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Author: Patrick Oak


I'm an internet consultant. Over the past 10 years, I have built my own online businesses and helped companies build theirs. From strategy to development to marketing I am a jack of all trades and love sharing my experiences and advice.

HM Revenue & Customs implements changes to help businesses

In British finance minister Alistair Darling's pre-budget report to parliament last month, a plan was laid out to help businesses in the UK.

Here are some of the changes that are being implemented that may impact you.


An awesome WordPress 2.7 is released

Automattic, the maker of the popular WordPress open-source blogging software, made a big announcement last week - the release of WordPress 2.7.

As a WordPress user myself, this was exciting news because WordPress 2.7 is a major update.


Experimenting with social media

There's a lot of talk these days about using social media to engage with your customers (and prospective customers). A huge amount of debate has taken place between those who argue that social media is crucially important to businesses today and those who say the emperor has no clothes.


Would you buy fashion from Microsoft?

In its effort to make itself cool again, Microsoft and ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky have launched a Microsoft clothing line called 'Softwear by Microsoft.'


Crowdsourcing with Amazon Mechanical Turk

There are some tasks that computers and software programs just can't perform. Sometimes, these tasks are tedious or the 'resources' required to complete them require more man-power than you have.


Endemic advertisers versus demographic advertisers

At a time when the act of direct advertising sales (both online and offline) is getting tougher due to economic conditions, I thought it'd be worthwhile to discuss the oft-unrecognized distinction between selling ads to endemic advertisers and selling ads to advertisers looking to reach a specific demographic.

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Is 2009 the year of the mobile internet?

It seems that for the past decade, we've all been told that the mobile internet is going to be "big" and will eventually eclipse the "desktop-oriented" internet that most of us are still most familiar with.


8 SMS gateways/aggregators

Last week in my SMS primer, I discussed the role of the SMS gateways that provide connectivity to the mobile infrastructure that makes SMS messaging possible. If you've developed a mobile application and need connectivity to the carriers, you'll need an SMS gateway.


Tips for a tough job market

It's hard to escape the dour economic news that seems to be getting worse with each passing day. Even though the job market in certain areas of the technology industry seems to be holding up far better than in other industries, many are still concerned about the possibility that they could find themselves out of work in the coming year.


How much are your users worth?

As anyone who runs a website knows, your userbase constitutes one of your most important assets.

Putting a "value" on "users" and keeping track of this value makes a lot of sense, even if you're not looking to sell your website. Yet putting a value on users can often be difficult.


10 VoIP applications for your mobile phone

Making calls on your mobile phone can get quite expensive, especially when calling internationally.

Fortunately, there are now a number of great mobile VoIP services that make international calling from mobile phones dirt cheap.


An SMS primer

With the mobile internet attracting more and more attention and use, it's getting very difficult for online businesses to ignore the world of mobile.

SMS (Short Message Service) is the technology behind text messaging and even though it's far from being the most cutting-edge mobile technology, it's often the first one companies will experiment with because it's the most widely-used. Over 200 billion SMS messages were sent in 2007.

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