Obviously this is adorable.
“The answers to all the world’s questions are a web-search away”
Last week I was lucky enough to speak at the Content Marketing Show, a free bi-annual event in London for people working in content marketing / PR / social media / editorial (and anywhere in the fuzzy middle ground between them all). I spoke about the editorial planning process we use at Crunch, and how we’ve moved away from software back to some pen-and-paper planning methods.
My slides are below – I’ll embed the video as soon as it’s uploaded.
…and fucking runs with it.
Incidentally – why no little girls with jetpacks?
Despite being rather involved with the Brighton Digital Festival this year, the entire first week of September went by without me attending a single event. At the weekend, finally with some free time on my hands, I attended the Mini Maker Faire.
Now three years old, the Mini Maker Faire is an eclectic mix of old-timey craftsmanship and bleeding-edge technology. The only condition you must satisfy in order to exhibit is that you must be a “maker” – i.e. someone who makes something. Due to this gloriously broad brief, there are all kinds of projects on display. Everything from finger-painting to 3D printing was on the agenda this year.
A favourite sport of mine is to watch the continual twists and turns of the SEO industry. An interesting phenomenon I’ve encountered recently amongst fellow publishers is a fantastical weariness of the SEO industry chasing links, especially in “high value” publications.
I think it’s always good practice to link to a company when you mention them by name – it gives the reader the opportunity to gain a little more context. If I’m writing about a company which has released some research or done something newsworthy I’ll almost always link to them, unless it’s a company that have done something to annoy me in the past. I’m childish and fickle like that, and I think a lot of other writers are too.
Now I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a happy commuter. Many people I know have had their revulsion dulled by years of appalling train services, long journey times and antisocial fellow travelers, but I’m not there yet. Small problems still enrage me, people behaving badly on trains maddens me, and of course the cost is ridiculous. I can’t just accept these things as par for the course. There must be a better way; there has to be.
The easiest way to improve the experience for everyone is for people to start behaving like reasonable humans towards each other. So, based on my own experiences, I’ve cobbled together some top tips to prevent enraging your fellow passengers, and to hopefully make the commute that little bit more bearable for us all. Continue reading
I love to swear. Fucking love it. I also love my Nexus 4, however these two things do not mix well. One of the foibles of Android is that it doesn’t include swear words in its dictionary, and will not allow you to add them using the in-line “Add to dictionary” dialogue when typing something. The irony here, of course, is that somewhere Android must have a repository of naughty words that it knows to blacklist. Nonetheless, this is irritating to me.
Anyone reading The Times last weekend would have spotted my awkward face peering out from the front page of the Money section. Ashley and I were used as a case study of a freelancing couple who can’t get a mortgage. Our situation is a little different from most freelancers (a bizarre mixture of salaried employment, zero-hour contracts and ‘proper’ freelance work) but our homebuying options are no different – we have barely any. Halifax eased up their mortgage rules for the self employed last week, prompting the press interest.
Putting aside the biggest problem with the house buying market (that is, soaring prices in the rental market which make it impossible to save for a deposit) there is another spanner that has been slowly appearing in the works. Mortgages as products aren’t built for modern, flexible working. Our bank’s credit-checking software can’t deal with our various income streams, so it sputters and gives up.
“We’re sorry about that Mr Norris. Can we interest you in a personal loan?”
Coincidentally my MD also penned a feature for Real Business this week on the failure of the banks to support house buyers. He sold his last business for about £5 million in 2007, and is overseeing Crunch’s amazing growth. The company, of which he is the majority shareholder, is currently turning over about £2.5 million per year and is in profit (something almost unheard of for a four year old tech company). He, too, cannot get a mortgage.
Sputtering machines and cautious bankers conspire against us. They ruined our economy, so we’ve adapted the way we work to compensate. Now, they don’t understand the way we work, so they close the door in our faces.
Never were truer words spoken when thinking about the technology sector. Last week somebody asked me to name a large, publicly traded technology company which is still popular with both the public at large and the “cool kids” in the Valley and Shoreditch. The obvious answers would be Apple and Google, however both of those brands have been damaged recently by allegations of tax evasion, as well as other problems unique to each company. Apple, for instance, gets a lot of flack for its failure to cobble together decent cloud services and its zealous censorship of software running on its platforms, while Google takes a lot of heat for its collection of data and not-quite-puritanical interpretation of open source.