Tuesday, March 30, 2004

P&G sends brand publishers in circles

When the big brands starting hearing about this whole internet thing, some bright spark explained that here might be a route to cut through the media and talk direct to the customer while saving vast amounts on expensive ad slots. So we saw the emergence of a series of branded consumer portals delivering news and content galore to their customers direct with the odd subtle or less subtle product plug along the way.

Annoyingly for the brands, consumers can be cynical and choosy in the competitive internet space and didn't go for the idea of their brand as their content provider and many of these sites simply ran out of budget and now live on in muted versions of the grand vision.

Interesting then that things are starting to come full circle and P&G is looking to invest further in their consumer sites after the success of their HomeMadeSimple portal with the launch of Healthexpressions.com, a healthcare portal. Also consider Coke's repeated content driven initiatives such as the move to Coke music downloads and there is food for thought for all big brands.

Certainly it's not going to start a brand content rush on the previous scale, but moving into the area of broadband and premium content is king, expect others to follow suit.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Now Google has honoured the site with a dash of PageRank green, I've decided it's about time to start seeing how many people are visiting the site, if anyone in fact is apart from me and the odd puzzled work colleague.

So, after a quick search, I've plumped for the stat counter below. Unfortunately, the powers that be at blogger.com don't seem to allow me to put the javascript into the site, so it's the html version only. The html version tells me very little and I'll have to content myself with a simple number rather than more juicy information on where people are visiting from.

Fortunately, this also comes with an invisible option, so if the stat stays at 1 for months at a time I can do the decent thing and hide my embarrassingly small visitor numbers from the world. Erm, not that the world would be watching in that case, but still...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Blogging my way into Google

The web is a big place, too big in fact. With all the billions of sites out there, just how do people find your site, or more importantly my site?

I've downloaded the Google toolbar and despite my efforts and writing the kind of (semi) regular content on all kinds of (semi) vital topics, the PageRank bar (indicates Google's rating of your site) has resolutely remained at zero despite submitting to Google several months ago. It's enough to parade my blog in front of Inktomi and get my valued readers from MSN, Freeserve and the like.

However, all that has changed on the latest Google rotation and a trace of green has appeared on the Google toolbar giving my blog a score of 3. So what's changed since then?

Well, I'd like to think that Google has finally come to its senses and recognised my efforts, but I think the guys at Blogorama have more to do it. The blog is now featured in their list of blogs and clearly that's good enough for all-powerful Google to get out the green paintbrush.

Surely, it's only a matter of time now before that elusive (and lucrative) Sunday Times column comes through.