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Author: Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein

I started out working in digital TV and multimedia production. I then worked at the Financial Times on arguably the first commercial application of Video on Demand (1996) before getting involved with FT.com as a Producer / Project Manager.

In 1997 I moved to digital communications agency Wheel as the third person in the then 'internet team'. I went through the dotcom boom, seeing Wheel grow from 30 people to 450 in just 3 years, and was involved in launching sites for M&S, Abbey National, IPC Magazines, Autoglass, Channel 5, AMP etc.

Following the dotcom crash (which saw Wheel shrink back to a more modest 90 or so staff) I left and spent a very pleasant sabbatical year writing my second book in the South of France. I then returned to the UK and from June 2002 I have been running Econsultancy full time.

Ways that highly-designed websites can still be accessible and search friendly

There continues to be a tension between web design that is “highly-designed” and web design that is accessible and search engine friendly. The former sites tend to be Flash only or rely heavily on DHTML.

So it is possible for a site to be beautiful but accessible?

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Dr Martens launches new website freedm2.com – beautiful but flawed?

Dr Martens has launched a new website at freedm2.com through Saatchi Interactive. The site aims to increase engagement with customers using a range of multimedia interactions and ‘social’ elements, such as creating and sharing videos and music.

But it is all in Flash, you can’t buy shoes, and the registration doesn’t seem to work…

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Bebo's ad model: letting users decide what ads they see

Bebo are overhauling their advertising model in order to let its users choose what types of ads they see. The idea has caused quite a stir in the press and publishing community.

Is this idea misguided? Or is this the future of advertising? 

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Email Marketing Metrics - the 3-2-1 rule of thumb

We are often asked what are benchmark results for email marketing in terms of open rates, click rates and subsequent buy / register rates.

To keep it easy I've developed the 3-2-1 rule of thumb.

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Your website’s technology infrastructure is a marketing and commercial issue, not a technical one

Often marketers complain that ‘IT’ are too inflexible, too difficult to work with, and don’t understand marketing. But marketers too can be guilty of not understanding, or appreciating, what they deem ‘IT’.

A website’s technical infrastructure is a case in point. I believe it is a marketing issue, and marketing responsibility, not an ‘IT’ one.

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Why aren't there more online marketing strategy consultants?

Speaking as someone who was part of an online marketing strategy consulting team which, during the dotcom boom and bust, went from 0 people to 40 and back to 0 within 6 months, I now find myself wondering - why aren't there more people out there selling themselves as online marketing strategy consultants?

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How much traffic can Digg or Google News drive to your site?

Whilst looking through our site visitors stats recently I noticed two big spikes in traffic.

What may have caused them...?

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Journalists complaining about bloggers – who are you to talk?

If you’ve been reading the national media press recently you may well have read more than an article or two by established journalists which attack the rise of blogging. Principally, they criticise the lack of quality (fact checking, grammar, sources, regulatory compliance etc.) exhibited by many bloggers.

But are they really just annoyed that bloggers are threatening their status? Are journalists asking themselves similarly tough questions about how their readers perceive them?

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The woes of ITV and TV Broadcasters – what can they learn from the Internet?

You cannot have missed the coverage in the media at the moment about the woes of ITV, and TV broadcasters more generally.

I used to work in TV and find it hard to feel much sympathy for Big Media, but what might the broadcasters learn from the world of the internet?

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“One Word Equity” – what is Saatchi on about?

Last week Maurice Saatchi did an interview with the FT talking about the “strange death of modern advertising”. According to Maurice “Sometimes I feel as though I am standing at the graveside of a well-loved friend called advertising”.

I’m not sure many of us would mourn the death of advertising, but his solution? “One word equity”. Mmm… sounds like a very expensive ad campaign is required to achieve that…? What is he on about?

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Getting creative with SEO tactics

Increasingly it is common knowledge on how to do best practice search engine optimisation. That doesn't make it easy, but it does mean you'll need to start thinking more creatively to keep a competitive edge.

So outside your standard SEO best practice, what more creative tactics might you use?

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Guardian to publish news to web before the printed version

According to an article in today's MediaGuardian by Kim Fletcher, as of tomorrow (Tue 12 June), the Guardian will publish stories first to the web, "ending the primacy of the printed newspaper".  

 The newspaper industry seems to be agonising over such decisions and this is no doubt a 'ground-breaking' innovation for them. But isn't this as obvious as was the need for a format of newspaper you could actually read on the train (Berliner format blah blah)...?

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