James Royal-Lawson


For your reading pleasure… (week 9, 2010)

5 intranet trends for business managers in 2010

Janus lists 5 trends: metrics, mobility, social, task-based, usability. The same 5 equally apply to any web-based activity, not just intranets…

Is collaboration enough to connect-the-dots?

Some good solid advice on what components are needed to make collaboration capable of “joining the dots”. I’d add a 5th component to the list in the post – Low barrier to use. The easier it is to jump in, the more likely both people and content will be there. If it’s too awkward, complicated, or forced, then the other 4 components are going to under-deliver.

Every CMS fails and what you can do about it

Your content management system facilitates your publishing processes. That process changes over time, but not your CMS resulting in it’s ultimate failure as a tool. Three good bits of advice towards the end should you realise and accept the fact that your CMS is going to fail you.

Google’s SEO Report Card

Google did an internal assessment of 100 of their product pages against a whole load of SEO related criteria. Initially this was just an internal document, but Google have had the wisdom to realise this gem of a document to the big wide world. More interesting than Google’s own poor score for some criteria, the criteria themselves.

A Wiki of Social Media Monitoring Solutions

At the time of writing this wiki page listed 130 different social media monitoring tools, both free and paid. One to bookmark.

For your reading pleasure… (week 7, 2010)

Study: Ages of social network users

Compiled using estimated data dragged out of Google Ad Planner rather than a survey of actual users. Nevertheless it’s an interesting post and although the specific figures should be used with care, general comparisons and trends can be noted.

3 Models That Will Guide Your Brand Into The Social Media Landscape

Another article to file in your collection of resources. Johan has produced a thoughtful guide which is seriously useful for any organisation thinking of diving in to social media.

Social Media Optimization: SMO is the New SEO – Part 1

The term SMO is popping up increasingly often as thought-leaders and search-gurus start to learn, realise, and understand how to tweak your social media efforts.

Using a Pre-Launch Checklist for your Website

Our web-world would be a better place if more web project managers made better use of check-lists. This checklist by Smashing Magazine is a resource to bookmark and build upon.

Google’s Enterprise and Mobile Plans: Killer Buzz or Buzzkill?

A look into Google Buzz and it’s possible uses within businesses. Google needs to get Buzz launched for Google Apps before anything serious can happen though.

Custom variables are frosting on your web analytics cake

Some good ideas and recommendations as to what you could measure using custom variables within Google Analytics.

For your reading pleasure (week 5, 2010)

Your business blog needs to be written for children

Most business websites are unreadable. You don’t need to “dumb down” your content, you just need to make it readable

Tax on What? Taxonomy on the Intranet

Oliver talks us through how an intranet folksonomy and taxonomy can work together. Combining their respective strengths can compensate for the other’s deficiencies

Recruiters really care about your online reputation even if you don’t

The information about you that is discoverable online is a potential time bomb for many. Once something is out there, it’s not always straight forward to wipe it away.

Google Economist Explains Why You Won’t Pay For Online News

Graham argues, backed up by search data, that reading the news online is a work-time activity, and that workers reading news as a distraction from other tasks won’t be prepared to pay for it.

Confessions from an Annoyed yet Modern SEO

Another week, another good post from Jesper. The days of the fast lane to SEO optimisation have passed. You need good content, good analytics, and a good understanding of what your target audience wants.

Using the hReview Microformat for your Review Pages

Google will be using on-site microformats increasingly often to produce rich snippets in search result pages. This is a great walk-through for those wanting to implement the hReview microformat for reviews on their site.

Who cares what language you use?

Your web site is written in Swedish, but hosted in Germany, and uses a international TLD. How do you tell all the search engines what they need to know about the language and targeted country for you site?

Unfortunately, as you probably guessed, All the major search engines deal with this issue slightly differently. Which means you, as a web manager, need to keep your fingers crossed even if you do follow the appropriate web standards.


Google ignores, for ranking purposes, most of the meta data tags on a web page, including the language meta tag. At the time of writing, Google only takes note of 7 specific meta tags.

If you have a country-neutral top level domain (such as .com) then you need to geo-target your website within Google webmaster tools.


In contrast to Google, Bing does use a number of meta tags when indexing pages.
One of those tags is the Content-language meta tag. Without a Content-language meta tag, Bing presumes that the geo-located IP address of your web-host provider is the country you are targeting your site towards. So if your site is hosted in a different country, you need the language meta tag to correct this.


Yahoo isn’t as straight talking as Google and Bing. They say they do look at the Content-language meta tag, but that they don’t always trust it. Which isn’t the most concrete answer to the question: How to Correct the Default Language Which Yahoo! Search Detects for Your Site.

Web standards

The best you can do as a web manager is to make sure that all of your pages follow three web standards: Doctype, <html> lang attribute, and the content-language meta tag. If all your pages make correct use of these components of your markup, then not only do you help certain search engines correctly assess the language of your content, but you also make your site more accessable to visitors using screen readers.


Some people get confused about the doctype declaration at the very start of your markup. You should never change the language of the doctype to reflext the content of your page. The language indicated in the doctype declaration is always the language the DTD is written in.

Lang attribute

Setting the lang attribute of the <html> tag in your markup is important from an accessability and web standards viewpoint. It is, for example, the lang attribute that ensures that screen readers read your content in the correct language.

Remember to always add the lang attribute to any tags that surround content in your markup that differs in language from the language that you declared in the <html> tag.

Content-language Meta tag

Finnally, the language meta tag which Bing uses and Yahoo kind of uses. Make sure you place the meta tag in the <head> section of your page. Make sure you choose the correct ISO region and language combination.

Here is an example in XHTML for British English.

<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-gb" />

is a freelance web manager and strategist based in Stockholm Sweden.

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.

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