Author: Chris Lake

Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy.

BBC to roll-out ads on websites

The BBC looks all set to introduce “low-key” advertising on its BBC Worldwide websites within a year, with a final decision on the matter due in the autumn after a further round of consumer research.

The announcement was made yesterday, when BBC Worldwide announced annual profits of almost £90m, up by around two-thirds on the previous year.

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IAB's new research initiative misses the point

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has launched its latest initiative to understand more about the online behaviour, in a bid to provide advertisers with “a holistic understanding of what, where and how people are accessing the internet”.

The Holy Grail for the IAB is to provide “a single online planning currency” for marketers, to help them “plan their online brand campaigns against traditional media”.

The IAB has teamed up with National Readership Surveys (NRS), which will add an online element to the 3,000 face-to-face interviews it does each month with random consumers: “Areas covered in the study will include; demographic information, frequency of internet usage, where people are going online and how they are accessing the internet - for example by PC or through mobile devices.”

The trouble is, I don’t think this is what online media planners need...

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Is Fjax the best use of Flash ever?

When the big tech brands like Amazon start using Ajax to improve their user interface you know the tipping point has been reached. So how long will it be before the great and good embrace Fjax, aka ‘Ajax 2.0’?

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The business case for site search

In 2004 we discovered that half of all onsite searches returned no results, despite the fact that products were actually available and could be found by clicking navigation links.

What did this tell us? Well firstly, it made us shudder. Half of all onsite queries returned NO results! Why was this happening? The main problem seemed to be related to poor quality metadata, but we also realised that some of the big retailers had site search tools that were perhaps not up to scratch.

Roll forward to 2006 and we figured that it was about time to investigate the site search market. What tools are available? What are the trends and issues in the marketplace? Why should site search be a priority if you’re selling online?

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London marketing students launch 1000wordpage.com

After the success of Alex Tew’s MillionDollarHomepage we’ve seen innumerable clones and a smattering of twists-on-a-theme. Now, we’ve spotted a new site that is gathering online and offline buzz. It allows you to buy one word as a link to your website, for a period of five years.

So how does it work, and will it work?

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New Google Sitemaps tools launched

The latest updates to Google Sitemaps have been rolled-out, providing more helpful tools and data for webmasters. These include more depth when it comes to crawl errors, expanded query stats and a robots.txt analysis tool.

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Bill Gates to quit full-time Microsoft role in 2008

Bill Gates is stepping down from his full-time role as Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect in July 2008, when he will hand over the baton to right-hand man and current CTO Ray Ozzie. Gates will thereafter concentrate on his eponymous charitable foundation. Woah…

Gates said he believes “the road for Microsoft is as bright as ever” and emailed staff to thank them for their efforts, making reference to the fact that they have helped create the success and wealth that has ultimately funded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which will allow him to pursue a new philanthropic role. The foundation has built up a war chest of around $29bn.

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Netscape is reborn, now resembles Digg

Netscape is back, only this time it looks a lot like Digg.com, the social news aggregator that allows readers to submit and vote on news stories. The more votes, the more likely a story appears at the top of the list.

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Are all AJAX homepages doomed?

Dozens of personalised homepages (aka "AJAX homepages") have emerged over the past 18 months as developers started to programme lovely drag and drop interfaces, allowing users to customise the layout of their personal homepage. Cool technology, great use of AJAX, but is there trouble ahead?

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RSS strategy - full-text vs partial-text, round 2

In an article about RSS earlier this week I explained that there is no single rule of thumb when it comes to your RSS strategy.

A number of experts have suggested that the only sensible way to embrace RSS as an organisation is to launch full-text feeds, allowing RSS subscribers to read the whole story (or other message) within their RSS feed reader.

Yes, full-text is the first rule of RSS. But rules are there to be broken. Full-text simply doesn’t work for everybody, for a number of reasons.

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Online PR - Capitalisation Is Fine, But CAPS LOCK ISN’T

Online PR is something all companies should be doing, but too many PR professionals aren’t bothering to use the web in the right way. The rules have changed, people. And they’ve changed for some very good reasons…

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Starting out with an RSS strategy

RSS is an alien concept to many marketers, so RSS strategy is pretty much off the radar for the vast majority. The trouble is, there are mixed messages being sent out by the experts, so it is hard to know where to start.

It is just like usability. Jakob Nielsen believes in a rules-based approach. Jared Spool does not. So who do you trust?

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