Indie app developer and Xyroh.com

Cole is the Karate Kid!

Cole’s impromptu rendition of the Karate Kid Trailer (yes that’s it in the background!), who said kids are influenced by the films they watch

So here she is, Leah Nicole Flisher

Leah Nicole Flisher was born at 5.25am on Sunday 13th December 2009, 8lb and 6oz and everyone doing fine. Thankfully a prerty much streamlined birth, out the house and back with bairn in about 8 hours!

The Supermarket Shuffle – Moving it from ‘A’ to god knows where

I’m not stupid (subjective I know!), I understand why supermarkets re-arrange the entire store, it’s so that we’re forced to walk up/down, left/right to find what we’re looking for, it forces us to be subjected to all sorts of new marketing, promotions, products that we wouldn’t normally in robot shopping mode, but it pisses me off! How can any marketing method that involves annoying the clients be a good thing!
Suspect this comes into the ‘Everyone else does it’ so it’s ok category, well stop being a sheep and be different, different is good, make a point of being different. Today’s vitriol is aimed at Morrisons, but don’t think the rest of you get off scot free, all I wanted was to dash in, grab some paracetamol, and be gone. They managed to introduce the self scan tills to improve and accelerate my shopping experience, and then took it all away by making me wander lost, resorting to navigating by signs above the aisles that have no reference to what’s in them.

Initially this was worthy of a mention under ‘Change is Bad’, but i was tired and had 20 minutes in the car to self rant so you get a page all to yourself 🙂

Rant over

Out of My Way! (Swimming)

Excuses first, am not ageist, and I have no more right to be anywhere or do anything than anyone else, but…

… I swim, most who see me would argue I should swim more, and I was trying.  Time is precious in this overly hectic world we live in and I choose to go to a Gym because it has a decent 25metre pool, for swimming, I can jump in, do my time lengths in the hope of little interruption and get on.  Sometimes it’s busy, sometimes am in the lanes and you have to share with others (There are direction boards and in the main reasonable lane discipline), sometimes you get stuck with someone at a completely different pace to you, but ok that’s the exception, but I’ve always got my swim done.

Today I didn’t, it was busy, 7.30 in the morning and at that time the average age of the patrons is pensionable, as it happened the one half of the pool that’s laned was full (2+ in each of the lanes) so I went to squeeze in the other half, there were 5 people in there.  I went for the biggest gap, not a lot, but my expectations were that people would scooch up a little either way and let me in.  I don’t want to interfere with their swimming session, but I do want mine too.  Nope, in particular on one side he was plodding up and down , I swear being deliberately stubbon, but most definately not showing any consideration to me or others, didn’t budge an inch.  I managed about 10 lengths, moving up behind people, moving diagonally across as people passed in the opposite direction, accelerating past, and then repeating in reverse (Am not a fast swimmer but on average much faster at my stready pace than the regulars at that time of day).  The lady to my right was to her credit trying to give me some space, but was met with someone equally as stubborn as the gent to my left, outside of her who was barely moving and using as much width as she was tall, I think she was scared to get too close to the rope 🙁

So I got out, I was doing as much distance width ways as in lengths, and it was just not working, so instead of working out any stress I ended up with more, good start.  Consideration for others is all I ask, I’ve paid my membership as much as them (actually I’ve paid twice as much as that particular set of patrons – but that’s probably ageism), and have as much right to a swim (but no more).  Yes, they were in there first, and yes modern lifestyle is too busy that I didn’t have the luxury of time to wait, but there was plenty of room if I’d been met with the rare quality of consideration for others around us, instead I swear I got blank arrogant stubborness – Rant Over.

Change is Bad …

… or it’s a good excuse to have something to be miserable and moan about (not that I’m getting old, or British, what about the weather eh?)
We’ll start with;

  • Snickers – Never forgiven them, it’s a Marathon ok! (Bugging me Since 1990)
  • Google’s bigger search box, don’t like, it looks odd (September 2009)
  • The Supermarket Shuffle – Moving stuff about so I can’t find it anymore (Always)

SEO, Twitter, and Shortened Links – Benefits?

SEO, Twitter, Social Networking and Shortened Links – Of Benefit?

As I relaunch this site, the impending new dotUK site (Anyone got a ’round tuit’ and a tardis to spare!) am looking at ways of promoting them better, getting more work, and ultimately money in my pocket.  Equally in current economic climes, especially up here in the North East, I’m not the only one.  We all want more business, we want more money, but where to we spend it to make it.  SEO unfortunately is not a small investment, it takes a lot of time, a lot of research, education, changes in practive, and potentially more money invested in Marketing and PR to reap the benefits.  I’m hoping to find the middle ground to allow people to ‘self promote’, and ‘self SEO’.

Social Networking, Blogs, Facebook, and in particular Twitter are where we all are, I’m normally some way behind the bandwagon, but Twit I do, and am aiming to use it more, and encourage my clients too.  Not a month ago I told a friend I wouldn’t use Twitter to promote dotUK, it didn’t feel ‘Commerically’ right, not the correct appearance.  Am sucking that one up, dotUK is on Twitter.  Why? and get to the point because this has nothing to do with the title, why I came here, or even saving people in the North East money on SEO.

Ok, well, we promote, especially to smaller business where money has to be well spent and see good investment, our CMS (Content Management System) so they can self populate and manage their sites.  Within this we have added the ability for them to automatically update a Twitter account (Which in turn can feed Facebook and pretty much anywhere else), creating external, short, sweet, keyword heavy external links to their content.  Self SEO, cheap, just needs some setup and some education.  The cost to do this for a client on our CMS system can be a as little as £50, once.

So, the point.  Twitter limits you to 140 characters, less if you allow room for retweets (double bonus!), so we offer the use of bit.ly the url shortener, this is fully automated and gives you a bit more room to play with, but the question, and the title, do url shorteners give you the full SEO benbefit of external links.  In the main they do 301 redirects so yes, any Pagerank inheritance is kept, this is good, but of course any keywords in the url (you are making human friendly url names as best practive aren’t you?) are lost, so benefit from that is gone (much benefit?), and the human factor is gone too, will people click your link when they have no idea what sort of trip it will take them on.  Time will tell on this one I guess, I see no harm, PR (Pagerank) should be kept, and opinions are split on the rest.  Do you have any thoughts?

This posting is the personal opinion of Andy Flisher, and should be considered the thoughts, opinion and ramblings of one man, and one man alone.

Andy Flisher is a Software Developer based in the North East of England specialising in cross platform development. Mobile Development experience includes Windows Phone, Android, and iPhone Apps. Desktop Software Development includes bespoke Windows, Linux, and Mac Applications. Web Development Skills include PHP, Perl, Python, ASP (Classic and .NET) – Andy Flisher on Google+

Video – Cole & G on the Dodgems

Cole & Uncle G on the Dodgems at Flamingo Land

Video – Cole discovers water at Flamingo Land

Cole discovers the Splash Play zone at Flamingo Land, it was never going to end dry!

Video – Cole bouncing on a Giant Pillow

Cole bouncing on a Giant PIllow at ‘Down At the Farm’

Video – Simon reverses into the bosses Porsche!

Simon decides that reversing into the bosses Porsche is a good career move, a Tribute 🙂