Items tagged with: pages
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19666148
Posted by dessant (karma: 702)
Post stats: Points: 167 - Comments: 68 - 2019-04-15T15:47:08Z
#HackerNews #adblock #arbitrary #code #execute #filter #lists #may #pages #plus #web
HackerNewsBot debug: Calculated post rank: 134 - Loop: 220 - Rank min: 100 - Author rank: 51
And it almost always works.
Article word count: 2246
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19394169
Posted by danso (karma: 106215)
Post stats: Points: 145 - Comments: 38 - 2019-03-14T21:50:15Z
#HackerNews #and #axios #facebook #nbc #pages #paid #whitewash #wikipedia
Executives at the news company Axios were outwardly unperturbed when Jonathan Swan, one of the Politico-for-kids site’s star reporters, attracted widespread condemnation last November for gloating about getting President Donald Trump to consider ending birthright citizenship.
“Our profile is going to get bigger and bigger and bigger, and we’re going to have more cool successes,” Axios editor-in-chief Nicholas Johnston told staff later. Executive editor Mike Allen acknowledged that Axios had, perhaps, erred ever so slightly, but seemed otherwise unconcerned with the criticism. “You can’t buy the amount of public exposure we got this past week for our journalism,” he wrote.
That may be true. What you can buy, however, are the services of a verbose, relentless Wikipedia editor willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that that public exposure is as flattering as possible. So, Axios did.
Axios may not have expressed its worries about its reputational problem publicly or even to its own staff, but the company did hire Ed Sussman, a former head of digital for Fast Company and Inc.com who’s now a paid Wikipedia editor at WhiteHatWiki.com, to do damage control.
Axios had previously hired Sussman to beef up its Wikipedia page (mostly with benign — if largely flattering — stats about Axios’ accomplishments) in February 2018. A week after Swan’s Trump interview aired, Sussman was hard at work on the reporter’s Wikipedia page, arguing that the entry was unfair to Swan and used “sensationalistic language” instead of the “dispassionate voice” Wikipedia requires. To correct the issue, he suggested a total overhaul of the description.
About a month later, Sussman proposed a list of extensive edits to Swan’s page. Some were clearly in service of his original argument about the Trump interview; others, such as his suggestion that Wikipedia editors add an “Awards and Honors” section, seemed focused on promoting Swan himself. He also asked editors to remove a sentence noting that Swan had once incorrectly reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had verbally resigned. Sussman then suggested the following paragraph be placed in its stead:
On September 24, 2018, he was the first to report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had verbally resigned and published the Rosenstein exit statement that the Justice Department sent to the White House. The story was later updated to clarify that is was uncertain if the White House had accepted the resignation, which it ultimately did not. Swan later said he had given the resignation story unwarranted certainty.
Most of Sussman’s changes were approved.
The vast majority of the people who propose and make changes to Wikipedia are volunteers. A few people, however, have figured out how to manipulate Wikipedia’s supposedly neutral system to turn a profit.
That’s Sussman’s business. And in just the past few years, companies including Axios, NBC, Nextdoor and Facebook’s PR firm have all paid him to manipulate public perception using a tool most people would never think to check.
Wikipedia Editing For Fun And Profit!
Wikipedia’s rules can feel dense and impenetrable and are phenomenally boring to talk about, but it helps to know a little about the site’s structure to understand exactly what Sussman does. So bear with me.
One of Wikipedia’s more well-known rules is its prohibition on editing pages that you have any sort of direct connection to. This, along with the fact that it’s humiliating to get caught editing your own Wikipedia page, is usually enough of a deterrent to companies and public figures looking to inject a positive spin. But those looking to get around the site’s conflict of interest rules aren’t totally without options. Anyone, even someone financially tied to the subject in question, is allowed to merely suggest edits in the hopes that a less conflicted editor might come by, agree, and implement the changes for them. This is where a paid editor like Sussman comes in.
On his website, Sussman identifies himself as “a journalist, lawyer, academic and technology entrepreneur” who “is often called upon in ‘crisis management’ situations where inaccurate or misleading information has been placed in a Wikipedia article, potentially creating severe business problems for its subject.”
And because Sussman is open about what he’s doing, he’s forced to play by Wikipedia’s rules, which means disclosing his affiliation every time he suggests an edit on behalf of a client. One risk, he warns clients, is that “an experienced Wikipedia user might check the Talk page of the article” (the section attached to every article where editors discuss issues or concerns that come up) and discover that an editor with a conflict of interest had made his mark.
In just the past few years, companies including Axios, NBC, Nextdoor and Facebook’s PR firm have all paid Sussman to manipulate public perception using a tool most people would never think to check.
In a phone call with HuffPost, Sussman repeatedly emphasized that: 1) There was no story here; 2) Everything he does is aboveboard; 3) The real problem is the paid editing that goes undisclosed.
“I am not the one sucking in the business,” he said. “The ones sucking in all the business are the firms who, when they get a call, say, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll take care of it.’ And they just take it down and they don’t do a disclosure.” Edits made by someone with an undisclosed conflict of interest are certainly rampant, but once discovered, those illicit edits are reversed. Sussman’s suggestions, because they’re allowed within Wikipedia’s guidelines, can have much more lasting influence.
Although he’s only technically allowed to suggest changes on a subject’s Talk page, Sussman has an impressive track record of getting edits approved on behalf of his clients.
Although Sussman declined to provide a complete list of clients, the fact that he’s required to disclose who signs his paychecks means all that information is out there somewhere — and just takes a little digging to find. In addition to Axios, HuffPost found Sussman making edits on behalf of Facebook, NBC and casual racism depository Nextdoor.
NBC confirmed its relationship with Sussman in an email to HuffPost. A spokesperson for Axios also confirmed its relationship with Sussman, adding, “Axios hired him to correct factual inaccuracies. Pretty sure lots of people do this.” Facebook and Nextdoor have not yet responded to requests for comment.
Facebook’s PR agency paid Sussman to tweak Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s page. Those successful (if mild) changes weren’t the totality of his Facebook work, though. He also spent over a year lobbying Wikipedia’s editors to create a page for Facebook’s global head of PR, Caryn Marooney, despite being repeatedly turned down over her lack of notability. But Sussman, to many editors’ dismay, is indefatigable, and he eventually triumphed.
NBC, too, apparently decided to put Sussman’s service to use in the aftermath of The New Yorker’s bombshell Harvey Weinstein report and, later, the allegations of sexual misconduct against Matt Lauer.
Several NBC employees, including Meet the Press host Chuck Todd and NBC Chairman Andy Lack, benefited from Sussman’s intervention, too. In one proposed edit, Sussman attempted to argue that on NBC News’ Wikipedia page, the mention of criticism directed at NBC over its handling of Matt Lauer constituted a violation of Wikipedia’s rules, since “it does not summarize the opposing point of view.”
Here’s the paragraph Sussman took issue with:
Ronan Farrow’s story about the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations was developed at NBC News in 2017; the company chose not to publish it and Farrow took the story to the The New Yorker which published it after the New York Times broke the story. The NBC News organization was criticized for not publishing the Weinstein story and were further criticized when news broke of the sexual harassment claims against Matt Lauer.
And here’s just some of what Sussman proposed instead:
Today Show host Matt Lauer was fired in November 2017, about 36 hours after a formal sexual misconduct complaint was lodged against him. Some said the issue was well-handled because Lauer was fired swiftly and management began an organization-wide discussion of sexual harassment, but others were critical of NBC for not knowing about Lauer’s alleged behavior.
In other words, the criticism Sussman includes in his “more balanced approach” is, essentially, that people were mad over the fact that NBC is not omniscient. (That is not what they were mad about.)
Just the other week, Sussman proposed that editors remove a portion of Chuck Todd’s page that mentioned a potentially embarrassing 2016 Daily Caller report about an invitation found in the leaked emails of former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. According to the invite, Todd and his wife had hosted a dinner for Hillary Clinton’s then-communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, and her husband. Sussman asked that editors remove any mention of the report from Todd’s page because Wikipedia had previously (and correctly) determined the Daily Caller to be an unreliable source and, according to Sussman, “it is not sourced elsewhere.”
This, however, is untrue. The invitation was reported in both the Observer and The Florida Times-Union, in addition to the invitation’s appearance on WikiLeaks itself.
But because Sussman’s stated complaints all aligned with Wikipedia’s guidelines, the section was removed.
How To Win Arguments And Exhaust People
Sussman’s main strategy for convincing editors to make the changes his clients want is to cite as many tangentially related rules as possible (he is, after all, a lawyer). When that doesn’t work, though, his refusal to ever back down usually will.
He often replies to nearly every single bit of pushback with walls of text arguing his case. Trying to get through even a fraction of it is exhausting, and because Wikipedia editors are unpaid, there’s little motivation to continue dealing with Sussman’s arguments. So he usually gets his way.
In January of last year, for instance, you would have found this section on the page for NBC News president Noah Oppenheim.
Sussman took exception to the section, explaining why in a punchy 700-word screed, which masochists can read here.
Assuming you are unable to make it through that, though, Sussman’s argument is, essentially, that this allegation doesn’t deserve its own section, that the citation on the first sentence doesn’t support the sentence’s claim, and that the last sentence is unsourced.
That first citation linked to Ronan Farrow’s October 2017 New Yorker story detailing the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, which does indeed fail to mention Oppenheim or NBC. However, HuffPost reported later that month that Oppenheim had made the decision to kill Farrow’s story at NBC ― a fact Sussman conveniently omitted while picking and choosing from Wikipedia’s catalog of rules to build his case.
After a bit of a back-and-forth between Sussman and an editor who goes by Jytdog, Jytdog appeared to become fed up with Sussman’s needling, writing that “the current content is fine. NBC news owns plenty of platforms to broadcast its PR about not getting this story. The article communicates that they had it and did not publish it.”
The discussion of Sussman’s suggestions quickly becomes hard to follow —Oppenheim’s Talk page is currently about 12,000 words long. The actual entry is less than one-tenth of that. Ultimately, though, a comment period was opened to discuss the section, and despite Jytdog’s urgings, a majority of editors decided to leave the information off Oppenheim’s page.
A bit of digging into the editors that voted to oppose the section, however, reveals a peculiar little pattern. Like Wikipedia’s subject pages, each editor also has his or her own general page, in addition to a corresponding Talk page. Looking through the Talk page histories of the editors who sided with Sussman reveals that Sussman directly petitioned a number of them to weigh in. When viewed in Wikipedia’s user logs, it looks like this:
Again, because Sussman has a conflict of interest as a paid consultant, Wikipedia’s rules forbid him from making edits to one of his client’s Wikipedia pages directly. The only way Sussman can make good on his promise to his clients, then, is by enlisting sympathetic editors. Editors who side with him are usually burdened with more requests down the line.
Although Wikipedia doesn’t technically forbid reaching out to others to ask for their insight, it does forbid petitioning editors to weigh in “with the intention of influencing the outcome of a discussion in a particular way.” Editors will periodically catch on to Sussman’s activities and admonish him on his Talk page.
Posts calling attention to Sussman’s lobbying of other editors rarely stay up for more than a week. According to his Talk page history, Sussman deletes criticism frequently and any record of it in his user logs often gets buried by his prolific posting and editing.
Usually, though, these warnings against Sussman’s petitioning are ignored. Last May, for instance, Sussman proposed that a section on the page for Nextdoor “about a misdemeanor traffic offense by Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia should be removed” for irrelevance. The CEO’s “misdemeanor traffic offense” was originally charged as a felony hit-and-run after he allegedly swerved unexpectedly into another lane of traffic, caused a crash, and bolted. The charges were only reduced after Tolia claimed not to know that he was supposed to stay at the scene of the crash. Sussman solicited input from a number of editors, and the section was ultimately removed.
On Sussman’s website’s FAQ page, he notes that even when he requests changes, “the article looks exactly the same” to an outsider.
His success rate, he brags, is 100 percent.
HackerNewsBot debug: Calculated post rank: 109 - Loop: 387 - Rank min: 100 - Author rank: 88
Amazon and others found that 100 milliseconds of latency is responsible for 1% in sales. But latency on the web is hard to overcome. Cheating latency instant.page uses just-in-time preloading — it…
Article word count: 37
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19122727
Posted by dieulot (karma: 1630)
Post stats: Points: 149 - Comments: 50 - 2019-02-09T15:30:00Z
\#HackerNews #instant #make #minute #pages #show #sites #your
Amazon and others found that 100 milliseconds of latency is responsible for 1% in sales. But latency on the web is hard to overcome.
instant.page uses just-in-time preloading — it preloads a page right before a user clicks on it.
Before a user clicks on a link, they hover their mouse over that link. When a user has hovered for 65 ms there is one chance out of two that they will click on that link, so instant.page starts preloading at this moment, leaving on average over 300 ms for the page to preload.
On mobile, a user starts touching their display before releasing it, leaving on average 90 ms to preload the page.
You can also click the menu to experience it.
Cheating the brain
The humain brain perceives actions taking less than 100 ms as instant. As a result, instant.page makes your site feel instant even on 3G (assuming your pages are fast to render).
Jakob Nielsen: Response Times: The 3 Important Limits:
0.1 second is about the limit for having the user feel that the system is reacting instantaneously, meaning that no special feedback is necessary except to display the result.
Easy on your server and your user’s data plan
Pages are preloaded only when there’s a good chance that a user is going to visit them, and it preloads only the HTML of that page, being respectful of your users’ and servers’ bandwidth and CPU. It’s 1 kB and loads after everything else. And it’s free and open source (MIT license).
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BFS-Auto can achieve high-speed and high-definition book digitization at over 250 pages/min using the original media format. This performance is realized by three key points: high-speed fully…
Article word count: 340
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18748501
Posted by jacquesm (karma: 147046)
Post stats: Points: 108 - Comments: 27 - 2018-12-23T21:37:44Z
\#HackerNews #2008 #250 #books #minute #pages #scanning
BFS-Auto can achieve high-speed and high-definition book digitization at over 250 pages/min using the original media format. This performance is realized by three key points: high-speed fully-automated page flipping, real-time 3D recognition of the flipped pages, and high-accuracy restoration to a flat document image.
- High-speed page flipping machine at 250 pages/min The automated flipping machine can provide high-speed and labor-saving style of book digitization. The key point is to design the mechanism not to cause obstruction for the scanner while maintaining full speed. The developed system can flip and scan the book at over 250 pages/min without modifying the book by cutting. Therefore, we can finish a book (250 page) within a minute.
- High-speed & high-definition book digitization based on real-time 3D recognition Our system continuously observes 3D deformation of the each flipped page at 500 times per second, and recognizes the best moment for book image digitization at the highest quality using the newly constructed original algorithm in real-time. At this recognized moment, the high-definition camera captures the document so that both high-speed and high-definition performance all is realized. The definition performance is enhanced to 400 pixels per inch. This technology enables high-speed and high-definition digitization with the speed of the developed flipping machine without missing any pages.
- Real-time 3D restoration to a flat document image This system has a technology to restore a captured image which is distorted because of page curling to a flat original document image by using the captured image and the obtained 3D deformation. This systemʼs new improvement to processing speed allows real-time restoration for capturing books. In the diagram at the left, before and after images show the restoration process.
IFrame If you want to use the original video, please send an e-mail for copyright permission to email@example.com .
* Shohei Noguchi, Masahiro Yamada, Yoshihiro Watanabe and Masatoshi Ishikawa: Real-time 3D Page Tracking and Book Status Recognition for High-speed Book Digitization based on Adaptive Capturing, IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision 2014, 2014. Best Paper Award
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Write copy that delights visitors, persuades prospects, and wins customers.
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18713844
Posted by HeinZawHtet (karma: 365)
Post stats: Points: 151 - Comments: 38 - 2018-12-19T07:27:28Z
\#HackerNews #copy #for #landing #pages #writing
In the beginning, there’s the landing page.
It’s often a company’s first impression: a digital introduction to an organization, the problem it tackles, and the solutions it offers. The sophistication of landing pages can vary. Some companies use their homepage as a landing page. Others create specific pages that target discrete customer profiles and move them through a marketing funnel.
Landing pages also take various forms depending on the growth stage of a company. But that’s one of the common missteps that I see: landing pages prioritize the story of the startup, rather than the journey of the customer with the startup.
Landing page copy improves the more customers see themselves in it. Rethink and revise your landing page by building it around three elements. If that’s too much effort and you’re looking for fast fixes, the following tips will improve your current landing page copy.
Quick wins for better landing page copy
Focus copy on them. Landing pages often say “we offer” or “our solution,” which focuses on the wrong thing—your company, not your customers. Go through each sentence in your copy and rewrite it to address your customers. One way to do this is to begin with the word “you.” Another tip is to start your sentence with a verb. Focusing on them nearly guarantees that your copy will address—and speak to—your visitor. Here’s a good example of what this looks like:
modern fertility screenshot
The only possible exception to leading with “you” in your copy is if you’re a service business, where prospects want to see what you do differently as a service provider. That’s often expressed as “we” language. But it doesn’t have to be. It just very often is.
Add pattern, texture, and shine to a block of copy. Accurate, succinct, and grammatically correct copy can still feel flat. Patterns, texture, and shine can add another dimension to your copy, making it more engaging and memorable. Here’s how:
\* Apply a pattern to a sentence. Patterns may be used to subtly reference a logo or map out a theme. Take a logistics company that transports goods by railway. Perhaps it not only wants to deliver a message, but also simulate a train with a pattern of evenly spaced dots in a horizontal line. To mimic that visual, rewrite landing page copy to link only words of similar length, such as three- or four-letter words. \* Vary sentence length and formatting to create texture. Texture can make copy feel more conversational, natural, and engaging. To create texture, write a smooth, polished sentence and juxtapose it with a more staccato sentence. Throw in some short sentences. More. More. And maybe one more. And then add a sentence that goes a lot longer, using clauses to lure your reader along. Then stop. The result? Texture. \* Include a glossy word or two for shine. Polish might mean swapping in a few new words. Find a bland word in your copy, and replace it with a more dazzling synonym. Take the Collective Retreats landing page copy below. Instead of “Find destinations without losing luxury,” try “Explore extraordinary destinations without sacrificing luxury.” The bright adjective and stronger verbs adds punch to the copy.
collective retreats screenshot
Defang objections with an “even if” clause. If you can anticipate what might keep someone from believing your claim or assertion, undercut that opposition by acknowledging it. It’ll hint that you understand their fear, uncertainty, and doubt—and suggest that your solution takes those considerations into account. The formula is simple: “ [Claim]even if [objection].” A very simple example is: “Be creative even if you’re not creative.” Here’s an “even if” clause in the wild:
Limit each sentence to one idea. Sentences have the capacity to carry a lot of information, but your reader cannot. Your readers depend on periods, question marks, and even exclamation marks to give their brains a short rest—just enough of a reprieve to absorb information before moving on. The more you help readers with information digestion, the more appetite they’ll have to read on. So edit every sentence to have just one thought. Not two. Not three. Apple is skilled at this technique, but even it has opportunities:
apple tv screenshot
Take its copy for Apple TV 4K. Most of the sentences don’t qualify as sentences, but they absolutely follow the rule. Here’s the one that doesn’t: “Apple TV 4K lets you watch movies and shows in amazing 4K HDR—and now it completes the picture with immersive sound from Dolby Atmos.” This sentence merges two distinct features. The average reader would be better able to take in the information if that sentence was broken in two:
Apple TV 4K lets you watch movies and shows in amazing 4K HDR. It’s got immersive sound from Dolby Atmos. Streams your favorite channels live. Has great content from apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and ESPN. And thanks to Siri, you can control it all with just your voice.
Create a landing page that’s not your homepage. If you’ve recently created a website for your company, your landing page might be your homepage, but they’re two different creatures. A landing page is designed to convert prospects into customers. It speaks to visitors looking for something specific, features content relevant to that particular item, and contains a call-to-action customized to that precise offering. On the other hand, a homepage serves a broad audience, features widely-relevant content, and may not have an immediate CTA.
More sophisticated companies will route visitors who, say, search for products for large companies to a page geared toward enterprises rather than a homepage with general information. If you have a website with more than one page—or a more advanced information architecture and sitemap—consider linking to the page on your site that best addresses a visitor’s intent.
The foundational elements of effective landing page copy
First, the spoiler: landing page copy is never done. Like your company, it will—and should—evolve over time. It’s an iterative process, and can always be improved. There are hundreds of copywriting formulas (many of them documented here) that can help you craft a headline, draft bullets, or structure a CTA. But if you don’t have the fundamentals down, the improvement will be incremental, not game-changing.
Copy for a high-performing landing page has three foundational qualities:
It delivers a convincing first impression for the startup. At a fundamental level, this involves direct, specific, and grammatically-correct copy. That level of precision and professionalism sets expectations and raises the bar for future engagements with a company’s product and team.
It considers the maturity of the market. Every market—like every company—is in its own stage of development. Companies in highly mature markets can use short copy, because most visitors already get the ins-and-outs of the solution or category (e.g. disposable razors). Their focus should be on product differentiators, the brand story, and who’s using it. If a market is still emerging (e.g. cryptocurrency in 2018) customers likely need more information, because a company is not only educating about its solution, but also helping define the category more broadly.
It reflects the customer’s stage of awareness. Effective landing page copy mirrors customer comprehension, which is layered and includes: how well a customer understands the challenge the company addresses (e.g. data privacy), what’s at stake (e.g. personal data and/or compliance), the changing landscape (e.g. GDPR), and tools that help (e.g. a specific product).
In short, great copy demonstrates that a company grasps how aware customers are of the market, its pain points, and potential solutions. The best copy does all that and signals that the company is clued into precisely how aware the customers are of themselves. Here are the five stages of awareness for any visitor to your landing page:
\* Most aware. Visitors totally understand your solution and likely believe it’s a top contender for them. They just needs nudging. Purchases happen here. \* Product-aware. Visitors are learning about your product. Free trials, demos, and purchases happen here. \* Solution-aware. Visitors are considering solutions to their pain or problem. \* Problem-aware. Visitors are feeling pain or dealing with a problem. \* Unaware. Visitors haven’t experienced a need that would drive them to your solution.
Landing page copy reflects the customer if you can answer “yes” to the following questions:
\* Is the language accessible and does it mirror a visitor’s stage of awareness? \* Does the copy move them from where they are to where they want to be? \* Are visitors prompted to take action once they become Product-aware or Most aware?
The elements of landing page copy in action
Every landing page should deliver a convincing first impression, consider the maturity of the market, and reflect the customer’s stage of awareness. The best way to see how the absence or presence of these elements alter a landing page is to review real-life examples. So, with the three foundational elements in mind, I’ve evaluated the landing pages of nine companies—from member management software to a vegan candy brand to a court date notification service. Here goes:
First impression: make an accurate, trust-building, and lasting introduction.
What it does: Modern editor for videos, GIFs, and images
Landing Page Challenge: Copy that’s short, but vague
The Fix to Apply: Get specific—but, first, scroll down
The headline—”Creativity made easy”— raises this question: Are people who’d use this solution not creative? The phrase suggests that it’s hard for your audience to be creative. Is that true?
The page falls victim to the myth that copy must be kept short at all costs. Many startups write three- or four-word headlines that try to say everything. It reduces the elevator pitch to a hiccup. Along the way, we tell ourselves we’re being succinct because we understand that being succinct is good when it comes to communication.
But are you being succinct or are you being vague? Worse, are you sacrificing a clear message for a short one? Your headline is prime real estate. Let it do some real work—it’s made for it.
Think back to your last ten conversations with a customer or prospect. (If you haven’t had at least ten, do that first.) At what point in the conversation did they perk up? That’s the fodder for a good headline—at least one that’s worth testing. That’s what should top your landing page.
With headlines, don’t take rich, nuanced feedback from customers and whittle it down to the smallest possible version. Instead listen. Write down what you hear. And put it on the page. You’ll clean it up so it’s on brand and persuasive, but it shouldn’t be boiled down.
The concern in boiling it down is that you’ll get too vague. Kapwing’s tools run the gamut. They make memes, add subtitles to video, create montages and more. If you’re the marketing team, the temptation is to look at everything Kapwing does, plot it in a Venn diagram, and promote the overlapping part: the quality that all features, uses cases and outputs have in common. That’s likely how “Creativity made easy” emerged.
That’s how mediocre headlines surface—and it happens surprisingly often, even to the most copy-savvy startups. Many founders use more effective headlines in their verbal elevator pitches or elsewhere in copy. That’s the case for Kapwing; the better options for a headline are further down in the copy:
Tasks that take hours in iMovie take minutes in Kapwing.
No install. No passwords. No technical tutorials. It works on every OS, on your phone, and your computer.
Bring on the memes.
Creative jobs that take hours in iMovie take just minutes in Kapwing.
Either copy expresses the ease of being creative in Kapwing in a specific, compelling way—and serve as entry points to its other suite of tools. These messages should lead the page as a headline. Hidden headline copy happens to many businesses. It’s not that companies can’t generate good headlines; they’ve likely just buried them.
What it does: Free website monitoring
Landing Page Challenge: We-focused copy
The Fix to Apply: "The Rule of You"
This headline works, as long as visitors arrive on the page knowing what WebGazer is and does. The copy might suffice if this is a retargeting page.
But what if it’s not? Let’s start with the phrase: “We help you keep your business running.” The very first word (“we”) is a problem. We-focused copy is an issue—almost without fail. It communicates from the perspective of the company, not the customer. It’s the equivalent of a person introducing themselves and dominating the airspace with their story. Correct “we-focused” copy by rewriting every sentence to begin with the word “you” or a verb. Here’s how WebGazer can change three sentences on its landing page:
We-focused copy You-focused copy
We monitor your sites without a rest, see what we have done today yourself. You can rest easy. Because we’ll monitor your site without rest.
WebGazer checks if your website is up as it should be and notifies you if anything goes wrong. Keep your online business running without interruption. WebGazer monitors it night and day. And notifies you if anything goes wrong.
We help you keep your business running. How would you know if your website was suddenly down?
What it does: Automated reporting for sponsored content
Landing Page Challenge: A timely call to action
The Fix to Apply: AIDA
influence kit screenshot
My first impression is how much is right with this landing page copy. It reads well and follows some of the strongest copywriting better practices, including:
\* Removing distracting calls to action (e.g. no global navigation) \* Hooking visitors immediately with a highly desirable benefit (why they should care) \* Expanding on the benefit with product-specific support (how the product does it) \* Formatting copy for maximum readability (the three paragraphs of body copy under “You have a blog?” is a manageable column to read instead of spanning the width of the page, which is extremely fatiguing for the reading eye.) \* Using a voice that is present but not overwhelming (With few exceptions, they’ve used their voice in crossheads only, minimizing ‘interruptions’ in how readers process information.) \* Leading with “you” wherever possible \* Making sentences short, and easy to consume
The landing point copy has done so much right—the challenge is that it hasn’t cashed in on it. After making a convincing argument to the prospect, it forgets to end with a CTA. The AIDA framework can help outline this progression and missed opportunity.
AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
Grab their attention. In this case, InfluenceKit starts to build trust and empathy by clearly articulating the problem many bloggers face: demonstrating value from content. The copy reads:
...it’s really hard proving to brands how much value you’re delivering.
Build up their interest in the subject. Here, the copy deepens that understanding by elaborating on the problem, causing readers to nod along and more fully recognize themselves in the challenge. This shared understanding builds further interest. The copy continues:
Yes, it’s about the content, but it’s also about knowing how many lives were impacted by what you created.
We all like to know where our moneyʼs going (dang you Target!!). Brands are just like us; they want to know what theyʼre getting for their investment. Reporting impressions is the industry standard for internet marketing, and up until now, bloggers have been a black hole of information.
Your blog is more than just pretty pictures, you have real influence. You know it, and we know it, and together we’re going to prove it.
Turn that casual interest into a direct desire for them to add the solution to their lives. The solution that’s offered is succinct and clear. The copy reads:
Show Your Real Influence with Powerful and Dynamic Reports
Call them to action. There’s a CTA, but it’s in the wrong place. It’s buried beneath a list of integrations, the four-step process to set-up InfluenceKit, an infographic on the two types of bloggers, and a Meet-the-Team section. Finally, there’s a call to action:
Ready to Prove Your Value & Make More Money? Request Access Now. (Secret handshake to follow)
The copy has sufficiently made a case for action by the end of the four-part “How Does InfluenceKit Work?” section. Here, I’d expect—and encourage—a closer section, featuring:
\* A restatement of the value prop \* A quick bullet list of results generated by the solution \* A powerful screenshot \* A CTA \* A testimonial from a blogger or sponsor \* A data point about average results
Perhaps InfluenceKit is a newer company, which is why there’s no data yet for how it’s paying off. But there’s power in being new. I’d suggest the founders share their own story and results thanks to InfluenceKit—being transparent all along that they’re the founders—to demonstrate that others can also benefit. Part of making a lasting first impression is creating a window for not only a prospect to relate, but act, and interact. That turns an impression into a relationship.
Market maturity: reflect the state of your market in your copy.
What it does: Digital-first vegan candy brand
Landing Page Challenge: The model to try or demo
The Fix to Apply: Map your market over your first customer engagement
The “Try Now” language at the top of the landing page—and throughout the site—is confusing. But what’s more puzzling is the idea of a trial for this product.
For the mainstream consumer, trials are not typical in the world of buying candy. By offering a trial, you’ve effectively taken a super-sophisticated market of buyers—people who’ve bought candy, understand buying candy, and just wanna get vegan candy—and introduced doubt. Suddenly visitors are asking small questions that escalate into bigger concerns:
\* What does a trial mean in the world of candy? \* Try food that’s shipped to me? Do I ship it back? \* Will I get a sample or a full-sized product? \* Wait. Is this a subscription I’ll have to work to get out of? \* Do I even want spicy candy?
And just like that, they’re gone.
Your visitors go from wanting to give this spicy vegan candy a shot to hitting the back button and feeling relief that they got out of there as quickly as they did.
Nomba’s copy has a new challenge: it needs to deal with the “problem” of prospective customers not understanding the trial model for a food item. Here’s how it can do that:
\* First, know that you have to address the problem. But you do not have to go into great detail to address it. After all, this is a $5 treat or $15 investment in sugar. \* Second, ask: what’s the easiest, quickest way is to address the problem? Often, it’s in naming. Sometimes product features are better explained by renaming them and pricing tiers are better explained by re-labeling each tier. In this case, the trial may be better grokked by renaming it to sample pack or sampler.
Now the “Try Now” CTA could become any of the following:
\* Get the Sampler \* Sample Nomba \* Sample It
Nomba should keep that new language consistent throughout each product page and checkout to avoid further confusion. Any startup that offers demos or trials to win customers should craft their copy with not only their customer, but their existing market in mind. The market part of product/market fit also matters.
What it does: Event management software
Landing Page Challenge: Overemphasis on the solution, not the problem
The Fix to Apply: PAS framework
The prospects for event management software may already recognize the need for a solution, but if not, this landing page needs more education on the challenges of planning events. After all, there’s a lot of complexity in running events: multiple stakeholders, shifting timelines, numerous vendors, and changing agendas. The list goes on.
The landing page starts out relatively strong with a benefit-driven headline and a product-level value proposition:
The easier way to plan events.
Eve allows your entire team to plan, execute and review your events, all in one place — without changing your existing workflow.
Leading with a value proposition is the standard choice for SaaS companies. That’s fine, but a lot of marketers struggle with what should go next on the page. For a product like eve—where it’s easy for the prospect and the whole world to minimize the pain of event planning until you’re two days away from the event and panicking—I’d recommend moving swiftly from discussing the value prop to outlining and fleshing out the problem eve solves.
It may seem like that’s accomplished with the first crosshead under the hero:
Easy software to end event stress
But that crosshead leads with the solution (“easy software”) when it ought to focus entirely on the pain (“event stress”). The PAS—or Problem, Agitation, Solution—framework helps lay out copy in a way that it zeroes in on the driving force behind choosing a painkiller solution like eve: the pain.
My biggest advice is choosing copy that doesn’t glide over that pain. So swap this:
"How hard could it be to plan and coordinate a live event?"
"How hard could it be to plan and coordinate a two-day conference with 20 speakers from around the globe and 500 attendees?"
The first option is safe. The second option is sticky.
Too often we try to boil everything down to its safest version. And we sacrifice specific, sticky copy that might actually hook and convert actual prospects. It’s not our fault. Everyone we know is writing safe copy. If we go bold, we’re taking a risk.
Test it and see, but my encouragement is to go for it. Rare is the business that makes waves today without either 1) a huge marketing budget to overcome their safe messaging or 2) a memorable way of connecting with people. Endeavor to be uncomfortably specific with your prospects. It shows you’re in touch with the precise pain felt by the professionals in your market.
What it does: Editing and proofreading services for English documents
Landing Page Challenge: Understanding scale and results
The Fix to Apply: Visualize—don’t just display—data
Overall, the copy on this page is strong. But copy is not always words, but numbers.
Further down the page, there is some impressive proof of impact on clients served, words proofread and editors in action:
These are striking figures, but they also come with complications.
First, I’m sure I’m not the only person who misread 1.6B as 1.6M. That sounds like a lot, but how many documents does that mean? Is it 10,000+ ESL papers for academics or 100,000 essays for undergraduates?
I suggest keeping the data as is, but adding in a visual that shows the scale of the achievement. Here’s one way to back into a compelling visual via a quick calculation: 1.6B words is actually 6.4M pages. That’s 318,939 millimeters. That’s 1,046 feet. That’s amazing. That’s more than half the size of the CN Tower in Canada—or insert your local landmark relevant to your audience.
Help your prospects visualize the work you’ve done—and don’t be afraid to reference something outside your market to make the case for your market. Numbers are good. But I believe the saying goes: whoever draws a picture wins.
Customer awareness: map your customers’ awareness.
Company: Join It
What it does: Member management software
Landing Page Challenge: Assumes visitor is solution-aware
The Fix to Apply: Shift to the mindset of a solution-aware prospect
join it screenshot
This headline—Membership Management Software—is great for search engine optimization (SEO), but it’s so technical that it’s jarring, especially as the first three bold words on the page.
For a headline like “Membership Management Software” to work, its prospects need to be sophisticated and “solution-aware.” Here’s where that stacks on the five stages of awareness:
\* Most aware. Visitors totally understand your solution and likely believe it’s a top contender for them. They just need nudging. Purchases happen here. \* Product-aware. Visitors are learning about your product. Free trials, demos and purchases happen here. \* Solution-aware. Visitors are considering solutions to their pain or problem. \* Problem-aware. Visitors are feeling pain or dealing with a problem. \* Unaware. Visitors haven’t experienced a need that would drive them to your solution.
If prospects are solution-aware, they’re actively seeking “membership management software” and would easily call it that. However, Join It is eliminating a segment of prospects by only addressing solution-aware visitors. By finessing headlines and copy to match the problems or state of mind of prospects, Join It can open its aperture to capture more potential customers. Here’s how that might look with tweaks to copy:
Solution-aware prospect’s state of mind on arrival Corresponding headline copy
I’ve heard that membership management software can help me automate all the community stuff I’m struggling with Now You Can Automate Community Engagement with Easy Membership Management Software
Fast-Growing Organizations Need Membership Management Software That:
I need membership management software that does this big list of stuff * Brings your community together
* Works intuitively
* Automates your tasks
* Scales as you grow
I’m thinking of switching from X membership management software, which I don’t like because of Y Put an End to Y with Easy Membership Management Software That Scales
Should I be terrified of all the work that’s about to come when I introduce a membership management solution in my organization? Membership management software
How Much Easier Would Growing Your Business Be If You Could Automate Your Community?
A shift from solution-aware language to the state-of-mind of a prospect may seem like you’re downshifting to a problem-aware visitor. This stage of visitor might seem further from a product-aware prospect, where a sale can occur.
But given the market maturity for membership management software, Join It will open its top-of-the-funnel to more prospects if it makes its headline more accessible to more visitors. And it’ll still be relatable to solution-aware and product-aware prospects.
What it does: Marketplace for unused or underutilized parking spaces
Landing Page Challenge: Incorrect assumptions about the visitor
The Fix to Apply: The Rule of One
park pnp screenshot
A key part of customer awareness is understanding the context and drive for their visit—all of which should be reflected in the copy and experience of a page. That nuance can be the difference between a visitor identifying you as a hero in their lives—or a villain.
In the case of Parkpnp, context and drive are pivotal factors for its solution. An app that allows you to find a parking space might be used in advance of an anticipated painful parking experience, such as major sporting events. But it’s more likely to be used in the heat of the moment, when the pain for a prospect is most visceral and distractions abound.
In short, most people will use Parkpnp when they are driving their cars looking for a place to park in a busy area. Their pain is high. Their motivation to solve the pain is high.
They need a hero.
Is your site a hero or a villain in that moment?
The current hero section copy and experience sets up the solution to be more the villain than the hero. First, it puts work on the user’s plate by asking for an address—which holds true on both mobile and desktop. But perhaps more glaringly, it makes assumptions about what “perfect” means to the user. In fact, perfect parking could mean:
\* It’s near where I am now. \* It’s closest to my final destination. \* It’s available now. \* It’s available regularly / always. \* It allows overnight parking. \* It’s the cheapest option in the vicinity. \* It’s free. \* It accepts credit card payments. \* It’s patrolled by security. \* It’s covered. \* It has extra-wide parking spots. \* It doesn’t require parallel parking. \* It’s got special needs access.
The word “perfect” is trying to cover all manner of desires in the headline for this page. But perfect for User A may not be perfect for User B. This is where the business needs to make a decision: What’s the primary prospect’s top definition of perfect parking in the moment they use the solution?
This question gets to the heart of what copywriters call the Rule of One, which holds that you are always writing a landing page with the following four points identified first:
\* Your One Reader \* Your One Big Idea (or culture-shifting idea) \* Your One Promise (or desirable measurable outcome) \* Your One Offer
Of all parts of the Rule of One, your One Reader is the most important. You can’t write an effective page without first identifying your One Reader. Once you know your One Reader well, you know what pains drive them, what benefits they’re looking for, what offer they’re most likely to respond best to, what kinds of social proof will move them—the list goes on. You do not have to get incredibly detailed on your One Reader, but you do have to know them well enough to look at the above list of definitions of perfect parking and know which one they would choose if they could only choose one.
The one they would use is the one you use.
In the case of Parkpnp, if the One Reader defines perfect parking as parking that’s near where I am now, the headline would change and so would the CTA. Here’s how:
Headline FIND YOUR PERFECT PARKING SPACE FIND AN AVAILABLE PARKING SPACE NEARBY NOW
Primary CTA Field: Where would you like to park? Button: Find Parking Near Me Now
Button: Find Parking
Subordinate CTA Button: Find Parking Nearby Link: Find Parking for a Future Date, Event, or Long-Term Need
That’s how your site goes from being a villain to being a hero.
Now, if your One Reader would define perfect parking as parking near my work that doesn’t cost half my paycheck or safe parking for my daughter who’s away at college—that is, if they’re planning for future parking needs—the headline and experience would change accordingly, of course. You don’t have to get that specific. But if you can get that specific in your headline, you’re more likely to convert your visitor. The alternative is writing a headline that serves a huge range of audiences. But, be forewarned: a hero to all is a boring character—and more likely to be ineffectual for the business.
Company: eCourt Date
What it does: Timely, digital court date reminders
Landing Page Challenge: Unclear who the user is
The Fix to Apply: "Ideal for" statement
e court date screenshot
Here’s the first—and most important—question about eCourt Date’s landing page: do people land on this page and know if the service is meant for them?
One of the cleanest, easiest ways to optimize your copy is to use an “ideal for” statement. That statement can appear anywhere on your site, but it’s best that it appears closer to the top of your landing page. That’s especially true for a service like eCourt Date, where the user is unclear. It might be for lawyers, police officers, the court, defendants and plaintiffs—maybe even those serving jury duty.
Whichever one it is, put that on the page in an ideal-for statement, like:
Ideal for lawyers with criminal and DUI cases
If it’s for more than one user, that’s fine. Put those names on the page:
Ideal for criminal lawyers, traffic cops, and courthouse administrators
From there, the headline and subhead in the hero have context and communicate the service more clearly. To enhance the copy, take a few extra steps. Answer why it matters and add proof that you’ve done it. This rule is known as “So What”/”Prove it.”
Here’s how the copy might look with those two elements addressed:
Ideal for busy courthouse administrators
Send Court Date Reminders.
Reduce Failure to Appear Rates.
Notify defendants about court dates and other legal events. So you save up to 20 hours per month of court staff time. Reduce court no-shows by 33%. And humanize the defendant experience.
Bolster this copy with testimonials from previously frustrated and now happy court staff or judges. These improvements all stem from articulating the ideal user for the service at the onset.
Take the first step with your landing page copy
Landing page copy is an underleveraged, powerful tool. Done right, it builds brand, engenders trust, and sells product—to anyone with an internet connection, on their schedule. But it’s not automatic. Landing page copy must deliver a convincing first impression, consider the maturity of the market, and reflect the customer’s stage of awareness. It must meet prospects where they are and get them to where they—and the business—want them to be. Once it does, hand waves became high fives, and high fives turn into handshakes—and conversions can happen without much human intervention.
Don’t overthink where you should start. Just get started. A landing page can—and must—always improve. If you have limited time and resources, run through the quick wins to make tweaks that generate outsized gains. If you have more time, revamp your copy to orient around making a lasting impression, the maturity of the market, and customer awareness.
Landing page copy is only one channel to the customer. Get tips on email marketing, or hone your cold emails and calls with this guide on finding your first customers. If there’s a related topic you wish we’d cover, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A few months ago, British Airways’ customers had their credit card details stolen. How was this possible? The best guess goes something like this: BA had 3rd party JS on its payment page The …
Article word count: 669
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18559786
Posted by edent (karma: 9495)
Post stats: Points: 124 - Comments: 58 - 2018-11-29T12:46:31Z
A few months ago, British Airwaysʼ customers had their credit card details stolen. How was this possible? The best guess goes something like this:
1. BA had 3rd party JS on its payment page
2. The 3rd partyʼs site was hacked, and the JS was changed.
3. BAʼs customers ran the script, which then harvested their credit card details as they were typed in.
This should have been a wake-up call to the industry. Donʼt load unauthenticated code on your website - and especially not on your payments page.
If you absolutely have to load someone elseʼs code, check to see if it has been altered. This is done using SubResource Integrity (SRI).
SRI tells the userʼs browser to check that the code hasnʼt been changed since the website was published. It looks like this:
If even a single bit of the code has changed since it was added to the page, the browser refuses to run it.
Who isnʼt using this
Gig-economy food flingers add in code from CDNJS.
HTML source for Deliverooʼs payment page.
Whatʼs especially annoying about this, is that the CDNJS website has a "one-click copy" for SRI.
A drop-down menu with a highlight on "Click to copy SRI".
Their payment page loads code from live.adyen.com
HTML code from Spotify.
Despite being a tofu-knitting member of the bourgeoisie, I am yet to subscribe to teh Gruan. If I did, Iʼd risk their affiliate tracker going rogue and stealing my organic credit card details.
HTML source of the Guardianʼs website.
Bonus points for leaving a handy pointer to their internal Google docs...
Sports betting site running unverified scripts from external sources.
HTML source for FanDuel.
Theyʼve also got external style-sheets
If an attacker can change the JS or CSS, they could compromise users of the site.
I feel a bit conflicted about this one. You can probably trust Google not to get hacked. Right?
HTML source of EasyJetʼs website.
Google supports SRI - but doesnʼt mention it anywhere on their Hosted Libraries site.
Yup! Theyʼve not learned their lesson. Three pieces of unverified code running on the payment page.
\* Maxymiser is an A/B testing and analytics tool. Run by Oracle now. Most ad-blockers prevent it loading. \* Googleʼs reCAPTCHA. If that gets hacked, half the planet is compromised. \* SiteSeal "proves" your site is secure by displaying a image. No, I donʼt understand that either.
An SSL badge which proves nothing.This does not make the site magically secure.
All three of them are highly trustworthy. But if youʼre BA and youʼve already been bitten by bad security practices, doesnʼt it make sense to go full "belt-and-braces"?
These are just a small sample of the sites Iʼve found. SRI has been available for two years and it still isnʼt being used enough.
Iʼve reported this issue to a few sites by using responsible-disclosure aggregator HackerOne.
Typically, my warning goes unheeded with a response like:
Based on your initial description, there do not appear to be any security implications as a direct result of this behavior, this is an Informational issue at best, unless you can prove those third-party domains can be compromised in any way.
This appears to be more of a risk acceptance rather than a vulnerability. Although there is no PoC for this report, I will forward the information to the customer and see where to go from there.
Thatʼs fair enough. Iʼm not expecting a huge payout and it is only an informative report; I canʼt prove that the external sites are vulnerable. But there really ought to be a concerted effort to make payment sites as secure as possible.
This needs to be taken seriously. If youʼre handling usersʼ details, you need to take every possible step to keep them secure.
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