With the introduction of Google Tag Manager can Online Marketers can break free from relying on Web Developers?

Google has just introduced  Tag Manger – in a nut shell it allows you to deploy code once to your web pages and then add, edit and control Google Analytics, Adwords and more tags from dash board inside your Google account.

I like this alot. I think this has particularly useful applications for creating innovative re marketing campaigns as the tag on individual webpages on your site can be have customer tags.

I also believe that this will ensure that Online Marketers do not have to rely on Web Developers to make regular small updates and changes.

Here is a great overview video from Google on this new service.

Just passed my Google Analytics Exam – if anyone needs help to understand and get more from their website traffic let me know.

Here is more on this qualification from the Google Analytics blog:

Online Course and Test Promote Increased Understanding of Web Analytics

Google announced today the launch of a new skills qualification program, Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ), which allows individuals to demonstrate proficiency in Google Analytics. Google provides a free online course that covers web analytics techniques and Google Analytics implementation, administration, and analysis tools. Agencies and other organizations can have staff take the course as part of professional development.

While Google Analytics is easy to use for beginners, it’s most powerful in the hands of knowledgeable users. Qualified users will be effective at leveraging Google Analytics within their organizations and at helping others to do the same. The Google Analytics IQ program is tailored for agencies who want to retain and develop employees who are knowledgeable about Web analytics, and for individuals who seek ways to improve their job prospects or further their own personal development. Individuals do not have to be associated with an agency or organization to take the online course or test.

If you need any help with the analytics on your website please contact me.

How to use @evernote, @IFTTT & @dropbox to never lose a receipt & make your Accountant love you

In a recent productivity drive I have been looking for ways to improve how I track and record ‘stuff’ and also eliminate as much clutter (especially paper notes) from my life.

In doing this I have created a process where photos of receipts are instantly upload to the web where my accountant can access them and they are also backed up. This system can be created, used and maintained for free.

The tools needed are:

 The process:

  1. Create accounts with all the above services.
  2. Within Evernote create a notebook (Please note: an Evernote notebook is essentially a folder) called ‘Expenses’.
  3. Tell you accountant to create a Evernote account.
  4. Share your ‘Expenses’ notebook with your accountant. This will allow him/her to view all entries into it (i.e. your receipts).
  5. Login in to your IFTTT account.
  6. Via the dashboard within IFTTT link your Evernote and Dropbox accounts so all evertries into your ‘Expenses’ folder are automatically uploaded (and in turn backed up) to your Dropbox account.
  7. Every time you get a receipt take a photo of it and upload it your ‘Expenses’ Evernote notebook via your phone. This will then allow your accountant to see it and in addition to this it will also be backed securely to your Dropbox account.

 (Optional advanced extras:

Add extra sub folders or tagging to your Evernote folder e.g. year, month, personal, business etc )

Please note that the free Dropbox account does have a limit of 2GB space, but Box and Google Drive can also be used if required.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions – I can shoot a screen cast to make this easier to follow if required.

Cheers

Enzo

How awesome would it be to add songs to @Spotify via @Shazam?

Quick idea for some clever programmer type person.

I have just started using Spotify and have found myself trying to write down music I hear so I can add it to a Spotify play list when I get home.

So I had an idea.

How cool would it be to be if:

  1. You heard a song you like
  2. Used Shazam to find out what it is
  3. AND then direct from Shazam add it to a Spotfiy play list?

Totally awesome!

I hope someone can make this happen.

How @Twitter is preparing to trap you and monitise it’s mobile service

After  a 6 months absence from Twitter I have noticed some small but significant changes.

The biggest change is that links within tweets on the mobile app opens within the app. This is the reason there is a blue bar across the top of the screen. You are now viewing the video/photo/content via Twitter.

This blue bar may seem insignificant, and does not really effect the user, but this space provides an opportunity to potentially show adds relevant to what ever content is being viewed. The sheer scale and traffic volume generated by Twitter means if they decide to put ads that are charged to advertisers per thousand views (which is standard), it could make millions per month (or maybe week or even maybe per day ?).

Twitter is creating processes to keep user trapped in the app . So far this seems to work as it actually improves the user experience.

There is more going on behind the scenes on the technical side of things. Twitter’s  has changed the rules relating to it’s API. The API is the way third party companies can use Twitter to build applications (e.g. the Twitpic photo sharing app). In addition to this, Twitter has previously purchased Tweetdeck and Posterous. This means Twitter now has it’s own in house desktop and auto posting services. If Twitter decides to remove access to other, non Twitter apps, this would remove all of the competition; increasing Twitter’s opportunity to advertise across the web, desktop and mobile.

The bottom line is that as long as users want to use Twitter, then services that have been created in protest to it’s changes, will have trouble competing.

Why @foursquare is the most useful social media app on your phone

In a recent productivity drive, I reviewed how I use social media  and decided that if I only could use one app on a daily basis it would be foursquare.

Using foursquare to explore an area provides me with up to date (sometimes almost real time) tips, reviews and also special offers from one simple interface.

I use foursquare privately. Checkins provide the app with important data to provide recommendations for when I explore new areas. The radar feature currently being developed means that soon, your phone will alert you every time you are close to somewhere that (based on your checkin history and favourites) you will like. To improve the future accuracy of this function, I only checkin to places of interest (restuarants, tourist attractions, sporting venue, book stores etc) and not generic regular places such as train stations, super markets, hostipals etc.

foursquare also interegrates with Amercian Express, providing cash back on purchases that are accompanied by a checkin. This has value for both the user and also vendors, this is why I and others believe that foursquare is the easiest social network to seemless monitize its services without effecting the user experience.

The pictures, tips and reviews within foursquare also means that foursquare has a growing pool of verrified local and venue related user genrated content.

Moving forward, I would like to see foursquare integrate Tripadvisor to provide more in app reviews. In addition to this I would also like to see the option to make in app purchases for local business products and services via the integration of a payment system (Paypal, Square, Amex, Visa etc).

And what about Twitter and Facebook?

For me, Twitter is the ideal tool for broadcasting information. I use it to share content I have created. This is normally done automatically via WordPress.  For me, consumming content through Twitter is just too overwhealming. Although for real time news, Twitter search is unbeatable.

The dark sie of Twitter is that it is too easy to get lose yourself in tweets, and ultimately waste time. Trying to have a discussion on Twitter using just 140 characters is at best frustrating, and at worst impossible. I currently do not have the twitter app on my phone.

Facebook has become my social address book. It is where I can log and record all the people I meet, and use it to reach out to them. The number of friends I have now means that using Facebook to monitor news from close friends is difficult. The list function recently introduced does start to address this issue. I only access Facebook from my tablet whilst at home  to see personal news and updates from friends.

For general news and updates relating to my interests and hobbies I use Google Reader. This RSS feed reader easily allows me to segment and monitir news from one interface.

Despite all the developments in social media I still find the best way to keep in contact with close friends and family is telephone calls and email, and of course personal meetups….

But if you haven’t tried foursquare, give it a go, I really believe it is the future and super useful. It is available on all smart phones.

South East Asia Photo and Video Directory

I have just returned from a six month trip across South East Asia. During this time I documented my travels for friend and family via my other website Enzography (Enzo + Photography + Videography = Enzography).

To help find posts I tagged each one with the city and country where it was taken. Despite most photos being personal, many other travelers I met found it useful tool for basic research. Please feel free to use it to get an insight into he following counties we visited:

Thailand

Laos

Vietnam

Cambodia

Malaysia

Borneo

Singapore

I will continue to add to Enzography, however for the immediate future I will be based in England.

I hope you enjoy it, I had a lot of fun updating the website.