Monday, 28 December 2009

New Studio....?

Here it is. The potential new studio. Okay, so it's a long way off yet, here you can see the fresh plaster drying out, I mean, technically, I don't know if it's even possible - I have to finish the renovation project, apply for a change of use...and then move...but watch this space, it might all be happening in 2010! Fingers crossed.....!

Thursday, 12 November 2009


In a few sites we're designing recently I've come across graffiti. A high pressure jet system to remove it, or a protective coating to prevent it. All good for the businesses which need to look smart and keep vandalism at bay, but every now and again you see some which just looks good. That seems to be a controversial standpoint, so here's just some I observed! ;-)

Monday, 28 September 2009

Tumblr top

In collating, cataloguing and composing creative collections, Tumblr takes the top spot.

Friday, 4 September 2009

A full week!

The new Lingo site went live on Tuesday, 1st September! Wooo Hoooo!

It's been a long time coming, but finally we went live on Tuesday. That's not to say it's complete, no sir! We have got loads more to add and loads of ideas waiting in the wings, but the good news is that already there is an improvement in stats. The time spent on site has gone up by 25%. (see pic of Google analytics)

As the new Lingo site features a feed of my blogger posts, (as it did before) but now also has the new functionality of a wordpress blog, I am creating a mindmap to demonstrate how my blog posts work in relation to each other and the various sites I use. Here's the beginning, showing me in the middle, and one arm of the tree which is for the Lingo wordpress blog. The screenshots show the control panel of wordpress and the online version of the page.

The other arms of the mindmap tree(tumblr, flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn etc) will grow as I develop the map to demonstrate fully how my posts work.

This will be the first and last duplicate post about the site going live - I first wrote my new wordpress post and then obviously this blogger one, but I hope to redefine the purpose and direction of each of the blogs, so that wordpress blog can be used for the 'company news' articles, resources and so on, and this blogger blog can be a bit more personal, LingoLiz's actual antics...for anyone that cares!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

LingoLiz site developing

I'm developing a site...for me, well, my online life. It's a bit OTT at the mo, I plan to tone it down a bit...but I wanted to blog it's early stages.

Monday, 17 August 2009

A little tip

It's a simple recommendation but as with most seemingly straightforward pieces of advice; it's more difficult to follow than it sounds. To achieve and adhere to consistent style rules in all your company correspondence takes work.

It's a new resolution of mine, as I attempt to organise my 'life online' into categories of purely work related articles or events and those which cross over into the creative, yet non commercial aspect of LingoLiz. So, "Brand your communication" and "communicate your brand" is something I'm working on, finding fun and is advice I am happy to pass on to customers, and you!

Our 'bread' style has consistent strength now, the final version of our website is adorned with small graphics which are nice and simple which are made up out of 'Rockwell' in black and gold... I intend to start using this style in Lingo related articles which I am working on too (*such as this one!) I also want to develop the black, pink and yellow colour scheme of LingoLiz non-commercial created work. (such as the Tumblr page which I'm now addicted to adding to )

The new Lingo Design site is due to be this launched by this Friday - the 21st August. It has more emphasis on the web design and graphic design services we offer, and following this launch there will be a series of communications with our new and existing customers which will be branded in a complimentary way, and which will communicate offers and messages about key services as well as delivering a strong company style message.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Content research - the testimonial tease

I've been looking at ways to convine customers to have testimonials....
reading :

and I'm now asking customers to provide testimonials themselves.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Studio activity and people today

Seems like today's going to be a busy day... Noel's in and doing Gumball picture uploads, Claire's back in (after her half day holiday yesterday) and she'll be writing our operating proceedure for step 1. Customer Google integration. Steve shall be doing two print concepts, one for KLS and one for Harrods Coaches and I'm sure Captain Scuzz (Craig) will be around too.

Then, when you add to that the lovely Cara and her Independent Tracking telesales, plus Tom Dickerson and some training/database/design descussions....

Well, it's going to be busy! Good thing is though, there's a fresh four-pinter, so we won't be short of tea.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


The number of profile pages and possibilities for connecting via web services is literally mindblowing!

The latest profile I've been using is Yahoo

It's important to give people as many options to contact you as possible, but with so many services, it's nice to see that Yahoo have crafted an itegration with these within thier interface.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

SEO. How to say what you're going to do without how you're going to do it!

It's a tricky balance to strike when talking about Search Engine Optimisation, between explaining to customers what you're going to do, without a.) going into too much detail about how you're going to do it (and therefore boring the pants of them or leaving them feeling utterly confused) and b.) giving away all your valuable wisdom, so that the client thinks "I can do that!" or even worse, think that they have a good grasp of what is going on and can get involved!

That's not to dumb down my wonderful clients, not at all... but a little knowledge is often a dangerous thing. Also, involvement is needed, and welcomed...but it's how to manage that constructively that is the tricky thing. I liken it to a skilled motor mechanic working on a car (think F1 if you like, but the metaphor works for your basic run-around motor needing an MOT). The mechanic tinkers with the car for it's optimum performance. We all know that in his (or her) tool box, they have a set of sockets, spanners and various other tools required of them to do the job. Most modern cars have internal computer parts which can be hooked up to diagnostic equipment, enabling the mechanic a speeder insight into the performance information and therefore give a more accurate indication on where to apply their attention. It might be that the mechanic decides that the engine timing is out, and by working on this the engine could be more efficient. So he sets about his task of fixing the timing.

Now, you or I (unless you happen to be a mechanic) would not have the skill to do this, knowing how to set the timing to the correct level, I can safely say that it is something that only a skilled person with experience and training should do. Nor would we attempt to apply our newly found understanding of the situation to any sort of practical application. (It's unlikely we'd don a pair of overalls ..get stuck inand it's likely that if I did; I would blow the engine into a million pieces.) The mechanic has learnt how to apply his knowledge and his ability to do this. Critically, this is the value we apply to the service, and why we pay someone to do it for us.

The problem with SEO, is that trying to explain to the customer that you are going to 'sort the timing out' so the engine runs better - (or, increase the keywords so that the text is optimised) somehow starts some clients thinking that this is something they should get involved in. They start to say things like - "so, we need to put more instances of that word/this word in the homepage then..." like that would simply solve their SEO desires. Oh, if only it were! I can understand why they would thing that, but I guess where I'm at now, is trying to refine the phrases I use to further gently educate or inform my beloved customers that it takes a multitude of different approaches to optimise text, and that just stuffing a page full of thousands of the same word over and over just won't help.

I say things like: Google (other search engines are available_) is very smart at it's job. Its job is to deliver the most relevant page to the searcher. It grades the pages available by many different factors. Some of them are easier to work on than others -but there is no ONE job which we can do which will "get you to the top of Google" as so many of my new customers predictably ask as if it's as simple as a tick box on their website somewhere. It sometimes amazes me that people ask this question in such a flippant way, as if they expect me to say "oh, I hadn't realised that's what you wanted, let me just sort that out for you now. Alacazam! Pif-paf-pof! There you go Mr.Customer - is that better?!!!"

It's very rare that you build a website without the golden top spot of Google in mind. It starts at the very foundations of the site. File names, image text, layout, design and more, much much more goes into making our sites as well optimised as they can be.

So anyway, I'm not writing a blog post to moan about it, I'm just getting some thoughts down about how I'm going to put together a simple document. The aim of this document is to carefully explain to my wonderful and valued clients just how complex Search Engine Optimisation really is. I need to educate them in the whys and wherefores, but reassure them that although involvement is welcome and encouraged, they do not need to know HOW we do this. They do not need to get an overall on (so to speak) and they need to be realistic about the time it takes, the value in the application of the knowledge and experience (how much they can expect to pay) and the way in which we go about it.

So I better get on with it.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Charlotte's Web :-)

Good morning and welcome to Charlotte - our work experience candidate from Downham Market High School, who's with us all this week.

Like Will, (from Ely) she will be writing a blog about her time here, and getting immersed in the wonderful world of web - so Good Luck Charlotte, we hope you enjoy your time here, and we look forward to reading your blog!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Lingo have tried all sorts of CRM's, (customer relationship management systems) tools to track our activity and to help us improve service and efficiency. We currently have several methods of managing our work flow, including making use of an array of various software and our own systems to follow to keep it all together, but these all have their limitations or drawbacks; where one piece of software is good at logging data, such as Microsoft excel, it cannot support creativity, or if using a mind map for creativity it cannot cope with detail, but the main drawback of all is that there is not ONE place for everything. You constantly have to remember which programme/document tracks which information. For example, we track emails, client appointments and internal conversations through outlook, and Google calendar, but we track job progress and hours in excel and Mindjet. You have to switch programmes all day long, you have to scan your brain (or the server) thinking "where did I save that?" or "what did I write that in?".

But at last, we are working towards our own, custom made version of a customer/job management database.

Comprehensive handling of all our data in one place will make it easy to be thorough, consistent, transparent and efficient. It will include:
  • tracking/logging of incoming communication, (many possible different types of telephone call, mobile call, sms, email, instant messages, blog comments, forum posts and so on)
  • tracking/logging of hours spent and hours quoted on each project
  • project pipeline/ forward time planning
  • project notes - meeting notes (a place for all notation)
  • technical specification for each project - helping domain, hosting and email management
  • task managament - who is responsible for each piece of the process

By tracking all these elements (and more) within our in house database we will be able to increase efficiency and reduce any gaps in our project management. Gaps such as repeated question/answer "what's happening with the domain transfer?" "when's Liz's next meeting with this client" - previously anyone wanting to know the answers to these questions would have had to look in outlook and excel, but will now turn to one place.

The intention is that by increasing our efficiency and decreasing the data handling we each do, we should be able to reduce the time taken on each project and therefore increase our profitability and sustainability.

All I can say is that the database cannot come soon enough! Craig and Claire have been working hard on the set up of the database fields, with Craig leading the way on database design, and Claire on studio procedure and protocol. Steve and I have been enjoying a true director's roles during the early design stages of the database - directing the development and direction.

The 'Dough-base' (aptly named by Claire - in keeping with our bread theme) is expected to be operational (in the truest sense of the word) by the end of July. A custom made database is a solution we may be able to offer to our clients in the near future too.....

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

blogging about blogs...

There's a lot of blogging going on!!!
The blog from our Work Experience (WEX) student - Will
(here he is designing new rss icons_!)

...and the blog from Noel Hobden who's onboard for downhamweb

:-) well done guys - good blogging!

Remember, the key to successful blogging is to keep doing it, keep it exciting and fresh and relevant. (Our studio is a busy place at the moment and there's lots going on (*including me shooting off in fast cars) and you both have cameras....and the ability to tell the wonderful world wide web what's whappening in here!!!

Once you've got a blog - the best way to promote it is to read and follow other similar blogs. Also, tell your friends in Facebook and other social networking sites.

Mum, see how easy it is?! ;-)

Saturday, 30 May 2009

a launch and saturday is live :-) It's a slightly strange launch because the site is already being redesigned. We started work on the site, towards the end of last year, along with the other family business and during the build (about half way through), the client initiated a significant development within his company; the planned growth of the business and geographical relocation to a larger premises this summer The move and expansion will allow a wider range of services, and requires a rebrand of the company, with new logo and corporate identity. This led us to agree to launch the first version of the Proctor UK site, as a 'light' content site, to allow us to focus on the rebrand and new site.

New logos are already being worked on...previews to follow soon.


Meanwhile, it's a beautiful sunny saturday, and Steve and I are going to be working in the office on our website..... hmmmmm....! At least it's starting to look reaaaaly tasty now!

Monday, 18 May 2009

beautiful bread - fantastic project

quick lists

Quick lists are great - I use evernote on the iPhone, and it syncs well with Firefox.

I just wanted to do a quick list in my blog today for more of a 'resolution' and 'public-statement-of-aims' type of feel.

Noel starts today on Downhamweb and Steve and I are going to talk database to Claire.

I've got to attack my sales target with vigour.

And with soooo much to do, I'm promising myself I'm going to remain efficient and thorough ALL DAY...

I'm going to try not to oversimplify things today, but get action in the right direction initialised.

Phew - nice list :-)

Friday, 15 May 2009

back to the grindstone!

ok, so I'm back from my business/fun trip to Miami and it was pretty much the most amazing thing I've ever done! I'm pleased that the hard work (long, long days and nights) paid off, the website was a success and I'm back, feeling inspired with new levels of motivation. Just as well really cos the weather today is severely depressing!

I'll be working on wrappng up the Gumball website with audio and visual montages...and listing the lessons learned for next year....

Steve and I are also working hard on the new Lingo Design site, with renewed energy, and we are aiming to get it live by the end of this month, to co-incide with 2 large customer sites we have been developing over the last few months. I've got to say the new Lingo site has been a long time coming, but then the best websites don't happen overnight! ;-)

The amount of content is easily tripled from our current website, and I've enjoyed writing new content based on our current visitor statistics, (tracked in Google analytics). One of the things I'm aiming to do is yield longer visitor time on the site by delivering the information that people are actually looking for, even if they're not specifically searching for us as webdesigners. For example 'design lingo' delivers many visitors per month from people looking for a glossary of common design jargon. As the 2 keywords match our name, (and much of our content), it's likely we will always get this traffic. But, instead of those visitors landing on our site and then leaving instantly with a "nothing here" result, giving us a low time on site, I've written some fresh copy including many common design terms to help answer these browser's questions, and help improve time on site. It's relevant, helpful and interesting to both targetted and non-targetted visitors.

Also testing a new piece of kit called RelationSys -
but more on that later.....

busy busy....

Monday, 4 May 2009

Lingo go to Internet World

Last week, us Lingo-ites had an very enjoyable outing to Internet world: a stress-ball giveaway heaven at Earls’ Court, Londinuim, where there were many a web-thing to see and do.

Basically we geeked off for the day and picked up some cool connections and soaked up the seo/cro/web/app/tech/mob/ ness of it all! (ok, that’s enough “website lingo” for now!) Here’s some pictures of us lot at the expo:

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Saturday, 25 April 2009

tarot for LingoLiz...

Saturday, Apr 25th, 2009 -- You are eager to get your chores out of the way early in the day so you can enjoy escaping later on. Fortunately, your motivation will serve you well and an optimistic attitude enables you to get a lot accomplished. As the day progresses, though, your concentration flags and you want to be done with being responsible. Patience is your friend and the relaxation will feel great once you are completely finished working.

better get on with it then! :-)

Friday, 17 April 2009

Blogger Blog feed prob - it's ok - Viviti are on it!

There seems to be a little glitch with the Blogger Blog feed to the Viviti site - so I posted a support ticket to Viviti and got a prompt reply that they are working on it...thanks Jerrett :-)

I'm now starting to promote the site to a few Gumball blogs and people...

Ideally I'd like to get a few more audio test posts to the SpinVox account and make sure they are posting online ok too....

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

gumball getting there.

It's close. It's really close - the gumbal sponsorship is taking shape. It's take a while, and let's face it - it could all end up not actually happening, but like I said, I think it's close!

I'm perfectly placed to make it happen. I used to work for a radio station as their sponsorship coordinator, my ex boyfriend used to race in the British Superbikes (support round) and I would get him sponsorship. In fact, it's how I got the job before this one - 100% Bikes motorbike trackday organiser. Not to bang on about "one's past triumphs" but I would be somewhere very different in life if I had never had an involvement in sponsorship.

When you think about it, it's pretty straightforward, cash for coverage.

But what does this magical combo-slash-parntership set up have to be like for it to work? What's the coverage like? what is the sponsored party able to offer in the way of impressions. opportunities to hear/see the sponsor name and message? there's a magic formula, there was in radio, and there is in any media, including web. Get a message heard by X many people, and Y many will react/remember*. (*the two most common goals in advertising, of which sponsorship is included)

so, right now, I'm calculating the coverage. except I can't. It's too big!!!!


mother board

Typical, the day I return from holiday, and have more than the average bear to contend with, what happens? My motherboard implodes...the second in 6 months. First the laptop went, and now the desktop's gone too. :-(

Praise-be for decent back up systems...!

One quick trip to a well known computer retailer later, and I'm now the proud owner of a lovely new hp (don't ask me the spec - all I know is that it's fast - almost as fast as Craig's!)

I'm really enjoying reinstalling all my programmes and settings and actually being a bit more organised - one good thing about the occaisional computer death is that you end up with a clean desktop and a fresh start everywhere- no junk. It'll take a while before I feel like I'm fully functioning again, but at least I'm enjoying the process....

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

great advice on Google public profile use -

I came accross this blog while researching the use of google accounts - I had to do a trackback (?) and post it's good advice for all! Especially my Mum, who is not in my good books, because she has still failed to subscribe to my blog!

Hey-ho, (Hi Mum) now that we are collaborating on the 'bigger picture' of our joint web projects, I'm sure you'll join eventually..........!

Also on a personal note this morning a big web hello to Leighann who is back home after her surgery xxx hope you continue to recover well. :-) x

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

West Hall Farm Holidays - nearly ready to go live...

OK, so the build has perhaps taken a little longer than usual, but then, we did have to wait for the weather....and in England, well, you can wait a while....!

I think the photography worked out well though, and the site feels like it was worth the wait. I'm looking forward to going back to the site over the summer on futher photography missions! (might take a picnic!)

Now just waiting for client approval and then can launch... :-)

Constructive comments/critisism always welcomed.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Saturday, 31 January 2009


With 9 being my lucky number, I've always been looking forward to 2009, thinking that somehow (also with 2008 having been fairly tumultuous) that this year is going to be a bit special!!

Looking forward, and backwards, (as you do this time of year) I'm reminded of our school assembly's at the beginning of each year, where we were told "January is named after the Greek God Janus." He's the Greek god of doorways and halls (where we get 'janitor' from) or 'beginnings and ends'. The Roman bust of him in the Vatican museums shows him looking forward and backward, evaluating the year past and looking ahead to the year coming.

2008 was a year which saw Lingo move offices unexpectedly, and also focus on developing new systems and software internally. Lots of foundations were laid. Lots of work went in, and it was a definite slog. It's 2009 that should see these efforts pay off, and projects come to fruition and hard work continue.

Ok, so we're in recession as a country, 1000's of jobs are under threat, and the economic panic seems unstoppable, but online sales are still growing, internet use is up, and the phone is ringing steadily with new enquiries.

The New Year always brings a flurry of customers who have been waiting for their 'quiet time' to sort the website/marketing/print out, but this year we have seen an even bigger increase than in previous years. What to put that down to is tricky - more companies panicking about the recession? Or fruits of labour themselves? We are more established, in a more prominent position in the town, and our own advertising/promotion has a cumulative effect, plus our search engine results are strong, and referrals are key, so the sheer number of customers we have who refer us must be considered...but one thing is for sure, we can't complain, we're in the right industry - the internet grows, and we're busy, busy, busy, and we love it, love it, love it!

As January fades, so I'm ready to have my focus very much fixed on the horizon, and the months ahead. In February we can expect some large sites launched, and more sites started, so watch this space for new portfolio pieces and surely the 2009 Lingo site too...

Next week we've also got a work placement student, and friend of ours, Emily Bruce, coming to work with us in the studio. Emily (from Downham Market) is studying for a BA (Hons) Graphic Design at the Surrey institute of Art and Design, and approached us for a work placement as she's known us all here at Lingo socially for a number of years. In her two week time here, she'll be tracking her activities in a blog: and hopefully she'll get a lot from the time with us, especially at this exciting (busy) time, and I'm sure we can make use of the extra pair of keen hands on the deck! I'm now planning her time with us to include work on LOAF and Downham Web, plus some SEO and a variety of other bits and bobs. I dare say she will get fairly well acquainted with the kettle too, as it's not just a work placement duty; we all take turns to attempt to quench the seemingly Lingo teams' unquenchable thirst for tea!
Good luck Em, we look forward to seeing you on Monday – remember, Macbook, Biscuits Brain!
Work continues...tea must be made...ttfn for now – signing off and looking forward..LingoLiz 

Thursday, 22 January 2009

no news>?< good news

the tail end of the third week back from the Christmas break, and already I need a break! Good job I've had some really great news about a potential holiday to Miami in May this year, around the time of my only 4 months to wait!

It's not that I can't tell everyone about it, I can, it's not top secret, but it's work related and not quite 'in the bag' yet, so I'm saying there's no news, but there is...just watch this space...oh, and or this space...(last year's website) for a bit of history into why I might be going where I might be going...

but enough of that!

In other Lingo news, we have some launches getting nearer, some new pitches likely to come off, and some new calls coming in, so 'flow' wise, we're all good and strong. I don't want to jinx that either, so I'm not going to publicise my theory on the credit crunch just yet...maybe within the next 6 months though, if things stay the same!

Anyway - new homepage is which I love *and used to watch on sky

Monday, 5 January 2009


wow! I'm soooooooo buzzed! It's 2009 and it's the first day back in the office and already things are going well!

We've got even more work coming in, the phone and email are both busy, and the line up of projects we have to work on is really exciting!

I was up at 6am, so that I could get a head start on the office and now, at lunchtime, I'm still feeling like it's early morning, so that's great!!!!

I've just heard that it's likely we will be getting our new CRM before January is out. It will be a brand new piece of kit - called Scenario, (branding and website by Lingo!_) and is coming from the guys at who we have been working closely with through 2008.

Laura and Richard at IDS are a truly formidable force, as are their team of developers, already boasting some pretty popular auction software, and the new CRM is going to be something which we can work toegther on through 2009, Lingo hopefully becoming a reseller.

That's just the first exiting bit of news for 2009 - I just had to come on and post about it, and break the New Year Blog spot!!!!