YouTube Wants to Make Stars Out of Stars!

Wanted: High profile celebrity interested in breaking into the online video business. Imagine success on the ultimate small screen. No money required. No experience needed. Apply at YouTube where we make stars out of stars!

Yes, it’s true. At least according to Vulture it is. (They’re a sister site to New York Magazine, so don’t dismiss the story because of the publication name.) In an exclusive story, the online mag says that YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar is actively looking for a number of celebs around which they can brand a YouTube channel. They’d like to have the celeb star in weekly segments then fill in with other themed content and YouTube will foot the bill. They’re even generously agreeing to allow the celebs to keep the rights to their produced portions, which is pretty nice seeing as all they have to bring to the table is their name and their fame.

This Photo Needs Your Caption!

Since we already gave a comic’s view of last night’s dinner of tech heavyweights with President Obama we thought we might have some fun too. Remember that in attendance are Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, Carol Bartz, Larry Ellison and more! (Collect’em all and trade with your friends!)

What we are asking our Pilgrim Readers to do is give us what you think is being said in this toast.

Tell us in the comments section and let’s see just where your Pilgrim imaginations can take us all!

We’ll even get it started:

“Here’s to finally getting Microsoft moved to the Internet kids table!”

Have a great weekend!

Look Who Came To Dinner!

Last night, President Obama went to San Francisco and had dinner with many of the technology elite including Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Dick Costolo and Eric Schmidt. If you would like all the details the San Francisco Chronicle did a great job of looking at the gathering from many angles. Now, if you would rather just have a laugh read the cartoon from The Oatmeal below (hat tip to Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land).

Google Turns Vulture with New Delicious Bookmark Importer

Google is no different than any other company (other than it is one of the top brands on the planet and has a virtual crapload of cash but let’s not quibble). When a competitor shows a sign of weakness they need to be able to swoop in and pick the competitive carcass clean to feed itself.

Since Yahoo has made it clear that they are preparing to sunset their Delicious bookmark service Google has decided to make it easy for folks to bookmark Google for the place to go with this information. As Mashable reports

Google has just rolled out a convenient new tool for importing your Delicious bookmarks to Google Bookmarks.

The simple importer takes your Delicious login credentials (or lets you use a one-click OAuth button) and imports all your bookmarks, preserving labels or tags.

Bing and Yahoo Change Policy to Allow Trademark Keywords

As of March 3, Bing and Yahoo will change their policy to allow the use of trademarked names as keywords in search ads. They say the change will bring their policy “in line with search industry practices” and some outlets say this is due to Google’s hard won victories in court over such matters.

Here’s the wording straight from Microsoft Advertising:

“As of March 3rd, Microsoft will cease editorial investigations into complaints about trademarks used as keywords to trigger ads on Bing & Yahoo! Search in the United States and Canada. If there is concern that an advertiser may be using a trademark keyword inappropriately, the trademark owner should contact the advertiser directly.”

In Video Advertising Size Doesn’t Matter

Thirty seconds is the magic number for a TV ad, but for online video, fifteen seconds is much more common. Undoubtedly this comes from the idea that people won’t tolerate watching anything longer when they can easily skip the ad with the push of a mouse button, but that thinking appears to be wrong.

According to a new study by FreeWheel, the length of a video ad had little impact on the ad’s completion rate. What did have a huge impact was the length of the video itself.

Long-form content (20+ minutes) had the best completion rates regardless of the ad length, both topping 82%. Short-form content, which is currently the most popular form of professional content, peaked at a completion rate of 61%.

Waiter? There’s a Social Media Spammer in my Google SERPs!

I’ve never been a big fan of adding as many “friends” to my social networks as possible. Why add unwanted noise to my socially-connected world?

Well, I’m now even more glad that I’ve been selective with who I friend and follow because Google just shoved everyone into my search results.

First, social search results will now be mixed throughout your results based on their relevance (in the past they only appeared at the bottom). This means you’ll start seeing more from people like co-workers and friends, with annotations below the results they’ve shared or created. So if you’re thinking about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and your colleague Matt has written a blog post about his own experience, then we’ll bump up that post with a note and a picture: