Blogs

  1. Cogapp blogs

    [Blog] Cogapp blogs: MCN 2014 – Dallas, Texas

    The Museums Computer Network (MCN) held its 42nd annual conference in Dallas, Texas in November 2014. Ben Rubinstein and Louise Rawlinson were among the 450 attendees there to share the latest developments in digital practice in cultural organisations. Louise has picked some of her highlights.

    Blog thumbnail: 
    Dallas skyline
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    Posted 19 December 2014, 4:58 pm

  2. Favicon Raj Anand - Google+ Public Posts

    [Blog] Raj Anand - Google+ Public Posts: Why APAC is ESSENTIAL for any mobile Startup in 2015? | Goodman Lantern

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    Posted 18 December 2014, 6:35 pm

  3. Cogapp blogs

    [Blog] Cogapp blogs: Drupal 8: what will it mean for you?

    On Tuesday 8 December 2014, Cogapp hosted a webinar on Drupal 8.

    Watch the video of the session to find out how the Drupal 8 update - which includes more than 200 new features and improvements - will affect you.

    The webinar covers:

    Read more

    read more

    Posted 18 December 2014, 3:48 pm

  4. shardcore

    [Blog] shardcore: @tldrlit

    Reading is hard. It takes time. Time is difficult to come by when life is filled with tweeting and snapchatting. Yet often there’s that nagging feeling that one should be ‘better read’. There are numerous books that we feel we ought to have read, if only maintain an erudite facade at our next cocktail party round at Gideon’s house.

    tl;dr;lit attempts to address this problem.

    This bot takes works of literature and algorithmically summarizes them, a chapter at a time, to 1% of their original length. These are then read aloud by the lovely voice of Fiona, a Scottish speech synth, and posted at on Twitter at convenient 3 hour intervals. This way entire works of literature can be consumed in bite-sized algo-chunks, giving you the gist of the book, without any troublesome cause to actually ‘read’ or ‘understand’ it at all…

    Fiona is currently reading 1984 by George Orwell.

    I have Moby Dick, Pride & Prejudice and 50 Shades of Grey lined up, but feel free to suggest more via @erocdrahs

    Posted 18 December 2014, 3:15 pm

  5. Favicon SiteVisibility

    [Blog] SiteVisibility: Big SEO Data – Laurence O’Toole – Internet Marketing Podcast #273

    In this episode Andy interviews Laurence O’Toole from the SEO software company AnalyticsSEO about the role big data is having in the world of search marketing. We talk about what you need to know, why it matters and what’s next…

    Post from Apple Pie & Custard blog by SiteVisibility - An SEO Agency

    Big SEO Data – Laurence O’Toole – Internet Marketing Podcast #273

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    Posted 18 December 2014, 10:10 am

  6. Favicon Wired Sussex Digital Media News

    [Blog] Wired Sussex Digital Media News: Brighton based company Natural World Safaris recognised at prestigious travel awards.

    Local specialist tour operator, Natural World Safaris, was recently recognised at the annual British Travel Awards 2014, collecting two silver awards. It was a record-breaking year for the prestigious travel industry awards, where the winners are ...

    Posted 18 December 2014, 12:00 am

  7. Favicon Wired Sussex Digital Media News

    [Blog] Wired Sussex Digital Media News: JAUNTY TWIG JOIN FORCES WITH WORTHING BIRDMAN TO BRING LIVE ACTION OF HUMAN POWERED FLYING MACHINE

    Brighton photographer, Lesley Taylor and her amazing ‘selfie’ photographic app, Jaunty Twig has joined forces with The Worthing Town Centre Initiative, organisers of the Worthing Birdman competition to bring on-the-day excitement to the event that sees ...

    Posted 17 December 2014, 12:00 am

  8. Favicon Adactio: Journal

    [Blog] Adactio: Journal: The Session trad tune machine

    Most pundits call it “the Internet of Things” but there’s another phrase from Andy Huntington that I first heard from Russell Davies: “the Geocities of Things.” I like that.

    I’ve never had much exposure to this world of hacking electronics. I remember getting excited about the possibilities at a Brighton BarCamp back in 2008:

    I now have my own little arduino kit, a bread board and a lucky bag of LEDs. Alas, know next to nothing about basic electronics so I’m really going to have to brush up on this stuff.

    I never did do any brushing up. But that all changed last week.

    Seb is doing a new two-day workshop. He doesn’t call it Internet Of Things. He doesn’t call it Geocities Of Things. He calls it Stuff That Talks To The Interwebs, or STTTTI, or ST4I. He needed some guinea pigs to test his workshop material on, so Clearleft volunteered as tribute.

    In short, it was great! And this time, I didn’t stop hacking when I got home.

    First off, every workshop attendee gets a hand-picked box of goodies to play with and keep: an arduino mega, a wifi shield, sensors, screens, motors, lights, you name it. That’s the hardware side of things. There are also code samples and libraries that Seb has prepared in advance.

    Getting ready to workshop with @Seb_ly. Unwrapping some Christmas goodies from Santa @Seb_ly.

    Now, remember, I lack even the most basic knowledge of electronics, but after two days of fiddling with this stuff, it started to click.

    Blinkenlights. Hello, little fella.

    On the first workshop day, we all did the same exercises, connected things up, getting them to talk to the internet, that kind of thing. For the second workshop day, Seb encouraged us to think about what we might each like to build.

    I was quite taken with the ability of the piezo buzzer to play rudimentary music. I started to wonder if there was a way to hook it up to The Session and have it play the latest jigs, reels, and hornpipes that have been submitted to the site in ABC notation. A little bit of googling revealed that someone had already taken a stab at writing an ABC parser for arduino. I didn’t end up using that code, but it convinced me that what I was trying to do wasn’t crazy.

    So I built a machine that plays Irish traditional music from the internet.

    Playing with hardware and software, making things that go beep in the night.

    The hardware has a piezo buzzer, an “on” button, an “off” button, a knob for controlling the speed of the tune, and an obligatory LED.

    The software has a countdown timer that polls a URL every minute or so. The URL is http://tune.adactio.com/. That in turn uses The Session’s read-only API to grab the latest tune activity and then get the ABC notation for whichever tune is at the top of that list. Then it does some cleaning up—removing some of the more advanced ABC stuff—and outputs a single line of notes to be played. I’m fudging things a bit: the device has the range of a tin whistle, and expects tunes to be in the key of D or G, but seeing as that’s at least 90% of Irish traditional music, it’s good enough.

    Whenever there’s a new tune, it plays it. Or you can hit the satisfying “on” button to manually play back the latest tune (and yes, you can hit the equally satisfying “off” button to stop it). Being able to adjust the playback speed with a twiddly knob turns out to be particularly handy if you decide to learn the tune.

    I added one more lo-fi modification. I rolled up a piece of paper and placed it over the piezo buzzer to amplify the sound. It works surprisingly well. It’s loud!

    Rolling my own speaker cone, quite literally.

    I’ll keep tinkering with it. It’s fun. I realise I’m coming to this whole hardware-hacking thing very late, but I get it now: it really does feel similar to that feeling you would get when you first figured out how to make a web page back in the days of Geocities. I’ve built something that’s completely pointless for most people, but has special meaning for me. It’s ugly, and it’s inefficient, but it works. And that’s a great feeling.

    (P.S. Seb will be running his workshop again on the 3rd and 4th of February, and there will a limited amount of early-bird tickets available for one hour, between 11am and midday this Thursday. I highly recommend you grab one.)

    Posted 16 December 2014, 3:53 pm

  9. Favicon NixonMcInnes

    [Blog] NixonMcInnes: Announcing big changes at NixonMcInnes: Fit for purpose and fit for the future

    Today we’re announcing the most radical changes to NixonMcInnes in our 14 year history. It doesn’t affect any engagements with existing clients, but it’s a pretty big deal for us. This is a long post so if you’re short of time you can skip down to the headlines of how the new NM will work.

    Why we are changing

    It comes down to two things:

    1. Purpose: being set up in the best possible way to scale up our positive impact in the world.

    2. Resilience: for a world which is more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

    The operating model we’ve had since we began in 2000 is typical for a professional services firm. We have quite a fixed set-up with nice offices and lots of smart people on the payroll. There’s a flat structure with a management team at the ‘top’, a high degree of transparency, and empowered employees working autonomously. There are targets, budgets and plans. It’s a proven model – award winning in fact – and has kept many people in interesting work for almost a decade and a half. So why change?

    Feeding the machine

    There are some side-effects of the standard professional services model. The first is the month-in month-out pressure to ‘hit the numbers’. If your purpose is to make money and sell the company in a few years, that’s okay, but if you’re in the long-term impact business like us, it’s not. It can be a big distraction from finding and delivering the most purposeful work, which often isn’t the most profitable in the short-term.

    Recurring revenues are vital to the professional services firm, but it’s rarely these monthly contracts that create real positive impact in the world – they’re usually based on simple tasks that a client can’t or doesn’t want to do themselves. It’s often chasing money to keep the system running. But without recurring revenues, the business is subject to boom and bust cycles. NM has been an absolute engine of profit in good times and we’ve also peered into the abyss a few times too. I’ll never forget the great cash crunch of 2009 when our three largest clients all let us down on big invoice payments at the same time. We’ve always pulled through and the company is run in the black without external investment. But in an increasingly volatile world, the model isn’t resilient.

    Mobilising the best team to do the work they love

    Having a fixed, in-house team is another limiting factor even when the people are as brilliant as ours. When work is secured, you have to ‘utilise your resources’. Every consultancy out there loves to track their chargeable utilisation metrics. The business model can demand that utilisation be prioritised regardless of whether it’s the most fulfilling work for the employee, or if they’re the absolute best person to do the work relative to all possible associates. It gets in the way of putting the very best, world class team together for projects and allowing people complete autonomy to choose the work they love.

    From digital to purposeful

    Finally, this change is the last step in NM fully moving on from ‘digital consultancy’. It will allow employees who love digital to continue their work outside NM, whilst allowing the company to fully emerge into a new phase dedicated to developing purposeful organisations.

    So we are addressing all of these issues, and realising the potential to create a far more purposeful, resilient company by transitioning to a radically different model. I wrote an internal proposal called ‘Operation Supernova’ which set out this transformation over a year ago, and now the conditions are right for it to happen.

    I believe the future of work is not building fixed, monolithic companies which chase revenue. We can do much better than that and we’re going to have a lot more fun creating a lot more impact.

    How the new NixonMcInnes will work

    • The business model is changing from a centralised company with employees, to a decentralised associate and partner-based model.

    • NM founder Tom Nixon will run the company and continue to build a network of trusted associates, including many former employees, to help him with his initiative of developing purposeful organisations.

    • Consultants will be working as independent spin-out businesses, owned by them and in partnership with NM. Many will continue delivering digital consulting work. We’ll be announcing these spin-outs over the coming weeks.

    • Our new, flexible model will allow us to work with smaller, purposeful, disruptive clients as well as the very large organisations we currently serve.

    • Clients will be able to work with any of our people by contracting through NM or directly with our spin-out businesses and associates. It’s an ecosystem approach to business based on our core value of abundance. There’s plenty of work out there for everyone so we don’t need to lock things down.

    • The NM Meaning Conference will continue and grow (get your 2015 ticket now).

    • All contracts and services to existing NM clients are completely unaffected by the changes.

    • We are mid-way through this transition right now, and it will complete on 28 Feb 2015.

    The dark and murky side of change

    This process is much more than an evolutionary development. It’s a real act of creative destruction. It’s an exciting and necessary transition, but change is never easy. In fact it’s bloody hard! We’ve had some incredibly difficult moments and tough conversations as this has unfolded. There have been moments of absolute black comedy (Max and I, diligently following employment law, had to read each other a formally worded letter, which included ad-libbing light hearted insults.) There has been a real spirit of opportunity and optimism too. The full melting pot of human emotions and needs have been felt absolutely viscerally. It’s felt chaotic at times. I’ve just tried to hang on to the intent towards purpose and resilience and the integrity that everyone expects from this company. That’s been the anchor.

    Some words of thanks

    I am acutely aware this transition could not happen without the extraordinary courage and collaborative attitude of every NM team member. I owe them all a huge thanks.

    I’ve personally felt out of my depth on more than one occasion. The leadership of Max St John through the last year and the transition process so far has been incredible, as has the support from fellow board member Jenni Lloyd, and advisors Nick Shepheard, Charlie Davies, Matt Weston and Lasy Lawless. And finally thanks in particular to NM shareholders Will McInnes and Pete Burden who have been extremely supportive. Thank you all.

    Onwards to a bright, purposeful and resilient future.

    Posted 16 December 2014, 2:04 pm

  10. Favicon remy sharp's b:log

    [Blog] remy sharp's b:log: VATMOSS

    If you want a good foundation of understand for VATMOSS, then I highly recommend reading Rachel Andrew's posts.

    That said, having read as much as I can around the web, I still don't feel like I have a good handle on this thing, but I'm posting this, partly to flesh out my thoughts, help others in the same situation, and probably rant.

    We have to be VATMOSS ready by 1-Jan 2015. That's just over 2 weeks away.

    Please note: this is barely edited, and feels a bit 'scare-monger-y' (sorry) and I would strongly encourage comments, corrections, updates, etc in the comments.

    What is VATMOSS

    In my own words, and my layman understanding:

    Being in the UK and VAT registered, today I need to charge 20% VAT to all non VAT registered EU customers. Outside the EU, there's no VAT applied. If the customer is VAT registered, then I don't apply VAT.

    This changes with VATMOSS, but only for those EU customers. Instead of charging UK 20% VAT, I must charge the individual their local VAT. So if the customer is German, I charge them 19% VAT.

    This logic will apply to all businesses running in the EU.

    Technical considerations

    There's a list of important technical items I need to check off to make sure I'm compliant:

    • Collect two pieces of non-conflicting information that proves which EU member state the customer is in. This can be IP address (with country lookup), or bank country, or address, and so on. I believe Stripe has all this information for me and I don't need to collect anything extra.
    • I need an up to date list of all the VAT rates for EU states. http://jsonvat.com is a good example of what I need, but it's maintained by an individual so I intend to use a copy of the file, and try, somehow, to manually stay on top of live updates via VAT live. Far from ideal.
    • Since I have users that are subscribed to a subscription model, I need to shift them all off the existing 20% fixed VAT subscription and move them to the new system of dynamic VAT rates (and I'll email all those individuals to attempt to explain).
    • I'm using Stripe for payment processing, so we're having to upgrade with the following logic:
      1. Add an addition invoice item to their initial subscription that adds VAT.
      2. When the invoice.created webhook comes in, only if the data.paid is false then add the VAT as an addition invoice item.

    Issues

    1. I don't see any way to retrospectively ask my existing subscriptions for more information about their sign up. It's technically possibly that I capture their IP address in our application logs, and manually add them to our Stripe customers, but that's a messy process.
    2. I read that the invoices have to adhere to the county's regulations. I've no idea what that is for all the countries. It was hard enough finding a list of the rates, let alone the invoice requirements.
    3. We don't currently send out any emails from JS Bin on subscription renewal - I suspect that's a weak spot and we'll need to implement that.
    4. A way to report for the EU MOSS return...sigh.

    My biggest issue, and the one that's actually killing business in the UK, is the admin overhead of this change outweighs the benefits.

    I've considered blocking EU members from subscribing (and therefore unsubscribing existing EU customers), but some "legislation (eg anti discrimination) may apply".

    I've considered just killing the business side of JS Bin because this whole process is so disheartening.

    I've joked about charging a flat 27% VAT (as this is the highest) and intentionally reporting the wrong TAX to the VAT office. Historically if they owe you money, the VAT office is horrible to work with (whereas if you owe them money, they're particularly efficient), so maybe this is a clean simple "solution".

    I've looked at Quaderno and Taxamo, but the technical implementation isn't our issue - it's the business admin. I'm also wary of changing our existing UX for the upgrade process, asking for a tonne more information seems overkill and unnecessary, and only required to satisfy these over the top legislations.

    In closing

    VATMOSS is a total mess. It's even more concerning that the details haven't even been fleshed out yet with 2 weeks to go (notice the post says they're going to post detailed guidance...).

    I'm reviewing Quaderno right now, but the more I look the more I feel like our bespoke solution is the right way to go.

    However, this does leave a very sour taste in my mouth for running more business online, and it's further support that the UK government does not care anywhere near as much as it should, about entrepreneurship in the UK.

    This legislation is killing business in the UK.

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    Posted 16 December 2014, 11:00 am

  11. Favicon Wired Sussex Digital Media News

    [Blog] Wired Sussex Digital Media News: Merry Chrimbo!

    http://vimeo.com/114680035

    Posted 16 December 2014, 12:00 am

  12. Favicon Raj Anand - Google+ Public Posts

    [Blog] Raj Anand - Google+ Public Posts: Funding in Second Half of 2014 | Goodman Lantern

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    Posted 15 December 2014, 11:14 am

  13. Favicon NixonMcInnes

    [Blog] NixonMcInnes: Goodbye (for now) from Max

    It feels very weird (and exciting and scary) but I’ll just say it: I’m leaving NixonMcInnes. I will be back, but I’ve realised that I’ve finished what I need to do here, for now as the MD.

    It’s been an epic journey over the past seven years. One that’s changed me in every way possible.

    I started as a web producer back when our work was all about websites and social media – but my interest was always in people and their behaviour.

    I always thought I’d be a UX specialist, but one day Will McInnes asked me to change my job title to consultant so we could win a project where the client needed a little more confidence in us.

    Even though I didn’t know what being a consultant really meant, I agreed, and enjoyed the project so much I never switched back.

    I’m smiling at the thought of one of those random, life-changing moments that seemed so flippant at the time.

    I (later) learned what it meant to be a NixonMcInnes consultant thanks to Lasy Lawless, Pete Burden and over time, through training with Future Considerations’ fellows John Watters, Tim Stanyon and others.

    I started to learn how respect, empathy, congruence and emergence were critical paths to a more human way of doing business.

    I owe a lot to those people, and others (like Will) who fundamentally shaped my thinking and changed my career direction.

    All this lead me to bring empathy (through nonviolent communication with the wonderful Andy Mason) and participative leadership into the business which has ended up being part of a fundamental shift in our culture and direction.

    When Will left, I felt an irrepressible urge to lead the company and put my stamp on things.

    And a year later, here we are.

    We’ve changed nearly everything. Clarifying our purpose, embedding the values in the operating model, changing our offer – even the walls and furniture have undergone a transformation.

    The big focus for me personally has been bringing more of a focus on emotional and social intelligence, mindfulness and working practices that work with emergence and complexity.

    And for now, my work as MD here is done, and I’ll leave running the company in the capable hands of Tom Nixon. He’s going to be sharing some exciting news about what’s next for NixonMcInnes, tomorrow.

    For me personally – I believe that I can go on to achieve more now by creating a new role for myself in the world.

    I’ll rejoin the company instead as an associate, working on a project-by-project basis, where and when it feels right. I’ll choose to work on projects where I can have an impact in the way I want, and the money can follow.

    I’ll focus on doing work that I feel called to do – as a consultant, not as an MD. It means that from now on I’ll work with whoever needs me, and wherever they need me. With this company, with others, and starting my own projects.

    I’ll be focusing on what I’ve enjoyed most about my time here, where I’ve had most impact and where my passion lies: unlocking human potential by bringing humanity to work.

    I’m expecting a lot of interesting and exciting collaborations.

    And just for now, I might indulge myself with a bit of space for reflection. I’ve got a second child due in March, so it’s the perfect time to gather my thoughts ;)

    I’m immensely proud of what this company’s achieved in the past few years, how it’s relentlessly reinvented itself, and hung on to its core beliefs.

    This last year has definitely felt like a huge step on but also one that’s pushed lots of us here very hard.

    It’s only now that I can look back and feel deeply grateful not just for the support and effort of people like Tom, Anna, and Charlie, but as much (if not more) for the challenge of others in the team. The people who called me out, who stood up for what they believed in when they felt it wasn’t being respected. I think I learned more from them than anyone else, and I’m deeply grateful.

    See you soon.

    Posted 15 December 2014, 10:06 am

  14. Favicon Wired Sussex Digital Media News

    [Blog] Wired Sussex Digital Media News: New Year, New Career: Study p/t for a Post Graduate Certificate in Web Development - apply now

    Develop your skills with a Post Graduate Certificate in Web Development and open up a wealth of new opportunities. This course has been developed specifically for students without prior experience of computer programming to help meet the great demand ...

    Posted 15 December 2014, 12:00 am

  15. Jabbering Giraffe

    [Blog] Jabbering Giraffe: Go Readability

    If you haven’t seen them, do take a look at these slides on Go readability, from one of Google’s Go readability group.

    Readability is an important process at Google. In theory, it’s about ensuring the style guide for a language is applied. In practice, it’s also about ensuring that idiomatic code is produced. This is highly language specific, and not something that can easily be done with tooling.

    In the case of Go readability, it feels like a mentoring process over a series of code reviews (other languages take a more “big-bang” approach). The end result is that I have a better idea of not just how to write Go, but how we like Go to be written at Google. I really appreciate the strong emphasis on simplicity in Go code. Hopefully, that comes through in the slides.

    Posted 14 December 2014, 3:13 pm

Flickr

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Recent Threads

This list of subject headings is generated from the last 50 posts made to the BNM mailing list which also had a response.

  1. Urgent Need with BMS/NJ 3 posts.
  2. HOT LIST 3 posts.
  3. Urgent Recuritment for... 2 posts.
  4. R2R (Record to Report)... 2 posts.
  5. LOAD RUNNER TESTING URGENT 2 posts.
  6. business analyst EXP;10... 2 posts.

Last.fm artist chart

This is a chart of the most listened to artists in the BNM last.fm group. Chart for the week ending Sun, 14 Dec 2014.

  1. Frank Sinatra
  2. Elvis Presley
  3. The Pogues
  4. alt-J
  5. Ben Howard
  6. Caribou
  7. Tony Bennett
  8. Death from Above 1979
  9. The Stone Roses
  10. Wham!

Chart updated every Sunday.

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