This is what we've been up to in September...
WayneWe're approaching the run up to Christmas, a period which creates a mental deadline for people and businesses to have tasks and projects completed. This is perfectly understandable for e-commerce where Autumn/Winter campaigns are already rolling out and they're gearing up for the January sales. But a challenging time for agencies to manage client expectations and help them see beyond that mental deadline if their project is unlikely to be seen by anyone during the holidays, when most service based businesses are closed down for a week or two. Nevertheless, we are fully prepared for the end of year rush, bring it on!
Up and at ‘Em!
In September Twilo partnered with Xceed Fitness to offer personal training sessions for employees. This is a great way to keep employees fit and healthy as well as support a local business. Xceed Fitness are very passionate about what they do, so even if you don’t work for Twilo, they are the team to call when it comes to fitness and nutrition.
This month kicked off with a Club 5 meeting, a networking event for local businesses supporting The Prince Of Wales Hospice. After just three meetings Club 5 has 35 members and has raised £16,400 for the Hospice. That really is fantastic progress, but to put things into perspective, £16,400 funds a bed at the Hospice for only 32 days. Twilo continues to look for ways to raise funds for the Hospice, most recently our 5-a-side team have strung a few wins together – but we’re always on the look out for more players to join team Prince of Wales Hospice, so drop us a line if you’re in the area and fancy a kick-about on a Monday night!
Joke of the Month
What do you call an American bee…?
This Month I have been looking into PHP’s Reflection Classes, these are classes that can be used to acquire information about any object in PHP.
One example of reflection example to get all the method names of a given class you could do this:
The code above will instantiate a ReflectionClass using the $model variable, the ReflectionClass is then used to retrieve all of the methods defined on the $model or any of its parents.
This can be, if used correctly, an incredibly powerful feature of PHP, this example was made for use in the Laravel framework:
Here a ReflectionMethod uses its invoke method on a model the check if the method returns an instance of the Relation class, this class is used in Laravel to define relationships between models. This method can be used inside a recursive loop to gather all of the relationships present on a model and recreate a diagram of how each model is related.
Another powerful feature of using reflection in PHP is error reporting. A function could be created that replaces the basic error reporting function in PHP, this function could then use reflection to gather information at runtime about the object or function that has caused the error. This information could then be used to display a much more informative and easier to understand error about why the system crashed.
Without Reflection many caveats of PHP would probably not be possible, features such as: Dynamic Typing, Aspect Oriented Programming, Dependency Injection.
Simon likes to make fires, here's what he's burnt this month...
A tree, yes a whole tree (thankfully it had been felled and no living trees were harmed in the making of this image)
This month I have learnt so many new things such as categorising products for a new client’s website launch and how to use SEMrush. I feel I have improved on creating content for our clients on social media by adding more suitable hashtags, links and made it more fun by adding emojis to them.
I now have a better understanding of what needs to be posted on clients’ Facebook and Twitter by looking at their Google Analytics accounts and seeing what products sell best and what pages are visited the most. However, I have learnt it’s important to experiment and take risks occasionally, as some posts I’ve written have had a greater reach and had more engagement than I originally thought.
I have been taking exams on SEMrush and passed both that I prepared for with great support from the team. From doing this I now have a lot better understanding on SEO campaigns and how to use SEO platforms. I will also be using the SEMrush Social Media Posting tool to upload content for clients from now on as it’s functionality is better than Hootsuite and is easy to use so will speed up the process.
The end of summer arrives, and it’s been a great month to get projects completed. Things tend to take a little longer over the warmer months, fitting work around staff and clients holidays and breaks (currently writing this on my own short break in the Balearics myself), so September has signalled a welcome return to more productive times.
It’s been fantastic to launch 3 new websites this month, and also being part of the development and improvement of Twilo’s own E-commerce and WordPress frameworks. I’ve always enjoyed the next few months between now and the Christmas holidays. They bring a tighter focus on deadlines, a high turnover of work – but with everyone refreshed after their summer breaks, we’re all ready to crack on with more energy, hit those deadlines, and make it a successful and productive Autumn.
Photo of the Month
And to end, here's something cool we've seen this month...
Super end to a Super September at the British Musical Fireworks Championships in Southport!