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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A date for your diary. January 1st, 2013.

According to The Oxford Dictionary of Local and Family History ...

The keeping of diaries as a record of personal experience and development began in the 17th century and in most cases was inspired by piety. In the 19th and 20th centuries working-class people began to keep diaries and to record their memories in the form of an autobiography.

I know what my most popular posts have been, but what would you like to read about here.  Products? Services? Other stuff?

Hunter and bear's 2012 birthday party

Lateral thinking viral video

The original interactive genius!

Woah!!  You are popping right out of the screen! How is that possible?

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Ask Irongate.. "When was the Pritt Stick invented?"

Did you know that Henkel invented the very first Glue Stick in 1969? The funny thing is, the idea came by studying a tube of lipstick! This type of applicator has proven to be an easy and convenient way to glue.  You see ... good ideas can come from anywhere!

Pritt sticks are available in 3 sizes ...

Is well-suited for children and for gluing smaller areas, edges, & corners. 

Is the all rounder for creative and smart paperwork in office, school and at

Is especially well-suited for frequent users and to glue large areas.

Henkel operates worldwide with leading brands and technologies in three business areas: Laundry & Home Care, Cosmetics/Toiletries and Adhesive Technologies. 
Henkel UK & Ireland have approx. 1100 employees, 9 sites with a mix of manufacturing and office facilities and are the name behind many of the branded products that you regularly use.
Founded in 1876, Henkel holds globally leading market positions both in the consumer and industrial businesses with well-known brands such as Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite.
Headquartered in Düsseldorf / Germany, Henkel has some 47,000 employees worldwide and counts among the most internationally aligned German-based companies in the global marketplace.
Henkel UK & Ireland operates within two of Henkel’s three strategic business areas: Personal Care, and Adhesives, Sealants & Surface Treatment. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Ask Irongate ... “What is a Pouch Laminator?”

A pouch laminator uses a lamination pouch that is usually sealed on one side. The inside of the lamination pouch is coated with a heat-activated film that adheres to the product being laminated as it runs through the laminator. The substrate side of the board contains a heat-activated adhesive that bonds the print to the substrate. This can be any of a number of board products or another sheet of laminate. The pouch containing the print, laminate, and substrate is passed through a set of heated rollers under pressure, ensuring that all adhesive layers bond to one another.
Pouch laminators are designed for moderate use in the office or home. These inexpensive machines are very effective and offer protection as well as an improved appearance.  Typical applications of lamination include menus, ID badges and signs. 
Pouches can be bought with different thicknesses in micrometres (referred to as MIC). Standard home or office machines normally use 80-250 micrometre pouches, depending on the quality of the machine. The thicker the pouch, the higher the cost. Pouches area available in a range of sizes from ID badge size up to A3 and often come with the option of either a glossy or matt finish.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Ask Irongate, "What is a Whiteboard?"

A whiteboard (also known as dry-wipe) is a name for any glossy, usually white surface for non-permanent markings. Whiteboards are analogous to chalkboards, allowing rapid marking and erasing of markings on their surface. The popularity of whiteboards increased rapidly in the mid-1990s and they have become a fixture in many offices, meeting rooms, school classrooms, and other work environments.
The whiteboard was invented by Martin Heit, a photographer and Korean war veteran. The idea was originally developed for having next to a wall phone to take messages down on. During his work with film, he realized that notes could be recorded on film negatives using a marker pen and could be easily wiped off with a damp tissue. Early whiteboards were made out of film laminate, the same glossy finish found on film negatives.
Mr. Heit chose to sell the idea to Dri-Mark, who began to introduce them into the education world.
In the mid-1960s, the first whiteboards began to appear on the market. In classrooms, their widespread adoption did not occur until the early 1990s when concern over allergies and other potential health risks posed by chalk dust prompted the replacement of many blackboards with whiteboards.
The first whiteboards were very expensive and were made of melamine. It was the "perfect" solution to the chalkboard, except that it "ghosted" (retained residue of erased markings) in a short time and was difficult to keep clean.
Glue-backed whiteboard "flip-chart" sheets, are available, permitting any surface, even if irregularly shaped or non-level, to be turned into a whiteboard writing surface.

The whiteboard pen (also called a whiteboard marker or non-permanent marker) was invented by Jerry Woolf from Techform Laboratories and later patented by Pilot Pens in the early 1960s. It's a non-permanent marker and uses an erasable ink—an ink that adheres to the writing surface without binding or being absorbed by it—for temporary writing with overhead projectors, whiteboards, and the like. They may also be used by children when adults want to be able to clean up after them. 

A typical dry wipe board starter kit

Saturday, 7 July 2012

What are the 10 Secret Benefits of Blogging?

Another superb piece from Jeff Bullas

Just about everyone is a blogger these days whether they realize it or not.

If you write something on Facebook and receive comments and feedback then you are a blogger.
Tweet a short sentence of 140 characters on Twitter and you are a micro blogger.
Upload a video to YouTube where you can obtain subscribers and elicit comments, then you are a video blogger.
Arianna Huffington said that “self expression has become the  new entertainment” and people are increasingly likely to participate online than just vegetate in front of the television.
It is creating an explosion of creativity and  expression that is opening up digital doors for invisible experts worldwide.
Formal qualifications such as a degree or a diploma are still vital in a knowledge economy and display good educational discipline. The fact though is that no longer do you have to wait 20 years to be declared a visible formal expert by an institution or mass media outlet who has picked or anointed you. Pick yourself and publish.
The democratization of publishing and marketing through self publishing (blogging) and self marketing (social media) are breaking down barriers to display invisible experts who previously would have been hidden from view.

Professional Blogging Platform
If you want to take a serious stake online to display your passion and knowledge then a self hosted blog with your own domain name is the clever way  to proceed. This is a professional blogging platform. If you want to play then Tumblr or a Facebook “page” can provide a simple home base for amateurs.
If you have an inkling or even a tiny thought that your online brand may become your day job and profession, or you may want to change your lifestyle in the future then building a good foundation with a WordPress blog is essential.
Any good home requires a solid base to build on that “you” own.

The 10 Benefits of Blogging
I have discovered that blogging has many side benefits that are not apparent from an outsider looking in. This is what I have found to be the bonus benefits to blogging that you may find empowering and maybe enlightening.

#1. You will  become a better writer
Just the discipline of sitting down and writing will improve your writing skills. Thinking and planning doesn’t  cut it…action and doing does!

#2. Your video skills will improve
If you spend some time interviewing people with videos or even  recording yourself to provide online education and “how to”‘ tips via video, then your video skills will improve whether that is the lighting, the structure of the set or even the sound quality.

#3. You will learn
To write you have to read. There is a very distinct direct bonus from this activity. You will learn …a lot!
Stephen King the novelist summed it up well ”If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

#4. Visibility – People will hear about you
People discover information online today, so if you want to be a discovered and become a visible expert then blogging and social media will provide you with the visibility. Conducting a Google search is how we find people and information today not the library or the town square unless you are a stalker.
Geoffrey Rush the Oscar winning actor said “In my career two things have been vital.. Credibility and Visibility”

#5. Expert status
Perceived or real, the art of publishing online via blogging will transform you from an amateur to a  professional. Keep doing this with enough passion, purpose and focus and you will become “that” expert on your chosen topic if you persist.

#6. Become a champion researcher
You will also find the best ways to obtain information as you hunt down information and resources for your blog. You will identify global bloggers, resources and experts that will provide the insights and information you need to provide ongoing value to your readers.

#7. Power networker
As you start to become noticed people will want to connect with you and catch up for a coffee or invite you to their events and gigs. What a great way to meet your tribe who love your topic as much as you do.

#8. Your memory will improve
Exercising the brain through writing and learning will provide much needed exercise for the neurons. Keeping the body fit requires physical exercise. The mind needs stimulation and activity as well to be mind fit. You will be amazed by what you will remember from participating in mental gymnastics provided by blogging activities.
This will also have a the side benefit of looking more intelligent at cocktail parties and that has to be a good thing!

#9. Your creativity will increase
Nothing like a focused passion to improve your creativity.You will find that your brain will think more creatively as you move from conscious skills to unconscious and automatic activity, that frees up the thinking for out of the box thinking.

#10. Synergizes and Synthesizes Focus
The act of writing and expressing yourself online will provide you with internal and external feedback that sharpens the intuition and focuses your mind. The benefits of a social interactive web is that it taps into the global mind that will provide you with the feedback loop that will sharpen and amplify your purpose and passion if you are willing to listen.

 Blogging as Self Fulfillment
Blogging for me has been a path to not only to self expression but self fulfillment that has become a journey of self discovery. I have found what works for me and what doesn’t. I write about topics that resonate with my soul and purpose while keeping focused and relevant.
These elements combined have provided an experience that has both changed me and others around me, both in the physical and cyber world. It is an exciting time to live where you can connect to your global tribe with rich multimedia that transcends time and place.
We all now have the power in our hands to make a difference and maybe leave a legacy. If you embrace this global and interactive social mind by participating actively you will be surprised and amazed as to where it will take you.

More Reading
·         50 Ways To Optimize Your Blog

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Introducing - Bisley

Bisley is one of the UK's most well-known office furniture brands, but did you know that the company started life as a car body repair workshop over 80 years ago? 

Sheet metal worker Freddy Brown set up his panel beating workshop in a garage in Woking in 1931. By 1941 the business had moved to a purpose-built site in Bisley and began to take on wartime defence contracts. Did you know that Bisley made the first containers to be dropped by airborne British forces during the Second World War?

When the war ended so did the defence business.  In 1946, an office supplies company placed an order for 24 steel waste paper bins and the rest is history. Bisley is now the biggest manufacturer of office furniture in the UK and one of the largest in the European Union.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Cold Calling. It's a Numbers Game. Says Allan P.

I recall attending a very inspiring sales conference at which Allan Pease lectured on body language and selling.  His lecture - like his books -  was sheer brilliance, delivered with charisma, insight and humour.

Cold calling is a "numbers game" and to quote another Allan P, this time Allan Partridge,

"If you run into a chicken shed with a truncheon and a bin bag you can't expect to get them all."

Listen, Laugh, Learn

Social Proof Matters

10 Types of Social Proof to Turbo Charge Your Blog, Business and Brand
Written by Jeff Bullas 

So you are in a new city, town or village and you are looking for somewhere to eat. You have walked past empty cafes and others that are busy and almost bursting at the seams with noisy diners.

Which one do you eat at?
You are browsing at a book store and you pick up a book with a catchy title and you check the flyer and you see the words “best seller” and more than 1 million copies sold! You also notice that it has been endorsed by other well known authors or celebrities.
Are you now more temped to buy it?
As you browse and search the web you find some blogs on the topic area of choice, one has no evidence of  how many readers subscribe or share but the other has retweet buttons with hundreds of tweets and dozens of Facebook shares.
Which blog is bookmarked first?

Why Social Proof  Matters
The reality is that most people are followers and providing social proof of popularity as provided by others can make people stop, engage and buy.
Social proof can make people comment on or “Like” your Facebook page. This again adds more social proof and encourages others to become engaged.
Newspapers include how many of its papers are read every day. Magazines list their subscriber count.
Why do they do that? …because it provides social proof and it draws in more readers and it sells more newspapers and magazines.
Movies that have won Oscars shout it out in their advertising and posters.

10 Types of Social Proof
So how do you incorporate social proof into your blog? Consider placing widgets and banners in your blog.
This includes:
1.       Facebook Shares
2.       Numbers of Blog or RSS subscribers
3.       Facebook Likes or Fans
4.       Number of ReTweets
5.       Quantity of Email Subscribers
6.       Awards or Rankings
7.       Total of LinkedIn Shares
8.       The Number of Google +1′s
9.       The Number of Page views per Month
10.   Twitter Follower Count
Remember numbers are persuasive and providing social proof and validating  your credentials publicly will help take your blog to the next level.
Has this worked for you? 

Monday, 2 July 2012

Social Media Gurus - Is This Performance Success or Failure?

A cry for engagement

This graph shows the performance of our 4 Twitter accounts over the last 16 months.  Each twitter account is for an entirely separate division within the business.  Is this performance good, bad or average?  And what measures, other than followers, should I consider?

Working flexibly and working on the go

Flexible working doesn’t just stop at the hours you work, but also covers the many locations you’ll encounter during your working week. You could be at your desk one day, then working on a train or in a hotel the day after. Ever improving technology enables us to work wherever we like, whenever we like.
Business today is all about work on the go – and work goes with us. But with these new ways of flexible working come new challenges for us to stay comfortable, be productive and keep healthy. This need has prompted Professor Ergo to introduce a special range of carefully selected ergonomic products for today’s new wave of flexible working habits.
From his brand new research the Professor has highlighted four key working environments that need his assistance:

Which do you fall under?


Your Own Personal Desk

On average, we’re spending 7 hours a day in front of a computer screen
A proven range of ergonomic products that will keep you comfortable, productive, motivated and healthy in today’s office environments.

Home Working

25% of all Europeans now work from home
Where space saving and flexibility are of the essence, these ergonomic products not only look good but perform superbly around the home and in your home office environment.

Multi-Location Working

Being on the move and working in multiple locations can be a real strain
The best ergonomic products for people on the move: lightweight, portable, easy to assemble and convenient to use in a wide range of locations.
Keep these essential products with you - wherever you go!

Hot Desk / Shared Desk Working

Not having a fixed desk or having to share doesn’t mean you should neglect your health or hinder your productivity.
These innovative products are functional, sturdy, adaptable and easy to maintain for multiple users in a professional environment.
Make sure your company is meeting your needs with the following essentials:
·         Health V Crystal keyboard and wrist supports (9373003)
·         Pro Mesh Support (8029901)
·         Microban Foot Support (8035001)
·         Professional Series Laptop Workstation (8024602)
·         Compact TFT/LCD Monitor Riser (91450)

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