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October 2009 Posts

10/16/2009 2:19:23 PM

Meeting the Mayor in Ellesmere Port

Our newest baby was a year old on the 4th September. The Connect Learning Centre, on Whitby Road in Ellesmere Port, has become a focal point for adult learning in “The Port” and has yielded many success stories.  So, as proud parent (the Centre’s Business Development Manager), I decided the first birthday should be celebrated with a party.

Topping the list of local luminaries were the Mayor of Ellesmere Port, Councillor Tony Sherlock and Colin Charlton, our CEO. Sipping coffee and munching chocolate biscuits were some of the brilliant learners who we have helped take advantage of free government funding to become more employable. They impressed the Mayor and Mayoress with their learning and skills.

Our Area Managers were there too; ready to begin interviewing local candidates with Colin for a new post in the Centre.  Colin explained to the Mayor that we endeavour to employ local people and proudly introduced a glowing Debra Smith, one of the first learners through the doors of our new centre, now an assessor for our NVQ programme.

At 10.30, the Mayor departed, leaving the washing up but assuring us that he would be back to take a computer course when his term of office ended next year.

10/16/2009 3:42:00 PM

Carry on up the Internet: The Curse of Gerald Scarfe

Captain Potts: Your rank?
James Bailey: Well, that's a matter of opinion.

(Carry on Sergeant, 1958)

In the second of this erratic series of posts about web site problems, I want to take a look at a problem which I’m going to call the Curse of Gerald Scarfe.

We were reviewing a companies existing web site before developing a new, content managed site.  The existing site wasn’t bad, a little out of date, a slightly dated design and hard to maintain because it didn’t have a content management system.  However something wasn’t quite right.  The site was illustrated with high quality images of business people at work.  There was something slightly unnatural about them, as though they had been taken from the odd angles that were trendy in Reportage in the late ‘80s.  The images' proportions had been distorted when they’d been added to the site, not far enough to be really noticeable but enough to have an effect.  Unfortunately the result wasn’t a Gerald Scarfe cartoon but rather off-putting, long-faced people.

Fortunately one of the benefits of using a CMS for their new site was that the image sizes were automatically included by the system. So the Curse of Gerald Scarfe (opens new window) couldn’t creep back into their new site.