Here comes March Madness

Published on March 17, 2009 at 2:31 pm by heri in: Web Hosting Articles, iWeb Articles

Spring is coming, and along with it comes renewed enthusiasm for opportunities.

If you were contemplating getting dedicated servers, we’ve got a prominent sale starting today.

march madness sale

The March Madness promotion gives you the choice of 2 offers:

  • The first one is an affordable Athlon X2 3800, with 2GB RAM, at an exceptional price of $99 per month
  • The second server is a powerful Dual Xeon 2.4Ghz, with 2GB RAM, at only $129 per month.

Because this is truly an exception promotion, a deal that you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere, you also get a 10Mbps Unmetered port, and also one free month in the deal.

If you go around our normal product offers, this would be priced at more than $170 per month (for the 1st offer), or more than $300 per month for the dedicated server. Add into the mix the 2nd month free, and you get to pay every month only half the usual price. Similarly-configured dedicated servers at other web hosting providers goes from $284 per month up to $683… Now, you know why we’re calling it March Madness.

The offer is a time-limited sale, available for 12 days only, and with limited quantities. Click on the image above or here to see the 2 offers and expansion options.

Twitter Search, the most promising Marketing Tool since Google Adwords

Published on March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm by heri in: Web Development Articles

Google Adwords makes the bulk of Google’s $21 billion annual revenues. Its success lies on the fact that it’s capturing current intent, i.e. Internet visitors looking for something at one precise moment. Intent is the keyword here; this is what differs a Google search from a visit to a media site, a blog or a social network, where people are looking for entertainment or for hanging out, and not necessarily looking to buy a product or a service.

Nobody does it better than Google currently. They deliver the best search results, getting thus repeated visits, and they also focus on delivering the most relevant ads, thanks to a unique and intelligent PPC algorithm.

Google’s Adwords efficiency beats then other Internet marketing tools, such as newsletters, direct mailings, or “classical” advertising such as banners.

Surprisingly, Twitter Search might be the next holy grail for Internet marketers, and for Twitter and its investors too. Beyond customer service, or beyond brand tracking in the social media space, Twitter Search can be used as a powerful sales tool.

tweetdeck tracking keywords

For instance, the TweetDeck screenshot has a panel dedicated to Twitter users writing about “dedicated server” (panel 2). This goes from troubles about setting up a dedicated server, to those looking for recommendations, or those micro-blogging about their software stack. If one sells then dedicated servers, it’s straightforward to initiate a contact with a reply, and acquire a customer.

This is powerful, as it goes in the same spirit of Google Adwords: Twitter Search surfaces the intention of Twitter users, with people looking for answers NOW, and receptive to feedback. It shows the most recent results in the panel, similar to Google’s most relevant results listed first in a web search page. It’s even more powerful, since you can put a name to each result, and have access to the user’s bio and network.

This is just an example, and it’s easy to see how you can integrate it too in your customer acquisition tools. You could track

wordpress near:Toronto

if you are a wordpress developer based in that city, and want to offer your services. You can even track keywords related to similar products (Drupal, Joomla, Tikwiki) in case you are also able to manage those leads. Twitter Search has more features, worth the look

As any new tool usage, a company or a service provider has to be very careful with Twitter Search, since it’s akin to say… hitting strangers in a bar. There is a fine line between authentic conversation and advice (which is what Twitter is meant to be), and spamming random users about your products. Twitter (or a third-party tool TweetDeck) also lacks tools to manage threads and conversations, which would allow a sales team or a customer service team to “assign” a Twitter user to a representative. Alerts, notifications, user tagging, flagging a few users, those are power features that Twitter would need to implement and make it a competitor (or a compliment) to Google Adwords, and ultimately transforming Twitter into an Internet giant.

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Web Marketing, Tip #4: Events Tracking

Published on January 14, 2009 at 1:44 pm by heri in: Web Development Articles

Before reading, Please Take our iWeb January Survey. Thanks!

A new beta feature showcased at the last Google Analytics seminar is Events tracking. You can see a preview of this feature with the screenshot seen on the right side. Event tracking allows a webmaster to get numbers for website elements such as Ajax, flash files, downloads, widgets and other multimedia elements like flash videos. The tool will allow you to follow and compare the average time of viewing, the number of downloads, the applications which bring you the most revenues, the percentage of visitors who view a video completely etc. To use the feature, replace the “urchin.js” in your tracker snippet with “ga.js”, which is the latest tracking software, as released by Google.

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iWeb Tech News Highlights, 12th Jan.

Published on January 12, 2009 at 8:24 am by heri in: iWeb Tech News Highlights

iweb tech news highlights Beginning from today, the iWeb blog is going to publish a regular feature entitled “iWeb Tech News Highlights“, with links and short snippets of web development, web design, system administration, open source software and web marketing news, relevant to iWeb customers. The goal is to provide readers the essential tech news for the day, amidst all the blog posts, news articles, forum posts and social media content published on the web. For today, here are the Tech News Highlights:

Do leave a comment below if I’ve missed something

Please read about our community project. Join the iWeb community on Twitter, Friendfeed, or one Facebook, or by email.

Comparing Print, Television vs the Internet

Published on January 5, 2009 at 1:13 pm by heri in: Web Development Articles

the internet, tv, and print comparison Looking at growing websites like digg or new start-ups like Friendfeed, it struck me how active those communities can be, with their users apparently plugged in 24 hours a day, and submitting a never-ending flow of information, and users challenging each other to bring new witty comments or content. Trend-setters have dubbed these websites as the future of the Internet, so I have taken the opportunity to analyze why these services are growing and generating interest from their users.

We can see at the same time legacy media empires like the Tribune or the New York Times having trouble converting their business models to the Internet. They are converting their content to a web format, but they have trouble getting enough revenues comparable to their print business.

Here’s a comparison of different media, their format, and their uniqueness:

  Print Television The Internet
Engagement High engagement. Readers spend hours & possibly days to read a piece written by an author Very low Medium, users are welcomed to create an account and personalize their experience
Practicality Very High Practicality. Paper is the most practical medium, built to last for centuries. It doesn’t need batteries, has no compatibility problems, and can be brought by anyone anywhere Very low Medium. the Internet can be accessed on a variety of devices, with a variety of formats (audio, video, text, multimedia etc.). However, it doesn’t have the practical advantages of the paper
Ease of Consumption Difficult. Newspapers and books need significant investments from their readers Very easy use of consumption. Viewing is passive and requires no efforts Easy.
Interactivity none very low Very high interactivity, with complete personalization of content
Speed Print does not compete on speed, with magazines or books referring to a month-old or year-old stories fast Real-time delivery of information
Size of Information Sizeable amount of information Medium amount of information. Very Small. Tidbits of informations such as blog posts, tweets, activity stream are highly visible on the Internet
Collaboration None None. Very High Collaboration. Users can communicate, collaborate and work with each other. Think about emails, forums, or “social media” 
Business models Sales of a physical object. Business models are known.  Advertising, or pay-per-view Advertising, hosting, SaaS, and other models yet to be discovered
Barriers of Entry medium to high very high Low Barriers of entry

As you can see, each kind of medium has its pros and cons. The strength of print (newspapers and books), and television are known, it’s just now that we are completely aware of the advantages of the Internet. Summed up from the table, the Internet has very high interactivity, real-time delivery of information, small tidbits of information, very high collaboration potential, and low barriers of entry. One aspect of the Internet that is still being dealt with is the design of sustainable business models.

In practice, Wordpress, friendfeed, youtube, facebook, RSS feeds are direct implementations of the characteristics described in the previous paragraph. This is what the internet is for, and ultimately, we will see more of these services in the future. If you are running a website, you should have a close look at those, and try to get advantage of the Internet’s uniqueness.

In the same way that web site designers must spend time to design sites which take advantage of the Internet’s uniqueness and its strengths, web entrepreneurs should also take the time to design new business models, native to the web, which take advantage of the the Internet’s strenths.