Alan

Is it just me?

Perhaps its just me… But I get really hacked off when people use my name in what is, to all intents and purposes, a fake testimonial!

This is exactly what Facebook are doing with their ‘friend finder’ !

No doubt you’ve seen it as you’ve been around on Facebook – it’s been showing up regularly near the top right of the screen for quite some time now. It sits their saying “X and Y have found friends using…”

I’d never really given it much thought until last week when I accidentally loged into someone else’s account on a shared PC, only to see my name there telling them I’d used ‘friend finder’ to successfully locate friends on Facebook… Continue reading

The easy way to get new Twitter followers…

TwitterAnyone who knows me will tell you I’m no fan of Twitter. It’s a pointless mass of white noise in my opinion.

But – if you’re the kind of sad individual who values quantity above quality – here’s a tip for you…

I play with Twitter – (only because I hate it so much, and as research for posts like this). Overnight I got 200+ new followers on one of my accounts, and they are still coming in at the rate of around ten to twenty an hour.

How? Very simple, just add the ‘big name’ Internet Marketers to your Twitter account.

If you don’t know who they are – they aren’t hard to find. You probably already have mails from the likes of Eban Pagan and Yaro Starak in your spam folder, having been ‘tempted’ into subscribing to their mailing list to download some free useless information in the past…

Your new followers will for the most part be generated by bots, and be of no use whatsoever – and are only from sad ‘get rich quick on the Internet’ types – but it’ll up your numbers.

Missing person – Vincent Bosq

Vincent BosqA few days ago Elle posted a piece on our Lanzarote Relocation site about missing Frenchman Vincent Bosq. We spoke with Vincent’s sister earlier today – and Vincent is still missing.

It seems that Vincent was able to contact his sister via the Policia Local in Arrecife, so there is a little more information. She tells us that Vincent has had his identification papers stolen and has no money. The family tried to send him money via Western Union, but having no papers or passport he was unable to collect it.

The family think that Vincent has been living on the streets of Arrecife somewhere around the Police station or El Charco de San Gines. If anyone sees him can you please let us know on 663 603 345. Obviously after several months on the streets Vincent may look somewhat different.

Also, if you have shop premises, or friends in Arrecife can you please help by circulating this missing poster throughout the city. Perhaps if Vincent sees it he will then make contact with so we can help his family get the assistance to him he needs to get home safely. Obviously the family are very concerned and they are also worried that Vincent has an ongoing medical problem that might need some attention.

Click here to download the PDF

Please feel free to pass this poster around as widely as possible!

Is it just me…?

…or is everyone else tired of all the ‘get rich quick’ nonsense scattered about the Internet nowadays?

As anyone who has visited this site, or who knows me will be aware, we run this site mostly for fun (you can visit Gandy-Draper if you want to see the more commercial face of our Lanzarote web design services). So, here’s something put here purely for my own, and maybe your, amusement.

I guess with to much time on my hands the other day (it was my birthday coming the day after, so I was winding down a bit) I decided to have a little play and threw together this little number. When you spend as much time as I do working on and trawling around the Internet you can’t help but stumble on sites – no matter how much you try to avoid them – all promising to make you rich with absolutely no effort whatsoever on your part. This could be described as my reaction.

Click here to see the site (but not if you might be offended by bad language).

TVI Express, is it a scam?

The simple answer if you do a bit off digging is yes!

I sometimes use this site as a way to alert the readers of scams. Having stumbled on a business card promoting the TVI scheme in Playa Blanca here in Lanzarote very recently and having previously been asked by a friend to check out its credibility this seemed as good a place as any to put this. I won’t embarrass anyone with the name on the card – they’ve just got sucked into a pyramid scam and have lost $275-

What claims do they make?

  • they claim it’s a legitimate travel business
  • that you can make $10,000 a week from recruiting others

What is it in reality?

It’s a classic pyramid sales scam, (A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves the exchange of money primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, without any product or service being delivered. Pyramid schemes are a form of fraud – Wikipedia)

If  you’re the person who’s name is on the card (nobody I know), I’m very sorry you got ripped off.

Anyone else, please be on your guard. I know times are hard for many here on our little island, as they are elsewhere, it’s a perfect time for the unscrupulous to prey on hopes and dreams. Make no doubt these people will take your last penny off you.  Don’t buy dreams – if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. We all know that – but sometimes even good people get caught out when times are tough.

Department for Work and Pensions banner campaign…

Has anyone else noticed the apparent blanket coverage of the Department for Work and Pensions Google AdSense banner advertising campaign? It seems impossible to logon the the likes of Hotmail and other similar public sites from a Spanish IP address without seeing this banner and and other variations on the theme.

You have to have to wonder how cost effective this is to the UK taxpayer? I’d love to see the relative cost to the monies recovered through prosecutions as a result of the campaign. My guess would be that the number of potential ‘informers’ would be very small compared to the number of honest ex-pats who pay their taxes in Spain would be very small.

And, seriously, what are the odds of the benefit fraudsters themselves clicking on it – and then feeling guilty enough to hand themselves in…? It’s not going to happen is it!

For those of us legitimately resident and not paying UK taxes, it does have something of a Big Brother feel. A bit like the school headmaster in an assembly trying to identify a culprit whilst making everyone else in the room feel somewhat guilty despite having committed no offence.

Personally I think they’d get far more bang for their buck running a PR campaign through ex-pat newspapers, publications and other media.

Chavtowns – a really funny site…

ChavetteWhat a great website!

I’ve got no work done this morning laughing my way through this – it’s a must see website for anyone in the UK. The reviews of various towns around the country are fantastic, highly amusing – and judging from the places I read that I know, filled with more than a smattering of accuracy.

And it’s not only the articles that are funny – perhaps even more amusing are the comments from people defending their little corner of the green and promised land!

I rarely put comments on sites but couldn’t resist having another dig at Thorpe Park Security, where the page described Chertsey as being “One third pikey scum another is full of chavs and chavettes and the remaining minority are pretty decent folk. I guess if that’s the pool Thorpe Park recruitment people have to choose from – it explains a lot!

Hat’s off to whoever did it – fantastic idea and a great read!

If you’ve got half an hour or more to kill Chavtowns is a must read!

Happy New Year!

Well, it’s the time of year again that we are expecting a run of traffic on our Lanzarote Relocation site – a site that offers information for people thinking of moving to Lanzarote. With all the New Year resolutions and the new year – fresh start attitude that goes with the beginning of the year we always see a spike of traffic in January.

As ever we’d give anyone the same advice as usual;

  • Take off the rose tinted glasses – becoming an ex-pat in Lanzarote, as anywhere else, is not as easy as it first seems, especially if you need to make a living.
  • Don’t buy immediately, make sure the move is really for you. Rent for at least the first six months, get to know the areas, get to know the property market, and spend time to find out which are the reputable estate agents before considering buying property.
  • Follow personal recommendations – but also be aware that not everyone are as genuine as they seem. Earnings are not what they are in the UK, so a ‘kick back’ culture is exploited by many to generate business/supplement poor earnings.
  • Try to learn at least a little of the language – it’s a basic courtesy to our Spanish speaking hosts…

We’ve been here some years now and have seen all sorts of people come through the Lanzarote Relocation site. Dreamers who will never make the move, people who try but are not fully committed, some who really want to but it’s not the right time just yet, people who try with the best of intentions yet don’t succeed – and of course some real success stories!

For us the site has been a real success for its visitors – and we think the main reasons are that we are honest and open about who and what we are, and the advice and information we offer is free. We make very little money from the site – and we have no wish to. It  pays for its costs with affiliate advertising – and certainly doesn’t even come close to paying for the large amount of time spent on it. But money was never a part of our thinking behind this site. We simply wanted to pass on what we have learned from moving to and living on the island to others.  The site has gone from strength to strength, and continues to grow. We’re very proud to be able to say we are not part of the ‘kick back’ culture that so many are as we take no financial incentive for recommending any of the companies on it.

Yes – Lanzarote has suffered from the recession – despite what some will tell you, the property market is still pretty stagnant from what we see – which on the upside means there are bargains to be had. Many ex-pats are heading back to the UK as it has become increasingly harder to make a living or find jobs in Lanzarote. Bars have closed, as have many other businesses, tourism numbers have been down – though the island has seemed relatively busy over the Christmas period… It’s probably not the best time to move out here right now unless you have money or real confidence in your ‘plan’. If you’re going to be dependant upon finding a job – it may be best to shelve your ideas until the global market changes.

We’ve been very lucky with our business – we’ve continued to grow and are still growing with website builds for clients on the island and in the UK. We’re fairly confident in saying that with over 150 active clients in Lanzarote, Gandy-Draper is most likely the largest English speaking web design business on the island – with our client base being made up of English, Spanish and German clients.

Our Canary Nightlife site continues to grow with new clients signing up in Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Tenerife over the course of 2009 and shows great potential for further growth.

Thankfully, it’s been a fairly good year all round for us – life is what you make it! Make no mistake though, we work hard for what we have – life on a holiday island isn’t necessarily a holiday…

Happy New Year to everyone on and off the island!

Photography

One thing not that many people in Lanzarote know about me was that I originally did a degree in photography – but never chose to follow it as a career. I’ve taken on the occasional project over the years (usually under duress), and have spent some time teaching the subject (far more appealing to me than the pressures of professional photography) in higher education both in the UK and US… But, I still keep my hand in for my own pleasure and amusement and sell the occasional image through photo libraries.

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