Tag Archives: blog

Todo ha cambiado ya

Hace unos meses leí el libro “Todo va a cambiar”, de Enrique Dans (profesor del Instituto de Empresa y blogger), que recomiendo.

De este libro en particular me gusta la diversidad de temas que trata y el enfoque positivo, divulgador que tiene con cada uno de ellos: neutralidad de la red, copyright, impacto de las nuevas formas de comunicación en las empresas y las personas, políticas de comunicación de empresas e instituciones, relaciones con clientes, soluciones a problemas desde las nuevas tecnologías, generación de contenidos, web 2.0…

Para aquellos que lean regularmente su blog, este libro no aporta grandes novedades, se trata más bien una recolección amplia y ordenada de las visiones que el autor tiene sobre varios temas de los que regularmente escribe en el blog.

Especialmente anima a que la gente experimente, use redes sociales, escriba un blog, se haga una cuenta en twitter, etc. Además ofrece varios consejos para padres con hijos pequeños sobre cómo afrontar el acceso de estos a la red de una forma natural, lejos de intentar prohibir el uso de la misma.

Unos meses después de haber leído el libro, los capítulos sobre el impacto en la sociedad de las nuevas tecnologías cobran mayor relevancia tras haber visto los muchos movimientos originados y / o  amplificados tanto en los países árabes como en España antes y después la últimas elecciones municipales y regionales.

Como dice el autor al final del libro: no es que todo vaya a cambiar, sino que todo ya ha cambiado

Por cierto, ante la pregunta ¿debo tener/abrir un blog? La respuesta del autor, que comparto, es: si todavía no lo tienes la respuesta es sí.

Finalmente, quería dejar un enlace a otro post escrito por un amigo en el blog de los Jefotecs donde también dan su visión sobre algunos de los temas que trata el libro (descargas, conocimiento, neutralidad de la red).

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Start blogging

Today it’s been a year since I started this blog. I wrote the first post on February 9th 2010, and went live a few days later. I had been musing the idea of starting it for some months plus some people close to me encouraged me to do so as well.

In the end I decided to give it a try. Initially, I took it as a learning process: It would force me to learn what that of blogging was, some etiquette about them, etc… Few days after the starting the blog I created my Twitter account and gave it a try with some other tools… still, there are many other tools and applications that I still have to learn and use.

During those days I had the simile in my head of our previous generation: some of them are not even using the internet for as little as 10% of the things we use it for (buying things, social media, reading the papers, watching videos, etc.). It all started because some years ago they did not push themselves to try it, when it was all starting. This was what moved me to start. Who knows how the Internet will evolve from now to 10 years time? But what it is sure is that it won’t go backwards, so we better do as much as we can not to stay behind.

I just finished reading the book “Todo va a cambiar”, by Enrique Dans (in Spanish; I may write about the book soon), in the last chapters you may read the following passage:

“¿Debe […] empezar un blog? La respuesta es clara y concisa: si no lo ha hecho hasta ahora, sí”

Starting the blog is relatively easy; you just need to follow the instructions of any of the free blogging services. Continuing with it is a bit more difficult. You need to be creative, think about more or less valuable ideas that you want to transmit: During this first year I have written 120 posts, about 10 per month or one every 3 days… behind some of them there are hours, of thought, of calculations, of editing. But it has always been fun (as my brother said “you started it because you wanted to preach freely”).

It is fun to think about ideas, that later may or may not be translated into a post, while you are travelling, reading the paper, watching a video, etc. It is fun to see the statistics (over 8,000 visits during this first year), make calculations with them (for an average of 22 visits/day), it is fun to read and reply to comments, and even better to see someone recommending one of your posts.

There are many, yes, many other very good reasons for writing a blog.

Since some months ago I follow in Twitter and read the blog of Connor Neill, a professor at IESE business school. I had the chance to attend a workshop/conference by him at the Toastmasters District 59 Fall conference in Barcelona last November where he spoke about leadership. One of the pieces of advice he gave was to write every day for some time, be it 5 minutes, 500 words…

You may find a very good post in his blog that describes very well that part of his presentation about the importance of writing, where he gives up to 20 “starting questions to use for reflection”.

Should you start a blog? The answer is clear and concise: if you haven’t done it yet, yes.

6 Comments

Filed under Books, Personal development & HR, Toastmasters, Twitter & Media

Summary of 2010

Let me share with you a brief recap of my 2010.

This was a heavy learning year, to name a few learning experiences:

  • I continued to study French,
  • Toastmasters: I delivered some speeches at Toastmasters, received the CL and ALB awards, and attended 2 District 59 conferences and 1 Division H conference.
  • I went to several EOI conferences and others, including one with the economist Robert E. Lucas who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1995 and the TEDx Madrid event.
  • I read over a dozen books, many of which I commented here (being the 3 ones I liked the most these ones: first, second and third). At the end of the year I was given an eBook so I expect this trend to continue.
  • I continued to enjoy the subscription to The Economist (frankly, one of the best decisions I’ve taken in recent years) and subscribed to Scientific American for a dime.

I also had lots of fun reading and learning things related to aerospace & defence, to investments, and enjoyed supporting some charities and especially seeing some friends starting to support them as well.

Travelling. Either we together or I visited for the first time Porto, Morocco, Tunisia, Poland and Egypt. We also spent some time in Luxembourg, Brazil, Netherlands, Sevilla and France. Travelling well over 65,000 km last year (equivalent to 1.6 rounds to the Earth). Of all the places we visited, the view that I liked the most was the falls of Iguaçu, no doubt.

Javi 2.0 Encouraged by Luca and some friends I started this blog in February 2010 and a twitter account shortly afterwards. I reckon that my twitter account has become one of my biggest hobbies and sources of information apart from a communication channel with friends. I even saw some friends (here and here) and my sister starting their own blogs!

In the sports side… even though this has been a great year for Spanish sportsmen, it hasn’t been so for Real Madrid: not for the football or basketball section (being the last year I attended with the season ticket). On the personal side I competed in two championships of Minifutbol but won neither one, the same applies to paddle tournaments… the best sports moment was completing once again the San Silvestre race.

Other reasons for joy have been:

  • our friends Amalia & Paco, María & Alberto, Janine & Rients, Leyre & German got married,
  • we saw the newborns Paula and Javier, while two of our friends are pregnant today (that we know),
  • my sister finished her bachelor and continued studying a master; my brother finished his MBA and joined my company; my mother continued to take several courses.

To close the year, I got a new position within the same company in another country, where I moved a month ago. This will allow me to continue learning and experiencing new things!

I use to tell my friends and family that since long ago I feel that I enjoy more and more each coming year and am happier with time; this year, with a few bad moments included (including some sad losses), has been no exception to the trend. Thanks to all of you who contributed to it. As I say, if it continues like this, I may explode one of these years :-).

Now it’s time to make some few resolutions for 2011 as well… I have thought of 5, that if I manage to fulfill, next year’s account will be even shinier. I wish you the same: keep learning and enjoying your time.

13 Comments

Filed under Personal development & HR

Impact of an AdWords campaign (cont.)

After my previous post was published, I had a conversation about it and received some comments. These made me think that it could be interesting to comment on the other 2 campaigns to gain more insight about how AdWords works and how useful it can or cannot be. First, let me share some data of the 3 campaigns:

  • Al Andalus club (Rota, Cadiz): had a cost of 29.68€ for 250 clicks, thus 0.12€ per click (CPC). It appeared in the screens 208,520 times. It used 72 words or combination of words, restricted to a circular area about 90km around Rota.
  • Standing Ovation club (Madrid): had a cost of 16.56€ for 59 clicks, thus 0.28€ per click (CPC). It appeared in the screens 166,291 times. It used 49 words or combination of words and was restricted to Madrid region.
  • Blog: had a cost of 51.96€ for 1,410 clicks, thus 0.04€ per click (CPC). It appeared in the screens 3,685,521 times. It used 41 words or combination of words and was not geographically restricted.

Even though I am not an expert in AdWords, from what I have experienced and as you can see above:

  • The more clicks it has the lower the price per click will be.
  • You may set a maximum amount of money you want to spend per day (I normally didn’t spend more than 1.5€ euro per day per campaign), this means that once that amount is reached your campaign is de-activated until the next day (ads won’t appear for some hours).
  • Using more words does not necessarily translate into more clicks. You need to find adequate words, related to the website, so it appears and appears high enough in the web. Also, some words are more expensive than others, though the price varies with the number of clicks.
  • The ads themselves need to be attractive, as it may appear many times but still needs to make people click on it. In that sense, the most successful one was that of Al Andalus (people clicked on it 0.12% of the times it appeared; 3 times more effective than the other 2 campaigns).
  • You need to focus the campaign in the segment you want to target. E.g., I first centered the area for Al Andalus campaign, until I found out that some clicks (consuming campaign money) came from Tanger and other Moroccan cities… I had to move the target area, as no one from Morocco would go to the club on a weekly basis.

I didn’t measure any kind of conversion rate as I am not selling anything through my blog nor could I check how many guests went to Al Andalus or Standing Ovation meetings thanks to ads (I was not attending those clubs); and that would be an extremely interesting indicator for any business.

Finally, my friend got the 75€ from a special offer from Google. In the Iberia in-flight magazine (“Ronda”), I have also seen some months ago codes for 50€ to be used in AdWords campaigns. So, be aware of possible next opportunities and give it a try (and you can always spend some little money as a learning experience – everything is very well explained inside AdWords tool).

4 Comments

Filed under Marketing

Impact of an AdWords campaign

Some months ago, my friend Nacho gave me as a gift 75€ to be used in AdWords campaigns. I set up 3 of them: 2 of them promoting 2 Toastmasters clubs, the third one promoting this blog.

According to the campaign report the blog received 1,410 visits from the advertisements. The campaign ended in July and cost 51.96€; thus the average cost per click (CPC) was 0.037€.

I plotted in the following graphic what the total visits per month have been (blue line) and the total visits less the ones that originated from AdWords ads (green line).

Evolution of the blog.

You can see the big impact of the campaign: so far 26% of the visits came from it (since February, when I started the blog, to the end of November the blog received 5,434 visits), while the campaign was active up to 48% of the visits came from it.

Discounting the campaign (green line) we can still see that the pattern of the growth is not as smooth as we would expect. That is why I linearly interpolated visits from March to June (and in August, where you see that due to the low activity of the blog – holidays – there were less visits than the trend) and plotted the red line (adjusted).

Finally, I tried to see what trend line adjusted better to the growth of the blog, using the adjusted red line, and even though now it seems that follows closely a second grade polynomial I guess the evolution of the blog should follow an exponential (if any).

From this analysis I conclude that:

  • The real impact of the AdWords campaign is the difference between blue and red lines, instead of blue vs. green ones. This would mean 243 extra click for free; this would have had a cost of ~9€, not much but a whole 17% extra than what I paid. Where did those extra clicks come from? E.g. people who saw the ad but didn’t click on it and did enter the blog, people who enter in the blog more times than the initial click…
  • It could be predicted that the blog should have ~850 visits in December, and in January ~1,000, a year after it started (if indeed it follows the exponential pattern of evolution)… we’ll see.

7 Comments

Filed under Marketing

The best (and the worst) of the first 100 posts

Today is a symbolic day for the blog: this is its 100th post.

I started the blog in February 2010 and about 15 posts ago I thought: “what could I write about for my 100th post?”.

A reflection: To be honest, after 100 posts I still haven’t got a clear idea of which post topics you, the readers, like more and which less. What do you think? In this post, I will just give you the list of the ten most read posts and the ten least read ones…

1. An aircraft worth its weight in gold?
2. FC Barcelona copying Real Madrid
3. A Kiva success story
4. Mi adiós a Ibercaja
5. Boeing forecast for A380
6. Most common letters in English and Spanish
7. TEDxMadrid 2010
8. Venture Capital & Crowdfunding
9. 3 wishes to Nosso Senhor do Bonfim
10. My flat-renting decision process

90. Giving feedback at Pixar
91. From climbing to merely walking
92. Sao Paulo from the top of Banespa building
93. How rain determines olive tree economics
94. Nothing like a good red wine…
95. Speech about Minifutbol
96. Three centuries of confusion
97. Opera with subtitles
98. Book review: Pirate Latitudes
99. Book review: La Hermandad de la Sabana Santa

Some stats from this period: over 5,700 visits (~18 per day), being the day I announced that I moved to Toulouse the most visited one.

Let’s see what I’ll write in the next 100 posts…

 

NOTE: the box in the right showing “Top Posts” shows the most read ones in the last week, not the all-time most read ones (the ones above).

6 Comments

Filed under Personal development & HR

“Caimaneando”

Last year Luca and I went to Peru on holidays. One of the places we visited was the Amazon basin, where we stayed some days in the rainforest in a ecotourism lodge (Posada Amazonas) close to the river Tambopata.  

There we spent two days walking around the jungle, watching different species of animals and plants, going out in the middle of the storm, sleeping in the open air… everything in a place without electricity, hot water, internet and some other Western amenities, 3 hours by boat away from Puerto Maldonado the nearest city.  

Boat trip through Amazon basin.

 

We really liked that experience and we look forward to repeat it.  

In this post I mainly wanted to share some pictures of two quite different activities we did there. Fishing for piranhas and navigating down the river “caimaneando” or silently looking for caimans…  

Fishing piranhas.

 

Caimaneando in Tambopata river.

3 Comments

Filed under Travelling

Aerospace, a high-tech sector in Spain

Two years ago, there was a televised debate prior to the general elections in Spain. I remember I was watching it with friends and the incumbent president said “Spain is the leader country in the technology of air refuelling aircraft”. Since those friends watching the debate with me and I work in the aerospace sector we appreciated the comment.

Many things have happened since them, but one has not changed: aerospace sector is one of the most technologically intense in Spain.

For this post I am using mainly two sources: 2008 annual report from ATECMA (Asociación Española de Constructores de Material Aeroespacial, now replaced by TEDAEAsociación Española de Tecnologías de Defensa, Aeronáutica y Espacio; 2009 report is being cooked) and 2009 report from COTEC (a foundation for technological innovation, “Informe Cotec 2009“).

I already mentioned in a previous post the size of aerospace sector in Spain: 5,577M€ revenues in 2008. In the last 10 years aerospace revenues in Spain have trebled. In 2008 Spanish GDP was about 1,088 bn€, so aerospace sector weighed 0.51% of Spanish economy.

Aerospace sector revenues and R&D evolution.

Regarding the employment, there were 36.160 employees of which over 15,000 were graduates, engineers and managers; 41% of the workforce consists of highly qualified employees. The employment of the sector has been doubled in the last 10 years.

Aerospace sector has presence in 16 regions, with the highest contribution from Madrid (63% of revenues and 57% of employment).

Aerospace sector revenues and employment per region.

There were 335 companies: 6 employing over 1,000 workers and 318 SMEs.

The sector had a positive trade balance of 3.6bn€ (while Spain has a large negative trade balance, of about 100bn$ prior to the crisis, now around 70bn$, 4.5% of GDP).

Aerospace industry is a dual industry: companies involved in it develop both civil and military products. The weight of each depends on the different years, but on average Spanish aerospace industry is 60% civil and 40% military.

After this brief description of some facts (see ATECMA report for a more detailed view of the sector), I want to remark the technological intensity of the sector.

Aerospace sector invests about 10-15% of its revenues in R&D. This is by itself an impressive, figure: Spanish economy as a whole invested in 2007 1.27% in R&D, thus aerospace invests 10 times as much as the economy average. If we said that the weight of the sector was 0.51% of Spanish economy, the aerospace R&D represents 5% of national R&D investments. Even more, if we only count R&D executed by companies, aerospace R&D contributed with 8.5% of total private R&D.

I included in this post the report from COTEC because it makes a distinction among the different sectors dedicated to technology in Spain: manufacturing vs. services, and high technology vs. medium-high. It uses categories derived from INE (Instituto Nacional de Estadística), and there we see 6 sectors classified as “High Technology Manufacturing Sectors”:

  • Pharma
  • Office material and computers equipment
  • Electronics components
  • Radio, TV and communication devices
  • Medical, precision, optics devices and watches
  • Aerospace

R&D investments of high-technology sectors.

Combining the data from this report with data from ATECMA (using 2007 figures for comparison with COTEC), we reach the following findings:

  • Aerospace sector revenues represented 15% of high-tech manufacturing sectors.
  • High-tech manufacturing sectors invested 1.3bn€ in R&D in 2007, this is 4.5% of their revenues, or 10% of total R&D in Spain.
  • Aerospace sector R&D represented 49% of high-tech manufacturing sectors R&D (!).

Indeed, it seems a high-tech sector.

If you wish to compare Spanish A&D with other European countries, please see the ASD reports (AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe).

1 Comment

Filed under Aerospace & Defence

Speech about Minifutbol

Since I started the blog, I wanted to write about Minifutbol, a competition I play in Torrelodones. On March 17th I gave one speech about it at Toastmasters (supposedly a humorous speech), so what better way to explain what Minifutbol is that to share the script of that speech with you here:

“Mr Toastmaster, fellow members, guests,

This is the t-shirt of team with which I won last summer Minifutbol championship in Torrelodones… I am proud of it because that was the first championship I won in Minifutbol, I’m so proud that I’ll wear it here. I wear it here, because my partner Luca doesn’t allow me to wear it at home. She doesn’t like Minifutbol. On the awards ceremony after that tournament I was given a very big, shiny trophy… her reaction: “You’re not bringing this home! Not until you get rid of the rest of the trophies”. Once bitten, twice shy… now the trophy is somewhere hidden.

Fellow members, I want to tell you about Minifutbol, a kind of football being played in Torrelodones.

It all started 40 years ago with a group of friends in their twenties wanting to meet their old friends with the excuse of playing football matches.

Nowadays, in the village we are more than 600 people participating in it. We are divided in the following categories: “embryos”, “dummies”, “immature teens” (pavosos inmaduros), matures and veterans.

And there has always been a huge waiting list of people wishing to play, some applied in the 70s for the embryo category and still waiting and looking forward to join the veterans now.

As I told you, this T-shirt is of the team I played with last summer and won the summer tournament, now I am playing in another team. With this team we didn’t win the winter championship… no, we have been the last ones. We just won 2 matches out of 16… I don’t care, I’m even happy: in these competitions everybody gets a prize: I’ll be given a smaller trophy that will fit better in the living room of the house. Luca may not oppose this time.

Why did I switch teams? Minifutbol has a social ambition attached to it. There you get to know different people from the village. We switch teams every year and they are formed randomly: every year I inscribe myself individually and then by draw I’m placed in a team with other 7-8 players. At least this is what I’m told… actually, I never saw the draw taking place… It could be that each year my previous team is just getting rid of me.

Going back to the competition, we lost, ok, but let me tell you one rule of the competition that describes well the spirit of it: each player has to play at least a minimum of 10 minutes in every match. So it can’t happen that the best player of the team plays the whole of it and the worst doesn’t get to participate. In the case of our team we could say that we want everyone to feel part of the failure of the team.

Ok, failure is a strong word… let me put it in another way. What would you say is the most important thing in football, the success factor?… ok, so the more goals the better the match, the better the show. This year, I am in a team devoted the show, which in football means goals… we are so devoted to it that we try not to interfere with it; we have been scored 160 goals, about 10 goals per game. Sometimes we even had to score those goals ourselves. I had to score one myself.

Life goes on. In spring we play yet another tournament: the Cup. With the same teams we played in winter.

Now we have the chance to be the revelation team in the cup tournament… as you can imagine the pressure is very high among us, the expectations in us however are very low among the rest…

It never happened that the very worst team in the league has been able to win the cup.

I received the following message from the captain of the team trying to encourage us:

“Guys, I also think we can be the revelation team. Let’s do something that has never been done by anybody else, something never seen, something surprising and that will leave everybody with their mouths wide open…

… let’s play naked next Sunday.”

Mr Toastmaster.”

Of course, this post still leaves open the door to another post in which I talk about Toastmasters, but that one will come for sure.

That “next Sunday” indeed was 14th March, we didn’t play naked and we won the first match of the cup 11-5… sometimes you have to make up some facts in the speeches… the show is the show.

3 Comments

Filed under Sports, Toastmasters

“Playas” in Lima

At the time this post is published, Luca and I will probably be in one the following praias (beaches in English, playas in Spanish) in Rio de Janeiro: Leblon, Ipanema or Copacabana…

… let me share with you a picture of how playas looked like in Lima, Peru.

Playa grande, Lima.

3 Comments

Filed under Travelling