1. Favicon Adactio: Journal

    [Blog] Adactio: Journal: 100 words 027

    If it’s Saturday, it must be Sofia.

    This morning I arrived at the conference venue and made my way to the stage. I plugged my laptop in at the podium and started doing the tech check mambo.

    Once the right adaptor had been located, the screen was displaying in the right aspect ratio, my presenter notes were visible on my machine, and the clicker was working okay, I was almost ready to begin. I strapped the madonna mic onto my head (always uncomfortable for my large cranial girth), affixed the controller to my pocket, un-muted it, and started to speak.

    Posted 18 April 2015, 10:54 pm

  2. Favicon Adactio: Journal

    [Blog] Adactio: Journal: 100 words 026

    Today was a travel day. It began in Brighton and ended in Bulgaria.

    Jessica and I were up early to make the trip to Heathrow. From there we took a flight to Frankfurt, where we killed time waiting for our next flight. Despite having a three hour layover, we still ended up rushing to the gate—I blame the lack of signage and wayfinding in the airport.

    From Frankfurt we flew to Sofia. With each leg of our journey, we set our clocks forward. Now we are two timezones away from where we started the day.

    Tomorrow: Bulgaria Web Summit.

    Posted 17 April 2015, 10:05 pm

  3. Favicon NixonMcInnes

    [Blog] NixonMcInnes: A snapshot of how NixonMcInnes’ new decentralised model works in practice

    We’re all starting to settle into life after the big restructure of NM, and the spinning out of various independent initiatives. Adjusting from being an employee on a payroll to being fully independent within a larger network is a big deal, and the process of actually moving from one to the other has been incredibly challenging, but now we’re on the other side I know that I and many others are feeling absolutely liberated.

    A great example of the new model in action is happening this month. We have a project to help deliver an event around progressive business practices for a couple of hundred people.

    I now have complete flexibility to put together whichever team is best able to deliver the job, be they former full-time employees, partners, or other associates. No more obligation to utilise fix resources. In this case, I’ve teamed up with two former employees: Belinda who is a great fit as she knows the community for whom the event’s happening well and is an expert on collaboration, which is a big theme for the event; and Louise, who spun her own events company out of NM and is an organisation and logistical whizz. We also brought in a partner, Fathom, who are experts in experiential events to help with creative. Finally, another associate has come on board to help bring it all together.

    The money works out much better too. Under our old model we had to average out at charging in the region of £1000 per day to meet our high overhead costs and make a decent profit to grow, reward people, and ensure our sustainability. With this project, it would have priced us out and we would have turned it down, even though it’s fulfilling work which fits the vision. But with almost no overheads to meet, and budget going more directly to the people actually delivering it, the money works out just fine.

    In summary, this model allows us to deliver higher quality work by picking the very best team for each job from a wider network; we offer better value for money as clients don’t have to support big consultancy overheads (like a fancy office, or managers and other support staff who do not directly create value for clients); and it’s more rewarding for the people doing the work. I’d use the phrase win-win here, if it wasn’t such a cliché.

    So that’s a little snapshot of a drastically simplified, decentralised consultancy model in action. I’m enjoying it immensely.

    Now the dust has settled, I’ll soon be sharing more of the inside story of what was happening behind the scenes throughout this transformation. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, there’s more to it than I’ve been able to share so far. But first, we need to crack on with developing our new website as this one is feeling really out of date.

    Posted 17 April 2015, 1:14 pm

  4. Favicon Paul Silver's blog

    [Blog] Paul Silver's blog: Worried about the Google mobile update? Check your Google Analytics first

    If your website is not suitable for easy use on a mobile, i.e. it’s not ‘responsive’ or you do not have a version of the website just for mobile phone users, you will be affected by the Google update coming next week. Basically, if someone searches on their mobile phone, they won’t see your website in Google’s search results any more. However, if they search on their laptop or larger computer, they will see it as they do now.

    I’m seeing a lot of scare mongering on social media about this and articles which are prodding people towards panic. Before you get too worried, please remember this affects:

    • People using their smartphones to search Google and find your website

    Here is how you find out how many people that is, if you use Google Analytics:

    Login to Google Analytics and go to the report for your website.

    On the menu on the left, click ‘Audience’ (this will probably already be chosen,) then ‘Mobile’, then ‘Overview’

    Google Analytics - mobile overviewThis shows you how many mobile users you have looking at the website. The screenshot above is for one of my personal websites, so the traffic generally is quite low. In this case, I had 102 visitors to the site using their mobile phone to view it in the last 30 days.

    However, that doesn’t tell me how many will be affected by this Google update. For that, I need the number coming from Google’s natural search results. So, to find those:

    Click ‘Secondary dimension’, then ‘Acquisition’, then ‘Source / Medium’

    Choosing where people have come fromLook down the list and find the line which says ‘mobile’ and ‘google / organic’. If it’s not immediately visible, try making the ‘show rows’ bigger in the drop down list under the table of results.

    Affected mobile visitorsSo for this website, I had 61 visitors come through Google search to the website on their mobile phones in the last 30 days. This website isn’t built in a responsive way, so basically I’m likely to lose that after the Google update comes out.

    I don’t want to lose that, but then again, I’m also very busy at the moment and don’t have time to re-build the CSS and potentially the HTML of the website, so I’m just going to have to put up with that. It’s not great, but it’s 7% of my traffic. That’s not going to kill the website.

    Checking through my client’s websites, I’m seeing mobile use between 15% and 40%, and traffic from Google’s natural search results – remember, the bit that will actually be affected by this change – being between 2.5% – 13% and one outlier at 29%.

    If you’re a business and have Goals set up, it’s worth digging further in to Google Analytics to see how many visitors using their mobiles are converting in to customers – although this becomes tricky, as people often research on their phone, then buy on their computer.

    If you’re thinking of doing a quick conversion to a responsive website, check your Analytics first. If you’re only going to lose a small percentage of visitors, it will be worth considering not doing a hurried conversion, but holding off and giving it some more thought and doing a better update when you’ve had more time to work out what you want done. Yes, you’ll lose some traffic in the short term, but doing a hurried conversion that doesn’t work quite right won’t get you any more sales anyway. Don’t react just because the update is coming in now, improve your website by making it work better on phones because you want to give those visitors a good experience of your business.

    Posted 17 April 2015, 10:15 am

  5. Favicon Adactio: Journal

    [Blog] Adactio: Journal: 100 words 025

    I often get asked what resources I’d recommend for someone totally new to making websites. There are surprisingly few tutorials out there aimed at the complete beginner. There’s Jon Duckett’s excellent—and beautiful—book. There’s the Codebar curriculum (which I keep meaning to edit and update; it’s all on Github).

    Now there’s a new resource by Damian Wielgosik called How to Code in HTML5 and CSS3. Personally, I would drop the “5” and the “3”, but that’s a minor quibble; this is a great book. It manages to introduce concepts in a logical, understandable way.

    And it’s free.

    Posted 16 April 2015, 2:06 pm

  6. Favicon Adactio: Journal

    [Blog] Adactio: Journal: 100 words 024

    Summer burst into life today. The sun shone out of a clear bright blue sky, warming up the ground and the air below.

    This weather suits Brighton. The town was positively preening. Admittedly the town centre was pretty much like any other town centre on a hot day, but if you went down to the seafront you’d have seen a beautiful sight. The water was so calm and placid, its surface broken only by the occasional paddle board or kayak.

    Today was the perfect day to get a sandwich, hunker down on the beach’s pebbles and fight off feral seagulls.

    Posted 15 April 2015, 11:46 pm

  7. Favicon NEWS - mike griggs - creativebloke - cgi + vfx

    [Blog] NEWS - mike griggs - creativebloke - cgi + vfx: Demoing Foundry Products powered by AMD FirePro Graphics on a Mac Pro

    Big thanks to everyone at AMD FirePro Graphics for letting me be a part of NAB 2015 on the AMD stand. If you are at NAB and want to say hi, pop by to the AMD stand SL9324 where there is a chance to win a Firepro Graphics Card.

    Posted 15 April 2015, 3:20 pm

  8. Favicon Adactio: Journal

    [Blog] Adactio: Journal: Hope

    Cennydd points to an article by Ev Williams about the pendulum swing between open and closed technology stacks, and how that pendulum doesn’t always swing back towards openness. Cennydd writes:

    We often hear the idea that “open platforms always win in the end”. I’d like that: the implicit values of the web speak to my own. But I don’t see clear evidence of this inevitable supremacy, only beliefs and proclamations.

    It’s true. I catch myself saying things like “I believe the open web will win out.” Statements like that worry my inner empiricist. Faith-based outlooks scare me, and rightly so. I like being able to back up my claims with data.

    Only time will tell what data emerges about the eventual fate of the web, open or closed. But we can look to previous technologies and draw comparisons. That’s exactly what Tim Wu did in his book The Master Switch and Jonathan Zittrain did in The Future Of The Internet—And How To Stop It. Both make for uncomfortable reading because they challenge my belief. Wu points to radio and television as examples of systems that began as egalitarian decentralised tools that became locked down over time in ever-constricting cycles. Cennydd adds:

    I’d argue this becomes something of a one-way valve: once systems become closed, profit potential tends to grow, and profit is a heavy entropy to reverse.

    Of course there is always the possibility that this time is different. It may well be that fundamental architectural decisions in the design of the internet and the workings of the web mean that this particular technology has an inherent bias towards openness. There is some data to support this (and it’s an appealing thought), but again; only time will tell. For now it’s just one more supposition.

    The real question—when confronted with uncomfortable ideas that challenge what you’d like to believe is true—is what do you do about it? Do you look for evidence to support your beliefs or do you discard your beliefs entirely? That second option looks like the most logical course of action, and it’s certainly one that I would endorse if there were proven facts to be acknowledged (like gravity, evolution, or vaccination). But I worry about mistaking an argument that is still being discussed for an argument that has already been decided.

    When I wrote about the dangers of apparently self-evident truisms, I said:

    These statements aren’t true. But they are repeated so often, as if they were truisms, that we run the risk of believing them and thus, fulfilling their promise.

    That’s my fear. Only time will tell whether the closed or open forces will win the battle for the soul of the internet. But if we believe that centralised, proprietary, capitalistic forces are inherently unstoppable, then our belief will help make them so.

    I hope that openness will prevail. Hope sounds like such a wishy-washy word, like “faith” or “belief”, but it carries with it a seed of resistance. Hope, faith, and belief all carry connotations of optimism, but where faith and belief sound passive, even downright complacent, hope carries the promise of action.

    Margaret Atwood was asked about the futility of having hope in the face of climate change. She responded:

    If we abandon hope, we’re cooked. If we rely on nothing but hope, we’re cooked. So I would say judicious hope is necessary.

    Judicious hope. I like that. It feels like a good phrase to balance empiricism with optimism; data with faith.

    The alternative is to give up. And if we give up too soon, we bring into being the very endgame we feared.

    Cennydd finishes:

    Ultimately, I vote for whichever technology most enriches humanity. If that’s the web, great. A closed OS? Sure, so long as it’s a fair value exchange, genuinely beneficial to company and user alike.

    This is where we differ. Today’s fair value exchange is tomorrow’s monopoly, just as today’s revolutionary is tomorrow’s tyrant. I will fight against that future.

    To side with whatever’s best for the end user sounds like an eminently sensible metric to judge a technology. But I’ve written before about where that mindset can lead us. I can easily imagine Asimov’s three laws of robotics rewritten to reflect the ethos of user-centred design, especially that first and most important principle:

    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

    …rephrased as:

    A product or interface may not injure a user or, through inaction, allow a user to come to harm.

    Whether the technology driving the system behind that interface is open or closed doesn’t come into it. What matters is the interaction.

    But in his later years Asimov revealed the zeroeth law, overriding even the first:

    A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

    It may sound grandiose to apply this thinking to the trivial interfaces we’re building with today’s technologies, but I think it’s important to keep drilling down and asking uncomfortable questions (even if they challenge our beliefs).

    That’s why I think openness matters. It isn’t enough to use whatever technology works right now to deliver the best user experience. If that short-time gain comes with a long-term price tag for our society, it’s not worth it.

    I would much rather an imperfect open system to a perfect proprietary one.

    I have hope in an open web …judicious hope.

    Posted 15 April 2015, 10:34 am

  9. Favicon Adactio: Journal

    [Blog] Adactio: Journal: 100 words 023

    Twenty minutes after SpaceX mission CRS-6 launched from Florida’s space coast, it passed over England.

    Jessica and I were outside, hoping to catch a glimpse of it.

    “There it is!” I cried, pointing at a bright fast moving light. In moments, we saw another bright dot, then another and another—the jettisoned solar panel covers travelling along the same trajectory.

    Looking up from the surface of my home planet at this new orbital traveller, I was reminded of grainy black and white footage of crowds waving flags at the launch of ocean liners at the turn of the last century.

    Posted 15 April 2015, 12:03 am

  10. Cogapp blogs

    [Blog] Cogapp blogs: Ten (+1) takeaways from Museums and the Web Conference 2015

    Chris How, Phil Davidson and I have just spent three days in Chicago at the Museums and the Web conference. The tornado came, the sun shone. We met up with old Cogapp friends and made plenty of new ones.

    LR CH PD MW15.jpg
    Phil, Louise and Chris, by @_Lowedown

    Read more

    read more

    Posted 14 April 2015, 8:47 am

  11. Favicon Adactio: Journal

    [Blog] Adactio: Journal: 100 words 022

    I spent the day in London. As my train arrived back in Brighton, it was enveloped in a chilly fog. The whole town was bedecked in an eerie seaside mist—not an uncommon Brighton phenomenon.

    Fortunately the fog cleared by the time the ISS made its way across the sky this evening. It was a beautiful sight.

    I was hoping to also look for a Dragon capsule on its resupply mission shortly afterwards. Alas, the launch was scrubbed. I got lucky with the weather; SpaceX, not so much.

    Perhaps tomorrow will bring better fortune. I’ll be looking to the sky.

    Posted 14 April 2015, 12:36 am

  12. Cogapp blogs

    [Blog] Cogapp blogs: When is Agile the right choice?

    Have you been learning about Agile and wondering if it's the right choice for your next project? In this post, Cogapp's Head of Technical Production Andy Cummins talks you through the questions to ask before you start working in an Agile way and shares his tips on how to choose whether Agile is right for you.

    Abstract image of 'start' and a checkbox written on a whiteboard

    Read more

    read more

    Posted 13 April 2015, 1:58 pm

  13. Henderson Kite

    [Blog] Henderson Kite: Some great predictions

    A brilliant talk by Scott Galloway from L2 Inc. If you are interested in where the big four tech businesses (Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google) are going, then 15 minutes very well spent.


    Posted 13 April 2015, 1:05 pm

  14. Favicon SiteVisibility

    [Blog] SiteVisibility: Why podcasts are popular again? – INTERNET MARKETING PODCAST #290

    In today’s episode Andy and Kelvin are discussing the resurgence of podcasts and why they’re suddenly very popular again.


    This American Life

    Serial Podcast

    Tim Ferris Podcast

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

    Why podcasts are popular again? – INTERNET MARKETING PODCAST #290

    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 13 April 2015, 10:44 am

  15. Favicon Adactio: Journal

    [Blog] Adactio: Journal: 100 words 021

    Today was a nice quiet Sunday. I did my usual weekly tasks—doing database exports and backing my hard drive. I played some tunes on my bouzouki. I probably should’ve played more. I posted over a half dozen links, wrote two other entries in this journal, and just one note. I didn’t post any pictures today, but yesterday almost every one of my eleven notes had a photo.

    I was going to finish the day by stepping outside to watch the ISS fly overhead but the clouds have conspired against me. So instead I finish by writing one hundred words.

    Posted 12 April 2015, 11:24 pm


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