Today’s a special day. Yep, it’s someone’s birthday.
And no I’m not talking about former MotoGP 125cc and current World Superstock 1000 rider Pere Tutusaus – happy birthday Tutu, by the way – No, I’m talking about my own baby VROOM MEDIA which turns one today.
It’s going to be a day like any other really – I’m in the middle of a raft of wireframing for an iPhone application for a travel company, and also doing some printwork design for CBBC, Children’s BBC. So it’s going to be a long and busy day. But that’s good. And it’s something I’m very thankful for after a year of kicking off a completely new business in somewhat tough times. Read the rest of this entry »
First post of the new year – and perhaps appropriately – also the first day of a completely new look for the blog.
I know it’s only a blog and not exactly one of my “proper” websites but nonetheless it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while; I’ve really enjoyed working with WordPress for the main and commercial sites and even though I don’t really aim to do anything really clever with these pages I was beginning to feel that the old blog looked way TOO much like a bog standard Blogger page and that I wanted it to be something a bit more unique, and something that genuinely looked a bit more like the “Stuff & Things” title suggested – something a bit individual, a bit eclectic and a bit magaziney even.
And it’s a big new year – in a lot of ways…
The redundancy from Teletext is now complete and I’m working at getting Vroom Media up and running. A deep recession probably isn’t the best time to start a new business (unless it’s in repossessions or knee-capping I guess) but I didn’t have much choice.
Along with the new design business startup, there’s also the move. Living in London’s no longer an option – it’s always been overpriced and it’s now something that can’t really be afforded.
And to be honest, maybe it’s time to move away. Go somewhere more peaceful, somewhere with more room, more space outside, somewhere new for a new phase of life.
Teletext – and London – have both been good rides for the past 11 years; but despite the uncertainty and risks I’ve got to say that I’m really looking forward to shaping a new life as my own boss and doing work that interests me, being able (up to a point) to pick and choose good jobs and keep variety and interest alive – and I’m looking forward to doing it somewhere other than London.
At the moment it’s looking very much like Cardiff or Bridgend – almost certainly the Vale of Glamorgan. The idea of more time to enjoy the place I live, got out, get fitter, put time aside for music and writing – it’s all good.
There’s been some sad news too at the turn of the year; hearing out of the blue from an old schoolfriend that one of our friends from back then has just died. He was something of a soulmate at school – we were in a band together – an awesome one – and he was a magical guitarist with an ear not just for the obvious, catchy and rocking – but also the offbeat, the sonically adventurous and the ‘out there’; someone I owe a lot of my love of genuinely interesting and engaging music to.
We hadn’t seen each other for years – that’s what we all seem to do nowadays; and it’s only awful jolts like this that remind you what a fucking wasteful stupid thing that is – and I think that the urge to do positive things, to make the most of what lies ahead may well be in part down to that news.
The coming weeks are going to be fairly messy, juggling new pieces of work alongside trips down to Wales for house hunting; it’s all fairly hectic and I hope I can make the excitement of seeing the houses and surroundings outweigh the stressy bits of it all.
Happy new year anyway. There’s lots of possibilities ahead – and I hope great things for all of us.
Pic: the Roman god Janus (January, geddit?) – looking back and looking ahead
The second week of running my own business has been probably as busy as the first one (though admittedly the first week was made busy because of rushing BigZee in and out the vets – he’s on the mend now…) – and as well as signing off an iPhone application project (more of which in coming days) I ended the week with a marathon creative dev and build that was a one-day intensive project that I’m dead chuffed with. It’s going to require ongoing development and maintenance, but it’s a good cause and totally worth it.
Basically it’s furthering the work of the pimping of Scott Redding’s campaign to get a 2010 Moto2 ride that I publicised previously. It’s a website called “Scott Redding Fanclub” and it aims to push publicity and interaction with the cause way beyond Facebook. With the “Scott Redding Fanclub” project I delivered a website for the Scott Redding Supporters Club to help focus attention on their mission outside of the Facebook environment where it had largely operated before. Whilst over 300 million people use Facebook, over 6.7 billion people use the internet as a whole so it made sense to ensure that the campaign to try and secure Scott a Moto2 ride for the 2010 MotoGP season reached as broad an audience as possible.
The site will serve as an ongoing news magazine to cover events and fundraising activities run by the Supporters Club, to ensure as many internet users as possible find out about the cause and to enable easy access to instant online donation mechanisms.
Like I say, a good cause, and hopefully one that will engage all those many potential fans and supporters who don’t use Facebook.
Please share the news and the link, and ideally make a donation too if you can – Scott’s a superb rider and *anything* that can be done to move his career forward is a good cause.
UPDATE: I now run the Official Scott Redding website which can be found at www.scottredding45.com
Or at least there’s been tumbleweed on here… my bad.
Been stupidly busy trying to have the day job – coming to an end – and also to make inroads in setting up the new business and spending nights and weekends working on its first projects.
As a result I’m 1) failing to post here anywhere near enough, 2) failing to post on my favourite forums and 3) utterly and completely shagged out.
Still a couple of nice weekends coming up…
This Friday it’s off to Madrid to see El Canto Del Loco in concert at the Palacio de los Deports, which I’m giggly like a kid over.
And then the following weekend it’s the final race in the MotoGP season; the Valencia GP at Cheste. Repeat giggly behaviour. I’m there as Media for BatiFans, Team Aspar and the other VROOM sites, and also to try and chase some business if poss – as well as being booked in to meet with the Official Alvaro Bautista Fanclub Saturday and Sunday.
So, er…. not many posts here again, then…. ;-)
I’m setting up my new business at the moment, as I’m currently in the middle of a redundancy process and need to get my head around “Life After Teletext”, where I’ve been for 11 years, busily getting complacent and institutionalised.
Getting a similar job is pretty much out of the question (as in it’s both unlikely and to be honest, probably undesirable) so I’m looking at freelancing more than anything – the skills and experience are there; but it’s going to take a lot of hard work and persistence too.
There’s some interesting projects that I’m aiming to pursue, primarily because they’d be things I’d love to do and would be brilliant if they worked out – but I’m also keeping my feet firmly on the ground and prepping to do my fair share of “grind” work too; the kind of thing of which the best you can say is that it “pays the bills…”
One of the major upsides to what I’m planning is that pretty much everything I can do on my Macs, but there’s two things that have sadly meant I need to get Windows up and running…
One is that, as a web designer amongst other things, I really need to ensure that anything I build looks and works fine cross-platform, so I need to check it in PC browsers on a Windows OS. The other is that I bought a special application called “Business in a Box” which is basically an adaptable business and legal document resource. Had I wanted just the English version then there’s a Mac one, but as I wanted the English AND Spanish combined edition it’s got a bit more complicated, as it’s not available for the Mac and requires a PC version that is a bespoke app that allows exports to standard “Office” formats.
So basically I’ve just had to shell out on the Business in a Box software, plus Office for PC, plus Windows for PC, plus Parallels to run the whole fat lot on top of the Mac OS.
This had better all be bloody worth it!!! It’s yet another disappointment to my team too, who’ve been devastated by the sight of me buying project-planning and accounting software recently. By the way, the best project planning software for Mac is unarguably OmniPlan by the wonderful folks at Omni Group, who also produce OmniGraffle which is pretty much indispensable for things like sitempas and wireframing.
By the way, the new business is called Vroom Media.
There’s a main information site here…
And a more detailed portfolio site here at Vroom Vroom…
Plus there’s a page on Facebook here…
If you need some nifty design work doing, and you’re a nice person and a prompt payer then get in touch ;-)