2015 Wrap up and thoughts on the future of search

There have been a couple of discussions about what’s gone on in the digital / search marketing landscape this year in the agency I work at, and since I got a little carried away on the train home I figured I might as well flesh it out and post my thoughts here too. I think that the biggest thing I’ve noticed this year has been a big change in the attitude people are taking to the way search and buy products online, people now want things ‘here and now’. Obviously mobile has been the big ‘new’ thing for a while...

Using the Analytics Measurement Protocol

Now that I’ve written a couple of useful commands for our internal IM tool, Slack, the next thought on my mind was how to track the usage of these across the company. I’ve pushed events to Tag Manager’s data layer with Javascript before and and then used that to interface with Analytics so that was my first thought. However, getting a piece of Javascript to run in the middle of some PHP is a lot more effort than it’s worth and I was beginning to think I’d have to cobble something together with the Reporting API when a co-worker pointed out that...

Custom commands for Slack & running jokes

At work we’ve switched over from Skype to Slack as our intra-office IM tool, and I’ve been thoroughly impressed. I used it before when I was part of a team running Dota 2 tournaments in university, but there were only 4 of us actually using it so I didn’t realise the full capabilities of it. We’ve set up a bunch of custom responses from the ever useful slackbot for a lot of frequently asked questions, but that’s fairly simple to do and isn’t that customisable. What I’ve been really interested in is creating custom commands, which are much more powerful....

Twitter Ads for Business

Ever since I added the Twitter account of the company I work for to my description on Twitter I’ve been bombarded with emails and information about running ads for my small business. I’m not sure why saying that I’m employed means that my account is no longer a personal one, but I have found the whole thing quite interesting. My first thoughts were along the lines of “wow, this is really annoying” and “why do I want to increase my Christmas sales?” but I’m actually considering spending a small amount of money and trying something out. I have a reasonable...

Day 1 of learning webdev

Today was a day of trying things out and getting everything set up. I built a very basic page to begin with, including some simple Javascript and a separate css file. I’ve also installed Google Analytics and Tag Manager and taught myself enough Javascript to put a button in the footer that fires a custom event through to Analytics when clicked on! All in all, a very successful start!

A new job and some new projects!

I’ve recently got a job in the web / tech industry and I figured that now was probably a good time to actually put in some effort and learn HTML, CSS and Javascript from the ground up. I’ve done work with them before, of course, but the majority of that was editing existing code to do what I wanted and not writing it myself. So, with that in mind I’ve set myself a new project: to move this site off WordPress and write it from scratch myself. An actual functioning blogging platform seems a little out of reach at this stage...

Watches, ebay and false positives

Over the weekend I made a purchase on ebay, a Vostok (or Восток) watch from a store that sells them new from the factory. On Monday evening I got an email from ebay customer service saying that they had flagged my account as being used without my permission and that it had been locked. To be honest, this wasn’t a huge surprise as I don’t use ebay very often and to suddenly make a $50 purchase from a seller in Russia after months of inactivity is a bit suspicious. Getting my account unlocked wasn’t much of an issue at all, just 30 minutes...

Some thoughts on music production and recording.

Any one who has known me for any length of time will probably have picked up that I’m a pretty keen musician and I’m also interested in the more technical side of recording, live sound and production. In the past I’ve dabbled in recording now and then, but I only had the hardware (through a daisy chain of cables and adaptors) to use the line in port on my PC’s internal sound card. Understandably, this didn’t give me great results, partly due to my complete lack of knowledge and partly due to the incredible amount of noise that I was...