Archive for October, 2010

Title: Is It Possible To Have Great, Professional Features In A Bargain Price Website?

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webdesignA cheap, bargain website – or should I say an affordable website, doesn’t have to to mean a poorly built, featureless website, without the inclusion of some vital and important features. There are web design companies in the market who will offer extremely good features for a very reasonable price, including some of the important features and nice touches that you would expect to find only in a high end package.

What Features Should I Expect In My Budget Website?

Here are 10 features that in my opinion even a budget price website package should contain:

1. A CSS driven design with external CSS files. In simple terms, this is a far more convenient way of managing the design and layout on a site-wide basis.

2. Website code that passes from the W3C validation process. This is an important feature as websites with code that passes the validation process will be much easier for search engine robots to crawl and therefore make indexing of your website a speedier process.

3. All meta tags should be completed and the extremely important description tag on every page should contain a page specific description, not a site wide generic description that is repeated time and time again on every page.

4. The other very important tag is the title tag and these tags should be completed on every page incorporating some of the important keywords for that particular page. Once again, the title tag, like the description tag should be page specific and not a generic tag that is repeated throughout the site.

5. It goes without saying that you will want your website to have a nice, modern, fresh looking layout that is uncluttered and easy to navigate. Web 2.0 sites are particularly good at creating a minimalistic appearance that is easily navigated.

6. Do you have a robots.text file? Is there going to be one included in your website build or will this be left out? This is an extremely important file to have on your server as it tells search engine robots which files they are permitted to index, and which ones they are not.

7. Do you have a site map? The sitemap.xml file is easily submitted to Google in the Google Webmasters panel by your site builders and is very important as it helps your site to be quickly indexed by Google, informing Google of a very page that exists on your site.

8. What about an interactive contact form? Will your website company be incorporating a contact form into your site as part of the affordable package price or will it be an additional cost?

9. How will your images be displayed on your new budget website? Will you have an impressive light-box style gallery or will you just be permitted to have a few images throughout the whole site.

10. And while we are on the subject of images, will you have to provide the designers with all your own images or will they be able to provide you with some relevance stock images in the event that you do not have any available?

So there you have it. 10 features that in my opinion every website, even affordable budget websites should have included in them. If your web design company is not prepared to include these features, maybe you should consider looking for an alternative company to build your website for you.


The author runs a design company and lives in Surrey in the UK. He recommends visiting www.websitelauncher.co.uk for great, cheap websites offering all of the 10 features discussed and more.

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Is It Possible To Have Great, Professional Features In A Bargain Price Website?

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Title: Social media’s rampacious herd: of gadgets, madness and crowds

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In Babbage’s column this week, Virtual Lemmings, he argues that humans are a gregarious lot, which gives rise to herd mentality, while Will Self writes of superficial advances that provide us with more disposable time we just fill it up fiddling with iPhones.

First, let’s look glance through a few headlines in today’s Mashable. One talks about how many texts an average teenager sends per month, another that Obama was answering tweets during a town hall event and, one that caught some sense of my imagination, was by Jessica Faye Carter on why Twitter influences cross-cultural engagement.

In Wilfred Batten Lewis Trotter (no relation of Del Boy) was known for his studies on the herd instinct, which he outlined in two papers in 1908. Trotter argued that gregariousness was an instinct in line with bees, sheep and packs of wolves, while William James proposed a little earlier that the impulse of an instinct is of such  axiomatically obviousness that any idea of discussing its basis is ultimately foolish.

Elaborating upon this, Professor Lloyd Morgan defined instinctive behaviour as: “that which is on its first occurrence independent of prior experience; which tends to be to the well-being of the individual and the preservation of the race; which is similarly performed by all the members of the same more or less restricted group of animals; and which may be subject to subsequent modification under the guidance of experience.” Social media would not quite fit this criterion, perhaps.

But it’s to this millennium I turn and who better than “The Madness of Crowds: Gadgets”, by Will Self. In his column he talks about how he often succumbs to: “one of the great delusions of the modern world: namely that a gadget or device will allow me to do something I’ve been doing for years faster and more efficiently, thereby gifting me more of the kind of time I so desperately need: down time.”

He describes in some detail about “gizmos” that do nothing for him and yet when confronted with an advert or hear some “Twittery spiel of some deranged early adopter”, he flies off into some imagined computer-generated fantasy of “techno-adequacy”, when really “we yearn to dabble for ever in the rock pools of juvenescence”.

Satnav, he argues, “has to be the ultimate useless gizmo when it comes to saving time. I’ve lost count of occasions I’ve had to deprogramme a minicab driver and persuade him that just possibly I know a better route across town than his dash-mounted white pebble, as I’ve lived here my entire life.”

But getting back to Jessica Faye Carter, she believes that” “We might be intrigued by a comment we see in the Trending Topics, and we visit the person’s profile to see if it’s someone we want to follow [herd mentality]. Or we see a Trending Topic we’ve never heard of and want to know what’s going on…

“But even without the third party apps, there is a universality of shared experience that underlies interactions on Twitter. Nancy Perez, CEO of Social Media Wired, sees Twitter as a place of shared human experience, noting that ‘the interests, behaviors, thought processes, speech patterns and daily commonalities of life translate [Twitter] conversations into the universal language of humankind.’” Or, how Will Self would have it: “How mad is that?”

In “The Dynamics of Crowd Conflict” it states: “As human beings, we have a natural tendency not to want to be alone in what we think. If we have a thought, opinion or view that we thought no one else had, we might compromise that view in order to fit in somewhere. Human beings are social creatures and fear nothing more than being alone. Adolescents get pinned with having more of a ‘herd mentality’ than adults, but I would argue that the bandwagon psychology is rampant even among the most mature adults.

“The bandwagon psychology, or the ‘herd mentality’, is the process of a person joining a group of people that believe in something, even though that person might not believe in it themselves…Human beings are more connected than they think according to the bandwagon psychology.”

The has been weighted to be typically cynical, so I’ll introduce James Surowiecki, who thinks us lemmings are in fact “often better than could have been made by any single member of the group”. In the “The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations”, he breaks down the advantages he sees in disorganised decisions into three main types, which he classifies as cognition (thinking and information processing); coordination of behaviour, which alludes to optimising the utilisation of a popular bar and not colliding in moving traffic flows; and cooperation (how groups of people can form networks of trust without a central system controlling their behaviour or directly enforcing their compliance.

Surowiecki also studies “rational bubbles” in which the crowd produces very bad judgements, and argues that in these types of situations their cognition or cooperation failed because “the members of the crowd were too conscious of the opinions of others and began to emulate each other and conform rather than think differently”.

“Crowds collectively swayed by a persuasive speaker, is the main reason that the reason why groups of people intellectually conform when that system for decision-making has a systematic flaw.” And he asserts that this can lead to “fragile social outcomes”. Also, emotional factors, such as a feeling of belonging, can lead to peer pressure, herd instinct and, in extreme cases, collective hysteria.

In the Economist, Dr Reed-Tsochas and Dr Onnela are quoted as having “duly discovered that the social networkers’ herd mentality was intact, with popular apps doing best, and the trendiest reaching stratospheric levels…What did come as something of a surprise, though, was that our inner lemming only kicked in once the app had breached a clear threshold rate of about 55 installations a day. Any fewer than that and users seemed oblivious to their friends’ preferences.”

At some level then, virtual lemmings as described, we all seem to be.

V9 Design and Build (http://www.v9designbuild.com) produce tasteful web design in Bangkok, Thailand, including ecommerce shopping cart solutions, with functionality that allows owners to set up and maintain their online stores.

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Social media’s rampacious herd: of gadgets, madness and crowds

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Title: 5 Ways to Market your Online Content

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contentYou now have a finished piece of content on your website. How can one go about getting the most visitors to the new piece? Having faith that users will magically gravitate to your new page is extremely optimistic. The following contains 5 actionable tips for marketing your website content.

Pretend it’s for Print

It all starts with the quality of your content. Treat the piece that your writing as if it’s not easily changed after you’ve put it out there. Publishing content on the web has made us all a bit lazy with this. Knowing that we can just go back to fix or tidy up after the fact puts a little less pressure on us to produce perfect content. Remember that people are taking time out of their lives to focus their attention on you. Make it worthwhile.

A Dash of SEO with that Please

After you’re happy with the content take a once over for the search engines. Don’t bastardize it. But if you want to get the most long term exposure for your content try to align your web page’s message with your website’s search engine optimization strategy.

You could adjust:

Your page title and meta description. Remember that these are the only two elements that search engine users see on search results pages. Try to have it read like a newspaper headline.

The name of your post. If you can have good keywords here by all means do so.

The permalink. Adjust your URL to be relevant to your content, keep it void of unnecessary words like “and, the, or” and include keywords.

Your on-page headlines and actual copy. Skim through all of this for keyword opportunities that will ADD to the quality of your piece.

Just make sure that you are covering your bases seo-wise. If you set up your page properly you will give your writing every chance possible to be picked up by search engines down the road.

Remember Email Marketing?

If you’ve built an email list over the years then send out a quick campaign about the article. I wouldn’t suggest that you copy all of your post content into the email. I would use the email as a teaser. Give the email recipients reason to visit your website and read it there. My reasoning for this is that there are many more viral opportunities if the content is digested on your website vs in the email itself. Be sure to give enough useful information in the email itself though. This way if they don’t click through they wont feel their time has been wasted.

Feed the Birds

After you’ve done this go share your post on your favorite Social Media Channels like Facebook and Twitter. Be careful not to sound too sales-like here. People can get easily turned off by this. Ask for reciprocal links in a non demanding way. Saying things like “The most brilliant post on widgets EVER!” will get you no-where fast. If a comment is left make it a priority to respond.

Make it Easy to Share

Be sure that you give your readers every chance possible to share your content with their tribe. This is where the real potential of Social Media Marketing begins to shine. Someone sharing your post with all of their community has just exponentially increased your articles reach. It’s free marketing! Most content management systems have ways to add this functionality to your posts and if you aren’t using a CMS it’s not hard to hand code. Take a look at the bottom of this post for an example and feel free to try it out ;-) .

There are many more venues for reaching out than what I’ve described above including Pay Per Click Advertising, Article Distribution marketing and Direct Mail to name a few. Following the steps above is a sound strategy and a good starting point for giving your work the help it needs to be seen.


Connective Web Design is an Internet Marketing Company offering Social Media Marketing Services. Learn more at www.connectivewebdesign.com/services/social-media-marketing

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5 Ways to Market your Online Content

The In-Content Ad Leader Buy and Sell text links Health and Beauty Store

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network
If you like all this stuff here then you can buy me a pack of cigarettes.