Web 3.0

I mentioned yesterday that I had a chance to speak with Mike Kowalchik of Grazr and that started me thinking about the changing face of the web. This goes right along with a post of Steve Rubel’s regarding Yahoo no longer putting feeds on major pages. RSS is a way to get through content faster – it removes some of the friction in an already nearly frictionless environment. The only problem is that we are now drowning in information – the web is being crushed under its own weight. A tool like Grazr allows readers to skip unchanged page views that would normally bear advertising messages. Once you are hooked on RSS feeds your surfing time decreases. This is a disruptive force. I’m beginning to think that the missing link is an RSS killer app. With a program that folks on the far side of the chasm would adopt (something beyond a propellor-head newsreader), a program that makes RSS completely seamless, we will see something completely new. While Grazr may look like a widget on the surface, I think it may be the first look at something completely...

Integrating Salesforce.com with Google Adwords...

A stumbling block on the path to the holy land today, the code snippet we need to integrate SF.com with our Google Adwords campaign conflicts with some existing javascript we have on our custom web-to-lead forms. As I have no Perl skills to speak of beyond the “cut and paste somebody else’s stuff and pray it works” I’ve had to call in some bigger guns, i.e. Salesforce support level two and our own Ronin Coder. Perhaps there will be more luck tomorrow… On the plus side, Joel delivered the web traffic...

Joel Digs AccuRev

A great surprise for me this morning forwarded by Chicago Mike : AccuRev has made the homepage of Joel on Software. This should be an interesting day as far as web...

What a 21st Century Record Label Looks Like...

I attended the WebInno event tonight over at the Royal Sonesta just across the river from Boston in Cambridge. Besides getting a chance to catch up with Andrew Bourland and Christopher Carleton, I got to see some interesting new web apps. I geeked out on RSS and OPML with Mike Kowalchik of Grazr, but that stretched my brain too far and now I have to process that for a day or two before talking about it. The other main course was Calabash Music which was demoed by Brad Powell. They focus on World Music, and the interesting thing was that they have a mini player that bands can host on their own site which has both a playlist and integrated purchasing mechanism. You can listen to the tunes, and click to purchase the track. He mentioned that they already have a deal going with National Geographic (who hosts their podcasts with LibSyn). Very cool stuff, sort of a CD Baby without the CDs. Is this the record label of...

Where to check out new Web Stuff in Boston...

I found out about the Web Innovators Group through Brian Owen of Masthead Venture Partners at the Nantucket Conference back in the spring. The latest meeting is tonight so I’ll fill you in on anything cool. If you are in the Boston area just go over to their Wiki and sign up. I may even grab some audio for The M...

Email is as dead as direct mail...

That is – not dead at all. Today was a big email day for me sending out two blasts. I’m currently using ConstantContact which is the best value for the price – free to start and not expensive after that. I’ve used ExactTarget, which is a great product (and perhaps in my future due to integration with Salesforce.com), and in fact Chris Baggott from over there is coming out with a book next year and if some of my pieces make the editoral cut I’ll be published there. Contrary to what you may hear, email is very much alive, just as is direct mail as I can tell from the 35 catalogs that have come in through the mailslot at home in the past week. Perhaps no longer the silver bullet, these tactics still deliver. ConstantContact has some benchmark figures across the service that are interesting: Global Bounces are at 18.3% (although probably understated since I get some Out of Office messages direct to me), opens at 37%, and clicks at 8.9%. I do better on bounces, lower on opens, and much better on clicks. My personal mailing list (for The M Show, listen now!) has under 1,000 names but performs at a level of magnitude much greater (9x cleaner 4x clicks). This is quite normal for smaller lists, I have more stats on that but I’m not going to dig that up now, leave me a comment if you want...

Browse Fonts, Preview Fonts, Manage Fonts, Ahhhh...

I’ve spent the past 5 years looking for a font browser. Like any other Ronin Marketeer, I have a portable hard drive of digital tools that I’ve gathered. It includes some insane amount of fonts now over 10,000. Yesterday I again hit a point where I was so frustrated that I decided to take a time out to see if there were any tools out there. I found Suitcase by Extensis. This gift from the gods allows you to grab a folder and it will build a library, complete with samples to view of all the fonts in the subfolders. I’m doing the 30-day trial but unless it does something ridiculuous I’ll be a new customer in no...

SalesForce.com One Click Login...

Ok, this is not a best practice – it’s more of a security risk, but if you are in and out of SalesForce.com this will save you a lot of hassle. Here’s the link to setup on your desktop or toolbar: https://www.salesforce.com/login.jsp?pw=[password]&un=[username with %40 instead of @] for example, if your email was bob@bob.com your username would be bob%40bob.com Please promise me that if you are going to use this that you will at least set up your laptop with a password at login so that when you lose it at the airport you’ve not giving away the keys to the kingdom. In other news we are testing the SalesForce and Google AdWords integration. It’s not working. Something about 2 conflicting forms on the same page. A surprise project for this...

What is The Google OneBox...

I have been watching the Google OneBox and there was an article about it in today’s Search Engine Watch. I’d give a direct link but it’s a paid subscription service (and well worth it). The OneBox is the space above the first entry of organic results (results on the left side of the screen). A couple of months ago I started noticing paid ads show up there and now they are putting maps, movie times, and book recommendations up there. My gut tells me we’ll probably see video up there very soon too. One weird thing – it only appears to show up the first time, if you refresh a page you are on it’s gone. In other big news I got notice that SalesForce.com is getting scheduled maintenence around Jan. 15 to get the first ’07 upgrade. This will have integrated Google paid search, but you can get that already if you dig for it. Shoutouts to Christopher Penn for his ninja search info and Bryan Person for helping me get the feeds...

M Show Sunday

It’s Sunday and that means The M Show gets recorded… A very slow week with the Thanksgiving holiday here in the states, but a few intersting things like the OJ project being scuttled and a statement that The Boston Globe is not for sale. Steve Rubel had an interesting post on widgets – components that designers can add to webpages. Relevant as I contine with my initiation into WordPress… Take a listen on Monday...