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UpShift Update

This is our weekly blog about technology, our work & whatever is tickling our brains that week.

Mistaking Conflict for Engagement in the Digital Age

At UpShift we really like the concept of “engagement”, if you want to communicate with someone you need them to be engaged, behind which lies some art, science and luck.

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Why UpShift went Climate Positive

Yesterday I was reminded of the importance of talking about why we take action on issues that matter to us.

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Digital Spec Builds vs Custom Builds vs Journeys of Discovery

Today I’m going to look at three different ways to build a website or app. Not for the first time this is going to involve talking about houses.

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UpShift Turns Eight & Opens a New Chapter

Birthdays are certainly a time for retrospect and UpShift’s eighth birthday has given us plenty to think about.

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DiabetesWise Device Finder: Unbiased Comparisons of Diabetes Technology

The 10th of October 2020 saw a major milestone in DiabetesWise with the launch of the Device Finder functionality.

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How to Ride a Bike for 1,051 days in a Row

Yesterday was the 1,051st day in a row I went for a bike ride, not that I’m counting or anything.

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How Long Should Technology Last?

17th of September 2020 was a big day for millions of people around the world.

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The 10% Rule of Community Engagement

I’ve been talking to a few people about community engagement recently. The topic of how much engagement you can expect often came up.

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FLO Engage: A Digital Community Engagement Platform

One of UpShift’s North American clients - FLO Analytics - approached us about building a community engagement platform for their clients. That platform - FLO Engage - recently launched.

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The Bots Know Best: Redux

Recently I’ve been having a few conversations with people concerned about the direction social media is taking.

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Tracking a Decade Old Joke: Part 1

Trying to track the evolution & spread of a decade old online joke opens a can of questions about provenance, privacy & walled off data.

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The NZ Flag Referendum as a Case Study for a Terrible Design Process

From 2015-2016 New Zealand spent $27 million and countless hours on a flag change that didn’t happen.

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UpShift's Approach to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

We often get asked if we “do SEO” and are never quite sure how to answer.

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Digital Transformation with Humanity

The concept of digital transformation has been around for a couple of decades. Recently, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated many plans, or lack of plans towards digital transformation.

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Hedgehogs vs Recessions

New Zealand has just left our Covid-19 lockdown, but is now facing a massive global recession.

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Website Content Architecture 101

One of the most important, yet most overlooked components of a website is its content architecture.

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Being a Digital Agency in Level 4 Lockdown

New Zealand is a month into a Level 4 Lockdown, with almost the entire population staying at home to prevent the spread of (and hopefully eliminate) Covid-19.

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Start Selling Online: Covid-19 Edition

New Zealand is currently in full lockdown to combat Covid-19, with many businesses exploring how they can still serve their customers in a rapidly evolving landscape.

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How to have Friends (Virtually) Over for Dinner

In these strange days of lockdowns & social distancing it’s important we continue to socially connect with each other in quality ways.

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Going Remote

Instead of writing about work we’ve done or technology I’m interested in I thought I’d write about Covid-19 & our business.

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The Perils of Monkey's Paw Development

In the classic short story by W. W. Jacobs a magical monkey’s paw grants three wishes at great cost.

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DiabetesWise: Prototype to Medical Trial

Since 2017 UpShift has been part of a Stanford Medical School project called “DiabetesWise”.

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Building Two Bees - Court Costs Calculator

Two Bees is a great example of taking something complicated & turning it into an accessible online tool.

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Do Something you Love (at least) Once a Day!

Here’s a case study on how I’ve improved my work/life balance by doing something I love (at least) once a day.

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Working for Overseas Clients from New Zealand

Over half of UpShift’s business is with overseas clients.

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Telling the Story of Where Your Food Comes From

UpShift recently worked on “Better Fishing” a web app which gives visitors an intimate view of fisherman Karl Warr as he catches fish off the coast of New Zealand.

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Observations on Kicking my Facebook & Instagram Habits

In July 2019 I kicked my Facebook & Instagram habits. I thought people might be interested in my experiences so far.

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How to Price a Railway Line

Have you ever wondered the most cost effective way to build & maintain a railway line? Probably not, but if you’re in the business of managing railway lines this sort of…

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Plastic Beach: Visualising Ocean Plastics

We’ve been working on a super interesting project with the Cawthron Institute to help people visualise how plastic waste is moved around the oceans.

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Too Many Keywords on the Dance Floor

A long long time ago, web creators used “keywords” as invisible metadata to tell search engines what their websites were about.

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Data Model in a Bottle

Today I’m going to answer the question that’s been on your mind all month “What are data models & can they be used to describe pop songs?“ For this example I’m…

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Futureproofing Digital Architecture

I often find myself using house building analogies when it comes to explaining software development.

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AI: Around the Corner or Down the Road?

Last week I spent two interesting & insightful days at the ITx Rutherford conference.

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Developing Digital Desire Paths

“Desire paths” is the name given to those short-cuts our feet follow, which aren’t part of the planned pathways around us.

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Social Media as Junk Food

I originally wrote this post in October 2013 and thought it was worth a repost as I'm talking about similar issues in 2021.

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