The Reality of Real Time Hits Real Hard

BenioffIt appears that some folks are starting to slow down on the Twype (Twitter hype, of course) and looking at the bigger picture impact that the service is making. Whether Twitter survives and / or thrives is not the point really. It’s a very real possibility that the folks at Twitter may have set the table for other niche players to come in and take advantage of the trend that Twitter has really accelerated; which is real time information retrieval.

One person who has had significant success in making real time information work is Marc Benioff, co-founder and chief executive of Salesforce.com. Here’s a guy that can sure spot a need (not just a fad or a trend but a real need) and build a solution that meets the need head on. He helped bring the SaaS (software as a service) CRM and sales force automation business to the forefront of business applications and has been the industry leader ever since.

One in Three Searchers May Prefer Bing Over Google

A study of twelve people is not statistically relevant, but it does make for interesting headlines!

According to the Catalyst Group, 1 in 3 Google users preferred the search experience of Bing over the search leader. OK, so that was actually 4 of the 12 total people that Catalyst studied in a report obtained by TechCrunch, but hey, Bing will take all the good news it can get, right?

What is amazing is that when the test subjects were asked to rate Bing on specific criteria (visual design, organization of features, filtering options, and relevance of results), Bing handily beat Google in everything but result relevance. Arguably, that is the most important criteria, but most of the study participants thought that both search engines tied on result relevance. So even though Bing ranked better on design, and tied on relevance, that was not enough for most of them to switch.

Amazon Calls NC Lawmakers Bluff, Cancels Affiliate Program Early

It appears as though Amazon’s email to affiliates regarding North Carolina’s pending taxes was not a bluff. I just received a follow-up email from the company saying it has decided to shut down its affiliate program in the state, as of today.

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account has been closed as of June 26, 2009. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional tax collection scheme expected to be passed any day now by the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) and signed by the governor. As a result, we will no longer pay any referral fees for customers referred to Amazon.com or Endless.com after June 26. We were forced to take this unfortunate action in anticipation of actual enactment because of uncertainties surrounding the legislation’s effective date.

Direct Marketing In A Social Media World

Mail iconsIt has been written that there is nothing new under the sun. Sometimes it feels that way when the talk turns to social media and its impact on marketing as a whole and, more specifically, any Internet marketing efforts. Of course, every bit of marketing is going to be affected by a medium that encourages / celebrates shared information and the ability to color outside the lines. What’s not to like about a communication vehicle that allows the consumer to make decisions based on just about everything other than what is company generated propaganda?

Mediapost has picked up on a study conducted by StrongMail that examines the developing relationship between e-mail marketing and social media. Once again, when you read this kind of thing you probably say “Well, no kidding, duh.” But sometimes it’s good to see some numbers around the accepted theory.

Ballmer on Advertising: “We Have Reset and Won’t Rebound”

bye dollarMicrosoft CEO Steve Ballmer was honored as Media Person of the Year at this year’s Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. As he addressed the festival, however, he pulled a bit of a Calacanis (you guys do remember when Calacanis called SEO “bull@#&%” in an SES keynote, right?). Ballmer told the assembled media and advertising gurus that, basically, we can kiss the good old days of rolling in dough goodbye.

Among other tales of doom and gloom, as reported by the Guardian:

  • “I don’t think we are in a recession, I think we have reset. A recession implies recovery [to pre-recession levels] and for planning purposes I don’t think we will. We have reset and won’t rebound and re-grow.”

First Round of SEM Scholarship Contest Entries Posted

We’ve just posted the first round of entries to our 4th Annual Search Engine Marketing Scholarship Contest. They are:

The next round will be published the same time tomorrow. Remember, the entries have 4 weeks from the date of publication to try and qualify as one of our five finalists.

I hope you’ll read the posts–you might learn something new! ;-)

How to Kick Ass with a Mobile Website

By Richard Kirk

People browsing your website via mobile devices are an ever-increasing segment of total website visitors. The proliferation of smartphones and increases in mobile browsing are key trends for 2009, with smartphone shipments worldwide set to grow by 23% this year, (despite a 9.1% decline in the mobile handset market). This not just a western phenomenon; in developing nations the cost of a computer makes a web-enabled mobile device even more attractive. With many companies looking to expand into new markets during the recession, this is an interesting point to note. Importantly, as mobile web use grows, the personal experiences of users are more likely than ever to be shared both online and in ‘the real world’.