$500 Contest Reminder: Why Do You Read Marketing Pilgrim?

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Linky Goodness, November 2

I know you’ve missed it, so here it is—Linky! Goodness! Linky! Goodness!

  • Yahoo finally apologizes for getting a Chinese Dissident jailed: Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal coverage of the Wall Street Journal story (sub req for WSJ).
  • In what appears to the be first serious Net Neutrality challenge, Free Press and other groups are bringing Comcast to task (or, rather, to the FCC) for secretly imitating users and blocking uploads to programs like BitTorrent. Coverage by the AP and CNET
  • It looks like it’s finally happening: Time Warner Embracing Plan To Break Up Company, including sacrificing “parts” of AOL.
  • CNET speculates about Facebook’s ad futures

OpenSocial: Future for Facebook, Concerns

OpenSocial, Google’s social networking platform standardization initiative, seems to have usurped Facebook’s usual share of media attention since the announcement on Wednesday—and with Facebook’s impending ad announcement, that’s a pretty remarkable feat.

But now at least one Facebook investor seems to see the right way to get all that lovely attention back: start talking about joining up with OpenSocial. CNET’s Caroline McCarthy reports that Facebook investor and board member Jim Breyer of Accel Partners is saying that a future collaboration is a possibility.

“Jim said that the company isn’t philosophically opposed to what Google is trying to do, and that its business model isn’t dependent on keeping its social network gated,” Kafka wrote in the Alley Insider post. “He also acknowledged that users will want to be able to port their data, networks, connections, etc., from Facebook to other networks, and vice versa, and suggested that something like that may be possible within a year.”

Should the FTC Tighten up Regulation of Online Advertising?

The FTC says they will begin to monitor online advertising and privacy more closely to protect consumers. This was from commissioner Jon Leibowitz at a forum on behavioral targeting. As more companies track customers, the agency will establish standards and privacy.

The concerns centered on advertising shown to children and the ways advertisers try to get people to give up information about themselves online. Personal information about everyone is used in a variety of ways, and it’s not just when you are surfing the internet. Google’s Gmail serves up ads based on what you write in an email. For example, you write that you’re feeling down and you start seeing ads on how to combat depression. MySpace enables advertisers to place ads based on what you write about yourself on your profile.

Pitching to a Venture Capitalist by Guy Kawasaki

Yesterday I attended a speech by Guy Kawasaki near Salt Lake City, Utah. Guy is an evangelist/entrepreneur/VC. It’s tough to believe but I couldn’t find a Wikipedia page on him. He talked about the crazy ideas that get pitched to him as a venture capitalist and the crazy ideas that actually work.

Here are some crazy ideas that worked:

  • eBay (democratize commerce) starts by selling Pez dispensers and used HP printers.
  • Yahoo started with a list of two guy’s favorite web sites.
  • Google started out pitching for money for the 10th largest search engine.

Here are some crazy ideas that were actually pitched to Garage Technology Ventures VCs:

  • One entrepreneur wanted several millions to build a geodome over LA to control air pollution. He didn’t say if the dome would keep the pollution in or out.

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Pilgrim’s Picks for November 2

Here are the best picks of today’s marketing news.