Viral Video: Is It Worth It?

Marketing Sherpa and the Online Publishers Association took a look at viral video. Video is a popular marketing tactic, with 29% of MarketingSherpa’s responding viral marketers experiencing “great results.” Only “cool” microsites (37% great results) and online games/quizzes/polls (33% great results) were better received.

The OPA, though, held more dismal news for viral video. Less than 10% of online video viewers (US only) said that they frequently recommend videos to their friends. 29% did so occasionally and an impressive 62% rarely or never recommended videos.

As eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman points out, that 9% who frequently recommends videos may be the very influencers viral marketing hopes to reach.

Google Loses Personalized Homepage Preferences

Nathan Weinberg is reporting that hundreds of Google users have found their Personalized Homepages settings in a flux.

Users are coming into their accounts and seeing them rolled back several months, losing the last few months of customizations, and any attempt to edit their pages and fix it gets rolled backwards.

Google appears to be aware of the problem, it just doesn’t know how to fix it…yet.

Yikes! So sorry about this everyone… but thanks so much for coming here to report it. We’re now in frantic-chase-down-this-bug mode here at the Googleplex, and I hope to have more info for you soon.

Google Gunning for Microsoft; Microsoft Gunning for Google

Some interesting thoughts shared by two Gartner analysts that track every move of Google and Microsoft.

By offering free Web-based productivity applications, Google is looking for an additional vehicle for advertising revenue and trying to distract Microsoft from focusing on its own core search advertising business rather than hoping to grab Microsoft’s big corporate IT dollars, David Smith, a vice president and Gartner Fellow at research firm Gartner, said during a session at the Gartner Symposium ITXPO conference here on Wednesday.

Bottom line?

Google’s trying to figure out how to take some of the business away from Microsoft’s office products, while Microsoft is trying to figure out how to take a slice of Google’s search advertising business.

Sony Becomes YouTube’s Latest Rival

It seems like everyone wants to own their own video sharing site – even Marketing Pilgrim has one! Now we learn that Sony is the latest company to lay down the gauntlet at the feet of Google’s YouTube video site.

Sony’s new offering, called eyeVio, will initially launch in Japan and users will be able to select who can view the videos and for how long.

Sony hopes that, if successful, it will be able to generate revenue from advertising and may consider expanding the service to other countries.

What’s More Important, Accurate News or Fast News?

I just read a post at SEW where Frank Watson conducts a simple experiment to see how many results appear in mainstream media versus blogs for three topical search queries.

I chose three news items: Yahoo Panama, the Freedom of Choice Act, and the French elections. Doing a Google news search they had 1,062, 1,010 and 6,091 stories respectively. But using the blog search these numbers went through the roof. Panama had 34,023, FOCA had 55,836 and the French elections 65,858. There are caveats obviously. News items are dedupped (not totally but it impacts) while blogs mix news and comments so are all different. Readership of the blogs may not reach the numbers that grab news stories directly from various news sources.

Using Google Services? Be Prepared for Access Issues

There’s nothing quite like the helpless feeling you get when a service you use goes down for “maintenance” and you have no clue when it will go back online. I get that sinking feeling whenever my hosting company takes my server offline – it’s frustrating not being able to have control of something outsourced to another company.

If you plan on switching your email, docs, calendar, etc., to Google, you should rehearse exactly how you’ll handle that sickening feeling. According to CNET, Google is warning that users of its free Gmail service will likely see outages…

Joost Explores Video Advertising Alternatives

We learning details of the advertisers who have already signed on with new online video platform Joost.

31 big brand advertiser have given Joost 3-month commitments and include the likes of Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Nike, GM and Visa.

Joost plans to offer a mixture of ads, as it experiments with what works best for an online audience. While others are focusing on pre- or post-roll ads, Joost’s main ad spot will actually be one 30 second mid-roll ad per show, supplemented by various other ad types.

Ad units include still images, video spots, overlays and widgets, in addition to branded entertainment and channel sponsorships. Joost has also created an ad unit called Ad Bug, consisting of an advertiser’s animated logo in a corner of the screen, similar to station ID components in cable and broadcast TV. Ad bugs will appear at various times during a given show and disappear again after a matter of seconds.