Keep up to date with what's happening on Bookmark-Local

Bedfordshire fully live

As we are building extra web sites for each county to run the events, news blog and background pages, we have decided to hide all the regions that don't have those facilities. We've launched this week with Bedfordshire and will be adding counties as soon as each one has the full facilities active.
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Adding events

We've made it simple to put your own events onto the site. At the bottom of the events page menu is a link that simply says Add Your Event. Click to go to the events booking page and enter the details. There is no charge for this. If you are using the local news blog pages you can access the same link from the events section.
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Using the local pages

No one likes to have to trawl through loads of pages for information. Using the events page as your entry point you can access all of the events in your county without leaving the page. You can also swap content to get information on the local area, to find local clubs and societies and to view food & drink venues.
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Events pages now live

Each county will have it's own events page. We are very proud of this feature. We've made the events page the front page for each town or local area so this will instantly give you local up to date events information. To make it even more special, the county events are then filtered to only show the relevant local events. We would suggest that this page should be the one you bookmark as your access point to Bookmark-Local. The page is equipped with a sub menu that allows you to view other area events or even all of your counties events without having to leave the page. The same events page is also inserted into the local news blog pages giving you a choice of where you view it.
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News blog format finalised

We are building a news page for each county. The first one, The Bedfordshire Blog, is now live and in use. You may pull in any news story that relates to Bedfordshire or write your own editorial. The blog is separated into general news sections plus pages for local area news.
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Advertising now live

We are now in a position to serve adverts to both our own pages and remote websites as well. Similar to google, these adverts are pay per click. The advantage over using google ads is the ability for our advertisers to pick and choose which sections of the site to place their adverts on helping them to precisely target their audience. Advertisers can also choose to have content driven adverts.

We also offer food & drink advertising paid on a monthly basis.
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Search Terms - Update

The site was uploaded on Saturday for final testing. It will be down for a short time today as we are moving it to it's own server.

The search lists that are completed are:

Airports in the UK - in the Travel Search Page
Police Stations in England - in the Public Search Page
Schools in England - in the Schools Search Page

We do know of a couple of Airports that have slipped through and they will be added once the site is transferred.
Half of the Train Stations are listed - we decided to list Scotland and Wales as well which put us past our deadline.
Coming soon will be dispensaries and chemists. The list is ready but we are manually formatting it to make the results look better.
The search can be accessed by clicking on the Bookmark Search at the top of the menu. The front page design is being finalised at the moment.

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How to get everything on one page

Way back when I first had this idea I wanted all of the information on one page. Now I had six search pages I really had to work on an elegant solution.

One of the major design features of the site is that there is no visible search box. If you need to find something you just click on the Bookmark-Local hand and it will take you to the search page. Select the type of information you are looking for, schools if it is to do with education for example and the correct search page will drop into site. By limiting the number of results per page this search will easily fit on a smart phone screen.

We have 3 pages active at the moment and more coming online soon.
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Locator software or how to find stuff

As this blog was the last thing on my mind I've had to write a few to catch up. In February I was looking for locator software - find your nearest store type stuff. There is always a lot of free software online but having invested so much time and money I wanted something that worked. More expense but a really adaptable piece of software. Except, it wasn't designed for the UK. I have had more support tickets for this than everything else put together. It had to be virtually re-written as there were so many differences in how we collate information here. Finally, after several weeks it was working. It uses a database. I'll say that one more time, it uses a database.

My techs response to 200,000 locations and 1,700,000 post codes went along these lines. "That's 3 billion calculations" he said "slow, it will probably stop!" My elegant solution? It now uses 6 databases but could well end up with more.
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Post Codes

There is something to be said for our postal service. Sometimes knocked, we run ecommerce sites and use the Royal Mail daily. They are fantastic. But have you ever wondered about post codes?

In the USA they use zip codes. A 5 digit number of which there are around 42,000 of them. In Canada, strangely, they have 800,000! Here in little old UK we just use 1,700,000 of them. Wait a minute, did you say one million, seven hundred thousand of them? I'm starting to go grey. No wonder they know where to put the letters.

So, why do I need post codes? You can find people and places using parts of the address but to get driving directions from google you need a post code. If I needed post codes then I needed a database to put them in...
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