Great Scottish Run + Facebook: An experiment in crowdsourcing metadata

<![CDATA[The Great Scottish Run took place on Sunday. Two races – a 10K and a half-marathon – happened under this banner and as always the Herald & Times photographers where there to capture the action. As in previous years, we ended up with thousands of photographs. And, as in previous years, we made hundreds ofContinue reading “Great Scottish Run + Facebook: An experiment in crowdsourcing metadata”

ABCe audit figures released: heraldscotland increases audience by over 60%

<![CDATA[Great news today from ABCe… year-on-year we've increased traffic to by over 60%. That's a massive boost, especially for a site that was already attracting over 550,000 unique users per month. The new figure of 893,000 puts us second top of all UK regional newspapers in terms of growth. I'm particularly pleased with theContinue reading “ABCe audit figures released: heraldscotland increases audience by over 60%”

A neat way to change PHP / MySQL timezones at the script level

<![CDATA[If you do any programming on shared hosting environments – like MediaTemple, Go Daddy or whatever – you'll be familiar with the problem of timezones. While it's easy to set the correct timezone on a server you have full control over, things get much trickier on a shared server. However, if you're working on PHPContinue reading “A neat way to change PHP / MySQL timezones at the script level”

My first newspaper exclusive

<![CDATA[Ok, so I've been a part-time technology writer for The Herald for all of three weeks. It’s going pretty well so far with positive reader feedback and even a couple of responses from companies who’s products I’ve reviewed. But last night I made the jump to mainstream news… At around 3pm on Monday, a colleagueContinue reading “My first newspaper exclusive”

New social features on

<![CDATA[Yesterday I integrated some of the newly announced Facebook Social Widgets into heraldscotland. Using their new auto-connect system, any Facebook users who visit heraldscotland will now be able to see what their friends are recommending and sharing on our site. The demo below outlines how it all works… /blog-images/facebook-demo.swf I’m quite pleased with how smoothlyContinue reading “New social features on”

We won the regional TV news bid for Scotland!

Ok, first a quick bit of background: The Government are funding a pilot scheme for independent TV news production in Scotland, the North East of England and Wales. In Scotland, this would replace the regional news currently broadcast by STV. If you’re interested, The Guardian has a good history of the whole process. Only twoContinue reading “We won the regional TV news bid for Scotland!” loses beta badge, goes fully public

<![CDATA[At 2pm on Monday we took out of public beta and directed all of our traffic from and to the new site. We ran the beta for just over a month during which time approx 10% of our regular online readership switched over to the new site. This gave us a lotContinue reading “ loses beta badge, goes fully public”

New exhibit: The Animator

<![CDATA[I've recently completed a new IT exhibit for Glasgow Science Centre called The Animator. The exhibit allows visitors to create their own Wallace & Gromit style stop-motion animations using a built-in camera and a simple touch-screen interface. The key with this one was absolute simplicity. All commercial stop-motion applications have tons of features that mostContinue reading “New exhibit: The Animator”

New site launch:

<![CDATA[We finally flicked the switch tonight on our first Polopoly-powered site! is now officially a public beta, running in parallel with the main Herald and Sunday Herald sites for the next couple of weeks while we train everyone up on the new system. More details to follow when I have time (as well asContinue reading “New site launch:”

s1jobs 2.0 wins Online Excellence award

The new version of s1jobs has won the Online Excellence category at the prestigious Marketing Society Star Awards in Glasgow. The site, which was designed and built by my technical team last year, beat strong competition from Blonde, BigMouthMedia, Story UK and Whitespace to take the award. The win recognises the talent and dedication ofContinue reading “s1jobs 2.0 wins Online Excellence award”