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Using QR Codes

Like most people I have started to see a large number of QR codes appearing in printed adverts and sometimes appearing on advertising hoardings and posters. Noting that these marketing materials cost money and that businesses do not spend money likely these days I had a look into what were the benefits of using QR codes and why would you issue a leaflet or poster that had been QR coded.

My background is in online advertising where I am used to tracking every action on behalf of visitors to my sites and identifying, down to the last decimal place, the return on advertising. This gives me the advantage of being able to refine advertising messages and/or creative rapidly and to maximise the return from my marketing expenditure. Whilst QR codes work created, in Japan, to help the tracking of car parts they are ideal to bring this interactive tracking to printed advertising materials.

If you are used to using traditional printed advertising and still do so you will be aware that there is a great gap in your understanding of which different advertising creatives are attracting the most attention. Yes we do put “please quote ABC 123″ on the bottom of leaflets but let’s be honest, how many potential customers actually quote these numbers when they telephone our call center or submit a coupon. With a QR code our online systems contract which codes were scanned and, even more valuable, track which one is subsequently led to a profitable action such as the customer signing up for some additional information or purchasing a product online.

Why am I mentioning them now? Well, there are millions of potential customers who are now walking around the streets with a hardware device in their hand which can be used to scan QR codes. I am talking about the new generations of smart phones, powerful hand held computers incorporating a camera and the ability to download a scanning application.

In these hard economic times every pound of advertising and marketing spend most be used to the benefit of your business. If you run a business and do any form of advertising you must consider integrating QR codes into your printed materials. The incremental cost is minor, there are free QR code generators on the Internet and hosted QR code tracking applications can be employed for a low monthly subscription cost would offer the opportunity to make significant gains in the effectiveness of your marketing materials.

PS these codes no longer need to be the standard black and white variety. It is very easy to colour these to ensure that they match your business branding and complement any marketing materials you publish.

 

Another factor to consider online these days is the significant increase in the use of mobile phones and tablets to access the internet. If you have a wordpress website you need to select from these mobile templates to ensure that you can serve all customers with your existing website template.  This will switch to the mobile friendly template when a mobile phone visitor arrives.

 

Alternatively you can use this as a moment to completely change your wordpress template and get one of these responsive templates. Select one of these professional wordpress templates and get a template which naturally responds to the deceive that the visitor is using and reflows the web page content to fit the screen whatever the size.

Blogging about my Drains Problems

This has happened to all of us and it happened to me so this is my blog of the day. The water fast submerging our toes while are taking a shower and it will not soakaway. It’s definitely not a very good feeling! A obstructed drain sounds horrible to begin with. Or you’re in front of the toilet sink, brushing your teeth and before you know it – the sink is halfway full. Dealing with drain clearing is all together an unpleasant experience because it is complicated and unsanitary. But the fact is that sooner or later, a bathroom drain pipe is going to become blocked or suffer a stoppage.

What Causes choked drains in your home?.

Drains get obstructed when dust, hair and other particles get entrapped between the pipes inside the bathroom drainpipe. The problem aggravates when bathroom products like soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, detergent, and the like begin to accumulate on the clogged mass. Eventually this will become more and more dense and this is what prevents your water running uninhibited through your drainpipe. When waste water drains very slowly or just stands stubbornly in the washbasin, you know you have a clogged up drain problem.

How do you unblock drains?.

You can do a number of things to unblock your bathtub or bathroom sink drainpipe. The first thing you will have to do is take out the stopper of the blocked sink or drain pipe. Look beneath the sink, you may have to remove a nut that secures the plug or in some cases you can just directly pull out the stopper by the u-bend. In the case of a bath, an overflow plate may have to be detached so that the entire assembly can be opened up, or there may be provision to unscrew the plug at the drain itself.

The accumulated matter clogging up your drain may be clearly visible when you have taken off the plug. Those greasy lumps of entangled hair and residue can be seen sticking to the sides and corners of the drain. Try to get hold of the mass and pull it out. You may find it difficult to get at the blockage, in which case you could use something like a wire hanger to fish the material out. Your drain pipe is likely to get unclogged if you remove the soap scum, hair and other particles from it that you can see.

However, there is a chance that you will not be able to reach the blockage with the wire so you will have to try something else. A very useful tool is a drain pipe plunger which can eradicate those blockages that are too deep to reach. In the first step, use a wet cloth to cover the overflowing drainpipe, and then use the plunger; this will make the suction stronger. Then put the plunger over the drain mouth and press it up and down repeatedly. You may find that this suction-push action of the plunger loosens the obstructed debris down the pipe and the accumulated water now drainage freely. If the plunger also fails to clean your bathroom drainpipe, then you should take the help of chemical drain cleaner. Chemicals should be applied only after all else fails because they are risky and can damage your bathroom hardware.

After taking all the steps that you can carry out yourself, if the clog still remains, it will be wise to call your neighborhood plumber or drain services company for some assistance. A professional plumber should quickly solve your problem with his special tools and equipment. It might cost you some money, but a plumber’s expertise can give quite a relief with this type of messy household problem.

Get a combi gas boiler for your heating

Oh dear, the winter has come and I need to blog about my home heating.  Has a problem recently and needed to think about a new boiler so what should I select.

If you have a space issue in your household, like I do,  you should study fitting a Combi Boiler. With just a combi gas boiler and balanced flue you really have all the components you need to set up a full gas central heating system. To complete the home heating you just need a few radiators, the required copper fittings and a quantity of copper pipes. Your first reaction maybe that we had forgotten some components. What about the central heating pump, the hot water storage cylinder and the feed and enlargement cylinder that are present in all central heating systems.

It may shock you to learn that a combi boiler does not require these pieces, great that’s less space needed!. You will have no need for a hot water storage tank, there is no call at all for for an loft based feed and expansion tank, and the other common pieces are already built into the boiler chassis. Adopting this system means you can save a significant amount of room which pleased my wife – she got her airing cupboard back.

Combination boilers have been fitted for a while and are not a new technology. They have a longer history in Europe but have now become the most common heating boiler in the United Kingdom. A quick check with conventional gas boilers reveals two major differences A fully sealed system contains the circulating hot water for the central heating. The feed and enlargement cylinder destined for the attic can now be dispensed with. The hot water storage cylinder can also be given up as the heating boiler will have its own hot water storage cylinder.

Hot water is only created as it is required, switching on a hot water tap will flag the need to the boiler. The boiler can quickly heat cold water by using an integral heat exchanger. Hot water in the central heating system is used to instantly heat the heat exchanger. In this way new mains cold water is rapidly heated before reaching the hot water tap.

The heating boiler design gives priority to producing instant hot water. As soon as the hot water tap is closed the combination heating boiler system will once more start furnishing hot water to the radiators.

This might give you food for thought and the impulse to consider a combination gas boiler as your next brand-new boiler.   It is also a condensing boiler which means that it is very efficient with up to 90% of the gas used creating heat – that is only 10% wastage and really reduces the gas bills.

Stop Press – the UK Government has now announced details of a boiler scrappage scheme.  This boiler scrappage scheme that pay people £400 to replace their old boilers with new, more energy efficient ones.  This must be worth a look and a major opportunity for homeowners to replace their old gas boilers and save money on their energy bills.

Blogging on the web

Bloggers do a great service to the web – they keep the content conveyor moving and they also blog about current affairs giving an alternative perspective on matters.  A refreshing change to the sterile outflow from the news organisations who keep repeating items on their 24 hour channels.

Bloggers also can provide valuable facts.  One site we have bumped into has become a valuable information source for contact information on British Gas, a large utility in the UK.  Apparantly information on its telephone contact numbers is hidden, or missing?, in its web site.  The answer, a web site comes to the fore.

If you are looking for a British Gas Telephone Number or some additional contact information and those less used but very valuable British Gas Phone Numbers then these pages will be valuable to you.   Whether it be a gas account, electricity account or one of their home maintenance products the number will be there and available for you to use.

Happy phoning – PS we recommend you use the British Gas Homecare web site as there is more information there and it is much easier to understand than the average telephone operator.

Searching for good information on the Internet

Sometimes you are searching the web and you then come across a great source of information.  Well that happened to me recently and I thought that I would share it with you so you could have a great information experience also.

These days the most important issue on the Internet is the rise of mobile devices and the vast number of people who are using their mobile phone to access the Internet, their e-mails and texts several times every hour. In fact many people leave their mobile device switched on 24 hours a day and hence are available for “messaging” over this period.

It is very difficult to keep up to date with developments in this area and more importantly, to keep up to date with business opportunities which can arise from the changed way in which consumers are accessing the Internet. fortunately there are some websites which specialise in this area and the increased use of mobile devices. Mobilised is one such site and it covers the use of QR codes, mobile friendly websites and SMS mobile marketing.

We mentioned QR codes in the previous paragraph. Whilst it has not been a meteoric rise there is increased use of these barcodes for easily giving access to information or website links to people using a QR code scanner on their mobile phone. Once again we have looked for specially sides addressing this area and you follow this link you will find one, called QR coded!, Which is great information on how businesses can use QR codes within their marketing materials to create great value.

I also recommend you check out the resources below.

A place which gives you a consolidated view of how to look after your home and what help you can receive.  Its an important place and you should take care of it. Have a look and you will not be disappointed.

If you are into blogging then the WordPress main site is the place to be and there are a whole set of examples of great blog discussions at the WordPress site here.  Get blogging now.

More general discussions exist on self hosted blogs. This collection of self hosted dynamic blogs gives a great idea of what is happening in the blog world right now.

A collection of self help and emergency information has been brought together on this page. It reads like a whos who for the home maintenance world – a read good resource.

Perhaps the cream of the crop is the boiler world insiders guide. I have not seen a better
reference site for the nitty gritty of keeping warm and what the online blogging community has to say about it.

Speaking of blogging and the online blogosphere there are a great number of social sites where you can read the latest vibes on this and that or other such topics. Have a read and peruse this aggregated resource also.

Squidoo is the top of the heap when it comes to self publication and getting your message published. If you do not have a Squidoo lens then you should get one today or be out in the cold.

Happy blogging – more great sites will follow.

Who started Yahoo

The history of search engines actually began with paper directories such as the Yellow Pages. Directories like Yahoo are really just online Yellow Pages. If you think about it, the only difference between Yahoo and the Yellow pages is that Yahoo is online and you press buttons, while the Yellow Pages are in a book and you flip pages to search through them. In both, you go to sections such as hockey and there are lists. The computerized search engine is just an online improvement from the paper based Yellow Pages.

The history of online search engines began in April 1994. There were two guys named David Filo and Jerry Yang. They were Ph.D. candidates in electrical engineering at Stanford University. They built the first search engine to organize their personal interests on the Internet. They found it was fun searching the Internet like that because it was so easy and they would not have to remember all of the addresses. They named their search engine Yahoo! Yahoo stands for yet another hierarchical officious oracle, which is what they considered themselves (I think they just thought it was a cool name and made up words afterwards for it).

Still in 1994 they converted Yahoo into a customized database designed to serve the needs of the thousands of users of that began to use the Internet. From those two guys Yahoo has grown to become the most popular search engine on the web. Recently, it has improved to become a “portal” to the Internet, which is a starting gate for anything you want to do on the Internet. Other companies have caught go on to this and built search engines of their own. Some of the most popular are Alta Vista, WebCrawler, Infoseek, Lycos, Excite and Hotbot.

Does Yahoo have free blogs for quilt guilds?



Our local quilt guild would like to have a web page or blog to get the word out about our quilt shows, club meetings, etc. We aren’t sure where to start. Any advice on what we should do? We are not very computer savy, but can do basic things and are willing to learn.

Bookmarking favorite sites: is there a way to make my faves available on any computer?



It’s mostly frustrating when I’m on my husband’s computer which is in our bedroom because he rebuilds it so often that I’ve given up storing anything on it permanently. All my favorite sites are bookmarked on our other computer in our office at the other end of the house. But I tend to use hubby’s comp a lot when I’m on this end of the house. How to keep my bookmarked pages handy wherever I may be?

How can I use blogging to increase traffic on my website?



I need specific instructions on how to link my blog effectively. Should my blog be based on my website, or can I add to blogs on related sites? I am pretty lost right now, I basically need a blogging tour guide for dummies

Where can I find blogging websites that deal with legal issues?



I need to find blogging websites that deal with legal issues such as contracts, wrongful death claims, fraud, etc. I don’t even know where to start looking. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.