Nokia (Yet Again) Chosen as “Best Web Page in Finland”

Last February I wrote about Nokia’s site chosen as “Best Web Page in Finland“.

I was skeptical then and I’m skeptical now as the same media, Digitoday, publishes almost the same piece of news. Except that the company who did the research is different.
(Article from other source in English)

At march it was Webmark who did the research, now it’s Blue White Partners.

Anyhoo.

Article (in Finnish) claims that “Blue White Partners went through over thousand Finnish corporate web sites evaluating their marketing efficiency“. Jolly good.

Marketing efficiency?
Over thousand corporate web sites?

Hmm.

Well, as I last time learned, our journalists can be quite busy sometimes. So off to BW Partners we go to find the press release!
And yes, there it is ( press release as .pdf)

Whee, this is nice.
According to press release,  methodology of the said research is based on “an average efficiency to attract visitors and turn them into customers, based on hundreds of thousands web sites evaluated“.

Errm, what?

And how the hell does one measure that?
And hundreds of thousands web sites evaluated?

Hmm.

Hey, there’s even more!
Again the Press Release states that “the average Blue White Score for Finnish Companies” (sic!) ” is  42, still below the international average of 50″. Now, Nokia, the front-seat student of all Finnish web sites, scores 99,8 and release states “which means that only 0,2 % of companies worldwide have as good or better web site as Nokia“.

Phee.

It seems that the rating goes from 0 to 100, 0 being the lowest score and 100 the highest. 100 obviously means “The Best”, there is no better and 0 that there is no worse site. (Please do correct me about the rating  if I’m wrong)

The top-100 list for Finnish companies can be viewed at BW Partners Web site. All sites, listed in order of ranking, followed by score and change since the last evaluation.
(Small side note: depending on source about 8 % of (Finnish) men are red-green colour blind. If someone wants to indicate something, let’s take change, with colours, do use some other colours than red and green. Or better, don’t use colours alone, use something else. Like a minus-sign in front of negative changes?)

Anyhow, forward.

What’s nice is that I can purchase the evaluation report for only 295 eur!

Pretty cheap, isn’t it?

Conclusion and remarks

As such the evaluation portrayed here is worthless (at least to me). I don’t know the methodology,  I don’t know the sample and so on.

Perhaps they’ll tell in the 295eur-report the following facts left missing in the press release and articles:

  1. Exact size of the sample (“over thousand” is not that exact, you know. 1001 is over thousand, isn’t it?)
  2. Methods of evaluation (“average efficiency to attract visitors ” and so forth is not that convincing)
  3. Sites Sampled (“over thousand Finnish corporate web sites” doesn’t tell that much.)
  4. Pages Sampled from every site or the algorithm for selecting the sample (did they evaluate only the front page or what? Did they start from the root and continue to leafs?)

Most likely the evaluation will be covered heavily by Finnish media, which is somehow sad.

Still waiting for the first proper “Best Web Site in Finland” evaluation.
I’m not holding my breath, though.

(Usual disclaimers apply; I do realize that evaluation methodology can be a trade secret, as well as other data. I also realize that business is business and everyone must make a living. )

[Edit 15.45, Arctic Startup has written about the first evaluation done by BW Partners. According to linked article the evaluation score is “is made by investigating content semantics, language, search engine rank and index, and presence in social media.”]

My Comparative Study about Facebook Ads (weeklies, part 1)

This may just be the beginning of a long and fruitful friendship!

Erm, what?

Facebook is a well-known social platform. Or as they put it: “(Facebook) is a social utility that connects you with the people around you.” I’ve been playing with FB last few years, not that early adopter world wide but quite early here in Finland (as it has gained popularity during past year).

Anyway, Facebook’s business model is quite interesting, altogether. Ads, targeted marketing, applications etc! (If you’re interested: Facebook Case Study: Offline behavior drives online usage, Facebook’s uncertain Business Model, Facebook Platform Developers’ Guide (with business model warnings) and so on).

Business model is a whole different matter – perhaps I’ll post something about that later. This posting will focus on Facebook’s (targeted small) ads. FB promises “advanced targeting“, where ads can be targeted by “age, gender, location, interests and more”.

As a Finn living in Finland this is quite interesting as Finland is a small country with a low populage, only 5,1 million or so. Language spoken is finnish – not that common elsewhere;) Now, why is it interesting?

First things first, finns in Facebook are quite neat a target group. The Finland Network at Facebook has at the moment (25th June) about 410 000 members. Supposing these are mainly Finns we can say that 10 % of Finns is moderatly active at FB. Now, if you want to target all Finns you can pick that group as target or all the members who give their location as Finland (this probably would include all the foreigners in Finland, too, excluding Finns abroad).

Anyway, the ads. I actually wanted to write about the targeted and localized ads as they become more common sighting at FB. I’ll do this by listing here 10 ads I see during this afternoon (perhaps later, too) and commenting on them. (Most of the translations (from english) to finnish are quite hilarious. Too bad they don’t translate that well back to english.)

Here we go!

  1. Title:
    Laihduta kuten Hollywood  (In english something like “lose weight like Hollywood”)
    Content:
    Picture of a young (skinny) lady in a smallish swimsuit on a beach. Some kind of weight loss dingy.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant at all. I don’t a) need to lose weight b) want to lose weight.
    Origin:
    Translated from some other language.
  2. Title:
    Uudet Arabian Muumi-mukit (new Moomin cups by Arabia)
    Content:
    Picture of cups with Moomins. Web address with a promise of quick shipping.
    Relevance (to me):
    Well, I have two of those cups, so quite relevant.
    Origin:
    Finnish
  3. Title:
    Mitä tekisit 60 tonnilla? (What would you do with 60 grand?)
    Content:
    Picture of some guy with huge glasses wearing a lot of bling. Some half-naked ladies behind him. Text tells me to pimp my life (“tuunaa elämäsi”) and a web address.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant at all. I don’t want to pimp my life.
    Origin:
    Finnish
  4. Title:
    Omega Seamaster
    Content:
    Picture of a watch. Ad for 1 cent auction.
    Relevance (to me):
    Watch looks ok. Don’t do auctions online (or otherwise)
    Origin:
    Have no idea. Probably translated.
  5. Title:
    Voita uusi MacBook Air (Win a new MacBook Air)
    Content:
    Picture of a MacBook Air.  Ad for some online auction.
    Relevance (to me):
    MacBook Air is always ok (would like to have one if I just had too much money). Don’t do auctions online (or otherwise)
    Origin:
    Finnish?
  6. Title:
    (network addess for a “finnish online pharmacy” – censored)
    Content:
    No pictures. Some generic ad fro health products online.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. Side note: selling pharmacy related stuff online is illegal in Finland. This ad is actually for natural remedies.
    Origin:
    Finnish
  7. Title:
    Kämppiksen kanssa menoja? (Going out with your room mate? — or something. Very bad translation to finnish)
    Content:
    Logo of a web site. Text tells us about this wonderful service which you can use online or with a Handy.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. I have no “room mates”
    Origin:
    Translated
  8. Title:
    1 year MBA in Boston.
    Content:
    Picture is obscure – don’t actually know what the hell is in it. Golf clubs? Ad for some MBA in Boston.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. I think my M.Sc (tech) is enough.
    Origin:
    US. Not translated (in english)
  9. Title:
    Lainaa rahaa – (name censored) (Loan money – (name of the company))
    Content:
    Logo of the company. Text says that they’ll help me to get a loan online.
    Relevance (to me):
    Not relevant. I don’t want a loan (from Internet)
    Origin:
    Finnish
  10. Title:
    Lemmenlaiva (Love Boat)
    Content:
    Logo of the company. Text tells us that there’s a high quality online shop for couples (you get the point?)
    Relevance (to me):
    Hmm. Hard to say, perhaps relevant.
    Origin:
    Finnish

Bonus:

  1. Title:
    Says my cousin added this one particular Facebook application.
    Content:
    Logo of the application. says the above plus that I can use this application for what it was meant.
    Relevance (to me):
    Hmm. I actually do have this application installed. Don’t like it (nor use it), though.
    Origin:
    Not translated. International.

Well, not that many hilarious results this time. Conclusions? Those ads weren’t very relevant for me. Online auctions are not my thing, nor is weight loss or diets. I have plenty of applications installed (too many!), but I don’t add them usually from an ad. At my case the targeting was quite bad. Some other time perhaps better!

(Perhaps I’ll do this weekly. Could be nice – yeah, I’ll do that if I have the time and energy)

Pretty URLs (or Aamulehti redesign)

My almost weekly series of (failed or bad) finnish redesigns continues. This time my local newspaper, Aamulehti, decided to jump in the social train, big time.

Social software and Web 2.0, yeah, great things. But – should be applied carefully!

First things first, I use Firefox as my browser. I also have the marvellous adblock -plugin installed and basically all the finnish ad servers blocked.

Anyway, pretty URLs¨(Uniform Resource Locators). What does it actually mean? URL is “in normal” use the address for certain web page. (I’ll use URI, Uniform Resource Identifier, in this posting as almost the same as URL). For example URL for this page is:
http://ilkka.kaikuvuo.com/2008/06/pretty-urls-or…lehti-redesignpretty-urls-or-aamulehti-redesign/
, where http is the used protocol, kaikuvuo.com is the domain name and stuff after it represents the structure of the site (used to be folder structure, nowadays is something completely different).

Anyway, pretty URLs? Human readable URLs?

The above example is pretty clear, domain is ilkka.kaikuvuo.com, then comes the year, month and the title of this posting. Pretty pretty? (Also nice for search engines!)

Sidenote: do read the “Cool URIs don’t change!

Ok, back to Aamulehti.

Why do I think the redesign sucks?

  • URIs are not that pretty. For example the front page’s address (cool URI is http://www.aamulehti.fi) is:
    http://www.aamulehti.fi/cs/Satellite?pagename=KAL_newssite/GoToHomepage
  • Front page is full of ads (except that it isn’t, thanks to Adblock) or empty space (using Adblock)
  • Site is very, very heavy with all the AJAX goodness
  • Lue lisää (Read more) -links used heavily on every page – WTF? Basic thing: don’t use phrases such as “read more” in links. Is bad for screen readers, is bad for search engines is bad for (list continues)
  • News on the front page are cropped automatically, which results in awkward sentences and so on.
  • Redesign caused the pages to crash (hey yeah, lot of requests? Get used to it!) for hours.

Bah. I don’t seem to have the energy to rant anymore, I give up. (Could go on and on about the blogs and everything).

There are some good and nifty features too, at Aamulehti.fi. But as the Site is down, no report on them. Perhaps later.

More redesigns that suck:www. hel.fi (the city of Helsinki) reports as follows:

15.06.08 Hel.fi pages were transferred on a new technical platform

The City of Helsinki web pages www.hel.fi were transferred on a new technical platform during week 25. All the URL addresses of the pages changed.

Did I say something about cool URIs earlier?

Could someone please, please, give me a great redesign? A finnish one?

Please?

Pretty please?

(Small editorial comment: I’ll add some screen grabs if the site works for an hour or two in a row…)