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The first UK Starting Over Show & Collaborative Communities – CertainShops News April 08

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Previous customers rave about the professionals you will find on CertainShops

http://www.certainshops.com/storage/images/newsletter/0802/suzybranded.jpg

SUZY’S DIARY

How could this happen to me? My first night in my Nicaraguan ergonomic hammock had gone well – or so I had thought. I awoke with horror to find myself twisted up like a spun thread, inextricably cocooned in natural cotton hand woven bonds. Thank goodness for CertainShops – professionals online.


Stretching for my IPhone I was able to go online and, determined to make a positive out of a seemingly negative situation, I contacted an IPR lawyer to find out how to register my latest invention – a quick release cord for people trapped in unruly hammocks.
By the time I had contacted a website marketer to discuss how to promote my new invention on the internet, requested a quote for an integrated blog (there must be others who have shared this awful experience, surely?), and contacted a holistic counsellor to help me with the trauma of my entrapment, my children had discovered me and taken the opportunity to ‘borrow’ my IPhone for an hour while they cut through the hammock ropes with the speed of a gnawing hampster.

Tonight, I shall be sleeping with a sharp instrument close at hand.



PROFESSIONAL SPOTLIGHTS

Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

Jaci Godman Irvine/Estate Legacy Services

Member KCC Buy With Confidence Scheme

Asking the right questions:

Making a Will is not easy – it means facing up to one’s own mortality. However, the consequences of either no Will or the the wrong kind of Will can mean loss of the family home to pay for Long Term Care Fees, a large Inheritance Tax bill or the possibility of financial hardship for the spouse.


When a marriage or civil partnership is breaking up, updating a will is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind – but even so, there are some questions that are worth asking:


Do you know what effect a divorce or dissolution has on a previously written will?

Do you know what effect remarriage or a Civil Partnership has on a present will?

What happens if you are separated but not divorced?

What are the consequences of not having a will?

Starting over can be a time of multiple emotions. There will be frustration, excitement, despair and anticipation to name just a few and certain issues will either be ignored or procrastinated over. A will is a subject that most of us do not like to think about at the best of times, however, it is possibly one of the most important documents that you should be thinking about at a time like this.

If you would like some advice on wills, trusts and probate, contact Jaci Godman Irvine and she can advise you.

As special invitation to find out all about something very useful which I wanted to share with you….

This is a special invitation to join our QuoteWerks Webinar on Wednesday 28 May 2008 between 11.00 am and 12.00 pm BST.

Find out how QuoteWerks can benefit Certain Shops and the subscribers to this newsletter.

Just click on the link below to register

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/355610100

QuoteWerks enables companies in every industry to create detailed quotes with speed and efficiency. If you want to save time and money when quoting, selling, ordering, and purchasing products and services you need QuoteWerks
(For full version of newsletter click here)
Feel free to register via the link above for the webinar or talk directly with Jan Brown to find out more….

http://www.certainshops.com/storage/images/newsletter/0802/suzymiller.jpg

THE CERTAIN WAY OF LIVING LIFE

“What’s the latest news?”

CertainShops – professionals online in association with

Sparkle & Wow Planning and Event Design Ltd presents:

The Starting Over Show – Brighton 2008

The first event of its kind in the UK

Saturday 11 October 2008 at Brighton Race Course

 

The Vision…

Dramatic events turn lives around – and with the right support and advice new beginnings blossom for those contemplating divorce, civil partnership break ups, or any major life crisis.

Access to legal and financial advice, backed up by physical and emotional support, requires choosing trusted professionals at a susceptible time.

The Brighton Starting Over Show will be a haven to anyone seeking solicitors, financial advice, or well-being professionals who can help make the transition from an old life ending, to a brand new one just beginning.

What do we live for; if it is not to

make life less difficult for each other?

George Eliot (1819-1880)

Exhibitor Information Pack

T: 02088167281

M: 07825222404

E: suzy@startingovershow.co.uk


“How is People Power transforming the web?”

We all know that ‘top down’ doesn’t work, but we all complain that trying to create change from the bottom up can often feel futile. Which is probably why revolutions so often resort to using violence.


Thanks to a tweet from @Damiano this morning, I found myself reading the Guardian article: People power transforms the web in next online revolution which is based on Charles Leadbeater’s book “We Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production”. An acclaimed thinker on technology, Leadbeater explains how net users are, by banding together, changing every aspect of our lives.

And those ‘net users’ are us. So the way I see it is, we have not just the opportunity, but the responsibility to bring about change in our society and the way we run our businesses and the way our children are educated, from the bottom up, but with one BIG difference……

(For full version of newsletter click here)

@suzymiller

Why journalists are using Twitter

Businessballs is a free ethical learning and development resource for people and organizations, run by Alan Chapman, in Leicester, England.

Charities using social network sites

For more general articles on business related topics check out Suzy Says

READER OFFERS

10% Discount for CertainShops readers for a wonderful holiday in Spain in a former Buddhist retreat in a natural park in the hills above Granada.

La Pena is a beautiful building in a natural park in the mountains of southern Granada. It comes with 22 acres of land with olive and almond trees and offers amazing views over the mountains with distant views of the sea. It offers the perfect tranquil getaway and antedote to city dwelling. La Pena is also a 40 minute drive from the coast and about a 45 minute drive from Granada city. Granada and Malaga airports are also quite close by.

In addition to the Certain Shops offer we are also offering ten percent off for anyone who books before the end of Febuary 2007, a further eco offer for anyone taking the train to get there and if that wasn’t enough ten percent for each person you recommend that results in a confirmed booking. If you get enough that means your stay is free!

Please see www.lapena.co.uk for information on this very special place.

In the Frame

For any CertainShops newsletter readers who commission me to take their photos, be it corporate or domestic, I can offer them a FREE large size, panoramic canvas print of one of the photographs of their choice.

Contact me, Scott Collier, at: http://www.certainshops.com/service-provider.php?sp=125.

Special offers from our Client Members

FREE LAPTOP with ‘s best value Broadband Service from the Utility Warehouse
This amazing package offers all the benefits of BroadCall, and a free high-spec Fujitsu Siemens laptop. It is available to all existing and new customers who have at least one energy service with us. The laptop even comes with a free lifetime extended warranty (for as long as you remain connected to BroadCall Laptop tariff).
Contact Client Member Cath Godsen, via http://www.paperpig.co.uk

Free Coaching with NLP Session!

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a proven and highly effective method
of enabling people to achieve what they really want in their work and
private lives. Combined with coaching, the results can be astonishing.

Heather Barrie (a client) said, “Thanks for yesterday’s session – am feeling
more focussed than I’ve been in years – feels gooood!!” The first 30 people
to respond will receive a free taster session worth £75.
Be quick! Offers
like this don’t come along often.

For further details, please contact Simon Donnelly on 01403 738967 or at
simon@life-celebration-coaching.co.uk


Business Moneyfacts is offering our registered users a special discounted rate for subscribing to their highly respected publication.

BMF Advert

SERVICE PROFESSIONALS:

If you have a strong professional track record and would like to join our waiting list to be part of our consortium of high calibre professionals selected on merit contact us: join-us @ certainshops. com

We will promote you through:

Pay per click, Link Campaign and SEO

Press releases and Radio interviews

Paid magazine and newspaper advertisements

The monthly Site Newsletter free to all Registered Users and Service Providers

Business networking events and trade shows

Corporate Packages

Apply online here…..

CLIENT MEMBERSHIP:

To view the many benefits of our Client Membership package, includingfree Situations Vacant – please click here…

SEND TO A FRIEND:

Help each other out and let your friends and colleagues have access to our consortium of high calibre professionals selected on merit – why not forward this newsletter to them now?

SUGGESTIONS & FEEDBACK:

Let us know what you want us to put in the newsletter or your ideas on how to improve the content or layout by contacting us at:feedback @ certainshops. com

The small print

If you do not want to receive another one of our newsletters, you can unsubscribe at any time through your user preferences on the website, or by contacting CertainShops.

To FIND OUT MORE ABOUT US at www.certainshops.com and how to Register for FREE click here:http://www.certainshops.com/register.php

We help make those important choices simple leaving you secure in the knowledge that your needs are fully understood and served by our carefully selected professionals online

© CertainShops Ltd 2006 All Rights Reserved

All text is copyright © of the author and CertainShops Ltd. Logos are copyright © their respective owners.

The information and opinions in contributions to this newsletter and printed on the CertainShops web site in no way reflects the opinions of CertainShops Ltd.

CertainShops Ltd., 72 Medway Drive, Forest Row, E Sussex, RH18 5NX | 02088167281 | textphone 18001 02088167281 | www.certainshops.com | e: suzy @ certainshops. com

Registered in England & Wales | Company no. 5685386 | Registered office North Park Lodge South Street East Hoathly Lewes E Sussex BN8 6DS | VAT no. 880175810

The first UK Starting Over Show & Collaborative Communities – CertainShops News April 08 Full Version

Newsletter No Comments »

Previous customers rave about the professionals you will find on CertainShops

http://www.certainshops.com/storage/images/newsletter/0802/suzybranded.jpg

SUZY’S DIARY

How could this happen to me? My first night in my Nicaraguan ergonomic hammock had gone well – or so I had thought. I awoke with horror to find myself twisted up like a spun thread, inextricably cocooned in natural cotton hand woven bonds. Thank goodness for CertainShops – professionals online.


Stretching for my IPhone I was able to go online and, determined to make a positive out of a seemingly negative situation, I contacted an IPR lawyer to find out how to register my latest invention – a quick release cord for people trapped in unruly hammocks.
By the time I had contacted a website marketer to discuss how to promote my new invention on the internet, requested a quote for an integrated blog (there must be others who have shared this awful experience, surely?), and contacted a holistic counsellor to help me with the trauma of my entrapment, my children had discovered me and taken the opportunity to ‘borrow’ my IPhone for an hour while they cut through the hammock ropes with the speed of a gnawing hampster.

Tonight, I shall be sleeping with a sharp instrument close at hand.



PROFESSIONAL SPOTLIGHTS

Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

Jaci Godman Irvine/Estate Legacy Services

Member KCC Buy With Confidence Scheme

Asking the right questions:

Making a Will is not easy – it means facing up to one’s own mortality. However, the consequences of either no Will or the the wrong kind of Will can mean loss of the family home to pay for Long Term Care Fees, a large Inheritance Tax bill or the possibility of financial hardship for the spouse.


When a marriage or civil partnership is breaking up, updating a will is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind – but even so, there are some questions that are worth asking:


Do you know what effect a divorce or dissolution has on a previously written will?

Do you know what effect remarriage or a Civil Partnership has on a present will?

What happens if you are separated but not divorced?

What are the consequences of not having a will?

Starting over can be a time of multiple emotions. There will be frustration, excitement, despair and anticipation to name just a few and certain issues will either be ignored or procrastinated over. A will is a subject that most of us do not like to think about at the best of times, however, it is possibly one of the most important documents that you should be thinking about at a time like this.

If you would like some advice on wills, trusts and probate, contact Jaci Godman Irvine and she can advise you.

As special invitation to find out all about something very useful which I wanted to share with you….

This is a special invitation to join our QuoteWerks Webinar on Wednesday 28 May 2008 between 11.00 am and 12.00 pm BST.

Find out how QuoteWerks can benefit Certain Shops and the subscribers to this newsletter.

Just click on the link below to register

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/355610100

QuoteWerks enables companies in every industry to create detailed quotes with speed and efficiency. If you want to save time and money when quoting, selling, ordering, and purchasing products and services you need QuoteWerks

Benefits of QuoteWerks:

Accurate and consistent pricing across the business

Find existing jobs quickly

Produce accurate report

Centralise your quotes

Comprehensive links to accounting / CRM packages [especially ACT!]

Enhanced security

Efficiency and effectiveness of producing quotes

Consistent professional looking documents

Creating price quotes is the initial step towards making a sale. Yet, this necessary step can be tedious and time consuming; researching product, pricing, and details from multiple vendors. You may even need to create several different quotes for one specific client. And, after all the time used to create the perfect quote, the customer may decide not to place an order. Since the creation of price quotes requires an investment of time, and since not all quotes are converted into orders, it quickly becomes important for users to streamline the quoting process in order to realize a tremendous time saving.

Feel free to register via the link above for the webinar or talk directly with Jan Brown to find out more….

http://www.certainshops.com/storage/images/newsletter/0802/suzymiller.jpg

THE CERTAIN WAY OF LIVING LIFE

“What’s the latest news?”

CertainShops – professionals online in association with

Sparkle & Wow Planning and Event Design Ltd presents:

The Starting Over Show – Brighton 2008

The first event of its kind in the UK

Saturday 11 October 2008 at Brighton Race Course

The Vision….

Dramatic events turn lives around – and with the right support and advice new beginnings blossom for those contemplating divorce, civil partnership break ups, or any major life crisis.

Access to legal and financial advice, backed up by physical and emotional support, requires choosing trusted professionals at a susceptible time.

The Brighton Starting Over Show will be a haven to anyone seeking solicitors, financial advice, or well-being professionals who can help make the transition from an old life ending, to a brand new one just beginning.

What do we live for; if it is not to

make life less difficult for each other?

George Eliot (1819-1880)

My boys Joe and Henry at their Dad’s wedding Brighton 2007 – me (Suzy) in the background – still starting over……

Exhibitor Information Pack

T: 02088167281

M: 07825222404

E: suzy@startingovershow.co.uk


“How is People Power transforming the web?”

We all know that ‘top down’ doesn’t work, but we all complain that trying to create change from the bottom up can often feel futile. Which is probably why revolutions so often resort to using violence.


Thanks to a tweet from @Damiano this morning, I found myself reading the Guardian article: People power transforms the web in next online revolution which is based on Charles Leadbeater’s book “We Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production”. An acclaimed thinker on technology, Leadbeater explains how net users are, by banding together, changing every aspect of our lives.

And those ‘net users’ are us. So the way I see it is, we have not just the opportunity, but the responsibility to bring about change in our society and the way we run our businesses and the way our children are educated, from the bottom up, but with one BIG difference.


What the net allows, and encourages, is collaboration. A few disgruntled cititzens are going to have trouble changing government policy, but Political ‘flash mobs’ have already swung elections in Spain, the Philippines twice and South Korea, by collaborating on mass via the Internet.


The US is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a war to bring democracy to Iraq. Yet only 4 per cent of people in the Arab world have broadband access. The most potent way to promote democracy in the Middle East would be to get that figure above 50 per cent.


If ingenious games designers can inspire thousands of people to collaborate to solve a puzzle, could we do something similar to tackle global warming, keep communities safe, provide support for the elderly, help disaster victims, lend and borrow money, conduct political and policy debates, teach and learn, design and make physical products?


My laptop only runs Ubuntu (Windows Professional XP died and I’ve not yet bothered to get it fixed). Ubuntu is a free open source operating system from Linux, with no need for virus protection because it’s so well built and constantly updated for free.

The Linux community is the most impressive example of sustained ‘We Think’. A version of Linux released in June 2005 had 229 million lines in its source code that would have taken 60,000 man-years to develop at a cost of perhaps $8bn. Every day most people who use the web rely on open source: Google’s servers run on Linux; most websites rely on servers running the open-source Apache program. Open source could in time provide a model for other areas of life, for example turning We Think into We Make.


The part of the article that most caught my attention was this: “If we could persuade 1 per cent of Britain’s pupils to be player-developers for education, that would be 70,000 new sources of learning. But that would require us to see learning as something more like a computer game, something that is done peer-to-peer, without a traditional teacher.”Having home schooled in the past, I know that learning is a collaborative process, if any real learning is to take place. I remember a staunch resistance from my daughter Cydney at my ‘lesson plan’ – so we chucked that idea and I asked her what SHE wanted to learn about. She wanted to make cakes. She did a lot of cooking, and learnt to read (cookery books), maths (measuring), science and nutrition – even geography and history can be drawn in around the kinds of foods you are creating (she was keen on making different breads too).


Apart from already cooking whole meals aged 11 while mummy is ‘too busy’ on the computer, Cyd is like most children – naturally keen to learn and share. Somehow many of us lose that natural urge as we grow older, and people new to the idea of open source software look aghast and confused at why anyone would create something for no direct payment and then give it away. In the same way many business people are still scared of the ‘danger’ of online social networking, sharing personal stuff, being helpful to other professionals without a contra-deal in place.


And yet big corporations understand that communication and collaboration are key to creativity and growth, which is one of the reasons why companies like Deloitte encourage employees to use Facebook groups.


How about this for a rebel action….. hang around outside schools giving out wifi enabled internet mobile phones and encourage the kids to create their own curriculum via a wiki? Maybe some have already started?


I am currently researching a sustainability policy for CertainShops by collaborating with others, like Sam Wilson of EcoEvents and Lorraine Bell of Simply CSR. It has been suggested by a commenter on one of my blogs to put out the draft as a wiki so others can collaborate and we can share the results, encouraging many small businesses to create their own policies.


Watch this space…..

@suzymiller

Why journalists are using Twitter

Businessballs is a free ethical learning and development resource for people and organizations, run by Alan Chapman, in Leicester, England.

Charities using social network sites

For more general articles on business related topics check out Suzy Says

READER OFFERS

10% Discount for CertainShops readers for a wonderful holiday in Spain in a former Buddhist retreat in a natural park in the hills above Granada.

La Pena is a beautiful building in a natural park in the mountains of southern Granada. It comes with 22 acres of land with olive and almond trees and offers amazing views over the mountains with distant views of the sea. It offers the perfect tranquil getaway and antedote to city dwelling. La Pena is also a 40 minute drive from the coast and about a 45 minute drive from Granada city. Granada and Malaga airports are also quite close by.

In addition to the Certain Shops offer we are also offering ten percent off for anyone who books before the end of Febuary 2007, a further eco offer for anyone taking the train to get there and if that wasn’t enough ten percent for each person you recommend that results in a confirmed booking. If you get enough that means your stay is free!

Please see www.lapena.co.uk for information on this very special place.

In the Frame

For any CertainShops newsletter readers who commission me to take their photos, be it corporate or domestic, I can offer them a FREE large size, panoramic canvas print of one of the photographs of their choice.

Contact me, Scott Collier, at: http://www.certainshops.com/service-provider.php?sp=125.

Special offers from our Client Members

FREE LAPTOP with ‘s best value Broadband Service from the Utility Warehouse
This amazing package offers all the benefits of BroadCall, and a free high-spec Fujitsu Siemens laptop. It is available to all existing and new customers who have at least one energy service with us. The laptop even comes with a free lifetime extended warranty (for as long as you remain connected to BroadCall Laptop tariff).
Contact Client Member Cath Godsen, via http://www.paperpig.co.uk

Free Coaching with NLP Session!

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a proven and highly effective method
of enabling people to achieve what they really want in their work and
private lives. Combined with coaching, the results can be astonishing.

Heather Barrie (a client) said, “Thanks for yesterday’s session – am feeling
more focussed than I’ve been in years – feels gooood!!” The first 30 people
to respond will receive a free taster session worth £75.
Be quick! Offers
like this don’t come along often.

For further details, please contact Simon Donnelly on 01403 738967 or at
simon@life-celebration-coaching.co.uk


Business Moneyfacts is offering our registered users a special discounted rate for subscribing to their highly respected publication.

BMF Advert

SERVICE PROFESSIONALS:

If you have a strong professional track record and would like to join our waiting list to be part of our consortium of high calibre professionals selected on merit contact us: join-us @ certainshops. com

We will promote you through:

Pay per click, Link Campaign and SEO

Press releases and Radio interviews

Paid magazine and newspaper advertisements

The monthly Site Newsletter free to all Registered Users and Service Providers

Business networking events and trade shows

Corporate Packages

Apply online here…..

CLIENT MEMBERSHIP:

To view the many benefits of our Client Membership package, includingfree Situations Vacant – please click here…

SEND TO A FRIEND:

Help each other out and let your friends and colleagues have access to our consortium of high calibre professionals selected on merit – why not forward this newsletter to them now?

SUGGESTIONS & FEEDBACK:

Let us know what you want us to put in the newsletter or your ideas on how to improve the content or layout by contacting us at:feedback @ certainshops. com

The small print

If you do not want to receive another one of our newsletters, you can unsubscribe at any time through your user preferences on the website, or by contacting CertainShops.

To FIND OUT MORE ABOUT US at www.certainshops.com and how to Register for FREE click here:http://www.certainshops.com/register.php

We help make those important choices simple leaving you secure in the knowledge that your needs are fully understood and served by our carefully selected professionals online

© CertainShops Ltd 2006 All Rights Reserved

All text is copyright © of the author and CertainShops Ltd. Logos are copyright © their respective owners.

The information and opinions in contributions to this newsletter and printed on the CertainShops web site in no way reflects the opinions of CertainShops Ltd.

CertainShops Ltd., 72 Medway Drive, Forest Row, E Sussex, RH18 5NX | 02088167281 | textphone 18001 02088167281 | www.certainshops.com | e: suzy @ certainshops. com

Registered in England & Wales | Company no. 5685386 | Registered office North Park Lodge South Street East Hoathly Lewes E Sussex BN8 6DS | VAT no. 880175810

Crossing the street alive

SuzySays No Comments »

I just cannot work out why I love Paris. It smells horrible, is dirty, noisy, and expensive. And when the light is green to cross the road, that DOES NOT MEAN that no-one is going to drive over you. And these are not crazy drivers – it’s just the way it is here.

You may see a green man on the sign, but that means that the main section of traffic is not going to run you over. It does NOT mean that the traffic coming round the corner or turning across the main junction cannot have (according to them) clear passage over the black and white lines that you, innocently and potentially fatally, believe to be safe to walk across.

The differences between our cultures are, in the mere act of crossing a road, irrevocably at a variance. But I would rather spend four nights on my own in Paris than in London any time.

Sitting in a little bistro recommended by some nice French chaps in the street, exhausted from two and a half days of a business seminar that makes you cry – (anyone who has done Anthony Robbins type seminars will know what I mean) – well who wouldn’t be physically and emotionally spent? So when some tall Frenchman of Algerian extraction sauntered across for the usual chat up lines, he got a fairly amicable resistance due to my totally positive state of being, and we ended up chatting about, well…. business.

It seemed ironic to me that after immersing myself in learning some of the real life lessons of the vastly experienced Keith Cunningham (how many lessons get taught and advice given by people like him who have `eaten their own cooking’?) and coming up with some fantastic ideas on how to progress my own business, to then find myself hearing the age old story of dishonest business partnerships, having to sell the extra homes and a commitment not to venture into the business world again, from an entrepreneur who had his fingers badly burnt.

“I am too old – 40 years old” my new friend Fafa explained. I countered that I was over forty before I ever began my business and that failure – for whatever reason – is an inevitable part of any learning curve. My new friend Fafa promised to show me – and my boyfriend who I insisted would be coming with me next time I visited– the sites of Montmartre. His parents own a restaurant so I didn’t take much persuading – and we swopped emails and Facebook addresses.

I returned to my garret of a hotel which has cigarette smoke ingrained into the very fabric of the carpet and upholstery. Clearly the laundry lady is an inveterate smoker as even the fresh linen reeked of stale tobacco. But everyone I have encountered outside of the usual tourist zones is so friendly and kind that I can do nothing more than fall in love with this worn out city – the same way I did more than 10 years before.

I cannot know what will happen with my own business ventures over the next few years, but one thing – no, two things I am sure of. One, is that the culture of those businesses need to be as open and honest and welcoming as the people I have encountered in Paris over the last few days. The second thing, is that whatever Angel protects me as I scoot across the wide main roads even when the pedestrian light is green, better be the same one guarding over me wherever else I may venture.

Creative Commons License

This work is licenced under a
Creative Commons Licence.

 

 

 

Mass innovation, not mass production

SuzySays No Comments »

http://www.certainshops.com/storage/images/newsletter/0802/suzymiller.jpg

We all know that ‘top down’ doesn’t work, but we all complain that trying to create change from the bottom up can often feel futile. Which is probably why revolutions so often resort to using violence.

Thanks to a tweet from @Damiano this morning, I found myself reading the Guardian article: People power transforms the web in next online revolution which is based on Charles Leadbeater’s book “We Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production”. An acclaimed thinker on technology, Leadbeater explains how net users are, by banding together, changing every aspect of our lives.

And those ‘net users’ are us. So the way I see it is, we have not just the opportunity, but the responsibility to bring about change in our society and the way we run our businesses and the way our children are educated, from the bottom up, but with one BIG difference.

What the net allows, and encourages, is collaboration. A few disgruntled cititzens are going to have trouble changing government policy, but Political ‘flash mobs’ have already swung elections in Spain, the Philippines twice and South Korea, by collaborating on mass via the Internet.

The US is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a war to bring democracy to Iraq. Yet only 4 per cent of people in the Arab world have broadband access. The most potent way to promote democracy in the Middle East would be to get that figure above 50 per cent.

If ingenious games designers can inspire thousands of people to collaborate to solve a puzzle, could we do something similar to tackle global warming, keep communities safe, provide support for the elderly, help disaster victims, lend and borrow money, conduct political and policy debates, teach and learn, design and make physical products?

My laptop only runs Ubuntu (Windows Professional XP died and I’ve not yet bothered to get it fixed). Ubuntu is a free open source operating system from Linux, with no need for virus protection because it’s so well built and constantly updated for free.

The Linux community is the most impressive example of sustained ‘We Think’. A version of Linux released in June 2005 had 229 million lines in its source code that would have taken 60,000 man-years to develop at a cost of perhaps $8bn. Every day most people who use the web rely on open source: Google’s servers run on Linux; most websites rely on servers running the open-source Apache program. Open source could in time provide a model for other areas of life, for example turning We Think into We Make.

The part of the article that most caught my attention was this: “If we could persuade 1 per cent of Britain’s pupils to be player-developers for education, that would be 70,000 new sources of learning. But that would require us to see learning as something more like a computer game, something that is done peer-to-peer, without a traditional teacher.”

Having home schooled in the past, I know that learning is a collaborative process, if any real learning is to take place. I remember a staunch resistance from my daughter Cydney at my ‘lesson plan’ – so we chucked that idea and I asked her what SHE wanted to learn about. She wanted to make cakes. She did a lot of cooking, and learnt to read (cookery books), maths (measuring), science and nutrition – even geography and history can be drawn in around the kinds of foods you are creating (she was keen on making different breads too).

Apart from already cooking whole meals aged 11 while mummy is ‘too busy’ on the computer, Cyd is like most children – naturally keen to learn and share. Somehow many of us lose that natural urge as we grow older, and people new to the idea of open source software look aghast and confused at why anyone would create something for no direct payment and then give it away. In the same way many business people are still scared of the ‘danger’ of online social networking, sharing personal stuff, being helpful to other professionals without a contra-deal in place.

And yet big corporations understand that communication and collaboration are key to creativity and growth, which is one of the reasons why companies like Deloitte encourage employees to use Facebook groups.

How about this for a rebel action….. hang around outside schools giving out wifi enabled internet mobile phones and encourage the kids to create their own curriculum via a wiki? Maybe some have already started?

I am currently researching a sustainability policy for CertainShops by collaborating with others, like Sam Wilson of EcoEvents and Lorraine Bell of Simply CSR. It has been suggested by a commenter on one of my blogs to put out the draft as a wiki so others can collaborate and we can share the results, encouraging many small businesses to create their own policies.

Watch this space…..

Creative Commons License

This work is licenced under a
Creative Commons Licence.

 

 

 

Free P R workshop and Treasure Hunt Winner!

Newsletter No Comments »

Free P R Workshop in Brighton

Treasure Hunt winner!

In case you missed seeing this offer in the newsletter, I just wanted to let you know that Ethical PR company Blue Rocket have kindly offered to provide a free PR workshop to their fellow CertainShops service providers and also to our newsletter readers.

They will give us a good insight into how to manage our PR with plenty of inside knowledge and helpful advice.
The proposed dates are: 24th or 25th of April – 3 hours morning or afternoon. Places are limited so please get back to me quickly at suzy@certainshops.com with your prefered date and whether you want morning or afternoon.

Their offices are at 115 Church Road. Hove. BN3 2AF (near Hove station, or a short taxi ride from Brighton station).

Why are Blue Rocket doing this for free?

Well, they are an ethical PR company and like to ‘give something back’. So make the most of it and let me know if you can join us.

The Winner of our Treasure Hunt is……. CertainShops registered user: Flora!

We used a sophisticated method to ascertain the winner – pulled number 3 out of a hat which corresponded to the 3rd entrant to send in the correct answers. Thank you to daughter Cydney and youngest son Henry for their assistance, and the loan of Henry’s blue woolly hat.

The two prizes remaining will be available to win in the next Easy Peasy Treasure Hunt. We are now waiting for Flora to decide which of the following prizes she wants. Will it be……

A sexy pair of gorgeous lady’s shoes from The Shoe Queen

A cleansing sphere, or more accurately a Tachyon Crystal Sphere Magnasite which will dispel the negative effects of computers and mobile phones

Or, a portrait photography session with Scott Collier

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The answers to the questions….?

Treasure Hunt clue number 1:
Decide which professional in the Legal Services Area would be able to help you buy your house?
(click on Legal Services Area to go through to the right place to find the answer)

The answer was: Elaine McGloin

Treasure Hunt clue number 2:
Choose the answer to the following question, a/, b/ or c/: “What should I do if I am buried in loads of debt”?

Answer: a/ Get into even more debt
Answer: b/ Hide under the bedclothes till it all goes away
Answer: c/ Have a free consultation with Fiona Monson

The answer was, of course, Fiona Monson

Well done to the winner, and you will all get another go at playing the game soon.

In the meantime, let me know if you want to join us at the free PR workshop in April…..

If you only want to pay professionals who other people rave about, then you’re in the right place.

 

 

Are you fed up with being poorly served and over charged by lawyers, accountants and other professionals?

Me too, so I founded

Certain Shops.com

 

Well, everyone likes to do something useful, don’t they?”

 

CertainShops is an exclusive group of trusted & personally recommended professionals.

 

I talk to their previous clients & ask for your feedback.

 

Only then are the applauded professionals given a

CertainShops seal of approval & allowed on.

 

www.certainshops.com

Register at no charge

All text is copyright © of the author and Certain Shops Ltd. Logos are copyright © their respective owners.

 

The information and opinions in contributions to this newsletter and printed on the Certain Shops web site in no way reflects the opinions of Certain Shops Ltd.

Certain Shops Ltd. Tel: 0208 8167281 textphone 18001 0208 8167281 www.certainshops.com e:join-us@certainshops.com

Registered in England & Wales Company no. 5685386 VAT no. 880175810 Registered office North Park Lodge South St East Hoathly Lewes E Sussex BN8 6DS

A Day in Venice

SuzySays, travel No Comments »

A Day in Venice: not sinking but wearing away and being bought up by tourists so the Venetian population is falling fast. These could be the last precious years where it retains some of its authentic charm. Joe and I visited the last squero where the gondolas are made by hand, saw the very final gondola being made in the traditional method, and visited an ancient fort on a deserted island in the lagoon.

www.friendsofveniceclub.com has links to the great B&B we stayed in (Ca’della Corte), run by Annarosa who knows all the out of the way treats of Venice, and to Christina who took us out on her converted Venetian sailing boat (brogosso), along with a horse whisperer and an HR wizard.

My son Joseph and I can’t wait to go back again – even if he did get a nose bleed from all the excitement!

A quick quiz (answers at the bottom of the posting)

1: What is the name of the Venetian boat that is famous for its romantic tour along the canals?

2:What vehicles are not to be seen in Venice?

3: Name a Famous venetian painter who worked exclusively in Venice.

4: Name the Venetian composer who wrote the Four Seasons.

5: What shape is the areal view of the city?

6: What was the ruler of Venice called?

7: What region of Italy is Venice in?

8: What is the region’s largest agricultural product?

9: What would be the benefit of a trip to Venice for someone who is attending the Starting Over Show Brighton October 11th 2008?

Answer 1: Gondola

Answer 2: Cars

Answer 3: Tintoretto

Answer 4: Vivaldi

Answer 5 : the shape of a fish!

Answer 6: Doge

Answer 7: Veneto

Answer 8: Wine

Answer 9: Break to enjoy doing something new and getting a new perspective…. (learning how to cook, how to do Venetian rowing, have a divorce party!)