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Posts in Content

Another reason to avoid URL shorteners: they're slow

It is said that necessity is the mother of all invention, and that's certainly true of URL shortening services. The rise of the status update means that there's no room for an extraneous character, and that has in turn led to the rise of URL shortening services that make sure the links shared in status updates don't take up any more room than needed.

As these services have grown in popularity, it's not uncommon to see shortened URLs used in places where there's really no need for them, from blog comments to emails.

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New Pew data: newspaper pay walls will likely fail

A number of prominent newspapers, including the New York Times, have publicly committed to setting up pay walls as they struggle to find new sources of revenue.

But according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism "State of the News Media 2010" report, newspapers planning to erect pay walls could be in for a rude awakening.

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PayPal plans better micropayment solution

Much has been made about the market for micropayments over the years, but for the most part, billing for small transactions remains a challenge for online merchants, especially small and mid-size publishers who sell content and virtual goods.

PayPal, however, hopes to provide some relief later this year with a new offering that makes it easier for online merchants to process micropayments cost-effectively.

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Digg 2.0 tries to woo publishers

Social media has been a boon for savvy online publishers who make a concerted effort to take advantage of it. Back when social media was coming into its own, Digg was one of the popular services that publishers latched on to.

The reason was obvious: hitting the Digg homepage could easily drive massive amounts of traffic in a very short amount of time. Few publishers, of course, dream of anything less.

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Pink Floyd tracks: goodbye cruel (digital) world?

Interested in taking a trip back to the 1960s and 70s? You had better download individual tracks of your favorite Pink Floyd songs quickly.

Thanks to a High Court ruling that gave Pink Floyd a small victory over record label EMI in a battle over millions in royalties, individual tracks of the legendary rock band's music could potentially leave the digital world at some point.

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The benefits of taking fashion e-tail international

The marked and continuing growth reported by online fashion retailers demonstrates the potential e-tailing holds in times when the high street is suffering. 

The e-commerce industry body IMRG reports that online sales of clothing, shoes and accessories were up by 18% from Dec 2008 – 2009, and that fashion e-tailers were the leaders in the UK online market. 

By taking the notion of online retailing one step further and going international, the opportunities for growth for the retailer are taken to a whole new level.

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Some newspapers may hate search engines, but they love SEO spam

The newspaper industry in general has a tepid relationship with search engines (particularly Google), but that doesn't mean that more than a few newspapers don't love SEO spam.

A post yesterday on GigaOm details how one former columnist at the struggling San Francisco Chronicle found that the Chronicle had taken her articles and liberally changed them up in a clear attempt to improve the article's ranking in the SERPs.

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11 steps toward a content strategy

lorem ipsumIBM recently published research showing that about 80 percent of those who begin a corporate blog never post more than five entries. And that's just blogging. The Internet is littered with near-tweetless Twitter accounts, expressionless Facebook pages, no-one-home YouTube channels. In the rush to adopt social media as a tactic, too many marketers leave strategy in the dust.

Increasingly, marketing isn't about buying media, the advertising model. Media is cheap -- or often even free. But rolling your own media brings with it a new set of challenges: coming up with enough content to fill all those blank pages, blog posts, profiles and such....and doing so on a regular basis, not just in a one-off burst of Week 1 enthusiam.

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Study: free e-books are good for print sales

Does giving away free product lead to more sales? Many argue that, online, it does. But there are an equal number of skeptics. So who is right?

When it comes to how free e-books influence print sales, a study published in the Winter 2010 edition of the Journal of Electronic Publishing concluded that giving away free e-books is often good for business, at least in the short-term.

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Is ad blocking really devastating to the sites you love?

Ken Fisher, the founder and editor-in-chief of popular online tech publisher Ars Technica has a message to readers who use ad blockers: you're killing us.

In an effort to defeat ad blockers, last Friday Ars experimented with a technique designed to prevent Ars readers with ad blockers from viewing Ars content. According to Fisher, the experiment was a success "technologically" but not surprisingly, a "mixed bag" socially.

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Are Google's SERPs getting too messy?

Google might as well have been called Simple. Back when Google was a new entrant in the search engine market and larger competitors were cluttering up their homepages with as much content as could be aggregated on a single page, Google took a different approach and offered internet users an alternative: a clean, if not sparse, homepage that focused on one thing -- search.

Relatively-speaking, that homepage hasn't changed much in the past decade. But what has changed: Google's SERPs.

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Flash versus HTML5: Virgin America breaks up with Flash

The battle between Adobe Flash and HTML5 is a subject that looks like it will be receiving a lot of attention in 2010. That has a lot to do with the iPad, which, like the iPhone, isn't expected to support Flash.

Some believe HTML5 could kill off Flash (and for that matter Silverlight), others don't. Of course, the full HTML5 spec probably won't be finished for another decade, but the debate over HTML5 and its impact on Flash is heating up because subsets of it are available and being adopted.

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