Everyman on What Clients Want, Foursquare Analytics, a Smarter Landing Page

Six Things Clients Want. Valuable reminders for freelancers on what our clients are seeking from us. Clients are looking for insights about their customers or their business. They seek inspiration and new ideas. Clients expect us to be able to collaborate with their various partners and agencies. They hope we can give them guidance on improving processes and how to become more productive.

Microsoft Upside-Down. A CrunchGear article titled It’s time for Microsoft to turn itself upside-down. I couldn’t agree more. “Microsoft probably has as many metaphorical garages as anyone else in the world. Microsoft Research and Microsoft Labs, among many other experimental sections, employ an immense amount of people, and frequently come out with really cool stuff. The trouble is that something in the structure of Microsoft’s complex interlocking-teams method of management prevents these things from being anything other than great ideas.” The article includes a list of products that demonstrate how Microsoft fails miserably bringing great ideas to market.

Courier videos. Speaking of a potential Microsoft failure, Six Pixels posts two videos on the Courier portable. The videos can both be viewed at once which is what I recommend to get a quick snapshot of what the Courier does, which seems to be little more than functioning as a digital scrapbook.

Foursquare analytics for businesses. The new Foursquare statistics service for businesses is brilliant. The New York Times provides a screenshot that gives you all the details. Statistics areas include Key Metrics (total checkins, unique visitors, sent to twitter, etc), Top Visitors, Most Recent Checkins, and Checkins by date and time.

Layar Augmented Reality App. AR is definitely around the corner, a natural progression in location-based applications. David Meerman Scott is dazzled by the Layar AR iPhone app and posts a video of it in action. We’re seeing the future unfold before our eyes, my friends. The smartphone device will be replaced with a larger AR device which will be replaced by wearable AR devices to be replaced by human-integrated and non-physical AR devices. There’s nothing that can stop it.

Using Search Terms for Planning New Content. This may seem obvious, if you want more traffic you use Google Analytics to learn what search terms people used to discover your site and you write more on those terms. This Daily SEO Tip article provides a quick description of the process. The pages on dbvt.com that get the most hits are my posts on Silverlight, and unfortunately I’m not doing much in Silverlight these days.

Strong Community Connections. Excellent point from FeverBee on defining community parameters that build strong connections among community members. He uses an online community for folks over 40 as a bad example of building strong connections, as people over 40 don’t feel a strong connection with others over 40, not like, say people over 80. “The higher the boundaries and the smaller the group, the tighter the community will be.”

Community Veterans. I’m getting a lot from Richard Millington’s FeverBee blog on community, so two Everyman Links tonight. Here he makes a very good point on the value of active veterans in an online community. “The best indicator of an online community’s survival is how many active veterans you have. How many members have been participating for 5 years? A single active veteran is worth 100 newcomers, maybe a 1000.”

A Smarter Landing Page. Landing pages are typically referred to as the pages you promote with Google Adsense, but can also be viewed as the top pages visitors arrive at through a Google or Bing search. Very good idea from Search Engine Journal on adding content-specific calls to action or additional links to reduce the bounce rate.  BlogEngine.NET does that out of the box by displaying a list of related articles when it determines that the blog page was arrived at through Google.  If you search Everyman Links, for instance, “Dave Burke – Everyman Links” is the first entry. Click on it and you’ll see BlogEngine.NET’s related post list at the top of the page. All I’m saying is that there’s a lot of potential in maximizing search-term-based logic on landing pages to improve SEO and better managing user behavior once they’re on your website.

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.