Thursday, February 16, 2006

New Visitors vs. Returning Visitors

cIf you have a website or even run an Internet startup, you should pay a lot of attention to your new visitors vs. returning visitors ratio. After all, you want to make sure that you're able to retain your customers. If you're fortunate enough to have a Google Analytics account, you won't overlook this parameter as it is shown on the first page of this absolutely awesome (and free) traffic analyzer. But what percentage of returning visits should you strive for? If you have no answer to that question, you may not able to draw any conclusions from the numbers.

Is 100% a good value? Of course not. It means you're not acquiring any new visitors. 0%? Not good either, since you're not able to retain your visitors in that case. So the answer must be somewhere between >0% and <100%. If this sounds like a non-statement to you, are you sure that you wouldn't have instinctively answered "as high as possible", asked about the optimal percentage of return visits? :)

To be honest, I don't know the correct answer to that question either (but I will look into it, and if you run a website maybe you should too!). In fact, there's not one single correct answer, as it depends on several factors such as "how often does a good customer of your site visit the site per week?". And these factors differ for different businesses.

Maybe the question is rather academic (but I still find it interesting). Common sense tells you that you must look at several parameters to draw good conclusions. If you look at your overall traffic stats, you should be able to tell if a rising return visit ratio is a sign of increasing customer retention or just a sign of sluggish new user acquisition.

Monday, February 13, 2006

"Online Ajax 'desktops' try to change the rules of the game"

ZDNet has a really neat introduction into the AJAX Desktop space:

Online Ajax "desktops" try to change the rules of the game

Written by Dion Hinchcliffe, the article lists some of the reasons why AJAX Desktops are so compelling. And of course I'm happy that just a week after our Beta Launch, Pageflakes is already recognized as "one of the best offerings" by a proven Web 2.0 expert.

Friday, February 10, 2006

New Pageflakes feature: Multiple pages

Did you notice that too? If you add some flakes and feeds, the page quickly beomes pretty crowded. One page simply doesn't offer enough space to accommodate all those useful flakes and feeds. The obvious answer: Let users have multiple pages.

Thanks to out extraordinary development team we just added this feature, and I think it's really neat. For example, you can create one page related to your job, another one for your family and yet another one for your hobby. Play around with it a little, I'm sure you'll like it!

BTW, we also added a new Map Flake based on MSN Map. Check it out!

As always, feedback is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Pageflakes Releases Public Beta

We're thrilled to announce the release of our Public Beta! Over the past weeks, we fixed many bugs and glitches, implemented numerous improvements, added support for Firefox and created a number of really nice flakes. Thanks to all users and developers who provided us with their valuable feedback!

Pageflakes now features:

  • Address Book: Manage your contacts right from your personal startpage that you can access from anywhere.
  • Price Comparison: Start price comparisons using a variety of different comparison shopping engines like Shopping.com and mySimon. Also features price comparison engines from the UK and Germany.
  • Flickr: This one can make your page look beautiful. Select photos by tag, date or Flickr user.
  • Alexa Traffic: Keep an eye on the traffic of up to five sites.
  • Web Search: Start Web searches using Google, Yahoo, MSN or Ask.com. Look for Web pages, images, news or Usenet discussions.
  • Dictionary: Title says it!
  • Note: A simple notepad, like a digital version of Post-it® notes.
  • To-Do-List: You can set up multiple lists and tasks and receive reminders by email. Really helps you to get things done.
  • GMail: Keep track on incoming mails to your GMail account.
  • Become.com Shopping Search: Start shopping searches using Become.com.
  • Movie Find: Quick access to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) and RottenTomatoes.com.
  • What’s Next on BBC: For our visitors from the UK.
  • Zoho Writer Docs: Access your Zoho Writer documents right from Pageflakes.
  • Yahoo! Weather: Enter your ZIP code and get the current local weather plus a forecast.
  • Del.icio.us: Your Del.icio.us bookmarks on Pageflakes.
  • SMS: Send a free text message!

...and the list goes on.

In addition to that, of course you can also subscribe to news feeds and blogs. This is implemented in a very simple way so far, but a full-fledged RSS reader is coming soon.

We hope you enjoy the site! If you like it, recommend it to your friends. When you check out the site, please bear in mind that this is still a Beta Version. So, please forgive any inconveniences, and let us know if you experience any bugs.

OK, I gotta go back to work. Many new features and improvements are under way. :-)

eHub Interviews Pageflakes

Read it here

Monday, February 06, 2006

FON + Skype + Netgear = Trouble for BigTelco

Skype announced that it invests in FON, the P2P WiFi company I blogged about earlier. Add to this new PC-less Skype phones from Netgear, Creative and others (see a posting of Christian Leybold from BV Capital) and you have the ingredients for some major trouble for the traditional telco business.

Of course, this is not new. Skype alone is an incredibly disruptive force. But the flood of new products and services centered around Skype shows just how strong the creative destruction is which Skype has triggered. I'm not saying that the big telcos are doomed. But they must find new cash cows - selling long-distance minutes at high prices will become increasingly difficult.
Spinnakr Active Analytics