Ads on serviettes… Free mobile calls… Collectors network site… Standarised phone rechargers… Some NSW retail workers earn more

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Serviette selling

A NSW company, NapkinAd, has come up with a handy way of creating saleable advertising space by printing ads on napkins and napkin dispensers in high-traffic shopping mall food courts, Springwise reports.

NapkinAd puts its displays in places where there’s a constant flow of traffic during business hours, and where people will generally grab serviettes that will sit on the table in front of them while they eat their meal. It makes much more sense that printing your brand on a flyer that most people will immediately throw away.

According to Springwise, NapkinAd has partnered with a network of shopping centres and co-ordinates printing, displays and distribution of napkins and display stands, which can also be equipped with LCD TVs.


Free mobile calls… but there’s a catch

And if you think free serviettes are good, how about free mobile phone calls and messages. Trendhunter reports that British company Blyk is now offering free text messaging and calls to people 16 and 24. The catch? To get the service you have to be willing to receive text ads from the company.

Blyk subscribers get 43 free minutes of talk time a month and 217 texts. The young folk who sign up to the service need to answer 40 or 50 questions detailing their preferences on a range of topics such as entertainment, sport and music, which allows Blyk to match their profile with relevant advertising and targets customers with up to six text messages a day from brands such as Adidas, Coca-Cola, Boots, NatWest and MasterCard.


Social networking for collectors

The founders of the successful arts community site Arts Hub, David Eedle and Fiona Boyd, have launched a new site for collectors. is an online social network that allows collectors to organise images and information about their collection.

The site offers customised cataloguing templates for a broad range of collectible types and various ways to show off your collections and connect with other collectors.

Boyd says the idea for the site struck her when she and Eedle were looking for a way to catalogue the documentation for their art collection they had built up over many years. They thought an online system where the information is easy to retrieve would be a good idea.

They wanted to reach a bigger community than people collecting art, so designed the site to appeal to collectors of all stripes – from family pictures to stamps and antique dolls. “Everyone has batches of things that are important to them,” says Boyd.

The fledgling site, which has been live for two weeks, has some tough competition. There are sites for niche collecting passions like stamps and coins, and there are the big guys like Flickr that enable you to set up image galleries and share them with your friends.

There is one very similar site based in the US, But Boyd reckons it only has 3000 to 4000 members after six months of operation. “We are about to push 500 members and we have been up for two weeks. We would like to scale up quickly. We don’t want to be too niche – we want a bigger market so there is cross fertilisation between collectors.”

The site doesn’t yet offer collectors the ability to trade, but it’s the next step. “We want to build the collector community and data about them first so we can find out how people want to trade. We would like multiple ways to trade. So we can be the next generation of trading, and not so one-way as eBay,” says Boyd.


All phone rechargers will soon be the same (about time)

The world’s mobile phone companies have got their collective act together and are doing the world’s phone owners a favour by standardising mobile phone rechargers.

OhGizmo reports that Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG, and Nokia, which together comprise some 85% of the mobile market, have all agreed to standardise their mobile phone chargers to use micro-USB plugs.

It may not all be benevolence on the part of the phone companies, however – recent policy changes in the EU mean manufacturers have to pay for part of the cost of recycling electronics that they manufacture, making a reduction in the number of useless chargers floating around good business sense.


Some retail workers earn more in NSW

The latest “fashion industry salary review report” by recruitment consultant epoch indicates that New South Wales pre-production staff in the textile, clothing and footwear industry earn an average of $9000 more a year than their peers in Victoria.

And a Sydney-based merchandise manager in the sector earns an average of $17,500 a year more than a Melbourne-based manager, while a planner or analyst earns $15,200 more. Over 70 companies in the industry contribute to the recruitment group’s annual survey, reports industry magazine Ragtrader.




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