UK blogs get parent power as Mummy blogs influence 50% of Consumers.

According to Tots100, the UK’s largest community of parent blogs, 50% of women have made a purchase based on a blog recommendation and 93% use social media to research new products before buying.

Tots100 published the largest ever survey of parent bloggers, the 2012 Parent Blogger Benchmark Survey, which asked 850 members of Tots100.

Parent blogging is gathering momentum in the UK, with over 4000 active blogs listed in the Tots100 directory. Mums, who say that blogging is a way to explore their creativity, capture precious family moments and focus their energy upon, write 97% of these sites.

The recently increased popularity in these Mummy blogs have also identified that closer, more trusting relationships need to be built between bloggers and brands. One third of bloggers surveyed have been asked to not disclose a paid relationship with a brand on their blog. In addition, 70% of bloggers say most information they receive from brands is simply not relevant to their blog.

Commenting on the survey, Sally Whittle, founder of Tots100, said; “The results suggest that blogging is becoming an increasingly important source of income for many families, and it’s the perfect time for brands to build relationships with parent bloggers. However, brands and PR professional must invest time and effort in to these relationships to reap the many rewards available.”

Other findings within the survey include:

50% of bloggers have met up with other bloggers in the local area, while 45% have attended an event hosted by a brand or PR agency.

The number of bloggers accepting paid links has fallen from 47% in 2011 to less than 20% in 2012.


CipherCloud break through security barriers

Needless to say, when a trusted solutions provider to the U.S defense and intelligence community such as Exceptional considers moving it’s customer relationship management (CRM) and email to the cloud, it needs a company such as CipherCloud the leader in cloud encryption to do the job. Thanks to CipherClouds encryption excellence and compliance with ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations), barriers that previously stood in the way of the defense and intelligence community using the cloud are now broken down. ITAR’s regulatory demands and the need to strictly control access to data are just a few of the barriers that have previously stood in the way. However, the award-winning cloud encryption gateway secures sensitive data across a number of cloud applications, whilst performance remains intact. Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2016, 25 percent of enterprises will be using CipherClouds strong encryption, tokenisation and activity monitoring to eliminate problems such as data privacy and security. The breakthrough has positioned Exceptional Software in a place that enables them to help the defense and intelligence communities, who are building highly elastic and cost efficient private clouds, scale encryption-as-a-service in private clouds. A brief demo is available online on how CipherCloud eliminates the data privacy ( but for those on the hunt for a few tips on protecting sensitive data in the cloud and how encryption-as-a-service in private clouds is now an opportunity, feel free to listen to the webcast on Thursday 27th September at 2:00pm (

iPhone 5 is finally here!

For some people the culmination of an exciting summer was the release of the Iphone 5. It’s epic. Everyone knows about it, everyone wants one! This is the way of the world we live in, keep up or die. Technology simply involves everyone and everything we do. Technological companies are amongst the most financially successful in the world. It is not unfamiliar that everyone else invests vast sums of capital to keep up with the latest technological trends.

However a startling revelation outlined in the 4th World quality report reveals organizations are struggling to manage challenges of the mobile era. Incredibly 51% of firms are still testing their mobiles as an in-house function. Unfortunately this is done without any internal capabilities and thus companies are failing to keep up! Confidence in firm’s software capabilities is grossly lacking – 59% characterize their internal quality assurance (QA) teams as merely “average”.

Michael de Meijer, Global Service Line Testing Lead of Capgemini Group claims “Consistent and reliable software applications have become critical to the operations of many organizations. Yet the lack of confidence in most companies’ internal capabilities to monitor and test the quality of their software is resounding, particularly when it comes to mobile applications”.

An important development set to further combine technology and business is the emergence of cloud computing. A promising sign is that testing in the cloud is set to increase 10% by 2015 demonstrating the benefits of the cloud outweigh its perils.

The little red notification holds renewed power

A little red notification on Facebook always acts as the perfect distraction no matter what one was previously doing. Whether working on a few documents or having a social gathering with a few colleagues or friends, curiosity usually gets the better of us and acts as the driving force behind us checking our notifications. Comufy, a leading provider of social media marketing software has developed a system that plays to our curiosity notifying us through Facebook about app updates. Although many of us may have used several apps on Facebook before, the chances are that as time goes on, we use it less consistently or stop using it altogether either because we forget about it or are not notified about relevant updates. This innovative system involving Facebook is the first of its kind and allows brands to send personalised messages to large numbers of Facebook app users, re-enaging them and giving the apps more longevity. Surveys are useful for improving customer service and for collecting data that improves the way firms operate but the act of filling out the actual survey can sometimes be time consuming and tedious. With Comufys latest innovation, data can be collected in their thousands (with permission) when the user signs up to the app, and such data is then made available for analysis by marketers. Some may find themselves disappointed when the notification reveals an app update whilst others may be glad to know what latest features their favourite apps boast. Whichever category one falls into, Comufys newest software is sure to work wonders amongst the general public and certainly marketers.

Fashion Takeover Weekend at Merry Hill

On Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September, Westfield Merry Hill will open its door to hoards of fashion fanatics with the arrival of its Fashion Takeover Weekend.


Home to over 210 stores including Debenhams and Marks and Spencer’s, Westfield Merry Hill boasts a wide variety of stores making it the fifth largest in the UK, and to kick off the start of Autumn and Winter season in style, the shopping centre will be transformed over the two days into a lively hub of fashion, beauty and entertainment.


Local dance troops will be showcasing the very latest fashion trends whilst those on the hunt for a bargain can help themselves to a free voucher booklet ready to be picked up from the concierge desk and top retailers Oasis, Vero Moda, Diffusion and Jack Jones will be offering up to 20% off.


Kelly Reed, Marketing Manager at Westfield Merry Hill comments: “Our fashion events have established themselves as one of the our most popular attractions and the Fashion Takeover is set to be the biggest yet.”

Winter Wonderland 2012 will be better than ever before!

London’s most spectacular Christmas attraction, Winter Wonderland is back with a bang this year. From 23rd November to 6th January Hyde Park will be transformed into a festively glistening destination. The breathe-taking theme to this year’s show is a magical ice kingdom with over 500 sculptures created from over 200 tonnes of ice and snow over 4 months by 20 sculptors!

PWR Events Director James Wells says “In a year where the UK has been celebrated across the world, we will continue this celebration at Winter Wonderland by offering the best Christmas day out in London”. Through the awesome and magical ice forest, meet woodland ice creatures and see ice bears, wolves, stags, owls, foxes, squirrels and rabbits. For those more brave this holiday season, dare to take on the ice dragons and knights guarding the queen on her throne.

The fun doesn’t stop there, Winter Wonderland plays host to the UK’s largest ice rink, a zippo circus with a family afternoon show and another show for the evening crowd. Of course, any fair isn’t complete without a big wheel. Also making a return to the attraction is popular Bavarian Village selling bratwurst, mulled wine to keep warm and music throughout the day.

Peter Jones Enterprise Academy launches

In light of high university fees, private initiatives are seeking to get students into a meaningful education course for a fraction of the price. In fact, some of these courses allow a genuine taste of working life and are far more useful in prepping the younger generation for exploiting opportunities in the real business world.

Reading College recently announced the launch of Peter Jones Enterprise Academy available to enrol in the 2012-10213 academic year. Unlike college, this course is shaped to take on a work environment style – students will dress smart and work 5 days a week on interactive projects, meeting and working with local enterprises. Where information extracted from a book teaches what needs to be, this experience provides a fantastic opportunity to learn from entrepreneurs and teaches young ambitious students how to set up their own business. Their peers are inclined to be like-minded, thus creating an excellent networking web for students to capitalize on in the future.

Since Oxford and Cherwell Valley College took charge of Reading College in 2010, the quality and helpfulness of apprenticeships has been evident. Emphasis on working with local business engages students’ minds and hones their skills in a sustainable method because it gives back to the community. Over 300 people currently participate in apprenticeship programmes via Reading College across over 150 different employees.

Lesley Donoghue, Principle of Reading College maintains “We are delighted to continue Reading College’s tradition of offering high quality vocational training to the local are. As university tuition fees rise and the competition for graduate employment intensifies, it’s important that students feel they have an alternative route into work or higher education.” A vast number of metropolitan universities offer useless course for a mere £27,000 over 3 years. It is refreshing to see a worthwhile cost effective college offering important and useful courses.