Invented here syndrome; Demand attention

What is it with the Northern Ireland/British psyche that we are inclined to be derogatory about stuff, policy, ideas, innovations and such like that are thought up within the confines of ‘our wee country’ or the shores that make up these islands?

We fail to support and nurture that talent and believe that it is good enough to play on the national stage, never mind the global one.  Couple that with the penchant for feigning over things thought up in other countries and you have well and truly got on my goat.

Rory Cellan-Jones blog “Attention, please, for UK startups” hit a bit of a raw nerve when I read it.  To say I was incandescent with rage is a huge overstatement.  I was certainly remotely perturbed at what he was saying to say the least.

Continue reading “Invented here syndrome; Demand attention”

Calls to action equals shopping elsewhere

I read a great article recently by Web Designer Lee Monroe on the virtues of call to action buttons.  The crux of his blog post was that the purpose of these strategically placed devices was to get you the viewer to carry out some form of action justifying the existence of the site.  Generally this will be to sign up as a member or in most cases buy something. 

In theory this should be a task made simple by a great web designer.  In theory it should lead to infinite riches for the ecommerce store in question.  Owners of large ecommerce web estates know this and the focus a lot of attention on getting call to action buttons right. Continue reading “Calls to action equals shopping elsewhere”

Launch of legislation website; Government skunk works

Launch of

The Con-Dem government launched its new website today which has been touted as holding every single law ever made in the UK since 1267.  It is effectively a consolidation of the old OPSI and Statute Law databases.  Yes there will be some efficiencies delivered by the merger and at a cost of £419,000 for some 6.5 million web pages and a similar number of pdfs it probably doesn’t represent bad value.

The PR blurb suggests that it will allow us ordinary citizens to scrutinise laws like never before and have our say.  It also suggests that it will enable us to view how laws change over time and that folks will be able to use the data to make mobile apps or add data to their own webapps.  I have had a quick look round the site Continue reading “Launch of legislation website; Government skunk works”

Do something, make something

Way back in the long winter nights at the start of this year I resolved to do something with my evenings and embarked upon a project to make a new dining table for my house.

Sitting at a computer screen all day can be a pretty frustrating experience at times and being a country boy at heart I missed the thrill of producing something with my hands.

The raw materials for my table. Rough sawn American oak boards

Not long before I had donated my old dining table and chairs to my brother who had just built a new house but hadn’t a stick of furniture to go in it. There’s only so long you can deal with eating off your lap so I embarked on designing and building a table whilst doing a DIY woodworking course at Belfast Metropolitan College.

I have always liked the durability and clean look of oak.  Its tough stuff.  After producing the table design, plans and cutting list using Google Sketchup I spent several hours trawling through a wood yard which sits in the shadow of David and Goliath in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast called McGregors.  I came across these beautiful rough sawn planks of American Oak which I knew would do the trick.

After weeks and months of drying the wood out, planing it, measuring, trimming, gluing, mortising, tenoning, chiseling, sanding, tweaking the design and finally oiling with Danish Oil I finally have the completed table sitting in my living room ready for its first meal.

American Oak dining table by David Crozier

And here it is in all its woody goodness.

Take my advice.  Get your arse out from behind that computer and do something. Make something. You’ll be surprised how good it makes you feel inside.


The iPhone 4GS (Good Signal)

It just struck me that since Apple have halted the release of the white iPhone 4 that maybe, just maybe, they are cooking up a PR double whammy of fixing the antennae issues and releasing a new variant of the Jesus/Judas phone out of the regular release cycle. My guess is that this will be just in time for the Christmas rush.

They won’t charge any less but they won’t charge more neither.

If I was Steve Jobs that’s what I would do.