Are All of Your Eggs in One Social Media Basket?

by Kristy Bolsinger

813014_eggs_in_one_basketSo your company has stumbled upon the next big thing (no reference to StumbleUpon intended, necessarily). Twitter. There is a gigantic scramble to jump on the newest ‘it-girl’ of the social media world and make money, be a presence, play in the pond so to speak. “This is going to revolutionize how we manage [insert subject matter here ranging from: customer service, customer engagement, branding, marketing, advertising, etc.]” is something we may have all heard from our clients or management.

Haven’t we heard this before? Isn’t there a pattern forming here? The ‘curve of cool’ that dominates the product marketing sphere is starting to resonate in social media.

AP May Now Mean “All Paid”

The Associated Press is angry at bloggers and the rest of the Internet for that ap-logomatter. It appears as if the AP is so enamored with their ability to come up with completely original material 24/7 that keeps the Internet news machine going that they think we should all pay for the privilege to read it and spread the word. Now, there was more than a little sarcasm there because as many folks in other outlets like AllThingsD, Daggle and more have pointed out that this vision the AP has of being the creator of all things printed is a little overdone.

Pay Your Fake Friends with Fake Money on Facebook

Facebook is really stretching the boundaries of a lot of things lately. The newest ‘deal’ they are offering their users is, how do I sayfacebook2 this, pretty stupid. TechCrunch goes into some detail regarding this new opportunity for someone to part with their money for no real good reason.

Facebook is offering a virtual gift product that revolves around credits that you toss to your ‘friends’ in lieu of simply liking something they do. Kind of a pay for performance model of friendship. Talk about taking relationships to a new low. For just $1 you can purchase 100 credits that you can give to your ‘friends’ when they do something you like. I don’t know about you but I think that throwing money at my ‘friends’ when they do something I like is not something I consider regularly. I guess my ‘friends’ would like it but it seems pretty ridiculous to me. It’s like treating your ‘friends’ like performing seals. When they honk the horn on the stage by the pool you can throw them a fish and a sincere “Nice job. Atta boy!”

Twitter Wouldn’t Sell for $1B—Better Make Sure It’s Worth It!

It looks like the biggest April Fool’s Joke was on all of us. Despite persistent rumors that Google was in talks to acquire Twitter (the coolest thing since the last coolest thing since sliced bread), no deal is forthcoming. On its blog, Twitter explains that sometimes they tease talk.

While all this may be protesting too much from both parties, sources are now saying that Twitter CEO Evan Williams wouldn’t sell for a billion dollars, four times what Google is rumored to have placed the microblogging service’s value at.

When it comes to Internet businesses, though, Twitter needs to remember that timing is everything. If their endgame is acquisition, there are a few points they might want to keep in mind:

  • the economy is down

Google Hate Is in the Air

We live a world that talks about winners and losers all the time. Trouble is it’s OK to lose big because “Hey,google-2 we’re only human and we love to give second chances. Here, have a boatload of taxpayer money to pay your executives who don’t deserve it and have a nice day!” Meanwhile, when a company actually does well there are those to who simply can’t stand a winner that has earned its power. We citizens of the Internet world know that the biggest winner, and as a result the biggest target of haters, is Google.

I read a bit of a rant from a journalist over in the UK and I encourage you to do the same. It is likely to polarize readers pretty quickly. The author uses the following terms to describe the search giant:

Google’s Voice Recognition Improves; Please Keep Some Searches to Yourself!

I’ve not had a lot of luck with voice recognition technology. My Acura MDX tempts me to use the built-in voice commands, but my request for "Nearest Mexican restaurant" ends up with the mind-boggling confirmation that my "Air conditioning is set to 74F."

So, you can imagine just how easy it had been for me to resist using the voice command feature of the Google search application on my iPhone. I simply didn’t have the time to make a fool of myself repeating the same search query over and over again. However, just last week I ended my Google voice virginity and finally used a voice command, instead of typing. The result? A surprising–and satisfying–success!

Apparently I’m not the only one switching from typed searches to voice ones. According to Vic Gundotra, VP of engineering for Google:

Amazon’s Affiliate Program Ends PPC Arbitrage

Maybe I’m not the best qualified to make assumptions about why Amazon Associates–the online retailers affiliate program–just pulled the plug on allowing affiliates to send referrals via paid search, but that doesn’t stop me from making an educated guess.

PPC Arbitrage.

I suspect that Amazon finally realized that it could do its own keyword bidding and cut out the middle-man–those bidding pennies on long-tail keywords and making dollars in affiliate commissions. Here’s the email that Amazon just sent out to its affiliates:

Dear Amazon Associate:

We’re writing to let you know about a change to the Amazon Associates Program. After careful review of how we are investing our advertising resources, we have made the decision to no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, or www.endless.com through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines, and their extended search networks. If you’re not sure if this change affects you, please visit this page for FAQs.