Social Media, Twitter, Gadgets & Old People

This is not about me, but it may be about Derek (and that might be him above) who sent it to me!!!

When I bought my Blackberry, I thought about the 30 year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures and communicates with Facebook and Twitter.  I signed up (under duress) for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grand kids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter, with only 140 characters of space.

That was before one of my grand kids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific Tweetdeck, Twitpix and something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other program within the texting world. My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library.  I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Bluetooth phone I’m supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at the local store talking to my wife and everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. I had to take my hearing aid out to use it and I got a little loud.

The GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, “Re-calc-u-lating.”  You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light, if I made a wrong turn. Well, it was not a good relationship.

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I’m still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We’ve had them for 4 years, but I still haven’t figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have run around digging under chair cushions, checking bathrooms and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings!

Us senior citizens don’t need any more gadgets.  The TV remote and the garage door opener are about all we can handle.


K’Millian Rocks ‘The Experience’

I did take some photos in the studio when Leo Moyo aka ‘K’Millian’ guested for the second time on The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild, but I like the one above from the cover of ‘True Colours’. Leo’s last appearance on our show was back in June 2009, so of course we were interested to hear what he’d been doing since we last interviewed him on radio. ‘The Experience’ is a cool mixture of music and chat, airing every Sunday night at 20.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station and streaming live on the internet. K’Millian is one of Zambia’s leading musicians with 6 albums under his belt.

Leo told listeners that he’d spent the last two years working, playing concerts and ‘discovering himself’. He’d worked on collaborations with other artists such as P-Unit from Kenya and had been spreading his wings, working with musicians from Nigeria as well. He said he’d also been very busy working on his new album which was finished and due for release before the end of the year. “What brings you to Livingstone this time”? Milli Jam wanted to know. Leo confirmed that he’d been playing shows at Taonga Safaris’ River Shack. “How did it go?” Milli Jam asked, K’Millian confirmed that the shows and the crowd had been great! “In which part of the country do your shows have the best audience”? Milli Jam continued and Leo replied without hesitation “The Copperbelt”! We discussed the reasons – speculating about the size of the population in that part of Zambia as well as the hard type of work they undertake on the mines and the subsequent need for excitement and entertainment during their downtime.

We featured two of K’Millian’s tracks on the show  – ‘From My Heart’ taken off the forthcoming new album back to back with Links featuring K’Millian and ‘My Police’. K’Millian explained to listeners that on his new album he’d recorded a lot of tracks in English with a view to breaking into the international market. We featured James Morrison’s ‘I Won’t Let You Go’ as well as Dappy’s UK number one ‘No Regrets’. Milli Jam played Big Sean’s ‘My Last’ and our oldie of the week was Luther Vandross with ‘Power Of Love’. Our regular prize of a dinner for two at Chanters Lodge was quickly snapped up by Jackson, the first person to text us the name of the artist. We closed the programme with Rihanna ft Calvin Harris and ‘We Found Love’ as well as Bruno Mars with ‘It Will Rain’. I told listeners this might be an accurate prediction from Bruno, as rain was forecast for Livingstone the next day! (And it did!)

K’Millian told listeners that his favourite international artist at the moment was Chris Brown and locally the gorgeous Mampi. George liked that. He thought that Qfm and Hone FM in Lusaka were the two radio stations that promoted his music more than any others. When Milli Jam asked him if he was playing any other dates while he was in Livingstone, his answer was ‘show me the money’! Asked where he would like to be and what he would like to be doing 10 years from now Leo’s answer was ‘on my island counting my money”! You get the drift!!


At Last! Zimba-Livingstone

President Rupiah Banda is on Friday expected to officially open the Zimba – Livingstone Road. The road has been going through some resurfacing. A statement from State house states that president Banda will travel to Livingstone on Friday morning to commission the completed 42.8 kilometre road works and officially open the road to motorists.

The resurfacing of the road was done by China Geo Corporation at a contract sum of 35 million Euros and supervised by Zulu Burrow Consulting Engineers and Nicholas O’Dwyer and Company Limited. “Government is happy that once more we have successfully delivered a good road for the people of Southern Province and Zambia as a whole,” President Banda said ahead of the event.

The Zimba-Livingstone Road is an important trade link between Zambia and countries in the Southern Africa region. The first stretch of the 30 kilometres of the Zimba – Livingstone Road was completed in October last year at a contract sum of K121 billion while the second phase of the 42.8 kilometre, financed by the European Union Commission, will be commissioned on Friday.


Llama Encounter

Sorry, no, not in Livingstone, Zambia, not yet anyway! This is Ashwood Lllamas from North Devon, UK where Kevin and Vicki Woodward have started a Llama Experience! I’m not the only one fascinated by this, Kevin has more than 2500 followers on Twitter @llamakevin, which is where I found them!

Here’s all about it:

“Do you fancy a few hours experiencing some time with our llamas?

What we offer – 3 hours of our time, showing you around our smallholding, and giving you the opportunity to get up close and personal with some, if not all of our llamas.

* First, we’ll do a short introduction, including the essential health and safety rules. We’ll give you some history of llamas in general, some useful facts about the way they will behave, and what you should expect from handling them.
* Next, along with the help from one of your party, we’ll bring some of the llamas up to the holding pen, where you can all get to say hello!
* Here, we will show you how to halter the llama, and each member of the party (one at a time) can groom a llama and have that one to one photo opportunity.
* Next, we will take two llamas for a short stroll around our land, this will most likely be Wilbur & Cusco, and you can have the opportunity to lead them. If your party is more than 2, we can go around again, so that everyone has the chance to lead. The stroll is far to short to be called a trek, but will take 15 – 20 minutes.
* On our return, it will be treat time, the llamas will be rewarded and you’ll have the chance to give them their treats.
* Then, a chance to wander over and see our other llamas, our goats, chickens, and we may even be joined by the cats!
* A quick wash of the hands and then we’ll provide you with a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of one of Vicki’s homemade cakes (soft drinks will be available). Here you’ll be able to ask us more detailed questions about our llamas!

Who do we offer this to? – We can cope with a maximum of 4 people.

When do we offer this? – We can only offer this experience on Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday afternoons at 2pm. Booking is essential! The start of the 2010 season begins on Saturday 29th May.

How much? – £15 per person, children under 16 will cost £10 each, and children under 10 will cost £5 each. Please note that children under 10 will NOT be able to fully participate, they will only be able to groom and feed the llamas from outside of the pen and through the fence, and will not be able to walk their own llama (they can walk with the llama while a responsible adult holds the lead).

How to book? – Please call Kevin on 01237 451848 during office hours (9am to 5pm – Monday to Friday) to arrange your llama experience, or send us a message via the contact page for more information!”



Shackletons Upper Zambezi Lodge

Recently we had Australian Customers at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone determined to go tiger fishing and adamant that they needed the best professional service. I consulted a fisherman friend of mine and after his various recommendations, had the idea to have the Clients contact Shackletons and ask the lodge for a two day one night visit including tiger fishing. Shackletons came up trumps and the Clients were delighted. Sometimes these ideas just click! Here’s all about Shackletons:

“Shackletons Upper Zambezi Lodge is situated in south-western Zambia on the upper Zambezi River near the village of Mwandi (meaning a place of ‘plenty fish’). Shackletons provides access to 130km of the upper Zambezi River, called ‘God’s Highway’ by David Livingstone. Shackletons is open all year round, even when the Zambezi floods its banks each year to form the Zambezi floodplains.

The Lodge accommodates 12 people in thatched, en-suite chalets with private teak decks overlooking the Zambezi. The swimming pool, sun-downer deck, lounge, open dining area, and fire pit provide guests with unparalleled vistas of the upper Zambezi River. Shackletons is a premier venue for spin, lure and fly anglers of all levels to fish for trophy Tigerfish, Bream, Tilapia and Catfish.

Shackletons is home to over 300 bird species that can be spotted at the Lodge or by boat along the river banks and in the tranquil river channels. At Shackletons you, your family and your friends will be totally spoilt by the exciting fishing, the pristine waters of the mighty upper Zambezi River, the abundant bird life, the peace and tranquillity of the Lodge, the Zambian culture, and the unsurpassed friendly hospitality of the Shackletons people.”

How about that then?


The Oprah Effect

This from Fresh Inc:

LightWedge CEO Jamey Bennett was desperate to get his product, a book light, on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It eventually got to the point where the producers called his company to tell them to stop sending samples. When the product was actually featured a few weeks later, it came to Bennett as a complete surprise. His company noticed a sizable spike on the company’s website on December 7, 2007. The site, which for the previous three days had averaged $3,700 in sales per day, soared to $90,000 in sales in one afternoon.

What Bennett later found out was that a sleep expert named Dr. Michael Bruce did a segment on Oprah about products that help people get a good night’s sleep, and he brought a reading light made by Bennett’s Newton, Massachusetts-based company, No. 1609 on the Inc. 5000. All it took was for Winfrey to take the light out of Dr. Bruce’s hands and say, “I have to get one of these,” for sales to go through the roof.

For Bennett, getting on Oprah was a major stroke of luck because it seems that most everything Winfrey touches turns into gold. She’s one of the most influential personalities in media that has made (and sunk) many businesses. The so-called “Oprah Effect” can bring fame to an obscure company translating into dramatically increased sales. Even a casual mention of a product, exposed to her 44 million weekly viewers, is a boon for the company that makes or sells that product. Several companies from the 2009 Inc. 500|5000 have been so lucky as to score a spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show over the past three years, perhaps accounting for a great deal of their growth during that period.

For Ossining, New York–based No. 708, makes and sells stylish reusable grocery bags. In late 2006, the “bring your own bag” movement was just picking up steam.“We hired a PR company,” Rowe says, “with the single directive: ‘Get us on Oprah.’” In April 2007, the bags were selected to be featured on Oprah’s Earth Day episode. The response was immediate—the company was flooded with phone calls and e-mails. At the time, Rowe was working at home with only one other full-time employee. Every time they hung up the phone, it would ring again. Sales tripled, with 2,789 orders in the first week after the episode aired. Rowe adds, “We were lucky that our website was scalable, and our server didn’t crash.”

Pierce Mattie, of New York–based Inc. 5000 No. 1428 Pierce Mattie Public Relations, agrees. His company was responsible for getting a line of clothing from Old Navy on the show last year (and incidentally, even a company as big as Old Navy benefits enormously from that kind of exposure; they sold out of that item the week the show aired). “A business that appears on Oprah should be one that is sustainable and ready to do mega volume. For a business, it can be a benchmark of a success and can almost guarantee millions of dollars in new revenue,” Mattie advises.

Galaxy Desserts, based in Richmond, California and No. 2297 on the Inc. 5000, is another company that owes much of its success in recent years to the influence of Winfrey. In both 2002 and 2003, Winfrey selected Galaxy products for her “Favorite Things” list after noticing them in the Williams-Sonoma catalog and requesting samples. More recently, in 2005, Oprah featured Galaxy’s croissants as an all-time Favorite Thing; then in 2006, the croissants were on an “Oprah’s Favorite Breakfast” segment. For the Favorite Things episode, Galaxy’s president and CEO, Paul Levitan, says, “My partner, Jean-Yves Charon, took the red-eye to Chicago with about six hours notice in order to get fresh croissants ready for both Winfrey and the audience for that show.” Since its first exposure on the show, Galaxy has increased its croissant production capacity by approximately 1,000 percent.

It was being in the right place at the right time that brought Inc. 500 No. 156 College Hunks Hauling Junk to Oprah. The president of the company, Nick Friedman, met a business coach named Steve Dorfman at a networking function in Washington, D.C. (where his company is headquartered), and told Dorfman about his junk removal service. It turned out that Dorfman’s parents were compulsive hoarders and that he had contacted Oprah for help. Moreover, Dorfman mentioned the producers of the show were becoming frustrated with the company they were using to haul away the trash. He called the producers that night and told them about Friedman’s business. The show called Friedman the next morning, and he immediately sent four trucks and 10 workers to the property, removing the unwanted furniture, appliances, trash, and clutter and transporting them to be properly donated, recycled, or disposed of. The company’s website traffic for the day the show aired was 10 times the usual amount. Because Friedman’s company was able to help them out in a bind, he got a call about a year later about assistance on a similar project taking place in New York City. “At the time,” Friedman says, “we did not have a franchise in New York City, but when Oprah calls, we drop everything. So four of our guys and I jumped into our trucks in D.C. and drove up to New York to appear on the show for a second time.”

There can also be a downside to the Oprah Effect, he warns. In 1996, Oprah made comments during a segment about “Mad Cow” disease about never eating another burger. As a result, she was sued by a group of Texas cattle ranchers who claimed that her comments had caused them to lose $11 million in business. However, in 1998, a jury rejected the lawsuit. An appeal was dismissed with prejudice by a federal court in 2002. The ruling didn’t deny that the cattlemen lost money; the dismissal was based on Winfrey’s right to free speech and the fact that she didn’t say anything untrue about the industry.

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