Boob job ban and other winter woes : Friday Five, 20 February 2015

Boob job ban and other winter woes : Friday Five, 20 February 2015

Boob Job Tourism ad banned in the UK

Boob Job Tourism

Photo by Enzo Cositori

In Travel news, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned a poster promoting breast enlargement surgery trips to Malaysia. They ruled that the Medical Tourism Association went a bit too far in promoting the procedure by displaying the posters in ladies’ rooms on motorways and in shopping centers. The Authority doesn’t want the serious surgical intervention to be depicted as a risk-free holiday lark….basking in the sun, booze, boob job…?

Funny though this may seem, it does emphasize the fact that Medical Tourism is becoming a big niche for both travel companies and medical entrepreneurs. Indeed, the New York Times this week reported that medical tourism companies are already working with clinics in Cuba to offer economical surgeries and other medical treatments as soon as travel rules are liberalized.

Speed up your site’s loading time: optimizing images

The Internet is flooded with a stream of competing small businesses fervently marketing their messages, so how can your site stand out?

One way is to ensure that your all-important photos, screenshots and other images are optimized to load quickly while engaging the viewer’s interest. Slow-loading pages will not only prompt users to bail from your site, they can also affect your search ranking.

Elegant Themes has some good ideas on how to optimize your images, both before and after they’re uploaded to your WordPress site. Judicious use of graphics tools such as Photoshop and GIMP can significantly reduce the loading time of an image, without noticably compromising quality. And for images that are already in your Media Library, I like plugins like, which let you batch-process the job of optimizing images throughout your whole WordPress site.

Helpful Pin of the Week

PinterestI focused on building my Work Tools Board this week, and found some interesting articles on content marketing, crowdfunding and, my favorite: “What goes into a Media Kit?”.

Marketing in general, and PR activities in particular, can be daunting for entrepreneurs: you envision a steep learning curve and major time suck to get yourself and your product out there. But as Maya Elious capably explains, an effective Media Kit can be created using a series of simple steps. Value add!

Is it a good idea to rely on a writing group to critique your work?

Writers' groupApparently not, as Michael Neff opines in this eye-opening piece at The Writer’s Edge. He goes on to explore some other clichés and caveats about the exploitation of authors and the pitfalls of listening to amateur advice. Novelists may find a group helpful if they abide by a set of rules and judge others’ work according to a limited set of criteria. Other types of writers, not so much. While touting the value of professional reviewers like himself, Neff makes some thought-provoking points.

Snow-mad Bostonians

photo courtesy of indierockranger

photo courtesy of indierockranger

As most of the world knows, Boston and New England have been slogging through the coldest, snowiest winter in living memory. Cabin-feverish Bostonians have had to come up with inventive ways of dealing with the catastrophe: drones over Harvard, pairing snowglobe photos with the prose and poetry of Samuel Beckett…and becoming YouTube stars with their penchant for jumping out of windows in their skivvies. Marty Walsh, Boston’s new Nanny Mayor, does have a point when he admonishes the pranksters about the (obvious) inherent dangers of snowbank diving from third-floor verandas. Verandas are decks, in case you didn’t grow up around here.

Boob job ban and other winter woes : Friday Five, 20 February 2015

Friday Five: 13 February 2015

Writing contest:

Writing contest - Merrimack MediaMerrimack Media‘s 2015 Outstanding Writer contest is a great opportunity for neophytes and other unpublished authors. First-place winner receives a complete book development package; other prizes are also awesome. Rules include:

  • Only previously unpublished manuscripts by previously unpublished authors are eligible
  • Authors may submit no more than one (1) manuscript for consideration.
  • You must be 18 years old to enter.

Deadline for submission is Friday, 20 March 2015.  Entry fee: $20.


Share, share, share:

tweetyMark Traphagan of Stone Temple Consulting offers sage advice on the power of multiple social media sharing strategies in this MarketingLand post.  Tweet, repeat is his mantra.


Londoners can now host travelers legally:

churchill_2013_2According to Travelmole, Londoners can now legally join the ‘sharing economy’ by taking part in booming peer-to-peer accommodation services, such as AirB&B.  Will this turn of events lead to an overall mitigation of hotel prices? In some cities, including New York, apartment seekers complain that rental housing stock is shrinking due to speculators’ penchant for converting apartments to short-term rentals for AirB&B customers – this might become a problem in London, which is notoriously short of affordable rental housing.


Pump up your Social Presence with Pinterest:

PinterestMy constant nagging voice in clients’ ears: “Get on Pinterest, use Pinterest, keep working your Pinterest boards”….I know it can get old, but Pinterest is such a powerful marketing tool for entrepreneurs that I’m just going to keep harping on about it.

Now social media expert Rebecca Radice is touting the benefits of integrating Pinterest into your marketing plan.  Among many points and tips in her article, she points out that Pinterest is now the fourth biggest driver of traffic on the Internet.  Told ya.


Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool

Phone or LaptopOK, so everyone needs to be re-evaluating their website(s) to ensure that they are ‘responsive’, i.e. generally able to be viewed successfully on many types of devices: phones, tablets, laptops, TV’s, smart watches…eek.  It’s become almost impossible for a small business owner with a modest tech budget to keep their web presence optimized for every kind of browser and gadget.

At FastNet Media, we’re working to upgrade clients’ sites using a simple, clean, responsive format that works across most platforms. We’re steadily testing, formulating new site plans, and installing fresh new WordPress themes and plugins for our clients. We have found Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool valuable for highlighting deficiencies in current site designs, helping clients continue to build their customer base and generate sales through digital marketing.


Contact us for a free consultation on designing a digital marketing plan for your small business.