the big question

.Net Magazine - Issue 191

net191cover130I answered the Big Question in this months .net mag, thorny subject this time around, as ever making friends is always high on my agenda!You can find the original here.Is it ever okay for web designers to work for free?I know this isn’t going to make me popular, but let’s return to planet earth! Back here, our economy is in a mess, and the major banks, car manufactures, insurance companies, and many media companies are effectively bust. Money is tight, competition is fierce, cats and dogs are living together.With that in mind, does it make sense to work for free to win business? Err, I think so. Spec work isn’t evil. It’s competition. Its supporters are not the devil incarnate, they are pragmatists. I totally understand the argument. Spec work can destroy the beautiful relationship between client and designer, but then so does going out of business. The rest of the world has had to learn to adapt, and work leaner and more efficiently. Why should it be different for designers?

.Net Magazine - Issue 184

net184cover130I answered this months "Big Question" in the worlds fave internet magazine .net:Original linkWhat impact do you think online activity had on the US election?The US presidential election has been fascinating to watch and a marketing masterclass from both parties. This time around technology has played such an integral part in the race for the White House, it’s become as much part of the story as the candidates themselves.Through the use of viral YouTube videos, micro blogs and blogging networks such as Twitter and WordPress, the candidates reached a considerably bigger audience than the traditional commercial TV market, and for a fraction of the price. The Obama camp especially has to take huge credit for the way it mobilised its online troops and effectively sold the vision.For me the most exciting thing of all was the empowerment of the individual voter. In elections past, if you disagreed with something a candidate had to say you only really had the TV to shout at. This time around it’s never been easier to publish your thoughts. One site I fell in love with was ‘Hack the Debate’, which took a live video stream from the presidential debates and overlaid a real time feed from Twitter. It was compelling viewing, and exciting that anyone and everyone could take part.

.Net Magazine - Issue 182

I answered the 'Big Question' in .net magazine this month: had mixed feelings about the Chrome announcement as I am a huge Mozilla fan. Google dropping the Chrome bomb just a couple of days after announcing an extended search engine deal for Firefox felt a little staged.In terms of pure performance, I like it. It’s very quick (although beta products often are) and the UI is absolutely spot-on. However the real test here will be with the Mac version, where the standards are generally higher. I’m not really sure about the new ‘home’ view. While it’s interesting to see my most common sites, I don’t find that particularly useful. The implications for iGoogle aren’t too clear, either. But it will be fascinating to see what happens when the code is opened up. Will the others integrate or reinvent?

.Net Magazine - Issue 180

I answered this months "Big Question" in .net magazine. If you could own a fictional robot, which would it be, and why?Original link: thought that this was pretty easy but unfortunately my three-year-old daughter vetoed my vote for a squad of Fembots. And despite a great set of PowerPoint slides on the benefits of machine gun jubblies, I’ve been over-ruled again. I realise I’m not supposed to opt for the obvious, but the Pixar marketing machine has meant that my entire household has fallen head over heels in love with Wall-E, and after initial resistance I’ve succumbed to the little chap too. Apart from the benefits of a tidy house and on-tap comedy, I guess that he’d go down well at dinner parties. Quite how I’d feel about this emotionally challenged Dyson look-alike after a few irritating months might be an altogether different thing.