July Newsletter

Welcome to the July 2011 18INT newsletter!

You can trust us to do the job for you

Does the title of this section make you feel more positively about 18INT? The Neuromarketing blog recently reported that adding that phrase to the end of an ad for an automotive services company caused customer trust to jump significantly. Their positive take advises us simply to remind our customers that we can be trusted. And yet, I hear the dark side whispering to me about how these magic words will win more business, regardless of anything else that’s done.

The truth is authenticity wins. Tricks just eat up good will, and then they stop working. We have seen how a decade ago, SEO was all about tricking the search engines into showing your site first. Slowly, these techniques faded in effectiveness. What kept working was offering compelling content that other sites linked to.

Here’s a real world example. A client of mine is setting up a community site which allows consumers to pose questions to be answered by company representatives. At the suggestion of the vendor, the site will be pre-populated with frequently-asked questions. The first draft of this content was written as if the questions were asked by a consumer. On the site it read strange and inauthentic. Rather than speaking for an imaginary consumer, the site needed to be upfront: many people ask this question, and this is our standard answer.

Forget the tricks. Be trustworthy and people will trust you.

PhoneGap 1.0

PhoneGap is a toolkit for transforming HTML5 Web applications into stand-alone apps that run on Android, iOS and other mobile platforms. Version 1.0 was released today. This release represents a milestone in stability and features. It seems like PhoneGap has great momentum with attention from IBM and Adobe.

When I first discovered and researched PhoneGap, I was able to convert a simple estimating application from PHP into HTML5 and then into an Android app in about an hour. Once the app functions in the phone’s browser, it’s simple to compile the HTML into an APK file. The principle behind the software is that the Web application is wrapped in a bit of code that leverages the HTML rendering engine built into the OS. The two most-important platforms are Android and Apple’s iOS. BlackBerry and Palm are also supported.

In addition to features available to an ordinary HTML application, PhoneGap also exposes an API for access to additional features of the phone or tablet such as GPS, a camera or the user’s list of contacts. PhoneGap is not likely to be a good solution for an action game, especially since support for HTML5 audio is poor in most browsers currently. For anything less rapid fire, I’d choose PhoneGap over coding in Java for Android.

Company News

In the past month, Nick and Kyle have been learning the programming craft, first by building a Web site on the Concrete5 platform. They took the text from my book, Core MySQL, and built mysql.18int.com. We learned that Concrete5 is an able platform for hosting content sites. The user experience is smoother than WordPress.

We also wrote some code to parse through e-commerce site uvskinz.com to produce a Google Product Feed document. Our partner, buZZgen used this file to help promote the products for sale on the site.

Do you find this newsletter helpful? If you do, please invite others to subscribe. As always, I appreciate your attention, and if you don’t care to receive any further emails, please use the unsubscribe link below.

Do you have a specific topic you’d like me to address? I’m close to kicking off a deep look at e-commerce solutions for a potential client. Is there anything else you’re wondering about? I’d appreciate your suggestions.



Leon Atkinson

Eighteen Intelligence