Linky Goodness, August 31

A few more end-of-the-month links to round out your August!

NBC Ditches iTunes

Claiming they’re unable to come to an agreement on pricing, NBC Universal has declined to renew their contract with iTunes to sell downloads of their television shows. The New York Times reports today that NBC, which has provided 40% of iTunes’ video downloads, “is also seeking better piracy controls and wants Apple to allow it to bundle videos to increase revenue.”

Riiiight. Pricing. I totally buy that reasoning, and so does Mike Arrington—NOT. NBC’s crazily-named video site,, launches in private beta in October. I wonder how long it’ll be before they start selling their licensed content there.

Pilgrim Updates: Digg, Facebook, Contest Winner

We wanted to let you know about a few housekeeping items.

First up, there’s now an official Marketing Pilgrim Facebook group. What is it good for? Not sure yet, but we’ll likely use it for some contests or scoops, so you might want to join it.

Next, after “testing” Digg for almost a year, I’ve now decided to start a new profile with my real name! You can follow my submissions here. I have no intention of submitting posts from Marketing Pilgrim–but that doesn’t stop you. :-)

Lastly, remember that contest to give away $300 to one lucky RSS subscriber? Well we ran the secret message this week and we’ve randomly selected our winner. Congratulations to Andrew Miller!

Stay tuned for another Marketing Pilgrim contest launching before the end of September.

Pilgrim’s Picks for August 31

It’s the end of the week and the end of the month! Does that make today a BOGO? ;-)

Here’s some interesting news from today’s feeds.

Viacom Once Again Abusing DMCA?

image It appears Viacom hasn’t learned its lesson after its last abuse of the DMCA takedown notice. It’s now targeting a YouTube video that includes a clip of a VH1 show, which includes the unauthorized use of video created by the person who uploaded the YouTube clip.

Confused? This should help:

  1. Chris Knight creates a funny video as part of his campaign Rockingham County Board of Education.
  2. Viacom’s VH1 takes the clip from YouTube and uses it in a VH1 segment, without Knight’s permission.
  3. Knight’s flattered and uploads the VH1 clip to YouTube.
  4. Viacom accuses Knight of copyright infringement and YouTube takes down the video.

Absurd? It doesn’t get any more ridiculous than that!

Knight is obviously feeling victimized by Viacom…

Email Marketers Need To Know SPF

According to a study conducted by email marketing experts Lyris, there is “an increasing reliance on the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) authentication method” to determine the legitimacy of inbound mail.

SPF is an open standard method to prevent sender address forgery. The solution to combat fake email works via a delivery policy specified in the domain’s DNS zone records. The receiving server can check whether a message has complied with the domain’s stated policy before conducting further checks.

The study, which monitored almost half a million messages, shows that permission-based email is delivered roughly 75 percent of the time to major ISP inboxes. Further examination showed a decrease in image spam and an increase in spam using PDF, PowerPoint or Excel files.

Yahoo Social Network To Get KickStart

Forgive the title pun – CNet reports that Yahoo! are currently working on a concept social networking service called – you guessed it – KickStart. A LinkedIn style job network to connect college students with potential employers.

Yahoo! KickStart Concept Screenhsot

The features you see in screenshots, like the one above, may never materialise – but if this concept were to get the Sunnyvale green light, never will there have been a truer statement than “it’s who you know, not what you know” — to get an “in” to the company of your dreams you will need an invite from an employee who was also a previous alumnus of your college.

Research surveys are already being conducted among students to discover exactly what they think of this new idea. A Yahoo! spokesperson commented: