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!
Since its October 2009 founding, Social Media Examiner has grown into a valuable resource for guidance into and updates on the online networking arena. Now, at the start of 2012, their experts provide predictions for the coming year, including opportunities for both continued growth and evolved offerings. Amongst the expectations are that: businesses will continue to become more strategic in their social media efforts, unique and real time content will become essential, and YouTube will stage a comeback amongst existing platforms.
Insight: While social media has been growing in popularity over the past few years, “smart networking” will be emphasized more than ever during 2012. Across the board, businesses and marketers have learned the importance of leveraging multi-faceted social media strategies, aligning both online and offline efforts. Likewise, general users are expecting more and more from their networking activities, resulting in consistently evolving platforms and messaging options.
Insight: These websites demonstrate that designing for the web medium can be highly technical without compromising creative integrity. Every designer starts with a white page and from there develops wonderful creative solutions, such as transforms, transitions, shadows, border radiuses, gradients, web fonts, and hovers. With more Webkit properties created, designers find themselves less limited in design choices and have more to offer for a satisfying web experience.
Due to the rocky initial launch of Google TV in 2010, LG is taking the cautious route to this year’s relaunch. While LG is producing televisions with integrated Google TV technology, it is also promoting a new round of its Smart TVs. While both Smart TV and Google TV will have app ecosystems, it is unlikely that the same app will function on both systems – a potential problem for developers. LG appears to be positioning itself with an easy out in the event that Google TV again fails to gain traction. However, if it’s a hit, the company will be in on the ground floor.
Insight: Along with the cessation of analog broadcasting, the seamless integration of the Internet within televisions is a boon for TV manufacturers, and a potential bust for cable providers. Furthermore, if Google can integrate its advertising targeting capabilities into Google TV, how broadcast media is targeted and purchased may alter drastically.
A new collaborative study by Google and Compete, investigating the complexity of e-commerce decision-making, used toy shoppers as an example of how multiple media play into the conversion process. The study found that customers responded to traditional media, search ads, and display at different points of the acquisition process, and also found online shoppers are increasingly using multiple screens to complete conversions. The study found shoppers exposed to TV ads and circulars turn to online resources within a week, and nearly 1/5 of toy shoppers use mobile to shop, with search being the number one activity of these mobile users.
Insight: Google and Compete’s study reinforces the importance of integrated online marketing for retailers, who may not see a connection between search, display, social, and mobile marketing. While the study emphasizes the importance of search to retailers, it stresses that a more holistic approach, involving traditional media, search, display, mobile, and social, will be the most effective in driving customers through the conversion funnel.