Rohit Bhargava blogs, surfs, Twitters, Facebooks, SlideShares, Links In and holds down a job.

Posting this link to Influential Marketing Blog: http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com/weblog/

Bhargava, head of Interactive Marketing at Oglivy PR and former LB/Sydney executive producer,  provides an informed, opinionated and wide-ranging survey of digital marketing tools, trends and ideas: with great posts on what works, what doesn’t, what he likes, and what he hates.

 – md

Verizon Gets in on the iPhone “killer” Trend

Verizon Phones

It looks like Verizon is in on the trend to release an iPhone “killer”. The company just announced four phones planned for release in the near future which contain features and functions similar to the iPhone, namely music/photo capabilities and touch screens.

I personally feel the appeal of the iPhone goes way beyond it’s aesthetic usability. Sure, I think it’s fun to physically interact with the interface because of its intuitive nature and downright “cool” factor. It’s very futuristic, for now.

The greatest appeal about the iPhone to me is its seamless integration with my Macintosh world. I’ve always been a fan of Mac computers and mobile technology, but I’ve never had a mobile device which worked easily with my Mac setup. Getting notes, calendar information, or even contacts from my Macintosh applications to a mobile phone has always been a challenge, usually requiring additional costs in cables and software to achieve mediocre compatibility. This will no longer be the case with the iPhone.

I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon to switch phone carriers in order to get an iPhone. I’ve been a loyal Verizon customer for years, and in the end, I rely on what has been a consistent level of network service. I get a good network signal, calls go through, text messages are promptly delivered and I don’t drop calls. I can’t give that up in an expensive test to try another mobile provider just so I can have the iPhone extras. My phone needs to make and receive reliable calls first and foremost…all else is icing on the cake.

Will Verizon’s new phones grab my attention as a customer? You bet! I’ll follow the steady stream of product information as it’s released and probably select a new model as soon as I can!

Traffic Driving Tips & Links

A la TL!

+ Tell a Friend
Obvious but often overlooked

+ Social Site Links / Feed Buttons
http://addthis.com
http://www.ifeedreaders.com/chicklet-creator/

+ Local Search Optimization
http://search.searchengineland.com/search?w=local+search
http://searchengineland.com/070918-094758.php

+ Paid Directory Placement
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-wisdom-folly-of-directory-link-building

+ Be Remarkable!
This is most important one. If you do this, people will link to you, blog about you, etc…

And here are a bunch of seo and sem links…
http://del.icio.us/takashi37/sem
http://del.icio.us/takashi37/seo
http://del.icio.us/takashi37/search

: > tb

World’s Shortest Usability Test

User Interface Engineering recently “reprinted” a two year old article about their 5-second usability testing method. Don’t feel like reading, here’s a “podcast” on the topic with Christine Perfetti and Jared Spool.

The technique is similar to a traditional usability test, with some notable protocol tweaks.

First, participants are given a focused task.

Next, they’re warned that they’ll see a page for 5 seconds and asked to try to remember everything they see. They’re then shown the page.

Having seen the page, they’re asked them to write down everything they remember about the page.

Finally, the participant is asked to write answers to a few questions about what they saw. For example, “What is the most important information on this page?” and “What could you do on this page?”

At this point, the results are analyzed to see whether the content on the page is clear and concise. If so, users will easily recall the critical information and accurately identify the main purpose.

Per the article, a 5 second usability test provides a “valuable glimpse into what happens during the first moments a user sees a page.” At the same time, the author caveats that the technique isn’t appropriate for pages that serve multiple purposes, such as a home page.

If you try out this technique on your pages, drop a comment below. I’ll be sure to do the same.

Want to Save Some Time?

Here’s a neat little microsite from Sprint that ties into their SprintSpeed campaign:

http://waitless.org/

It features videos of interesting, fun, sometimes practical, ways to save time in your daily life — like tying your shoes in 1 second or chilling a canned beverage in just a few minutes.

I wish they’d make the videos more sharable, perhaps with deep links to each video or at least a tell a friend. And the whole thing is basically trapped in a Flash shell so it’s not really getting as much SEO value as possible.

Either way, it totally reminded me of this great way to fold a shirt…

How do you save time?

TL

Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab

I ran across a reference to Standford’s study of Captology whilst reading a Forrest Report…and followed the trail to their URL. Riding the line between inspiring and downright frightening, they’ve created a lab to study “the design, research, and analysis of interactive computing products created for the purpose of changing people’s attitudes or behaviors.” The site isn’t altogether too deep, but their blog is fun to lurk about on, with topics ranging from “Captology to Promote Alternative Transportation” to “Department of Homeland Security Wants Cell Phones to Detect Radioactive Material.”  Give it a read…

http://captology.stanford.edu/

 – carrie M

Don’t Click Anywhere: dontclick.it

Screen capture of dontclick.itWhile we’re on the topic of not clicking, figured I’d make a post about this thought provoking little site… http://dontclick.it. It’s an entire site navigable via a wide range of novel, non-clickable interface elements.

The site’s pacing is superb, with perfect delay times and progressive disclosure helping guide you through intriguing self-referential content about the site and the history of clicking.

Live user-generated content and site usage data are seamlessly blended with static content throughout.

And don’t miss the inspirational “explore” section with its various experimental interface solutions for submitting buttons and exploring content. There’s even a training camp where you can learn to be a better mouse user.

So, did you miss the click?

TL