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Let’s Not Go Down That Road Again, Okay?

by SMD · 2 Comments 

About six months ago I came online in search of a way of making money after reading about Jon Gales and his MobileTracker.net site in Fortune magazine. Since then I’ve written the code for and started: SmartMoneyDaily.com, CashFlowCanada.com, HomeEquityLoans.com, Diesel-Performance-Superchip.com, Hybrid-Zone.com [the last three with a partner]. I have also opened a hosting reseller account, have a [...]

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Women are the Spenders

by SMD · 4 Comments 

Being someone who spends an inordinate amount of their time online I get to notice some generalities. As I’ve been immersed in business and online money making I’ve noticed more and more that the internet is still a male dominated game. This strikes me as curious. I know that men are, probably due to traditional mindsets, [...]

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Cognitive Dissonance and Creativity

by SMD · 2 Comments 

I’m spending quite a lot of time experiencing cognitive dissonance these days. What the heck is that? Here’s an example: Researchers went to a grocery store and set up tasting booths in the store. On one table they had 24 jams that the people could taste. On another there were six different kinds of jams. As [...]

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PGA.com – Potato Growers of Alberta

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Getting Things Done – Productivity Method

I have a joke about myself that I use quite a bit. It goes something like this, “My favorite way to remove items from my to-do list, is to let them decay off the bottom.” So you can imagine that I was interested when I saw this Wired story about how to get more done [...]

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 Implementing GTD alleviates the feeling of overwhelm, instills confidence, and releases a flood of creative energy. It provides structure without constraint, managing details with maximum flexibility. The system rigorously adheres to the core principles of productivity, while allowing tremendous freedom in the “how.” The only “right” way to do GTD is getting meaningful things done with truly the least amount of invested attention and energy.

From David Allen‘s website. I also found this very useful diagram of the process for managing incoming tasks [workflow management]. This seems to be at the core of the Getting Things Done [GTD] philosophy. In general I have been starved for a systematic way to improve the processing, organization and prioritizing of incoming tasks and information. I’ll be implementing some form of this system immediately.

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5 Insidious Lies about Selling On the Web

image credit As a subscriber to Perry Marshall’s mailing list, I received an offer a couple weeks ago to fill out a one-page survey an get an mp3 called 5 Insidious Lies about Selling On the Web. I was very impressed with the ideas that were presented. Being exposed to alternate points of view can be [...]

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Improve Your Look With Free Pictures

In a follow-up to my last story, Evaluating a Web Site’s Credibility, I wanted to share a couple image library sites that I found which have excellent quality images available for free download. You can use them to spice up you online articles or in business materials or presentations. I used one to create the Carnival banner in [...]

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Branding & Business go to Church

Churches have begun to re-invent themselves by using big-business models. ‘Franchising’, ‘branding’ and ‘the bottom line’ are becoming just as popular at the chapel as they are in the boardroom. This year, the 16.4 million-member Southern Baptist Convention plans to “plant” 1,800 new churches using by-the-book niche-marketing tactics. “We have cowboy churches for people working [...]

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Evaluating a Web Site’s Credibility

by SMD · 2 Comments 

Thanks to my friend Bryant , who runs the very funny site Innocent English for sending me a head’s up about this excellent Stanford University  Persuasive Technology Lab study called How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility?  The data showed that the average consumer paid far more attention to the superficial aspects of a site, such as visual cues, than to its content. For [...]

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, who runs the very funny site Innocent English for sending me a head’s up about this excellent Stanford University  Persuasive Technology Lab study called How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility?

 The data showed that the average consumer paid far more attention to the superficial aspects of a site, such as visual cues, than to its content. For example, nearly half of all consumers (or 46.1%) in the study assessed the credibility of sites based in part on the appeal of the overall visual design of a site, including layout, typography, font size and color schemes.

You can check out the complete study here.

Here’s their overall analysis of credibility comments:

  • Design Look – 46.1%
  • Information Design/Structure – 28.5%
  • Information Focus – 25.1%
  • Company Motive – 15.5%
  • Information Usefulness – 14.8%
  • Information Accuracy – 14.3%
  • Name Recognition and Reputation – 14.1%
  • Advertising – 13.8%
  • Information Bias – 11.6%
  • Writing Tone – 9.0%
  • Identity of Site Operator – 8.8%
  • Site Functionality – 8.6%
  • Customer Service – 6.4%
  • Past Experience with Site – 4.6%
  • Information Clarity – 3.7%
  • Performance on Test by User – 3.6%
  • Readability – 3.6%
  • Affiliations – 3.4%

This summary list has been quoted from ebook-designer.com. Overall, this is a fascinating study. For a site that relies on AdSense I don’t think credibility is such a big issue [it may even be a detriment!], but for a more traditional business model, one in which you are building a relationship with your customer prior to selling, then it is obviously a huge factor.

It shouldn’t be a surprise really. It’s about the same as a real estate agent, the first thing on their business shopping list: a Mercedes, because it’s instant credibility. Same thing online. It’s a superficial world. The study goes on to say that as a result of this study that  Consumer Reports WebWatch must endeavor to educate people so they don’t make these kinds of decisions based only on perceptions.

Personally, I think they’ll have a difficult time with that one. Better to face reality and hire a good designer.

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The Step from Technician to Entrepreneur

by SMD · 3 Comments 

Darren over at ProBlogger has an interesting story about whether or not to get rid of or ‘prune’ underperforming blogs. The issue is where to put one’s time in order to maximize results [revenue]. Having a full time job and a few sites, I run into the same problem all the time. That is the primary [...]

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