Saturday, April 12, 2014

The unpaid invoices of Stephen Halpin of Merchant Soul

As regular blog readers will know, I'm owed a significant unpaid sum by Stephen Halpin of Merchant Soul. I therefore thought I would detail the specific unpaid invoices, to let others know of this man's inability resolve his debts:
merchantsoul-invoice-oct012 (£1,920.00)
merchantsoul-invoice-nov-dec-2012 (£7,680.00)
merchantsoul-invoice-jan2013 (£2,400)
merchantsoul-invoice-feb2013 (£3,360)
merchantsoul-invoice-mar2013 (£3,480)
merchantsoul-invoice-apr2013 (£2,400)
merchantsoul-invoice-may2013 (£1,680)
merchantsoul-invoice-june2013 (£1,680)
merchantsoul-invoice-july2013 (£1,680)

 As you can see, I not only gave Mr Halpin significant credit but allowed him to not pay me for a significant amount of time. To date, Merchant Soul has not paid any of the above invoices nor has there been any explanation for this failure to pay.

Friday, April 11, 2014

UK financial comparison homepages - revisited

Over a year ago I posted an article on the homepage file size differences of several financial comparison websites.

I therefore have revisited this topic and thought it would be good to see what's changed... once again using the Firebug and Google page speed plugins for Firefox. 
Homepage weight: 384.1K
Number of items: 60
Page Speed Score: 80/100 (Desktop)
Page Speed Score: 65/100 (Mobile)
A decrease in page weight but an increase in the number of items means that the page speed is now very slightly less than it was.
Homepage weight: 468.2k
Number of items: 34
Page Speed Score: 82/100 (Desktop)
Page Speed Score: 76/100 (Mobile)
A slight decrease in page weight and a decrease in the number of items has not had the desired effect on page speed.
Homepage weight: 419.9k
Number of items: 38
Page Speed Score: 81/100 (Desktop)
Page Speed Score: 66/100 (Mobile)
A small increase in the homepage weight but with a significant reductions in the number of items on the page has not improved the page speed score
Homepage weight: 1,100k (1.1Mb)
Number of items: 106 
Page Speed Score: 70/100 (Desktop)
Page Speed Score: 59/100 (Mobile)
An increase in the weight of the page by over 200k coupled with an increase in the number of items gives a significant reduction in page speed score (from 87 to 70 - the greatest difference in this test)

The transitional Chief Digital Officer role

We live in a changing world and titles come & go over time. One of the more modern roles to gain more of of the recent spotlight has been that of the Chief Digital Officer or CDO.

In a post a while back, I commented about why the role of CDO is needed, but that some organisations may choose to use a digitally-savvy Non-Exec Director instead.

However, I've give this topic further thought and can see the role of CDO becoming more popular over the next couple of years, but then gradually fading away... as the rest of the board becomes more digitally aware and knowledgeable.

If this scenario is likely to become a reality, it does then beg the question as to who would put themselves forward to become a Chief Digital Officer now?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

NHS decommissions website early

So NHS Direct is shutting down it's service on 31st March 2014. So what does it do several days beforehand?

It closes its website...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Winning further international SEO business

February was a busy work month for me and the rest of the team at Ideal Interface.

Not only have we fitted in a presentation at the Edinburgh Tourist Action Group ( on the opportunity for International eCommerce, delivering the digital strategy for a financial services company, consulting on one of Scotland's biggest digital platform projects and hosting a table of clients at the Scottish e-Commerce Awards... it's been an eventful month.

However on top of all this we won a new search engine optimisation client an American-based eCommerce site that sells nuts, bolts, wall mountings, screws and a whole lot more on top. Making this our first USA client, on top of others closer to home in Europe and the UK.

A big thanks must most go to Jon at Cobnut Web Services ( for the initial referral.

You can read the official press release here on our website:

Friday, February 28, 2014

The signal and the noise of The Oscars

I'm a big fan of predictive data and analytics, with the statistical findings of Nate Silver being a pet subject.  The ability to see through statistics and see the patterns than some data makes is: part skill, part art and part alchemy.

So it was fun to see that Nate has focused his attention on this weekend's Oscars:

However rather than picking a winner, such as best film or director, the Moneyball statistician has analysed previous films for trends and common themes.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The need for an agile Digital Strategy

Most industries and vertical sectors now face increased pressure from digital technologies to transform the way they run business. This pressure exists all the way across the online spectrum, from customers with new and increasingly diverse channel preferences through to agile market entrants that threaten to disrupt the status quo, the need for change (at speed) is huge.

Organisations therefore need to respond quickly and build the right digital, commercial and information technology road map for future demands...
  • To protect key revenue streams
  • To remain competitive
  • To find new lucrative products and markets
In other works, any Digital Strategy that exists in an organisation needs to be flexible enough to change quickly, whilst still providing consistency in service levels, customer experience and product quality.

The agile digital strategy may therefore not just be an ideal... but possibly the only way to fully relevant and valuable in a world that is changing at an ever-increasing rate.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Multichannel retailing trends in 2014

If you've never heard Ian Jindal from Internet Retailing present, then I suggest you get yourself along to one of the many digital and eCommerce events that he either runs or participates in.

As part of my involvement at the ScotlandIS Scottish eCommerce Forum today, I saw him give the keynote below. What was supposed to be an outline of the trends in multichannel retail for the next year actually became more of a philosophical view of the meeting (AKA a clash) of the human condition with the always-on & connected paradigm of the world wide web.

Just what was needed to kick-start an entire day (and evening) of thought-provoking presentations and discussions on the future of eCommerce north of the border.