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January 2012


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So many choices, so little time

So many choices, so little time

So recently I've started thinking about our first camping trip of the year, maybe we'll be brave and go early Spring time. But before we can go we really need some new sleeping mats, one of ours has an undetectable leak and frankly they are horribly uncomfortable anyway.

We paid a visit to a couple of Outdoors shops after Christmas, and had a look at what was available in their sales. But this wasn't enough choice. So we've gone online and looked at their full range, plus some other high street retailers' websites. And then some other, online-only retailers. We now have a lot of choice, too much in fact.

So we've started reading reviews and feedback and scores-out-of-ten from users of various mats, which has been really interesting and informative, and given us ideas for other sleeping mats that we hadn't yet considered. We're checking Amazon and eBay for their best deals, and pricing comparison sites too. Just when we think we've made a decision, along comes a bad review, or a price discount on another mat that was originally out of our budget, and off we go again on the rollercoaster of indecision.

I love the internet, don't get me wrong. It never ceases to amaze me, it gives me options and solutions and endless knowledge. I'm empowered by facts, figures and statistics at my fingertips… plus the bargains can be incredible. And I know how lucky I am to have all this choice and be in a position to purchase. BUT. And it is a BUT. It's almost spoiled my shopping experience for these flipping sleeping mats. I'm now stuck in an endless cycle of reviews and best prices, and can't go camping until we get it sorted!

I'm sure we'll give ourselves a deadline, and the decision we make will be all the more rounded and satisfactory, knowing we know all we can possibly know about the mats' thickness, durability, weight, inside leg measurement… And then we'll be onto choosing a campsite. Uh-oh. Here we go again…

Annette Ryske
Annette

Created on Monday January 23 2012 01:21 PM


Tags: shopping travelling search reviews comments


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5 year old vs Hackers

I spend a large part of my evening juggling jobs, making tea, helping with homework and finding swimming goggles - amongst other things - so when my 5 year old daughter wanted to play some games on my laptop that she had played at school that day, I was glad of the brief sit down to look at them with her.
 
After 5 minutess of realising these games were just on the school computers, up popped a Barbie game which immediately took her interest away from "educational" games! With only 10 mins 'till dinner I left her happily sitting at the table, dressing Barbie in different outfits and thinking that I had found something else to occupy her in those few minutes in between other activities.
 
This morning whilst looking at the news I came across an article on the BBC website about hackers targeting children’s websites; the example they use was a Dora the Explorer cooking game (which I would say is aimed at 4 to 6 year olds). The article was basically saying we need to teach our younger kids about hackers - but at what age do they think children understand this? My 8 year old already has a list at home from school, which we have to fill in every time he learns a "responsibility" about the internet. I am not convinced he totally understands but at least he has an idea - a 5 year old is something else!

So now as well as learning to read and write, does she need to learn about hackers too? Or can that go on my ever increasing list of things to do...

Kirsty White
Kirsty

Created on Tuesday January 17 2012 01:32 PM


Tags: website youth


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The future of online in mobile and TV?

The future of online in mobile and TV?

I like most people have read the countless amounts of predictions for 2012, most, if not all, mention how mobile is going to make a large impact on the future of online. I wrote a blog article last year saying that sites should consider mobile to complement desktop development. This year companies will see that they need to evolve their web presence to incorporate mobile or be missed by a large number of visitors. Visitors will spend less time, visit fewer pages and bounce more from sites they cannot view through mobile devices.

Smartphone and iPhone use in the UK is growing at a huge rate almost on a daily basis – I saw a figure this week that over 6m iOS devices were registered on Christmas Day, imagine the figure for Android devices!

People are also coming round to the idea of tablets; many were sceptical if there was a marketplace for such a device. I was one of these…until I got my iPad. I hardly use my laptop now.

Another big change, maybe not to web development, but to the way people interact with online is going to be smart TV’s. They’ve been around for a while, but this year it’s going to enter the mainstream. With the Olympics, Euro 2012 and the Diamond Jubilee retailers are going to be slashing prices and pushing us all to buy that new 50” TV. There have been some interesting developments this week from the CES conference...talk of a Google TV, Apple TV set and an Angry Birds app! I have a TiVo box from Virgin and I can now watch YouTube videos, catch up on missed programs or radio shows through the iPlayer, I could even view photos on Facebook or post updates to Twitter – all through my TV.

Online is being integrated into our lives on a daily basis and 2012 will bring with it many changes – some of which could be game changers whether we are users, web developers or designers……interesting times ahead for us all!

Created on Wednesday January 11 2012 10:37 AM


Tags: mobile-internet online-tv internet digital 2012 video web iphone ipad apps smartphones


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Welcome to 2012

Welcome to 2012

So it’s here 2012, the year that promises much. The Olympics comes to Britain, the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee, and the nation’s expectations will once again be on the national football team in Poland and Ukraine during the summer months.

2012 also represents a significant year in Focus’s long history, we are going to be launching a new of services during the year and have some very exciting things lined up! We’ll be spreading the word on this throughout the year. We also think that 2012 is going to be a BIG year for digital – the internet is maturing, social media is heading into its teenage years and mobile is growing and growing.

We hope 2012 is a great year for you all! 

Created on Tuesday January 03 2012 02:33 PM


Tags: focus


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