Category: Digital Life

May 27th, 2015 by eastgrinsteadonline

Bluebell Digital are experts in digital marketing strategy, campaigns and analysis. We can help your company or organisation get new business online, using popular platforms such as Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

We can build and improve your social media following and offer advice on content marketing, SEO and writing for the Web. We can run paid campaigns to drive traffic to your site, improving sales and finding new customers.

11350470_10207191626014715_7386663331327141741_nWe also offer training to get you up to speed with online tools and managing your own digital marketing activities.

We have clients locally in East Grinstead and in Brighton, London and across Sussex.

Get in touch for a free consultation or just a chat via



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September 27th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline


THE GREAT and the good of East Grinstead’s digerati met up in the Dorset Arms on Thursday. Much knowledge was shared and new connections made and the next event has already been scheduled for the same venue in a month’s time.

If you are interested in joining, then please go to the link below and sign up.

It’s a free event, and everyone with an interest in the Internet and digital marketing, coding and technology is welcome.

East Grinstead Digital Meetup

Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014, 7:00 PM

The Dorset Arms
58 High Street East Grinstead, GB

15 Members Went

The second meetup for the East Grinstead digital group. We will have some content for the night. Also, be ready to talk for one minute about your business or a passion, if you would prefer that.I have made it at 7pm this time, because I think the 6pm start wasn’t good for our London-based members.Please sign up and tell your friends or colleagues…

Check out this Meetup →

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September 21st, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline


 BETTER Connected is a project to bring better, faster broadband to West Sussex.

Funded by West Sussex County Council, the government and BT the project aims to make it possible for more than 90% of the county to connect to better, faster broadband services by Spring 2016. By this date all premises will be able to access downloads speeds of at least 2Mbps.

Improved broadband speeds can transform how people work, live and communicate, and this exciting technology will improve quality of life, and help to grow the county’s economy by enabling new businesses to start up, and existing ones to prosper.

Providing access to better, faster broadband does not mean that Better Connected will physically connect users to a broadband line. Customers will contract with broadband providers to buy services, in the usual way.

Broadband is provided in West Sussex via a range of technologies from fibre-based services using cable or copper wire to satellite and wireless.

Large parts of the county have poor or no connectivity to broadband.

Where broadband is available it tends to be in the urban areas of the main towns or along the coast where the dense population has made it attractive to commercial telecommunications companies to invest in building infrastructure to provide and sell broadband services to customers.

‘Superfast’ broadband is defined by the Government as download speeds of 24Mbps or over. Connections to the internet are generally defined by download speeds (or ‘data transfer rates’) in Megabits per second (Mbps).

West Sussex County Council is using public money to intervene in the commercial market where it is failing to provide broadband services to premises,  bound by State Aid rules set down by the European Commission which govern public sector intervention in the commercial market place.

* You can keep up to date with progress by using the interactive map on this website. 

Improved broadband services may be delivered in some areas sooner as part of a commercial rollout.

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September 1st, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

Ba's Bluebell pic copy 2EAST Grinstead’s first ever Digital Meet-Up will be between 6pm and 8pm on Thursday 25 September at the Dorset Arms.

It has been organised by Barney Durrant who is the Contributing Editor and Webmaster for East Grinstead Online, the town’s online news site, and Principal of Bluebell Digital.

“It’s a meet-up for any one working in or interested in the digital industry,” said Barney. “So come along to learn, network and share your experience with local businesses in Sussex.”

Sign up below if you want to attend – first session is just to meet each other and see what people want to get out of the meeting in future.

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August 29th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

PARTS of East Grinstead will soon be getting a 4G service thanks to the installation of a new mast at Saint Hill yesterday.

O2 has warned its customers that the installation may temporarily affect mobile phone services in the area until the upgrade is complete.

Posted in Digital Life, News

August 19th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline


THE FIRST East Grinstead Digital Meetup will be taking place on the evening of Thursday 25th September at the Dorset Arms. If you are interested in all things digital from marketing and ecommerce, branding and Web design to social media, video and mobile, then sign up to come along, as all are welcome to attend.

Attendees can network and share their experience and knowledge and help to shape future meetings.

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August 16th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline


by Barney Durrant

AMAZON’s latest idea of shortening delivery times and adding convenience for its customers means they will soon be putting in collection points at mainline railway stations in the UK.

As a long-time daily commuter this idea sounds perfect and in the era of click and collect from all the major clicks-to-bricks high street chains, something Amazon needed to do to keep up with the competition.

It already has lockers and deals with some other stores to help its customers collect their goods at the most accessible place of their choice.

However as I thought about the possibilities of this move and how I can quickly get a CD, book or gift as I hurried through my daily commute, it struck me that there was a massive opportunity in one particular area which Amazon is starting to exploit in the US.

Wouldn’t it be a fantastic service, if you could sit at your desk with a laptop at say 3.30pm in the afternoon, have a quick browse of the Internet and order your dinner, a bottle of wine and maybe some milk and bread?

Come going-home time, a couple of hours later, the ultra-efficient ecommerce website would have delivered your groceries to the station you were due to pass through and you would effortlessly pick up everything you needed for that night’s meal.

In our time-poor world, wouldn’t a service like that resonate with the many professionals frazzled at the end of a long day and heading home to an empty fridge?

In our ever-connected life, maybe the fridge could cut out the middle man, email your order and all you would have to do is get your dinner from the station-based space.

Hour or less delivery times would make this super-fast and super-convenient – and  a massive success for whichever ecommerce player does it first.

So come on Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado and Sainsbury’s, don’t let Amazon steal your lunch this time.

Barney Durrant is the owner of Bluebell Digital, a local digital marketing consultancy.

Posted in Digital Life, Technology Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

August 9th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline

358c52b Fantastic VoyageDIGITAL Life,  our new column, will cover the latest in technology and digital innovation, and all the developments from the big players including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple.

by Barney Durrant

WEARABLE technology is the latest trend, as Google releases a brand new version of Android at its I/O conference aimed at capitalising on the new wave of devices that are being developed to closely interact with our bodies and senses.

A range of smartwatches is already available to pre-order and Apple are rumoured to be working on a watch for IoS.

Google Glass has just gone on general sale in the UK, following on from the US, so the breadth of available devices looks set to explode in the coming months.

It’s always fun to look at current trends and think about where they may ultimately go, as miniaturisation, storage and software improve and evolve.

Musing on wearables led me to recall the classic sci-fi film, The Fantastic Voyage. If you are of a certain generation, you have probably – like me – seen this movie many times as a child on afternoon TV and wondered at the sixties-style futurology of it all.

Isaac Asimov wrote the script, so the tale of a mission inside a submarine which has been transformed into something the size of a blood cell, is maybe more predictive than some of the other tall tales churned out by Hollywood at the time.

The team travels through the body of a comatose, defecting Russian scientist trying to heal him and thus unlock his miniaturisation secret formula to be used for the benefit of the West.

Cold War themes pervade and I won’t ruin it by telling you what happens in the end – it will certainly bring a tear to your eye. I loved this film as a child and couldn’t get enough of the idea that one day we would advance enough to send tiny people inside each other’s bodies to fix or explore them. This technology certainly seemed a long way away in the eighties.

So is this crazy science-fiction at its hackneyed worst or actually a foreshadowing of the future? Well, today you might try a pair of VR glasses – either Google’s Glass or Facebook’s acquisition, Oculus Rift, strap on a watch that interacts with your smartphone to give you instant updates or wear a fitness bracelet which monitors your physical activity and sleep. Tomorrow, however, these devices will only become smaller and more integrated with our bodies, minds and maybe even emotions.

So, come 2020, maybe you’ll buy the latest smart device from the Web, have it delivered to your home the next day, then pop it under your tongue with a glass of water and take it down in one gulp. Perhaps your doctor will help you place it under the skin of your wrist and then stitch it in.

Swallowables anyone?

Barney Durrant is the owner of Bluebell Digital, a local digital marketing consultancy.

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July 26th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline


BREAK out your Kindle or get down to the Boo(k)shop or Waterstones in town to grab a paperback or two. Summer Holidays are here and most of us will be jetting, driving or sailing off into the blue yonder to our annual vacations. Here is what I am going to be taking with me for The Beach (good book actually, Alex Garland).

Neil Gaiman is a favourite author of mine. He was brought up in East Grinstead and is of course a comic book legend with his Sandman series, as well as a successful novelist for both children and adults.

His profile is ever-rising, much assisted by his frequent and popular use of twitter (@neilhimself if you are interested) and probably his relationship with newish wife Amanda Palmer, who is an arty American alt-rock star.

Hollywood success for the adaptation of his book Coraline has also helped to push this somewhat cultish author to mainstream success. The gay pirate Robert De Niro is certainly memorable in Stardust, another of his film-adapted children’s books. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is his latest novel for adults and if it is half as good as American Gods, I will be a very happy camper (this is just an expression – I am definitely not camping). I haven’t read it yet, so can’t give you any spoilers, but trust me, read this or get American Gods and you will wonder what all the fuss is about Game of Thrones (yes, you should read the books, not just sit wide-eyed gawping at all the boobs and gore in the TV show).

I am also taking 1980 by David Peace – sure to cheer me up. This book is the third novel in a quadrilogy (I think this is the right word – so many more trilogies around, but basically there are four books).

Surprised by the recent revelations about various seventies British celebrities and their sexual predilections? Well you wouldn’t have been quite as surprised, if you had read this series.

I would warn you that it isn’t for the fainthearted and to be honest, I would make sure I was in a happy place, before I read the books, because they are somewhat excoriating in their depiction of the human condition.

The novels are set in a fictionalised seventies and eighties West Yorkshire. Most of the action revolves around a heady mix of corrupt police officers, council officials and the press in Leeds. The backstory is effectively a fictional version of the Yorkshire Ripper murders. And everyone’s friend Jimmy Savile is parodied in a minor part of the plot and, with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, exposed for what he was – a necrophiliac child abuser.

It was adapted a few years ago for TV by Channel 4 under the name the Red Riding Quartet (ah Quartet, better).

Sean Bean was the lead – he has ‘100% Blades’ tattooed on his arm, don’t you know, so was maybe in Leeds, under protest.

If you are a football fan and you would rather read something a bit lighter, then the Damned United is a genuine modern classic and his latest book Red or Dead is about the famous Liverpool teams of the same period and beyond. 

The Damned United is about everyone’s (my) favourite football team, Leeds United and the brief spell that Brian Clough had in charge during their zenith in the seventies.

I can’t recommend this enough and even if you really don’t like football, it conjures up a darker and different decade very effectively and is as funny as a two-footed tackle by Norman Hunter from behind. Again, for those with short attention spans, it is available in film form starring that Welsh bloke who keeps pretending to be Tony Blair, Michael Sheen.

So two great authors you may or may not have read before. If you want something to impress fellow holidaymakers, your spouse or random foreigners, as you loll next to the swimming pool in a miasma of suntan lotion and false dreams of personal freedom, then just get Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton and see how the other half tweet.

Barney Durrant 

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July 19th, 2014 by eastgrinsteadonline


SCOTT Cinema in East Grinstead, Chequer Mead and the Crawley Multiplex show regular live theatre performances from National Theatre Live, the Royal Shakespeare Company and also live events such as the recent Monty Python shows from the O2.

In the first of a new regular column for East Grinstead Online on technology, Barney Durrant explores the new way to see live theatre.

FIFTEEN pounds doesn’t buy too much these days – a couple of CDs, a sixth of a premier league match ticket, maybe a bottle of whisky or gastro pub meal.

So it seemed like a bargain to go to my local cinema in East Grinstead and pay this for a ticket to see a top class play beamed live from the West End.

Even better, it would be starring two of Britain’s finest actors, the now well-established Bill Nighy and rising star Carey Mulligan and all  for a fiver more than the awful Transformers sequel booming at a multiplex near you now.

It was my first time at a live performance of a play at the cinema and straight away I was plunged into the theatrical atmosphere. The stage is waiting empty on screen and the sounds of the ‘real’ audience play into the speakers giving the impression that you really have joined the London chattering classes for the evening.

However, everything else is reassuringly cinema-like – popcorn is munched, drinks and ice cream bought and everyone settles down to watch the screen.

At the appointed hour – 7pm kick off for this one – the house and cinema lights go down in perfect harmony and the play begins.

It must be an interesting challenge for the actors. I assume they give their usual performance, but in fact the much larger ‘live’ audiences get a more TV like experience, as the camera isn’t fixed and swoops in for close-ups the theatre audience would not see. I could really see the acting breaking out on Bill Nighy’s face at times, as he ploughed through his wordy lines with a great lightness of touch.

I won’t review the play beyond saying it’s a must-see – the acting is perfect and the direction by Stephen Daldry as excellent as you would expect.

David Hare’s play creaks a little at times and shows its age – no mobiles or internet in this nineties world, but the core relationship isn’t suffocated by the more political overtones and it certainly resonates with Britain under the new Tories.

The acting is as intense as you would expect in what is essentially a two-hander although a third actor bookends the action with brief scenes.

Another advantage of the live cinema experience is that you get a presenter, in this case Emma Freud and there is normally some kind of interval entertainment to add to the fun.

We were privileged to hear from the man himself, playwright David Hare, who rarely gives interviews, but there he was, live and direct,  chatting in front of the full house at the Wyndhams Theatre. He seemed relaxed and jovial and answered all the questions fully.

His views on NT Live grabbed my attention – he said that he had made it a condition of Skylight’s revival that it was part of the National Theatre Live programme.

As regional tours of straight plays have declined, he said he loved the idea that the cinema could democratise his work and spread it to a regional audience who were locked out of the limited London runs that a play with such stars would enjoy.

Even many people with access to London would struggle to afford, or even just secure, tickets to a production in such demand.

I am won over.

For a little more than a standard cinema ticket, you can go and see a top class West End production, close up and personal and get your ‘DVD extra’ in the interval.

Adverts ran for Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and War Horse (former ‘live’ broadcasts are regularly ‘encored’ by popular demand), and for upcoming live shows, including the new Streetcar Named Desire starring Gillian ‘Agent Scully’ Anderson and Medea by Euripides.

So old and new clash – an art form with roots in ancient Greece, which is in decline in comparison to musical theatre, is given a shot in the arm by technology.

Shows are listed at your local cinema and are beamed to audiences across the UK and sometimes globally.

Check out what’s next at or go to for listings
or check out Chequer Mead at

As Shakespeare said in As You Like It ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players’

Seems the stage is now a little closer.

Barney Durrant (c) 2014

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