Wednesday, 18 January 2012

SOPA & PIPA

Today Internet is protesting against 2 Acts that the American government is trying to pass. The acts are designed to fight Piracy (which I think is a good thing) but it is designed in a way that might affect the foundations of Internet and how information is used and shared these days (which I think would mean a great loss).

More info on the wikipedia page here.

Some of the protest are actually creative beauties, like this one from the OpenDNS Guide: Search results get blacked-out partially, as a protest to the censorship-effects the acts may have when passed through.
The search results actually work and are clickable, so 100% Internet. Just that part of the results are hampered in sight, just as the Acts will be doing.


Monday, 9 January 2012

This was 2011: the new black comes in herds

A very quick review of 2011, now that 2012 is well under its way.

In 2011 I kept working in online marketing and e-commerce, now back on the client side. E-commerce is by far the most exciting branch of online marketing and it was good fun.

Less for more
Working client side, you get to see a lot of sales-people of all sorts. They always come in herds: when you get a call from one service or provider, you're bound to get to speak to one of its competitor really soon.
In 2011 the biggest herd of sales-people came asking for promotions. Deals and coupons, they came in every kind of form. In my opinion, the mere existence of a promotion can't justify a platform, and we've trialed with many sites who got the promotion, but didn't give us the sales promised.

Old is the new black
A lot of new services were launched in 2011. They always tend to look good and flashy, but they tend to take a hard time to deliver. An example was Google Shopping, an online directory of products. Brands and shops can upload their catalogue and clients can check online availability and prices. We went live pretty quick. But no sales. Bugger. Just because it's new and promising doesn't make it work. Sometimes it's not bad to remember that old-fashioned stuff like email still give very good results: old is the new black!

Amazon Spain
Amazon launched in Spain in Septembre. That's not world-shoking news, but boy do I enjoy buying with them.

Fiends & Privacy
From time to time friends complained about privacy in 2011, almost every time related to Facebook. I always think that's a bit weird: Facebook is among the most transparent websites on privacy and it gives control back to the user. Google is far worse on privacy, but it's not perceived that way.

The most telling story about this was when a friend of ours told that she was shutting down her Facebook account: she didn't want to give personal information to a company who makes money out of it. Fair enough, but it was a bit ironically when she told us we could still call her (on a number from a company who holds track of every call she makes, to who shee call, for how long she calls,... not to mention that her phone company could be listening to her calls) or reach her on her gmail (being a product of Google, the company that knows a little more stuff about us then just our birtday's and some status updates).

Privacy online is easy: if you don't want it to come back at you, don't publish it. 

The on-line wedding
Personally one of my favourite moments of the year was our marriage. Nice to see that internet also had a great part in it: we found a nice dress from an Israelian designer and a wedding ring (the precious, pictured on the right) from a goldsmith in Florida. We also planned our honeymoon using our smartphone and using handy apps.

Mobile
Also funny to see in 2011: in only 6 months, all our friends choose a smartphone. 5 years ago, herds of sales people told me it was going to be the 'year of mobile'. Personally I missed it back then, and now that I have a smartphone, it looks like everything still needs to be done.

So what will be the new black in 2012?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

My Tag Cloud for SEO in 2011

It's nice to see that also in 2011 most of the traffic to my blog has come from organic search results. It looks like there is some relevance in what I write.

Just as in 2010, I've used Wordl to see what people have been looking for most, before coming to my blog.

Here is my little SEO Tag-Cloud 2011:


There a couple of new keywords which generate traffic, and the ones from 2010 are still there. Also nice to see that the strategy of including 'Avinash' in the title of one of my posts paid off: it provided for quite some traffic.

Here is my SEO Tag Cloud of 2010:
http://stefvanef.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-tag-cloud-of-seo-in-2010.html

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year 2012

I'd like to wish all of you a very happy new year.

Since 2010, my wife and I have been taking a picture every day from our balcony in Madrid, Embajadores 35. The view is very nice, looking over the San Cayetano & Lorenzo church. The first months that we lived here in 2010, I got caught up with the changing of the threes and wanted to capture the changing of the seasons. So we started taking pictures, one every day, for a year long. You remember Harvey Keitel in the film 'Smoke'? Well it's just like that: one picture every day.

We've now made a video of the pictures of last year.

Hope you enjoy it and hope 2012 makes for some nice views for every one of you. 

video

Oh, did I forget to say: Titles are in Spanish.

You can also see the video here:
http://embajadores35.tumblr.com/post/15131241275/nuestras-felicitaciones-para-2012-video-de-2011

And you can follow the project here:
http://embajadores35.tumblr.com/

We have a facebook page; you can see a widget on the right hand side of this blog.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Embajadores-35/205300912814404

Hope to hear from you this year!