Revisiting an old favourite – URLs

When we embarked on our most recent public sector project, there was a big focus on shifting mindsets towards agile practices and away from traditional approaches to product and software development. I blogged briefly about this personal switch to agile back in February.

So, where are we now? We are approaching our first alpha release, we have begun sharing some early thoughts over on inside mygovscot, we are on twitter and continue to code like crazy.

As part of our hub and spoke model to content contribution within the team, I went back to an old favourite – URLs.

Thoughts are over on the mygovscot blog

(along with some other great contributions on areas such as user research).

Agile Project Management in the Public Sector

Working in an agile manner, after a history of creating bulky project briefs and requirements to front load work, is a little challenging to say the least. I had a history of attempting to nail long documentation, with the aim of ensuring outputs and outcomes would be realised. However, long development times, a lack of flexibility to change things and worries about launching early were always a common occurrence.

I’m now sketching out ideas on whitewalls, snapping photos, holding short stand ups and working with product owners who have a real passion for the projects under their guidance. We’re aiming to release frequently and we’re aiming to ensure that anything we do is backed by real, verified user needs – something that Government Digital Service have really been a champion for over the last few years (Thanks!).

It feels liberating. 

If you are interested in finding out more, the web is awash with various flavours of agile project management methodologies. Within the division work with, we are making use of a hybrid approach, utilising DSDM for more robust governance and fuller project documentation, alongside a more Scrum like methodology for the delivery teams.

Exciting times.

Talk @ Scottish Borders TP Conference 2013

I was asked along to the Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership Conference at the tail end of the year. Whilst there I spent a bit of time talking about digital marketing, with the deck now being made available via VisitScotland.

There are plenty of talks available, so feel free to go check them out. You can grab mine below.








Download the other VisitScotland Presentations (Including the Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership Conference 2013).

Google Adwords Certification Study Guides (Fundamentals / Advanced)

Updated: 15/01/2014 (Google Partners Program)

Looking to expand your Adwords knowledge? Whether or not you actually manage Adwords campaigns, an understanding of how they work and paid media terminology in general is always going to be a benefit to you. google adwords certification study guide

A lot of people will thus look to Google Exams to help with this, as they bundle revision with certification. To help with this, I’ve listed some Google Adwords Certification study guides that may aid in getting you through both the Fundamental and Advanced Search exams.

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Attendance @ Jump Digital Marketing Event

I had the pleasure of attending the Jump digital marketing event in London yesterday, as part of the E-Consultancy Festival of Marketing. Jump is all about creating a joined up consumer experience. Talks ranged from user experience to psychology and its impact on digital marketing, a real mix of extremely interesting and thought provoking topics.

Jump Festival of Marketing

Up close and personal, engaging your target audience anytime, anywhereExpedia

  • Made an early and accelerated move to mobile via an acquisition. The team worked relatively independently of the main organisation in a separate physical location (San Francisco). The result? They moved quickly and freely in many instances from their central head office in Seattle – driving forward their mobile offering in a relatively short period of team.
  • Expedia identified early on that responsive design wasn’t the best choice or their objectives, as they felt the ability to create unique experiences for difference screensizes / and usage enviroments trumped all other considerations.
  • Positioning mobile prominently was important for them, integrating it in with internal KPIs and offering unique deals to consumers.
  • TV campaigns are built around their mobile offering, with dedicated ads produced to highlight unique functionality and features.
  • Optimisation does not live on traditional search channels anymore. A focus needs to be paid to presentation within mobile app stores. This includes icons, descriptions, reviews and driving downloads.

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Turing Festival 2013 Highlights

I was lucky enough to attend the Turing Festival in Edinburgh on the 24th and 25th August 2013. Turing took place over a 2 day period towards the tail of the Edinburgh Festival, meaning the city was still in top form. The talks were diverse and interesting, with many speakers using technology as a foundation, as opposed to being the subject itself. This made the festival feel more dynamic, interesting and engaging than your run of the mill event.

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TheDigitals 2013 Shortlist for VisitScotland

Some good news! Although a little late in highlighting, the digital team at VisitScotland were shortlisted for an E-Consultancy #TheDigitals Travel & Tourism award, back in May 2013.

The Digitals Logo

Our campaign was focused around Shetland Ponies in Cardigans, one which saw solid work from our PR team and some great content production to make it a success. Results were quality search positions for related terms, TV features in the US and on-going engagement on social media. We are still seeing a continued flow of traffic to our blog post on the ponies. The post continues to be the most successful single page we have ever put live on our .COM.

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Google Databoard Custom Infographic Creation

Whilst mulling over the available Google Webinar events that are available in the next few months – something stood out. A session devoted to Google Databoard is available, titled “Creating Custom Infographics with the New Google Databoard“.

What is Google Databoard?

Based upon the description it becomes clear early on – a new tool that offers people the ability to build infographics, making use of Google data. The benefits for advertisers and marketers is easy clear; robust, trustworthy statistics in a digestible format. Google on the other hand gets good brand awareness and more justification as to the importance of Search and Display. They will no doubt let the statistics speak for themselves in this regard.

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Project Management & Digital Marketers

Digital Project Management is common place in large organisations and businesses throughout the UK. Loosely speaking roles can encompass the web development, infrastructure management or wider digital marketing campaigns. There is massive potential for the fundamentals of project management to be harnessed and applied to our wider digital marketing roles, improving efficiency and the ability for people to correctly measure success.

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