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« Where are the tweakers? | Main | Hugh nails it »

More on Tweaking

My previous post got more mail than just about anything I've ever posted before.

As a writer, I'm used to working with editors. A copy editor is a freelancer who fixes my missspellings, my commas and my grammar. A line editor is someone who makes more aggressive changes, adjusting sentences or paragraphs without substantially altering their meaning. And every once in a while, a real editor, who tells me the truth about my writing and encourages me to discard whole chapters or change the rhythm of what I'm working on.

What I found fascinating about the email I got is that a large number of web people are still hung up on the technology side, on getting the code just right and, to use the analogy, the typesetting, not the words. The reason for this is simple: there's a lot of horrible web coding going on. There are huge gains to be found by overhauling a site and getting the invisible stuff right.

But that's not the opportunity I was talking about. Instead, I'm talking about turning an arrogant checkout into a useful one by turning off the button that automatically resets to opt in to the spam list every single time I return to the checkout. Or changing the size of the product photo from 144 pixels wide to 500, because making the product the star can triple clickthrough.

This is stuff tweakers know because they do it every day. Because they test and they measure. This is high return on investment knowledge, because it can take hours, not weeks to implement and test.

For example, a small businessperson named Dave writes in and says,

"our website is ok for an electronic sign . . . but its a “factory model” . . . as we maneuver through the curves any business experiences I want to accelerate through those turns because of the edge tweaking provides but I don’t want to get into a complete over-haul to do it ... my idea of a “tweaker” is the person who takes us beyond the “factory model” to continue your car and garage analogy . . . someone who says  STOP using this its not working and here’s why START using this it does work and here’s why CONTINUE using this and here’s why. . ."

Tom says, "My wife and I hired a designer who was a “tweaker.”  She didn’t come in the way most decorators do, with a whole design scheme and lots of new furniture.  She took what we already had, pointed out a few targets of opportunity, moved things around and added a few key elements, and for almost no money gave our house a whole new feel.  It took a couple of days instead of weeks."

I got plenty of people pointing out that they can't make a living selling to people like Dave and Tom. That Dave is too hard to reach, too cheap, too uncertain about what he wants... that Tom needs too much handholding.

My response is that it's not just Tom or Dave. There's no way Amazon or Eddie Bauer or someone running for the Senate is going to overhaul their site. Certainly no way they're going to do it every four weeks. It's too scary. Too disruptive. Too time consuming. Does every site need tweaking? NO, most need an overhaul. But hey, there's still a lot of sites left that need a tweak, not construction.

The opportunity, as the web becomes more sophisiticated and CSS gets implemented more often, is to figure out how to tweak a page while it's running and get 2% better response from that page. 2% isn't a lot--until you multiply it by a million page views.

My original point of the post was that I was looking for a tweaker for a specific page that we haven't yet launched at Squidoo. The mail I got, though, made it clear that I wasn't the only one.

I think this market problem isn't going to solved by a bunch of hungry tweakers making sales calls. Instead, I think those that need tweaking will go out and find the tweakers. So, that said, I've started a lens on tweakers (it's a unvetted collection of people I heard from) and even better, a Squidoo group on tweakers that will allow anyone who wants tweaker business to build a lens and tell the world about what they do. Now, instead of sending me mail about your tweaking services (stop, please!) you can build a lens and reach a lot of people who are looking for you. In the meantime, I've got a ton of really cool people to contact about our future stuff. Thanks.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference More on Tweaking:

» Los buenos diseñadores rediseñan, los grandes "reordenan" from Oscar blog
Un excelente articulo de A List Apart. No siempre es necesario rediseñar completamente una página web para lograr mejoras importantes. Hay que hacer un análisis profundo antes de proponer un trabajo que le haga ganar dinero al diseñador pero que [Read More]

» Se necesitan “ajustadores”.para proyecto web. from Oscar blog
A veces no se necesita cambiar completamente. Pequeños ajustes pueden ser suficientes. Para tener un coche más rápido, uno no necesariamente debe comprar uno nuevo. Existe el “tunning”. Decorar un salón no requiere botar todos los muebles. Pequeños toq... [Read More]

» SMO and the Art of "Tweaking" from Influential Interactive Marketing
Add to: | blinklist | | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz Seth Godin yesterday posted about his concept of tweakers - a name he has coined for people who make things better without [Read More]

» Tweaker for AdWords on Squidoo from Apogee Weblog
...I wonder if Mr. Godin has played a game of Squidoo TagMan. Have you? [Read More]

» Website Tweakers! from Standing Out In The Crowd
What are website tweakers?  According to Seth Godin, they are professionals capable of increasing a website results by improving its pages just a bit (or, better yet, with just a little tweak.)  He posted a call for tweakers on his blog and got tons ... [Read More]

» Disabled from Filter & Splice
Seth Godin recognizes that some technology is poorly designed in two recent posts: Where are the tweakers? and More on Tweaking. His posts aren't . . . [Read More]

» Afronders gezocht from Enthousiasmeren
Vandaag en gisteren heb ik de site enigzins aangepast. Al een tijdje zat ik er tegen aan te hikken. Er waren een aantal dingen die ik niet meer mooi vond en dat na bijna 1 jaar en 284 artikelen. De ronden hoeken vond ik niet mooi meer en er on... [Read More]

« Where are the tweakers? | Main | Hugh nails it »