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How to drive traffic to your site, the easy way

3 Dec

The Walker Art centre digital media team


Last week, i went to a presentation by Nate Solas, he is a senior media developer (he’s the guy in the middle, sitting down) for the award winning Walker Art Center, you see i’ve been attending quite a few lectures, meet ups, technology events, after all, i’m in Sydney and there is quite a bit going on, all you have to do is look.

I will share some of the interesting points i learnt from his excellent presentation

To get people to your site, all you have to do is write good content, so if you write something, make it good, people will come back to read more time and again, you can see this through the ‘Long tail’ of your site, i highly recommend this article by Chris Anderson, from Wired to get a deeper understanding of the long tail

Chris says:

Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.

A longtail states that there is more value in the sum of things that get small demands than on the big demand things.

It’s taking statistics to a new level, there is the longtail of travel

What a long tail looks like


Its the bottom line going across the bottom is what your aiming for. For the
Walker art centre started investigating the long tail, more specifically who these people were and what they were doing, they got to understand their business in a different way.

Whats interesting is recently Facebook changed their algorithm, the Internet has some new laws too, it favours stories that are based on good content, people will keep coming back and find content through search tools, good content doesn’t have to be on the sidebar, people will dig around for it are we in the era of digital archaeologists?

Nate talked of a ‘Long tail’, some might be forgiven for thinking it had something to do with cats, and it did to a degree, interested?

I watched a talk by Ken Robinson, in case you dont know who he is, Ken Robinson is a education reformer, one of the most interesting people you will listen to, he is also one of the world’s leading speakers with a profound impact on audiences everywhere

Ken Robinson


His TedX presentation has been viewed more than 4 million times (at the time), he said that his son showed him a youtube video of someone playing with a cat, it had 8 million hits, which was funny, but also true

What works in driving audiences to your site are, special interest groups. The Walker arts centre, launched the new site, it got a lot of traffic, they held a big rock concert, they got huge traffic, they held a cat movie festival, called ‘The nine lives of the Internet cat’, the graph went off the scale.

C is for….Cat


Continuing, Nate mentioned a few rules when you attract special interest groups, that he likes to adhere to

  • When you attract a special interest group, don’t make them look at other stuff, if they come for cat videos, give them cat videos
  • You need to Measure more and guess less
  • Stop inventing and start iterating
  • Do the obvious thing excellently
  • Give the user a sense of community, for the Walker Centre, they put the weather temperature on the front page and it’s been a huge success, people like knowing that it’s ‘Cloudy and 46 Fahrenheit’ around the centre
  • The Walker centre is happy to have links to other sites, it gives them credability too, people appreciate it and that brings people back

You can watch the entire festival cat videos here

This funny cat video has had nearly 49 million views, enjoy!!

Problem, defination, innovation and… an App solution?

28 Nov

So, i have been meeting entrepreneurs and people involved in start up companies in Sydney and a world of possibilities have appeared for me

A major trend that has not run it’s full course is in developing apps, everybody has them on their iPhone, it seems clear if you can develop an app that somehow ties in with one of the seven deadly sins, you could be on to a winner.

Where is the opportiunity?


In the example of Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin says:

Social networks do best when they tap into one of the seven deadly sins. Facebook is ego. Zynga is sloth. LinkedIn is greed.

But another train of thought for developing that doesn’t sound nasty that i quite like is

Just live your life until you come up against a problem that you can solve and helps others, then develop a business model around the solution.

So, i have ideas, but how do i translate these ideas into a form that can be presented, developed and released?

Why of course, you would define a business model, business plan, develop requirements and so on and so forth for these ideas.

An idea…


So while swimming, i was thinking of this and i remembered a friend of mine that told me of her aspirations many years ago of becoming a Business Analyst in a company we both worked for.

I remember telling her to look at one of the completed projects in the network drive and :

  • Look at the finished product/project release
  • Trace the work by the Business Analyst, their names would be on any/all documents they participated on, you could do a simple ‘find’ by name search to retrieve all documents
  • Look at how the business need was translated into a requirement that was developed/tested and released
  • By identifying what the Business Analyst did, that’s what you have to do too, you just work backwards from the solution

And this got me thinking of our daily lives, just about everything we see or touch in a city was a problem in

  • Design
  • Production
  • Transportation
  • Usability
  • Safety
We’re all coming to recognize design is everywhere—everything we touch has been designed, and every economy is at least partly design-driven and becoming even more so. “A new value is being placed on design as essential to innovation,” says Carol Coletta, director of ArtPlace, “and on the connection between innovation, jobs, and economic growth.” This growing awareness is especially concentrated in cities, where design is being heralded not only as a savior of the economy but as the solution to a multitude of social challenges.Read more:

And the list goes on, the point is that a solution was found, the endless meetings and sleepless nights resulted in you sitting in the chair you sit in, but what were the requirements for the chair?

Well, your sitting in the chair, so the project must of been a success, it met the requirements, maybe it was innovative too?

Introducing Richard Feynman, a class act


I remember reading when Richard Feynman was trying to figure out an equation, that could not be calculated before the times of computers as we know them, he would start off by guessing the answers and then he would work backwards, he often solved problems this way, he didn’t think he was anything special, he had a different way of thinking, a different approach, and that was the difference and quite often it made all the difference.

A brave new world of apps


So it seems clear, if you want to understand how an app came to be, pick a good one (that helps people solve a problem) and work back towards the time someone had a problem, which became the idea, like for example ‘Drop box’, you can listen to the story through the ‘Stanford university entrepreneur pod cast’ through the ‘Podcast’ app (a fantastic learning app)

In case you don’t know the story of Drop box, the founder had an important presentation, he drove a few hours to this important meeting and he forgot the hard drive that he wanted to present.

This mishap was a personal disaster, the biggest of his life, at the time and he thought, ‘There must be a better way?’, step one in innovation, a question Steve Jobs would spend his Fridays with Craig Rispin asking this question

(Download Craigs ‘How to think like Futurist’ here)

Is there a better way?


And there was a better way to access you files and share your files, and that’s how you have Drop box folks, it’s inspiring that someones personal disaster was converted into a triump that the world could benifit from.

Time to get to work….

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