UK newspapers have a good year online

It seems that, despite declining print circulations, the UK's newspapers have managed to build up their online audiences. According to stats from Nielsen Online, the top ten newspaper sites have seen a 23% increase in traffic.

While this growth is partly down to the continuing growth of internet usage in the UK, one thing the top ten newspaper sites have in common is that they have all adapted well to the web, with most having redesigned their websites in the last year or so.


Drama 2.0's predictions for 2009

With the New Year right around the corner and this being my last post for the year, I figured it was time to go on record with my predictions for 2009.

The last half of 2008 has been interesting and changed the dynamic in the internet economy as financial markets collapsed and the global economy faltered. This will set the tone for 2009.

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HM Revenue & Customs implements changes to help businesses

In British finance minister Alistair Darling's pre-budget report to parliament last month, a plan was laid out to help businesses in the UK.

Here are some of the changes that are being implemented that may impact you.


Site review: BookArmy beta

BookArmy, a literary recommendation website, is the latest social media project from publisher Harper Collins. It was originally planned for an official launch this year, but that has been delayed, and the site is now in private beta.

Harper Collins' other social media site, Authonomy, provides a way for the publisher to outsource its slush pile by having aspiring writers publish part of their work online and have it rated by others, in the hope that the cream rises to the top. BookArmy aims to be a recommendation engine for book lovers, having them rate the books they already love, and recommend others to them.

I've been trying out the new site to see how it looks so far...


LeWeb '08 - how not to run a technology conference?

Loic LeMeur, a popular French tech entrepreneur and blogger who runs a Web 2.0 startup called Seesmic when he has spare time, is the organizer of LeWeb, arguably one of Europe's most 'star-studded' internet conferences.

The first LeWeb conference took place in 2005 and has grown from a modest 250 attendees that first year to over 1,800 in 2007. As Paul Carr of The Guardian notes in his report on LeWeb 2008, LeWeb has seen its fair share of controversy and criticism in the past.

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An awesome WordPress 2.7 is released

Automattic, the maker of the popular WordPress open-source blogging software, made a big announcement last week - the release of WordPress 2.7.

As a WordPress user myself, this was exciting news because WordPress 2.7 is a major update.


eMarketer cuts social network ad spend projections

In what seems to be a frequent occurrence, research firm eMarketer has cut its estimates for ad spend on social networks.

In May, the firm estimated that spending on social network ads would reach $1.4bn. That number has been lowered to $1.2bn.

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Site review:, the online version of the celebrity magazine, was redesigned a couple of months ago.

I've been having a look around the Hello website to see if the revamp has improved the site, and how it compares to those of its rivals; sites like iVillage, More, and heatworld.


The Web Week in Review

It was an interesting week. As news of the debate over the possible bailout of the United States' struggling automakers captured the headlines and largely dictated the mood in the major financial markets around the world, newspaper titan Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy and the Pulitzer Prize Board decided to fully embrace online journalism.


ITV updates its video player

ITV has been tweaking its online catch up TV service, and has introduced a few improvements for customers viewing video on its website, using Microsoft Silverlight.

ITV video player / Silverlight

The service is going to be rebranded as the 'ITV Player', which is at least a bit more distinctive than 'catch up'. As well as a new name, ITV needs to be improve the usability of its online video, so what difference has Silverlight made to this? 


Q&A: Chris Roe of Virgin Holidays

Chris Roe presented at our recent Online Marketing Masterclasses event, talking about the improvements he has implemented there, which have helped to increase conversion rates on the site by an impressive 90%.

Chris is General Manager of Sales & Distribution, responsible for web, call centre and trade sales. We have been talking to him about the improvements made to the user experience on the Virgin Holidays website.

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Expanding e-commerce across borders

The key to continued growth for many UK online retailers during 2009 could well lie in cross-border selling, with the biggest opportunities right on the doorstep in Europe.

Here, this is discussed, to coincide with the release of E-consultancy’s Online Transaction Processing Guide.