1. Inbox: 9! Yay!
  2. Upgrading VERY old WordPress MU site. I think all the plugins will break. Non-yay.
  3. Excited, just ordered some of these:
  4. Until they arrive I’m stuck in Windows as Ubuntu needs to connect to the Internet to download the software to get the USB wireless dongle working to connect to the Internet to download the software to get the USB wireless dongle working to connect to the Internet to download the software to get the USB wireless dongle working to connect to the Internet to download the software to get the USB wireless dongle working to connect to the Internet…
  5. Want chocolate biscuits. Had half a packet already. Probably shouldn’t, but almost certainly will.
  6. Day off tomorrow and Monday. Long weekends are a sure sign that God loves us.
  7. Bah, problem with a JavaScript widget to fix.
  8. Hosting providers can be really, really BAD. Fail.

myJournal – it lives!

As promised oh so many weeks ago, myJournal is now live. At the moment it’s in a beta state so membership is by invitation only, however visitors have full access to all the public parts of the site. It’s aimed to be a powerful social networking tool specifically for businesses and is packed with features:

  • Member profiles
  • Multiple sites per member
  • Sites can be company sites or personal sites
  • Company sites have a showroom (an online product brochure, with multiple images per product, product categories and a really powerful management tool)
  • Company sites and personal sites have a gallery where images and videos can be uploaded
  • Members can create and join networks. The administration functions for networks are really extensive:
    • Make networks open membership, or membership by invitation only
    • Make networks private, meaning the network can be seen but all members remain hidden (except to other members of that networks)
    • Network discussions, based on the great bbPress software, with attachments
    • Network administers can revoke network invitations, ban members, and promote/demote members to be administrators
  • Members and companies can choose a number of industries to be in – the list of industries is pretty massive
  • Private messaging feature which handles multiple recipients and attachments
  • Featured members and networks, which appear around the site
  • “Who’s online?” feature

And the entire system is available for organisations that wish to run their own business social networking site. If you’re interested in that please contact us for more details.

The whole thing wouldn’t be possible without the wonderful WordPress MU platform, which I believe I’ve pushed to the very edge! Also my thanks go to Andy Peatling of BuddyPress fame for many, many hours chatting, helping me with code and generally being a good egg. It’s my pleasure to have offered the entire myJournal codebase to BuddyPress for their open source system, and I know some parts have already made it into builds.

Obviously there’s still a lot to do – how come so many bugs only make themselves visible when a beta version has gone live? – but I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done so far. Hopefully we’ll end up with a site that will help businesses really get the best out of the web.

Yorkshire Twist: Part 1

Over the next few months I hope to make some pretty big changes regarding the way I do business. The biggest change is my company name, currently, will change to Yorkshire Twist. Sounds like a cocktail involving ferrets, I know. Let me explain.

The Yorkshire bit speaks for itself. I’m based in the heart of Yorkshire and although I’m not a Yorkshireman born and bred I’m very proud to have made this place my home.

So, what’s the twist? Yorkshire folk are known for having little patience for frippery. Extraneous fluff isn’t their way, and I appreciate the fact that they want to get to the nitty-gritty quickly. I’m not the only one that thinks like that. Simple is better, especially when it comes to the web where acronyms and jargon abound.

So I’m putting in place a policy to avoid jargon as much as possible. Yorkshire Twist will be an acronym-light zone. Clients will be able to easily understand the technology and therefore get the best out of it, without having to invest in a thesaurus.

How exactly that will pan out I’m not sure yet. The clients I work with currently say they appreciate my down-to-earth approach, so I figured it’s worth turning that skill to my advantage. Plus it gives me the chance to separate my slightly worrying personal online life from my business dealings.

It will also give me a brand under which I can offer some of my open source software, and some other pieces of software such as my content management system and e-commerce system. Hmm, that’s a bit close to jargon for my liking. I may have to rethink how I describe these things.

My manual for much of this transition, apart from my wife’s impeccable common sense (she’s a true Yorkshirewoman, you know), will be this guide to marketing a small web design business. Recommended reading for anyone in my position.

Pachelbel must die

You know what, I completely agree with this guy:

Rob Paravonian cuts to the heart of the Canon in D

I remember the days of struggling to school with a trombone case only slightly smaller than a coffin at the end of my trembling arm. Whereas the violin players got to pretend they were in the Mafia ("Hey, you got a gun in there") I just got picked on ("Hey, you got a bazooka in there? Or just your lunch?").

The flute players could pack away their instrument in seconds flat, then fit it in their bags. Even the trumpet players had cases small enough to sling into a rucksack. But not the trombonists, we were stuck with carrying something that would make worried mothers push their children across the road, out of our way.

Still, it wasn’t all bad. There aren’t many instruments that can sound as rude as the trombone does, and for it to be correct. Con farto, indeed.