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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Facebook marketing - early experiences

I would love to see the new regional trains that link Swindon to Westbury, via Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge, and with onward connections to Warminster, Salisbury and Frome, succeed. And indeed initial passenger numbers are quietly encouraging. But how do we reach people? How do we make people aware that the services exist, especially in Melksham where for years very few people have ever gone to the station because very few trains ever called there?

A multithreaded approach is vital. I've learned this from SCOB work (Shadow Community Operatios Board) where the group put out material in 10 different ways and yet we still got complaints of lack of information. So - there's information in the local press. On the radio. Put through people's letter boxes. In the library, the town hall, the Tourist Information Centre. We've spoken and speak to many rail user groups. Wiltshire Council / Connecting Wiltshire's travel planners are knocking on doors. We're informing business contacts via the Chambers of Commerce, and so on. And, yes, there are posters at the station. But is that enough? Is there more we could be doing?

I've commented in the past about going to rail meetings that are supposed to be "user group"s but in practise many of the members are strong and valuable on experience, but are retired / semi-retired and their rail use has transformed from business and community use to less frequent leaisure use; only the occasonal daily user of trains will have the time for / attend such meetings, and so they rarely represent the work / education sector. And in many ways we at the Melksham Railway Development Group / TransWilts Community Rail Partnership are also just such a user group trying to reach wider; we have the same biased metrics and we're certaily not going to indulge in positive discriminiation to get our profile more balanced. And actually I'm quite happy with our bunch of older men doing things for the people who are in the prime of their years, working hard, brininging up familiy and with little time to be involved, and in doing things for their teenage and grown children who perhaps haven't flown the nest yet - but we need to know who those people are, what they need, what they would like, how to provide for them, and to know how to reach them to say we have provided it (in such a way that they notice).

The Coffee Shop Forum is one way we bring the groups together - member polls over the years have shown that its age profile is considerably younger than that of the MRDG or WWRUG meetings, where a senior FGW representative may be the youngest person in the room. And we know that away from members the forum is extensively read too - sometimes people tell us, and at other times there are little clues in other ways. But I would be surprised if more than 1 in 500 passengers leaving Paddington has ever visited the forum. And those are the exisitng and knowledgable ones - it really doesn't help us reach the late teens / early twentys community in towns like Melksham, Trowbridge, Westbury and Frome who will jump in the car to drive to Chippenham or Swindon, cursing the cost of parking and the time taken.

As well as web sites (such as the TransWilts CRP one), much has moved on to Twitter and Facebook these days - and as something of an experiment I've been puting a bit of activity onto the Facebook TransWilts page and boosting some of the posts a little. Here are some of the (public) comments / questions. And I've found it educational to see what people are asking; most of the answers have been staightforward to provide and other have jumped in too, but there are odd bits of mis-information too which have to be debunked.

Here - each a publicly posted question - are some of the things said / asked in the last 2 weeks:


Is this a plan or is it already happening?

 

Some improvement to what was (or wasn't) available before, but still doesn't make Melksham commutable to London.

 

Where can I find a timetable please and how much to Chippenham and Swindon adult and child

 

Do they always stop at melksham station

 

Is there parking at melksham and if so how much?

 

Not till may hey be good when starts
An incorrect statement from the poster. It is running NOW!

 

Thanks!! I have tried to find out the fares from Melksham to London on the page but can't seem to see it (other than on first great western which seem to be quite pricey). Could you advise the approximate cost please for return. Great news about all the added lines, thanks for the awareness

 

I never knew melksham had a train station?

 

Used this service to swindon a lot recently and when i have told people they didn't know it was possible! Its what melksham needs! My only issue was it cost [82][c2]ã6.60 a single and [82][c2]ã6.70 return but there is no open return so if i go overnight it costs double!

 

About fuckin time!!!!!!

 

They to direct trains to Trowbridge since when?!

 

Can you just get on and buy the ticket on the train ?

 

Any one know the times to Swindon on a Saturday please

 

Not many seat available I imagine?

 

Does it run on a Sunday aswell

 

How to Southampton?

 

How much the return ticket for next day or so to Cheltenham Spa if I take the 7:20 train?

 

Thanks to all the people for the trains times if possible can somebody tell me the times and prices for Salisbury

 

Does train go to trowbridge after 9 and bk before 3 please ?


If you wonder what the answer were, see the Facebook page itself ;-) .

More background - here's one of the posts that has attracted attention:



That was posted yesterday morning, and it's good to see the feedback - and the number of "likes" and "shares" which mean that people have see enough to note the content, or are recommending the post to their friends to read.I have no prior experience of promoting in this way - so I don't know if I've got a super result there, or a pathetic one that's been useful only as a learning curve.

As an admin of the TransWilts facebook page, can also look at some of the statistical metrics of the people we've reached - here, for example, is a graph showing the age and gender profile of our responding ("engaged") audience, and note the town mix profile at the bottom.



Boosting was targetted toward any age group, but specifically (once each) to Melksham, Trowbridge and Chippenham

I note ...

* Trains are used by men and women 'alike' - well, it's not quite 50/50 all the time, but some trains and times of day have a male majority and at other times you'll find more women than men on trains. That's a societal change that's beyond what I'm writing here. However, it is interesting to note that the facebook gender split is much more in line with what I would expect to see actually on trains

* The age profile of not just readers but engagers seems to say that it's reached (and been responded to) by people in the age band that's been hard to engage so far

* Strong response Melksham, Trowbridge a little lower, Chippehnam 'tough' - although I've no control to measure against so I think Chippenham might be more normal. No responses yet from Westbury / Frome / Warminster / Swindon; we will be doing a similar post and boost at least for Westbury in the near future, but while there have been major but now-sorted errors in the fares, it would have been unwise to stoke the fires.

I am also - delighted - to note the number of people who have come back and liked the answers posted, and / or said "thank you". That's all credit to the Facebook audience, and pretty unusual in the product support world.

This is a work in progress / sharing my experiences post in the hope that it gives others food for thought, and gives people the opportunity to ask me questions and make suggestions.

(written 2014-01-19)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G902 - Well House Consultants - Web site techniques, utility and visibility
  [23] Skills and responsibilities - (2004-08-22)
  [32] Web design platoon - (2004-08-29)
  [98] No more 'Error 404' pages. Something better. - (2004-10-24)
  [109] URLs - a service and not a hurdle - (2004-11-04)
  [117] A case of case - (2004-11-14)
  [142] Colour for access - (2004-12-06)
  [165] Implementing an effective site search engine - (2005-01-01)
  [173] Data Mining - (2005-01-09)
  [179] The hunt for unique words - (2005-01-16)
  [182] Your personal Google ranking - (2005-01-19)
  [197] Allow for peak traffic on your web site - (2005-02-01)
  [202] Searching for numbers - (2005-02-04)
  [222] Who are all these visitors? - (2005-02-20)
  [259] Responding to spam - (2005-03-27)
  [261] Putting a form online - (2005-03-29)
  [268] Information request forms, cleaning up spam - (2005-04-05)
  [274] Our most popular resources - (2005-04-10)
  [276] An apology to Mr Boneparte - (2005-04-11)
  [278] Cover all the options - (2005-04-13)
  [284] The Iconish language - (2005-04-19)
  [288] Colour blindness for web developers - (2005-04-22)
  [311] Growth pains - (2005-05-14)
  [314] What language is this written in? - (2005-05-17)
  [320] Ordnance Survey - using a 'Get a map' - (2005-05-22)
  [322] More maps - (2005-05-23)
  [347] Frightening and from-friend viruses and spams - (2005-06-14)
  [348] Graveyard pages - (2005-06-15)
  [369] CMS - the minefield of Choices - (2005-07-05)
  [376] What brings people to my web site? - (2005-07-13)
  [414] Form Madness - (2005-08-14)
  [492] New Navigation Aid - Launch of My Wellho - (2005-11-11)
  [510] Dynamic Web presence - next generation web site - (2005-11-29)
  [528] Getting favicon to work - avoiding common pitfalls - (2005-12-14)
  [533] Bigger Box Campaign - (2005-12-18)
  [649] Denial of Service ''attack'' - (2006-03-17)
  [658] Keeping the visitors happy and browsing - (2006-03-26)
  [681] Mirroring a dynamic site - (2006-04-12)
  [718] Protecting images from theft - (2006-05-12)
  [732] Where is a web site visitor browsing from - (2006-05-24)
  [757] Horse and Python training - (2006-06-12)
  [767] Finding the language preference of a web site visitor - (2006-06-18)
  [800] Effective web campaign? - (2006-07-12)
  [893] Visibility - (2006-10-14)
  [916] Driving customers away - (2006-11-07)
  [976] Santa at the station - (2006-12-09)
  [994] Training on Cascading Style Sheets - (2006-12-17)
  [1015] Search engine placement - long term strategy and success - (2006-12-30)
  [1029] Our search engine placement is dropping. - (2007-01-11)
  [1055] Above the fold - (2007-01-28)
  [1104] Drawing dynamic graphs in PHP - (2007-03-09)
  [1177] Sorting out for a site map - (2007-05-05)
  [1184] Finding resources - some pointers - (2007-05-13)
  [1186] Two new pages / sites - (2007-05-14)
  [1198] From Web to Web 2 - (2007-05-21)
  [1207] Simple but effective use of mod_rewrite (Apache httpd) - (2007-05-27)
  [1212] What brought YOU to our web site? - (2007-06-01)
  [1237] What proportion of our web traffic is robots? - (2007-06-19)
  [1297] Stuffing content into a web page - easy maintainance - (2007-08-09)
  [1437] Above the fold with First Great Western - (2007-11-19)
  [1494] A time to update pictures - (2008-01-03)
  [1505] Script to present commonly used images - PHP - (2008-01-13)
  [1506] Ongoing Image Copyright Issues, PHP and MySQL solutions - (2008-01-14)
  [1513] Perl, PHP or Python? No - Perl AND PHP AND Python! - (2008-01-20)
  [1534] Where in the world / country is my visitor from? - (2008-02-07)
  [1541] Colour, Composition or Content - (2008-02-16)
  [1554] Online hotel reservations - Melksham, Wiltshire (near Bath) - (2008-02-24)
  [1610] PHP course dot co, dot uk - (2008-04-13)
  [1630] To provide external links, or not? - (2008-05-04)
  [1634] Kiss and Book - (2008-05-07)
  [1653] How do Google Ads work? - (2008-05-25)
  [1711] Rapid growth leads to server move - (2008-07-17)
  [1747] Who is watching you? - (2008-08-10)
  [1756] Ever had One of THOSE mornings? - (2008-08-16)
  [1793] Which country does a search engine think you are located in? - (2008-09-11)
  [1797] I have been working hard but I do not expect you noticed - (2008-09-14)
  [1833] Web Bloopers - good form design - avoiding pitfalls - (2008-10-11)
  [1856] A few of my favourite things - (2008-10-26)
  [1888] Find the link - (2008-11-16)
  [1955] How to avoid duplicating web page maintainance - (2008-12-20)
  [1961] Making our things easier to find - (2008-12-26)
  [1970] Plagarism - who is copying my pages? - (2009-01-02)
  [1982] Cooking bodies and URLs - (2009-01-08)
  [2056] Web Site Loading - experiences and some solutions shared - (2009-02-26)
  [2065] Static mirroring through HTTrack, wget and others - (2009-03-03)
  [2225] How important is a front page ranking on a search engine? - (2009-06-09)
  [2332] Formation, des langages Open Source - (2009-08-09)
  [2333] Formaci[83][c2]ón, de los lenguajes de c[83][c2]ódigo abierto - (2009-08-09)
  [2334] Formazione, Open Source computer lingue - (2009-08-09)
  [2335] Ausbildung, die Open-Source-Sprachen - (2009-08-09)
  [2336] Forma[83][c2]ç[83][c2]ão, Open Source computador l[83][c2]ínguas - (2009-08-09)
  [2337] Opleiding, Open Source computertalen - (2009-08-09)
  [2338] Uddannelse, Open Source computer sprog - (2009-08-09)
  [2339] Oppl[83][c2]æring, Open Source datamaskinen spr[83][c2]åk - (2009-08-09)
  [2340] ldning, Open Source dator spr[83][c2]åk - (2009-08-09)
  [2341] Koulutus, Open Source tietokone kielill[83][c2]ä - (2009-08-09)
  [2389] Writing with our customers words - (2009-09-01)
  [2410] Removal of technical resources from this site - (2009-09-19)
  [2519] Status Page / breaks of service in early December - (2009-11-30)
  [2532] Analysing Google arrivals by country of origin - (2009-12-10)
  [2552] Web site traffic - real users, or just noise? - (2009-12-26)
  [2569] How to run a successful online poll / petition / survey / consultation - (2010-01-10)
  [2668] Is it worth it? - (2010-03-09)
  [2981] How to set up short and meaningfull alternative URLs - (2010-10-02)
  [3022] Retaining web site visitors - reducing the one page wonders - (2010-10-31)
  [3087] Making the most of critical emails - reading behind the scene - (2010-12-16)
  [3149] Looking back at www.wellho.net - (2011-01-28)
  [3197] Finding and diverting image requests from rogue domains - (2011-03-08)
  [3367] Google +1 - what is it? - (2011-07-22)
  [3426] Automed web site testing scripted in Ruby using watir-webdriver - (2011-09-09)
  [3491] Who is knocking at your web site door? Are you well set up to deal with allcomers? - (2011-10-21)
  [3532] Sharing the user experience - designing a form with the customer in mind - (2011-11-29)
  [3554] Learning more about our web site - and learning how to learn about yours - (2011-12-17)
  [3563] How big is a web page these days? Does the size of your pages matter? - (2011-12-26)
  [3589] Promoting a single one of your domains on the search engines - (2012-01-22)
  [3623] Some TestWise examples - helping use Ruby code to check your web site operation - (2012-02-24)
  [3734] QR codes with marketing logos embedded - (2012-05-16)
  [3744] Short Web Addresses for Melksham - (2012-05-30)
  [3745] Legal change - You need to obtain user consent if you use cookies on your website - (2012-06-01)
  [3776] Some traps it's so easy to fall into in designing your web site - (2012-06-23)
  [3896] An email marathon - (2012-10-15)
  [3974] TV show appearance - how does it effect your web site? - (2013-01-13)
  [4001] Helping search engines with appropriate 400 error codes - (2013-02-11)
  [4076] Web site - fully back! - (2013-04-29)
  [4115] More or less back - what happened to our server the other day - (2013-06-14)
  [4136] How do I post automatically from a PHP script to my Twitter account? - (2013-07-10)
  [4376] Well House Consultants, Well House Manor, First Great Western Coffee shop, TransWilts / 2014 web site reports - (2015-01-01)
  [4401] Selecting RECENT and POPULAR news and trends for your web site users - (2015-01-19)
  [4474] Effect on external factors on traffic to our web sites - an update - (2015-04-26)
  [4492] Almost so wrong, but perhaps it's right for some? - (2015-05-11)

G903 - Well House Consultants - Running and moderating forums and social media sites
  [22] Falling out over the silliest things - (2004-08-21)
  [29] Silence is Golden - (2004-08-26)
  [115] Expiration dates or times on web pages - (2004-11-12)
  [130] Spelling and grammar - (2004-11-25)
  [204] The confidence to allow public comments - (2005-02-06)
  [231] Feedback as lifeblood - (2005-02-28)
  [248] Use me, but use me effectively - (2005-03-16)
  [424] How not to run a forum - (2005-08-24)
  [516] Open source questions? Anyone can ask. - (2005-12-03)
  [651] Please Register with Opentalk - but just once! - (2006-03-19)
  [806] Check your user is human. Have him retype a word in a graphic - (2006-07-17)
  [828] Freedom of speech and freedom to post - (2006-08-10)
  [841] Forum help - a push in the right direction - (2006-08-21)
  [919] Freedom for X is denial of privacy for Y - (2006-11-09)
  [923] Why shouldn't I spam? - (2006-11-13)
  [948] Running an on line campaign - (2006-11-27)
  [1088] Why use BBC code not HTML? - (2007-02-21)
  [1190] Save the Forum - A regular clean sweep - (2007-05-17)
  [1362] No Thank You - (2007-09-23)
  [1472] The Horse goes on and on - (2007-12-15)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1539] A forum is not always the best vehicle - (2008-02-14)
  [1563] Guidlines for posting on a forum - (2008-03-04)
  [1569] I dont care - goodbye - (2008-03-09)
  [1578] Please don't shout at me! - (2008-03-16)
  [1595] First Great Western Weekend - (2008-03-30)
  [1678] Software - changes and delays. But courses must run on time! - (2008-06-15)
  [1759] While the world sleeps ... - (2008-08-19)
  [1923] Making it all worthwhile - (2008-12-04)
  [1972] Pettifog and forum boards away from public view - (2009-01-03)
  [2103] Ask the Tutor - Open Source forum - (2009-03-25)
  [2116] Why do we delay new forum members through authorisation? - (2009-04-03)
  [2156] Stopping forum spam - control of the signup process - (2009-05-04)
  [2162] Admins thoughts on banning a member from a forum - (2009-05-09)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2254] Forum membership - a privilege not a right - (2009-06-22)
  [2386] Computing under the influence of alcohol - (2009-08-29)
  [2526] A reluctance to move from old shoes to new - (2009-12-05)
  [2527] Flying tonight - (2009-12-05)
  [2781] The 500 pound question to get you started - (2010-05-26)
  [2820] Netiquette for forum newcomers - (2010-06-20)
  [3479] Practical Extraction and Reporting - using Python and Extreme Programming - (2011-10-14)
  [3910] Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast - (2012-11-02)
  [4017] Acceptable User Policy / vexatious interacter - (2013-02-24)
  [4025] Backups, Codebase, Strategy and more - dealing with forum incidents - (2013-03-03)
  [4065] Handling requests to a forum - the background process - (2013-04-17)
  [4234] Change to Libel and Defamation laws from 1st January 2014 - (2013-12-31)
  [4283] Can a legitimate forum post become illegal a year later? - (2014-07-11)
  [4307] Identifying and clearing denial of service attacks on your Apache server - (2014-09-27)
  [4315] Welcoming genuine forum posters quickly - but turning away off topic advertisers - (2014-11-16)
  [4403] The unbalanced relationship between customer and provider - (2015-01-21)


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Taking Greyhounds and Lurchers to London for the day
A busy January
Four in a Bed - the story continues
Melksham Rail Link
Facebook marketing - early experiences
A Question series posed to Melksham Tourist information
Why the long gap?
Using Python to analyse last years forum logs. Good coding practise discussion.
Sharing my personal best of 2013
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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