Feb 23, 2015

An Interview at RescueTime

An Interview at RescueTime Front
Do you know you could increase your productivity up to 80% if you could assess and remove your most distracting activities from your work schedule?


With an ever increasing dependence on computers and PDAs for fulfilling our work and entertainment requirements, it is hard to keep track of when you digress and spend your precious time on unproductive activities. RescueTime literally rescues your time from the clutches of monsters like non productivity and gently nudges you towards more productive and gratifying activities.

RescueTime tracks your digital activities and shows you through interactive graphs the amount of time spent on different types of activities. It helps you point out which activities are given larger share of your time and which of your daily activities need more time to help you stay productive. 

I've used rescue time and can boast that I've spent most of my time in productive activities (proof attached :-p), but enough of me, lets haggle Robby Macdonell, the Head of Product Development for RescueTime.

Mohit Example RescueTime

An Introduction

Mohit: Okay Robby, our readers have a fair idea of RescueTime, but they'll be thrilled to hear it from you. How does it work?

Robby: RescueTime helps people understand how they really spend their time when they are in front of a computer or mobile device. We do this by keeping an accurate log of the different applications that a person is engaged with, then categorizing and scoring that time to help people get a richer picture of where their time is actually going.
Often, once someone understands where their time is going, they want to optimize it in some way. They may want be to be more productive, or simply more balanced. We have a bunch of tools to help people change their behaviors. There’s no one method that works for everyone, so we give people several options to choose from.

Customer Support

Mohit: We've seen dozens of services created by startups which often delegate the responsibility of customer support to other firms. But you actually have yourself responding to queries and making help pages. How does that turn out?

Robby: I can’t imagine ever outsourcing our support. We’re lucky to have a lot of people that use RescueTime, and they generate a fairly large volume of support and product discussion. It takes time to deal with, but if we didn’t do it, we wouldn’t really understand the problems that people were running into. I’m not just talking about problems with RescueTime. It’s important to fix bugs of course, but understanding what someone is personally trying to accomplish or overcome when choosing a tool like RescueTime is one of the most important things for us to hear about.

RescueTime DashBoard

Mohit: Sure Robby, in the beginning stage every firm must have a firm understanding of what people want from your product, which can very well be understood by answering questions through customer support. But what if, in the near future, you become something short of an internet giant. Would you still go forward with answering such plethora of questions with an ever increasing user base?

Robby: Well, I've worked at some of those "internet giants" before. In the most successful one, the CEO made it a point to speak with at least one customer a day. Obviously you have to structure things differently when working at a larger scale like that, but like I said before, I can't imagine ANY scenario where we would choose to completely cut ourselves off from that feedback channel. It's just way too valuable.

Typical RescueTime Dashboard

The Business Part

Mohit: First time users often take a shot in the dark when they use RescueTime. How do you encourage new users to try your service?

Robby: We've been really fortunate to have had a lot of people say nice things about us, so that certainly helps. We work really hard to give people a good experience and actually solve problems, and if we’re doing that correctly then our users become the best amplifier of who we are and what we’re doing. If I’m having a one-on-one conversation with someone, I tell them to think about the last time a manager or colleague asked them what they've been working on lately. Was it a struggle to remember? Did it feel awkward? That feeling was the reason we built RescueTime in the first place. We were sick of tripping over our tongues looking for answers when people asked us things like that.

RescueTime at PDAs

The Technical Part

Mohit: It is awfully difficult to integrate one service into so many environments like PC, Android, iOS etc. But for RescueTime you have to do it for efficiency's sake. What were the challenges you faced when you try to integrate a service in several environments?

Robby: The big challenge is figuring out how to manage the data across different devices. We chose early on to go with a cloud-based approach, largely because we were all better at building web applications than we were at native apps. It turned out to be a really good decision, because it means that to support a new platform, all we have to do is write a relatively lightweight client that tracks data and sends it back to the server for further processing. It’s helped us stay focused on the overall experience.

Mohit: Talking about receiving data, you must receive a huge amount of data from an equally large number of users. How do you ensure that the personal data you receive from the users are stored safely and cannot be hacked by or leaked to other parties?

Robby: That's not really my area, so I'm light on the details, but we use industry-standard secure data practices to isolate the data in a private network, and control access to it through authenticated and encrypted trails with an audit path.

On RescueTime Blog

Mohit: You also have a RescueTime Blog where you often discuss its applications. What role does a blog play in creating a positive image for RescueTime?

Robby: It gives us an outlet to tell the story of RescueTime from our perspective. Working with this type of application, we get to explore a lot of interesting things, and we love sharing what we find. Sometimes it’s a new way to use RescueTime. Other times it’s interesting things we’ve learned from researchers studying attention and productivity. We don’t have a structured content strategy. We just post the things that we feel like sharing with our users.

RescueTime Codemakit Focus

Conclusion

Mohit: I have been using RescueTime for quite some time and let me tell you, it has shown me ways to shut non productive distractions and focus on the rewarding ones. Visiting your testimonials confirmed that this view was shared by many. Did you envisage your service to be so popular and utilitarian?

Robby: When we started building RescueTime, we thought it would only appeal to complete nerds like us. But when we started telling people about it, we found that the problems we were working on are pretty universal. People spend a LOT of time in front of a computer (or some other digital device), and there are so many competing things going on, all vying for our time, that it’s REALLY easy for it to start to feel like a black hole. RescueTime gives people a way to feel more in control over their time, and that’s something that it turns out a lot of people can appreciate.

That’s all for today, I on behalf of our readers would thank Robby for taking time out of his busy schedule and answering our questions.  Do you know he battled blizzards (and emerged victorious) at his town to send us his answers? But that is for another time. 

If our readers have some questions that they would like answered; add it to the comments below and I’ll make sure it reaches Robby. The last interview was made interesting by one of our readers who added an insightful question, which was answered gracefully (have a look at the interview with the geniuses at Degoo.com).

Also you can find them at their twitter handle or at their facebook page too.

This was,
An Interview at RescueTime MohitChar

Feb 16, 2015

An introduction to Content Marketing

Content Marketing or Internet Marketing is basically advertising whose main job is to direct traffic from one website to another. This might include direction of traffic from a blog to an eCommerce website or from a social network to a blog/ website. 

More often than not, advertisements lead to a series of events not envisioned even by the web owner.

A very simple example can be a situation where a user sees an advertisement on Facebook which he clicks on. This leads him to the particular blog. An advertisement about headphones pulls his focus and he clicks it which leads him towards amazon, where he buys a headphone.
There are three types of internet marketing,

Email Marketing,

You know the advertisements and the content you receive at your inbox. Often this invariably leads to maximum buying behavior. This may be related to the psychological behavior which goes like this. "If you see a coca cola advertisement in your living room you are more likely to buy a coca cola than when you see one at a banner outside. But this does not mean you should resort to phishing scams.

Web Marketing,

This includes e-commerce, website promotions, search engine advertising, affiliate marketing and search engine optimization practices. This also includes stuff like which font should you use for better visitor interaction or certain website best practices.

Social Media Marketing,

This involves marketing efforts from websites like Facebook, Twitter (though it is not better than facebook) etc. where you try to increase your social media efficiency. Marketing efforts at such websites are so popular mainly due to the unprecedented amount of visitor interactions present at them.

This was about,

Feb 9, 2015

What happened when I increased Font Sizes

What happens when I increased Font Sizes Front
Website font sizes are an important factor in determining if a visitor leaves your website happy or sad. The current study will help you figure out what effect increasing your website's font size will have on the overall quality and quantity of visitors.

One of the most popular articles on codemakit was based on a study which answered a simple question. One which has been asked by numerous webmasters, designers and bloggers worldwide. The question was "What is the best font size?" it could be rephrased as "Which font size would lead to highest user interaction?" or "Which of these should I choose, 12px, 14px, or 16px?"

During the research, I came across several opinions. Some wanted to "Follow your heart!" (I don't know how their websites are read), Some said "The size depends on the type of website" (Which is why I conducted the study). You can still check out the complete study on Type of Fonts, Size of Fonts and Color of Fonts. But, after the study, the result were condensed into simple 4 letters ; 14px.

The preface

Based on the previous study, codemakit changed the default font size from its 12px to 14px. Then the blog was observed for 30 days during which several parameters were monitored closely. The following parameters were studied.

  • Number of Visitors (Page views)
  • Bounce Rates (%)
  • Pages per Session
  • Percentage New Sessions


The Results

The following data was observed from the blog after the change in text size was made.
After the change in font size was made, Several parameters were observed for a period of 17 days.

Changes in Page Views

Regarding the changes in page views. It is abundantly clear that the number of page views increased after the changes were made. A rough estimation points out that the increase in page views were upwards of 35 percentage. Though the direct increase in the number of page views is often attributed to marketing strategies and Search Engine Optimization, the sudden increase in the number of page views can be indirectly caused by an increase in returning visitors and the increase in the number of pages viewed in one session. Those parameter shall be discussed separately later.

The following Graph depicts the changes in the number of page views in the 43 day period. Kindly keep in mind that the changes in the font size were completed on 25th December 2014. The repercussions from it are depicted in the later part of the graph.

Changes in Page Views


Bounce Rate

It was found that the overall bounce rate of the blog decreased. Though bounce rates are never a perfect indicator of a blog's health, they are still a good indicator of what your visitors do when they enter your website. A lower bounce rate would inevitably be better than a higher one. A question arises, Is it possible that the bounce rate was decreasing from before the time the changes were made? 

Though it is possible for a growing and improving blog, one can still find out if the change in the bounce rate was premeditated by the change in font size. Hence we take two different data sets, One from the bounce rates of the blog before changes were made and another, bounce rates at the blog after the changes were made.

Bounce Rate


With the help of excel trend-line function, trend lines were created for both the data sets. It was found that the bounce rate decreased from 87.7% to 86.4%, i.e. a 1.5% decrease. However one look at the data after changes were made would show that the bounce rate decreased from 89.5% to 77.1% i.e. 14% decrease. This proves that increasing the font size decreases bounce rate at a much higher rate than better content quality management practices.

Percentage New Sessions

Percentage New sessions are the total percentage of sessions opened with new users. decreasing this number from 100 would give you the percentage of users which came to the website for more than one time. A higher percentage new sessions might mean that most of your readers are first timers. A lower percentage new sessions would indicate the presence of loyal returning visitors who come back to the blog because of sheer content quality or better marketing practices.

Percentage New Sessions


Percentage new Sessions in the experiment decreased from 90% to 88%. Though the decrease is a meager 2.2 percent, this might indicate an increase in returning visitors as a result of the changes made. Further analysis from data sets created before the experiment and after the experiment said that the % new sessions increased before and after the changes. But the changes led to an initial lowering of the values. In short, the effects of the changes made could not be analysed properly and can be termed inconclusive.

Pages per Session

The pages per session is the number of webpages opened by the user during his visit. The only anomaly observed in the experiment was that the pages per session actually decreased during time. Though the decrease was a meager 0.1 which is a decrease of 6%, a value much higher to be discarded. No logical reason explains this phenomena.

Pages per Session


It is thought that more data for Percentage New Sessions and Pages per Session are required before venturing into an in-depth analysis of the reasoning of the phenomena.

Related Reading

You might want to understand why we chose 14px from our quest to determine the best website Font Sizes.

Are you aware of the best practices for Website Fonts, read this and you will be.

If you have doubts about some of the terms used here, you can check out this bounce rate article on how bounce rates are calculated or this one on how a blog dies.

We also did a similar article where a parameter in the blog was changed and its data was analysed. It actually doubled the number of page views.

This answered,
What happens when I increased Font Sizes MohitChar

Feb 2, 2015

Interview with the geniuses at Degoo.com

Interview with the geniuses at Degoo.com Front
Today we have with us the founders of a really interesting cloud based service, degoo.com. Often users face problems when they try to back up their computers. 

Some suffer due to lack of processing power. But, our Dynamic duo Carl Hasselskog (CEO) and Mattias Nylitz (Co-Founder) worked upon their master's thesis and created degoo.com, a service that lets you automatically back your computer on the cloud by sharing your unused hard drive space. What’s more? You can get up to 100GBs of Back-Up space for the same! 

You just need to select the folders you want to back-up and whenever changes are made, they will be backed up. The space you designate will be used for storing the back up of other users. The files are compressed and stored with 128-bit AES encryption which reduces the safety concern substantially.
Degoo is also currently working on another service which personally interests me more, i.e. Processor time sharing. A concept, which can very well be a stepping stone in the world of computing. But enough of that let’s hear it from Carl and Mattias the founders of Degoo.com!

Degoo.com

An Introduction

Mohit: Alright Carl! Here’s the first question. How did you start degoo and what does the word 'degoo' signify?

Carl: Hi! Degoo started off as my Master’s thesis at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. I felt that there was great demand for a backup but that the current solutions were too hard to use and expensive.

About the Team

Mohit: We'll be delighted to know about you and your team. What functions do you handle and how do you delegate responsibilities to the team? 

Carl: When working at a start-up you have to be prepared to do pretty much anything. One day I could be optimizing a compression algorithm, the next day I might be pitching to investors or answering support tickets. Lately we’ve been growing very rapidly and we’re therefore in the process of delegating some of the support work to an outside firm. However, we will never outsource all support. I think it’s crucial that the founders always stay very close to the customers to really understand their needs and struggles. Doing support is a crucial part of that.

On the Cloud Storage

Mohit: Though I have mentioned the workings before, I'm sure the readers would be thrilled to understand degoo's workings in the words of its creator.

Carl: There’s so much very highly technical stuff going on that it’s hard to describe everything in detail. My own Master’s thesis was written in Swedish but we have published some work in English. For instance this paper describes how we measure the online time of each computer.


Mohit: If you store all data on the computers of your own users, none of the data is actually stored on any of your servers, is that true?
We can also detect if someone tries to tamper with a fragment
Carl: Since we’re still in beta we actually store an extra copy on servers, in addition to the copies stored at users computers (just to be safe). 


Mohit: You call users providing storage space as 'subcontractors' and further add that the 'subcontractor' and not degoo is responsible to any damage to users' data stored on its computer. What if someone successfully hacks the user data stored on its PC and proceeds harm the owner of the data? Will degoo not be responsible? 

Carl: Before uploading any data the files are encrypted and then split into small fragments. You therefore only store a very small encrypted fragment of the file. We can also detect if someone tries to tamper with a fragment and if that happens we will just ignore that fragment and just one of the fragments that we’ve replicated to other users (we have lots of redundancy in place here).

On Processor Sharing

Mohit: Tell us something about how degoo shares processor time among users. 

Carl: The idea is that you will get more storage in exchange for sharing some of your processor time. This is an optional feature that you can opt-out of at anytime you like. Our long term goal is that this processor capacity will be used to create a giant virtual super computer.


Mohit: A virtual super computer sounds awfully futuristic! Do you envision your technology to be used for research and industrial applications in the future?

Carl: Yes, our long term goal is to create a super computer that drastically reduces the cost of computing in the world. We’d love to give researchers, corporations and hobbyists access to the vast amounts of computing power this would provide.

On Customer Support

It is crucial that the founders always stay close to the customers
Mohit: Why do you choose desk.com to be your front end for customer support instead of using degoo itself?

Carl: Desk.com is a great way for us to stay productive and keep track of all support tickets coming in. The support portal that we can create with Desk.com allows us to rapidly improve our support articles whenever we feel that they need to be made clearer. 
We give up some flexibility compared to doing it ourselves but we think the productivity gains outweigh that.

Question from our Readers

Recently one of our readers asked a really insightful question. Something that can be viewed both as a technical and a moral one. So, Carl here's a question from Rachel.

Rachel: Interesting concept. I hope my hard drive is not being used to store pirated or risque content of other users. How do you ensure that my hard drive is being used for legitimate purpose?

Carl: Before the upload all files encrypted and split up into tiny fragments. The data stored at each hard drive is therefore just a tiny encrypted fragment of a file. You therefore never run into the risk of storing some illegitimate content on your hard drive.

Lastly

Mohit: A large project entails gigantic problems. What was the biggest difficulty or setback that you encountered in the project?

Handling all of that complexity without confusing the user is very difficult.Carl: The biggest challenge so far has been to make the system reliable and easy-to-use despite the very complex technology going on behind the scenes. P2P makes everything much more challenging. 


Degoo's Co-Founder MattiasSecurity, performance and reliability all become much more difficult when the underlying hardware can be unreliable and slow. Handling all of that complexity without confusing the user is very difficult.

That’s all for today folks, codemakit would like to extend its heartiest congratulations on the success of degoo.com and would hope for more innovative surprises from the firm. 

Thank you Carl and Mattias (Whose photo can be seen at the right), you've been a true sport answering every question with utmost zeal. If our readers have some queries or suggestions for degoo.com, put them in the comments section and I would make sure that they reach Carl or Mattias.

Related Reading,

You know we have seen some coding experts in the past too, have a look at An Interview with Metin Saylan from Shailan or Jacob Gube from Six Revisions.

The interview with JetBro wasn't too bad; you can check them out too.

This was,
Interview with the geniuses at Degoo.com MohitChar

Jan 26, 2015

Solutions to Copyright Problems in Interviews

Solutions to Copyright Problems in InterviewsWhen an interview is conducted for the purpose of publishing, who owns the copyright? Is it the interviewee who responds to questions or the interviewer who shoots the questions?

Codemakit has conducted a fair share of interviews with prominent web personalities in its term. With the pressure to create new and original articles, on often wonders, if an article is created with the cooperation of two individuals, who claims the ownership?

Let us take an example of an email interview. The interviewer or the person who asks the question has as much right over the content as the interviewee who answers the question.

Prevailing Theory

Now let us take a moment to digest. In an article or a video, what readers look after is not the questions of the interviewer, but the answers of the interviewee. So the copyright could be attributed to the interviewee. However since the interview is of no consequence if it is not published through a media, the interviewer too can claim copyright for the same.

One theory often prevails that if the interviewer publishes the interview at a location, he/she is called the de facto copyright holder. However as is mentioned in the "Rights of Writers" article, which is not the case always.

If a preset agreement between the interviewer and the interviewee is not present, some courts can look at it in a different light. It can be seen as if the interviewee had agreed implicitly to the copyright.

The matter of copyright often creeps up when the interviewee does not want the interview to be used in one way or another. For example, if you interview a person who does not want a specific part of interview to be broadcasted. When you publish it, you are liable to attract problems on the basis of copyright violation.

Best Practice

So what is the best practice? It is highly advised to get the interviewee to agree to transfer copyright to you before conducting the interview. If it is an email interview, ask the interviewee to accede to an agreement. If it is a videotaped interview, get them to agree on the tape that the copyright of the following interview will be held by the publisher itself. However, if the interviewee wants to say something 'of the records', ensure that you honor the request.

If you’re not much of a control freak, you can get the interviewee to agree to a creative commons type license to the work created (Though you’ll have to first check which creative commons license would suit the work better).

Examples

The following is a sample document asking interviewees to accede to the agreement before getting interviewed. Click here to get the sample copyright document for Email Interview and Click here to get the sample copyright document for Video Interview.

Related Reading

Check out the awesome article on the dangers of trading an article for a service.

You can read about fair use copyright policy and its problems while you’re reading about copyrights.

This gave you, 
Solutions to Copyright Problems in Interviews MohitChar

Jan 19, 2015

How will my Blog Die? (New and Returning Visitors)

How will my Blog Die? (New and Returning Visitors) Front
There are two types of visitors on a blog, an impressed one which has returned to the website and an unimpressed one which has arrived for for the first time.

Note. If you think you've missed the previous part, check out the 'When will my blog die?' study from the start.

Several parameters define the quality of visitors on a website, percentage new sessions and percentage returning sessions are some of them. Percentage New Session and Percentage returning sessions are basically two interdependent parameters which depict the percentage of new users entering the website and the percentage of returning users entering the website respectively.

The Results

For example, if the percentage of New session is 80%, then the percentage of returning sessions would amount to 20%. This means 80% of the users on your website would be new users who have not visited the website before. 20%  would be the ones that have visited your website before and have come for more. 

Change in new and returning Visitors with time

There is one fundamental difference between sessions and users. A session is the time, a user spends on the website before closing the window or leaving it.

Correlation Between Average Session time and Percentage Returning Sessions.

It is interesting to correlate the average session time and percentage returning sessions. As seen in the graph given below, it becomes very clear that the average session time varied quite proportionally to the percentage returning sessions. This is logical as the returning number of visitors are expected to spend more time on the website. Which is because, new visitors often spend lesser time if they do not agree with the overall layout, design (Font Size, Font Type and Font color) or the writing style of the author. Returning visitors do agree with them and hence are expected to stay.

graph Correlation Between Average Session Time and Percentage Returning Sessions

Correlation of Bounce Rate and Percentage New Sessions

One thing that can be correlated effectively with Percentage of new sessions is bounce rate. It was interesting to find out the correlation between bounce rates and percentage new sessions. 
It is however very interesting to note that the Bounce Rate actually follows the percentage new Sessions values until day 35. After 5th Week, it looks as if the relation between Bounce rates and Percentage new Sessions is inverted. Higher the Percentage of new Sessions lower is the bounce rate, which also means lower the percentage of  returning visitors lower is the bounce rates. Since the study was stopped after day 44, It is not clear, how long will the trend continue.

Correlation between Bounce Rates and percentage new Sessions

Correlation between Effective Bounce Rate and the difference of Bounce Rate and percentage new Session

Since any definite trend cannot be found out from the particular graph, It was decided to go further with the graph between Bounce Rate (B) and The percentage new sessions (PN). Instead a graph was plotted between Bounce Rate (B) and the difference between Bounce Rate and Percentage of new sessions (B-PN). The following is the graph between (B) and (B-PN).

Correlation between Effective Bounce Rate and the difference of Bounce Rate and percentage new Session

Though generalizations cannot be accurately made from the data, It is found that more positive difference between Bounce Rate (B) and the Percentage of New Sessions (PN) would mean Lesser Bounce Rate.

The Complete Study

The Complete 5 Part Study can be accessed from here as it is published,

[Published on 8th Dec 2014]

[Published on 15th Dec 2014]

[Published on 22th Dec 2014]

[Published on 29th Dec 2014]

[Published on 5th Jan 2015]

This answered,
How will my Blog Die? (New and Returning Visitors) MohitChar

Jan 12, 2015

Best Practices for Website Fonts

Best Practices for Website Fonts Front
Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Helvetica; which font is the best for websites? Which font sizes will guarantee that your website will prevail? Which font color is the best? We'll be trying to answer this question in a series of articles.

The articles shall try to answer each of the above questions as lucidly as possible. As a part of research, I came across the following interesting articles. A SixRevisions Article on user experience (Did I mention, The founder of sixrevisions gave an interview to codemakit.com, Read the interview with Jacob Gube!), the dude in that article did a split test on which font types and size would be the most effective in conversion. His results included that among 10px, 14px, 18px and 21px, users connected most with 14px fonts.

One of the best places to get a customized answer for your question is Google forum. There I asked the following question, "Which font leads to maximum User Interaction?", there I found some of the most ingenuous methodologies and concepts that many wouldn't even dream of. The solutions are incorporated into the articles.

However, every one of them stopped at one single point, as if everyone finally concludes with, ".. Any font of any size would do great, provided you choose them in accordance with your website type and content."

Though I agree font type and size must change with the type of website, (i.e. a funny comic blog can be embellished with comic sans or an official looking website to be adorned with Georgia/Arial etc), but still which font would do great for News website or a blog? There are plethoras of official looking fonts which give the feeling of authenticity to the text. But which one strikes a chord with the user? Hence this research.

Study methodology

The Study methodology is simple enough, you visit several popular websites based on either alexa rank or Pagerank or a 'list of' and check out three font parameters from the text. The parameters are Font Type (Which Font family it belongs to), Font Size (In Pixels) and Font Color (Hex Colors. Then the data is divided into 4 categories i.e. Blogs, News based Websites, Academic Journal Based Websites and Information Based websites.


Type

Website

Font Type

Font Size
Font Color (RGB)
Red Green Blue
blog 1stwebdesigner Helvetica 14 34 34 34
blog Treehugger.com Arial 11.5 0 0 0
blog Mashable.com Helvetica 11.5 85 85 85
blog Crooksandliars.com Arial 10 34 34 34
blog copyblogger.com Helvetica 13.5 51 51 51
blog thefword.org.uk Trebuchet MS 13 102 102 102
Information Wikipedia.org Arial 12.5 37 37 37
Information support.google.com Helvetica 11.5 68 68 68
Information Encyclopedia Britanica Arial 10 68 68 68
Journal Psycology today Arial 12.5 0 0 0
Journal Scientific America Geogia 14 0 0 0
Journal MIT Technology Review Helvetica 10.5 0 0 0
Journal ASCE Arial 8.5 88 89 91
News The Economist Arial 13.5 74 74 74
News NyTimes Geogia 14 51 51 51
News Forbes Geogia 16 0 0 0
News Wired Geogia 11.5 51 51 51
News The Hindu Geogia 11 59 58 57
News Reuters Geogia 11.5 0 0 0
News AlJazeera Arial 12.5 0 0 0
News Fox News Helvetica 12.5 34 34 34
News CNN Arial 10 0 0 0
News Wall Street Journal Arial 10 51 51 51

Here is a pdf codemakit document of some of the samples collected for the study.

The study is based on the assumption that, since the websites are one of the best in their field, the font parameters would also be the top as per industry standards. Though there are a few studies in which font size or color should you use? There is a general dearth of a good quality study that would lead by example instead of just pointing out the facts.

In Conclusion,

Finally, I would like to point out the following conclusions based on previous studies by codemakit.
Based on codemakit's study, "Which Font Size is the Best?", I would highly recommend a 14 px size for better readability and ease.

Based on codemakit's study, "Which Font Type is the Best?", I would advice for a Georgia for Blogs and Arial for News Journal based Websites. Also never use your custom font or a handwritten font in the body content part of your blog, use it in titles and stuff. This would ensure best fit.

Based on codemakit's study, "Which Font Color is the Best?", I would say, #222222 for Blogs and #333333 for any other website. If you find the hexadecimal values upsetting, you can visit the article for a better feel of the color.

This showed you,
Best Practices for Website Fonts MohitChar

Jan 5, 2015

Tips for Comment Moderation. What Should you keep and what should you delete? Part 2

Tips for Comment Moderation. What Should you keep and what should you delete? Part 2 FrontComment moderation is one of those important aspects of managing a blog which tells the readers about the integrity and quality of the blog. 

A previous article on Tips for comment moderation talked about protecting a blog's image against comment spammers. This is the part two of the series.




The Link Factory Type

A very ancient breed of comment spammers often use a technique known as comment link flooding. In short, they flood the comment section with one or more links of a particular webpage, hoping that the sheer numbers would lead to an increase in the back links, thereby leading to higher page rank.
As mentioned above, they are an ancient breed because, such methods have already been countered by search engine's algorithms and have little or no effect on both the websites.

Another reason why such comments often do not work on websites is because, the websites have already marked their comments section as no-follow (Which means that any links in the comment section would not affect your image at google or similar search engines). Hence any attempt at garnering back links by spamming comments is foiled.

The Link Factory Type




The Hire Me Type

Some Comment spams are often disguised as marketing initiatives from unemployed designers/ developers and SEO professionals. Though it is not hard to decipher what they write, their text is often accompanied by options to hire the writer. Their comment reeks of "Hire Me!" all along. Needless to say, you should remove such comments.

The Following comment was found on a previous article at codemakit talking about the dangers of trading an article with a service.

The Hire Me Type

The Naked URL Type

You will often find that comments like the one below have little or no un-hyperlinked text. One often wonders if it is a ruse, with spammers trying to garner pageranks by adding links as mentioned in the first case.

However, you must be careful. One look at the URL of the link would tell you if it is related to the article or not. If it is related and genuinely adds quality to the article, you can keep it. If not you should remove it as a crushed bug on a car's windshield.

The Naked URL Type

True to Myself Type

Now you might see some comments which are genuinely concerned about the article and the blog.The first method of checking a comment against spam is to find is if the comment contains a hyperlink. The second method of finding if a comment isn't spam is to check the content for relevance to the article itself.

Like the previous article on comment moderation, Here's an example of a genuine comment in which the author is concerned about the content of the article and phrases his/her comment accordingly.

The following article is on the geomatic changes in blog.

True to Myself Type

The Shakespearean Spammer

Not often you encounter wordy Shakespearean comment spammers. Only one thing differentiates such comment spammers from normal ones, The use of herculean amount of words, often relating to the article as a bee relates to a space ship and nearly every character of the comment has been copied form somewhere.

The following comment was received at codemakit's article about including a favicon to your website.

Guess what? The spammer has commented about international concept of work from home! Who the F comments about work from home at a favicon based article? The comment was so large, that complete screenshot would have increased the length of the post by 30% and would have left you dazed.

The Shakespearean Spammer


Looking London Talking Tokyo Part 2

Some comment spammers do not use hyperlinks in their comments to avoid being filtered by automatic comment spam filters. The following comment is about Business phone lines at the Jetbro Interview article.

In such cases, it is often advisable to skim through the comment to ensure that the comment is in accordance with the article itself.

Looking London Talking Tokyo Part 2

Though this type of comment spam has been discussed before, I could not stop myself from entering the following comment from entering the wall of fame.

Looking London Talking Tokyo Part 2

The Brazen Comment Spam

Now there exist a rare breed of brazen super-strong, fearless comment spammers who defies every law of commenting on article.

First, Comments are often advised against adding links in their comments.
Secondly, Comments should be related.
Thirdly, the transition of ideas in the comments should be smooth and not abrupt.
Fourthly, You should not comment spam on an article on "Tips for comment moderation"!

The Brazen Comment Spam

Related Reading,

Liked it? You will obviously like the Part I of article on tips for comment moderation.

If you're not aware, here is the method of removing spam comments from the blog.

Have you read some of our funniest comment  spams here's Part I and here's part II?

Check out a case study about how a single sentence reduced comment spams by half.

This was about,
Tips for Comment Moderation. What Should you keep and what should you delete? Part 2 MohitChar

Dec 29, 2014

How will my blog die? (Pages per Sessions)

How will my blog die? (Pages per Sessions)
Pages per Session as the name suggests is the number of internal pages visited by your reader when he browses your website in one go. But what happens to the number of pages per session when your blog starts dying?

Note. If you think you've missed the previous part, check out the 'When will my blog die?' study from the start.

There is a parameter known as pages per session for determining a website's health. This is only when the bounce rate (discussed before) is less than 100%. 

Based on the data received from the website during its 44 Day dry spell, It was found that the number pages viewed by a visitor per session reduced constantly. The number changed mildly at first but it was after 32 days when the graph showed extraordinary fluctuation.

Change in Pages per Session with Time

The timing of the fluctuation actually matches the 5 week mark of reduction in the number of visitors received by the blog as discussed previously. 

Correlation between Bounce Rate and Pages per Session

The correlation between Bounce Rate and Pages per session  is interesting. It seems, lower the bounce rate, higher the pages per session. This is actually logical as the pages per session is actually the average of all the user sessions for the day. So, when the bounce rate is higher, the number of pages for that session is lower.

Correlation between Bounce Rate and Pages per Session

Take an example, for a bounce rate of 100%, every visitor landing on the webpage would leave it without clicking on any other link. So in short, he/she would visit just the landing page and the pages per session would be equal to 1. If Bounce rate is 0% (an extremely unlikely scenario) each and every visitor landing on the page will click on an internal link before leaving the website. This would mean, pages per session would be higher than 1 at all times.

Correlation between Average Session Time and Pages per Session 

Contrary to all the parameters studied in the research, the correlation between average session time and the number of page per session is the most unique. The two parameters seem to depend on each other directly. Even as time passes, the relation stays intact and doesn't change. In every other parameter the relation changes after the 35 days mark.

Correlation between Average Session Time and Pages per Session

The Complete Study

The Complete 5 Part Study can be accessed from here as it is published,

This was,
How will my blog die? (Pages per Sessions) MohitChar

Dec 22, 2014

How will my blog die? (Session Duration)

How will your blog die? (Session Duration)
Session duration in simple words is the amount of time spent by a user or a reader on your website. This article will tell you what happens to that session duration when a blog is gearing towards death.

Note. If you think you've missed the previous part, check out the 'When will my blog die?' study from the start.

Session duration is one of the parameters that define the quality of writing of the author. Higher average session duration would mean that the visitor is present on the webpage for a higher period of time. This implies that the visitor is hooked to the writing thereby justifying the efforts of the author.

In the present case, the blog started receiving higher average session duration as the time progressed. The average session duration increased at a much higher rate than did the bounce rate.

Change in Session Duration with Time

However, Session duration too showed signs of fluctuation at the end of 35 days, i.e. 5 weeks time. This is actually in conformation with similar sightings of the bounce rate, Number of Visitors and average number of pages per session.

Change in Session Duration with Time

Correlation of Session Duration with Bounce Rate

The constant upward movement of Session duration with time correlated with the bounce rate which actually reduced with time. This depicts that as the bounce rate decreased visitors started viewing higher number of pages thereby spending higher amount of time at the website in one session.

Correlation of Session Duration with Bounce Rate

Correlation of Session Duration with Number of Visitors

The upward movement of session duration in correlation with the constant dip in the number of visitors and lowering bounce rate on the website showed that as the time passed, the visitors remaining were actually interested in the content instead of surfing. In short this meant that the truly loyal or sincere visitors remained with the website towards its death.

Correlation of Session Duration with Number of Visitors

Correlation of Session Duration with Pages per Session

Another Correlation can be found with the average session time and Pages per session, where one can find that the abrupt increase in the average session time can be attributed to an increase in the number of pages viewed in one session. This would mean that the session time increases because the readers are opening more pages and not because there was a sudden increase in the curiosity on the subject.

Table Correlation between average session time and pages per session

Correlation of Session Duration with Percentage Returning sessions

As is evident from the graph below, it was found that the changes in average session time were proportional to the percentage of returning sessions for the first 35 days. This is quite logical as the returning visitors are keen on finding and exploring the website over again. This might be in search of new content or due to simple veneration. However, after 35 days the relationship between the two parameters became inverse. The average session time actually reduced with an increase in returning sessions.

Table Correlation between average session time and percentage retuning session

The Complete Study

The Complete 5 Part Study can be accessed from here as it is published,

This was,
How will your blog die? (Session Duration) MohitCHar