New recommendation on cookie use – browser settings rather than banners

The IAB in Sweden (the trade association for the digital and interactive marketing industry) have, this month, released a set of new recommendations on how website cookies should be used. These place the emphasis on the website visitor’s browser setting to determine whether cookie will be used, and move away from the website banners that have been previously promoted as a solution.

These recommendations are a response to the Electronic Communications Act (Sweden), which is itself a response to the EU directive concerning on-line privacy. This directive requires consent from a website visitor before cookies are placed on their computer;  but – as I’ve posted previously – this breaks many important tools for ensuring a good visitor experience. Not least, it directly impacts the use of Google Analytics.

The IAB guidelines say the following:

– Cookie use, and type, should be clearly identified on the site
– Clear information should be given about what cookies do and their purpose

The awesomeness (but also what I expect will be the controversial element):

– If a user’s browser is set to accept cookies this means they have granted consent for cookies to be used (if the website clearly identifies which cookies are being used)
– If a user’s browser rejects cookies, then this must be respected

They promote the use of a standardised badge, to help users find out what cookies are used and make their own choice.

I need cookies to do my job – that is, to make the user experience better; these recommendations seem like a sensible solution for everyone. Unfortunately, I doubt that the EU will entirely agree – particularly given the apparent disagreement between EU ministers on how this directive should be enforced.

(You can see this slow car crash unfolding by checking out all my posts on the cookie directive).

What do you think? Will this work – is this an alternative to the opt-in banners which seem to be popping up?

IAB recommendations in Swedish and English.

Facebook Page Friends – Monthly review of Swedish university Facebook pages

Following on from my post below, looking at comments, here’s the ranking of Swedish university Facebook pages by numbers of friends. There’s a tendency for more growth taking place on the English language pages, which is not unsurprising, given that many Swedish universities now have opened for international applications.  On the Swedish Facebook pages, there’s a range of growth rates, with some pages looking positively stagnant. KTH is notable, with their continuation of brisk, rapid growth.

Swedish University English Facebook Pages – Ranked by number of Friends on November 7th

(percentage in brackets is the increase from last month)

Page

Number of Friends

Lund University

9783 (7%)

Stockholm University

5483 (4%)

Umeå University

5201 (4%)

Jönköping University

3439 (2%)

Chalmers University of Technology

3082 (5%)

Stockholm School of Economics

2475 (2%)

Malmö University

1855 (5%)

Uppsala University

1370 (7%)

Royal Institute of Art

1086 (2%)

Mid Sweden Uni

779 (6%)

University of Borås

497 (5%)

Swedish Universities Swedish Facebook Pages – Ranked by number of Friends on November 7th

Page

Number of Friends

Linköping Universitet

8695 (2%)

Umeå Universitet

6171 (1%)

Linne universitet

5953 (1%)

Uppsala Universitet

4651 (5%)

Högskolan i Borås

3476 (1%)

Lunds Universitet

3444 (6%)

KTH

3392 (15%)

Högskolan i Skövde

3071 (1%)

SLU

2961 (2%)

Karolinska Institutet

2781 (8%)

Mitt Universitet

2645 (2%)

Mälardalans Högskola

2462 (5%)

Högskolan i Halmstad

2250 (2%)

Högskolan Väst

2223 (2%)

Stockholms universitet

2028 (6%)

Malmö Högskola

1520 (4%)

Karlstads universitet

1427 (5%)

Högskolan Dalarna

651 (2%)

BTH

587 (2%)

                      Högskolan i jönkoping                                 497 (6%)
                      Högskolan Kristianstad                                 442 (8%)

Facebook Page Comments – Monthly review of Swedish university Facebook pages

Another month passes, and we’re out of the national application period and into the beginnings of the frenzy of international recruitment. The overriding trend is that almost all pages saw a drop in comments, only the English pages saw similar numbers to last month – but even they showed a reduction in the number of comments. Chalmers School of Technology have opened their wall for comments, but 6 others still remain closed.

Comments

Swedish Universities English Facebook Pages – Ranked by number of comments left in October.

Page

Comments left by page friends

Malmö University

41

Lund University

38

Uppsala University

11

Jönköping University

12

Mid Sweden Uni

15

Stockholm University

Wall closed

University of Borås

2

Stockholm School of Economics

Wall closed

Umeå University

Wall closed

Chalmers School of Technology

1


Swedish Universities Swedish Facebook Pages – Ranked by number of comments left in October.

Page

Comments left by page friends

Linne Universitet

45

Mälardalans Högskola

25

Uppsala universitet

23

Linköping Universitet

23

Högskolan i Skövde

22

Lunds Universitet

20

Högskolan i Borås

17

Karlstads Universitet

14

Högskolan i Jönköping

12

Högskolan i Halmstad

11

Mittuniversitetet

11

KTH

10

SLU

8

Malmö Högskola

8

Umeå universitet

8

Högskolan Kristianstad

6

BTH officiell

4

Högskolan Dalarna

4

Högskolan Väst

1

Karolinska Institutet

Wall closed

Royal Institute of Art

Wall closed

Stockholms Universitet

Wall closed

My top tip for this month – open up your Google Analytics account, create a segment called ‘Social Media’ which includes Facebook, Blogs and Twitter and then apply it to your visitor traffic. For extra marks combine it with another segment, such as international visitors. Hopefully you’ll see an upward curve of traffic, particularly if you’ve been investing in Social Media – bask in the glory, but also consider how you can continue to drive this traffic. Ping me if you need advice on creating advanced segments.

Activity and Influence

I was struck by a post I read recently ‘confusing-activity-with-influence‘. In particular the line ‘..growing acceptance that activity somehow relates to influence’. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and have already touched on this previously with the observation that pages with relatively low numbers of friends can still have lots more comments than pages with far more friends.  This notion of influence intrigues me, as this is what – presumably – most of us are striving after; I’ll soon be buckling down to an analysis of comments from the pages I look at in this review which will give more of a measurement of influence, rather than just activity.

Update: I’d missed off the number of comments from Högskolan i Jönköping from the above tables, they are included now. Thanks to @ollehallberg for letting me know.