Posted on June 24, 2013 at 9:11 am by Andrew Arnott

Customizing the Hootsuite dashboard to create a cleaner, brighter theme

Tired of the dated, fussy design of the Hootsuite dashboard? I was, so I created a new cleaner version, which you can use on your own Hootsuite dashboard (if you use Chrome or Firefox).

Improved Hootsuite theme

Restyling Hootsuite

Here at vclever, we’re big users of Hootsuite, a social media dashboard that makes it easy to manage multiple accounts on Facebook and Twitter, amongst others. But the hideous appearance of the dashboard niggles at me. While others, like Twitter and Google+, have been rolling out beautiful new looks, Hootsuite’s three themes are starting to look a bit tired and dated thanks to thick shadows and strong gradients plastered everywhere, and colour-schemes that are less than tasteful.

Although I had better things to be doing at the time(!!), I decided to dabble with Hootsuite’s CSS using Chrome’s developer tools to make the appearance fresher, easier on the eye, cleaner and brighter. (more…)

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Posted on May 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm by Andrew Arnott

What is the EU Cookie Law and do we need to do anything?


Chances are you’ve heard about the ‘EU Cookie Law’. If you have, you might very well be confused or worried about its implications and what exactly you should be doing about it. If you haven’t, and you own or run a company’s website within the EU, then you need to take note and you probably need to take action (but don’t panic, because it’s not as bad as you might think).

What is it?

The EU Cookie Law as it’s being called is actually part of a European E-Privacy Directive. It was brought in by those helpful people at the EU to protect your privacy.  They think people don’t know what cookies are or what they do (which is probably fair) and that the way to tackle this is to get every website to ask their users to opt in to the use of cookies. Although, browsers allow you to change your privacy settings, apparently this is not enough. There have been a lot of people throwing their toys out of the pram about it (also probably fair), because its most severe interpretation would have every website presenting new users with a big banner asking for their permission to use any cookies (and then only using them if the user ticks ‘yes’).

Read on to see how it affects you

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Posted on October 31, 2010 at 4:52 pm by Andrew Arnott

Digital marketing lessons: Southern Rail experience severe delays in their checkout process

Marketing lessons - checkout

Time and time again, I come across sites that are well thought out and well designed – that is, until you click the ‘buy’ button.

Southern Rail is a perfect case in point. They’ve clearly blown a fair amount of cash on marketing recently and the website seems to have got the full treatment.

The booking system is slick (especially given the complexity of fares and timetables it has to deal with) and everything is presented pretty cleanly and simply. Read the full article

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Posted on August 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm by Andrew Arnott

Three Mobile and the worst call centres known to man

three will make you do this

Today, I had the misfortune of spending 25 minutes on the phone trying to leave Three Mobile.

I wouldn’t normally post personal rants on this blog, but in this instance, I think there are some serious lessons that businesses can learn from the mismatch in Three’s brand message and the farcical experience of speaking to their doggedly persistent and dishonest call centre monkeys.
Read the full article

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Posted on June 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm by Andrew Arnott

Google TV – pass the remote

google tv

You may have heard about Google’s latest venture in its quest for world domination – Google TV.

If you haven’t, check out Google’s introduction.  It integrates the web and TV programmes on your television using an interface that looks suspiciously like the old Windows Media Centre.

It got me thinking about how home entertainment is going to look in the not-too-distant future.  Are we really going to gather round our all-singing all-dancing televisions to watch TV-on-demand and the best the web has to offer? Read the full article

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