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Posts in Content

Creating competent paid search copy

I was discussing the contents of a client's paid search adverts recently and discovered to my amazement that my customer did not consider the ad text to be particularly important.

She asserted the adverts were simply functional and that there was such little space to play with anyway that it did not really matter what the content was, people would click on it or they would not.

3 comments

Bridging the interactive skills gap

skill gapBack in interactive marketing's beginning, a word you heard time and time again was "silo." There were silos between digital and traditional advertising and marketing at both the agency and client levels. The gulf was broad and often seemed unbridgeable. These days, there are new silos popping up all over the interactive landscape. And they're attributable to an industry skills gap.

0 comments

Roll your own social network using WordPress

If the social network is the next message board, the social network has been waiting for its phpBB or vBulletin; the software that would give thousands upon thousands of people the ability to easily set up their own social networks.

Now the social networking market may have that. WordPress, the most popular open-source blogging platform, can now be turned into a fully-fledged social network.

7 comments

Disney buys into Hulu

Hulu's meteoric rise as the online video site of choice for big media companies looking for online distribution has attracted another equity partner: Disney.

The Walt Disney Company has announced a deal that sees Disney taking a 27% stake in Hulu and receiving 3 seats on Hulu's board. Hulu is now owned by Disney, News Corp., NBC Universal and a private equity firm.

1 comment

A social media smorgasbord: 40 common elements for community-focused websites

A social media smorgasbordSocial media websites try to combine two things: people and content. When these two things work in harmony a website becomes a buzzing, viral experience, where users do the hard work and feel a bond to the brand / platform. 

In the past few days I have started planning and wireframing a new community-focused website, to try to develop and launch a useful platform. 

Creating such a platform should be reasonably straightforward in this day and age, since there are so many fabulous sites out there that are already doing this well. 

Indeed, I found it relatively straightforward to add the kind of tools and functionality I thought a social media site should offer to users. Many of these elements are second nature to us, since we use them everyday (on sites like Twitter, Last.fm, Facebook, Flickr, et al...).

So what are the common elements used by social media websites? 

6 comments

AOL's Love.com breaks my heart, does it break the rules?

Awesome domain name? Check. A content guy at the helm? Check. A solid strategy? Very questionable.

That's AOL's new Love.com for you.

3 comments

10 linkbait strategies to build links and drive traffic

Linkbaiting is a widely used term to describe strategies where new web content or services are created specifically to boost rankings through attracting lots of inbound links. 

Some argue that linkbaiting is an unnecessary term which just means 'great content'. Nevertheless, it is a neat term that prompts marketers to focus their minds on what makes for genuinely useful or engaging content

Let's take a look at 10 strategies for linkbaiting.

19 comments

BBC has the best headlines on the web - Nielsen

The BBC's descriptive yet concise news headlines are a great example of writing for the web, and are always written to the 'highest web usability standards' according to usability guru Jakob Nielsen.

He cites headlines like 'Mass Thai protest over leadership' and 'Iran accuses journalist of spying' as best practice examples, with the average news headline containing five words and 34 characters.

0 comments

WSJ fiasco: a lie can travel around the world while...

Yesterday, I called the Wall Street Journal on its shoddy reporting about blogging as a profession.

As fortunate as I am to call myself a 'professional blogger' and as much as I believe blogging has a very bright future, the WSJ's article claiming that there were more people earning a living as bloggers in the United States than there are firefighters, CEOs, computer programmers or bartenders was just plain wrong.

2 comments

Consumers want brand mentions, not ads: report

Marketing effectively on the internet can be pretty tough.

Sure, search and email are awesome and, when done right, are two of the most accountable forms of marketing around. But ask about other forms of online marketing and you'll probably meet more marketers who aren't producing ROI (or who aren't even tracking it) than you will find marketers who are.

0 comments

Working words: How to write for SEO

I often fill these pages with rants about what not to do when writing copy for search engine optimisation (SEO) and for a web audience.

However, it struck me recently that I have not spent much time exploring best practice in SEO copywriting and how to ensure your content is as fit for purpose as possible.

I am going to remedy that today. Please comment if you have any questions or additions.

20 comments

The Wall Street Journal embarrasses itself with blogging article

If you're using the ongoing global recession to explore a new career path, blogging probably isn't at the top of your list. After all, how many bloggers are earning real money?

But blogging as a profession is something you should take seriously since there are now more professional bloggers in the United States than there are firefighters, CEOs, computer programmers and bartenders.

3 comments