Modern Marketers Need SEM

Paul Christ as KnowThis.com Marketing Blog lists search engine marketing as the #2 concept that modern marketers need to know. It’s a pretty strong endorsement. From the post:

But I will say that if you are not thoroughly familiar with each of these topics then you owe it to yourself to learn. Soon! Pick up books, go to websites, attend seminars, enroll in courses. Whatever it takes learn these concepts as soon as you can. . . .

2. Search Engine Marketing Get with the program! If you are a marketer and still don’t know why this segment of Internet marketing is important then you have a problem. Search engines are the most important influence on marketing since television became a competitor to radio. You need to know how this is impacting your business.

Your Commute Just Got Shorter: a Complete Virtual Office

I’ve been working from home, mostly telecommuting, since my son was born a year ago. If, like me, you’re one of those SEMs who works from home, Read/WriteWeb has compiled a list of programs to create a complete virtual office, including giving presentations and collaborating with team members (presumably also working from their homes). In addition to the author’s (Alex Iskold’s) favorites, he offers several alternatives in each area.

The best things about working from home? Alex writes:

In addition, virtual companies consist of happier employees. These are people who do not need to spend time in traffic, people who save money on gas, people who conserve resources and, perhaps most significantly, people who spend more time with their family. So perhaps this simple, yet very profound, application of technology is the beginning of a new trend and the way we will mostly work and communicate in the future.

AdWords Trademark Appeal Deepens

The first round in the legal battles over using trademarked terms in AdWords ads went to Google. The decision in Rescuecom v. Google was, bottom line, that Google could accept bids on trademarked terms.

Naturally, Rescuecom, the plaintiff, is appealing the decision. The case is waiting its turn in the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Now the Electronic Freedom Foundation has filed an amicus brief. In the brief, they claim that the use of trademarks in ads is in the public interest, citing the First Amendment.

EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz is quoted in the press release:

On the Internet, trademarks aren’t just identifiers. They are essential navigation tools and vehicles of expression. Quashing this speech goes against both the law and the public interest.

MSN Invites You to Take Over Mainstream Media

MSNBC is launching a site for citizen journalists to contribute to their news. As a separate site, FirstPerson has a social media twist to it:

In the coming months, you will see the FirstPerson logo show up throughout the site, seeking your input and contributions on stories both serious and light-hearted. You will also be able to quickly scan through FirstPerson submission requests from throughout the site. . . .

See FirstPerson content from other readers you like? We invite you to vote for your favorite reader-submitted photos and video, and will let you know which ones the editors liked as well.

Although they say they’ll be taking “input and contributions on stories both serious and light-hearted,” right now their site is mostly requesting color stories: quirky local attractions, celebrity look-a-likes, dog photos, vintage car photos . . .

Yahoo Releases Support for NOYDIR Tag

Yahoo has come through with it’s promise to release a no Yahoo directory meta tag much like the no ODP meta tag.

Many webmasters complained that the title and description given to organic search listings when a site was listed in the Yahoo directory affected click through ratios and rankings. Now they can opt out of Yahoo using the directory information.

The format for the meta tag is:

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOYDIR">

or

<META NAME="Slurp" CONTENT="NOYDIR">

Yahoo noted that to make these changes effective there would be an index update. Full information is available on the Yahoo blog.

Carl Icahn Invests in Mobile Content Provider Motricity

Motricity, a mobile content and services company based in Durham, N.C.,  has announced a $50 million round of equity funding from serial investor Carl Icahn.

Being a company local to me, I’m glad to see them growing and getting some working capital. but I’m sure they’re well aware that Icahn is not always an investor that likes the status quo.

Yahoo Slams Google’s Usability

I guess Yahoo felt they needed to be in the news this week – no matter what the reason. It’s the only explanation I can think of for Yahoo’s Jeff Bonforte, senior director of real time communications, attacking Google’s usability efforts.

“[Google] definitely is lacking in usability,” Bonforte said in a meeting with reporters at Yahoo’s corporate headquarters.

“They don’t have this intimate connection in usability with consumers that Yahoo has had for 10 years. When it comes to consumer applications, no-one is more successful than Yahoo hands down. And it happens over and over and over again. In every application, we are number one or two.”