December 19, 2007
Great post from Jakob Nielsen on the dangers of going web 2.0 crazy from a usability point of view!
Highly poingant as we’re implementing a lot of AJAX at the moment. Overkill is deadly and could trash your conversion rate. Keep it minimal, useful, effective (AJAX is great for some things, pointless for others), simple, usable and give clear instructions where needed.
I agree with his pitch on user generated content as well. Pointless if your audience/customers aren’t ready for it or if you have nothing interesting for them to talk about (that said, great in an emotive environment such as online travel if used wisely).
October 19, 2007
Since Yahoo bought Flickr it’s all been relatively quiet. Yahoo have made use of it on a couple of occasions, integrating Flickr images into some of their services but other than that nothing major has happened to change the service significantly. It does what it says on the tin and is my photo upload site of choice still.
Some announcements (courtesy of Techcrunch) were made last night which could reveal a new approach, or at least a new string to the Flickr/Yahoo bow.
They are adding new functionality to their geotagging by placing the tags onto maps making it much easier to search your way around the world. This is really just a catch up to Zooomr. The really interesting piece of functionality and the one which has the most relevance to the online travel world is the coming introduction of ‘places’ pages on Flickr.
‘Places’ will be pages which pull together the most interesting photos about a destination and tag associated with it. So you will be able to view pages on for example London/buildings. You’ll be able to explore over 70,000 places through photos, tags and featured photographers. Now, this is sounding like a very good source of destination content for the travel industry!
Here’s an example screenshot (courtesy Techcrunch)
The interesting thing will be to see if these new pages are monetised when they launch in the coming weeks. I’m sure Yahoo will place sponsored links on the pages but will they go one step further and place calls to action to book hotels, flights or trips to these destinations?
I’d say it’s a perfect opportunity for Yahoo. Yahoo Travel is a pretty good site now with their review, booking and destination information. Roll all of this into a location led service filled with great imagery and content and you could have a pretty interesting concept.
Of course the other opportunity for travel companies is what kind of access you will be able to get to these new pages through the Flickr API. Thomson and others already pull photos from Flickr, will you be able to pull content by place now? Much more useful, and less likely to be irrelevant to your users!
Here are the details of the forthcoming changes (courtesy Techcrunch via Scribd).
October 8, 2007
I love The Onion, and here once again they’ve hit the nail on the proverbial head with this video showing how they (the media) respond to users comments. Really makes sense if you’ve ever run a blog, social network or user generated content based site.
October 4, 2007
So what is the most powerful selling tool available to us to market with on the web these days? I often think that the most trusted recommendation (or advert) is another person and it seems I’m not the only one. Nielsen have completed a survey asking consumers what their most trusted form of advertising is, the results are not surprising:
|To What Extent Do You Trust the Following Forms of Advertising?|
|Recommendations from consumers||78%|
|Consumer opinions posted online||61%|
|Email I signed up for||49%|
|Ads before movies||38%|
|Search engine ads||34%|
|Online banner ads||26%|
|Text ads on mobile phones||18%|
So, as suspected consumer reviews have leapt into the lead as the most trusted form of advertising. Word of mouth is still king, time for all in online travel to bite the bullet and add reviews to their sites? Maybe, but control will be important so as not to show yourselves in a bad light!