E.M. Forster, great Victorian-born champion of the internet, sorry, humanism, once wrote this:
"Letters have to pass two tests before they can be classed as good: they must express the personality both of the writer and of the recipient".
The Royal Mail's revamped website is the latest in a string of big organisations meeting new and improved standards in customer experience.
The aesthetic of the site accounts largely for its improvements, and the site as it stands can be seen, excuse me Edward, to express more of the Royal Mail's personality as well as those of its various audiences.
First, I'll look at some interesting little here's and there's from around the site before panning out.
Users still have little tolerance for slow loading pages and websites, and these problems tend to be caused by server delays and widgets, rather than large images.
According to Jakob Nielsen, slow loading is a common complaint from users during testing sessions. Faster loading times can mean more conversions, so what can retailers do?
Facebook may increasingly be on the receiving end of criticism related
to its stance on privacy, but the world's largest social network is
still one of the top places to reach consumers online.
With more than 400m registered users globally, Facebook is the world's largest
social network, and publishers looking to stay connected with their
users and acquire new users have plenty of Facebook tools at their
disposal to do just that. Here are seven of them.
Facebook has just launched Fan Box, a new widget. This is great news for brands wanting to grow a Facebook fan page. But it's probably going to drive traffic in the wrong direction for most brands.
Widgets have become pretty much ubiquitous on the web. Plenty of companies are using widgets as a low-cost distribution strategy: they offer their tools and services in a form that enables users to embed those tools and services into their own websites.
Now Google is getting into the act. It wants to widgetize your blog and website with its products and has launched Google Web Elements to do just that.
Social media is marketing, not advertising, but it's got to live somewhere, and it's got to be measured. So it's only slightly ironic that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) would introduce definitions of social media metrics, given social media is the marketing channel that's actual beginning to replace advertising.
In a hefty 12-page document, the IAB's "Social Media Ad Metrics Definitions" (PDF download) slices social media into three subsets, and outlines relevant metrics for each. The major categories are defined as:
Last week, I discussed the success story of Stephanie Meyer and her Twilight series of vampire romance novels. Meyer's use of social media played a role in the successful promotion of books that have sold over 25 million copies and that led to the blockbuster adaptation of her first book as a motion picture.
While it's widely accepted that advertising on social networks can be a mixed bag in terms of results; for certain types of campaigns, it may be worth giving a shot.
If you're interested in dipping your toes in social network advertising, here's a list of the ways you can reach users on social networks.
Yahoo has launched a Buzz widget for mobile users, allowing them to browse and ‘buzz up’ top articles from the past 12 hours. Alternatively, iPhone users can do this here, via an optimised version of Buzz aimed specifically at the sexy Apple handset, though no dedicated iPhone app is yet available in the iTunes Store.
Yahoo says the mobile widget can be found by searching for ‘Yahoo! Buzz’ from within the widget gallery.
This is another sign that Yahoo is looking to drive up usage of Buzz, its social news play, although there is more work to be done if it really wants to usurp Digg as the number one social media website.
Popego is a startup which was announced at the TechCrunch 50 conference this week, aiming to help you to 'enjoy a more meaningful web'.
Popego plans to do this by joining up all the accounts and profiles you have created around web and using this information to bring you relevant content.