Monday, June 09, 2008

Telegraph Digging well

Just noticed how often the Telegraph gets linked on the front page of Digg. I then had a look at the network of submitters and Diggers. It's definitely a systematic campaign.

I wonder if they pay someone full time for this or if they have other stuff to do? It's probably marginally worth the cash based on back of beer mat calculations.


Politics & the Internet

A few observations:
Obama works with a Facebook early stage employee:
  • raises a shit load of cash by going for the long tail of contributors
  • engages with Twitter, Facebook et al
  • owns the Digg front page
Sarkozy works with Loic Le Meur.

So, what influence will the Internet have on the next UK election. Please tell me someone in the incumbent parties has been watching and knows that the hell they are doing (and this doesn't count).

BView offers £10 Amazon voucher for every 20 reviews

We @ BView ran a competition where the reviewer with the most number of reviews during the April/May period won a trip to Barcelona and £500 in spending cash. It worked well and a competitive streak came out in a lot of our members.

Trouble was we could only have 1 winner so the people that missed out by a couple of reviews lost out a wee bit. So we've decided to trial rewarding every reviewer for every 20 reviews with a £10 voucher. You can roll them up and can earn up to £50/month.

Anyway, read more here.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Twitter: would you pay for but they should (depending on who you are)

I read (and commented) on a post by Jason Calacanis who proposed that super Users of Twitter pay $20/month (or some other fee) or the use of the system.

My point was that the eventual end cost of most messaging utilities is zero and that if a charge was introduced then this would merely force a competitor with no uptime or scaling issues to enter and allow easy transfer of contacts.

A friend started me down a different track. His thinking is: Twitter needs it's top Users more than they need it:

In the last 7 days received about 5,000 visits/day. The site does not give feedburner stats and I am not sure if he is part of a RSS package which boosts subscribers. He has 27,000 followers on Twitter. What's hard to gauge is the traffic driving between the two.

My point here is: who needs who more? If you remove the top 50 Users from Twitter does Twitter not actually collapse? How many people joined/maintain their existence on the site because of a web personality (Calacanis/Scoble/Arrington)?

So, should Twitter be charging heavy Users for a clean cluster to support them or should Twitter be moving these Twittstars already and write it off as a marketing cost?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Geek Dinner

I went to a geek dinner last night even though I'm not sure I count. There was a broad spectrum of people from Google java developers to Craig, a .net guy, who is working in the mining industry.

(Craig Murhpy's Flickr page) (hey - I didn't know they were based in London) gave a talk on their history which is a nice little story. They're now doing ~30,000,000 cards printed per year which, at £10/100, is a turnover of £3m on cards alone before other products are taken into consideration. They also state their gross margin is 70% so I guess they are approaching (if not already at) profitability.

The one thing that struck me about them as bunch was the team dynamic where everyone could answer a question and there seemed to be no strict hierarchy which is the way it should be.

I also bumped into Alex from SmallBizPod.

Review of Thaismile Restaurant where the event was held.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Twitter and and micro blogging eats itself

How many Twitter messages are:

Twittering on @Twitter


I do like these services even if I don't have enough time to constantly play ball. I'll pick it up for a while and then drop it again.

Anyway, as my wife is expecting our next girl in around a month I loved this which then made me thing of this.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Google kicks in

Just beginning to see some huge growth in Users of BView off the back of better Google listings producing long tail search results.

We produced a XML site map for launch which was frowned upon by a couple of of SEOs I know. The argument here is that SEO activities are harder to monitor because there is no direct correlation between a page being in the index and effort applied to get it there via internal links while the traffic boost is non-existent.

I think this is subjective as we have been able to monitor how Google is crawling pretty accurately. Now that we have some examples of content hubs and crawl pathways we will try to be a bot more selective in what is returned in results because some of our pages provide a better User experience than others and we want to provide great search results every time via Google as it can only help us.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Product priority

The basics of product prioritisation:

1. Everything should have a number one priority
(it's clearly part of our core proposition)

2. Everything should be done in the next release
(it's because you are not planning and coding properly)

3. The planned release can always be disrupted for the latest big idea
(we just can't wait another 20 days to properly plan, build, test and deliver it)

4. Everyone else's ideas are ridiculous
(i.e. let's not build them)

Basics of post-release analysis:

1. That was my idea first
(it's not my problem you can't remember me suggesting it)

2. What idiot thought of this?
(I hope they've forgotten it was me)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Website that should use RSS but never will

I go to the national rail website and perform searches for my next train home all the time. It is an annoying interface and I don't like it. The URL is not paramaterised so I can't bookmark it. I want a RSS feed that I can instantly see my next train.

What is interesting and how much of it to display

When we built BView we thought "hey let's make the site social and tell people what is else is going on" so we built little widgets of content that pull out local people, reviews etc. Of course we were not the first (or the last) however I've come round to thinking that when including content it must either be directly relevant or it should be just a flow of activity.

An example of this is local people. It's nice to show local people but it is nicer is to show people that do things the same as me (based on some kind of relevance rating). Local reviews is good but I want more than that...I want latest reviews in the area, I want who wrote them, I want edits, comments, essentially anything that might spark my interest.

I love what Brightkite has done in this area and I am working on making something better.