8 March 2007 in Business | Comments (1)

YouTXT - Text information services

I’m pleased to announce that a new service that I’ve been working on has gone live! YouTXT is a business that brings TXT marketing to smaller organisations.

Some of the benefits to businesses:

  • Free to setup, no ongoing costs for the business
  • Easy to use site for managing TXT codes
  • Detailed reports on campagin effectiveness
  • Our success depends on your marketing success, we’re motivated to help you succeed!

If you are offering a service and would find benefit by allowing potential customers to TXT for more information then this would be a fantastic service for you. YouTXT is a small business that’s looking to help small businesses succeed by enabling this type of service to businesses that don’t have multi-national sized budgets for marketing. We really look forward to seeing how you guys use this service and I’m really excited about the prospects for some new features we’ve got planned.

More detail about how the service operates can be found on the site. If you would like to discuss with us about how this service could be adapted to your organisation please feel free to contact me.

Check it out here:

- JD

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 178 user reviews.

2 March 2007 in Business & Mindscape | Comments (5)

One of the things that we’ve been thinking about a lot with the creation of Mindscape is how we can create an environment that is condusive to great software development.


One of the cool things in my opinion is our sound system. We have a stereo system that is driven from a server running WinAmp so we always have some quiet tunes playing in the background. Sounds simple enough right? To add our own flavour of geek to this setup, JB has used WCF and hooked into the WinAmp API to allow control of the music from each of the development machines at Mindscape.

What is really cool about this is that it enables everyone to have a say about the music that’s playing – song, volume etc. This works well when somebody gets a phone call, anyone can reduce the volume without leaving their desk.

The source code is of course available in our company repository so anybody can make changes to the functionality if they want. JB delivered a command line version of the system, Andrew is developing a WinForms version and I’m creating an ASP.NET(with AJAX Extensions) version for fun.

That’s just one of many things we’ve done, there is plenty more to do though. In terms of creating a fantastic working environment, what would you have?

- JD

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 251 user reviews.

15 February 2007 in Blogging & Business | Comments (6)

Following my post about leaving Intergen, I’d like to introduce my new venture – Mindscape. Mindscape is a software company specialising in products development that I’ve started with two other ex-Intergen folk, Jeremy Boyd and Andrew Peters.


Mindscape was founded based on the vision of creating fantastic software that really steps up a level in terms of being robust, usable and functional. We’re all committed to creating fantastic solutions both with our own products and in consulting work that Mindscape delivers.

I’ll still be blogging personally here and will share some of the highlights as well as mixing in more of the same sort of content that I was posting in 2006. Hopefully all of this explains some of the quietness here as of late, it’s been a huge amount of effort to get things moving and looks like the exciting ride is just beginning!

- JD

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 294 user reviews.

15 February 2007 in Business & Intergen | Comments (3)

After a fantastic three years working at Intergen I’ve decided it’s time for me to depart and start my own company. I’ve always wanted to run my own company and I’m at a point where I can realise that dream. I’ll be posting more about the business in the future on this blog and look forward to this exciting new chapter :)

For anybody wishing to find out more please either leave a comment or contact me on usual means.

 - JD

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 300 user reviews.

17 October 2006 in Business & Code | Comments (0)

So lately it’s been a bit try on new material around this place so I thought I’d write a bit about what I’ve been doing instead of tapping away at my keyboard lately. Actually, no, scratch that, I’ve still be at the keyboard a lot but recently I’ve been trying to read more. I’ve always enjoyed reading but in the last 18 months or so I’d only read a couple of books which was making me feel a bit guilty.

I virtually never read fiction, I don’t see the point as I read to learn something new. So here is a list of what I’m working my way through at the moment:

I’ll try and write a review of each of them as I complete them, I’ve already knocked off two of them so I’ll try and get that post up in the next few days.

As you can see, my primary interests in what I read is IT & business. The only odd one out is ‘The Fingerprint of God’ which is mostly about physics, a pet interest of mine. Are there any books you could recommend for me to add to my list?

- JD

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 289 user reviews.

19 September 2006 in Blogging & Business | Comments (5)


Businesses have often been told they need to do more business online and how it enables them to get in touch with millions of eyeballs for a comparatively low cost. While this is very true and every business should look online it is important to contemplate other ways that the Internet can impact your business. I don’t write this piece to scare anybody but more to hit home how important great customer service is.

Recently a New Zealand gentleman and his family had a problem with a tourism operator. I’m not going to link because the issue has effectively been resolved now, but needless to say, he shared the problem on his blog.

Soon several people linked to this blog and commented on this issue themselves. Before long, when searching for this company name the pages about this issue and the poor service experienced became quite prominent in the search results – within the top 10 results. Given the number of people who now use the Internet as their primary information tool it has becoming more important than ever for businesses to pay attention to feedback they are receiving online.

I’m glad it has had a positive outcome but it does highlight that it is not only businesses that can leverage the Internet, but that customers can leverage the Internet, easily, when they want to share displeasure. It’s often said that an unsatisfied customer will tell ten times as many people about bad service than when they have good service. What happens when that customer has access to tens of thousands of people? Millions of people? Great customer service just became so much more important.

- JD

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 245 user reviews.

28 August 2006 in Business | Comments (1)

Some know that I’ve been watching ASB Business on TV1 since I was at high school which has meant waking up at 6:30 every morning. While I’m not a night owl, sometimes waking up that early has been difficult however the good folks at TVNZ have decided to release a Podcast of the show. Both just the audio and the video versions of it. Fantastic.

Get the ASB Business Podcast here.

 - JD

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 291 user reviews.

16 August 2006 in Blogging & Business & Code | Comments (3)

So you’ve got a pretty popular site. Perhaps you have an e-commerce component to your site. Every single person browsing your site is a prospect. You’ve done well – you’ve build a standard compliant site, you invested in making the shopping experience easy and you provide lots of information about your products.

Now what?

It’s not like you’d open a retail store, stock it up, and then have all your staff sit behind the counter waiting for people to bring their products over to purchase. So why do you let people just roam around your site without engaging them? Or making it easier to engage you? This is a huge area and well worth investigating – how can you engage your site visitors more?

You may recall that earlier in the year I started using Meebo to chat online. It allows you to chat using various networks through a unified rich website (AOL, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, Jabber). Recently they added an addition to their product line up called “Meebo Me” which is a widget that you can integrate into any HTML page and gives you the power to communicate with site visitors and them the power to communicate with you. All this without needing the site visitor sign-in or register. It’s a fantastic way of communicating with your visitors and letting them ask questions.


Users can choose to disable the chat feature if they don’t want it which is useful for those who don’t want to be interrupted. It also shows when the web master is offline and allows end users to give themselves a name. It’s all powered by flash but is slick enough for that not to be a big problem.

On top of this you can also see how long a user has been on a page. Perhaps you might want to interact with users if they have been on a page for more than 10 minutes – perhaps they’re thinking about what you’ve written and have a question? It’s just like a retail shop – “You seem to be interested in that product, can I provide any help?”.

We’ve come a long way from static pages where users couldn’t interact. At the moment the big deal is being able to control content. The next step is certainly going to be owned by companies that are willing to invest in getting to know their customers.

- JD

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 221 user reviews.