New ways to search in 2017

We do a lot of desk research on the web, to find protocols we can recommend to clients, as well as looking for new material and content for the web sites we produce, for ourselves and others.

Using the big search engines is fine, but sometimes on a wet Wednesday in March, you long for the search sensation to be a bit livelier, a bit un-normative.

Here are some suggestions.

Answer the Public

Developed to deliver consumer insight in the ‘Age of Google’. We used our standard format testing keyword ‘trees’ and the search results looked like this.

Answer the Public question search....
See more here…

You can choose a variety of approaches to your keyword or phrase. We bet the next time you are deliberating over some stats, or working on a bid, the Answer the Public might help refresh the text.

It really does offer insights and approaches to subjects which, although designed for marketing professionals, can help refresh a jaded search palette.

Using natural language processing, the search engine claims to identify relationships between documents and data that are ‘overlooked by conventional search engines‘.

pdfsearcg page - new relationships in information
See more here…

With over 18 million documents in their database, you are sure to find new data and information for your project or narrative.


‘Search for PDF, Office DOCS, books, images, videos, shopping, word definitions, and more! You can focus on popular sites for topics such as health, business, journals, sports, or recipes, or you can limit the search to EDU/GOV sites, or look deeper into Wikipedia, gene therapy @wikipedia . Google or Bing are still one-click away when you need it!’

re:search - a new qway to search
Discover more here…

You can conduct your search in privacy, with no intrusive advertisements and can pivot your search to a new variety of search sources with a single click.

See re:search here.

Another secure, private search engine that offers a new insight into your chosen subject. No tracking, just search. Looks and sounds like Google, but with none of the lingering oversight, allegedly.

Oscobo - web search made private in the UK
See more here…

Worked quite quickly on our standard searches too.

Oscobo is a UK-based company founded by two guys who left their corporate jobs to work towards a belief they both shared – that personal data should remain just that, personal.

Disillusioned with the corporate world and that the private individual is paying for what seems to be “free” internet content, they felt it was time to turn the tables the other way round.

Oscobo is the only UK based Privacy Search Engine that does not track or store the user’s data’.    Source:    Accessed: 03.01.2017

Whatever new changes and needs for your project in 2017, all our best wishes from SmithMartin LLP.  If we can help, with or without a search, just ask. We’d be delighted to hear from you.

Tackling Charity Social Media?

View or download your copy here… have just published a new, very comprehensive charity social media tookit.

The work, by Zoe Amar and David Evans offers the sector a profoundly useful resource to grasp the first principles of social media. Helping you to understand the workflow and context needed and to be able to create and deploy a social media strategy of utility to your organisation.

‘We wrote this guide for everyone, from all-hands-on-deck small charity workers to experienced digital managers in need of inspiration. Most of all, we want you to finish reading this guide bursting with ideas, strategies and tactics for your organisation’.

Spread over eight chapters the toolkit includes:

  • Your Social Media Strategy
  • Putting Social Into Action
  • How to Grow Your Social Network
  • How to Campaign and Fundraise with Social
  • Social Media Style and Consistency
  • Social Analytics in Advertising
  • Employee Social Media in Advocacy
  • The Future of Social Media for Non-Profits

Whatever your level of engagement with your partners, donors and funders or service users, then this toolkit should prove invaluable in refining your strategy, improving your audience interest and engagement, as well as adding to your social media skills as a professional.

You can access the toolkit on-line directly here, or download your own pdf copy here.

SmithMartin LLP are providers of web and communication services to the charity, education, social and community enterprise sectors.

We are happy to help any organisation across the UK to develop a web presence or new media strategy at any time. Contact us here.

Building the charitable web as a compassionate social business.

smp Plain Button
Communications delivered…


DolphinBookBox returns

DolphinBookBox - services from SmithMartin image
All our services in one place…

We have recently re-energised our oldest brand, DolphinBookBox. Some 10 years or so ago this was the delivery mechanism on-line for our community library and book delivery service.

What we have found recently is that, after over a decade of development, our Partnership ‘elevator pitch’ – what is it you do? – was getting longer and longer.

To stop our meeting attendees glazing over, as if they would, we have recompiled the BookBox web site and converted it into a feature suite for our miscellany of Partnership projects and services.

There is a logic to our Partnership offering, with inter-connected themes for all our work.

Our print and design service keys into our community web service, our project management efforts around community buildings key into our skills in governance and policy advice.

Our children’s book business delivery synergises with our international on-line contact project Books go Walkabout, which itself feeds projects into our publishing house activities for new eBooks and recharged back catalogue creation….and so on.

You can see the connections all on one website here, at

SmithMartin LLP – diverse connnectivity and services for your project.

Technological Children’s Centres

A high definition screen in reception at Hornsey RoadWe have recently enjoyed being commissioned by Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in Islington to supply and fit their new IT suite and display screens.

The Team at Family Action were successful in raising funds to purchase from us a suite of new laptops, with an innovative mobile trolley to store and automatically charge them overnight, to add to the facilities in the training room and across the Centre.

Our installation team, led by our Technical Manager Doug Hopkins, also installed a new Promethean display board – allowing tutors in the Centre not only to access the screen with their own laptops, but to join the network with learners and to use the integrated interactive Active Classroom/Inspire learning and teaching suite that we installed on the Centre system too.

Doug also successfully installed a large, high definition screen in the Centre reception area, for which the creative team at Thirdsectorweb, using their design and graphics skills, now supply regularly updated DVD’s which play the Centre timetable and feature activities for all to see.

Sue Martin, a partner at SmithMartin said…

We think display for Centre visitors, that is current, timely and visually pleasing is a really important way to engage and inform people. Our solution, to install a simple DVD player is very, very cost effective and means that staff and volunteers have no complex learning to undertake in order to make our system work.

We use our economies of scale for graphics creation and DVD supply, which is complimentary for the Center with their installation, meaning there is no ongoing cost to the charity for our service. An important consideration in times of tight budgets.

The professional team at Hornsey Road were great to work with on the project, running a very successful Centre with a comprehensive, inclusive and supportive range of activities to support their care of children in the catchment.

If we can help improve your display, IT deployment or web information – then contact SmithMartin LLP for a chat, just to see what’s needed. We are always happy to talk to you.

BME support flowers in Cambridgeshire

We are delighted as a partnership to be the web publishers for the new information directory for ABMEC,  a Cambridgeshire based CIC, supporting the BME community in the county.

ABMEC is a lottery funded project, providing resources, training and advice to its community of interest for the last five years.

We are happy to be able to institute a web reference information resource and to maintain the quality and accessibility of the information for ABMEC after the project has reached fruition this year.

You can find the new directory online here at

The service is provided by our community web arm, Thirdsectorweb, who are specialist web and communication suppliers for the charity, education and local authority sectors.

You can find the Thirdsectorweb team here. As works in progress, online directories of socially useful  information are never complete.

If you have information that can go into the directory just add the details to the contact us page on the directory website. The directory team will make sure your information is always current and up to date.

SmithMartin – helping support communities across the UK. 

Creating the right zone

We have been doing a lot of work recently on the creation of good governance structures for a variety of charitable and social enterprise organisations.

Policies and process play a large part in this delivery, but so do relationships. How boards or committees relate to one another, how their vision of what it is they think they are doing as individuals all temper the outcome of organisational development exchanges.

The video below from  EQmentor places stress on emotional safety as a facet of healthy organisational development.

A nicely put argument about the wealth of resources that organisations offer to health and safety of the physical kind, but highlighting the meagreness of consideration often given to enotional support.

We are not totally won over on the office as home concept, which is not really a part of the argument, but the illustration of how at home we feel safe because we talk to each other, know each other very well and have permission to fail does ring a chime.

Governance within the board room is also about emotional safety and should operate along these lines too, we would argue, for an organisation in our sector to be fully functioning.

A group who operate on this ‘home’ principal can be more effective and dynamic. Is this what happens in governance development situations?

Do you agree?

Renegotiating Value; Bonus or Pro Bono

mf‘Bonus vs Pro Bono’ is the second in a series of Renegotiating ‘value’ seminars and seeks to explore the value of inspirational leadership in business. The seminar will be held in the St Martin’s Hall at St Martin-in-the-Fields (Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ) on Thursday 4th November between 4.00 and 6.30pm.

SmithMartin Partnership is pleased to work with Faith in London’s Economy who are delivering this series of seminars concerned with ‘values’ .

Looking at the way our economic system is geared more to the development of wealth for its own sake rather than being socially beneficial and sustainable with a sense of stewardship around our most vulnerable members of the community.

Join us at St Martin’s in the Fields on Thursday 4th November for an interesting and thought provoking afternoon.

The seminar speakers are:

* Peter Hyson (Change Perspectives Ltd) has specialised in leadership development, working with both individuals and strategic teams to boost high performance. He has clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. His consultancies have included working with Directors in Professional Services, promoted because of their exceptional technical skills, to adjust to learning people-leadership skills; and a major Organisation Development project with a Government Department to re-assess its work-culture.

He says, “After at least four separate careers, the key theme – and what excites me – is helping people and organisations exceed their expectations, to feel they have power and influence.” These portfolio careers also reflect an eclectic range of business skills and interests, including story-writing, for both business and pleasure and he will shortly be publishing a book about coaching and the “third IQ” – spirituality. His favourite management development insight is “The great coach is the one who brings out the greatness in others” (Nancy Kline)

Baroness Uddin is a Labour Peer and was the first Muslim woman in the House of Lords. Born in Bangladesh and brought up in England, she is an advocate of social reforms and equal rights. A formidable champion for women, Lady Uddin was invited to the House of Lords in 1998 for her contribution to the advancement of women’s and disability rights. She began her professional and political career in the 1970’s, in the East End of London, developing a number of leading edge and well-regarded services and organisations.

Many of these have since come to be accepted as benchmarks for sustainable development and community engagement. Baroness Uddin has served on the Government’s Select Committee on European Affairs and has chaired several Government task forces, under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s office, the Home Office and the FCO. She also chaired the Government’s Task force on Ethnic Minority Women Councilors.

To register for the seminar, which costs £5.00, phone 020 8599 2170 or email

Sue Martin

Entrepreneurship – social or otherwise

Europa have just released the latest 2009 state of entrepreneurship survey – which interestingly shows that 45% of Europeans would like to be their own boss, if they could.

The EU survey suggests that entrepreneurs are held in lower regard in Europe than their contemporaries in the USA.

The survey highlights the differing attitudes in the US, Europe and Asia to entrepreneurship, but does show that the preference for self-employment remained stable across all regions.

Women seem to lag behind men and young people as a cohort expressing a preference for self employment.

Those surveyed shared their opinions of entrpreneurial individuals as either ‘job creators’ or as ‘exploiters’.

What was not a feature of the survey, to its detriment we think, is factoring in social entrepreneurship or the context of social enterprise as a vehicle for community business change.

Perhaps if more Europeans knew more about social enterprise or social entrepreneurs,  or the impact the sector can have on communities – the range of relative levels of hesitancy to outright distrust of entrepreneurship expressed might be very different.

What do you think?

You can find the survey synopsis here.

The entry pages to the European Small Business Portal can be found here.

Social Enterprise Management
A featured title

Doherty, Foster, Mason et al have produced a great primer for the person intent on mastering the management of social enterprise.

Published in 2009 the book Management for Social Enterprise contains a wide ranging and detailed analysis of many aspects of successful social enterprise management.

It combines not only operational advice, but also gives pointers across some of the ethical issues, corprorate tensions and community reactions that an emergent social enterprise can deliver.

There is also a strong section on financial management of social enterprises, which although created by academics scores well in terms of readability for the lay person. We recommend it.

You can find other books on social business on our SmithMartin ethical business book page…read more here.

By Mr Bob Doherty, George Foster, Chris Mason, Mr John Meehan, Mrs Karon Meehan, Mr Neil Rotheroe, Ms Maureen Royce – published by Sage Publications Ltd., March 2009. (Available from around £20).

Increasing digital participation!

digitalWorldPicThe Digital Participation Fund deadline is approaching. Applications have to be with the fund by 5.00 p.m. on the 1st. June 2010, for this first round.

Designed to support initiatives that increase participation in online activities, get more from already being online and to get help to exploit the real social and economic benefits of being online.

The Fund is open to any charity or incorporated organisation, with the Fund stating that there is likely to be several rounds of funding available over the next three years.

The Fund notes say they are looking for projects of any size, that can be evaluated, replicated and that offer depth and breadth to internet access.

You can get full details of the Fund, the aims it has and all the forms for application here, in both PDF and Word format.

If you are already helping people get access to the online world, or are planning to, check out the Digital Participation Consortium.