Reading Room, the online agency (www.readingroom.co.uk) which rescued PeopleNews from extinction last August, has picked up Que Pasa Media, which operates dance music site BurnitBlue.com. The move sees the setting-up of Reading Room Media. "The creation of Reading Room Media will enable us to offer all our clients sector-leading cross-platform digital communications," said Margaret Manning, joint chief executive of Reading Room Group.
If you couldn’t get the domain you wanted because someone else took it, two new domains are out which aim to offer individuals their own unique name. In the UK, me.uk offers people the chance to get smith.me.uk – the initial registration fee is £50 for two years, but this will come down to £5 within six months in a bid to stop people hoarding names with the purpose of reselling them. Of course, this hasn’t stopped some people registering more than one name for themselves. The other is .name so you can have a web address of fred.smith.name with an e-mail address of firstname.lastname@example.org. As
with me.uk it really is first come first served and you can expect to pay around £10 a year for a .name. Two good places to buy them are www.123-reg.co.uk and www.easily.co.uk
For anyone starting up their own business, and that includes freelances, it’s important to get legal advice, especially if you take on someone to help you. Jobsworth (www.jobsworth.com) is a handy site offering ready-made employment contracts at around £40 per contract.
A useful site for anyone doing research is Ancestry.com. If you are fed up waiting for the 1901 Census to come back online, then investing in a yearly subscription to Ancestry.com for under £100 can provide you with a useful database for background information. Though largely US, it does have a UK and Ireland collection of databases including births and marriages from the 19th century.
If you are looking to jazz up your online offering and haven’t got the time to create animated images or the budget to get someone to create them, then check out Animation Factory (www.animfactory.com).
For under £30 a year, you can subscribe and gain access to over 120,000 animated images which can be used for any commercial purposes without paying any other charges. A very small price to pay but certainly something that will be of use to most websites on many occasions.