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Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in General | 0 comments

Alexa vs SimilarWeb

Alexa vs SimilarWeb

Wow, what happened to Alexa? I run a busy forum…around 30k visitors a day with about 10million page views per month. I’ve been tracking the reports on Alexa and a newer entrant (to me at least), SimilarWeb.

I can’t believe how outdated and inaccurate Alexa is. I used to believe Alexa reports because, well, there was nothing else short of seeing the actual analytics. ¬†And I knew Alexa was an approximation only, but I didn’t realize how wildly inaccurate they are. I discovered SimilarWeb and the difference is night and day. In fact, it is scary how accurate SimilarWeb is. If I didn’t know better I’d have thought they’re siphoning of my analytics. They are seriously that accurate.

SimilarWeb has nailed it in terms of my weekly visitors, my bounce rate, my countries of origin. I mean, nailed it. Alexa on the other hand have it so wrong, I started wondering if it was even my site. They don’t even have the visitor countries remotely correct, something I’d have thought is really easy to obtain.

I guess sadly that’s the end of that project…perhaps it was the Amazon acquisition, perhaps they just don’t have the technology (or user base)…but fair play to SimilarWeb, they nailed it.

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Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in General | 0 comments

Apple doesn’t get social media

Apple doesn’t get social media

Apple has done a marvelous job in cultivating a certain image, and as a result has a prized demographic of customers. However, for a company that has position itself so well, it is remarkably lacking in understanding social media and transparency.

My App was approved yesterday and then went into the “Processing for App Store” status. Normally this is good news. This means you’re about 30 minutes to a few hours away from being in the app store. 36 hours I’m still stuck in that status…along with hundreds of others. The surprising part is the lack of communication from Apple.

I logged a support ticket and they responded they’re aware of the issue. If that’s the case, why didn’t they alert me of that proactively – what is this costing them to answer these tickets? I mean, how hard could it be to have done a proactive outreach with some transparency. I’m sure it would go something like this:

Select * from app_catalog where status=”Processing For App Store” and status_change_date – current date > 24hrs

For each entry, email:

“Dear <name>, it has come to our attention that your app is “stuck” (for lack of a better word) in the “Processing for App Store” status. This is not because of anything you’ve done, and unfortunately there is nothing you can do to push it along. This is entirely our fault, but rest assured we’re working around the clock to get your app into the store. Honestly, we haven’t come to the bottom of this yet, but as soon as we know the issue we will send you another email with the estimated time to fix it. Please know that we understand how anxious you are to have your app in the store, as are we. There are literally <count(sql query)> users in the same boat so we’re working hard. Stay tuned for more updates, and again, sorry!”

That’s it! Nothing formal. Just transparent – a mea culpa of sorts. I’d have respected that, and above all, I wouldn’t have wasted their time or my time with a support ticket. It couldn’t have taken them more than 2 hours to pull that off.

Instead, hundreds of us sit here not knowing what’s going on and costing Apple money by opening support tickets and then taking to social media ourselves. This is a great example of where a company could have got out in front of an issue. And earned respect.

I suspect that, sadly, this is a case of corporate bureaucracy. Apple has people far smarter than me so no doubt anyone could have done this in their sleep. What held them back was the red-tape. Or the potential ramifications of doing something. Or the “not my job” syndrome. Or the “this is going to interfere with my KPI’s” illness. And worse, the thought that “I have this email but now everybody is going to add there 0.2c of what it should or shouldn’t say, and then it has to go to legal and then…”

Bad one, Apple. Bad one.

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