Musings: a year’ish on from The DO

The DO 2016

Thanks for the image @Timleroyis

This is one of those blog posts that I wrote, didn’t like, and never published. I’ve just found it, reread it and thought that it wasn’t too bad afterall. It’s almost an entire year since my first (and thus far, only, DO) but I feel the words are still true, so let’s set them free.  

The DO Lectures is a super-special unconference set in the rolling hills of South Wales, UK.

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2014 – 15: What I’ve been up to at GDS


I’ve been quiet (blogging wise) over the past year. It’s not because I’ve had nothing to share. Quite the opposite in fact.

I’ve been really busy doing two things:

  1. Working for Government Digital Service (GDS) – which is why my writing style is significantly more terse than it used to be. (I think that’s a good thing.)
  2. Hanging out with really brainy and out-the-box thinkers at BBC R&D, where I do stuff I can’t talk about and which is fantastically interesting.

But I can talk about GDS. Read More

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A content strategy clarion call: get out of the sidelines and onto the field

a rugby game

I was blessed to work on a project last year in which I was hired as a Content Strategist and yet made no documents. Not one.

Instead the entire project was about balls-to-the-wall making, coding and breaking. It was strategy in the midst of a muddy game, I guess. Whatever it was, I’ve not been the same since. In terms of finding projects that are truly going to satisfy me, I’m near ruined. I’ve tasted the nectar. If you’re a Matrix fan, I took the red pill. Read More

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Down gizmos: a wee rant


In our very clever digital age of apps-for-everything it can be tempting to hook ourselves and our clients up to magic and cure-all wonder-machines.

As digital makers we have a plethora of gizmos and gadgets at our disposal to help people and teams get things done more efficiently, creatively and perhaps more delightfully. Read More

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Content strategy for startups: blazing a new trail

Wright brothers take flight.

During the first half of this year I was contracted to develop a content strategy for a newly formed organisation. I say ‘newly formed’ in that at the time of starting the project I didn’t know very much about the client and, bizarrely, hadn’t quite wrapped my head around the idea that they were a startup. Read More

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Create waves, not ripples

Create waves, not ripples

‘The work of the Pirate is to create waves, not ripples.’ – @dolectures

As a consultant/freelancer (a Mercenary, a Pirate), I’m often called on to make waves where they’re needed and to steer a content vision through personal undercurrents and political rip curls without inspiring mutiny. Read More

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The full birdsong: inspired by ‘Strategy on the Inside’

I’ve been inspired to write this post by an online conversation that sparked up over a tweet I sent out last week. The tweet resulted in a multi-person twitter exchange and the writing of two very thoughtful blog posts (one by Rachel Lovinger, the other by Destry Wion) regarding the word ‘strategy’ and whether it is an appropriate title for the kind and variances of the work we as digital and content-focused people get up to – not a new discussion but one that seems to revive with fair regularity. Read More

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The user profile thing – sliced, diced and reconstituted

The user profile thing – sliced, diced and reconstituted

In my time of working with agencies and creatives I’ve come to find that one of the first things that people want to create is audience profiles. At the best of times they’re woven out of formal research but they’re often (in my experience) conjured up using information from business owners or employees, perhaps some personal familiarity with the user group, and a dose of assumption. Read More

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