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I’m just back from the most glorious day in the countryside with some of my oldest friends – we sat by the village green, ate fabulous pub food and occasionally glanced at the cricketers.

The quintessential English summer experience!

Now I’m sitting at my table by the window where I usually work, thankful for the cool breeze and thinking of ways to inspire you in the week ahead…and I’m going to do that with contests.

You know that I’ve produced a course on running online contests and I’m a firm believer in them for injecting some fun as well as that competitive edge into your marketing mix.

People love contests because they offer that irresistible chance to snaffle a great prize (or they should) and this piece focuses on 10 companies that really ramped up their results thanks to running a contest.  Check it out for inspiration and then dream up your own:

Facebook is a great arena for running contests and the next piece offers up some excellent tips:

While this focuses in on leveraging the power of mobile with Facebook to run the perfect contest to boost your business:

Of course, using multiple devices occasionally leads to those frustrating moments when the very image or video you need is on one and not the other.

I have a brilliant solution for you in the form of the Send Anywhere app which allows you to easily share photos, videos, contacts and apps between all your devices, mobile and non-mobile:

Another handy tool is Voice 2 Note which converts your Evernote voice notes to text – the basic plan is free and allows you to convert 5 notes a month.

Perfect for transcribing those product ideas, blog posts you think up on the fly, client notes and much more:

On to this week’s Kindle freebies and my first suggestion is ‘Money Making Machine – How To Publish, Market and Make Money Using Kindle Books.’ Can’t get clearer than that.

If you’re a Kindle expert this might be too basic for you but it’s a good primer and contains some useful tips:

And here’s a spookily similar title by Lance Tamashiro which is all about that online Holy Grail…recurring passive income and how to create it:

For this week’s TED talk recommendation, I wanted to look beyond the usual inspirational/marketing focused talks to this one that takes us to the point where virtual and physical worlds meet.

Awe-inspiring stuff: