|BrainBlog is the Brains4All weblog. Established 2004 in The Netherlands. Brains have been working in IT since 1983, working on the internet since 1993, and using their own agile development process for design and application development since 2003. We talk about about design and usability, the industry of software and web development, web applications and simplicity, beautiful and spectacular things.|
Dutch Rock in IT
1:21 PM |
The Dutch, who were in 12th place in 2007, scored particularly well for its good infrastructure and high research budgets.
Top of the list was the US followed by Taiwan (up from 6th) and the UK. Japan fell from 2nd to 12th place. Denmark and Sweden are also strong European countries in the index taking places 4 and 5.
So again, we see that the Internet is a essential tool for business. What can the Internet do for your business?
12:42 AM |
Eight out of 10 Dutch are regularly online, says DutchNews
When it comes to internet use, the Dutch are ahead of most of the rest of Europe with eight out of ten people regularly online, according to a study by Forrester Research.
The report also shows that Dutch 16 to 34-year-olds use the internet for an average 16 hours a week. Only the Scandinavians are online as long.
The latest Comscore reports give slightly different numbers and even show a decrease of 1% of internet usage in the Netherlands. Netherlands has had the highest broadband Internet penetration in the world and remains steadily in the number one position. Internet access in Holland is completely saturated.
Other countries in Europe are moving up fast, showing more people online, more often consuming more data and services.
While online last year, the Dutch spent an average of €365 per head buying everything from secondhand comic books to houses, according to another study also out on Monday.
The total amount spent online through sites like Marktplaats.nl is estimated at €4.6bn in 2007, research group Blauw said. This figure does not include purchases made through webshops.
Even though the reports vary, on the whole you can draw one conclusion:
If you're not making it your business to have an active online presence, you're losing money to competitors who are.
A few years ago off line businesses would never have dreamed of bringing their businesses into the Internet arena but now marketing has changed so rapidly that businesses cannot afford to ignore the Internet.
What is the most heard excuse?
1. My business is local and the Internet is global
Here are some tips from the article to help you think about:
1. Local businesses have local customers that still use the Internet to research their purchases. If you're not showing up on the net, they'll eventually move to a competitor that is.
2. You can make use of drop shippers and fulfillment houses that can be contacted online. Drop shippers can deliver directly to your customer and give you the wholesale prices. Fulfillment houses can take care of your inventory and shipping to your customers.
3. A good professionally designed and developed website works to help you and your customer. Websites can be designed and built for a very reasonable price by using experts like us. Don't think of your website as a online brochure or an online shop only. Your customers are used to having Internet tools to interact with people and companies. A great way to use your web presence is to help increase customer service levels. Very cost effective. Also new web techniques can be used to help you better understand your customers and to forge a relationship.
4. Internet surfers are actually your own customers but in a different place. They are serious shoppers and expect the high standards they have been used to offline. Your website will provide them with all this and more.
What other tips can you share to move your offline business online effectively?
Baby step discovery learning
11:25 PM |
Here is an old post from my personal blog which I wrote about a year ago. When I was still taking my first steps with AJAX... I think it still has some value in it and I often find myself wondering about this curiously effective learning method.
I was watching my son, Quinten who is four years old, play with some Lego he'd got for Sinterklaas the other day. I was fascinated by the way he was going about discovering how it worked, and how he could interact with the toy; a Police car, bad-guy included.
In the mean time, Quinten has become very effective with Lego. Brains4All has done things with AJAX and DOM that I've dreamed of doing for years, and I can safely say we've become very effective with that too. Not only did we explore the technical capabilities of the technique, but more importantly we now have insights into whether or not to apply the technique, or not.
So while in the past year I feel I have progressed in technical skills and definitively in Design and Usability skills, I didn't set out to acquire those. I find that through baby step discovery learning I've acquired an almost mesh-like network of knowledge that works like, and acts almost as an instinct for building powerful, valuable and easy to use websites and killer web based applications.
What are your experiences with baby step discovery learning?
Little Pink Bench
3:26 PM |
When we first moved into our present house, the former owners left behind an old wood and iron “little bench” in the backyard. Not knowing what to do with it, we've put it in front of our house, right on the curb. We gave it some love. Cleaned it up a bit and then we sanded it down and my wife painted it pink.
I can't believe the effect that the "little bench" has had.
We don’t have a yard in front of our house, so we're right on the street. It is a nice neighborhood we live in, but before we the little bench, most people would hardly meet each other. Children would play in their respective backyards and mostly amongst themselves. The bench has changed that; amongst other things.
Every night children from all the houses in our street, but also from all over the neighborhood will come out to play with each other right on our doorstep. The bench is packed, double row, with kids playing on their Psp's, their Nintendo’s and Game-boys. Others are playing football (soccer), or catch, or hide and seek. Yesterday over twenty kids spontaneously held a competition folding and flying paper airplanes.
In the daytime or in the evening when all the children have gone to bed the bench is a place where neighbors meet and come to talk about and discuss the things that are important to a small village.
The bench has been a catalyst for communication and has helped to bring people together. It is a place to stop the frantic world of today, to cool down and to sit and relax. And when someone does, other neighbors will see someone sitting outside, and they'll come outside too. Just to chat. Or to share some beer or wine or water or just a silent moment together.
If someone is walking down the street, of course you say "hello" in passing, but because we're always busy-busy-busy, we're almost afraid to start a conversation. Or just to ask how things are.
The "little pink bench" changes that. Because when you sit on the bench you're approachable. People feel safe and that if they're going to invest to come out of their home to talk to you, you'll still be there, and not gone and already busy doing some other thing.
The little pink bench has improved our street and our neighborhood. Putting it out increased our quality of life. It has made our children happier and our community stronger.
So you too can help and make the world a better place; put out a "little pink bench".
The little pink bench is a metaphor. It reminds us to create a simple and safe place where people can come to share and relax where they would otherwise just pass each other by with just saying "hello".
The bench is pink so it stands out is noticed. Because when it is noticed the pink bench reaches out to people and offers them a choice, just by its very presence; “You can hurry on by or you can, if only for a moment, stop what you are doing and sit down.”
But the most important thing the little pink bench is saying is; "Look, you too, can make a change."
What is your "little pink bench"?