My Space so Yesterday

Great article from the Washington post on the pending demise of Myspace.com WT tracker

I don't think it will disappear over night, but the teen market appears to be a lot smarter then the general public and especially parents give them credit for. According to the article teens are leaving myspace.com for privacy reasons and because of the creeps that are hanging out there pretending to be someone else.

Where are they going instead? It turns out many of them our heading to facebook.com.

Read the article for more information


WebTrends Doesn't Work with Internet Explorer 7

I was on the phone talking with WebTrends technical support about the problem I discovered with using WebTrends and the newly released version of IE 7 as mentioned in my previous post.

Their response is as follows:

  • Yes, we've seen that problem before
  • It doesn't occur with every instance of IE 7, sometimes people get lucky with IE 7
  • Development is aware of the problem and WebTrends is working on a fix
  • Expect the fix in the next release of WebTrends

As result, my personal recommendation is don't upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 if you don't have to and you need to use WebTrends. If you've upgraded already or if your organization forces the upgrade, or by mistake you let Microsoft upgrade your version with their automatic auto-update utility, then start using FireFox.


WebTrends & IE7

Yesterday I installed the first production version of IE 7 from Microsoft. So far, I'm not overly impressed in anyway.

I find it even slower then IE 6 with just a slightly nicer user interface. I'm slowly going through all my application that use a web interface. While most perform correctly (if just a bit slower), I've run into many issues in using IE7 and WebTrends.

The problems seem to change between reboots and each test, but here are two of the big ones.

* when switching between reports IE hangs so you can't see additional reports
* java applets for graphics periodically fail to load properly in IE.

Of course, I'm having no issues with using WebTrends in Firefox. I'll be calling WebTrends later today to discuss fixes for these issues and to see if others are having them as well. I'll keep you posted.


Helping Raise Money With Search

I thought I had seen it all, but thanks to Blinkx.com, and my bookmark on "search engine optimization", I've discovered something wonderful in the world of search engines.

www.goodsearch.com has developed a new approach to entice users to come and use their search engine for searching the web. Goodsearch.com like many smaller search engines out there is powered by one of the bigger search engines and in this case it's yahoo.com. Like all players in this field, they make money by running pay per click advertising on their site, but here is the twist. Goodsearch.com donates 50% of its revenue to your favourite charity.

That's right your favourite charity and not a charity of its choice. You can choose from thousands of organizations already registered or add your favourite cause (charity, non-profit, school, etc.). This includes nominating your funds to go to your child's school for example. No you're not going to generate tens of thousands dollars a year for your charity or school, but think of the possibilities. According to Goodsearch.com, each search will generate approximately $0.01. So if a school has let's say 500 students and each parent does 2 searches a day that equates to a mere $10/day, but multiply that by say 365 days (1 year) and your cause has earned $3,650. If you're worried about the quality of the search results remember it's powered by yahoo.com and the quality will be the same.

Good search also has a utility that allows you to monitor and see how much money has been earned by the various charities.

This figure is of course an estimate and depends not only on the frequency that people search, but how likely they are to click on the generated ads. Remember only earning pennies at a time still adds up (just think of all those charity boxes on store counters) and if you're going to search anyways, might as well make some money for your favourite cause.

GoodSearch smaller logo

IE 7 Released

Microsoft has finally announced the production release of the new Internet Explorer version 7. IE 7 is now available.

Here is the press release. Take a minute to read and see what's up. Some interesting facts on the loss of market share to Firefox and Opera.

Now that it's out of beta, I might even download it for myself.


The connection between your marketing spend and the bottom line

Make the connection between your marketing spend and the bottom line

I don't know what's in the water these days, but I've been asked to deliver another talk on using web analytics to measure ROI. This time I'll be speaking here in Toronto at AIMS (Association of Internet Marketing & Sales).

The primary focus of my talk will be "Clearing up the confusion about cookies, privacy, and why 'hits' and 'unique visits' are meaningless for the majority of websites".

I'll be one of two presenters and this should prove to be an interesting event for all those who are interested in learning how to leverage their investment in web analytics software to improve the performance of their web site.

For more information visit the AIMS web site.


Measuring ROI with Web Analytics

I'll speaking at WebBuilder 2.0 this coming December. Web Builder is a Fawcette Technical Publishing (FTP) conference. My topic is Measuring ROI with Web Analytics.

While many people many have never heard of the Web Builder conference, it origins go way back to 1997 and was originally put on by C|Net before being sold to Fawcette who ran it for several years before sending it to the beach in the fall of 2002.

While Web Builder may have been on vacation, it's nice to see FTP bringing it back. What has always separated Web Builder from other web and Internet conferences is it doesn't target just one of the many groups involved in web development instead it tries to make the conference all encompassing for entire web development team. This covers everyone from the hard-core program to web managers and even web marketers.

It's always fun to see how the crowds at these conferences gel. Sometimes, everyone blends and other times, you can really spot the separation. What usually contributes to the blending is a great kick-off party or event the night before the conference. It will be interesting to see if FTP brings this conference feature back as well.

By speaking at this conference, it will ensure that I've attended every Web Builder conference since its inception. I've gone as a regular attendee and on many occasions as a speaker. Back in December 1999, I was speaking on virtually the same topic. Back then, the web bubble was nearing the point of implosion, and not many people wanted to listen to my message. I suspect that 7 years later the audience will be a little more receptive.

If you attend this conference, be sure to track me down and say hello.

More Video Search

With Google's acquisition of YouTube, web based video is being thrust even more into the Internet spotlight. Despite all the publicity, people still don't know how to find relevant on-line videos.

I've mentioned before some video search tools such as SingingFish.com and Google Video search, well here is yet another on-line video search tool. Check out blinkx.com/!

As on-line search goes, its average but it has a different reach which means it covers more then just YouTube or some of the other search engines. According to their on-line documentation, Blinkx has over 6 million hours of video in its database and "blinkx uses visual analysis and speech recognition to better understand rich media content". My limited testing of this, could neither prove or disprove that Blinkx is using voice recognition software to help rate videos, but what an interesting idea. Instead of relying on what video producers say a video is about why not look at the dialogue and the video itself.

One feature I thought was cool was their video wall. When this option is selected a wall of video thumbnails is created with all videos (that matched your search result) displaying at the same time. See something interesting simply click on the thumbnail to view it in full size and with audio. You can even create a hard link to this video wall that can be added to you bookmarks or even included in your blog. See below for the term "search engine optimization".