Sunday, September 20, 2009

6,000 Registered Collectors on Colnect - Over 44,000 People Visited Colnect Last Month

During the last month, over 44,000 people have visited Colnect. Colnect's community has been growing rapidly recently and we're now over 6,000 collectors, coming from 98 different countries and using Colnect in 38 languages. Less than two month ago Colnect has passed the 5,000 collectors mark and the road to 7,000 is expected to be shorter :)

Colnect enables collectors to easily manage their personal collection and coordinate swaps ans sales. Many collectors choose to display their collections on Colnect and so you can easily see our active Stamp collectors, Coin collectors, Banknote collectors, Bottle Cap collectors and Phonecard collectors.

In addition to Colnect's unique services to collectors, it offers relevant social networking features to allow members to communicate, become friends, rate each other and more.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Opera 10 is Opera 9.8?! A user-agent Identity Crisis

Opera 10 has been released and naturally Colnect has to be tested with it. Although all of today's browsers are "complaint", they all produce different results for the same pages.

On Colnect, there are CSS pop-up menus for both the top menu and side menu. Perhaps not the best design decision, they are yet very functional to members browsing the site. So far, only Internet Explorer (IE) was not responding properly to the top menus. IE6 or lesser doesn't support them. IE7 does support them but displays them in the wrong position for right-to-left languages. IE8 does the job properly, as well as FireFox, Chrome and Opera. Actually, that was until the new Opera 10 came out and now the right-to-left languages display the popup CSS menus displaced and unusable. Only on Opera 10 the side menu pop-ups now have problems as well.

To ensure people choosing problematic browsers don't suffer, Colnect's code checks the browser by using its USER-AGENT string. When a problematic browser is encountered, the pop-up menus will simply not appear. That's how I found out that the brand new Opera 10 tells web server it's actually Opera 9.8 engine. See for yourself:



Identity crisis for Opera?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

29% More People Watching Colnect on August! :)

Colnect is gaining some great traction. August 2009 had very good results. Below is a report from Google Analytics tracking usage of Colnect:

Over 1.8 million page views
During August 2009, Colnect has been visited by over 40,000 people watching more than 1,800,000 pages Colnect. This is a traffic growth of nearly 30% and 20% respectively compared to the previous month.

In addition, the number of registered members on Colnect grew by 10.6% on August, reaching 5,651 members on September 1st.

Why is Colnect Growing?


Colnect's website, its main product, has been constantly improving. Responding to demands by collectors, the system is becoming easier and more functional to use. Some annoying bugs have been fixed as well. This encourages "word of mouth" viral spreading. Yes, it's a bit of a pat on the back but we know there's still a lot of work ahead.
Since the winning of the Startup2.0 competition, media attention has helped the growth as well.
Some non-professional SEO has helped as well. Colnect contains a lot of original content and should be favored by search engines, given that they are properly presented with it. As the content of Colnect's catalogs is constantly growing, search engines have more Colnect pages to index.
But not all efforts were productive. These two paths followed with high hopes for incoming traffic yielded poor results: the ads on TechCrunch (Colnect's prize of the Startup2.0 competition) and Colnect's Twitter activity. Both brought a meager amount of incoming traffic with a relatively very high bounce rate, i.e users watching a single page and leaving.

Future Plans


Many planned product improvements will provide useful additional features and an overall better user experience. Many direct requests from collectors enjoying Colnect, usually the more "addicted" members, help us decide where we should be heading next.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Colnect advertising on TechCrunch - the results

As promised previously, this post will reveal the results of Colnect's advertising on TechCrunch.

A short reminder: a couple of months ago, Colnect, a unique website for collectors, has won the Startup2.0 competition in Spain. The prize chosen was an advertisement space on TechCrunch, a world known technology blog. Revealing Colnect's results may perhaps assist those who wish to make a decision on whether or not advertising on TechCrunch would be beneficial to their business.

Horrible Service
Based on our email correspondence:
* It took 1.5 months (!!!) for TechCrunch to start running Colnect's ad although it was told that they'll run it as soon as they get it. A fair share of emails were sent throughout that time and got royally ignored.
* It was told the the ads rotate randomly. The ads on TechCrunch do not rotate randomly. Either something is broken on the ad system or it's intentional. I checked hundreds of pages showing ads (at different times) and Colnect's ad never appeared on the top two rows (out of 5 rows). When repeatedly asked about it, the only answer was that they'll get back to me on it. As a compensation, they ran my ad an extra week and again promised an answer. However, until now no such answer has been received.

The Results
One last important note before revealing the results. Colnect is a unique website for collectors and TechCrunch is a technology blog. A tech-related ad on TechCrunch would probably have faired better.

Colnect's ad ran for 2 weeks and, according to Google Analytics, resulted in 800 visits with a really high bounce rate (visits that leave the site after one page) of 58%. According to my server stats there have been 1,319 total clicks on Colnect's ad coming from 990 distinct IP addresses.

Feel free to comment here if you have any questions.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Collecting Tea Bags? Colnect presents the world's first Tea Bags catalog for collectors


Tea Bags are now available on Colnect and collectors from around the world can manage their personal collection using the catalog offered on Colnect.

If you're a tea bags collector, have friends who collect tea bags or are just curious about this unique collectible, feel welcomed to browse Colnect's online wiki catalog for tea bags - the world's first!

Colnect's catalogs are created by volunteering collectors and updated constantly. Our world-unique catalog of tea bags, already with over 500 tea bags, has been contributed by one member of Colnect, Carine De Pauw [crookscarine].

Any mass-produced collectibles that collectors frequently swap, but and sell are most welcomed on Colnect and you can easily add your favorite collectibles category.

Currently, 116 collectors have already helped out to create Colnect's catalogs.

Colnect's phone card catalog is the world's most extensive, currently with over 191,000 phone cards listed! Colnect's coin catalog is the world's biggest free coins catalog, presenting over 16,000 coins. Colnect's stamp catalog is growing quickly and already has over 74,000 stamps listed. Our extensive banknote catalog lists over 16,000 banknotes and our bottle cap catalog has recently grown to nearly 11,000 bottle caps.

Link and Search

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