A federal judge has ordered Google to turn over to Viacom its records of which users watched which videos on YouTube, the Web’s largest video site by far. The order raised concerns among YouTube users and privacy advocates that the video viewing habits of tens of millions of people could be exposed. But Google and Viacom said they were hoping to come up with a way to protect the anonymity of the site’s visitors.
Digital media spending is at an all-time high, fueled by search, social media and mobile. Even banner advertising is back -- but not just on the Web. Banners are showing up in movies, games, instant message sessions and even video-enabled cell phones -- with contextual and behavioral targeting as primary drivers. How does a marketer know where an online ad will deliver its best value or what creative will deliver best in conversions?
YouTube has begun offering advertisers the ability to pair their in-video ads with videos the site believes are on their way to becoming viral hits. The YouTube product team created an algorithm it says can identify videos that are on the up and up in terms of audience. It makes that determination by looking at factors such as the early acceleration of views on a given clip, along with the number of times it is "favorited" and the number of ratings it receives. The Google-owned platform hopes the feature will appeal to entertainment marketers and to those pushing products with broad appeal, according to a spokesperson.
There is no question political and advocacy campaigns have embraced the Internet as part of the 2008 campaign cycle. Blogs, social networks and the YouTube phenomenon all are prevalent aspects of the marketing mix, and most campaigns have perfected fundraising and e-mail marketing online.
A few years ago, many of us in the interactive marketing field were predicting the “death of the homepage” or “Google is the new homepage.” About that time, some of us started touting widgets as the next big thing without really knowing why. It sounded right, and many of us were hungry for the next big thing.
When Don Marsh thinks windows, the last thing on his mind is Microsoft software. Don the Window Cleaner is a nice, down-to-earth guy. His story begins when he was down on his luck after a series of jobs that never panned out. He rode into town on his motorcycle armed with rudimentary window cleaning tools and only enough gas in the tank to make the one-way trip. Luckily, he learned about salesmanship quickly enough to fill up his tank for the return trip and put an extra $20 in his pocket.
While the old vanguard struggles with the transparent, hypersocial and collaborative aspects of today’s customer-driven environment, this type of audience interaction comes natural to startups. Case in point is FreshBooks, an online time tracking and invoicing company based in Toronto that caters to the SOHO market. This firm uses a variety of social media to stay in contact with customers, including traditional channels like phone and in-person meetings. In fact, a few members of the executive team recently conducted a road show, dubbed “RoadBurn,” reaching out to customers across the southern half of the U.S. What gave it a modern twist was the use
Blended search is finally getting its close-up. The term refers to search results pages that go beyond text links and offer many kinds of content, such as video, images, audio, news and blogs. Google, Yahoo! and MSN started offering blended search results for some searches in the past year.
Attention, attention: The latest tech darling has arrived, and it goes by the name of FriendFeed. Silicon Valley is buzzing about the seven-month-old startup, which offers a promising if somewhat messy new Internet service. Part of the interest comes from the blue-ribbon pedigrees of its founders, including Google alums Paul Buchheit and Bret Taylor, who honchoed Gmail and Google Maps. But just as much of the hullabaloo stems from how the founders are addressing a growing issue online: the balkanization of the Web. People are socializing on networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace and sharing pictures and videos on Web sites including Flickr and YouTube. But all these activities have been walled off from one another, like separate digital worlds. To keep track of friends and colleagues, you have to log in and out of different services constantly.
As readers of this e-zine know, I started out in the book business—first in publicity departments and later as a traveling salesman calling on bookstores, wholesalers and libraries in the East and Midwest. As a salesman, I used to get commissions. As an author of books, I receive royalties. The killer on any commission or royalty statement is the line, “Returns”—unsold books returned to the publisher for credit on which commissions and royalties are deducted. Returns have been the bane of book publishing for more than 70 years. The announcement that HarperCollins will launch a new division that will not accept returns from booksellers