So what the hell is Pinterest?

Someone recently asked me if they should ‘do’ pinterest?

And I responded…..yes, without hesitation!

I don’t use Pinterest as much as I should.  However, I use it in a way that is similar to favouriting/bookmarking websites that grab my attention.  The benefit to doing this is I end up with a visual reminder of the website.  Unlike favouriting, where I have to remember the name of the website and where I filed it, which on most occasions, I can’t.  Then I find myself trolling through my history, which is not ideal as I can barely remember what I had for breakfast yesterday.

So what I do, is when I’m surfing the net and find something I like I just hit the Pin button in my browser.


How to add a pinterest button to chrome


Alas, I hear you shout, where is that button? I use Chrome instead of Internet Explorer for a number of reasons.  Go to the Chrome Web Store and Search Pinterest Button then scroll down to extensions.  You will see I’ve already added it but it’s the third option.

Adding Pin Button to Chrome

From this day forward you should see the curly P in your browser bar, to the right of the address,  so when you find a site you like, simply hit the Pinterest button, choose what board you’d like to add it to and voila it’s easy to find again.

As I have an unhealthy obsession with my slow cooker, I tend to Pin a lot of recipes, including my own recipes which drives a fair amount of traffic to the blog.  I find it a godsend when I’m looking for meal inspiration!  I’ve recently made this board open so other fans of slow cooking can pin as well.  Click the image below to visit the board.

Pinterest Board for Slow Cooking


As part of the #PinItForwardUK campaign, I have the pleasure of introducing Susanne Remic, AKA Ghost Writer Mummy.  She originally started blogging to cope with the traumatic birth of her son, but has now hooked up with Jenny Edspire, who recently lost her nine month old daughter to SIDS and have set up a collaborative board called Learn Through Play.

Pinterest board - all things kids

 I’m in awe of her boards and am drawn to ‘Stuff to do with Kids’ and ‘Parenting Tip’, god knows I need the help!

Happy Pinning!

Pin It Forward UK 2013

Ecademy Update

I should probably be gloating but I’m not.  In fact, the whole experience has left me with a rather sick feeling in my stomach. However, I strongly believe I did the right thing and am pleased that I followed it through to the end.

As many of you know I went on a Social Media course back in March, which was by run Ecademy and delivered by Thomas Power.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that they covered the content that they advertised.  I quietly asked for a refund on a couple of occasions but to no avail.  In the end, I blogged about it  ‘How Not to Master Social Media‘ and it received far more attention than I could’ve ever imagined.  The post went ‘mini’ viral receiving over 100 comments and was retweeted on twitter over 200 times.  At one point I was hiding under my desk.

For the most part people were incredibly supportive and I thank you for that.  I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Nikki Pilkington and Nigel Morgan, who were always at the end of the phone when I needed propping up.

In the end, it has been a very long drawn out process, so I’ll give you a condensed version.  I was encouraged to file a claim with the Advertising Standards Agency as the course did not deliver what was advertised. If you weren’t aware the ASA now also covers marketing on the web.  On the 10th of August 2011 they upheld the claim and Ecademy was told that the ad could not appear again in its current form. The full adjudication can be read here.

Following the adjudication, I waited to see if a refund would now be issued.  Sadly, it was still not forthcoming so I had no other choice but to file with Small Claims Court, which I did online via MCOL, which cost me £60.  Initially, I was only asking for a refund of the course fees.  However, when filing with small claims you’re allowed to include reasonable expenses such as lost wages, childcare, and travel.  For whatever reason, Ecademy has decided to settle before it went to court. Last week I received a check for over double what I was originally asking for.

I know I’ve learned a lot from this experience but I also hope that Ecademy has also learned a valuable lesson about social media and customer service.

How Not to Master Social Media!

As many of you know I went to a Mastering Social Media Course a few weeks ago run by @thomaspower of Ecademy.  Some of you found that very laughable, but I genuinely wanted to learn.  I hummed and hawed about attending the session, mainly due to the cost as it was £420 inclusive of vat.  However, I was assured by a colleague of his that it would be well worth the money and I hold her in high-esteem.  I received the course outline prior to the course, there were one or two things I was happy with but I was very keen to learn the rest.

Hubby and I sat down and talked about it, as I would like to go in the direction of Social Media Training, we decided that it would be a good investment.  In the end, the whole day cost me in excess of £500, which we can’t really afford, once you factored in train fare, parking, and child care and I do appreciate the latter is not their issue.

Unfortunately, I don’t feel that they covered what was advertised, which contravenes the Trading Standards Act.  Below is the course outline as advertised.  I have highlighted in red what I ‘feel’ they did not cover satisfactorily.

  • How to grow your Twitter followers we only sent one tweet and were not shown how to use the search facility to find people.
  • How to blog and grow your blog followers I was surprised that you opted to use your own subscription blogging platform and not one of the more widely used ones (wordpress, blogger or typepad)
  • How to record and upload Youtube video and grow your video followersPenny did demonstrate how to take a video using a flipcam, however most of attendees had iphones and we were not shown how to upload them to youtube.
  • How to feed Twitter and all your social networks into Friendfeed so you can watch your own news channel and filter faster – you did cover this, but found it interesting that friendfeed is no longer popular.  In fact, I embarrassed myself mentioning it on Twitter.
  • How to distribute all your content across the web using managed feeds we did sign up to Google Profiles but it really wasn’t clear how to actually use it.  I was also surprised that 3rd party clients such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck weren’t mentioned.
  • How to set up My6Sense on your iPhone or Android to notice and share the right information to attract and grow your followers – have it on my phone now but haven’t used it since.
  • How to use location services FourSquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places to grow your brand prior to the course we were asked to register with these but we did not touch any of them.
  • How to build Facebook pages to grow your brand worldwide We didn’t even look at a Facebook Fan Page.
  • How to build your Linkedin network to find more clients faster prior to the course we were asked to register with LinkIn but we didn’t touch on it on the course.
  • How to use Quora and realize why Q&A is the hit of 2011I now have the app on my phone but clueless on what to do with it.
  • How to use Gmail to radically reduce your email time – yes, this was covered but it took about 30 seconds to show us how to use the priority inbox.
  • How to identify and raise your Klout and PeerIndex online influence score – yes, I have a good klout score but what do I do with it?

I was very reluctant to complain as they were a very nice couple, good presenters, welcoming and very successful as a brand.  Nonetheless, I’ve asked for a full refund unfortunately, they have point blank refused stating that they had overwhelming positive feedback (95%) from the course.

However, I’m having troubles believing this as two people spoke to me directly after the course saying that they were unhappy and I have had four others contact me privately via Twitter saying they too didn’t feel the course met their objectives either.  Is it 95% of the 14 attendees or 95% of evaluations received as I know I didn’t fill one out as I didn’t have anything positive to say?  My maths isn’t too bad but 6 out of 14 is a lot less than 95%.  I have now also learned that one other person has also asked for their money back.

However, he did offer to give me some feedback?????  The bottom line is they didn’t cover what was advertised, as you can see above and I would like my money back.

I would appreciate any advice on how I can take this further?  I will be popping into the citizen’s advice bureau tomorrow.  I did try to deal with this quietly and with dignity but they don’t seem to be listening.  I can’t help thinking if they had any business sense they should have given me back my money and I would have gone away quietly.

In addition, if you attended the course I would appreciate your feedback whether it is positive or negative.  If you feel the course was worthwhile, then please say so and I will drop my case.

Thank you in advance,


Please note: That the views in this post are my own, but the views in the comments section are those of the individual author and whilst I believe in free speech, I take no responsibility for their opinion. I will endeavour to remove any comments which could be deemed as libellous/racist/etc.

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Fight Like A Girl!

We’ve just returned from a weekend in Wales trekking the Gower Peninsula in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.  Five of us Twitterers, who for the most part had never met, joined forces and between us we managed to raise over £1700 for the charity thanks to Social Media (Facebook and Twitter).

Breakthrough not only organises walking events but they also do White-water Rafting, Skydiving, Biking and loads more depending on how intrepid you are.  So get a group of friends together and get out there!

The walk was organised in conjunction with Walkwise an independent UK trekking company.  The guides were knowledgable, friendly and weren’t adverse to a beer after a long day trekking.  Again, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who supported us, my fellow #twitsfortits and the ladies on the walk who’ve been directly affected by Breast Cancer for allowing us to share the experience with them.

I’m normally not a Country and Western fan but chose ‘Fight Like a Girl’ by Bombshel as I thought it was fitting.

I’ll hold my head high
I’ll never let this define
The light in my eyes
Love myself, give it Hell
I’ll take on this world
If I stand and be strong
No, I’ll never give up
I will conquer with love
And I’ll fight like
Like a girl