UK election abandoned, the people ignored

Monday 10 May 2010 | Politics | Comments (6)

The UK election has been held, the results gathered rather messily, and whatever your political beliefs or your preferred voting system, the election has been held and the results are in.

However what we are seeing in these past few days is something that really concerns me, something that not many other people seem concerned about.

The fact that the election is over and the political parties are deciding which of them will take the position to lead the UK government, and even who could be seated in Number 10 Downing Street as our new Prime Minister.

Business or process change? Tell your customer!

Monday 19 April 2010 | Companies | Comments (0)

Before I moved jobs I was going through a large piece of work on Learning Management Migration, specifically around content, and I became very aware of the importance of involving the teams who will be using the new LMS in the testing and verification of the system. Not only does it allow them to understand what it is capable of, what they need to do with the new system, and how to change their processes, but it tells them something is changing.

So I'm very aware when a process change occurs the customer should at least know about it.

It seems the hospital where I attend a yearly clinic at is most definitely not.

Scottish Hydro Electric leave 69 year old with no heating or hot water for ten days

Saturday 13 March 2010 | Companies : Moans | Comments (5)

Now straight away I'm going to say that this is a recount of the story that has happened to my father which he told me over the phone last night, a fuller account will come as he calms down from the stress and me from the anger, for this is a disgraceful situation for Scottish Hydro Electric and either reeks of extreme incompetence or a deliberate attempt to exploit a sixty-nine year old man living by himself.

It sounds like one of these rip-off stories you hear on programmes like Watchdog, where a small company bullies old people into giving them large amounts of cash for work that just doesn't need to be done. It's almost as if my father is being held to ransom.

Let me recount the story, and I'm sure my father will add more detail or correct me through the comments or by email.

Sunset atop Craiglockhart hill

Tuesday 29 December 2009 | Photos | Comments (0)

I really like this shot and shows what can be done with my crappy little mobile phone camera. It's not worked out too badly and the sunset colours just weren't in the raw mobile picture, it was all dark blues.

A quick bit of Picknik work and it's come out wonderfully well. I wish I'd taken my Nikon up there though. Lesson for tonight if the heavy snow lays off.

Edinburgh and the north from Craiglockhart hill

Tuesday 29 December 2009 | Photos | Comments (1)

This was really dark, but with the mobile phone on the wrong settings and some help from Picknik online, the picture has come out rather well. Not so sure it shows all the detail of the freezing fog hanging over the Forth, but I like it.

Edinburgh west from Craiglockhart hill

Tuesday 29 December 2009 | Photos | Comments (0)

A mobile shot of the sun setting over the west of Edinburgh from Craiglockhart hill during the snowfall.

Airbus A380 and the failed use of social meda

Saturday 19 September 2009 | Internet | Comments (0)

Recently the Airbus A380, the world's largest commercial airliner, visited Edinburgh with a superb approach and go manoeuvre which was something to behold. It also visited Prestwick and the Dublin air show.

To publicise the event they had a Twitter account, obviously to keep people informed, attract more people and build a media buzz around the event. While the event was rather well attended the potential of their social media experiment was wasted, losing the company a great deal of free advertising and not helping those who were following the account, keen to see the plane.

This is a prime example of a company failing to remember the prime reasons for having their social media presence and for understanding exactly what is needed to make it work for them and their followers.

Airbus missed out on two important areas, timely communication and engagement, missing these meant that the Twitter account was wasted when it could have been so much more for those at the event, those following the plane, and the company themselves.

Running schedule and update

Friday 4 September 2009 | Running | Comments (0)

It's time to give a little update on the running situation, rather than bore people with updates after every run, I've held off to write about every new stage.

However time has once again beaten me and here I find myself several weeks on. The main surprise though is hoe much I'm enjoying it and how obvious the effect is.

Where are your customers?

Tuesday 25 August 2009 | Companies : Internet | Comments (0)

It amazes me that in this day and age companies don't want to engage their customers on the Internet, despite the fact that this is where a vast majority of them are and where they are actively discussing companies and their products.

They place all their efforts in two key areas, shouting loudly at them while keeping their fingers in their ears through advertising, and manipulating them, telling then what they think they want to hear through their front line sales. Then they sit back and wait for them to call if they get stuck with anything, and usually farm that process out to another company.

Meanwhile customers both current and potential are on the Internet with growing numbers and frequency talking about the company, their products and reviewing them to their friends, family and whoever else is listening.

Project Management, modern day: Open Atrium

Wednesday 22 July 2009 | Cool Tools | Comments (0)

Open Atrium is a project management tool that is built around collaboration of project teams and brings together the power of Blogs, Wikis, Messaging, Calendar and collaborative systems all in one. While there are some systems out there already, this is attractive as it's stylish, new and open source. Oh and I've just started writing about business tools!

I've talked to many people in business about the modern view of intranets and how some organisations are running their entire intranet and all their projects this way, and I've done a series on this very blog about it, but the tools are just becoming widely available.

Task/Issue Management for groups: Colabolo

Wednesday 22 July 2009 | Cool Tools | Comments (0)

Colabolo is a collaborative team management tool for tasks and issues, a simple project management tool that isn't dependant on a certain desktop (almost!) as it runs on Adobe Air.

It looks an interesting tool to bring teams together who are working on a project and just need a simple task manager. Although I do like the more complex collaborative team management systems, this does look like a simple to use and nicely put together application.

PlayStation 3, what's missing

Sunday 19 July 2009 | What I want in... | Comments (1)

I've had my PlayStation 3 for a while now and there are things I love about it, and things I don't, and there's also things that are glaringly missing from the system that would make it the integrated system that they are trying for, and for the life of me I just don't know why they haven't implemented them. For all the excellent points about the development of the system, there are so many that are lacking.

First up though let's get this straight, this is not an XBox 360 vs PS3 discussion because all we'll get are people who love one and hate, and have more often than not never tried, the other. This isn't about that, and I'm sure I could balance this article up with one on the XBox 360, as I have and play one, and talk about its good points and failings, for again there are many.

However let's get back to the PS3.

Running Training: Day Four

Tuesday 14 July 2009 | Running | Comments (0)

Day four of the running training meant stepping up a notch on the training calendar that Mr. Morrow had given us, damn him for getting us into this malarkey. We went out on Saturday morning, not the best of choices since my wife had drunk the best part of a bottle of wine and I'd had about four pints of Guinness...the night before I hasten to add, not for breakfast!

Still we attempted the run and we had to now up the ante to two minutes running with one minute walking repeat times seven. So that meant a longer course and because of the route around where we live, a steep climb to finish on.

Running Training: Day Three

Saturday 4 July 2009 | Running | Comments (0)

Well that was the third run of the programme, week one is officially over, and it was a tough one, I can't tell you how tough. Of course the night before was pizza and red wine, again not the best before a run, and add into that the fact that we got up at eight in the morning after an interrupted night of sleep with bad dreams for my wife and a late night reading for me.

You can see we weren't doing ourselves any favours. We took the same route as the last run as it's just outside our front door, hence why I'm not embedding the route here. Oh, and the good news is I've found a service to stick with online, it's superb.

Although we did the same route as last time the stats were slightly different, let's have a look.

Running Training: Day Two

Wednesday 1 July 2009 | Running | Comments (0)

Well I had my second run the other evening, that's Tuesday the 30th of June, and it was a lot easier. We actually ran from our house and discovered a short loop that comes right back to the front door which matches the first week's training run almost perfectly.

We'll see how it does for the second week, but we have plenty little side tracks to add onto it to make it a little longer, one's even off road and over a big hill, not looking forward to that one.

Running Training: Day One

Tuesday 30 June 2009 | Running | Comments (0)

This was a shock to us that the night before Saturday 27th of June, during some wine partaking, we decided just to go for it the next day, no planning, no organisation, just doing it. I looked out the marathon training plan that my mate Dave Morrow had sent me and we continued with the wine.

Come the morning, slightly dodgy heads, we leapt into action and headed down to the beach at Silverknowes.

Marathon training, me?

Tuesday 30 June 2009 | Running | Comments (0)

I've been talking for some time about doing something for charity, a long bike ride, a virtual row around Britain, something to raise money for either the British Heart Foundation or some form of cancer care, however I've always talked about it and never really followed through.

My friend Dave Morrow kept talking about how I should try running, and slowly, over time, circumstances colluded. My bike, my second favourite form of exercise, is broken and while it is I'm piling on weight, a colleague, similar build to me, trained and ran a 10k, and then Dave sent me a training programme for a marathon.

Companies, customers and internet contacts

Sunday 14 June 2009 | Companies | Comments (0)

Companies need customers, customers buy their product, hand over money, and that money goes to pay the wages of the people working for it and make the company bigger and bigger. More than just getting the customers they have to retain them, that's a key to growing a company, that's what you see every major company from superstore to bank trying to do, keep the customers they have.

To retain them they need to do something really important, and that's address any problems or questions they have with the company as soon as they have them and make sure they don't arise again. How do they do that? They keep in touch with them, they open channels of communication with them and give them the means to contact them.

The Quiet Period

Sunday 14 June 2009 | Life | Comments (0)

For those that are still following my personal site thanks are due, thanks for continuing to follow me despite a long quiet period. There’s been a long time with nothing being written, but I’m hoping to start changing that and pick up the posting once again.

It’s been a tough time personally, although if you follow Filmstalker (the site, Twitter, or any social network I'm on) then you’ll be wondering why I haven’t been online here. Well, it's pretty easy, I just haven't wanted to write much about myself.

England dominates British television

Wednesday 19 November 2008 | Moans | Comments (2)

I couldn't believe what ITV have done tonight, it may seem trivial to those outside Scotland, but it goes to show how the country is treated when it comes to National versus English television.

It seems that while England are served their national team playing football, Scotland can't see theirs, nor can they see the programme that's usually on at the same time.