Keep an I on our Year (2012 edition)


The top 10 visited articles in the year were:

  1. The UK Leads the World Again (March 20)
  2. Dire dotuk registrations in third quarter and worsening (November 20)
  3. How Smart is Your Home (June 29)
  4. Will Social TV Ratings Cross the Atlantic (December 18) 
  5. Weak registrations in October – dotuk domain cliff approaches as new Nominet COO/Director appointed (December 13)
  6. The gTLD lottery and an internet champion (December 17)
  7. e Smartphones & iTV’s in the 2nd Half of 2013? (December 12)
  8. The New iPad (April 24)
  9. Why buy a PadFone or a tablet? (August 7)
  10. Have you been Amazonkd Bangld or Scroogled? (November 29)

Strictly speaking we should also have included our coverage of Apple’s quarterly results, the US Presidential election results and our livestreaming of certain days from LeWeb but we’ll simply credit them as our favourite conference, election and US company of the year! Our roll of honour would not be complete without Jeff Bezos the Business person of the year.


Our most visited weekly roundup, which we introduced during the year, was the Ashes & Middle Earth edition of  December 8.  and one of our favourite header graphics was our spiders web!

We will early in the new year review our last years predictions and likely embarrass ourselves yet again by getting out the corporate chrystal ball!.

Last click to of the year!

The product of the year has to be the iPad mini  and our start up company is SmartThings.

The somewhat bizarre local story of the year concerns the Pen Park hole! It was investigated by  local MP Charlotte Leslie earlier this month.  Our picture is of the ahem entrance which is in the middle of a copse. Just goes to show that appearances can be deceptive! Steve Sharp’s slideshow is impressive although the sunset is not local!



So having got to the images and video reviews we suppose we have to record the billionth play of Gangnam Style (in fact as of now it stands at 1,034,622,613). We were so impressed by the HMV Nipper videos that we set up our own channel but they seem to be slowing down a bit with the last one appearing on December 15 entitled The Hangover – hope that’s not a prediction!

Here’s a compendium of some of the years top UK videos.


We will finish 2012 by thanking you for visiting us during the year and wishing you all a traditional Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year when we hope to greet you again!


  1. You may have watched NORAD  tracking Santa around the world! He delivered 7,060,919,100 gifts!
  2. Over Christmas you may have seen the first screening of “The Snowman and the Snowdog” on Channel 4. If not here’s a link to the Channel 4 VOD where you can watch it in the UK  -unfortunately, but unsurprisingly we can’t put the video up on our site. There is also a fascinating background programme (again a channel 4 VOD How The Snowman came Back to Life)  showing how the animation was created interspersed with an extended interview with Raymond Briggs the author/illustrator of the original Snowman picture book.
  3.  We were impressed with the NEW Snowman. Here’s the song Light the Night by Andy Burrows with a few more excerpts.
  4. After the festivities why not relax and respond to Nominet’s lovely .uk doamainspace proposals HO HO!

Keep an I on our week (almost last chance edition)

Our top three articles this week were

  1. The gTLD Lottery and an Internet Champion
  2. Will Social TV Ratings cross the Atlantic 
  3. Top Ten for Coke & Apple partners Pepsi

It’s almost our last chance to maximise the spendfest this weekend and push up those retail sales which are flagging on the high street and slowing down online if the ONS is to be believed.

Over there it seems to be going pretty well with their first ever online $7 billion retail spend week proving they haven’t gone over the cliff  yet although it is approaching!. comScore’s weekly figures provide all the detail.

Over here our atrocious weather continues and the high street is allegedly trying to persuade us to brave it and spend £6 billion over the weekend with “ up to 70% discounts” hmmmmmm on what we wonder!

Prize for worst headline of the week goes to The Guardian for:

Prize for the most interesting/unbelievable tablet tale

Talking of prizes … Once you have contributed your final £’s to the annual spendfest why not take part in our prize draw & turn your thoughts to winning a summery first day Ashes ticket for next year – Go on give it a try.

We will close with our arts section:

  1.  Poetry –  A very viral Christmas (Classification {theirs} slightly NSFW)


  1. Music – What Child is This Lindsey Stirling (Classification {ours} brilliant)

Have a first look at doddlr in case the world ends

Interesting Social Media Dashboard being launched at doddlr.

It claims users can “… access all their social networks and emails through one simple dashboard. Currently, users can connect accounts from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Youtube, with other services are expected to join them shortly.”

You should go to to have a look & decide if you want to sign up (subject to their T & C’s) or a  window is provided from their  PRWeb Press Release

The founders are a couple of UK teenagers who describe doddlr as follows:

“Although on the surface Doddlr appears just to be an entertainment dashboard, there is a greater ethos behind it. Constructed with an eye on the most recent content, less emphasis has been placed yesterday’s news. There are no timelines or walls, this gives the user the ability to be the person they want to be each and every day, without influence from the past.”

Sai Eccles

“Throughout development we had to turn down a lot of great features that would have diversified the site. As difficult as this was, we tried hard not to keep adding features that would ultimately change the feel of the site.”

Jack Halstead:

Their short launch video outlining its features is worth a look but we suggest turning the volume down as Chronicles of a Fallen Love by The Bloody Beetroots is impressive but generates rather a large number of decibels at times!


Here’s a, not much, longer, but considerably quieter, version!

In the meantime we see from some of the details on the site that Doodlr International Limited whose terms you are signing up to is registered in Mauritius! Interesting! Apparently “Jack’s godmother works in corporate registration there” is the rationale. Block 77 is another of their ventures.

Now we will end with a reassuring video from Nasa about the possibility of today never ending if you see what we mean! At least, we thought, you could let the kids watch it!

Internet sales at record high but growth continues to slow

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Today is the third Thursday of the month so The Office for National Statistics (ONS)  have just published the monthly retail sales figures for November (pdf) We’ve cut the pdf down to exclude the 86 pages of tables. The full version is on the ONS site.

The overall figures have been given a negative reception as they show no increase and are below most forecasts

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Our Internet sales headlines:

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  • Overall internet sales are at 10.8% of all sales which is the highest ever recorded % figure
  • A somewhat unbelievable decline in the monthly year-on-year rates of growth of  the major online only retailers which goes negative for the first time in recorded history. These figures include the online sales of all the majors ie  Apple, Google, eBay, Amazon (including LoveFilm), Asos, Netflix and Shop Direct (Very, Littlewoods etc) plus others but since August the average  growth rates has been only 7.7% compared to an  average of over 20% since the statistics were first compiled. Our friends at the ONS are looking into this & hopefully will find a reason which might be some recategorisation somewhere!.
  • We’re not going to make our hoped for £10 billion quarter and may be nearer £9 rather than £9.5bn but there’s still time to go online & order all those tablets readers and other phones NOW!
  • Weekly sales were well over the £700 million level as expected and with your help could still rise to near £800 million in December for the first time ever!

October increases:

  • Monthly year on year +8.1%.(+12.2%) growth still well below historic averages
  • Year to date November 2012/2011 + 15.5% (16.5%) again showing some slowing compared with previous historical growth rates.
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on October 2012 annualised + 9.1% (2) on October 2011 +15.7%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group (Non-store retailing) showing negtative growth of -0.7% growth on 2011 and contributing  -0.3% to the overall growth of 8.1% This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow)!

As always the “history” has been revised by the ONS which this month went back as far as November 2011 with some mainly marginal changes.

The ONS words are:

Internet Sales (Headlines)

 Key Points

The estimated proportion of retail sales made online in November 2012 (Internet sales, non seasonally adjusted) increased by 1.4% compared with October 2012 and increased by 0.5% compared with November 2011. The estimated average weekly spend online in November 2012 was £711 million compared with £658 million in November 2011.

 Key figures

In November 2012, Internet sales (online sales for all retailers) were estimated to be 10.8% of all retail sales. This is a rise from 9.4% in October 2012 and 10.3% in November 2011. This is the highest proportion of online sales since the series began in November 2006, (it should be noted that the peak in internet sales usually occurs in November with the proportion falling in December). Feedback from retailers suggests that this increase is a result of their investment into their internet sites, as well as promotions held online only and not in store.

Across all retailing an estimated £7.3 billion was spent weekly in November 2012 and in November 2011, therefore consumers spent approximately the same amount in retail this year as they did last. However, looking at the average weekly spend online, weekly spend was estimated at £711 million in November 2012 compared with £658 million in November 2011. This indicates that while consumers continued to spend approximately the same amount as they did last year, this year they spent more online and less in store.

Internet Sales (details)

 Key Points

  •  The average weekly spend online (Internet sales values non-seasonally adjusted) in November 2012 was estimated at £710.9 million, which was an increase of 8.1% when compared with November 2011.
  • The amount spent online was estimated to account for 10.8% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel.
  • As expected, more was spent online in the non-store retailing sector than any other sector. Spending online now accounts for 67.4% of total spending in this sector down from 70.4% in November 2011. In the food sector 3.3% of spending was spent online, up from 3.1% a year earlier. This sector has the lowest proportion of online spend in relation to all spending.

Internet sales measure how much was spent online through retailers in Great Britain. Figures are non-seasonally adjusted and the reference year is 2010=100. Table 3 shows the year-on-year growth rates for total Internet sales, by sector and the contribution that each sector makes to total Internet sales.

Table 3, Summary of Internet Sales Performance for November 2012

Category Weight Year on year Contribution Weekly % all sales
(YoY) growth to YoY growth sales £mn
All retailing  100.0 8.1% 710.9 10.8%
(a) All food 17.3 12.0% 2.1% 97.4 3.3%
(b) All non-food 41.4 19.2% 7.9% 280.4 8.9%
Department stores 7.0 27.2% 1.9% 60.4 9.5%
Textile clothing & footwear stores 11.7 25.6% 3.0% 101.1 11.2%
Household goods stores 8.2 22.9% 1.9% 39.9 6.4%
Other stores 14.5 5.7% 0.8% 79.0 8.2%
(c) Non store retailing 41.3 -0.7% -0.3% 333.1 67.4%

We have added our annotations to the ONS table) – The bold categories/ figures in the table are the primary constituents of the total (ie (a) + (b) + (c) = All retailing). Dept. stores, Textile etc, Household etc and Other stores are simply an analysis of (b) All non-food. We have also added the sector information provided for weekly Internet Sales.

* Whilst the ONS will not confirm the names of specific retailers within categories they did say that retailers selling wholly online with no physical outlets would be included in the Non store retailing category along with eg online  mail order retailers.

As previously mentioned the figures are no longer experimental.


The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since October 2007 being the first full year of reporting by the ONS) to an all time high of £28.5bn an increase in the month (adjusted re restatements and revisions) of 0.76% annualised 9.1%. This is now the fourth consecutive month when single digit growth has been recorded and it continues to be well below the long term compound average growth rate (from 2007) of 25.8%.


The published weekly figures at £710.9 million was quite a bit down on our  prediction of £750 million and we were £0.3 billion below the annual figure. Optimistically we are looking for a weekly figure of over £800 billion to set another first time ever record which will imply a moving annual toatal over £29.0 billion

We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from late 2007 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we have mentioned before, the Boston Consulting Group forecast  in their report (The $4.2 Trillion opportunity) that this trend is likely to continue with the high streets market share contracting at around 2.75% a year from 2010 through 2016.

Further details and explanations are either in the ONS release on the statistics or on their website. As previously mentioned a retail convention of a 4, 4, 5 week quarter is used by the ONS (December is a 5 week month). To cater for the inconvenience of years not having 364 days every 6 years or so an extra week is included in the statistics. The ONS adds this in January.

Top ten for Coke & Apple partners Pepsi!

Twitter recently published details of the top 10 UK best promoted product campaigns by brands on their platform this year, based on a combination of data including total engagements, reach and impressions.

Here we go:

  1. @EE, brand launch campaign, by MEC (October)
  2. @StarbucksUK, #FreeStarbucks campaign, by Mannigottlieb OMD (March)
  3. @Puma, Usain Bolt’s 100 metre final campaign, by Zenith Optimedia (August)
  4. @DairyMilk, sample giveaway for puzzle solvers, PHD (September)
  5. @EASportsFifa, to promote the launch of Fifa13, MediaCom (September)
  6. @EnterTheCabinUK, Lionsgate promotion for launch of the film ‘Cabin in the Woods’ by MEC (April)
  7. @CokeZone, #freecocacola trend, by Carat (September)
  8. @AdidasUK, Olympics closing ceremony campaign, by Carat (August)
  9. @NowTV, Sky’s launch campaign, by MediaCom (August)
  10. @AssembleLive, Disney Pictures promotion for launch of The Avengers movie from Disney Pictures, by Carat (April)

Interesting to see that @EnteringTheCabinUK has sensibly, in our view, been taken down. Also 2 of the 10 majored on hashtags. Three places for Carat which is impressive.

The Sales Director of Twitter UK Bruce Daisley, told Marketing Magazine that the list shows that there is a “massive spread” of brands, “illustrating that Twitter can work for a road set of advertising categories.”  He added: “Some of the best performing campaigns were just great product news, with a great story told well, and they don’t have to be gimmicky.”

Daisley said other high-performing campaigns were ones which integrated online and offline, such as EE. He advised brands not to see Twitter as “an afterthought.”

#FreeCocaCola  is still going strong in both website  & Twitter terms.

On the business front Apple & Pepsico have really got together in a bit of a love-fest in Apples iPad in Business zone finding “A new way to work” together involving copious iPhone usage as well.

Several Pepsico internally designed apps are featured including:

  • Manager’s Briefcase app – Gives managers the ability to oversee deliveries, schedules, and customer contracts.
  • SPOTlight app – Provides access to SharePoint content, including presentations and videos
  •  Power4Merch app – Allows merchandisers to view schedule, store and display details

Most impressive (quality) video from the two brands as one would expect and a nice little pdf if you prefer it.

Partially sourced from Warc & Marketing Magazine

Will Social TV Ratings cross the Atlantic?

Nielsen & Twitter have just  announced “ … an exclusive multi-year agreement to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” for the US market. Under this agreement, Nielsen and Twitter will deliver a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter, slated for commercial availability at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.”

Shame it’s initially only in the US because as Nielsen rightly say “ …. Twitter is the pre-eminent source of real-time television engagement data.”  Twitter unsurprisingly concur! “Twitter has become the world’s digital water cooler, where conversations about TV happen in real time.”

“The Nielsen Twitter TV Rating will enhance the social TV analytics and metrics available today from SocialGuide by adding the first-ever measurement of the total audience for social TV activity – both those participating in the conversation and those who were exposed to the activity –providing the precise size of the audience and effect of social TV to TV programming.

SocialGuide, recently acquired by Nielsen and NM Incite, currently captures Twitter TV activity for all U.S. programming across 234 TV channels in English and Spanish, and more than 36,000 programs.  Through a sophisticated classification process, SocialGuide matches Tweets to TV programs to offer key social TV metrics including the number of unique Tweets associated with a given program and rankings for the most social TV programs. “The Nielsen Twitter TV Rating will serve to complement Nielsen’s existing TV ratings, giving TV networks and advertisers the real-time metrics required to understand TV audience social activity.”

“The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has generated a substantial ‘connected’ TV audience that is simultaneously watching television and accessing the Internet through these devices. This, in turn, will continue to create the opportunity for content providers * to offer engaging interactive features for our viewers.  As this form of viewer engagement evolves into a mainstream activity, it presents ways * to enhance the viewing experience for our viewers and our advertisers.  We are already engaged with Nielsen and Twitter in a program of research and experimentation in this exciting new area,” (We edited out *CBS as it applies to any content provider)

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Which, sort of neatly brings us to comScore’s recent research on EU and UK smartphone usage.  The UK comes out in second place (to Spain) with 62.3% of all mobile users having smartphones.

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In the UK Apple still, just, leads the suppliers ahead of Samsung with Blackberry a distant third.  Android of course has a significant lead on the operating system front with no major move from Windows yet.

So all that’s left for us to do now is pick up the phone turn on the TV & start Tweeting! Oh & by the way by 2016 85% of us will be buying a connected TV according to Gartner!

A gTLD lottery and an internet champion

UPDATE December 18 – The results are in and MICROSOFT (475) wins ahead of  SAMSUNG (671) and APPLE (948) with AMAZON (1,156) and GOOGLE (1,545) well down the field.

ICANN‘s new gTLD prioritisation draw (provisional ) results (pdf).

On a local note CYMRU (244) was way ahead of WALES (807) pushing SCOT (1,453) down into third place!

ICANN are holding a, what we regard as rather bizarre, draw at 1pm PST ( 9pm GMT) today amongst the 1930 applicants for the new gTLD’s. They say it “ … is an equitable and fair way to order the release of initial evaluation results for all new gTLD applications. The Draw will determine the order by which applications move through the remaining stages of the program.”

Here’s a listing (and the current status) of the 1,930 applications ranging from Amazon (bit of a dispute already brewing here) through Cymru/ Wales (being organised by our very own Nominet who have a rather choice consultation on the Celtic addition(s )) to WTF. Bit of poetic licence has been adopted as  the first and last are actually AAAand Zulu! If you are of a statistical bent they also have included some fairly helpful analyses.

Unsurprisingly the objection period has been extended by a couple of months to March 2013. So there’s still time if you want to participate!

The prioritisation draw is being streamed live and once available  we will add it here a little nearer the time!


Live streaming by Ustream

Age Concern are running their  fourth Internet Champion of the Year Competition and entries are required by 10 January 2013. Full details are here.

Here’s their video


We of course have our very own Prize draw re Nominets other consultation on the .UK domainspace which we encourage you to enter.

Here are a couple of recent Guardian Media Network articles on this topic (and a comment – with possibly another on the way)!

Phil Kingsland is Nominet’s Director of (ie he is not a main board director) Marketing and Communications

Keep an I on our week (Only x Days to go edition)

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. Weak registrations in October – dotuk domain cliff approaches as new Nominet COO / director appointed 
  2. e Smartphones and i TV’s in the 2nd half of 2013? 
  3. What in the World have we been searching for

X equals:

    • 23 days to respond to Nominet’s consultation either by the express route or via our prize draw version (remember an Ashes ticket is up for grabs)
    • 11 days for Nipper & Gramophone to save HMV
    • 10 days before you can get (some) FREE music from Apple if you sign up for the all new iTunes version11
    • 8 days before the all NEW Snowman & Snowdog  screens on Channel 4 at 8pm

and finally

    • 9 days to Christmas!

On the Apple front a rather fascinating bit of gossip / research  has emerged from, a usually reliable source, Display Search  via CNET  indicating that iPad mini sales are, to use an Apple phrase, off the charts, and now exceeding the maxi version. Figures of 12 million mini’s are being quoted for the quarter which from a, sort of, standing start would be quite exceptional. We are 7” fans and whilst the mini is bigger than our Nexus 7 it is still, in our view a lot handier than the maxi iPad!

Talking of charts we along with several million others have had out iTunes invitation to download their 12 days of Christmas app (iPhone and iPad). Not quite sure about their 12 days definition though!

We will leave you with the trailer for the all NEW Snowman & Snowdog.The 24 minute film should not be missed (Christmas eve Channel 4 8pm). Believe it or not Snowman is celebrating his 30th birthday. Both they and HMV with Nipper (now 6 Christmas Tales on our Nipper Channel by the way!) are out to convert another generation. We think they both deserve to succeed!

What in the World have we been searching for?

Google have now fully updated their Zeitgeist pages with their 2012 search results and have details of the most popular from 55 different countries and the World. They have numerous categories of searches and a wealth of fascinating information.

We will simply show a limited selection of the overall most popular searches for the World some English Speaking countries and the BRIC countries, leaving you with Google’s introductory video. We do encourage you to explore!

Google  Searches 2012
World UK USA Australia
1 Whitney Houston Euro 2012 Whitney Houston Gangnam Style
2 Gangnam Style Olympic tickets Hurricane Sandy The Voice
3 Hurricane Sandy Whitney Houston Election 2012 One Direction
4 iPad 3 Kate Middleton Hunger Games Whitney Houston
5 Diablo 3 April Jones Jeremy Lin Olympics
6 Kate Middleton Netflix Olympics 2012 Oz Lotto
7 Olympics 2012 Natwest Online Amanda Todd Diablo 3
8 Amanda Todd iPad 3 Gangnam Style Hurricane Sandy
9 Michael Clarke Duncan Gary Barlow Michael Clarke Duncan KONY
10 BBB12 Gangnam Style KONY 2012 Morgan Freeman 2 5 1 2

We apologise in advance for the BRIC country translations (courtesy Google) and any inappropriate links! Google of course in China is well behind their leading search engine Baidu. Brazil’s Zerg Rush is worth a visit – just wait!

Google  Searches 2012 (BRIC countries)
Brazil Russia India
1 Face ютюб (YouTube) IBPS
2 BBB12 смотреть фильмы онлайн (Online Movies) Gate Exams
3 Ask олимпиада 2012 (Olympics) Sunny Leone
4 Avenida Brasil одноклассники социальная сеть (Social network site) Ek Tha Tiger
5 Zerg Rush вконтакте моя страница (Social network site) Rowdy Rathore
6 Eleições 2012 евро 2012 (Euro 2012) Cbse
7 Transformice евровидение 2012 ((Eurovision 2012) Rajesh Khanna
8 Enem великолепный век (Magnificent century) Aakash Tablet
9 TRE выборы 2012 (Elections 2012) Hdfc
10 Fina Estampa универ новая общага (University dormitory) Jabong


1 中国好声音 (Chinas voice)
2 伦敦奥运会 (London Olympics)
3 江南 Style (Jiangnan Style)
4 甄嬛传 (Zhen Huan Chuan)
5 钓鱼岛 (Diaoyu Islands)
6 爱情公寓 3 (Love apartment 3)
7 神九 (God nine)
8 iPad3
9 海葵 (Sea anemone
10 安卓游戏 (Android Games)


Weak registrations in October – dotuk domain cliff approaches as new Nominet COO/Director appointed

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This may be an exclusive! The only Nominet  source for new registrations, following their cessation of publication of detailed .uk domain registration figures from September, is their Board Meeting “Communiqué”. The November version, allegedly, published yesterday has been unavailable since last night. We of course have informed them. We hope Eleanor Bradley their newly appointed Chief Operating Officer and main board Director has a good eye for detail as we do tend to come across these sort of glitches on a rather regular basis. Just in case its availability status is updated (it has been as of 10.15am GMT December 14) be our guests & read the November Communiqué. (Page link lest they change the link or in case you would prefer to try it yourself!) We understand their Communications department are on an away day today – no comment!

As a sort of introduction to Eleanor  Bradley we have again included her video explaining the proposals which, possibly due to its limited availability has only had 34 views on YouTube rather than the millions it deserves!

Whist their was a small increase in October (+3.9%) on last month  the year to date  figures continue to show nearly a 5% reduction. This compares we calculate (source  Hosterstats ) to dotcom’s which are running at +5.5% over last year. The dotuk trend first occurring in September of registrations being below all of the last three years ie 2011,2010 and 2009 continues. With the traditionally weakest two months underway and the disruptive proposals staggering along we are not optimistic and fear we are on the edge!

Total domains on their register have grown to a little under 10.3 million and on a countback basis comes to 65.0 (65.0) months new registrations.

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The comparative unadjusted graph is included showing the current run rate again being below that of 2009. The moving annual total is down by a further 1.3k (21.2k) on last month and at 1.99 (1.99) million is back to its June 2010 level.

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Less than 2 million for the year looks like a certainty now and 1.9 million might be a struggle.








Here’s the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer & main Board Director Eleanor Bradley. Whilst we disagree with what she says, we think, she says it well!