Archive for March, 2007

Matt Cutts hacked?

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

I don’t know if this is an April Fools action or real, but it does look pretty real on the face of it. Matt Cutts’ blog got hacked, apparently by a group of French “SEOs” who call themselves the “Dark Seo Team” (you can deduce the URL yourself).

Strange thing though; the apparent hackers don’t mention it on their own website. You’d think they’d mention it if they also so blatantly put it on Matt’s homepage. Beside this, these guys are French so they would have done it somewhere around 05 AM local time in France. On a saturday night most people are either asleep or drunk around that time. So, maybe it is an April Fools stunt and everybody can rest easy. If not, good luck Matt!

Matt’s last post was about him complaining that his website got slow because of a lot of GET requests. A coincidence? I don’t know….

Update 4/2: today Matt admitted that it was an April Fool’s stunt.

Steve Jobs on life

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

It’s the middle of the weekend and right now I don’t want to write anything about SEO, the hospitality business nor Curacao. This one is more about life in general and specifically the way Steve Jobs (Apple, Pixar,etc) sees it. Check it out for yourself at video.google.com.


Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Source: stephengates.com
The single largest problem that continues to hinder interactive design from really coming into it’s own is the fact that designers allow their work to be led more by technology or production techniques and not creative thinking.

As a creative director I have had tons of interactive portfolios come across my screen over the years and I see the same problem over and over again. Unfortunately most of this work has been produced in Macromedia Flash and that technology has taken a huge amount of criticism over the years. I personally believe that pointing to Flash as the reason for ineffective web design makes about as much sense as blaming paper for creating junk mail or the telephone for creating the solicitors who call during dinner. The fault should fall to the designers who have not taken the time to use a creative strategy as the basis of their work. (more…)

The best things in life are free

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

We love stuff that’s free (who doesn’t). Lately we’ve been looking at all kinds of software to improve and quantify our efficiency. So, when people love free stuff and need software, where do they go? Yes, the website of websites when it comes to Open Source software: sourceforge.net.

One of the, for us, most useful pieces of software we found at SourceForge is a CRM system called SugarCRM (www.sugarforge.org). We’ve tried out some others, but this one seems to comply best with our wishes (web-based, PHP/MySQL, dedicated CRM, large capacity for contact details, customisable and not too cumbersome). We’ll be implementing it for everybody here soon so watch out competition 😉

Another good tip for free ’software’ is the website www.netvibes.com. This website falles in the catgeory “ultimate startpage”. After you have signed up for the service you can customise your personal startpage with all kinds of functionality and content. On my personal startpage I have my bookmarks, normal search and blog search, my “to do” list, a gmail checker and the RSS feeds from my favorite blogs. And when it becomes too crowded I can also create new tabbed pages with more specialised content. So now when I open my browser in the morning I have one handy page with most of what I want to know right in front of me and with a few simple clicks I can see even more.

If you have more handy software tips, put them in the comments with this article.

Five reasons consumers don’t book travel online

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Source: www.hotelmarketing.com

Despite improved customer-satisfaction ratings at several e-commerce companies, online travel sites still suffer from security , performance and customer perception woes that cause potential travelers to put down their mouse and pick up the phone to book trips.

Forrester Research found that in the light of recent survey data those who book travel continue to resist the Web as their main resource for making reservations. The research firm polled about 5,330 North American consumers in the last quarter of 2006 to determine exactly what prevents them from putting their faith in online travel sites. To start, the top-three most common reasons for those who book travel not to stay online to make reservations include concern over credit-card security, Web-site performance issues and limits on the actions they could take online. (more…)

The sum is more than its parts

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

One of the things that we sometimes find difficult is the fact that it can be difficult to work together with other companies and/or project groups. This week however, was a very good week for cooperation so far. Yesterday a competitor of ours (Spin Webdesign) helped us with some work we needed to do for a company that is also a client of theirs. And today we closed a cooperation deal between two clients of ours (ekvandoorne.com and investcuracao.com).

The people of the Curacao law firm VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne will be supplying the website investcuracao.com with editorials about current legal affairs, in particular editorials about constitutional affairs from a legislative and legal point of view. By doing this they add value to investcuracao.com, showcase themselves as experts within this field and help their own website with quality links.

All this cooperation makes us feel all postitive about doing business on Curacao.

Tripadvisor on your site?

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

For the people who do not know Tripadvisor: Tripadvisor is one of the largest travel communities on the web. On their website travellers can write reviews of destinations and hospitality businesses (mainly hotels). A positive review on Tripadvisor is the ultimate testimonial.

Tripadvisor now also gives hotels the opportunity to post the Tripadvisor reviews on their own website. The technology involved is a tiny bit of HTML-code which hotels can easily implement in their website. Through this code the latest reviews (positive and negative) are shown on the hotel’s website.

“TripAdvisor is the largest source of travel information anywhere, and our new distribution initiative sets out to make it the largest source of travel information everywhere,” said Christine Petersen, senior vice president of marketing for TripAdvisor. “Consumers today value and seek out the opinions of people like themselves who have already lived the experience they’re considering.”

We wonder which hotel on Curacao will be the first one to show its self-confidence and put these reviews on their website…

Search Engine Optimization and your business

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Today I came across an interesting article in which the author sums up why SEO is not only important for “the big boys”, but also for smaller companies. And, even more importantly, how an SEO strategy can help your business. “Obtain Increased and Higher Quality Sales”, “Brand Recognition”, “Enhanced Credibility and Legitimacy” are just a few of the benefits the author discusses. You can find the article on www.10e20.com.

TripAdvisor Goes Video!

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Source: HSMAI.org

NEEDHAM, Mass., TripAdvisor(R), the largest travel community in the world, now allows travelers to quickly and easily post their vacation videos. TripAdvisor also allows travel marketers to showcase their wares by uploading their videos. Thousands of TripAdvisor travelers already uploaded their videos and hundreds of thousands more viewed them, revealing a strong demand for ever more descriptive ways to tell a story or research a trip.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a million. Video can convey so much emotion so quickly,” said Christine Petersen, senior vice president of marketing for TripAdvisor. “We’re thrilled to offer the elegance of the written word, the power of candid photos and now the punch of video, so that whatever the experience, our travelers and the hospitality industry alike can share their information most effectively.”

More or less text?

Monday, March 12th, 2007

The people that have to deal with the contents of a website invariably come across one of the most annoying dilemmas around.

On the one hand they need to write clear, concise and short texts because the people that visit the website in question want to know what’s going on in an instant. They don’t want to read pages and pages of text if they don’t have to. On the other hand; the search engines need text to be able to figure out what your website is about and the more text there is, the more they have to form their ‘opinion’ and the more words you might be found with. So, how do you deal with this.

The general way of dealing with this dilemma is to try to satisfy both parties and, even more importantly, not to ‘annoy’ either of the parties. Some content managers make very short pages with “read more” links and others create longer pages with a summary in the beginning and a longer explanation below. Both forms have something going for them, although we prefer the second way of handling content.

Besides this, it would be wise to consider the audience. If you cater your website to a specific group of people who are actually interested in what you have to say (as opposed to people you want to sell something to) you can make your texts longer because your audience will read what you write until the last syllable. If you want to sell something to a ‘casual’ passer-by on the other hand you need to grab his/her attention quickly and guide him/her in the right direction fast. So, for this group you need a short page or a catchy summary of what you want to say.

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