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New Year New Start

It has been a while since I last wrote on my blog for various reasons. The combination of Christmas festivities, having the odd interview and getting a job has caused this! Prior to Christmas I got offered a role at a Manchester based agency and grabbed the chance with both hands!

To all those who have read my blog and follow me on Twitter you know it has been a long road to get here. Hopefully this is just the start and I really can kick start my career.

My advice to anyone who was like me is to persist, and maintain a positive outlook nothing slows down a job search more than negativity.

Anyway I best be off I have work to do :)

The New MySpace

A few months ago Myspace announced they would be making a comeback so at the time I registered an interest.

Fast forward and I have now signed up, so whats it about.

Immediately I was impressed about the registration element you can sign up via Facebook or Twitter and for me the fact they had the Twitter integration was a big plus. So after the obligatory profile picture selection and a little bio your ready to start.

This the page that greets you.

What is immediately obvious is the clean cut layout of the site, its pretty simple and there is not too much going on so for me this was something I liked. 

The first thing I did was to click the “Take a Tour” section which brings you to the page below.

MySpace is orientated around music as it always has been, this has been built upon via the music player at the bottom of the screen. As expected you can follow artists but also have the ability to create playlists.

Its early days yet and I will have a play around of the features of the new MySpace and see if I stick with it or its another social network that is left behind.

What do you guys think of the new MySpace?

How to use Google Analytics to help your site succeed

I love looking at charts and data in relation to something to prove a point. Whenever I watch a football match I think it’s interesting to see where the team has been attacking from and where the opposition has been susceptible from.

This concept has never been more accessible as it is today, via the use of Google Analytics. Most people are familiar with the concept but are possibly unsure of how to use it. Google Analytics for all intents and purposes is a tool which can be used to monitor where your site traffic is coming from, how many are coming, how long the site is viewed for before they leave (bounce rate) and a whole host of other data.

But before we talk about Google Analytics analyse your own site.

What do you like?

What do you not like?

 Obviously like with anything beauty is in the eye of the beholder so what you may like someone else may despise. It took me a while to find the layout and structure I liked; in the end I thought the current layout was aesthetically pleasing. My previous efforts were remarked (following feedback) as being difficult to read and navigate, so for the purpose of a blog site I have stuck with this. It’s not perfect and I am sure in time I will tweak it further.

Looking at Google Analytics you can devise how your site is perceived.

An easy way to see the interest in the site is via the bounce rate percentage, (this is found in the Audience Overview). If the bounce rate is relatively high (over 50-60%) it means the visitors to the site have basically jumped off the site instantaneously. Usually it means they did not find anything of interest and went elsewhere. This does not necessarily mean its all bad. For example my bounce rate is quite high however my site does not require you to change page to see previous posts.  However if you feel like it is a problem for you then I would suggest making changes to the site and seeing what impact this has on your bounce rate.

Using the audience overview you can get a good sense of where and how your visitors are viewing the site.

For example via the Demographics section you can deduce which country traffic is coming from to the extent of a particular city. Most interesting is the System and Mobile sections. Your site has to look fine within other browsers, nowadays people use Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox to name but a few. By making sure the site looks and performs how it is supposed to under different browsers will make sure the user experience is not spoilt.

The Mobile section is very important as nowadays we are consuming the majority of our information on the go via smartphones and tablets. There is nothing more annoying then going on a site that has not been optimised for a smartphone and this could be a key area that should be tested along with the screen resolution.

This is by no means an exhaustive list via the use of Google Analytics however this could help retain and bring new visitors to your site. Once the site is fundamentally sound then this could be then built upon with a SEO campaign.

Freedom of speech or illegal Tweets?

Increasingly when you open the paper or hear news regarding social media as well as the positive there is an increasingly negative aspect that is emerging.

As I have mentioned previously I am a football fanatic like most of the country, as such I follow a multitude of footballers and pundits. Tensions run high especially when a team or player underperforms and as such “supporters” express their opinion. More often then not it is a case of a supporter’s disappointment that is relayed in (usually) a constructive manner.

However in recent times this has become more poisonous, if you follow for example Stan Collymore (ex Nottingham Forrest, Liverpool) a football pundit your attention is drawn to the number of racist messages he receives. He is not alone there are a increasing number of racist and anti-Semitic Tweets that have been sent on Twitter. When I last checked these were prosecutable offences and the old adage is that you would not say these things on the street, so why would you say it on Twitter?

Social media has come a long way in such a short space of time and users have been learning on the way without any prior knowledge.

 At what point does freedom of speech cross the line to be an offence?

That’s the challenge that the police and other enforcement agencies need to get a handle on. Obviously racist and anti-Semitic communications is abhorrent and should be dealt with.  However if you express an opinion that is said to be in “bad taste” should that be dealt with also?

It’s a fine line between freedom of speech and illegal behaviour do we know where that line is?

New news becomes old news thanks to Twitter

Hi all, I couldn’t think of a snappy title so I apologise for the one I have come up with!

How we digest news has and is constantly changing, you can get newspapers on your iPad, you do not need a tv as there are apps such as the Sky News app which can be browsed via a mobile device. Then there is the most revolutionary way we get our news….Twitter.

Il give you an example I am a die hard Man Utd fan (please do not hold this against me) before every match I am eager to know the line up. The way I would find that out is if the game was televised I would wait until the broadcaster released that information.

That has all changed now, I follow football correspondants who get the line up information and they will release it on Twitter. By the time the Sky Sports announces the lineup I would have known this half an hour before.

This brings me onto the News, you used to wait till the night time bulletin to hear of stories from around the world.

With Twitter you will hear about any news whilst its happening, such as the raid on Osama Bin Laden which was first noticed by blogger in Abbottabad who reported hearing explosions.

Trending topics on Twitter allow information to be spread at a rate that news organisations could only dream of. Although there are news aggregators I think Twitter is by far the best method of getting it.

I envisage Twitter refining its system so that when a user logs on it has a specific news section, which would aggregate and show what is the breaking news by showing user interaction via Retweets and Hashtags.

It must be said that Twitter works so well as users who are on divulge information more freely than by more conventional means.

Its exciting to see how social networks have progressed so much in such a short space of time and Twitter has been at the forefront of that.

How do you get your news? I would love to hear from you?

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