• Did you see our post about the dreaded Finger Hastag? Why not? Anyway, it was about this thing called a Finger Hashtag, Air Hashtag or Finger Hastagging. We talked about a post in Wired magazine where a guy called Nimrod Kamer said how this is all the rage. But according to New York Observer there is some doubt to the validity of his article. Kind of.

    Why and Who is Kamer?
    Nimrod Kamer is the guy who faced Wikipedia deletion last year because of his attempts to extort celebrities by threatening to edit their Wikipedia pages according to The Daily Dot last year! He also got a troll piece in the Huffington Post about Twitter etiquette rules. So he is doing this as almost a cultural rebel. 

    Prank or Not, It’s Real…Sadly!
    So the thinking from the New York Observer is the Finger Hashtag is a lie from Kamer but this is rebuffed as one quick Google for this in Google images shows its real. Added to that – and as we saidThe Guardian even posted an article about this last year, a “how to?” Finger Hashtag. Even Gizmodo posted an article begging the world not to make Finger Hashtagging popular; back in 2012.

    Nimrod you Nimrod
    The main thing is that there is a guy called Nimrod Kamer who tries to be like Dennis Pennis but is failing and trying to own a space that already has traction. Another thing to do is do-all-your best to ignore anyone who starts to do this, or start doing it yourself…#Wedontmind…
    But, credit to Kamer, he does appear lots in Google images. 
  • Not a great deal to say about this, just that we are all doomed. We would like to say sorry to our forefathers who fought to keep our freedom, scientists that walked on the shoulders of giants to advance medicine. Why?

    Because a new trend is gaining more and more momentum, the hashtag as a hand gesture!

    The First Usage of a Hashtag on Twitter
    The hashtag was made famous on Twitter but started on IRC networks before its migration to the popular social network. The hashtag has become part of everyday usage on Twitter with the first ever usage of this (by Chris Messina, August 23, 2007) on the social network reading “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]”.

    We are already hearing the stomach churning words being uttered within offline conversations, such as some of the gems listed by Wired Magazine below:

    "hashtag awk"; "hashtag ridic", "hashtag fab", "hashtag marv" (marvelous); "hashtag obvs"; "hashtag YOLO"; "hashtag suspish"; "hashtag whatevs"; "hashtag atrosh"; "hashtag BFFS (Best Friends Forever Sometimes)"; "hashtag mawk" (majorly awk)

    Finger Hashtagging
    Now, and more-than-ever, people are starting to replace the “hashtag” verbiage to a gesture created with their fingers crossing over to form a hashtag sign. So, welcome to finger hashtagging.

    Air Hashtagging Last Summer
    The Guardian pointed this out last summer with a post entitled “How to say 'hashtag' with your fingers” but the newspaper called this an "air hashtag". One of the comments on their post by one of their readers stated, “The first person to do this in front of me gets a punch in the nose.

    Light at the End of the #Tunnel
    Hopefully this won’t become popular but we have a worrying feeling that it might. So, next time you are hanging out (at the Truman Brewery for those in London or Brooklyn for those in NYC) look-out for people placing this symbol into conversation. Judging by the comment by one user below on Wired Magazine recently it may have a fight on its hand!

    Oh God. No. No, no. Anyone who adopts this gesture deserves to have both pairs of fingers broken. With a hammer. 

    So, join the fight or start doing this?
  • Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer has ordered an end to 'remote' work as all staff are told to be in the office as part of a new era of collaboration. The goal of this is to make the company feel more youthful, and in line with trends in other offices she has worked at, most notably her previous employers, Google. They [Google] make it almost impossible to leave the office by making the workplace stunning  see some examples of how amazing Google’s Tel Aviv’s offices are here.

    Best Buy - You Can't Work From Home 
    Now we have Best Buy announcing recently that it has brought an end to a flexible work program introduced in 2005 that gave corporate employees the freedom to work when and where they chose. This programme known as Results Only Work Environment reviewed employees based only on the quality of their work.  Now, these employees will expect to work a 40 hour week and come into the office as often as they can.

    Studies Say Otherwise
    So where does that leave other companies, will they start following this trend? Well, if your company starts to clamp down on WFH then make sure the HR team read this 2013 study we dug out from Stanford (by Nicholas Blooma et al).

    The study took place at CTrip International Corporation, a leading travel agency in China with operations also in Hong Kong and Taiwan. CTrip did much more of its business on the telephone than leading U.S. agencies like Expedia, Orbitz or Travelocity. 

    CTrip was established in 1999, was quoted on NASDAQ in 2003, and was worth about $5bn at the time of the experiment. 

    The study concluded that those that did WFH generated an improvement in employee performance, worth about $375 per employee per year. Other key take outs from this report are:

    - WFH improves performance
    - Office cost savings of about $1250 per employee
    - Reduced turnover savings of about $400 per employee
  • Post by Backa Montereo: You should try to have a site that has almost all of the content above the fold. That is the general rule that all marketers say to clients and friends alike, they say this perhaps at a rate of regularity that it feels like the Rosetta Stone has been found once again. It hasn't. So, why do we all still talk about this? Well, it seems that there is a growing swell of people suggesting that this is – in fact – a myth.To a degree.

    The issue isn’t whether the call to action is visible when your prospect first arrives. The issue is whether your call to action is visible at the point where your prospect has become convinced to take action.” D Bnonn Tennant

    Originally coming from newspapers this term hints at content further up the page being the most read and needs to be the snappiest and indeed where the big news articles would be placed. Pinterest, Facebook, Mashable, Twitter, BBC News, Daily Mail all have content that is below the fold. You may say “yeah, but these are not eCommerce sites!” and that is true (bar Pinterest and others to a point).

    What Do Others Do?
    Ok, so let’s look at some ecommerce sites one of which is inspired by a post from taylorswebsites.com and the other from our own general observation.

    Carphone Warehouse – Key business CTA’s below the fold
    This site has a large hero banner for the most vital business action. It has a range of content below the fold such as promotions and more. Content below the fold includes their best-selling pay monthly deals and PAYG deals.

    Amazon – CTA’s based on your preference below the fold
    The selling platform that really owns this space has much of the content on the homepage below the fold. Some of this content has high value and provides better sales prospects such as the “Related to Items You've Viewed” and “Inspired by Your Browsing History”.This is a starting point and in no way are we saying that this is the way forward. We are not.

    What we are saying is that you should take learning’s from your data sources to see what works and what does not. Don’t just go by what you hear in the funky office as you play Wii U on the client’s time. You need to think:

    What content should go above the fold and why?
    Do I need social icons above the fold?
    Where should I place my key CTA’s?
    What is the goal of this page?

    Look at Others
    If you look at code.org (read more about that in our post here) every page has their key CTA at the bottom of the site in the footer as well as sometimes above the fold, a neat solution to this area of website design. 

    Free Online Tools
    A great tool to help start is Google’s own Browser Size analysis tool in Google Analytics, under the In-Page Analytics report. The tool shades the portions of a page that are “below the fold,” and shows you what percentage of users are seeing how much of the page. Other free online tools such as Fivesecondtest helps you fine tune your landing pages and calls to action by analysing the most prominent elements of your design. From this you can learn what CTA’s are working well and what ones are not performing. We will end this post be pasting the quote above by D Bnonn Tennant again and show a fun video that takes a silly look at people who think they know what they are talking about but, perhaps, do not know that much

    The issue isn’t whether the call to action is visible when your prospect first arrives. The issue is whether your call to action is visible at the point where your prospect has become convinced to take action.” D Bnonn Tennant

    So that’s it, while you are hanging out and talking with work buddies, ask the question “what do you think about web site design and being above the fold?” and see what they say! We suggest you make a few notes from this article for back up!

  • Posted By Adnan Coup: Can you code? Do you even know what code is? Mark and some other well-known mates of his such as Ashton, Bill, Will and Jack (to name a few) are supporting code.org. A new programme aimed to get kids in school to learn how to code. At code.org you can support their mission of “Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code” [does that mission statement remind you of something Bill said way, way back?] by signing your name and also donating. The donate form appears on all pages at the bottom aside from the home page, good to see that for once an ethical site knows about conversion. Though with people like Bill and Mark waving the banner for this it would be odd if the site did not the correct form and structure. 

    Do you think this is a great idea? We think so, though it would be nice to see how much money people like Bill, Mark and Richard have donated toward this too. Below is the video promoting this project and we have pulled out some of the quotes from code.org by world leaders and industry titans that are supporting this; for some inspiration. It’s no surprise that Ashton Kutcher is supporting this; after all, he is Bill Gates.

    Ashton Kutcher - Actor
    “I'd like to advocate for computer coding to be an institution in the public school systems right next to biology, chemistry, physics, etc. If we want to spur job growth in the US we have to educate ourselves in the disciplines where jobs are available and where economic growth is feasible.

    Stephen Hawking - Theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author
    “Whether you want to uncover the secrets of the universe, or you just want to pursue a career in the 21st century, basic computer programming is an essential skill to learn. “

    Max Levchin - CEO & Co-founder, Paypal
    “Learning to code will be a huge booster for your future, no matter what your professional plans may be. Learning to code will also make you extremely cool! “

  • Asius-inflatable-headphonesA blimp in your ear is the next step in headphone technology, if Asius are to be believed. They have created ear phones that inflate when inside your ear creating an airtight seal for the ultimate audio experience.

    Ear Phone Problems
    It is well known that wearing headsets of any type can cause our ears to hurt due to "acoustic reflex," according to Asius which no amount or ear bud reshaping can cure. There are solutions to "listener fatigue," though – these include a flexible membrane, and perhaps this inflatable ear-tip device created by Asius. Named for company founder Stephen Ambrose, the ADEL is essentially a tiny polymer membrane balloon that is built into in-ear devices, and inflates into place within the ear canal. It’s said to better reduce pressure and potentially offer superior sound quality due to Asius' Ambrose Diaphonic Ear Lens (ADEL).

    How it Works
    The device is inflated via a built-in Asius Diaphonic Pump, which creates air pressure by forcing sound waves through a tiny opening." As sound waves pass through any given small hole, the alternating pulses emerge and retract through the orifice like a small air-piston, hitting and knocking the surrounding air molecules forward like billiard balls," said Ambrose. "Other molecules join in the stream from the sides due to the low pressure created by the flow. This results in a sustained jet of air."

    Holy Grail of In-Ear Devices
    Apple had a chance to see these and they said, "[Asius] have the holy grail of in-ear devices" and the tech giants are very keen to have these in their stores, according to AmbroseThere is no set date for when these will be in the shops but we hope very soon. They seem a clever way to create perfect sound, just make sure you have your ears cleaned beforehand. 

    Have a look at their brand side that talks more about their work. Do not judge the site as its by far the quality we expect of platforms nowadays, but hey, if Warren Buffet can have a site this basic then we can forgive ASIUS Technologies.
  • We have three new updates to our Free Online Tools page. These are for the growing Site Testing part of this site. We have three new tools there that will help you to make your site look right, have the right structure and load in the quickest time. Thanks to all those have been visiting this new page and emailing you requests for more free online tools. 
  • Thanks to all of those who wrote in and asked for a free online tools section. We have now placed this up here in the Free Online Tools page. We hope it is some use and it will grow and grow. There are a few in there already and - to be frank - there will be loads more going in there from the team. Each will have a little description of what it is about, what is good about it to make your choice easier. Enjoy!
  • We have some updates for our ever-growing 2013 Predictions page. These updates are about getting traffic to your site by knowing the latest trends in SEO, Native Advertising and how this can be used as part of your plans for this year. Check out these new updates here at the 2013 Predictions Hub. Finally, we have a new section in there called “Online Advertising” and will start a Free Online Tools page in the coming weeks.