Author: Gavin Heaton

Don’t Look at Me in That Tone of Voice!

When it comes to online identity, there is a great deal of time spent on developing the "look and feel" of a website, but very little effort is spent on developing the tone of a site. It seems strange that people jump straight to the visual, straight to the "big bang", without stopping to think about HOW to get there. A website is a place to tell a story. It is a space to hold a moment of history. And the visitors that come to your site truly are interested in your story – and if it is not compelling (visually or narratively) – then they will leave. On the web there is always somewhere else to go! Of course, having a story is one thing. Developing a WAY of telling your story is the next challenge. I struggle with this here as much as anyone. But I think it is important to see it as an ongoing struggle. Each day is different. Each perspective alternative. And if you are open to grow and learn, then your site, your tone of voice, and even your visual style will mature and change with time. Got an opinion? Share it with the rest of us by...

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Train of Thought

This began as a poem. The story chose, instead, a more linear form. A whistle, a whistle, a blast. Five o’clock jabs to the eye, the skin, the vein and all that is spoken is "ah". The narcotics of my life egg me on, drive me forward, cajole the poetry out of the crevices of my mind. And yet, here I sit, eyes out the window, tongue lolling in the suburban breeze, licking my lips like salted potato chips. I walk brick by brick, verse by broken verse and yet these platforms are empty of you. Empty of the fuel and fire and slippery edges of you where you were. Of course, I laugh! You were never caught by the perimeter of a photo frame in quite the same way as I. You escaped the narrow field of view – or so you claimed. But for me, that was the project – the big payoff. And one day your greasy smile would be plastered across my lens. I am back at St Leonards station on a Friday evening. Everyone has cleared out except the residue of life. We sit, plastered on the disused billboards, stuck to the 1970s shopfronts too old to move out of the wind. And how does it scream? There is a tunnel of wind that belts down the highway, following the road, chasing the cars...

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Change This

When we see something we love, something that appeals or gets to us we are connecting. We may hate it too. But we may be compelled.I saw this site some time ago and have been an avid follower. I have read many of the manifestos available on the <a href="http://www.changethis.com">Change This</a> website, and I have forwarded them, printed them and used them to generate new thinking in friends and colleagues.There was the Clue Train … and the Hugh Train. Hook up your little red wagon and see where Change This will take you. All aboard – a thousand good ideas are leaving...

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Flash in the Pan?

Macromedia has finally released Flash 8, with roadshows and presentations happening across the globe. There are even online web seminars that will help us all come to grips with the funky new features. These Macromedia guys really know how to launch a product! But are we ready for it? So far, most efforts have concentrated on implementing video for the web. Some sites have cleverly integrated cool music to beef up the presentation, but this is only beginning to scrape the surface of what is possible. It is important to focus on <b>interactivity</b> – providing non-linear possibilities that are designed to promote action, reaction and engagement from the end-user. Video streaming is only going to provide that single story, but we all want more. So much more. This is a challenge for all designers and developers. It is also a  challenge for writers. From this point on, it is essential that all begin to work collaboratively – more in the way in which game developers work. A flash in the pan? Not...

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Aria

I listen to the wordsthe sound of breaththe pulsethe urgethe weightand wait. The waiting is always the signalfor disappointment The waiting looks to tired eyeslike the drowning of men It smells of rock-less seasof mediocrity But then the breezeshiftsbaby I dare not believe the words that feedan emotion that awakesa cry for the departed and a hope for future giving. Time to bite my tonguebite the fingerspike the palms A birth? Yes indeed.An awakening cryis also song for gulls. It is 5am and I...

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