Category Archives: London

London

London, capital city of the UK and England, home of the West End Theatre and 2012 Olympics

Contents
WordPress London #7
London’s Air Ambulance
Sunrise on Wanstead Flats
Kew Gardens
London Riots and Social Media
Time capsule for July 25th to August 8th, 2010
time capsule from May 25th to June 8th, 2010

London, capital city of the UK and England, home of the West End Theatre and 2012 Olympics

WordPress London #7

I went to WordPress London meetup number #7 last night, hosted by Headshift at their office near Shad Thames, along the south bank of the Thames, east of Tower Bridge. Nice to have something on the East side for once, although south of the river, I wouldn’t normally mention the general location but for Londoners, having different travel options is essential and I was pleased to be able to exit the Transport For London  system at a zone 2 tube station, Bermondsey.

WordPress London is not really a mainly social gathering like some of the bloggers meetups, it’s a business learning event and last night there were three sections, each packed with fast moving presentations full of detail, actionable insights and deeply understood data.

First up, a round up of news from the world of WordPress from Chris Adams  of Headshift with a peek at the new drag and drop file upload interface for WordPress 3.3, out very soon. There was also a heads up for the ManageWP service launched this month, a service which I use myself and would also heartily recommend for anybody who maintains more than one self-hosted WordPress installation, in fact it’s brilliant if you have dozens or more.

WordPress London Meetup

WordPress London Meetup

Then David Bain delivered a comprehensive briefing about SEO for WordPress, including an outline of a hub and spoke structure for content based on using pages for the main parts of a site, supported by posts  All based around keyword targeting, which, while possibly on it’s way to becoming somewhat old-school,  is after all what search engine optimisation is all about. One or two plugin tips to be followed up there.

Finally, Keith Devon a WordPress developer explained how and why to use WordPress Custom Post Types. Custom post types are not types of posts at all, but other types of content alongside of posts or pages. The example given was that of a real estate property rental site, for which the element “Property” needed to be a thing of itself, with it’s own display template in the theme, neither a post nor a page but with it’s own “add Property” section within the dashboard. This gave me some great ideas for how I might have designed one or two of my existing sites much better had the concept been around a few years ago. Keith showed us how to implement custom post types by dropping in chunks of code into functions.php “because it’s easier” but discussion from the audience suggests that using specialised plugins for the purpose may be the way to go if you want to be able to keep your site up to date with new software releases.

Time for some brief discussions and an optional visit to a Samuel Smiths pub afterwards, so I walked back along the south bank and over London Bridge back to dry land.

Hashtag: #WPLDN

WordPress London – #7 Links and Slideshare

WordPress News

Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/chris.d.adams/wpldn-monthly-new…

Video: http://youtu.be/gdGOvoDmRSc

WordPress Site Structure and SEO

Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/13pillars/the-3-ps-of-wordpress…

Video: http://youtu.be/rAeqcP0CHLk

Custom Post Types

Slides, video and write-up: http://keithdevon.com/2011/tuts/custom-post-types/

Download the podcast

 

 

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London’s Air Ambulance

Air-ambulance

I saw a car driving up the Romford Road the other day with “Air Ambulance” written on the side.
It didn’t fool me, I know what a helicopter sounds like.

later….

Ok, there is a perfectly good explanation for why the Air Ambulance Service needs to send cars when it’s too dark or difficult for the helicopter to land. That makes sense. But it still doesn’t make sense to label the car as an “Air Ambulance” which is how it appears. They’re going to have to keep explaining that one over and over again to more and more people for as long as the silly branding exercise continues.

The other question that comes to mind is, in what circumstances is it more effective  to dispatch the London Air Ambulance replacement car service all the way from Whitechapel rather than a local Ambulance from the neighbourhood hospitals ambulance services?

London’s Air Ambulance PR Manager replies:

London’s Air Ambulance is not just an airlifting service. We carry a highly experienced doctor on board, usually an Anaesthetist or A&E consultant. We also carry a specially trained paramedic. The service is about the expertise of the medical team. They are the only roadside trauma team who look after London and the helicopter is a means of getting them to the patient quicker as London is one of the most congested cities in the world. As well as being too dangerous at night to land, due to objects such as telephone wires, it is also not as busy and our rapid response vehicles can get about London quite quickly. The team generally patrol central London waiting for a call to a serious incident so they are positioned to get to any area of London quickly. They do not always base themselves at Whitechapel. We are different to a normal ambulance service. Our services will be called upon because our team performs procedures on scene that are normally only found in the hospital emergency department. This has included open chest surgery and bringing a patient back to life who would otherwise be clinically dead and this is a procedure only our team are able to do at the roadside.

One of our paramedics is always based in the London Ambulance control room, monitoring the thousands of 999 calls which pass there every day. As our trauma team are indispensible we have to ensure they are dispatched to the right jobs. The types of incidents they attend include serious road traffic collisions, industrial accidents, falls from heights, drownings and penetrative trauma. We have also attended every major incident in London since inception, including the 7th July terrorist bombings.

I understand that having London’s Air Ambulance labelled on the cars might be confusing, however when the service was initially set up we only had a helicopter. The cars were introduced as it was found there was a need for them as more people where dying unnecessarily at night time in London. Last year, with the help of donations from the public and LAS, we were able to go 24 hours. We probably will have to keep explaining this one over and over again but each time we have to; we are educating one more person as to what our operation is about and hopefully to the fact that we are a charity. We provide an imperative service to London and the cars are a very important part of our service.

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Sunrise on Wanstead Flats

I generally wake early and get started online before breakfast but yesterday I decided to try a sunrise walk around the Alexandra Lake  at Wanstead Flats. That’s where I often end up taking some exercise later in the day anyway, but the sky was clear and there are supposed to be some interesting migrant birds heading our way at this time of year.

Leaving the house I could feel the air was cold but on approaching the green open space that is the flats I could see layers of mist suspended over the frosted grass. When the sun poked up over the lines of trees it lit up the landscape with golden light.

Wanstead Flats Sunrise October 15th

Wanstead Flats Sunrise October 15th

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Kew Gardens

There are many folly buildings at Kew Gardens and yesterday I learned that the person who instigated them had a swivel chair installed inside the little domed colonade at the top of the hill near the lake next to the Palm House. From that vantage point she could survey the results of the gardeners’ labour. The view would have been much different in those days but I thought I’d make a mock swivel chair video of the view from yesterday at Kew Gardens.

Many more Kew Gardens photos are amongst my photosets on Flickr such as :

Kew Gardens October 2011

Kew Gardens

Collection of Kew Gardens Photosets

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London Riots and Social Media

Slideshare by Graham Brown of mobileYouth investigates the role of social media in the London riots and also the cleanup campaign.

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Time capsule for July 25th to August 8th, 2010

Cycle Hire Norton Folgate

Taken July 25, 2010 at 11:45 am

 

London Bike Hire Bicycles Arrive

London Bike Hire Bicycles Arrive

Taken July 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm

 

 

London Palladium Sister Act

Taken July 28, 2010 at 10:12 am

 

Ship In A Bottle Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth

Taken August 2, 2010 at 6:15 pm

 

Taken July 25, 2010 at 11:56 am

 

via posterous

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time capsule from May 25th to June 8th, 2010

South Africa Landscape British Museum

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the British Museum have brought a small corner of South Africa to the heart of London.

Taken May 27, 2010 at 11:48 am

 

Barbican Centre London

Barbican Centre London Shakespeare Tower, one of the three residential towers. The Barbican Estate is a residential estate in the City of London

Taken May 29, 2010 at 2:41 pm

 

Ducklings and Cygnets Valentines Park Ilford

Ducklings and Cygnets Valentines Park Ilford

Taken May 31, 2010 at 4:49 am

 

Ducklings and Cygnets Valentines Park Ilford

Ducklings and Cygnets Valentines Park Ilford

Taken May 30, 2010 at 11:46 am

 

Shabby Chic Furniture

Taken June 1, 2010 at 12:31 pm

 

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Thanks for reading Andy Roberts articles about London on the DARnet Blog