Daily Roundup for 2008-04-16

  • It’s a question marketers are still grappling with years after the first waves of corporate blogging flooded the web. But for better or worse, it seems corporate blogging — and the title of chief blogger — is beginning to hit its stride. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Marriott and Kodak all have recently recruited chief bloggers, with or without the actual title, to tell their stories and engage consumers.
  • These days, online consumers and companies are collaborating on a range of activities, including R&D, marketing and after-sales support.  Here are a few examples of how brands and consumers are working together online.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-04-14

  • Yahoo’s resistance to a takeover by Microsoft looks foolhardy to some investors and Wall Street analysts. But the push-back may prove effective in the end—at least by forcing the suitor to cough up a few more bucks a share.  Executives from Yahoo (YHOO) on Apr. 7 reiterated the reasons for their opposition. The $31-a-share offer, made public Feb. 1, "substantially undervalues" Yahoo, and its stock component is even less attractive in light of Microsoft’s (MSFT) slumping share price. "We have continued to launch new products and to take actions which leverage our scale, technology, people, and platforms as we execute on the strategy we publicly articulated," Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang and Chairman Roy Bostock wrote.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) just dropped the bomb on Yahoo (YHOO). Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Apr. 5 sent a letter giving Yahoo’s board three weeks before it initiates a proxy fight, including nomination of a new slate of directors likely to approve the deal.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-04-10

  • Even as some marketers rein in spending to hedge against further economic problems, search engine marketing (SEM) is in great shape—at least for the moment.  Search engine advertisers and agencies surveyed for the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)-sponsored "2007 State of the Market" survey listed multiple reasons for the SEM spending growth, including advertiser demand, rising keyword and pay-per-click campaign costs, small-to-midsized business SEM use and increased behavioral and demographic targeting.  The study was conducted by Radar Research online using an IntelliSurvey panel.
  • Many job seekers are blithely unaware that their former employers all too often say things that can damage or halt their career prospects. Most of this is due to the erroneous belief that it’s somehow illegal to ask about things other than title and dates of employment during a reference check.  This is simply not true.  Today’s courts have literally invented a whole new body of law called "Employment Law." Bundled in this tangle of law is employment pre-screening, otherwise known as reference checking.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-03-09

  • Silicon Valley is where most everyone’s goal is to be wildly successful in changing the world – creating a runaway success and being rewarded with a big payday. All know the odds, and the daily struggle of insatiable demands for the next big thing with the very least investment, and industry-wide contempt for those who have failed. Despite this, all are driven to grasp for the shiny brass ring that’s always, though sometimes barely, out of reach. It is an environment of soaring hopes, crashing defeats, and maddening near-misses. Despite this, entrepreneurs never lose their yearning to change the world and be entrepreneurs. While they love the perceived freedom, they live in the constant state of self-consciousness (they may deny it), feeling their entire worth as a human being is being judged by people who are risk averse, lack vision, and not technically one’s peers.
  • Bill Gust, like most venture capitalists, is an optimist. The managing general partner of Anthem Capital Management’s Baltimore office expects a tougher year for entrepreneurs looking for funding, but said opportunities still exist for the right ideas. Entrepreneurs seeking capital have become more confident and experienced, said Don Rainey, a general partner with GroTech Capital Group. He said the tech bubble burst and Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had a greater chilling effect on entrepreneurs than today’s economy. “The current credit crisis doesn’t cause the same kind of hesitancy,” Rainey said. “I think quality has been improving for a couple years; the management are more mature and experienced than they were a year ago.”

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Daily Roundup for 2008-03-04

  • Online search site Ask.com is not getting rid of its specialized search technology, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, saying a blog report to that effect was incorrect. Analysts cited a report in Silicon Alley Insider on Friday as one of several factors that led shares 7 percent lower in Ask.com’s parent, IAC/InterActiveCorp.
  • Senior marketing executives in several countries agree that the use of social media for corporate, brand and product marketing is not a passing fad, according to research sponsored by TNS media intelligence/Cymfony. In fact, nearly 50% believe it is a vital component of corporate communications that should be monitored at the executive level and allocated significant resources.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-02-25

  • Alibaba Group, the Chinese Internet company part-owned by Yahoo Inc., has hired advisers to help it negotiate for expanded management independence in the event its U.S. partner is acquired by Microsoft Corp., a person familiar with the situation said.
  • eMarketer predicts that online retailers in the US will ring up over $100 billion more in sales in 2012 than they did in 2007. Sales growth will come mainly from consumers who are shifting their spending from traditional retail stores to the Internet.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-02-11

  • On the surface, Microsoft’s $44 billion offer to acquire Yahoo! seems to simplify the US search market share race. The combined firm would be second in online ad revenues to No.1 Google, and ahead of AOL. In 2007, Google rang up nearly $6 billion, while Yahoo! had about $3.4 billion and MSN had $1.4 billion net revenues.
  • McAfee, Inc. today announced that it is making the Internet safer for all users by completing the acquisition of privately held ScanAlert, Inc. ScanAlert is the creator of the HACKER SAFE web site security certification service, which protects over 50 million e-commerce transactions per month and proactively advises consumers about which sites are safe for shopping. The ScanAlert technology will be integrated into McAfee’s award-winning safe search and surf technology, SiteAdvisor(R), which just reached a significant milestone of its own: It has been downloaded more than 100 million times by consumers who request SiteAdvisor’s Web site ratings more than a billion times each day.

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