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Behind the Paywall - An Insider Point of View

Over the years, a number of publishers have tried their hand at implementing a paywall. These efforts have been met with varying degrees of success:

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The Sun introduced a paywall on the 1st August 2013, partially removed it in the summer of 2015 and removed it completely on the 30th November 2015. The Financial Times introduced its paywall in 2007, however, they chose to relax the paywall in 2015 in an effort to combat sluggish growth and The Times introduced its paywall in 2010, which recent news suggests it be performing well.

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Four things that suck about project management

Project management is not a glamorous job.   The better you are, the less you’re noticed: things just hum along nicely, with no major conflicts or serious misunderstandings.  If you’re diligent, skilled, dedicated and competent, someone else will get credit.  The software, application, website or rebuild you so lovingly slaved over will be attributed to your boss, your client, or – if you’re lucky – to your developers or creatives.

In fact, the only time a project manager can rely on getting any real attention is when things go wrong.  A host of complex issues may be present – problematic management behaviour, shifting requirements, lack of necessary cooperation from the wider business, underinvestment in skill or resource – but the blame is ultimately yours.  You’re the project manager.

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“My boss doesn’t get it.” The puzzle of motivation.

Management roles have traditionally focused on issuing assignments and offering rewards.  For much of the industrial age, this worked well.  In the vast majority of situations, people do work harder if they know they’ll get a financial bonus or more recognition.  Primed with 100 years of business advice, managers feel they have the tools they need to get things done, retain their staff and hit their targets.

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But when they find themselves at the helm of a team of developers, or a mixed team of designers and developers, managers get confused.  The promise of rewards only goes so far.   Sometimes, incentives fail to generate any interest and may even lead to resistance.  Developers who never voice any dissatisfaction put in their notice and move on without any explanation, leaving you scratching your head.  It’s really confusing, and there are no easy answers. 

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The Iron Triangle - How does motivation emphasis create an agency environment?

I remember when I first heard about the Iron Triangle. It sounded sinister, Evil Empire like, and not really something I could embrace in my fluffy idealistic agency brain. Just to be clear in this article I am talking about the Project Management version, not the US political system version… which is sinister and is just like the Evil Empire.

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Back then I was speaking to my then boss, a man who I credit with opening my eyes to a great deal to how an agency works and, more importantly, how it should work. He was explaining in typically simple eloquence, how he wanted us to set expectation with clients. 

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The Adblock Wars - Stop blaming the victim!

Much to the dismay of the advertising and publishing industry, Adblock is indeed here to stay. But, what is the industry doing about it? For the most part, pointing the finger and accusing the end user of underhanded tactics. To that I say: Pot, meet Kettle.

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Over the last few months I have noticed an increasing number of articles surround Adblock usage, most of which are coming from advertisers and publishers perspective.  Within these articles the underlying theme is that Adblock is evil and people using it are:

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Content is a very lonely king (and he needs some pants)

I was once told that If you put a £5 note for sale in the window, you can sell it for £5 or maybe even more, but if you put it way at the back of the shop, hidden away and try to sell it for 50p, it still won't sell.

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Lesson:  No matter how good the product is, if it's not where your customers can see it then it's worthless. 

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How To: Track Outbound Links

Great! You have got visitors on your website, you can see they viewed several articles, but where did they go next?

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Everyone wants to know why their visitors left their website and this might be for a number of reasons including:-

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Run! The adblockers are coming!

Most publishers will have you believe that adblocker users are monsters, thieves that want free content, these users wont stop until your business is dead!

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Adblock is nothing new, it is a representation of the collective voice of internet users screaming "WE WANT CHANGE!", in an industry that is so far behind, we should thank these users for waking us up. 

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Increasing the barrier to entry by simplifying the process

The more we browse the web the more our experiences influence how we design and develop our own products. We isolate and extract the best experiences and replicate them to help guide and inform users as best we can. But are we really in the best position to decide what works and what doesn't? The simple answer is, no!

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Over the last few months I have been working on a major new section of a website and I was recently invited to sit in on one of the user testing session that was set up to test the work I had done.  In the run up to the user testing sessions we had identified that parts of the user journey were quite complicated for new users and decided to pre-empt any confusion by implementing IntroJS so we could highlight the main parts of the product and tell the user what they were expected to do. 

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Installing and configuring Symfony2

Symfony2 is a fantastic framework for developing your web applications and services and installing and configuring Symfony2 is extremely easy.  With the use of composer and the Symfony installer you can get started in just a couple of minutes and with only a few simple commands.

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Symfony2 uses composer as the package manager for managing all of the dependencies within your applications and is a prerequistie to developing with Symfony2 so we will install this first.

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BFF @ SoundCloud

Our friends at SoundCloud embarked on a journey a few years ago that changed their system and moved it from a monolithic Rails application towards an ecosystem of microservices. Read more

The Drum

The Drum

Google'€™s AMP is bringing some much needed speed to mobile but the transition won'€™t be easy for publishers

A week after launching, the Google-led Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) initiative has raised more questions than answers for publishers... Read more

SitePoint

SitePoint

Quick Tip: How to Permanently Change SQL Mode in MySQL

MySQL 5.7 introduced some awkward changes for older codebases and tends to break apps. Here's how to temporarily (or permanently) lower the strictness level Read more

SitePoint

SitePoint

How to Build Your Own Dependency Injection Container

Andrew Carter builds a Dependency Injection container from scratch, showing you how that rocket science is really just fireworks strapped to lego figures! Read more

AuthorityLabs

AuthorityLabs

13 Reasons Your Organic Traffic is in Decline | It's Not a Penalty

The landscape of search engine optimization has changed drastically in the last 3-4 years. Even as it changes, a lot stays the same. It has been very challenging to see a multitude of friends and colleagues approach me with problems that often seem beyond repair with clients that they have worked with for years. Read more

Telerik Developer Network

Telerik Developer Network

Leveling Up Your JavaScript

Raymond Camden offers tips, techniques and tools that can improve your development skills for anyone learning JavaScript. Read more