Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Some Interesting Discoveries - part II

A few new sites I think are interesting, useful or both.
Here's a 10 second overview of each one and why you should check it out:

Thumbshots

I have recently become more interested in getting visitors to my site to act, than getting those visitors in the first place. Why? Because there are many ways to get people to your site, but once they are there, if they don't buy or use your service, then you don't really have a business now do you? Here's a tool that makes links to your site VISUAL with a small thumbnail preview. This helps with getting traffic as people who see a link to your site will also see a site preview.

But what about conversion? Well one of the biggest problems webmasters face is "how to decrease the bounce rate?" What if your internal linking also had previews, making sure people STAY on your site, and hopefully end up committing or purchasing.

The fact that so many companies and websites are using this tool tells me there are more benefits... soon to be checked out.

OnlyWire

I looked at social bookmarking a few years ago but then abandoned it - somehow it felt unnatural to be posting hundreds of links on different sites as bookmarks and I was worried that Google would penalise sites that do this.

Social bookmarking has since come along way with loads of different sites specialising in different ways. OnlyWire is an aggregator, automatically posting your news, blogs or links to about 50 different services, and you can easily post only to the specific site you want, without having to log in each time. Seems to be a useful tool for link building (to help with SEO) if used with moderation and if you know which sites would work for each particular link you are posting.  
investment required: loads of time
return on investment: automatically use 50 different tools which bookmark, organise and promote your links to different communities; building links and making your information more accessible. 
NetVibes

Think iGoogle but much, MUCH better. I love Google and use so many of their services, but I am afraid NetVibes is everything iGoogle could have been and more.

In my opinion, NetVibes has two main uses:
  1. Use it as your browser homepage - with all the information you want to see when you first come online: mail, facebook, twitter, weather, news, blog feeds etc. This profile is private and only accessible to you.
  2. Use it to promote yourself, your company or an interest. Think a combincation of about.me, squidoo and iGoogle. Here is my unfinished public NetVibes profile: http://www.netvibes.com/nivoda
Camerabox

We recently bought a new Canon G12 from Camerabox, and while it is yet to arrive, I can say that this site is by far the cheapest (we looked at many sites and different models), unless you can get your camera from the States, which is even cheaper. Also, they provide a 5 year warranty. Can't wait for it to arrive.

--update--
Two weeks and no camera. Camerabox may be cheap but their customer service is nothing near the level we have come to expect from an e-commerce business. Next day delivery... FAIL. call-back request.... FAIL. promises to fix their mess... FAIL. Buying from them again... NEVER!


Let me know your thoughts.
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