Monday, November 3, 2014

Project Beacon

I have just received this notice:

"On the 11th, 12 and 13th of November, BizDojo are holding workshops to discuss the creation, activation and population of Project: Beacon - a new space in the Hutt City for the benefit of entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, small businesses and innovators working in the region with an interest in exploring what it means to be based closer to home.

"We want you! Your experience and ideas can help form this project, which aims to encourage activity and growth across all sectors in the Hutt City Region. We want you to have a place that feels like somewhere you can be productive, meet with clients and collaborators, and have a great time. But what do you want? BizDojo are New Zealand's largest co-working provider, and our collaboration with Hutt City Council is focussed on finding solutions that work for local people.

"Our workshops provide a neutral environment for you to make suggestions, have discussions, tell us what you need, and meet other movers and shakers working across the fields of technology, entertainment, design, sustainability and beyond! We will be facilitating workshop attendees through an engaging process. Come with the will to voice your opinions and listen to those of others.

"Each workshop will be two hours, with refreshments and snacks provided. Places are limited. Please sign up here for a workshop time that suits you."

I myself have just signed up for a workshop!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hutt Valley Business Expo 2014

This year's business expo had a change of venue because the town halls were closed due to renovation. So this year the Hutt Valley business expo was moved to the Petone Working Men's Club in Udy Street. The new venue made a world of difference because visitors had access to the bars and cafes of the Working Men's Club. This made for a far more cozy and matey atmosphere than the cups of tea and homebake stalls offered in the horticultural hall at previous expos. I imagine nobody would complain if the expo stayed there, but if not, I shall see how the business expo for 2015 fares in the renovated town halls of Lower Hutt.

This year's expo featured some surprises. One was a stall where you can get your business trademarked. I have never seen this before. Another was for the cupcake shop down the road, and winners of the lucky draw could get cupcakes imprinted with their business logo. And it was a bit of a surprise to see the Hutt Library there as well. I think the one that would have been popular with the kids if there had been any was Balloon Biz, where you could get balloons with your business logo on them! Some of the businesses were very unusual, such as the one for Alternative Healing with Bioptron Light Therapy.

Other stalls featured land surveys, fitness gyms, Hutt News, Gee & Hickton Funeral Directors (yes, some of them did make you think a bit!), accountants, lawyers, office supplies, technology, banking, human resources and website solutions.

There were some new twists on the draws to win prizes. At several stalls you could throw darts to win prizes. This was the first time I have seen this at the business expo, and the first time I tried darts too. And one stall featured a prize that any rugby fan would die for - a rugby ball with all the autographs of the All Blacks!

Monday, July 14, 2014


You may have heard of Fiverr, the site where you can buy or sell a service for five American dollars. Services range from graphics & design to advertising and business. For five American dollars, you can buy the gig that a service provider offers, such as drawing your ideas in a cartoon style or optimising your website. Fiverr is what is known as a quick task site, where services providers do small jobs for a fixed sum, and Fiverr is one of the biggest quick task sites in the world. I have bought a gig there myself at one point, and I know a contact who has bought several there too.

Fiverr is so big, in fact, that it has now spawned a New Zealand equivalent, TenUp:
"TenUp works by people offering their services for a fixed price of $10. These services could be as simple as proofreading an essay for someone or as crazy as shaving your head for a fundraising".

So if you want a task done quick and if you don't have much money, or if you want a new avenue to expand your services in, TenUp could be one place for you. And it is home grown, so you are supporting New Zealand economy.

September Showdown: A political junkie's guide to the upcoming election

September Showdown: A political junkie's guide to the upcoming election by John Terris is the latest publication where I have been part of the proofreading and editing team. September Showdown will be launched on 17 July at Naenae Boxing Academy, cnr Treadwell and Sladden Streets, Naenae at 6pm.

Told in the form of letters to John's nephew Basil, it provides insights, tricks of the trade, experiences and advice on the road to Parliament and how to sit your best in a Parliamentary seat while navigating the tricky river of politics. This book is intended to be useful for election hopefuls, particularly as this is election year,  be a very fun tongue-in-cheek read, even for people who are not into politics, and give all readers insights into the operation of NZ politics.

September Showdown retails at $24.95 from bookshops.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Coverblurb: A new writing website

I received an email from The Writers' Cooperative, a writing group I subscribe to. There is going to be a whole new site for freelance writers! The message reads as follows:

"Our Writers’ Co-operative, Writer’s Choice, is putting together – actually our brilliant Sharon Robards is doing it – a rather special website. We’d like to invite writers’ groups like RWNZ or freelance writers to consider using it.

"CoverBlurb is a multi-media social site for readers, authors, and anyone interested in entertainment related to books. We’re interested in anything to do with books and writing presented via various media.

"Our aim is to extend beyond the book and the blurb and to include all media related to any individual title and provide a more personal experience for readers in regards to how books are created, their inspiration, settings and more.

Authors can feature new book trailers, covers, interviews, audio only interviews, and even hold a live video conference with their readers, and if you’re a reader or blogger you can upload video book reviews - or perhaps even your own book trailer for a book you have read if that book is in the public domain and no longer under copyright. You might have a picture with your favourite author or a signed copy of their book. Share the images with others on CoverBlurb.

"Everyone can watch book trailers, reviews, interviews and much more on CoverBlurb. People can see first-hand newly released book trailers, find videos about their favourite books, find books they have never heard of, and gain a more personal insight into each title by authors and their readers interacting with photos and video. The use of CoverBlurb is only limited by your imagination.

Register at the site first, then Sharon will manually approve the registration. In the next few days they will be able to link up their blogs, like happens on Goodreads, and the groups will have more functions added and the galleries etc… promotions and PR will be pushed to coverblurbs Googleplus, Facebook, and twitters pages, and of course on our special Writers’ Choice website."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Hutt Valley Hub

Today I went to check out The Hutt Valley Hub. The Hub is a shared premises in Lower Hutt where you can find a professional environment for co-working and collaboration. If you have a business but can't afford an office, you can run your business at The Hub. Or, if you are not a business person, The Hub is also a place where you can work with other people who can support and encourage you. The Hub provides you with Wifi, tea/coffee, meeting rooms, hot desks, training room areas and a shared reception. During March it will be free for you to use, but afterwards there will be charges. Well, that's what the brochure says.

I myself went down to the Hub to see what it was like and what contacts I could find. It was pretty quiet, and the atmosphere reflected how new and clean it was, but it was pretty nice. The contacts I did find were Citizens Advice Bureau, and I had a jolly good natter with them. I think CAB is taking advantage of the Hub facilitities after being forced to leave the Community Centre and shunted into Apex House. I think I will go to the Hub again and see what else it can offer. It is still pretty new, and open for more discussion on how it can benefit the people and businesses of the Hutt Valley. In the meantime, it looks like one place where you can find a meeting room or place to work and you're pressed for time.

The Hub can be found at
8 Margaret Street
Lower Hutt
Phone: 586 3255
10-2pm Monday to Friday. Other times by arrangement.