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It’s a sad day today here at Marton House as one of our team is moving on to pastures new.

You may know her as Binsey in the blog-o-sphere but here at MH towers she is affectionately known by her real name, Sarah.

Sarah has been working with us here for three and a half years now and during that time has proven herself to be an invaluable asset. She is a team player and also a leader, but more than that she is one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

The loss will not only be felt by us here it will also be a great loss to readers of this blog as Binsey was one of the most regular contributers to The Learning Journey.

She is off to take on the role of Head of Learning & Development for a national high street fashion company. The allure of the job is obvious: new challenges, greater responsibility and a hefty discount off her clothes shopping bill!

Sarah, we wish you every success in your new career.

We is gonna miss ya!


You Suck at Photoshop

It’s been a while since our last post here on the Learning Journey (mainly due to a very busy post Christmas schedule), so I come to you today with a doozy.

We like to inject fun into our training products here at Marton House as we find not only can humour hold the viewers attention better but it can also help people to learn. The general rule of thumb is if someone is entertained their brain is more open to retaining information – in other words it doesn’t shut down 3 minutes into the programme when most people’s attention span is starting to drift.

At the weekend I came across the following video after searching for Photoshop tutorials. The reason it leapt out at me is the fact that the video is simple screen-based training that you can actually learn from whilst having a storyline.

The question is really whether it’s a short film pretending to be a training video or if it’s a training video with a new style. You decide.

Click here to watch episode one.

You can see more in the series down the left hand side of the linked page, there are 4 in total. I recommend you do as they get much funnier.


There’s a great post today over on Zen Habits with a view to helping you get the most of 2008, both personally and professionally.
Some great tips, particularly the one about choosing just one goal and focusing all your efforts on that without diluting your energy.


bad reputation
In an age where we are being warned that what we put up on social networking sites such as Facebook could ruin our reputations, how do we go about building a decent, respectable web-presence?

Well for starters do you even know what your web presence is?

Seth Godin reminded me today that it was worth kicking off the New Year by searching for yourself on Google, something I do once every couple of months to see what has changed.

When I search for my name (Shaune Fradley), Google returns 224 results. Not bad but nothing like Seth’s at 992,000. Granted he’s had more time and more exposure than myself but how many of those 992,000 results will return a quality link? By page 5 there are a couple of tenuous links, page 10 a few more, page 20 even more and by page 50 it’s a string of people writing about Seth Godin, much like I’m doing now. In fact next time the Google crawler robot searches this page it will add another link to those 992,000 results as I have directly referenced Seth Godin. Even better because I’ve mentioned him 3 times and because blogs are classified as current news by Google there is a good chance this post will get a pretty high mention in the Google results. Good for me, good for him.

So firstly what is the best way to search for yourself on Google? With a name like my own I’m reasonably unique so I just search for my name contained within quotes “Shaune Fradley” and the results that come back are pretty much guaranteed to be me. What if you are John Smith? That’s a much more common name and much more difficult for a targeted search but if work in accounting in Warwick you could search for “John Smith” +accounting +Warick. Hopefully you’ll find yourself.

So what about those results and how do you keep them focused? Most of the results that come back for me are either film related or web marketing information as they are the 2 things I either write about most or people write about me. The film related hits are vaster as people know me as a cameraman and editor and have either written about me or posted me as a credit on their film production. This is great for my reputation as when a potential client searches for yours truly they can see I’ve been involved with a lot of projects.

So how do you improve your own web presence? It’s simple really all you need to do is write about what you know, maybe in your own blog, maybe in another experts blog, or perhaps in an article over on Squidoo or on Ezine Articles, the beauty about articles being they are copyright free and once you have written one somebody else can take your article and publish it on their blog/website whilst still giving you the credit.

Be the expert that you know you are and before long you too can have 992,000 dedicated results on Google. Don’t expect it overnight though, I had little to no web presence 5 years ago, now I have a massive 224 results! 🙂

Also think twice about what you write as once it’s out there it can be very difficult to reel something back in. This BBC report on Facebook is a prime example of the problems and backlash from a bad internet reputation.

Hopefully though when you search for yourself you will be pleasantly surprised and you may even discover something you never knew existed.


Image courtesy of the Arms Deal website.

Yes it’s the 2nd January, the day after all the celebrations are over and you find yourself back in the office confused and disorientated.

Well worry no more as The Learning Journey is here to kick you off with a thought for the day.

“The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows.”

George William Curtis  (American social reformer, author and editor, 18241892)

Happy New Year everybody!

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