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The Funniest Words on the Web

June 10, 2007 | Predicting Referrals from First Results

Everybody knows that websites ranking first on Google for popular search terms get a lot of referrals, but how many referrals are "a lot"? Does the first search result drive significantly more traffic than results two through five? Last August that question got a lot easier to answer when America Online inadvertently released the search history of over 650,000 members. Within days, SEO bloggers had downloaded the data, done the math, and posted some very exact answers. Continue reading The Funniest Words on the Web.

Anatomy of a Website

August 27, 2006 | The Practice of Holistic Web Design

In July 2005 I wrote a blog post called Make Money with the Internet in which I posited three rules for building a revenue-generating website. I ended the post by claiming I had a few ideas for such a website and promised that I would update this blog with a case study once I had built something. The good news is that now, over a year later, I’ve finally put the finishing touches on a new website called Inherently Funny, a database of funny names, funny songs, and more. Of course, the requisite bad news is that the site makes almost no money. There are a lot of good reasons for this—for one thing, I only followed one of my three rules for building a revenue-generating website—but despite this lack of success, I don’t believe Inherently Funny was a wasted effort. Whether or not my idea for an online database of jokes without punch lines was any good, building the site did remind me that good web design requires more than simply knowing HTML and Photoshop. Good web design is in fact a holistic practice requiring the additional knowledge of search engine optimization, web usability, and web analytics. I wouldn’t expect anyone to simply take my word for it though, so what follows is a discussion of each of the three fields and examples of how I applied them to Inherently Funny. Continue reading Anatomy of a Website.

Celebrity Sightings Week

November 2, 2005 | Stars I’ve Spotted in New York

Why write about celebrity sightings on a design blog? I have a reason, but really it’s just an excuse, and there’s no excuse for the bad taste that follows. That said, given that celebrities are searched on Google in disturbingly frequent numbers, this post is partly an exercise in search engine optimization and hence the somewhat inaccurate but search engine friendly title, “Celebrity Sightings Week.” What follows then is a list of stars I’ve spotted in my years and weeks in New York.

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick: I spotted the couple with their kids in the Times Square subway station. He was wearing a floppy hat and she had celebrity hair. Really, I've never seen a head of hair like that on a normal person.

Claire Danes: I saw her chasing her dog on Spring Street. She caught the dog.

Shannon Doherty: I’m actually a little unsure about this one, but the woman in question certainly looked pissed-off enough to be Shannon Doherty. Whoever it was, she and several beefy guys were struggling to catch a cab on Spring and Lafayette. Continue reading Celebrity Sightings Week.

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