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A fairly action packed weekend with the Paraloympics ending locally and the US getting some real healthcare reforms passed. There was also an abundance of news in all sectors of the tech world, with shouting matches between Google and Viacom, and Microsoft implementing its browser choice ballot across Europe.

So this week sit back and read about how Facebook is limiting ad targeting, Google is letting you opt-out of analytics, and a whole lot more.

Internet Marketing and SEO
  • We start the week with infographics. Nowsourcing’s 10 outstanding social media infographics, covering age distribution on social networks, the boom of social sites, and more.
  • Not as much fun as infographics, but Facebook is putting limitations on ad targeting and copy, including some limitations on what kind of targeting you can do. Reportedly they are limiting what attributes you can target, particularly those which may seem “irrelevant” to the offer.  This seems an odd decision by Facebook,  and short of forcing more impressions per conversion (aka. more money for Facebook) I can’t see a reason for this.
  • Surprise, surprise, Opera has seen a dramatic rise in downloads since Microsoft’s browser choice ballot screen went into effect. Myself, I would like to see statistics for Chrome and Firefox as well, which I am sure will be coming in the next week or so. So hey, can we discontinue Internet Explorer 6 support yet?
Web Analytics
  • Be scared web analysts. Google is planning to give users the ability to opt out of being included in Google Analytics statistics. This is going to open up a Pandora’s Box in the analytics community, with paid solutions (including Urchin I am sure) becoming a much more attractive alternative. Maybe that’s even why they’re doing it…
  • ROI revolution thinks that you shouldn’t be using your top landing pages report. This really isn’t as out there a suggestion as you may think. It follows on the foot heels of the rest of the analytics communities that have been saying that the default reports are rarely useful. Instead we should be construction customized profiles for our own business needs.
Web Usability
  • Psyblog, one of my favourite blogs, had a great post last week on the power of simplicity. Their initial case in point is dumb (though maybe their audience is too edumacated to use the classic “dihydrogen monoxide vs carbon monoxide” comparison) but the 8 studies they cite show some real insights for people looking to design, write, or pretty much do anything that will influence a users experience.
  • Smashing Mag loses. A lot. In fact, they are losing right now by not letting visitors visit their site for 24h and instead hocking their book. However, when they win they win big and last week they won with a great post on applying “A Pattern Language” to Online Community Design (cached link here). A lot of what they’re saying doesnt apply directly (for instance, the four story rule doesn’t apply real well to links) but their points are accurate none the less. A Pattern Language seems like more of a metaphor for a bunch of good points, than actual lessons taken from the design.
  • In one of the cooler posts last week, 90% of Everything has a post on the reconstructive nature of memory and why you need to think about it in user testing.
Miscellaneous links of the week: