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Category: Best Practices

The Seven Deadly Domain Name Variations

So you’ve finally come up with a killer domain name for your new Web 2.0 venture. You’ve registered walrussite.ca for a year and now it’s time to book the caterers for the launch party.
Hang on a minute – you’re not quite done yet! In fact, you should seriously consider registering 10-20 additional domain names right now. That’s because you need to protect yourself from The Seven Deadly Domain Name Variations:

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Ten Viral Marketing Best Practices

A colleague of mine recently asked me if I had a list of viral marketing best practices.
I guess I do – in my head – so it’s about time I jotted them down to share with others. And before I forget.

If you’re plotting the next Subservient Chicken or Liberal Leadership on eBay, here are 10 best practices to keep in mind:

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Avoid Ambiguity

“Avoid Ambiguity” sounds simple enough – who wants to be ambiguous? But even that bastion of verbal clarity Apple occasionally trips up. See an example ambiguity in action and contrast it with the clarity of StikiPad’s sign-up form. Read on…

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People Can’t Respond To What They Can’t See

Low-contrast colour palettes may be fashionable, but they won’t do you much good if your designers love them while your customers can’t read them. Ken Schafer shows us examples of what to do and what not to do – yes Apple, we’re talked to you!

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The Importance of Human Readable URLs

h3. Best Practice
bq. Use human readable URLs
h3. Rationale
This is human readable:
http://www.bestbuy.com/electronics/research
This is not:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=cat12074&type=page&categoryRep=cat03000
The problem with complex URLs is three-fold:
# A human cannot “reverse engineer” a URL to figure out where they are in the site or what might be “one level higher”. Human readable URLs allow you to “cut off” the end of the URL and get to a higher level in the site. URLs that reflect the site’s page layout also act as a secondary way-finding tool.
# It is hard to share URLs that are not human readable. If you cut and paste a complex URL into an e-mail to share it, often the URL will break in two because it is too long to fit on one line. This creates a broken link for the recipient.
# Some search engines have a hard time with overly complex URLs and you may find that many of your pages are not accessible to search engine “bots” looking for your content.

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