Tuesday 27 April 2010

Internet World 2010 update

So, i'm back from a pretty hectic day at Internet World 2010 and the emphasis has been on Content Management Systems. In total we had demo's of four systems, Alterian, Sitecore, Squiz and Vyre and they all offered relatively similar functionality but the two that stood out most for me were Squiz and Alterian.

Squiz is an Open Source product with a solid backing (the Australian government uses it) and a good support level.

Alterian is a CMS from a company we have currently shortlisted for Social Media Monitoring.

Both offer the sort of functionality we are now seriously interested in implementing such as personalisation of the website for visitors either with login details or via a cookie drop, multivariate testing of content, heuristic tailoring of content based on visitor profiling and closer integration of social media and web 2/3.0 functionality.

It's always a huge decision in deciding which CMS to go with and our current one has worked very well for us but visiting exhibitions and conferences does highlight just how quickly technology has moved on and we're starting to look a little dated. It's the ever elusive quest for perfection and it'll take us a while to get there but it looks as though a replacement CMS may need to be on the cards... 

Internet World 2010 is running again tomorrow so if you have a chance to visit it's certainly worth a look around!

Monday 26 April 2010

Internet world 2010

I'll be visiting internet world 2010 tomorrow and be adding anything that might be of interest! Also, I'll be adding posts to the new Twitter feed from my mobile device for the first time so apologies for any typo's!

You can check out the Twitter feed in the menu on the left or follow me @uobmarketing

Sunday 18 April 2010

Google Analytics Intelligence

If, like me, you've been struggling to understand how best to utilise the new Intelligence reports within Google Analytics then you might find the following article useful. Written by Dave Chaffey on the Smart Insights website it gives a rough overview of what is/isn't useful and then a step by step guide to creating a custom alert.

Having read through the article it's inspired me to set up a few to trial run this under-used feature!

Smart Insights

Friday 16 April 2010

You really can market anything...

Just spotted a Penn & Teller video on YouTube and it reminded me about the disasterous marketing campaign for Dasani, a perfect case of how things can go really wrong! Originally a £7m marketing push to highlight the new "pure" bottled water from Coca-Cola it ended up in the revelation that Dasani was in fact tap water run through a pretty low end purification process and then marked up from 0.03p to 95p per half litre.

Not a huge surprise then that Dasani is no longer available... but as the video shows below, if you do get the marketing side right and you sound believable, you can pretty much sell anything!

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Opera Mini for the iPhone

In a move that no-one was expecting Apple has allowed the Opera Mini browser onto the iPhone. As someone that uses Opera Mini on my current mobile I can vouch for how well the browser displays content. If you're lucky enough to be an iphone owner head over and download a copy.

Opera Mini 5 for iPhone

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Twitter advertising is here!

As mentioned back in July 2009 Twitter has finally conceded to having advertising on the Twitter platform. Now, this isn't a huge surprise, Twitter is still the buzz word of the moment and they will no doubt be able to pull in a vast amount f money through the sale of "Promoted Tweets".

But will they damage their model by allowing paid for tweets to appear within listings? Co-founder Biz Stone said they would not be traditional adverts but must be Tweets that "resonate with users" and be a part of the conversation. This sounds like a soft approach to rolling out some revenue generating idea but how long will it be before the idea of more traditional advertising kicks in?

Facebook managed to roll out PPC adverts with limited impact on the user experience so it's not out of the question for Twitter as well.

Read the full story on the BBC website.

Friday 9 April 2010

The sites down! No, it's not...

So, what can be classed as an acceptable up-time for your website?

And more importantly, how can you monitor that you're receiving the service level you expect?

Most external providers will guarantee a 99.99% uptime due to their vast server network and the ability to mirror sites to allow for any unexpected or planned downtime. But what can you expect from an in-house solution?

Personally, 99.99% up-time should be an achievable figure for both external and internal hosting solutions but how do you monitor the level of service you are receiving? Manual monitoring is an option but can be rather intensive on the resources! So, an automated checking service such as IPPatrol or Site Confidence is probably the way forward. It is possible to have an internal system to check your servers but using an external host gives a true representation of your visitors experiences.

It would be interesting to hear what people expect of their service providers, is it unreasonable to expect a service level as high as an external provider from your internal offerings?