Online Sales Up this Holiday Season

It might not be an especially cheery holiday for retailers this year – at least offline retailers. TNS Retail Forward, a company that conducts research on the retail market, says growth in holiday sales will be the slowest it has been in five years. The forecast? Fourth-quarter growth in 2007 will slow to 3.3% – it was at 4.6% in 2006. But it is still growth. However, their projection for online sales is rosier. They expect online sales to bring in nearly $42 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007. That’s up 7 billion from last year when it sales were at $35 billion in the fourth quarter.

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CBS Experiments With Its Video Content

CBS is apparently really working to find something that will stick. Two weeks ago they were talking about social networking and making their content more portable. Now they’re working on “EyeLab,” a studio dedicated to turning glossy 30- to 60-minute shows into bite-sized web clips. Even more revolutionary, CBS is also planning to involve users in not only watching video clips but making and uploading their own mashups of CBS clips.

Perhaps most revealing is the attitude of CBS’s President of Marketing, George Schweitzer. He states, “Online video is not just about TV shows as we know them, and EyeLab content is not for TV.”

Expanding on that idea, MediaPost writes:

Yahoo Signs Global Mobile Deal

yahoo_purple.gifYahoo announces today that they have come to an agreement with Telefonica, a Madrid-based mobile phone company with affiliated networks around the world, to provide “global mobile services.” The services will reach Telefonica’s 100 million customers worldwide.

As part of the agreement, Yahoo’s mobile oneSearch will be the default search on Telefonica’s mobile portal in Ireland, the UK, and Latin America—in 15 countries in all.

In addition to search results, the deal also covers mobile usage of Flickr and Yahoo Mail. Yahoo Mail will be integrated with Telefonica’s extant Mail Express service. Users will also be able to receive their Yahoo Mail directly to their phone as MMS (multimedia message service).

With Flickr, Telefonica subscribers will be able to access the site and, it seems, upload photos:

Adobe Launches New Media Player

The Adobe Max 2007 conference is going on right now in Chicago, and yesterday the company announced the release of their new Adobe Media Player.

The Adobe Media Player is an AIR application designed to give users the ability to view and enjoy Flash video content wherever and whenever they want, both online and offline. Instead of scraping content from the web, Adobe Media Player will be enhanced by content publishers. Additionally, publishers who would like to monetize their content via advertising will be offered a co-branded version of the player.

Adobe Labs gives a fairly explicit breakdown of how their new media player can be used and enhanced by end-users and content publishers. Some examples include discovering new Internet TV shows, automatically downloading new episodes of your favorite TV shows, and managing personal collections of Flash videos for end-users as well as dynamically delivering banner ads and increasing viewership through RSS for content publishers.

Google Earth Activism and the Sierra Club

I’ve got to find creative ways to use my conservation biology degree. After college everything changed after I got a job answering the phones at an internet startup. They’re gone but I’m still going. So I got lost in looking at the Sierra Club’s newest campaign on Google Earth. They started a 10-year campaign to protect fifty-two of the most exceptional places in the country. They chose a place in every state, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. They published details in a report called America’s Wild Legacy.

There is a Google Earth collection that shows all of the 52 locations as placemarks. You can see why the place was chosen with a short summary and a picture. There’s also information about the threats – everything from mining to plans to build high end resorts on the land.

Pilgrim’s Picks for October 1

Wow, can yo believe it’s already October? If you don’t believe me, just head to your local Wal-Mart–they already have Valentine displays up, so it must be October! ;-)

Here’s the best news from the first day of the month.