Archive for January, 2009

Silicon Stilletto’s, Taking hold of your future and more…

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well.

This month has been hectic to say the least and has been filled with mixed emotions, with us having to go through a small redundancy process and also cut back on some of the contractors that we have had the pleasure of working with over the past few years. Despite hitting our first quarter targets and achieving our best month of ad sales ever last month, we have had to take many of the same precautions as other companies by reducing the costs within the business and focus on the core elements of the business. For those that we are having to say good bye to we would like to thank you for your hard work and dedication during the time that you have been with us! We wish you well in your next roles and hope that our paths cross again soon! For those of us that remain, we have a number of challenges in front of us, but what with our renewed focus on the site re-launch,  which is due to take place in the Spring, we remain positive and bullish about the future ahead…

Not exactly what I was wearing...

Not exactly what I was wearing...

This week, apart from the usual chimping away hard on new product development and dealing with the usual list of problems to solve, I also attended a girls networking event called Silicon stiletto’s, which is not because I like to where stilletto’s clearly, but I have to say that I was intrigued to find out if there was indeed 120 females in the internet world that were turning up. It is an event organised by Zuzanna Pasierbinska, the marketing Manager from Huddle.net, who have also run drinktank, which is a great little shindig! Silicon Stiletto’s is aimed at bringing all the girls together from the Internet world along with some token guys, like me, who have been invited to join them. It was good to meet Zuzanna finally, after hearing a lot of good things from Marta, who is our Marketing Manager. It was also good to catch up with Bindi Karia from Microsoft, who is one of our biggest partners, and find our more about some of the new initiatives (and budget) that they have access to!

One other person who is most certainly worth mentioning, that I met at the Silicon Stiletto’s event was Amanda Rose. Amanda, with a little help from her Twitter friends, and extended network, has helped launch what must be one of the fastest, if not the fastest ever social networking related event – ever! In the space of a few weeks, Twestival has managed to raise over half a million dollars for Charity Water by selling £5 tickets, for what is now going to be 120 + global events around the world. The tickets for the London event sold out within 1 hour. I am personally in awe of that achievement and it just goes to show how much of a phenomenon Twitter is becoming. Move over Facebook!

Taking hold of your future

Taking hold of your future? ;)

Last night I did a talk / interactive session for an event organised by one of my good friends Gori (Gary to me) Fashina, at my old university Brunel, in Uxbridge. The event was called “Taking hold of your future” and is one of the first in a series of events being run by the Emerging Leaders Academy – a newly formed organisation that is attracting a lot of interest and attention from people a far afield as the President of Nigeria and even Barak Obama himself! The talk I gave was designed to help thise attending to obtain the tools that can help them to harness the power from within to achieve their full unique potential. I did a similar talk in Kenya when I was invited over there to speak in front of a few hundred students and it was good to do the same here on home turf for students from my own university. Hopefully, there will be a few people that take on board the learnings that I shared and possibly even set up the next big thing!? It was nice to hear from Gori afterwards that they had received very positive feedback already and that one student felt inspired to stay at college and finish his studies and progress on to University, when he was close to dropping out!

That’s enough from me for now. I’ll be getting my head down and focusing on the big product launch that is happening in a few months… So have a great weekend and speak soon.

Pete

From London to Joburg

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Dear all,

I hope 2009 is starting well for all of you – i started mine with a Gastroanteritis – not what you want to start the month of Jan with ;) So I am now in my hotel room in Joburg in a fairly dead hotel – I think that most people are still on holiday over here and most activities start again next Monday. I did get the chance to meet with Joburg Tourism, one of our clients who we work very closely with as we were responsible for the promotion of Miss World 2008 on WAYN – a campaign which saw a massive success with nearly half a million users on WAYN visting their profile and taking up the “profile skin” for their own profile identity and nearly 4000 entries to the main competition that we ran on the site – a lucky WAYN member is about to jet off to Joburg for the Confederation Cup and we hope to announce the winner in the coming weeks – yeeee :)

Joburg is actually a very surprising city – it has a lot to offer and plenty of restaurants and bars to go out to – I was yesterday in one of my favorite restaurants called Moyo Zoolake – they have some of the most amazing steaks i have ever had – and apparently, there are many other places that are even better for that! 

 

If you ever go to Joburg, you also want to check Mandela Square  - they have a lot of bars and restaurants and plenty for shopping. It is situated in the Sandton area – the business district of Joburg – basically, most hotels are based out there.

Our conversations with Joburg will go even further now as we are set to extend our relationship in 2009 and have a lot of exciting projects coming up around major events such as the Confederation Cup, Miss World 2009 (Yes, they have won the hosting again!) as well as the World Cup in 2010! Can’t wait! :) If you actually want to check their profile on WAYN, they have a lot of useful information about Joburg and some cool videos too.  You can see their profile here

I am preparing myself to head back to the cold – the weather was awesome over here, around 30 degrees all day long – not quite the minus temperatures waiting for me in London and Paris, my next 2 destination between tomorrow and Sunday – followed by Berlin and Szczecin (Poland) – probably even colder :(

We will be spending our next week in our Polish operations to start planning some important refinements and changes on WAYN which will bring an even better user interface and improvement to the overall navigation – some changes which we have been blogging about for a little while and which we will no doubt be keeping you up to date on, nearer the time.  One thing is sure, 2009 is set to be a very interesting and challenging year for most businesses and I can only hope that the global recession will start fading away for some brighter days! Gosh its going to be tough!

Until then, Nelson and I wish you the very best for 2009 and see you soon online!
Jerome


Our very best wishes to you all

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

We will be back very shortly with many exciting new changes for 2009 which we have been working on for the last few months but before anything, Mike, Peter and I wanted, on behalf of the whole WAYN Team, wish you a very happy New Year 2009 – May it be a year that brings you all the things you may have hoped for!

Jerome, Peter, Mike


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