We’ve just done a major overhaul of the Your Voice in House site which has one major new improvement: an API.

It’s now possible to

hook into our data using a simple HTTP request. You can access every bit of data on every politician using the API. It’s documentation can be found here.

You’ll need to register to get a key to use the API but other than that there are really no restrictions on how you use it, however we do ask that you let us know if you anticipate any heavy use.

Putting the API in place has meant that we have had to normalise our database which has left it in a much more robust state and we have included a range of new fields including websites, twitter accounts and alternative email addresses.

The data we had on the site had become quite dated so it has all been deleted and we’re getting new data in place. We will slowly add this as over the next week or two (sorry it’s not quicker – things are hectic). But once it is there we have put systems in place to ensure it is much easier to manage the data which will hopefully mean that the database will be kept current this time.

So have a go and let us know what you think!


We’re very excited to announce that Sommelier.net.au has had a major upgrade.

It’s the first of a series of changes that we have planned so the fun doesn’t stop here.

The biggest change is that the sight has had a total makeover. The new look is a lot cleaner and easier to use.

We’ve also rearranged a few

section so that it flows a little better.

The other big addition is that of a ‘Wishlist’ functionality. A few users asked for this and we thought it was a good idea so you can now add bottle that you want to buy to Sommelier.net.au.

There are a range of other improvements as as I say, there are plenty more to come.

We hope you like it and we encourage you to let us know what you think by emailing us at wine@sommelier.net.au


The first update for Gallery Only is now available.

It makes some minor changes to the layout on both the HTML and

CSS side which means that anything appearing below the gallery is spaced out a little better.

We’ve added a new class, .go_clear which adds this spacing and could be edited for the purposes of customisation if needed.


We’re really

excited to announce our new WordPress Plugin, ‘Gallery Only’. It may not be the most imaginative name in the world but we’re quite pleased with its functionality.

It takes the standard WordPress Gallery and applies the Moodular jQuery plugin to make the gallery pretty.

It’s very straight forward to use but also quite customisable with further customisations already under development.

For now you can download it from our page and we’ll have it up on the WordPress site as soon as possible.

Update: and it’s now up on the WordPress Plugin Directory site.

We hope you enjoy it!

Here’s a Demo featuring a series of photos by Ariane Barton:


We were stoaked when we were asked recently to put together a web services for NAWLZ, an online interactive comic that recently released an iPad version of its award-winning comic.

We love the comic so considered it an honour to be able to contribute in some small way.

The creator wished to be able to provide ‘VIP access’ and trial subscriptions to users for the purpose of reviewing and promotion.

We developed a ‘back end’ where the creator could generate tokens that would then be emailed to the designated user. When the user enters their details on the iPad app, the app would check with the web service and then provide additional access depending on the result.

Simple enough but good fun too.

Tech notes: The web service was build using PHP

and MySQL. The data was transmitted as JSON over an SSH connection.


Since our last blog post, much has happend which we probably should have blogged about earlier

Firstly, we have opened a UK office. I (Hammy) have moved to London and even set up a new personal website: http://hammygoonan.com. Please get in touch if you have some development work that needs doing in the UK.

We have also launched a few new sites:

2012 Semaine Fédérale en Australie

For the second year in a row Hammy has developed a registration site for Audax Australia’s annual Semaine Fédérale cycling event.

This custom built eCommerce site accommodates a complex pricing system which dynamically adjusts according to the user’s order, their age and their membership of the organisation. It also processes payments and has the capacity to order merchandise and add additional children riders.

The site also accommodates the complex reporting requirements of the organisation so that they can manage the event on the day.

Tech notes: The site was built using CakePHP and jQuery
URL: audaxaustralia.org.au/sfa2012

Your Voice in House

Your Voice in House is a database of every Australian politician. Users can search for politicians by name, electorate or portfolio and contact them using the email form provided. It provides a comprehensive management system that allows the administrator to update and upload new details as well as allowing end users to alert the administrator to an error in the database.

An API is currently being developed for the site.

Tech notes: The site was built using CakePHP, jQuery and jQuery UI
URL: yourvoiceinhouse.org.au


4 Ransom

This website was built for an independent film about Australia’s housing crisis. The film makers wanted a neat, compact website that had a reasonable amount of functionality (ie the ability to organise a screening of the film) and that was easy to manage themselves. As they were already familiar with WordPress, I adapted it to suit the needs of the site to enable ease of use. The film ended up generating an incredible amount of publicity which the website provided solid support for.

Tech notes: This is a heavily customised WordPress site with a template built from scratch.
URL: realestate4ransom.com

Terry Johal

This was a fairly straight forward WordPress install that we modified the very neat Six Hours Theme for. Our client just wanted a clean, uncluttered look which is exactly what we gave him.

The site also includes his twitter feed, a basic events management system and an automated weekly digest of his twitter feed.

Tech notes: A customised WordPress site.
URL: terryjohal.com


New Spire Website


a very quick note that we’ve finally got a proper site up.

It will improve with time but for now it’s a lot better than the ‘coming soon’ page we’ve had there for eternity.


Semaine Federale en Australie

Exciting news from the Spire Software Desk: we’ve officially launched our first website.

You can see it here: https://audaxaustralia.org.au/sfa/

Of course, all of us have been releasing websites individually for a while but it is great to finally get one out as Spire Software!

The site is a registration site for the Semaine Federale en Australie, run by Audax Australia. It is build using the Cakephp framework as well as the JQuery Javascript library.

The event has a fairly complex pricing system with discounts for being under 16, being a member of the cycling club and for early bird registration. It allows people to become a member of Audax when they register in order to receive a discount and has a fairly detailed reporting system out the back.

I can’t wait

for the next one!


There has been quite a lot of chatter around the internet for at least the past 12 months about the Labor Party’s proposed mandatory internet filter.

Personally I think it is a terrible idea. Yes I’m concerned about the potential for the filter to interfere with free speech and civil liberties, but the fundamental problem with it is that it simply won’t work. That makes it a very expensive mistake as well.

This video by the Electronic Fronteers Foundation shows just how ineffective

it will be:

It goes without saying that child pornography is abhorrent, but a filter of the Internet is simply bad policy and a horrible waste of money.


I certainly don’t want to turn this blog into a blog about Social Media – there are plenty of other blogs out there that do this already and most of them

are pretty boring.

But I did recently come across this blog with an article that struck home for me ‘Why Do So Many Companies Suck at Social Media?

I certainly agree with this:

Part of the problem is that most companies are not inherently “social” to begin with. It’s not in their DNA to understand what it means for individual employees to start having conversations with the social web at large as representatives of a company personality. Marketing is about many things including connecting audiences with products they want to buy.

The key is to give people something they want. That might be a good laugh or information on an issue that is important to them. Which is why I quite like the way Bill Cosby lunched an iPhone App to assure his fans that he is not, in fact, dead.