Archive for 2010
This week Facebook released data that is pure gold for marketers and publishers. Their Data Team took a dictionary created by the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count project (LIWC) and analyzed 1 million status updates from US English speakers. The dictionary allowed them to categorize status updates into psychological and linguistic categories.
- Avoid referring to yourself or talking about yourself
- Talk about others and the social processes that occur between other people
- Stay positive, happy and up-beat.
- Don’t use bad language.
- If you want comments, ask your readers for them by using inclusive pronouns that encourages “cognitive process” - words like ‘think’, ‘opinion’, etc.
- If you want lots of friends, use social language and write longer blog entries, comments or updates that talk about other people rather than yourself.
We have rebranded The Daily Feed to The Weekly Feed. We’ll be publishing the newsletter once a week from now on usually at the beginning of the week.
If you, like me, have left your holiday shopping until the last minute, you’ve probably paid a visit to the Apple store recently. I’m in Colorado right now and paid a visit to the Park Meadows Apple store to get something I didn’t really need but that made a good excuse to give Steve more of my money.
A few minutes later I walked into the Microsoft store. I’ve managed to get over the fact that they cloned Apple the same way I don’t mind that Pepsi cloned Coke. Hey, competition is good for all of us. The experience was basically the same but the details were different and there were so many of them it was startling:
The store employees weren’t smiling, there were less of them and it was hard to get their attention. I wanted to buy Windows 7 and the price was $200 and the sales guy told me that “sorry, but that’s what it costs” even though I bought a new licensed copy (also the full install) on eBay this morning for $117. When the attendant swiped my card for my PC game he had to reach under a table and use a non-portable swiper. They didn’t offer me an email receipt or even take my email address. They assumed I wanted a paper receipt so that’s what I got. The guy who helped us had this look on his face like we weren’t supposed to be there.
The Apple store on the other hand was friendly, portable card swipes, email receipts, the store was packed and about 1 in 5 people were super helpful Apple employees. I stood in the wrong line (for the genius bar) and a guy came up to me and offered a checkout without making me feel like I’d screwed up. It was awesome and it’s the reason we own more Apples at Feedjit than PC’s for the first time this year.
Apple is big on the details of the impression they leave you with. Note the Apple Keynote Cutdown video. Not a single cut is repeated in that video. Business insider has a blog entry today about how Apple refers to it’s products grammatically as person’s and not as objects.
All these little touches add up to a whole that has far more marketing power than the sum of it’s parts. When you are thinking about your blog or website, take note of the details. Load times, color scheme, unpleasant distractions, how long you take to reply to your comments or respond to customer requests, the tone and language you use, how you moderate your comments, forums or wiki. All these details add up into a complete user experience and they all matter a whole lot.
Our news roundup for today:
Royal Pingdom published some revealing data today. They did a survey of a handlful of popular blogging platforms over 2 months to see which provide the best uptime. Blogger, WordPress and Typepad came up on top with Tumblr performing terribly. Tumblr had a total of 47 hours of down-time over a 2 month period. You can read the full report here.
Thomas Weber has a guide in The Daily Beast today that shares how he cracked the New York Times “Most Emailed” story list and got his story to #3 on the list. Thomas and his team figured out that the TImes counts individual senders per story. After 1,270 individual (volunteer) senders had emailed a story they made it to number 3 on the overall list. The times gets roughly 30 million visitors per month, and it takes around 1 in every 25,000 readers to email a story to get that story on to the top 10 most emailed story list.
And finally, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere tonight at 12:41 Mountain Standard Time, enjoy the Lunar Eclipse. The Feedjit founders will be watching it at 7000 ft from Colorado.
Feedjit Founder & CEO
Quick note that we are renaming The Daily Feed to The Weekly Feed to reflect the frequency we have been publishing our newsletter.
This week I turned off Google instant, not because I don’t like living in an instant world, but because it limits my search results to 10. If you’re doing any kind of SEO research, 10 results just doesn’t cut it. There’s a bug that causes Google to continually show 10 results even if you asked it for 100 using advanced search. It’s caused by Google instant and you need to turn it off to get back to all you can eat search results.
In other news, a well known white hat hacker (that means he’s mostly a good guy) was detained for several hours when re-entering the US this week while his laptop and cellphone was confiscated and searched. I did some googling and it turns out that the border search exception lets border agents ignore the 4th amendment which requires a warrant for search and seizure. Then a member on ycombinator’s hacker news replied to a post of mine saying that in fact the border extends 100 miles inland. If you’re a blogger on the coast relying on anything in the 4th amendment, good luck with that.
Every now and then the government does actually get it right. The BBC is reporting that global spam email is down 47% after a combination of government arrests of spammers and work by private firms to shut down spam botnets.
Feedjit Founder & CEO
On October 21st at 3pm Pacific time Google rolled out a major update to their search index. The combined effect of Google Instant and this substantial index update is being felt around the web.
Alexa, the guys who track traffic for the top 100,000 sites on the web, have a blog entry showing a few of the winners and losers in this post-google-instant world we now live in. Oddly enough a few of the biggest winners are file sharing sites. My guess is that they’re seeing more traffic because you have to actually go to a file sharing site to see if they have the file you want for download – rather than being able to see if they have what you’re after from the snippet (the preview text under the page title in the search results).
ProBlogger has a few thoughts on affiliate marketing today and how to bring together reader intent, a great product and your messaging.
BlogHerald has a post this week on how to use images to grab a user’s attention and increase retention for your blog. They include a few ideas for image types.
And finally: If you enjoy life hacks, check out this blog entry about the 30/30 work cycle. Quote: “I sit at my desk and work for 30 minutes without distraction, completely absorbed in my work. Then, after the 30 minutes are up, I drop whatever I’m doing and go do something fun for 30 minutes. During this relaxation time, I don’t think about work at all – I play games, write, whatever, but no work. After 30 minutes, I go back to my desk, rinse and repeat.”
Feedjit Founder & CEO.
Friends of ours launched a great service today called Highlighter.com. It’s a wordpress plugin that lets you visitors comment on text in your blog entries. It also lets your visitors share your content via Facebook and Twitter, driving more traffic to your site. You’re hearing about Highlighter a full week before the press launch, so if you’re an early adopter, be sure to give it a try. [Disclosure: Neither I nor Feedjit have received any compensation for mentioning highlighter. They are good friends and part of the Techstars program where I am a mentor.]
AdAge is reporting that Twitter today started injecting paid ads into tweet streams. Initially you’ll only see the ads if you use HootSuite. Twitter have a revenue sharing deal with HootSuite where Twitter sells the ads and they split the revenue with HootSuite. I’m sure this will quickly expand to every Twitter client including Twitter.com. My guess is that this will be their business model going forward.
If you ever thought small changes to your web form didn’t yield results, read this article about how Expedia earned $12 Million more per year by removing a single text field. Their “Company” field in the checkout form was confusing customers, so they removed it and saw a huge increase in the number of completed transactions and revenue.
And finally: From the luckiest-girl-alive department, the BBC is reporting today that an 18 month toddler fell from a 6 story building, bounced off an awning and was caught… wait for it… by a doctor. She was completely unharmed, shed a little tear and then quickly calmed down.
Have a spectacular Wednesday!
Feedjit Founder & CEO.
I hope you’ve had a happy Halloween and welcome back after a brief hiatus to the Daily Feed. Lets dive right in:
There’s a great question, which is really an observation on webmasters.stackexchange.com that points out that sitemaps for your blog or website are probably unnecessary. The argument is that sitemaps are supposed to help web crawlers like Googlebot find pages that aren’t linked to on your site. But if pages aren’t linked to by anyone, they won’t have anypagerank and won’t appear in the search results anyway. So the proper way to ensure Google indexes all pages on your site is to ensure you have a healthy link structure and that all pages have another page on your site linking to them.
InformationIsBeautiful.net has a fun diagram showing who is suing who in the telecoms industry. Be thankful you’re not part of that dogfight.
If your data is living in the cloud, Amazon have reduced their prices for data storage on S3. At Feedjit, we buy our servers and amortize them over 3 years because it’s more cost effective that way. If you’re looking for cheap hosting, check out Linode.com (my personal favorite) or Slicehost.com for an entry level Linux server.
Finally, today’s award for toughest bloke ever goes to this chap who saved a woman from a great white shark in Australia by grabbing the shark by the tail – and then refused to speak to the press about it.
I’ll be publishing the Daily Feed on a daily schedule once again for the rest of this week. Have a spectacular week!
Feedjit Founder & CEO
Welcome to Issue #47 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page. The Daily Feed is published several times a week when we have news, information and helpful tips to share. Unsubscribe instructions are at the end of this message.
Welcome to Issue #46 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page. You can read previous editions of The Daily Feed on our blog but note that posts to our blog are delayed 24 hours or more.
Welcome to Issue #45 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page. You can read previous editions of The Daily Feed on our blog but note that posts to our blog are delayed 24 hours or more.
- Keywords in links that point to your page. [You often have no control of these]
- Your page title
- Keywords separated by dashes in your URL
- The page heading at the top of your page in <H1> tags.
- Text close to the top of the page
- Text in other headings and bold sections on your site
- All other text including text in image ALT and TITLE attributes on your page.
- Google may also consider all other text on pages that link to yours in the order of this list. [If you're a programmer, you'll notice the last statement is recursive]