Monday, July 31, 2006

CNN tries Citizen media

Citizen generated media got a boost from CNN:

Time Warner Inc.'s CNN plans to standardize how it solicits and handles user-contributed news amid an industry-wide move to let consumers play a more prominent role in the news gathering process.

The cable news network on Tuesday plans to announce it has created a new program to let users send in digital audio and video from breaking news events in their region. Users can e-mail or upload these so-called "I-Reports" directly from CNN's site.

I think this is a brilliant extension of the years old practice of using amateur video that happens to capture something newsworthy - why not be more accessible? The challenge will be managing the influx.


Youtube's rise - past Myspace

Since we have mentioned the "Myspace ecology" strategy in class, this article was particularly interesting - YouTube appeears to be passing Myspace in popularity.

The video sharing site has taken a 3.9% share of global internet visits a day compared with 3.35% for MySpace, according to internet analysis company Alexa.

Does this mean that the content source sites have the power over the community sites?


The New Media Moguls

Well, not really, but a terrific rundown of some of the bigger names in some of the newer media forms: Blogging, machinima, short form video, podcasting, and the like. Many from Old media towns like good 'ol NYC and LA.

Who made the "Moguls of New Media" list?


Wanna get a job at Google?

This EWeek articlehas some examples of the types of questions - almost challenges - posed to would be Googlers.... Very reminscent of consulting firm interviews.

The ad sales group reportedly asks a candidate how they would respond to an angry customer after the company rejected the user's tobacco related ad... quite relevant actually, as the standards for what can and cannot be advertised online are not so standard.

With their hypergrowth plans and the obvious time commitment required to conduct these kind of interviews, it would seem that something will have to give in order to get the staff they need...


The 100 Top Brands 2006

This is very interesting article concerning the value of the global brands. Businessweek published Interbrand's rank
because it evaluates brands much the way analysts value other assets: on the basis of how much they're likely to earn in the future.

The experts from Interbrand company evaluated the 100 top brands. The Coca Cola's brand is first with $67Mil value.
To even qualify for the list, each brand must derive about a third of its earnings outside its home country, be recognizable outside of its base of customers, and have publicly available marketing and financial data.


US House: Schools must block MySpace, many other sites

The U.S. House voted Thursday (410 to 15 vote) to ban social networking sites such as from schools and library computers. Michael Fitzpatrick, who introduced the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) was quoted saying “feeding grounds for child predators that use these sites as just another way to do our children harm” The Resolution will now go to the US Senate for a vote before being offered to the President for signature into law.

This law will not only have a huge effect on MySpace and other social networking sites, it will also have a negative impact on other commercial sites such as and, as well as entertainment sites and message board sites such as This is because schools may be required to ban ALL entertainment related sites for security purposes.

This is currently a very heated issue, in that it was published today, July 31, 2006 and there are already 76 comments on this particular article.


The Big Story for Newspapers is Online

Being in the publishing business, when it comes to impressing a media buyer/planner, it is extremely important to have an integrated web site to their print publications. There has been an ongoing rumor about the publication business going down hill, but that’s not necessarily true, it’s just changing. A survey was conducted by Media Life Magazine, and 48 percent agreed with the following statement: “Online Development. I’m fascinated by how newspapers’ sites will evolve and what role the web will play in papers’ future.”

Newspapers’ websites have already become a major source for generating revenue from online advertising. For example, on the homepage, the following advertisements are above the fold: E*Trade, Panasonic, Fidelity, Lowes, and the following are below the fold: Vonage, Dell, Citibank, Scottrade, and Microsoft. Also note that this is just the homepage, there are many more advertisements on other pages.

The publication industry is drastically changing, in my opinion, it’s for their own benefit.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Zune Requires Investment, Says Microsoft Exec

Microsoft has been in the works to create an ipod competitor called Zune stating that the first product offerings will be in stores as early as fall. It is obvious that this attempt is to gain a better foothold in the entertainment realm as a significant amount of money has been poured into their fledgling video game market. With that said, almost five years of investment looms over Microsoft's shoulder with the Zune gadget on its horizon. They plan to differentiate themselves from ipod in particular by creating a sense of community with Zune, as they have successfully done with Xbox Live. They hope to incorporate the feature for consumers to download and share playlists with other customers, and offer other services that were not really mentioned in the article. I am not sure if this is a good way to extend their product offerings and be taken serious when compared with the likes of ipod and itunes, who have the most significant market share for these music devices. Apple stands on their brand, and their products are known for their entertainment value and superiority. We're all seen the PC/Mac commercials, and they're quite hilarious if you ask me. Microsoft needs to stick to what they know, and stay true to their brand, or else the five year investment they discussed will be a complete waste and embarrassment.


Under-the-Radar Wiki Sites Aid Collaboration

Who knew what a wiki was, I only heard of wikipedia, and thought it was just an online encyclopedia? "Wiki," is a type of collaborative web page that is jointly written and edited by a group of people working on a project. It use to be that only techies and geeks who wanted to reduce emails were the only ones familiar with the software that allows them to combine their thoughts in one shared document. It seems to be catching on in the corporate sector more recently, and companies that use the software have seen a reduction in their overall email volume. The point that the article doesn't really seem to hit on is whether or not the software improves the companies overall productivity of its employees. The article did mention that some businesses employees were a bit intimidated by the software when it came down to using its editing feature. Speaking of productivity, Wiki software seems like an excellent educational tool for college students. On a graduate level, I tend to work in groups often, and valuable time is wasted on coordinating everyone's schedules to do projects, and also coordinating editing and updating and information.


Site Encourages Young People to Debate World Issues

Youth Noise is a social networking site like MySpace that's designed to inspire youth to take a stand on issues. Users range in age from 16-22, and issues include world events, politics, poverty, and war. The site was recently relaunched on June 20 of this year, and currently claims about 120,000 users. The content is completely user generated. I think that this is a great way for kids to inform other kids on these issues, and inspire discussion and debate from their perspective on these issues. It's hard for some youth to grasp exactly how these world issues directly affect their lives, even if at all. I am also glad to see a social networking site that caters to educating this demographic, because other social networking sites that cater to this group mostly focus on what they think kids want. The fact of the matter is that there are kids out there 120,000 of them that are interested in world issues, and expressing their opinions on these issues. I hope several other social networking sites pop up that encourage and respect the youth perspective.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cyworld - Myspace from South Korea

An interesting note about Cyworld's plans to enter the U.S. market. In South Korea, Cyworld has 90% of young people as members - a higher per cpaita membership than MySpace in the states. More importantly perhaps is their revenue model...

That makes Cyworld's per capita penetration in South Korea greater than that of MySpace in the United States. And its business plan is unique. The bulk of Cyworld revenue comes from the sale of virtual items worth nearly $300,000 a day, or more than $7 per user per year. By comparison, ad-heavy MySpace makes an estimated $2.17 per user per year.

Essentially, they charge users to personalize their home page. Not much, but it adds up.... Could this be a way that Myspace monetizes its user base? Cyworld also sells music, which seems more likely. Comments?


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Video Games save the world

An interesting new area for video games is real-world simulations as leanring activities... from the United Nations Food program to post war activities. Foundations are starting to give grants to game designers to make more of these unique learning tools.

Saving the World One Game at a Time

The proposition may strike some as dubious, but the “serious games” movement has some serious brain power behind it. It is a partnership between advocates and nonprofit groups that are searching for new ways to reach young people, and tech-savvy academics keen to explore video games’ educational potential.

Surprisingly to some, these games are ifnding huge audiences. Since they are free, it wouldn't be surprising that they have some novelty factor, but people are playing them in droves. They are enjoying the games AND getting exposure to some of the extremely complex issues and tradeoffs at stake.

Given away free, they have found astonishingly large audiences. The United Nations game, Food Force, has been downloaded by four million players, a number to rival chart-busting commercial hits like Halo or Grand Theft Auto. In May, MTV’S college channel released an online game called Darfur is Dying in which players escape the Janjaweed while foraging for water to support their village: despite its cartoonish graphics, a strangely powerful experience. In the first month alone 700,000 people played it. Of those, tens of thousands entered an “action” area of the game — political action, that is — where they can send e-mail messages to politicians and demand action on Darfur.

But the question of whether people can learn moral lessons is still out there, since so much depends on thepoint of view and the game itself. Professor Gee put it, some of today’s serious games reflect a simplistic point of view — like America’s Army, the military’s hit game that puts players in a soldier’s boots, or Under Ash, a Syrian-made game that has you play as a Palestinian fighter. “Building morally ambiguous worlds, that’s a lot harder,” he noted. “We’ve won the hype wars. People accept that games can be good for talking about issues. But now we need a killer app.”


Jupiter predicts slow Internet Video ads...

Not such fast growth for web video ads

Jupiter says that despite the popularity of web video, web video advertising will not account for much in the near term. I find this hard to believe given the explosive growth of this area of the web.

With video becoming a feature on so many web sites, one would think that video advertising would skyrocket over the next five years.

But it’s not expected to, according to JupiterResearch in its latest forecast. While the amount spent on video advertising is expected to grow at 27 percent per year on average between 2006 and 2011, that’s far shy of some of the heady growth rates internet advertising has experienced.

What’s more, even by the end of the forecast period, video advertising will still be the smallest component of display internet advertising.

Between Myspace, YouTube, iTunes, and everyone else out there trying to exploit short form (and longer!) video, the ad model seems to be a given. And since advertisers in other media already have video spots ready to go, it seems relatively easy to cut a 10-15 second spot for use online. I suspect that once a painless and broad-based method of getting a web commercial up there appears - think Google's paid search system, but across video sites - it will be easy to do and the advertisers will follow. Plus, the young demographic watching web video is highly desirable, which will add to the growth.

That said, it isn't surprising at all that it would remain the smallest component of web advertising - so much of ad revenue is driven by textual activities, like search and email...


Monday, July 24, 2006

Portrait of a Blogger: Under 30 and Sociable

On 19th July, the Pew Internet & American Life Project released a survey of bloggers - who they are and why they do what they do.

- more than half of bloggers are younger than 30
- a majority use their blogs as a mode of creative expression
- only 15% of bloggers is motivated by money-making possibilities
- 11% of blogs focusing on politics
- less likely to be white than the general Internet-using population
- more than half live in suburban areas
- about 60 percent of bloggers maintain their Web sites to keep in touch with friends and family, and half of them blog to network or meet new people
- the number of people regularly reading blogs has doubled in the past two years, and more than 49 million blogs are now on the Web
- of all the bloggers out there, there are only about 10,000 that have an audience beyond their friends and families
- about 33 percent of bloggers see blogging as a form of journalism
- the average blogger is a 14-year-old girl writing about her cat
- the typical blogger spends less than five hours per week posting material on a blog
- there's a new blog every five minutes

"Bloggers in general don't intend to have a lot of impact," said Amanda Lenhart, who directed the survey. "The motivation comes from within; it tends to be very personal. They're not out to change the world."


MySpace Nation

A series of articles for people who have heard of but not really participated in the social networking world. In other words, net-savvy adults...

Some interesting reasons why to care:

The question is, should you care? Those of us old enough to have a 401(k) plan can't help but ask what the big deal is about MySpace and all of the other social-networking sites out there. Is this a cultural and technological phenomenon, or just a new way to goldbrick? Who uses them besides 19-year-old layabouts posting treatises on Laguna Beach or pictures of Joey doing a keg stand at the Sigma Chi party last night?

Well, there's Daniel Boud, a 26-year-old Web designer and amateur photographer who posted his concert photos on Flickr, and they ended up in Rolling Stone. There's Joe Ford Jr., a 32-year-old lawyer from Tennessee, who is running for Congress mainly through a MySpace page. And 31-year-old schoolteacher Kathryn Smith, who lost nearly 30 pounds in a couple of weeks, thanks to the support she received on PeerTrainer.


YouTube wannabes or killers?

Revver, a company that attaches advertisements to the end of online videos and shares revenue with the videos' creators, has made a name for itself by hosting the popular Diet Coke-Mentos fountain video. Revver said earlier this month that the creators of this video have received about $30,000 in ad sales.

Interesting to note that an amateur video can make so much.... More about some of the upstarts.


New JotSpot Software Aims to Make Wikis Less Nerdy

Well the software that allows users to edit websites is about to get more user-friendly itself. JotSpot has announced a release of software that proclaims to be the nexis of Microsoft Office and WiKi generation applications. It's supposed to bring Wikis into the mainstream and start a boom in Wiki-reliant websites.
I think this is really a great step forward for webdesigners and users alike. I will definitely be looking in to this may help me tremendously in setting up

"In Hawaiian, "wiki wiki" means "quick." Joe Kraus, co-founder and CEO of
JotSpot contends that the wiki metaphor has demonstrated its power through sites
Wikipedia, which
draws tens of millions unique users every month. And
eBay's recent decision to
embrace wikis further validates the concept for online businesses."


PwC MoneyTree

The MoneyTree Report is a quarterly study of venture capital investment activity in the United States. As a collaboration between PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based upon data from Thomson Financial, it is the only industry-endorsed research of its kind. The MoneyTree Report is the definitive source of information on emerging companies that receive financing and the venture capital firms that provide it. The study is a staple of the financial community, entrepreneurs, government policymakers and the business press worldwide.

Per our current class discussions on venture capital, here is an excellent resource on venture capital activity....


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Amazon vs. Toys R us

Does anyone here remember last semester when I talked about how Toys R Us had teamed with Amazon and if you go to it just went to an Amazon storefront? Well, I guess that's no more.

As of March, Toys R Us and Amazon split ways after a nasty court battle. Back in 2000, Amazon and Toys R Us agreed to team up, supposedly making Toys R Us the exclusive toy vendor on However, Toys R Us sued, arguing that Amazon had begun allowing other merchants to sell similar toy items through Amazon.

The courts ultimately agreed with Toys R Us back in March, and now Toys R Us runs its own toy store on its website. Toys R Us claims that they are one of the largest merchants on teh Internet, so they are happy now to now have to share revenue with anymore.

Here's the article...


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lost Per Click: Search Advertising & Click Fraud

In general, this article is about the auditing of Cost Per Click internet campaigns. Click frauds is not a new thing in the internet environment. This term was created after CPC pricing model had become popular.
"Click fraud – the practice of clicking on a text advertisement served by a search engine for the sole purpose of forcing the advertiser to pay for the click – is emerging as an important concern for search engine markets."


"Click fraud refers to any kind of click received from a CPC search engine that is generated artificially through human or technological means with the sole purpose of creating a debiting click, resulting in zero possibility for a conversion to occur."

To prevent this phenomenon, companies like Overture are trying to protect the industry by identifying and filtering these types of clicks. Despite the activities against “click fraud” taken by companies like Overture, the problem still exists.

"If you’re running a CPC campaign with the search engines, it behooves you to audit your logs for suspicious activity, and contact the search engine if you suspect foul play from your competitors."


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Movielink Adds DVD-Burning Capability

Movielink announced today that it had reached an agreement to license technology allowing downloaded movies to be burned onto DVDs by users. The deal will allow consumers to burn DVDs however it will retain digital rights management (DRM) controls to avoid piracy from Sonic Solutions.

"This gives consumers a more flexible product while providing copyright holders with adequate protection of their content."

The web-based video industry is about to explode. Studios have been reluctant to introduce burnable versions of their movies to be made available for download for fears that such media can be easily copied, or even mass-copied and would encourage widespread piracy. This new service might alleviate the thought.

"We are combining the flexibility and convenience of Internet video
distribution with the permanency and portability of the DVD video format".

Pricing of Movielink's new service has yet to be announced. Consumers use the Web over traditional retail outlets mainly out of convenience; movie buyers may look for sites such as Movielink to not only to instantly gratify themselves but also to save on DVD sales without leaving the home.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Podcasting Gains an Important Foothold among U.S. Adult Online Population, according to Nielsen//NetRatings

Hey People---

Our Guest Speaker just recently noted that Podcasts were just hype..
According to the Neilsen folks people are started to catch on.
I think it is definately too earlier to tell with Podcasts...
We are all in living in an age of instant gratification and if we don't see immediate results we don it as a failure..
I think that podcasts are definately going to have an increasingly more accessible market with the more wireless do-dads that are being pushed...
I also think with peoples's schedules and programming, and the need to be forever plugged in the Podcast has not had its day, but it is coming!


The Art of News Feeds

Here is a really interesting read about how artists/web designers are creating programs that display news feeds in unique and artistic ways. Basically, all of these programs are attempts at making the web more visual. The article goes on to mention how there have been several unsuccessful attempts to make a 3-dimensional browser for the web. It doesn’t reveal, though, whether or not there are currently any projects in the mix for creating a 3D browser that works properly. I am totally ready for 3D internet!,71103-0.html?tw=wn_index_19

"Electronic artists are tweaking RSS interfaces, harnessing Flash animation
and relational algorithms to breed outlandish, new ways of presenting
information captured from news feeds."


The Half-life of Information is 36 Hours

News Online Seems to Have Long Shelf Life - New York Times: "A new research paper seeks to answer a riddle for publishers, editors and even readers: when does new news become old news?

In the case of a news article on the Internet, the answer is surprisingly long: 36 hours on average, according to the paper, "The Dynamics of Information Access on the Web," which appeared in the June issue of Physical Review E, the journal of the American Physical Society.

More precisely, 36 hours is the amount of time it takes for half of the total readership of an article to have read it, the paper found. The physicist who led the research, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi of the University of Notre Dame, said that the paper's conclusion should give journalists hope, even in the era of instant news. Dr. Barabasi said that traditional ideas about the way people use the Internet would have led researchers to expect a much shorter half-life, more like two to four hours."

This is amazing research in that it quantifies what publushers have always wondered- what is the time value of information? In other words, if news has a 36 hour shelf life, daily newspapers can compete...


Friday, July 14, 2006

Dell Revamps Pricing...

"This is not about lowering prices," Ro Parra, senior vice president of Dell's home and small business group, said. "This is more about taking the complexity out of our pricing. This is entirely in reaction to customer feedback."

Dell is reevaluating their pricing model, and mail-in rebate offers in order to reduce confusion from small businesses and other customers about their mail-in rebates. Dell has decidedto phaseout the mail-in rebate offer program completely within the next year or so. The decision was based on improving their custmer service results. The computer maker and self-distributor says that they have seen a reduction in customer call hold time by as much as fifty percent. I believe that where Dell once dominated the home PC industry, their popularity is now being recently rivaled by their other competitors. Loosing a significant amount of market share from a business perspective means that they are having to make major financial cut backs such as their mail-in rebate promotion, and entire pricing model.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

the Death of the Mass Market?

Timely articles today reflecting on a very real possibility: the end of the mass market. The author of the Long Tail article (his blog) we read for class - whose book on the subject comes out today - comments that today's mass media channels are being surpassed by the new, internet channel, which is full of niches - much as radio was passed by TV.

from CNNfn

The point is, mass culture isn't so mass anymore. Instead, culture is evolving into a "mass of niches." So, at least, says Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, in "The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More" (Hyperion, $24.95).

While the author notes the delcine of mass journalism as an example of a bad effect, it's unclear where the settling point will be. One could argue that in a world of proliferation of niches, it's more important to assemble the targeted media you are interested in....

But as he says:

I never said they were. What is dead is the monopoly of the hit. For too long hits or products intended to be hits have had the stage to themselves, because only hit-centric companies had access to the retail channel and the retail channel only had room for best-sellers. But now blockbusters must share the stage with a million niche products, and this will lead to a very different marketplace. Let me explain:

As I see it, there are essentially three kinds of hits, which we can call Type 1,2, and 3:

"Top-down" hits created by the usual hit-making machine: major labels, major publishers, major studios, etc. Those fall into two categories:
Type 1: Authentic hits: products that are excellent and resonate with a broad audience (think anything from Coldplay to the World Cup). These start big and stay big.

Type 2: Synthetic hits: lame products that are marketed within an inch of their life, sucessfully getting lots of people to try them even though they're probably sorry they did. (think Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties). These start big but quickly plummet.
Type 3: "Bottoms-up" hits, that rise on word-of-mouth and grassroots support. (think Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or March of the Penguins). These start small and get big.
I think Type 1 hits will continue to do well. Type 3 hits will do even better, since the web is the greatest word-of-mouth amplifier ever created. But Type 2 hits will suffer, as consumers spread word of their suckitude faster than ever.

Bottom line: In a Long Tail world many top-down hits get smaller, but even more bottoms-up hits get bigger. It's not the end of the hit--it's the rise of a new kind of hit.

Frankly, I just support anyone who uses the word SUCKITUDE.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Guidester Quietly Grows Retail Paid Search Network
Hey Guys--

This is an article on another company taking advantage of one of the channels we learned about in class. The paid search network is one that is fastly growing and retailers are jumping aboard quickly.
"The Guidester tool, which helps consumers make shopping decisions, is free to e-tailers. The "Guidester" steers consumers through their decision making process by posing questions about desired product attributes (megapixels, price, size and brand of a digital camera, for example) then displaying a list of the e-tailers' products that match those criteria. The model is similar to that used in the brick-and-mortar retailing world, in which manufacturers often pay to have their products placed on eye-level shelves. Currently, the tool is deployed primarily by consumer electronics retailers including CompUSA, TigerDirect, and C|Net's shopping section."

The company has a CPC product named AdMatch which displays products similar to ones used by the search engines. Paid results appear only when they actually match the consumers' queries.
Check it Out!
Peace !!!


Report: paid music services gaining on pirates

According to this article by John P. Mello Jr., legal, fee-based music downloading and subscription services are gaining popularity while illegal music download activity is decreasing. A study released last week by a global marketing firm shows that 25% of digital music player (DMP) owners use a fee-based site to download music, whereas 19% admitted to using file-sharing software. The rest of the sample imported ripped mp3’s from their own personal CD collection or from friends. The study confirms what observers have seen in the marketplace – paid music is making advances.
One reason for this trend may be that the consumers currently entering this market are no longer the “early adopters,” but more mainstream customers who are more apt to use something like iTunes, rather than a file-sharing program. Digital music players are the “it” item right now, almost creating their own high-tech cultural movement, and consumers who purchase a DMP, almost as a fashion accessory, are more likely to use a paid service to import music onto their device. Paid services are simply easier to use, higher quality, and less chance of catching computer viruses. All of this is good news to the music industry’s ears.


MySpace #1

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Online teen hangout ranked as the No. 1 U.S. Web site last week, displacing Yahoo Inc.'s top-rated e-mail gateway and Google Inc.'s search site, Internet tracking firm Hitwise said Tuesday.

News Corp.'s (Charts) MySpace accounted for 4.46 percent of all U.S. Internet visits for the week ending July 8, pushing it past Yahoo Mail for the first time and outpacing the home pages for Yahoo (Charts), Google (Charts) and Microsoft's (Charts) MSN Hotmail.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Open DSN makes your Internet work better

The OpenDSN system improves the safety and speed of the Domain Name System, a fundamental building block of the Internet.

The OpenDSN system wants to be more user-friendly name resolution service by helping browsers look up web sites faster, keeping fraudulent sites out of its listing, and correcting some typos.

The OpenDSN system company's aim is to revolutionize a layer of the internet's atchitecture in order to clean its underbelly of scammers and spammers.

Link to this article:,71345-0.html?tw=wn_index_1

Sorry, but I don't know how to formate this post using Macintosh system. I am still learning...


Couch Surfers Wipe Out

In an unfortunate turn of events, thousands of users of the site, are left with no place to crash for the night. is similar to and in that it links up members in a community that allows each member the opportunity to view each other’s pictures, personal bio, and other information. The members then can meet up by offering places to stay if someone happens to be passing through.
Unfortunately for the members of, the server crashed last week, leaving the minimal staff of the site to scramble to recover member information. Sadly, they will likely be unable to recover the bulk of the information, and are now relying on donations to get the site up and running. I think it’s just amazing to see how people come to rely on a social network such as this. Also, I think it’s somewhat foolish to completely rely on a network of people that hop from couch to couch to serve as providers of adequate housing, but I’ve also never hitchhiked or hopped a train.

"Others are using the message boards to continue their journeys across the
world. Low Kok-Chang, my Malaysian host, had been planning a trip to Hong Kong, but lost the contact information of his would-be hosts when the site crashed. He's now joined a less polished website,
Hospitality Club, to re-plan his


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Branding is Important

Branding is Important

This op-ed piece is debating the value of direct response marketing vs. traditional branding efforts.

Direct response folks measure numbers like clicks, sales, and ROI (define). Branding folks like surveys and focus groups; they measure success on qualitative data that seek to measure brand recognition, feelings about brands, and attitudes about companies.

This guy feels that too much of Internet marketing is done by the direct response group and often the value of branding is overlooked because marketers have access to some much data (immediacy, baby!).

One area that he feels completely overlooks branding sometimes is mass emailing. Mass email is seen as annoying junk, and even though you can send out 10 million emails to all corners of the globe, you might be creating a negative view of your website and company.


AOL Accelerates Move to Ad-Supported Portal

AOL Accelerates Move to Ad-Supported Portal

It looks like AOL is considering getting rid of many of their pay services (especially email) in order to drive more people to their site. They think that if they can get AOL to become a portal like Google or Yahoo!, then they can generate a lot more ad revenue.

This seems like a good idea, although AOL would have to completely rebrand their entire identity. AOL has done pretty well already though with free services like AIM. And the name "America Online" is a great name to work off of.

AOL makes about $7 billion of its $8.3 billion a year on its subscription services, so it seems dicey to cut ties with all their pay services. However, subscription revenues fell about $722 million last year, while advertising revenue gained $333 million.

Free email would be a good way to get more people to come to the site (thus more eyeballs to sell to advertisers).

I kow personally that my family keeps a minimum AOL account only because we don't want to have to give up email addresses that we've had for a long time.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Newswise, the Newest Big Thing, Digg

Digg, a collaborative editing site, where links to stories are posted and ranked by readers is the next big thing in media. Digg was first introduced to the online world through the Daily Telegraph in Britain. It’s basically up to the readers to determine what news is important for a particular day, and in fact, how to tell it.

The users select which stories are to appear, and from where, whether it be the Telegraph or the New York Post, by submitting the story links. They also determine the order in which they appear.

Sites such as Digg are becoming more and more popular, Digg has more than 8 million visitors each month and more than 300,000 active registered users.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

eBay Heads East

This is a really good article about the coming wave of e-commerce via China’s 100million+ internet users. The amount of money some of these people are raking in is simply astonishing. We used to only get “Made in China” merchandise from retail giants, but now we can simply email a person on the other side of the globe for that new iPod case or custom made handbag.
A really interesting section of this article deals with how China is one of the most entrepreneurial societies in the world, which obviously makes eCommerce a natural move for net-savvy Chinese exporters. Their behavior as a whole will expand the global market in a massive way. I think there is going to be a massive impact from this country on the global economy. Only 100million people are online in China. Can you imagine if even a quarter of the population logged on? Plus, with no middleman there will be a huge impact on retail chains like Wal-Mart (I can hear the Waltons’ banjos playing a nervous tune down in Arkansas).

"I actually prefer to sell to Americans and Europeans," says one 24-year-old in
a cream corduroy jacket. "Because then you're sure the money will arrive! With
Chinese, you never know,"


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Several Record companies have filed suite against Yahoo China (operated by for providing links on its website to illegally copy music from non affiliated sites. The litigation process has begun as the major record companies are seeking and anticipating a large compensation for loss of profit. A new Chinese law took effect on Saturday that will fine any distributor found guilty of distributing music, movies and any other material over the internet subject to fines as much as 100,000 Yuan, tens of millions US dollars. Yahoo China is attempting to settle out of court, but has yet to reach an agreement with the multiple companies suing.

“About 90 percent of all recordings in China are illegal, with sales of pirated
music worth about US$400 million annually, according to the International
Phonographic Federation”.