147. Ho Ho Ho

Paul Boag

This week on Boagworld: IT’S CHRISTMAS!

Download this show.

Launch our podcast player

Watch the behind the scenes video

This week’s Boagworld is our live Christmas special recorded via ustream.tv. It is our last show before the Christmas break. We return on Wednesday 14th January 2009!

News and events

Kevin Rose’s Christmas Shopping list

Later in the show we are going to share your top geek gifts. However, before we do that I thought we would start with Kevin Roses’ list to Santa.

Kevin has posted his top 10 gifts for geeks and it makes interesting reading. His list includes:

  • Amazon MP3 Gift Certificates – Notice this is not iTunes
  • A USB Drive that can go through the wash and survive to tell the tale
  • A clever little box that can stream Netflix films to your TV
  • A kit for getting you into building your own electronics
  • A HD flip camera
  • Some awesome luggage that is perfect for conferences
  • An insane all in one printer with touch screen
  • A Drobo
  • A micro tool with 19 different functions
  • A Casio slow motion camera

I whole heartedly support the inclusion of the Drobo in this list and I love the look of the luggage. However, personally I would prefer iTunes vouchers because then I can waste even more money buying Apps for my iPhone.

20 signs you don’t want that web design project

Admittedly this next post is not very festive but it brought a smile to my lips and isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Zeldman goes all ‘ba humbug’ this week when he shares 20 signs that you do not want that web design project. There are some real gems in here. My favourites include:

A previously uninvolved marketing guy starts telling you, your client, and your client’s boss that the minimalist look “doesn’t knock me out.” A discussion of what the site’s 18-year-old users want, backed by research, does not dent the determination of the 52-year-old marketing guy to demand a rethink of the approved design to be more appealing to his aesthetic sensibility.

At meeting to which you have traveled at your own expense, client informs you that he doesn’t have a budget per se, but is open to “trading services.”

Client begins first meeting by making a big show of telling you that you are the expert. You are in charge, he says: he will defer to you in all things, because you understand the web and he does not. (Trust your uncle Jeffrey: this man will micromanage every hair on the project’s head.)

Very funny stuff and sadly, depressingly true. Nice to know even the mighty Zeldman has to deal with this kind of thing!

2008 on the Web: The 20 Key Events

Our final story for this Christmas show comes from Mashable. They share with us the 20 key events that have shaped the web in 2008.

You get a lot of these retrospectives at the end of the year but this is actually a very good list.

According to Mashable some of the key events of 2008 include:

  • The presidential election being fought online
  • The growth of data portability
  • The Apple apps store
  • Citizen Journalism
  • The Facebook redesign
  • The economic downturn
  • Streaming TV
  • Twitter
  • Microsoft and Yahoo!
  • Justin.tv suicide
  • Rick Rolling

The complete list and more detailed analysis can be found on Mashable.

It makes interesting reading if only to reinforce how fast things move online. In one year so much has happened. It makes you wonder what 2009 has in store. No doubt we will have a plethora of predications in January.

Back to top

Geek Gifts this Christmas

On last years Christmas show we shared our ideas for the perfect geek Christmas gift. This year we thought it might be more fun for the Boagworld community to share their ideas.

You guys have submitted and voted on some great suggestions and here is the top 10:

  1. A new Macbook Pro
  2. Adobe CS4 Design Premium
  3. iPhone 3G
  4. Marcus to play his guitar
  5. A Nintendo Wii
  6. A moleskin notebook and Lamy 2000 pen
  7. Apple TV
  8. Nikon D300 DSLR
  9. New iMac
  10. USB slippers

I was a bit gutted to see that ‘A decent joke from Marcus’ didn’t quite make it into the top 10 list. However, I thought it deserved a mention anyway :)

Other entries worth a mention include a netbook, A job and the Website Owners Manual!

Back to top

Boagworld Christmas Appeal

Last year I decided at the last minute to raise some money for a charity on the Christmas show. The Charity we chose to raise money for was called the Bethesda Project. It is a school and children’s home in rural India. The children who attend the school or live in the home come from very deprived backgrounds and the project provides them with a unique opportunity to better their lives.

The Boagworld community last year raised over £1000 to help this project and our money was able to buy an entire new building for the school. It was an incredible achievement and one that you should all be proud of.

However, over the last two years the project has doubled in size and they continue to need our help. With that in mind we are providing you the chance to give again.

I know you guys are constantly bombarded with appeals for money from various faceless charities. Its hard when you feel no connection to the people involved. I am lucky because I grew up with Sarah who helps run the project. I know her and her husband. I know the amazing sacrifice they have made to help these kids.

I therefore thought it might help if I shared a short video interview I did with them last Sunday while at church. Apologises for the poor quality but this was a spur of the moment thing and recorded on my little digital camera.

Occasionally I get emails from people asking who my ‘web design heroes are’. It always strikes me as a bizarre question. The web is an amazing place and I am honoured to be involved in developing something that is the pinnacle of human achievement and knowledge. However, in my opinion it does not generate heroes.

My heroes are people like Sarah and Simon. These people are intelligent and talented. They could have earned a fortune in the commercial sector. Instead they have devoted their lives to serving others. That is to be admired and respected. In my opinion that should be supported.

That said, I know times are tough and people haven’t got a lot of spare cash. SO, I have decided to bribe you. If you give something to the Boagworld appeal no matter how big or small we will give you the chance to win a GetSignOff T-Shirt. As an added bonus I will get Marcus to sign it (he used to be a popstar don’t you know!) and I may even sign it myself.

So can I ask everybody to give something even if its just a few dollars. The majority of last years £1000 was made up to tiny individual gifts. Simply go to http://justgiving.com/boagworld/

Back to top

Question time

The remainder of the show was dedicated to answering questions either sent in by listeners or asked directly in the chat room. Questions included:

Paul asks – What would be you’re ultimate (non-electrical/non-computer related) Christmas present and why?

Doug asks – what’s been your favorite site redesign, either that you have done or you’ve seen done on the internet in the last year or so?

Paul asks – For someone interested in getting into the Web Design industry, what would be the 1 piece of advice you give them?

Matthew asks – What would you be doing, career wise, if the web did not exist?

Jamie asks – How much do you think technical competency counts for or against a good sales team.

Matthew asks – What is your innate age? Have you alway been a 42 year old in spirit? Or a 12 year old?

Paul asks – What Christmas present did you really want that you never got as a kid?

Back to top