eBay down for August scheduled maintenance – lessons learnt on Twitter

In a previous post I mentioned how Twitter is being used by people to monitor the availability of web services, and for web services themselves to communicate with its users when their primary channels (website, mobile app, etc) are unavailable. See: BBC website goes offline – Twitter community all a flapper.

Today was another example of such a need for Twitter, however in this instance, the web service got it a little wrong.

Four stages of competence marketing model: Unconscious incompetence / conscious competence

The ‘Four Stages of Competence’, ‘Conscious Competence’ or ‘Competency’ model traditionally applies to learning, training, self-development, organisational learning and change management. It is a skills model (see here for details), designed to move people around the matrix from unconscious incompetence, anticlockwise to unconscious competence.

Facebook now 100% irrelevant to me – The impact of advertising vs user engagement

Facebook’s approach to advertising is one of those topics that has its fans (the marketers) and its foes (the average user). With the desire to make money in order to facilitate the service, advertising is a key revenue stream for Facebook. However, yesterday (probably not for the first time), advertising took up 100% of my Facebook screen space. The problem with this is that as advertising space goes up, my willingness to engage with the site goes down. There should never be a situation where 100% of the screen holds meaningless content.

Facebook slash – is this the end for web addresses?

In this blog post I discuss the rise of third-party branded URLs and the possible future of web addresses leading towards registration-plate domain names. Are branded URLs becoming redundant?

Facebook dot com slash…

With a number of big brands now using Facebook (facebook.com/brandname) instead of their own web addresses (brandname.com), the question has to be asked: Which brand is more important to the intended audience?

Reflections on Supporting a Postgraduate Virtual Open Week (Durham Blackboard Conference 2012)

Part of a series of posts reporting back on the Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference 2012.

  • Parallel session: Postgraduate Virtual Open Week at the University of Edinburgh
  • Presenter: Josephine Kinsley, University of Edinburgh

In this post I wish to focus mainly on the way Kinsley managed the training approach, but first here is an outline of Edinburgh’s virtual open day project.

Why multiple channels of communication are here to stay… and why it’s a good thing

A short post about the value of mulitple communication channels. Normally, duplication of information is a bad thing and poor use of multiple communication channels sometimes does that. If you have well defined audiences for each channel however, that’s not a problem. But, this post isn’t about that, it’s about how useful they are when things go wrong!

Instant Previews on Google – will reduce traffic but improve bounce-rates

This post quickly explains what Google Instant Preview is and how web designers should make the most of this new feature. Instant Preview shows a small screen grab of a website when clicking on the magnifying glass icon next to the search result title (see below).