25 June 2007

Site launches

Some nice news - a couple of sites I've been working on have launched, so I can update my portfolio a little.

First up is the Strathclyde Pension Fund Office, www.spfo.org.uk - I wrote the content for this site back in February. Reading Room, from Manchester, did all the technical stuff and got the content into the site, and it's recently gone live. It's looking really good - and I can still vaguely remember some of what I learnt while up there (mainly that the Scots are lovely and Glasgow is a beautiful city and well worth a visit).

Secondly a site I designed and built - not my core work, but a nice little project nonetheless - has gone live. Old school friend and most excellent singer/songwriter Clara Kousah's website was a labour of love with many man-hours (and much swearing) involved, but I think the final result is quite nice. I'm pretty proud of some of the technology I used, if not the design... you can find out more on my past work pages.

Now - onward and upwards!

14 June 2007

More for the new project

New site designs have started, which is very nice. It should look good - at least to non-designer me.

More content keeps cropping up, too, and I'll be moving these posts over to the new site when I can, but here's today's "gnnnh!" moment...

Questions, which should not be asked.
Gnnnh! I think there should be a tax on superfluous punctuation. That'd nip the problem in the bud.

A good rule; read text out loud and treat punctuation as a breathing exercise. A comma is a short pause. A full stop is just that - stop and start again, with a longer pause.

Now read the above sentence again.

Of course, it's far more complex than that - the above sentence with a question mark on the end would be possible, and it almost seems that the writer is introducing the topic of questions and then introducing a sub-clause - which ones shouldn't be asked?

Beyond all that - and a grammaticist (if such a thing exists) would give a better explanation of the faults of the above sentence - the comma just means the sentence reads wrong. And that's frustrating.

12 June 2007


I'm thinking of starting a new project to publicise my writing - get a bit of a face and name on the internet for my writing. It's going to involve examples of good and bad web copy - of which there are plenty.

I've just stumbled on this little gem, about how membership of an organisation might be able to help people:

By keeping a finger on the pulse so you can keep both hands on the wheel.
Erm... what? Not only is that pretty meaningless - and as such there's no purpose to it at all (there's a far better explanation of why to join further down the page), it's mixing metaphors fairly, too. The issue of whose finger is actually on the pulse is the most interesting - does the organisation keep a finger on the pulse? How does that help? Do they keep telling you how you are all the time, or only tell you when you're dead?

Point to note, #1: put the content at the top of the page. Leave the bizarre marketing speak for the bottom - if at all.

07 June 2007

Long time since updating

It's been pretty busy here - mostly trying to get new business. This week in particular has been extremely hectic, and it's only starting to slow down a little as I wait for other people to get back to me with things. It's a shame the bank balance doesn't reflect the amount of work I've been doing, but it should pay dividends in the future.

It's actually been pretty stressful this week, but also enjoyable - I've been working on a rare design/build job for a change, and it's nice to get to play with a bit of PHP. I've also been playing with a bit of Flash/ActionScript, which isn't something I'm very familiar with, but which has turned out to be very interesting. I've built - using examples online and a bit of tweaking - a Flash MP3 player. I'm quite proud of it. My grasp of PHP XML parsing and regular expressions is improving greatly too, and my GIMPing skills are getting a lot better - it's just the visual creativity I think I lack. Any more work like this and I think I'll outsource the design side of things.

Before I sign off, I thought I would post the following YouTube video made by a friend - it's a great little vid and it's got a good message. I'm planning on 10% less living beyond my means. And possibly 10% less wasting time on the internet.