Monday March 23rd Roundup | Cardinal Path Blog
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Monday March 23rd Roundup

What a week. The first day of spring hit on the 20th, and the tech world outdid itself with fantastic posts. Talk about spring energy.

This week we have Twitter and the “attention economy”, the economy of click through, Google Chrome plug-ins, Microsoft testing centers, measuring social medias impact on your business, more sky-high conversion rates, more old people on the internet, and twitters absurd growth rate

 Internet Marketing and SEO

  • We’ll start this week off with an article that I love and hate at the same time. On one hand, it has social theory and talk about the future of the internet, on the other hand it has futurism and claims such as “Twitter’s ascent marks the end of the Web 2.0 period (1999-2009) and the beginning of… the “attention economy.” Gah! Yet he makes some great points about how attention is Twitters measure of success, and takes some guesses at how monetization can occur, first citing Jason Calacanis’ offer of $250,000 for two years on Twitters suggested user list. He goes so far as to suggest that power users will pay $1000 a year as “maintenance” for their followers.And here’s where I get off the boat. Or maybe I never got on, since I don’t really buy into anything that starts by citing futurists. First off, while selling top spots in a potentially marketable spot is doable, doing so instantly devalues the power of that spot. The value and influence of top spots comes from the fact that they are given via some kind of meritocracy. The people there are there because they are good. Now don’t get me wrong, there is room for celebrity positioning, hell it can even be done in such a way as to be useful for the twits, but not by overwriting a previously relied upon service feature in an underhanded attempt to make money. I also think its laughable that he thinks that power users are going to pay a regular fee, especially since quite a lot of power users aren’t brands, nor businesses for whom it is valuable enough to pay that amount. I also think that Twitter has much more sense than that and know that power users are too valuable to drive away with such fees.
  • Following on the heels of last weeks video by Hal Varian, clickequations is discussing the economics of Adwords quality score. In it they go over cost calculation, quality score, ad rank, and a whole bunch of good stuff for people like me who only understand PPC on a cursory level.
  • One more because the week wouldn’t be off to a good start without at least one SEO article: SEO-quality-indicators/9380/” target=”_blank”>SEO Quality Indicators & The Heap Paradox. Their argument is simple but effective: there are no defining indicators of a quality site. Instead, quality has to do with a “heap” of attributes, no one of which will make it cease to be, or suddenly become, quality. They then list 11 indicators that you can use to build quality sites. The lesson of the post: go over board with your quality indicators, and don’t worry about how many you have.
 Web Development

  • Matt Cutts has a wonderful post for those of you interested in Google Chrome: How to Write a Chrome Extension in Three Easy Steps. Yep, Chrome has extensions, mind you they seem more like Greasemonkey plug-ins than anything else at this stage (and there was talk about how Google was going to be building Greasemonkey like function into the browser).
  • Secondly, Microsoft has released the IE8 Test Center This site allows testing of Css2.1, HTML5, and ARIA. Neat stuff, if not that useful for most of us.
 Web Analytics
  • Useful for your SMM‘s that read this, Forrester has a quick bit of thought on Measuring Your Social Media Campaigns Using Block-and-Tackle Attribution. In this article Emily Riley cites three problems that social marketers frequently have with their companies use of goal oriented metrics. She suggests using attribution to show how users engaged at early levels travel into the goal funnel. This is great for people working in an office where the bosses aren’t entirely schooled in Social Media.
  • As you may remember from our post on the conversion rate you’ve always dreamt of, Schwans managed a 52.5% conversion rate in January. Well, they’ve dropped to a totally unacceptable 42.1%. My god, a 10% drop in conversions, its almost like a whole bunch of people started visiting their site without purchasing in order to see what they are…On the list this month is 1800flowers, QVC, LL Bean, Woman Within, and Vitacost. Schwans, Proflowers and Quixtar still top the list, with Proflowers taking 26.5%, and Quixtar taking 33.2%. Un—real.
 Web Usability
  • Only one today, and nothing I can rant about. A shame. Instead just a very detailed and functional analysis of web forms and how to build them to properly. There isn’t a lot to say here other than that he is right on.
 Miscellaneous links of the week:

  • eMarketer tells us that, according to the Per Internet an American Life Project, the fastest growing group of users 70 and over’s. Well duh, everyone else has adopted it already. Still, it means that perhaps advertising products to old men online might be starting to make sense. And the Viagra salesmen rejoice.I still think that the better statistic is that 93% of 12-17 year-olds are online. 93%! Oddly the number of 25-29 year-olds hasn’t grown at all. Even odder, the 65-69 year-olds have shrunk by 1% (I’m thinking margin of error here).
  • And talking about growth, Twitter users are up 1,384%. Of course this is likely counting inactive accounts, duplicate accounts, joke accounts, and the like. Still, a 14x growth is nothing to scoff at.

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