Running Motivation

“Mind Games – A movie about running”. A running motivational video by Casey Neistat, an awesome video worth watching if you’re in need of motivation to go for a run, it’s given me a couple of ideas for my own short clip after I started to use the “one second per day” app to record days in one second blocks.

Here are another couple of motivational running videos, not quite as cool as Casey Neistat’s but still worth a watch if you’re still searching for that mental edge to tip you off the couch in front of the TV and take you outside for a run:

Motivate Me To Run 1
Motivate Me To Run 2

Read More

Compression Socks Running – Day 2

This morning I went for a 10k run, which ended up being 11.05k (according to MapMyRun), I clocked 54.22, two minutes slower than yesterday, without the compression socks on, however, I did run a flat 5km split only 4 seconds difference between my two 5k runs, which I was pleased with.

Compression Socks Running

Compression Socks

New Compression Socks

It was only the second time (after Thursday 24th April) that I’d worn my compression socks. I think they’re a different addition to my running, but they’re good for the cold weather especially as it’s getting into the winter months they work towards keeping me warm, as I always like to run in shorts. I’m not convinced of all of their claimed properties and benefits, so far I’ve have had a mixed experience with them.

Perhaps it’s because I’m not used to wearing them, or perhaps it’s because my calf muscles are very big (19 inch in width). I noticed that I could feel my calf muscles getting tight during the first 5km of my run today, which I also noticed on my Thursday 5k. I am not sure if it’s fatigue due to my 10k run yesterday and the 5k run before that, however, I did have a similar feeling on Thursdays when I first wore the compression socks, yet on Friday when I ran 10k without them, although I felt as though I was running tired but I didn’t get the same uncomfortable feeling in my calf muscles.

Compression Socks Claims

The compression socks I purchased do claim a lot of advantages which are broken down into 3 sub categories:

1. Powerful compression wraps muscles for

  • Reduced fatigue through less muscle oscillation
  • Reduced muscle soreness
  • Reduced long-term overuse injuries

2. Graduated fit to increase blood circulation for

  • Faster muscular warm up pre-exercise
  • Greater power output
  • Greater oxidation of blood for faster recovery

3. Heightened proprioception for

  • Greater muscle awareness for reduced injuries
  • Faster reaction time

Some of these are bold claims. The biggest advantage for me and the reason I thought to try out the compression socks out was to try and reduce calf muscle oscillation when I’m running, I’m still not 100% convinced they’re helping. Although I’ve only ran 15k in them so far so after a few more kilometres I’ll give them a proper review, but until this point I’m not so impressed as I mentioned before, I could feel my calf muscles tightening which was an experience I’ve never had mid-run before.


Read More

Moved Back To WordPress

My experiment is over and I’ve moved back over to WordPress from Svbtle, I have to say I am still a huge fan of the Svbtle platform and all it has to offer, I’ve learned a lot however there are a few reasons for me moving back over to WordPress.

WordPress is such a versatile platform. It allows me to write directly to my blogs via the WordPress App which is a huge win for me. I also felt the volume of websites I was trying to maintain by using the Svbtle platform was not productive.

My four main reasons for moving over to WordPress:

Minimalism – I decided to trim back on all of the sites I’d previously listed to run different topics and ideas from, we all know it’s much easier to run one thing, having several items that just add clutter to your to do list and in turn clutters up your life.

Ownership – I went through the process of archiving all of my posts and the data I was writing on an entirely separate blog ( while I was writing on Svbtle just to back everything up in case the platform was taken down or they released some form of advertising I wasn’t happy with. This was a fairly quick process for me, but it wasn’t entirely easy. I think it’s much better for it to “just work” and happen automatically on the native platform.

Customisation – The whole point of Svbtle is to promote writing and it certainly achieves that goal, in fact it is an amazing writing platform and I really like it because of that minimal feel and the idea to just write, that said the customisation offered by WordPress still allows me to do this. I am now using the “gust” plugin on my WordPress blog which gives me the same style of editor on my site when writing, which I feel helps me to churn out lots of words and ideas, it also still gives me access to the WordPress app so I can write posts on the go. I have also gone for a Medium style minimal WordPress theme, which I think looks great.

Optimisation – This ‘kind of’ fit loosely into customisation however as WordPress (self-hosted) is so easy to tune-up for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) this allows me to edit on-site elements on-the-fly that help with my overall site ranking. In addition a self hosted WordPress blog allows me to test newer SEO elements such as Schema and Google+ authorship, WordPress is an absolute no-brainer. Don’t let anyone tell you they’re an Internet marketing / content marketing “expert” if they’ve never run their own self-hosted WordPress blog.

So there you have it, back on WordPress with a lot less “clutter” less sites and, the best thing, a ton of extra knowledge. I plan to stick around on this set up for at least another week…

Master of None
Dealing With Overwhelm

Read More

Site Organisation

Originally this post went live on I have since taken that site down and have set up as a simple “one-page” responsive website for the sake of simplicity, minimalism and productivity. I feel this will allow me to use this site a little more. My ideas have changed very slightly since writing the post below, but I thought I’d upload this post anyway.

What is this site? In fact what are all of these Olly/Ollie sites?

I’ve decided to set up and utilise a few domains I had sitting around to better organise my digital life and my own personal content creation. After looking over my original blog that I started way back in 2005, I think there was a lot of very interesting content to look back and reflect on which made me realise I should have tried to keep it running, if not just for the SEO benefits to reflect on what I’ve done since then, unfortunately, it slowly died as I got on with other sites and business start-ups.

Back in 2005 I did try and put everything in the one place which was much easier and a simple solution, however, I now believe the Internet has niched down since then, therefore a post about how I think BitCoin will affect the retail landscape (with no reference to online marketing) may visitors to off, even though I feel as I want to write about it and clear my head, so I set about creating this small network of personal sites to put and store all of my “other” content and, essentially, my “digital life”.

As I mentioned before, I put most of the things I’m writing on my primary website, as most things I think about relate back to online marketing, which is primarily my profession, however, I do enjoy writing about other things that sometimes don’t quite fit into the online marketing niche or would just simply be out of place. I’m not writing about these other areas often and it’s normally a spur of a moment thing, so don’t expect regular updates, and in addition I don’t expect many, if any readers. But still, I wanted somewhere to share what I’ve written, so I organised my websites and Information into a selection of small sites:


I thought I’d share this structure here, just in case it helps anyone else struggling to organise their digital content or if anyone is interested why and for what reason I have several online properties. Feel free to reach out or comment. – This is my primary website which is simply my name. I’ve previously run an online consultancy under this domain, however for now and at the date of this post this is my primary blog on the topic of online marketing.

  • My primary website
  • Online marketing focus
  • Social media marketing information and tests (although for me this sits under the banner of “online marketing” anyway)
  • Tests on search and online marketing
  • Working case studies and examples – My personal blog and my website for anything that’s not online marketing related, on the svbtle blogging platform.

  • 301′d many posts from my old original 2005 blog to this web property
  • Testing out another “simple blogging platform” other than WordPress
  • For anything that doesn’t fit into online marketing
  • A mind dump for things that I think might be useful
  • A place for any life “journeys” such as simplicity, minimalism and travel
  • Life lessons I’ve had and would like to share which help me to reflect and track personal progress
  • This site is an archive on a WordPress blog of all the posts from, as this is using as the blogging platform (for simplicity and to try something different). Unfortunately svbtle doesn’t have an archive as such, so to be safe I’ve set up this archive site to back everything I write on up and make is easily searchable.
  • Automated updates
  • No maintenance required – My personal “about me” Visify replacement page.

  • About me page, with a short and simple URL
  • Fairly static content which doesn’t change much
  • Acts as a hub for linking to all of my online properties and social media accounts
  • Easy site URL to tell people in conferences and meetings, or jot down in seconds
  • (no longer active, all of this proposed content will now go on
    This is the site we’re on right now. A simple news site for updates about all my sites and me, a basic overview, not updated all that often.
  • Any professional working changes that occur (more context than just a LinkedIn update)
  • Books I’ve read
  • A test area for SEO work and other SEO tests
  • Old “work” projects that I might want to share
  • Any “just for fun” stuff, as is more of a writing platform, this site can be used for more “fun style” updates, such as my “NBA JAM World Champion” status update

Life Blog – Private Life Blog (on a private URL)
Simply an online diary for my own personal thoughts.

  • This is a daily blog/diary that I’ve found very useful for clearing my thoughts, things are better out than in and help generate ideas
  • Photos, thoughts, and in general a mind dump
  • Sometimes these posts are edited up and make it though to any of my other sites listed above

And that’s the lot, Ollies own network! It did take a few days to set all of the sites up, and it may even seem a little complex for what it is, however, if you drill down there are only three sites that are written on and it makes absolute sense to me to separate these three areas of content. I’ve found doing this has helped productivity and got me writing a lot more, which for me is a good thing.

Read More

Lesson 5.1 – TV Sound Setup

A couple of weeks ago I decided to upgrade my media centre PC with all of the queued, recommended Windows 7 updates that had been building up over the past few months. Unfortunately what entailed was a whole load of headache and frustration even though the final solution was very simple, that said, the process reminded me of a couple of valuable life lessons.

When I booted up my media centre to watch a film before going to bed and the speakers simply didn’t work as they should have done, I preceded to waste about 4 hours trying to find out why, after updating the Windows system the 5.1 surround sound speakers I have plugged into the media centre PC had stopped playing through the subwoofer and the rear speakers, very frustrating given no hardware had been changed.

Just around the 4th hour at about 3am after taking the sound card out and putting it back in, reinstalling the drivers, trying other third party drivers and even considering an entire reformat of the system to revert back to Linux I realised, purely out of luck, that I had a simple setting on my 5.1 speakers remote control. Two buttons. One read 2.1, the other 5.1.

Now when you’re running in 5.1 mode and the audio output is not a true 5.1 stream (like YouTube for example) you’re going to lose the effects and the audio is not going to play properly through the speakers, which was exactly what was happening to my setup, if it’s a true 5.1 audio stream you’re only going to get the benefits of the 5.1 audio if you switch the speakers into 5.1 mode.

The solution after 4 straight hours? I simply press on the “2.1” button and the sound reverted back to a full audio experience.

Now given this took me about 4 hours to solve and probably added a couple of grey hairs, it taught me, or at least reminded me a valuable life lesson that you should always ensure you check off before entering into any problem solving situation. I see this day in day out, people spending so much time working around problems that, if you step back, would be very simple to solve, but most of the time we’re all too busy and dive straight into fixing the issue rather than giving it some more thought, I think we’re all guilty of this.

This can translate across many experiences, from a simple computer sound card issue right though to a large multi department work based project:

Always remember to check the most simple solutions first.

Being a software and hardware geek, it’s all too easy to assume that an issue is going to be solved by a complex solution, sometimes the easiest and most simple solutions are the best, which goes for pretty much everything I’ve experienced so far in life, quite often they’re the most rewarding too.

The other lesson I learnt is patience, not to always dive straight into the problem solving task, I’d probably have been better off in this instance grabbing a book to read and tackling the problem when I was less tired, I may have solved it in 5 minutes, rather than have taken 4 hours.

Some food for thought, and a good reminder for me of an important life lesson.

Read More

Svbtle, here to stay? Possibly

After posting two days ago that I’d made my mind up on using #svbtle as my personal blogging platform I started to get cold feet.
I was worried about my content being on a server that I don’t control or own despite the benefit of clean URLs. I was worried about where my Google+ authorship is going to go? I was worried about the organisation of my posts, I couldn’t help but think; how on earth will I ever find my posts and sort through the post topics without categories and tags?!

I did some extensive Google research looking for these answers only to find similar questions on discussion boards and forums, with no answers. The only answer I could find was that, yes, eventually these features may be released onto the svbtle platform.

I decided to set about looking for an alternative, first stop a svbtle WordPress theme, one exists however it’s an early svbtle release clone and looks very different. No where near as slick as the current iteration of the svbtle platform, and of course the backend is a clunky WordPress hack, slow and annoying, which was what I was trying to get away from in the first place for my personal blog.

I then looked back to Ghost, despite being put off by the reviews and volume of early adopters that had posted links to their sites which were around 90% dormant or broken. I started building Ghost which is very easy on a local system, but Ghost is a beast to get running on a private server, and that’s coming from an early Arch Linux user so I opted out of Ghost, yet again. I also refused to pay the $5 a month for the lower end hosted Ghost(pro) service.

I briefly considered Blogger, but then opted out after looking at some of the themes on offer and the older style publishing dashboard.

I decided to look further afield and found another huge selection of blogging CMS platforms all with the same concept as svbtle, clean minimal slick blogging with no distractions. Here’s a great list I found in a comments section and also some discussion on Reddit:

All were great CMS ideas and concepts, some were very interesting, but none won me over completely, the best of the bunch was the very promising Dropplets which is very similar to svbtle in many ways and very simple to install on your server.

I got this up and running within minutes, however the huge thing that put me off of Dropplets was that to upload a post you are required to upload a physical post file. This is fine for me when I’m working on a laptop, but what if I’m travelling? Also this makes the ability to post blog posts via a mobile device a little tricky. This wasn’t ideal. but I’ll be keeping a very close eye on Dropplets as a blogging platform for the future, as a side note on the Dropplets Twitter account it looks as though they may implement ZenPen (which I discovered during my research phase today) into the Dropplets platform for writing posts, this would be awesome.

After all of this searching and research looking for a new blogging CMS I decided to go back to WordPress and began searching for a new theme, luckily I’d still kept my WordPress installation on a server, so I changed my hosts IP before looking adjusting the DNS. I found some themes and then settled on a Twitter Bootstrap theme to get up and running with. I made a couple of last minute edits, and then checked back to the svbtle platform to copy paste my original post from two days ago, and then I stopped…

I stopped to look at how clean the platform was, I stopped worrying about how there are no categories or tags, I stopped caring about the fact the content isn’t hosted on my own server and I started to write this post.

In essence that’s the genius behind the platform. Svbtle takes away the noise and allows you to write. I didn’t change the DNS and kept my A record pointing to svbtle.

My primary online marketing blog is my primary blog for content and focus on what I do day to day, Google+ authorship, ranking is important here to help build authority, however, I began this blog to empty my mind of ideas, free up some headspace, as I mentioned in my first post clear out the “clutter” through writing it down here.

I’ve now taken a step back and get what Dustin Curtis means, I don’t mind that svbtle hasn’t got categories or tags. The fact I’ve written two 700+ word blogs and this post straight off of the actions taken to change my blogging platform, speaks volumes to the ease and the actual reasons svbtle exists.

It really is a fantastic blogging platform for writing. I hope I stick around another week.

Read More

New Blog Platform for Writing

One of my goals for 2014 is to write more.

I’ve been using a paper notebook daily and I have stuck to this goal so far. I have found since getting into the habit of writing; getting my thoughts and ideas onto paper, or in this case, online, are a real help in developing ideas and emptying my mind of “clutter”.

I am currently relaunching my personal online marketing blog at which has been in limbo for three years, but I still felt as though I needed something minimal, quick and easy to just “blog” with.

Back “in the day” I threw everything onto “” (Olly with a Y) but times have changed and I’ve kept all my focus into online marketing on the one site –, however, there are still several topics I want to write about that would fit into a personal blog just to record my personal progression, therefore I decided to search for something new and uncomplicated.

The New Blogging Platform

I finally decided on Svbtle. I wanted something that was simple, fast, minimal, low-maintenance and generally a strong all round platform for every-day blogging.

Over the past couple of days I’d short-listed my chosen blogging platforms to the following five options and ran through the pros and cons to each one. Eventually my final selection was based on simplicity, functionality, having a clean URL structure (If you don’t know why that’s important visit and satisfying my personal curiosity of using something new.


I took both self hosted and options into consideration, however, as I run over 100 WordPress blogs and have been building WordPress websites for over 10 years I just wanted a change, something slimline, something cleaner. I felt the urge to test a new option as well, so for me, this ruled out WordPress.


For the past 6 months I’ve been using Tumblr to run OlliesBlog. Tumblr’s writing functionality is clunky and I’ve lost several blog posts I’ve written on the Tumblr mobile app and lost more directly on the Tumblr site. The audience benefit you get from the Tumblr community isn’t one that I think I would benefit from when writing posts about “minimalism”, “code” and “Linux Distributions”, so I decided to pull this plug from Tumblr.

Having said that, I still love and use Tumblr daily and have found a use for a URL and username that I’d been sat on for a few years. I have now made this URL my Tumblr “brand” account to post and reblog great things I see online. You can visit my “kind-of-new” Tumblr site at


Medium is getting a lot of buzz at the moment, however it’s not really a personalised option, or at least not as much as I’d like it to be, Medium posts are done via connecting to your social media account and sit under the domain as a sub directory, for example:

The platform does look fantastic and is very simple to use, however I’ve read a couple of articles where people that had migrated their entire blog to use Medium had lost a lot of traffic in doing so, this isn’t to say I’m expecting any traffic to this blog, but I prefer to have more control over the URL structure of my sites.


Ghost looks great and I was almost sold after watching the promotional video, being a funded open source Kickstarter campaign I was keen to find out more. I was instantly put off when I began looking for blogs actually running the Ghost CMS, all I could find were empty shells of blogs, even on the Ghost site itself there was a forum of bloggers giving out links to their URLs (a few months old) when the platform launched and now 90% of them were no longer using the platform. This rang alarm bells. I’d also read of a few people let down by the platform, so I decided to give Ghost a miss for now, however, it does look promising.


This leaves me with Svbtle, it ticked all the boxes, and I think it’s a great platform, I really like the simplistic dashboard and the speed of everything. My only concern with Svbtle is the IP ownership, if it did close tomorrow, not that it’s going to happen, but if it did, what would become of all my “stuff”?

For now I’ll be running on Svbtle and will try to stick to writing a little more on top of relaunching

Even though this is my first post I will be posting some travel blogs I wrote when trekking through South America, these will be back dated before this “first post”. I will also be running some tests on the svbtle platform to see how it’s performance fairs with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and redirecting old posts from my original “” university project site, to this new blog platform, the results of which will be, of course, reported on

Read More

Noteshelf and iPad Pen vs. Pen and Paper

I must checkout Noteshelf iPad app with Jot Touch 4 Pro (iPad pen). I was using my iPad for notes and recording meetings, however, I found nothing can beat a simple pen and notebook.

I saw this today:

ipad drawing

Ask Me Anything on Tumblr Account





I might give the iPad and stylus another chance once I’ve saved enough to try the stylus out, but I must say it’ll have to be very, very good to beat a notepad and pen.

Read More
1 2 3