How Iron Maiden turned piracy into paying customers

How Iron Maiden turned piracy into paying customers

Iron Maiden Stage Show

I will freely admit, without embarrassment, that before I fell in love with Pixies, my favourite band was Iron Maiden. It was the perfect partner for my ‘angry-on-the-inside-blank-on-the-outside’ teenage years. Although the music might not be to everybody’s taste, they are an amazingly successful band, playing to over a million fans over the course of 2013.

So it was with interest that I read this article on Citeworld, about how Iron Maiden is using social media analytics to guide decision-making around its tours; the basic premise being that by looking at this large data set, they can capitalise on download activity by planning opportunities for fans to buy merchandise legitimately.

Like Pixies, it’s great to see a band embracing the changing landscape. It just goes to show that change is not just inevitable, but that it is also the source of opportunity.

*** UPDATE: Since the post was created, an update has been posted on the source article stating that Iron Maiden did not work with the analytics company mentioned. Although its disappointing that the article was not researched correctly, I believe it does show a valid use of data analytics and we will see more businesses using this kind of insight moving forward. I wasn’t the only one to follow up on this article; you can find out more over at Techcrunch.  ***

20 top web design and development trends for 2013

20 top web design and development trends for 2013

.NET Magazine posted its annual predictions article today. There are some great thoughts here, and if last year’s effort is anything to go by, it will be bang on target. So for all you developers and designers out there – go take a look!

As an aside, my own contribution to this years article – thanks to Craig Grannell for asking my thoughts – is discoverability. It’s something I may cover in a post, as I believe its going to be a key area for the big content producers this year. As the amount of content increases (apps, videos, etc), finding the right content becomes more and more difficult. The company that cracks this problem is going to really reap the benefits.

* UPDATE *

Following on from yesterday’s article, I was particularly pleased to see the following article on PandoDaily this morning: “Game discovery platform Chartboost is on fire, scores Sequoia in $19 million Series B“. Maybe we won’t have to wait too long for this prediction to manifest!

Also, for those looking for additional information on 2013 Web Development trends, check out HTMLCut’s “Trends, Expectations, and Truth About Web Design 2013” – it’s a good overview of all the 2013 trends and tips articles published over the last few weeks.

What do you think will be this year’s trends? Do you agree with .NET? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Central Desktop’s greatest blog hits of 2012

Central Desktop’s greatest blog hits of 2012

Another blog, another set of guest posts, and another Top 5. The Central Desktop blog covers a whole range of topics around collaboration systems, from selecting the right system for your company, to integration and change management.

My contribution to the top 5 came in at number 4: Eight tips on successful adoption of collaboration solutions makes sure you cover all the bases when integrating a new system into your organisation. Here’s an extract:

Collaboration should be easy. Right? I mean, we talk to each other every day, we share documents, and most of us have more email than we know what to do with. Moving to an online collaboration system should just be a simple step forward. No? Not always.

Successfully adopting new working paradigms, especially those that have the potential to move employees out of their comfort zone, can be tricky. Luckily, there are some tips that can make the whole process a lot smoother. Here are eight to consider when you’re faced with implementing a collaboration solution into your business.

Happy Integrating!

The Top 10 Unbounce Blog Posts of 2012

The Top 10 Unbounce Blog Posts of 2012

On the 21st December, Unbounce published a list of their Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2012. I’m really pleased to have two articles in the Top 10, at number 3 and number 7; it’s been a pleasure contributing to the blog over the last twelve months. Editor Oli Gardner (no relation, just coincidence) even gave me the unofficial title of MVP Guest Author!

The Top 10 article can be found above, but if you want to catch the two articles directly, you can access them at:

#3. 20 Landing Page Designs Get Picked Apart & Analyzed for Conversion

#7. 12 Surprising A/B Test Results to Stop You Making Assumptions

If you were one of the people who read them the first time around, thanks!

The top 50 books for web designers and developers

The top 50 books for web designers and developers

Not sure how I missed this when it was first published, but for the developer and designer in all of us – or for those of us who have to buy Christmas presents for them – here’s a list of essential books on the subject.

Thanks to Craig Grannell of .NET Magazine for including my contribution, Kevin Allen’s ‘The Hidden Agenda’, at number 42.

This Week in Small Business: Gangnam Style! – NYTimes.com

This Week in Small Business: Gangnam Style! – NYTimes.com

Okay, so it’s not the cover page of the main New York Times and it’s not that my article is a massive feature, but it is a featured link in a New York Times blog post. Seeing that name appear in the pingbacks for my latest Unbounce article (see here) was fantastic and reminded me of part of the reason I started blogging. The web is an amazing place where your content and your effort can end up on the other side of the world or put in front of an audience of tens of thousands. It’s brilliant and heady and exciting.

 James Gardner takes a look at the conversion rates of eight small-business landing pages.

So simple. Now to get that novel published!