Thursday, 19 March 2009

Withnail & I and Italian Job locations on Google Street View

Google launched Street View today in the UK and Netherlands. Which has quickly brought up a whole load of furious email forwarding of friends spotting themselves going to lunch, people being sick, and i'm sure to be followed by a lot more dodgy stuff as in the American version.

Anyway so to celebrate this momentous occasion in blurring the lines of privacy and helping people with no sense of direction, i've gone looking for movie locations. I'm sure a commercial use will come along soon but this is more fun.


The Mother Black Cap - The pub where Withnail and I run out of following the 'perfumed ponce' incident.

Monty's house

The Royal Lancaster - Where Charlie has his getting out of jail present.

Croaker's pad - highlighting the limits of Street View, Croaker's pad is up a road that's not available on Street View so you'll have to look down the road to see it (on the left).

Go to the Movie Locations site to find more.

Update: And yet more classics - Top Gear's Stig, man having a wee, Dave Gorman, man taking picture of Street View.

And some i found myself: Man breaking into (?) house, the diving angels in Piccadilly Circus,

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Check when GMail goes down with Google's status dash

I stumbled across Google's Apps Status Dashboard last week. It just lets you know which of Google's apps is having service issues and often a time frame of the fix.
Screenshot of Google Apps Status Dashboard
It won't do anything to prevent a Twitter storm next time GMail fails but it's handy if you use any Google Apps for important business.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Improve and check your website's readability

Is the copy on your website or in your emails readable or incomprehensible to the average user? Well you can check the readability of your copy using Microsoft Word's readability tool.

This tool uses something called 'Flesch Reading Ease' that will tell you what age level your copy is aimed at.

I picked up this tip from a seminar on digital strategy given by Dotmailer at TFM&A.
  1. Copy and paste the copy you wish to check for readability into Microsoft Word - I’d suggest copying it to notepad to strip out all the formatting first, then into Word.
  2. Turn on ‘readability’ in Microsoft Word 2003 under Tools>Options>Spelling and Grammar tab>Show readability statistics check box
  3. Run spellcheck. At the end of the spellcheck you will have the following extra statistics (the following is the result for this post's copy):
Microsoft Word Readability Statistics
The higher the number (50.1 in my screenshot above) the easier to read. Anything lower than 30 means college graduate level and so may be putting off some users from reading and understanding your website. Wikipedia has more about ‘Flesch Reading Ease’ and what it means.

Related posts
20 email marketing tips (Nov 2007)
SEO problems of white text on a dark background (Jul 2008)
What font / text size online and how to set it in the CSS (Oct 2008)
Check your web design in different browsers online (Jun 2009)