Updates from June, 2007 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Andrew Kordek 7:58 am on June 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Stock Photos Galore 

    As a tribute to my good blogger friend Chris Hoskin over at Raw Stylus I have provided you with some really funny stock photos used on sites.  Chris had a post awhile back about the use of stock photos and since today is friday and I am in somewhat of a goofy mood, I thought I would pick some of my favorites.  Enjoy and thanks again Chris.

    pic_hr.jpg

    people-banner.jpg

    pic_personal.jpgproducts.jpgstk313313rkn.jpgbanner_left_generic.gifpic_yourateam.gifpic_products.jpg

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    • Chris Hoskin 8:32 am on June 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      lol.

      I’ve had 2 prospective clients ASK me for this type of creative too. Can you imagine? I leave when that happens. As fast as is polite.

      TFI Friday. 15.32 in the UK.

      best wishes!

      Chris from rawstylus.wordpress.com

  • Andrew Kordek 9:19 am on June 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Promoted to a level of incompetence 

    I was chatting with a colleague the other day and he managed to use a saying that I have not heard in awhile. He said “She was promoted to a level of her incompetence” This got me thinking…..

    This statement is interesting because incompetence on a job level can mean many things. Despite the obvious of a person not being able to do what is asked or expected of them in their role, it can also mean that the person is incompetent to either lead and/or manage people.

    As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I reflect on whether this has happened to me. And after many profound deep brain things, I am convinced that this has happened to me. About 11 or 12 years ago, I was promoted to a regional manager sales position. I had 11 direct reports and 40+ indirect reports. I was young…like 26 or something and I felt that the way to manage people was thru fear and intimidation. I thrived on people not liking or being fearful of me. While I still succeeded in terms of sales volume etc..I managed to burn myself out and inevitably pissed some people off. If any of you ever read this blog (and you know who you are) I apologize.

    I am not perfect and don’t think for a minute that you are either.

    We all have either worked or are currently working for/with people who are incompetent on some level. However I find it really interesting when I deal with folks like this. Some are aloof and like to name drop. Some have their heads buried in the sand and don’t want to come up for air and some are so out there, that they don’t even acknowledge you thru communications. Perhaps its an ego thing, but it could also be the “Dear in headlights” syndrome.

    My point in all of this is that no matter who you are, what level you are at either in your head or the organization, don’t ignore the small stuff, the people and learn from those around you. Sometimes folks can be giving signals subtly and if you are so wrapped up in your own world, you might just miss something.

    Lastly, no one likes a person who cant admit when they have made a mistake. Often the most incompetent people are those that try to find a way to place blame rather than accept it.

    I welcome your feedback.

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    • Mr. Pedant 5:04 pm on June 24, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      unless I’m missing something, in which case I apologise…”Deer in headlights”

    • thescrappysoftwaremarketer 4:56 pm on June 25, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Mr. Pendant,

      A “deer in headlights” means that they are totally stunned almost to the point of getting hit. This phrase comes from the age old thing of when you are driving a car and a deer runs out in front of your car. They stop in the middle of the road and stare right at your car and then whammmo you hit them. Hope this helps and thanks for stopping by my blog.

    • Scott Davis 3:55 pm on August 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      The boss was the IDIOT. You will soon fall pray to your own demise.

    • thescrappysoftwaremarketer 4:02 pm on August 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Scott,

      I am afraid I don’t quite understand your comment…unless there is something cryptic in your message I should understand.

  • Andrew Kordek 8:51 am on June 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The dumbest marketing speak to date. 

    What the hell does this mean?

    “XXXXX service-oriented management solutions provide a modular and future-proof approach to managing highly diverse and widely distributed IT infrastructures”

    This is by far the dumbest thing I have ever read. What the hell does it mean to be “future-proof”? Does it mean that their software can defy all of the technology still to come. The wiktionary defines “future proof” as “designed not to be obsolete in the future” Well howdy doody..thank god for that….they are making something that wont be shelf ware in like 12 months. Of course, that is when I will have implemented this software.

    I looked up in wikipedia what modular means, cause again I am not that smart. Here is the definition:

    “something is modular if it includes or uses modules which can be interchanged as units without disassembly of the module.” it also defines it as “A module is a self-contained component of a system

    Huh?

    Again..what in the world are people thinking when they write this stuff?

    This company makes a big claim and I sure hope they have the goods to back it up…..but I doubt it.

    Buzzbarf score: 9.75 (I have not found a 10 yet…but I will)

    ****NAME OF COMPANY DELETED TO PROTECT THE GUILTY****

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    • Chris Hoskin 11:25 am on June 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      9.75? Not bad. And very worthy.

      The atmosphere is going to be real tense as all around the globe noble marketing managers attending their colleagues technical briefings listen intently for that elusive perfect 10. I am not sure I can contain myself?

      Its out there. Somewhere. Its just a question of which side of the pond?

      Chris @ rawstylus.wordpress.com

    • thescrappysoftwaremarketer 11:33 am on June 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I bet if I look hard enough I will be able to find it. A 10 will have to be darn near perfect in every way. It will need to contain buzzbarf to the max coupled with a complete disregard for actual public comprehension or consumption. I will find it and I encourage everyone to assist in this global search for marketing blabber. 🙂 Hope you are recovering nicely Chris. Cheers.

  • Andrew Kordek 11:52 am on June 19, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    What is up with Technorati? 

    I use technorati to do all of my keyword tracking for reputation monitoring in my company. For the last several weeks, every time I log into my account and check my watch list, I get this message “Sorry, we’re upgrading this feature right now. Please check back soon.” I sent an email to their technical support last week asking about this and I never heard back from them.

    Also, it seems as if my watch list words are not totally being picked up thru those guys. This is truly disappointing and I am shocked I have not heard back from them. Looks like its time to switch to bloglines!

    Bye technorati……thanks for your efforts over the last several years…but I need to fire you.

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    • Rachel Gross 11:55 am on June 19, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Did you see that Technorati made it impossible to use their statistics tracking anymore? You have to know to put /statistics at the end of the URL, no idea how you would just find that out.

    • Andrei 7:13 pm on June 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Technorati watchlists are back on. Thanks for your patience.

    • thescrappysoftwaremarketer 9:49 am on June 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Andrei,

      The watchlists are back on, but they are not fully working. I checked a few today online where I am getting feeds into my feedreader, but not so online. You might want to check again. I get the message now that “There are no results in this watchlist.” when in fact there are cause I am getting them fed.

  • Andrew Kordek 11:52 am on June 18, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Blabberize.com 

    I was introduced to this really funny site which offers all of us a little fun in our often hectic positions. Its called Blabberize and its kinda funny to just play around with something to perhaps punk a fellow co-worker, friend or even spouse.

    It’s pretty self explanatory once you get there so just check it out.

    Thanks blabberize

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  • Andrew Kordek 9:26 am on June 15, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    An invasion of privacy, you be the judge… 

    I recently attended a virtual trade show put on by the wonderful folks at marketingprofs. One of the vendors there was a company called VisiStat. According to their website:

    “VisiStat™ is a powerful real-time visitor tracking service for business, marketing and sales ROI.”

    When I logged on to their site this morning I noticed in the bottom left hand corner of the screen this little box:

    VisiStat

    Ok..this is a little creepy. I like to check out vendors and such, but I don’t need to be shown this sort of information. I am sure that this product has some sort of value in having the ability to track visitors in peoples website, but I guess how much info does one company really need and do they have the headcount to actually look at this stuff? Version 5 of their software appears to have just been released with a host of features that seem useful, but some that I would question as an invasion of my privacy. One in particular is called Activity Alerts. Rather than try to summarize here is what VisiStat states on their site:

    Activity Alerts™ bring specific report information directly to you. It is now fast and easy to keep up to date on specific activities on your Website. Activity Alerts give you the ability to receive e-mail or text message notifications for a variety of Website visitor activities. A great way to remotely keep track of your site activity as it is occurring.

    “You no longer have to wonder how your site is doing — know what it is doing, right now!”

    • Know when a specific page is viewed.
    • Know when page views exceed a particular amount, either site-wide or by page.
    • See when specific visitors return to your Website.
    • Get a notice whenever specific keywords are used in a search to reach your site.
    • Watch link response activity for referrals, promotions or banner campaigns.
    • Share your Alerts with anyone you choose, without giving them access to your account. Let sales staff see their campaign responses. Let your real estate client know when their listing is being viewed. And that’s only the beginning…

    Call me crazy, but as a user on someones site, why would I want someone to be alerted based on my activity. Curious to know if anyone out there has deployed this type of technology and if they had to change their privacy policy to do so.

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    • Chris Peters 11:34 am on June 15, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Google Analytics just released some features where you can report on site traffic hourly. I’m not sure how different that is from this other than maybe this service lets you do it in real time?

      And what benefit does real time analysis really give you? I could see that resulting in over-tweaking your site based on short term assumptions. Maybe it would be helpful in monitoring blogosphere activity?

      I think the widget on their site that shows your activity is just their attempt to show off that they can collect that kind of info. I’m somewhat of a hack programmer, and I’m pretty sure that I could throw something like that together in a day’s work.

      Lastly, if you use stats programs like Google Analytics or WebSideStory, you’re already collecting that info about all of your visitors anyway.

    • thescrappysoftwaremarketer 1:53 pm on June 15, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      dont get me wrong..they have a few features that seem pretty cool, like AdCam, but I am more concerned with having some of this information and how it would affect someones privacy etc….especially in the European Union where they have some stringent privacy laws. The sales rep has since given me a call on my posting, but I have yet to chat with them. We shall see.

    • Eric Pangilinan 5:39 pm on June 15, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Andrew,

      I appreciate your concerns regarding VisiStat and how the thought of our service helping websites “track” visitors and their behavior on the site is a little creepy, but it is not uncommon. As a matter of fact, almost all of your “log based” and “tagged” (which we are) analytics solutions provide this type of information.

      This type of business intelligence provides companies the requisite tools to make educated online marketing decisions and obeys the saying, “Know Your Audience”! I agree that the European Union is very sensitive to this, as Google knows full well:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118165576484132508.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

      VisiStat can only “see” a visitor’s IP Address, which inherently carries standard information about you, but that information does not include name, phone number, e-mail, or any other piece of information that could identify you. Our mission is not to be Big Brother. We are here as an objective third party to provide our clients with valuable data and subsequent analysis about their online presence. Whether that is their website, online marketing initiatives (AdCam), or something as simple as monitoring your site to see if is up and running (PageAlarm). Here is a very relevant article that points this out:

      http://blogs.zdnet.com/micro-markets/?p=1324

      I’d be wary of Chris’ comments about the value in “Real-Time” just because of the fact that any online initiative happens in “Real Time”…e-mail blasts, newsletters, PPC, banner placements. Woe is the marketing rep that has to wait for an hour or two to know if his online initiative is working. VisiStat provides our customers data in “Internet time”.

      For those of you who don’t care where visitors come from, what they do when they get to your site, what they typed in an organic search to get there, how much time they spent on a page, what items they looked at, what pricing they may viewed…or that your site performs at a high clip and doesn’t need measurement, or for that matter every visitor WILL buy your product, WELL VisiStat is NOT for you.

      For those of you that want hosted software as a service solution that provides tools to measure the performance of your website and online marketing campaign, STEP RIGHT UP.

  • Andrew Kordek 1:10 pm on June 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Lead Nuturing is important. 

    The recent release of these findings from Knowledgestorm and MarketingSherpa certainly gives some validation to have a lead nurturing process in place.

    Alot of companies use outbound telesales to qualified inbound leads, but it appears that users want more control and so we as marketers need to respond to that. Again..simplicity, relevant content and microsegementation are all apart of that.

    What sort of lead nurturing process do you have?

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  • Andrew Kordek 9:47 am on June 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    What not to say in software marketing… 

    what the hell does this mean?

    “BSM Routes to Value are exactly that—targeted solutions that help IT drive business value, with defined milestones that guide and measure your progress from basic achievement to higher levels of maturity”

    I am still trying to figure it out and I think I get it, but if you remember from a few of my earlier posts, I am all about simplicity. As a man of average intelligence I am having a hard time relating to this piece of marketing glob in trying to figure out what this actually means…..in plain English. I understand driving business value, but what the hell are defined milestones and what is basic achievement to high levels of maturity mean? Does it mean that if I apply this particular piece of software it will mean that my environment will become more mature.

    Plain speak please. Don’t cloud your message with buzz-barf and expect the common man, let alone an educated IT person to understand what this means.

    Here are 2 other examples of some of this buzz-barf that I found on this page…again..plain English please!

    “integrates service impact management with event processing automation to build a service model that maps IT components to the business services they support, consolidating, enriching, and correlating events, as well as determining root causes and the impact of events on business services.”

    Not only is the above a run on sentence, but it is so fragmented I am still trying to comprehend how the word “enrich” can be in the same sentence as some of the other fairly technical jargon that we are obviously supposed to understand. In addition, I am also on a power bar high at the moment..so my brain is at maximum capacity.

    Here is the other nugget of fun that we need to decode.

    “provides a proven suite that adapts to processes to align identities and access requirements, offering capabilities that include user administration & provisioning, password management, Web access management, directory management & visualization, federation, audit and compliance”

    Another run on sentence…there is a shocker. It also appears that that this piece of software does alot…I wonder how much it is and how long it will take to implement to get all of what they say it will get me. Chances are, by the time I implement it, this piece will obsolete and it will become shelf-ware.

    While I will not call out this company publicly, I will say this. Please for the love of all that is Holy…simplfy your message to the market. This goes for all of the software companies out there. Please stop the buzz, incoherent, ramble barf that is so prevalent in large software company environments.

    I welcome your comments.

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    • Doug McClure 2:25 pm on June 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Good stuff! You touch on what I feel is key – we’ve got to make sure what we talk about with any level in an organization can be backed up and really delivered. Will a potential customer respect you more if you tell them it is hard and takes a lot of work to get there or lead them along with unrealistic messaging and expectations only to find out later they don’t have the $ or resouces to get it done.

      The stuff surrounding the technology (people, process, change, politics, egos, silos) is where the “route to value” message breaks down, especially in my beloved BSM space. They have a great message, but not something easily done!

      Doug

    • thescrappysoftwaremarketer 2:33 pm on June 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Doug for your comment. I just find this stuff maddening and I am a marketing guy deep in my core.

    • Peter Gillberg - Software Marketing Secrets 2:57 am on June 15, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Scrappy,

      I totally agree. K.I.S.S is a great rule to live by, even when selling advanced technical products.

      Keep up the good work 😉

  • Andrew Kordek 2:02 pm on June 13, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    40 Fastest Growing Software Companies…. 

    List of the 40 fastest growing software companies….

    Is yours on there?

     
  • Andrew Kordek 10:16 am on June 13, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The need for marketing automation 

    I am constantly amazed when I talk to people who don’t have any sort of marketing automation in place. Yes, its expensive. Yes it requires alot of time for integration. However, as professional marketers we are constantly asked to justify our existence, prove our worth and run more and more with less and less. It just makes sense for marketing departments who do alot of things to automate and measure their effectiveness. Two fine companies come to mind when thinking about marketing automation: vtrenz and Eloqua.

    Both companies have their strengths and weaknesses. While I don’t use either one in my current position, I know of several colleagues who do and are quite happy with the functionality.

    I think its time for companies, especially software companies to explore automation in their marketing orgs. The way to justify the spend to senior management is to show what ROI and intelligence you can gather from solutions such as the ones above.

    As always….let me know what you think.

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    • Marketer 11:58 am on June 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You should check out http://www.manticoretechnology.com. They usually are always listed along side the other 2 you mention.

      Integration takes about an hour and not near as expensive as the others.

    • ExpertMarketer 10:36 pm on June 15, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Market2Lead enables easy campaign setup & edits, complex scoring & lead nurturing, closed-loop reporting with sales data for ROI and campaign effectiveness tracking. Analysts are saying it’s the best as far as feature, function and price.

  • Andrew Kordek 1:18 pm on June 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    New White Paper Idea 

    Over the last several months, I have read that white papers are the biggest draw to infuse a company with quality “leads”. Some white papers are long and some are short. Some give value while some just end up pitching the product/company.

    Well, how about we take white papers to a new level. I say that someone out there who is smarter than me develop a site which houses nothing but white papers. Categorize them and give the ability for users to rate the content and provide feedback to the company on that particular piece. Give people the ability to post a text, video or audio response to the white paper and see if it shapes the way companies produce white papers. Give the users the ability to put the most popular white papers on the front page of the site.

    Let me know what you think and offer up any other suggestions as you see fit.

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  • Andrew Kordek 9:39 am on June 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    #53 of the 95 theses in the Cluetrain Manifesto 

    A couple weeks ago, I blogged about the Cluetrain Manifesto and its 95 theses. #53 is a good one:

    “There are two conversations going on. One inside the company. One with the market”

    We all work for companies and sometimes that’s a good thing or a bad thing. However, I am wondering how many companies are having one conversation internally while saying something else in the marketplace. Imagine the executive meetings at Google as they meet about what company next to acquire and what they are really strategizing for the next 3 years. Is their recent acquisition train a sign of the things to come for them and the internet? Of course it is.

    Are there internal battles going on at every company? Sure. Specifically in the software industry, I am sure that there are alot of people…really smart people wondering and hoping that their idea to market their software will come around. However are people in their towers putting the kibosh on their “messaging” cause it doesn’t fit with the companies culture or because of some pig headed R&D or PM folks who think they own the market in terms of the message cause of their conversations with a few customers. Or are they scared by how the market is going to react? I am sure its a bit of both. Wake up people!!

    Take some risk. Put out some messaging that might be a risk. Talk with the market instead of talking to them. Listen to Gartner as they are wise..but don’t listen to everything they have to say…..be your company.

    Lastly, talk with the market….adjust on the fly and keep it simple…..don’t over complicate.

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  • Andrew Kordek 8:29 am on June 8, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Google Docs and Spreadsheets 

    I had a chance last night to test out Google Docs and Spreadsheets and I am very very impressed. At my current position, I use a laptop with all Microsoft goodies on it. However, personally I use a MAC and I refuse to install any Microsoft based products on it.

    With that in mind, using google docs and spreadsheets is breeze. I was able to upload, print, save and create both word processing docs and excel sheets with ease into the UI. The program itself is very intuitive and like most Google stuff is pretty dummy proof.

    If you have some time, I encourage all of you to check it out as you will not be disappointed. Congrats Google…..you have made my life easier once again.

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  • Andrew Kordek 8:24 am on June 7, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    A Hello Kitty Laptop…ridiculous 

    You have got to be kidding me right? NEC just released a laptop with a Hello Kitty theme!

    I am all for personalization, but what self respecting professional is going to want to carry a laptop like this? Can you imagine someone walking into a boardroom with it ready to give a presentation? Better yet, how would like a salesperson coming to you company trying to sell you something and they whip this hideous thing out.

    Next thing you know, they are going to find a way to make a laptop which will emit caffeine into the air so everyone stays awake during your 42 PowerPoint slide presentation.

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  • Andrew Kordek 8:33 am on June 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    The Buzzword Generator 

    The Evil Genius  introduced me to this really funny site called The Buzzword Generator.

    My favorite so far is “nonstationary incremental programming”

    Whats yours?

     
  • Andrew Kordek 9:50 am on June 5, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Conversation vs. speaking on the web and in marketing. 

    When was the last time your company spoke to your audience? When was the last time your company had a conversation?

    There is a difference.

    Speaking to someone means you are controlling what you are saying. That’s advertising

    Having a conversation with someone means you are listening to what they are saying and vice versa. That’s what marketing should be.

    Speak to them and they will only hear what you want them to hear….which is crap and they wont listen anyway.

    Converse with them and they will get a better sense of who and what you are. Open your doors and let people inside….

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  • Andrew Kordek 11:53 am on June 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Bad Examples of Web 2.0 

    I have to give a presentation in a couple of weeks and my portion of the presentation deals with citing bad examples of web 2.0 marketing. For those of you who read this blog with regularity, if you can send me some examples, I would be very grateful.

    Thanks in advance.

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    • Chris Hoskin 3:42 pm on June 7, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      First off I have an observation – as opposed to an example of a bad web 2.0 marketing per se.

      As you may know, http://www.multimap.com is a leading provider of online mapping and location-based services. The company delivers more online maps, point-to-point driving directions and geo-spatial (“where’s my nearest?”) searches to more businesses and consumers than any other supplier in Europe.

      They have just redeveloped their site with various web 2.0 features, and I must confess the new web 2.0 site is excellent. BUT I wonder if the powers that be did there user research before going live?

      Why? Well the site is plastered with references to “Go back to the Old Site”, and even on the home page states, “We have made some improvements that we hope you will like! However, if you’d prefer to keep using the old site, just click on the link below.”

      Now don’t get me wrong – I am all for testing, and listening to customers views but the site has been like this for over a month now. Shouldn’t they have tested this in a more controlled manner prior to go live?…..Dare I say it in a usability lab prior to going live. They are not being brave principally because they have no evidence to take a the leap….

      I am in favour of the concept of the ‘perpetual beta’ – but Multimap are doing themselves a real dis-favour by trying to be too protective and too willing to let their customers revert to the old site, especially when it is plain to see that the new site is light years better than the original.
      In essence then – my gripe is that their web 2.0 upgrade should have been user acceptance tested prior to go live in a thorough way – giving the powers that be CONFIDENCE.

      Secondl up, IMHO one definitely poor web 2.0 implementation is related to LinkedIn. LinkedIn recently folded in a new feature called ‘Answers’, which is a way for the community of LinkedIn users to ask questions and receive answers and feedback from the LinkedIn community. Its a great concept as it fosters user collaboration. However, the add-on has been mis-used – principally because they were no business rules put in place at the outset for the community to ‘limit’ or ‘govern’ the types of questions asked. The result? As opposed to the feature becoming a fascinating knowledge base and platform that benefits from the inherent internet ‘long tail’ – it has descended into a free-for-all for wannabes hawking their services and offerings at the expense of teh original idea.

      I hope that helps, and best wishes for your project Andrew.

      regards, Chris @ rawstylus.wordpress.com

    • Chris Peters 2:34 pm on June 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hoskins’s point about taking it to a usability lab is a very good one. Too many people are throwing up their “best guess” about what constitutes a “better” service. Why not test it on people who care?

      I’ll even throw in the bonus tip that the testing doesn’t have to take place in a lab. It can be done in a more informal environment. Test your ideas in a qualitative environment, not just based on web traffic data.

    • thescrappysoftwaremarketer 3:08 pm on June 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      thanks guys for all of your excellent suggestions and useful information. I truly appreciate it

  • Andrew Kordek 11:36 am on June 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    I love technorati…. 

    I have to say this..I love technorati. It affords me to do so much and with the hundreds of keywords I am tracking and darn near thousands of feeds I am tracking…its almost overwhelming. Thanks Technorati for what you do..but more importantly thanks for becoming in recent years a new thing for me to obsess on.

    I only wish I would be able to put in master technorator and have the masses understand it. By the way….can you become a master technorator?

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  • Andrew Kordek 11:11 am on June 1, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Internet Ad Revenue Jumps 35%… 

    A recent survey from the IAB said that ad revenue jumped 35% to about $16.9 billion

    Wonder how many of the advertisers really know what sort of bang for their buck they got? Do they know CPL’s, CPC’s etc…or are they shot gunning their spend.

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