Twitter Takes to the Air

We are all getting comfortable with the place that social media outlets can have in the business process. Public relations, human resources, legal and sales can all benefit. At the present the most common application is customer service. While customer service is always important, the advent of social media has created customer service in ways that most companies never imagined.

The airline industry has had a virtual crash course in handling customer issues via social media outlets with Twitter leading the charge. One main reason for this is the fact that frequent travelers are likely to be heavy smart phone users and what else can they do while suffering thorough a delay? Complain of course. Now just going to the desk at the gate and airing your concerns is mere child’s play. Why not tell all of your friends and followers about how terrible the airline is that you are having trouble with? How airlines handle this can determine who that flyer decides to go with in the future.

Google Expects YouTube to be Profitable Soon

google-logoIn its earnings call last night, Google says things are looking up. After a slightly disappointing Q1, Google beat expectations, although its revenue is still growing slowly.

Estimates put net revenue at $4.06B, but Google posted $4.07B, up from $3.89B in Q208 (4.6% growth YOY). Net income for the second quarter was $1.48B, up from $1.25B in Q208 (18.4% growth YOY). Naturally some analysts are disappointed with Google only adding 3% growth over the previous quarter, but considering that Q1 constituted a 3% decline over Q408, it sounds like good news to me.

But even better news: CEO Eric Schmidt says that not only are things turning around (or at least “largely stabilized”), but YouTube will soon enter the realm of profitability. (Or, as one company I worked for optimistically called this, “making the push to cash positive.”)

Get Your Free Online Newspaper! While You Can

The newspaper industry is still struggling to figure out what it will be when it grows up. Ad revenue is in the toilet and the news acquisition habits of people, even those who have traditionally turned to newspapers for news, has moved online at an increasing rate. We all know that in order to survive newspapers have to change but the debate has always been around exactly how to do it.

The editor of the Financial Times, Lionel Barber, has thrown down the gauntlet of sorts. The Guardian reported that during a speech at the Media Standards Trust event at the British Academy he predicted that within a year almost all news organizations will be charging for content.

Microsoft and Yahoo Close on Search Ad Deal

Simpson HandshakePlease, please, please be warned: While there is talk of Yahoo and Microsoft getting close to coming to terms on a search ad deal this is not a done deal. People in the Internet space love to see some information then make a few assumptions and then turn it into a reality. Over at All Things Digital Kara Swisher is reporting on the goings on with this deal and there is plenty of cautionary talk about the deal despite it being close to done.

The most recent talks have been unusually close to the vest at both companies, and spokespeople for both Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft (MSFT) declined to comment on the issue.

And, of course, they should not, since there is no certainty any deal will be struck at all, especially since the pair have been down this road before, unsuccessfully.

Google Health Gets Helpful and a Little Creepy

Google HealthGoogle is so much more than a search engine. There’s Google Apps. There’s Google Mobile. There’s Google Mail. There’s a Google for just about anything. Now with a new offering from Google Health that concept extends to your death wishes. No typo there. Google is trying to make checking out of this life as easy as using Google Checkout. Thanks guys!

At the Official Google blog they have announced that you can now upload scanned documents to your Google Health profile for safekeeping. That’s pretty handy it’ the next part that, while it is practical, it is also a little weird.

Facebook Told to Improve Privacy Practices – Oh, Canada!

Canadian FlagIt wouldn’t be a day in business any more if the main focus wasn’t government intervention, would it? It appears that all of the freedom that the Internet was supposed to offer is maybe a little too much for the folks to our north. The Canadian government has issued a report that tells Facebook that many areas concerning privacy for the social networking site don’t meet the standards of Canadian privacy law.

In order to comply with Canadian privacy law, Facebook must take greater responsibility for the personal information in its care, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada said today in announcing the results of an investigation into the popular social networking site’s privacy policies and practices.

Google Reader: Now with More Social!

grsocial1Over the last couple years, Google has pushed more and more social features in its apps. They’ve converted our contact lists into friend lists, they’ve added notes to shared items, they’ve even moved the conversation that normally takes place in the comments onto Google Reader itself. And now Google Reader is getting even more social with its latest additions: following your friends and “liking” stories.

Google Reader has long had a feature to subscribe to your friends’ shared stories. Now you can subscribe to just about anyone’s shared stories. Search for someone by name or enter their email address to follow their shared stories. Searching by name integrates the Google profile: