I’ve been listening to podcasts forever. Yet it took me ages to realise that all podcast players have an option to listen at different speeds. I listen to most of my podcasts at x1.2 speed and only notice the difference when the podcast episode plays music. Same great content just a little quicker equals more time for more great podcasts.
Give it a try.
I have recently tried a few audio books and x1.5 speed seems about right as they seem to read soooo slowly.
I have a pretty good handle on my email inbox. One of my best habits I have adopted is that when I’m processing my email, if the email response will only take 1-2mins to reply, then I MUST reply there and then. Simple. No need to procrastinate, flag it, or move it to a heaving folder never to be seen again.
And for a bonus habit: it helps if YOU write better emails in the first place. Make your emails as short as they can be, so that the email subject can read and reply in the same vein.
In the summer of 2020 I was interviewed by Jane Finnis as part of a commission from the Europeana Foundation about digital transformation. The report is useful for everybody interested in digital and includes a few quotes from yours truly too.
Used this self scan at @asda today to buy 50 items. Between my slowness and the software lag we counted 12 customers served in the same time it took me with roughly same or bigger trolley. Not quite the future of retail yet #retail #retailtech
According to Twitter, today marks 10 years on the platform for me @zakmensah. I remember resisting for over a year having grown tired of signing up for platforms that never gained traction beyond the early adopters. I’ve never been that interested in being first to the party. I was at Jisc at the time and traveling the UK for events and conferences was a big part of my role. I started to notice that the various unconference/meet-ups were being organised on twitter and I felt left out. I wanted to know which pub was the pub folks were gathering at. As with all new platforms I didn’t get the point for awhile but once I started to discover groups in the pub I was set ha. Fast forward 10 years and I’m glad I jumped on twitter and its evolution has been interesting to watch. From nerds to the mainstream. In the same period of time many other social platforms have risen and fallen including Google Wave, myspace, snapchat and many others I’ve long forgotten.
I have met great people on twitter, some I have yet to meet in person and others I have hollered at when in their country. I have had wonderful work opportunities, learned a bunch and its often the first port of call when I’m stuck and need advice for work. I like the little tribes such as museumhour and musetech and following the boxing or F1 for the wit and live emotion.
I like to share on twitter and also keep lots of things private. I can pick and choose as I please which is the whole point. For example I never post family photos and try to avoid tweeting much when at the pub for obvious reasons. Tweets wash over the timeline so I don’t pay too much attention to crafting messages or take myself too seriously. But I do want to live my life a bit on the web as a dry serious me online would be a dull shame.
Happy birthday to the 10 year @zakmensah version of me. Oh and the oldest tweet I can find is me saying hello to someone’s mum.
Back in 2014/15 when I was still Head of Digital we worked on a cutting edge ibeacon game called The Hidden Museum. Thanks to the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts including Nesta [Nesta is a global innovation foundation] and partners aardman, University of Bristol we had a grant funded fun time!
In a recently launched video showcasing Nesta you can see our game at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery in action in this 100 second video. Come to visit us and play the game on your iPad.
Today I had the privilege of speaking at the excellent #culturegeek condference in London. Robots, Shakespeare, memes, failing, games and more was talked about. Below are my slides and thanks for all the positive feedback. Onwards.
Since 2015 when we launched Shopify POS for our shops we’ve put over £1.75m through the app (about £800K this year alone). So yes I trust it. We’e just signed up for another three years in fact to take advantage of the multi year discount. I was recently testing a new feature which reminded me to jot down a few wish list features i’m hoping Shopify will make on the POS app or admin:
Provide Cost of Goods (COGS) feature by default
The ability to have more granular account types so I can restrict the majority of the team to only edit a product’s quantity. At the moment in order to allow staff to alter quantities when products get delivered you must be an admin which is overkill and leads to tinkering of product information
Allow admin to force all accounts to use two-step authentication to provide better security for web facing accounts
STOP forcing POS app updates to occur at 11am GMT…. right in the middle of our trading. Consider a European update time window or alternative from US to Europe so you can see how it feels!
Allow the mobile app to read the barcode of a product and show its quantity to enable quick stock counting
Allow a toggle to switch off online shop features if you are POS only
Give me an easy way to connect to Google Sheets so I can play with the data as your reports are ok but I Google Sheets is way more powerful
From a telephone interview I did about a week ago, following the NHS IT problems, for Museums Journal:
“Cyber security is something we think about frequently, but in the last few weeks it’s risen to the top of everyone’s agenda,” he said. We would be crippled if our collections database was unavailable to us for more than a couple of days.” Keeping secure backups in several different UK locations is a crucial part of the service’s security approach, Mensah added. And because hackers often take advantage of human error, other key measures include making sure strong, frequently changed passwords are used, and limiting access to key systems.
Link to the full article. I was trying to make it clear that weak passwords and our human nature to do the easiest thing is often the biggest challenge.
Hosted at Arnolfino on Tuesday 27th September 2016
Myself and Darren popped along to the Shopify Retail Tour to see one of the experts, meet other retail nerds and hear what is new. The whole setup was very slick and I loved the fittings they’d designed for the tour.
At Bristol Culture we currently run four Shopify point of sale (POS) instances across retail (£300K+) , fundraising and Archives.
We had booked a one-on-one session with one of the Shopify support team. We wanted to pick their brains about better ways to run our small empire online and mention a few issues we have with POS.
One of the reasons I chose Shopify originally was due to the added features that third party apps can offer. Our host was fantastic at reviewing our current online shop which has a tiny conversion rate of 0.4% and making having done a test purchase suggested ways to improve:
Try out multiple shop inventory apps such as Tradegeeko (for our small £££ expansion) or Stitch labs
Quick books for more useful management of our business position
Using their newly acquired KIT for third party marketing
Free app SEO doctor to see where our online shop could be improved
Try Facebook sales Channel (found via report area)
Find a better header image
Blog regularly to help SEO – ask suppliers too!
Photography- keep consistent background
Organise products a in range or collection instead of long product pages
The helpful Mailchimp team also showed us 2-3 automation features we’ll be testing very soon to kick start our mailing list efforts.
I was super happy that David Seal from the POS team was at the event and I had the chance to explain how we use POS, some issues and made a few feature requests. I have been following David on Twitter for some time so it is always cool to meet twitter folk.
The new mobile phone version of Shopify was released on Tuesday which finally lets me login to multiple stores without the hassle of logging out on Android. It has only crashed once in 24hrs!
Our biggest feature request is for the mobile app or bar code scanner to let us quickly scan products on the spot and get sales history. This would really help us review the position of products and any affect of moving, effectively letting us do easy A/B testing.
As with many people i’m baffled that adding Cost of Goods isn’t possible natively within Shopify. How else do you know your profit margin?! it would immediately help you review products and maybe increase or delete a SKU.
I also suggested that Shopify should look into partnering with retail shop fitters for pop-up equipments and fixtures.
POS app can seem slow or unresponsive when our team are busy and we can get the odd crash – tough if it is in its locked enclosure!
The till drawer only opens when we have wifi which sometimes falls over and unless you have the key you are in for a tough sell!
My favourite quote of the evening came right at the end when one of the speakers said “They can’t catch you if you keep running”