31Jul

The Varying Virtues of Site Performance Metrics

Pageviews, bounce rates and goals

Measuring site performance is somewhat of a black art - from the dubious numbers lauded by some sites to the notoriously skewed and untrustworthy figures from Alexa, Compete, and other metric & analytics folk - there simply isn't any single great method of gauging a site's performance. [read more...]


30Jul

Modern Life: The Podcast?

A call for ideas, questions and your opinions on content of an audible nature

I've recently acquired the RDE Podcaster USB microphone - a beautiful piece of kit, by the way - and I'm currently mulling over any potential ideas for audio content for Modern Life. [read more...]


29Jul

How to lose half your subscribers in 28 days or less

A case study on the difficulties in selling a blog and maintaining readership

Followers of Wisdump may be familiar with the saga over the new ownership. The once-mighty Web 2.0 blog changed hands twice in a very short space of time, and has fallen from grace in some respect as a result. Indeed, the FeedBurner subscriber statistics tell a grim tale - once standing at around the 7,500 mark, the total number of RSS subscribers now languishes at around little more than 3,000. Where did it all go wrong? [read more...]


30Jun

Google, Privacy, and You

On giant robots and dirty laundry

Google was recently touted as 'worst on privacy' out of a sample of online organisations, according to a study by Privacy International. Whether you agree with the verdict or not, there's no doubting that Google is in a powerful position as far as sensitive user information is concerned. [read more...]


3Jun

Guest Posting on Wisdump

Followers of fellow weblog Wisdump (ne Whitespace) probably already know this, but with owner / 9ruler Scrivs selling the site to Manchester-based Maxafi there was an opportunity for a new batch of writers to write for Wisdump. [read more...]


18May

Forget 'The Long Tail' - Go For The Sweet Spike

The golden balance between profitability and obscurity

You may have heard of the phenomenon that is 'The Long Tail'. The term refers to the potentially untapped marketing areas in the elongated low-volume segment of a market. Amazon employs this thinking very effectively - their huge stock catalogue ensures that if there's an obscure book or item you're thinking of purchasing, they'll most likely offer it. [read more...]


16May

How Long is the Ideal Blog Post?

On word counts and writing for entertainment

The internet is changing the way we read information. No longer are we constrained by a physical medium - we don't have a fixed number of pages to fill, nor a certain column inch quotient to meet. [read more...]


8May

New Google Analytics Rocks the Proverbial Socks

Statisticians rejoice!

Talk about a quiet rollout the Google Analytics team must have been working a lot of late nights recently, as this evening theyve released a completely overhauled interface for their analytics. Quite the surprise! (In fact, as I write this the announcement has just popped up on Bloglines) [read more...]


7May

Balancing AdSense with User Experience

Happy users + effective monetisation?

I've been spending some time recently optimising the advertising here on Modern Life, and I've been trying a number of approaches to increase earnings while maximising user experience. It's a tricky balancing act, as effective ads are generally more obtrusive ones. Is there an effective way to keep both effective adverts and happy users? [read more...]


5May

Hexadecimal Colour Mnemonics

A new approach to remembering hex web colours?

For a fortunate few, working with hexadecimal colours comes naturally - my experience stems from working with colour palettes whilst programming in BASIC some 15 years ago. Thankfully, hex colour codes persist today in CSS, so my early experience means working with hex colour is second nature. But what about those less versed in hexadecimal? Perhaps a mnemonical system could be employed... [read more...]