Mike Blumenthal pointed to a New York Times article yesterday that allows consumers to make online appointments for doctors, dentists, dinner and da like, er, the like. I’m a big believer in this sort of technology (Full disclosure: My company has a stake in a booking engine for hotel and spa reservations, primarily for the luxury market). These types of tools represent “the last mile” for many businesses that haven’t embraced ecommerce, and more importantly, couldn’t, due to the nature of their businesses (i.e., service providers). Check them out. And give me a call if you’re looking for a great luxury spa or hotel booking engine
A couple of weeks ago, I led with the economy, and this week is no different. Not because I think we need to be overly concerned. No. I think we should be focused. A tough economy is the right time to evaluate what works, what doesn’t, and what to do about both. The least you can do is often the best. So, this week’s pitcher of link juice flows to folks focused on optimizing – getting the most from the least. Drink hearty, lads and lasses.
Once you get folks to your site, you’ve got to keep them coming back. While email is one very effective tool, it can also turn customers off. Linda Bustos helps you avoid this with a look at what customers think email spam is. Here’s a hint: it’s all the email they don’t want, not just the email they didn’t ask for.
And in these tough times, just in case you think the web (or Web 2.0 or Social Media or what-have-you) is overblown and you should bail, take a trip down memory lane. Ben McConnell points out a Newsweek article from 1995, discounting the business and social potential of the Internet. The best part is on page 2, where Clifford Stoll scoffs, “Then there’s cyberbusiness. We’re promised instant catalog shopping–just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts… So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month?” I’m just sayin’.
Finally, GigaOm founder and tech blogger Om Malik talks about what he’s learned since his heart attack. At the end of the day, optimizing means making the most of every minute. And that’s important in life as much as business.
Jimdo announced today that they’ve added social features to their web hosting tool. Take a look at the screencast:
What they’ve added looks similar (in a good way) to the types of activity sharing common within Facebook. For certain types of sites, these could be a real plus. For instance, a local bicycle shop, bookstore or club could get great value by incorporating an online social aspect to their site. Whether a lawyer or doctor (or any profession that must maintain its customers privacy; see Client 9), would find value is unlikely. But, these still represent an intriguing upgrade to Jimdo’s service. Mashable reports on Chris Pirillo’s attempt today to make a simple CMS and notes, “if you want simplicity, you lose on power and features; if you want power and features, then there’s not way it’s going to be simple.” While it’s tough to argue with the underlying sentiment, the features that Jimdo, and folks like Weebly, WordPress, and SynthaSite, provide offer greater power than you might expect. Are they for everyone? No. But they’re not a bad match for many people.
I’ve got an email out to Matthias Henze, Jimdo’s CEO, to learn whether Jimdo plans to join OpenSocial or something similar. One of the great benefits of social features such as these is allowing your customers to incorporate these items into other parts of the their online life. I’ll update once I hear more.
I’m giving a talk to the Houston Internet Marketing Association tomorrow about price transparency on the internet and the need to improve value to your customers. Here are the slides. | View | Upload your own Enjoy!
Saying I’m bullish on the Internet is a gross understatement. Unfortunately, while penetration of Internet access has reached significant levels among most consumers, adoption into people’s everyday lives doesn’t always reflect that. But that’s starting to change. Three posts over the last week show why: David Armano looks at how social networking will become ubiquitous. [...]