Archive for the ‘web trends’ Category

Internet has created a new economic model

Thursday, July 18th, 2013
Douglass Rushkoff headshot

Douglas Rushkoff – photo by Johannes Kroemer

Douglas Rushkoff, media theorist and author of the new book “Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now“, in an interview with Strategy + Business argues that our current economic model goes back to the 12th Century and was good enough for the Industrial Age, but since the internet has evolved so has the need for a new economic model. He claims that the Industrial Age brought in the idea of of “time is money” and that the “always on – always connected” reality we now live in has destroyed the linear sense of time. Our sense of time itself has changed – rewind, replay! Choose which bits of time you want too. So his arguments begin to show their meaning to us.

The old model was based on linear time and had a beginning, a middle and an end. This is a story of sorts. The digital age breaks the storyline and allows us to pick and choose.

In a way, Ruskoff calls for a return to basics. Pay attention to how the consumer market really works. See the ups & downs and patterns, and follow them. The current old model is too “profit & progress” focused. Ruskoff claims that won’t work anymore. Given the global financial crisis, there seems to be truth in this.

Go read his interview – http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00212?pg=all – and let me know what you think about it below. Rushkoff’s book can be bought on Amazon – click here.

Wordnik LOVES words

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Wordnik is the new online dictionary that takes the stuffiness out of lexicography. Unlike a traditional dictionary which can take years to approve and update, Wordnik “gathers” definitions and examples live from the web. So you can usually find the newest and most obscure words you won’t find elsewhere. If you subscribe you can join the Community and contribute to the love of words. Wordnik is likely to become the Google of Words: the single-purpose front screen asks you to do just one thing – look for a word. You can’t get simpler than that.

Wordnik's single-focus is on finding the definition of a word.

Wordnik delivers the definitions for the word you search – drawn from live web sources, together with synonyms and hypernyms (similar but more generic words) as well as Lists. Why no Antonyms? You’ll also find Comments and Visuals. That is packing a lot of “finds” in one search. Give it a try!

The end of SPAM?

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

It’s the money, stupid. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? Get the credit card clearance co’s and the banks to stop payments and the SPAM money trail will dry up. A great idea?

A new study by 2 University of California research groups carefully mapped out the registration, hosting and monetization of several spam and scam efforts. What they found wasn’t anything new. We all know that there are countries you can register and host in that turn a blind eye. But what was new was realizing that the whole chain rests on the spammers getting paid for whatever they’re pushing. And that was like a lightbulb? Would it be possible to pressure the banks NOT to clear these questionable transactions?

It is an appealing idea. No doubt fraught with legislative and regulatory issues, cross-border diplomacy and a whole lot more. However, it is “common practice” for the clearing banks to vet and approve individuals and businesses. So why not extend this to vet the spammers food chain?

To read the report “Click Trajectories: End-to-End Analysis of the Spam Value Chain” – a free PDF download –  click here.

Here’s the Abstract from the research report:

Spam-based advertising is a business. While it has engendered both widespread antipathy and a multi-billion dollar anti-spam industry, it continues to exist because it fuels a profitable enterprise. We lack, however, a solid understanding of this enterprise’s full structure, and thus most anti-spam interventions focus on only one facet of the overall spam value chain (e.g., spam filtering, URL blacklisting, site takedown). In this paper we present a holistic analysis that quantifies the full set of resources employed to monetize spam email— including naming, hosting, payment and fulfillment—using extensive measurements of three months of diverse spam data, broad crawling of naming and hosting infrastructures, and over 100 purchases from spam-advertised sites. We relate these resources to the organizations who administer them and then use this data to characterize the relative prospects for defensive interventions at each link in the spam value chain. In particular, we provide the first strong evidence of payment bottlenecks in the spam value chain; 95% of spam-advertised pharmaceutical, replica and software products are monetized using merchant services from just a handful of banks.

Why Customer Satisfaction is No.1

Friday, November 5th, 2010
Andrew Lovatt editor "Why Customer Satisfaction is No.1"

Click above to read full color version online.

The Autumn/Fall issue of Chambers Ireland’s In Business magazine is out. For this issue I wrote a 4-page article focusing on why Customer Satisfaction is No.1. Here’s the intro. (Click on magazine cover pic on right to read the full color magazine online.)

“To really win (customer) loyalty, forget the bells and whistles and just solve their problems,” says an article in the prestigious Harvard Business Review (July-Aug 2010). Andrew Lovatt agrees that problem solving is the Number 1 “satisfier” but argues we shouldn’t overlook the need for good business design and helping customers every step of the way. Customer satisfaction should be the aim. Your reputation hangs on it. If you get it right, you can take it to the bank. What is your website doing for your bottom-line?

Fast and efficient problem-solving should be the Number One goal but it is all about Customer Satisfaction. To achieve this, you will need to sit in the customers‘ seat and test your website as if you were seeking a solution. See if you can use it to solve a set of “customer problems” – whether this is finding the right PDF document to download, filling out a request form or contacting Customer Support. See how long it takes you. Look carefully at the screens and see how “easily and quickly” you can solve the problem. Don’t be surprised if you find the solutions hard to find. Your aim should be to get the solution right in front of your customer as fast as possible.

EFF’s 20th Anniversary Video

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which was founded in 1990 by Mitch Kapor (of Lotus 1-2-3 fame) and John Perry Barlow (the Grateful Dead lyricist and the man who coined the term cyberspace) and other early ‘Net leaders, celebrates 20 years of battling for citizen / netizen rights with a cartoon tribute from Nina Paley – which is funny and painfully true. It fits the brief for EFF. This is what they’re about.

How much surveillance is good for us? EFF (www.eff.org) has battled in the courts and on the airwaves for individual “user rights” from the beginning… and the fight goes on. A worthy group to support too, if you have a few dollars to spare.

I saw John Perry Barlow a few years ago at the IFI, talking about how the internet was no longer free and open. In Ireland we were in the throes of the Net Boom and no one in the audience was interested. Instead they asked him how to sell things online. He must have gone away with a raw impression of uz!

Creativity’s On Design blog

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Woofers by Sander Mulder

For a quick view of some of the best creative ideas in media, you’ll enjoy Creativity’s On Design, part of a suite of blogs celebrating interactive, cross-media and installation design. Go ahead and enjoy poking around – and be aware that not far into exploring you’ll be hit with a well-crafted lightbox pop-up ‘inviting’ you to subscribe for $99. You can ignore and you’ll still get plenty of eye-food for free and some refreshing ideas too.

I fail to understand why Creativity’s main page, which offers the latest campaigns from ad agencies, requires a $99 subscription to view. Seems to be a self-defeating approach. But do check out their “Integrated Production White Paper“, which dis-integrates some of the most productive agencies to see how their departments and their talent execute all manner of new ideas. A bit of a mouthful, but worth the PDF download. Who said getting at new ideas was easy!

How to promote business online

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

I’m editing a new section for Chambers Ireland’s InBusiness Magazine. In the May issue we interview 3 leaders from the SEO, Online PR and Social Media networking world, and asked them to tell it like it is in plain English.

I interviewed Eoin Kennedy of Slattery Communications (online PR and social media networking), Maurice McGee of FreshConsulting (SEO), and Peter Cullen of Interleado (SEO and web metrics) and asked them to explain their expertise in a way that the average non-technical or non-expert person could understand. The result is a very useful guide.

InBusiness May 2010 magazine cover image

See GET CONNECTED pages 52-56

Creating a website and optimising it so that your company, products and services can be quickly and easily found is becoming a standard business procedure. You don’t have to be a big brand to benefit from these same methodologies.

The arrival of Social Media has added to the places where you can promote business and brand online. When done properly, your presence in the Social Media world – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc – can lead to increased visibility with your clients and higher rankings in the search engines. Social Media is also where you get to interact with your clients. It is a perfect venue for clever and smart promotion campaigns.

Your business can benefit from understanding each, and best of all – all three together. Online marketing is no longer a maybe, it is a given. In the coming decade businesses who fail to take it up will find their markets overrun by those who have picked up the challenge and the opportunity.

READ the online edition here or on Chambers Ireland’s website here.

Feedback and ideas are welcome in email here.

Internet Ageism

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Have you noticed how ageist the internet has become over the last few years? Like other pop culture, it seems filled with bright young things – making music, sharing files, bragging on MySpace and Twittering away. We see the same ageism in advertising, film and TV. It’s as if anyone over 30 and older got left behind in the techno dust. On the web it appears to be a young people’s world.

The only problem with this view is that it is entirely false. Oh, it’s true that the advertising agencies are pushing youth – but that’s been going on since the 60’s, across all media. And under 30’s definitely have more disposable income. But the real Dollar Power, Euro Power too, is with those OLDER than 30. Last year an episode of the American TV series “Boston Legal” had great craic, supporting a septagenarian to sue “the networks” for “fair representation” at least equal to their Dollar Power. They claimed over 40% was in the hands of the “oldies”.

We’re likely to see a shift on the web in the next few years. Certainly, it is now important to understand your target age group. So why are so few companies selling the over 30s? What about the Dollar Power in Ireland of the over 50s? It would be interesting to see some research.

Merry Christmas 2009!

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Best wishes to everyone for Christmas, and may 2010 bring us all some peace… and a bit of prosperity.

Getting Your Business Online“Getting Your Business Online” – I’m editing a new series in Chambers Ireland’s InBusiness Magazine. You can read it online – CLICK HERE – and will find it on pages 58-61. Any feedback very welcome. If you would like to contribute or be interviewed for future issues – email me here.

In 2010 we will be covering many of the basic and mid-level problems business people face when trying to get their businesses working and profitable on the web. We will avoid tech-speak and talk plainly, giving best advice and directions.

The aim of the series is to empower business people to take proper control of the content, marketing and success of their business websites – without needing to become a “techie”. The focus is on doing business online.

What’s Hot & What’s Old Hat…

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

After 20 years exploring and working on the internet – from the earliest days of the academic free-thinking Net – we’ve seen so much hype and so many “hot” topics it becomes easier for us to question the validity of many of today’s “next big things”. A few years ago Java was going to rule the world. In coming weeks I hope to review some of the latest “must have – must do” topics, and perhaps unearth the constants. (Some things have always worked and still do, even with a new coat.) We’ll also be looking at some of the simpler ideas that promise new potential.

Your comments are very welcome – please register to avoid our anti-spam system.