Reflow, Transmit, Supportbee, Mention

Marcus gets excited about FTP, I enthuse about Adobe Reflow, we both pretend to care about customer support and then go ego surfing.

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This week on the show:

Paul Boag
This week on the Boagworld web design podcast: the answer to designing responsive websites, Adobe Reflow; one of the best FTP clients around, Transmit; customer support made easy with SupportBee; and brand monitoring with Mention.

I am dissatisfied, Marcus.

Marcus Lillington
You’re always dissatisfied, Paul.

Paul Boag
I’m dissatisfied with everything.

Marcus Lillington
What’s that book called? ‘Why is everything shit?’

Paul Boag
Oh that is so the book for me. I didn’t know this existed.

Marcus Lillington
Really? I have got to find it for you. It’s been out for a while.

Paul Boag
‘Why everything is shit?’

Marcus Lillington
No, hang on. It’s not quite that. Get a browser up.

Paul Boag
Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit?

Marcus Lillington
That’s the one.

Paul Boag
‘An encyclopedia attack on modern culture and the standard reference work for anyone who believes everything is shit.’ I’m so buying that. That is just a book made for me.

Marcus Lillington
Okay. Specifically, Paul.

Paul Boag
Sorry, I am now obsessed with this book.

Marcus Lillington
See, I am useful to have around.

Paul Boag
You sent me on a tangent immediately.

Marcus Lillington
Yes.

Paul Boag
That’s pretty impressive. Well done you. Oh and they’ve got a Kindle edition for only £6.99. Marcus’s book recommendation for the week.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah. I have never – it’s one of those books that you pick up in the book shop.

Paul Boag
Right.

Marcus Lillington
You stand there reading giggling.

Paul Boag
Right.

Marcus Lillington
I have never actually – yeah I shouldn’t say that, should I? Yes, of course, I bought it.

Paul Boag
I am so getting that. I have so many books I want to read. I told you this, didn’t I? How I’m working through a web design book. Boring.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah I am currently reading The Hydrogen Sonata.

Paul Boag
Yes, I know.

Marcus Lillington
By Iain M. Banks and it’s just the business.

Paul Boag
Is it?

Marcus Lillington
Because it’s – this is really boring for those people who have never read any Iain M. Banks but basically he invented a kind of…

Paul Boag
Universe.

Marcus Lillington
A universe called The Culture. It’s a different universe.

Paul Boag
It’s like the Federation in Star Trek, isn’t it?

Marcus Lillington
Yeah but a lot cooler.

Paul Boag
Oh yeah.

Marcus Lillington
But anyway, by the by he has written loads of books that feature The Culture and how they work but the most important beings really within The Culture are basically the ships.

Paul Boag
The AIs.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah, called Minds with a capital M.

Paul Boag
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington
And he wrote a book 10, 15 years ago called Excession which was kind of – they were, rather than the humans…

Paul Boag
Yeah they were the main characters.

Marcus Lillington
They were the main characters and in this book they are the main characters.

Paul Boag
Oh, brilliant.

Marcus Lillington
And it’s just right up my street.

Paul Boag
The best thing about those books is – or for me, or the Minds is the ridiculous names they give themselves.

Marcus Lillington
What, inane, aren’t they? Really, really inane.

Paul Boag
Yes.

Marcus Lillington
And I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

Paul Boag
No but it’s really long rambling names that go on forever. Anyway, that’s a tangent – my tangent.

Marcus Lillington
Oh I just thought of one. There’s one in this book called Warm Considering. There you go.

Paul Boag
Which must make sense to them in their huge minds but means nothing to us.

So yes I am dissatisfied.

Marcus Lillington
But why are you dissatisfied?

Paul Boag
Well because I have just got back from San Francisco so I am dissatisfied on a lot of levels.

Marcus Lillington
Okay.

Paul Boag
First of all I am dissatisfied with the weather in Britain.

Marcus Lillington
It’s a beautiful day today.

Paul Boag
It’s flipping freezing.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah but cold and shiny is lovely.

Paul Boag
Cold and shiny, yeah but I am dissatisfied with the weather.

Marcus Lillington
I really, really like – this is my favorite type of weather.

Paul Boag
I have to say it is mine as well but it is cold.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah, you can’t wander around having a drink outside and stuff like that.

Paul Boag
No. I am also dissatisfied with our offices because I went around the Twitter offices when I was there. And they have fruit laid out everywhere and they have every kind of drink you could imagine, brilliant espresso machines, it’s all very posh and very nice. So I am dissatisfied with my office.

Marcus Lillington
I think our offices are quite nice. I mean they’re a little bit shabby. Could do with a bit of a tart up.

Paul Boag
They could definitely do with a tart up.

Marcus Lillington
We have got a nice office.

Paul Boag
We need to tart it up, I have decided. And third and most important, I’m dissatisfied with this podcast setup, right. I was lucky enough – thank you very much, Leo Laporte, he allowed me to go up to his studio and be on one of his shows This Week in Google. And they have got the most amazing setup. They have got like this huge kind of open plan building with different studios for different shows all within the same open plan area and amazing kind of control desk with multiple screens and all this really fancy stuff going on and they have this live stream in their chat room coming in because they broadcast live and it’s just an incredible setup and I come and sit in here and essentially we have got a load of wires on a desk and we have a duvet hanging up next to us to deaden some of the sound. It’s not the rock and roll lifestyle I have come to expect.

Marcus Lillington
It’s all about the content, Paul, as you have been preaching for years.

Paul Boag
But once again I am dissatisfied. So there you go, so I had a nice trip to San Francisco.

Marcus Lillington
It’s not – his is TV effectively. It is not audio.

Paul Boag
Well no, they do – they release both, video and audio. They started off as audio and I think the majority…

Marcus Lillington
We don’t need a huge open plan thing with lots of different studios unless you’re doing…

Paul Boag
I do.

Marcus Lillington
…camera work.

Paul Boag
I think we should be doing video too.

Marcus Lillington
It would be nice to have a proper studio but we don’t need it, do we?

Paul Boag
Yes, of course we do.

Marcus Lillington
Okay, right.

Paul Boag
And then he has –

Marcus Lillington
And an engineer.

Paul Boag
Yeah absolutely. We need a guy on the desk balancing levels the whole way through and screens where you can plot different things…

Marcus Lillington
How about just someone that edits it afterwards? That would be a start.

Paul Boag
Or puts any thought or effort into it whatsoever.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah, I’m dissatisfied as well.

Paul Boag
Why are you dissatisfied?

Marcus Lillington
Because I’ve got a backache and I can’t go carting this afternoon

Paul Boag
So you are dissatisfied with getting old?

Marcus Lillington
No, the worst backache I ever had was over 10 years ago. But no, we are going carting with the Clearleft people this afternoon.

Paul Boag
We are.

Marcus Lillington
And I am going to go and stand in a noisy arena.

Paul Boag
Yes.

Marcus Lillington
Thinking, what the hell am I doing here?

Paul Boag
Yeah, pretend you’re not interested. I think it will be great.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah, if you are driving. I can’t.

Paul Boag
Admittedly. No I have got no interest in doing this whatsoever. I wouldn’t see the – I don’t know why we are going to carting. We should just go in the pub with them.

Marcus Lillington
Well I don’t know, you organized this.

Paul Boag
No, it was Andy’s idea. I just do what Andy Budd tells me.

Marcus Lillington
You and Andy organized it. I had no part say in it whatsoever.

Paul Boag
Well next time round you can pick. We’ll go out for a curry somewhere.

Marcus Lillington
‘Let’s go to the pub’.

Paul Boag
Yeah, absolutely, much better suited to us than going carting. Although it should be – it will be like the clash of the nerds. That will be the level of badness involved.

Marcus Lillington
You speak for yourself. Although I am not driving.

Paul Boag
I am pretty sure that it will be between me and Jeremy Keith as to who comes last, basically. And Jeremy can’t even drive.

Marcus Lillington
I can tell you who is going to come last now.

Paul Boag
Who is that?

Marcus Lillington
It will be Ed.

Paul Boag
Oh yeah, well Ed’s got – that’s really unfair on Ed because he is a huge bloke.

Marcus Lillington
Exactly.

Paul Boag
And huge…

Marcus Lillington
I am not sure he can even get in the car.

Paul Boag
It will be quite interesting. The poor little engine will be straining to get him around. And we are not saying – this sounds very rude. We are not saying Ed is a beast in any way. He is just a big lad, you know. You wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley. I know I am quite interested about how Chris Sanderson is going to get in as well because he’s really tall.

Marcus Lillington
He has done it before. But yeah they’re both like over six and a half feet tall, so.

Paul Boag
Yeah, so big guys. That will be interesting.

Marcus Lillington
So yeah, Chris has no chance either, even though he is thin.

Paul Boag
No.

Marcus Lillington
Even though he probably weighs 16, 17 stone.

Paul Boag
I’m pinning my hopes on Dan.

Marcus Lillington
Dan, Chris, obviously.

Paul Boag
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington
Our MD

Paul Boag
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington
Weighs about the same as my little finger.

Paul Boag
Yeah but Chris is like safety conscious, isn’t he?

Marcus Lillington
Oh I don’t know, competitive.

Paul Boag
I don’t know. Competitive. Yeah, he is – and also he cycles a lot. So…

Marcus Lillington
Mr. Fit, weighs nothing.

Paul Boag
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington
Perfect carter.

Paul Boag
Perfect, excellent. Right, so we are going to win then. We are going to beat them.

Marcus Lillington
I hope so.

Paul Boag
Of course this is going to go out after we have done it. So we need to now announce to the world that we have won.

Marcus Lillington
Absolutely.

Paul Boag
That’s how confident we are.

Marcus Lillington
And I bet Andy Budd about £50 that we would win and he handed it over afterwards.

Paul Boag
Yes. Which you then gave to charity obviously because you are a nice person.

Marcus Lillington
God no.

Adobe Reflow

Adobe Reflow

Paul Boag
So as I said at the top of the show we are going to be looking at Adobe Reflow. We are going to be looking at something called SupportBee, Transmit and…

Marcus Lillington
Haven’t we talked about Transmit before?

Paul Boag
No, we haven’t actually. We did in passing when we talked about Coder.

Marcus Lillington
Okay.

Paul Boag
But we haven’t kind of delved into it.

Marcus Lillington
Fine.

Paul Boag
So we are going to get into that a little bit today. But we are going to kick off by talking about the answer to the responsive design problem.

So when I was over in San Francisco…

Marcus Lillington
Were you over in San Francisco?

Paul Boag
I was over in San Francisco. Well I have this jet setting lifestyle. Although I am now done for the year, which I have to say –

Marcus Lillington
Well seeing as it’s early November. What day is it? I don’t know.

Paul Boag
I don’t know. Mid-November probably.

Marcus Lillington
It’s near the end of the year, Paul, that makes sense.

Paul Boag
Yes. But yeah I am not going to do as much next year. Except Peru and probably San Francisco and Washington again. But anyway, that’s another story. So when I was in San Francisco with my jet setting lifestyle one of the things that I was talking – I was presenting at a conference that was made up primarily of print designers that are moving across to the Web.

Marcus Lillington
Oh yeah, I remember speaking to the person who was arranging that. Where would I have…

Paul Boag
Yes, when we were doing Future Of – you were doing a workshop with me. One of the Future Of workshops and the person that was arranging it was there. And it was a brilliant conference, really good. And I think they have got a real niche in people that aren’t maybe as knowledgeable in the moving across. And one of the presentations I gave was do you need an app for that, which was talking about the different options that are available to you when it comes to mobile and of course one of the things that I talked about was responsive design.

But one of the things that I said as I was talking about responsive design is that responsive design is not without its challenges. It’s got a number of different challenges and one of the big challenges for this particular audience is the fact that you have to let go of pixel-perfect control. You know, things obviously move and flex as you resize the browser, which is quite a big thing for print designers because they are very used to having a defined canvas to work upon.

And of course a part of that is the fact that the tools that we traditionally use to build websites or to do design for websites should I say, the first thing you have to do is set a canvas size. You open up Photoshop, first thing you do is you enter your canvas size, which obviously sucks from a responsive design point of view. And that is why there has been this big movement of oh we should be designing in the browser. But that’s quite a tricky thing to do if you are a designer and not a coder because there is this group of people and yes there is this whole movement again that a designer should be able to code and I do believe that but…

Marcus Lillington
It might not be your strength.

Paul Boag
It might not be your strength.

Marcus Lillington
Your strength might be a bit like Leigh, for example, who works for us.

Paul Boag
Yes.

Marcus Lillington
He can code but it’s not his strength but a fantastic interface designer still.

Paul Boag
Absolutely. What do you mean still? He is getting old, he has passed his prime, he can’t see very well, he dribbles a lot when he designs, that kind of thing.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah, all of those things. He might actually listen to this.

Paul Boag
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington
Hi, Leigh.

Paul Boag
Marcus does love you despite his rudeness. So…

Marcus Lillington
I wasn’t actually being rude, you just took it the wrong way. I didn’t bother to explain myself.

Paul Boag
That’s – thanks so much. Yes.

Marcus Lillington
You are completely off…

Paul Boag
I am now. I’ve lost it.

Marcus Lillington
You don’t know where you are.

Paul Boag
Yeah so essentially there has been this reaction against tools like Photoshop because you have to define a canvas size and because that doesn’t work particularly well with responsive design.

Marcus Lillington
But it’s not beyond the realms of the human brain to start off with a wide canvas or even start off with a narrow canvas and have different points where you can think, right, the design is going to work like this at this particular canvas width.

Paul Boag
But what you end up having to do is create in effect multiple Photoshop documents to show the developer and show the client what it’s going to look like at different sizes.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah.

Paul Boag
You can’t just say oh this will shift there. It’s not as simple as that.

Marcus Lillington
But you can do that at wireframing stage now and Axure that we reviewed yonks ago, that now allows you to do responsive wireframes.

Paul Boag
Does it?

Marcus Lillington
Yeah.

Paul Boag
That’s really good because well Adobe are tackling this problem as well.

Marcus Lillington
Okay.

Paul Boag
And they have produced Adobe Reflow. Now, it still is not actually publicly available yet. So I am giving you a heads up for it. They have been really kind to include me on the beta of it. It really annoys me when people do this actually. I don’t know why I am doing it. All the time when – you have these shows, you get it on the TWiT Network where they go oh yes I have been playing with this wonderful new tool, you are not allowed it yet, but it’s great. And that’s exactly what I am effectively doing now. So I apologize for that. But it is worth keeping an eye on this.

Marcus Lillington
People don’t care that much.

Paul Boag
Well, as you know, Marcus, I was desperate to try and find things to put on this week’s show.

Marcus Lillington
What about next week?

Paul Boag
Oh I don’t know. Please guys, post more ideas of more apps at Boagworld.com/apps.

Marcus Lillington
It seemed like such a good idea, such great content. You think of the – I don’t know, there might even be billions of apps now.

Paul Boag
I know.

Marcus Lillington
We could find something.

Paul Boag
But it’s ones that I have got some knowledge of or I can sound vaguely intelligent about, and that narrows the field quite dramatically.

Marcus Lillington
We’ve just got to go off-piste, and do stuff, like I said games. I don’t know what else can we cover?

Paul Boag
All kinds of random things.

Marcus Lillington
Exactly, just random stuff.

Paul Boag
The Tesco shopping app. Yeah, things like that.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah which everyone’s going to be interested.

Paul Boag
Exactly. So we’re giving up this whole web design business and just making us…

Marcus Lillington
All right. You’ve got to find one web design one every week. Just the one.

Paul Boag
Anyway, so Adobe Reflow is the kind of – Adobe’s response to this problem and essentially I like to think of it as Photoshop but for responsive design.

Marcus Lillington
I bet it’s really expensive, isn’t it?

Paul Boag
Well a lot of people now are using the Adobe Creative Cloud. So they will get it automatically as part of the Creative Cloud.

Marcus Lillington
$50 a month or whatever it is.

Paul Boag
I don’t know how much it’s going to be yet. They haven’t got that far. It’s a real beta rather than the make-believe betas that people put out these days. It actually is fairly rough and ready around the edges. It’s got quite a lot of bugs in. So there’s quite a lot that is still not really working very well on it and I think it’s going to be a while before it’s out. But it really is going to be the answer to a lot of the problems. You can see a link to it in the show notes and you can get to all the details about it. But essentially you can go in and you can lay out stuff. Well the first thing you do is you set up a grid system in it. So you say how many columns you want, etc., etc. You can then start adding in elements. You can put in your logo, your type and all that kind of thing and what you are doing is as you drop in elements you are essentially defining them as you would do if you were coding it up. So you say – you set the position of elements, the color of text, the font that you can use and it ties in with Google Web fonts and various other services that are out there that allow you to have the different fonts.

Marcus Lillington
Okay.

Paul Boag
And Adobe’s own font library that they are now offering online and I think it offers Typekit as well. It doesn’t offer Fontdeck which is a shame because I love Fontdeck and I happen to use that but it allows you to do all of that kind of stuff. So you can lay out your typography and your inventory, you can create gradient backgrounds and drop shadows and rounded corners, all the stuff that you would be able to do in CSS and also stuff that you would naturally do in Photoshop.

Marcus Lillington
But it’s more WYSIWYG.

Paul Boag
It’s a WYSIWYG environment, right. It’s no coding involved in it at all. So you do all this layout stuff but you can also then establish break points. So it will make everything automatically scalable. So everything is in percentage positioning but as you scale down you can say okay at this point I want to add a break point when something moves position. So you can then start moving those elements around and it remembers it based on the break point. So you can really control your layout, your style.

Now my big concern about this was that, okay, are we just creating Dreamweaver here? Effectively a modern Dreamweaver and any kind of web designer worth their salt will go, okay – Dreamweaver is a really interesting one because as good web designers we all kind of turn up our nose at Dreamweaver because it has this WYSIWYG environment which isn’t going to produce particularly good code. So my concern was that people would turn up their nose at Reflow for the same reason and then basically there would be a whole generation of designers that go I don’t need to learn code, I just export it from Reflow and it makes it work and it kind of makes it work but it’s not very good.

Now actually as with Dreamweaver, Dreamweaver is a really good coding environment and you can ignore the WYSIWYG editor. With Reflow they have gone in a different direction. So it is all WYSIWYG, there is no coding environment but you cannot export it, right. It is built on HTML, it is built on CSS but there is no option to export it out and build a website, okay. What you can do is you can click on any particular element, right, and it will pop up a little code box to show you the code for that element. But that’s not enough to just kind of throw out the site and create a site but it is great for a developer – if I am a designer and I hand to you the developer that you can then look, okay, so he has used this color for the background or he has used this font or whatever else.

So it’s great from the developer’s point of view to find out what he needs but it doesn’t kind of replace somebody hand-coding the site. Does that make sense?

Marcus Lillington
It does. Does this not promote the idea of a – going forward an interface designer who doesn’t need to know the code?

Paul Boag
Well it depends.

Marcus Lillington
To a certain degree.

Paul Boag
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington
Well less of a degree than they would right now.

Paul Boag
Yes, well no because at the moment I actually think if anything it improves things, because as it stands right now there’s a whole generation of web designers that produce their stuff in Photoshop, they hand their Photoshop file across to the designer (sic) [developer] and job’s done. That’s it, they walk away. At least with this they could actually look at the code of the element that they’ve created. So it’s quite a nice way of learning code to some degree for a designer coming in for the first time.

Marcus Lillington
My concern with this I suppose is – and I’m not a designer, so it doesn’t really…

Paul Boag
No. You don’t care.

Marcus Lillington
When there’s not – I do – it just kind of feels like you are constraining yourself before you can start the creative process. But then maybe you’ve…

Paul Boag
What – in what way?

Marcus Lillington
…started it on a piece of paper, I don’t know. You haven’t – the fact that the first things you have to do are set global things that you talked about.

Paul Boag
No well you don’t have to do any of that. You cannot have a grid system if you want to. You could just use it completely like Photoshop. But the – 99% of designers, when they open up Photoshop they are putting in an underlying grid system. This just makes it easier.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah, as I said that’s…

Paul Boag
It’s a lot…

Marcus Lillington
It occurred as a thought but it was like…

Paul Boag
Yeah it’s a lot less constraining than designing in the browser certainly. Maybe it’s slightly more constraining than Photoshop, yeah probably is to be honest. But it’s pretty damn good I have to say. It’s a very, very good tool. One of the big questions that people always ask when I mention this is what file does this create? Can I show a client it for example. How do I pass it across to a developer? Well with the developer it’s not a problem because they will run Reflow too and you can just pass it across. And it’s actually passing it across – I can’t remember exactly but it’s kind of got its own format. But it keeps all of the images separately, which is nice. So it means that the developer can instantly get at all the images when he builds the website. In terms of showing it to clients, basically you can just upload it to Adobe’s free kind of temporary hosting environment thing that it provides. So in that case it is producing HTML and CSS. So a client can just go to it with a web browser and be able to use it and access it without having Reflow on their machine or anything like that.

So that’s the other great thing about it, is the client is instantly seeing a responsive website rather than having to imagine it, which is great.

Marcus Lillington
I have another possible concern.

Paul Boag
Yeah? Go for it. I mean I’m not – don’t – I am not defending this product but I’m using it.

Marcus Lillington
I’m just trying to imagine.

Paul Boag
You’re being devil’s advocate.

Marcus Lillington
Yes, there is a scenario here where – that whatever the client sees, it’s the old – the analogy where we’re showing them the Safari version of the design and what they finally get delivered on when they’re viewing it in IE8 looks a bit different.

Paul Boag
Well there’s the interesting thing and I don’t know this yet because I haven’t used this in anger. I have now got a beta but I haven’t really had a chance to have a proper play with it.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah, what does it output?

Paul Boag
If it is out – which I think it is outputting according to the guy at Adobe I spoke to, it is outputting HTML, CSS and JavaScript, right. And that’s what it’s putting on the site. So if somebody comes along and views it in IE8, they will see an IE8 version of it. So actually in that sense it’s more realistic than what somebody will get if they view it in Photoshop.

Marcus Lillington
Well the other concern there is that it will be horribly broken in IE8.

Paul Boag
Yeah. And that’s why I haven’t tested it yet. But they are going to have to address that. And I love the way – I have got to say it’s a really progressive and good way this team is working. They really are trying to include Web designers in the process and get lots of feedback and I am part of a mailing group now and I am seeing lots of feedback that they are taking onboard and stuff. I haven’t seen that particular point mentioned and that may well be because the service isn’t there to upload it yet. I need to look into that one. It’s a really good point. That is a good one to look into and perhaps offer feedback in a future show over that.

Marcus Lillington
Okay, cool.

Paul Boag
But it’s certainly useful. I mean the other question people want to know is how long before it’s going to be out? I don’t know. I don’t work for Adobe. But I have to say I think it has still got some significant work to be done on it. I reckon if I had to pick a completely random number out of my arse it would be six months. Yeah that’s quite disgusting. I don’t know where that came from. I am really sorry about that.

Marcus Lillington
Top of my head most people would say.

Paul Boag
Top of the head, that’s the phrase. That’s the phrase but I am so used to speaking out of my arse that it felt like my head. So there we go. This is just getting all weird.

Marcus Lillington
So we are looking at April the 26.

Paul Boag
That’s a very –

Marcus Lillington
Pulled it out of the air.

Paul Boag
There we go. All sorted in one go. Right.

Marcus Lillington
I would like to know what day of the week that is now.

Paul Boag
It will probably be a Sunday or something totally useless. So there we go, that is Adobe Reflow. Let’s move on to our next app.

Transmit

Transmit

Paul Boag
Okay. So next I wanted to talk something that we have already mentioned on the show before, which is Transmit. When we were talking about Coder…

Marcus Lillington
It’s Friday by the way.

Paul Boag
That’s it. Someone will hold us to this now. You do know that, right?

Marcus Lillington
What if it comes true?

Paul Boag
That’d be brilliant. We would look like just so clever, wouldn’t we? It would be awesome.

Marcus Lillington
I said it. I would.

Paul Boag
Oh, oh ok. Or you will look really dumb as is more likely.

Marcus Lillington
Yes, that’s far more likely. Trasmit. Yeah. FTP woo.

Paul Boag
So yeah we’ve talked about Coder – yeah so there is not a lot to talk about this. I will give you that. So we talked about Coder from Panic, which was a coding environment, duh, as the name implies. And that does have a built-in FTP client in it. But I don’t really use that FTP client that much because I also own Transmit, and Transmit is their FTP package. I wish that they would integrate the two together, to be honest, but why would they when they can make twice as much money?

Marcus Lillington
Yeah. Because I have Transmit but not Coder.

Paul Boag
Ah, see there we go.

Marcus Lillington
There’s no point in me having Coder.

Paul Boag
No, because you don’t code.

Marcus Lillington
No.

Paul Boag
The reason I want to talk about Transmit is because I think it is a really good FTP program. There are a lot of FTP programs out there and it’s easy to think all FTP programs are made equal. But they’re not.

Marcus Lillington
Okay. Why aren’t they, Paul?

Paul Boag
Well, this is the thing…

Marcus Lillington
One window here, another window there.

Paul Boag
Well yeah.

Marcus Lillington
Drag your stuff over from one to the other.

Paul Boag
I know, but some are prettier than, others.

Marcus Lillington
Alright, okay.

Paul Boag
No – Transmit’s got such a nice logo. It has icon.

Marcus Lillington
It’s got the best icon.

Paul Boag
It’s a lovely icon.

Marcus Lillington
So that’s a reason to spend money on it.

Paul Boag
No, there is more to it than that. Transmit, it’s a Mac only app, I apologize for that for you non-Mac users. But I did want to quickly mention it because it’s really good stuff in it. For a start it is fast. It’s a fast FTP client. It allows multiple connections at the same time. It deals really well I think with small files. An FTP program can really slow down when it’s got to put up hundreds of individual files, because even though they’re tiny…

Marcus Lillington
Oh right. I never deal with that. I only ever deal with enormous audio files.

Paul Boag
Yeah exactly. So I think it’s really good for that, it impresses me from that point of view. You can also control your bandwidth if you so wish although I don’t think that’s that big a one. Where I think things get really interesting is it has a sync ability, which I love. So say if you –

Marcus Lillington
Oh right. I didn’t know that.

Paul Boag
And this is where if you – where I’d really like this built into Coder, but it doesn’t – it isn’t. But it is interestingly – sync is part of Espresso I think, which is their competitor. Yes, it is. And that’s why it annoys me slightly. So essentially what it will do is it will look at your development server – your local server – your local host and your development server, compare the files and then transfer accordingly if there’s certain ones that are missing or whatever. And you can set all kinds of options. You can say, make it a one-way sync where you look at the local files and just update onto the live and vice-versa. It’ll also – you can have it to remove files that no longer exist on the remote server but do exist locally, all kinds of things like that. Really, really useful when you’re designing a website to be able to sync like that, because oftentimes for whatever reason you’ve re-jigged the file system and now stuff doesn’t exist locally anymore and you are on that reflected on the live site, so you want it to be able to remove those features, those files from the remote site.

So there’s all that kind of stuff. It does things like support for Amazon S3 as well. It’s got secure FTP. But it also has got some really cool little bits and bobs that I like. For example, you can create droplets. Why did that make you smile?

Marcus Lillington
I don’t know.

Paul Boag
So a droplet is essentially a little thing that sits on your desktop, you drag a file on it, it’s automatically FTP’ed to an appropriate place, right?

Marcus Lillington
Okay.

Paul Boag
That’s really useful. So for you for example, you’re always sending your audio to the same place, you can create a droplet, then you just drag your file on there, job done.

Marcus Lillington
I might well do that.

Paul Boag
Yes. The other little thing that it’s got, which I really I like –

Marcus Lillington
Why do they call them droplets? Oh, because you drop things in it?

Paul Boag
You drop things on them. Don’t screw up your nose. What would you call it then, come on?

Marcus Lillington
A thing.

Paul Boag
A thing?

Marcus Lillington
I don’t know.

Paul Boag
See, that’s your trouble. You’re happy to mock and criticize other people. You’d make a good food critic, you would. Or a theater critic.

Marcus Lillington
I would make an excellent food critic.

Paul Boag
You just slag off stuff with no abilities of your own.

Marcus Lillington
Ah, no I can cook. I’m no good at acting, so I’ll give you that. But I wouldn’t want to be a theater critic.

Paul Boag
Right.

Marcus Lillington
I think being a food critic is probably the best job in the world.

Paul Boag
Do you reckon?

Marcus Lillington
Yes.

Paul Boag
And so wouldn’t it ruin going out for a meal, because you do it all the time?

Marcus Lillington
No.

Paul Boag
I think it probably would.

Marcus Lillington
No it really, really wouldn’t. I’d love it.

Paul Boag
Oh ok. You’d just become really fussy

Marcus Lillington
And fat.

Paul Boag
Well you would. yeah. Right, was I was I talking about? Droplets.

Marcus Lillington
My wife has got me on a new diet.

Paul Boag
Oh no, now what?

Marcus Lillington
It’s called the ‘if’ diet, which is apparently the new fab where you basically – it’s intermittent fasting.

Paul Boag
Right.

Marcus Lillington
Which is two days a week, you are supposed to fast. Well you don’t fast but you kind of cut your calories by 75%.

Paul Boag
Right.

Marcus Lillington
And it’s supposed to – obviously it’s just a maths thing. So therefore two days a week you are eating less, therefore you will lose weight.

Paul Boag
Lose weight, yeah.

Marcus Lillington
But apparently it’s really good for you as well for reasons I can’t remember. It’s to do with the body goes into a re-gen –

Paul Boag
State of shock in your case?

Marcus Lillington
Regeneration instead of – it fixes things instead of creates new stuff. Apparently, I don’t know. It’s probably a load of old crap, but…um, so yeah.

Paul Boag
So how’s that going for you?

Marcus Lillington
Well yesterday was my first day and it was alright.

Paul Boag
Right. Was that one of the fasting days?

Marcus Lillington
Yeah, yeah, so just two fasting days a week.

Paul Boag
And you will eat normal the rest of the time?

Marcus Lillington
Whatever you like the rest of the time.

Paul Boag
See that’s quite good. I could do that. I could do that.

Marcus Lillington
It is isn’t it? Yeah. Because she said ‘it’s Christmas coming up, you’re fat.’

Paul Boag
Your wife is always putting you on diet.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah that’s because I’m just such a glutton. This started off from me wanting to be a food critic.

Paul Boag
Right, I see. So food critics, how did we get to..? Droplets.

Marcus Lillington
Droplets.

Paul Boag
Yes, you didn’t like the name. So the other thing that it does, which I really like, is you can actually take one of your FTP whatever, you know, connections and then mount it as a drive on your device, on your Mac. So suddenly it becomes like another hard drive and you can just interact with it in exactly the same way as a hard drive in the finder.

Marcus Lillington
I didn’t know that.

Paul Boag
Yeah look, so I have just done it now. Come, let me show you. So this is no good, so –

Marcus Lillington
This is great for everyone listening.

Paul Boag
This is really good. So what I’m doing now is I’ve right clicked on something within Transmit and I’ve gone to – you can see look, you can as droplet but you can manage as disk. And when you mount as disk.

Marcus Lillington
That would be even better for me.

Paul Boag
Yeah, if you – well, yeah I guess so.

Marcus Lillington
Because then I can interact with it within…

Paul Boag
Yeah. So there it is on the desktop, an icon that’s got a little truck on it and you can double click on that and then it’s just opened up in finder, exactly the same. You can edit and delete files and all the rest of it. That’s cool, eh?

Marcus Lillington
Wow. Yes. I didn’t know it did all these things.

Paul Boag
You see you just thought…

Marcus Lillington
It was just an FTP client.

Paul Boag
…just for FTP. I mean there are other applications that do a lot of this stuff. It just does it well. And that’s why I love it. And that’s why I’m recommending it as our developer pick of the week.

What I didn’t say was the cost of Transmit.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah it’s not cheap, is it?

Paul Boag
I don’t know actually. Let me…

Marcus Lillington
You carry on, I’ll have a look.

Paul Boag
La-la-la-la-laa, you put me off guard here. Buy now, here we go. I’m there. It’s all good except my connection has now gone slow, obviously, because I am looking at something. It’s typical, isn’t it? It’s gone really slow. This is embarrassing. Come on, we can do this.

Marcus Lillington
I’m looking up the next thing we’re looking up.

Paul Boag
Oh right, right. Right – oh no it’s not that much at all. Transmit, for one copy of it, $34. Bargain.

Marcus Lillington
It’s not 69p though, is it?

Paul Boag
Oh what – oh don’t start that again. $39 (sic) [$34] is an absolute bargain. I mean it’s a work kind of tool. There are free FTP programs out there.

Marcus Lillington
But what you’re saying though… for example, Coder has got FTP built into it. So…

Paul Boag
Yeah. But that depends whether you are using –

Marcus Lillington
Use that then.

Paul Boag
Yeah but it doesn’t have sync and it doesn’t have droplets and it doesn’t have mount to disk and all that kind of stuff.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah.

Paul Boag
And you got a little bit excited about droplets didn’t you? A little excited.

Marcus Lillington
A bit, yeah. Well excited is a bit strong. But I thought ‘I could use that’ yes.

Paul Boag
Yes.

Marcus Lillington
So therefore I shall.

Paul Boag
Right, okay. So now we will move on to our next segment.

SupportBee

SupportBee

Marcus Lillington
Which is?

Paul Boag
Which is SupportBee. How exciting does this sound? Are you excited?

Marcus Lillington
Eh, not really.

Paul Boag
Well when – your enthusiasm on this show is unbelievable.

Marcus Lillington
Some things I like. This one doesn’t sound that interesting.

Paul Boag
Well… this is quite interesting. One of things that I said in my other presentation in San Francisco…

Marcus Lillington
Yes…

Paul Boag
…is how important – when it comes to running a website you tend to focus very much on the website and it’s usability, on all of those kinds of things. But a successful website is about a heck of a lot more than just the website itself. It’s about the customer service that goes around, right?

Marcus Lillington
Yep.

Paul Boag
So whether you’re doing an e-commerce site, whether you are doing a blog, even Boagworld, it’s just as important that I’m replying to people on social networks, that I answer their emails in a timely manner. That is part of running a good website is the kind of customer service you provide above and beyond just the website itself. And a big part of that is support. Now support can vary hugely from website to website as to what you’re supporting. It might be – in my case it’s when people buy eBooks I need to provide them with support for that. ‘I can’t – don’t download my file’ for whatever reason or ‘I bought it on the iPhone and then realized that you can’t download anything on the iPhone’ is one I had recently, it’s like, duh! Duh! But that would be rude to talk like that about your users.

Marcus Lillington
Yes it would be rude. I’m not going to edit it out though.

Paul Boag
No you don’t edit anything out.

Marcus Lillington
Sometimes I do.

Paul Boag
Do you?

Marcus Lillington
Yes.

Paul Boag
Oh interesting, have I had been edited over all these years and never known it.

Marcus Lillington
You didn’t know, did you? It’s normally things I’ve said. I’m like, ‘hang on a minute, no, don’t say that’. Because I remember if I’ve said anything dodgy.

Paul Boag
Oh right, but you don’t remember if I said anything dodgy.

Marcus Lillington
No.

Paul Boag
Oh great, so I look like a complete moron while you look really intelligent.

Marcus Lillington
Absolutely. I edit all the ums and the ahs out and everything. This wonderful…thing.

Paul Boag
Professional podcast.

Marcus Lillington
What-a-name, Doo-da.

Paul Boag
Doo-da. There you go. You need to edit that for a start. So yeah you might be running an e-commerce –

Marcus Lillington
Anyway, sorry, what is this thing? Tell me what it is. What is it?

Paul Boag
Sorry, I was building up to it. I was building some tension. So it’s SupportBee, guess what it is? Have a stab Marcus of what that might be.

Marcus Lillington
I reckon it’s the easiest way to manage customer support email.

Paul Boag
You just read that straight off their website. So this was recommended by somebody in the comments at Boagworld.com/apps and Marcus you’ve got the little thing that he wrote.

Marcus Lillington
Is it a he?

Paul Boag
I don’t know.

Marcus Lillington
Avinasha.

Paul Boag
The only reason I picked this app is because he has an unpronounceable name and I wanted to make you say it.

Marcus Lillington
Avinasha Shastri.

Paul Boag
That’s pretty good.

Marcus Lillington
But it’s he, she? Don’t know. Anyway “I have seen” –

Paul Boag
Come on, it’s our podcast, it’s a he.

Marcus Lillington
Probably.

Paul Boag
I don’t – I mean would any self-respecting woman listen to us for an hour?

Marcus Lillington
Some do, I’m sure. Right, yes this person…

Paul Boag
Yes. This genderless individual.

Marcus Lillington
…says “I have seen an interest in customer support tools in the podcast from time to time.” Really?

Paul Boag
Yeah I was thinking that as well.

Marcus Lillington
“There are a lot of tools out there but not one as different as SupportBee: SupportBee.com. It’s been built with only one intention, to help [a] team in answering your support request efficiently and collaboratively. It has no complex ticket states and works like email. It takes care of ticket management for you and has no learning curve.” That’s my kind of thing.

Paul Boag
A-hah, yes. So I read that and thought ‘ooh this looks quite good I’ll go check it out’. Then I read the bit that I didn’t include on there, which is he’s the developer of it.

Marcus Lillington
Oh.

Paul Boag
So he’s totally biased. But I’d already looked at it by that stage and thought ‘I can’t be arsed to find anything else.’ No, I actually thought it is quite good. So even though it was being promoted by the developer of the app, I don’t care. That’s allowed. And I quite like the look of it. What – see, there are all these customer support tools out there, right. And most of them, for the vast majority of people are a sledgehammer to crack a nut. They don’t really need to be that complicated. And SupportBee is really simple. Normally with these things there’s like support tickets and all of that kind of stuff, which for you as someone managing kind of a customer support system is great. Fine, it might be wonderful having support tickets. But for a user you don’t want all of that hassle. You just want to send an email, do you know what I mean?

Marcus Lillington
And know that it’s going to be responded to and not forgotten about and lost and all that stuff.

Paul Boag
Exactly. And that’s what I like about SupportBee is that it has got this ability to have a very natural email conversation as a user to the point where you can even write stuff in line – see another thing you always get with these support queries is when they write back to you ‘you have to write above a certain line’ and it all seems very formal. Well this, you can even go in and put comments in amongst their comment and it’s a really natural way of responding to customer enquiries. But equally it’s still got all the good things from a support ticket system on the back end of it.

Marcus Lillington
On the back end of it.

Paul Boag
Yeah. So you can answer – when you log into it you get an inbox essentially with all the unanswered queries in there. You go in and you answer them, and then as soon as you answer them it disappears, it’s archived away, and it will reappear if you need to do something about it again.

Marcus Lillington
Okay.

Paul Boag
If for some reason you want to kind of keep something around for some reason you could just star it. It’s great for collaboration, because often with – when it comes to customer support there are multiple people that are involved with that. So it will allow you to assign an individual enquiry to a specific individual and then they get notified either on email or SMS notifications or even in Campfire, actually; it’s integrated with Campfire, which is quite nice. It’s got built into it all the kind of things that you need when you’re doing customer support. Things like snippets, keyboard shortcuts, signatures, which is really important because you’re answering the same questions again and again and again.

It’s something that can be expanded. So it’s got things like filters and web hooks and an API behind it, which is really good. And again it’s this really good thing of its – creates a very human interaction. You feel like you’re talking to an individual because you don’t have any ugly case IDs or have to answer in any particular way, so it’s a really natural conversation. So I was pretty impressed with it. It was quite nice.

Marcus Lillington
Sounds good.

Paul Boag
Whether it’s something – I’ve – after saying all of that, you could do a lot of this with email. So for example, when we ran Get Signoff, we just used Gmail and we used labels within Gmail and different people could log in and stuff like that. So it’s kind of – they’ve kind of positioned themselves for people that want it slightly more sophisticated than just doing it via email but not as sophisticated as a full blown system. Email did get a bit annoying after a while because you’d have to file stuff away and you’d have to remember to label it correctly for different people, and it got just a little bit complicated. And I think this – if I was doing it in Signoff now this would be perfect for us.

In terms of pricing, they price it in a really good way, which I love, right. Often these support customer service tools are priced based on how many agents, how many people are using it, right. And that can get annoying because somebody might be using it for a little while but not a lot or – there’s all kind of things. So they just say unlimited number of agents, you could have as many people involved in answering queries as you want to, and they just charge you on a number of tickets you have per month, right. Which makes a lot more sense because if you think about it number of tickets a month’s represents the number of users that you’re having, the number of users are the number of people that are paying in most cases. So it kind of – you’re happy to pay more money as you are getting more money from your users, if that makes sense.

So 300 tickets per month is $19, 1,000 is $49 and then it starts to get into silly money of $149 for 5000 and $349 for 10,000. I mean I imagine would be really annoying if you get 1,001 and you go from $49 a month to $149, so that’s not so great but –

Marcus Lillington
Yeah, I mean that’s the other thing. It would be annoying, if you were running Get Signoff and you had 10 for example.

Paul Boag
10 support queries?

Marcus Lillington
Yeah, I don’t know. Well I am exaggerating. If you had 50, that’s not beyond the realms. It would be nice to pay $10 for that.

Paul Boag
Yeah I guess so. So I guess there are the downsides for it. But that’s what they’ve got set up. You got a 14-day free trial. It’s worth checking out. I like the simplicity of it. It doesn’t try and do too much or try too hard. So you can try for 14 days, you can set it up. You don’t need a credit card in order to set it up, which is really nice; they’re not going to automatically start charging you after 14 days. I hate applications that do that. So have a look at it, supportbee.com.

Mention

Mention App

Paul Boag
So finally we come to our mobile app of the week. But this one actually is not just a mobile app.

Marcus Lillington
It’s not a mobile app.

Paul Boag
No it is a mobile app. Yes, ‘it’s not on the mobile at all.’ It’s available on the App store for iPhone. It’s also available as an Android app, but it’s also, which I didn’t realize, it’s available as a Mac app as well and even as a Chrome app, so it’s just an add-in for Chrome.

Marcus Lillington
What is it?

Paul Boag
It is Mention. Mention is essentially – do you know what, for a giggle, I’m going to play you the video of it. It’s one of the most cringe-making videos ever. So you’ve got a minute and 30 to be tortured. I’m going to make you listen to that. I’ll probably crack. But listen to as much as you can before you’ve had enough, right.

Marcus Lillington
Okay

Paul Boag
It sells it really badly to start with. I think at completely the wrong audience. But it does kind of get to the point eventually. Here we go. Is it playing? You’re not getting anything.

[Presentation] (46:24 – 47:44)

Marcus Lillington
[During presentation] Right, I might have to kill this bit.

Paul Boag
[During presentation] He’s so annoying isn’t he? “No problem!”

Marcus Lillington
[During presentation] Make it stop. Okay, I can’t have any more.

Paul Boag
You did pretty well actually. You only had ten seconds left to go. But you get the principle. So essentially what it’s doing is its…

Marcus Lillington
“When I’m having a glass of Dom Perignon with a gorgeous babe.”

Paul Boag
Yeah, that’s – no forget that bit, forget that bit. But we all have to monitor mentions of our brands.

Marcus Lillington
True.

Paul Boag
Now there’s loads of tools out there that kind of monitor social networks. But this monitors everything. So not only will it monitor Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, whatever else, it will also monitor website mentions, that kind of stuff. Now you can do all of these things without a problem using various free tools around there. You can use Google alerts for example, which was recently updated I believe. So they’ve made some improvements to that. But I just like this app. So essentially I’ve got it setup for mentions of Headscape, mentions of Boagworld and mentions of me, right.

Marcus Lillington
Me, me, me, me, me.

Paul Boag
Me, me, me. It’s all about me. And so every time something’s posted on the website you can – it goes bing at you and you can go and have a look at it. I actually find the notifications a bit annoying because I’m just mentioned so much. Oh God, how sad do I sound?

Marcus Lillington
Yeah it’s just bing, bing, bing, all the time.

Paul Boag
All the time. No it’s not quite that bad. So you can basically – you get these little notifications, you can click on them, up it pops. You can then, you can see what’s been said about you.

Marcus Lillington
Just for a marketer this is a useful thing.

Paul Boag
Absolutely. And it is – I may get mentioned every 30 seconds but obviously all of them are bad. So I can see all the terrible things people are saying about me. It’s got something in it that’s quite nice, it’s got an anti-noise technology. So essentially if you’re removing things, if you delete stuff it learns that – oh hang on, that was spam or that was rubbish or whatever. So it does get better. It supports teamwork where you can assign different people to follow up on stuff if you want to. You get those live alerts that I mentioned, which can be either via email or push notification. It works on a huge range of devices. As I said it works on the PC – oh it’s got a PC version. It’s got a Chrome app, a Mac app, even works on Linux because of its Chrome app I’m guessing. It’s got mobile versions for the iPhone and the Android. I’ve only ever user used the mobile version, so it surprised me.

You can react to mentions in smart ways. You can retweet a mention, you can share positive mentions directly on your Facebook page, stuff like that. You can also prioritize mentions as well and flag them. You get statistics and data export tools and all this kind of good stuff. Really quite impressive. Now I’m actually not paying for this, which is a bonus.

Marcus Lillington
So there is a free plan?

Paul Boag
There is a free plan and I’m using the free plan.

Marcus Lillington
What does three alerts mean?

Paul Boag
Three alerts means three search terms. So – I’ve said my three.

Marcus Lillington
Right, right.

Paul Boag
Paul Boag, Boagworld, Headscape.

Marcus Lillington
I mean that would work for probably quite a big product wouldn’t it?

Paul Boag
Yeah absolutely. Although – yes, maybe, I don’t know. But there is a limit to –

Marcus Lillington
I did wonder why you weren’t searching on me, and now I know why.

Paul Boag
I would do, obviously.

Marcus Lillington
Obviously.

Paul Boag
Obviously. But I am limited to 500 mentions per month. So obviously I blow that out –

Marcus Lillington
In a day.

Paul Boag
Yeah.

Marcus Lillington
Morning. A morning really

Paul Boag
Yeah, a morning. No, that lasts me a month. And it only gives you like one month’s worth of history if that makes sense. It only kind of goes back a month.

Marcus Lillington
But what is – ah, so you can’t actually access your stats like…

Paul Boag
No you don’t have kind of historical stats, you’re just being notified, if that makes sense.

Marcus Lillington
What does one month history mean? So if I were to look at my one month history what do I actually see?

Paul Boag
You can see all of the mentions for the last month.

Marcus Lillington
So you can’t download those into Excel?

Paul Boag
No and you can’t get any kind of statistics or data reporting on that. There is a pro-plan, which is $19.99 per month, which – again, this is dollars so that’s not too bad. For a marketer that’s taking your marketing seriously.

Marcus Lillington
Yeah if you’re doing something where you are marketing a business, then…fine.

Paul Boag
Absolutely. I mean to be honest we probably should be using it but I don’t care

Marcus Lillington
Then you could search on me.

Paul Boag
Then I could include you, because I would get unlimited alerts, 50,000 mentions a month.

Marcus Lillington
So you might just manage to fit me in as well.

Paul Boag
Yeah. Unlimited history, you get statistics, you get export tools and stuff like that. And then there’s a kind of super-duper delux, $99 per month.

Marcus Lillington
But the only difference is that you can have multiple…

Paul Boag
Multiple teams basically of different people in there managing it, yeah, which I guess in most cases isn’t that big a deal. I bet they don’t sell many of those.

Marcus Lillington
No, I bet they don’t.

Paul Boag
So there you go. So I didn’t realize they had a Mac app and I think I’ll be – I just clicked on the download button because I would quite like the Mac app, it’d be almost more useful than the iPhone app. So even though I said this is a mobile thing…

Marcus Lillington
It’s not.

Paul Boag
Get the Mac app or the Chrome app. Yeah so really good, check it out. That is Mention, which is mention.net but obviously there’ll be a link in the show notes as well.

Okay I think that about wraps this week’s show except obviously for enduring Marcus’s joke.

Marcus Lillington
This is a really good one.

Paul Boag
Is it a good one?

Marcus Lillington
Yeah.

Paul Boag
You’ve really raised our expectations now.

Marcus Lillington
I know. It’s quite a long one so sit back and enjoy.

Paul Boag
Okay, I’m in no hurry. I’ve got nothing better to do other than carting.

Marcus Lillington
I wish I had my glasses with me. It’s getting to the point now when I need to have them all the time. Anyway here we go.

Paul Boag
Oh dear, look at that, that is such – it’s called the classic I-can’t-read-things face.

Marcus Lillington
Anyway here we go. A bloke is driving around the back lanes of Cornwall and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty style house ‘talking dog for sale.’ Anyone remember this one?

Paul Boag
No.

Marcus Lillington
No you don’t. Anyway, he rings the cow bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard. The bloke goes around the back and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there. “You talk?” he asks. “Yep” the lab replies. After the bloke recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says “so what’s your story?” The lab looks up and says “well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I joined the diplomatic service. In no time at all MI5 had me jetting from country to country sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals. I got married, had a mess of puppies and now I’m just retired.” The bloke is amazed. He goes back in asks the owner what he wants for the dog. “£10” the owner says. “£10? This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?” “Because he’s a liar, he never did any of that stuff.” Yeah, there we go.

Paul Boag
The thing I liked most out of that joke actually was ‘a mess of puppies.’

Marcus Lillington
Yeah I had to convert from American all the way through and I messed that one up.

Paul Boag
I like the idea of a mess – a mess of children as well, I think works well.

Marcus Lillington
A mess of children, yeah. There was all sorts of Americanisms. But don’t like Americanisms.

Paul Boag
Whatever next?

Marcus Lillington
Yes I tried to remove them all but missed one.

Paul Boag
We’ll have to be eating hamburgers next. What are going to go do that now, aren’t we?

Marcus Lillington
Yeah.

Paul Boag
That’s a brilliant idea. All right. So there goes the show for the week. That pretty much does it. We will be back again next week with not last minute selected apps but a carefully considered and crafted podcast in every way.

Marcus Lillington
Believe that, believe anything.

Headscape

Boagworld