Sam Davyson

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Wall Street Journal Article

23/04/08 - 18.49

Tonight I’m going to be interviewed by a reporter from the Wall Street Journal about the Web.

I’ll post a link up here if anything comes from it.

April 23rd, 2008 - 6.49 PM | No Comments »

Mozilla.com Is Getting A Redesign

22/04/08 - 20.49

I’m testing it… Look’s very nice.

April 22nd, 2008 - 8.49 PM | No Comments »

Interesting Discussion Re: WordPress vs Facebook

18/04/08 - 17.19

Take a look at this post on the “A VC” blog: The Difference Between WordPress and Facebook.

Interesting stuff. And I think I agree with it.

Fred Wilson says:

But trust me on this one. The blogging revolution is the adult social network whereas Facebook style social networking is for teens and college kids. This gap will narrow.

I like that way of putting it. I can’t see the adults of tomorrow using Facebook. They might not be using WordPress either of course…

April 18th, 2008 - 5.19 PM | No Comments »

Make Own CMS Or Use Someone Elses

14/04/08 - 12.05

Currently I have my very limited editing suite that I generated to add or edit pages over at http://sam.davyson.com. It was a real feat of my talent at the time. I’m not sure how I managed to make something like that – that actually works. Simple as it is. Since then I’ve made two different CMS’s that were admittedly based around each other but distinctly different (written again so to speak). These were for Hs Chemistry and Andy Kershaw Media.

I like the CMS’s that I make. But they take a lot of time and they are not as rich in features as say something that you can download today from an open source site. I happen to be of the belief though that these is nothing worse than using something too powerful to do a simple job. I don’t want to overload my clients with an interface that is riddled with options that they don’t need to be concerned with.

So for a simple site where people want to be able to edit their text, add images, maybe post some news what is the solution? I’m currently trying to find out. I want to do one of:

  • Find a suitable CMS that I can use when I implement further sites.
  • Write a CMS that I can deploy (in a click or two) to new sites.

Although the first sounds easier I’m not sure it necessarily is. Is stripping down easier than building up? Maybe it is. But the result of building normally looks a lot better. It’s quite a dilemma. In the running for the first option are:

  1. WordPress – I really like this. I just want it to be simple for the users. I’m not sure how to do this.
  2. Joomla – I know very little about this.
  3. Drupal – Similarly. But I think it looks too complicated.
  4. PHP Fusion – I know nothing of this.

In related news Cushy CMS looks nice.

April 14th, 2008 - 12.05 PM | 3 Comments »

Many “Available Units” in New Grand Arcade, Cambridge UK

10/04/08 - 22.17

Update: Looks like it had a very grand opening too.

I paid a visit to the new shopping centre in Cambridge today. The Grand Arcade. And it is indeed grand.

Grand Arcade

The centre opened a couple of weeks ago and our man on the scene was Nick Flynn. He sent this report:

“Grand arcade. It lives up to the name. Very grand. Lots of jewellery shops, a big apple store and all the usual big names. Too big to explore in one afternoon.” (Text link)

Andrew Smith also got early access and agreed with Nick:

“It’s so grand. Got loads of shops in there”

So when today I arrived in Cambridge I was naturally excited about exploring the new development. It is indeed very nice looking inside. It’s airy. The shopping “streets” feel lavishly wide. The stone-wood design combo iterated all over the complex is subtle and refined. It looks like a place where goods would be expensive. Of course they’re not – the shops in the centre are the normal ones you’d get anywhere else with the same prices. But the setting feels premium.

Before going to the Grand Arcade I checked out their website to see what shops I could find where. I was looking at their site trying to find a floor plan but I couldn’t find one. The best you can get is a blueprint style plan with unit numbers but not the names of the shops that are there. This struck me as profoundly weird. The only other two shopping centres that I’m familiar with both have prominent centre maps on their websites. So why is this missing from the Grand Arcade site?

The answer is that the Grand Arcade is currently only just over half full. Upon entering you are struck by many empty units there are – particularly on the opening stretch of the centre leading off St Andrews Street. These units have large boards covering them that say “Unit Available”. A careful scouring of the shopping centre uncovers that some (two or three) units actually have a “Shop X Coming Soon” written on but the rest seem to still be for sale. To me this implies that the “Available” units are currently unsold. What an embarassment this is!

According to Grand Arcade themselves they have 52 retail units. But only just over 30 actual shops. They’ve built the shopping centre but people don’t want to buy up the units! Now I’m sure in the coming months the Grand Arcade will fill up. And maybe there are empty units at the moment only because they are subject to intense bidding wars by several companies but it seems more likely that companies simply haven’t come forward yet wanting to move into the centre.

To me this problem has developed from the increasingly apparent fact that Cambridge has enough shops. But I hate shopping.

April 10th, 2008 - 10.17 PM | No Comments »