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One year .com in retrospect

Although I’ve been blogging in English for quite some years now, today one year ago I switched my website from being local (guidojansen.nl since 2001) to global (gxjansen.com). It feels much more logical to have a .com instead of a .nl when you blog for an international audience right?

I had no idea up-front if this would indeed broaden my audience but when I look at my Google Analytics stats I think that the switch was a great success!

Improved statistics

Before this year 39% of my visitors came from outside of The Netherlands, but last year, this increased to 83%! And not only did the ratio change, also traffic in general increased by 470%! It’s also great to see a larger percentage of returning visitors, lower bounce rates, more pages are being visited with every visit and doubled time-on-site.

Total, new and returning visitors over the last year.

For me enough reasons to believe it was a good choice to switch to a .com domain and to continue adding even more awesome blogposts! :)

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Want a Google+ Invite?

Google PlusI don’t think I need to explain what Google Plus is do I? If you’re unfamiliar with it, check this Google Plus introduction from Mashable to read all about Google attempt to launch (for the fourth time) a social network that can match Facebook.

What Google did right this time

Although Google has been unlucky in the past, and the product is just in Beta right now, they definitely did some thing right this time. A big problem with social networks I have is that I need to use different social networks to keep different kind of groups of people seperate. I use Twitter for the most public things, Facebook for friends and LinkedIn for Business.

But even then I often struggle at where and what to post. I have several interests (open source, ecommerce in general, Magento, psychology, online persuasion) and people that follow me might be interested in one topic, but not in the others. If I post something on a network EVERYONE in that networks sees that message.

Google Plus tries to solve that problem with ‘Circles’: You can add people to different circles (for example: I have a ‘Magento’ circle) and all people that I know that are interested to Magento are put into that Circle. When I post something about Magento, I select that group so only they see that message and I don’t bother everyone else with Magento if they’re not interested in that. Great for better targetting an personalization!

I do see a problem arising with this though: At first: it’s gonna be hard to manage many thousands of contacts when you need to manually tag averyone with a certain circle. Second: I would mainly want to use this to not bother people with content they’re not interested, it’s not that I want to block people from not seeing it. Therefore I’d like to be able to have ‘Public’ circles so people could subscribe to my circle topics and let my friends decide on the topics they want to read, instead of me deciding for them. I do see that all circles have a ‘Private’ label but I don’t see a way to make them public at the moment. Hopefully something Google will add in the future.

Join me, get in!

Enough talk, you came for an invite! I’ve got a Google + account and by posting a message to specific mailaccounts, those accounts get an invite to Google+! Just like I did previously with invites to Quora (I invited around 400+ people there) I started handing them out, and it appears many people like to give it a try: I already send out around 50 70 120 invites!

If you’d like to give Google Plus a try too, here’s what you can do:

  1. Make sure you follow me…
  2. Place a comment bellow including the e-mail address you want to receive the invite on. I’ll do my best to invite you to Google plus within 24 hours.
  3. Be happy with you new Google Plus account :)

Do note that Google doesn’t immediately send out the e-mail invites after I added you to Google Plus. Because of the high demand, they limit the number of people getting onto the system, this is not something I have any influence over…