Archive for February, 2011

Quoted: ROI on Twitter

February 28, 2011

From eMedia Vitals:

Brian Stelter, a media reporter at the Times, uses Twitter to improve reporting and “hopefully to improve the reader’s relationship with the institution.” He added: “I like to think that every time I interact with a reader, they are 0.01% more likely to pay for the Times ― especially as we put up a paywall later in the winter or the spring ― maybe, just maybe, they are a little more willing to pay up.”

Do you agree?


More on designing (and pricing) for the iPad

February 21, 2011

From the TechCrunch piece “iPad mags need a new blueprint“:

Replicating a dead-tree publishing model on a touchscreen is a recipe for obsolescence.

As in, don’t just throw PDFs on the iPad and call it a day. Also:

…subscriptions are not going to save the media companies. In fact, they’d be smarter to give the apps away for free and make more money from the advertisers, who want to reach as many people as possible. The ads should also be worth more because they just look better in an app where they look more like a magazine ad and can take over the whole screen when tapped on.


The key to successful SEO

February 11, 2011

Google engineer Matt Cutts, in an article (related to the recent AOL acquisition of the Huffington Post) from the New York Times:

“One piece of advice I give to S.E.O. masters is, don’t chase after Google’s algorithm, chase after your best interpretation of what users want, because that’s what Google’s chasing after,” he said.

(Funny enough, I swear the NYT article had a more opaque title last night when I read it. They must have an overnight web editor web-ifying the titles.)

Tim Hortons gets smart and engages with customers

February 7, 2011

Have you been to lately? Drop by and you’ll notice a widget at the top right that tells you your local weather forecast – and suggests something to eat or drink that goes with that weather. (How did they know I could use some chocolate?)

It’s a very cool feature that could work on content sites, too. For instance, a recipe site could feature a recipe that matches both the weather and time of day – give me a waffle recipe on a snowy Saturday morning, and a barbecued pizza on a summer afternoon.

It would require some programming, but overall, it’s a simple way to bring local relevance to a major site without a ton of effort.

If you have to explain, it’s too complicated

February 4, 2011

Is your iPad app so complicated that it needs an instruction manual? Then you’ve got a major design problem, says Khoi Vinh (and I 100% agree).

The most important idea at the heart of every iPhone, iPad and, to a lesser but still significant extent, every Android device is that they need no explanation. You pick them up and use them.

Click through to check out his roundup of some examples.

The power of good visuals

February 1, 2011

Have you heard about the new gigantic Starbucks Trenta cups? The National Post’s web team came up with an excellent infographic comparing it to other Starbucks sizes – and to the average human stomach. With a bit of luck and a bit of skill, the graphic went viral, as the kids say, and the graphic made it all the way to CNN, as well as achieving, as of January 21, more than 10,000 “likes” on Facebook and over 1,200 Tweets. And it all started from their humble Tumblr page. Want to learn more? They’ve explained the whole process for the rest of us to learn from. (Thanks to @aliciamcauley for the link.)