Archive for March, 2009
There are several times when I have been reading a blog post or some copy on a website (as much as that doesn’t seems like that typical thing to do) and noticed a spelling error.
I am sure with the speed at which I try to type my blog, it happens to me as well (see image on this page with spelling errors). If you diligently look through this blog, I am sure there are few.
What to do? Even more importantly is a website with a high volume of content. It is true that most modern CMS systems will have a dialog that will include spell check and show what has been spelled incorrectly.
However, what about the content comes from databases? Most database entry systems do not have spell checking. What about the smaller website that might be hand coded? Yes, they are still out there.
A great online service called Spellr.us can check your website for common spelling errors. The Basic account lets you scan up to 100 pages of your website. The tool also allows you to set intervals to check your content.
The pricing model is cheaper than hiring a proof reader. You can get a free basic account to try out the service. That account allow the user to scan 100 pages and do up to 5 scans. The account only lasts for 30 days, but you can get a Zebra account for only $24.
For $267 you can scan up to 15,000 pages and have 200 scans in 30 days. You can also set the interval at which you want to do scans – monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly.
The tool gives a nice output with the error by URL so you can go back and make correction on the page or track down the product data to help identify the source.
One you get into the page report, you can see the errors on a sliding scale of Likely, Possible and Unlikely. Even better, it will show you what it has identified as an error and link you to that part of the page.
For proper names or unusual technical terms, you can add them to a custom dictionary so they will not appear in later scans.
There is some solid functionality in this tool. I think it is great for a smaller agency who does not have the staff to employee a content person or an overburdened web staff that is trying to manage content entry.
It is even better for a time-pressed blogger who isn’t so great at proof reading her own stuff.
I was reading a story on Springwise about hyperlocal news from the New York Times that sounded like an interesting approach. Take writers and editors and have them cover the news about where they live. Select small enclaves where you could create enough mass to justify calling it local coverage.
When I started checking out the website, I realized it was a aggregated blog website. According to the NYTs: “The Local provides news, information, entertainment and informed conversation about the things that matter to you, your neighbors and your family, from bloggers and citizens who live, work and create in your community — as well as journalists from The New York Times.”
So let me understand this approach – you add a section onto the website for bloggers and determine some central geographic points to aggregate these citizens. Throw in the respectability of the NYT reputation and the allure that actual staff writers might be posting information as well.
It will be interesting to see how this new approach to the news works, but it is nice to see a bit more of a social networking feel to the idea of news.
Google has built an empire by creating an unobtrusive ad system with an increasingly sophisticated way to target and serve the audience. It seems like such a simple idea.
As time has gone by, they have found more and more places to put ads. It is almost like Pizza Hut always inventing new places to put cheese – in the crust, between layers.
I hadn’t noticed ads on the image search or the maps page before, but low and behold, I noticed them today.
Apparently, Google had rolled image search ppc ads onto their search network very quietly last November. When I searched on some key terms, there wasn’t a lot of competition, except for online marketing – because those folks probably jumped on the bandwagon right away.
The real question is should you put your ads on Google Image search? Well, this tactic could provide a larger reach because a lot of people use vertical Google Image Search. The one negative aspect of this maneuver would be that only the top few ads appear on the page, so the bidding might get competitive in order to be at the top of the page.
At the beginning of the year, I decided to unsubscribe from an email that I receive. It is a newsletter for an industry that I have not been focusing on, and it tends to provide relatively little insight and a lot of conference sign ups and report offers.
They have still not stopped sending me emails.
Besides my high-level of annoyance, it is illegal. It got me thinking about the details of the CAN-SPAM Act for Commercial Emailers. Although most email companies or marketers know these, I think it is good idea to do a refresher course.
Here are a couple highlights from the FTC website
- No false or misleading header information – meaning your “From,” “To,” addresses
- No deceptive subject lines – basically no bait and switch
- There must be an opt-out method in the email – let the user tell you they don’t want any or specific types of messages from you
- You have to include the sender’s physical postal address.
OK. Those were the basics rules, and you can get the details at the FTC website. However, I was looking for details on my particular issue. I opted out of the email list, but they keep sending. What was their obligation? Here is what the FTC says:
Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your commercial email. When you receive an opt-out request, the law gives you 10 business days to stop sending email to the requestor’s email address. You cannot help another entity send email to that address, or have another entity send email on your behalf to that address. Finally, it’s illegal for you to sell or transfer the email addresses of people who choose not to receive your email, even in the form of a mailing list, unless you transfer the addresses so another entity can comply with the law.
Beyond the legal ramifications, what does excessive email sending mean to your deliverability rate and email reputation? In ExactTarget’s Channel Preference Survey, it indicated that excessive marketing for email providers was considered SPAM by users. Personally, this email list is taking far too much time for me to unsubscribe, so I am going to flag them in my email SPAM filter. it was nice knowing you.