Cup of Joe: Do Your Customers Look Like Idiots?


Flame-Resistant Sleepwear For Everyone In The Family.

Wow! Just wow! It seems to me that if you and your family were sleeping in a location that is especially conducive to catching on fire, then maybe, just maybe, you might want to find a new place to sleep. I mean I think finding new sleepwear would be the last thing on my list. But, for the hell of it, let’s assume that there’s a reason that your entire family is sleeping on top of a volcano.

Grougle? Googlepon? Rumors Anyone?

Well, this will be a nice way to tidy up the week by adding to the rumor mill that has Google actively looking to purchase Groupon. Yup, that’s right. There is some rumor mill fodder to consider but from the heavy hitters like Kara Swisher at AllThingsDigital’s BoomTown as she reports

According to multiple sources close to the situation, Google is in discussions with local deals powerhouse Groupon about buying it.

Without making the requisite joke about the deal of the day, sources said the price being considered is certainly no discount–well above the $2 billion to $3 billion that Yahoo offered Groupon in acquisition talks that took place earlier this year.

But sources cautioned that the talks are not complete, and could also end up without any result, as the Yahoo discussions did.

Gnip Gets Its Hands on Twitter’s Firehose

Social media data company, Gnip has announced a partnership with Twitter that will allow them to sell up to 50% of Twitter’s data stream to anyone who can afford the price. And it’s quite a price.

According to ReadWriteWeb, “Gnip will offer 50% of all the messages posted to Twitter for $360,000 per year, or 5% of all messages for $60,000 per year. Gnip refers to these as the Halfhose and the Decahose and they’re also offering a Mentionhose which hones in on all @replies and retweets of a specific name.

The firehose stream can only be used internally, not displayed, so its primary function is to help developers test their social media related products. It’s also a source for companies who make a living by monitoring social media and the web. Those two appear to be Gnip’s target customers, but what about marketers? Surely there’s marketing data to be mined from 50% of Twitter’s entire data stream.

SMB’s STILL Not Sure About Online Space

I write quite a bit about the SMB space. I do it because I like the space v. the FortuneInternetRetailerInc. 500-5000 crowd because A) I know a lot of SMB’s and I frequent their establishments and B) It is a growth market that seems to elude the Internet marketing industry for the most part.

Over the years I have tried to figure out just why this large segment of the US (and worldwide) business population is still unsure about the benefits of the Internet marketing / social media world. According to a recent study by RatePoint and shared by eMarketer less than 50% of the respondents agree to some degree that their customers even use the online space!

Facebook Tests Play Now, Pay Later Plan

Sometimes you need a virtual magic gem stone right now and you simply don’t have the money to pay for it! What’s a person to do? Same as in real life – charge it!

Facebook is rolling out a play now, pay later plan which will allow people to buy virtual goods on credit then pay off the balance with Paypal or a credit card at a later date. Inside Facebook suggests that this may be a clever way to get people to upload card information which can later be used to facilitate impulse buying. The program could lead to a one-click payment option such as you find on Amazon and that would be a big move for Facebook.

Consumers Expected to Spend 7 Billion on Imaginary Goods

When you talk about buying “virtual goods” it kind of feels like you’re actually getting something for your money. But if you think about it, virtual goods are imaginary. Sure, you get a picture representing what you bought but you don’t really own that cow or that casino or that designer outfit you bought to use in an online game.

According to a new study by In-Stat, consumers don’t care. They’re lined up to spend $7 billion on virtual goods by year’s end and it’s likely that the trend will keep going strong as we roll in to 2011.

Thanks to Facebook and iPhones, online gaming isn’t just for teens anymore. Now people of every age, gender and socio-economic background are spending their free time building virtual farms, battling monsters or training to be a Jedi.

Google’s 4-Pack for Branded Searches: A Subtle Penalty for RipOff Report?

Back in August, we reported that Google was testing a change to its algorithm that would see more than the standard two-results per web site–if it could be sure that doing so would match the searcher’s intent.

Yesterday, the search giant announced a small revision to that rollout–one that I believe offers hope to those with a negative reputation.

As before, we still provide links to results from a variety of domains to ensure people find a diverse set of sources relevant to their searches. However, when our algorithms predict pages from a particular site are likely to be most relevant, it makes sense to provide additional direct links in our search results.

With this iteration, our search results may show: