Personal and undiluted views
New media

429 days ago

[email protected] Capital – too many of its supporters live in a new media sewer & a question for Clem Chambers

I am sure that most shareholders in [email protected] Capital (SYME) are ordinary decent folk. Maybe they are a bit gullible but they are not bad folks. But over on the ADVFN and LSE Bulletin boards the worst of humanity is on show.

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548 days ago

Red Flag Alert: Iconic Labs – How strong is the Directors track record in creating shareholder value?

Worthless new media POS Iconic (ICON) is promoted on the strengths of its three Directors John Quinlan, Liam Harrington and Sam Asante in social media as the extract from page 38 of the prospectus indicates:

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1469 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Malcolm Stacey not 100% bonkers on shite AIM stocks but almost..

Malcolm outlines a strategy today for playing AIM Casino stocks which I regard as folly. I explain why it could go disastrously wrong in two ways. Then I look at the wider asset bubble in relation to art, soccer players, real estate and new media and how that impacts on the stockmarket and will, in due course, implode.

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2082 days ago

Concha - call me old fashioned but its latest acquisition is insane

Concha (CHA) has finally done a deal. Chris Akers can call me an old fart who does not understand the world of new media and he may well be right but what he has done appears insane.

Concha has paid £4 million for a 0.43% stake in Ve Interactive Ltd a new media "unicorn" This is not new cash for new shares but shares bought from the founders. The price paid per share (£250) is the same as the last funding round so Concha can claim its decision is validated by VCs.

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3057 days ago

SocialGo almost SocialGone but on the AIM Cesspit the zombie never dies

Floated on the Cesspit in 2004 new media enterprise SocialGo (SGO) has managed to rack up losses of almost £20 million – funded by placing after placing – during its nine years on AIM. As recently as June 7th as it announced (dire) 2012 results the company was still “talking the talk” but today the joke has moved on a step as this has become SocialGone, to be renamed Tavistock Investments. Fear not there will be many more chances to lose money on this one, the stock is at least 90% overvalued.

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3160 days ago

Reporting back on New Media marketing - Facebook and twitter

I am in trouble. I am seven columns in arrears with 24n.biz the online magazine for SMEs. And so for the next 24 hours I shall be writing little else than articles with tips for small businesses. Enough is enough, it is SME time and so here is my first offering.

At the start of the year I outlined plans to market my excellent quirky Italian restaurant via old and new media and promised a report back after three months: it was a new foray for www.therealmanpizzacompany.com and I was uncertain of the outcome. Has it been worth it? On balance yes but to say that it has been a company transformer would be over-egging the pudding.

The amount invested in cash terms has been trivial. We have an in-house web design capacity and so that took up some time. The hard cash outlay was about £50 for targeted Facebook adverts kitting one strictly defined market segment: students in central/East London.

New media gurus will measure tangible new media metrics.

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3210 days ago

Meaningless Statistic of the Day: I have 3,000 twitter followers

All new media statistics are meaningless and the obsession of man with numbers that are round but have no more real significant than round number minus x is well known. In that vein, I note that after eight months on twitter I have, as of today, 3,000 twitter followers. Apparently this puts me just outside the top 2 million twitter users. Thanks to all those who do follow me. I shall carry on tweeting what I think even if that occasionally causes bouts of rushes to unsubscribe.

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3214 days ago

I am in the top 1 Per Cent of LinkedIn which means er...nothing

LinkedIn has emailed me to say thanks. Aaah how touchingly American. And …I mean that most sincerely. Facebook for grownups is celebrating having 200 million users and apparently I have played my part as my profile was among the top 1% most hit upon in 2012. I am so touched. Grabs Onion. Weeps. I’d like to thank various of my stalkers, notably Mark & Sarah and those folks at legal firms Pinsent Masons and Kermans for crawling all over my activity log almost every day and making this possible. And so what does this all mean? Absolutely nothing.

While Facebook is inane, LinkedIn is just rather boring. Other than alerting me to the networking activities of Alecto Resources boss Damian Conboy ( liaising with the playboy PR bird Lucy HERE) I cannot say that it has really brought me much in the way of laughs over the past year. For what it is worth I am now on Facebook. I use it as I use LinkedIn to churn out links to my articles and so to attract readers to TomWinnifrith.com. And for what it is worth, over the past month LinkedIn has brought in about 3% of my traffic and Facebook 1.3%.

Natch I ‘d like to thank the two firms concerned but not by giving them any money. I am a customer in that I add to their metrics they boast about to hoodwink Wall Street. But the cash I generate for both firms is exactly £0.00. I have never clicked on an advert & will not do so. I use them for free marketing and that is it. I will link in or whatever the term is on Facebook with anyone (even one of those aforementioned stalkers) as it means they get alerted to my articles and might just be read them.

I am also sure that the 1% is misleading. In the same way that I think I am around the 2 millions most followed person ( of 500 million) on twitter ( @tomwinnifrith in case you want to push me over 3,000 today), the scales are logarithmic. So the top 2000 twitter people in terms of followers are followed by 1 million + or whatever and hen it tails off quite dramatically. And of course most of the twitter followers of those with a million + followers are paid for robots, exercises in vanity ( as I explained here) I am pretty sure LinkedIn traffic patterns are pretty similar. So being on the edge of the top 1% is a lot closer to being in the bottom 1% than it is to being in the top 0.1%. And on twitter I am closer in absolute terms to being the least followed person on this planet than I am to being the 1 millionth most followed.

Alerts on this article will naturally whizz off into the ether by twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – I still fail to grasp why I add anything at all to your bottom lines, but thanks for having me none the less.

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3218 days ago

EU to blow £2million monitoring people like me

The EU has announced that it is to spend £2 million “monitoring” twitter and other new media outlets in the run up to the 2014 European elections. Of this around 40% will not come from existing budgets in the Evil Empire’s Ministry of Truth but is new cash, part of the EU budget increase. The aim of this is explicitly to counteract Euroscepticism. In other words the EU is pissing away your cash to monitor folks like me who write and tweet stuff pointing out what an inefficient, misguided crook factory this edifice is. The stated aim is in persuading voters not to listen (and I presume vote UKIP or for other sceptical parties in Europe) but to “see the light” and vote for Eurofanatics (i.e. Labour, Lib Dems or Call Me Dave’s Tory party).

I quote from a document produced by the Evil Empire:

Particular attention needs to be paid to the countries that have experienced a surge in Euroscepticism…Parliament’s institutional communicators must have the ability to monitor public conversation and sentiment on the ground and in real time, to understand ‘trending topics’ and have the capacity to react quickly, in a targeted and relevant manner, to join in and influence the conversation, for example, by providing facts and figures to deconstructing myths.

But what is a myth? The EU tried to tell us that the bent banana directive was a myth until it was shown to be true. Would it say that my statement “The EU is the world’s largest donor of foreign aid and much of this cash is wasted or stolen” is a myth?

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3221 days ago

London Taxi Driver taking the piss – what do you do?

I was in a rush and so thought I’d splash out and get a cab from The Real Man Pizza Company to the Flux new media conference at Truman’s Brewery today. According to AA Route Planner it is 2.2 miles and should take 8 minutes. It is damn simple just head down Clerkenwell Road to Old street, take Great Eastern Street, Commercial street and then Wentworth Street and you are there. I have lived around here on and off for almost 25 years.

But my taxi driver knew best. My journey lasted 25 minutes. He found every traffic jam going. It cost £15.60. It was the craziest route you could imagine. What can you do at the end? Sod all. Just pay up, walk away and mutter under your breath a lot of rude words. Most cabbies are honest – this guy was just a piece of work. But there is nothing you can do about it.

Coming back I walked. It did not take much longer and was pretty direct.

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3222 days ago

Is New Media a waste of space for marketing?

My weekly Small business (SME) tips column from 24n.biz starts, as ever, close to home. There are some who dismiss Facebook and twitter as a complete waste of space when it comes to marketing. There are others who swear by new media. I wonder. For what it is worth I offer a few observations based on my own experience of trying to persuade more folks to try to come to the quirkiest Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell, London – the Real Man Pizza Company.

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3231 days ago

The Vanity of a Businessman – buying twitter users

I shall not name this British businessman. You can work it out for yourself but this is a lesson for those who think that if you have a million followers on twitter that makes you a big swinging dick. Nope, it might just be that you are a vain prick who pays a lot of money to buy followers. Buy followers you say? Yup it is perfectly possible. Just go to an agency, write a cheque and you get stacks of followers. Tell the agency how many you want and get your cheque book out. It’s simple. Nearly all the followers are bots so it is not as if anyone actually cares what you have to say it is just that some folks will think that people care what you say.

According to TwitterCounter.com, this businessman had less than 600 followers on 21st October. Thereafter he gained exactly 11,147 per day until 21st December. From then until January 10th he showed an increase of exactly 24,124 followers per day. Since then ( one assumes the contract is over) he has lost exactly 1,467 followers a day.

What does this tell you? A) That the number of twitter followers someone has tells you nothing about how clever, funny or admired they are or how long their penis is. B)

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3238 days ago

The Harmonic Energy Joke – You could not make it up as it goes New Media Mad

I have written a number of times about how UK websites you are meant to trust like MoneyAM and UK-Analyst (and now Digital Look has also trundled along the walk of shame) have been accepting money to send their loyal readers a promotion for US OTC stock Harmonic Energy (OTC:ASUV) stating “This is the one stock you must buy now” and suggesting that gains of 3,200% are possible. In very small print on these promotions it is admitted that they are paid for by a shareholder who wants to sell shares. In other words this is a pump and dump operation. And in the latest SEC Filing of 14th December we discover that Harmonic has almost no cash, no revenues and is burning cash – it should be clean out of money within a couple of weeks. The auditors flag this as a going concern issue. Er…just a bit. At 95 cents today the company is valued at $59.9 million.

The whole thing is total joke as I described on the largest US website Seeking Alpha just before Christmas HERE .

US Investors are happily dumping shares and guess which suckers are buying? Er… Yes Limeys it is you thanks to those mailings from websites you thought you trusted. Heck that is the special relationship in action, the yanks get to offload their shit on the Brits and we send them Piers Morgan in return. Unless you were one of the folks suckered this is almost funny.

That supposedly respectable UK websites take cash to pump out this crap is a total disgrace but the story of this mega stock promotion for a total nothing company gets funnier still as I am sent the latest release from Harmonic with blockbusting news

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3308 days ago

Does Anyone NOT know the Newsnight alleged paedophile Tory yet? New Media wins again

Since Newsnight bottled it last week and refused to name high profile Tory was an alleged paedophile abusing boys on North Wales (still alive so he might sue) new media has done its worst. As I predicted.

If you are one of the few folks in the UK who does not know his name I challenge you NOT to be able to discover it on Google within five minutes. I have seen several tweets today

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3311 days ago

UK’s libel laws and new media – imminent collision: Paedogeddon Westminster Issue

Last night Newsnight said it was going to expose a top Tory who was a serial and active paedophile. But it did not name him. Well as it happens we all know of one dead senior Tory (Peter Morrison) and most of us know a far more famous dead leading Tory in this camp. As for the one still alive: I do also know at least one name but in paedo-obsessed Britain no doubt others will emerge. I say will emerge … they are already out there.

I have just been sent a link to a blog outing 4 senior Tories as part of a paedo-ring. I have no intention of landing in Court over this since I am 99% sure that at least two of those named are 100-% innocent but you can find it without too much bother if you wish. Meanwhile #Newsnight on twitter throws up a few other candidates for this week’s Jimmy Savile prize, Westminster edition.

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3333 days ago

In Defence of Facebook Tax Dodgers : The Left Just does not get it

Facebook (FB) is under attack today for paying just £238,000 in corporation tax last year. I am the last person to want to defend Mark Zuckerburg’s enterprise. The shares are grossly overvalued even after almost halving from May’s $38 IPO. I still reckon they will more than halve again. But on this occasion it is the left (MPs, the Independent, the BBC – and its sister publication the Guardian) that just does not get it.

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3339 days ago

Facebook Earnings Visibility Weakens Again But Stock Still On An Unjustifiable Premium Rating: Sell

The bad news for Facebook (US:FB) mounts on the earnings front with events at both Zynga (US:ZNGA) and at LinkedIn (US:LNKD) contributing to its woes. Gradually even the most diehard bull must be starting to recognise that there is no earnings visibility at all for Mark Zuckerburg’s company. It is on that basis

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3346 days ago

Facebook still a sell down to $5 - EPS forecasts will be cut, earnings visibility getting worse

Slowly, it is sinking in. Facebook (FB) was floated in May as a growth stock. Forecasts and valuations were based on extrapolating historic trends. But in the new media world, that is impossible. My bear case against Facebook was always that the rating was too high based on historic numbers and that one had to be the metric used given that forecasting was impossible. Rather more quickly than I had expected, recent data is starting to vindicate my stance. I argued here on 28th August that the shares were worth $5, and I stand by that view.

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3368 days ago

The Love that Dares to Speak its name all the bloody time

This twitter thing is getting all the more entertaining. It is not just the quantity of folks who follow you but who is following you that interests me. I am still not sure that I have tweeted anything of interest to the potato girls (the tweeters from the British potato council) but I am working on an idea of how I can combine the preparation of spuds with the issue of man made climate change. Is it greener to boil or roast? Will I save the poor polar bears if I recycle my boiling water to wash my socks? These are great questions and in the interests of saving the planet I shall turn my mind to them in due course. Meanwhile the potato girls and others will have to make do with my thoughts on other matters. But I now have one Tory MP following me (I have never heard of him but he is obviously a very switched on fellow) and two Master Investor speakers (M Slater and – as of today – J Mellon). I shall try to come up with something entertaining for both of them. I fear that I am beginning to become a bit of a tweet addict.

Meanwhile, those who are reading this piece hoping for a diatribe about homosexuality will be disappointed. The love I refer to is the love that certain private investors, who spend their lives on Bulletin Boards, feel for certain stocks. These chaps tend not to be promiscuous but monogamous and faithful to the last.

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3370 days ago

Facebook: The Zuckerburg Red Herring

There seems tremendous excitement among the Facebook (FB) bulls about today’s announcement that CEO Mark Zuckerburg has agreed not to sell any shares for a year. This is a total red herring. The reality is that Zuckerburg has already trousered billions from share sales. He patently has more cash than anyone can hope to spend in a lifetime. As such, were he even to sell a handful of Facebook shares, this would be seen as a cue for absolutely everyone to head for the exit.

The reality for poor Zuckerburg

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3373 days ago

Facebook Analyst Downgrades: Do We Care? Are Any Analysts Now Credible?

The Facebook (FB) stock price fell by 5% on Friday to $18.06 on the back of two leading brokers cutting the valuations (as well as one expert reiterating the bull case) but the downgrades and notes make no sense and there is just no reason at all to pay any attention to anything Wall Street now publishes on this stock. Do not read into this that I am a bull trying to shrug off bad news. I have always been a mega bear on Facebook, starting off with a price target of $7.30 at the IPO and subsequently cutting

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3377 days ago

Facebook Target Price Is $5, But More If Zuckerburg Quits

I have been bearish on Facebook (FB) since its IPO at $38 back in May. Indeed since then my analysis has become steadily more bearish as a result of the Q2 earnings numbers and an admission from Facebook itself about bogus accounts and claims made by customers about bot driven advertising. As a result I recently slashed my target price from $7.30 a share to $5 but there is a possibility that I might increase that estimate of fair value but only if founder Mark Zuckerburg quits as CEO.

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3380 days ago

Want to be the Virtual Head of the Israeli Army?

Hmmmm, an invitation I think I can refuse. But I am tweeted by the Isreali Defence Forces (yes I follow the IDF on twitter) about a new game “IDF Ranks – The Virtual Army.” To play all you need to do is register with the IDF website and every time you read an article there, comment, like it on Facebook or share with another you win a new online badge promoting you in the virtual army.

Apparently if i am a real new media freak I could even, one day, be Chief of Staff of the Virtual Ranks, IDF.

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3381 days ago

House Price Maths Explained to a 29 year old & More New Media Tomfoolery

My piece on how UK house prices will fall by 30% prompted a range of comments. I am not surprised, house prices and the weather are two defining British obsessions. A couple of folks asked why the media/politicians always talk about rising prices as a good thing when they are patently nothing of the sort.

Incidentally, the reason that they are a bad thing is that unaffordable housing prevents labour mobility thus making the UK economy less productive. Moreover the need to a) borrow vast sums to purchase a place and b) spend vast sums funding and repaying that debt leaves the UK population as a whole far too heavily overborrowed and b) have less cash to do sensible things like save for a pension.

So why do the media and politicians say that rising house prices is good news and vice versa? Simple. Demographics. Younger folk (who cannot afford to “get on the ladder”) and the poorest folk who are equally excluded are far less likely to a) vote or b) read newspapers than those who typically own homes. And thus the newspapers are simply buttering up their readers and politicians are simply pretending to have the interests at heart of those who are most likely to troop down to the polling station. It is naked self-interest, nothing more and nothing less.

Meanwhile a reader in his late twenties emails me to say that a) I am wrong – prices will not fall and b) he is saving vast sums by buying an apartment and not renting and handing over cash to a “fat 50 year old landlord.” On the first matter, assertion is not the same as reasoned argument. But I should also pick him up on the second matter

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3381 days ago

Facebook is worth $5 a share - Key Director is also a Bear

Everybody knows the price of Facebook stock has fallen to just above $19, nearly half its value back in May, when it first sold shares to the public. But that plunge is nothing compared with the deluge that’s coming.

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