Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Elected to Greater Lansing User Group .net

I was elected as a Program Director for the Greater Lansing User Group .net this evening.

Attendance is around 35 people per meeting which puts us in the top 10% of .net user groups nationwide.

Friday, April 6, 2007

April 2, 2007 Emerging Trends on the Internet
Sasha Verhage, Design lead for Google

Technology - focus on usability and the end result not technology ie. Ajax - some product managers want to 'ajaxify' products. Only do it where it makes sense.
· Google Maps
o Craig's list mashup
· Yahoo Mail – looks like Outlook.
· Ajax programming reduces page views and companies need to find alternate revenue streams (less ad views)

Live Testing
· Google Ads
o in one test changing the font can impact revenue. One test showed bolding search terms in ad results increased revenue 8%
o colors are also important. Green link colors for ads tested very high
o bucket testing (segmenting users into control groups and test groups)
o changing colors can increase revenue (7%-15% in one example based on 200,000 people
· blue color schemes generally win across all demographics
· Brand, Brand Halo - blind 'taste tests' remove branding from websites for blind
User Generated Content
· Use when appropriate (ie travel rating sites, Google Sketchup/Google Earch)

Attention Economy is real
· People trying to do more at once with technology (cell phones, ipods, facebook, myspace)
· multitasking is overrated (it takes ~15 minutes to return to a task you were deeply concentrating on prior to interruption)
· one study estimated interruptions and recovery time at 28% of employee time
· attention has economic value (free cell phones with voice ads, customers can pay to have ads removed)

Search Engine Optimization
· SEO increases your likely hood of showing up based on the algorithm and what the user expressed
· trip Advisor gaming Google (the phrase 'Las Vegas' was memtioned 62 times per page on this small site)