Thursday, 13 November 2008

Launching a new language learning site

We have just started to beta our new site. Learn about learning Spanish or start learning French as well as Italian, German and English. We will be adding more languages to the site soon.

The site is for people to share what learning a new language was like and us to share ways of learning and where is good to do it. So visit today.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Expressionengine related articles code

Just found out a way of doing related entries in a slightly nicer way than just (In same category, latest first).
Use track_views and get counts for weblog entries not just templates. you can then sort buy the view count, giving you the most read stories.

It is not ture related articles but at least it is most popular articles in a category, and it will keep updating, but not jump as much as sort by date.

You can remove the {view_count_one}, just for effect.

Single Entry page: (you will need to look at the source)

{exp:weblog:entries weblog="{weblog_name}" orderby="date" sort="desc" limit="1" track_views="one"}

{!-- Followed by --}
{exp:weblog:entries related_categories_mode="on" limit="3" orderby="view_count_one"}
{if count == "1"}

Related Articles


Yahoo! Web Analytics gets out and closer to the whole web

Dennis blogged about Yahoo! Web Analytics getting out to Yahoo advertisers and Store owners today. I think there are alot of people like me watching and waiting for IndexTools release as Yahoo! Web Analytics for the last five months.

I really want to move from Google Analytics to Yahoo Analytics as IndexTools seems such a great product from the demonstation I saw Dennis and SnowValley do a great talk in London a couple of months ago. Dennis is really good so hope this runs and runs.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Bill and Windows still have it - no marketing and too much money -

Monday, 8 September 2008

Sharing comments accross the net

I heard about comment sharing or pooling across blogs from Leo Laport a month or two ago but now we are getting closer with our new product trying out and seemed a good idea. Also using Gravitar sites well with me.

I am trying intensedebate on this blog even if it will not get all the comments it could. They have a WordPress version coming so will have to wait for that. I like the idea of not having to register lots of places to comment and also to comment on idfferent pages on different sites about the same thing.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Currently working on

I am currently doing alot of work with Expression Engine and waiting for version 2.0. We have built one site with it and are working on a new CMS version of to be called Cactus Tailor-made which just need enough resource to finish writing the copy and some forms work. And our exciting new project of sharing our knowledge of language learning and trying to find the right path for people.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Google local pulling more review sources

Noticed that google local is pulling more sources for reviews:

Friday, 11 July 2008

Firefox saves Windows Vista for me

Firefox is my computer interface for 90% of the day I was just think and that is the only thing that saves my annoyance with Windows vista on my laptop. I have to say I am happy-er with the interface than previous versions and I do not mind saying that and the new version of office - though I can not find some things first time - is I think a good shift in the product. I know others may not think so. Firefox saves my hating the random crashes of my Dell Inspiron 1525 (with blue top) for two more recient things. Aside from the standards compliance, better browser, extensions, web developer tool bar and firebug and not being the crap of IE. The two things are spell checking in textareas (though would be nice if it would check inputs too) as my spelling is not the best and it saves typing emails in word. And the imporant one saving all my tabs when the machine blue screens for no reason!

I regularly have maybe 8+ tabs open and would not remember them all if firefox or windows crashed. So if it did forget them I would have to start my thinking all over again. This then means that the crash becomes a momentary pause rather than a throw things accross the room and I thank it many times.

My laptop even with all the updates I throw at it crashes for reasons only known to it's self despite all the updates I throw at it. I amoung only a few people who are used to pushing computers to crash. I run alot of aps at once, install a lot of software and put off restarting until a crash. I don't let windows time to refresh I switch between aps when one is running slow and come back to it a few seconds latter (expecting it does not have to do everthing now but with work out the maths in a minute).

The machine I use has to be ready for the way I work I oftern think and I am 60% likely to crash your machine if I try to demo or fix anything for you. I don't even try to make some elses machine work hard. But they will not usualy have thinks set quite how I do so after firing up a browser and need to browse a file and in the massive delay time the server takes to list the contence of a folder I just have to fit their settings to show files extensions and list in Details way and by the time I have switched back the browser and wated for a url now not to load the network has not frozen and the machine locked up. Why never quite sure that is not a freaky thing to do so I am of the mind that machines know who uses them and work best like that like a horse being riden or a car driven.

But I digress My HP big tower at work seems to have had screen driver issues and a windows update kept it up and only now crashes less than once a week, I can deal with that. So why does the laptop that is not running a million apps for work and oftern restarted work so badly?

I am just glad Firefox saves most of my anger. Thank you Mozilla

Press 2.0 - Online Consumer Reviews Significantly Impact Consumer Purchasing Decisions

Press 2.0 - Communications in a digital world: Online Consumer Reviews Significantly Impact Consumer Purchasing Decisions

Customer reviews = confidence and openness of brand. If you are open to the comments and reviews of your customers you face the real world and work as a brand that is your friend and support but maybe you look the sparkling glimmer of the advertising unobtainable with our brand X and return to old fashioned values of quality service and product.

Its a brave new world for brands moving their online but it is not such a new world, if your will to respond to the customer and can translate it to the offline world too.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Could Twitter recreate The War of The Worlds Radio play

This zombie attack twitter pic:

Makes me wonder, could twitter be used with some online video and stuff to create the online version of The War of The Worlds Radio play. Where people believed the radio and thought they were under attack.

Could you spread a viral story/event though twitter and see how many people you would need to start it and then how many tweets it would reach?

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

I just found my first use for Yahoo Pipes

Just found the first time I needed to filter rss. Now that would be a pit of work were it not for Yahoo Pipes. I wanted to get the podcast from NMA but they have Enhanced and MP3 in the same feed. I would not have bothered and just downloaded both each week but I gave Pipes a try and and less than a minute later i have a nice MP3 only RSS.

I also noticed that they have a new output option:
New Yahoo! Pipes PHP serialized output renderer
This could be really cool as I could do something that would be a few lines of code in PHP just with some drag and drop and a php call and I now have an array to play with.

I think I will have to find some use for this soon, as it seems so nice and easy.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Follow up to SEO best restaurant ranking work

I think I can count as a success the couple of tweaks on the black rat website and the Best Restaurant list post that I made here. Blogger has some nice weight for this blog now. Also I am working in a market that is not that competitive but I am moving up the rankings against some big sites.

I now have ranking on google for 4th and 5th for for 'best restaurant winchester' and 5th and 6th for 'best restaurant in winchester'. And even better number 7 after the map list for 'restaurant winchester'. I will follow up in the next moth if that has given more traffic on those searches.

Month from 2008-4-8
restaurants winchester 14
winchester restaurants 9
winchester restaurant 6
winchester lunch restaurant 2

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Best Restaurants in Winchester

I've lived in Winchester for about 10 years and here is my mini review:

The best restaurants in Winchester, England

The Black Rat
88 Chesil Street, Winchester, Hampshire
A converted pub that still has its warmth and friendliness, but is now a fine dining restaurant. This is the best Winchester restaurant in my opinion.

Wykeham Arms
75 Kingsgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire
Very old pub with some bed rooms and small highly rated food.

Hotel du Vin
Southgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire
Expensive hotel and exclusive evening dinning, french style and usually fully booked, by an older audience.

Chesil Rectory
1 Chesil Street, Winchester
The oldest house in Winchester. Restaurant with French menu and new head chef and has won alot of awards for its cooking.

The Gurkha Chef
Nepalese rather than Indian food, great food and the owner was a Gurkha soldier for eight years.

Dim t
New restaurnat to Winchester and offering good Chinese food from the popular chain.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

New Jobs at Cactus Language

We have some new big projects at Cactus Language Training and so are looking for another Web Designer in Brighton.

Cactus is a worldwide language training organisation with offices in Brighton (HQ) and an office in New York.

A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a Marketing Web Designer to join our team! You will be based at our Brighton office, located on North Street. The right candidate will have a genuine passion and the right attitude to join the well-established company.

The Web Designer is responsible for the architecture (structural design) and visual design aspects of Cactus Worldwide web sites. This position will design, develop and implement new features of the site. The Web Designer must be versed in the importance of scalability, ensuring that new information can be introduced without confusion. He/she will work with individual departments of Cactus Worldwide to help them identify their needs and will lead or co-lead project teams during implementation. This position will participate in determining standards (i.e., color, typeface, sidebars, menus, etc.) and will support and educate end users regarding such standards. He/she will have skills using web editing and Graphic Design software and be knowledgeable in HTML.

If you would like more details see here:

So come and send me your CVs!

Monday, 24 March 2008

When SEO gets you higher than Wikipedia

I feel my working in optimising The Black Rat restaurant website has working well and now that the most important term 'black rat winchester' is ranked 1 in google. But for the last week or two the site has risen above Wikipedia page for 'Black Rat' so is no1 for 'black rat' and 'the black rat' which is quite good I think for a site of this site size on a generic term. I am guessing the engines can figure the different market of food rather than animal. It is showing 3 parts to the search black rat, black rat cider and other terms.

My other problem seems to have ordered better in the search pages too. This blog was up first with posts and was ranking better and still sends traffic to the site, I think pre-announcing sites seems to work well.

At work we are working on languages and so a bit more of a mixed market and no clear products. Cactus Language Courses UK

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

After reading about The Soccer Mom Myth — Today's Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys on and leaving a comment on the post that announced they would give free copies to the first 10 comments, I was hopeful at no 13 they would find some more but by no means sure. I commented to say I thought addressing online visitors as more than men was a good idea, and read the sample chapters with interest.

Now a few weeks later I have received my review copy and am very pleased with it.
I've started reading it on the train to work and will report my review when I have read some more.

in the mean time head over to their site or Amazon and buy a copy.

I am sure this post is just what the marketing of sending the book is meant to generate but I do not feel bad to spend this much time saying it is a good book for a fexdex-ed nice and useful book.

thanks ladies

Friday, 7 March 2008

Googel Analytics gets benchmarking

Benchmarking (Beta) is now an option on Google Analytics. You have to choose to share your data with google. I have not found exactly what is shared, but it seems it is for AdWords and AdSence and ultimately what having this product must have been bought for by Google.

Once selected you have to wait 2 weeks for it to share enough data. So maybe it is taking some of the data as a copy as It has plenty of old data. I will have to wait and see what market it puts the sites in for comparison.

I have a service running on my google homepage from Analytics Index.
This compares stats but you can choose which of the 10 you share.

I think the industry should start to move to sets of % stats greater than visits and page views a month.
There set of titles seem good to me.
Bounce Rate
Unique Visitors
% New Visitors
Avg Visits / Visitor
Bounce Rate
Length of Visit Short (0-60s) Medium (61-600s) Long (601s +)
Conversion Rate
Avg Order Value
Revenue Revenue per Visit
Visits to Purchase
Time to Purchase