Towel and well-thumbed copy of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy packed…
I haven’t always been baffled by technology; in my nursing days, I could strip down and reassemble a ventilator, assemble and set infusion pumps, and occasionally fix the bed-pan washer. But as time has marched by, I find myself becoming less and less able to get my brain around it. Although I can assemble Ikea furniture without resorting to violence. So when my business partner Oliver, suggested that rather than us using an ‘off-the-peg site’ to build the Primary Care Nursing Review, we use a company named Don’t Panic! instead, I was immediately reassured. Partly because I knew that any attempt by me to design and build a site (even with templates) had disaster written all over it, but mostly because Douglas Adams was a genius, as the opening line of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency -‘High on a rocky promontory sat an Electric Monk on a bored horse’ – proves. So, obviously they had a sense of humour, which was fortunate, as they were going to need it.
Oliver also mentioned that they had something called avatars on their website. I was immediately less reasssured, having previously lost 182 minutes of my life to a film with that name while on Godson-minding duty. Much guffawing later, O explained that an avatar is what we (sorry, just me) middle-aged people call a cartoon. Here are the avatars of the current team, Stuart Lawrence (technical chief high pixie) and James Hackney (Prince of Dorne).
To cut a long story short, they were rather brilliant and not just technically. Douglas Adams summed up their challenge perfectly:
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
And I have to admit, I was pretty much that fool! But they were patient, explained technical stuff in plain English (mostly!), and did not tut loudly when I asked them about something they had explained to me in the previous 10 minutes. They would make perfect nurses.
Thus, it made perfect sense to me to ask them to create this site despite the fact that their core work is with organisations rather than individuals (especially technophobes such as myself). Stuart, to his eternal credit, almost managed to muffle his scream while James was on the phone agreeing to help. And after a couple of twists in the space-time continuum, again they have delivered in spades, cleverly managing to translate my technical instructions (“please move that squiggly bit from there to behind that other bit”) into exactly what I wanted.
So a big ‘thank you’ to Stuart and James.
The Don’t Panic! team can be contacted via:
telephone: 07725 209 820
Before our first face to face meeting, I wondered whether or not I would be able to recognise the boys from their avatars. When I met them I took a picture. What do you think?