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Is Web 2.0 changing the entrepreneur-VC dynamic?

In Web 1.0, a considerable amount of startup activity was centered on the notion that the internet was a "commercial" medium.

It wasn't uncommon to see an e-commerce startup raise an eight figure round of funding early on in its lifecycle.

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How much change does your site really need?

In an online retail market expected to double in size to £78 billion by 2010* the potential rewards for e-commerce businesses are huge. Equally, so is the pressure to stay ahead of their competition. 

The desire for online businesses to become bigger and better inevitably affects their approach to redesign. There’s a huge temptation to introduce the latest whiz bang functionality and super cool design which will appeal to a whole new generation of customers.

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Why don't we invest in new digital talent?

Chinwag's Digital Skills Survey at the end of 2007 proved yet again what we all know, that our industry is struggling to find and retain the best candidates which is leading to spiralling wage inflation in our sector, undermining growth and restricting profits. The figures, afterall, speak for themselves:

  • 97% of respondents find it either difficult or impossible to attract the right digital staff for their businesses
  • 57% of respondents reported that the digital skills shortage impeded the growth of their business in 2007
  • 75% of businesses are planning to increase the salaries of digital staff

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Contact details - best and worst practice examples

Providing contact details is a very basic requirement for etailers, but it's surprising how many either fail to provide a range of options or make users hunt around the site to find them.

Indeed, a survey last year found that the UK's online retailers were struggling on this issue, with 60% failing to provide a contact telephone number on their websites.

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Online and offline - the customer voice reigns

We all know that customer ratings and reviews, or user generated content, help drive more traffic to a website, increase sales conversions, make merchandisers smarter and more.

But did you know that customer reviews are changing the way consumers shop and the way companies market their products?

Brett Hurt writes that this is a unique time in the history of advertising, because companies are literally using their customers’ word of mouth as a digital marketing asset to create entirely new forms of multichannel campaigns.

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Website monitoring services

It's 3 a.m. Do you know how your website is behaving?

If you run an online business of any kind, you should, because downtime and poor website performance not only causes lost revenue, it also can lead to a loss of reputation and loyalty.

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comScore: Facebook surpasses MySpace

According to comScore, Facebook has overtaken MySpace as the world's most visited social network.

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Visual book browsing with Zoomii

Zoomii, launched last week, is a virtual bookstore that displays books from Amazon.

Zoomii

The site is built on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud and uses the Amazon S3 hosted storage service. Buyers are directed to the online retail giant via an affiliate link.

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Google Trends adds website traffic data

Google Trends is now competing directly with services such as Alexa and Compete, by allowing users to look at trends by website address.

Google Trends - E-consultancy

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Q&A: Lovefilm's Craig Sullivan on A/B and multi-variate testing

Here, we speak to Lovefilm's digital and usability product manager Craig Sullivan about the work the DVD rental company has been doing in multi-variate testing (MVT).

Craig is a bit of an evangelist on MVT - a hot topic right now - and has some great insights into when and how best to use it, the differences with A/B testing and how to intepret results. 

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Brand engagement with Wii

It seems that every day we read about the declining effectiveness of advertising. How viewers skip through the adverts, can switch off to the marketing noise, no longer respond to our messages.

Brands are increasingly looking at more diverse ways to engage consumers in their products, and I believe there is currently no better opportunity than the Nintendo Wii.

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Are virtual goods the solution to the social network monetization conundrum?

The troubles popular social networks have experienced in monetizing their vast audiences are well-known.

But one of the ironies of troubled economic times - like we're facing now - is that the paper money so popular when times are good starts to play second fiddle to cold hard cash.

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