Archive for June 2010


Twitter is not going to allow third party advertising on their website

June 30th, 2010 — 1:46pm

Twitter has just announced that they will not allow third party advertising platforms to place adverts on their service.

Keeping out Clutter

This is probably because they shortly plan to roll out their ‘Promoted Tweet Program’, which allows you to pay to promote your Tweets to more users. No doubt they do not wish to clutter the service with lots of competing adverts from alternative providers, which may put users off the service.

Twitter also plan to launch ‘commercial accounts‘ for businesses. Since they have yet to make any mone, there’s a lot resting on both of these programs.

Twitter is usually open to 3rd parties

Twitter have always been very open about third party services and websites accessing their service. They have an open API which allows programmers to access data and stream data live from Twitter. This is how it’s possible to place your Twitter feed on your WebEden website. It also makes possible all the third party client platforms such as Tweetdeck and Seesmic.

It has also made it possible for Twitter results to appear on both Google and Bing.

In a ponderous post on the official Twitter blog, founder Biz Stone defended his position by saying that he was looking to ‘ensure the long-term health and value of the user experience’ by ‘fostering user delight and satisfaction’

Woah.

Promoted Tweets themselves will exist ‘primarily in search and then in the timeline’, but won’t bombard users. Twitter are keen that “Promoted Tweets are only shown when they make sense for users and enhance the user experience”.

Giving your Website a Personality

Twitter can be an important way for you to give your website some personality, and for you to maintain a relationship with your website visitors even when they’re not on your website. Promoted Tweets look like being a good opporunty to grab more potential visitors.

Once live we’ll be sure to be writing about Promoted Tweets – and showing you how to use it – here on the WebEden blog.

Volcano erupts in Iceland. People change their searching habits.

June 24th, 2010 — 11:36am

Recently we’ve looked at how the weather and the World Cup have change what people search for on Google: it looks like a volcano can do it too.

We all know what huge effects the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland has had on air travel. Recent data released from online traffic monitoring firm Hitwise UK has shown how it has changed what we’re searching for.

Up to the 10th of April, there were only around 1,000 different search terms that included the word ‘volcano’. The week after, this number exploded to 10,000.

The eruption also had a huge impact on visits to aviation websites, which were up 45% that same week. People were very concerned about how this extreme event would affect their travel plans, but this didn’t stretch to trying to find out more about future impact – weather website traffic was unaffected.

Whilst air travel traffic surged, so did that of trains: Visits to eurostar.com were up 67%, and to ferry companies by 59%.

Here’s a graph from Hitwise:

Are you in related area? Did the volcano eruption affect traffic to your website? Have other events changed the number of visitors you have? Leave us a comment below.

How much time do you spend online?

June 22nd, 2010 — 8:37am

According to the UK Online Measurement company (UKCOM), the amount of time people spend online has mushroomed by 65% over the last three years. The average Briton now spends almost a day a month surfing the web.
Most of that time is spent either on social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace, or on blogs. These account for almost 25% of all time spent online.

Not all web activities have grown: Instant Messaging (IM) used to be a real favourite in the UK, but its use is in decline. Whilst three years ago people spent around 14% of their time using IM, it now comes in at just 5%.

Meanwhile, that old favourite ‘Email’ continues to play an important role, up from 6.5% to 7.2%.

Other risers include classified adverts & auctions (up to 4.7%) and online news (up to 2.8%).

Here’s the full list:

Social networks / blogs – 22.7%
E-mail – 7.2%
Games – 6.9%
Instant Messaging – 4.9%
Classified/Auctions – 4.7%
Portals – 4%
Search – 4%
Software info/products – 3.4%
News – 2.8%
Adult – 2.7%
Source: UKOM

Since there are 85 different categories, the fact that ‘adult’ makes it into the top ten shows that it continues to be popular.

What does this mean for you

If you’re a website builder, this survey makes interesting reading. To start with, increased net use shows that your website will have an ever growing opportunity to gain visitors.

Second, the online activities of Joe public point to the areas that you should be using to boost your visitor numbers.

The increasing popularity of social networking sites shows that you should be looking to get visitors from both Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a Video Tutorial on how to integrate your website with Facebook and Twitter. And here’s one on how to add a Twitter feed to your website.

Email is also an important way to reach visitors. Make sure you give users the chance to sign up to a newsletter from your website.

And search engines should also be a good source of visitors. Here’s a link to the first part of our SEO Guide.

Do you know where your visitors are coming from? Has that changed? Leave us a comment below.

UK Times website hidden from you… and the search engines

June 21st, 2010 — 9:53am

There’s been a lot written about Rupert Murdoch’s plan to start charging for access to the Times website.

The fact that your can read newspaper websites for free has meant that many people no longer choose to buy the paper version. And since advertising revenues for websites are much lower than their printed counterparts, the Times – like all other national papers – have been losing money hand over fist.

Most recent figures are that the Times lost £87m in the last year alone.

So Rupert Murdoch is making the brave step of trying to charge users for access to the news on its website.

This is a huge challenge for two separate reasons:

1. Why pay when you can get it for free

With all other newspaper websites, not to mention the BBC, giving away access to the news for free, why would people pay to get the same information for the Times?

Niche newspapers and journals such as the FT have been successful at charging for online content, but only because they have specialist journalists delivering information that can’t be found elsewhere. That’s hardly the case with the Times.

2. Search Engines can’t spider the content

A key source of traffic to newspaper websites is Google and other search engines. Web users often search online for the latest news and events, and as newspaper websites have a rolling delivery of the latest developments they are often the recipients of visitors from search.

By introducing a paywall, Murdoch is blocking the ability for search engines to ‘read’ the latest content that is added to The Times website. And if search engines can’t read it, then they can’t rank it higher in the search engine results page.

What is everyone else doing?

Other news providers have rejected charging for content. Some favour a system of micropayments that would allows users to make small payments for access to specific niche content. Others – such as the Guardian – have introduced a paid-for iPhone app that gives users a ‘personalised’ version of the news.

A good innovation?

Despite these factors, News International are pressing ahead with their plans. Since they are losing money anyway, perhaps they see no alternative. Murdoch reckons that he’d rather have fewer customers who were paying. And he has always been a good innovator – look at Sky.

What do you think of the plans? Would you be prepared to pay for access to the news? Leave us a comment below.

Website of the Week: ChrissToeTappers.co.uk

June 17th, 2010 — 9:08am

I reckon its about time for another Website of the Week!

This time its ChrissToeTappers.co.uk by Chris Rhydder. I really like this site, despite the fact that it goes against a few design conventions.

To start wih Chris has used an intro page – which tends to be less common these days. But rather than preventing the visitor from getting to the content, it gives them a taste of the fun that lies behind it.

There’s lots of content on the site. Chris (a keen Twitter-er) has added his Twitter feed; there’s music; calendars; and some use of the HTML widget too.

Website address

http://www.chrisstoetappers.co.uk


When did you build your Site?

I began thinking about building a website at the beginning of 2009, but my site was finally launched on 1st March 2009. Since then I’ve made quite a few changes and have tried lots of different things to try and improve it for my visitors.

Why did you build your Site?

After Teaching Adult Tap Dancing for 25 years we finally felt that we should launch oursleves on the world wide web!! And it was also a great way to keep all our students updated without having to ring or write to them all the time!!

What do you like best about your Site?
I like the fact that it’s easy to maintain (because I’m NO Computer genius believe me!!).
I also like the face that it was straight forward & not too complicated to set up!! Made life much easier I can tell you!!!!

What is your Website tip?

Play around, experiment and have fun with your site when you get going!! Try lots of different features so that you get a feel of what works for your site!!
I’d also say that another tip is to make sure your site is clear and easily accessible for your visitors, as if it’s too complicated then it can put people off visiting!!

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If you want to be featured as our Website of the week, and get exposure to thousands of readers of the WebEden blog, visit the forum now!

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