Archive | Website development RSS feed for this section

The Fourth Wave

20 May

Digital Age: The Fourth Wave of Technology

I dare you to watch this video

9 Aug

Have you got a coupla minutes?

My kid is 12 and he loves his technology. I don’t mean that he just likes it a lot … he loves it. I like technology too. I’m using it now. But I also love books. I am auto didactic. No not that. I have always read a lot. As a kid I just tore up history books (those illustrated ones) and began reading classics via the Classic Comics Illustrated range which introduced me to Turgenev and Victor Hugo. I knew about myths and legends from Norse to Roman and later on I discovered my mother’s books. It took me a week to get over the first time I opened The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir and Henry Miller … well he was amazing for a kid who watched the Beverly Hillbillies.

I am not anti technology because I think it’s the greatest tool of creativity and self expression since that hungarian Bic invented the biro but I’m afraid that it’s got some limitations too.

My kid showed me this video and I think it sums things up quite well and has repercussions for us all business-wise or not:





In just 60 seconds

6 Jan


According to an article published in the second half of 2013, this is what happens on the ‘net’ every 60 seconds.

To quote the article in the UK Daily Mail, published July 30:

‘In just a single minute on the web 216,000 photos are shared on Instagram, a total of £54,000 ($83,000) sales take place on Amazon, there are 1.8 million likes on Facebook and three days worth of video is uploaded to YouTube. 

Cashback site Qmee has created an infographic that shows this information as well as how many tweets are sent, photos are viewed, Skype calls are made, domains are registered and more in 60 seconds.

The graphic pulls information and figures from PC Mag, Business Insider and other sites to create a the snapshot.’ 

So what does this say to businesses who are trying to market themselves in 2014?

You better get some fresh content.

Google loves new and updated content.

Content that is relevant to your market.


Lessons learned from House of Cards

28 Dec

House of CardsHouse of Cards is an American remake of a BBC drama featuring the oh so Machiavellian Francis Urquhart or old FU (BBC) renamed for the US series as Francis Underwood and starring Kevin Spacey.

Both series are well made and gripping in a politico thriller kind of way. And Kevin Spacey is just amazing playing an amoral, unethical and complex Washington power broker.

One of the main characters is a young journalist with an eye for breaking news which she isn’t even getting close to on the big, traditional newspaper she works for.

Sick of covering C grade stories, she hungers for something more.

She is also aware that traditional print newspapers are losing ground to online forms of news.

Without giving the plot away, she finds herself being a conduit for real news. She talks the editor into running her stories. She gets some recognition. She leaves the paper to join an online blog.

Here’s the lesson I learnt from A House of Cards:

“Will it get me in 8 seconds?” The blog editor asks her regarding a proposed post

“That’s all we have.”

8 seconds to hook the reader.

Can you hook them in 8 seconds or less? I’m sure I lost you in the first paragraph.

Now I don’t think that short grabs work for everything. Long copy works for some products and some stories. People still like to read.

Think it through. What are your key objectives?

And, here’s to old FU!


Merry Christmas 2013

24 Dec

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas 2013 to all my clients, contacts, friends and family.

And not necessarily in that order.

Have a happy and safe Christmas.

Simon Rodie

Tech heads and other odd fish

13 Dec


I’m the King of Content.

Well I self styled that one, but after working on advertising campaigns (above and below the line,) blogs, websites (static and interactive,) brochures, newsletters, flyers, trade stands and collateral, email marketing, social networking, training programs and lots in between … I think I am the King!

But I’m not a coder … yikes!

I’m a content planner and builder, creative director and project manager.

I’m also a talent scout.

I source artists & illustrators, graphics people, TV/Radio producers …

I also source web people. The people that code. They know HTML and CSS deeply, whereas I just know about it.

I need these people. And I need to get the work done.

Sometimes, but not always, these web people can be difficult. Why? could be a generational thing. Could be a time management thing. Could be a simple communications thing. Could be all of the above.

Here’s a scenario:

The project is lagging and lacking. The vision has not come together. I can’t get the person on the phone. I can’t get them via sms. I wonder should I go out on my balcony and call their name like Steve Martin did in The Lonely Guy.

Yes … they don’t always follow my timetable.

But when you get a good one it’s amazing.

Manage these people with tenderness and care.

Coach and mentor them.

Be understanding, bit not too understanding if you get my drift.

Got kids? You’ll know what I mean

Icons of Style and Style Guides

12 Nov

ImageCary Grant was a movie star when movie stars were stars if you get my drift. He’s probably not relevant to the Gen X. Y’s and Z’s (are they here yet?) but he had style, and talent did old Archie Leach … that was his real name. Cary Grant was a branded product for the Hollywood studio system and no-one did better business than those factories.

Stars like George Clooney owe a lot to Cary Grant an icon of style!

Now I’m not writing about movie stars here. I’m writing about the importance of Style Guides to content developers, whether they are building, writing, or video-ing content. Whether they are designing training programs or sending out email marketing campaigns > it’s nice to have guides in place for look and feel purposes, branding, version control, recurring text like copyright, fonts, colours and more.

Style guides should be global and accessible.

Style guides formats should be usable to those that need to use them.

Style guides should be simple, uncluttered and not a graphic designers view of how they should present and be used.

Most importantly, Style Guides should be communicated and adopted by all in the business or organisation.

I’m creative and I like to break the mould sometimes and add personality but I appreciate when Style Guides and Templates are used when it makes the project clearer and easier to format.

Develop Style Guides and Templates then manage projects. 

The art of the knowledgebase

26 Oct

ImageWebsites have evolved.

In the not too distant past, a business or organisation would have a ‘webmaster’ build a site. It had all the usual suspects: Home; About US; Contact Details; Products etc. You’ve seen hundreds of them. Maybe even thousands. Static sites with a flash animation graphic to spice things up. Looked good. Never or hardly ever updated except for new product offerings.

Nowadays, in the fast paced, quick clicking social media environment, more is required.

The big question is: why will customers visit your site? Better still, why will people who are not yet customers visit. We call them prospects from ‘gold prospectors.’ Digging for gold.

The gold you put on your site is what differentiates your business from your competition. Yes you’ve got great products. But sites need to offer value in a whole lot of other ways.

One way is to provide a knowledgebase.

Articles. White papers. Videos. Blogs. Put it out there.

But ask yourself the question. “Does this content do something for my clients, customers and all the prospects out there just waiting to find a solution to their problems?”

Well does it?