MySpace News Gets Reality Show?

Less than a week after the launch of MySpace News, Reuters reports on a planned political show, “Independent,” for the social news site.

The goal for the show is to engage young adults in politics. “Independent” is slated to “air” on MySpace News next year, after MySpace’s presidential primaries.

Fortunately, this news doesn’t end there. The producer is Mark Burnett, aka the father of reality TV. What does that mean for “Independent”? From what I’ve pieced together, viewers will vote on the best campaigners—not the candidates themselves, but MySpacers who upload videos about their campaign efforts on behalf of one of the candidates, but I’m not sure. Deduce for yourself:

MySpace users and TV viewers will select from a pool of candidates who have uploaded audition videos to the site.

1/3 Adults Consult Wikipedia; CD Version Out

The Washington Post reports today on a Pew Internet study that states that Wikipedia receives around 70% of its traffic from search engines (citing Hitwise), and one in three adults consults Wikipedia—39% of men and 34% of women. The full study also notes that 50% of those consulting Wikipedia are college graduates. One hopes they take the information they find with the appropriate grain of salt.

The Washington Post also notes the role of SEO in Wikipedia’s search engine traffic:

Most Influential People of the Year? Time Magazine Wants You to Decide

Time magazine wants your help in determining the most influential people of the year. They’ve posted a short-list of 200 potential candidates, and guess who’s currently topping the list?

Stephen Colbert!

Could the mischievous Comedy Central host possibly add “most influential” person of the year, to his “greatest living American” title?

You decide!

Consumer Generated Content Offers Better ROI for Marketers

Ad network BlueLithium studied 1.7 billion impressions, from 716 ads, across more than 100 sites, and determined that user-generated content (UGC) generally offered a lower cost per conversion than traditional media.

When comparing ads shown on non-UGC sites (sites with a more structured editorial process) to those sites with UGC, the ads on the non-UGC sites had a 32% higher conversion rate. However, due to the lower advertising costs associated with many UGC sites, the cost-per-conversion on non-UGC sites was 58% higher than the consumer generated alternatives. According to CMO, Dakota Sullivan, the cost savings “more than balanced out” the lower conversion rates of ads running on UGC sites.

BlueLithium also explored UGC against non-UGC sites from the comScore Top 250.

Intel Gets Google Inside its Advertising

Now that Google is using Intel processors in its servers, it only seemed fair that Intel give a little love back to its partner.

Intel did just that today, announcing that its hardware partners will be able to take advantage of Google AdWords as part of a central marketing platform.

Intel is introducing a virtual marketing storefront for its thousands of channel and reseller licensees that will provide a single online site for planning and creating ad campaigns such as placing print ads, ordering merchandise and services and customizing items with their company logo. Google is providing a suite of tools within that storefront that will help the users create and manage AdWords campaigns using things like pre-approved ad templates. The storefront and Google program will go into effect April 29.

IAC Adds Contextual Ads to Ask Sponsored Listings

The 30,000 advertisers using Ask Sponsored Listings just received a new channel for displaying their ads as IAC has announced the launch of a contextual advertising channel.

The contextual product is integrated into the Ask Sponsored Listings (ASL) platform and allows ASL advertisers to seamlessly extend their pay per click advertising campaigns to content pages. Reaching over 34 million unique users each month, the ASL content advertising network will launch with sites from IAC’s portfolio of brands including Match.com, Ticketmaster, Evite and Citysearch.

Ask has obviously completed a lot of research on existing contextual ad offerings as they’re promising enhanced customization for  publishers.

  • Customization of ad look and feel (background color, font, layout, graphics)
  • Customizable relevancy settings to meet user experience goals
  • Editorial control of advertisers (competitive advertiser blocking)

Autonomy Takes Over Blinkx, Plans London IPO

What do you know about Blinkx? It’s a video search engine with some cool algorithms, right?

Yep, that’s about all I knew of the company too.

Well, today it transpires that there was a mystery relationship between Blinkx and a company called Autonomy, and now Autonomy has exercised an option to buy the company and will take it public in the UK.

The UK-based Autonomy has exercised an option to take over the consumer site Blinkx (Blinkx founder and CEO Suranga Chandratillake—a former U.S. CTO of Autonomy—told Search Engine Watch in 2005 that Autonomy didn’t have any equity in the search site, but was only providing the search technology behind the service)….the site had about $10-12 million invested in it since it founded in 2003. With the takeover, Autonomy is spinning off its consumer division (the technology), merging it with Blinkx Inc (the video search site), renaming the two together as Blinkx, plc, and then will float them through an IPO on London’s AIM market in May. Autonomy plans to hold 10 percent of the demerged unit after the listing.