Friday Link Love: The Primordial Ooze Edition
Did you see NASA’s news conference today? It’s pretty awesome to actually know for certain that life as we know it is not the only version of life around here. Actually, there may be some alternative life forms growing in my refrigerator at home, too. Which reminds me of the old Simpsons episode where Lisa’s science experiment evolves into a tiny little self-contained universe.
The scientists were obviously excited to be talking about the arsenic-loving bacterium they found in the toxic mud at Mono Lake. This is the kind of stuff they live for, and in watching them geek out about it their excitement was all too familiar. I texted my best friend, who actually just happens to be an astrobiologist, after the conference and asked, “Are you having fun?” to which she replied, “You better believe it!” I totally get it. When I stumble across some completely awesome piece of website data that I then try to explain to my mom, who is amused and confused all at once, I know exactly how those NASA scientists feel today.
Hands down, my favorite post this week came from The Optimizely Blog, How Obama Raised $60 Million by Running a Simple Experiment by Dan Siroker. Dan was the Obama campaign’s Director of Analytics, and he gives us a fascinating account of how running some split testing in Website Optimizer increased their signups by a couple million people, which then translated to an extra $60 million dollars. Using free analytics and testing software. This guy is my new hero.
And keeping with our NASA theme today, I got a kick out of Dave Chaffey’s CRO article, Conversion rate optimisation – when a real-life rocket scientist teamed up with a internet marketing specialist. Because my astrobiologist friend used to be a rocket scientist, I’ve hung out with her crowd occasionally, and imagining what those guys might do with a CRO problem is entertaining, exciting and terrifying all at once.
Those dashing lads over at Distilled shared their method for keeping their SEO projects in order. I already use a lot of the skills they outlined, but I will definitely be looking into the products they mentioned that help them keep everything straight. Of course, tip #4 hit home pretty close, since I definitely avoid the telephone at all costs. Something about being an SEO and a ninja just makes phone conversations seem so unnatural…
I seem to always be frustrated by the way that Google Places manages itself…trying (and usually failing) to remove multiple listings that have been pulled in from external sources, the “gaming” of the listing that so many businesses seem to get away with, and so much more. It’s just frustrating. PIN for this, PIN for that. But it seems to me that Google Places has done something right by Verifying Business Listing Discrepancies with the Owner. This is an improvement in fighting competitor or “ghost” edits and I think is a huge step in the right direction.