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“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ― William Morris

Getting People to Complete Registrations

Posted: August 4th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Interaction Design | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

ReadWriteWeb has a good piece about how different sites get their users to fill in their profiles as completely as possible. They cover LinkedIn which uses a progress bar going to 100%, along with suggested next steps (such as ‘Get a recommendation’) to move you to the completed state, and this is one of my favourite approaches. Other techniques they’ve observed include having an embarrassing default photo – in some cases of George W Bush.. and who wouldn’t quickly move to put something less irksome in its place.

Years ago I had a conversation with a marketing friend who took the approach that people enjoyed filling out forms once they’d started. To that end she would always advocate adding in relevant, but somewhat random questions at the end of registration forms as this would add colour to our understanding of our guests. It’s an interesting idea, and for some demographics this is likely the case, however in these days of signup overload it’s a practice that most of us would avoid.


Seth Godin’s 5 Easy Pieces of Marketing

Posted: July 1st, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Internet Marketing | Tags: | No Comments »

Internet marketing guru Seth Godin has another insightful post on how to conceptualize your marketing offerings as five simple pieces: Data, Stories, Products (services), Interactions and Connection. I’d been thinking about the ‘story’ (or myth) side of this equation for a while, but as usual Godin is four steps ahead of us all. Good stuff.


One Ma.tt to Rule Them All

Posted: March 5th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: SEO | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

You have to give credit to Matthew Mullenweg, not only is he the force majeur behind WordPress – the most sensible and elegant blog tool in the word – he also realised that he could buy Ma.tt as his domain before anyone else did… Clever chap.

As a bit of background, ‘tt’ is the top level domain (TLD) for Trinidad and Tobago, based on the sensible logic of using two letter country ISO codes for each country’s domains. This works sensibly around the world everywhere except the U of K, where for some reason we’re stuck with ‘co.uk’, ‘org.uk’ and other various third level domains only. Thanks British domain regulator – you sc.uk.

Anyhoo, in the meantime, you can buy your own .tt domain – but would you want to? There are actually very few words that end with ‘tt’ that aren’t mis-spellings, and ‘bu.tt’ is the only one anyone would really want. There’s also another catch. If you live outside of Trinidad and Tobago then owning such a domain will set you back $1,000 for the first two years, then $1,000 every five after that. A bit too rich for my blood.

Ps, Matt, I apologise for this post still being on Blogger… I promise I’ll move this blog over to WordPress as soon as I get a spare mo.


User Demographics: Google vs. Yahoo

Posted: February 16th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Internet Marketing | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Hitwise ran an interesting article yesterday about the difference in demographic between users of Yahoo and Google. They analysed a range of statistics, and their results indicated a couple of interesting points – firstly that Google users tend to skew slightly older (centering around 35-44 rather than Yahoo’s 25-34), and secondly that Google tends to be favoured by people who have spent over $500 online. In principle what this means is if you have a cheap product advertise on Yahoo, a more expensive product then advertise on Google to get better results.

You can read the whole article here.

First to Market, or First to Rate?

Posted: January 29th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Internet Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

In the world of business the success of your idea depends hugely on word of mouth and feedback, especially with the Internet. The same is true of music, with new bands scrabbling to get any bandwidth with already saturated music lovers. In such a situation we often rely on music taste makers that we know and trust to point us towards new music we might like. This was a subject that Malcolm Gladwell discussed in his excellent book ‘The Tipping Point‘, where he described such people or groups as ‘super influencers’ who have an effect on many people’s opinions and can even make or break new products.

Well it seems not everyone believes Gladwell’s view of how information is dispersed. In a recent article Fast Company talks with Duncan Watts, a Network Theorist, on his own views of how information travels. He feels that information sharing in tightly grouped areas such as music depends much more on who gets the first attention, rather than who is referenced by the most connected people. This was found in an experiment where he set up new songs on a music sharing site, and then asked different groups to rate the music – but some of the groups had a social aspect, and others didn’t. What transpired was that the top rated list of songs was totally different for each group, there was no shared ‘best song’. The result for the ‘social’ world seemed to be driven more by who got the first votes, not who was actually best.

This result has some intuitive merit. In today’s social information networks, information that is tagged most rises to the top of display lists such as ‘Recent Top 10’ or similar. Other people then see these lists and give their own opinions on this music, perhaps biased by its position in the list, instead of going round all available music and seeing what they like. In this case the influencer is the social group en masse, rather than a single super influencer. Either way it seems that getting out there first with your product into a new area is critical, although as Watts says – “In general, the ‘best’ songs never do very badly, and the ‘worst’ songs never do extremely well, but almost any other result is possible&rdquo – so make sure your product is worthy of any attention is receives and you can’t go far wrong. Or if it’s not great, then make sure you can get feedback from this failed attempt to make sure the next one is worthy.

[From Boing Boing]