Does Twitter live up to the hype?

31. August 2009 09:01 by Sasha in   //  Tags: ,   //   Comments

Does Twitter live up to the hype? As with most things that depends on who you are, what you do and how you do it.

A lot of people who have tried Twitter have written it off as a waste of time citing headlines such as Twitter tweets are 40% 'babble'.

That may be true but 80% of TV and pop music are rubbish but there is still enough decent stuff that we can just take what we like and ignore the rest.

This is why I believe Twitter works…

You can follow only people you want to hear from.

I pick up lot’s of great news and tips about web development, current affairs, politics etc because I follow people who are in the know. There are no ads and if someone is wasting my time I stop following them.

The information comes in small bite size chunks

We live in the era of the sound bite. So many people only skim headlines anyway as so much news is free online. A lot of the time a Tweet is a link to a story. If you like a Tweet, you can click on the link and read the full story.

From a marketers point of view it is easier to Tweet than to create newsletters.

Dell has made over 3 million dollars from Twitter related sales. It costs nothing but someone’s time. Think about the effort that goes into sending newsletters. Newsletters is the tried and true method for keeping customers engaged but you cant send more than one marketing newsletter every few days without it looking like Spam. Twitter can be used to have a continuous dialog with customers reminding them about you and your services or products.

As a consumer, the information comes to me

I don’t have to go looking for the news I want. It arrives by itself, tailored to my interests.

Twitter is a real time barometer of what’s going on

Use tools like TwitScoop to see what is happening in the world in real time. We no longer live in an age where only marketers can spot the trends. Now anyone can.

Twitter is an amazing tool and definitely will have it’s place on the internet for a while to come. It can also be a big time suck.
After all if you listen to Tim Ferris, the author of The 4-hour work week we shouldn’t even be listening or watching the news. Oddly enough though, even he is on Twitter. - http://twitter.com/tferriss
I guess if you only work 4 hours a day, you probably have plenty of time to spend on Twitter.

The best online Website Creation Tools

3. August 2009 04:16 by Sasha in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments

Lately, there has been a boom in online website creation tools.
These sites allow you to create your won sites that can be really easy to set up and very (very!!) cheap.
The best ones I have seen are

http://www.wix.com – For building cool looking Flash-based sites

http://www.squarespace.com/ – Very comprehensive HTML based sites

http://www.wordpress.com – Old faithful but limited functionality although there is an iPhone app.

http://www.mrsite.com – Haven’t used it but the portfolio looks pretty good.

http://www.tumblr.com – pretty cool if all you are after is a basic Blogand also has an iPhone app.

http://www.goodbarry.com - Just added this last one long after writing this blog but it looks like it may be the best. Will give update soon.

WIX.com

Starting Price: Free unless you want to use your own domain name

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The Good

  • The interface to WIX is incredible!! So easy and so much fun to use.
  • Tons of cool functionality

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The Bad

  • It’s all Flash. No matter what anyone says, I am yet to see how Flash sites can compete against HTML sites for SEO friendliness
  • Your design options are limited to the templates provided. Granted there is a lot of scope for customisation.

Verdict

If SEO is not your main concern then this is a great option.
So easy to use my Grandma could build a great looking site in minutes. 

Squarespace.com

Starting Price: $8 per month

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The Good

  • Beautiful interface. These guys really take their design seriously.
  • Very flexible layout and CSS customisation options.

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The Bad

  • Limited functionality.
  • Although it is well designed will still require a decent amount of learning to create a site.

Verdict

If you are money poor but time rich then you can create a very decent site.
As long as you don’t need any specific functionality (or ever will) then definitely worth trying the free 2 week trial.
If I was creating a brochure site on the cheap then Squarespace would be my pick.

Wordpress

Starting Price: Free unless you want to use your own domain name

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Although technically Wordpress is blog software, the fact that they allow you to add non blog pages to your site means that a lot of people are using Wordpress for their main site.

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The Good

  • It’s fast, easy to use and cheap and works very well if you just want a good Blog.
  • It’s very widely used so there are a lot of third party add-ons and a large community.
  • Very SEO friendly
  • If you just want a blog you can download the Wordpress software and add it to your site.
  • All open source so if you have a PHP developer handy, you can really do what ever you like with it.

The Bad

  • To utilise third party add ons or create your own themes/skins, you will need to either host the site yourself or find a hosting provider. Wordpress won’t host customised sites.
  • If you want a decent public facing site you will have to choose this option as the Wordpress hosted sites give you minimum functionality. This is fair enough as it is not really designed to be a full CMS.

Verdict

Great for Blogs but wouldn’t cut it as as a stand-alone CMS.

Final Conclusion

I haven’t tried Mrsite.com but it looks good. Also www.tumblr.com is worth a look for those wanting a cool blog site.
The online tools for creating websites are getting better and better. Squarespace.com is certainly a very mature, effective and highly usable piece of software.
If all your organisation requires is a good looking brochure site then with a great web designer you should be able to achieve your requirements very cheaply.
If you need any custom functionality such as integration with internal systems, Shopping Carts etc then you will always need a proper CMS system such as kentico or Sitecore

Webcoda, Web Development & Design, Sydney

Webcoda, Web Developers & Designers Sydney is a Sydney based Web Development company comprising a team of consultants who are experts in all aspects of Microsoft web technology from ASP.Net development to Kentico CMS & SharePoint.

Webcoda has a long history of producing outstanding results for clients large and small. We have helped companies grow from humble beginnings to multi-million dollar enterprises through technology.

We love what we do and this blog is our way of sharing info that we find interesting with the world at large. Please feel free to comment or drop us a line on +612 9370 3636

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