Posts Tagged ‘About.com’

Subdirectories vs. subdomains

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Thinking about About.com yesterday reminded me of one of the reasons that I paid such close attention to them for so many years – About.com is the best example of a successful company that uses a subdomain structure for its domain names.

There has been a perpetual debate over which is better way to set up the domain names for a site network:

– A subdirectory structure, for example www.sitename.com/ships 

– A subdomain structure, for example http://ships.sitename.com 

In my mind, this debate was recently ended by Google’s Matt Cutts. In his words:

“Historically, it’s been kind of a wash about when to use subdomains vs. subdirectories…My personal preference on subdomains vs. subdirectories is that I usually prefer the convenience of subdirectories for most of my content. A subdomain can be useful to separate out content that is completely different. Google uses subdomains for distinct products such news.google.com or maps.google.com, for example. If you’re a newer webmaster or SEO, I’d recommend using subdirectories until you start to feel pretty confident with the architecture of your site. At that point, you’ll be better equipped to make the right decision for your own site.”

Bottom line: either way is fine. Pick your favorite and go with it.

About.com's CEO to leave. Yawn.

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

About.com logoThe news is just out today that About.com’s CEO Scott Meyer is leaving the company.

I have been following About.com for years, primarily because I have been in the business of building content networks and About.com has been around in this space for a long time. At this point, About.com is one of the saddest sites on the Web. I mean, it’s owned by the New York Times Company, one of the most venerable content producers EVER, and what has About.com done in the past few years? It has just about maintained the status quo with its network of Web sites – About.com gets traffic, but that’s about it.

Do you know anyone who loyally follows About.com? Can you name an About.com guide?

About.com should be doing something more, different and interesting. They have traffic, they have a strong parent company, they have a solid brand name, they have expert content producers in every niche…but yet, they are so, well, boring.

From the NYT annual report, courtesty of paidContent.org:

“We estimate that approximately 70% of About.com’s traffic is generated through search engines, while an estimated 25% of its users enter through its home and channel pages and 5% come from links from other Web sites and blogs. Our other Web sites also rely on search engines for traffic, although to a lesser degree than the Web sites of the About Group. “

Yawn.

Perhaps Scott Meyer is moving on in hopes of doing something a little more interesting.

The YouTube digital camera

Friday, November 30th, 2007

When I was browsing the advertisements in this weekend’s paper trying to get some inspiration about what to buy the people on my Christmas list, I spotted this in the ads from Best Buy:

YouTube Digital Camera

I did a bit of hunting online, and it appears that this line of YouTube-ready digital cameras has been out for some time (available since August 07 in the U.S.), but I have to admit that this is the first time that I have seen them.

This positioning strikes me as being a little bit of marketing genius from Casio. There are at least 65,000 videosposted to YouTube per day, and eight hours of new video posted per minute – so there are a large group of power users out there who would love a camera that is set up to make it easier to send their videos to YouTube. That is, if the cameras are any good.

Here’s a roundup of some of the reviews that I found online:

Digital Camera Review- “The other feature worth noting here is that the V8 includes Casio’s YouTube Best Shot movie capture mode. In this mode, movies are captured at settings optimized for publishing on YouTube. Movies captured this way are also placed in a separate folder on your camera’s memory card so that the supplied YouTube Uploader software can easily find the movies. This software, provided by Casio allows you to upload multiple movies directly to your YouTube account.”

PC World- “The cameras are the result of a deal between Casio and Google, which owns YouTube, that gives Casio exclusive rights to the YouTube features until the end of this year.” 

“While it’s not particularly difficult to upload clips manually to YouTube, the software certainly makes it much easier, especially if you have several clips to put online.”

Becky Worley’s Vlog – “You want a digital camera, and you want to be the next YouTube celebrity. Have I got the camera for you.”

About.com- “You won’t shoot the most dazzling images every time, but this camera provides powerful features for the money. As with other cameras in the Casio Exilim Zoom line, this camera makes it exceedingly easy for even beginners to capture great images.”

Laptop Magazine – “An impressive set of features makes this digital camera well worth the price.”

“YouTube fanatics will enjoy the convenience of filming video that’s ready for the Web with no editing at all. In fact, it might even lure some first-timers to the video-sharing site.”

GeekSugar- “These new digital cameras not only come with the YouTube uploader that accesses your clips from a flash card to the web, but they also have auto-tracking face detection technology, image stabilization for movie mode and anti-shake blur reduction.”

I didn’t come across a single negative review of the cameras.  

Recommended reading: Web design blogs

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

If you want to learn more about Web design, follow the experts. Here are some blog resources that I would recommend:

web design blogs

Massachusetts BBQ

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

BBQIt might seem to be an oxymoron, but there is good BBQ to be found in  Massachusetts. This photo was taken at Tennessee BBQ, where I dined this weekend – I recommend the ribs, they were delicious. But my favorite Massachusetts BBQ joint is at The American BBQ. Finding anything Internet-related about BBQing is slightly more difficult, but if you’re interested in cooking some ribs yourself, you’ll find a good list of resources about firing up the grill at About.com’s BBQ & Grilling section.