Archive for November, 2007

Dell Goes After A Pet Peeve Of Mine

November 30, 2007

Although Dell’s third quarter figures rose compared to last year, The Wall Street Journal pointed out that purchases from businesses overall has remained stagnant. So, Dell went and figured out a way to increase their bottom line: sue cybersquatters, especially with a nifty little charge tacked on that could take damages from $1000 per domain to the millions.

Now don’t get me wrong: typo/cybersquatters annoy the hell out of me. Purchasing domains for clients always becomes a little more tricky because these people run schemes to keep the URL tied up as they switch them around for free, while also making money off of AdWords commissions. This practice also ends up costing my clients valuable money in their pay-per-click campaigns (Richard Ball has the same issue for some of his campaigns and has a great analysis of this on Apogee Weblog).

I really don’t see Dell winning this case but, oddly enough, I am secretly rooting for them. Even if they do win I don’t foresee smaller companies like mine being able to chase these squatters around for money that infringes on our clients’ domains, but it would be nice to see less of this junk showing up as referrers in our Analytics reports.

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When I Was Your Age…

November 27, 2007

Despite the absolutely depressing story today in the Financial Times (US Housing Gloom Intensifies), I had a funny thought:

I remember gas being 80-something-odd cents when I was a kid; now, living in New York City, I can no longer tell you the current price for a gallon of gas, but I know it’s hella expensive.

Now I wonder if one day I’ll tell some young up-and-comer that I remember the days of $5 CPM’s.

Facebook ‘Social Ads’

November 7, 2007

Facebook announced a new advertising program, which you can read about in the New York Times story  Facebook Is Marketing Your Brand Preferences (With Your Permission). Also, there is a quick question-and-answer style article from the Associated Press, and another story posted by Businessweek that gives more details about the announcement. On a side note, the latter article confirms something I wrote about earlier, namely the horrible click-through rates of the larger social networking sites. Overall, this brings up two interesting points:

First, I am glad to see a somewhat creative go at advertising. Because many Web 2.0 sites are holding out for the ad-generated revenue savior, but are realizing marketers are unhappy with campaign performance, this is a chance to test something relatively new out, a chance to test whether or not thinking outside the box can garner attention and interaction.

Additionally, one of the larger arguments present throughout these stories is a concern about the lack of privacy the new ad campaign seems to offer. However, as part of the Internet crowd, I take little issue with this; a New York Magazine article, Say Everything, did an incredible job expressing my feelings towards the shifting concept of ‘privacy’ among younger Americans, particularly those active online. On the more personal side, I have my own private blog, but as (I believe) a fairly-educated Internet user, I take many measures to separate out my ‘online identities’ so as to prevent any privacy issues. Also (just in case), I stalk back: I posted html code on my private blog to log all page-views and geographic areas through a great (free) service I researched. Thus, I think that as long as the Internet user who posts private things online or participates in social networking sites are aware of how their information will be used, it should not be an issue.

Now, let’s cross our fingers and see where Facebook’s ‘Social Ads’ take us…

Google Cellphone Software

November 6, 2007

Everybody in the tech realm knows about the announcement, and I don’t really have anything to add to the conversation… except a chance to vent. Yesterday when I read a brief summary (it was that short, hence the reason for my reduntant terms), I had one, and only one question. But first, a key quote that I read this morning in the Times:

“John O’Rourke, general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile business, said he was skeptical about the ease with which Google would be able to become a major force in the smartphone market. He pointed out that it had taken Microsoft more than half a decade to get to its current level, doing business with 160 mobile operators in 55 countries.”

Now back to my vent. In all honesty I can say the first thought that popped into my mind when I read the announcment was: when the hell can I put Android on my Motorola Q? Seriously, I’m almost to the point where I believe anything could be better than Windows Mobile 5.0. And no, I don’t want to upgrade to 6.0.

Google, are you taking beta-testers? I’m a big fan. Please help me. Please.

The Long Tail Strikes Back

November 1, 2007

Chris Anderson, the chief editor at Wired,  grew (extremely) tired of the off-topic PR junk that perpetually showed up in his inbox. So he published a list of email addresses he has now blocked (and the list is long). This action, and the ensuing comments, is perhaps one of the most entertaining things I have seen quite a while.