Which Icon?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Hello! It’s been a while.

I’ve had a busy few weeks at work as well as online, mostly behind the scenes stuff, such as building a website for a client, a load of little tweaks and optimisations to my online ecosystem (more on that soon), and switching web hosts three times in the past four weeks. Ouch!

Meanwhile, people have begun asking for more icons for the Subscription Options addon pack, mainly Instagram. I thought I’d put it to the vote in time for the next release, so please,  take a look and let me know your preferred version in the comments.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Logo One

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Logo Two

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Logo Three

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Missing: Bella the Dog

This isn’t the sort of thing I’d usually write about here, so for the hardcore who’ve come to expect a blend of media and tech thoughtfulness, an alternative reading is that this is a a live case-study in how digital can play troubleshooter to certain real-world issues…

Those who follow me on Twitter will know the news already:

There’s been a search out for her ever since, with all five Saunters and some amazing neighbours clomping about in our wellies, flashlights in hand.

I’m pretty sure we’ve thought of everything: we’ve scouring the entire surrounding area (see map); spoken to people all over town; put up flyers and posters in areas of high traffic; we’re leaving a scent-trail back to the house from where she went missing; notified all the necessary authorities and secured some media coverage (Star Radio, GumtreeDogLost).

As you’ll see, what we need now are some more eyes and ears…


View Larger Map

Four hours ago, something incredible happened. A lady I’ve never met created the Facebook group ‘Help find BELLA‘ and invited some friends.

Since then it’s grown, and now a whopping 128 people have joined. Tomorrow, there’s a search planned for 10.30am in the Littleport area. Truly awesome. Thank you all. We can’t do this without you!

[box]Update: We found her! I’ll update this blog post when we find her. In the meantime, please tweet, Facebook and G+ this blog post to anybody in your network that lives in the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk area.[/box]

Many thanks indeed, Tom.

HNY2012

Happy New Year to you! Hope you’re suitably recovered from whatever midnight craziness you’ve likely experienced.

A quick recap on my year would look like this: worked hard, learned lots, had fun, met a girl, didn’t blog enough.

For some reason I can’t shake the sense that 2012 will be a sensational year, so I’m fighting through a hangover to make the optimistic promise that I’m going to blog much more, every day in fact.

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It could be a photo, it could be a cool video, a gallery, a full post or just a single idea. Either way, it’ll be the stuff that I think will make for an interesting visit.

So keep clicking, and look out for some great stuff on the horizon.

Right, time for a bloody mary, I reckon!

Oops, Forgot To Blog…

Er, yeah, sorry about that… Here’s what I’ve been up to instead though!

  • Sharing loads of great links on Twitter – Trunkly has all of these
  • Trying out Google+ to see where the value lies (hmm…)
  • Looking for a place to live with Sarah  (any suggestions?)
  • Playing with my new Kindle (I’m reading Neuromancer)
  • Eating & drinking at some awesome places / seeing friends etc
  • Reconfiguring all my Google Reader feeds (more on this soon)
  • Watching movies: X-Men [8], Tree of Life [8] and Bridesmaids [9]
  • Testing Subscription Options v0.8 (v. cool gradient shit)
  • Reading The Authority by Warren Ellis, which is amazing
  • Listening to some brand new music, c/o Spotify
  • Working my balls off and all that…

Meanwhile, Brand Republic goes and published The BR 200 which is a list of “the best advertising, marketing, media, PR and digital blogs.” They stuck me in at #153, which is cool! Thing is, I haven’t blogged that much, have I? I’ll sort that out, sorry.

The BR 200 (OPML Feed)
BR 200 (OPML)

Meanwhile, as a mark of respect to the others on the BR 200, and to any remaining readers out there, I’ve compiled an OPML list of all the blogs on that list, which you can import into your RSS reader of choice.

There ya go, people! Enjoy all those proper bloggers. Hehe.

My Personal Blogging Ecosystem

Hello! Before we get down to business, here’s just a quick announcement: This weekend I launched a new WordPress plugin called Foursquare Map – any readers with your own blogs, please check it out and let me know how it goes!

Another thing I did this week was to set up my own GTD system with a fresh Moleskine book. I’ll be using this set of icons to help me manage my growing to-do list. First on that list was to follow up on a note to “Map the Digital Cortex Ecosystem“, so *tick!*

What does that entail? Over the two years the site has been running, I’ve tried and tested loads of ways to syndicate content, drive traffic and grow my following. I think I’ve just about maxed-out on the optimisations I can make, and expect further growth to come solely from publishing interesting content. So what does my so-called ‘optimal’ set-up look like? Thanks to Paint.NET you can see for yourself (click for full-screen):

Some tips for building your own blogging ecosystem:

  • Try StumbleUpon – it shows me the coolest stuff every day because I’ve spent time telling it my interests, and then fine-tuning the system with thumbs up / down. I use it about 50 times a day.
  • Get Read It Later – when you don’t have time to give a site the attention it deserves, click the ‘RIL’ button and it’ll sync to the cloud, for reading at a later date. I’ve racked up so much cool stuff this way.
  • Use Delicious Effectively – it’s immensely powerful when used in the right way, and I use it to write one sentence descriptions, along with loads of tags, that publish to my Tumblr each day.
  • Start a Side Blog – some stuff is too cool not to blog about, but sometimes that stuff doesn’t warrant a full blog post (esp. when you’re busy). That’s where Tumblr comes in, and mine is now the fifth largest referrer here, after just two months!
  • Don’t Cross the Streams – sure it’s fun to publish everything everywhere, but it’s sensible to apply a bit of intelligence: what’s really the most appropriate content for that channel? That’s why only blog content goes to my Facebook fan page.
  • Twitter is WIN! – It’s an amazing tool for bloggers, both for content discovery and for content syndication. It’s especially powerful when paired with Tweetmeme buttons on your site (like below). The same is true of the Facebook ‘Like’ button.

There’s probably more to structuring a blogging ecosystem than this, like the ‘star system’ with Twitter/Spotify/Google or the X-Marks approach. There’s also the big question of how you go about measuring any of this stuff, and no word has been made of an actual content strategy but hey, that’s the eternal battle, eh bloggers?!

That’s it from me, hope you enjoyed this post. Let’s discuss tactics… Go!

Digital Cortex Is Back!!

Before I say anything about my months in the digital wilderness, let’s celebrate the return of fresh content to this blog with an expression of pure robotic joy:

Right then. What have I been up to?

  • Lots of cool, creative and techy stuff for MediaCom and MBA.
  • Went on an Android development course, and made an Asteroids game!
  • Moved to Ladbroke Grove from Clapham South. West is best.
  • Joined Foursquare and learned to love it.
  • Tried and failed to make a Foursquare widget for bloggers.
  • Joined the Gym – tickets to the gunshow now on sale.
  • Did a bit of consultancy for Moviestorm and Optricks Media.
  • Went on a few awesome nights out, inc. the Viral Video Chart relaunch.
  • Found some simply stunning new music which I’ll share with you soon!
  • Tried a pickled herring sandwich in Amsterdam.
  • Flew to Berlin and back again in a day.
  • Watched about a million films.
  • Proclaimed Warren Ellis the best comic book author of all time.
  • Created Digital Cortex Lite and filled it with interesting content tidbits.
  • Constantly tweeted across numiferous topics.
  • Redesigned Digital Cortex using the Thesis theme.
  • Bookmarked loads of interesting stuff to share with you here.

So quite a few things really. But please accept my apologies! I’m ready to be a better blogger. Starting now. Stay with me. Grab the feed. Let’s try this thing again.

Love Tom x

Blog Badges For Everyone!

Following this blog’s recent rise in popularity (thanks Howard Rheingold!) I’ve got a taste for the big time, and I’m turning to you, dear readers, to help me knock it up a notch. Don’t worry, it’s all completely consensual.

You’ve seen those ads on other people’s sites. The little squares with the ‘Best Hosting Ever!’ and the ‘I can haz LOLcats t-shirt?’ messages in them? Well I promise to never ever run those on here…

However, I do recognise that they are a valid form of advertising, linkbacks and branding. Hell, they are an important part of Web Culture! Which is why I kindly ask that if you’ve enjoyed any of my posts lately, you’ve used my WordPress plugin, or you’ve got an empty ad slot you’d like filling, please help yourself to one of these tasty Blog Badges and spread the love:

The Plain Ol’ Badge:

Digital CortexHelp spread the word with this moody ‘statement’ badge. Just black and white, baby. Emo-friendly.

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The Brain Coral Badge:

Digital CortexYour chance to own a piece of natural beauty, with this tasty chunk of purple brain coral. It’s nature’s cranium!

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The Rotating Badge:

Digital CortexBore easily? Try this! It rotates through my fave colours every time you hit the refresh button.