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If we could harvest the sheer energy pulsating through the central district of Vancouver we could power North America for years. Of course if you step out side of the Olympic areas the city is empty, its populace all drawn into the center. This makes sitting near a window looking out on downtown a very difficult place to be.

This week we’ve got olympic fever. We’ve also got studies on what makes things go viral, reasons why developers should use Chrome, and loads of email marketing advice.

 Internet Marketing and SEO

  • You probably know this already, but Google Buzz launches yesterday with a whole host of privacy problems. What’s getting me even more, though, is the ammount of misinformation that’s been cycling about Google Buzz. From “it makes all your email public” to “it tells people where you are” (well it does if you decide to put that information on your profile page).
  • I find it funny that people always tell me to “keep it short”. I’ve been frequently told that short posts are more popular than long posts, that easily digestible content is greater than informative content. Meanwhile I’ve found that not only does that not mesh with me (I read and share long posts, short ones I skim then forget) but it also doesn’t show in any of our numbers. Well, the New York Times reports that a recent study confirmed that, amongst other things, long stories get shared more. They predict that this may be because long stories often cover more engaging topics (which does throw off the data in this situation) but I’d also argue that longer topics provide more engagement, in general. More engagement means that people are more likely to pass it around, while stub like articles are more likely to get skimmed quickly than forgotten.


  • Google also announced Google Fiber last week. An interesting, potentially awesome, and potentially scary prospect. Not sure how I feel about Google entering the ISP business these days, given how pervasive they are in everything else.
  • That said, I still agree with nettuts on why web developers should be using Chrome. Chrome integrates some of the best Firefox plugins (firebug mostly) straight into the browser. Also, while nettuts doesn’t mention it, IE Tab totally rocks.

 Web Analytics
  • Google is pushing mobile development right now, for obvious reasons. The Adwords blog continues this with its Go Mobile! series which, last week, includes optimizing for mobile with Google Analytics.
  • Somewhat similarly, e-nor has customizing your user experience with GA. This is basically just a bunch of ways to use GA cookies to do fun stuff with your site, such as visitor counters, and view counters.

 Web Usability
  • Where was all this the week before last? Well, these will still be useful when I actually redesign our newsletter, instead of just adjusting it: Email Newsletter Design: Guidelines And Examples, which gives some great advice, though some of it is risky. For instance, they praise the headline “Sizzling Summer Deals”, while Mailchimp studies show that these kinds of subjects often have lower open rates.
  • Marketing Experiments has a presentation on improving email clickthrough. This is the same case they were talking about at Connections ’09, which was a very good presentation.

 Miscellaneous links of the week:

  • The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google’s 2009 annual report names facebook, amazon, and vertical search as competitors [account required].
  • Finally, Out of my Gord continues his “the Psychology of Entertainment” series with Why We’re Hooked on Action Thrillers. While I like the direction he took with this (how suspense causes the release of cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline) the sheer bio psych approach misses an important social aspect of the action film. In a society that openly promotes an ideology of empowered individualism, the male power fantasy becomes a crucial part of the very idea of what it means to “be someone”. And most major American films reflect this, even the dramas.