The Obligatory “I’m Still Alive” Post

It’s been a fair while since my last post. Various reasons come to mind but for me the biggest focus of the last six weeks has been my company, which has taken a far greater chunk of my attention in recent times.

While plenty of things have happened recently, I’m going to try focusing on my business as the basis for a series of new articles on this blog. I’m hoping to talk more about my experiences, ups and downs with the hope that this kind of writing will be useful to others.

The usual common-sense disclaimer applies: anything I write is personal, (usually) unqualified and should not be viewed as definitive. Simply take them as they are: anecdotal.

I’ll be writing the first article real soon now, and you are actively encouraged to reply and give your own thoughts.

Going Solo, Leeds, UK

Good news. Going Solo – the “one-day educational conference for freelancers and small business owners” is open for registration. First 25 registrations get the special early-bird discount and pay just £150 (which by all accounts is going fast…).

I’ve been freelancing for about a year now, and running a small business for over six months. It’s moving fast, and I’m enjoying learning a great deal from first-hand experience and others’ stories. Going Solo looks like a great opportunity to get first-hand feedback from like-minded people. I’m hoping to get a lot from this event.

Path Intelligence

I’m surprised the tin foil hat wearers haven’t been all over this one, but here’s an interesting company out of Gosport, recently moved to Port Solent, Portsmouth:

Path Intelligence, a company based in Portsmouth (UK) install networks of radio detectors in shopping centres and follow the path of customers through units using the unique signatures of their individual mobile phones. Given that most people nowadays carry a phone it seems to be a pretty good way of accurately obtaining live footfall information.

The system was first used in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth where it measured interaction between stores, store types and the movements between the centre and Spinnaker Tower.

Update: Looks like the tin foil hats are out, with articles from The Times and The Register (and undoubtedly many others) covering the chilling effects of data aggregation. Fellow blogger Chris has also written about it, and plans to switch his phone on and off.

Me? This just seems like a much more sophisticated version of the footfall counters you get at shop entrances, and the company assures us that only aggregated information is stored which cannot be linked back to CCTV images. It’s up to you whether you believe them or not, of course.