Monday, 2 July 2012

My little dating project...

I have been working on a few sites recently that came from an idea from a friend. He is a designer that works with a range of top clients and has recently worked with a few dating sites.

They are a network of sites run by the client and he gets a designer to skin up the sites, design banners and other fancy things. He then markets them on sites using SEO, PPC, banner advertising etc.

They aren't your average dating sites and they focus on niches like goths, Christians, cougars and other 'specialisms'. The sites are just a one page form and you fill it out and get taken off to a dating site like that pays you X amount for the person who has signed up... easy peasy!

So I thought I have the marketing knowledge, my mate is a designer and I know a guy wants to get involved in paid search (that makes me sound really amateur) but why not give it a go?

We launched our goth dating site, Christian dating site and the one we are really proud of, for the guys and girls who are into cougar dating.

Anyway watch this space and I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

How to run a marathon with no training

About a year ago I signed up for the Liverpool Marathon, not really thinking about actually taking part, just thinking about setting myself a goal and dealing with it nearer the time. This seemed to back fire when I found myself at the start line having done one 13 mile training running and a couple 7 mile runs. Oops. I want to share with you how the marathon went and how I managed to complete it with very little training but a strong willingness not to fail. 

The week before a marathon


For me it all properly began the week before. If you haven't trained that much but want to get through it then the key is trying to make yourself as comfortable as possible, don't try anything new just before or during the marathon, it could come back to haunt you. Also don't buy new running shoes, people will always tell you that, you need to wear them in.

I spent most of that week looking at blogs for advice, visiting runnersworld for tips and drinking water. One of the key messages was to take on the carbs! I ate pasta for the whole week, this helped build up my storage of glycogen in the muscles (for energy).

Have your playlist ready, some motivating tunes to keep you going, one of the worst parts for me was the amount of parks I was running throguh at about 18 - 23 miles. I took a break from my music but the silence was deafening!

Establish a comfortable running pace per mile. I had mine at about 8-9 minute miles.

Finally, rest, don't over do it, if you are panicking that you haven't done enough training and want to get in a 20 mile run a couple days before, it is a bad idea. You will only be in pain for the marathon and that rules out my 'be comfortable' stage.

Start - 6 miles


It didn't help that people were all talking about how much training they had done when I was waiting at the start line, so for that reason this was a tough stage. However, when I got going I felt far more relaxed.

My advice will be the same as others, warm up, stayed focused and of course take it slow, you have a long way to go. When I started the weather was ok, people were quite excited and adrenalin will push you on, try and control yourself.

The week before I had established what a comfortable pace was for me, but being a little too ambitious I thought 8 minute miles would be okay, I was wrong and felt it 13 miles in. I was taking on a steady amount of water and I recommend doing the same, don't stop and drink try and keep going and don't gulp it down!

After about 6 miles you should be feeling comfortable and in your stride. I felt okay, my muscles weren't aching and I wasn't out of breath, I was keeping to the pace I wanted and it is up to you how fast you go. However, I knew after this, it was all down hill :(

7 miles - 14 miles


After this stage I knew I would be out of my comfort zone, and running further than I had done before, but this is where the mental side of the marathon really started for me.

I recommend trying to keep your mind focused not on how far you have got to do, but how much you have done. A positive mental attitude is very important here as you cross the half way point because you will be tired and will automatically think 'you are only half way'. Try and take in some of the crowd, they are supportive and one of the best things you can do is have your name on your top because the crowd will shout your name and help you get across the finish line.

It isn't the end of the world if you have to stop and take a breather, but try not to sit down or stand still. Try walking for 30 seconds and see how you feel. I had to walk at several point but the one time I stopped for good I found it very hard to get going again.

15 - 22 miles

At 16 miles I was in a new world. You will be too, but still DON'T STOP, try and stretch out your legs, be confident and set yourself short goals, every mile. 

My legs stiffened up after 16 miles and a couple friends of mine got cramp, to combat this stretch out your legs and keep that positive attitude. I began to think about that finish line and the people cheering me on, it really helped keep me going and I recommend you do the same. Having the belief is very key here and the last thing you want to do is start thinking negative thoughts.

23 - 26.2 miles

The last stretch! I got a second wind around 22 miles because I knew the end was in sight, and I feel this is where the PMA kept me going and helped me finish. I was aching and I expected to be tired but the thing that I didn't expect was the impact on my joints. I was genuinely broken at 22 miles but the thought of the finish line kept me going throughout the last stretch.

The exhaustion and pain was obviously the hard bit here and preparation for this can be aided by following conditioning before the race.

All I can say is good luck if you are running a marathon without any or minimal training but if you only take a few things from this, let it be:


Monday, 4 October 2010

Simply lovely camera work

When I saw this video for the first time I just kept playing it over and over, I thought it was beautiful. Check out Astray Films.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

I have started a book club


myself and a couple friends have started a book club so if you are interested in coming down and being a bit of a geek then let me know. You can find more information on the Tumblr blog, SEO Book Club.

It will be running every month, this first book is Generation X and then each month we will be choosing another. You submit your book of choice on the blog and then it will be taken it consideration.


Monday, 14 June 2010

One of my heroes

I just thought I would share a video of one of my heroes, Rodney Mullen. A unique skateboarder that inspired the name of some work I've done with Tim Waring, a web designer based on the Wirral.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Social Notworking or Facebook the facts?

Am I social? Well I have signed up to about six different social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious and other fun and foolish ways to avoid actual face to face conversation. However I am not opposed to the idea of these networking websites, far from it, but I am not reliant on their nature either. I, like much of the nation, sit on the fence (but if I fell I would fall on a Twittering geek).

It would be hypocritical of me to ban these websites from my brainbox, as I am a keen online marketer and take a healthy spoonful of new media medicine daily, however, being involved in the industry also has shown me the drawbacks of 'logging on'. So let us begin with a fact (this is the bit you'll remember and try to impress your friends later) 49% of people aged 8-17 years old are using social networking sites regularly. Is this not the age where children are most impressionable? Is it a good foundation for communication? Or am I talking like a decrepit old lady? 

Let's have a look 


I believe that social websites are a very good form of communication, and can contribute to learning in the 21st century. They help us navigate and figure things out for ourselves by going through the processes on a webpage. They also are a good way to keep up to date with technology and share links, blogs, posts etc. I am very much against the pessimist for the social media generation, yes there are limits to how far you can look into a person's personal life, but that is obvious. The amount of parental controls, seem to me, not to be working and possibly because children as young as 8 years old are using these websites. The sites are a very useful tool, but in my opinion can be dangerous as well, as they are a community that shares a lot of adult content. This issue must attach itself to the parents though, and their restrictions on the child’s viewing. For the teenage and older, it is the choice of the individual; they can make up their own mind or follow the social general opinion of what 'MySpace' is all about. I have yet to meet a child who says, 'Facebook is good but I rather speak to my friends at playtime,' and I do not expect to, just for the same reason I feel the parent must restrict the child’s accessibility to content, they are not old enough to formulate that debate. However, I do expect a balance of both channels of communication. 

Counter Argument 


There is a good counter argument that'll have the people who write into 'Points of View' rubbing their hands with delight, that Facebook users, and others alike, can develop a shorter attention span with the increased development of technology available by pressing a few keys and navigating the mouse. Think about your time on a networking site and how much time you have spent on one thing. The adverts or applications that come up when an affiliate or 'similar application/artist/etc' pops up, this can be damaging to our nature and may lead to recklessness in times of serious commitment to a project. It does not just come down to a shorter attention span though, the big 'anti-social' argument is rife when people open there laptops or bang there acorn computer on. So why are they called social networking websites if they are really, anti-social? I find it funny though that it gets criticism for this, because the same argument was conjured up when the telephone was invented (damn that Alexander Graham Bell-end). You adjust, you change, the world spins, accept and move on that social networking is another facet to our communication bow. 

So stop winding your cars and start winding up your parents by logging on. Of course, it is important to talk face to face with your friends and colleagues, but it is also important, in this day and age, to get things done quickly and I feel electronic media pods like Digg can help us move forward. 

A Final Thought 


Do not be naive in thinking that Bebo will wash your dishes, and make your bed, nor will Squidoo brush your teeth or pay for dinner, but they are a 21st century tool so use them wisely and be careful.