Harry's Tech Space

Read my experience with different products and technologies.

My resignation letter 2017 edition

PS: This is a sarcastic post and has no links to actual thing. Like many fathers, mothers have been penning open letters to their daughters, This post is addressed to employer.  😀

Respected Sir,

Sub: My resignation

I would like to quit your organization with immediate effect owing to whole host of causes. It was pleasure being associated with your company. Together we were able to achieve so much.Having experience of working in diverse set of organizations, I will be diving into various poison pits and bright horizons in this letter.

 

The journey and milestones:

The journey this year has been a rewarding one. We were able to achieve a lot, despite starting on sour note due to demonetization. The WordPress site went live. Then getting it on SSL, and other things have helped immensely.

(The rationale for things I did are mentioned in article written here. This one tells about the first version. This tells about why I chose facebook.)

The WordPress came first, then site was put on SSL to protect privacy, as well as deter comment spam.

The analytics underpinning the site has been there all the while. Event tracking, utm parameters, event based and other goals too are there, for a very long period. Google tag manger and data studio have made reporting and analytics tag management easier. Facebook instant articles makes reading and sharing article breeze. The fb page too acts like touch point for customers, with its verified badge, makes it authentic. (But it’s sad that employees too make org pages causing authenticity problems).

To make things easier for the guy coming after me, I have handover system in place from the beginning itself.(This thing is essential in all mature organizations, otherwise their social media marketing will fall prey)

 

Website:

Earlier in the year, the site was pushed on WordPress and later SSL was enabled. The 2 were done to make the site indexable as SSL is one of the ranking factor in Google. WordPress and it’s plugins like yoast seo, help in indexability of the site. With sitemaps given to Google, crawler can access the site easily. SSL secures the site as it creates separate secure tunnel between user and the site every time user loads the site. SSL also speeds up site as content moves swiftly with HTTP 2 protocol bring used instead of HTTP 1.1.

Analytics:

Analytics is the key part here, and it’s been used ever since I joined this organization. To be precise I made site go live on analytics on 21st match 2014. Its contribution in decision making has been immense. Even my knowledge in it has grown by leeps and bounds. (Here are some articles I have written on analytics). With goals like engaged visitor, reader, news read most valuable metrics for us namely high page or visits customers, customers reading news, customers browsing for more than 5 minutes on site can be easily guaged. These goals do help in identifying our sticky visitors and their sources too.(Search is top traffic source for us.) These fall under conversion tracking of analytics. The analytics helps in understanding our audience, source used by these audience and site interaction.

Social Media:

Since majority of our customers access our site from mobile, is essential to make our site mobile friendly. Bootstrap is one of the tool. But it was heavy hence site went live on Facebook instant articles for blog posts and other pages served by mobile site. Fbia makes the display of articles like success story and news items faster. Also fbia increases appeal for fb users to like the page to keep track of updates. Though fb sends lower traffic, still it creates engagement for the brand. The articles does get read, but fb is more captive for images than articles. Also the fb page being verified makes it, authorised source to get clarification. For example, many job applicants, have asked clarifications when ever hiring message was advertised on page. But there is one threat to authenticity, its from pages of other employees, since these pages are not on business manager account, it leads to confusion in minds of people and end result of this neither official nor the employee page can claim authenticity.

Succession planning:

Succession planning is one of the important thing for organizations, specially for social media roles. In organizations people come and go, but leaving of one shouldn’t create problems for next one. These employees page, and improper handovers create such succession planning troubles. Its for these reasons there will be admins overseeing such transitions, in case of admin stepping down, there will be immediate promotion of subordinate with adequate training provided by current admin (usually over 1 month duration). In case of passwords handover, password database of old person can be given to new one along with opening master key for new comer. These things will help new comer to settle quickly, without losing access to any of the important legacy things. (Unfortunately this was not the case, when I arrived)

The Downhill ride:

Despite of so much work being accomplished, there were constant distractions. These unfortunately acquired poisonous characters. The current decision is because of these poison pits.

  • Overdriven focus on my caffeine consumption (hardly anything there too write about, except lemon tea thing which would certainly help in reducing belly sizes.) than on the history being established in the website. It appears like a conductor having opinion on driving skill of driver. What happens beneath cannot be seen by a conductor/passenger/user, that also greatly reduced the value of opinion too.
  • Spying like a girl’s dad on whom the girl meets, forgetting the fact that she might be meeting to exchange notes not to do kutchie koo.( Spying happens on site I am visiting, not on what I was reading in that darned site. they would have learnt a lot about if they had spied on content I am reading.) Though not a big deal, spying involves time, wasting it simply means less time goes for work. Since I allocate spare time for reading, I simply get more knowledge than the people spying (basics of time management).
  • Complaining like a kid about mobile usage, but forgetting the fact the Facebook groups, quoras, evernotes, stack overflows, feedlies (all on my mobile) which were actually powering the technologies behind the site. In simple words, site grew because my knowledge grew with it. Its just making the reading more efficient. Feedly being my primary feed reader with reading list curated since 2009, its one of the biggest source of my knowledge. Even this letter was drafted on Evernote, which also my primary note taking and memory management app. Stack overflow is the reason behind cash collection Android app getting completed. Firewall blocking on desktop means these apps feed knowledge to me via my mobile. (I don’t find merit in having TOR to build tunneling connection, to circumvent the firewall)
  • Not to mention the usual dialog “yavaglu Kindle nodta irtira”,  losing sight of book called “the design of everyday things”  a book on interface design being read in that Kindle. A website is after all an interface itself. It has other to-read books like about face, designing web usability, GUI bloopers, don’t make me think, Avinash Kaushik’s analytics book etc… Which can transform website like anything. Like feedly, the books too are sources of knowledge, and impart lot more knowledge than the feeds. I could solve problem of site in past quickly because of the knowledge learned via books, and reading it is also more productive use of time. The first bootstrap version of site was built because of codecademy module on it. Now doing it next to impossible, due to firewall blocking.
  • Penny wise and pound foolish behavior of hurried publishing, when distribution mediums of newsletters and Facebook have inherent delays built into them. It doesn’t matter whether post goes live at 9 or 4. It gets maximum reach only on next day. If you have gone through report of data studio shared, the traffic to news is not significant at all. If scroll to news section is not much significant, there is no use of putting undue effort on propping it up. Also the people liking the post in fb are not necessarily clicking on article to read.
  • Act of showing work even when the work done is detrimental to organization!!!! Forcing this flawed philosophy down my throat, is quiet irritating. Its possible to make the site in HTML and waste lot of time in writing bare-bone HTML code in net beans. But such display of “hardworking” comes at cost of search authority. The site’s of siri and suraksha were hideous because of HTML itself, even search engine crawlers hated the sites. A WordPress site which rules over search landscape but reduces work is lot better than HTML site which has heavy workload.
  • Cornering without having data of visitor dynamics.Newbies often make mistakes of taking the biased data at face value when it is available or relying on the hunches when data is unavailable. I used to get cornered on these hunches often. Though this was bit amusing but also quiet irritating too. Since I spend huge amounts of time in analytics, I am very well aware of site’s MAU (it’s 2.5k for site). But acting as if it’s 100k MAU site without having data quickly turns to irritation. Diffusing such situation with tricks of psychology is also not sustainable.

Due to such a load of irritants and future costs they have placed on me, I would prefer to exit. Thank You for hearing me out patiently. Hope such irritants are acted upon to avoid further damages from them. I wish the best for organization.

Yours Sincerely

Things to read for this weekend

  • Constructive dissatisfaction – Seth Godin – learn to extract constructive dissatisfaction if it helps you to be better. Comparing for the sake of feeling sad is useless.
  • In search of competition – Seth Godin – If you don’t have competition, then find one. People value one more if they have readily available competitor to compare.
  • Goddess with yellow face – Devdutt Pattanaik – Explains about Durga and various symbols and colors associated with her.
  • Guru of gurus – Devdutt Pattanaik – 24 learnings of guru of gurus.
  • Unbridled capitalism – Seth Godin – explains side effects of unbridled capitalism, how it becomes race to bottom.
  • The crisp meeting – Seth Godin – making meetings crisp, so that developer as well as users are on same page.

Things to read for this weekend

Management:

Personal Finance:

Biometrics and Authentication:

Things to read for this weekend

Marketing:

  • Power and Marketing – Seth Godin – Marketing about power and with power. Power dynamics of marketing messages and how to choose between them. Marketing is about human nature and promises and who we see when we look in the mirror.
  • Fear of Escalations – Seth Godin – Escalations and how to manage it. If front line is discouraged of escalating and also not given enough power to fix things, then it will simply alienate the customers.

Personal Development:

  • Do not believe what you read – Subramoney – So when you hear a story…ask for the missing stories…between the lines. Learn to question the coherence that media tries to project. Coherent story is always a biased story.
  • Rejection and the four paths – Seth Godin – 4 path’s one can take when rejected. Arrogance, Depression are 2 of the paths, but they do not lead anywhere. learn to avoid those 2.
  • The problem with Direct Experience – Seth Godin – When we reserve direct experience for the places where it matters—how we feel about the people in our lives, or the music we’re listening to or the painting we’re seeing, we have the priceless opportunity to become a better version of ourselves. The rest of the time, standing on a higher ladder and seeing a bit farther is precisely what we ought to seek out.

Mythology:

  • The myth of Cultural Marxism – Devdutt Pattanaik – Introduces you to the term cultural Marxism. In case of Indian context its characterized by labeling someone as congi and constantly alienating them.

Hygiene Factors:

  • Valuing Hygiene Factors – Seth Godin – Hygiene Factors which is not seen when its present but visible when its gone. Infosys’s iRace debacle was because of these hygiene factor of designation itself.

Things to read for this weekend

Self Development:

  • On being Discovered – Seth Godin – Article helps you in throwing out the fallacy of being discovered and sets you on the path of being sought after.
  • “But we needed the eggs” – Seth Godin – Article tells about various types of addictions we have, and tells about addictions which are productive.

Personal Finance:

  • Stick to the plan – Cognicrafting – Indraneil’s take on what is worth doing in raging bull market. Only those who view things in terms of opportunity costs can be at ease in the bull markets.
  • Shareholder Value Creating – Subramoney – An article on joke called “Shareholder Value Creation”. BFSI plays this practical joke often. Newbie’s would get the idea of loot that happens in BFSI space.

my opinion on Toilet: ek prem katha

ALERT: This post is not a review of Toilet: ek prem katha, which I went to watch yesterday, but about peak at chain reactions launched by that movie in my brain. The movie is story of lady who fights hard to get toilet at her husband’s house despite opposition of her FIL( expanded as father in law). For a guy who was reading “Thinking Fast and Slow”, this movie launches you in flight path covering cognitive biases.

History of toilet

Since the movie is on toilets, and sanitation, its better to begin with its history. Since humans are also animals, they feed and and create by product called “sandaas” which nothing but the food which couldn’t be digested. In case of animals , they shit every where they want. Since they are lesser in number compared to humans, they are not capable of creating sanitation troubles.

Once humans got settled, they  started with idea of having a common place for shitting. Normally it was besides some stream. When stream option didn’t exist, the concept of private toilets took hold. The person who cleaned these private toilets are today’s version of shudras. In case of ghandhiji, he had this rotation of cleaning works in his society in South Africa. He even forced kasturba to do the cleaning works. This putting everyone on same plane later aided immensely during freedom struggle.

In the meanwhile, when the so called shudra’s revolted against oppression of toilet cleaning, 2 ideas gained immense traction. One was in considering the toilets as a filthy place, you get to see this cue in movie a lot of time. The other idea was of jugaad system of open air toilets. People would take their ‘lota’ and walk to far away place to shit. then cover the shit in mud like cats do. Though the idea of open air toilet was logical continuation when tasked with toilet crisis, the first one was, blatant mistake. The misconception of toilets being filthy place (in fact they are cleanest place in house, due to regular cleaning) gave more runway to open air ones, more than needed.

bias of taking easy route by system 1

if you have completed atlest 20% of Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, you would have come across loads of biases human mind has. One of the relevant bias shown in the movie is of taking easy route to a difficult problem. In case of toilets, when private toilets were expensive thing, the easy route taken was going to fields. Where as another genius took the difficult route and invented S – pipe which is even used today as its most effective airtight seal to keep the bad odor away.

Though the idea of easy route ‘jugaad’ can get things done (India is functional because of this thing) but its not appropriate all the time and leads to other problems. Jugaad of open air leads to problem of viruses strains getting stronger.

When band-aids of easy routes stack up, it becomes very difficult to change course. Personal Finance is one such field.

havoc of easy route in personal finances

Toilets, biases and its play in personal financesLike toilets, the field of personal finance has lots of chronicles of people taking easy route to repent badly. Many take equities because of its tax free status after 1 yr, an easy route but totally ineffective. Other one is buying endowment life insurance and calling it as investment. Similarly putting in truck loads of money in small cap equities during market peaks. Putting all the money in FDs and playing victim card when FD rates fall. Not writing a will and leaving the things to succession law for division of assets (normally happens after a fight between siblings). Jumping the ship when there is temporary sign of trouble. buying a house at exorbitant price in posh established locality, with an exorbitant EMI’s. Relying solely on employer based health insurance cover and calling it as a right.

All these are various forms of easy routes one takes in personal finances and all of them are going to get one in trouble.

Challenges faced by neha while selling her cook stoves

Leaving aside the history of toilets and getting to present, we do have this overt resistance to change tendency still now. The picture beside is of clean cook stove that works on firewood. If one has read though interviews of Neha, one of the founders of this company, you would have gotten a glimpse of difficulty they faced convincing villagers to buy these stoves.

Initially they tried to to sell it on the product’s low pollution credentials and they couldn’t succeed. The when they tried selling it, it will reduce darkening of walls and also result in quicker preparation of food, it was successful.

In movie akshay too tried initially to bring awareness from outside by shamming people and other techniques. All these fell flat.  Change came through when the grandma falls and then they learn the importance of having toilet in house.

Similarly demand gets generated from within. I learned importance asset allocation when I had to book losses in equities. The lesson here is that importance of a thing is learnt when hard times comes. The lessons of keeping book clean for banks came when RR started swacch bharat of bank balance sheets. Need to have clean air came to Political class of Delhi when thick smog surrounded the city.

opinions on acting in Toilet: ek prem katha

In simple words, this movie is simply good. It succeeds in bringing awareness about having toilet in household. Restraint shown by both actors fits well and there is no over acting or under acting ( have seen quiet a lot now a days). Akshay portrays guy of 28-35 age well. Bhomi’s character of strong willed, firebrand and loyal women reminded me Neha.

what next might happen, deprival tantrums thrown by brain

Though movie ended with positive note by wife going back to her husband. Many will have trouble changing course. When sudden changes happen our mind gets in deprival mode and starts throwing tantrums to get back to old system.  This deprival tantrums is built in to all of us. Hence it becomes necessary to make habit of changed thing. That habit can be like my habit of buying stocks at their 52w lows just to avoid deprival reaction thrown by my own brain when a stock is making new highs. Writing investment diary so that reason for selecting a stock is etched permanently. learning knife skills to etch cooking skills permanently.

As the core of movie was about “soch badlo”, I should add “soch badlo aur uski aadat bano”. 🙂

Things to read for this weekend

Personal Finance:

  • Investors and worrying – Subramoney – Article tells about “worrying” that is inherent in short term market punters. Glad that markets obliged these worrying folks and decided to go down. 😉

Management, Marketing:

  • Greed isn’t good – A VC – Fed Wilson’s take on managing greed, the thing that manifested recently in breaking up of bitcoin.
  • The taxi or the cruise ship? – Seth Godin – The basic decision one needs to make in businesses. To be small volume differentiator or large scale operator.
  • How to decide which task to delegate – HBR – Some tips for delegation. 6 types of tasks that can be effortlessly delegated.
  • How to become the expert in Your Niche – Quick Sprout – Neil patel explains the path one needs to build expertise in field of interest and grow quickly in it.
  • How Successful People Think – Gary Vaynerchuk – Though sounds like boasting, contains the essence of what to do when you cant set a path for greatness. The 2nd route is called continuous improvisation. The CI approach very thing this piece is about.

Things to read for this weekend

Happiness:

  • Pursuit of Happiness – Subramoney – Some tips to help you prioritize your life. I deal read for those who are always on a run.

Marketing:

Investing:

Analytics:

Social Media:

Things to read for this weekend

Personal Finance:

  • Why I Don’t Talk About My Stocks Publicly, And Why You Shouldn’t Either – Safal Niveshak – Tells about how the fallacy of taking a public stand leads to ruin for investor. The public stand doesn’t allow one to change his mind when the facts of investments change (which can happen in weeks/days time too!!!!).
  • Money Management: Where to Start and How to Start – Free Fincal – Asks one core questions that leads to successful financial life. This post distills core essence of goal based investing. This post exactly where you should start your journey of personal finances.
  • Latticework of Mental Models: Echo Chamber Effect – Safal Niveshak – The problems that arise from not having contrarian views in our friend circle. The reason American media couldn’t understand rise of Donald Trump was because of their own echo chamber. It does have significant bearing on investor too.

Marketing and Analytics:

Management:

Things to read for this weekend

Personal Finances and Investing

  • Investing in shares HURT badly – Subramoney – Explains the churning one must go through to be an equity investor. The pain one encounters in holding off and selling equities. Remember in equities no pain means no gain.
  • Women wake up! – Subramoney – Article focuses on what all needs to be done by other half of personal finances. This covers the basic ground of what needs to be taken care by men as well as women when planning for their finances (PS: Its applicable for both.).
  • What You Need to Succeed in Investing (Hint: It’s Not Genius Brain) – Safal Niveshak – A discussion kind of setup to explain basics of investing. Explains why investing is a marathon not a sprint.

Mythology

  • Why do Hindus prefer birth anniversaries to death anniversaries? – Devdutt Pattanaik – It tells about religious underpinnings why birth matter more than death. the memory of death inhibits progress, and idea of moving on, hence death is considered as inauspicious. The auspicious direction is the east (purva) from where the sun rises. The auspicious orientation is the north (uttar) where stands the still and permanent Pole Star.

Analytics, Social Media, Marketing

SEO

Social Media Marketing: The Art of guerrilla selling

Social Media Marketing: Guerrilla Selling

We come across people trying to sell us various things. Since every organization survives on its goods being sold, marketing and sales become very important parts of an organization. As sales become important for survival, it also poses a moral hazard. The hazard is of people trying to sell the products at any cost. Here in the dark part of marketing too comes into picture. This article is my attempt at focusing on dark part of social media marketing I encountered recently.

As the social media is ubiquitous, a marketer would be tempted bring brand awareness about client by posing in as a normal customer asking questions just to find loophole to slip in his product recommendation. I call this as guerrilla selling(term coined by me) because It uses trust posed by fellow members on the marketer. This mild cheating tactic of social media marketing is used to build awareness and is not for getting a conversion.

Marketing: What it is?

3 Things are important in measuring effectiveness of Marketing campaigns. They are reach, engagement and conversion. So a company based on its campaign goals tries to maximize one of the above 3 things. If a company wants awareness to be built it will focus on maximizing reach and engagement. If sales is important then conversion process is made smooth, and reach and engagement are made to feed into conversion. So in totality its the campaign goal that defines even the medium for campaign and what needs to be done.

After the goal is set, the medium comes into play. It can take the form of Social Media Marketing Campaigns, or Search Engine Marketing Campaigns, Display Advertising Campaign etc..All these campaigns have different characteristics making them suitable for different goals. Guerrilla Selling is dark part of social media marketing campaign.

(See Also: What is guerrilla marketing – wikipedia.)

Bad Social Media Marketing:

The guerrilla selling is part of unethical practices of marketing. This tactic leverages the trust placed on members to misuse them for promotions. For example, Deliberately asking questions on ULIPs in personal finance groups when intention is to bring awareness about the product.

Leveraging the Trust Dynamics

In social media groups formed with particular themes, there will be a captive audience receptive to particular message. In case of personal finance groups it will be receptive to financial products. The marketer deliberately asks questions so as elicit views from the members about the particular problem. Once views starts pouring in, the marketer will go though it engaging the members and slowly planting the seeds of message he needs to put.

Since the members when sharing the view consider other person as another member and give honest reccos. Whereas marketer in member clothing is more interested planting seeds of his message. This leads to conflict of interest as the marketer is expected to be unbiased.

The bright side:

Since marketer is posing in member clothing, if he is not caught out he will be able bring awareness about the product at much cheaper costs compared to costly advertising practices. Also due to involvement of members it leads to increased engagement. This marketing mechanism treads the path of unethical behavior hence keeping the cover intact is important. The intact cover also helps in increasing the reach as members may view message at later point of time.

The Prey:

The idea of planting message without cover being blown is very old tactic and also reason behind growth of religions around the world. The major shield for the victim will be his own awareness about the thing. With Internet being wide and big, its better to increase the awareness constantly with the help of it. Its also better to build pipeline to feed oneself with conflict of interest free knowledge to guard against newer threats.

The next line of defense to protect him will be in the company of real “conflict of interest” free experts. The experts will guard the person from smaller ignorances he might be harboring. So as a human, our best advise is to spend in th “society” of experts. If a marketer does DNS Poisoning kind of moves in social media, this society of experts will call the bluff quickly to thwart the attack.

Hope you enjoyed the article. Stay safe by investing in your own awareness.

The dawn of new era in SKDRDP website

SKDRDP Logo

Change is only constant in this world. Till 19th April 2017 the SKDRDP site was in its fresher university graduate version with HTML structure. The only professional feature in was that it was built on Twitter’s bootstrap framework to give proper mobile and tablet optimized view. Compared to its predecessor website this one didn’t set meta viewport with fixed width. The viewport sets the width of the web page it is supposed to be rendered. Since viewport is not set the site can ask width from the browser and render itself according that dimensions. This along with HTML 5 tech made the site much more bearable than its previous ones as it rendered according to device. Despite the major professional feature, the site still felt lacking more power. Also I hated the idea of using FTP client to push the local draft to the server every time a change was made.

(Read moreHow I built SKDRDP site from scratch. A Chronicle on bootstrap version of site.)

The site due to its professional bootstrap framework helped me in running it from Diwali of 2014 till April without much hiccups. Unlike codecademy course that tipped me in building it, this time it was sites of our subsidiary Jana Jagruthi and Bhajana Kammata that blazed the path for the CMS powered site. Also my personal experience in running my own WordPress site and SKDRDP’s blogs gave me an idea about what to expect from the CMS’s. Compared to HTML I did  find these CMS’s to be more restrictive, but they also opened the world of plugins and widgets which could accomplish complex things effortlessly without requiring extra coding knowledge.

For me the site’s journey can be split in 3 time zones. The prologue gave important learning which has lots of bearing on the current site. The present chronicles the capabilities of the site, and current trends. The future projects the trend to tell where the site should go.

1. The prologue:

Every site has 3 levers that control it. The first one is its domain panel where you set parameters regarding name servers, domain records and other domain management things. The 2nd lever is site’s cPanel. This one manages server’s hosting environment. The 3rd lever is of site’s CMS system. If it doesn’t have CMS then it will be FTP controls.

In the initial years due to my own inexperience the cPanel and domain controls were not accorded much importance. With building of website of Bhajana Kammata in  month’s time, I came to know what all can be done if one controls all the 3 things. Domain controls security aspects of site too, as one needs to order for Static IP for SSL certificate from here only. cPanel is place where one installs certificate after its issued. After these 2 only one can enable SSL on his CMS. Similarly lot of things like CDN, Caching require one to use these 3 things excessively.

(Read moreThe levers that control your website. Explanation of above concept.)

1.1 Website’s Data Era: Analytics

The next thing after taking control is setting up of monitoring systems. The monitoring system of site visitors is called as Analytics. Google is one of the famous provider of that service. Analytics helps webmasters like me to  understand visitor dynamics over various metrics and dimensions. In short metrics are numbers like bounce rates, visitors, time on site etc… Whereas dimensions are context specific and shows based on report. In case of geography report various dimensions will be different countries a visitor belongs too. In case of traffic source report dimensions will be referrals, social, search, direct etc.. Analytics requires one to place the tracking codes on each page of the site. Since CMS have powers to create pages on the fly, plugins are needed to make this easier.

(Read moreDecision Making and Google Analytics. Explains various features of this profound tool)

1.2 Social Era: Building Social Media Infrastructure

Once analytics is set up and running properly the next one to come is communities and followers of the website. For this a social media strategy needs to be in place. For that website content need to be made shareable. Which  means images must be of higher quality. There has to be compelling headline and some excerpt accompanying article, which would display on social media sites and search engines. And not to mention role of share buttons play in this regard. This sets basic social infrastructure on the website.

The social media picks image called featured image for display on their sites. This image is the representative image for the article, hence it has to be appropriate. One can use high quality stock images too for this featured image. Since its featured image, the resolution and quality of image cannot be skimped at all. In an article, first impression is always made by image featured and the title of story. This quality constraint of website means images shared on whats app or ones pasted in word document will always become low quality images to be featured images. This also results  click not happening at all despite compelling headline and excerpt.

After the image and headline it will be excerpt that decides whether user wants to read or not. Hence its worth while to get the first impression right by featuring a high quality image, a compelling headline and a custom drafted excerpt for the article. Note that Yoast SEO plugin allows custom excerpts for the different networks like Facebook, Twitter and Search Engines. Once can write custom excerpts for article by using excerpt dialog box in WordPress. if its not displaying then use screen options drop-down in new article window to display this box.

2. The present:

As described in previous sections. The major learning were controlling 3 levers, analytics and sharing friendliness. All these things were present in past site too. The presence of above 3 factors aided in brand building of SKDRDP. The current site now shows off a full sized images, sharing is easy for blog articles and success stories. All these things have some underpinning for being there. Without further ado lets dive into rationale for larger images, call to actions etc..

2.1 Role of Websites and Analytics

Many companies view website as dummy information source, a white elephant, expense center. But in reality, its an asset in social terms. If a company needs to build its credibility its expected to have its own up to date website. In internet world website is the face of the company. Social Media add digital marketing arm to a company along with website. Websites having blogs are considered as engaged in content marketing, and shows off soft-skills a company has.

Since website is part of marketing campaign, like every marketing campaigns it should be tracked for effectiveness. And in tracking the things that play important role are the campaign reach, campaign engagement and campaign conversion. Likewise a grand purpose every campaign has relative importance given to reach, engagement and conversion metrics. For example, if campaign wants online sales to be maximized it needs to focus on conversion numbers. If building awareness about the company is important then reach has to be higher. The tool used for measuring these is analytics package. But the first thing is defining problem statement – what you want to achieve.
In case of SKDRDP website, It was set way back in March 2014 to increase the reach.

Reach of website and that of company grows only if it gets visibility in mediums that have larger audiences. The mediums can be paid mediums, owned mediums or influencing mediums. Example of paid medium is advertising medium. Owned medium can be blogs, news letters etc… Social media is type of influencing medium, even search is another influencing mediums. Apart from medium it needs to be focused that awareness building requires retention of the user on the site. So the analytics is used to make things friction free for the user.

2.2 the game of Images, CTA’s

Analytics can help you tell about friction points in user experience. But there is one such thing which is always visible and done very badly by novices. That mistakes happen in images and call to action aspects. In a quest to reduce image sizes novices reduce the resolution to such an extent that microscope is needed to view the image. Also novices totally ignore the Call to Actions on images which is the thing that generates all the engagement on the site.

apple website

If one observes all the big websites be it of apple, or amazon or others. The first thing they see is a large image covering the face of website. The image contains a small Call to action to get the person act on it. This CTA and large images have set themselves as standards for websites. If an image is too small, it will look ugly and pixelated on larger screens. Images sent from whats app and MS word suffer from this problem. To manage the size of images, these programs chop off the quality. The site image must not fall below Full HD resolution i.e. 1920 x 1080 which is impossible to get on apps like whats app, MS word.

2.2.1 Image thumb rules:

To aid people here is list of thumb rules to be observed with images:

The images sent has to be directly taken from camera and editing must be done by person supposed to post it to the site or his team.

The person taking image must only ensure image being taken is not shaken up badly making restoration of it difficult. This rule doesn’t apply for professional photographer.

Images are better shared to the web manager via dropbox, google drive or by mail attachments. Things like Facebook, Whats App, MS Word should not be used at all. Internal company tools for sharing are most preferred if they don’t alter the images.

Facebook, whats app, flickr, google photos,twitter are better mediums to reach end consumers of images and data.

Whenever images goes thorough a conversion it always loses some quality. hence its best to avoid conversion of image into other forms in inner works and transfers. Some image conversions are – image file to website image, image file to printed photo, image file to whats app photo(highest loss of quality), printed photo to scanned image.

2.2.2 Call to Action (CTA):

The CTA is also an integral part of website. It can be used to inform the visitor, or make him buy your product on your site, and many more. Every professional website has it, and every novice website doesn’t have it. If site is for information purpose then CTA will normally be embedded in the image itself. If site wants to drive an action on the site itself, then the CTA will be separate from the image and highlighted – to make the user conduct the action. And as quoted earlier the CTA to put comes from what one wants to achieve with the site i.e. vision statement.

3. The future:

In the previous section I explained about role images, CTA and analytics play in the website. These things lay a solid foundation for engaging the visitors of the site. But often times we want our site to advertise and sell our products too. The roles of advertising and e-commerce will bring out additional complexities in site design. The pre-requisite for e-commerce is HTTPS being enabled by default. It also helps in getting the site being HTTP 2 compliant leading to faster site. Advertising and e-commerce being more important branches, even analytics focus on these aspects too. The Goal tracking is an analytics feature which is used for digging deeper into e-commerce sales funnel.

3.1 The advertising play:

The advertising has 3 players in the fray. The Advertiser, The Publisher and Ad Network. In case of company blogs they do not carry advertising but they might be keen to host images of products of their on their sites side bars and related content etc.. to boost visibility. So in case of company blogs, the advertiser and publisher will be the same, hence they wont be needing an external ad network. If the above 2 are different then only ad network is needed. One such example of ad network is Google Ads. Under Google’s Adsense program a publisher can allow google ads on his site. Google in that case will manage ads on that site by displaying ads of advertisers who have signed up on it ad network via its AdWords program. Similarly sites like Bing, Facebook, Twitter too have their own ad networks to manage ads.

The billing of of ad networks also varies a lot. Some charge for every click received on the ad called as Pay Per Click (PPC) model. Some bill based on impressions i.e. displaying of the ad. Its called as PPM – Pay Per 1000 Impressions. M in PPM is based on roman letter for the number 1000. Since these ads require one to pay for acquiring the customers this falls under purview of Paid Media. Also this paid media which is accessed by an ad network also has really good click through rates, making it ideal for e-commerce sellers. Ads on these networks are categorized as Text ads and Display ads(image ads). Normally text ads have PPC billing and Display ads have PPM billing.

Normally companies advised to be signed up as advertiser on ad networks despite having their in-house content marketing platforms. Its so because the digital advertising provides a much better click though rates.

3.2 The commerce on internet – e-Commerce:

Before beginning on e-commerce, its important for the sites to implement a robust security infrastructure for the website as it involves real money being used in transaction. Its recommended for e-Commerce sites to have HSTS and HTTPS enabled to prevent troubles. HSTS stands for HTTP Strict Transport Security which enhances security level of HTTPS protocol. The word HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. With these 2 implemented, an e-commerce seller could go knocking on doors of payment gateway.

(Read More: Website loading: Basics of Authentication and Encryption – Part 2. Explains about security)

The work of payment gateway is to link the e-commerce seller to the customer’s bank. And this entire process of making 1 transaction happen is a series of handshakes, and the entire transaction would fail if one of handshake fails. To visualize this process, when a customer enters his bank details and checks out the seller first sends the bank details to payment gateway. Then payment gateway redirects customer to bank’s server for customer to log in. After logging in transaction processing server processes the transaction and gives transaction confirmation message which is passed all the way back to the seller. If one has experienced e-commerce transaction he would know a timeout or error any 1 of this step would lead to entire transactions being failed. For this service the PG’s charge money for transactions routed by them to sellers.

3.2.1 Goals and conversions:

Since the transaction process happens on external websites, analytics will focus a lot on check out and thank you pages for goal tracking. These pages mark the end of sales funnel and carry a monetary value for each transactions. Its also considered as successful conversion as session which started by logging in to the website ended in converting into sales. In this regards analytics packages help one to identify hard and soft conversions.

When a user is supposed to be made aware of product in marketing terminology its called as generation of lead. soft conversions measure these leads. Events or URL tracking can used for soft conversions. Its also ideal to assign a value for soft conversion called as goal value. Some soft goals can be signing up for news letter, using a promotional voucher etc…

A hard conversion is like actual sales which is supposed to have a direct financial impact. In case of banks this goal will be of closing loan account by paying off last EMI rather than loan disbursal. In case of e-commerce seller it will be thank you page which is loaded after transaction is completed. The value attached to successful sales is normally set to be the sales amount of transaction. Also a hard conversion can have a sales funnel to track how users are proceeding with the sales process. In this each step of the process will have a goal attached to it.

Conclusion:

In this we read about making sites mobile friendly, analytics, role of social media, the game of images,CTA, advertising, and e-commerce. All these are considered as basic building blocks of a site. Unfortunately these things are not part of university curriculum. Hope you enjoyed reading through this huge article which gives the bird’s eye view on the world of websites.

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