Yahoo Updates to Challenge Google Friend Connect, Facebook Connect

Data portability: it’s one of those buzzwords that everybody just has to be in on these days. From OpenID to Facebook Connect to Google Friend Connect, there are more and more ways to use a single login and take your information anywhere on the web. And today there’s one more: Yahoo Updates through a partnership with JS-Kit.

JS-Kit is described as a “distributed social network connecting more than 600,000 sites.” Sites on that network using the JS-Kit comment widget are already hooked in to Yahoo Updates, enabling users to publish stories and comments from around the web onto their Yahoo Updates feed. Users will also be able to take their Yahoo ID with them around the web. (Starting to sound a bit familiar?) With glittery new APIs, this is all part of Yahoo’s Open Strategy (remember that?).

Win an Amazon Kindle 2 in the Easiest Contest in the History of Contests!*

How would you like to win the brand-spanking-new Amazon Kindle 2 book reader?

Well, if you’re already subscribed to Marketing Pilgrim’s RSS feed or email updates, you’re half-way to being qualified for the April 6th drawing.

If you’re not yet a subscriber, it will take you less than 20 seconds to subscribe to either our RSS feed or sign-up for our email alerts.

Then, all you have to do is look for a secret message that will appear at the bottom of the posts for one day only–sometime between now and April 5th. This message will only appear in the RSS or email version of the posts, so that’s why you need to subscribe!

Facebook Redesigning Pages, But New Research Suggests Engagement is Low

In an attempt to entice more of its users to engage advertisers, Facebook is planning a re-design of its "Pages" which, according to AdAge, will include:

  • Pages will soon have tabs, making them resemble Facebook profiles.
  • Information shared by pages will show up in Facebook users’ news feeds more often, presenting expanded opportunities to attract new fans.
  • Since there will be multiple tabs, Facebook ads can set any tab as a landing page.

However, new research from The Participatory Marketing Network (PMN) suggests that it may not be the ad format that’s the problem, but the platform itself. According to a study of 220 social network users aged between 18-24, they’re just not that interested in ads on social networking sites.

Google CEO Admits Economy is “Pretty Dire;” Hands Executives 6-Figure Bonuses

Google CEO Eric Schmidt used Tuesday’s appearance at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco to bluntly describe the economic climate as “pretty dire” and explain how it will affect the world’s largest search engine.

“It obviously will affect the online advertising market because our systems are so tightly tuned. If customers are buying less, it will eventually be reflected in CPCs [cost per click] and CPMs [cost per thousand impressions],” he said. “We are not immune to this.”

Then Google promptly announced 6-figure bonuses for its top executives!

Jonathan Rosenberg, who oversees Google’s products, received the largest bonus at $1.64 million..
Omid Kordestani, Google’s top sales executive, and Alan Eustace, who oversees the company’s engineers, each got bonuses of $1.38 million…
Google gave a $1.24 million to its chief financial officer, Patrick Pichette, for his contributions after joining the company in August…
George Reyes, Google’s CFO before Pichette, received a 2008 bonus of $675,000

Skittles Buzz Lasts as Long as a Sugar Rush

The question was asked here yesterday by Joe Hall and there were as many opinions asskittles there are colors in a bag of Skittles but as of this morning the jury is in. Skittles has taken down its site redesign reports MediaPost.

Apparently putting the brand and its message in a vehicle driven by consumers brings out the good the bad and the ugly.

The good was the fact that yesterday a lot of people were talking about Skittles. I have to admit that unless I am forced to I am not thinking about Skittles or writing a post about them. So to that degree this experiment certainly worked. Buzz was created and people were talking about the crazy colors of the Skittles rainbow.

Google Offers Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) Program

Google has been making quite a few changes as of late. They have been halting development or simply analytics-scrren-shotending projects like Google Notebook, Google Video and Google Catalog Search to name a few. All of these moves are perceived as efforts to contain costs and be frugal with the pile of Google cash that they have been collecting for years now.

It’s hard to argue with the effort. While Google has given its employees plenty of company time to explore new ideas they may now be putting that brain power to work to strengthen the existing tool set. Evidence of this is the announcement of the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ). Analytics is one of the most popular and powerful offerings that the search leader offers to further put their hooks in their customers. It only makes sense that the better the understanding of this important tool would help Internet marketers and Google alike.

Skittles’ Social Media Campaign: FTW or Epic Fail?

skittlesYesterday rainbow-colored candy brand, Skittles launched a new web presence that has caused notice by many in the world of marketing and average web-head-geeks a like. The Mars-owned company gave their site a facelift of sorts that has left some in awe and others in shock.

Now when visitors go to skittles.com they don’t see the typical corporate branded site. Instead they get a fresh serving of social media. The home page is essentially an overlay of search.twitter.com displaying results for the term “skittles.” There are several other navigational features that Skittles has added to point users to other social media outlets such as YouTube and Facebook.