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Month: November 2011

Is Klout another Boo.com?

Klout scoreIn 1999, while we were still riding the up-curve of the dotcom boom, the industry was full of frenzied talk about the launch of Boo.com. This exciting technological revolution would propel online shopping into the 21st century, we were promised. The resultant site collapsed because of that very same technology being too hard to use and making the site so cumbersome that it never got out of the starting gates. Millions of dollars of investment went down the pan and hundreds of people were laid off.

Today, we no longer fall for fanciful stories of future success without proof of concept. The bursting dotcom bubble taught us that, but we are experiencing a new kind of bubble where emperors are appearing with their new clothes in the form of big players that will ultimately fall down.

Are pop-ups annoying or useful?

I am seeing a massive increase in the number of sites that serve pop-ups on entry, inviting you to give your email address to subscribe, or to receive some free booklet. I don’t know about you but I hate this form of marketing with a passion, and I think it’s time to complain about it.

I am amazed that marketing professionals – many of whom would tell their clients how pop-up advertising annoys customers – are advocating the use of pop ups to promote their own email lists. While that’s understandable, it is aggressive and, in my opinion, rude.

PR people need to catch up with social media

Rick PerryThe online world moves faster than most people are able to plan. Many companies are stuck in the dark ages of public relations – where meetings are held to discuss plans of action, while the social media world moves without thinking.

The recent Rick Perry story in the US is cited by ClickZ in an excellent article examining this problem. Republican hopeful Rick Perry embarrassed himself in a TV debate by not remembering the point he was trying to make, and he wasn’t able to even ad lib a bluff. He just went blank, and the video clip went viral around the world.

How to analyse your website in five minutes

Five minutes on the clockIf you want to quickly analyse your website to see how it’s performing on search engines like Google and Bing, here’s a quick guide to how you can do it in five minutes. These five minutes will be invaluable in setting you on the path to making improvements to your content and your site structure.

Step 1 – See how much of your website is in Google

In the Google search bar, type “site:www.yoursite.com” and hit enter. Google will then show you how many pages it has indexed from your domain name. Some of these may be Flash files and some may be PDFs.

Twitter adds Activity tab

Twitter logo with birdTwitter has made some interface changes with a new Activity tab and the removal of the Mentions tab. When you log in to the Twitter website, you will see a menu item above your timeline called “Activity”. This shows activities by people you are following.

This seems like a good idea but I can’t help thinking it is perhaps also Twitter’s reaction to Google Plus and recent Facebook changes – which allow you to filter timeline content by groups of people.

Co-buying companies sell flawed benefits

Buyapowa - a co-buy offer in actionIn the heady days of the 1999-2000 dotcom bubble, one of the exciting business models was the reverse auction. Fast growth companies like Mercata were raising lots of investment to develop what was being sold as the future of shopping.

A reverse auction is, simply, the opposite of a normal auction. Instead of people bidding up the price to buy one item, you make lots of items available and the more people offer to buy, the lower the price goes – and all those customers benefit from the lower price.

Google freshens up algorithm

Google FreshThe Google dance is so hard to keep up with as the pace of changes to Google’s powerful search engine increases. In recent months we’ve seen the Caffeine update, the Panda update and now one that is being nicknamed Google Fresh.

I previously wrote about Google’s pledge to punish spammy content, but this latest alteration to the Google algorithm is about freshness, and as far as I’m concerned it’s a welcome change.

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