Scotland and Your Independent Creative Powers

Loch NessI’m writing this on the morning the Scottish independence referendum have been announced.

It has been a roller-coaster with a very close result and a record turn out.

I voted yes because I believe in empowering people to make positive changes in their own lives and communities and to be able to have a fair say in the resources allocated to help them do so.

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Why 2013 Will Be The Best Year So Far for Creativity and Business on the Web

With the new year now fully under way it’s time to look forward to a time of unlimited potential for creative people and businesses.

The web and our attitudes to it have matured greatly over the past year giving those who have stepped up and set up a home base for their creative ventures the opportunity to wow their fans, clients and audiences as never before.

The capabilities of what a website can do has dramatically increased due to more powerful web browsers like Google Chrome leading the way in implementing new features in the technologies that make up the web such as HTML5, CSS 3 and more powerful Javascript for interactivity. This even forced the previously slow moving Microsoft to up it’s game with Internet Explorer 9 and the forthcoming Internet Explorer 10 finally catching up with the more advanced web browsers.

For the creative business owner this means you can give your visitors a faster, slicker experience when showcasing your products and services. You only have to look at Code Canyon‘s Javascript section to see a plethora of cool interactive elements which you can now include on your website to make your content stand out.

Web browsers have become standardised making incompatibility easier to overcome. This means it is faster to develop websites and the vast majority of components will work better across different web browsers, computer systems and mobile devices.

Responsive design techniques continue to improve, allowing websites to operate in a user friendly manner across the latest smart phones and tablets.

Combined with the capabilities of the web this means responsive mobile websites can provide an experience very similar to a native app. This also has the effect that you do not need to invest resources in creating a separate app to give your customers a great experience on mobile devices.

For those taking their first steps onto the web the WordPress platform has become a huge phenomenon with a large proportion of websites being WordPress based.

Websites like Elegant Themes and ThemeForest have a huge range of beautiful commercial themes which can be easily set up on your WordPress website and customised to your requirements. In addition you can add plug-ins to provide almost any kind of functionality you could require, while the open source nature of this wonderful tool means your friendly neighbourhood web developer can create any additional functionality you may need.

For help setting up your first website, upgrading your existing website or creating or installing plug-ins and themes you can use the contact page to request my assistance.

Whether you are stepping into the global web arena for the first time or you already have a presence on the web, Creative Transmissions wishes you an exciting and fruitful new year!

Inspired Internet: TED Talks

I have been fascinated by the development of the World Wide Web and Internet in general ever since I first heard of the concept. After studing Internet Technologies and being immersed in the web for many years I still find myself delighted at the amazing uses to which we have put this global communications system.

One of the websites which never fails to impress and inspire me is the TED website.

“TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.”

So begins the very understated About page on the TED website. The TED conference also features many of the worlds greatest minds sharing ideas about science, environmental issues, anthropology, music, art, society and so much more.

The common theme among all these talks is making the world a better place and overcoming the huge environmental and social problems we now face. What is particularly inspiring is the fact that all these short talks are available to stream for free on the TED website with a new talk added every day. Watch a few clips and you will hear about the latest research on how we can keep the global ecosystem in balance, see a prototype for a new computer interface powered by brainwaves or find out about a project to prevent cancer through food. Speakers include everyone from Benot Mandelbrot and Bill Gates to LA Philharmonic Orchestra violinist Robert Gupta, nuclear physicist Steven Cowley, musician David Byrne and hundreds more.

The TED conference and talks have sparked a huge wave of interest, collaboration and progress in tackling some of humanity’s toughest problems and celebrating our greatest achievements,

If ever there was an example of how to use the Internet to make a difference, this it is. I would encouage everyone to take a look.

The most recent talk at the time of writing is unusually by the curator and host of TED, Chris Anderson and is about the impact of web video and the future of TED and their plan to involve more interaction and two way communication with the global audience.

You can find the latest eposode here, and the main website is at www.ted.com.

The most exciting thing is that you don’t have to be one of the world’s top thinkers to run a website like TED. The web is an open platform that everone can use. The next world changing idea could be yours.