March 14, 2007

A Curious Day

Suspended or axed.

Take your pick.

BBC Jam* is soon to be no more.

But shortly after that it could be far far better. And easier.


Weirdly, this hiatus (if indeed we find out that is what it will be to us suppliers) comes as a moment of blessed relief to me given current workloads - a chance to reset some straggling project threads and concentrate on some other things that weren't getting enough time.

But it's still something of a shock. And for those affected, inside the BBC and out, I guess we all just hold on tight. Even those who don't even really know yet.

The tragedy, of course, is that the content which is currently visible really isn't representative of what was about to go live. But I guess the dodgy world of business needed it to stay that way. As long as business interests are protected, who cares about advancing the medium or the consumers. Sigh.

Another drink anyone?

* It's not often I intentionally make a link that I know will soon be dead.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:38 PM | Comments (3)

March 21, 2006

I am become my own demographic

I'm slowly coming to terms with the real reason the likes of me play mobile games. Not that I play many, but when I do, they tend to be on my handset.

I will probably never get around to getting an Xbox or Playstation. Even now they've dipped under the magic £100 point.

And even if I did, I wouldn't have the time to play it anyway.

So my gaming has to be consigned to a cheap device I carry around with me for snatched moments when I just don't feel like a book, or Sudoku, or staring at more flashcards of chinese characters. But do feel like Lemmings.

(Actually the last point is a major bonus too. I'm odd in that I skipped most of the 'fun' computers one can have as a kid. We went straight from a ZX81 to dad's IBM XT with twin disk drives...and then pretty swiftly onto an AT with 20MB hard disk. So while others were playing Elite, I was playing with early vector graphics packages and a pen plotter. I was so desperate to play breakout, I got halfway through programming it as a fiendish set of macros in Lotus Symphony before realising it had no way to respond to realtime keystrokes. So finally I get to spend the time with Sonic etc I feel I never had. Bring on the BBC B and Spectrum emulators for Nokia Series 60...)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 07:31 PM | Comments (1)

June 19, 2005

Fingers Crossed.

Best of luck to Matt Locke who's doing the London-to-Brighton bike ride today.

It's not too late to sponsor him

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2004

The Dolan Principle

There are some great thinkers out there on the internet, who have been able to summarise properties of modern media in a pithy saying.

I'm not one of those people.

But I'm *nearly* one of those people.

I'll spot a property of modern media, half think it through, and then spot a way of blowing a raspberry at the end. It comes from years of working on entertainment brands rather than for BBC News or the Guardian. I've tried being sincere, but just don't find it as satisfying.

So, while Loosemore's Law profoundly says:

intolerence of delay increases proportionally with speed of connection

I can only offer this:

[clears throat]

On the internet you are only ever seven clicks away from pornography.

The trick is knowing which seven clicks.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 01:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 01, 2003

Bafta nominees announced

Wierd seeing so much diligent work condensed to four lines on the bafta site.

(But I imagine also pretty wierd for those on, and sadly not on, the list)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 19, 2003

Interesting Commercial Usability Insight

Let's briefly sidestep the traditional popup debate, but imagine you're working on a commercial content site.

You should never put *content* in a popup. Of any form.


Because your audience are so used to closing popups - even on your own site - that they may have already shut the content window by the time they realise it's content.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:11 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 14, 2003

And, relax

Well, it's got to be said that while judging the Interactive BAFTAs was fabulously fulfilling experience, I'm not half glad it's over.

That was a lot of sites to look at, sports fans!

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 01, 2003

Advice for the young at heart

Tom Coates has posted some rather marvellous, yet fabulously simple, advice for members of online communities

Ironically he's not turned on comments, so I have to post about it here. :-)

He says this:

The second piece of advice is about the content of your posts: Argue the issue, not the person. And the third and final piece of advice is about how you argue your point: The art of winning arguments is all about seeming to be the more reasonable party.

In fact this can be combined, and then applied to a wider negotiating tactic for life in general.

An issue is normally just part of a wider interest, so if you can start arguing on the basis of interests rather than positions taken you'll often find consensus just sort of happens of its own accord. You can then look at millions of imaginative ways of satisfying those mutual interests.

So you can restate Tom's advice as a isomorphism. (Unless that's a type of plankton).

Strip an issue back to an interest and you will achieve resolution by having a wider perspective to judge what is sensible
Bring in a wider perspective and you will see the reasons for a given issue, and can then find sensible ways to satisfy the real needs and wants

Now this isn't as snappy as Tom's advice, but it's one less thing to remember. So here's an even shorter summary:

Act like a mum

There's lots of other good stuff about this in the book 'Getting To Yes' - but like most of these books it's done most of its teaching in the first chapter so have a look in the library. (One day I'll write about "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway")

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:28 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 29, 2003

Talking of which...

I didn't realise that was back up again!

Superbly silly stuff. (Yet faintly sinister)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 04:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Creative Directors

Once again I've come away from meeting Tim Wright and Rob Bevan fired up that it's possible to get far more out of life than I currently am.

This is not necessarily a painless experience. In fact it's been fairly financially ruinous on two occasions - the grand piano and the swish club membership are respectively Rob And Tim's Fault. For which, on balance, I have to thank them enormously.

However, and this is the actual *point* of this post, Tim has sneakily started up a blog without telling anyone. And while I should have been working this afternoon, or at least sneaking out of the office to buy emergency bags of Iams lest the cats take compromising photos of me by night and blackmail me for a lifetime's supply of tuna, I have been giggling at yet more of his charmingly sinister ideas.

I was particularly pleased to see the Fils Blanc project finally committed to paper, even if not in its original form.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 04:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 19, 2003

I question the wisdom...

of putting a 'journal' on the Avril Lavigne site, which has been updated four times since May.

Not really placing that 'connect with your fans' thing at the front, is it?

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack