I am an Englishman who has lived in California since 1994. I have an ancient Ph.D. in Computer Science and have worked for most of my life in selling or marketing information technology. I have been a senior marketing executive at several high-tech companies, including IBM, Informix and Unisys. I have lived in London, Madrid and Edinburgh, and have traveled widely and sometimes unwisely. I wrote my first brief novel at the age of seven for my Uncle Joe, and have now written seven more, which are longer than the first one but probably no more entertaining. I have had both fiction and non-fiction pieces published in various newspapers and periodicals. I have written countless marketing documents which have benefited from my fiction writing skills and my existential sense of the absurd. I have edited newsletters for high-tech companies and written articles for the technical press. I write fiction and non-fiction for WordisWorth and provide marketing consulting services. You can email me if you want to know more.
I am a Scot, who came to the Bay area of California in 2004 to complete a masters in journalism and mass communications. I'm a glutton for studying, adding that MSc to an existing MBA, an MA in Education Management and other professional and management qualifications. I have been a university lecturer, business school manager, negotiator, sales executive, international project director, fitness trainer, business and life coach, and English language teacher. I am bringing all this together in WordisWorth, writing what I know about to benefit everyone who is interested. I write WordisWorth's non-fiction and business content. If you want to know more or have me design or write something for you then don't hesitate to email me.
There's everything here. Fact, fiction, business advice, personal coaching, fitness tips, news, trivia, writing, design and editing services, and more besides. It has just about everything you need for your education and entertainment in one place. You live a busy life, you want to succeed, but you don't have time to use lots of different sources to get relevant information and knowledge. If you've suffered conventional learning through dusty textbooks, with dry jargon and complex information designed to make the author look smart, then you might have switched right off and switched on the TV instead or turned to a magazine.
WordisWorth is your TV or magazine. It is designed to entertain you while you absorb its content. It will help and inspire you to get the most out of work and life and be the best you can be. Theory has informed its look and its content. But there's nothing theoretical in here. We present a non- academic and jargon-free guide to our knowledge and learning.
WordisWorth brings you edutainment
You get education in an entertaining way. There's no need to struggle to learn something just to get ahead. If you don't enjoy it, it's not worth it. Learn more about edutainment here.
And here's some information about color and design, to give you a bit of knowledge and inspiration:
Suzy Chiazzari' complete book of colour and Lori Reid's colour book (they're British so color is colour!) tell all about how color affects our lives and wellbeing and what different colors mean.
Successzine is purple because Suzy says purple stimulates creativity, inspiration and imagination. Lori says it's a high status color and unites intelligence and understanding. She says it "allows our minds to soar with confidence into territories untested and untried." We want Successzine to take you there.
Fiction is blue beause it is a peaceful color. It is also a color that get's us thinking. Our fiction helps you relax, and it has a message in its humor.
We chose green for facts because green helps our judgement. It also lessens any stress we are feeling. What better mood to be in when you want to take in new facts easily?
Allsorts is red. It might be too bright for some, but red is a powerful color, full of life. You get all sorts of upbeat and exciting tips.
Orange stimulates the mind and helps you get rid of any "I can't do it" feelings. You learn how to do just about anything in how-to pages..
Our catalog is a sort of mix of pales; sort of browny, or goldy, or yellowy or beige. It's a no-nonsense color so that you are not distracted when buying important gifts for yourself or others.
And the main page is yellow. Yellow is happy, bright and uplifting. It's a celebratory color, making you think of sunny days. It helps you think clearly, make decisions, sharpen your judgement, and take in new ideas. This is what WordisWorth wants to give to you.
WordisWorth's design and layout
A book called Usability: the site speaks for itself was the spark that ignited the vision of how WordisWorth should look and what it should contain. People who were involved in the design and development of actual websites have poured their hearts out to tell it how it actually was when they were designing their sites. The information from those that worked on the BBC News Website and the Economist Webite was really valuable and helpful. Their advice on what to think about and how to go about it was amazing. Both these sites are about presenting interesting, trustworthy, informative information in an easily accessible way. That's the aim for Successzine.
Think of the audience was one mantra. Don't even load the website design software, never mind start designing the look and content, until you know who is going to use the site. It's like designing your avatar for a game or chat site. Think about the age, education, lifestyle, look, interests, culture, reading habits, technical know-how, personality, and friends of your typical user. We've imagined that the Successzine reader is between the ages of 23 and 48, is ambitious, is interested and interesting, wants to get a gallon of knowledge in a pint pot, likes to laugh, likes to think, and wants and needs quick digests of information that make sense, are not over complex, and are useful.
Easy navigation is a must-have. It's the reason behind WordisWorth's color coding so that you know where you are at any one time. It's the reason some links take you to a new window and others keep you in the site. It's the reason there are often more ways than one to get to the same place.
The user's computer screen comes into the equation. WordisWorth's main page is designed so that you see most of it in your window (unless if you are using a hand-held). It is also narrower than many sites so that if you have a small screen you don't need to keep scrolling to see what's on the right hand side. And it's not just the computer screen that's important, the user's browser is too. This site was tested by a variety of friends in a variety of continents to make sure that the windows all open in the same way no matter what browser you are using.
Patience threshold was another consideration. This was balanced with a wish to include images designed to say more than words can on their own. The image sizes have been kept to a minimum so that you don't have to wait for too long for pages to load. It's the reason no flash has been used on the site.
WordisWorth's opportunities for us to speak together
Dan Gillmor, of the San Jose Mercury News and siliconvalley.com blogger, wrote a wonderful book We the media - grassroots journalism by the people for the people. In it he talks about how new technology has opened up journalism to anyone. We invite you to comment on our articles, give us feedback, or express your opinons so that we can include the voices of people on the spot to ensure that our information is up-to-date, relevant, interesting and rich. We like writing, have written a lot, and want others to read it. We decided to develop this website to publish our own material and save us the bother of persuading an editor somewhere to publish it for us.
If you're interested in the books mentioned, here are the ISBN numbers:
We the media - 0-596-00733-7
Usability - 1-904151-03-5
Colour book - 1-85906-044-7
Complete book of colour - 1-86204-250-0