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Main » 2010 » December » 16
Internet usage in India is on the rise. A whopping 71 million claim to have used the internet during last year in the Indian subcontinent. Even though 71 million is a rather small number compared to the 1.2 billion people that live in the country, increasing usage of the Internet is surely a very positive sign.
In a study released on April 5, 2009, number of people who claimed to have used internet in 2009 stood at 71 million. The study was conducted by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and marketing research firm IMRB that was titled, ‘Internet in India’.
It is important to note that 71 million is the number of people who claimed to have used the internet in some form at least once during last year. According to the study, th ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 320 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Three major privacy groups have urged federal regulators to investigate ad networks that track web surfers and sell targeted ads. According to these groups, two emerging trends in online advertising pose growing threats to user privacy. These two trends include auctioning of individual Internet users for targeted advertising opportunities and the combining of online and other sources of data about Internet users.
The World Privacy Forum, the Center for Digital Democracy and U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Groups) asked the Federal Trade Commission to open an inquiry into whether these networks, including Google and Yahoo!, are unfairly tracking Americans and profiting from their data. They believe that online marketers are secretly combining online data with offline data and using that to run real-time ad auctions.
"This massive and stealth data collection apparatus threa ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 266 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

The tablet market that was quite nascent for some time now has been bursting with impressive new entrants lately one of the most popular and awaited one being the iPad. From JooJoo to HP Slate, the new internet tablets have made their mark in the gadget industry and their popularity has been quite overwhelming. As all popular manufacturers are trying to cash in on the tablet popularity, Nokia too is said to be having talks about bringing out a rival for the iPad.

Nokia already has brought out non cell-phone devices that have tablet like functions like the Nokia N770. Product lineup includes other devices like the N Series which combine the features of a cell phone and a tablet. Nokia has always brought out well designed, well functioning sturdy devices and should they launch the iPad rival as they appear to be doing, it is sure to be a success. Even the prices of No ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 289 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Tiger Woods is making his return to the PGA Tour as well as the ad world at the same time. This is the first time he is appearing in either after his cheating scandal broke out. Now, on the eve of the PGA Tour, ESPN and Golf Channel aired a 33 second new Nike commercial starring Tiger Woods.
In the black and white commercial, Woods is seen wearing a hat and a vest bearing Nike's swoosh logo to compliment his humbled facial expression. In the background, you hear his father Earl Woods’ voice saying to his son, "Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. Did you learn anything?" Tiger remains silent as the camera zooms in on his face before Nike's trademark ‘Swoosh’ flashes against a black screen.
Earl Woods, who started coaching his son when he was a toddler, died in May ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 288 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

The internet has become one of the most powerful income generators of the recent years. Information technology companies are some of the richest in the world and this tells us how much revenue can be generated on the internet. Online advertising world wide revenues have jumped from a meagre $8.1 billion in 2000 to a mind blowing $21 billion in 2009. This is proof enough for the CEO’s of any company to tap into this vast potential. Online advertising is a money minting business and has seen rapid changes within the systems, procedures and methods that are adopted. World economy went through a tough phase in the 2008-09. It was not classified as a full-fledged depression but it came dangerously close. Many multi-billion dollar companies and specifically banks went bankrupt. This was seen to have a rippling effect on the advertising expenditure.
Online advertising saw its worst performance in the beginning of 2009. T ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 331 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Internet has grown with leaps and bounds over the years. It has in fact become a very large and important part of the business structure of many companies and world economies. Millions of people use Internet for various reasons ranging from its initial use of collection of information to more complex duties of designing machines and creating and sharing various ideas. E-commerce is a very high volume market now, with billions of dollars transferred all over the world.
ISP or internet service providers provide their users with the connection to access the internet. In the developed countries these are very large companies that control a major chunk of the traffic volume.
In 2008 Comcast, one of the major ISPs was forced into litigation against controlling the flow of traffic. This was seen as a land mark case because there are certain rules and features of the Internet which c ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 299 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

A lot of copyrighted material is available over the Internet today. Copyrighted material is distributed under a copyright license and no one has the right to use it without the written permission of the author. One of the downsides of the Internet, according to the copyright industry, is that it allows for quick access to and sharing of copyrighted materials, guaranteeing a tide of copyright infringements. The law makers in the UK have come with a solution to stem this issue at the root. Almost 90% of illegal downloading is done through private internet connections. The bill that has been passed makes it legal to penalize the person caught downloading copyrighted material with a lifetime ban on usage of the Internet. This bill is called the "digital economy bill” and it was passed in recent days.
There are many pros and cons of this bill. It essentially gives the copyright industry a Card Blanche protection agains ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 335 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Windows XP has been and continues to be the most dominant operating system for personal computers. Vista launch in 2006 has failed to dethrone Windows XP as a primary OS for Intel-based workstations. Market penetration of Windows Vista has peaked at around 30% in 2009, compared to an almost 60% user base of its predecessor. That came as troubling news for Microsoft to swallow, considering the fact that virtually every new PC has shipped with Windows Vista pre-installed for full 3 years. Vista's commercial failure was compared by some to a Windows ME fiasco.
Welcome Windows 7
High profile launch of Windows 7 on October 22, 2009 started a steady trend of PC owners upgrading their operating systems. Windows XP took an almost 10% hit the very first month Windows 7 was launched bypassing Vista upgrade, indicating public acceptance of Windows 7 and raising its market share fro ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 278 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

One of the most essential things that we need to learn on the internet if we have a web site is how to utilize search engine optimization. This is not a new concept and has been developed following a rapid expansion in popularity of search engines. Search engines brought us a new way of finding information on the internet replacing direct access and directory lookups as a primary way of accessing content. Being listed in the top 3 for your target keywords can result in a massive influx of free visitors and strong sales growth, while being out of top 10 may leave you no choice but to buy traffic at staggering rates. This disparity created a huge industry that is now known as SEO – Search Engine Optimization, where companies pay money to third party experts to help them attain high positions in search engines.
Recently, however, social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become an ever expanding ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 324 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Apple iPad is one of the most awaited tech gadgets of 2010. It has lived up to all the hype which had been surrounding it. Apple iPhone was the innovation which Apple introduced a year before and despite several drawbacks, it has sold beyond any expectations. iPad is an innovation which has pushed the boundaries of possibilities in the daily use of computer gadgets, which is a cross between a laptop and a palm top. The main idea or inspiration for the iPad according to the Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs was to combine the computer and the hand held concept into one device. By doing this they have come up with one of the best looking computing gadgets released in recent times. The main reason for iPad’s success is not so much its features but rather the company which manufactures it. Apple has had tremendous success in the recent years, a trend started with the iPod, a portable MP3 player which simplified listening to music on the go.
Category: News | Views: 315 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

In the past, Google, a company who's informal company motto is "Don't be evil," has been conspicuously tight-lipped when it came to disclosing how much AdSense revenue it shares with its publishers. This lack of transparency has led to some criticism of the search engine company. Such complaints over Google's business conduct come at the same time as pressure from the Italian government, which recently launched an antitrust investigation arising from allegations of gouging from a local newspaper against Google. Perhaps in an attempt to restore some of its squeaky clean image, Google recently disclosed its revenue shares for AdSense for content and Adsense for search.
AdSense for content is Google's most popular advertising platform and consists of contextually-based advertising units that are displayed along with content published on third-party websites. Advertisers can bid competitively on this ad space through ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 263 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Last week, the media headlines--and especially the tech blogs--lit up with the notion that Apple has surpassed Microsoft in terms of market cap. While undeniably a sign of the times, the actual significance of this supposed milestone remains in question. The key is to understand what market capitalization does and does not measure.
By its dictionary definition, market cap refers to the total dollar market value of a company's outstanding shares. The operative terms here are "market value" and "shares" as they signal that we are dealing with the stock market and the investment community. Market cap is a figure that investors use to determine a company's size without factoring in figures such as sales, total assets, employees, product penetration and so on.
The takeaway: we're talking Wall Street here. This is the same ilk of speculators who betted up the value of Pets.com, sub ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 292 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

The Web is often (perhaps too often) compared to a freeway, namely the Information Superhighway. The comparison is apt—unlike television and print, where you have viewers and readers, you have traffic; traffic that is constantly moving, changing over, passing by, dropping in and shifting direction. It’s a constant game of grabbing attention and directing traffic to your door, rather than somewhere else along the highway.
Now, we can drop the metaphor and get straight to the point: we’re talking about conversion. Getting web traffic to your website is half the battle, but the next challenge is turning your visitors into customers. Returning to our analogy, we can learn some important lessons from the agents that drive business along the highway: billboards. Here are three important lessons that billboard advertising can teach web developers:

Category: News | Views: 275 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

This week, Steve Jobs announced the new iPhone 4 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Along with the introduction of the newest Apple smartphone came the unveiling of iOS 4, the new operating system for iPad and iPhone, and iAds, a new mobile advertising platform. According to Jobs, iAds will benefit advertisers, developers and users alike by simplifying the mobile advertising experience. Because iAds is built into iOS 4, advertisers can quickly and easily integrate their campaigns into the entire iPhone experience. Meanwhile, developers benefit by reaping 60 percent of the advertising revenue generated by their applications. This, as Jobs explained, will subsidize the costs of developing high quality software and will encourage more developers to offer better games, utilities and apps for free. Even the advertisements themselves will be improved. Embedded iAds can be fully animated and immersive without being obtrusive. Users can click on ad ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 310 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Imagine you are standing in a bustling pedestrian mall with a hankering for a caffeine fix. Before you is a vast cornucopia of unfamiliar coffee shops, none of which appeal to you any more or less than the other. Suddenly, your phone vibrates. You fish it out of your pocket to see that you have a new notification: "Available now: $1 off at Joe’s Coffee Joint.” Armed with your new coupon, your decision becomes clear. You stride into the coffee shop which is just twelve paces away and Joe’s gets a brand new customer. That’s the thrust of proximity marketing and so far, it’s been billed as a win-win solution for both customers and local businesses. Ace Marketing & Promotions, Inc. has recently expanded its reach of proximity marketing locations. Their system works by interfacing with customer’s mobile devices via WiFi or Bluetooth. This is different from Foursquare and Yelp, which use a smartphone’s location-based services via the cellular data networ ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 275 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Did you know that for the typical U.S. website, about 30 to 40 percent of your traffic comes from non-U.S. visitors? While we’re all aware that the World Wide Web is truly international, few web developers consider this fact when it comes to monetizing their traffic. If you’ve ever taken your laptop on the road, you may have noticed that most ad networks tailor their banners and pay-per-click ads to the location of the browser. Most of the time, this optimizes the ads—but in some locations where an ad network doesn’t have a sales office or presence, the ads will show up blank. Because of this, international traffic is an often untapped source of ad revenue that can be captured in a few easy steps.

1. Analyze Visitor Data By Location

If you haven’t a ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 276 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

We all understand the importance of a landing page. A landing page is your foot in the door. It’s your elevator pitch, your 30 second audition. Recognizing this, many web developers and online businesses lavish a great deal of attention on their landing pages. They hire top web designers and stellar copywriters to make their landing pages all singing, all dancing conversion machines. But is all this investment paying off? And if it’s not, which areas do you need to improve and how do you measure your success?
Awareness is the first step to making your online sales or leads generation a success. And for that, you need metrics and goals. Here are the top goals you should set:

1. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate, for websites, is the amount of ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 291 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Business growth? There’s an app for that—it’s your own. Not only can an iPhone app help you attract new customers, improve customer service and create revenue opportunities, having an app for your business is quickly becoming par for the course. At this years Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2010), Walker Fenton of NewsGator likened the essentiality of iPhone apps to business websites. Ten years ago, savvy businesses were setting up professional websites. A few years ago, the businesses started swarming into social media. Now, it’s the smartphone app.
The other big driver for getting your business an app of its own is how easy and affordable it is. Most developers charge anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000 to put together a customized app for your business. This quote can range higher if you want more sophisticated features—such as location-enabled notifications and social features—but on the flip side, if all you want i ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 282 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Steve Jobs made a splash talking about iAds—both in terms of firing up advertisers and cheesing off competitors, such as AdMob. Now, Microsoft is reinforcing the hot button issue of mobile advertising with its announcement that Windows Phone 7 is an "Ad-Serving Machine.” What does that mean? According to Kostas Mallios, Microsoft’s general manager for Strategy and Business Development, it means that advertisers will have a direct channel for bringing their sponsored messages to uses in two new exciting ways. The first is an opt-in service called "Toast.” Toast allows a small ad box to slide down unobtrusively from the top of the screen to alert users of new offers. This functionality works even when the company’s program isn’t running, thanks to push notifications.
The second is the advent of live "tiles.” Tiles sit on the home screen and can be designated for a number of uses, one such, apparently, is advertising ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 274 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Bidding On Your OWn Company Name for PPC
It doesn’t seem to make sense—bidding on your own company for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, that is. After all, if anyone punches your company’s name into a search engine box, they are certainly going to see your website as the top result and they are certainly going to be looking for your website, right? In most cases, that’s probably true. But there are still a number of reasons why it’s a good idea to bid on your own company name for PPC ads.

It’s Inexpensive
PPC rates are often set by the amount of competition. Chances are, there aren’t going to be very many advertisers bidding on the name of your company. For one, it’s unethical, and for another, it is potentially illegal ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 257 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Are you on Twitter? Can I add you on Facebook? Do you have a blog? These questions are quickly becoming the currency that occupies the same space that business cards do. Colleagues, customers and other contacts expect to be able to keep in touch with you in between business deals and social media is the way to do it. But which social media platforms are best for your business?
There are almost too many to choose from. We could fill up this entire page with social networking platforms and social media outlets—there are that many—but for now, let’s stick to the big five:

Twitter
Twitter is a traditional media darling, which is a bit deceptive. You’ll read about Twitter at least once or twice a day in The New York Times or The Independent, which may make you believe that being on Twitter is ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 344 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

While Facebook's amorphous privacy policy and byzantine sharing preferences have many social media users on the defensive, other startups are cashing in by offering kickbacks for users willing to share their information. Foursquare and GoWalla first began building buzz with their partnerships with big name companies like Pepsi and Starbucks, who offer users perks and discounts if they check-in nearby. Even non-commercial ventures are cashing in on location-based mobile marketing. For example, VisitPA, the tourism board for Pennsylvania, is enticing tourists to historical sites with custom Foursquare badges for check-ins at places like Gettysburg ("PA 4 Score & 7") and regional restaurants ("PA Shooflyer").

Investment from institutions and nationwide advertisers broadcasts an interesting bet on how closely consumers guard their person ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 269 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Bloggers have long used pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to monetize their blogs. PPC networks, such as Google Adsense, Kontera and Vibrant offer bloggers two primary methods for integrating advertisements into their content. Now, InfoLinks has joined the fold of advertisers who are offering money making opportunities to Google Blogger blog owners. The new InfoLinks widget allows bloggers to automatically integrate in-text ads into their posts.

In-text ads—which appear as hyperlinks within the body of a post—differ significantly from typical PPC ads. The conventional PPC ad is a sponsored ad unit, banner or link displayed on the sidebar, header, footer or interspersed throughout the body of the article. These appear much like advertisements in magazines or newspapers. In-text ads, on the other hand, were introduced some time ago as a less obtrusive alternative t ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 313 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

After trumpeting a chain of highly publicized victories for its Google Apps for Education suite of online applications, the Mountain View search giant lost ground to its latest arch rival: Microsoft. Live@Edu, Microsoft’s competing product against Google Apps for Education (which rolled out in Los Angeles in October 2009 and Oregon in April), has become the cloud-based solution of choice for the Kentucky Department of Education. Live@Edu brings streamlined, low cost, scalable computing services for the state’s 700,000 students and faculty. That includes cloud-based email accounts and calendars for each user, 10 gigabytes of mail storage, 25 gigabytes of file storage and access to online collaboration tools, such as document sharing, video chat, instant messaging and mobile e-mail. And the price for all of this? Zero dollars. In fact, the Department is stating that the move to Live@Edu is saving them $6.3 million in costs. Not bad.
Category: News | Views: 278 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Advertising revenue helps sustain websites large and small. While there are a number of ways to maximize your ad revenue, there is one aspect that is often overlooked: ad placement. Simply put, ads placed in certain areas get more clicks, which means more revenue. Ad placement is an excellent place to experiment since it lends itself well to trial and error without substantially altering the functionality of your site. Try out some of these principles and see if they help you earn more money from your website.

Above the Fold
If you’ve ever spoken to a web designer—whether amateur or professional—you’ve likely heard the term "above the fold.” This term refers to the simple concept that items that appear on the page without scrolling get more attention. The same is true for advertisements. Ads that appear above the fold tend to ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 308 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Today, Microsoft Office 2010 officially hit the shelves—most of which are digital. Microsoft’s suite of business, home and academic productivity applications has long been known for its byzantine pricing and marketing efforts which, in spite of heavy coverage by the media, few consumers get a full grasp on. It seems that no matter what price someone pays for a Microsoft Office product, they always get the vague feeling that they could’ve paid less. And in many cases, it’s true.
Part of the challenge is that there are numerous licensees running numerous different versions and editions of Microsoft Office. While some consumers are buying new PCs with stripped down OEM-versions of Microsoft Office 2007 pre-installed, entire corporate departments are still running Microsoft Office 2003 Professional. Add in the slew of academic discount versions available and it can be tough to peg a definitive price on the latest and ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 245 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

This week, Hewlett-Packard introduced a new line of smart, web-enabled printers. Among other newfangled features, the HP Photosmart Touchsmart Web printer eschews cables, cords and drivers for a slick new method for printing: via email. Each printer comes with its own email address. The printer connects to the Internet wirelessly via a home or office router and prints any documents emailed to it, whether it’s from a laptop, desktop or a smartphone.
But the Internet connectivity has another function other than convenient, wireless printing: HP collects user information in order to send more targeted ads via Yahoo’s advertising network. The printer also serves as a news delivery device (you can set it up for timed delivery of news items from outlets such as MSNBC and Yahoo) and this service is subsidized by advertisements that are printed along with your subscriptions. There’s a certain amount of tradeoff that has t ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 257 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Twitter users logging in today had mixed reactions to a novel new sight on one of the hottest social media outlets to begin dabbling its toes in the waters of ad revenue: an inconspicuous little golden box with the words "Promoted.” The sea changing graphic accompanied a link to the Toy Story 3 trending topic, making Disney Pixar Twitter’s official first customer for their promoted trending topic program. According to CNN, getting Toy Story 3 to show up in that right-hand column inorganically (i.e. without meeting the discussion volume threshold that would land it in the hot trends normally) cost "tens of thousands” of dollars. It’s still too soon to say whether Disney Pixar’s investment was worth it, but as far as Twitter’s efforts, it’s arguable that the rollout of promoted trends was a success.
Why? One need only consider the backlash to Google Buzz or Facebook’s myriad privacy policy tweaks to see the opp ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 282 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Advertising networks are getting more sophisticated everyday. And while some of us appreciate it when Amazon knows us better than ourselves and can recommend our next great read, some people find it creepy when the advertisers seem to know too much.
When Steve Jobs announced iAds during WWDC, he touted it as a revolutionary way to make mobile advertising more engaging for iPhone users and more profitable for app developers. Like virtually all platforms on the web today, iAds collects certain user data in order to send more relevant ads your way. This could be something as simple as what time of day it is or what country you’re from or something more complex, such as how many travel-related apps you have installed on your iPhone and how often you use them. This manifests itself by displaying certain ads that the iAds network believes you are interested in more often than ones it thinks you might not be interested i ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 303 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Landing pages are king when it comes to snagging new customers, and most web developers have it down to an art. But here’s a curveball: what if users are visiting your website from a smart phone or mobile device? 
The entire experience has changed and there are new rules for mobile landing page optimization. Whether you’re running a mobile advertising campaign or you’ve simply noticed that many of your users are visiting from their iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone, then you’ll have much to gain by following some of these basic tips for mobile landing pages:


  1. Don’t Use Flash This one barely needs explanation. Most phones don’t support Flash and those that do likely don’t integrate it as seamlessly as a desktop browser might. Skip it to avoid a big ugly box with a ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 285 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Yesterday, Google announced that they would be rolling out seller rating extensions for AdWords advertisers. For those who opt in or meet the automatic activation requirements (see below), web users will now see star ratings as well as a link to your reviews along with your pay-per-click ads. The star ratings are aggregated from review sites across the web, much in the way they are for Google Product Search and Google Places.
For now, only certain ads are eligible for the seller rating extension. Advertisers with a four star rating or higher and more than 30 reviews will automatically be included in the program. You must also be opted in to Google search and must be targeted to the U.S. only.
Other highlights of the Google seller ratings extension:
 Users can click through to see reviews. You won’t be charged for these clicks ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 302 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Using data collected via expo-MAX analytics, we’ve calculated a breakdown of the search term lengths that bring in the most traffic. The findings? Using a sample size of about 1.4 million visits, our study shows that 56.98 percent of all search traffic comes from two-word searches. Runners up were three-word queries at 18.2 percent followed by four-word queries at 10.6 percent. Unsurprisingly, one-word queries only garnered about 6.89 percent of the traffic.
The takeaway for search engine optimization professionals and web publishers from these stats has mostly to do with confirmation. SEOs have long targeted niche phrases with a certain balance of specificity and broadness. The two to four-word search engine query length seems to comport with most assumptions over how users search. For instance, a website devoted to JDM Honda motors might have a shot at capturing a larger slice of pie if it optimized for "motors, ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 260 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

This weekend, the hacker group known as Gnosis released a database full of usernames and passwords associated with accounts at the popular blog network Gawker. The hacking attack apparently stemmed from Gawker’s alleged mocking of hackers associated with the forum 4chan who previously attempted to bring down Gawker’s servers. The previous attempt, which failed, was reportedly spurred on by Gawker’s coverage of a harassment campaign launched by 4chan members against an 11-year old YouTube user known as Jessi Slaughter, who had provoked the ire of trolls on the web. After the first attempt to intimidate and harass bloggers for Gawker, the blog posted a derisive report of the 4chan hacker’s failed attempts. The next round of security attacks, however, were successful, and thousands of email addresses, usernames and passwords were released to the public via a torrent published on PirateBay. In addition, the dump included a list of usernames and email addre ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 305 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Google recently announced a new change to its search engine results pages. A new feature that Google is calling "Google Places Search” will automatically detect when you are searching for a local business or point of interest and provide you with listings relevant to your area. Effectively, this basically brings together geographically based search results that you’d get from Google Local or Google Maps searches and mixes them with organic results, which you’d get regardless of your location.
What does this mean? For users, this represents only a subtle change, for now. If anything, it should save them a step by putting locally relevant results right in front of their face immediately. But for search marketers, this could be a game changer. Now, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your web page gets indexed for the right location. That’s because Google will now include 30 to 40 local listings in addition ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 310 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Have you ever seen those strange, pixilated graphics and wondered what they were? It turns out that they are QR codes and they are the next evolution of bar codes. Unlike bar codes, which are strictly one dimensional (the data is read according to the gaps between the bars), QR codes have data encoded across the entire height and width of the code. That means it can hold much more information, including messages, URLs and other data.
QR codes are becoming more important for one good reason: smartphones can recognize them incredibly easily. From apps like Barcode Hero to visual searches like Google Goggles, QR codes represent treasure troves of information for smartphone users. In essence, a QR code can be like a hyperlink in real life. You can place one on a business card, product packaging, pamphlets, billboards, direct mailers, newspaper advertisements or any other place where a smartphone user may be inclined t ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 336 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

The next big thing coming for Google may also be the next big thing for television as we know it. Back in the spring, Google announced that they were developing Google TV—a digital box that would work with your cable, satellite and Internet to bring you a richer, more intuitive multimedia experience. Google TV is not a service, rather, it’s a device that brings the best of the Web, TV and your own digital media collections all into one place. This, of course, isn’t the first attempt at marrying TV with the Web. But now may just be the perfect time for Google TV to come to the market. Here’s why:
Americans Are Watching More Shows Online Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon on Demand, YouTube, Veoh—the list of places where you can watch TV on demand and/or for free are growing every day. And while there are many gaming devices and web-enabled TVs that allow you to access these hubs from your television, the majority ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 294 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Wal-Mart has long offered prepaid mobile calling plans for thrifty customers, but now it’s venturing into new territory: post-paid cell phone plans. Wal-Mart coined the term "post-paid” itself in a conscious effort to sidestep the stigma of the much loathed "contract” cell phone plan. Traditional contract-based cell phone plans have received countless consumer complaints and even FTC criticism over their restrictive (and sometimes downright punitive) early termination fees and overage penalties.
As an alternative, discount cell phone plan providers—such as Wal-Mart—began offering no-contract plans where minutes were purchased upfront, thus preventing unanticipated charges for going over a monthly limit or cancelling service. For heavy cell phone users, however, an unlimited calling plan may be more economical than a prepaid plan. Plus, unlimited cell phone plans don’t carry the risk of running out of minutes unexp ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 282 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Yelp, Foursquare and Gowalla have received their fair share of media attention and tech geek buzz, but none of these apps have reached critical mass in terms of audience. The notion of being able to check in, see where your friends area checked in and get information about nearby businesses with a location-aware app has long been heralded as the future of social gaming, proximity marketing and an all-around exercising of the full potential of smartphone technology. Facebook Places—the social network giant’s new feature that allows users to check-in places and see where their friends are checked-in as well—may be the one to make it reality. With over 500 million users, Facebook is nearly as universally subscribed as email, which is good news for socially-minded applications, where it’s always "the more the merrirer.” For Yelpers and Foursquare users outside of metro areas such as Los Angeles and New York, lack of activity has seriously affected the fun ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 264 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

What Foursquare and Yelp did for visits to local business, restaurants and tourist attractions, Barcode Hero is doing for, well, just about everything else. The smartphone app developed by Kima Labs has a simple premise: players scan barcodes of items they are interested in and are rewarded with points, badges and "dukedoms.” For example, you can walk into Best Buy and go through scanning netbooks and quickly become the duke of laptops. Or you can walk about scanning barcodes on iPods, Macbooks and iPhones and make yourself the duke of Apple products.
It’s a bit like creating a mix tape with the stuff that you buy. Your activities as a consumer help build your public profile for all of your friends to see. This notion has already gained somewhat of a foothold. Just like we used to align ourselves by genres of music—from punk and indie culture to the largesse of made-for-TV hip hop—camps have been emerging around p ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 270 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

It’s an inconvenient truth that the strategies of Internet marketers and black hat SEO practitioners sometimes overlap. This is because some legitimate strategies work for shady sites and some shady tactics work for legitimate sites. The problem is that the search engine spiders can’t tell if you’re intentions are pure—they can only tell if your methods smack of foul play. Because of this, it’s important to avoid some of the most common black hat SEO tricks, no matter what that consultant tells you. Here are some examples:

Black Hat SEO Tactic: Webpage Flooding
Webpage flooding is akin to building a cardboard army. A script randomly generates hundreds or thousands of pages of gibberish stuffed with keywords and interlinks it so that your site seems bigger and more substantial than it is. This tactic may have short term benefi ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 307 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Content writers and amateur web developers are often cognizant of the importance of keyword density—but many lack the knowledge needed to actually put this concept to beneficial use. One of the biggest myths about keyword density is that more is always better. But in reality, overburdening your website’s copy with key phrases will have a detrimental effect both on your reader’s experience and your search engine ranking. Keyword stuffed content obviously identifies itself as spam to both human viewers and search engine spiders. Still, you shouldn’t completely ignore keyword density. But rather than aiming for a certain percentage—such as 1 or 3 percent—you should try to work keywords into a couple strategic errors. As long as it sounds natural, of course. Focus on the following areas:

The Title
This is the text that appears as ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 266 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Much of your search engine optimization (SEO) and Internet advertising success relies on solid keyword research. And to get the most mileage out of your keyword optimization, it’s best to target keywords with varying levels of focus. That’s because there’s a certain amount of tradeoff that occurs when choosing your keywords. In general, a broad keyword has high search volume, high competition and low conversion. A more focused keyword, on the other hand, may have less search volume, but lower competition and higher conversion (if targeted correctly). The rationale is that those who are using very specific search terms—for example, "how to identify vintage fiestaware” instead of "dinnerware”—are more likely to have a very clear purpose for clicking through to your website, thus, it’s easier for you to guess what they are looking for and to deliver it. Of course, if you target nothing but laser focused, highly specific keywords, you’ll only garner a hand ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 281 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Ranking high in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is key to any Internet marketing or Internet advertising campaign. And the way you craft your content makes a big difference in how your website is ranked among your competitors. Specifically, copywriters want to aim for a certain level of keyword density, or the ratio of targeted keyphrases to other text. But in order to do so without alienating your human audience, a balance must be struck. Luckily, there are a few unobtrusive ways to boost your keyword density without making your copy read like spam. It all has to do with a few quirks in the way that search engines read your website.

Search Engines Don’t Care About Punctuation
Unlike your high school English teacher, search engine spiders could care less about punctuation. In fact, a period, a comma, a space, a page b ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 272 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Writing landing page copy is an inexact science, but there are certain elements of conversion-friendly style that consistently deliver more clicks, purchases and subscriptions. Each of the following dos and don’ts of landing page copy are all geared towards creating highly readable, crystal clear copy. Keep them in mind as you craft your next landing page.
Do make a complete sales pitch
It’s wrong to assume that your customer will be coming to your page with any prior knowledge about your product or will go through the trouble to contact you for more information. Lay all your cards on the table on each and every landing page. Include the main benefits of your product, the price and everything else you’d tell the customer if you had them on the phone, about to make the sale.
Don’t overlap your selling points
Category: News | Views: 272 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

In a review of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has updated the language of the law to allow "jailbreaking” of smartphones, such as the iPhone. Jailbreaking refers to the practice of bypassing Apple’s controls in order to install unapproved software on the iPhone. A similar practice, called "rooting,” achieves the same goal for Android smartphones. According to the new language, any efforts that a cell phone manufacturer might take to bar users from installing legally obtained software on their phones violates copyright law. Specifically, the paragraph in question says:
Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.
Category: News | Views: 281 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Getting potential customers to your website or sales page is half the battle—getting them to follow through with a purchase (conversion) is the other. Conversion is an interesting art and science, especially when compared to the first part of the equation. Search engine optimization, pay-per-click and most other Internet marketing strategies are very much numbers games. It’s the endless pursuit of more backlinks, higher PageRank, more impressions, etc., etc. A website with a large number of links from authority websites naturally garners more traffic. That’s easy to understand. But when it comes to conversion, there are some aspects that seem to defy logic.
Take this one, for example. Which offer do you think would convert best: (A) 50 percent off (B) half off or (C) buy one get one free. If you guessed C—the almighty BOGO—then you guessed right. Studies and test conducted by scores of direct marketers back up the ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 307 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Google, in its noble quest for usability, is always dropping hints to webmasters for how to get their pages indexed correctly and ranked well. But rarely do they reveal specific details on how the system works. The reasons are obvious—the more you know about the mechanism of the Google algorithm, the easier it is to exploit it (read: spam). Because of this, Google usually limits itself to recommending search engine optimization tweaks by speaking to the spirit of the Google algorithm.

One of the latest recommendations was to use related keywords in your SEO efforts in addition to your main keyword. For example, if you were trying to rank high for "Internet marketing books,” you shouldn’t just stuff your copy with the words "Internet marketing books” like those are the only three words you know how to say. Google encourages webmasters to also use words like "email marketi ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 265 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Investors, manufacturers and advertisers are betting that electronic readers—such as the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad—are going to be the preferred means for reading long form literature in the near future. But according to a study conducted by Dr. Jakob Nielsen, curling up with the classics in electronic form isn’t exactly faster than the old-fashioned way—nor is it necessarily more enjoyable.
Drawing on a small sample of subjects (about 20), Dr. Nielsen gauged how long it took each one of them to read through a selection of Ernest Hemingway works. Each research subject read a story from a print book, then on a computer and then on an iPad and lastly, on a Kindle. Dr. Nielsen’s findings showed that readers were 6.2 percent slower on an iPad and 10.7 percent slower on the Kindle, when compared to reading in print. With regard to reading on a PC, subjects responded that they didn’t particularly enjoy it as much ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 235 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Content is king—that much is obvious to web developers, Internet marketers and SEOs alike. But understanding of the how and why of content’s rule over the search engine results pages is a little bit more elusive. Many SEOs have taken the tip that Google likes "fresh content” and taken it to mean that they should occasionally rejigger the text on their website periodically to make it seem new to the search engine spiders. Move a navigation bar here, alter a title tag there, and somehow the Google juice would start flowing like wine. But those who use this practice may be misinterpreting this hot SEO tip. Search engine algorithms are designed to recognize and reward genuine user value, and most attempts to game the system fall flat sooner or later. The same is true for "fresh content.” The real way to attract traffic and boost your overall search engine ranking is to continue to add substantial content—not just new content. The most logical avenue for th ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 298 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

ScienceBlogs, the largest online community dedicated to science, recently added a controversial new blog to its ranks: a nutrition blog sponsored by PepsiCo. The blog network originally consisted of over 80 bloggers that have been hand-picked for their "originality, insight, talent and dedication” to scientific dialog. One such blogger, who writes under the penname GrrlScientist, has used ScienceBlogs as a forum to lodge her distaste over this decision—a sentiment which is presumably echoed by other ScieneBlogs readers and authors. According to GrrlScientist, the corporate sponsorship of the nutrition blog introduces the potential for a conflict of interest. By including to what amounts as a "corporate PR blog” among the existing bloggers, it undermines the credibility and willfully disinterested status that they have built up over the years, argues GrrlScientist.
What is interesting about GrrlScientist’s diatribe ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 261 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Pay-Per-Click is often advertised as a turnkey solution—you put in a certain amount of advertising dollars and you get a certain amount of traffic back. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. You can get more bang for your buck with PPC by avoiding some common mistakes:
  1. Using Your Homepage as a Landing Page Your homepage is the front door to your online business, but when you draw in traffic with a targeted search phrase, you won’t want to force your prospects through the entire navigation process again. When you convert with a PPC ad, you already know what the user is looking for—so bring it to them right away. For example, when you Google "Amazon Fiestaware,” the sponsored result takes you directly to Amazon’s home department with a search for Fiestaware already pulled up. This saves you the trouble of running two searches—one on the search engine and one on the destination site. You can p ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 307 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

The Internet has long been a haven for anonymous discourse. And in this way, it has seemed like the web’s forums, chat rooms and social bookmarking communities have been a grand experiment. The question: "What would happen if no one was accountable for what they said online?” For many publishers and user communities, it seems, anonymity has opened the doors to the darker side of free speech. From the piteously banal to the downright offensive, numerous web denizens are working diligently towards proving that free, anonymous speech on the Internet is perhaps a failed experiment. Of course, the comment abusers and forum trolls are far from the majority—but like a table of smokers in a crowded diner, their presence is strong enough to make the room a whole lot less comfortable for the rest of us.
Because of the scourge of anonymous, childish or even hateful commenters, many major online publishers are moving away fro ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 233 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

In order to promote its new Chromium-based operating system, Google Chrome has launched a new Google Chrome Web Store. The Google Chrome Web Store, which has been likened to the iTunes App Store for iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads, is a repository of trusted apps, extensions and themes that can be installed directly into Google Chrome or Chrome OS. The premise of the Google Chrome Web Store is that more and more users are eschewing traditional local based applications—such as Microsoft Office, iTunes and Windows Explorer—for cloud-based services, such as Google Docs, Gmail, Rhapsody and Picasa. Google argues that, because the bulk of the computing experience occurs online, computers should be streamlined for accessing these web-based services.
This concept is embodied in Google’s own Google Notebook, an unbranded laptop that runs Google Chrome OS. Google Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system based on Linux a ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 258 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

A giant gingerbread man statue has recently been spotted on the lawn outside of the Google offices. What does this mean? As history has shown, the arrival of a confectionary mascot on Google’s premise means that an update to their mobile operating system, Android, is in the works. The last update, Android 2.2, codenamed "Froyo” followed the previous version, Android 2.1 Éclair. This means that Android 2.3 Gingerbread is undoubtedly on the horizon.
Google, however, is being strategically coy, saying nothing but "We’ve been baking something.. and it’s pretty sweet.” So, for now, practically everything that’s been published about Android Gingerbread has been pure speculation. Many hopefuls are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of an Android tablet to challenge the iPad. Others are licking their chops in expectation of the Google Nexus Two, to be released sometime in early November. But for now, no o ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 273 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Google released Google Goggles for Android phones back in December 2009 to much fanfare. The visual search app allows smartphone users to run searches by taking pictures of objects that they see. Google Goggles then analyzes the image for text and items that it recognizes. For example, Google Goggles can recognize the Eiffel Tower in a snapshot of the Paris skyline. Google Goggles will highlight the objects that it recognizes and offer up more details, such as history, location and a description. If the object is a consumer good—such as a book or DVD—Google Goggles can run a product search, telling you more about the item as well as comparing costs across several online vendors.
Originally, Google Goggles was only available on Android phones. Google and Apple’s relationship has been notoriously troubled, as evidenced by the recent controversies over the Google Voice app and the alleged discrimination against Googl ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 274 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Google Instant search takes its already established "suggested searches” feature to the next level. Whereas Google’s predictive technology has always given search suggestions based on your typing, you can now see results as you type search terms. These render instantly in the results page without requiring you to press enter or load a new screen.
Google Instant Search rolled out to selected geographic regions last week. Once it’s available in your area, it’ll be automatically activated in supported browsers. If you’d like to disable it, you can do so by clicking the arrow just to the right of the search box.
The introduction of Google Instant Search set the Internet marketing community abuzz, particularly among owners of websites and companies that rely on search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click advertising. Some alarmists have (perhaps prematurely) sounded the death ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 266 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

From Google, Verizon and the FCC to BlackBerry in India, we’re seeing technology companies interfacing with policymakers more than ever today—and for good reason. Technology—particularly mobile and web technology—factors heavily into almost every facet of society, from education and research to commerce and national security. But one of the greatest strengths of cutting edge technology has been the exaggerated survival of the fittest vetting process. If a new gadget, application or web service didn’t provide a killer solution for its users, it died. So far, it’s been the classic "build a better mousetrap” challenge in overdrive. And this new pervasiveness of technology and big tech companies threatens to undermine the reign of innovation.
That’s because when an industry begins deeply affecting the economy and the worldwide social fabric, it means that the government has a duty to regulate it more heavily. And once ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 284 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

In most cases, a hyper-secure email protocol that made it impossible for anyone to read a message except for the sender and intended recipient would sound like a good thing. But if you’re a government in charge of sniffing out terrorists, it’s your worst nightmare.
That’s the debate that’s been raging overseas recently in regard to the quintessential business smartphone: the BlackBerry. As the trusted sidekick of many a high-powered executive for years, demand for highly secure email encryption system is understandably high. Should a hacker get access to proprietary data, trade secrets or insider information on investments or stock trades, it could compromise an entire business strategy and even unsettle an entire industry. That’s why BlackBerry’s corporate email service is so popular. It’s so secure, not even the government can intercept conversations.
That’s all well and go ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 252 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Google and Verizon’s recent joint policy proposal to the FCC has many critics questioning whether or not the search giant is living up to its motto of "Don’t be evil.” The controversy arises over Google’s perceived wavering in its support for "net neutrality.” Google, however, argues that it has made a compromise that amounts to an overall victory for proponents of net neutrality.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality refers to the prohibition of discriminatory practices regarding access to Internet content. Concerns have arisen over whether or not an Internet service provider (ISP)—such as Verizon, Comcast or Time Warner—has the right to limit bandwidth or access to certain websites. For example, Comcast recently came under fire for "throttling” BitTorrent speeds such that the peer-to-peer file sharing protocol was rendered unusable to many Comcast subscribers. Net neutrali ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 470 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Headlines exploded earlier this week with warnings that a major security flaw existed in the iOS 4 operating system, the latest mobile operating system being used on Apple’s iPhone. According to numerous alarmist reports, the Mobile Safari browser has a security loophole that allows programs full access to the phone’s data—including settings, programs, contacts and sensitive data. Potentially malicious programs can gain access by causing a stack overflow when Safari opens a PDF file. Once this occurs, programs surreptitiously embedded in the PDF file are then able to install programs, change settings and practically overhaul the iPhone’s operating system as it sees fit.
That’s all hypothetical, however. No such iPhone virus that exploits this security flaw has been reported in the wild. So, how does the media know about this vulnerability? It’s all thanks to the jailbreaking community.
Category: News | Views: 285 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Earlier this year, Peter Ian Cummings, founder and managing editor of XY, an online magazine, filed for personal bankruptcy. Among his assets, he listed only his $1,500 vehicle—which at times has doubled as his home—and the customer list and personal data for his publication. Surprisingly, the most valuable asset in that list isn’t the car—it’s the subscriber information. And that’s precisely what XY’s creditors have set their sights on.
But here’s the rub: XY wasn’t just any ordinary online magazine. XY’s target audience was gay youth, which included openly homosexual young men as well as willfully closeted gays. To protect the privacy of young readers who may face social and familial backlash if they were outed, XY promised to never disclose their information to other parties and offered them the option to "sign on as hiding.” For XY readers, anonymity was an integral part of the community that they paid for. ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 273 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Nielsen Online recently released a study that found that time spent on social networks and online games is on the rise, while e-mail and instant messaging are on the down tick. According to the study, Internet users now spend 22.7 percent of their time on social networks—a 43 percent increase since June 2009—and are spending a mere 8.3 percent of their time on e-mail—a 28 percent drop since June 2009. Possible explanations?
The most immediate and most obvious is the meteoric rise of social networks. Facebook has easily gained critical mass, with everyone from your grandparents to newborn infants having Facebook pages. But not only that, social media has also been directly eating into the shares of email, music sites and instant messaging platforms. That’s because social media outlets now have these features built in. Facebook, for example, has its own chat feature and robust messaging system, which obviates the ne ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 300 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

In a world where the full significance of Internet marketing is still fighting for recognition, it’s hard to believe that another sea change is building on the horizon
. But the key to dominating a market is to get in front of the benefits before the rest of the world does. And in this way, mobile marketing and customer outreach could present some of the biggest opportunities of the century. While all of the 
following trends are still somewhat nascent, they easily warrant increased attention from online and 
offline businesses alike.

Mobile Commerce
The notion of eCommerce—that is, customers going online to buy products using their credit cards—had doubters when it first hit the scene, too. Mobi ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 246 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

On Tuesday, Apple announced the release of a peculiar little peripheral: the Magic Trackpad. The smooth glassed surface touchpad is, essentially, a disembodied version of the trackpad that’s included on the latest Macbooks. The Magic Trackpad, which sits at a slight angle, just like Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard, brings all of the wow-worthy gestures—including pinching, swiping, rotating, scrolling and, of course, clicking—to desktop Macintoshes. While the Magic Trackpad is certainly novel, few journalists have gone as far as sounding the death knell for the mouse. For many, the precision and intuitiveness of a mouse, replete with physical buttons and the almighty scroll wheel, leaves little room for improvement.
But if the Magic Trackpad doesn’t supplant the tried and true mouse, which niche does it fill? In a sense, the Magic Trackpad most easily falls into the middle ground between touchscreen and the usual deskto ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 313 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

What’s in a filename? Would a website by any other URL rank as sweet? If you’re asking a search engine, the answer is a resounding "no.” The URL and file path of each web page on your site helps search engines index and rank your website. In a way, it’s a bit like judging a book by its cover—but isn’t that how you browse titles in a bookstore or at the library? You may have the best content in the world, but if a search engine never bothers to "pick it up” and see what’s inside, you won’t rank well in the search engine results pages. Here are some quick tips that will help you craft search engine friendly URLs and filenames.

Keep it Short
Google said it straight up: shorter URLs are better. The ideal range is between 3 to 5 words. Any words beyond that get devalued. And it’s not just a matter ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 305 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Getting users to subscribe to your email newsletters is one of the top conversion goals for any type of website. Email newsletters are an enduring, intimate connection with past, current and prospective customers and can be the heart and soul of some Internet marketing campaigns. However, email newsletters can be double-edged swords. The reasons for encouraging signups for your email newsletter are equally as compelling as the reasons for making it easy for users to unsubscribe.
Why? For one, it’s the law. Anti-spam laws require that all email newsletters present clear instructions for unsubscribing. But other than federal law, it’s also better for your longterm customer relations to allow easy unsubscribing. The Nielsen Norman Group’s email newsletter usability study found that most users won’t unsubscribe from an email newsletter, even if they don’t want it. Meanwhile, they grow more and more annoyed each time t ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 295 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

The shuttering of Lala was a dark day for music discovery. The intrepid cloud-based music website allowed users to listen to virtually any song imaginable once for free—legally, too. The service was an amazing accompaniment to record reviews (Pitchfork included a Lala player with each review) and was a risk-free way for users to give new artists or albums a try without the frustration of the 30 second clips featured on Amazon and iTunes. Now that Apple bought it up and shut it down, there’s a gaping void in the music discovery realm.
That void has always been partially filled by YouTube, where many a user would upload authorized (and more often than not, unauthorized) tracks from popular artists. From music videos to pre-release singles without accompanying video, YouTube has been a destination for freebie one-off listens. Now, it looks like YouTube is stepping up this utilization and making it official.
Category: News | Views: 279 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Careful what you tweet—it could get you canned. At least that’s what’s apparent from the latest clash between corporate employers and their employees who use Twitter and Facebook to voice their thoughts and opinions. After tweeting that she was "Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah … One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot,” Octavia Nasr was fired from her position as a senior editor at CNN. Fadlallah, one of the spiritual leaders of Hezbollah, is widely regarded in the U.S. (particularly by the government) as a terrorist. Not wanting to be associated with a terrorist sympathizer, CNN acted swiftly in their decision to terminate Nasr, who later expressed regret over her attempt to address such a complex issue in a forum that demands brevity by design, such as Twitter. Nasr later clarified that she was referring to Fadlallah’s "pioneering” positions on womens’ rights, rather than his terroristic tendencies. But by then, it w ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 301 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

What’s going on here? Are Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Overstock opening up offices in Colombia? No, the recent buzz about the .CO top-level domain isn’t because an awesome new business park in Bogotá. According to domain name registrars, .CO is going to be the next .COM. Dot-CO could stand for Commerce, Company or Corporation, according to eNom resellers. Which is precisely why you should register YourBusiness.co right now. Or so they say.
.CO certainly isn’t the first new top-level domain name to hit the scene. In the past years, we’ve seen the rise of .info, .mobi, .me, .us, .co.uk, .biz and scores of others. Yet, the only ones that have really stuck seem to be .org, .net and .com (.edu and .gov aren’t for sale). To a lesser extent, you see legitimate websites bearing the .us or .info top-level domain, but for the most part, the reign of the big three remains unchallenged by any serious contenders.
... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 326 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Years ago, when the iPhone was first released, Apple introduced an elegant solution for its lack of Flash support: the YouTube app. This native video viewing app allowed iPhone users to whisk between user-uploaded videos in a tidy interface that didn’t compromise YouTube’s peripheral features, such as comments, ratings and suggested similar videos. But as YouTube continued to develop, the native iPhone app began falling a step behind. For example, YouTube no longer uses a five-star rating system, a change that has not yet been reflected in the iPhone app interface.
Now, Google has regained control over how iPhone and other smartphone users experience YouTube by launching the m.youtube.com. This mobile-optimized version of the website is accessible through a mobile browser and provides mobile users a suite of updates and features that go beyond the iPhone app. Google touts the mobile version of YouTube as faster an ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 238 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Recently, Microsoft pulled its latest line of hipster-esque, socially inclined mobile phones from the shelves, making the Kin one of the shortest-lived models in the history of cell phones. Tepid reviews and flaccid sales brought the Kin to an untimely demise—but it probably didn’t have to be that way. Many users and reviewers had unrealistic expectations about the Kin, and it’s because of what Microsoft failed to mention in their marketing campaign.
The Kin Isn’t a Smartphone
In this high tech mobile market, competitors have to shine in one of two areas: affordability or functionality. The Kin did so in neither department. For one, both Kin phones cost about as much an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry, with a sticker price creeping into the triple digits and a compulsory data plan that makes TCO pretty high. But in spite of costing about as much as a Motorola Cliq or Black ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 265 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

Affiliate marketers are typically on the forefront of effective Internet promotion strategies, but there is one facet that remains relatively uncharted territory: video. Nationwide brands and other major advertisers have already launched aggressive efforts to reach customers via YouTube, Metacafe, MySpace video and other video channels, but according to a survey by AffStat, only 1 in 3 affiliate marketers currently use video as part of their strategy.
What does this mean to aspiring affiliate marketers?
For one, it means less competition in this highly advantageous space. Video content gives marketers an elevated visibility within search results, especially since major search engines are moving towards inclusion of more multimedia results. Google, for example, often boosts video results to the top of the page as a way to offer more diverse content than simple t ... Read more »
Category: News | Views: 274 | Added by: MrBlue | Date: 12.16.2010 | Comments (0)

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