Resource Friday – April 23, 2010
Planning code, breaking down social media, and more
Today we’re initiating a new series of posts to the YDOP blog that we’re really excited to share with you. Earlier this year, we began carving out a one-hour block once a week for what we call “Resource Friday.” We grab a couple pizzas and then sit down as a complete team to share professional development resources with each other. Here are the expectations:
- Limit per person is ten minutes (we use a countdown timer)
- Talk about discoveries you’ve made in the past week—technology developments, tools, ideas, articles, books, etc.
- Find a theme to follow over the course of at least five weeks at a time, and focus your reading and learning on that
Resource Fridays inspire and push us as a team, and hold each individual accountable for constantly learning and growing. Now we’d like to share brief recaps of the resources we share with you. We’ll be posting these each week.
Object-Oriented Programming Fundamentals
Jonathan Arndt, Programmer
Today I talked briefly about inheritance and polymorphism. These are big words, and programmers use them all the time. But they are not complicated ideas.
Inheritance is the idea that when you build an object, you can extend it. The extension will have the same attributes as the main object, unless you specify otherwise. Polymorphism is the idea that you are indeed able to specify otherwise, so that the extension will have some different behavior than the main object.
Jonathan also shared this gem from a Web page he visited while researching Perl modules for a client” “Write the documentation for a module first, before writing any code. Discuss the module with other people first, before writing any code. Plan the module first, before writing any code. It’s easy to come up with a solution to a problem. It takes planning to come up with a good solution. Remember: the documentation, not the code, defines what a module does.”
Lancaster SEO Meetup Recap
Jeff Burkholder, Analyst
I relayed some of the information presented by Dan Meyer of ProspectMX at the Lancaster SEO Group Meetup (which YDOP is proud to sponsor) earlier this week. Dan started out by looking at some of the major trends for 2010 in internet marketing:
- Your Digital Footprint/Reputation Management – Paying attention to your company’s image in all forms of media by monitoring what people are saying about you on Facebook/Twitter/message boards/blogs/etc.
- Social Media Marketing Enhanced (see below)
- Video, Video, Video – Dan sees the trend of “viral” videos as continuing and increasing
- Mobile Everything – The mobile market is the largest growing segment of internet use. Also, customers are becoming more savvy; when they’re out shopping, they can now price-check on the spot. Their savvy also extends to Internet searches: 40% of search terms in Google have never been specifically searched for before. That is, customers are getting more and more specific about what they’re precisely looking for.
Dan also noted that in the marketing world, Internet media is the only one that’s really measurable. There’s no way to tell with any amount of certainty how much business is generated by a billboard or a television advertisement, but you can tell how many times an Internet ad has been seen, clicked on, and often how many of those clicks have led directly to sales. In regards to social media marketing, Dan brought up the fact that Facebook is huge. In fact, 95% of people who participate in social media have a Facebook page, and in the past year, there’s been a 48% increase in women who have some sort of social media profile. All of this points to the fact that businesses that are afraid of using the word “social” in relation to business are increasingly going to be left behind.
Taking conversion optimization from good to great
Steve Wolgemuth, Principal
Having moved on from bludgeoning my team with lists of characteristics of a great company (Good to Great, Jim Collins), I’ve began the tedious journey of understanding how to have good to great conversion results on client websites. I’m loving it, and loving Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg’s book, Call To Action, which was the source of my contribution this week. I shared how a conversion is typically made up of many steps, which can be demonstrated on a decision/navigation flowchart, but the persuasive aspects of keeping visitors motivated enough to take next steps through your flowchart is—well—complicated. I was left with the emotion that I had in my first year of marriage, my first month of cockatiel ownership and the other weekend figuring out my Verizon bill. It’s complicated.
But, as with spouses, exotic birds and website visitors, understanding is key. (You may notice I’ve dropped the Verizon example at this point). What motivates them? What are their fears/concerns? What do they value and what is their mood and mindset? It is important to keep interest at each step through polite enticement, and careful consideration of what has motivated their last action. As Eisenberg wisely points out, empathy is the best guide, and the reality of your website’s offering/value is solely in the mind of its users. Plan a great experience for them through every click.
Spawning worker scripts in HTML 5
David DeCarmine, Lead Programmer
With the ever-increasing demands of emerging Web apps, concurrency is becoming a hot issue. This week I brought the team through a particular development in the upcoming HTML5 standard termed Web Workers (http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-workers/current-work/). Currently a draft recommendation, Web Workers allow you to spawn background scripts that run parallel to your main page (similar to spawning threads in a desktop application).
The main uses for these workers is to be able to execute tasks without stalling the main application. An example might be to pull in and parse traffic information for an online map while the user is still navigating around it.
Some examples of Web Workers can be found on the WHATWG site (http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-workers/current-work/#tutorial) and the Mozilla Developer Center also has a nice little tutorial on getting started with Web Workers (https://developer.mozilla.org/En/Using_web_workers).
Five Categories of Social Media Uses
Daniel Klotz, Social Media Strategist
I shared a dense and brilliant blog entry by Jay Baer on what would happen “if we stopped lumping everything under the term ‘social media,’ and instead focused more on the specific outcomes that socialization of business can produce.” Baer suggests five categories of social media uses:
- Social PR & Influencer Outreach
- Social Campaigns & Apps (social media marketing)
- Content Marketing & Thought Leadership
- Brand Communities
- Social CRM
As a team we discussed which categories of social media usage YDOP currently focuses on, and where we would like to build our capacity.