When I created the ReallyCleverHomes website in 2003 the idea of the ‘smart home’ was very much a big thing, as was the idea of the ‘green’ or ‘eco’ home. Advances in technology aligned with rising energy costs seemed set to create a new dynamic in the home improvement market, and there were early signs that online shopping might be a way of accessing that market.
At that time I had a very loose ‘shopping list’ of what I thought we should be aiming to achieve (and therefore what the ReallyCleverHomes website should be about). It encompassed existing ideas around ‘ideal’ & ‘perfect’ homes and merged them with emerging ideas about ‘smart’, ‘eco’ & ‘green’ homes.
That ‘shopping list’ broadly described the home I aspired to live in and it has changed over time. As of today’s date and in no particular order it is as follows:
- A home that suits the lifestyles of its inhabitants (and evolves over time to do that)
- A home that minimises its running costs
- A home that is easy to keep clean and tidy
- A home that can be kept at the required temperature
- A home that minimises its (negative) impact on the environment
- A home that is safe and secure
- A home that can be easily controlled by its inhabitants
- A home that is connected to the services it needs
- A home that automates the things that it is appropriate to automate
It could be argued that this is my definition of a really clever home, but in reality it is much more fluid and imprecise than that (and is constantly being refined).
What’s in a name?
I must confess that, back in 2003, I looked at endless possible website domain names but everything I thought of was unsuitable and/or unavailable. Eventually I hit upon ReallyCleverHomes. The name was wasn’t entirely unsuitable and it had the very obvious benefit of being available. I registered it thinking I could always change it later, but I never have so I suspect I’m stuck with it!
The ReallyCleverHomes website – a tale of two versions
The first version of the ReallyCleverHomes website quickly became a moderately successful online retail website mainly selling home automation & control products along with a range of multiroom audio-visual systems.
In 2016 I took the decision to withdraw the retail business in an orderly fashion. I won’t bore you with all of the reasons (but I will write about it and put a link here in due course).
The current version of the ReallyCleverHomes website is still very much a work-in-progress. The intention is to create a site that is very much aligned with what I had intended the original site to be – specifically a site that provides impartial information to help its visitors create a better home in keeping with the ‘shopping list’ I referred to earlier.
How the ReallyCleverHomes website works
- I identify a ‘problem’ that either I have (or have had) with my home, or that I suspect other people will have with their’s, and write an article about how that problem might be solved.
- I identify products and/or services that might be of interest to anyone with that problem and write a detailed description of each one based on my research using information that is in the public domain and/or is supplied to by by the manufacturer or service provider.
- For each product or service I research where you can buy it and generally provide a page of links to leading online retailers together with (where I can) their prices (which I use a range of technologies to check every day).
- I group products and services into categories and write a buyers’ guide for each category to help visitors to the ReallyCleverHomes website decide which products or services best meet their particular needs.
How the ReallyCleverHomes website is funded
Whilst it’s a lot of fun running the ReallyCleverHomes website, the practical reality is that it has to somehow earn enough money to pay its costs. As things stand, there’s only source of revenue I receive for the work I do:
If you follow a link from the ReallyCleverHomes website to any online retailer’s website and buy something then I may receive a small payment by way of a commission (but the price you pay will be the same regardless).
- I don’t sell or share access to my contact or subscriber lists, or to any information I collect (deliberately or inadvertently) about visitors to the ReallyCleverHomes website.
- I don’t track identifiable visitors whilst they are on the ReallyCleverHomes website, or seek to track them after they have left.
- The ReallyCleverHomes website does not install cookies on your devices without your specific permission.
You can find out more about my policies on privacy and cookies (and other legal stuff) using the links at the bottom of every page on the ReallyCleverHomes website.
Information you can trust
It is important that visitors to the ReallyCleverHomes website can trust its content. To that end:
- The ReallyCleverHomes website does not accept advertising that I do not specifically control.
- I don’t allow manufacturers and/or service providers to pay to have their products and/or services included on the ReallyCleverHomes website, nor do I include or exclude products and/or services based on whether I might ultimately earn a commission.
- I don’t allow retailers to pay to be included (or prioritised) in where-to-buy listings on the ReallyCleverHomes website, nor do I include or exclude retailers based on whether I might ultimately earn a commission.
- I do not review or recommend products.