Delivering Knowledge

April 21, 2011

The Delivery Demon likes finding out about a diverse range of subjects, but it can feel rather one-sided if there’s no-one with similar interests to bounce ideas around.

It’s not a problem when it’s work-related as the studies normally have a practical application. Since the DeliveryDemon views skills transfer as part of her role, there are always opportunities to share concepts and theories, and there’s often the sort of intellectual challenge which is necessary to ensure that theoretical ideas can be usefully applied in practice.

With practical hobbies there’s usually a like-minded community to discuss matters such as aerodynamics and fluid dynamics, technology, terpsichore, early music, climbing techniques, the making of lace, sports physiology and psychology, all the geeky aspects of equipment, and the like. Through a range of hobbies, the DeliveryDemon has had nerdy discussions on all of these subjects.

Academic subjects are different, unless you’re lucky enough to be based in academe. It’s easy to study the more cerebral subjects in isolation, but what do you do with the information in your head once you’ve read the book or passed the exam? Do your essays become dusty papers in some university file? Do all your bright ideas become faded and dull, forgotten as time passes?

The DeliveryDemon’s friend, Jane Akshar, had a better idea. Jane has been an Egyptology enthusiast for years and has recently been extending her expertise through formal academic study. To share those ideas, Jane has taken her research and academic essays and turned them into a full colour e-book. Have a look at http://www.egyptologycourses.com/products/6-egyptology-essays/

The DeliveryDemon loves this idea. the only problem is that she now feels a need to turn some of her own thinking into something a bit more tangible.

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Delivering You To Your Destination

April 13, 2011

The DeliveryDemon despairs!! All she wants to do is renew a passport, using the Post Office Check and Send service. It can’t be done at the local post office, which means travelling elsewhere. So she clicked on ‘View Map’ on the branch finder page of the PO’s website.

Surprise, surprise, up came a map, along with some detailed directions. Not unsurprisingly, the DeliveryDemon already knows how to get from her village to the small town where the post office is sited. She also knows that the entire road system there is in total chaos due to widespread roadworks, so she wants to identify the post office location and a couple of likely parking options. For that she needs the map.

So what does the website deliver? An extract from the 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey which cannot be zoomed, except in one step to a scale which is too large to see the location in context. There’s no pan option at all, and no layers of useful information like parking. In other words, the site pays lip service to providing a map while giving no consideration to the various ways in which the map might be used in order to get useful directions.

If they can’t deliver something useful, why do they bother?