Monthly Archives: February 2012

Warning: What You Need to Know About the New Facebook Ads

Last week Facebook announced a radical new direction for their entire advertising policy. Some have stated it's one of the most significant changes for advertisers and consumers in the internet age. We're going to explore what will be rolled out and some of the core and key implications for all parties; you the Facebook user, the advertisers and for Facebook itself.

In a nutshell, Facebook will make ads into conversations, and you'll be told which friends have already supported which brands and news messages. As FastCompany put it:

Facebook is making the new ads social by default... the new formats will draw their content exclusively from posts to brands' Facebook Pages, rather from advertising copy written independently

This is a clear shift away from traditional honed and tested copy to more natural and social content based advertising. They've already started working in this area with 'Sponsored Stories' for some time now but this is a whole new departure as they're phasing out almost all traditional ad formats from Wednesday 29th February. Essentially the thinking from the Facebook document is that "everything starts with great content...paid, owned and earned work seamlessly together".

All of these new developments were recently leaked and were first published by GigaOm and from there were published onto Scribd: (click 'Fullscreen' button below to View) (more…)

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Web News Round Up – 24th Feb

Dilbert.com

Economics of Freemium

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Hot Off The Press

Facebook's New, Entirely Social Ads "Will Recreate Marketing" : Leaked documents show Facebook making a radical departure from traditional online display advertising into a world where ads are conversations and brands automatically tell you which of your friends are already on their side. Facebook is making the new ads social by default, meaning they will automatically show users when their friends have already Liked the advertiser. And the new formats will draw their content exclusively from posts to brands' Facebook Pages, rather from advertising copy written independently.

Mobile Games & The Economics of Freemium: Where's the money in creating a game and then giving it away for free? This nifty infographic, on right, explores and explains all.

Clothes Horse Online Shopping Makes Sure Clothes Fit: Bad customer experiences due to clothes not fitting  has led to "70% shopping cart abandonment" and "60% of customers returning items because they don't fit".  But one company may have found a solution.

A Plane You Can Drive (TED Video): A flying car is an iconic image of the future. But after 100 years of flight and automotive engineering, no one has really cracked the problem, until now. Pilot and MIT graduate Anna Mracek Dietrich and her team flipped the question, asking: Why not build a plane that you can drive?

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Why You Still Need a Website Not Just a Facebook Page

One thing that we hear occasionally is "why do I need a website these days, can I not just use a Facebook page?". The simple answer is you can do what you like, but if you want to do well, you'd be best investing in a good website, and also having a Facebook page in your arsenal. Why do either when you can do both?

It should be clarified that this is not a Facebook bashing article, I actually quite like FB for social catch ups as well as for business growth and feedback, not to mention chuckling at witty comments and reminding me of birthdays. However context is everything.

Control & Scope

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Web News Round Up – 17th Feb

"More Accurate" Property of Xkcd.com

 

Apple App Store Logo

App Economy Creates Nearly 500k Jobs in US: Before the iPhone there was no app industry, but with the meteoric expansion of it and rival devices, the sector now employs in the region of half a million people in the United States alone.

Flexible Screens Have Arrived: C3Nano, a company that makes transparent, flexible screens has secured a round of funding worth $6.7, and is building relationships in Japan and Korea with giants such as Samsung. The technology boasts it's robust and cost effective. (Includes demo video)

StartUp May Save Businesses Fortunes in Legal Costs: Technology has limited, changed or destroyed many long established industries, now it might be the turn of the legal professions to take a battering, having to compete with technological solutions to some of its core business practices.

The World's Smallest 3D Printer (Video): What could you do with the world’s smallest 3D printer? At TEDxVienna Klaus Stadlmann demos his tiny, affordable printer that could someday make customized hearing aids or sculptures smaller than a human hair.

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Upstart vs Startup: What’s The Difference?

'Upstart Business' is a phrase that seems to be creeping into the journalistic language used on tech and entrepreneurial blogs in the US. The first time I heard it I thought the writer was simply playing with the normal term 'startup' to be witty and focus on a particularly ballsy and inspiring effort of a young entrepreneur. Then a week or two later I read it again elsewhere. This got me thinking: Was 'upstart' just a meme that one clever writer used once and then suddenly caught on with the blogging fraternity or is it now a well known and accepted term? More to the point does its origin matter and is it more important to ask which is better?

Googling the term, you get a myriad of results. Many are for business or consultancy related groups and services that use the 'upstart' interchangeably with 'startup'.

The online dictionary definitions which appear are all similar to this one:

n. A person of humble origin who attains sudden wealth, power, or importance, especially one made immodest or presumptuous by the change; a parvenu.

adj. 1. Suddenly raised to a position of consequence.
2. Self-important; presumptuous.

Reading between the lines in the tech blogs it appears that the difference is this; 'Startups' are entrepreneurial businesses that begin with external funding from venture capital from their inception. However, 'Upstart' businesses begin without significant external funding, just savings and personal loans from friends and family and usually the founders maintain all equity. This is in keeping with the upstart definition, springing from humble origins to wealth, rather than having lots of cash to play with before you have a customer.

A Big Upstart

Felix Dennis, Author of How to Get Rich (Image: BBC)

Felix Dennis, Author of How to Get Rich (Image: BBC)

Felix Dennis, author of the refreshingly direct, 'How to Get Rich', is very much in the upstart mould and believes a business owner should do everything in their power to hold on to the most equity possible. Each percentage of equity you manage to own, could be worth millions when you eventually sell your business. In one chapter he describes how two important employees at his magazine demanded a small share of the business or they'd start a rival publication.

He instantly called their bluff, fired them and wished them well in their new venture. Within a few years their business was bust and they were back working for him, no hard feelings. When he sold up and moved on, that tiny percentage they had demanded was worth millions; his baby, his millions. Dennis put it in uncompromising terms:

Talent is indispensable, although it is always replaceable.

Just remember the simple rules concerning talent:

Identify It, Hire It, Nurture It, Reward It, Protect It. And when the time comes, Fire It.

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Web News Round Up – 10th Feb

The Oatmeal - What I want from a restaurant website (click to view full image)

The Oatmeal - What I want from a restaurant website (click to view full image)

Image by Carrot Creative

Twitter is More Addictive than Nicotine: People are more likely to give in to the urge to tweet or check email than other cravings a US study has found, making it more addictive than both alcohol and cigarettes. Could it just be that twitter isn't as obviously costly or damaging to your health?

Beijing Micro Bloggers Must Use Real Name or Be Banned: The Chinese government says all microbloggers in Beijing must post under their real names by March 16 or they'll be banned from the service. The move from the Chinese government is the latest in a series of ways they want to monitor and curtail social media activity in their country.

When the SuperBowl Bored Americans, They Opened Apps: At the less captivating moments of this year's Super Bowl audiences turned to their second screens, you can see clearly which ads and which game play were captivating and hit the mark and which fumbled and dropped the ball.

YouTube Expands Channels Initiative: Last October, Google announced it would begin rolling out over 100 new channels featuring original programming across YouTube, turning the site focus from one-off videos into a major online content destination, two new automotive channels are its latest offering.

 

 

 

 

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The Dirty Secrets of Submitting Your Site to Search Engines

Search Engine Submission ServicesIf you do a web search for "Search Engine Submission" you'll see a lot of ads for services to help you out:

1000+ Directory Submission for 5¢ Each. High PR Directories!

Submit to 700,000+ search engines. Packages Starting at $14.95

If you use one of these paid services to have your site submitted to search engines, you might as well burn your money.

There's two very simple reasons why these services are not worth it.

It's All About Market Share

The first reason is market share - there are only two search engines that you need care about, which will drive 97-99% of the traffic for most websites. (more…)

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Web News Round Up – 3rd Feb

"Potential" - From Xkcd.com

"Potential" - from Xkcd.com

Facebook Files for $5bn IPO: Only eight years after creating the site from his Harvard dorm room, Mark Zuckerberg's stake in Facebook is $28bn, the full value of the company estimated to be £100bn.

What Will Facebook Do With All That Money?: The social giant will have raised an astounding $2.8 billion. What in the world will Facebook buy with all that cash?

Parking Sensors to Take Pain Out of Finding a Space: A "parking patch" could bring together wireless sensors and mobile apps to steer drivers towards vacant spots, and lead traffic wardens to parking offenders.

We Are All Cyborgs (TED Video): Technology is evolving us, says Amber Case, as we become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens. We now rely on "external brains" (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives. But will these machines ultimately connect or conquer us? Case offers surprising insight into our cyborg selves.

 

 

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How to Track Clicks on Outgoing Links

Google Analytics Hacks Image by Search Engine People Blog via Flickr
Tracking clicks on outgoing links away from your website can be useful:

  • you might want to check how many clicks your externally hosted RSS feed gets,
  • you might want to track referrals for advertising revenue or affiliates,
  • you might want to create a popularity graphs for sites you link to,
  • or you might just be curious!

Here's a rundown of a few different ways you can count clicks on links outbound from your website, and when you might want to use them: (more…)

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