All entries for April 2010

April 19, 2010

How did I make this Polaroid? If I can – anyone can.

Writing about web page http://www.themikedownespage.com/

How did I make this?I made this. see how I did it at The Mike Downes Page.

Yes I know, for all you University Techies - it is really easy, but for those who want a fast way of creating reasonable graphics, then it's for you.

It's made with Google's Picasa in case you are wondering.


So who are the Election Candidates for Kenilworth?

Writing about web page http://www.whatsinkenilworth.com

I've been avoiding anything to do with the election at all. I noticed the BBC News website had a new ELECTION 2010 section and that made it even worse. There I was skipping TV channels last Thursday evening and thought I would give the debate five minutes. 

And like the rest of the country, I am saying in a typical Brucey way - Didn't he do well. I am now a big fan of Nick Clegg (I don't think I have ever seen him speak before that night). For the whole program (and still right now), I have no idea at all who to vote for.

So who are the candidates for Kenilworth and Southam? A quick google search gives us the BBC and Coventry Evening Telegraph as two trusted sources (The Kenilworth Weekly News gives us a promise of 'Election candidates: The full list Your choice at the ballot box,' but when we click it gives a list for 2007. Oops - not really, sorry to say there is no relationship between a paper KWN and the website (I will be writing about that very soon and spilling as many digital beans as I can). 

This website is all about how we find digital stuff and if you cannot be found on Google then you do not exist. Sorry, but that's the way it is (see my other site The Mike Downes Page for all about the that). I've had personal email replies from two of the candidates (yes, I know you know who you are) and one of the top three - nothing. Shame really - I vote soon. So to the list then, we have (in alphabetical order): James Harrison, Nicholas Milton, John Moore, Nigel Rock and Jeremy Wright.

Nicholas Milton- Labour

John Moore- UK Independence Party

Nigel Rock- Liberal Democrat

Jeremy Wright- Conservative




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April 17, 2010

What's in Kenilworth Spines

Writing about web page http://www.whatsinkenilworth.com

Take a few photos of some Kenilworth Shops. Crop to rectangles. Use the Google Picasa Collage Tool.

Arrange like books on a shelf, then we have...effective for a webpage banner - let me know.

Shop Fronts and made to look like book spines


April 12, 2010

The Sonali Indian Take Away Kenilworth

Writing about web page http://www.whatsinkenilworth.com/2010/04/sonali-authentic-indian-take-away.html

Sonali Indian Take Away Kenilworth

Sonali Indian Take Away
33 Warwick Road
Kenilworth, CV8 1HN
tel 01926 857 733 or 01926 856300

Here is an example of a business possibly having a niche market. . The Sonali in Kenilworth does not have a website, however it does have an online ordering facilty.  I found this awkward as I could not browse the whole menu in one go, but had to navigate 20 sub menus (there is a search box though). Have you used it? I am told that many online orders come from the University of Warwick.

Compare this with the full menu at whatsinkenilworth.com, click herefor the direct link.


Googled by Ken Auletta and Here Comes Eveverybody by Clay Shirky

Writing about web page http://www.whatsinkenilworth.com

Googled by Ken AulettaThis is far the best book I have read about Google and it's founders. Amazon lists the book as 25 Feb 2010, so it's quite new. Ken Auletta talks at length about the ideas - he comes across as humble and genuine.

Have you read it? Tell me what you think. I don't see Google as a company that chases the $100 billion. Or how Google is in the news for all the wrong reasons i.e. China, News aggregation, rows with Apple. I see it as two guys who had a project to download the whole internet twelve years ago and filled up a house with computers in the process. They were $25 million down before they had a clue how to make the first cent.

Auletta weaves interesting fact with the thoughts and behaviours of Sergey Brin and Larry Page. There was a freaky moment while reading the book where I thought that any web page is just an advertisement for something else - well is it? Go read it and find out for yourself.


Here Comes Everybody by Clay ShirkyI first heard of Clay Shirky from WWGD do? by Jarvis with the idea that people can organise themselves while using the internet to get off the internet (see Meetup and the witches). This book is a harder read, but is worth it, even to understand how Wikipedia was a failure at first (Publish then Filter solved that).

Key ideas like the Birthday Paradox, Power Law and the Long Tail now have meaning - ask the Mermaids from Coney Island, see Flickr.

Shirky claims we now have the tools to change the world - is he right? Read this book and find out. As history states, the medieval scribes were none too happy about the printing press. Shirky has many videos at ted.com - see one on groups here.

I am not a fan of Facebook, but group organisation was in action when an X-factor winner's song failed to reach number one in the music charts.


April 05, 2010

For Sale in De Montford Road Kenilworth

Writing about web page http://www.whatsinkenilworth.com

Home Made Jam, Pickled Shallots all from wild or local market produceI needed to photograph Castle Hill, couldn't get parked as an event was on. Circled Clinton Lane ended up looping down Woodcote and into De Montford.

It was then I stopped and jumped out. This is what Kenilworth used to be all about and sometimes, even now - it is.

It was then I had a Back to the Future moment (where Marty McFly is back thirty years and keeps citing modern inventions and met with odd looks).

I met the lady, 'Can I photograph your jars...for a webpage...so Google can find you?' Blank stare. 'Google...the internet?' Very blank stare. 'Do you go on the internet?' Smile and shake of the head, 'Oh, No.'

This experience made my day. After a quick chat, I learned most of the fruit was wild and the produce from the local market. It took three weeks for the jams to be ready and the shallots a lot less.

It's at this point I will stop writing as I realise (and you too) I know absolutely nothing about making jams or anything else that goes into a jar...like er food.

What I do know is - get yourself down to De Montford Road and buy some - no buy the lot. Prices are from 20p to just over £2 (if you look close enough, you can see the top corner of the honesty box on the table. I'm back tomorrow with my kids for the Apricot Jam and if you get there before us - hands off it's ours.


465 Photographs and Pizza Pizzo

Writing about web page http://www.whatsinkenilworth.com

Pizza Pizzo Kenilworth

Today was spent photographing all the walk in businesses and shop fronts I could find in Kenilworth.  Out of the 465 photos in my Nikon there were not many duplicates.

While they are being processed and geotagged, I wish to carry on the theme of seeing what Google indexes and how fast. This was posted on the Kenilworth site about six hours ago and is already features in the search results.

Pizza Pizzo Spring Menu Online Now Pizzo Delipizzeria - Gourmet Pizzas to your door‎, 25 Warwick Road, CV8 1HN tel 01926 855 544 email mail@pizzopizza.co.uk and web www.pizzopizza.co.uk

Pizzo Pizza is the latest concept in the home dining market place. Order a Pizzo Pizza and you will always come back. All of our toppings come from our well stocked deli, and our dough is organic!  See the full menu here
For the What's in Kenilworth? Web Album click here

April 02, 2010

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

Writing about web page http://www.buzzmachine.com/what-would-google-do/

What Would Goggle Do? by Jeff Jarvis_3There has been no other single piece of information (apart from all the rest) that  has influenced me in the last six months than What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis.

I have to be careful when I talk about the book as it clearly states under copy right that I am not allowed to reverse engineer the book in anyway - I take that to mean using all letters in the alphabet, so I am clearly breaking that rule already.

So why is it so good then? It's a Manual for the Future with it's simple ideas that make perfect digital sense. but that comes at a price with depression, anxiety and loss.  If you are on the digital side of the net, it could be a party.

See my full notes about WWGD? here I am interested to hear from anyone who has read it. When Sergey and Larry founded Google on 4 September 1998, I qualified as a teacher and began my first post. Twelve years on I struggle to be heard in a school when it comes to technology. Professor Stephen Heppell at Bett 2010 summed it up when he said there is a gap between the schools that are doing pioneering stuff and those simply doing a shiny version of 19th century teaching. See the tag cloud below for a summary:

What Would Google Do? tag cloud


April 2010

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