Google Analytics – All my viewers are in London, UK… apparently.

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital, Tech | Posted on 19-04-2010

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Google Analytics

I’ve just been taking a look at my google analytics stats for Bonimedia. A lot more of you than i thought are actually reading what i say, which is kind of nice to know that there are people out there that do read this (although you all seem quite keen to not leave any comments!).

Google Analytics, UK Map

Google Analytics

After looking at the geostats, i seem to have a few fans in the US, some in Australia and a few across Europe, but over 90% of my viewers are based in London, UK. I guess this is understandable, i have worked there for over 9 years. I love Google Analytics and the way you can use it to get so much fine detail on who your audiences are. If you are reading this and you aren’t in London, please post a comment and let me know where you are reading this!!

Another interesting statistic, if you are into the demise of Microsoft’s horrific browser IE6, is that only 1.7% of all visits to my site were through IE6.  I like to think that my readers have got good sense, so thanks for proving me right and not turning up in some beaten up old browser from the dark ages!

Prevent failure – Stifle success

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital, Tech | Posted on 30-03-2010

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There are many ways to run a business. A design agency can for example be run in a variety of ways, either with no strict process, but just relying on the abilities of the team members and common sense to find a route to success via problem solving and entrepreneurial ability or to have a strict process that all project managers have to follow to the ‘T’, which gives them little freedom. It gives them very little ability to make any real mistakes, but also limits them in their ability to be problem solvers, to be creative and to be entrepreneurial and successful. The ideal situation is somewhere between the two. Enough guidance on the core process to make sure that the process is adhered to and that company standards are maintained, but with enough leeway for some creatitivity and for the ability for good individuals to flourish. If the process is too strict, it becomes a leveler allowing the worst client managers to deliver , but frustrates the best client managers as they feel like they are walking in treacle and they leave and go to somewhere they have more freedom.

Do you have the right balance?

Running a web agency is very much like…

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital, Tech | Posted on 23-03-2010

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I was in the gym the other day, watching James Martin making a very tasty looking plate of food, and i thought to myself that running a web agency is very much like running a fine restaurant.  You have to use the finest ingredients and the finest talent to tailor exquisite creations that keep a highly discerning and critical audience satisfied.  All of this to a budget and in a very defined timescale.  Take too long with your starter and the client might disappear.  The finest ingredients are the right technologies, the right kitchen talent is the right designers/ development team and the chef in charge of it all is the Client Services Director.  If the chef doesn’t rate the food then he shouldn’t let it out of the door, same with Client Services Directors.  The highly discerning audiences will sign off the design and user research/ information architecture in the same way as you consume a good starter.   The delivery of templates and prototypes are the main course where the user gets into the meat and 2 veg and is reassured that the presentation is excellent and that the meat is of good standard.  Then it’s onto the dessert, which is the build, and the User Acceptance testing is the coffee and the mint.  Next time you go to a restaurant or commission a website, think about the similarities…

Next time you talk to your web agency, try to work out if they are Michelin starred.

The future of TV.

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital, Tech | Posted on 06-03-2010

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I love technology. I only employ people who are passionate about technology. We are in a time when technology can help us to work better, to work smarter, to improve the environment we live in, to travel less and to communicate more. In the last 10 years we have seen a move from some people having broadband, to everyone having it. We have seen mobile phones become more numerous than people are. Everyone has skype, so a video conference with the other side of the world isn’t special anymore, it’s just normal. Physical media is becoming a thing of the past, so the CD, the Minidisc, vinyl etc are irrelevant.

MiniDisc logo

The only physical media that makes sense at the moment is blu-ray, as it allows the large amounts of data that are required for 1080p Hi Def playback with full dolby 5.1 surround sound, as our broadband networks are not quite up to streaming that yet. I can see it coming though. Take a look at the Vimeo HD channel and you’ll see that you can quite easily stream high quality content over your broadband connection, and it looks and sounds great.

In the next 5 years, i predict that traditional terrestrial television will become obsolete.

Broadcasting really only works when there is a small volume of content available and large numbers of undiscerning viewers. (undiscerning historically because they have so little choice).  In the future, you’ll be able to decide that you want to watch programs on any subject for as long as you like. Sky, Virgin, the BBC, all the main US networks and content repositories like Vimeo and Youtube will allow users to categorise content and tag it with keywords which means that the ability for anyone to find the content that they are interested in becomes easier and easier. The only problem at the moment is that 99% of the content that is user generated is utter rubbish. Have you tried watching Youtube for more than 30 minutes? You become frustrated at the number of 60 second low res mobile phone clips which are neither well lit, well shot or well structured, and are overlaid by thrash metal. Not my idea of viewing pleasure. i want to be able to find good content, easily and fast. At the moment i am at the mercy of what has been on Sky HD in the last month, but i can’t see the broadcast and record locally system lasting much longer… I look forward to being able to watch Hi Def content on whatever subject i like whenever i like…  I just need a way to filter out all the UGC 320×240 camera phone videos of some peasant trying to burn his rear tyres off overlaid by thrash metal…

Shame really, i liked physical media, i particularly liked the MiniDisc and the ZipDisc, may they rest in small shiny pieces.

Like the Honda advert, but better…

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital, Tech | Posted on 04-03-2010

Alt

This too shall pass

This is a pretty cool, it’s like the Honda Cogs advert, but it goes on for ages and ages.  It must have been quite a feat to set this up, and it was a one take only mission.

Pretty cool.  I might just have to watch it again… Thanks to Clive Garrett for this.

it’s like coming home 3 hours late from the pub…

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Posted by Mark | Posted in Digital | Posted on 16-02-2010

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In the delivery of a digital project, there are few things more important that setting the expectations of the client. If you come in guns blazing, tell them that you are going to deliver the moon on a stick for 10 grand in 2 weeks, and then deliver a marshmallow on a stick for 100 grand in 20 weeks, you will look like… well, less than professional. A lot of digital agencies do this and they get a bad name and go bust.

Preferable then to be realistic with the timescale, the scope and especially the budget so that you have the ability and the lee way to deliver a quality project on time and on budget. If you talk to the client, make them aware that you are a professional, have experience of delivering similar projects and you know the kind of challenges that they will face, then they will respect that.  If they are a nice client i also know that i will be working ‘with’ them rather than ‘for’ them, which is so much more enjoyable!

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