Cup of Joe: Take Off Your Cynic Hat and Try Something New

cynic hatAre you using a location based service?

What about the iPad?

Or how about Posterous?

All of these things have at one time been labeled overrated. For example, I think foursquare is a complete waste of time. Why the heck would I want to tell the world where I am! I mean that’s really nobody’s business! It’s not like Twitter where I actually have meaningful dialogue. I find value in Twitter for numerous reasons. I can’t imagine finding that same value with foursquare.

But, that’s just me.

Everything I mentioned above could make me miss out on new opportunities.  My own subjectivity is getting in the way of learning new networks and how to exploit them for my clients and myself. This dangerous attitude isn’t unique to just myself. Many folks in the tech space, that don’t find value in new things, are quick to label them “pointless”. The truth is they are right. At least for themselves that is.

Hyper-Local News Site Offers Production for Promotion

directorWith cable nearly obliterating all signs of local programming on TV, one news outlet is taking it online with an interesting marketing plan to boot. In an interview with HyperlocalBlogger, James Macpherson details his plans to air 16-hours a week of original programming on his local news site Pasadena Now. The programming will include a daily morning show with news and interviews and live streaming of community events.

In order to pay for the programming, Macpherson is looking for sponsors who are willing to fiance the shows, not with cash, but with promotion.

“Our objective is to create specialty audiences. For example, to work with the Pasadena Humane Society to produce a weekly ‘Pasadena Pet Channel.’ We won’t charge the PHSSPCA, but we will require that they must promote each show with an email blast to their 5,000 members. We will then sell commercials to local pet stores and vets who can be guaranteed that the show’s audience will perfectly match their target audience.”

Google Confirms That SEOs Are Smarter Than It Is

I’m not going to add any context to this quote from a Google employee–it would totally ruin the buzz you’ll feel for the rest of the day!

I can assure you that the last thing we want is for the business who hires the best SEO to win a better slot. But, the SEOs are, unfortunately, pretty good at what they do, and so sometimes they out smart us.

And that, my friend, is something you should send to the next prospective client that asks, “can you really figure out Google’s algorithm?” ;-)

P.S. If you want context, head here.

ComScore Report Says Divas Drive the Dollars

Divas drive the dollars.

That’s according to a new report from ComScore called Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet. The study shows that women spend 20% more time on retail websites overall than men. Not surprisingly, they lead in sales in every category except Computer Hardware/Software, Electronics, Sports/Outdoor and Music to a smaller extent. Movies is near even but when it comes to shopping for clothing online it’s women by a large margin.

comscore-shopping

Though women have been known to enjoy window shopping, in most cases they are actually spending. The ComScore report states:

“In February 2010, [women] accounted for 49.8 percent of the U.S. online population, but made up 57.9 percent of all non-travel buyers, made 61.1 percent of online purchases and accounted for 58.2 percent of online dollars.”

Google Opens Places API to Developers of Check-In Services

If Google were to put itself in to the geo-location game right now there may be some real howling about Google and world domination. Well, leave it to Google not to be completely out of any game. In the case of the check-in craze that is being pioneered by foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt and others, Google has found a way in without having their own ‘product’. How you ask? Google tells us at the Geo Developers blog

We have been delighted with the enthusiasm we have seen for the Places API, and the innovative ways in which developers would like to use it. We have seen applications that offer check-in to places and need to identify an individual place at which a user is currently located, applications looking to show a user Places around them, and applications looking to offer a search and browse experience for Places similar to that offered on Google Maps.

Google is Crushing It In Mobile Search Share

While Google struggles with a lot of issues because of their high profile involvement in just about everything, they are still the king of the search mountain by a country mile. This is obviously not news but how that domination extends into the mobile search world is still a bit stunning. According to Pingdom, based on global stats with the help of Stat Counter, Google currently owns 98% of the mobile search market. Yup ……. 98%. The picture below will add to the ‘wow factor’ of that number.

Ad Spending is Up…Depending on How You Look at It

dollar-signWhile most sources are predicting a rise in ad dollars for the rest of this year, Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente is lowering his estimate from 5.5% to only a 5% growth. That may not sound like much but these days, even .5% really counts.

In an article at MediaMemo, Peter Kafka says that it’s print (including phone book advertising) and radio that are skewing the numbers as they continue to have poor ad sales. The web and TV networks are seeing an uptick but when you average it together it’s not a pretty picture.

Kafka goes a step further, noting that things were so bad last year that even a 5% hike isn’t bringing ad dollars back to what they once were. He says we’ll know more when the big media companies turn in their Q2 reports next week but he’s not hopeful.