I realise I haven’t written anything useful for ages, and I’m not about to break that run now.
However Chris Unitt writes lots of useful things all the time, e.g. http://www.chrisunitt.co.uk/2012/11/links-for-november-2012/
As part of my day job I’ve just had to fill out part of Opera North’s annual Arts Council submission. The ‘digital’ section is all of 6 questions long:
1 - Do you monitor web metrics for your organisational website? Web metrics are the measures used to quantify the performance of a website, for example page impressions, unique browsers, visits and visit duration.
Please provide the following web metrics for your organisation’s website over the last 12 month period.
2 - Number of unique browsers?This is the total number of unique devices (e.g. computers or mobile phones) that have made requests to the site in the period being measured.
3 - Number of page impressions? This is the total number of requests (e.g. mouse clicks) made for a site’s content by users of the site (i.e. unique devices) in the period being measured.
4 - Number of visits? A visit is … Read More »
So something that seems to have been exercising the worry muscles of quite a few colleagues of late seems to be the latest EU privacy wheeze and how it impacts the way that websites operate. If you want to read more about the Directive then there is further info here http://www.cookielaw.org/ and here http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_guide/cookies.aspx. The Directive is so vague and there isn’t really any suggested or recommended way of implementation that anyone official has endorsed but the thrust seems to basically be that if your site drops a cookie on a user’s machine for anything other than ‘essential website functions’ then you need to get the user’s explicit permission to do so. There are a few things to consider with this, number one (to me at least) seems to be that most internet users don’t know what a cookie … Read More »
There are a couple of things that I would say are really, really important to set up if you’re using Google Analytics and want to properly measure campaign activity/effectiveness. The first thing is to include UTM tags in all your links and the second is to properly set up goal-tracking on your site.
UTM tags and Google’s URL Builder
Google are pretty good at providing you useful, free tools for getting the most out of their various products. Unfortunately they’re quite bad at putting these tools in an easy to find place, and they’re even worse at explaining how to use them! If you send out 3 email newsletters surely you want to be able to find out which of these sent traffic to your site and what these visitors did whilst they were on your site, similarly you want to be … Read More »
The issue of the mobile web has been just that, an issue, for years now. In fact its been an issue for so long that that even my undergraduate dissertation covered it (and that was years ago). The proliferation of smartphones means that a quick(ish), rich, meaningful and enjoyable mobile internet is available to more and more people (the less we talk about, or even remember, the bad old days of WAP the better).
When considering how to present an organisation’s offering to mobiles you need to remember that access via mobile devices doesn’t simply mean that people will be accessing your online offering via a smaller screen. It also means that they, for example, might (probably will) be accessing it via a touchscreen – does your mobile offering support this? Are you pushing lots of huge images to your mobile … Read More »
“Technology is not a selection of gadgets but a body of knowledge ” (Dan O’Hara, TEDx Manchester)
I know I have blogged (ranted) on the subject of web literacy before (here), however that particular thought was aimed more at ‘thought-leaders’ and the like. This post is aimed more at thinking about people (regardless of sector) who have to use the web on a day to day basis. For these people I believe that some basic level of coding should be a mandatory skill. You wouldn’t let someone who didn’t have basic literacy skills draft and send a press release or write copy for a brochure so why isn’t the same basic level of ‘digital literacy’ required of people who output content on/for the web on an almost daily basis?
I’m not talking about the ability to juggle python, ruby, php and asp simultaneously, what I’m trying to describe is a better understanding of things like basic … Read More »
What with all the hoo-ha around Facebook’s flotation (for what it’s worth, $100bn – WHAT!? did the last dotcom bubble teach anyone anything? This is a fairly good article on the subject: Facebook IPO – do not buy), I thought I’d share a few thoughts I’ve been having around Facebook. Specifically Facebook’s headlong rush into forcing their Open Graph and concept of ‘frictionless sharing’ on everyone. I’m aware these aren’t original thoughts, and I’m arriving slightly late to the party but I think it’s a point that needs reiterating. Facebook’s idea of “frictionless” sharing flies in the face of how the internet works, and how I think it should continue to work.
Facebook is ruining sharing
Facebook’s drive to force everyone to operate within the Facebook ecosystem is irritating beyond words, Molly Wood’s excellent article articulates this far better than … Read More »
Lots of people I talk to seem to spend a LOT of time worrying about ‘the next big thing/development/product/platform/way of working/etc’. Indeed there seem to be people who spend all their time thinking about what will happen in a year’s time rather than dealing with the way that things are at the moment. Of course this, in some cases, is to be expected – someone needs to absorb themselves in considering what is next going to impact our lives but you also need to understand the situation as it currently exists so you can actually get on with things on a day-to-day basis.
The problem is that as far as developments online go, things move pretty quickly. Often people are only just coming to terms with the last ‘big thing’ before 15 other products have popped up, all of which are … Read More »
So, you may have heard about one of the myriad new Arts Council funding pots called ‘The Space’. At Opera North we have a few ideas that we are considering pitching for funding, however, as always, the ACE criteria seems confused as to what it’s actually asking for.
On the one hand, the ACE guidance says “We are keen to see proposals that address the development of innovative, user-centred experiences and media work across one or more devices and platforms – mobile, tablet, PC and connected televisions. This might include proposals that utilise some of the unique capabilities and features of modern connected devices, for example: geo-location or GPS on smart phones and tablets; QR code readers; bluetooth, Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity; SMS messages; the ability to find friends or create groups or communities; or the ability to share or … Read More »