Inform Your World

Increase Your Conversions With Effective Internet Marketing

Why WordPress is the Best and RSS Too

Posted by James M. Helms on December 20, 2007

I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to pass on a blog to the wordpress readers that I just read. The blog posting was syndicated through Sphinn and talked highly about WordPress blogs. The Title was “7 Reasons Why WordPress is the Ultimate SEO Tool”. I am not going to reiterate a thing but if you need some reasons to justify your decision to go with a WordPress blog this is a must read.

This brings me to another point. Should I write a good detailed blog sometime about RSS? I know that I have covered RSS in the past but I am not sure how many people are actually using the technology. I have an RSS reader in my email side panel and I seriously keep up to date with dozens (and dozens) of blogs daily. Using RSS may create a lot of “noise” but I really like lots of information. Let me know if there are aspects of RSS that need clarification and I will try to clarify things for you.

Posted in Aggregator, Blog, Blogging, Feed reader, RSS Feeds, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Internet Gold Rush

Posted by James M. Helms on December 19, 2007

I recently watched a program on the California Gold Rush. It was a pretty long drawn out documentary but I couldn’t reach the remote and I didn’t seem to have any real good reasons to get up, so I watched the program. Back in 1849 (oh, the 49ers I get it), gold was thick and easily accessible, people could basically make their fortune in one day because of the untouched waterways that held the sought after metal. Over time word got around that there were riches to be made and people poured into California seeking their fortune. It didn’t take very long before most of the profitable locations were spoken for. Over time workers entering the gold fields banded together for both protection and increased efficiency.
I couldn’t help but immediately draw a likeness to the “internet rush” and a lot of the situations we seemed to be faced with. However, there are just as many differences as there are simularities. Have we reached a point with the internet where all of the profitable spots are taken? Is the internet saturated with big business and does that big business limit small business? I think that in many ways it seems to be so. Unlike the gold rush there is still “gold in them thar hills”. There are many internet startups today and they constantly challenge larger businesses to adapt their practices. There really is endless opportunity and a surplus of realestate available today, it just isn’t on the surface. We don’t have shovels, picks, pans, sluices, and rocker boxes today but we do have tools. What tools do you think are most effective today on the internet? What advantages do small businesses have over large businesses? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Posted in Blog, Business, Commentary, Opportunity | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Google Updates New Analytics Platform

Posted by James M. Helms on December 14, 2007

You may be interested in hearing that Google has released new features with their latest free Analytics package. Back in October Google announced that the new version of its tracking code “ga.js” will be updating with new features. In October it sounded great but today it is actually here.

On November 2nd Google Analytics (GA) announced in-site searching capabilities which basically allow you to track what your users search for within your site. This information can be really valuable. Not only will you see the keywords that brought them there, you will also be able to see their refined needs.

Yesterday even more functionality was released. GA announced the multi-data point graphing feature along with ga.js tracking and availability to new language groups. Learn more by visiting the Google Analytics Blogover at blogspot.com. If you are interested in these additional features contact your webmaster or SEO to let them know that you are interested in converting to the new code.

Posted in Analytics, Google, Keywords, Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Splashcast Gives Media Player Facelift

Posted by James M. Helms on August 30, 2007

It’s true, the Splashcast player has a new look and a great feel. The old player had a lot of functionality but was lacking in a few areas.  Splashcast is a content player that you can embed on websites and blogs. You can subscribe to shows and the shows update automatically through RSS. Additionally, the player allows you to make shows with Audio, Video, Powerpoint, Photos, even documents. These changes are now in effect. In an email recieved from Splashcast they write of these changes:

“In addition to the snazzy new look, here’s a list of new features in the SplashCast player

1. Video, Audio, or Text Comments – For any item in a show, viewers can now record or upload a video or audio comment as well as leave a text comment. When comments are added, you will receive notification via email. When publishing a show from the SplashCast console, you can disable the comment feature if desired. As an added bonus, all the audio and video comments added to your channel will be available by searching the SplashCast console where you can create a “Best of Comments Show” Your viewers will love to have you feature them!

2. Easier item navigation – Whether your show has 3 or 30 items you can now start a show and quickly scroll over the item thumbnails or click a thumbnail to go directly to a particular item.

3. New captions box displays the name of each item in your show. Log in to the SplashCast console to change the names of your items. Because, ya know, “D32165″ as a name is just not that catchy. As always, the player fades away after a few seconds, but if you prefer, you can always close the caption box while navigating through the items if desired.

4. Full Screen button – Right there in the player! No need to create your own “full view” link anymore.

5. Pause/Play button – Pause actually pauses everything now… even background music.

6. Send button – Email friends and family a link directly to your favorite item or to an entire show.

7. Follow Me – Family, friends and fans can now “follow you”. No… these aren’t stalkers. These are people who want to be notified via email whenever you publish a new show. This is for those folks who haven’t caught the RSS fever yet. By clicking the button on bottom right you can access the new “follow me” link.”

If you are interested in seeing the player in action you should check it out at Splashcast. Or click through to my homepage.You can read their own blog post by following this link. In addition to the player they have been gaining momentum with their customized facebook player. For more information you can learn more here.

Posted in Aggregator, Blog, RSS Feeds, Technology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Video Functionality By Splashcast Media

Posted by James M. Helms on July 22, 2007

I would assume that many of you have not heard about Splashcast media.So I wanted to show you guys a simple example of what can be done while using their awesome player. Mixed media is possible with this unit. Documents, PowerPoint’s, photos, audio, rss, you can upload them all. Check it out. After clicking on the screen (activating it) you are able to access all of the shows under the channel guide. There are multiple shows to see too. Either let the player change automatically or find them all by clicking on the arrows in the upper right hand corner. Forget having multiple players all over you page. All shows are accessed through this one display. Pretty cool huh? I need to start adding some of my own content to really personalize it.
[splashcast ZGQJ9736LC RBTF7219TP]

Posted in Blog, Blogging, Feed reader, RSS Feeds, Technology, Video | 1 Comment »

Reader Feedback

Posted by James M. Helms on July 12, 2007

Without a doubt the best part of blogging is getting feedback from readers. I look forward to reading the comments, emails, and surveys that I receive on a frequent basis. Just yesterday I posted a couple different polls on my website and look forward to seeing how well they are received. If you are interested in doing the same check out polldaddy.com it is free and extremely easy to set up with minimal HTML knowledge.

Getting reader feedback is pretty challenging. What makes the task 10 times harder is that readers usually don’t want to be directed away from the site they are currently viewing. If you are able to overcome this obstacle the results of polls and surveys are extremely helpful in understanding the needs of your reader.

The only use of polling that can be incorporated into WordPress is a link to an outside site. This is because WordPress does not permit the use of JavaScript due to it being a potential security issue. I appreciate the concern they have about security and remain hopeful that this obstacle can be resolved soon.

Posted in Blog, Blogging, Business, Marketing, Opportunity, Oregon, Polling, Portland, Survey, Traffic | Leave a Comment »

Target Your Audience, Increase Your Readership

Posted by James M. Helms on July 8, 2007

Who are you targeting when you write your blog? Your blog should target a specific audience. If you don’t know your target then you may miss your mark.

Consider this my second installment about generating traffic and a continuation of my previous post. To again preface my post I must say that all of my results are preliminary and like many of you I am still learning the best ways to generate traffic. My observations should serve as verification of many things you may have noticed on your own.

Blogging in general attracts a wide variety of people. Regardless of where you fit into the blogesphere you benefit in some way (there are many ways people benefit). Each blogger has a message and a motive, what is your motive? If you are unable to understand your motive for blogging than chances are that you do not know who you are targeting either. An identified target audience is the first step in designing and implementing your marketing strategy.

Readers usually don’t read your blog for your benefit. I know that your spouses or family may check out your blog but you can’t expect everyone to love you in the same way. Your target has needs that need to be filled, how can you meet their needs? The unique skill sets that you have are what make you valuable to your audience. Giving your audience resources and specialized insights help them become more successful. If you are able to meet their needs then you build trust. If you are valuable to your audience and they trust you, readership rises and your motives will be rewarded.

Posted in Blog, Blogging, Business, Marketing, Targeting, Traffic | 1 Comment »

Drive Traffic to Your Blog/Website

Posted by James M. Helms on July 7, 2007

I haven’t been blogging very long but I started blogging with a few different purposes in mind. One of those purposes is to practice techniques related to Guerilla Marketing. Matter of fact, most things that I have been doing on the Internet have been experiments in process and strategy. I would like to share some preliminary findings about what techniques have worked best. If you have a blog or website this post may help to reinforce what you have already witnessed.

#1 Never underestimate the value of tagging your posts. A blog post without tags is like a hook without bait. Tags that I have inserted over a week ago are still occasionally being clicked. The tag was either of interest or met a perceived need of the reader. Tags alone are not enough to increase the readership of your site, they just bring in random visitors and traffic from the tags will decline over time.

#2 Posting on other blogs drives traffic to your site. If you post on blogs that pertain to a topic that you write about you may gain return readership. Otherwise you are wasting both their time and your own.

#3 Creating controversy or disagreeing with a post drives traffic to your site, just not the right kind of traffic. It isn’t worth it if you want to grow loyal readership.

#4 Posting comments on websites and blogs with tons of previous comments makes it really hard to differentiate yourself from the crowd. I have seen greater success in targeting sites that have less traffic.

#5 The time of day, even the day that you post really makes an impact on your traffic. Peak readership times, times like early evening, can be more effective than early morning. This of course will have no bearing on return traffic, only increasing traffic. It would probably be best to stay consistant, though this is just an opinion and I do not have any data to back it up.

#6 Detailed titles of your posts are very important, they should draw in your audience. Today I wanted to draw in bloggers and others wanting to drive traffic to their own site. It’s detailed in the title. As a result I would expect to receive over 75% of my traffic from this target demographic alone.

Like I mentioned these are preliminary results and I am constantly learning like a lot of you. If you are interested in hearing more let me know. If you have other insights in addition please let me know. There are many other things to cover here are some related points that I have posted as well:

Target Your Audience Increase Your Readership
What Are Your Readers Searching For?
Reader Feedback

Posted in Business, Marketing, Traffic | 7 Comments »

What’s up with RSS?

Posted by James M. Helms on June 30, 2007

If you are like me, tech challenged, then RSS kind of snuck up and just appeared one day. Recently I was frustrated with my lack of understanding so I decided to do a little snooping. RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” which at face value is pretty ridiculous. If you have seen my website it may be apparent that I can barely script html and CSS, much less learn more acronyms. So, I want to cut to the chase and make it a little simpler for you and me both. After a couple hours of work I pretty much picked up the basics. I will write them down so if I forget I can come back and read about it in the future.

RSS feeds are a tool that we can use. If we compile the feeds in an aggregator the aggregator allows us to receive feed updates on a periodic basis. How does it work? I don’t have a clue; I guess it’s like magic. To make things simple lets just say that RSS allows content to magically appear in an aggregator. Matter of fact lets just call the aggregator a “feed reader” it just reads and displays the feeds that we tell it to. Feed readers are platforms like My Yahoo or Google Reader, the information from the feeds update occasionally without any action on our part. Where can we get feed readers? Just type “feed reader” into Google and there will be about a few million links to check out. After selecting the feed reader that is wanted just customize the page. From the aggregators that I have checked out they all have really simple directions to do so.

For the greater part of my time looking into RSS I was trying to set up an RSS subscription on my blog. If you have a blog and want to set up an RSS feed you can do so easily by going to FeedBurner which was recently purchased by Google. FeedBurner has a free basic service. There are options to buy souped up versions with analytics and extra features. My RSS was simple and free to set up on my blog. I also pasted icons to subscribe to my feed on my website using the “Chicklet Chooser” option.

I personally don’t have a feed reader unless you count the SplashCast slide show. It’s a great tool if you want to use it. I have just never found an application for it yet. I guess I am just more interested in doing other things right now. I suppose that I was blindsided by RSS because I don’t spend my time on the web making my life easier. I just use the web as a tool to learn how to do things myself…many times the hard way.

Posted in Aggregator, Feed reader, FeedBurner, Humor, RSS Feeds, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Where is the Web Taking Us?

Posted by James M. Helms on June 28, 2007

By now a great majority of internet users have heard the term Web 2.0. Some people even know what Web 2.0 is.
If you haven’t quite figured it out run your cursor over this link read it if you want to. Let’s not get caught up on terms, instead we should be determining how technology can help us now and in the future. To begin with, let’s take a look at a few examples of Web 2.0 in use today.

In order to understand what Web 2.0 is go back to the previous link and think about how Wikipedia functions. Users register and compile information on topics that they are experts in. Web 2.0 is a shift in how the internet is used; it is a platform that bridges the gap from an informational silo to a functional website. There are a lot of examples of web 2.0 on the internet. For instance go to the Nike ID website and design your own customized shoe. Or you can go to the Scion website and click on the link to design your own Scion.  There are many examples of Web 2.0 on the internet.

For about a year now we have heard the term Web 3.0 which seems to add to an ever growing muddle of terms. Basically at this stage the term is new enough that it is not fully realized. Though many people are agreeing that it is a first step in artificial intelligence. It will be interesting to see how things begin to pull together. While the web evolves this may be a good time to project ahead and try to determine what the significance will be.

It is apparent that information is valuable and if we have access to endless amounts of information we simply need to know what good information is. Growing up I often heard the term “there are many ways to skin a cat”. With endless amounts of information I guess we just need to know the best way before we even begin looking. I would be interested in hearing your ideas on the evolution of the web.

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Commentary, Opportunity, Technology, Web 2.0, Web 3.0 | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.