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Resources we’ve discovered recently (Feb 27, 2013)

Our consultants use Diigo to share bookmarks with each other. A couple of weeks ago, we published a list of the sites we’d recently bookmarked, and asked you if you’d like us to do it again. That post received a star-rating of 4.8 out of 5.0, which we’ve taken to mean “yes.”

So here are some of the bookmarks we’ve shared with each other since then—along with the comments we wrote at the time.

  • KeyCue. A Mac app that helps you find, remember, and learn menu shortcuts.
  • Analytics Blog: Understanding and using Page Value. I’ve read several reports of why “Page Value” is a useful metric, because it shows you, on average, how much money a visitor spends after visiting a particular page. People say that a page with a high “Page Value” would make a good landing page, because it’s good at turning visitors into money. However, it’s hard to discern cause from effect. Pages with high “Page Value” are often ones that qualified shoppers should—or must—visit before ordering (for example customers are much more likely to have seen shopping cart pages or pages that contain information that’s required to make a decision). I wonder if it’s of any use at all. Let me know if you disagree.
  • Google Analytics Reference Guide (PDF) from Blastam. This is really well written.
  • Amazon Redshift is a fast, fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service that makes it simple and cost-effective to efficiently analyze all your data using your existing business intelligence tools.
  • Here’s what happens if you forget to close your HTML tags. You create the largest letter “P” on the web.
  • An infomercial for the Sinclair C5 (video). Before Elon Musk, there was Clive Sinclair. It’s astonishing that this infomercial isn’t a parody. It has many highlights—like that “large boot,” the extra security feature for night-time driving (lights), and that the servicing is carried out by Hoover—but my favourite is the “designer-style weather cheater” at 4:47.
  • Pictures of nice offices (Google, Adobe, etc.). When we designed our Hawkesyard office, we looked for pictures of really nice tech offices for inspiration. This blog is better than all the ones we found at the time.
  • How to master your time. A nice article about how to focus on the important, not the urgent.
  • An amazing Japanese removal company (video). This is an interesting video about an unusual—and amazingly diligent—removals company. It makes you realise how many services are just waiting to be radically improved.
  • PopSurvey is looking good these days. We tried it when it was first launched, and it looks much better now. It has threaded logic, which may allow it to be used for lead gen. (On a similar subject, Qualaroo has recently started offering question-branching and conditional prompts.)
  • Richard Armstrong’s swipe file. A direct-response swipe file (and inevitable self-promotion) from A-list copywriter Richard Armstrong. Contains some good examples of copywriting for fundraising (particularly the turtles letter).
  • Stochastic Monte-Carlo epidemic model to demonstrate herd immunity. Not related to work. Just an elegant explanation of several epidemiology concepts. Read the instructions on the left-hand side.
  • A chapter from the book The Toyota Way (PDF).
  • A nice summary of lean methodology (PDF).
  • TestFlight. A feedback mechanism for designers of iOS and Android apps.
  • Worlds cutest frog (video). I’d happily swap the squirrel for this…thing.
  • Speechpad. This is the transcription service that Mixergy uses for its interviews.
  • Tips for work-life balance. Some sound advice.
  • Correspondence bias. When someone else does something, we assume it’s because of their personality. But when we do something, we attribute it to the situation. “So when we see someone else kick a vending machine for no visible reason, we assume they are ‘an angry person.’ But when you yourself kick the vending machine, it’s because the bus was late, the train was early, your report is overdue, and now the damned vending machine has eaten your lunch money for the second day in a row. Surely, you think to yourself, anyone would kick the vending machine, in that situation.”
  • Goats yelling like humans (video). These goats all make different noises. They have only one thing in common: they all sound human and ridiculous. I suspect they aren’t all real. (Power tip: Funny videos sound much funnier when you listen to them with headphones, for some reason.)
  • Quality Score in high resolution. If your clients do PPC in-house, they may find this—and the following links—useful. This is the best explanation I’ve seen of how Quality Score works.
  • The research papers of Hal Varian. Hal is Google’s Chief Economist, and his papers (particularly this onethis one and this one) contain some great clues as to how AdWords works.
  • Some scripts for AdWords reporting, courtesy of PPC Hero.
  • PPC Hero’s PPC Toolkit.
  • How to improve Google AdWords Quality Score by RedFly.
  • Distilled’s articles tends to be very good. Here are all the ones tagged with “PPC”.
  • A script for automatically reporting Quality Score.
  • SpeedPPC. When I used to do Adwords, this tool was a real game changer for me in terms of reducing the time spent with each account.

That’s all for this week.

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