Tag Archives: Facebook

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Minimalist Web Design

kartandtinki1_minimalism-wallpaper_07
The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus defined “The bigger the better” as: how much you value or want something is decided how big it is. But does this really counts for everything in life?

No, definitely not when it comes to web design. Yes, I know there will always be that someone who “knows” better or “thinks” that he knows better.

 

Get rid of needless things

Why would you want to include unnecessary elements and content in your web design? Certain designs can affect the usability of a website so you need to focus on the things that are important to your target market. Keep it simple – decide whether you want to include images etc. but you also need to make sure that you don’t lose the impact that you originally had in mind.

 

Keep colour to the minimum

Bright colours definitely do stand out but black, white or grey can add significance when it comes to minimalism. Choosing the right accent colours is vital but there is always room for any colours of the rainbow. Just be careful when it comes to bright colours – you don’t want your website to look like the exterior walls of the nursery on the corner of the street.

 

White and Grey emphasize

Take your minimalist web design to a larger extent with white spaces. To emphasize some elements over others, it is critical to use white space but try to avoid “empty” spaces. Shades of grey can be used for backgrounds and works beautifully when combined with black, white or other colours.

 

 Make every detail count

When you decide on doing minimalist web design, it is important to realize that all the other details have significance. Borders, spaces, colours, – the overall look – must all come together when there are just a few other elements.

You can still put your individual “stamp” on your website despite the minimalism. It can basically be anything: elegant or sophisticated, modern, fresh or even funky.

 

Typography

This is one element of minimalism where bigger is allowed to be better. Making use of big typography can make a huge impact on a website. It is a popular choice for headers, accents, and to add visual interests.

Circles are also very popular for minimalist websites. It can be used as accents in headings, logos and for navigation.o, next time you are planning a web design, remember you can keep it simple but beautiful.

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Digital Marketing Social Media

Social Search is the future

Last year we brought you news of Google’s plans in Social Search. Take a look at that post to see Google’s Matt Cutts talk all about what it actually is.

Finding out what your friends think

Briefly, Social Search is when results and content posted by people in your social circle are surfaced in the search results page.

For example, lets says you’re searching for an ‘Italian Restaurant in Reading’. It might be that recently a friend of yours has visited an Italian Restaurant in Reading and has made a comment about it on Facebook. Social Search would return a set of results that included the comments made by your friend, since they are relevant to the search results.

All of us are more likely to follow the recommendation of a friend than someone we don’t know, so social search is also about making search more relevant to each one of us.

Facebook and Bing in on the act

Now its the turn of Facebook and Microsoft’s Bing to socialise search. In the US they have just completed a tie up to make search “more social”,

What they plan is that when a user searches for something on Bing or using the web results in Facebook, if any friends have ‘liked’ an item related to that search that person’s image will appear alongside the search results.

Bing has added more depth to its people search too, by making the results based on the user’s Facebook contacts. So when a user searches for an individual, friends or mutual friends get shown higher in the search results.

In a blog post Facebook commented “Everyday most of us make decisions with the input from people we trust and this is a way to bring friends’ recommendations to online search.”

At the moment the change is just in the US – we’re yet to see plans for the UK.

Try it out!

Try switching your settings on Bing to US and trying out social search. Do you think there’s a future in it, something genuinely useful to people? Or is this just another search gimmick? Leave us a comment below.

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Social Media

Facebook and Twitter make you Happy!

Well you heard it here first. Despite what the techno-naysayers would have you believe, Facebook might actually bring a smile to your face.

According to research by BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT – social networking and Instant Messaging make us feel both happier and less isolated.

Access to Technology

There is apparently a clear link between well being and access to technology, with social networking providing the largest emotional benefit. It’s all down to the additional level of contact that Facebook and the like give you with your friends and family.

It doesn’t replace traditional stuff

The fear cited by many is that these new ways of interacting are replacing the traditional face to face stuff. This research indicates that it augments rather than replaces it.

“Social networking makes us happier.” was how Paul Flatters from Trajectory Partnership, which worked with BCS on the research, summed up.

“Given the immediate uplift in life satisfaction that people experience when using these sites, teaching people about how to use services like Facebook could be a more effective way of bridging the digital divide and getting people online.”

In response to the research The Chartered Institute for IT is planning to launch a getting-started guide to social networking as just one part of its Savvy Citizens campaign, encouraging people to get online.

Does Facebook make you happy? Is Twitter leaving you satisfied? Does Messenger bring a smile to your lips? Leave us a comment below.

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Social Media

Facebook is now the most used website

The results are in, the numbers have been counted and verified. And the news? Well don’t hold your breath: according to online measurement firm ComScore, Facebook is where we all hang out. It racks up more time-spent than any other site, including all Google’s sites.

In August we spent 41.1m minutes on Facebook. which is 9.9% of total time online. That compares to 39.8m minutes on Google sites (which of course include YouTube).

Yahoo sites got up to 37.7m minutes of dwell time, which is down 12% on August 2009.

Both Facebook and Google are up massively -the pair received just 5% each in Auust 2009.

Both Google and Facebook have made a big effort to boost user time in the last year. Lots of businesses now use Facebook pages as a key way to interact with customers. It’s also a lot easier to share content on Facebook than a year ago.

Google for its part has broker deals with film studios, record labels, sporting bodies and broadcasters to show more long-form content on YouTube.

So is this a victory for great, engaging websites? Or a poor sign for the diversity of our interests in the web? are you using Facebook and YouTube more than you were a year ago? Leave us a comment below.

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Social Media

How to put a value on your Facebook page

We’re often going on (and on) about using social media to help market your website.

We’ve integrated the WebEden Website Builder with Facebook and Twitter. It’s possible to put a Twitter feed on your website. Thanks to some handy tricks you can put a Facebook ‘Like’ button on your website. We’ve even developed our own Facebook application so you can build a website from within Facebook.

As opposed to Pay per click or other traditional marketing methods, its hard to put a value on your social media efforts. Social media for brands and websites is about engaging with your audience in an environment that suits them.

But now there’s a handy little tool that attempts to do put a ‘value’ on your actual Facebook page.

SocialPageEvaluator tries to come up with a notional ‘value’ of your Facebook page by looking at factors such as the number of Fans; the frequency with which you update your page; the number of visits your fan page has; and the number of times your fans interact with your fan page content.

All you need to do is enter the URL of any Facebook page and SocialPageEvaluator does the rest.

So to test it out, how does it get on with the WebEden Facebok page?

Here goes… and the result?

Social Page Evaluator is saying that the current ‘value’ of the WebEden facebook page is $418, but with improved social media techniques it could reach a value of $3,132. Interestingly enough, it has come up with the advice that we’re not posting enough to our Facebook Page.

It’s important to remember that this is just one system’s attempt to assess value, and is therefore more useful as a comparison tool to find out how you’re doing against competitors.

Try it out and let us know how your Facebook Page gets on!

http://evaluator.vitrue.com

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Social Media

MySpace users move on

It was the original Social Network, one that many believe spawned the genre. A new breed of Internet startup, it was snapped up by Rupert Murdoch for $850m back in 2005. But now it seems that users have had enough of MySpace. Users fell by a whopping 49% in the last year.

Users leaving & so are the staff

Figures released by online traffic monitoring firm ComScore show that the MySpace total audience dropped from 6.5m in May 2009 to 3.3m in May 2010. This period has also seen the departure of high-profile staff including CEO Owen Van Natta.

Good for Musicians

Having launched as a place where anyone could have a free homepage, to which they could add content such as chat, images, text, MySpace was rapidly adopted by young people as a place to showcase their interests. Bands too were quick to set up MySpace pages, and more recently the brand has been trying to position itself as a music specialist: MySpace music launched in December of last year.

Another win for Facebook

So where are the users going? I’ll give you one guess… The UK has around 38m Internet users. 9 out of 10 of those use Social Media. Facebook of course tops the chart, with 30.4m users – 79% of the UK online population. It’s up 28% in the last year along.

And Twitter?

Despite its media coverage, Twitter is used by just 4.3m, but the rate of growth is fast –  up 69% in the last year.

Not only are more of us using social media, we’re spending more time on it too. In May 2009 we spent 4.6 hours per month, and that’s now up to 7.1 hours.

What about you?

Are you, or were you ever a MySpace fan? Have you moved on? As a website builder are you managing to get more users to your site by engaging people on Social Media? Leave us a comment below.

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Social Media

Do you want to pay by cash, card, or Facebook Credits?

You may have noticed a new item in the main ‘account’ menu in Facebook. It looks like this:

This is Facebook’s attempt to launch its own virtual currency. To start with Facebook credits are targeted at virtual goods such as games, but Facebook hope that it will eventually be used to buy anything online.

Good for Website Builders

For those with a Facebook page AND a physical website elsewhere, this is a potentially exciting opportunity to offer transactions within the actual Facebook environment.

And it has even bigger implications: Thanks to Facebook connect – which lets you log into other sites using your Facebook login – and Facebook open graph – which allows any site to be ‘liked’, the online currency could eventually flourish not just within Facebook but on the wide web too.

How much?

The potential downside for retailers and consumers is that Facebook plan to take a whopping 30% of every transaction. That goes way beyond the 2% that most credit card companies take.

Beanz

This isn’t the first time an online currency has been tried. Those of us who remember the heady days of the web in the 90s will recall a startup currency called ‘beanz’, which was the first play for a universal way to pay online. Beanz – like so many early dotcoms – foundered because it wasn’t widely adopted. But with 500m global users Facebook definitely has the reach to make this work.

Frictionless transactcions

Experts are saying that despite the healthy commissions, Facebook credits could provide a very easy and frictionless way to pay online. And when friction goes down, sales go up.

What do you think?

Do you think that a Facebook currency could work? How would you feel about buying – or selling – for Facebook credits rather than hard cash? Has Facebook overstepped the mark, is it becoming too big, too much a part of everyone’s lives?

Leave us a comment below.

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Archive

Are you getting the message?

In the mid ’90s, early adopters started to rave about – and then get obsessed with – a fantastic new way to communicate. It was like sending a letter, but the letter went from your computer to another one. Email had arrived.

The problem with email, of course, was that whilst you could send your entire letter instantly, you couldn’t guarantee that it was read instantly. It might sit on the recipient’s computer for days, without being read responded to. So whilst email saved the hassle of envelopes and stamps, in many cases the process of communication was no faster.

Although it existed before, around the year 2,000 another form of communication arrived on the scene, called instant messaging (IM). With IM what you were writing was instantly viewed by the recipient, and was instantly responded to. It really was like a conversation that was written down. It was widely tipped to replace e-mail and to become the default way to communicate online. Microsoft’s MSN Messenger was the best known, but there were many alternatives including Skype.

But according to a recent survey, it seems that we Brits have fallen out of love with IM. Back in 2007, 14% of time online was spent on IM. This has now fallen to just 5%. By contrast, email continues to thrive -it represents fully 75% of way we communicate online.

So what’s happened to IM?

Its immediate, its novel, and its straightforward – why don’t we like it anymore?

Here’s a few of my thoughts. To start with, use of IM was usually carried out in our leisure time, and is a social activity. And these days there are so many other interesting social activities we can do online. Aside from Facebook, Twitter, Myspace etc., many websites also have a social and interactive element to them. We’ve only go so much spare time

Next, IM is mainly a one-to-one communication tool. These days communicating online through social media is often more about one-to-many. You want to give someone a message, but you also don’t mind that message being public.

Also, IM has lost its novelty. When new crazes get adopted, it’s often because it’s an exciting new thing to do. After a while the novelty wears off, and we are no longer attracted by the innovation.

And last of all, maybe one weakness of IM is that it is, well, instant. If someone sends you a message on IM, you’re almost obligated to stop what you’re doing and respond to them. Many people like to respond in their own time, and don’t want to be hassled.

Do you use IM? Are you less interested than you used to be? Do you think it will survive as a way to communicate? Leave us a comment below.

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Social Media Softwate Update

WebEden Facebook Application now in Live Beta

There is a palpable sense of excitment here in the WebEden office. Raybo, our residence technological wizard, has turned the WebEden Website Builder into a Facebook Application! This means that you can now sign up to WebEden – and build a website – from within Facebook!

We need your help!

This is where you come in. We’re live, in Beta, but to iron out the bugs we really need some live testing.

We’ve been through it until we can’t see the wood for the trees, so it would be great to get your feedback too. Please help us by signing up to the WebEden Facebook Application and let us know if it all works OK!

How do I test it?

There are three ways you can find the WebEden Facebook Application.

1. Go straight to the application, which is at http://apps.facebook.com/webeden/

2. Go to Facebook, and search in the top search box for ‘webeden’. Click on the application in the drop down choice:

3. From the WebEden Facebook Page (which you can find here) just click on the ‘Website Builder’ tab:

Try it, Test it

Please try out the application and let us know if you can build a website. Try sharing the application with your friends to see if that sharing function really works. And then leave us some comments so we know what we need to do to make it better!

You can leave a comment below this post, on the forum, on the WebEden Facebook Page.

Thanks – and good luck!

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Social Media

Facebook Open Graph – are you For or Against?

A couple of weeks ago we let you know about our new Facebook ‘like’ button on the WebEden homepage [link]. And thanks to some genius coding from in house pro Raybo, we’ve made it possible for all of you to add a Facebook ‘like’ button to your website too.

If you click the ‘like’ button, it adds a status update in Facebook that says that you like that page.

Socialising the Web

It’s called the Facebook ‘Open Graph’ program, and it is Facebook’s attempt to ‘socialise’ the web by publishing information about the websites and products that Facebook’s 500m users like to visit.

Promoting your Website

There’s a huge benefit if you’re a website builder. By letting your users ‘like’ your website, it is automatically promoted to all their friends. It also allows you to broadcast how popular you are to all visitors to your website, and give the impression that you are part of a larger community

Another significant upside for website builders is that you can also add a tracking code that lets you see how many people have viewed this status update –  a measure of how ‘viral’ your campaign is.

Taking over the Web?

It’s by no means all good news. Comment on ReadWriteWeb says that “Facebook’s ambition is to kill off its competition and use 500 million users to take over entire Web”.

By default all Facebook users and website builders are being used to distribute Facebook functionality across the Internet. In effect, this makes Facebook the default platform to express likes, dislikes and preferences. All that info will be tracked by Facebook, and then used by advertisers in order to reach users with targeted messages.

From Private to Public

So Facebook will have made the transition from a platform where you can privately share information, images and videos, to a place where your interests and online life can be bought, sold, and accessed by 3rd parties.

What do you think of the Facebook Open Graph? A good tool for website builders, or an erosion of your privacy? Leave us a comment below.

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