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Storm news roundup 25-11-11

Our favourite web(ish) stories from the week…


“Google Analytics made a nice change this week when they started collecting and reporting page load speed by default. Previously webmasters had to add an extra bit of JavaScript to their site to get GA to track page load times. Now that functionality is being provided by default. This measurement is taken on a sample of visits to your site. Out of the box the sampling rate is pretty low, so unless your site has a reasonable level of traffic getting significant results will take a while. However, for more accurate data you can increase the sampling rate at the inconvenience of adding some JavaScript.”


“Apparently Facebook has shrunk the famous 6-degrees of separation down to 4.75. The effect isn’t much of a surprise as the number of people you can be “friends” with on Facebook far outstrips the number of people you can reasonably be friends with in real life.”


“Google has been eyeing up a bit of a product killing spree of late. ‘We’re in the process of shutting a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for’ said Urs Holzle, Google’s vice president of operations. The Seven facing the chop are named as: Google Wave, Bookmark List, Friends Connect, Gears, Search Timeline, Knol and Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal. I wonder how long until Google + makes this list?”


“Yet another ‘marketing gone awry’ moment – this time from Littlewoods. 172 comments (and counting) later – and things have all gone a bit angry.

I’m not sure if there’s anything to be learnt from this, apart from the fact that social media marketing like this often seems to sit on a knife edge, just waiting to tip into viral success or viral horror. Certainly too there is very often a kind of mob mentality – once a tipping point is reached, it seems to become more and more likely that people will pile in, all rational thought long gone…”


“The biggest names in the web all came together to sign a petition against a new bill going through the US government system at the moment called SOPA. It’s a complicated bill that changes the way responsibility for piracy is enforced, and if passed will likely also have impact for us in the UK, as many of these sites are in the US”. See


“A great article on the meteoric rise of the world’s largest social network that you probably haven’t yet heard of, Badoo. The service’s unique compelling feature of connecting members up according to their profile pictures and location so that they may ‘Chat, flirt, socialise and have fun!’ has seen an extraordinary rise in popularity in very short period of time, and is now being used by over 120 million people worldwide. With this has also come a massive level of venture interest from A-list investors, with the company already valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, and that is without having even penetrating the US and UK markets.

Its a great example of an app with a great, simple function bursting into the seemingly impenetrable market of social networks and thriving, and just goes to show such a brilliant achievement is still very possible.”