Word is spreading

Online Journalism Blog

We’ve been invited to have our worldwide launch of Shopping News at the new Merino Markets at Longreach, so thanks Sue Smith for this honour. It’ll be in August and we’ll let you know details closer to the date. Copies will be on sale and you can also buy right here right now (click the book cover on the right –>).

UK journalism colleague Paul Bradshaw has also kindly devoted some of his popular blog space to a virtual launch and guest post about Shopping News … you’ll find loads of other interesting stories there too. Just click the image at the top of this post.

And we’ve announced the date for our first TAFE Small Business Solutions business improvement workshop, also in Longreach. We start at 5pm on August 11 and seats are strictly limited so please, if you want a booking, my advice is to get in now.

Is this the only expanding shop in Longreach?

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I walked into Leonie Huff’s little shop Nature’s Tonic just after Christmas and I have to say I was impressed. Packed shelves, fresh stock, friendly staff. It’s tucked away at the rear of the Merino arcade where our other retail mate, Sue Smith, runs Spinifex Collections (which we featured just before Christmas).

Six months later and Leonie has doubled her floor space by opening a juice bar across the arcade and filled it with tables and chairs. Now we hear that she’s become a magnet and other businesses are relocating to be close to this omen of success.

Sue, Leonie and other businesses in the arcade last month held a gala shopping night and the talk is there’ll be more.

Leonie might be the hot spot but Michael Lockery’s “hydroponic fruit and vege factory” is also evidence of Longreach’s latest growth spurt.

This erstwhile pizza shop owner has branched out into hydroponic tomatoes, lettuce and cress and we’ve tasted them … they’re the best in town in our book.

If you’re a Grey Nomad or just a regular tourist who likes your veges fresh and not too expensive, he sells every weekend at the railway station but daily 10am-noon just on the north side of the Thomson River near the Golf Club at Cramsie. Here’s a map …

Don’t forget to buy my new book Shopping News online … where you can read lots of other ways to Shop Your Way to Success™ (soon to be a series of business seminars).

The story’s out

ShoppingNewsCover

After 10 years of research, my book Shopping News is now available from Melbourne publisher Australian Scholarly Publishing. Unlike most books about journalism it’s priced way below $100 … only $A39.95, and is available both as paperback and eBook. As the back-cover blurb says, “Shopping News contains the keys to the next generation of journalism and news publishing, with 16 clearly explained practical models for reporters, editors and producers everywhere”. I have shopped and researched for more than 10 years, from Iran and India to the UK, from China, France, South Africa and Australia to the United States. <more from the cover…> “As he shopped, Cokley learned retail and manufacturing secrets, including the latest in network theory, to show how journalists and publishers can reach and delight more people, ultimately achieving that Holy Grail of everyone in business, customer satisfaction, without compromising ethics or quality. It’s a must-read for everyone in the media business.”

Special excerpts and value-add illustrations from Shopping News will be published here from now on, including our new toolkit for reporters, editors, producers and Internet Service Providers, the Audience Soundtrack Analyser, and a Chinese version as well, priced at only 99 cents each. We hope you like Shopping News — and yes, it’s for shoppers, small business owners and digital marketing readers too

Need a mentor for your small business?

 

Very happy to let you know that our business experience and expertise is now available through the TAFE Queensland Small Business Solutions program, which offers business mentoring for a low one-off fee of $395. If you or a friend have a small business which could use the tried and tested advice and methods described here, please contact TAFE here and mention my name. Available all through Central and South-East Queensland. I have run businesses in publishing, retail, and (of course) small-to-medium sized journalism enterprises.

Cokley Mentor

How to vacuum clean a Jumbo jet

In the category of “you learn something new every day” … now I know how it feels to vacuum clean a Jumbo jet. Yes, a real one, at the Qantas Founders Outback Museum in Longreach where I have worked part-time as a tour guide since October 2014. I can report it takes about an hour of pretty stiff effort in January’s summer heat, equipped with a 5kg RocketVac backpack vacuum and a very long power cord. Here I am (below) at the rear of economy class, looking forward. Like most things, there is an easy way and a hard way. I now know that it’s easier to start down the back because of the design of the seats (you can get under them more easily from the rear) and how difficult it is to vacuum a spiral staircase up to the old Captain Cook lounge (lower picture) … now that’s an interesting exercise. Oh yes, I’ve also feather-dusted the 1979-vintage airliner throughout, as well as its 1959 cousin 707 across the museum parking area. It’s a whole new world out here in Longreach.economy

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Today’s job advertisement in the media

Manger

Oh dear, and for The Daily Telegraph, too. Perhaps they fixed it on the site? Nope

Mangers2

It’s been a fascinating long day’s journey into the night of the living job seeker. Here are some examples of would-be employers looking for would-be staff.

conservative

 

Agreed, perhaps it’s one of those internet joke-meme thingys? But it appeared, nevertheless, on the Indeed job site.

Here are some more … (listen by clicking on each screen-shot image or here and here):

Lululemon
SmartjobsFeb18

 

And there we were … on the footpath

First night of our short break in Yeppoon and we were evacuated from our apartment in the wee hours … just before 3am. Everyone gathered on the footpath until the Queensland Fire & Emergency Services crew arrived and declared a false alarm. Thanks crew! Back to bed …

Yeppoon getaway

We’re not in Longreach any more, Toto. Welcome to the Oshen apartments for a three-day visit to Queensland’s Capricorn Coast.

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Prime spot

CatBirdSeat

Dined tonight at the fairly new (2014) Catbird Seat Bistro in South Brisbane and what a pleasure! Actually we had been steered along by daughter Erin who works there … mum and dad were invited to check it out … on her night off. Our 7pm booking (on a Saturday) started quietly enough but by the end of the evening we were surrounded by a happy chatty crowd of diners all being attended to with applomb by owner Erin (not our daughter, now there’s a coincidence). There’s only room for 40 so it’s cosy and intimate, just what we had in mind.

And the food? Gorgeous. We chose to share an entree plate of house-made charcuterie with pickles, preserves and bread, including yummy quince paste, caperberries, gerkins and sliced house-baked rye bread.

Then Pip took the high road with a fillet of barramundi and I chose the low road: a roasted poussin crown perched on an onion puree with a rye crumb, celery and radish salad. We shared sides of shredded red cabbage mottled with parmesan and spiked with sherry vinegar, and a plate of green beans rolling in peach, pecans and ricotta.

We sipped sparkling Hepburn spa water from Daylesford near our old stamping ground of Ballan, then moved on to a delightful 2013 chardonnay, Witches Falls Wild Ferment made by Jon Heslop at his Mt Tamborine winery south-west of Brisbane. We’ve visited and written about many wines in the wider Granite Belt since 1995 and this ranks among the very best.

We could not resist dessert so we shared an Earl Grey panna cotta with peaches, citrus and an innovative mint crumble.

This is “bistro at its best” and the tab ($178 including the wine) is definitely reasonable (very probably economical) for the style, location, preparation, presentation, intricate flavours and the professional service. In regional Victoria we have paid more for less and Brisbane is, after all, a capital city.

Best festival day ever …

We saw/heard these guys (Tjintu Desert Band) last night in the Songlines tent at Woodford. They were my first “live” experience of hot central desert Australian Blackfella pub rock … great new material and excellent band, especially the cool guy on the keyboards, (where I like to imagine myself). Were you there?

It was our first big day in the mountains north-west of Brisbane … started in the Concert tent with the Starboard Cannons, then to the Bazaar tent for Rachael Dadd and finally for the morning, to the Grande for the amazing Scottish wonders Tim Edey Trio.

Lunch at Govindas then setting up our camp in Tent City before returning to Blues Town for Brisbane band The Company, into the Palace tent for the Doogans, dinner at the Marrakech Express and back to settle in at Blues Town for the Empressarios and the Brass Knuckle Brass Band.

Betweeners: We drank a bold new vodka cocktail called a Crapple at Bill’s Bar, sank a Champoine and a Champino Kolada and drank brilliant cold teas at Eshai TeaHouse. Where did you drink?

Here they all are:

Starboard Cannons:


Rachael Dadd:


Tim Edey Trio:


The Company (historic video, hairstyles have changed!):


Empressarios:


and finally the Brass Knuckle Brass Band.

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