James Royal-Lawson


11 Articles worth reading… (Spotted: Week 50-52, 2010)

Generations 2010: What different generations do online

Useful chart from Pew Internet showing how the spread of Internet activities varies across six different generations. One thing I find particularly interesting (mainly as I wrote about this in my december newsletter) is how virtual worlds are the least common activity across all ages. Equally as interesting is that email and search are the top activities across the entire age span. Isn’t email supposed to be dying?

College Students on the Web

Yet another excellent Alertbox study. Myth busting or opinion confirming – for me it’s mainly confirms what I’ve seen and already believed. One of the critical things here is that this behaviour is almost certainly going to follow with them into their working lives.

Your Website Only Needs One Social Share Button

As usual, it depends on your audience. A lot of sites would benefit from having a share button for one service (eg Facebook or Twitter) rather than several. One of the more interesting points raised here is one of: above the fold or below the fold. Placing the button above the fold is an advert, placing it below the fold is a call-to-share. Having both, for one service, would a good balance.

User Expectations with Mobile Apps – Catching up with EffectiveUI

What have we let happen as an industry when 73% of mobile app users say they expect a company’s mobile app to be easier to use than its website? We’ve created a world with complicated, cluttered, unusable, inaccessable, desktop web sites. All hail the mobile web if it continues to turn that oil-tanker around.

The Anatomy of a Perfect Landing Page

Despite it’s lack of references and supporting research, this is a good guide and reminder of how you should build landing pages – dare to be focused!

Wireframes are dead, long live rapid prototyping

I’ve never been a big fan of detailed wireframes – this article gives some of the reasons – I do though like sketching (often using “wireframes”) and then prototyping (and prototyping can take a number of different forms) with functional (and design) requirements/prerequisites naturally part of that early process. One size doesn’t fit all though…

7 YouTube Marketing Facts you Need to Understand

Another great guide from Jesper – and i’m not saying that just because of number 7 on his list! This guide isn’t limited to marketing facts, it’s really an A-Z guide taking you from the initial strategy decision through to page management.

The State of the Blogosphere 2010

Brian Solis gives this year’s round up of the state of the blogosphere. Creation in the form of blogging lives on, but curation is playing an increasingly important role and expect more services catering for curators to pop up during 2011.

Industry Voices make 2011 predictions

Some content management industry expert predictions for 2011. They are spot on with most of the trends, but i’ll reserve judgement on how much those trends develop during 2011. Some of them I really do hope take off…

5 tips for a great intranet strategy

You could snobbily say that Mark is stating the obvious regarding intranet strategy – but despite many of us knowing that this is what you should be doing, it still doesn’t get done. 5 tips filled with wisdom from British Telecom’s intranet manager Mark Morrell.

Planning for Collaboration in a Growing Business

If you plan to grow, then make sure you plan for collaboration early. This is the same advice for many of the (digital) aspects of a small business. It doesn’t take much extra effort to plan things early on so that they will scale much easier if (and when) you grow.

5 Valuable takes from Airlines use of Facebook – the “snow fog story”

Second featured article from Jesper this week, who is supposed to be on his way to Texas for a Christmas break. He was mixed up in the whole pre-Christmas transport weather thing – it has though given him a great opportunity to gather some Facebook insights regarding customer service in crisis situations based on personal experience.

Introducing: The Beantin Beta Blog

As part of my work as a web consultant most days I end up investigating, testing, playing, learnng or reminding myself about some web related thing or another. On many occasion I’ve wanted to let you in on those little journeys and even though I do, 140 characters isn’t always enough, and a detailed blog post is overkill.

Screenshot of The Beantin Beta Blog

I needed somewhere a little less formal, more tips, and less opinion – so the Beantin Beta Blog was born.

Your own, personal, webmaster

My hope is that this additional blog will be the blog of the webmaster who is sitting by your side. The beta blog is going to be raw, possibly even wrong at times, but useful. It will hopefully have a similar mix of technical and non-techncial as this blog, although i’m not promising anything. So those of you who are a little less technical, hold tight just in case.

Beantin Manifesto

It will also help me keep the promise of my (soon to be published) Beantin manifesto – Increase openness, share knowledge, and help horizontally link the numerous skills needed to do web stuff and to do it well.

Swedish blogging statistics

In November 2009, the World Internet Institute released their yearly report (in Swedish) about Swedish internet use. It covers a wide spectrum of internet use, from file-sharing through to communities, and of course – blogs.

Swedish Blogging

In the section entitled “Communication with blogs and communities” (Kommunikation med bloggar och communities) the report says that in 2009, 5% of the Swedish population (over the age of 16) are active bloggers (and just as many have at some point write a blog but aren’t currently active). Additionally, blogging is not an Internet activity that is evenly spread across the population. The most active age group is 16-25 year olds, and even more active are females within that age group.

Reading of blogs

37% of the population read blogs. 60% within the 16-25 age group. So even though a relatively small percentage are actively producing blog content, a much broader audience read (and respond) to that content. The most active group, women between 16-25, contains 39% who write or have written a blog, and 69% who read blogs. As a communication channel to that age group, blogs have an undeniable reach.

Graph showing how often different age groups read blogs

What do Swedes blog about?

The vast majority of blogs are about people’s daily lives – 64%. 26% of Swedish blogs have a specific theme, such as a hobby, photography, music, etc. A smaller percentage of blogs, 6%, are work related. Political blogs, or more specifically blogs where people express their opinions about current affairs or recent topics, similarly account for 6% of blogs.

Doubled in two years

Compared with the 2007 WII report, the percentage of the population blogging has doubled (from 3% to 6%). Whilst this percentage is still only small, blogs in Sweden hold an increasingly important position as a communication medium.

For your reading pleasure (week 4, 2010)

Common and real concerns about intranet micro-blogging

Oscar de-bunks, with the help of some sociology and communication theory, a few of the most commonly aired concerns regarding the using of micro-blogging as an intranet tool

Top 5 Misconceptions about How Social Media traffic Converts

Jesper helps explain how social media is not a direct sales channel that converts instantly, instead it’s part of your wider, long term, distributed web presence.

Survey Results: Impact of Blogging on Search Engine Optimization

Lots of interesting quotes and stats in this survey summary. Not just blogs, but regularly publishing & promoting relevant content has a “direct” impact on SEO.

Should a Blog or Twitter be Your Social Media Hub?

As I wrote in the comments of this post, I think it’s possible to switch out “social media efforts” for “distributed web presence” in what Jason Baer says.

5 Ways to find out if an SEO is lying to you

There’s a lot of money being spent ineffectively on SEO by misinformed and under-informed website owners. This post gives 5 useful “oh oh” signs to look for.

Led by Facebook, Twitter, Global Time Spent on Social Media Sites up 82% Year over Year

The way in which we consume the Internet is continuing to evolve. Be careful with the table at the end of the article, Australia is top – but they only surveyed 10 countries.

Blog comments using Twitter

Tumblr doesn’t have a comments function (although it does have Answers). Why should it? it’s a tumblelog; a form micro-blogging. Lengthy discussion sections on the page are not really suited to the concept. But at the same time, people like to comment and discuss – to engage in the conversation.

In recent times we’ve seen a shift of comments away from the blog sites themselves and over to social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Today I was inspired by Faruk Ateş’s blog post The killing of the comments to add the possibility to my Tumblr site for readers to leave and read comments using Twitter. Afterall, the conversation (should there by any) is already there so why re-invent the wheel when it’s already been re-invented?

Update: 2010-01-07

After Twitter reduced the availability of tweets via to 7 days, the Twitter comment feature describe above became less useful. I’ve now switched to using Typepad Connect integrated with Tumblr.

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