Laura Goble & Carla Roberts Have Impact on 107.7fm

Meet Laura Goble (left) and Carla Roberts pictured above, project and volunteer co-ordinators respectively with African Impact in Zambia, an organization with over 5 years experience facilitating quality volunteer programmes they are the African specialists in volunteering. These two pretty, funny, lively, vivacious young ladies represented the organization brilliantly on the latest edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild, our regular Sunday night radio show airing live on Zambezi 107.7 fm at 18.30 hrs GMT and now streaming live on the internet. We had proof that the streaming is normal, receiving messages from England and Scotland while we were on air. Very excited about that we were too! Thanks to Edward Chanter and Isaac Mwanza 107.7 fm is now available on the Chanters Lodge website too! Scroll to Radio Show on our site!

Laura comes from South Africa while Carla hails from Ireland, we discovered as Milli Jam started to interview the girls. They explained to listeners that at the moment African Impact has 20 volunteers in Livingstone, all staying at Livingstone Backpackers and involved variously in education and health projects. We were told that the majority of the volunteers came from UK but also from other European countries such as Holland and Germany. Milli Jam seemed taken aback that Laura and Carla were not staying at Chanters Lodge – “how did you meet Richard then?” He wanted to know. “We met him at the airport while we were all waiting for clients” the girls explained. “Are you in the habit of picking up old men at airports?” The clearly envious Milli Jam continued. “Only if they’re good looking like Richard!” was the wonderful reply. (Flattery will get you dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge! Lol!)

The music on the show was a great mixture. The girls requested Flavor’s track ‘Sawa Sawa’ a smash hit in Zambia for the Nigerian star, which they dedicated to all the African Impact and Livingstone Backpackers staff, as well as volunteers listening to the show. Before that track we’d opened with ‘She Makes Me Wanna’ by JLS featuring Dev, the current UK number one, back to back with Ester Dean featuring Chris Brown and ‘Drop It Low’. More African tracks were Dandy Krazy with ‘Donchi Kubeba’ and Ty2 ft Kaufela with ‘Spotlight’. We played Ice Prince ‘Oleku’ as well. Oldie of the week was the late Akim Simukonda’s haunting ‘Bana Bandi’ (‘don’t hate each other when I’m gone’ his advice to his many children recorded just before he died). We asked for the name of the artist singing Bana Bandi by text to win a prize of dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge with drinks and the prize was quickly snapped up!

The girls told listeners they’d done loads of the activities available for tourists – everything from elephant riding to the zip line, excluding bungee! That very day they’d returned from a weekend on Bovu Island which they’d loved. “It used to be famous for fun and games” I commented. The girls just giggled. Enough said.

“Are you married?” Asked Milli Jam. “No” the girls replied. “Boyfriends?” Milli Jam persisted. “No” replied the girls. “George!” said Milli Jam as we laughed. Asked about their musical tastes, Carla surprised us ‘Aqua’ she said. “What!?” I exclaimed “Barbie Doll Aqua?” “Yes” said Carla. I was stunned. ‘Pink’ said Laura much more understandably. Milli Jam closed with the usual question of where the girls would like to be and what they’d like to be doing 10 years from now but the answer didn’t go much further than “errr Africa”.

Good show this one!


Ruth Binney

My sister Ruth (above) has a lovely, sparkling new website put together by the team at Collaborative Connections including my son Ed, Ruth’s nephew. You can read all about Ruth on her site and here’s the link. Ruth Binney. A brief resume of Ruth’s career reads:

Editor at Mitchell Beazley, including the natural history and medicine volumes of The Joy of Knowledge Encyclopedia.

Editor at Marshall Cavendish partworks, including The Book of Life, Nice ‘n’ Easy and Doctor’s Answers.

Editorial Director at Marshall Editions, book packagers – responsible for a wide range of successful titles, ranging from The BUPA Manual of Fitness and Well-Being to Great Battlefields of the World, The Manager’s Handbook, Structures and Strange Worlds, Amazing Places.

Development Editor at Reader’s Digest – responsible for generating ideas and close involvement in the testing and marketing processes. A key member of the senior management team. Involvement with the production and quality of titles, specialising in cookery, gardening, natural history, medicine and health, computer and puzzle titles.

And here are her titles of books she has written herself:

The Gardener’s Wise Words and Country Ways
Wise Words and Country Ways for CooksThe Allotment Experience: Everything You Need to Know About Allotment Gardening – Direct from the Plot
Wise Words and Country Ways for House and Home
Wise Words & Country Ways Weather Lore
The English Countryside (Amazing and Extraordinary Facts)
Wise Words & Country Ways Slipcased Set

Go and take a look!


Ian Lurie – Conversation Marketing

I found this article through @RasMbisi on Twitter – Michelle Vickers from Ras Mbisi Lodge on Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania. The piece comes from Ian Lurie @portentint on Twitter (that’s him above) from his blog conversation marketing. There are certain things I hate about websites and it was nice to read that others do too. The original piece was Ian’s “Here’s my 13-step process for making sure your customers hate you. Just build these features into your web site.” I’ve picked the 9 that really annoy me (and that I understood!!)

1: The Flash Intro
Somehow people still argue with me, saying that 120 seconds of totally pointless dancing raisins, spinning squares and cheesy, porn-inspired music loops is a good marketing tactic. It’s not. How do you feel when they show commercials at the movie theater? They get in the way, right? So does that nasty, pointless flash intro. It’s like a sleezy sales guy standing outside The Ritz. Even worse, it drives away the search engines, too. If you want your customers to hate you, put a nice, long Flash intro on your home page. Even better, make sure there’s no way to skip it.

2: The Every Page Link
You don’t really have to link back to your webmaster/designer from every single page of your site.

3: Animated Buttons
Use any of these on your site and I will find your server, pour a milkshake into the power supply and then run down the street shrieking with laughter. If you want your customers to despise you, use lots and lots of animated buttons.

4: Take Over My Browser, Why Dontcha?
Gotta love this one. You go to a web site. Then your browser blinks, goes into a kind of fit, and suddenly fills your whole screen. What the hell?! Someone suddenly decided you needed a ‘cinematic’ experience, so they used a javascript to maximize your browser window. That’s actually OK, unless you’re like me and have a 24″ monitor. Then your browser suddenly explodes in your face like you’ve entered hyperspace. The web site you visited appears as a tiny little rectangle in the middle of the screen or your computer crashes because it can’t handle drawing an animation at 5x normal size. If you want your customers to find sticks with rusty nails in them and then find you, take over their browser and make it really big.

5: Have a Soundtrack
Some sites might deserve a soundtrack. But if you’re an estate agent, I don’t want to hear the first ten bars of the Star Spangled Banner, converted to tinny MIDI format, played over and over. Want everyone to wish a pox on both your houses? Have an annoying, repetitious soundtrack.

6: Write Really Long Sentences With No Punctuation and Then Use Bad Grammar Too So That I can’t Tell What the Hell You’re Saying
Please, just hire a copywriter, OK? Or, just keep writing crappy copy. So that your customers can hate you.

7: Have An Incomprehensible Tag Cloud
I don’t hate all tag clouds. But every now and then I see one with 250+ terms in 4 colors and almost infinite different sizes. It’s like the blogger wants me to run away. Obstacle-oriented design. I love it. Trust me, folks won’t like you if you use a horrifically large, impossible to read tag cloud.

8: Make Me Register
Oh, no you didn’t! You did not just sell me on your product, get me all happy to buy it, and then ask me to fill out an entire registration form for the honor of giving you my money! Actually, at least half the e-commerce sites I see still do exactly that. “We want to make sure we can contact them,” is what I hear a lot. I also get “We want them to be able to order more quickly next time.” Then give them the option of saving their information, at the end of the checkout process. Gasp.

9: Make a Popup Appear When I (try to) Leave
I visit your site. I don’t like you, or I’m not ready to buy right now. Do you really think that popping up a window when I try to leave is going to make me change my mind? Let’s see: “Hmmm. I didn’t really need what you have to sell me. But since you’re being unbelievably annoying, I’ll think I’ll buy something.” Nope. If you want your customers outside your house with pitchforks, have a popup window that appears when they try to leave your site.

Has a way with words our Ian doesn’t he? But spot on he is!