I went to one of those business get-togethers this week and someone asked me what I did. I said I was a Internet strategist, which received a blank stare – so I tried to explain why people need Internet strategy – and what qualified me to offer it.

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Thought about building a page for your business on Google+ yet?

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A couple of friends will be getting married this May in Cyprus. Planning a wedding is a big deal for anyone, but if its to take place abroad its quite a scary undertaking – particularly with friends and family scattered as far away as Italy and the United States.

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If you believe that all Internet browsers render your page the same way – think again. Because thinking that will turn round and bite you!

Browsers are supposed to display the same way, but web designers often work long into the night to show your pages consistently.

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Imagine. You’re getting ready to begin that really important new job. You’d want to look the part from day one, surely?

Yet a lot of people won’t invest in themselves. They’d rather take the cheapest option, do without the right marketing strategy then opt for the lowest quality possible for their new business.

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zen strategy - the new direction for LANZen! You know, looking back I guess we’ve all come a long way over the last decade. Few could have imagined the rise of the Internet-driven business.

The dot-com bubble didn’t slow the launch of new devices and faster connectivity. Most of my work was in infrastructure design – data centres and desktops. Corporates saw the Internet as something to be tightly controlled and restricted – filtered out of existence. Barclays had 256Mb in 2003. In total.

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welcome to zen strategy

It’s funny, even some creative web designers can resist change. Traditional designers will tell you that they never re-use designs, they write everything from scratch, line by line, bit by bit.

Yeah, right. If they did that, they’d spend their lives re-inventing the wheel by re-coding everything, never producing anything creative.

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It’s over forty years old and after all that time, we’ll still get it wrong!

Yep, I’m talking about email. And its so important. People will often base their commercial decisions about us simply on our email, not just by what we say, but how we send it.

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Its the most common website mistake that people make. We tend to get carried away with telling people how good our products are, how many customers we have, or how many awards we’ve been given. That’s all about you – you’re telling, not selling!

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This is my brand new consultancy for clients working in a new age. This is a new Internet strategy consultancy to take over from LANZen®.

How dare I question. What right do I have. If I know so much, I should start a bank! What had I done – collapsed the economy, started a bank run or something?

No. This stream of vitriol was for suggesting, “maybe people like bank branches.”

Earlier that day, MovenBank’s Brett King gave me his view about bank branches, having read my piece about the psychology of financial services buying.

We hadn’t agreed, but valuing his view, I printed it. People should have both sides. But by arguing, I’d upset someone. And the smelly stuff hit the proverbial…

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Autumn 2011 has been a really interesting time for banking. I mean new banking, not that tired old high street of ours.

MovenBank’s appeared, Zopa’s broken more records, Wonga’s won more awards and a new social P2P player’s launching, CivilisedMoney.

It generated quite a lot of Twitter traffic with people on digital banking’s front-line, like banking innovators, Darren G and Aden Davies. And raised one key question.

Online or on high street – can a click ever replace a footstep?

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You know, no matter how much you explain, some people never manage to get it. Take Wonga and the thorny question of APR, for example. Wonga - the acceptable face of credit. Now I’m not going into compound interest’s mysteries and related technobabble. Let’s just look at the reality of how life is and take it from there.

Before the crash, we trusted banks and most of us funded our lifestyles with credit. Nowadays, most people are recovering from first-degree finger burns and avoid credit like gasoline on bonfire night.

But life still bites. You still get unexpected bills that threaten the next meal’s arrival. And if that happens – and you’re smart – you’ll appreciate Wonga…

Here’s a question for you. Imagine all four banks merging. What would we lose? OK – so they wouldn’t share one trough – and no one makes one that big. four brands - yet nothing to choose between any of them. Are we being served?

If our high street merged, what would you take from each to form one super bank? I’ll leave you for a minute to have a think about that one.

For all banking’s “talent” and money, why so little to choose between each one? Why can’t we find a killer product or even one differentiator?

How can this be – in other sectors key differences exist. Why not in banking?

A writer who I follow was bemoaning the lack of change in banking the other day. Now the point was perfectly valid – until he took a pop at P2P lending. True disruption. the effect may be massive but the true percentages are surprisingly low! As I follow social banking – and as one of its great supporters, I had to disagree. But it raised an interesting question. How do we measure disruption?

The writer in question was James Gardner, who’s the general manager of Spigot, the leading business process software vendor in the innovation space.

In theory, he should know. But then he suggested that it could be “nearly 100%”. That sure had a disrupting effect on me – because that’s plain silly…

I worry about web design. We’ve always catered for the lowest available platform. Designing for people who don’t know, or just don’t care about the Web. beautiful themes like Shelf from YooTheme push the boundaries of what's possible. Should all sites be this good?

I mean, there are some great web browsers – and they’re all free, for Pete’s sake. Gaming calls for the latest technology. People happily buy that, don’t they?

But for some reason, we have to placate the stupid and design sites like its 1999. Web designers are told that they must maintain full compatibility with everything. Not just for browsers maybe a version behind, but stuff from another age.

Well, I think it’s time we ask the question. Should we push or just follow?

Business as usual for the global auditors. Its just like there was no banking crash. Pricewaterhouse Coopers – PwC – has just published its results. What did you do last year - before you audited my bank? Three things jump off the page to me. And each mind-numbing fact reminds me just how stupid banks and enterprises really are.

Firstly, PwC two main businesses turned over £900 Million and £650 Million each. The next is that UK Chairman Ian Powell will net a bonus of £3.7 Million.

And thirdly, they took on 1,200 graduates – average age 24 – to work with clients. Congratulations. That waste-of-space intern is now costing you £2,500 a day…

Ever stopped for a moment to consider exactly what is banking really all about? Could a lawn mower be the key to change?Could  a mower teach our failing banks a valuable lesson? Not any old lawn mower. But Bosch lawn mowers – and how they came about. Because this is about re-invention at a very dark time. A time not unlike now.

About how a company faced with a collapsing market found the vision to change. Emerging stronger and able to cope with an even greater challenge to follow.

You know, technology works when it helps you do things you need to do easier. But its really cool when it lets you do the things you like to do better!

You basketball fans will know that the European Championships are currently on. There’s an app for that – and here it is… Keep up with the latest scores at EuroBasket 2011 with EuroBasket Live 2011 for the iPhone... Its a really well designed app for iPhone and will be the go-to app for hoop fans. And at $1.99, if you don’t want to miss a game, you shouldn’t miss this.

The app’s of course available in the App Store right now. So why not give it a try? Makes a change to talk about this rather than the Euro as a basket case!

Once upon a time, we thought US financial policy was decided democratically. That concept was blown away like a dollar bill in Hurricane Katrina. How Standard & Poor really decided US financial policy

The US government in reality is no more than some crude Punch & Judy show, the strings being pulled by a financial Mafia run by Wall Street and its lobbyists. Everything neatly stage-managed by a company called Standard & Poor.

Standard & Poor was perceived as the US financial world’s steadying influence. The trusted hand deciding the efficacy of decisions taken on Wall Street.

The banking crash revealed a startling fallibility – but was that the real story?

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