of many, for those within the tech industry in Nottingham at ‘Nott Tuesday‘. Once again a great success with the anticipated attendance of 40 being increased by 50%+! Read more from the online review.

The event was organised by Adam Bird the founder of Esendex, and saw a short but concise talk by mobile industry expert Ewan MacLeod. It was then on to 2 hours of serious networking. All in all a pretty good night and hopefully some good contacts and connections made.

So, networking does still exist and is beneficial. I’m already looking forward to the next Nott Tuesday in March and hoping this is the start of Nottingham’s tech scene beginning to happen.

And for those that love or hate twitter. The Twestival is coming to Nottingham on Thurs 12th Feb!

No money to be earned from writing a blog

Good job I don’t have plans to make a living from this blog :)

Firstly, I never write enough.

Secondly, Daniel Lyons (Secret Steve Jobs) says so - http://www.newsweek.com/id/183666

Lastly, who actually reads this :)

Online Golf Course Directory

The golfshake.com golf course directory contains details of over 30,000 golf clubs worldwide including golf course information, pictures, golf course maps, news, directions, contact details and user tips, plus thousands of user reviews.

Members are constantly updating the information provided and adding new golf course reviews which is now over 10,000. If you have played a course that isn’t yet reviewed then let them know.

The golf course directory is the number 1 place to go to find the latest reviews and information for your next golf trip or golf day out.

http://www.golfshake.com

Outdated sites

Should old sites that serve a purpose, are still running and being updated be updated to a more modern look and feel. If they don’t drive revenue what priority should be put on this ?

See some of my old sites below :

Golf site directory

Golf resource

UK Golf Course Directory

I’ve just updated the UK Golf Course Directory on my primary site golfshake.com. The site now provides the details and information on over 3,500 UK Golf Courses. Golfshake.com is the leading golf resource for finding information and reading reviews on golf courses throughout the UK now with over 8,000 UK golf course reviews.

Golfshake.com is an online community of golfers from around the world who track their scores and golf handicap online, interact with their buddies and other golfers, blog about golf, chat on the golf forums and rate and review golf courses and the latest equipment.

The UK golf course guide provides details on over 3,500 UK courses, provides over 8,000 reviews, allows detailed searching and selection by locality and is now the number 1 place of find the latest golf course information.

Coming to a UK street near you

Just spotted the google maps 3D image capture car this morning in Wollaton, a suburb of Nottingham England.

Shame they are using facing blurring when it goes live, plus possible privacy concerns, otherwise you would be able to see me taking this snap.

Google maps in Wollaton, Nottingham

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