Linky Goodness, March 3

Only 30 more shopping days until the big day—get your shopping done early this year!

Radiohead Revisited: Nine Inch Nails Selling Album Online

Five months ago, Radiohead released their latest album, In Rainbows, exclusively as a pay-as-you-feel download from their website (well, okay, you could also order it from their website as a discobox edition which came with a bunch of extras and a set price). Since then, we’ve seen a little in the way of digital music sales experimentation.

Now Nine Inch Nails is joining Radiohead in the downloadable album arena (though it should be noted that In Rainbows is now being sold “traditionally”). The latest NIN album, Ghosts I-IV was released last night and the site was quickly mobbed.

Nine Inch Nails are offering a variety of download options—perhaps too many options. paidContent reports the features of the latest experiment in digital music pricing (via Idolator):

Technorati Planning Ad Network for Bloggers

TechCrunch reported on Friday that blogging social site Technorati is planning an ad network for bloggers.

The news isn’t based on an official announcement, but on insider information—you know, “sources.” TechCrunch doesn’t have much in the way of details in these early stages, but they do say:

Technorati will certainly be competing head to head with FM, although sources say they’ll focus on the long tail of the market as well (FM only takes larger sites). The network will be a self-serve exchange for bloggers (and other publishers) as well as advertisers. Ad units will include both display and text ads, and will allow units to be charged on both a CPM and CPC basis. This self-service model looks a lot more like Adbrite than Glam or FM.

Microsoft Opens Software and Services to Web, Smaller Businesses

Not long after Google announced Google Sites, Microsoft announced that they will expand their enterprise-level software to small and mid-size business. Previously limited to businesses with more than 5,000 users, by this year businesses of all sizes will have access to Microsoft’s email, online conferencing, and other services.

The announcement came at the 2008 SharePoint Conference where Bill Gates described the changes in his keynote speech (see a live webcast here). A beta test version of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Office Communications Server Online is now available.

Rather than being locked in to long term agreements for Microsoft software, companies can rent space on a server for a monthly fee. Another announcement – Microsoft Search Server 2008 can be downloaded free. It lets businesses search their internal files and competes with Google’s Search Appliance.

Market Research Company TNS Pays $75 million for Compete

In an effort to combine and expand offline market research with online market research, London-based TNS has acquired Compete.com for $75 million. Compete collects information about what people click on and their behavior online and compares it with your competitors. They also list your competitors top keywords that drive the most traffic to your site or blog (and it does this free).

Compete was founded in 2000 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts. It was funded by private VC firms and they invested a total of $43 million since 2000. Compete’s data has thus far come from the US only. While they have a free version, they sell subscriptions that provides expanded data and analysis.

From Compete’s blog post about the sale, here are some quick facts about Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS):

The Free iPod Touch Goes to….

Thanks to all of you who subscribed to Marketing Pilgrim and entered our contest to win a free iPod Touch.

[This is where some of you groan, because you missed the post with the secret message]

We had over 70 entries and, after asking my wife to pick a number between 1 and 70, we have a winner!

Congratulations Michael Jensen of SoloSEO.com.

Michael’s among the many readers that also happens to be a past client–so I’m happy to ship him the sleek iPod Touch.

Sad that you didn’t win? Check back next Monday. I’m cooking up a new contest that will be even bigger than this one!

Pilgrim’s Picks for March 3

Can you believe it’s March already? That means that those of you in the north of the country have just 4 more months of Winter! ;-)

Keep warm with these great picks: