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Delivering solid user friendly software solutions since the dawn of time.

Make Opinionated Software 

Your app should take sides

Some people argue software should be agnostic. They say it's arrogant for developers to limit features or ignore feature requests. They say software should always be as flexible as possible.

We think that's bullshit. The best software has a vision. The best software takes sides. When someone uses software, they're not just looking for features, they're looking for an approach. They're looking for a vision. Decide what your vision is and run with it.

And remember, if they don't like your vision there are plenty of other visions out there for people. Don't go chasing people you'll never make happy.

A great example is the original wiki design. Ward Cunningham and friends deliberately stripped the wiki of many features that were considered integral to document collaboration in the past. Instead of attributing each change of the document to a certain person, they removed much of the visual representation of ownership. They made the content ego-less and time-less. They decided it wasn't important who wrote the content or when it was written. And that has made all the difference. This decision fostered a shared sense of community and was a key ingredient in the success of Wikipedia.

Our apps have followed a similar path. They don't try to be all things to all people. They have an attitude. They seek out customers who are actually partners. They speak to people who share our vision. You're either on the bus or off the bus.

copy from: http://gettingreal.37signals.com

How to increase traffic to your site 

Categories: Leads

Include viral marketing techniques

  • Virtual postcards a good way to get people to send more people to your web site
  • Word of mouth, such as “Tell a friend,” “Send this coupon to a friend,” or “Recommend this to a friend”
  • “Tell a Friend” button; under articles or press releases: “E-mail this article to a friend” button
  • Pass it on, when we receive an e-book, cool tool, or funny video, and then forward it to friends 
  • Product or service based, when a free tool is used online and that tool includes an embedded marketing message, such as Hotmail.

Sign-up

  • Get as many visitors as possible to give you their e-mail address and permission to be included in your mailings - do this by having numerous ways for your visitors to sign up to receive newsletters, "what's new", notices of changes to your Web site, coupons, or new giveaways.
  • Loyalty among visitors-do this by having a members - only section of your Web site that has special offers for them as well as discounts or freebies.

Recurring events

  • Create “stickiness” - daily advice column, "what's new" (should be accessible from your home page), descriptions of your many products, a discussion forum with constantly changing interesting conversations relative to yourproducts, a news section that is updated daily, as well as a weekly contest that site visitors can enter.
  • Providing a Tip of the Day to Encourage Repeat Visits - they can be from one sentence to one paragraph long - Encourage people to send the tip to a friend.

Freebies & product samples

  • Giving things away is a great way to increase traffic - if you give something different away each week, you are sure to have a steady stream of repeat traffic (to find these listings of free stuff, simply go to a search engine and do a search on “Free Stuff Index” or “Free Stuff Links”) -tTry to have your logo and URL displayed on the item. “We change our free offer every single week! Keep checking back” or “Click here to be notified by e-mail when we update” also works well. "Tell a friend".
  • Samples of your product/service - ask the people who received a sample what they thought of it, if they had any problems, and if they have any questions. Direct the samplers back to your Web site for more information and discounts on purchasing the regular version of the product plus ask for their emails to be notified about more samples.

Coupons

  • If people liked the sample, give them a coupon to purchase the regular version at a discount. If they like the regular version, they may purchase it again at full price or recommend the product to a friend - email for updates. Coupons provide ideal viral marketing opportunities—for example,“Send this coupon to a friend.” CoolSavings.com is an online coupon network where businesses can advertise and place coupons for their products and services

Promotions

  • You might consider having a special promotions section on your Web site. Click here if you’d like to be notified when we update” or “Click here to receive our e-specials weekly".

Calendar

  • A comprehensive, current calendar of events related to your company or your industry can encourage repeat visits. ask people if they’d like to be notified via e-mail when you update your calendar of events.

Contests & Gamification

  • Contests and competitions are great traffic builders. It is also a great way to find out about your target market by requesting information on the entry form. Not too many questions!
  • Having your own Site of the Day or Site of the Week listing means a great deal of work, searching the Internet for a cool site to add or looking through all the submissions.
  • You can host anything from a Star Wars trivia contest to having guests play an interactive game with other visitors. Allow visitors an easy way to “Tell a friend” about your game.

Employment opportunities

  • Creating Useful Links from Your Site - Place them down a level or two after the visitors have seen all the information you want them to see before you provide the links away from your site. Try exchanging links with others so you receive a link from their site to your site. As long as the links are of value to your visitors, people will come back to see if you have found any new and interesting sites for them to visit. - notification on updates of links list

Chat

  • If you have a chat forum on your site, make sure that the topic relates to your business and that participants are likely to be your target market. To encourage repeat visitors, you could change the topic from day to day or week to week, invite famous people (You should try to post the topics of the discussions at least a week in advance).

Reminders

  • Display “Bookmark me now!” or “Bookmark Us!” call to action, nine times out of ten you will at least consider it.
  • Sending reminders about important dates or events related to our service. 

Surveys

  • Inviting Visitors to Contribute with Surveys - For people to want to fill out the survey and see the results, the survey topic must be interesting. To encourage input, consider having the survey results available to participants only. Your surveys should be short and to the point. Let people know why you are asking them to do the survey and when the deadline is. Make your questions clear and concise. The responses should be Yes/No or multiple choice. When reporting the results, don’t just put them on your Web page; post the results to newsgroups and mailing lists that would be interested.

Hapiness

  • Keep Them Happy with Cartoons & Jokes
  • Benefiting from Humor with Jokes and Trivia - People enjoy trivia, or a Thought of the Day - make sure that whatever you include as content on your Web site is appropriate given your objectives and target market. The Daily Motivator allows you to sign up to receive your daily motivation via e-mail and also encourages others to put the Daily Motivator on their sites; Women.com has a joke of the day that you can view on-line.

Advice column

Testimonials

  • If you are marketing a service online, it is difficult to visually depict what your service is all about - include a page on your site that lists testimonials from well-known customers.

Site design & maintenance

  • Avoid “Under Construction” pages on your site; they are of no value to the visitor - When you have information, post it; until then, don’t mention it.
  • Include security information - explain to your customers when transactions or exchanges of information on your Web site are secure.
  • Almost 80 percent of Web users scan text online as opposed to actually reading it - make your key points quickly and succinctly; use lots of bulleted lists, headers, and horizontal rules to create visual breaks in the content. This keeps visitors interested; if they are faced with huge blocks of text, most visitors are overwhelmed by the quantity of the information and are too intimidated to read your message.
  • Never have dead ends where viewers scroll down a screen or two of information only to find that they must scroll all the way back to the top to move on (because you have no links at the bottom of the page).
  • Your visitors should be able to get anywhere they want to go on your site in three clicks or fewer.
  • Font types, headers, footers, navigational bars, buttons, bullets, colors, and so on, should be consistent throughout the site to maintain a polished, professional look.

So, did you check out CoolSavings ? 

Facebook Platform Overview 

Categories: Facebook Notes

by Yasser Shohoud

http://facebook.com/shohoudy

http://developers.facebook.com/socialdesign/

  • Community: people we know and trust
  • Conversations: help people get in contact
  • Identity: how each user wants to be seen, express themselves

Social graph and social channels
Graph API & FQL, Authentication & Permissions, Dialogs, Social Plugins
Applications: Pages, Page Tabs, Canvas, Web Sites, Mobile, Desktop & Devices

The social graph

Edges: play, like, friends, read, checkin, connect, use

Pages

  • Presence of your brand
  • Apps can be surfaced as page tabs
  • Website presence, Canvas app experience, Page tab experience

Social Plugins

  • like button 
  • activity feed
  • comments
  • recommendations
  • like box
  • registration
  • facepile
  • live stream
  • login button 
  • send button

Dialogs

  • feed dialog: post to timeline or friends timeline
  • send dialog
  • request dialog

Meta Data

Add javascript SDK to your page

  • When using the feed dialog, you do not need to request permissions.
  • So if possible always use this instead of the api.

Graph API

Authentication
https://developers.facebook.com/docs/authentication

Access objects using their ID as the first path component /object_id

?ids=cocacola,pepsi
?ids=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117500
/me
/me?metadata=1

Access a connection by specifying it as the second path component
/notes is a collection of note objects

Limiting results and paging

?fields=id,name,location
?limit=3
?offset=100
?offset=100&limit=50
?since=1320105600&until=1320192000

Creating objects
POST to /me/events with event parameters

https://developers.facebook.com/tools/explorer

Batching API Calls
https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/api/batch/

Real-Time Updates

  • Get pings from Facebook when specific data changes
  • You get just the changed fields, not the changes
  • Every 5 seconds/1000 changes
  • You set up an endpoint to receive pings
  • You call /app_id/subscriptions to create/update/delete subscriptions
  • https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/api/realtime/

Facebook Query Language (FQL)

/fql?q=SELECT name FROM user WHERE uid=574937872

/fql?q=SELECT uid,name,pic_square FROM user WHERE uid = me()
OR uid IN (SELECT uid2 FROM friend WHERE uid1 = me())

/fql?q={"query1":"SELECT uid,rsvp_status FROM event_member WHERE
eid=12345678","query2":"SELECT name,url,pic FROM profile WHERE id IN
(SELECT uid FROM #query1)"}

Dates

  • Returned in ISO-8601 (2011-11-17T18:00:16+0000)
  • Can specify a date_format following php date function
  • http://php.net/manual/en/function.date.php
  • eg. date_format=U for Unix dates 1321552816
  • eg. date_format=r for Thu, 17 Nov 2011 18:00:16+0000
  • Default graph api timezone is UTC
  • Default fql timezone is PST -> UTC-8

More

Solid Tests: https://solid.fbdublin.com
Forums: htttp://facebook.stackoverflow.com
Bugs: https://developers.facebook.com/bugs
Roadmap: https://developers.facebook.com/roadmap

Google+ for Business - Notes 

Categories: Google+ Notes

by Jesse Stay

  • Hangouts will give more humanity to your business

Why Google+?

  • Social layer on top of all google products, not a social network.
  • Google calls it their social spine/glue.
  • Follow people on the stream that are related to your keywords.
  • Your tagline is included in the search results of Google, so important for your keywords.
  • Target towards people, not the brand ! (people, content, places)
  • Google+ page (no touch policy) vs Google profile.

What to do?

  • Focus on building your personal page first and then promote your page after this.
  • Segment your audience, especially influencers. And target them with specific content.
  • Use people to point to the brand (make a person represent the service) eg. Dell Computers
  • Schedule Hangouts and broadcasts to create followers.

Page Analytics on your profile.

To know what kind of posts your people are interesting in. And at what time they read it.

Direct Connect and +1 Badges for your website, so you have +1 buttons in the search.
http://google.com/+/business/

Hangouts Videochats

  • eg. Michael Dell, Scott Jarvie, DJ Kaskade
  • Up to 10 people in one chat room.
  • There is an api that allows you to hangout extentions.
  • Crash other peoples hangouts, especially if you have lots of fans.

Google+ and Search

  • Also use plus.google.com
  • Search people and pages.
  • Search Google+ Hangouts

Trending terms and search

  • Real time, rich content 
  • If you type into a trending, it will pop-up in this stream.
  • People see their search bubble, so you need a way in. Circle lots of people.
  • rel="author" tags to google+ profile will rank your article higher.
  • Authority is greater then recency and other facters!
  • Google "Search Plus Your World"
  • Add plus1 button to your site.

Customize + Snippet

  • Inserting rich data that Google+ will show on sharing
  • schema.org
  • You can put this in the body or in the head.

Adding an author

  • <a href="your google link" rel="author">same name as profile</a>
  • and add site to your profile

Utilize badges and +1 buttons

Google+ Hangouts API

Google+ Developer API (and limits)

plus.google.com Tools

  • Tools that allow multiple social posts:
  • hootsuite 
  • hearsay social
  • vitrue
  • involver
  • chrome extensions: reformatting interface, cross posting, ...

Books to read:

  • How to win friends and influence people - Dale Breckenridge Carnegie
  • Enchantment - Guy Kawasaki

Adwords optimizations 

Categories: AdWords
  1. Keywords vs Conversion
  2. Ctr and visits vs Bounce
  3. Stronger CTA on high bounce rate landing pages
  4. Dropoff vs Browser
  5. Target high conversion regions
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