Thinking Digital Conference 2010

It’s strange that I’m personally writing about Thinking Digital Conference (another one of Codeworks‘ conferences), yet I didn’t write about DIBI. I think the only reason is even though I was working on the team for Thinking Digital I wasn’t in on the talks throughout the couple of days. I was happily working away with the films crews, our own J6 and with Sara Allison from Microsoft so that they could both get the most out of the conference. Working with the film crews is so great as you get to spend a little bit of time with each speaker notably David Siegel, Mary Ann de Lares Norris from Oblong, Joi Ito, Ken Banks, Tom Wujec were some of the faces I managed to have a chat with.

Christian Payne managed to stalk me via Gowalla and I found him to be one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met more so as he gave me one of his business cards with a photo of his dog having a wee on it (there were other strange one i.e. of him half naked – I opted for the dog!)

All in all it was a great week, so many friendly people, so much networking so many good talks! It was also interesting for me to see how many people from DIBI were at Thinking Digital, it was great to catch up with you all.

During the day Tim Allison from the IDI worked on a little project which was played in the closing session of Thinking Digital 2010 which can be seen below;

Is there a privacy debate?

Late last year I ventured out to TEDx Newcastle, it was an amazing event organised by the guys at Codeworks, I’ve since joined their team.

They’re an amazing bunch and can nail content for events like nothing I’ve seen before. One of the talks was by Chris Stainthorpe of the B Group Creative Agency. Chris talked about privacy and the debate behind data being publicly available without people knowing it. I was intrigued by his talk, more so because of the feedback he was getting from the crowd. It seemed like shock-and-awe as they realised unless they changed their privacy settings that their info was widely available to the general public on the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn etc.

I was reminded about the debate this morning when checking the Technology area of news.bbc.co.uk and finding two articles relating to privacy issues with Google and Facebook. It brought me back to my opinion on privacy at the time of listening to Chris at TEDx Newcastle.

Surely in this day and age people are aware of identity fraud and ridiculous scams online. Putting that together with Facebook and other social networks, surely people must realise that whatever they write or publish is then quite clearly and obviously public knowledge. We’ve all heard stories of people saying the wrong thing on social networks and then being reprimanded at work because of it.

I personally think there is no privacy debate at all. If we put privacy in the control of the user then clearly tell them what is visible when they’re signing up, surely then it is down to them and not the social app which they’re using?

Why do we have to keep discussing what should and shouldn’t be allowed. What we can and what we cannot show? Give the power to the people and let them choose. Surely?

Cutting out the crap

I want to be healthy so I’m following in Andy McMillan’s footsteps of aiming to lose some weight by the time Build Conference comes around.

My weight varies quite a lot and I’ve only been really fit twice. Once when I was in the Army when I lost close to 3 stone in weight, and then again just as I left when I was weight training.

Working behind a computer generally doesn’t help my health, a busy lifestyle can defeat me quite easily as I to go for easy, time-saving food. This generally consists of white bread, too much coffee and far too many bottles of Coke / Dr Pepper.

So I’m changing my habits. I’m going to start eating healthy meals, stop drinking coffee, stop with the bottles of coke and start running.

On one hand I am doing this to lose some weight but also to help me feel better in myself. Coffee keeps me going through the day and I don’t want it to anymore, I want to feel fresh and creative all of the time.

We’ll see how this goes, currently I’d like to lose approximately 2 stone in weight. I’m hoping in cutting out the crap I’ll lose up to 8 pounds fairly easily. (Fingers crossed)

UPDATE: As Andy is doing something for charity, I’ll find a way to help ‘Help for Heroes’, my chosen charity.

Too Little Time, Too Many Domains

I have the most random amount of ideas quite a lot of the time. Ideas which I think I can put in to action but then I get busy with something else. It never stops me from buying the domain name though, I always end up buying the damn things. My domain portfolio has expanded quite considerably over the past two years. Some of them are absolute rubbish yet some of them aren’t bad at all. I’ve also set up sites on some of the domains, mainly to get a small amount of traffic and somehow gather some affiliate earnings from them which does work, however small the affiliate income might accumulate to.

I’m going to be completely honest. I don’t know the first thing about selling and buying domains / websites so no doubt I’ll get a few emails about buying them for a penny. No Thanks!

So this is what I’ve got and what I may be willing to sell on should the right offer be made. I’ll go into my creative thoughts for the domain names below.

  • 365qanda.com
  • businesscardgallery.co.uk
  • designerssketchbook.com
  • floobe.com/.co.uk
  • howtostartblogging.co.uk
  • identitygraphics.co.uk
  • moovees.co.uk
  • muddledup.co.uk/.com
  • startingchoice.co.uk/.com
  • themehype.com
  • validationicons.com
  • w3cicons.com/.co.uk
  • webcalendr.com/.co.uk

365qanda.com – I was thinking about setting up a website where I’d answer any random question per day, it could have been on absolutely anything but I’d find a way to answer it. Yes, I know, a rubbish idea. 🙂

businesscardgallery.co.uk – Self-explanatory, I was going to set up a showcase of business card designs.

designerssketchbook.com – Not sure to be honest, was going to be part of something a lot bigger which is no longer happening. Not a bad domain name regardless.

floobe.com/.co.uk – floobe.com is one of my oldest blogs. I’d originally set it up as a design blog with interviews/tutorials/showcase etc It probably gets between 400-1000 Page views a month with nothing new posted in around 6 months now.

howtostartblogging.co.uk – Was going to set this up as an affiliate website, started it and became immediately bored.

identitygraphics.co.uk – Used this for various things over the years I’ve owned it. Mainly web testing.

moovees.co.uk – Movie trailer website. Had it running for around a year now and I publish (when I can) the latest movie reviews from around the web. Depending on which film is a hit, it can receive regular traffic if I get the trailers up there quick enough.

muddledup.com/.co.uk – This was going to be a web app at one point but I’ll never have time to do something with it.

startingchoice.com/.co.uk – Jen and I were going to set this up as a private project which we’ve not got round to doing yet.

themehype.com – Theme Hype has been up and running since Christmas time, and was setup as a blog for theme design related posts with an emphasis on being affiliate related, I can’t directly relate my affiliate income to this site as everything is linked up however it is pretty well indexed for some search terms.

validationsicons.com – This is my longest running websites and was started shortly after my blog in 2007. I’ve redesigned it a couple of times and it gets around 1000 hits per month. It’s very well indexed and is ranked No.1 for various search terms. I’ve never added affiliate links to the site.

w3cicons.com/.co.uk – These domains simple forward to the site above.

webcalendr.com/.co.uk – This is a private project domain which I would still like to work on should I ever find the time.

So what are your thoughts? Leave a comment, get in touch or follow me on twitter.

The Best Piece of Customer Service Advice

I’ll make this short. If you want a sound piece of advice in customer service this is it, no matter what you’ve done, what you’ve made or what you intend to do.

Never forget who you’re serving.

The minute you forget that, do something else as you just lost your heart to business.