Business Diary: The Betfair Twitter mystery solved

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The Independent Online

Betfair's mysterious Twitter page turns out to be a marketing experiment. As the Diary has reported over the past week or so, the online poker company's official Twitter page spews out a stream of bizarre messages every day, none of them related to gambling. Now Richard Bloch, its international PR manager, explains: "It took us a while to work out how Twitter worked – we realised people don't want to be bored with links to the website and bombarded with marketing, so we had to mix it up and provide information as well as something interesting." It seems to be working: Betfair has 7,000 followers so far.

Money honey meets her match

You might call it a clash of the titans. Sexist Wall Street folk have dubbed Maria Bartiromo, one of CNBC's anchors, the "money honey" (on the grounds that she's attractive and talks about finance – geddit?), and her latest interview is sure to have found a decent audience. After chatting with Lady Gaga, Bartiromo professed herself impressed. "She seemed very much in control of her brand and persona," the CNBC star says. "She also came across humble and sweet. I can see why she has done so well."

A simple guide to business manners

Our thanks to Pamela Eyring, the president of the Protocol School of Washington, for the informative article on the etiquette of business meals she published on the Reuters news wire yesterday. In particular, her BMW abbreviation provides the Diary with a handy way to avoid a faux pas it has stumbled upon all too often in the past. It stands for bread, meal, water – a helpful guide to the line-up, left to right, on your table, that should prevent you from ever again pinching your neighbour's bread or water.

Get ready for misery Monday

Book the day off now – 24 January, a week on Monday, is being dubbed "Blue Monday". Apparently it's the day when post-Christmas misery peaks, with credit card bills landing, broken resolutions mounting up and the return to work really sinking in. The specialist Debt Advisory Line says the final week of January always sees calls to its service rise by 40 per cent and this year it is taking on extra staff to cope.