Thinking Inside The Box: the podcast that needs your contribution

Well here it is:
More than ten years after my first podcasting experience whilst living in London, here we are back again now that podcasts are the “it” place to be. Niche audiences, mobile devices looking for on-demand audio content, podcasts are growing in popularity indeed.
A recent research into the growing phenomenon by markettiers, focused on my home market of the United Arab Emirates, and highlights several key reasons why this is where brands should be, based on a few key highlights as follows:

  • Podcast listeners spend 25% more on food and drink than non podcast listeners
  • Podcast listeners spend 25% more on entertainment and travel than non podcast listeners
  • 93% of people who listen to a podcast, finish it

That last insight is particularly relevant in this day of constantly fighting for the attention of your target audience. But what has this got to do with launching my own podcast? And, if you listen to it, you will realise that it isn’t particularly thrilling, compelling or useful. Yet.
But it will be. If just one of my lovely contacts from my global network and I find the time to drill into the creative challenges faced in the marketing communications arena. The point is, the podcast was inspired by the generally overused phrase “thinking outside the box” and how communicators define their competitive advantage or otherwise on their own terms, i.e. what does their box look like.
To date, I have hosted two colleagues in my audio space. But it more will follow, this will snowball into success, it will happen. And when it does, I sincerely hope it will prove useful to my audience. That’s where you come in. Spread the word, get in touch, come and play with the Anchor mobile app with me, it is straightforward and could be the beginning of a new career for you.
Just in case you missed the link at the top:



Ashton and Ashton LinkedIn SEO Profile Refresh Advice From Forbes

Recycling Excellent LinkedIn Advice From Forbes For Your Personal SEO

This blog post appeared on my personal LinkedIn profile just moments ago. I hope you arent reading it twice in quick succession by accident.

I am in the midst of a huge research project, attempting to compile a Best Practice list of CEO bloggers right here in the Middle East. During recent training presentation research I was inundated with international CEOs who blog, mainly from the US and Europe, but left bereft of any from the UAE or wider GCC region. Hence why I feel I need to try and fill the gap with my own findings.

During said research I was also completing a digital communications strategy for a client, and find myself recommending more activity from the whole company on LinkedIn – apparently it boosts your SEO and inbound lead hits from potential buyers, even in the slightly unglamorous realm of IIoT and smart city infrastructure. And I stumbled upon this article on Forbes: 50 Ways To Get More LinkedIn Page Followers. Which turns out to be a really useful compendium, so I thought I would share.

Thanks, Forbes, much appreciated.

In the meantime, I am cranking the gears of the Ashton and Ashton blog once more in an effort to discover and be sent links to stunning, shining examples of stellar CEO bloggers in the Middle East. Not Instagrammers, not Youtubers, but bloggers. Less fashionable in this day and age, I grant you, but infinitely more useful for positioning yourself as a thought leader in the niche of your choice. Firing out two paragraphs on sustainability in the desert is definitely more liked by Google than posting a square picture of a solar farm with a dozen hashtags.

Picture courtesy of the ever-awesome, as ever. Thank you for making my blog posts look slightly more interesting!

Where Does Your Loyalty Lie?

My house could easily be sponsored by one of two major global brands, littered as it is with a variety of black, white and space grey coloured objects named either Ektorp, Hemnes, iPhone or MacBook Pro. My wife and I are loyal to certain brands because they suit our lives, are dependable and are not unduly extreme on our budgets. But what about below the surface? Are we as brand loyal for more technical concerns, with what matters under the hood?

I’m focusing specifically on cloud storage and the associated features for this series of blog posts as am currently testing and reviewing the following services in some kind of transitional parallel:

  1. Google Drive – including Docs and Photos
  2. Dropbox
  3. Microsoft Office and OneDrive
  4. Apple’s iServices

These are in no particular order of preference but each plays or has played a significant role in my personal and professional life during the last few years.

Since buying my very first personal computer upon graduating (yes, it was a while ago, my first email address was my university matriculation number instead of an actual name), I have been an Apple Fan and seethed briefly every time I have been given a Windows machine with every subsequent career move. Only now whilst consulting do I have in my own control the power to choose OS X over whatever confusing flavour of Windows is slapped onto an inferior laptop. Even that first iBook screamed quality and stability, loaded with my entire music and photo collection onto the pre-iPod iterations of iTunes and iPhoto on my two-year sojourn in the Land of the Rising Sun.

I still recall how, in 2001, the pristine white machine had no space for a floppy drive and I had to rely on something entirely unheard of and unused at the time – a USB memory stick. This ingenious device allowed me to share files with PCs easily but wasn’t cheap; you could switch GB for GBP in those days, storage for currency, but all I remember thinking was: “This is more than 40 floppy disks!” with a big grin on my newly-graduated face. Nearly 15 years later and I am about to drill into the nitty gritty of cloud storage, where a terabyte costs “only” $10 a month or thereabouts – oh the times they have a-changed.

Next post: Google Drive

Image courtesy of Kazu End via Stocksnap