Jeff Random

musings and metatheory

A B Split Test Confidence Based Sample Size Calculator

a b split testing sample size calculator

One of the basic building blocks of optimization is split testing.

While the metatheory is the same regardless of what you are testing, this is an example of applied marketing theory. This tool is focused (labeled) on conversions (sales) as the datapoints, but you could just as easily use it for any other kind of success (such as opt-ins, free downloads, registrations etc).

Whether you call it AB split testing (or even A B C D E testing), using split testing software, conversion optimization, landing page optimization or any other name you still want to act on your tests as soon as possible.

The split test sample size calculator will show you how much traffic you need to send to each test segment, based on how confident you want to be in the results.

This part of the materials from the Metric & Analytical Marketing workshop at Internext-Expo. While the workshop was focused on adult website marketing, the tools & theory should be useful in almost any vertical.

Published by r8ndom, on January 24th, 2007 at 11:01 am. Filled under: Metatheory,Optimization,PostsNo Comments

BrandVerbs – Brands that become verbs.

During an online conversation I recently came up with the word Brandverb.

A brand becomes a brandverb when it becomes commonly used in place of a verb.

It used to be that brand managers were always concerned about having their brand fall into the public domain. The travails of Xerox and Kleenex were legendary as they tried to prevent genericide. Aspirin, linoleum, nylon, escalator, kerosene and zipper are all former brand names that have become generic.These days brandverbs seem to be the mark of success instead of the kiss of death, becoming useful when they carry a better meaning than the generic term they replace and spreading the brand awareness.

For example when someone says they will Skype you, it serves to reinforce using a particular VOIP service.

Without doing any due diligence, or even bothering to Google (look it’s a brandverb) for info, I notice a correlation to noun based brands becoming genericized when popularized, and brandverbs becoming stronger when popularized.*

It seems as though if a brand lends itself well to becoming a brandverb, then it is an advantage. Maybe it’s an edge in culting your brand, maybe it helps through WOMB (word of mouth branding), maybe it’s more.

These thoughts have lead some serious second thoughts about the brand for a project, including potentially scrapping a nice 5 letter domain for a project.

* Xerox seems to be somewhat of an exception as you can Xerox something, but perhaps their danger was based on people buying ‘Xerox Machines’ from HP and others?

Published by r8ndom, on December 15th, 2006 at 5:32 pm. Filled under: Integrated Marketing,Metatheory,PostsNo Comments

Program Yourself

Program yourself. Make sure that you have the volume turned up.

Published by r8ndom, on September 29th, 2006 at 5:15 am. Filled under: Content,Media 2.0,Metatheory,New Media,Posts,VideosNo Comments

Easy Encryption for Gmail, Yahoo & more

free enigma

FreeEnigmafree PGP based encryption for your webmail sounds like just what the doctor ordered in this ‘suppoena everything’ day and age.

It seems like it will finally be easy for you to keep your communications somewhat private. It doesn’t hide who you send to or get mail from, but it encrypts the body of the email with strong encryption.

Now there will be no excuse for not encrypting most if not all behind the scenes business communications. Not because you have anything to hide, but so that you don’t wave a red flag by only encrypting your private communications.

via boingboing

Published by r8ndom, on August 25th, 2006 at 1:04 pm. Filled under: Posts,TrustNo Comments

Google Bot Crawl Visual Animation

Google Bot Crawl Visual Animation

right click and choose zoom in to use timeline control

by drunkmenworkhere

Published by r8ndom, on June 4th, 2006 at 11:45 pm. Filled under: PostsNo Comments

MSN Bot Crawl Visual Animation

right click and choose zoom in to use timeline control

Used in reference to a post about Animated Search Engine Bot Crawl Visualizations by drunkmenworkhere

Published by r8ndom, on June 4th, 2006 at 11:36 pm. Filled under: Posts,Search,Search Engines,SEO - Search Engine OptimizationNo Comments

Animated Search Engine Bot Crawl Visualizations

These Animated Search Engine Bot Crawl Visualizations are the result of a one year experiment on the behaviour of Yahoo, MSN & Google search engine bots.

You can click on the pictures to watch the animated visualizations from drunkmenworkhere.

MSN Bot Visual Animation
MSN Bot Visual Animation

Yahoo Slurp Visual Animation
Yahoo Slurp Visual Animation

Google Bot Visual Animation
Google Bot Visual Animation

Definitely worth further study.

Quick Conclusion – For Google shorter URLs help rankings & comment spam does hurt rankings.

For you SEO types wistful for the days of chasing the green fairy, there is even a graphical visualization of pagerank in their test matrix.

Pagerank Visualization

The paths are similiar to natural forms. That fits with the idea that evolution is efficent search leading leading to winning forms. Perhaps we will find that the closer advanced visualizations resemble natural forms, that the visualization improves and/or the engines become.

Published by r8ndom, on June 4th, 2006 at 10:41 am. Filled under: Metatheory,New Media,Posts,Search,Search Engines,SEO - Search Engine Optimization,VideosNo Comments

Mainstream Crossover Porn Sensibility

This fantastic video

Whos Your Daddy?
is an deft piece using the long standing adult industry marketing tradition of parody in reverse. In this case it self referentially honors and adds new media production values to adult marketing archetypes.

The site itself is a great example of what mainstream can learn from the adult industry. The site uses ‘traditional’ adult internet marketing tools, to produce an innovative mainstream offering.

This includes a warning page with age verification, the equivalent of a Free Hosted Gallery (FHG), sample movie etc. the only thing missing was a join page link.

Whos Your Daddy Gallery
If they were an affiliate program I would send traffic to them.

Perspective based Value


Linkology is the “50 most linked to blogs relate” according to data derived from Technorati. What makes this interesting, is the implied assumption that these are 50 of the most important blogs.

When looked at from an SEO perspective, then the value is relatively obvious. However when looked at from a PR and/or effective reach perspective then suddenly the value plummets. Part of that is audience fragmentation although that would compare well with relevancy in SEO.

Going down the list, you can almost hear the apologist defences for why some of the sites are on the list. However, at the same time, these are the sites dominating Technorati.

If you are selling advertising for one of these sites, then being able to say you are the # most linked blog certainly is a useful way to raise the percieved value in the mind of a semi niave potential advertiser. Of course if you are able to command a certain price for it, then regardless of how well informed a buyer you have established a true market value.

The takeaway? Sometimes by making people think a resources is valuable, it actually becomes valuable. This is even easier to exploit when you have single source metrics.

Published by r8ndom, on April 6th, 2006 at 4:37 am. Filled under: Media 2.0,Media Economics,New Media,Posts,SEO - Search Engine OptimizationNo Comments

Monetizing Communities – Group Forming Networks maximize per user value

Previously I referenced the value of trust.

Idea – The more a network facilitates trust, the easier it is for network users to form groups.

From David Reed re: The Power of Community Building
Group Forming Networks maximize per user value and the dominant value in a typical network tends to shift from one category to another as the scale of the network increases.

If so then: Trust enabling tools not only allow your network to be group forming, but also maximize per user value in your community (Group Forming Network).

Published by r8ndom, on March 14th, 2006 at 9:11 am. Filled under: Media Economics,Metatheory,New Media,Posts,TrustNo Comments