Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Talking technology for small businesses

Visited Richard Wishart of Delivery Management today to talk about different internet technologies and how they can be used to support small businesses.

One of the common elements that frustrated us both was the lack of user friendliness in many applications. Even updating and managing your website can become over complicated.

Ironically, in this day and age of service variety and options, you sometimes just wish there was a simple shortcut to allow you to undertake the routine tasks; leaving you the option of looking at other features when you have the time and inclination.

Two positives from our experience are Skype - very easy to set up and use and the telephone assistance for BT connect business users.

Richard and I both enjoy collaborating and using collaborative tools, from google docs to Microsoft live, utilising Skype conferencing or windows live messenger on the way! Collaboration is an excellent way for small businesses to extend the range of services and skills that they can provide.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Blooming Success at Open Studios

Visiting Heather Maunders, artist, in Little Downham today, we talked about the unexpected preferences of the public for pictures that an artist might produce.

I remember exhibiting in Cambridge Open Studios for two years running(I'm still a member) and thoroughly enjoying people dropping by to talk about my photography and artwork. Heather's exhibiting for the first time this year with her large portfolio of artwork inspired by both flora and fauna.

One would have though that in this current age, the trend would be towards modernistic abstract painting, however, Heather was pleasantly surprised to find that it was her detailed and accurate studies of flowers that resonated with her visitors.

By often concentrating on close up detail, heathers pictures reveal the inner beauty of the flower, created by the complexity of the petals, anthers and the interplay of light, colour and shade.
The other problem we were discussing was the difficulty on obtaining good, high quality prints of artwork as a cost effective alternative to the originals. Heather has gone the whole hog and has purchased the equipment to control the whole process herself from painting, scanning to printing.
If you can, try to attend Cambridge Open Studios on the weekends during July, and of course make a particular effort to see Heathers pictures. If you cannot, an equally enjoyable alternative is to visit her website at http://www.heathermaunders.com/. And next year, I think I'll exhibit again too!