How to power blog in under 5 minutes
We believe every organisation needs to make its voice heard and by co-producing your blogs we make sure the world sits up and listens to yours. Tinderblogs frees you from the relentless task of writing fresh, focused posts week in week out. Investing a few minutes with us will save you the hours it takes to perpetually fuel your on-line campaign. It’s simple, effective and you can see it working for our guest bloggers below.

FD Spills Finance Beans!

Understanding the difference between
bean counters and bean growers
can save and make your fortune.

A bean counter, or Financial Accountantlooks at your company’s history and identifies what has been achieved in the past. They should give you a good analysis of where you have managed to make your money and where you have suffered losses. Bean counters focus on the...  Read more on Ali Hop's Tinderblog

Brilliant FD Development Days

Guest Tinderblogger
Regional Director: Thames Valley FD Centre

Brilliant FD Development Days

It's something which I started up this year and just keeps getting better: The monthly FD Development Day. On the day we bring all the Thames Valley FD Centre FDs together to keep them up to speed with latest developments whilst earning some handy CPE points (Continued rofessional Education) along the way. We get a good mix of top quality accountants, tax experts and lawyers to come in each month and a variation of other experts in fields such as insurance, pensions, marketing and sales...  Read More on Ali's Tinderblog...

Meet My FD Dream Team

Guest Tinderblogger
Regional Director: Thames Valley FD Centre

Meet My FD Dream Team

I absolutely adore my team – I just love them. Most of them are hand picked by me, and as I get such large number of highly qualified people applying to join the Thames Valley FD Centre I can afford to be very particular about who comes on board...  Read More on Ali's Tinderblog...

Whose brand is it anyway?

Guest Tinderblogger
Global Consumer Planning Director

Whose brand is it anyway?

My big thing is learning to understand the consumer. If I can decode what they see, hear and believe and gather the information into something we can tangibly do something about, then I am happy.

In the end, a brand is owned not by the company that engineered it but by the consumer who relates to it. An organisation can have the world’s best marketing strategy, unlimited resources to fund it’s advertising campaign and even be a global giant in it’s field but if the consumer cannot emotionally engage with the product, they will soon walk away and go somewhere else. My aim is to continually reassure the consumer that we take them seriously, we listen to their ideas and, within our parameters we match the brand accordingly. It’s all about remaining flexible and innovative in a highly competitive market.

Really successful companies don’t hold their brand too tightly. If given the freedom, their consumers can give the brand new direction and keep it fresh. Recently, Nike has had success with user-generated advertising, keeping in touch with a youthful audience with this innovative approach. In Japan WOWtv promoted a Tokyo Radiohead concert online by showing a video of the band performing a song. Viewers were able to select which of twelve colour coded cameras from which to view the song, thus creating a rainbow pattern, based on their camera choice. Fans then posted their rainbows online, so creating a kaleidoscope of rainbow colours. It was really beautiful. The iconic, old-fashioned brand, Jack Daniels has now become synonymous with the modern rock star image, successfully crossing over into American popular culture.

Within the company I work for, there is huge scope for people to bring their own creativity and individualism to the brand on which they work. In the past, I have mentored and coached my teams to embrace change, reject stagnation and be familiar with the uncomfortable. It’s my belief that success comes when a team player understands the value of being an individual in a larger organisation. Really great teams leave room for individual flair without compromising unity of purpose. I am a rugby fanatic; in fact, as a South African, I believe it is actually fused into my DNA! In the 1995 RWC final the Springboks made a sudden and last minute change of plan by going for a drop goal in extra time. It was a huge risk but it paid off and it won us the World Cup. That kind of courage, flexibility, stamina and self-belief inspires and motivates me most of all, and it is how I have chosen to conduct my business from the beginning.

A sit-down stand-up with Ricky Gervais

A sit-down stand-up with Ricky Gervais

Interviewed by Tinderblogger Ben Hodgson

Ever wondered what it’s like to stare down the wrong end of a sawn off shotgun? I couldn’t help feeling I was about to get my head blown off as I sat down for a one to one interview with Britain’s most wanted and dangerous comedian. ‘Just do it,’  I thought, ‘pull the trigger and get this over with.'

I was called to a London recording studio where Gervais, cast as a canine in the latest Miramax ‘Spy Kids’ movie, was voicing the part of ‘Argonaut’ the dog in the hugely popular film series. Determined to get under his skin and find out just what sort of breed Gervais really is, I paid close attention to his every move. I mean just how hard can it be to bark a few lines of script into a microphone I wondered? That's how I like to do a whole movie. Sitting in a chair talking bollocks for a few hours.”  Gervais quips on his blog, making it sound like it’s as easy as he makes it look. But seeing him in the studio with a line of script is to watch a terrier grab hold and not let go until it’s been shaken to within an inch of its life.

It’s much the same when you throw him a question. He won’t field it like a well trained spaniel but hi-jacks it like some manic red setter and won’t give your ball back until he’s taken it for a surreal trip around the garden and had his fun with it. Spy Kids Director Robert Rodriguez (’Sin City’, ’From Dusk till Dawn’ ) took a creative risk in casting a dog with a mind of its own to carry his script, but although it may be torn it to shreds, it’s the better for being played with.

How they must have wished they’d booked a performing circus dog for the Golden Globes rather than the overgrown puppy that messed all over their parade. Didn’t they know he can’t be house trained? Talking of training, the cuddly Office labrador that ate anything has been pounding the treadmill to emerge as some kind of muscle-bound pit-bull and when
his eyes are fixed on you it’s like... staring down the wrong end of a sawn-off shotgun.

So:  retriever, labrador, red setter, terrier, circus dog or overgrown puppy? In the end I gave up trying to classify the man, although when he sinks his comical teeth into the likes of homophobia and racism I’m left thinking 'mongrel' – the most intelligent of breeds.

Stay tuned for a link to the full interview.

email Ben

Write here, write now

Ben Hodgson

Write here, write now

I wonder where you choose to write your blogs. My guess? Probably sitting behind a desk staring at a PC hoping the cursor’s going to wink at you and give you an inspirational idea for this week’s blog. For many people the whole process is a relentless, boring chore. Like being thrown in a cell and forced to write something positive when not a naturally gifted writer. It’s a recurring nightmare – lived out.

I wrote this blog out in the countryside while walking the dog. I just spoke the outline into my mobile as I relaxed out in the open air, free from the confines of my office. It’s a great basis for blog writing because it’s such an easy and natural way to communicate with people. Humans have been talking to each other for hundreds of thousands of years, so we’re good at it. Writing to each other is only a recent communication tool and it takes craftsmanship and a little talent to make it work effectively. So although I can write to people if I have to, I prefer to just call them up or stop for a chat in passing. It’s a much more relational way to communicate and it is just so effortless.

That is the essence of the Tinderbogs principle. It’s a new, conversational way to write your blogs. It works very simply. We connect with you, or others in your organisation and then craft your spoken words into powerful written words. SEO enriched copy content.  At Tinderblogs we harvest the conversations we share. Establishing a professional journalistic relationship with our clients which allows them to communicate their ideas through a relaxed interview process. From that derives the raw material which, once crafted by a professional writer, becomes truly dynamic copy. It’s this which drives your blogs and news pages in an enriched flow of heart driven content.

Your SMO campaign is fuelled up and ready to go and your customers, followers and fans are turned on and tuned in for keeps.

Link to Ben


Joyful food for thought

Joyful food for thought

Guest Tinderblogger
Jane Van Renen

We love being part of a good celebration, whatever the reason. When people gather together to celebrate life, great food will help the event sparkle.

We started small. My business partner Jacqui and I had our first venture into catering with a three-course meal for nine couples who had enrolled on a marriage enrichment course some years ago.  At the time, it seemed a lot but we quickly progressed to groups of forty or more on a weekly basis. At the end of one of the courses, we realised how much we both enjoyed the process of creating menus that made a real difference to an evening. Our food actually seemed to enhance the couple's experience of the course, making it feel like they were on a dinner date, even though there were at least eight other couples in the room! We knew we were onto something.

Jacqui and I wanted to take it further at that point and decided to go professional, eventually setting up “JoyfulFood” a name that reflects our vision and ethos. Of course, it helps that we don’t just love to cook great food we love to eat it too! We source our main ingredients from local suppliers and we are always on the look out for new ideas and innovations.

Weddings are a large part of our business, but not the only part by any means. We cater for parties, funerals and corporate events, assemble picnic baskets for Henley festival, music festivals and we unobtrusively prepare and serve intimate dinners for two.

We offer a unique service to our clients because we do not do set menus. Our food is tailor made to suit the client and the event, not the other way around. We like to meet people face to face, get to know their likes and dislikes, cook them samples of food we think they would choose and let them make their decisions from there. We offer advice and help if it’s needed, and when everything is decided, we use our skills and passion to create food that ultimately is there to bring people joy.

The cloak of invisibility

Writing a book or blog is easy,
 when you know how… or who.

Judith Forster
Guest Tinderblogger

Judith Forster throws off the cloak of invisibility
to reveal her ghost-writing secrets.

The key thing for me is that I don’t try to be the author of the piece. I don’t want to be! It is their name and face that will generate sales, not mine, so it is my job to stay invisible. What I do initially is identify their ideas and then sometimes radically change the organisation of the material into different chapters.

Sometimes I’ll be writing from a series of talks. A lot like Tinderblogging in fact. I’ll be listening carefully to hear the personality and the character of the speaker, which makes it easier for me to write authentically.

When I receive a manuscript from an author or agent I’ll be taking note of the colloquialisms, turns of phrase and humour. These help me as I reshape the text, enhancing what they say and empowering their words with a wider vocabulary. It won’t sound like me writing but neither will it be me trying to ape the author. That’s a lot to do with skill in language. So I may use generic terms and avoid making it too personalised in the way the words are spoken onto the page.

I don't want the voice to sound like mine with my turns of phrase, but I do want the grammar to be correct, the language to flow, the style to be warm and easy to read and ultimately, for the author to be successful.

Find Judith on Linked-In

Good people with good ideas

Adam Leach
Guest Tinderblogger

"Good people with good ideas"

"There’s been a lot of change in the social development sector in the last ten to fifteen years. Both here in the U.K. and internationally. As economic recession hit large parts of the western world confusion has arisen about where responsibility lies for helping communities, and even a questioning of what capacity there is to help ordinary people cope.

There’s a temptation to think that a magic solution can be offered by one organisation or sector which can step in and solve all the problems. Lately there’s been a lot of talk about the private sector fixing things. Somehow people who’ve been preoccupied with profitability and making organisations efficient are believed to know how to make societies function better. My experience is that people in the private sector who are connected with the charitable sector are good people with good ideas. But beyond that there’s a need to recognise that different people bring different strengths, talents and perspectives of equal worth and value.

Real, lasting progress – economic, social and moral – depends on people working together. When there’s recognition and respect for plurality, then the professional urge to take control can take a back seat. Perhaps we could then have more social development organisations with visions that see beyond the economic viability of their initiatives."

Adam Leach recently returned from The Democratic Republic of Congo with Oxfam and has held key positions with: Oxfam, Action for Children, Action Aid, IBLF

Adam Leach on Linked-In

Inspiring Projects

Alistair Bullen
guest Tinderblogger

Inspiring projects

I am so inspired by a three year project I’m working on at the moment. We’re creating the brand for Oasis. Oasis is a charity that helps set up and provide ten secondary education academies across the UK as part of the Government Academy Program. What’s so amazing about it is seeing what happens when you take children from a poor environment into a good environment – physically, educationally and emotionally.

To see the transformation in their lives is really inspiring. The students ‘get’ the branding because they get visuals – they’re a visual generation, and they get the sound bite, they get the energy of imagery, they get all of that and it becomes a very powerful tool for them.

So what I do is this: I go and meet with the Academy Principal and begin to think through the designed environment - how they want to communicate their values and ethos and how they want to inspire and create growth in the students. Then we talk through the ways we could communicate those values through graphics, photography, animation, film and everything else – then, out of all of that we formulate a brief and branding strategy.

From that we derive, what we call, a tailored design proposal which goes right down to all the detail around where graphic panels or plasmas and sculptures might be placed. We involve the children and the staff leadership team to help them on the journey through workshops. That helps them to understand what it’s going to be like in the new academy. Some of the children might come from a very deprived background; some have never even been on a train or been to London. So we you want to help them imagine being in a twenty million pound academy - it seems impossible – but that’s what we do!

See Alistair's profile
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