Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Prospect pictures are currently producing a series for the UKTV channels which will be broadcast on all the UKTV channels in the Christmas period and we are looking for an archeologist to take part. UKTV is an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Flextech Television, the content division of Telewest Communications. Since its launch in 1997, the UKTV network’s Adult share has grown by 75 percent based on a comparison of the first year of transmission with the last 12months, making UKTV the second largest non-terrestrial broadcaster in theUK, attracting 19 million viewers each month on average. UKTV's aim is to present a compelling picture of what makes life in Britain great and each of the UKTV channels presents a different aspect of UK culture - the place we live, the history, the humour and the people that make up our perception of home. We are recording specific messages for the UKTV History and Documentary channels which will reflect the channel's tone and content and would like to film with an archeologist. The content of the messages will be about the significance of Christmas for the interviewee and the filming should be quite quick and straightforward, resulting in a series of 10 to 30"segments.I was wondering whether you might be able to help us in finding them. We are looking for someone who is outgoing, chatty and not camera-shy and who would like to take part.We will be traveling through a selection of UK cities (London, Norwich,Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh) from the 18th of October2004 onwards.I look forward to discussing this with you in more detail and hope to hear from you soon. Kind regards, Sophie Gozlan, Associate Producer Prospect Pictures 020 8877 5686

Monday, September 27, 2004

About Us Home Page

I think that we should review our ARA About Us presentation and nav focus towards this . . . that is what new members are seriously interested in.

The end of page straight text nav does seem to me to be used more and more? Comments please.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Slashdot | Amazon's Search Engine Goes Live: "scapermoya writes 'Today was the official launch day of Amazon's search engine, which has been in public beta for some time now. It uses results from Google, and adds some personalized features, like bookmarks and search history. Its Java-heavy inteface reminds me of Gmail, which is nice. It doesn't seem like it was designed to supplant Google, but rather to flesh out some things that a certain demographic of people might like.' "

[we have had beta A9 on test on ARA pages for a couple of months and like it's usability - pw]

Saturday, September 18, 2004

6-8% Convert ? : Practical News & Case Studies on Internet Advertising, Marketing & PR: "How to Build Your e-Business with a Blog (6-8% of Readers Convert to Buyers)"

[Thanks again: Anne Holland]

Friday, September 17, 2004

.8 per cent

After three years' persistence, Shane got the go-ahead to launch an entirely new site to try to take the 68-year-old pharmacy nationwide online. The new business,, launched this January.30 days later, Shane had to report "miserable failure".

" The site had only made one single sale despite receiving thousands of visitors
from SEO and paid search efforts. We had an attractive site, but it just
couldn't sell anything. Visitors didn't go any further than the page they landed
on, and most pageviews didn't last but a second."
Instead of giving up, Shane analyzed the data, pitched his boss for a bit more time and budget, got help from expert Steve Jackson at, and worked long hours for two months to launch an entirely revamped site. "The color scheme is the only thing we kept." Now he's getting a .8% conversion rate from visitor to sale. And, as he puts it, the battle is only started. I bet he'll hit 2% before the end of this year. What helped?-> Promoting the phone number more prominently."Probably half the orders call and ask a lot of questions. They want to make sure what they are buying is going to work . . . They don't believe the price and description, so they call to verify. "It's been an eye opener."->

Highlighting key words and adding white space in heavy copy areas. You need detailed text to explain many of the products/seervices properly, and Shane wants to make sure folks who don't read everything can get to the important parts.-> Retooling product descriptions so they describe benefits, . . . . Example: "Instead of just saying 'It weighs four ounces', now we add, 'and you can carry it quite easily.' That makes more sense to moms. "Shane also discovered that by adding a question box asking "What is your top concern?" to his newsletter sign-up form, lots of visitors would submit ideas. "You'd be amazed at what people fill out in that blank -- some their life stories. "The results have helped him create a newsletter that readers find truly compelling. (Great idea - we may test that ourselves!) Shane is a personal inspiration to me because he didn't give up when things looked bad, and he didn't blame the medium. I figured you might find him inspiring too...
Thanks for your support, Anne Holland - PublisherMarketingSherpa
P.S. As always, our Case Studies and articles are open access for about 10 days. Then they go into SherpaLibrary where you can research for a small fee. The links always remain the same.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Zeugma again

Telegraph | Fashion | New York: BC chic to bare-faced cheek in catwalk from Rome to Rio: "
Fresco chic: Atil Kutoglu in pictures
The pendulum swung from BC chic to bare-faced cheek at the weekend with everything from biblical robes to a style option for next spring/summer.
The Turkish designer, Atil Kutoglu took inspiration from the ancient Roman city of Zeugma, founded in 300 BC, for a collection of robes, cloaks and fresco-printed tunics, worn with flat 'centurion' sandals.

Atil Kutoglu drapes his models in clothes inspired by ancient Rome . .
Princess Michael of Kent was a surprise front row guest as Naomi Campbell opened Kutoglu's show in a modest, grey silk . . ."

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Eyetrack III

Writing for the Web: Eyetrack III: "Eyetrack III
We've been looking at websites for over a decade now, but we still don't fully understand how we read them. Jakob Nielsen has done some pioneering work in this field, including the discovery that we read text on screen up to 25% slower than we read text on paper.
Now the Poynter Institute has published the results of Eyetrack III, a study of user behaviour while reading Web pages. If you're serious about writing for the Web, you should study the results and consider the implications.
September 10, 2004 | Permalink "

Monday, September 13, 2004


Internet Works
The Autumn issue of Internet Works is out tomorrow, coming to a newsagent or doormat near you. This month's cover feature takes a close look at web analytics, the practice of measuring what goes on at your site. We ask big-name online operators why they think analytics is worthy of investment, and find out what the options are for smaller budgets.
This magazine has been a mainstay to designers for the past several years. It is not too technical and is easy to read. From the title you will see that the focus is always on what works . . (also what doesn't work) . . surveying the full range of serious websites.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Beer in Antiquity - Barcelona

ARA Introduction - Beer in Antiquity - Barcelona

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Weblogs in Education

Weblogs in Education: Weblogg-ed Interview

Friday, September 03, 2004

Landing Pages : Practical News & Case Studies on Internet Advertising, Marketing & PR: "How GoToMyPC Tested Landing Pages to Raise Conversion Rates by 400% (Useful Creative Samples) "

This focus upon the functionality and efficiency of landing pages is a milestone marking our increased awareness of several crucial concepts re GUI [Graphical User Interface] and the psychology of perception. Rare indeed is this empirical research work . . [empirical: from Greek "based upon experiment and practical experience alone, without any regard to theory". UED.]

The Report is published on the present URL until the 5th September 2004 but after that date it will be easy to find by using the search terms in the title (above).

In the meantime do make the most of - > this Sherpa page which gives all the links to the landing page variants that were evaluated.

Note that all our pages are now landing pages . . owing to current search systems the old idea of visitors arriving on a home page, or index page, or even sitemap is increasingly an unlikely prospect. So we must review the old spider diagrams, flow-charts, and hierarchy of page levels.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


The Google Backlink Dance Resumes: "Yesterday, August 31, 2004, Google ran their backlink 'update'. This is the process of simply showing the amount of backlinks that are pointing to your site."