Practice what you preach Feed

QR Codes are back?

2017-01-04 14.06.47

Their inclusion is on the rise. Why?

Since discovering a QRcode reader on my Nokia N95 in 2007 and Googling QRcode reader, followed by the fact I could create them myself with ease to pursue the paperless dream as an event organiser I've been a QRcode advocate.

The humble QR code has had a bit of a rough ride over the last 10 years through misplaced inception and shirt tails gimmickry without audience consciousness, rather than the QR code being a mechanism devoid of use. Its inherent usefulness has kept its obsolescence at bay.

The success of the QRcode is in the hands of users. Is what is contained beneath it worth scanning? A few disappointing "I could have just typed that in" remarks and the fate of the QRcode was momentarily sealed.

The QRcode came back to my attention with my interest in the rise of Snapchat. The emergence to the mainstream of augmented reality (AR) after PokemonGO took the world by storm for a brief and bright time in 2016 started the trend along with the

The emergence to the mainstream of augmented reality (AR) after PokemonGO took the world by storm for a brief and bright time in 2016 started an acceptance of AR along with the adventures into AR from agencies using it to bring packaging and adverts to life to crayon makers Crayola adding animation to children's colouring books, I feel a comeback might be on the 2017 cards.

This proximity connection and entry to engagement demanded from Spapchat intrigued me. Snapchat not being immediately intuitive seemed to be a feature, users liked. Being in a club with a secret knock is a desirable hurdle, the learning curve to successfully engage seems accepted too. It's those on the outside who complain. A fascinating psychology in the age of usability.  I recently stumbled upon Twitter's QR code and scanner tucked away in the profile settings and in Facebook's Messenger.

 

A video posted by Caron Lyon (@pcmcreative) on

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#69unbox - tagging nostalgia

image from cdn.images.postach.io
 
This time last week (written 6th Aug 2016) Dan and I were building bookcases, the weekend prior constructing desks. As I write this, I have a bookcase filling with books and a small step closer to unpacking the many boxes not just those from the old house but boxes already filled and in some cases never unpacked when I moved into the last house. It's brought me to a place where I can tackle head on the sometimes crippling sentimental attachment to the palpable nostalgia and memories evoked when in the presence of the items. In a world where we define ourselves by experiences, keeping these things reminds me of who I am, where I have been, and the evidence is the contents of the boxes. In themselves, they were selectively retained well at least not thrown away at the time, and now my active cache is full! There has to be room for 'now' life.
 
In recent years the accumulation of physical items has been reduced by the collections of files, documents, photos, videos, spoken audio and music in digital form. Some sit on the Internet my AudioBoo, my Instagram accounts, my Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and iCloud. Then there are the offline digital archives on external hard drives and old media storage, cassettes, floppy discs, CD-ROM (read only memory) and as the final bastion of the analogue legacy, paper.
 
I realised this wasn't about choosing what memories to keep it was about optimising the storage. What space can I afford this sentiment, this record? Can the resonant importance assigned to the physical stuff be digitised? It's only relevant to me. When I am gone, the objects will become just things. Without 'my context', they are inconsequential unless they have a cultural importance. That is a rare thing and not what any of my ephemera has. 
 
image from cdn.images.postach.io
 
(pic above) My ‘Small Things’ collection - TIMEHOP 6th May 2015
 
#69unbox is about reducing items to digital files and occupying less physical space. Initially taking photos and on occasion with a collection of related bits, recording video. I can not capture the sentiment, that is within me, the recollection of moments, the knowledge gained, the lesson learnt they are me. I guess I feel the experience in a fresher way returning to the objects and have greater clarity than relying on the continued perception that my memory is inadequate. It's my source material!
 
Using the hashtag started a dialogue between myself and the innate desire to keep everything for fear of it's not yet realised necessity. This is, I know is untrue of a lot of what I have.
 
The first task is to identify the genuinely intangible, ephemera (my small things collection) and photograph them (some I am keeping) and if not retained, disposed of, or prepared for digitisation.
 
Round One!
 
I think Round One will occupy me throughout August.
 
(first posted to Social Media Womble postach.io blog 6/8/16)

Embed Responsively

image from alistapart.comIllustration by

Anybody associated with the arena of web design even on the periphery as I am has heard about responsive design. The concept of designing a single web site that adapts (responds) to the devise it is being displayed upon. A time was that it was by analysing the stats of your visitors you could predict the most likely size of monitor and resolution being required and provide a selection of sites sized accordingly along with a client side query to determine the size expected and deliver pages in response to the query. Then there came mobile! At least that's how I understood it in my limited experience. I was down the rabbit hole! It was at this time I became aware of reciprocity, propinquity and normalisation. Coding a design could be rigidly and inflexibly set in tables with sliced up graphic elements with hotspots and links. These would 'explode' and 'break' displaying in what seemed like an arbitrary manner depending on your favoured browser. The separation of code and style enabled consistency and including a set of instructions to overwrite different browser margin defaults helped. The Cascading Style Sheet (CSS). I was an advocate for responsive as soon as it became a thing. I expect these 'zero default' style sheet addenda still exist and form the basis of secret design formulae many pure coders still closely guard. Its tricky to achieve... or things might have changed.

Web presence and the ability to create one was the objective of my web building education and as each element of building web sites became specialisms in their own right html, xhtml, CSS, asp, php, xml, javascript - these became distinct from the visual front interface which in turn developed its own special branches UDI (User Designed Interface), UXI (User Experience Interface) until being a master of all was an impossibility and engaging a professional was beyond the cost effectiveness of my needs, I turned to the very thing I loathed when I first begun my education. BYO (Build Your Own), drop and drag applications evolved into a necessary evil.

I remember the first drop and drag experiences within browser environments afforded by javascript and flash. The move away from passive unmovable pages with form fields the only interaction was the introduction of user experience integration. Whether that equated to 'engagement' is contentious, still being discussed. I could indeed go on but this post is Embed Responsively.

Many blogging platforms and BYO are now to a greater or lesser extent 'responsive' to varying degrees of success. It is an art. The transition through absolute and relative positioning to fully responsive adaptive web pages has been aesthetically essential to the seamless, cross platform, multi device user experience.

Returning the premise of this post ...web presence and the ability to create one being the objective of my web building education... left me forever needing to learn something new to keep up to date! I just want to gather resources and information for inclusion in one space with a link to share. Simple as! But...

Although BYO and Blogging platforms (the ones I use currently) offer responsive templates and elements, the media I gather from around the web and the media I create and upload are embedded using html code snippets, podcasts from Audioboom, audio interviews stored on Soundcloud, videos and playlists on YouTube, PDF documents published on ISSUU, presentation slide decks on Slideshare or Photo galleries from Flickr or Instagram they are traditionally fixed in size (height and width). 

Yes I'm getting to the point!

The straight copy and paste of these html embed snippets don't adapt to a responsive environment. I was overjoyed when I was introduced to embedresponsively.com - "It helps build responsive embed codes for embedding rich third-party media into responsive web pages." It was created and is maintained by @jeffehobbs based on research and work by Theirry Koblentz, Anders Andersen and Niklaus Gerber.

I love it, I wanted to share it - here it is! embedresponsively.com

Embedresponsively01anotated


Networking Adventure - Leicester Digital Exchange - Oct 2015

On Wednesday 7th October 2015 I went to my very first networking event since relocating to Long Eaton. Held at Leicester's Exchange Bar on Rutland Street in the heart of the Cultural Quarter. I made my way on train which was super easy only being a 5 min walk from the station.

I wasn't sure what to expect as I've become rather jaded when it comes to networking events if I'm honest. It was a useful evening, lots of talk, lots of buzz, a good range of digital business types with varied interests which for me can be a bit overwhelming so I stepped aside to reflect ...

check out my AudioBoom - http://bit.ly/leicdigiex01

 I did ask my self 'Why was I there?' to which I answered, 'to build new connection and perhaps find some consultancy work.' It was only after my podcast reflection I realised I was credibly a blogger and enjoy making media to share, especially when once the event is over its never to be repeated.

There may be future events under a brand banner but the circumstances and people attending will never be repeated. This was the launch of Leicester's Digital Exchange and as I had by vlogging stuff in my bag I ask Lead Organiser Ann Stanley MD of Anicca Digital I was interested to know why the event had been conceived and what drive was behind its delivery. Ann answered all my questions with passion and future vision. These Digital Exchange meet ups are going to be monthly. There is also E-Commercial - Ecommerce Marketing & Technology Conference on the near horizon (Nov 3rd) taking place At Curve in November.

Here is my video posted to my YouTube channel

LeicDigi LOGO

Check Out

Leicester Digital on MeetUp.com http://www.meetup.com/Leicester-Digital-Exchange/

Leicester Digital on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Leicester-Digital-8383261/about

 

Thank you Ann for sitting down to chat.

VIEWING PLEASURE NOTE!

I never like suggesting how to watch a piece of media, it shouldn't be necessary but... if was suitably and cosily casual in the Exchange Bar's cellar and the lights were low. Probably best watch smaller rather than larger on your screen. Also, to stop me over producing regards the edit there are no titles or incidentals to keep the piece simple. After all I keep telling myself its the sharing of the media that matters.

Enjoy - Hope to see you at a future Leicester Digital Event


PCM rebooting

Rebooting my PCM... In Conversation web series for YouTube. Skype chats where we provide our tipple of choice, I provide the initial chat outline, we make a video episode all about your latest endeavour. Let me know if you'd like to be a guest. First recording 19 Oct with Kate Kavanagh @BustingFree

Check out this last chat. I'll be putting the previous episodes on my YouTube Channel in the next few weeks.

PCM ...in conversation - with Dori Kirchmair

more to come....

 


Tools: Email Tracking Power Tools

Streak_ident

I use Streak to track emails. Knowing an email has been opened is a great relief. Especially those crucial job or project proposal applications. Its not fool proof as it works by including a tiny pixel image which is requested from a server when the email is opened. So if images are turned off or other settings to prevent that data exchange are in place... well they don't want to be tracked! If all is well the following data is available. A notification pops up too when the email is opened. Very reassuring.

Post_July_Meeting_Action_-_BuyOuts_etc__-_pcmcreative_gmail_com_-_Gmail

Check it out I love it - https://www.streak.com/

Now on the surface it's quite complicated and when I was tracking down the info to blog this, the "CRM in your inbox" tagline made me grimace slightly. I realised that I only use the free bit, the inbox power tools so if you want to explore the CRM stuff go for it, but if like me you just need the email power tools. Yippee!

Install the extension, reboot Chrome, reopen Gmail and look for the orange Streak icon top right in the Gmail window. If it's there its running. Thats it. Next email you send a green eye should appear in the far right of email's data line.

Inbox__32__-_pcmcreative_gmail_com_-_Gmail

This is a Chrome browser extension

Streak_-_CRM_in_your_InboxLike it? Let me know. Comment below.

 


This is your Post by Email address


Welcome back to the digital office! I spend far too much time online but since reframing my activities in terms of being an audience producer it makes much more sense. There is a lot of ambient monitoring to enable me to be authoritative in my chosen field and to maintain communication channels with fellow audience practitioners.

Productivity and efficient working practice plus the management, maintenance and monitoring and of my own digital toolkit and footprint are the items I use to advise my clients. PCM is a practice what you preach practice.

This post has been made using the post via email feature available in Typepad (my primary blogging platform) I've recently done some house keeping from the dashboard. I'm always dubious about the resulting posts using 'via email' options. The last thing I want is a mess of additional stray text like an email signature to contaminate my post. I decided the only way to find out what results from a 'via email' post to Typepad is to do one.

*post posting I visited by new post and I was confronted by my biggest irritation!
All this was appended to my post!*


On 5 January 2015 at 13:40, <XXXX@typepad.com> wrote:

Dear pcmcreative,

Here is the secret email address for your "PCM creative in action" blog. Reply to this
email to post directly to your blog. Or add the email address to your
contacts to quickly send a post:

XXXX@typepad.com

Don't give this out to anyone unless you want them to post by email to
your blog too!

Cheers,
The Typepad Team

* After a hasty edit  *

So ensuring a clear email is probably best! But now I know. Posting 'via email' also doesn't assign a category or cross post to my social media accounts. It doesn't add keywords or generate an excerpt. 

In conclusion.
For a speedy update an email is a fast update option for this blog. For cloud composition a gateway app is probably going to be a better option. I had lined up Blogsy to provide this facility but I haven't really explored it properly. On my Mac, in a browser I like to post from the Typepad platform it gives me a sense of destination to carry out the task at hand; The writing of a blog post. I'm not always at my desk however so 'on the move' I'll be establishing a practice of using Blogsy for typepad.