Weeknote 19: Being nice is good for business. And scaring people is not.

Wallingford Bunkfest: a festival atmosphere with families, flags and stalls in a park with a blue sky.

Wallingford Bunkfest: a celebration to mark the end of summer.

It’s official: being nice is good for business.  A bunch of bosses from big American corporates have put out a statement telling us so. According to the New York Times, the Business Roundtable has declared that the responsibility of business is no longer just to its shareholders: now, there must be a “fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders”. That means employees, suppliers, the environment and so on. Read more ›

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Posted in Business

Weeknote 18: Cold emails, hot weather and a new tech magazine

Didcot power station's cooling towers, looking beautiful in the dawn light.

Looking beautiful in the dawn light, just before demolition. I’ll miss them.

I’ve never sent a cold email, but like all small business owners I’ve received a few. There’s one in my inbox at the moment with the subject line ‘1st Page On Google Ranking’. Yeah, right.

So if ‘Yeah, right’ is the common answer to a cold email, how do you do it differently? Read more ›

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Posted in Digital marketing

Weeknote 17: Mostly about pictures. And books.

A shelf of books in a bookshop, with a label reading 'Memoirs' made of Scrabble tiles.

A bookshelf at Mostly Books in Abingdon, in honour of Book Lovers Day.

Why do all articles about internet security have to be illustrated with pictures of young men in hoodies? Well… they don’t. It’s about time that changed, and someone’s doing something about it.

Part of it is to do with what’s available in stock photo libraries – there isn’t much else but the clichéd hoodie picture or rows of green code.  And part of it is that it feels like an abstract concept that is hard to illustrate. But now someone is doing something about it. Read more ›

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Posted in Communications, Websites

Weeknote 16: Favourite websites, favourite books

Book cover for 'Because Internet'.

What are your five favourite websites?

It’s a funny question, isn’t it? I came across it recently in a survey but it doesn’t really reflect the way I use the internet these days. And it got me thinking. Read more ›

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Posted in Internet, Reading, Websites

Weeknote 15: Heatwaves, podcasts and the benefits of being quiet

Tweet from BBC Weather: picture of weather map showing 39 degrees, with the words 'Morning, if we're going to do it TODAY'S THE DAY!  We will of course keep you posted. Lou L.'

One of the joys of being self-employed is the flexibility, and I’m particularly grateful for this when the weather gets hot. I’ve been experimenting with different working patterns, including siestas and  working at night. (I haven’t done the laptop-in-the-garden thing yet, but it’s another option.) I’m still not as productive as I’d like to be, but I’m glad I’m not in an office. Read more ›

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Posted in Communications, Editing