We’re selling our house at the moment and decided to try the internet agent route rather than a traditional estate agent. Our rationale is they’re a lot cheaper and most people now find properties via sites like Right Move and Zoopla.
Once our property was listed on the various property sites I set up a Facebook ad to see if it would drive much traffic, and in the process realised that Facebook are missing a trick (or more likely they’re working on it but dont have it ready yet); the ability to target ads not only on demographics and geography, but on status updates/wall posts.
Its easy enough to target people over a certain age who live within a certain number of miles of Woking, but what if I could target people who also posted to their wall/updated their status with “house hunting” or “just seen a lovely hose” or “estate agent”? We’d be talking about highly targeted ads that Bing and Google could only dream of. And they’d be more valuable to me as an advertiser, so I’d be willing to pay more.
I’m sure this is on the way…
Voyages of World War One Royal Navy warships are being used to help scientists understand the climate of the past and unearth new historical information, with help from the public. Visitors to the website www.oldweather.org, which launched earlier in October, are being invited to input weather observations of the routes taken by any of 280 Royal Navy ships. Once on the website, volunteers will be asked to transcribe information from the digital copies of historical logbooks, making notes of weather and any interesting events.
If you have a fascination for weather like me, you may find the Weather Winter Wonderland open day at the Weather Stop interesting. In addition to Technical Advice and Demonstrations of products and software, they’ll have mulled wine and mine pies
I’ve found the team invaluable as I slowly built up my weather equipment.
More details to follow on their Facebook page.
As an experiment, I created an add for my new weather site on Google, Microsoft and Facebook. I used an identical add on the three networks but different tagetting;
UI is a bit confusing, the targetting is average (couldn’t find Woking, just Wokingham), the scheduling and budget settings are good.
UI is better Adcenter but still cluttered and a bit confusing. The targetting is pretty good, allowing the user to target geographic location more accurately than MS (i.e. it found Woking). Adwords also gave you an indication of search volume when selecting keywords and also suggested additional keywords and estimated the #searches that used them per month – useful to expand your reach.
UI is very straight forward and I found it clearer than either of the others. Unsurprisingly, the targetting is very very good, after all you share pretty much every bit of demographic info with Facebook. I targetting a 10 mile radius of Woking which Facebook claimed had an estimated reach of 95,440 people.
Cost Comparison (per click)
- MS ~£0.04
- Google ~£0.17
- Facebook ~£0.33
Impressions (two-day week end)
- MS: 40
- Google: 9,062
- Facebook: 99,233
Click Through Rate (CTR)
- MS: 2.5%
- Google: 0.07%
- Facebook: 0.021%
Ironically, Yahoo and Ask both sent more traffic to the website than MS/Google or Facebook. Facebook was highest out of the three tested followed by DoubleClick (Google).
This wasnt a scientific test – the targetting was different on Facebook, which probably goes some way to explaining the low CTR as people were shown the ad based on location rather than a desire to find something about weather in Woking. The MS CTR was high, but with only 40 impressions I dont think you can make a fair comparison.
I’ll leave the ads running for a while then compare a longer period with more data.
There is no online schedule for Guilfest this year (at least that I could find), forcing everyone to spend £5 on a programme. To save you the hassle, I’ve listed the stages, acts and times for Sunday below. Enjoy.
|Main Stage||Good Time Guide Stage||Rock Sound Cave|
|1200-1245 The Rock Choir||1130-1155 Gavin Thomas||1200-1230 Nylon Sky|
|1310-1340 Wobbly Squadron||1200-1230 The Rock Choir||1250-1320 The Liaison|
|1405-1445 Pama International||1250-1320 The Wonder Years||1340-1410 Play Dead Sister|
|1510-1550 The Soldiers||1340-1410 Saint Jude||1430-1500 The Dirty Chimes|
|1615-1655 The Blockheads||1430-1500 District 6||1530-1600 Subsource|
|1720-1810 10cc||1520-1550 The Dirty Disco||1620-1650 Turbowolf|
|1845-1945 Level 42||1620-1650 Simon Friend||1710-1740 Cars on Fire|
|2030-2200 Status Quo||1700-1750 Seth Lakeman||1800-1830 East Strike West|
|1820-1910 The Young Knives||1855-1925 Lower Than Atlantis|
|1940-2030 Delays||1950-2030 My Passion|
|2100-2200 The Twang||2100-2200 The King Blues|
|Funky End Dance Tent||Surrey Advertiser Liveclub Stage||The Palace Liveclub Stage|
|1200-1245 Mr Meatball||1215-1245 Vox Choir||1200-1230 The Fan Jets|
|1245-1330 Big Red||1300-1330 United Stoats of America||1245-1315 Doctor Pop|
|1330-1415 Diversion Tactics (DJ set)||1345-1415 The Racquets||1330-1400 The 5:16’s|
|1415-1500 the101conection||1430-1500 The Prospect||1415-1445 The Sanctions|
|1500-1545 Kai 1||1515-1545 The Unbelievable Freeloads From Mars||1500-1530 Kitayah|
|1545-1630 Gav Ravenous||1600-1630 Hey I’m a Moviestar||1545-1615 Weyward Chile|
|1630-1730 Neurodriver||1645-1715 We Three Kings||1630-1700 Underview|
|1730-1830 Atomic Drop||1730-1800 Voodoo Rising||1715-1745 33 Revolutions|
|1830-1930 FuntCase||1815-1845 Four Short of a Miracle||1800-1830 Clockwork City|
|1930-2030 Friction||1900-1930 Actions to Onslaught||1845-1915 Black Canons|
|2030-2200 Chase & Status||1945-2015 Kakuzi||1930-2000 Eleanore|
|2200-2300 Mystery||2030-2100 Orestea||2015-2045 Thursdays Bad Luck|
|2300-0000 Tom Upton||2115-2145 Rapids!||2100-2130 Nicolette Street|
Early reports that Google employees were tricked into installing malware which allowed the hackers to steal information have been corroborated by McAfee.
The attackers are alleged to have identified friends of the Google employees via social networks (like Facebook, LinkedIn etc) and then posed as those friends to trick the employees into installing the malware as they believed it was trustworthy. The industry is claiming this is a watershed in the sophistication of attacks, and undoubtedly it is very sophisticated, however it seems to me that its more evolutionary: for years spammers have been sending email which claims to be from someone else, indeed the most sophisticated spammers have obtained address lists from users (either via unpatched machines or more regularly now by tricking them into sharing their username/password for their email [see my post about Threadsy]) and send emails to all their contacts as if it came from that user. The clever (?) thing about this attack is the fact they used social networks specifically to get users to believe an IM was trustworthy.
There is no new lesson here, keep practicing the safe internet usage guidance which hasn’t changed for several years:
- Always install updates for your software (Windows/OS X, IE/Sarafi/Firefox, Flash etc)
- Run AV (AVG or Microsoft Security Essentials are good free versions)
- Enable the firewall
- Dont click on anything which looks suspicious or you’re not expecting, even if its from someone you know – always check the person sent it.
The guys over at downloadsquad.com have a good list of free Windows utilities; here. They include, CD/DVD burners, network synchronisation, file transfer, image editing etc.
They’ve also posted a list of Systems Admin utilities here.