Matthew Robson

Matthew Robson was lucky enough to get a two week internship at Morgan Stanley (or maybe Morgan Stanley were lucky enough?) and was asked to write about teenage media consumption for the bank. What he wrote has generated massive response in the banking sector and elsewhere. Check TimesOnline for the whole story. It fascinated me:

The world according to Matthew Robson aged 15 and a half:

“Teenagers do not listen to the radio, he wrote, preferring online streaming sites, nor do they ever buy music. Games consoles “now… connect to the internet, voice chat is possible between users… one can speak for free over the console so a teenager would be unwilling to use a phone,” he wrote.

He told The Times that at home he usually communicates with his male friends while blowing up terrorists on the action game Call of Duty. “You use a mobile phone if you want to talk to girls,” he said, as “only about one in fifty girls plays computer games.”

Girls are a lot more prone to spend their time on social networking sites. Matthew uses Facebook but his accounts with Piczo and Bebo have lapsed and Twitter is strictly for the elderly. “It’s aimed at adults,” he said. “Stephen Fry is not particularly cool. Also, for the cost of one tweet you could send quite a few text messages.” As no teenagers followed each other’s profiles, tweeting was “pointless”.

He believes cost is a critical factor in the teenage market as “no one has any money”. “Eight out of ten teenagers don’t buy music,” he said. “It comes from limewire, blogs or torrents.” Meanwhile, pirated DVDs generally cost £2 and go on sale even as the films are in the cinema.

With online sites streaming music for free they do not bother, as services such as do this advert free and users can choose the songs they want instead of listening to what the radio presenter/DJ chooses

No teenager that I know of regularly reads a newspaper, as most do not have the time and cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text while they could watch the news summarised on the internet or on TV

Facebook is the most common, with nearly everyone with an internet connection registered. On the other hand, teenagers do not use Twitter

They are very reluctant to pay for it (most having never bought a CD) Teenagers from higher income families use iPods and those from lower income families use mobile phones

Real directories contain listings for builders and florists, which are services teenagers do not require. They can get the information free on the internet
Viral/Outdoor Marketing
“Most teenagers enjoy and support viral marketing… Teenagers see adverts on websites (pop-ups, banner ads) as extremely annoying and pointless…they are portrayed in such a negative light that no one follows them.”

Teenagers visit the cinema more often when they are in the lower end of teendom but as they approach 15 they go to the cinema a lot less. This is because of the pricing; at 15 they have to pay the adult price. Also it is possible to buy a pirated DVD of the film at the time of release, and these cost much less than a cinema ticket
Mobile phones
The general view is that Sony Ericsson phones are superior, because of their long list of features, built-in Walkman capacity and value.

So there you are!

How do I (not quite a teenager) stack up!
– I have a Sony Ericsson phone!
– I hate paying for music!

– Don’t watch many movies
– Need a new radio which I enjoy at night

– I’m active on Facebook and Twitter

– I hate pop up and pop under ads
– Generally don’t like phone calls and prefer sms

– I’d never heard of Limewire – I just downloaded it
– I’d been trying to sort out Torrent for some days when I read this!
– Only glance at newspaper headlines these days.

And you!


Follow Livingstone!

This from ‘Bighearted Scotland‘ Participants will apparently raft the white water, trek and canoe. Tough! I think it’s not for the faint hearted!

“One of Scotland’s earliest Bighearted heroes was the missionary David Livingstone. Livingstone was a combination of missionary, doctor, explorer, scientist and anti-slavery activist who spent 30 years exploring in Africa, exploring almost a third of the continent, from its southern tip almost to the equator.

Livingstone received a gold medal from the London Royal Geographical for being the first person to cross the entire African Continent from west to east.

Bighearted Scotland is offering adventurous people the opportunity to follow in Livingstone’s footsteps. You can experience many of the sights and sounds witnessed by Livingstone in Zambia by joining our Livingstone’s Footsteps Challenge. Your 10 day adventure begins with your arrival in Livingstone, when you will have time to view the falls, acclimatise to the area and begin to take in the breathtaking scenery and exciting wildlife.
This from ‘Bighearted Scotland

“Like Livingstone, you will be rafting and canoeing on the Zambezi and game walking through spectacular landscapes populated by elephants, hippos, crocs, antelope and many more. You will also have the opportunity to visit the spectacular Victoria Falls.

Livingstone wasn’t just an explorer, he also gave back to the African community and you will also have the opportunity to contribute by spending one day working in a local community project in Zambia. You will also be supporting a wide range of causes back in Scotland through raising a minimum sponsorship target of £2,750. We will give you help and support to raise your sponsorship money and prepare yourself for the challenge. You will be asked to raise a guaranteed sum of sponsorship money in addition to paying a deposit of £325 to confirm your place. This will cover the costs of your challenge and includes all meals, guides and activities, flights, transportation and accommodation. It excludes alcohol & tips.

Please note that we do not enter Zimbabwe at any stage – all activities are done on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls.” Yes – even that picture of Jan, one of my sons, dangling over the edge!


Greg & Donna Fox, Jamaica

Meet Greg and Donna Fox from Kingston, Jamaica, who guested on the Chanters Lodge Experience last Sunday, our popular radio show going out live on Zambezi Radio 107.5 fm, Livingstone’s popular local radio station, at 20.00 hrs every Sunday. We always give away a prize too, this week as usual a dinner for two with drinks at Chanters Lodge for the first person to text us the right answer to a simple question. In this instance ‘which country did this lovely couple come from?’ Junita texted ‘Jamaica’ right away and won!

Junita Hepplethwaite just happens to be the activities supremo and in charge of the Lady Livingstone sunset cruise reservations, based at the David Livingstone Safari Lodge, Livingstone’s latest upmarket 5 star hotel, with a fabulous location on the banks of the Zambezi overlooking the mile wide spray thrown up as the mighty River Zambezi plunges some 120m over the awesome Victoria Falls! We get great service from Junita and her team for our Guest activity bookings, so we were delighted she was listening, and that she won!

Greg and Donna reserved accommodation and stayed at Chanters Lodge for their visit to Livingstone. Greg was involved in a conference concerning aviation safety in Africa. This is his speciality and he holds a senior position with the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority – formerly Director of Flight Safety now Coordinator at Regional Aviation Safety Oversight System. His roots are in England but he migrated to Jamaica via Canada where he was educated. Donna’s pure Jamaican, they’ve been together 14 years and have two sons. Before the show Greg thrust the inch thick FCTP for the Airbus A340 into my hands saying “read this!” ‘FCTP?’ I hear you ask. ‘Flight Crew Training Programme!’ would you believe! I tried and failed! Greg was to give at least two keynote addresses at the ongoing conference being held at Zambezi Sun Hotel.

Greg and Donna’s appearance on the show had been arranged by e mail a long time ago and they’d kindly brought two fantastic Jamaican CD’s for us – a double album of Beres Hammond, one of Donna’s favourite Jamaican artists, and a compilation of great reggae dancehall artists including VYBZ Kartel and Terry Linen. Some tracks were supposed to be played on the show but we had technical difficulties, so reverted to Bob Marley and Peter Tosh instead! Was it true, DJMJ wanted to know, that they’d also brought two bottles of special Jamaica rum for Richard? It was, and the 107.5 fm guys were ‘red-eyed’. Red-eyed? Jamaican slang for jealous!

We played Zikomu by Ty2 his latest smash, to give Greg and Donna a taste of Zambian music, and Cascada’s ‘Evacuate the Dancefloor’ which had successfully held off the Michael Jackson challenge at the top of the UK singles pop charts the previous week. ‘Strangers’ from Leona Lewis and ‘Obsession’ from Mariah Carey showed how right up to date we are at 107.5 fm! ‘Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer’ by Freemasons ft Sophie Ellis Bexter and Emergency 911 by Jordin Sparks are pretty hot songs and artistes and we featured them too on the show!

‘What’s happening on Twitter?’ DJMJ asked me. I took some time to explain #followfriday #traveltuesday #unacceptable, #ihavetoadmit and other trending topics on that site. I also pointed out that Greg and I had contact on Twitter where he’d been reporting on the bbq he’s been building at home. Talking of which, I was happy to report good progress on the construction of our new rooms to the listeners.

Donna and Greg told our audience about their one day safari to the Chobe National Park they’d been on that very day with friends Jorge and Felicia Vargas from Costa Rica also in Livingstone for the conference and staying at Chanters, and the group had been lucky enough to see lion and lots of other game as well. It really is a great one day trip. ‘Where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing ten years’ from now?” was the closing question. Greg said he’d like to be retired and relaxing somewhere nice with Donna, and Donna said she hoped to still be the family co-pilot! Cute, just like her! Don’t believe me? Check the photo!


Thanks to TravelWires for publishing this online interview this morning:

“Hot on the heels of fellow Zambian internet entrepreneur Sara Brown from is Richard Chanter, the owner of Chanters Lodge in Livingstone (Zambia). He shares with us his journey to launching Chanters Lodge and how I hope other operators within this space could learn a thing about keeping an active presence on the internet (it does not cost a cent, just dedication)…

When were you born and where are you based?
I was born in Tiverton, Devon, UK and I am based in Livingstone, Zambia.

Can you educate my readers about Chanters Lodge, what exactly inspired the business?
The obvious need in Livingstone in 1997 for a good restaurant – the rooms were an afterthought!

What were you doing before launching your business and when was it launched?
From 1979 – 1992 I was GM of what is now Southern Sun Ridgeway in Lusaka. From 1992-1995 I was a transporter and market gardener. From 1995-1997 I was in unsuccessful business partnerships in the catering trade in Lusaka. This business was launched in 1998.

How much was invested in launching your business and how was that capital financed?
Total invested on launch was US$100,000 but there has been additional investment of US$200,000 since. The initial capital was loan followed up by investment from a maturing pension fund and from profit.

What planning did you engage before launching?
Probably not enough!

Are there any major challenges that you had to overcome in launching your business?
Wow! So many! Development and management in Livingstone in the late 90’s was a challenge in almost every respect you could think of!

I notice your property has numerous reviews on, do you also generate bookings through that website?
Very many, I also respond to every review.

Do you use any booking engine for your property?

You’re an active blogger, does this helps your business in generating bookings?
Hard to say, it certainly doesn’t do any harm!

What are your short and long-term business goals?
Short term to finish the ongoing construction of two additional rooms and to maximize revenue in 2010 (World Cup). Long term to be able to semi-retire in 2012 with a good self-fulfilling management structure in place.

What is your opinion of country focused portals like

Which industry events do you exhibit your business?
None so far

Which sector of the Zambian tourism industry do you feel still presents untapped business opportunities?
Development of infrastructure generally and specifically in Kafue National Park and on Lake Tanganyika
What are your three preferred industry blogs that you read daily?
Hotel Blogs and Best of Zambia – I write more than I read also Hotel Interactive

Is the tourism industry in Zambia involved with the forthcoming 2010 Soccer World Cup?
It needs to be!

Is your occupancy rate affected by the current economic climate?
So far not really

What does responsible tourism means for your business and do you subscribe to it in your operations?
It means care of the environment, training and development of Zambian personnel, maintenance of our assets and first class public relations and yes we try to!

What does the internet means for your business?
80% of our reservations and almost 100% of the feedback. It also brings Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor. Everything?
Has your property ever fell victim to the cheque and credit card fraudsters?


Nelspruit Kruger – Livingstone

This from Livingstone Weekly caught my eye:

“August 17th, 2009, will see the inaugural launch of Airlink‘s (South Africa privately owned and domestic/ regional carrier) expanded network, with a new service, linking a number of Africa’s most beautiful and scenic destinations. “The GreateKruger National Park, Royal Malewane Private Game Reserve, Londolozi Private Game Reserve, Savanna Private Game Reserve and Livingstone, Zambezi!”

The service will operate from Nelspruit Kruger to Livingstone every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, in both directions. The new service will enable tourists to Southern Africa to have the pleasure of an early morning game drive within the Greater Kruger and enjoy sundowners overlooking the Zambezi the very same day!”


Twitter Stats

This from

Over the past few months, Twitter has experienced explosive growth. Social media analytics companies Sysomos conducted an extensive study on 11.5 million Twitters accounts to document Twitter’s growth and how people are using it.

– 72.5% of all users joining during the first five months of 2009.

– 85.3% of all Twitter users post less than one update/day

– 21% of users have never posted a Tweet

– 93.6% of users have less than 100 followers, while 92.4% follow less than 100 people.

– 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity

– New York has the most Twitters users, followed by Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco and Boston; while Detroit was the fast-growing city over the first five months of 2009

– More than 50% of all updates are published using tools, mobile and Web-based, other than TweetDeck is the most popular tool with 19.7% market share.

– There are more women on Twitter (53%) than men (47%)

– Of the people who identify themselves as marketers, 15% follow more than 2,000 people. This compares with 0.29% of overall Twitter users who follow more than 2,000 people.

There you are then! Find me on Twitter


Why Small Businesses Fail…

I liked this from by Jay Goltz and I’m sure the solution to the problem he sites is right. In Zambia we see many small businesses fail because their owners don’t plough enough profit back in the business, and either fail to maintain their standards as a result, or end up running out of stock, or money or both. Credit and loans are really hard to get in this part of the world. We’ve also seen plenty of small businesses in Zambia fail because the families of the owner feel it’s their right to ‘get a share’ of the business either in cash or kind, and Zambian tradition makes it hard for owners to refuse to help members of their family. Anyway here’s Jay’s piece:

“Last month I wrote about Debbie Dusenberry, owner of Curious Sofa, a home-furnishings boutique in Kansas City, Kans. The store has a reputation for great products and imaginative display, and its revenue had been growing nicely for eight years. But when Dusenberry sent me her financials, she included this plaintive note: “Our January was down 20%, and for the first time I am a little worried. If I had any reserve, I wouldn’t be nearly as concerned. We’re cutting back anywhere we can by freezing spending, and I laid off my first employee in eight years.”

Dusenberry’s financials explained clearly why her business has potential – and why she’s in trouble. The store’s annual revenue has grown to more than $800,000. Her labor costs as a percentage of revenue are a little high, and she probably needs to lay off another employee. The rent isn’t terrible, although I think she can get her landlord, who clearly doesn’t want to lose a tenant in this economy, to cut her a break. But here’s the thing: Her statements show that she’s lost money eight years in a row.

Every year, Dusenberry said, she told herself that she was going to work harder and sell more stuff, but working harder doesn’t fix a broken business model. It just prolongs the agony. This kind of delusional thinking, I believe, explains why some 70% of small businesses go broke before their 10th anniversary, according to the Small Business Administration. Entrepreneurs tend to concentrate on what they love, whether it’s the artist who paints but doesn’t spend any time marketing or the chef who lives in the kitchen and ignores her financials. Every business owner needs to be his or her own CFO. Delegating that task to a book-keeper or an outside accounting firm means putting your life into their hands. They generally don’t know the ins and outs of your business well enough to make critical decisions.

Dusenberry’s accountant told her to cut expenses, which is fine but insufficient. The truth is that she’s on the road to insolvency and her only hope is to come up with a 2009 budget that shows a profit. She has no more credit and must pay down some of her loans. The obvious question, of course, is how she’s going to turn a profit if she can’t cut more expenses. It won’t help to sell more stuff because her cost of goods sold is too high. Believe it or not, Dusenberry needs to raise her prices. Yes, even in this economy. If that sounds ridiculous, you need to do the math. Here’s a simplified example: Let’s say Dusenberry has been buying sofas for $1,000 and selling them for $2,000. If she sells 10, her sales are $20,000 and her cost of goods sold is $10,000, leaving her a gross profit of $10,000.

Now suppose she raises the price to $2,200. That’s a 10% hike, but let’s also assume that the price increase means she sells 20% fewer sofas, or a total of eight. This takes her sales to $17,600, her cost of goods sold to $8,000 and her gross profit to $9,600. While it looks as if she’s falling short, she’s actually going to come out about even in this scenario because she’ll save some variable costs – delivery, credit-card fees and freight – by selling two fewer sofas. But here’s my real argument: Dusenberry runs a niche business with a loyal following. Her customers aren’t going to revolt if she starts charging market prices. I think she’ll sell nine sofas at the new price, making her profitable.

Could I be wrong? Sure. But the laws of price elasticity suggest otherwise. And if Dusenberry keeps doing things the way she’s been doing them, she’ll go out of business anyway. At least the price adjustment gives her a shot.



TripAdvisor – 100 Reviews

Today we clocked 100 reviews on TripAdvisor for Chanters Lodge! Not bad for a small establishment! Thank goodness it happened to be an excellent one, they aren’t always! Happily we have more good than bad on that important site: Here it is, for the record:

“My wife and I along with our two adult daughters and their partners had the pleasure of staying with Richard and staff in early May. The abundant advice and help Richard offers are what makes his establishment so unique. Nothing is too much trouble for him to assist with. We really enjoyed relaxing by the pool and thought the restaurant with it’s large menu was excellent value. We ate almost all our meals there and especially enjoyed the local dishes. The rooms are very basic and adequate. We were only in our rooms for sleeping and the rest of our time was spent either sightseeing or relaxing in the pool and gardem area. I can’t recommend Chanters Lodge enough and it’s the only place we will stay when we return. Congratulations to Richard and his staff, they’re providing excellent value for travellers!!”

Couldn’t have put it better myself!! Thanks to everyone who’s ever reviewed our lodge, good or bad – without Guest feedback we’d be nowhere.



I loved this! Thanks to Derek Dawson for sending it!

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