Thursday, September 28, 2006

I have been online for 12 years

Just recived an email and link to a blog post from a very old friend of mine, Vash. Vash was one of the first people I met on this strange thing called the internet and whilst we haven't been in regular contact for the past few years, I do have fond memories of making friends with people through a common interest, which was Science Fiction.

Specifically, we met in the newly formed Milliways discussion forum, dedicated to the works of that genius Douglas Adams. I made some good friends in that group, some of which, like Vash that I am still in contact with and some that I am not. But interestingly, I am in contact with a higher percentage of that group now thatn I think I would have been without the power of the interent, email etc. Living proof, if you need it, that the Internet is enabling things that have never been possible before.

p.s. In a totally serendipitous leap of surfing, writing this blog entry allowed me to discover this wonderful eulogy for the late Graham Chapman by John Cleese, briefly featuring at 1 minute and 23 seconds, the late and sorely missed Douglas Adams

p.p.s If anybody reads this and has a copy of the one hour documentary Hypertext, featuring Douglas Adamas and Tom Baker all about hypertext and micons and stuff like that - I would love to see it again.

p.p.p.s I found it myself on Google Video I recommned you go watch it...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Talk Talk Broadband - Fact can be stranger than fiction

Regular readers of my blog will know that I recently had a bit of a rant about Talk Talk Broadband and the appalling level of customer service received by my mum. With a bit of inside help from an old contact at Carphone Warehouse we got the situation resolved and mum has been happy, so far, with the live service.

In fact I would go so far as to say the service has been quite good - I was at Mum's recently and took the opportunity to update her PC with all those large updates that would have been tedious in the extreme to download over dial-up. Over two days I must have downloaded over 250Mb of updates and had no real problems to speak of with the connection.

Then the other day I was browsing my web stats programme - I use Google Analytics, because it's free and quite good (for free). I noticed with interest that I have been getting quite a few visitors to my site who had searched Google for phrases like "Talk Talk Broadband problem" and "Talk Talk Broadband technical help". For curiosity I put some of these phrases back into Google myself and was amazed to see that for some fo them I am the top result!

So a little experiment into SEO, I am going to try and get myself as the top match into Google for the Top 10 phrases that have already been used to get to the blog. Below is the list and the current results position which is on page 1 unless otherwise stated.

  • talktalk broadband not working - current position - Top result
  • talk talk broadband problems - current position - not in top 5 pages
  • talk talk broadband not working - current position - Result #3
  • talktalk broadband installation problems - current position - Result #18
  • talk talk broadband update - current position - Result #4
  • talktalk broadband service update - current position - Result #9
  • broadband talk talk problems - current position - Page 2, Result #16
  • talk talkbroadband call charges - current position - Result #12
  • talk talk broadband instalation problems - current position - Result #14
  • talktalk customer helpline number - current position - Page 2, Result #8

For anybody who has reached this page and wants help resolving their problems, you can always try reading my posts about how I solved it - most of them are on this page here

From the list above you can see quite clearly that significvant numbers of people are having problem with Talk Talk (or is that talktalk) connection problems, installation problems, service updates, helpline numbers (that could be help line number I suppose too, or even talk talk freephone technical customer service helpline number) and just overall getting the damn thing to work.

Even more staggering is that somebody bothered to go past page 5 to click on a link to me in response to the query "talk talk broadband problems" - they must have been really desperate for some sort of solution.

If I was Charles Dunstone at Carphone Warehouse, the owners of Talk Talk Broadband then I would still be very worried about the potential consumer backlash from such a poor service as reported on the BBC recently in an article entitle Battling with Broadband This article has some useful advice about how to complain about talk talk broadband, or any other broadband provider.

I will leave this for a week or so and then see how my SEO ranking has improved for these terms.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Daniel's 9th Birthday Party Pictures

It was my son Daniel's 9th Birthday last week and we had a "Make your own Pizza " party at our local Pizza Express in Staines.

Everyone hada good time and the staff were very helpful, we can definitely recommend it as a good idea for a birthday party.

We also took lots of pictures and you can see some of them on Flickr by clicking here.

Monday, September 18, 2006

StoryCode on Dragon's Den

One thing I will write quickl;y about is to let you know that one of the businesses I am involved in,, was featured on Dragon's den last week. Here is the video clip which somebody kindly put on YouTube.

Regular blogging can be difficult when you are busy

I know I have a few regular readers so just wanted to let you know that I haven't fogotten this blog I have just been busy last few weeks, combination of work, kids birthdays and my mum being rushed to hospital last week.

So just for now, here is an aide memoire for the stuff I do want to write about but haven't had the time:

  • More on Talk Talk Broadband
  • A blind man who was banned from driving
  • The NHS
  • Public transport - specifically trains
  • Stupid opening hours

So if you can be bothered, come back soon and watch out for the actual posts...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Daniel on his 9th birthday

Eating out for his 9th birthday, Daniel, Sophie, Louise and I went to the Angler`s Retreat near Laleham