Thursday 22 December 2011

The low down on HTML 5…

html5HTML 5 is the next leap forward in web development; it is more search engine friendly, great for mobile browsing and does not require third party plug-ins for audio/ video support. It’s been around for a while, but has really started to come into its own as web browsers like Google Chrome and FireFox have started to embrace it. We recently launched a HTML 5 website for financial planners Hansford Bell in Tavistock.

So you are probably thinking what’s new and why should I care? If you imagine a web page has a beginning, middle and an end, which has to be indexed by search engine crawlers in order to show up in search listings. Well, until now those search engine crawlers have been unable to identify what’s the beginning, the middle and the end, as every web developer gave each part their code a different name. HTML 5 gets around this by employing generic code which is more easily read by search engine crawlers like Google’s very own ‘Google bot’, and is therefore more easily indexed. Thus search engine’s like Google can provide you with more accurate search results, depending on your search query of course.

As far as browsing the web on your smart phone goes, HTML 5 is pretty awesome for that too, allowing smart phone users to render graphics and animations much faster and more effectively than with typical flash software. In fact it’s so good, that Adobe (makers of Flash player) have just officially announced that they are killing Flash Player for Android and the BlackBerry Playbook, arguing that HTML 5 is the "best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms”. The good news is Adobe will continue to support Flash for the PC, which is not surprising as it remains the delivery conduit used for popular players like YouTube.

One of the most advantageous aspects of HTML5 is that it does not require third party plugins for audio and video, making it much easier to embed videos on your site should you wish to do so! This is pretty cool as plugins can often cause your browser to slowdown or crash and its pretty inconvenient when you are trying to watch or listen to something and you are prompted to download and install a newer version of the plugin before you can do so!

So... why wouldn’t you want HTML 5? There’s less hassle involved with plugins, its quicker, search-engine friendly and great for the internet on your smartphone.

How could Twitter benefit your business?

twitter_logo2The great thing about social media platforms is that they are free. The only cost involved is the time spent running them, and twitter is no different! Twitter is most useful for discovering what is going on ‘right now’, and it’s great for many businesses too as it provides a way to keep their customers updated and informed. A tweet could provide followers with links to a promotional offer or news story, or a status update running through what they are up to. Each tweet is limited to 140 characters in length so you won’t find yourself burning the midnight oil writing long articles to keep your followers entertained!

marks-and-spencer-on-twitterAs with other social media outlets, twitter is a quick and easy way for customers to see what is going on without having to actually visit the website or blog of a company. For example, @MarksandSpencer, currently sell a vegan range that I would not have otherwise known about had I not been following them on twitter. So there’s no doubt it’s a great way of reaching out to your target audience.

Although twitter is free, at a cost, you can take a step further in reaching your audience by using twitter’s ‘Promoted Accounts’ feature. By signing up to this feature, twitter will position your twitter account in front of users who might be interested in following your company using the ‘who to follow’ widget. It is well worth while if you have a small following online and are looking to build your brand. ‘Promoted tweets’ may also be of interest if you are running a promotion or launching a new product, for example, and are looking to extend the reach of your message. Promoted Tweets also make good use of your brand advocates, encouraging sales and interest through retweets and recommendations.

We have briefly covered just how useful twitter is for many businesses to reach new and existing customers. Here at The Drawing Board, we provide social media consultancy, management and copywriting services. To find out more please call us on 01841 540 874 or email

Friday 11 November 2011

Just a thought about how website design is progressing

So a design shift has begun... After visiting one of my favourite Australian surf websites and seeing that they are about to launch their redesigned website, I started to realise how far reaching the Windows 8 interface has been. It seems funny that OS design is influencing web design, but if the general consensus is that this is the new benchmark for high value design, then it won’t be long until everyone’s doing it.

I recently had a go on the developer version, and it doesnt take a genius to figure out that Windows 8 has been influenced by so-called “post pc” devices like tablets and smart phones. A couple of things I would say... its a real break from the norm, and is gonna be a struggle for workaholics or folks scared of learning something new at first at least anyway! I'm hoping that the finished product is not over-simplified to the point of being thrown in the bin (we’ll see!). I mean there were things about Windows 7 that were stupid proof, and when I say that I mean over-simplified to the point that they stopped me from being able to do things the way I wanted to do them, and I’m concerned that Windows 8 will go a step further down this path.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Mac and PC early days

Biographer describes the early days of Steve Jobs, the Macintosh and the development of its user interface. Fascinating stuff.
Check it out here

Sunday 23 October 2011

Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook... This is war

a tech war in 2012 between google, apple, amazon and microsoft
Just read a great article about the big four, and how they are all now competing with one another in various markets as they each branch out. I think this quote says it all
"There was a time, not long ago, when you could sum up each company quite neatly:
Apple made consumer electronics, Google ran a search engine, Amazon was a web store, and Facebook was a social network. How quaint that assessment seems today."

Check it out here

Friday 29 July 2011

BBC iplayer goes international

The BBC is now offering its popular iplayer services to 11 European countries. Disappointly for them its only available through an app for the ipad. But still its pretty exciting to see them expand beyond the UK to deliver some great TV to fans in Europe, and I've no doubt other parts of the world will follow...

Monday 4 July 2011

Worlds longest sea bridge

Just saw this pic of what is now the world's longest sea bridge. It was built in Eastern China and at 26 miles long, it could stretch across the English Channel (so much for the channel tunnel lol). Impressive...

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Quality counts

The other day my wife triumphantly announced she had found a trampoline selling for 1/4 of the price they normally do. This was terrific as we wanted it for our daughter whose favourite word is “bounce”…

Having spent most of a Sunday trying to put it together using the Pictionary standard destructions it was finally finished… and then we noticed that the frame leg on one side was cracked… not too bad only have to unbolt 4 nuts and put a new frame leg support on. Then we noticed a tear in the trampoline itself… that means taking all the upper part to bits and the biggest pain, rethreading the net. At least she could us it, and bounce she did… big smiles all-round.

And then the zip broke on the safety net… The thought of taking the whole thing to bits, to send it back, to putting up another one and finding similar problems is exhausting in itself. I guess the moral of this story is cheap is cheap for a reason!