Pilgrim’s Picks for September 26 – Contest Reminder Edition

Don’t forget that Trackur is offering a fantastic mini-notebook computer as a reward for suggesting a new feature or improvement. If you’d like to have a chance at winning, simply take a look at the contest details here.

When you get back, these Picks will be waiting for you.

Facebook Grows 50%; MySpace Still #1; Social Networking Traffic Declines 17% Overall

OK, Facebook, what do you want first? The good news, or the bad news?

The good news? Well, the good news is that, according to Hitwise, you’ve grown your US share of social networking sites by a massive 50%, in the past year. w00t!

Now for the bad news. MySpace still has a 67.54% market share, compared to your relatively meager 20.56% slice.

Oh, and there’s some bad, bad news. Total traffic to social networking sites declined 17% year-over-year. I guess there’s just only so much sheep-throwing and whale-failing we can handle.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger! And, even if you do want to shoot the messenger, it’s Hitwise–not this Pilgrim.

Microsoft’s 5-Year Plan to Catch Google? A DeLorean & 1.21 Gigawatts!

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer still believes that catching Google in search, is a "five-year task." Considering he made that statement back in May of 2006–and again this week–it’s clear that Ballmer is not committing to which five years he’s talking about. We’re guessing Microsoft has tasked a white-haired scientist to harness the power of 1.21 gigawatts! ;-)

"It’s a five-year task," he said, with a smile. "It’s a long-term task."

To succeed, he said, the company will have to find a way to fundamentally change the experience and the economics of search. "You have to redefine the category," Ballmer said. "We’ve taken some steps in that direction."

Can we believe Ballmer’s prediction? Well, during the same speech, he also predicted that Apple’s iPhone wouldn’t be "battling for the big part" of the smartphone business.

Linky Goodness, September 25

[Let’s all pretend I’ve said something clever and laugh appropriately, eh?]

Now on to the links!

  • Just when you thought Google and Yahoo had said all they could possibly say to defend their pending ad deal, Google launches a Yahoo-Google facts site (via)
  • Is Microsoft jealous of the legal threats Google’s received over Street View? Because they’re launching “richer” bird’s eye and street-level CG imagery, along with a number of other improvements, including better mobile offerings, to their maps.
  • Pew finds that most of the Internet use in the workplace is rudimentary and distracting, according to Search Engine Land and ReadWriteWeb

Now go take on the day!

MySpace Music Launches

myspace music logoIncredible, I know, but for the third time in two days, MySpace does something newsworthy. Today, they topped them all, and they just might have revolutionized music online—little, if any, exaggeration.

How do you listen to music online now? A dollar a download? A limited number of song plays a month? A stream of music with a limited number of “skip this track”s? And your music videos—YouTube, maybe even bootlegs, right?

Just shy of six months after the announcement of an iTunes rival, MySpace Music launches, falling into none of the above categories. Add tracks to your profile, public, and private playlists and play them as many times as you want for free. (Okay, the dollar download, this time from Amazon, is still in effect.)

Win Copies of Tim Ash’s Book “Landing Page Optimization”

UPDATE: Contest is now closed. Winner’s announced here.

The last time we gave away a free book, you loved it! So, we’re doing it again!

This time, thanks to Sybex, we’re giving away three copies of Tim Ash’s excellent new book Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing & Tuning for Conversions.

After pouring over every word, Ash’s book served as a reminder of why it’s important to understand your target audience, anticipate their needs, and fine-tune your landing page until you get it right.

Landing Page Optimization should be in your collection so, in case it’s not, you can win one of three copies we have to give away!

How to enter this contest? Simply leave a comment below and we’ll randomly pick 3 winners (deadline for entry is 6pm ET this Friday).

Aloha Social Media Summit is Almost Here; Are You Registered?

How much do you think it would cost to get some one-on-one training with Om Malik? Biz Stone? Peter Shankman? Susan Bratton? I can tell you that, for two days of consulting, my normal rate would be at least five figures–so I suspect the aforementioned gurus would be even more.

Now, how would you like to get access to all of the above, and Charlene Li, Roxanne Darling, and Dave Taylor for just $2500? What if I threw in a $500 discount?

We still have seats remaining for the upcoming Aloha Social Media Summit, to be held in Boulder, CO, October 6-7. The first Aloha Summit (held in Hawaii, hence the name) was a huge success and you can view video testimonials below.