My Five #9

A weekly round up of the week online. From pumpkin carving to web psychology, what has been keeping Joe Friedlein interested this week?

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My Five: Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Joe.

1. Halloween Fun

Love it or loathe it, the end of October heralds Halloween and the streets are filled with children engaged in legalised robbery (guess which side of the fence I am on?!).

Halloween is pumpkin time and I have seen some good pumpkin carving antics on my online travels this year. The prize has to go to the ‘Pumpktris’ – a pumpkin transformed into a compact gaming cabinet:


2. WordPress Love

Stricly speaking, this isn’t something that is related to this week but we are in the process of redesigning our site (watch this space) and I have been reaquainted with developing a site on WordPress. I have always been a fan, but using a newer version and having a developer that really knows the platform and its features inside out has reminded me just how good WordPress is.

I often hear WordPress being lambasted and written off as a mere blogging platform but it has matured over the years and, in my humble opinion, is a genuine contender as a CMS platform for a lot of web publishers.

It is easy to use, it is free and it is ‘seo friendly’ out of the box. What more could you want?

3. Webs of Influence

I was at an international SEO conference last week and saw a presentation by Nathalie Nahai, who you may know as ‘The Web Psychologist‘.

Despite my initial scepticism of the slightly gradiose nature of that title (sorry Nathalie!), I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and found it extremely interesting. So much so that I bought her book, ‘Webs of Influence : The Psychology of Online Persuasion‘ (due no doubt to the subliminal messaging in her talk…).

I have only just started it but am thoroughly enjoying it and there is no doubt in my mind that there is huge potential in applying some psychology science to web design to help boost your conversion rates. It isn’t psychobabble – there are some really insightful tips about how the brain works and how you can use web design to push the right buttons and pull the right levers.

Fingers crossed it will continue in the excellent fashion that it has started, but I would highly recommend the book and watch out for Nathalie presenting as it is will open your eyes. Here is a trailer for the book:

4. Mobile analytics

Good news for the data lovers out there – Google launched mobile app analytics to a public beta (it had previously been launched as a closed beta).

Not only can you now get your hands on it, but there are a few updates that are worth looking at. If you are not aware of it, have a look at the initial announcement which shows off a few of its core features.

I have always loved analytics but it has historically been much harder to get a clear picture of what happens within mobile apps. By making it easier to track, I hope that mobile app analytics will help to encourage developers to think about measuring the success of their apps and thereby improve the user experience for all users.

5. Hurricane Sandy

It has been somewhat breezy on the other side of the pond this week.

As usual with most natural disasters, there was a lot of coverage online and I found myself watching streaming footage from The Big Apple. The deserted streets and mega winds left a tangible sense of unease in what was undoubtedly a serious situation.

We shouldn’t forget that many people have suffered as a result of the storm, some paying the ultimate price, but you can rely on the internet to deliver evidence of the human spirit fighting adversity. The winner for me for random humour in otherwise tragic conditions has to be the ‘dancing men’ – what is it about TV cameras?:


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