Posted by Sam Niccolls
(Note: A tip of the cap goes to Rebecca whose great roundups helped me sift through my feed reader on more than a few Saturday morning. Hopefully my breakdown of the last week in technology and online marketing provides a digestible and similarly entertaining accompaniment to a wonderful 4th of July weekend.)
1) Billy Mays & Product Demonstrability– Jeff Sexton at FutureNow wrote a very interesting article about Billy Mays. The gist of the article is that the late sales icon was more than just a pitchman. And he makes a compelling case. But there’s an additional actionable takeaway to be had from Sexton’s article: demonstrability. You probably don’t sell OxiClean, and you probably don’t have a bad infomercial (hopefully), but you could probably do a better job of demonstrating what your product does. So when you think of ways to improve your landing pages, ask yourself the same question Mays did before he agreed to pitch a product — "How can I demonstrate this?"
2) YouTube Adds Off-site Links to Video Overlays – The video mogul now has "Call-To-Action Overlays" on videos. Publishers can now add direct links, rather than having to make viewers type URLs in manually, which has big impacts for both politicians, marketers, and others with viral video campaigns. Currently YouTube’s "Call-To-Action Overlays" are free, publishers just have to enter their videos into YouTube’s CPC promoted videos program.
3) Mac Voice Over – The idea that a blind person could pick up an iPhone, browse the web, read an RSS feed, and send an e-mail is a fascinating one. With their 3GS release, Apple made their Voice Over technology standard on all iPhones. But as amazing as this touchscreen gesture technology is, Voice Over is far from the most brilliant technology of the last 100 years. That honor still belongs to the Snuggie.
4) The Future of Free – Feel free to delve deeper into the cat fight between Malcolm Gladwell & Chris Anderson that stemmed from Gladwell’s unfavorable review of Anderson’s new book —"Free: The Future of a Radical Price." But I could care less about the baby mama drama. What I do find interesting, however, is the topic Anderson addresses in his book: free pricing models. Consumers are accustomed to free, sure, but VCs are not. So amidst all the startups downsizing and going belly up, Anderson’s book could provide an interesting perspective for startup entrepreneurs to consider as they create revenue models that go beyond free.
5) Startup Experience – Picked up by the Wall Street Journal, Rand’s candid blog post outlines his personal experiences and the lessons he has learned as an entrepreneur. In his detailed post he talks about things he has done well, mistakes he has made, and guiding principles he has abided by. If you are a current or aspiring CEO, there’s likely a lesson or two to take away from Rand’s startup experiences.
6)Real Time Twitter Search – In an attempt to better integrate real time data into their SERPs Bing made an initial attempt at Twitter search. What they rolled out is an interesting idea, but the implementation needs work. The Twitter results are limited to high profile Twitterers and the results are poor for non-exact match queries. Similarly, Friend Feed also made efforts toward improving their real time search.
7)Palm Pre Reaches 150,000 Sold – In spite of the much publicized leak that revealed massive sales for Apples latest iPhone, Apple is not the only company with a popular touch screen phone and a growing app catalog. Palm Pre just reached the 1 million apps downloaded mark and smartphone users are as hungry as ever for apps. For this reason, it will be interesting to see the impact apps (for both the iPhone and the Pre) has on mobile web consumption. Plus, you have to get a chuckle out of Sprint’s latest ad creative.
8) Public Status Updates – Facebook now has another Twitter inspired feature. They’ve rolled out the ability to make your status updates available to the world, including Google. The feature has currently been added for all users who had set their privacy settings to be visible to ‘Everyone,’ but it will soon be rolled out more broadly.
9)Gmail Drag and Drop Labels – Rather than quietly adding the new feature to Gmail labs, Gmail rolled out an exceptionally mediocre drag and drop functionility. Gmail users now have the ability to drag and drop labels. This small product changes got good coverage on TechCrunch and throughout the blogosphere, but it is far from revolutionary.
10) Real Time Search – Highlighted on the front page ofTechmeme, Danny’s timeline of how the news of the King of Pop’s death traveled across the the web is a thought provoking read that raises a number of questions about real-time search.
In honor of the 4th of July, here are four great YOUmoz posts really worth reading. A special call out goes to Michael C, who wrote a particularly good (and technical) post on URL rerwrites.
Traffic & Conversion Specialist, SEOmoz
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