Bug Bytes is a weekly roundup of the Web’s best links, blog posts, and news articles related to web design, application development, and online marketing. Continue the conversation and share your thoughts on these stories in the comments below – we’d love to hear your own insights!
Former Bing Product Lead, Mark Johnson, explains the economics of social search integration in an interview with Fast Company contributor Austin Carr. Google and SEO industry leaders tout the value of social media in search; however, because search engines rely on pre-caching query results, personalization may at times prove too costly. Social integration and personalization would require calculating every single query on-the-fly. When these marginal costs are increased in scale to the search volume that Google handles, its business becomes significantly less lucrative.
While the former Bing Product Lead doesn’t see the integration happening on a large scale today, he admits that a unification of social and search is inevitable. Because of the value of social data, Google and other search engines will learn how to leverage it in a way that’s beneficial to the user and cost effective. Stefan Weitz, Director of Search at Microsoft, says of the marriage of social and search: “It’s not 10 years, not five years away, it’s just a couple years away — tops — where social is literally so imbued into the experience that it’s just another ranking factor like anything else”.
Smashing Magazine points out five reasons why clients should consider having their websites redesigned. Causes for considering an overhaul include: a decline in website traffic, customer feedback, and outdated styles. In addition, a major watch-out is the concern of maintenance fees exceeding the cost new site investment. Any or all of these aspects should be the focus of ongoing website attention in order to make sure your interactive presentation doesn’t fall behind the curve.
Insight: When considering a website redesign, always start with a few key questions. Does the current website still adequately represent my brand, as well as my customers needs/goals? What level of ROI (return on investment) should I expect from my site, and how does it weigh against the cost of update? Does this website still fulfill everything that we need it to do? Never hesitate to ask these questions, and make sure you work with web experts that will facilitate answers to help find the solution that’s best for you.
Comedian Louis CK decided to try and answer a question that has been asked since the days of Napster – if content is made available online, is it possible to make money? To find the answer, he produced a video of two recent shows full of new material, built a website to distribute it, and charged $5 for the DRM-free content. In doing so, he bypassed many of the fees, restrictions, and limitations inherent of a DVD release. Only a few days after the content was made available on the website, over 110,000 copies have been sold, providing the comedian with over $200,000 in profits.
Insight: Like Radiohead’s In Rainbows digital download album release, Louie CK’s direct-to-consumer experiment further erodes the wall between content creator and content consumer. After the initial investment to generate the video and the structure to distribute it, Louie CK profited by providing his fans what they desired at a fair price. In the process, he also created a case study for an emerging business model.