November 28, 2006

Edelman Threatening to Lose WOMMA Membership

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For those still following up on the Edelman/ Wal-Mart flogging fiasco (for details, see here), you may be interested to know that Edelman was put on a 90-day review by WOMMA about a month ago.  WOMMA is the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, that, ironically, Richard Edelman (principle of Edelman) was one of the founding members of.  In a report from the MediaPost, it looks like Edelman may have to do some serious revamping of its fake blogs to ensure that its membership remains in good standing — more than simply attributing names to various posts, for example.

Since being outed as the mastermind behind the ostensibly grassroots sites, Edelman has made minor changes to them. Entries that were previously anonymous now carry a first name; clicking on the name links to brief biographies that identify the contributors as Edelman employees who have Wal-Mart as a client, although there is no mention that Edelman is a public relations agency.

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Trends Amongst India’s Bloggers

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Some interesting finds about the Indian blogosphere, as noted by the newspaper, The Hindu, through an online survey of visitors to the MSN portal

  • Most  bloggers are male — in contrast to most other parts of the blogosphere, where it appears to be fairly equal
  • Bloggers tend to be searching for Technology first and foremost  — which, in most other parts of the world is actually lower on this list
  • Blogging is still nascent — only 1/7th the number of internet users are actively blogging (compare this with 50% of Singapore’s youth, and 25 of Canada’s internet users)
  • Good design is hot, while ” poor writing, self-centred content and lack of information about when it has been updated” is not.

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Google’s secret ad network

It appears Google won’t settle for ruling the CPC market, now they’re hitting the CPM ad networks as well. Yes, that’s costs per thousand, as in display based advertising, much like the likes of Doubleclick (are they still live?) does.

You can’t join though, it’s by Google invitation only, according to this post by John Chow, who runs The TechZone which is in this network. Apparently you negotiate a flat CPM rate with Google, and it works from there.

Will this be available to the rest of us? Well, John seems to think that you need a major site to get invited to this, and he might just be right. Google can already deliver brand building ads to smaller publishers via the Adsense network, which supports text links, image ads, and is fiddling with video ads. So this new, top secret and yet unnamed ad network sure looks tailored to the major websites out there. Interesting.

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Marshall Kirkpatrick leaves TechCrunch, shares secrets

Marshall Kirkpatrick has been the editor over at TechCrunch for the last six months, but now leaves to do consultant work and such. It sure doesn’t seem to be any hard feelings between Marshall and Mike Arrington, they only have nice things to say about each other.

Natali Del Conte is replacing Marshall by the way. Check out the CrunchNotes post for a brief introduction.

Anyway, when leaving TechCrunch, Marshall has decided to share his secrets for obtaining good news leads. While it sounds big and powerful, it’s basically just his techniques for reading RSS feeds, but still it’s worth a read if you want to know how he kept up to date with the news.

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Hey look, it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen! (updated)

Tape it off the internet, or TIOTI for short, is a great service. You record something from the telly, and upload it to TIOTI for others to see, with tags (hey, it’s Web 2.0!). Great, now you can download that episode of House you missed!

However, what does the TV network think of this? TIOTI better have a good strategy for these kinds of things. They claim they’re matching everything with Itunes, AOL and services like that, but seriously, do they have editorial control over uploaded content?

I don’t know, it’s in invitational beta, as is the custom in Web 2.0. To me it sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, so I’ll skip it for now. The idea, could it be done legally, is great however.

Update! Check out this interview over at TechCrunch UK (thanks Devon) for more on TIOTI. It doesn’t lay everything out there in the open, but it clarifies some things. There is, however, BitTorrent streams to snatch, although not hosted at TIOTI. In my opinion they’d need to remove them if they’re to become 100% legit in the eyes of the TV world.

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November 27, 2006

A Personal Apology To MySpace

Despite its undisputed success in the social networking arena, MySpace is often regarded by many web 2.0 and blogger pro’s as the “low end” of the internet. My personal belief was that MySpace represented the rear end of the internet–everyone has one but you would lose all sense of dignity for publicly showing off yours.

That was the attitude I felt towards MySpace in general, until it helped our family locate long lost relatives thought to have been missing in action many years ago.
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Porcelain Philosopher’s and The Writings on the Stall

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Porcelain Philosopher’s and The Writings on the Stall

Have you ever sat down on the toilet? Have you ever been sitting quietly while waiting for your body to emit sound, smell and matter into said porcelain toilet and begun thinking? Maybe you began observing your surroundings? Were they located in a public place?

toiletanimedeezone.jpgFor clarities sake most of us have sat down in a public restroom stall to poop or pee. The contents we excrete, we conveniently flush away with toilet tissues after a thorough wipe or patting of our nether regions. What did you do while you were inside… other than the obvious. Many people write. They write on the stall walls, scratching or marking and even burning letters, words, symbols, images, love notes, anagrams or their personal initials into and onto it. I read it. I grimace. Sometimes I even tag it too. I have even laughed or giggled out-loud.

Give Debbie a call for a good time or J.W.D loves HFO!!! greet my eyes and I wonder who this Debbie lady is and read more

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India To Censor Google’s Orkut Because Of Anit-Shivaji Forums?

After discovering the existence of anti-Shivaji forums on Google’s Orkut, some authorities in India are attempting to ban access to Orkut in order to prevent users from viewing any future content that may insult their warrior king.

(Times of India) The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the state government to file a reply to a public interest litigation seeking a ban on Orkut. [...]

In the present petition, Thane resident Subodh Balsaraf claimed that the language used against the warrior king was “vulgar and defamatory and showed disrespect to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj”.

With over a billion people, India is arguably the world’s largest democracy. Simply banning an entire site because of a differing opinion would make the nation web 2.0 unfriendly and would encourage businesses to relocate elsewhere.
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Boo.com is back in 2007 (fear the bubble)

“Is it a bubble?�

I didn’t use to think so, really. Sure, we’ll see casualties, but last time (the dotcom bubble, you know) one of the major problems was that the consumer money didn’t move online. Now it does, increasingly so.

But now this. Boo.com, a Swedish dotcom venture that basically burned loads of money, and eventually crashed hard, will relaunch soon. 2006 according to the website, but it could just as well be 2007 since doing an e-commerce launch this close to Christmas doesn’t make sense. The last time around they sold fashionable clothes with a cutting edge interface in Flash, that just didn’t load fast nor worked good enough. And it was 1999, come on.

Better luck the second time around, or the beginnings of a new crash? Despite my initial words of this post, I wouldn’t be the least surprised if Boo.com could find a niche and be a player in the industry. Not a big one, but still a player. The name might still be ringing alarm bells to the industry, but the general populace has been fed a book of the Boo.com project, and probably remembers the name.

Still, what’s next? Get paid to surf, AllAdvantage style? Oh, shit…

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The Technorati Top 100 blog trends, with pie charts

Modern Life is Rubbish is a wonderful blog and a must read for me. They deliver lots of interesting posts, and sometimes rock them with pie charts.

A while ago (OK, it’s almost two weeks, how did I miss it?) they posted about the Technorati Top 100 bloggers and what they’re using, blog wise. That is, what kind of blogging platform they use, how (and if) they monetize, choice in colors, language… It’s an interesting post, although I would like to know how this information was acquired, and also a little more depth in some areas would have heightened it more.

Still, a good read for us blogospheric people.

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