the markITeer

Archive for the ‘conversations’ Category

“I need those numbers!”

Posted by the markITeer on June 7, 2007

Just this week, I had the conversation below … twice.
Makes you think why it is exactly that we want all those numbers, graphs and dashboards…

[client]: Hey, guess what: we are going to redesign our website!
[markITeer]: Great!
[client]: Yes, our website is such a success that we really need to upgrade it. Just yesterday we had nearly 700 visitors! How cool is that! We have this really nice website analytics software showing us all the numbers in real time online with nice-looking graphs and tables. It was the one thing I insisted on when building our previous website. Every morning I take a quick look at the number of visitors we got the day before. Reminds me that we should definitely put that in our new site as well.
[markITeer]: good idea!
[client]: By the way: I started to work out a completely new sitemap. Would you mind taking a look at it?
[markITeer]: Not at all.

– a nice diagram with a maze of blocks and arrows is layed out on the table –

[client]: I took the topics of the current website and re-arranged them a little. I also added a few new things like a blog and a searchable event calendar.
[markITeer]: What is the goal of your website? What are the most important topics to you?
[client]: uhm… everything?
[markITeer]: OK, then maybe we could start from what’s important to your customers and prospects. What are your visitors looking for on your current website? What pages are they visiting most frequently? What keywords do they use to find your site in the search engines?

– silence –

How many of our actions do we base on those numbers we can’t live without? Honestly?


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(un)defining spam

Posted by the markITeer on June 1, 2007

Each workshop on e-mail marketing and spam, I start with a seemingly simple question: “What is spam?”.
This is how it mostly goes:

[markITeer]: Does anybody know what spam is?
[John]: Of course: emails I don’t want to receive.
[markITeer]: So if your best friend sends you an email that you didn’t want to receive, it’s spam?
[John]: no… spam is about emails I don’t want to receive from people I don’t know
[markITeer]: So if a friend of your best friend sends you that same email, mentioning your best friend as a reference, you would consider it spam?
[John] hmmm… no….
[Tom] I think I would
[Lydia] Doesn’t spam always have some commercial message?
[markITeer]: So spam is a commercial email you don’t want from somebody you don’t know? Suppose you were looking for a new car six months ago and you received an incredible offer for the car of your dreams from a garage in your town (someone you didn’t know personally). Then according to this definition it might not be spam. But if you would receive that same email now, after you bought your dream car, it would be?
[Lydia]: hmmm… maybe… I don’t know.
[Tom]: Couldn’t you say that spam always involves large volume sendings?
[markITeer]: So you judge an e-mail you receive by how many people received it?
[Tom]: hmmm… no
[markITeer]: Anybody?

And that’s why spam filters will never be perfect…

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