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As an avid user of Google Apps, I regularly recommend this service to clients as well as using it extensively across my various business interests. An announcement that I received today means that if it is something that you’ve even vaguely considered in the past, then I suggest you sign up for it as quickly as possible before the change comes in.

Google Apps is a really good way of sharing information, and collaborating on projects, including:
Messaging apps such as: Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Calendar;
Collaboration apps such as: Google Docs, Google Sites, and
even more Google applications including Google Reader, Blogger, Picasa Web Albums, AdWords and so-on

We recently announced upcoming changes to the maximum number of users for Google Apps. We want to let you know that, as a current customer, the changes will not affect you.

As of May 10, any organisation that signs up for a new account will be required to use the paid Google Apps for Business product in order to create more than 10 users. We honour our commitment to all existing customers and will allow you to add more than 10 users to your account for GJBEnterprises.com at no additional charge, based on the limit in place when you joined us.

At the moment Individuals, groups and entrepreneurs can get up to 50 custom accounts like you@example.com for free, however as in the announcement very soon that is going to come down to just 10 users.

So for your FREE Google Apps account with unlimited users just head over here very quickly: http://www.google.com/apps/ then click on the ‘Learn More’ button for Google Apps (not Google Apps for Business – that’s the paid version – you can always upgrade later) alternatively try this link: https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/domain/new

You need to have your own domain name, and be able to either manage the DNS, or simply ftp an html page that Google will give you to the root of the domain. – Need help? just call us on 0844-453-5591 and we’ll get you set up as quickly as we can , and before that important deadline.

Original Article by  Jeremiah Owyang, SF, Silicon Valley
See it here: http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2010/01/03/social-technology-adoption-curve-benefits-and-risks/

Know The Upsides –And Downsides Of Your Adoption Behaviour

Individuals and companies should be deliberate in their adoption strategy, there are benefits and risks to each category. It’s been interesting watching different group adopt social technologies over the past few years, I can see who benefits from being first –and the pains to be a thought leader of both individuals and companies.

Rogers_Adoption_Curve

Above, this is the standard Rogers Adoption Curve, it’s important to point out that my matrix below only is in context of social technologies, it will vary from technology to technology.  I found this take on the adoption stages of social technologies helpful in framing how I thought about the following matrix. I built this following matrix in the context of social technologies and adoption by both individuals and mixed in with organizations and industries.

Matrix: Social Technology Adoption Curve Benefits –and Downsides

Categories

Description

Benefits

Downsides

Innovators

These brave souls take on new technologies, trial them, then will often evangelize them. I’d put those that adopted Twitter in 2006. or any entrepreneurs that creates new technologies fitting into these categories.  From a corporate perspective, Dell was forced into this arena, and has benefited.

Glory for being first, a thought and practice leader.. Will have learned from their mistakes, and have far more experience than any others. Will always be able to tout they were first.

Very costly in terms of time, effort to find new technologies that are often flawed. Additionally, since innovation becomes cheaper and more accessible, this becomes more difficult as more entrants to the market launch products. Lastly, while these folks may be first for some technologies, they are often wrong for the many other technologies that did not take off.

Early Adopters

This behaviour is exhibited by those that try out new technologies in a careful way, often thought leaders. Some analyst firms like Forrester adopted early, and the Tech industry deployed social.  Agencies like Edelman, Razorfish have helped their clients.

Learn from the failures of innovators, they reduce risk. Often they have the opportunity to explain how it works to others. Become the case studies that other groups follow

Never first, and have to write the playbooks. They may adopt, but at higher costs than the majorities as the technology has not matured. Tech companies adopted social in 2005-2007 as an early industry, but a lack of measurement, and rapid tool change required great effort to stay current.

Early Majority

Although thoughtful in their deployment, they adopt faster than the mainstream. in 2009, we saw industries like consumer packaged goods, finance, and healthcare adopt social technologies. I think of when mainstream Oprah joining Twitter as a defining moment as she was ahead of most celebrities and media.

Technology starts to mature, reducing risk and costs. Standards emerge, although this group gets to help define mainstream adoption.

Some of the cool factor leaves, and brands start to move in on social technologies, scaring off some innovators.

Late Majority

This sceptical group only adopts when the mainstream does. Industries that only got on board with social when Obama, mainstream press, or celebrity adoption occurred fit here. Companies adopting in 2009 and beyond.

Reduced risk from learning from who’s done it right and wrong, as well as benefits from standard processes, and consolidation of vendors.

Not seen as thought leaders and don’t benefit from the residual buzz from being ‘cool’, instead come across as a ‘me too’./td>

Laggards

Still cautions in deployment, even after the technology has become mainstream. These folks will adopt social technologies in 2010 or later.

Cookie cutter deployment from standardization and very little risk.  Deployment may actually be faster and with less effort than those above.

In balance with lower risk, lower opportunity for reward. No thought leadership, and little additional reputation or buzz value from the intended investment.

Matrix: Be Deliberate In Your Adoption Strategy

Each category has specific benefits and risks, but rather than just behaving in a way that comes natural, I encourage you in your personal and work adoption to be deliberate in your actions.

  1. Examine your organisations adoption patterns. First, define how quickly your organization responds and adopts to technologies, and factor into your considerations.
  2. Be a Category Ahead Of Your Company. If you’re responsible for new technologies at your company, your personal adoption should be a level or two ahead of the organisations adoption, as you cannot effectively deploy for your company if you don’t personally understand the impacts of the new technologies.
  3. Track The Category Ahead Of You. Find an individual that’s above your adoption category (the early adopter watches the innovator) and be sure to watch their behaviours and learn from them. Adopters are often blazing their own trail, and may not ever follow anyone.

My Strategy: Early Adopter –But Not Innovator
One thing is clear, being first doesn’t mean you’re right, in fact, the Innovators have a difficult time dealing with early and late majority, paving roads of opportunity for analysis, agencies, and consultants. As a result, I make a distinct effort to be an early adopter of new social technologies, but not the innovator, as I find I’d rather be more often right, and expend less energy trying to be first.

Leave a Comment. Share Your Adoption Strategy
Let’s learn from each other, I’d like to know about your adoption behaviour and that of your company. Were you deliberate in choosing your adoption strategy? How does it hurt or help your company?

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What should be a simple thing to do seems to be fraught with challenges, however after a bit of searching around, I came across what must be the best and simplest plugin out there, so don’t waste your time looking any further.

Simple Facebook Connect http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-facebook-connect/ or http://ottopress.com/wordpress-plugins/simple-facebook-connect/

Is by far and away the easiest, most comprehensive and well documented plugin for Facebook,

Having recently sorted out how to get Facebook plugins to work with a static html site, I knew that getting it to work with WordPress wouldn’t be straightforward, however Otto’s plugin is simply the best one out there, so what more can I say, than check it out for yourself, go to Otto’s blog here: http://ottopress.com/wordpress-plugins/simple-facebook-connect/ or get the plugin direct from the WordPress site: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-facebook-connect/ install it as per the instructions, and you are done!

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Solar PV Power Starts to Add Up

Solar Generated Electricity – With Financial Incentives Supported By The Government!

As our domestic and commercial energy bills continue to rise, there are now real steps that you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and increase your annual income.

For example, by investing in solar power and installing photovoltaic solar panels on your property, you can cut your electricity payments and generate a substantial 25 year index-linked income. You can learn much more about this important Government-backed initiative which was launched in April 2010, (and how and why to take advantage of it now) by downloading our newly updated e-book. Just click on the ‘Free Guide’ button at the top of the page.

The regulator OFGEM (The Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets) has disclosed that a record number of home owners in the UK had solar panels installed on their property in August 2010. Official figures show that 3,642 solar panels were installed in the UK in August 2010. These figures compare with 1,751 in July 2010, 1,406 in June 2010, 891 in May 2010 and 407 in April 2010.

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Solar Power (Solar Electricity Photovoltaic Panels) – How It Works

Advancing Technology

It’s generally known that Solar PV panels convert sunlight into electricity. It’s actually more accurate in fact though to say that they now convert daylight into electricity.

On any given day throughout the year we can generate solar electricity. This is because the technology behind Solar PV has developed rapidly, and the most advanced panels are extremely effective and efficient – even here in the UK!

Solar PV works from daylight, so energy is still produced on cloudy or overcast days. Obviously the panels produce more power in bright sunlight than when the weather is overcast.

There are local output variations up and down the country, but these are very small. Precise meteorological records have been kept for many years, so annual outputs and regional variations can be predicted with a good deal of accuracy.

Orientation

Most Solar PV panels are fitted onto roof structures, ideally facing south or in a southerly direction. They should be angled at between 30° to 40° from horizontal for maximum efficiency.

Panels fitted anywhere from east through south to west will generate energy, and though south facing is optimal, panels in any direction on the southerly arc should perform at 85% efficiency or above.

Open exposure is important, as any shading by tall trees or other buildings etc. will prevent good light from getting to the PV cells. Low temperatures will not affect the output – it’s purely determined by the quality of the light.

No Need for Planning Permission

Planning permission isn’t usually required, unless the structures are to be placed on a listed building. (Prince Charles has recently been given planning permission by Westminster Council to install solar panels onto the roof at Clarence House).

How PV works…

Solar PV cells convert natural daylight and sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run lights and domestic or office appliances in the home or business.

As the panels generate DC electricity, an inverter is also installed to convert the output to AC. The system is connected to the National Grid, and will work alongside your traditional electricity supply. At night, or anytime you need more power than your solar system can supply, electricity will be imported from the grid. When your solar system generates more power than you need, the surplus electricity is exported and sold back to the grid.

A meter will be installed to allow you to monitor how well your system is performing.

Solar Heating & Residential Solar Power Benefits

Financial Benefits

The new Feed-in Tariffs, (sometimes referred to as the Clean Energy Cash-back Scheme) will pay you:

  • A Generation Tariff of up to 41.3p for every unit (kWh) of solar electricity you generate.
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Feed-in Tariffs currently give a much better rate of return than other financial products such as ISA’s, Bonds and Gilts or interest from banks and building societies. Plus, Your electricity bills will be substantially reduced and you will protect yourself against future electricity price increases.

Feed-In Tariff Payments Are:

  • Guaranteed for 25 years at the rate you enter the scheme.
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Environmental Benefits

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  • The more de-centralised clean electricity we produce, the less we rely on drilling increasingly dirty and high-risk oil and gas deposits.
  • As more householders like you generate their own clean electricity, the UK will need to build fewer coal, gas and nuclear power stations.

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