XHTML/web instead of PowerPoint[r]

S5: A Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System

This is great and much better than the ‘save as HTML’ option in PowerPoint[r].

It’s a bit too difficult to simply replace the ease and ubiquty of *.ppt but I could see this being added to applications that export to ppt (eg the mindmapping software NovaMind for the Mac has great export to text, ppt and Keynote: I’m sure that these applications could manage the CSS and bits of javascript that’d just be too tricky for the rest of us – especially while cranking the ppt handle in the run-up to a presentation…

Ready-reckoner for setting your price as a freelancer..

Pricing is guesswork – but here’s a ready-reckoner… 🙂

Having been self-employed some years ago, and now working on ‘new business’ activities, one of the hardest aspects of new products or service is the pricing level. A “cost plus” approach isn’t ideal when either the cost is simply your time or when there’s an absolute limit to your earning due to a scarce resource (hours in the day).

Most people initially try and cover the mortgage (ie mortgage x2 /working days available), but the problem arises from success: if you’re fortunate enough to be fully billable then you’ll only ever make 2xmortage!

Anil’s suggestion is an enlightening one:
Anil Dash: Pay By The Hour

If you think this is just for laughs, consider the impact on an existing client when you suggest doubling your rate 🙂

All smiles at the Market


At the Columbia Road flower market on Sunday with Josie and her son Franklyn, a moment’s happy rest as Franklyn is “bookended” by Manon and Alice. They’re sitting on Jessie’s doorstep. The V3’s ‘astigma-cam’ is at its milk-bottle-best here. Memo to self: get better camera in next phone!

Balloon Bazooka

Balloon Bazooka the Ultimate Water Balloon Launcher

Oh yes – Gotta get me one o’these!

Our Basic or Entry Level Model can launch a balloon over 300ft. It has a small air tank, great for folks who don’t own an air compressor or are on a budget…

Entry level? “Folks who don’t own an air compressor”? I’m on a different, amateur level to these guys, but one look at the picture of them on the home page makes you realise that these are fun-luvvin’ professionals. I’m adding an Air Compressor to my Christmas List!

$99 is pretty good for this weapon-grade fun. Wonder if it’d get through UK Customs… 😉

More patent fun – advertising

Google seeks RSS ad patent | The Register

Fantastic. Yet more protectionism of the blatantly obvious. I’m surprised that no-one’s pulling up the prior art from, say, campaign management and tracking in the mail outbound email systems. All of the major players offer the ability to encode each link so that you can track who clicked what, where in the mail, for a given offer code etc etc etc. Just because this is to be delivered by RSS rather than into our inboxen this is to be a new invention?

As an advertiser, I can only see this increasing costs. As a customer I simply await an ad filter for my news reader.

That cynicism aside I’ve noted that a number of feeds already include adverts – mainly where the site has an existing ad engine. These mainly seem to relate to alternatives or add-on sales. There’s a possible benefit to having in-feed ads that can help support blogs or other non-commerce sites. In the same way that Google’s ad inclusions can give a useful amount to highly-trafficked and well-converting sites, I can see how my RSS habits (i.e. skim through the feed, hardly visiting the sites any more) would reduce that revenue.

If ads keep chasing us like this then using the web will become evermore complex and demanding of the ‘humanoid’ common sense filters. Could even be as demanding as, gasp, talking to other people one day…