Category Archives: Web Thoughts

So consumed

I spent yesterday and today at an internet marketing conference. Because I don’t own a handheld, yet, I was unable to keep up with Sweet | Salty. Yesterday I learned Liam was having heart surgery sometime this week. As it turns out, today was the day. Tonight I read both posts…when he went in and when he came out. I’m so glad I was incommunicado. I’m not sure I could have stood the suspense or the painful, nervous hoping. Of course Kate and Justin endured it real time, they seem so superhero-ish to me. I’m amazed by the human spirit and the outpouring of global love from those known and unknown to them. Keep putting the corners around it Kate, we’ll be here soaking up your strength and pouring it right back to you.

As for the conference, it was well done. Well organized.  An interesting mix of topics. Some light some enlightening. For the first Atlantic event, it was heavily attended and the key message was clear. A highly usable, task oriented website is the most important tool in your belt—it builds efficient business processes, your brand and great customer experiences. Say, have you met Bob and Carol? They love great experiences. Congrats ISL on your new corporate identity, your exceptional exposure at the conference and your new website…I’m still crushing on it.

Next year when I register, I hope I can select from 3 options: 

1.  Give me the basics
2.  Give me more than the basics
3.  All meat and no potatoes please

What I really want is a glimpse of tomorrow. I’m already having a blast in the past.

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I have friends

I registered on Facebook the other day. I’m connecting with people I haven’t talked to in years and even learning new things about them. I keep checking my friends’ friends to see if they are my friends too. I’m spending way too much time on it, it’s quite addictive. I’m told the novelty will wear off within a few weeks. Meanwhile it’s fun to poke around and find out what others are up to.

I actually set up my blog to display in my “Notes” on Facebook but I abandoned the task at confirm or cancel. Seems like a cool thing to do, but I’m not ready for the commitment. NB:  Commitment made.

So another social network takes off fast. It’s amazing how the internet keeps offering ways to engage people and shorten the distance between souls. 


Better than a sitcom

I find Gerry McGovern extremely entertaining. I love the way he changes the paradigms and brings the truth to light. I’m always left inspired by his insight and ready to enforce his wisdom on unsuspecting clients…to their advantage. I believe and appreciate his message. In my Online Marketing role, I often feel like a web traffic controller—ensuring visitors get to their destination quickly and safely, without missing their connection. I met an air traffic controller in a bar once. I didn’t mention my analogy. Somehow my role seemed a lot less significant than hers.


A new website

Last night I was reading my email. My five year old snuck out of bed and came downstairs. He said to me, “Mom, wwwILoveYou.ca .” 


Privacy

I’m uncomfortable that my personal information, name, address and telephone number is viewable when you do a “whois” search on my domain name.

I contacted my web service provider and inquired how I could fix it. Turns out for $20 they would hide my info, but their online form wasn’t working so I had to confirm through email that I wanted the service charged to my account. I then received an email saying the service was not available for .ca accounts but the CIRA is hiding all personal information as of April 2007 to comply with the Privacy Act. This is automatic and free of charge. Thanks CIRA for saving me $20. My personal information has been available since I purchased my domain in 2004. What took so long?


Web Stats, Web Content

I know this blog is simply a personal journey, but the marketer in me is addicted to watching my blog stats. For some reason I can’t leave without checking to see if anyone has been on and what they are interested in. It’s not an ego thing, I simply have a festering need to know how people are experiencing web content.

A website is made up of three interdependent components: content, technology and usability. Get one of these wrong and your website loses its impact. Content is the most important piece. Great content attracts the right people to your site and keeps them coming back. For content to be great it needs to be relevant and speak to the visitor.

  • Don’t tell them what you want them to know, tell them what they want to know.
  • Value their time. Make it easy to find what they want.
  • Don’t confuse them with details. Give them a little bit and drag them in.

The days of the CEO calling the switchboard to simulate a customer’s experience are likely gone. But, the theory of this practice extends well to the web. Sit down at home as if you were a visitor (being in your underwear wouldn’t hurt), decide what you want to find out from your organization and then see if your website works.

In the absence of daily usability testing, web stats give a clear picture of exposure, engagement, task completion and what’s hot and what’s not on your site. Interpreting stats correctly is an important part of measuring your success—the success that comes from having a highly usable website with great content and reliable technology.


Creepy to Comfortable

Just noticed the sponsored ad links on Gmail are related to the content in your message. For example, an email from my friend included news about her guitar skills and yoga practice. The sponsored links included ads for guitars and yoga retreats. I felt a little violated by this discovery. It’s brilliant, of course. Relevancy wins on the web.

Actually, Google explains this nicely. They use the same technology as their AdSense Program to deliver relevant links based on content. All is good…I’m comfortable.