PayPal Deluding Themselves Over Google Checkout Threat?

CNET has an interview with PayPal Chief Technology Officer Scott Thompson. It’s mostly about PayPal’s technology and anti-phishing tactics, but does have one question on Google Checkout.

Can you comment on the competition you might be seeing from Google Checkout? Have you seen any loss of market share or revenue?
Thompson: …as it relates to Google Checkout, where as you would expect we are very aware of what they are doing, we don’t think they are in a payment system business. We think they are specifically in a check-out business, and there is quite a bit difference between checkouts and payments. I would argue that we have such a lead in the business of global payments that if somebody wants to chase after us a little bit, I think they are going to realize it’s hard to do, and I think they will fully appreciate and understand the head-start we have. Nobody here is overly confident, but I think what we need to do is have a strategy and focus on that and not on any competition.

Death Threats Against Bloggers

For the past year or two, bloggers have put up with mainstream media articles that suggest we’re nothing but a crazed online lynch mob looking for trouble.

Well, the focus is about to shift somewhat, as it appears those that comment on blogs are starting to wield an unhealthy amount of power. I’m not talking about the average blog commentator – who provides value, even with criticism – I’m talking about the disturbing news that some high-profile bloggers are starting to receive death threats.

Kathy Sierra has actually had to cancel all of her speaking engagements as she is now too scared to leave her house, after being bombarded with death threats by a cyber-stalker. Kathy shares vividly what she has had to endure over the past few weeks, on her own blog.

Better than the A-List: Get National Attention from Blogging

After last week’s insular* debate on the A-list, it’s good to be reminded that blogging offers more advantages than just getting mentioned by Robert Scoble or Michael Arrington. Even the mainstream media is starting to pick up stories on the advantages of blogging. Earlier this month, MSNBC published an article called “Make Blogs Your Best Marketing Tool.”

The article details a few stories of real-world, offline success achieved because of online publicity via blogs. Some products even went from local/regional sales (one coffee, for example, was sold only in CA and AZ) to nationwide sales through some of the largest chains in the US.

How can you obtain national attention and sales through blogging publicity? The MSNBC/Entrepreneur article offers a few tips:

$1.1B for Car SEM (or How Not to Be Impressive)

Research and Markets writes up eMarketer’s new report on the future of automotive marketing. They predict a $1.1 billion aggregate spend on search marketing (SEO and “paid ads”).

That’s a pretty big number—but I’m not impressed. Why not?

Number one, the press release touting their new study starts off by noting that the automotive industry spends $21 billion in advertising. Granted, the automotive industry does lend itself better to offline advertising in many ways, but to spend 5% of your marketing budget in SEM doesn’t seem like very much.

Number two, eMarketer, author of the study, also notes that the auto industry plans on spending more than twice that ($2.54 billion, to be exact) on non-search-related Internet marketing.

CBS Goes Mobile

You’ve got to give them credit for trying: CBS does kind of seem to be getting the new media. For more than a year they’ve been making deals with Google Video, YouTube, and CSTV. in addition to their own streaming channel. And now they’re going mobile.

MediaPost blogs about the new deal to provide popular shows on mobile phones. CBS has signed deals with several providers, including Cingular and Verizon. Their most recent deal, with Sprint, is the first to include preroll ads for their shows and clips.

Aside from the convience of watching the shows that you weren’t going to watch anyway or the evening news whenever you want (what, a week after it airs so it’s already out of date?), what are the advantages of mobile TV? I certainly don’t want to watch TV on a 2″ x 2″ screen while paying by the kilobyte—and that’s even without preroll ads. (Though, like Wendy on MediaPost points out, early adopters will be all over it.)

Will Jason Calacanis Evangelize SEO?

Neil Patel has provided an update on his challenge to show Jason Calacanis that SEO is not “snake oil” and can in fact help a site increase its search engine traffic.

Here’s the latest from Neil…

Currently SEO changes are still being made and around 10% of them have been made so far which has resulted in 7,449 search engine visitors between March 14th and March 19th. This proves that there was a 21.14% increase in search traffic…When everything is done I estimate a 50% or so increase in search traffic.

Neil’s ability to improve Calacanis’ search traffic was never really in question, the key is to now get Calacanis to go back on his scathing comments.

Nice work Neil!

Desktops, Movies, Mobile and Ninjas!

You know, my Google Reader link blog would be even more useful, if I could add my thoughts to each added item. Instead, I’ll share some interesting news right here!

BTW, two of those news items come courtesy of MP readers. Thanks guys!