AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 4:58 PM ----- BODY:
Do You Do PPC? What You Should Know...
"Internet users are more likely to click on an organic search link on Google, and a paid search result on MSN, a report from iProspect finds"
What this essentially means is that Google users are more "advanced" users typically. Therefore, they tend to avoid the paid for advertisements. On the same hand, MSN users are not as "advanced". Therefore, they tend to just click without thought. So if you do any PPC purchasing, you should notice that your conversion rates using Overture (which powers PPC for MSN) should be higher than using Google Adwords. I've always believed this to be true, now the facts are in. Google attracts more web-savvy searchers, while MSN and AOL get the "jerry springer" type searchers.
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 10:05 AM ----- BODY:
Event: Mark Stevens, Author of "Your Marketing Sucks", Wednesday, April 28, 2004, The City Club of Cleveland
I met Mr. Stevens last fall at an affiliate marketing industry event where I was able to sit in a group of about 10 people and hear a 10 minute summary of his marketing philosiphy and book. Summary: Clever title to sell the book, which worked well. Mr. Stevens comes off very arrogant and sure of himself. The kind of man that will look you straight in the eye and not hedge on a statement, no matter how wrong he is. I have not read the book yet, but I'm sure it is full of some strong opinions. His background is deep in marketing experience that have proven results for large companies. If it weren't for the extra panelists that are going to be there, I'd say skip the $25 rubber chicken fee and just buy the book, but they may add enough value. Chances are though, you're not going to get anything except high level marketing fluff talk that really isn't going to help you specifically in your business day.
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 8:37 AM ----- BODY:
Want to make your brain hurt? Read this, Reproduced and emergent genres of communication on the World-Wide Web.
Genres are useful because they are more easily recognized and understood by recipients of the communications. Therefore, we suggest that Web site designers consider the genres that are appropriate for their situation and attempt to reuse familiar genres. More explicit attention to genres may also speed the wider acceptance of newly emerging genres of communication unique to the Web.
This entire thesis can be summed up with a few bullet points, but they must have been writing this for school or something. Only a lawyer could appreciate this twisted diatribe of thoughts. How far did you get? I got past the first scroll and had to take an aspirin. My point isn't to disparage the information or the authors. Somewhere in there the information is correct I assume. However, the delivery method is, how can I put this in industry terms...crapola. So what happens? The message gets dimmed. Reminds me of an excellent blog I read from time to time. Great writing, smart guy, good teacher, but apparently the paragraph break key on his computer is broken. You know who you are!
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 10:34 AM ----- BODY: - Online retail sales shoot up 57% for week ending April 11:
Online retail sales soared 57% the week ending April 11 to $1.24 billion from $789 million during the corresponding week a year ago, comScore Networks Inc. reports. Total retail sales for the week ending April 10 rose 9.3% over the corresponding week a year ago, reports ShopperTraks National Retail Sales Estimate. ShopperTrak reports that strong sales growth for the week reflects the shift of Easter which in 2003 occurred more than a week later. Sales this year for the week that corresponded to last years Easter were down 23.2% vs. the year ago, ShopperTrak reports. Online travel sales for the week ending April 11 were up 46% to $1.06 billion from $728 million a year ago, comScore reports. "
How's that for some numbers?
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 10:05 AM ----- BODY:
The Webby Awards: 2004 Nominees Well, the Webby Award nominees are ready for viewing. I think award shows are silly, but this one at least focuses on what I'm interested in, and is always good for a few links that I haven't seen. Martha Stewart may be going to jail, but I've said it before, I'll say it again, that woman sure makes a mean website. is nominated under 'Commerce'.
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 9:50 PM ----- BODY:
Been traveling a bit for work, excuse the "blapse". That's the term I've coined for the condition known to all bloggers as "an unusually long lapse of time that occurs between blog entries." Here's a nice little tidbit I recently found out about from my High Rankings SEO newsletter from Jill Whalen. Good stuff.
I suggest you use the following command in the Google search box to get a more accurate accounting of the sites that link to yours: (Obviously substituting for your actual site.) This command will show you all the pages linking to yours, minus the pages from your own site. If you want to see your own site links too, just remove the part, as that's the syntax for excluding them.
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 1:23 AM ----- BODY:
Reality TV Show Merchandise & Collectibles Had enough reality tv yet? Sure you don't need to buy something because you love it so much? A new niche is filled. Now you can own that Trump bobble head doll you've always wanted. Or that American Idol hat you've been eyeing up for so long.
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 10:13 AM ----- BODY:
Center for Media Research - Daily Brief: "Top Indexing Categories Visitation by Males 18-34 and Females 18-34 Indexed to Total U.S. Online Audience
Michael Zimbalist, executive director of the Online Publishers Association, said "The recent ... shifting media consumption patterns of 18 to 34 year-olds demands a deeper look into this important consumer segment. Because this group represents the first 'generation' to have grown up with the Internet, their behavior patterns are a harbinger of future media consumption of the population at large."
People my age were the first 'generation' to grow up with cable tv. Now we have the Internet generation coming up behind us. Reminds me of how my nephew taught my father how to use a mouse a few years back. "Like this Grandpa, move it with your hand and click on something." I wonder what my children will accomplish with this vast source of information at their fingertips, and what will they be teaching me in 20 years.
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 10:48 PM ----- BODY:
Digital Web Magazine - Art of Interaction: The Designer Is Dead, Long Live The Designer!:
"I strongly believe that design, not usability, is the main driver in shaping user experience. That is, aesthetics, thus attractiveness, directly affects perceived ease-of-use, usefulness and enjoyment. Consequently design, or more specifically aesthetics, is the chief enabler."
Lots of holes in this theory. I, too, used to believe this line of thinking. Only until after years of experience watching how people really use the web was I able to realize that design helps, a lot, but it doesn't rule the roost. Take ecommerce for example. I've seen sites that look like they were designed by a 4th grader that out earn and our perform half a million dollar agency designed corporate sites. The fact is that the pallete of web users is simply not yet reformed enough to appreciate good design and make it into such an important factor. The experience is what matters. That's why Google wins, despite their design lacklusterness. Perhaps someday as web users advance then we will see a more savvy and snobby surfer. But right now, design still plays a close second to not usability, but to the overall experience received. This writer makes a good argument for the most part, although a bit weak on the 'proof' side of things, unfortunately, he makes it a few years too soon for it to be true. Reminds me of agency talk. "Yes client, if we build you a really beautiful website, you'll be more successful. We'll worry about if it works later." If I only had a nickle...
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 12:57 PM ----- BODY:
Outsourcing jobs as a topic is beginning to take off. What took so long? Not to toot my own horn (but I'm gonna), but I've been watching this happen for a long time, and even wrote my own analysis about it (below). The rest of the community is beginning to wake up finally. Chris Seper has something to say about it at Weblogs. And you can find lots of other information at The Outsourcing Weblog as well. Without further is my long winded take on the issue from last year. Where do you stand? If you own a business, please try and answer the questions posed below towards the end of the document. The Borderline Decision: Outsourcing IT Author: Jim F. Kukral In the Spring of 2003, I was driving home from work one day when I spotted a man standing on the corner of the Rte. 77/Rockside Rd. exit. The man appeared to be 30-ish, well dressed and groomed, and holding a hand-made sign. As I moved closer, I was able to read the sign. It didn't say, "Will Work For Food". It said, "Programmer Needs Work". It went on to show all the types of certifications and experience in operating systems, plus a contact phone number, etc... Obviously, this visual and blatant reality stuck with me for some time. I kept thinking, "why can't this guy get a job? Why does he have to resort to this? Wow, times are tougher than I thought." I made up millions of excuses like "well, maybe he's just a bad programmer or a troublemaker." Or, "he's just too proud to take a pay cut in this down economic era", or "maybe he's just crazy or something." I absolutely tried to convince myself that this person could have found a job if he really tried and that this person isn't typical of the IT situation in Cleveland. In other words, I really wanted to believe that the problem wasn't what I thought it was: Outsourcing IT. After all, I've worked with over 30 different programmers over the past 5 years. I know how they work and think and how they "are". There could be a million reasons why this person couldn't get a job. At least I hoped so. So what was the problem? Why was this gentleman standing on the street looking for a white-collar professional job? Perhaps it is because business, large and small, continues to outsource work beyond our borders? Is this wayside programmer a road kill specimen of what happens when a CEO utters the phrase, "We can't compete"? Of course their is the reality of business, so stop your lecture going on in your head right now. Yes, business is business and sometimes this must happen to stay competitive, and that business owners should be able to do whatever they want, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... I even agree with those reasons, in general terms. After all, this is America dammit! However, a line has to be drawn at some point. When? When does a CEO say, "I need to find a way to make it work and stay competitive, DESPITE the fact that I'm not making AS MUCH money as I used to be?" At what point should a business owner actually try to NOT TAKE THE SHORTCUT, and instead try to work through the problem creatively instead of jumping the gun and sending all development to China? In other words, is it possible for us to shoulder our greed for the greater good of our community? Or is that directly against the rules of today's economic agenda and pursuit of life, liberty and happiness? I think we know the answer in reality, but it doesn't mean you have to like the taste of it. Can IT America self-contain our resources and still survive? Or are we destined to a roadside full of out of work techies because the company Controller needs to reduce payroll so the board of directors can still get their bonuses? Where does it end? Finally, do you think it's possible to label a business who out sources their work, only because of cost, as a failure? Should a business owner feel responsible for not making it work, or is it acceptable for them to fall back on excuses that perhaps they couldn't control? The answers are not easily found I'm afraid. The long-term effects are already being realized. Where do you stand? Where SHOULD you stand? I guess that depends on who you are. Have you looked in the mirror lately and made sure it's who you thought it was?
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 5:14 PM ----- BODY:
Watch the 'Uniform' Video Got this from Teddy, thanks. Another great use of a marketing message with a strong viral online method (signup form at end of movie). Very entertaining as well.
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 5:11 PM ----- BODY:
Decapitated cat video backfires on Ford
It was, they say, intended as a 'viral marketing' tactic - designed to be sent via the internet from one individual to another. Even for the most lateral-thinking advertising executive, it appears to have been a catastrophic misjudgment. An online advert for a Ford car in which a cat is decapitated by a sunroof has been condemned by animal charities. The internet video clip to promote the Ford SportKa features a ginger domestic cat leaping on to the car's bonnet, peering into the open sunroof and getting guillotined when the panel closes. The cat's headless body is then seen sliding down the windscreen. Ford and Ogilvy & Mather, the advertising agency behind the advert, insist that the clip was never designed for public consumption.
This is a great example of a viral marketing failure, and more appropriately, an even better example of how to get your ad agency fired from one of the biggest accounts in the world. Duh. Furthermore, this could be a brand killer for millions upon millions of cat owners and possibly Ford owners. 'Buy Ford Trucks, Your Cat Will Die Horribly'. Absurd, and possibly very costly down the road. It's viral marketing in reverse... a runaway train of negative publicity.
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 12:25 PM ----- BODY:
Kinja, the weblog guide
"Kinja is a weblog portal, collecting news and commentary from some of the best sites on the web. Visitors can browse items on topics, everything from food to sex. Or they can create a convenient personal digest, to track their favorite writers. "
This is really pretty awesome. No newsfeeder download, etc... Just a daily digest of all of your favorite websites in one place. This is how you make a killer app, by NOT requiring special downloads. I'm testing it out, but it seems really cool.
-------- AUTHOR: Jim Kukral DATE: 10:38 AM ----- BODY: - About Us - Press Box: "The 7 most used word phrases in search engines on the web are: 1.2 word phrases 32.58% 2.3 word phrase 25.61% 3.1 word phrases 19.02% 4.4 word phrases 12.83% 5.5 word phrases 5.64% 6.6 word phrases 2.32% 7.7 word phrases 0.98% If you're not a search engine marketer, you may have not thought of such matters before. But it makes sense doesn't it? We don't seach in singular. If you wanted to find coffee cups, you'd search for "coffee cups", not "coffee cup". As people learn how to search better, we'll see an increase in the amount of phrases they use in their queries, or for example, "Lebron James Coffee Cups". Local search is on the way too, get ready.