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Tossing the Ten Percent Rule for Good

_This article is by Guest Contributor Jennifer Evans._
I met recently with an individual responsible for development at one of Canada’s largest and most successful fundraisers, and we were discussing the fact that the ‘ten percent’ rule when it comes to projecting Canadian online activity using the US as a benchmark just doesn’t apply to e-commerce.
The theory goes that because Canada’s population is about 10% of the US population, then we can apply the same ratio to prospective activity results. Canadian marketers “frequently”:http://www.primezone.com/newsroom/news.html?d=82316 use this as a metric when planning or budgeting. But it’s time to put that ratio to bed, at least when it comes to e-commerce. Political parties in Canada don’t raise anywhere close to 10% of what the major US parties do online. Canadian charities don’t raise 10% of what is donated online in the US. And when it comes to selling online, forget about it. eMarketer announced last week its “September report”:http://www.emarketer.com/Report.aspx?ecom_canada_sep05 is the latest state of the Canadian ecommerce nation study, and this should really be the death knell on the 10% rule. Sure, there’s a 20% projected increase in buying. But that’s coming from a low starting point, the percentage of people who are online who buy is increasing only fractionally, and most of the activity is going to US companies.

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Companies Slow With Internet Strategy

A recent Merrill Lynch survey of U.S. and European CIOs indicates that most companies are less than two-thirds along in implementing their Internet strategy. Read more…

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Folksonomies – Classification For The People

The rise in social networks and their power over the information on the Internet has sprung another phenomenon: “Folksonomies”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folksonomy. Folksonomy is a word coined by “Thomas Vander Wal”:http://www.vanderwal.net/about.php, an online pioneer studying information structure and combines the words ‘taxonomy’ with ‘folks’. A simple definition is that folksonomies are classifications defined by people. The implications of folksonomies are much more complex.
In the beginning of folksonomies, collaborative tagging efforts by people were simple. If you posted an entry on your blog about marketing, you would classify it marketing, if you were writing on knitting, you would classify it knitting. However, with the popularity of social software like “del.icio.us”:http://del.icio.us, “Flickr”:http://www.flickr.com and the blog search engine “Technorati”:http://www.technorati.com growing, tagging systems have become much more complex and layered. Now, if you post an entry on your blog about marketing, you might classify it as “marketing, online, emarketing, collaborative” in order to encompass a more defined description of your post.
How does this effect your business blog, then? Online marketing includes the ability to tie into these social networks. What is the sense of posting to a blog that nobody reads? In order to increase traffic, you have to interact effectively with the blogosphere. Tagging is one of the ways to do this.

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Recommended: How NOT to Turn a Hot Prospect Into a Customer

Every once in a while I am lucky enough to receive a marketing email of such pure ineptitude that I am awestruck. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, an email lands in my inbox that proves to me that there are still corners of the world where the work we do as Internet marketers hasn’t penetrated.
About a month ago, I signed up for a free trial account of a Website server monitoring service from Alertra. I wanted to perform an independent test of the uptime percentage of a Website I owned because a number of customers had mentioned that the Website sometimes appeared to be unavailable.
For 29 days I enjoyed the free use of Alertra’s Website server monitoring service. I’d be notified the moment the Website in question was not available, and I was relieved to discover that my weekly server uptime was in the quite decent 97%+ range. In fact, I was so impressed by the Alertra service that I was seriously considering signing up for a paid account once my free trial had come to an end.
And then I received this email:

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Canadian Online Growth Levels Off

Jack Kapica at the Globe And Mail has a new article called Canadian Internet subscriptions hit plateau indicating that we’ve now reached a ceiling on growth in online penetration:

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