Category Archives: online marketing

Best Browser Extensions In 2019 For Chrome, Firefox, & Brave

Writing a list of best extensions is a little fraught because they get discontinued or superseded at a pretty quick rate. But here are the browser extensions I recommend:

(If you spot any good extensions I’ve missed please let me know in the comments.)

Chrome/Brave

  • Decentraleyes: Privacy protection. Protects you against tracking through “free”, centralised, content delivery.
  • Fakespot: Find out if an Amazon product’s reviews are legit.
  • HTTPS Everywhere: Online security. Forces websites through HTTPS if it is available. A good one to set up on your parent’s web browsers.
  • IDN Safe: Online security. Spots spoof domain names.
  • LastPass: Password security. The best free password tool IMO.
  • Location Guard: Privacy protection. Protects you from giving away your exact geographic location to websites.
  • Mercury Reader: Distraction-free reading. Instantly transform long articles into a reading-friendly format. Useful when saving articles as well.
  • PixelBlock: Privacy protection. Blocks people from tracking when you open/read their emails in Gmail.
  • Privacy Badger: Online security and privacy protection. Blocks online trackers.
  • Push to Kindle: Send articles to your Kindle to read.
  • BONUS = The Signal Messenger in-browser version (Chrome App) is pretty great too.

Firefox

  • Decentraleyes: Privacy protection. Protects you against tracking through “free”, centralised, content delivery.
  • Facebook Container (if you are still using Facebook!) : Privacy protection. Isolate your Facebook activity so Facebook doesn’t follow you around the internet. A good one to set up on your parent’s web browsers. I wish this existed for Chrome TBH.
  • HTTPS Everywhere: Online security. Forces websites through HTTPS if it is available. Another good one to set up on your parent’s web browsers.
  • IDN Safe: Online security. Spots spoof domain names.
  • LastPass: Password security. The best free password tool IMO.
  • Location Guard: Privacy protection. Protects you from giving away your exact geographic location to websites.
  • Privacy Badger: Online security and privacy protection. Blocks online trackers.
  • Push to Kindle: Send articles to your Kindle to read.

(Notable omissions: I have chosen not to include any persistent personalised advertising-blocking opt out extensions. There are some available if you want to block that sort of thing.)

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Digital Marketing: What I read & pay attention to

(Last updated: 11-May-2011)

I recently completed a job application that wanted to know what websites I read & pay attention to. Here are some of the websites & web pages I provided:

John Battelle’s Searchblog – The man who wrote the book on Search. His blog on the online industry is continually sharp & thought-provoking. Battelle writes really well. I don’t always agree with what he might be saying but that is a healthy thing.

Wired – Do you ever wish there was a daily newspaper just about tech? This is probably the closest thing to it.

Search Engine Land – It is kind of an unfortunate name. But they have a number of good search marketing writers & Danny Sullivan knows search better than anyone I know of.

Google blogs – There are a lot of these so I’m just going to list them:

Conversion Rate Experts – the leaders in conversion rate optimisation. Particularly worth paying attention to for their case studies which give useful insight into their conversion optimisation process.

SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog – While some of what SEOmoz says publicly is often couched in caveats e.g. “this may mean”, “this might suggest”, the need for this is partly driven by their highly visible position in the SEO industry & the trouble with stating absolutes. Their blog is essential reading for SEO news & tactics.

NYTimes – US-centric news but it is better than, say, Fox. Their Magazine section occasionally does great long form pieces.  The Critics Best Of videos are good too.

Articles

Video

UPDATED:
Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik – Avinash is a Google Analytics Evangelist but he also seems to do things like consulting/speaking on web analytics/writing books on web analytics. He is a guru on web analytics & his blog posts over the years have been critical to educating me about Google Analytics, metrics to ignore & metrics to pay attention to.

Chuck Norris Marketing Facts

(Spotted this on Unbounce.com today)

1. Chuck Norris doesn’t need a call to action. Action needs a call to Chuck.

2. Chuck Norris doesn’t click on banner ads – banner ads beg Chuck Norris for permission to be clicked.

3. The conversion rate on ChuckNorris.com is whatever Chuck says it is. And as a general rule, it beats the industry average by infinity.

4. When Dana White asked Chuck Norris to design a landing page for his latest Pay-Per-View campaign; Chuck took out a crayon, artfully sketched a roundhouse kick on the octagon canvas and caught the UFC president in a Rear Naked Choke… from the front… fully clothed. (True story)

5. Chuck Norris generates leads by pointing at people. If he points at you twice, you lose the right to unsubscribe and your first newborn will be named “eBook” by default.

6. Chuck Norris purposely re-designed a landing page for Vin Diesel and gave it a bounce rate of 200%.

7. At a spelling bee in 1947, a young Chuck Norris was asked to spell “optimization”. When the competition judge awoke from his Chuck-induced coma on April 21, 1993, he was swiftly roundhouse kicked in the face by Walker, Texas Ranger… Coincidence? I think not.

8. If Chuck Norris visited your landing page, you’d be f’d. Chuck is not the answer to your traffic problem. Chuck is your traffic problem.

9. When Chuck Norris says a form field is required, he @**#&#! means it. You’ll know when it’s required by the giant fist icon, Chuck has no respect for asterisks.

Source: 9 Reasons Why Chuck Norris Shouldn’t Work In Marketing

An interesting answer to an interesting question

Q: “It used to be that I could limit what strangers saw about me to almost nothing. I could not show my profile picture, not allow them to “poke” or message me, certainly not allow them to view my profile page. Now, even my interests have to be public information. Why can’t I control my own information anymore?”

Answer from Elliot Schrage, vice president for public policy at Facebook: “Joining Facebook is a conscious choice by vast numbers of people who have stepped forward deliberately and intentionally to connect and share. We study user activity. We’ve found that a few fields of information need to be shared to facilitate the kind of experience people come to Facebook to have. That’s why we require the following fields to be public: name, profile photo (if people choose to have one), gender, connections (again, if people choose to make them), and user ID number. Facebook provides a less satisfying experience for people who choose not to post a photo or make connections with friends or interests. But, other than name and gender, nothing requires them to complete these fields or share information they do not want to share. If you’re not comfortable sharing, don’t.”

Link: Facebook Executive Answers Reader Questions [nytimes.com]

Afterthoughts: Webstock 2010

I posted my takeaways from this year’s Webstock on the First Rate blog so I’m just going to repost the critical part of it here. Duplicate content FTW!

Here’s what I learnt online businesses need to be doing this year:

  • Iterate. Listen to your customers, watch your analytics, learn what needs improving and optimise like a crazy person. The website that is most agile will win.
  • Don’t be late to the mobile party, be early. How does your online audience want to engage your business via mobile? Does that exist? Is there a business case for it?
  • Be wary of “gut feel” or “I just know” interpretations of data by your staff or your third-party providers. Expect empirical evidence that backs up that gut feel.
  • “If you review the first version of your site & don’t feel embarrassed, you spent too long on it” – Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn.com
    For Barack Obama’s US presidential campaign, his online team were tracking how dollars spent on online ads were turning into dollars received via fundraising. If a campaign that complex can achieve it, no-one has an excuse for not knowing their ROI from online spend.
  • Jeff Attwood’s description of social software was very good: “tiny slices of frictionless effort, spread across an online community”. A good reminder that to leverage user-generated content you need your users to want to contribute and make it super-easy to do so.
  • I thought Daniel Burka’s recommendation that “subtraction is iteration too” was a good reminder. Don’t be afraid to subtract.

Source: Things I learnt at Webstock 2010

Kiwi redux: Google Trends for Websites

In June 2008, roughly around the time when Google made Trends for Websites available, I wrote a post about some sites & their trends. Mainly just trends I found interesting. It’s now June 2009 so I thought it would be fun to revisit the same graphs.

This time I’ve limited the graphs to ‘last 12 months’ as opposed to all-time.

ALL GLOBAL TRAFFIC: The rise & rise of Facebook
I’ve put Twitter in there just for fun. I wonder though if Google can’t see all the Twitter ‘views’ that occur on feed readers, iPhones, smartphones, etc.
redux-myspace

NZ TRAFFIC ONLY: Bebo hangs in there
I am actually surprised Bebo isn’t showing more of a decline. I suppose it’s that tween/teen demographic I kind of don’t really care about (sorry!)
redux-myspace-newzealand

It’s tight in E-Commerce
I get to answer my question! We might assume Ferrit’s sale didn’t help because Ferrit is now gone. I think their press release at the time was a combination of “this idea was ahead of it’s time” & “we’ve moved online business in New Zealand forward with Ferrit”. It just sounded hollow. What is that analogous to? The Titanic? The Hindenburg? Thanks for coming Ferrit.
redux-ferrit

What is that thing they say about slow-moving giants?
I actually find this the most interesting graph. Compare it with a year ago. For TradeMe, let’s call that roughly a 15% decrease in traffic on the average in 2008. Still, I don’t think anyone would be predicting their traffic to drop off over the next 12 months.
redux-trademe

The irrelevance of Slashdot
As noted by John Gruber. People are obviously still visiting Slashdot but it is a shadow of its former self. I think it needs editors choosing & writing up its news rather than republishing user submissions.
redux-slashdot

Kiwi remix: Google Trends for Websites

Google Trends for Websites is an approximation of the amount of traffic Google thinks your site is getting. So while not 100% accurate, it provides some interesting insights.

The rise of Facebook
myspace

But for NZ traffic only, it’s all about Bebo
myspace_nz

Ferrit’s sale is seemingly helping their traffic (but is it helping their bottom line?)
ferrit

TradeMe is bigger than the internet
This is TradeMe compared with some signicant international sites. And it dwarfs them.
trademe

The fall of Slashdot
slashdot