Web/Tech Feed

Heat Map Software Alternatives to Google Analytics

I wanted to share some thoughts on Google's in-page analytics feature via email. In my experience, in-page analytics has always been super buggy, and I've never been able to get a lot of value out of it. That said, I'm definitely a fan of heat map analysis, and even more so, session recording services. 
There are two very affordable alternatives that are recommended over Google's in-page analytics. They're significantly more stable, and provide way more value.
FullStory (fullstory.com), which has a free 14-day trial, lets you easily record, replay, search, and analyze each user's actual experience with your website. They accurately sell it as a "super-searchable DVR for all customer interactions." Since it records every single interaction that happens on every page without having to add any additional event tracking code (similar to how Heap Analytics and Mixpanel's new Autotrack features work), you can search through every user recording and isolate specific recordings based on a user's action. For example...  you could say you only wanted to review session recordings where someone downloaded a specific PDF file, played a specific video, or filled out a specific form. Then you could watch those recordings and see how those people came to your site to begin with (from search, email, referral, direct, etc.) and watch how they eventually performed the event you're interested in. When it comes to answering questions about user experience, it's super helpful to be able to watch people's actual sessions vs. looking at aggregate data in Google Analytics and then attempting to infer behavior.
HotJar (hotjar.com) is another super affordable service that provides user session recording in addition to heat maps, form analytics, funnel reporting, etc. Its session recording features aren't quite as powerful as FullStory (not as easy to search through the recordings based on specific events), but it gives you the other features mentioned above that FullStory does not. They offer a 15-day free trial, and have a plan that costs $89/mo for up to 2,000,000 pageviews per day, more than enough for most marketers.
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Watch for the Coin Mobile Payment System in 2014

Web design and mobile payment technology come together with the clever use of the parallax scrolling effect seen on this introductory landing page developed for Coin.  Instead of trying to change credit card related consumer behavior, "Coin" mimics what we already do and improves upon it in a new device. They then demonstrate how it works as you scroll through the introductory page.

Coin combines all of your credit cards in one electronic card that looks, feels and works like a credit card. It works alongside your iPhone, which validates the card, provides some protection against theft and makes it ready to use. Note how the page scrolls from:

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to a single all-in-one card

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To card swipe.....

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One simple value proposition, demonstrated in a continuous visual demo, ending with a call to action - pre-order.

If the card works as well and is as well thought through as this landing page, this could the breakout mobile payment system of 2014.



The End of the GoogleSoft Era

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

I thought I'd share this thought provoking presentation by Elevation Partners Director and Co-Founder Roger McNamee. In the presentation Ken describes the decline of Microsoft and the decline in progress of Google.

There's a few startling facts to support his arguments:

- Microsoft share of internet connected devices has declined from 95% to under 50% in 3 years.
- Google's tariff based system for searches is irrelevant on the Smart Phone platform, with Smart phones becoming the dominant internet connected device.
- HTML 5 will lead to new web experiences, where "creativity rules again."


Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

He describes how the market is just starting again, and all of us have an "opportunity to be market leaders." 


Better yet, he describes the era to come as belonging to those that "create."  The user experience across all devices is about to change, and with HTML 5 we all have an opportunity to create new ways to engage audiences and build new brands.


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Outlook Address Book as Social Network

Great thought by Fred Wilson today.  Why do you need social networks in places like Facebook  and MySpace when your social network is in fact your Outlook address book.   Reminds me of when my palm pilot address book was intermingled with my boss due to an assistant that pushed the wrong button.  I was amazed how many mutual contacts we had.  There is definitely something here.

Squidoo and Squidwho

Fred Wilson has a great post today on Squidoo  and Squidwho .  Squidoo is in the top 500 of all websites for traffic.  It is similar to Wikipedia where individuals can create web pages on their area of expertise.  Squidwhoo builds on the Squidoo platform as a directory of individuals listed on Squidoo and throughout the internet.  It's an intersting example on the power of platforms and the ability to have others build web apps on top of them.  Now it's time for me to skadoo.

Just Yelp!

Keep an eye on the consumer review site Yelp.  It is a cross between Craig's List and a local eopinions.com.  The challenge of starting a localized review site is consumer participation.  The easy navigation and straight forward feel of Yelp plus their ubiquitous marketing campaign (stickers and posters all over San Francisco) are fueling the phenomenom.  Once Yelp took hold in San Francisco it quickly spread to trend crazy New York.

The writer Jeffrey O'Brien desribes what happens when you get a good Yelp in a recent Fortune Magazine story.  A San Francisco based hair salon tried for years to generate traffic via PR placed features on television and in the newspaper.  Business was good, but not great.  On March 6th, after a review for the salon appeared on Yelp, the store was packed.  We see the same thing at Mimeo.com.  Get mentioned in a blog, traffic floods into our print on demand site.  Get mentioned in the press, and the traffic is a trickle.

I'd never thought that getting Yelped would be part of our PR strategy.  Based on these type of results, it should be our PR strategy.

Definition of Web 2.0

It's hard to get your arms around the quickly evolving language of the Internet.  Eric Reyes has a great article in the May/June 2007 issue of Revenue Magazine that does a good job of defining Web 2.0.  He quotes Tim O'Reilly, the person that coined 2.0.

"Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform."

The article goes on to define the key phrases associated with Web 2.0:

Ajax - Programming language that allows you to refresh a part of a web page instead of the entire page.
Mashup - When the functionality of two web pages combine into one experience.
Mobile Web - Accessing the Internet from any mobile device.
Podcast - An audio file that mimics a radio broadcast and is made available over the web.
RSS Feed - Internet content you can subscribe to and that is "pushed" to your computer.
Social Bookmarking - The storage of your favorite sites on the web in a place where others can access them when looking for similar experiences or content.
User-generated content - Content created or influenced by visitors to a web site.
Web 2.0 - An Internet experience that is collaborative or interactive.
Widget - A program within a program such as a box that contains a weather report.
Wiki - A site where visitors can edit and add content.

Just when you get this language down, along comes Web 3.0 where the web uses artificial intelligence to adapt the experience to you.  Instead of search you will find.  I hope so, because finding out what all this means is a full time job.  I'm sure by the time you read this we'll be up to 4.0.

Wesabe will Quicken Change in Banking and Financial Services

Thank you Fred Wilson for pointing out Wesabe, a new online financial management tool.  Wesabe does what Quicken does, but online.  It consolidates all of your spending in one place and then goes one step further by allowing you to tag (think Delicious) all of your spending.  For example, if you go to a restaurant on vacation and have dinner at a particular restaurant you can tag the name of the restaurant with the restaurant location, restaurant name and vacation.   If interested, you can connect with others in the Wesabe social net that have had similar or identical experiences to compare notes or suggestions.

Bringing the world of social nets to online banking is a huge step forward.  Nothing tracks behavior better than the way you vote with your dollars.  Wesabe gives users a Amazon like recommendation engine that takes into account everything you spend money on.  Powerful.

That's the Wesabe of today.  Now take it a step forward to tomorrow.  What if Wesabe was more than a social network?  What if it transformed into a financial control tool?  What if you were paying interest on a credit card and Wesabe made a real time suggestion on how to transfer the balance to a lower cost alternative.  What if you had Verizon phone service and Wesabe recommended a AT&T service that could save you $500 a year.  To change services all you need to do is click accept.  Your insurance is up, what if Allstate is cheaper than Geico with the insurance application already filled out since they know you own a Volvo XC90, which has a lease that is up in 4 months and sitting next to it is an offer from Lexus.  You get the idea. 

Wesabe.  A social network.  A financial planning tool.  A way to control expenses and make competitive choices.  A major disruption to banking, insurance, telephone, pay television, auto, vacation......industries.  Wow.

IDK My Bff Jill

Did all of the wireless companies discover text messaging at the same time.  Cingular, T-Mobile and Verizon are all featuring humorous advertising that makes the claim that their text messaging service will not bankrupt parents.

The best of the bunch is the entry from Cingular that takes the abbreviations used by kids and uses them to stage a conversation between parent and child.  The mom can barely keep up with the conversation.  The spot has great casting, a clever idea and I know my family can't see it enough times.  Which is a good thing since you see it every American Idol broadcast.  If I were Cingular I'd be shooting part 2 right now. 

The worst commercial is from Verizon where the mom can now quit her second job to pay for the text messaging habits on her children.   Now let me get this straight.  Mom pays the bills and lets her spoiled children text away while she has to get a job.  Not quite sure where the parent appeal is here.  The commercial is funny because its the mom.  If it was the dad I'd be completely repulsed and maybe have to cancel my Verizon service.

TMobile is somewhere in between with their texting each other at the dinner table.  Great.  Moms hate technology because it divides the family.  Bringing it into the dinner table (although fun) is probably repulsive to most moms.

The winner in all this.  No one.  The commercials are completely undifferentiated.  The net impression.  Wireless companies have text messaging.   IDK. TBC is my BCC Cingular (for those older than 30....I don't know, the best commercial is my best commercial choice Cingular).  Right Jill.