Pinterest Gets Secretive

Pinterest is evolving which is good news since anything that stands still for too long in the Internet space will be run over by the next bigger thing.

The latest addition is the use of secret boards. The copy below comes from Pinterest’s CEO, Ben Silbermann, in an email to users (I spared you the ‘building rapport’ portion of the email) which describes the new feature.

Over the last year, there have been so many ways, big and small, that the Pinterest community has made my life better. I’m happy to say that I’m not alone. We’ve heard from teachers who use Pinterest to plan lessons, chefs who share recipes, and museums that pin their archives. We’ve also heard from millions of people who’ve been inspired to pick up an old hobby or try something new. It’s honestly more than we ever expected when we started Pinterest. We’re humbled to be part of such a positive, warm and creative community.

Skype Launches ‘In the Workspace’ Business Network Center

Skype is a great tool for anyone who runs a virtual business. It’s one of the best ways to hold conference calls for free, run training sessions (you can show your desktop to the other person on the line) and it beats repeated back and forth emails when you need to hash out a project.

Given that, it’s not surprising the Skype wants to beef up their business presence but I’m not sure what to make of this new feature.

They call it Skype in the Workspace (SITW). Get it? WorkSPACE instead of WorkPLACE because it’s about working in cyberspace. . .

The site is a combination of LinkedIn and Craigslist. Anyone who signs up (it’s free) can “Create an Opportunity” to share with others. In non-Skype speak, it means you can advertise your services but the twist is that each offer comes with a 15 minute consultation.

100 to 249 Dollars is the Mobile Spending Sweet Spot

Shopping with a mobile device is becoming almost as common as shopping online with a computer. And according to a new survey by JiWire it’s not just the number of shoppers that’s increased, the amount they’re willing to spend is also climbing fast.

Take a look at this chart:

At a quick glance, it’s kind of silly. I know people have concerns about mobile security but if a hacker is after your credit card it doesn’t matter if you’ve charged $10 or $1,000 dollars. But when you look at the psychology behind it, it makes total sense. There’s something frivolous about shopping via a mobile phone so it’s no big deal to toss $20 at something but when it comes to buying big ticket items, that’s a whole different story.

Google Introduces ‘JAM With Chrome’ Interactive Web Music App

OK. First off I know this is a stretch with regard to the marketing applications of Google’s new ‘JAM With Chrome‘ app but I found this to be really interesting in a way that makes one wonder what else can and is being done along similar lines.

Real simply this interactive web application is browser based and allows for people to play an instrument and have their friends join in. Check out the video from the Google blog post.

Google Search Share Slips A Little in UK

Google’s share of the search market in the UK has slipped below a rounded number which signals everyone should think it’s the beginning of the end.

People are obsessed with artificial markers with number because you can see a change. So what am I saying? Well, the ‘news’ that Google has slipped below a 90% share of the search market in the UK ALL THE WAY DOWN TO 89.33% (down from 90.74% the month before) is not really news. That is unless it is the start of a trend.

Here are the Hitwise numbers

Some posts elsewhere along with the comments make this seem like some milestone or indication that Google is in trouble. It also brings up the totally ignorant talk of a monopoly which is old and tiresome. Why?

If You Give the Consumer a Mobile Option, You Better Make Sure it Works

Last year, Shopkick was my favorite holiday shopping app. I used it every time I stepped into a partner store to claim my points and locate discounts. Or rather, that was my intention. I ended up spending endless minutes wandering around the front door of the various stores waiting for the app to recognize my location. You know the look – walking with your cell phone held up in front of you, turning left, right, stepping here, then there – it’s embarrassing and I was probably blocking traffic.

Then I went into the store and tried to use the bar code scanner to claim more points. Alas, my cell reception dropped out. I was in a Best Buy, the top tech chain in the US and I couldn’t get a signal. There was no free Wifi and I was told that there were only a few clean hot spots in the store. Of course, these spots weren’t anywhere near where I needed to be.

Lessons From the New Series Start-Ups: Silicon Valley

While the under-achievers of the Jersey Shore work on their tans, the over-achieving twenty-somethings of Silicon Valley are working on their next billion dollar idea.

Bravo’s new reality series Start-Ups: Silicon Valley tracks six young online entrepreneurs as they work, party and claw their way to the top of the heap. Siblings Ben and Hermione are looking to fund an app that calculates your life expectancy based on your daily choices (Burger for lunch, that’s 10 minutes off your life!). Sarah parlayed her “lifecast” blog into a cozy job as the social media manager for the Four Seasons hotel while Kim convinces ad buyers to fork over big bucks for Facebook advertising, and so on.

Above all, the series is highly entertaining, but after watching the first episode I also came away with several valuable lessons that I’d like to share.