At PagePlay, we promise the constant improvement of everything we do. This applies just the same whether it’s the way we answer your questions, the different things you can do with your website or the fundamental hosting and code that make it all possible.
So in this spirit, we’ve decided to improve the hosting. We’re moving to a new fully cloud-based system which should mean that websites and email accounts are even quicker and more resilient than they are at present.
What’s actually happening?
We’ll be moving all accounts over to the new system in a week’s time, Tuesday 21 May 2013. We’ll be conducting the work in the evening in order to keep disruption to a minimum.
The upgrade process will take between 1 and 24 hours to be fully completed.
Your website will remain online for people to visit at all times, but you will not be able to log in and edit it during this period.
Any email accounts you have with us will also move to the new system. You will be able to send emails as usual during the upgrade but there may be some delays in receiving email that has been sent to you. Don’t worry, any emails which are sent to you during this time will not be lost.
Everything will return to normal when our work is complete and, unless we tell you otherwise, there’s no need to change any settings.
A small number of those who manage their own domain name will need to change some of their details. If this applies to you, we will contact you with further instructions.
If you have any questions at all, please do email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 850 0561 and we will be pleased to help.
We pride ourselves on providing great phone and email support for our PagePlay subscribers. From 9-5 every weekday we’re available by phone and you can still call out of hours if you have an emergency or believe something is not working properly.
Over December 2012, we’ll provide a mixture of ‘Full’ and ‘Emergency’ service. Here’s the detailed breakdown…
Friday 14th December (Christmas Party)
AM – full
PM – emergency
Monday 24th December
AM – full
PM – emergency
Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th December
Thursday 27th & Friday 28th December
Monday 31st December
AM – full
PM – emergency
Tuesday 1st January
Wednesday 2nd January
Back to normal full service
If you need assistance – call 0161 850 0561 or email email@example.com and we’ll be pleased to help. We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
You ought to consider writing more. And I mean that in more ways than one. Firstly, you should consider increasing the volume that you write, writing about new things or making notes where previously you didn’t. Secondly, you should give more consideration to your own writing.
Writing is such an elemental skill that we take it pretty much for granted. We risk underestimating its power and failing to get the most from it.
Understanding the mechanics of writing is not the same as unlocking its real potential. Whilst this is true of any skill, it is especially the case with writing.
From the simple note to the fully detailed book, writing enables us to externalise our thoughts and give ourselves, in computer science terms, “more RAM”. Good writing also gives our friends, family and colleagues a chance to understand and experience us as the considerate and constructive people we really are.
Writing is a better memory
Human memory is phenomenal but it is fundamentally flawed in two key ways.
Firstly there is a limit to capacity. Not the ultimate capacity of the brain to store information, but of our capability to hold multiple pieces in mind simultaneously. We can either be detailed or abstract or various stages in between. In order to hold and recall a great range of detail and still handle the big picture, most of us need to write things down. Or draw a diagram. Or otherwise externalise that which is going on inside.
In this way, writing helped us to combat failings in our memory. As a species, when we started to write we were able to extend the scale of ideas we could each work on, but we also made a great leap in our ability to communicate and build ideas together. All human development since the advent of writing has been accelerated by progress, some of it exponential, in our ability to develop and exchange ideas.
This massive historical narrative is relevant to you at your own desk or on your own phone right now. Making decent notes for yourself and the people you work with gives you something to come back to. Writing things down allows you to manage a list of projects, interactions and plans that you would never dream of trying to keep in your head. The fact that there’s always room for improvement might explain the success of Getting Things Done.
But good functional writing is under threat. We have grown used to railing against bureaucracy and now we risk going too far. Some are verbose or write without good discipline, preferring the feel of their own pen to the needs of the audience, so we increasingly seek brevity. There are times to be brief and there are times to write at length. Regardless, the quality of the writing should be invested in equally.
The second fundamental flaw that writing helps to combat concerns the quality of human memory over time. We now know that the mind is far from perfect when it comes to recall. We often adjust memories to fit the evolving narratives of our lives. Revisiting an event we have not thought about for many years can be quite surprising in the presence of an objective account. Even an old photo or video might reveal we’d always remembered an element of decor or someone’s appearance totally differently to the reality. We know that the mind is especially good at dispensing with memories associated with pain.
We recognise that this memory malleability might well be necessary for survival and sanity at the cost of an objective record. So perhaps then we should also recognise the power of our own writing as a least-worst replacement
Our writing can evidence, it can help us to self reflect and it can aid more powerful cognition.
Writing shows you care
This is really only true of good writing. It’s more difficult to write carefully, much easier to waffle, to fill space and to waste everyone’s time. Good writing is clear, concise and engaging. To achieve it, we must give more thought to the readers’ needs than our own. What information is most helpful and in what order will my meaning be clearest or most effective? How many people write emails and send them without re-reading to ensure flow? Good writing depends on good editing.
Good writing can help to build your relationships with others in numerous ways. The simplest being a reflection on how seriously you consider something. For centuries, when something is important, we have made a note of it. We have “put it in writing” in order to underline its significance.
If you agree to an action or make an appointment what should the other person think if you don’t write it down? Are they more likely to think that you have a superhuman memory or that you saw the commitment as less than serious? Making a note demonstrates your intent to save their thought for later, your opinion that it is valuable beyond the present moment. In the age of Google and instant communication such sentiments seem increasingly sentimental. But this shouldn’t diminish the feelings of others and our desire to be careful and conscientious. Quite the opposite: living in the information age means such good manners actually help you to cope better and stand out as a result.
At the other end of the scale, good writing can go deeper and express more detail than much conversation. In the the not-so-distant past, letter writing was the principle means for loved ones to keep in touch over long distances. Writing also helped us to communicate more richly as often things left unsaid might be more easily written.
Writing gives us the ability to better consider and articulate thoughts and ideas through the refining methods of drafting and editing. We can consider how best to make a case and be certain of it prior to issue. Sometimes the immediacy of electronic writing media tempts us into carelessness, denying us these advantages. We all remember the hastily drafted email and the accidental text message. These are not problems of the media we currently use. They are symptoms of a lapse in our awareness of the art of writing itself.
Whether a family invitation, an email to a colleague or a proposal for a client, it’s worth taking a little longer to get the words right. Whether their effect is to charm, to convince or indeed to devastate, they remain our most powerful weapons.
Recognising the value in taking the time to write well is the beginning. The end – as they say – is yet to be written.