Friday, 31 October 2008

Crichton developments

Callisti has recently been active in Chamber of Commerce events and has met with the Crichton Development Company as a spin off to this.

There are a lot of events and initiatives planned for 2009 in Scotland with the Homecoming experience. This should attract media promotion at a national and international level and encourage many Scots to return to their homeland for a time.

Naturally this will have spin-off opportunities for businesses and services all over Scotland.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Enterprise agencies

Cycling about town today in a green sort of way. We had a constructive meeting earlier with the local Scottish Enterprise agency for Dumfries and Galloway where Callisti will be suggested for tenders for new work in the region.

This work will be for clients requiring a suite of services, from search engine optimisation, website design and development, and video editing for the web.

There are other opportunities in conjunction with the creative arts and art events groups in the region which will be followed up in this next quarter.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Christmas presents nightmare

A handy tool for getting gift ideas for your Christmas present list can be found at mywishwand. Enter the age of the recipient, their gender and their personality characteristics and go!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Another journey by train

I'm visiting a client in Bristol today where extensive media processing and testing goes on for a music video and film download site. The train journey is a bit horrendous: 5 and a half hours from Dumfries and Galloway with 3 changes.

The first train carriage had plug sockets but no power and a dodgy tannoy. Helpfully the assistant informed me that I could try another carriage as sometimes the power didn't work all the way through the train. Virgin trains keeping standards high!

Crewe is somewhere I only know because of journey transfers; what happens there apart from travelers crossing paths?

Anyway more SEO article writing for gift wishlists this morning as part of the ongoing campaign for mywishwand - the trend of the google analytics should gradually show an increase in traffic but with the proportion on free search engine traffic growing from the current 3%. There are some referrals at the moment but most of the traffic has been as a result of the offline marketing at the launch of the site, e.g. press and media coverage in related magazines and programmes.

The internet connection from the XDA has been fine but the network for o2 is somewhat lacking in the lake district - I guess network coverage is as concentrated as the population for any given region.

The laptop keeps picking up 'Free Public WiFi' on the train and I can connect to it without additional security measures. However it doesn't give me internet access so it may be a feature of the rail service - CrossCountry now.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Players on a stage

We are but players on a stage it has been said. It's strange how the word 'but' is used here. Lesson: remember that a lot of the language we used is expression-based and falls under the evil spell of cliche very easily.

There is a need in Dumfries and Galloway, and Dumfries in particular, for the development of a quality theatre.

A venue that can reach out to the local community and encourage participation with the performing arts as a way point for the talented children of the area, and a theatre performance area that can attract shows to the region during the Arts Festival and throughout the year.

The current venue is that closest fits this bill is the ageing Theatre Royal. We are now in a period of consultation on how best to deliver this, whether by building a new venue or by overhauling the existing theatre. Either way funding will have to be secured.

Callisti supports the performing arts and original artists.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

To blog or not to blog

We have carried out some preliminary work on mywishwand as it is a new site, generating initial traffic by offline marketing and exposure.

The site allows you to log in and search for gifts to create a wish list for you or your friends and family. You can also satisfy someone's wishes for their ideal gift by logging in and buying it for them.

An interesting link that arose from this was to BlogStorm which has a wealth of information on blogging and associated SEO and marketing.

Monday, 6 October 2008

DGCC Annual Lunch

Well that was the first annual lunch Callisti has attended and well attended it was too. Organised mainly by the Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce and featuring Charan Gill MBE as guest speaker, it was all very entertaining and relaxed.

We got the random tables and discussed the inner workings of the post office and royal mail delivery software - database driven route planning for mail delivery - the post code database is the family jewel.

Also juxtaposed were representatives from the Care Training Consortium so we had a pleasant chat over the creme brulee...

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Mountain biking

2009 will herald the World Mountain Bike Conference in Dumfries and Galloway so there will be a strong influence on the activities and visitors to the region in the coming year. This is the first time the event has been held outwith USA so it has significance.

We were in contact with Trailbrakes, a mountain biking holiday provider in the region who are now extending the range of their biking trips to Morocco as well as within the region (and of course the famous 7 stanes course at various points in Southern Scotland.)

I'm sure mountain biking awareness will increase tenfold and we welcome this positive influx to Scotland.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Nicotine logic

"I swear I'll kill someone I love today", quipped the drug addict. Outbursts like these can be uttered by those in the throes of craving when experiencing stress.

This craving can reach a certain point where imminent delivery of the drug is no longer consciously exciting, usually when the habit-formed procedures have kicked-in and the subconscious machine has taken over control of feeding the craving.

The resignation afforded to the conscious mind manifests itself by abstractions like "I don't even want this" and thinking of other removed things.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Time is a face on the water

What does that mean?

If you want space and peace in a beautiful place check out Elm Cottage in Kippford, and I'm not just saying that!

The Solway coast in Dumfries and Galloway is quite magical to travel along and looking beyond the normal tourist traps you can find your own places of activity and comfort. Otherworldly.