Started in January 2000, the Brighton New Media Mailing List is a resource aimed at people working within Brighton's new media industry. This site aggregates content created and tagged by the members of the list.
In this week’s internet marketing podcast Andy talks to Felice Ayling, Digital Content Account Director at SiteVisibility. They discuss Matt Cutts’ recent
post on guest blogging and how linking is being used unscrupulously to boost search ranking. Felice talks about the way in which some companies have
corrupted an authentic engagement tool to manipulate search. She gives some advice for legitimate linking using “do follow” or “no follow” codes and offers
tips for genuine guest bloggers worried about their status.
Liam’s consultancy work is with organisations who have a clear social purpose, including NGOs, trade unions, charities, voluntary organisations and
post-secondary education providers.
In his #NMFirstFriday talk he’ll explore the concept of constructive subversion, which be
believes is the only way to create meaningful change.
It’s happening at NMHQ on Friday 7 March at 5pm. Join us!
*First Friday is all about brain food. On the first Friday of every month we ask a speaker to join us for our team meeting. We drink beer, we eat crisps and
we invite in new ideas, new people and new possibilities.
We are a not for profit company based in Brighton who works with the Department of Business and Innovation Skills in providing government funding and
incentives which your company may be entitled too. Through our research and work with government ...
This month Liberty celebrated its 80th year of promoting human rights and campaigning to protect civil liberties. To mark this landmark event they commissioned
Cogapp to deliver a new microsite, Liberty80, alongside a refreshed version of their main ...
Monday starts with a coffee from a mug promoting John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign that someone brought back from a trip to Washington D.C. I like to
imagine that Obama starts his week in the same way.
Business ideas don’t have to be complicated to be effective and Sussex-based Simply Marvellous Creative have founded a social enterprise that is using the
simplest of ideas to bring some change and hope to people, around the world, that are affected ...
There are some excellent workshops coming up in Brighton soon.
Seb will be teaching a two-day course on CreativeJS Fun and Games on the 13th and 14th of
March. I went on one of Seb’s workshops a while back, and it was really, really good. He really does make it fun.
Then on April 2nd, Remy will be teaching a one-day workshop called Debug, and know thy tools. It sounds like it will be an “I know kung-fu” moment for front-end dev tools.
Alas, I will be out of the country at An Event Apart Seattle at that time (I say
“alas”, but of course I’m really looking forward to getting back to Seattle for An Event Apart).
Anyway, if you’re in Brighton—or looking for a good reason to make a trip to Brighton—I can highly recommend these workshops.
Three weeks ago I crashed my bicycle. I was knocked unconscious for half an hour, broke my shoulder, etc etc. Most troubling is an injury to the nerves
controlling my right eye. Apparently the prognosis is ‘most people’ ‘spontaneously recover’ ‘within six months’ – which is some comfort, but not quite a
In the meantime, I’m wearing an eyepatch, which is quite an impediment for a normally-binocular visual artist.
Still at least I’m alive.
This tiny canvas (20cm x 20cm) is the result of my first attempt at picking up a brush since the accident. It’s a ‘selfie’ (as I believe the youngsters call
them). I’m calling it “In the land of the blind…”
taking place at 68 Middle Street, it’s a lot easier to get to …seeing as the Clearleft
office is right upstairs.
First, build an old-fashioned website that uses hyperlinks and forms to pass information to the server. The server returns whole new pages with each
of the page need to be updated instead of updating the whole page.
the clever stuff is happening on the server, not the browser. To the end user, there’s no difference between that and a site that’s putting all the
complexity in the browser.
In fact, the only time you’d really notice a difference is when something goes wrong: in the Hijax model, everything just falls back to full-page requests
but keeps on working. That’s the big difference between this approach and the current vogue for “single page apps” that do everything in the browser—when
something goes wrong there, the user gets bupkis.
Pjax introduces an extra piece of the puzzle—which didn’t exist when I wrote Bulletproof Ajax—and that’s pushState, part of
HTML5’s History API, to keep the browser’s URL updated. Hence, pushState + Ajax = Pjax.
As you can imagine, I was nodding in vigourous agreement with everything James was demoing. It was refreshing to find that not everyone is going down the
more, or that maybe I was missing something fundamental, but it turns out I’m not crazy after all: James’s demo showed how to write front-end code
What was fascinating though, was hearing why people were choosing to develop using Pjax. It isn’t necessarily that they care about progressive
enhancement, robustness, and universal access. Rather, it’s often driven by the desire to stay within the server-side development environment that they’re
comfortable with. See, for example, DHH’s explanation of why 37 Signals is using
So you get all the advantages of speed and snappiness without the degraded development experience of doing everything on the client.
A lot of James’s talk was focused on the user experience of the interfaces built with Hijax/Pjax/whatever. He had some terrific examples of how animation can
make an enormous difference. That inspired me to do a little bit of tweaking to the Ajaxified/Hijaxified/Pjaxified portions of The Session.
Whenever you use Hijax to intercept a link, it’s now up to you to provide some sort of immediate feedback to the user that something is happening—normally
the browser would take care of this (remember Netscape’s spinning lighthouse?)—but when you hijack that click, you’re basically saying “I’ll take care of
this.” So you could, for example, display a spinning icon.
One little trick I’ve used is to insert an empty progress element.
Normally the progress element takes max and value
attributes to show how far along something has progressed:
<progress max="100" value="75">75%</progress>
But if you leave those out, then it’s an indeterminate progess bar:
The rendering of the progress bar will vary from browser to browser, and that’s just
fine. Older browsers that don’t understand the progress will display whatever’s between the opening and closing tags.
Voila! You’ve got a nice lightweight animation to show that an Ajax request is underway.
Pop Quiz. So you think you know your agencies? But do you know (or can you remember) where they came from?
I just found this great table in Hamish Pringle and Jim Marshall’s book
Spending Advertising Money in the Digital Age which shows who was created when the main agencies split off their media departments in the 90s. I
know for one I did creative agency to media dependent to media agency without even changing desks.
I've been using Shazam since it was a pre-iPhone dial code. It's a lovely product. It's central idea is one of those
concepts that I can't concieve of ever having.
Of late I'm finding myself using it more, as the connections to Spotify have proved seamless. In fact it's so good at facilitating other products (youtube,
spotify, itunes etc) that I'm surprised other brands have not built similar functions in to their apps.
This week they've launched a redesigned version of the app. The functionality is largely the same and the redesign seems to be mostly surface level, but it
looks great and I still love Shazam.
Hey everyone, there is a new look 3D world magazine out
on the shelves (in the UK) and everywhere else as a digital download. Personally I love the new look, and as ever there is a huge range of articles an
indepth tutorials, which this month I am pleased to say are starting to show how to use Octane Render, as well as a ton of wonderful ZBrush articles.
There is also a chance to view my setup, which since this article has been written has been augmented by a PC which I built to take over as my primary 3D
station to really help me to get the most of Octane and mari.
There is also a look at my good friends Glowfrog VFX, one of london's leading VFX boutique studios, which showcases
there brilliant portfolio which is created by Nigel and his amazing team.
The problem with collaboration is that the more people talk about it – and the less they actually do it – the harder it is to make
I’m guilty. After all, I talk and write about this stuff all the time. So I’ve decided I’m going to try and make it very real and very doable.
After all, collaboration is really just helping each other. One person or team has a problem. Someone else helps solve it.
What we’re at risk of is platitudes about the need to collaborate setting people off in a tailspin. How? With who? And the biggest question of all, WHY?,
It’s the why that really matters. Because collaboration isn’t the answer to every question. There is often a very good case for people working on their
own to solve problems.
When it goes wrong
I don’t want to deter anyone, but it’s worth noting that misguided attempts at collaboration do have a cost.
Think of all that failed and hugely expensive M&A activity where the promised synergies fail to deliver. Or the hours and millions spent on pointless
flights to redundant meetings on the other side of the world (thank heavens for tech making a dent in that little lot).
Why, who, how
The challenge is to identify those areas where working with other people – often people from different teams, divisions or even countries – can add the
Think of it as purposeful collaboration. First identify the purpose – ie what are you trying to achieve. Then work out the who – ie who could be best
placed to help. Try surfacing and tackling your unconscious bias that limits who you routinely seek input from. More minds might be better, but do remember that research suggests two or
three people working together on a problem are often more creative than a large group.
Then focus on the how – ie, what’s the most efficient, effective and even fun way to go about doing this work together.
The how is very important.
Purposeful or disciplined collaboration delivers real value. But is there a risk it could act as a block to the serendipitous
elements of collaborative working – ie the benefits of unintended consequences? I would say not. In fact, being explicit about the approach
should allow creativity to flow. Creative and open-ended exploration around challenging issues, or setting off with no clear destination in mind, is fine as
long as that openness is in itself an explicit intention.
Why purposeful adds up
This purposeful approach to collaboration makes it very doable. It also makes it very measurable. So rather than having lots of people running around
and sitting in endless and expensive meetings, you have people working meaningfully on stuff together.
Even so, not every teaming up is going to deliver the intended results. But done purposefully it will deliver learning. And that’s what organisations
need to be agile in this rapidly changing world.
So the final bit of the puzzle is to make sure people are unafraid of failure. They should be encouraged to see every failed project as a step in the
direction of a successful one. Learning what works and what doesn’t – and quickly – is as critical as the actual act of working together.
Why not start by learning that empty platitudes do little to drive competitive advantage or engagement. But purposeful, simple processes can add a
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