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The Build | Websters Wheelchairs

The Build | Websters Wheelchairs

Ben Schofield is a 23 year old adventure sports fanatic. From December 2013, Ben has started a new career in digital technology, startups and entrepreneurship. Follow this blog as Ben writes about his experiences, learning a new industry from scratch as an Apprentice to @r3trosteve

Following on from designing and building a brief for Websters, it is time to get stuck in and build the code.

It used to be that much of the design process was conducted with static graphic designs, produced in photoshop or fireworks - finally being handed off from the “web designer” to the “web developer” to convert the static designs into valid html and css.

Today is different. I’m a strong believer that there is no difference between a graphic designer and web developer when it comes to implementing front end web designs. Designers have to code, coders have to design.

So, the sooner we get into code, the better - particularly when you consider other challenges front end developers face, particularly when developing websites that will work effectively across the myriad of devices and display sizes that we now have to work with. It’s much easier to work this out in code, that creating dozens of iterations in static graphic format.

We’ll get into some of the tools available to make this easier in the development stage - where we can build on popular design patterns for responsive websites.

So, in summary: Designers need to code, as early as possible in the design phase.

I have chosen to build this holding page, as I feel it has a really soft and modern design to it and follows today's trends within web design. 

I opened up Sublime text and created a new document where I will write my code. Secondly, I created a Websters folder in which I would store all the images and files I would need to build the page. 

Since it was a while ago that I last wrote some code, I felt I needed a refresh, so I went back onto the Lynda.com training course which I completed just under 2 months ago. This helped me to refresh on the basics, after which, I got on with coding the basics of the holding page. 

This is the HTML markup - which provides us with a structure of content for the page. After speaking to Steve, What I would like to do with the page requires quite a bit of Jquery and JavaScript which he is going to go through with me at some point. As It is only a single page, I haven't created a style sheet to attach to the page as I will be simply be able to edit and format the text etc in HTML. ( I hope). 

The next stage is to add CSS to the text and get it formatted "centrally". 




So, I have managed to figure out how to format that text to how I wanted it, it's not yet the correct fonts, but it is in the right place. which I'm happy with. The next stage is to add the background and effects to the photo via Photoshop, to give it the soft translucent feel to it which will be very eye catching and effective. 

 

Monday 3rd February: 

So today, I have been researching non standard web fonts and how to Code and implement them into my design to get the style and look I'm after. It has taken me a while to get my head around how to do it, looking at various forums such as http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7717734/using-non-standard-font-in-web-pages. 

Reading through articles and googling questions on how to code NSF into HTML and CSS, using the font-face attribute to stylise the font-family. I then visited the font-face website (http://www.font-face.com/) where I followed their simple instructions, and it just clicked. So I have now changed the standard web font to something more appealing to the eye, however I am going to change the font on the paragraph as I feel it is a little difficult to read But I do like how it looks on the "Coming Soon" heading. 

Below is the css I used to implement the non-standard font:

@font-face {

    font-family: pistara;

    src: http://www.dafont.com/pistara.font?text=Coming+Soon;

    font-weight:400;}

        h1 { 

             font-family: pistara;

            font-size: 40px;

            margin-top: 200px;

            text-align: center;}

I have come across a problem. Before I figured out to code non  standard fonts, I had worked out how to set an background-image using CSS however, when I input the code for the @fontface within the style, it erased my background image and turned the background white again, I have been trying to find why this has happened but have had no success yet. 

The next step is to work on the background image again and really get it looking to what I had hoped for. 

Today, I have been researching background images and have managed to go get the background to display correctly in the window, however now it is hiding all my text. I don't know if it is the way in which Im putting the code in order or wether it is something else, I have been moving it around but nothing seems to work. 

I have been lookingat trying two different techniques to implement my background image, the easiest way in which to do it I found was by:

Websters'

 #bg {

            position: fixed;

            top: 0;

            left: 0;

            /* preserve aspet ratio */

            min-width: 100%;

            min-height: 100%;}

here is a link which I used to help me solve the problem: http://css-tricks.com/perfect-full-page-background-image/

Try using Google Web fonts again.

If you add a font to your collection, you can do the following:

1. Add the stylesheet to your web page via a normal tag that you are used to. e.g.
’ < link href=’http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Hammersmith+One’ rel=’stylesheet’ type=’text/css’ >’

You can copy and paste this from the google fonts library. As it says, make sure you paste it above your other stylesheets (order is important)

2. Use the correct “font-family” name in your CSS

font-family: ‘Hammersmith One’, sans-serif;

This will call the Hammersmith One font, and then fall back to browser default sans-serif font for unsupported browsers.

 

 

Ben's Journey || First 6 Weeks at Beach.io

Ben's Journey || First 6 Weeks at Beach.io

Ben Schofield is a 23 year old adventure sports fanatic. From December 2013, Ben has started a new career in digital technology, startups and entrepreneurship. Follow this blog as Ben writes about his experiences, learning a new industry from scratch as an Apprentice to @r3trosteve

So on December 1st 2013, I quit my job within retail to start an "Apprenticeship"  with my eldest brother,  Steve at Beach (formerly Double Digital).

A long road ahead - learning, creativity, tea and coffee making and more learning. Where my brother is today, 3 years on after leaving his full time job, having increased his wealth of knowledge within the technical side of web design, creating, building, consulting and coding, and where he is today, is where I would like to hopefully be in the next 3 years. 

This meant I was going to have to throw everything at this, if I wanted to succeed and to prove to  Steve that I am able to make it profitable to have me working for him, I would have to load my brain with the necessary  tools that he uses to do his job and to do it well. 

 

Project Administration

So, first things first, Steve handed me the responsibility of his admin duties, uploading data from his project expense reports into the billing service which Freeagent offers. I have found Freeagent to be a fantastic program to follow the progress of our developers, most of which work overseas; its an easy way to log their work hours, and to keep a record of outgoing expenses and bills to clients. Social media plays a huge part of Beach, so using Hootsuite, which is a great program to have when you have multiple social media pages for various logins, which you can control all from page, so uploading relevant topics about social media, digital media to the Double Digital (@steve: Double Digital is in the process of being rebranded as Beach.io, references to both maybe used interchangeably) Facebook, twitter, etc, I found that I could kill too much time looking for a topic to use, so I needed to cut down on time spent looking through blog pages and websites to find sourceable information. 

@steve: distraction is a productivity killer. You need to be very disciplined, especially when doing research for social media or a project. The web is there to suck you in. Maintain a focus on your objectives and stick to strict time allocation for each task.

 

A few Programs I am using a lot are Elance, Odesk, Transparent business, Hubstaff and Freeagent. The first three are which we use for our developers so they can record their timesheets for us to see, to make sure that they are working their hours, on track with project deliverables and so we don;t have to keep interrupting them with constant status updates. They're very simple programs to follow, as it gives you the week and their total hours worked, which you can then go into a single day to see the daily hours where i need to then input that into Freeagent. I use Freeagent to input their timesheets so that when he need’s to, Steve can pay them. The only problem that I found, is when you click onto the developers work that they have been doing, its hard to see what the topic is, as i need to put a task into Elance, it can make it hard, so hopefully now the developers will start labelling their work to make it easier for us to see what task there on. 

@steve: Great point Ben. I need to ensure that there is a balance between accuracy of the data captured and balanced to ensure that it’s not getting in the way of the developers. It was easier when I was doing the admin work myself as I generally know what’s being worked on, but this isn’t scaleable and so more diligence in stating current Job Number, Job Title and Task in time tracking reports is necessary. I’ll raise this with the team.

 

Web Design Basics

Steve set me up with his Lynda.com Training site, This is a fantastic site to learn anything on the computer, my first training course was the HTML essential training course, this showed and taught you the basics of coding a website from scratch, It made sense to me that while learning how to code and build a basic website I may as well build something in which I could use in the future. Within this I found it’s very simple to make a mistake, in which it could cause the whole website not to work, so it was important to make sure you had all the correct coding in place, for example:

<h1 class="LR-site-title" style="display: none;">SILICON BEACH Labs</h1> <!-- This is correct. -->
<h1 class="LR-site-title" style="display: none;">SILICON BEACH Labs<h1> <!-- This is not correct. -->

In this example I have forgotten to put in the forward slash at the end of the closed tag, this is telling the website that it isn't closed so wouldn't format the heading. This shows it is important to make sure your work is neat, colour coded, and formatted correctly in order for your coding to work correctly.

@steve: Colour coding will be done automatically via your text editor, such as Sublime Text, which you are using. But, paying attention to the colour coding patterns will help you identify issues in your code. Formatting your html is also very important, particularly in static sites where you may end up with lots of html code in a single document, making it hard to read. A nice article here

 

From this HTML course I moved onto Essential CSS training, which I was looking forward to as design, art and graphics are what I enjoy most. To be able to learn how to format and design my page into how I would like it to look was very interesting and meant I was able to play around with photoshop, illustrator, and After effects.

 

Throughout the learning of html they kept referring to a “stylesheet” which they had not explained and I didn't know why I didn't have a stylesheet - this confused me. I then learnt that while building your html you start to build up a stylesheet in which you can use to make formatting your pages similar otherwise you would have to go through every page of your site and format the coding, whereas if you have a stylesheet it will make all the headings the same, the paragraphs the same, etc etc. 

So for example: 

class.mega-title h1 {
padding: 0;
margin: 0;
font-size: 40px;
font-weight: normal;
font-style: normal;}

@steve: can you amend your above example to valid CSS please. Check class selector . notation and remember to close it properly.

This is just some example of formatting in CSS, this says that all H1’s should look like this, which you can easily go into padding or font-size and change the value off.

Marketing Essentials

I have also briefly been looking online marketing essentials on Lynda.com, The marketing funnel is a consumer focused marketing model which illustrates the theoretical customer journey towards the purchase of a product or service. 

 This an example of the Nutribu funnel that I created this to show how many installs, register, and profiles are being generated through our app, out of screen is a table to show figures. I will be looking creating some Facebook and Google ads as well as some A/B testing.&nbsp;  A/B testing is where you send out either 2 of the same emails, newsletters, or something similar but you may only change one factor, that could be a “Click here” button to a “Press Here” button or “Sign up now” to a “create profile” button, you would then send the two out to your client base and see what gets a better response.  I am currently still working through the course for essential online marketing tools, and will come back to add more about this in the near future.&nbsp;     GRAPHIC DESIGN FUNDAMENTALS  My favourite thing to be doing is being creative, whether that's with a pen and paper, or painting, so I really wanted to get to grips with Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects, so once again I found myself back on the Lynda.com website on each other essential learning courses, taking notes where I thought was appropriate to help me learn. I have past experience with Photoshop, I dabble with it now and again on my Ipad, and computer but never have I got looked fully in depth with the program, I look forward to continue to grow and expand my knowledge of these 3 programs to help me progress in my career, creating me more work opportunities in the near future. The most difficult thing I find at the moment within Illustrator is when drawing paths, I find it difficult to remember where the anchor points should be, and and which direction to drag them to create a curved line.&nbsp;  Overall, the last 6 weeks has been a real eye opener for me, I am thoroughly enjoying the learning and find it very mind stimulating, However I will look forward to some extra work from either Sergio or Nuno, which will increase my wages.&nbsp;

This an example of the Nutribu funnel that I created this to show how many installs, register, and profiles are being generated through our app, out of screen is a table to show figures. I will be looking creating some Facebook and Google ads as well as some A/B testing. 

A/B testing is where you send out either 2 of the same emails, newsletters, or something similar but you may only change one factor, that could be a “Click here” button to a “Press Here” button or “Sign up now” to a “create profile” button, you would then send the two out to your client base and see what gets a better response.

I am currently still working through the course for essential online marketing tools, and will come back to add more about this in the near future. 

 

GRAPHIC DESIGN FUNDAMENTALS

My favourite thing to be doing is being creative, whether that's with a pen and paper, or painting, so I really wanted to get to grips with Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects, so once again I found myself back on the Lynda.com website on each other essential learning courses, taking notes where I thought was appropriate to help me learn. I have past experience with Photoshop, I dabble with it now and again on my Ipad, and computer but never have I got looked fully in depth with the program, I look forward to continue to grow and expand my knowledge of these 3 programs to help me progress in my career, creating me more work opportunities in the near future. The most difficult thing I find at the moment within Illustrator is when drawing paths, I find it difficult to remember where the anchor points should be, and and which direction to drag them to create a curved line. 

Overall, the last 6 weeks has been a real eye opener for me, I am thoroughly enjoying the learning and find it very mind stimulating, However I will look forward to some extra work from either Sergio or Nuno, which will increase my wages. 

Learning Ruby on Rails Development - My Progress

Learning Ruby on Rails Development - My Progress

As I took the very easy decision (albeit painful, lonely and stressful at times) to create Braindu I also undertook to learn some new technical skills.

Braindu is a complex web application that uses a number of cutting edge web application development technologies, which I've discussed briefly before.

On the server side, the platform is built using the now popular and impressive Ruby on Rails platform. My development team are extremely experienced Rails developers, but for this project, I wanted to get stuck in myself and learn to code Rails apps from scratch.

I've talked before about how I'm sudo-addicted to online learning platforms, such as Code School, Codecademy, Treehouse & Lynda.com.

But alas, with everything you have to take in, everything you come across from tutorials, courses, videos, documents, articles, e-books, plugins, gemfiles, extensions, frameworks, libraries... it opens you up to a whole world of information that you need to navigate, store, manage, curate and constantly refer to on a regular basis as you advance your practical knowledge and experience with a framework like Rails - it's a frickin' nightmare.

 How I Learn Ruby on Rails with Braindu

How I Learn Ruby on Rails with Braindu

Fortunately for me I've got Braindu. The product that is encouraging me to learn Rails is also the app that is helping me to learn rails (and many other companion technologies, such as SASS, HAML, SVG, CoffeeScript) and now I cannot live without it.

Now I know I have a slight conflict of interest, but seriously, my learning process has been transformed.

And with Braindu, I can share with you my collection of resources - a live and organic repository of information relating to my mission to hold my own at developing web applications and software. Amazing considering that I couldn't even build a website but 4 years ago.

 Sit back and Browse with the Read View.

Sit back and Browse with the Read View.

I've got a long way to go to be able to have at least a modicum of technical credibility among the experts that I work with every day, but the ability to get closer to the technical team's challenges through better technical skill development and knowledge is already paying dividends.

Right, back to a brief coffee break and a dabble with the Evernote API via the new Codecademy API pathways. How I've changed.

Nutribu, Feedo and the Launch Festival

"What's that thing called where you take picture with your phone and then convert it to data? That would be cool, huh?".

Around 4 weeks ago, that was the brief conversation I had with one of my long term clients, Sergio Mottola from Ideando. It was in reference to what became a very exciting, very intensive project build that involved a number of new technologies, techniques and things I'd not done before - mixed in with some things that we are already very well versed in.

A Brief Recap:

2 years ago, my team was hired to build a fully custom web-based ePOS till system for a flagship restaurant in Soho, London. For a more information about this particular project, see this link. Owning and running an operational store was my clients way of realising his vision for improving the quality and cost of food, whilst setting a new standard in nutritional information transparency.

The software we built was the result of being able to deliver on Foodsecret's requirements for a full integrated till system that would be able to act as the interactive touchpoint for staff and customers, operational administrative system for stock management, reporting, staff incentives and a marketing / promotional engine, with integral loyalty schemes and discounts built in. To complete the cycle, this was also integrated with an optional public e-commerce platform - for the store to sell direct to customers outside of their four walls. 

As it turned out, they came to realise that it didn't take making and selling food, running a kitchen, paying rent on an expensive prime-location retail outlet to realise the vision, but instead to take the smarts of their nutritional algorithm out to the wider industry.

The ePOS system was rebranded as NutryPOS, and is set to be made available to restaurants and fast food premises that want a fully baked, web-based till, administration and e-commerce platform with the ability to deliver transparency of nutritional information to their customers  - an increasingly conscientious consumer who cares about what is going into their bodies and a society that is increasingly demanding to have clear, honest transparency into the supply chain at the point of sale.

Nutribu is Born

NUTRIBU api.png

So, it was time for a strategic review, the result of which was to understand the key value proposition that made most sense for realising Sergio's vision.

The key was to make sense of the complex, difficult to understand and not very fun world of nutritional data and make it readily & easily available to the industry, through application developers, own-built products and partnerships in order to create a common language around nutrition that is social, competitive and fun.

Nutribu is an API that makes complex and fragmented nutritional information available to developers, in order to build useful and intriguing applications with nutrition at their core.

Just like we did with NutryPOS.

nutribu-active-docs.png

So building on that work, we broke out the nutritional components, raw database, patented algorithm and logic into a standalone, centralised database with an interface for application developers to register, gain access to various methods to use the data, handle developer access, commercial options, analytics and performance metrics.

3rd Party API Proxy or Build Your Own

One early decision we had to make, was whether to reduce the amount of investment in API software development required to have an operational platform, by paying for service such as those offered by popular 3rd party API proxy providers like Mashery or Apigee.

Given the tight project parameters (budget and timeline - more on that in a minute), but with an eye on the future, we were looking for a solution that would offer a good mix of low barrier to entry, in particular, by way of small or no startup costs. Mashery doesn't make pricing public, but after a couple of calls to Boston and San Francisco, it was clear that although their service is probably the most slick and with some top clients on their roster, it wasn't going to be an easy or quick process to negotiate a suitably low starting agreement.

Apigee, however, was free to get started and that was attractive, coupled with the fact they are a top provider once again, with some high profile clients. I'd met and heard Apigee Vice President Strategy, Sam Ramji talk at the Power of One conference back in 2011 and was interested in their service. But one issue that stuck in my mind, was that whilst their pricing tariff is simple - base level FREE, paid upgrade $9000 per month. That's quite a hefty jump and I wash't convinced that was right for us.

After a fairly in-depth research and review, I was struck by a number of posts on Quora by staff at another API provider, 3Scale, based in Barcelona. Their answers were particularly interesting, in that they came across as genuinely helpful, impartial and seemed to offer the type of solution we were looking for:

  • Free to get started
  • Provision of services we needed, such as developer token management, analytics etc. but;
  • Allowed us to keep control and ownership of the proxy and traffic to the API - reducing overhead and latency (I suppose) for the service.
  • More granular pricing tariffs gave me a clear roadmap of costs versus traction of the API over time.

So, we set about building the API. And quickly. Clock ticking 'n-all.

As I mentioned, timing was critical as we decided that the new brand and product would be great to promote and relaunch at the Launch Festival in San Francisco - just 3 weeks later!

But alas, an API is not really very interesting from a demonstration perspective in it's own right. Sure, there's some nice tech in the background, but no-one knows about or understands that (well, outside of the developer community). So what would make a great demo for an event like this? Well, we could present NutryPOS of course, a fantastic example of how Nutribu can be used to add value to a market and product that needs to put transparency at his heart.

But still, we weren't convinced that this would make the best demo. It is after all, a multi-faceted product with lots of components and sub-components specific to the operational requirements of running a restaurant. Not a consumer oriented technology event. We needed something else, we needed something tight, clean, intriguing and an innovative use of Nutribu API.

Feedo

So, as if 3 weeks wasn't tight enough to build an API from scratch (with everything that comes with doing that), we deciding to build a native iOS application, called Feedo.

Feedo is a an app for capturing a recipe with your mobile device, analysing the ingredients list and returning a personalised nutritional calculation to the user.

This introduced some very interesting challenges - we needed an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) engine (along with some ways reduce the inherent errors that exist within these technologies). We needed an interface for isolating and selecting the ingredients from the image and we needed a working API to process and validate the ingredients, generate products and return our Nutribu score.

I'll follow this post up later with more on how we did that, and some of the more specific product and technical challenges we faced - but needless to say, we're very happy with the result.

So, as I write this, I'm sat on the plane following a pretty amazing team performance to design and build the new database infrastructure, identify and produce the necessary API methods, API portal, branding, product website, event launch materials. Well done team.

As well as my technical team doing a blinding job, a big mention to our designer, Alfredo Violante, who worked on the Nutribu and Feedo brands, the website and iOS designs in a very very short space of time. I think you'll agree it looks fab. You should take a look at his work, he's the don. Thanks Alfredo.

Double Digital - Brand Refresh

In some spare moments over Christmas (there really weren't that many), I took the opportunity to give my "freelance services / boutique consultancy" website a bit of a facelift. First thing was I've moved to a new URL - www.doubledigital.co, from the previous domain of www.doubledigg.com.

home.jpg

It's weird, because I actually have very little to say about name itself - other than Doubledigg was always short for Double Digital.

When I recall back a few years, it started as an attempt to build a kind of freelancers platform, similar to elance or freelancer, but using the globally sourced developers, designers, seo-ers, administrators and researchers that I had personally vetted - worked with, trained, developed, learned from and gave experience to - and make them available to a network of my own.

I didn't really persevere with it, because I preferred to work closely with my global remote-based teams rather than just stick profiles on a system and let people dive in and help themselves. It's very difficult to make remote working work well - there's lots of horror stories which I'm sure you've heard before and have scared you off of outsourcing to places like India, Russia, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Argentina... well let me tell you that it's because people don't understand the process, the mindset, the compromise.

Truth be told, the other reasons I went for the name Doubledigg at the time were kind of funny. First, Digg.com (remember that?) was kind of a big deal then and I though the similarity in the name could piggy back some sort of brand association, misguided searches, that sort of thing. 

Also, my friends at the time had just started out in business on their own - a retail marketing agency (and I must say, they've done brilliantly since - if you are responsible for creating stores with wow factor, you should give them a call), called Double Europe. I figured, if I built something remotely interesting, they may want to buy it or bolt it on to their business some day (still waiting for that to happen).

Anyway, when I started consulting and doing work for clients, building websites, SEO, strategy, project management, I just used that name as the website was already setup, I had built a bit of a Twitter following and Facebook Fan page like-count, so just stuck with it. 

Is it the best name in the world? No, sadly it's not.

Do I care? Not really. I have thought about rebranding to something really cool like my friend @fuel-digital or the guys @riothq, but what the hell. What about some of these names? Could I name it after someone who screwed me over like the guys at THE BANK did? or what about HIGH HEELS & BANANAS? Or hang on, what if I was to name my office the Embassy of the Republic of Moosylvania?

But, what is cool?

Well, I decided to make a statement. I've spent too long on the train back and forward to offices in London, not really existing here or there. Well, I decided to sing loud and proud, I live and work in a stunningly beautiful part of the world which I take for granted. Super talented photographer and friend Jake Moore has given me the ability to not forget that fact, by providing some glorious images of the surrounding area where I get to come home to, from wherever I've been travelling.

portfolio.jpg

There's a pretty cool portfolio section, which I'll flesh out and add some more details too the case studies in there shortly (just images for now), but there's some more in depth write ups on this site in the Projects & Portfolio sections in the meantime.

Anyhoo, that's done. Back to saving the world (or at least the economy) from Information Overwhelm!!!

DoubleDigg - Digital Done Differently

I had been kicking an idea around for quite some time, when I decided to do something about it. There's a fair bit of background that went into the idea, both things that I have been through that are bad and I wanted to correct and things that were untapped opportunities that I wanted to take advantage of. The result was DoubleDigg and its home on the web, www.doubledigg.com.

"So what are you going on about?" I hear you ask.

OK, well bear with me and I'll give you the low down.

1. Putting my skills to use

My background has always been agency side, doing great work for clients. I love working with customers and seeing the look on their faces when you go beyond expectations. It's like a drug to me and I whilst I am enjoying the other fascinating projects that I am developing, I don't want to lose touch with clients and new prospects for whom I could do a great job. 

My skills have developed some-what, in different areas. My background was client services and commercial, then I moved into account management and then into sales. I was successful in all of these areas and don't feel I ever pigeon holed myself as anything specific. All I wanted to do was a great job. I moved from print, into retail marketing, POS & campaigns and then into retail furniture, fixtures and fittings. Over the past 3 years I have developed digital and interactive skills, mainly focussed around social media. 

I went from small local projects, to large national projects to humungous global projects, worth millions of pounds. I was responsible for large complex teams of designers, project managers, developers, manufacturers, logistics and warehousing in delivering projects for my clients. But something wasn't quite right...

I enjoyed all of that, but became frustrated in the company I was working for and knew I could do a better job for my clients if I took ultimate control.

 

2. Learning from the mistakes of others

In all of my previous jobs, I got to the point at some stage where I knew I wasn't able to improve any further and the end result was that my clients suffered. I knew it was time to move on, until the last time, when I knew it was time to seize control and be responsible for my own success and ultimately the success of my clients projects by creating my own business.

I worked for a company that valued secrecy above transparency, valued bottom line profit over customer satisfaction, valued supply chain protection over staff development and morale. I would have to be different, I wanted something that was open, honest, social and transparent that valued happy clients and excellent performance above all else.

I recognised that the true value of an agency is to acknowledge that suppliers can be found easily these days - be they manufacturing partners, freelancers, or other service providers. They are all out there pushing their services to the extent that if you truly wanted to find them you could. No, the true value an agency brings is the investment made in training, managing, honing and developing the raw skills and expertise of these providers such that they can contribute successfully, often as one of many, to a project resulting in a delivery that exceeds expectations (but doesn't exceed the budget).

3. Providing Products and Service

I don't believe they are mutually exclusive. I wanted to create something that serviced clients first and foremost. A team and a system of processes that made digital project completion a collaborative and engaging series of personal interactions between customer and agency.

I also wanted to make it easy for customers to get certain products, when they wanted them, with minimum fuss and bother. So we created a series of popular, pre-defined products that could be purchased through a store environment. These products require work to be done, by people. But the process is so slick that the customer doesn't need to be bothered, it just happens and they get the results quickly, when they need them. 

That's a great mix as far as I'm concerned and my clients love it.

That's what I want to be a part of. That's what I want to create. That's DoubleDigg.com

Doubledigg Home

I'll be improving the DoubleDigg.com online presence over the coming weeks and you'll start to see our portfolio of works growing - in 3D, social media, blogging, content creation, web design and more. We already have a couple of core projects on the go, and we're really excited about what they will bring to the world. If you want a task done, it will be the perfect place to find a freelancer - hell, you can use mine, so you know what you'll be getting. I'll personally tell you who to use, for what purpose, give you training advice, communication tools and more. It's a no-brainer.

To supplement the more complex services we provide, we have also pulled together some nice off the shelf products, that can be purchased through our DoubleDigg store. You want 10,000 fans for your Facebook page or 500 high page rank links to your websites? No problem, we can do that and you'll be astonished how affordable it is. Take a look and let me know what you think of the products.

DoubleDigg Store