More on Twitter or Twitterature

I have a real issue with Twitter in the respect that it’s hyped as ‘the next big thing’. This ‘other’ next big thing is without a sustainable (or any) business model, cash or purpose, bar celebrity voyeurism. This week has shown the application to be multi faceted. On one hand the world was kept abreast of activities in Iraq through the site. On the other, we had femme fatales spewing more bile about each other via the site too: Whilst its ability to inform the world in real time has to be applauded, I feel that it is increasingly becoming the preserve of ‘the shallow end of the gene pool’. But the race to the bottom has really begun. Two freshman students have managed to sell the book rights to Twitterature.  A new book with a mission in life to distil the worlds greats literary works – into ‘Twenty Tweets or Less’. And, in my humble opinion, that about sums up the site – inane. They profess at the book will be: the birthday, Christmas, Hanukah, and 4th of July gift for every hip young person between the ages of 18 and 35 in this country Perhaps someone in Penguin Books,…


Blogs and some simple SEO tips.

Here are some basic steps in trying to optimise your blog posts to be crawled and indexed by search engines and also how to ‘sell’ your posts when they are seen in search results. When you write a post, the two main ostensible factors are the post’s title (or headline) and the body copy of the post. Left to their own devices, these two elements would automatically deliver information about your post/blog to the search engines. This raw information may not be the information would prefer to be the public face of your blog so you are afforded plenty of opportunities to change that face by either using some elements already in WordPress or installing and using very simple plug-ins. (For this post I am using examples from WordPress – the principles are the same for any blogging system). Firstly let’s look at the dynamic of what drives traffic to a site in the first place through a search engine. 1) Someone keys in a search phrase; 2) The search engine delivers up a selection of results; 3) Each result has a title and a two line snippet of information underneath; 4) The URL of the site is under that…


Search Terms

In 2006 there was an unfortunate incident in AOL when they spilled the results of 20m search queries on to the Net – by mistake naturally. Its showed the search queries of AOL clients during March 2006. The searches are an insight into the minds, individually and collectively, of searchers. The data is still available online and you can query the 20m terms at Key in a search term and you will be given the id numbers of the people who broad searched that term. Click on their ID and you will be given his/her full search history that included that term. It is a fantastic tool if you are into search as it traces the search pattern of individuals as they go through the search process. It shows that a search may begin on a very broad basis, looking for a product category, as the searcher becomes au fait with the broader product features, they begin to introduce brands and then specific brand products into the search queries. They would go from “mobile phone” to (after several searches and possibly days) to “Nokia N51 wireless features”. The exercise has developed from a search process to a search and…


Irish Newspaper Circulations May 2009

More of the same! And in some cases, a bit of jockeying for position. The Daily Star started the year ahead of its nearest rival, The Sun, by a short head it’s now falling behind the Red Top leader. Its stable mate, The Star on Sunday, also fell off in the past month as did the other Sunday Redtops, but to a much lesser extent. The Star on Sunday dropped 12% in one month, and these copies seemed to have escaped into the ether as they were not picked up by any other publication. Year on year is still a miserable picture dropping 57,000 papers in 12 months the morning papers making up the majority of this fall off. 2008 2009 20092 YoY MoM   May  Apr May  +/- +/- Daily Mirror  70,351 65,126 66482 -5,225 1356 Daily Record 2,975 2,625 2297 -350 -328 Daily Star 102,298 94,968 93692 -7,330 -1276 The Sun 103,105 96,198 95609 -6,907 -589 Daily Express 3,348 3,329 3311 -19 -18 Daily Mail 57,971 50,746 50061 -7,225 -685 The Daily Telegraph 3,237 3,175 3266 -62 91 Financial Times 4,864 4,169 3998 -695 -171 The Guardian 4,487 4,666 4412 179 -254 The Independent 2,174 1,848 1815 -326…


Polish Websites

With a little inspiration from Hitwise, I had a look at quick look at the trends for large Polish websites in Google trends, but searches from Irish IP addresses. As you would expect, this trend has a southward feel to it as many return home again.  The largest of these sites being visited form Ireland was, the largest polish social networking site, keeping you in touch with friends both home and abroad. From a high of 20k daily visitors in July 2008 to half that now it really shows the rate of decline the speed at which people decided to leave.


Regional Papers Websites

I was looking at offerings of some of the regional web sites and, in general, how they try and market themselves through the web (for both print and online). It’s was an interesting exercise and some of my observations are posted here. The print edition of any of the regional newspapers is bounded by its franchise area. Some manage to get a little further than that, maybe even as far as the news stand in Easons on a weekly basis. But it their information franchise, their local information franchise, extends much much further. Look at the Irish/County Diaspora – they are scattered to the four corners, not only globally, but nationally as well. There would be a natural curiosity in any migrant (see previous post on Polish Websites) to seek out information from ‘home’ and not only national but local as well. As part of my look at the web offerings of the local papers (I’ll return to that expression again!) I looked at two simple expressions – “[county] news” and “[county] newspaper” to see who scores well under these terms in their franchise and why. The terms are particularly broad and wont suit every local paper. Here is not…