Wikipedia Goes Dark in Protest of SOPA: Students Forced to Find Other Means of Completing Homework

Wikipedia and several other sites including Reddit and Boing-Boing will go dark on Wednesday as a form of protest. What they’re protesting is the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Critics of the act say that it supports wholesale censorship with no recourse for even accidental offenders. At the root is the concept that the government can block any website that carries pirated materials. Obviously, this would be a big problem for eBay, YouTube, Facebook, pretty much any website that allows users to upload content.

Facebook Cuts Ad Prices if You Stay on Site

Want to save up to 45% on your Facebook advertising bill? It’s easy. Simply link your ad to your Facebook Page and not your website.

A new study by TGB Digital shows that Facebook has been incentivizing internal linking for awhile now but they really got serious in Q4 of 2011. Earlier in the year, the company found a 29% savings for those who kept the clicks internal. But now, with a potential to save up to 45%, staying inside the walls is almost a given.

Simon Mansell, CEO of TBG Digital, said in a press release:

Product Videos, Gifts and Other Marketing Ideas You Can Borrow

The January issue of STORES magazine has an article called 20 Ideas Worth Stealing. Since they’re advocating helping yourself, I figured they wouldn’t mind if I borrow a few of their ideas to share here.

The entire article is a great mix of basic marketing manners and innovations that use mobile and other digital options to enhance the in-store experience. But there are also ideas that the strictly online retailer can use as well.

Reward Loyalty

Home decor flash sales site One Kings Lane surprised 6,900 of its best customers with a special gift that shipped the first two weeks of November. Based on purchase history, shoppers received taper candles, a silver pitcher or an inlaid bone box.

So You Think You Know the Connected Consumer [Infographic]

So you think you know the connected consumer, do you? Well Zmags challenges your notions with this sweet infographic that puts it all in perspective.

If you imagine that connected shoppers are young people who can’t survive without their mobile phone, think again. Their survey showed that more than half of connected shoppers surveyed where women with a mean age of 40.

She owns multiple internet-connection devices and not surprisingly, she enjoys Facebook and shopping excites her. Can’t get a better customer than that.

Foursquare Launches Desktop Explore

Whether you’re looking for a new place to have lunch or planning a trip to Paris, Foursquare has you covered with their new desktop app.

Foursquare explore is a supersized version of the explore engine in their smartphone app. It’s designed to help you find places to eat, visit and play that suit your needs and interests.

What’s truly unique about it, is the apps ability to respond to random words, not just specific names or high-level categories. You can search for a “pizza” place in the neighborhood or you can search for “deep dish pizza” and get only those restaurants that make it that way. You can also search words like “romantic,” “fun,” and “weekend,” for more of an eclectic mix.

Consumers Give Facebook Shopping a C+

This past holiday season, consumers had more ways to shop than ever before, online, offline, mobile, and even through Facebook. eCommerce company Baynote, put together a report card for each of these areas based on a consumer survey. The results aren’t surprising but still interesting, particularly as they relate to social media.

Overall, 84% of consumers said their online shopping experience was “good” or “excellent.” This was only 78% last year.

As you can see from the chart, retail websites were rated highest across the board.  The biggest problem mentioned in this area was the ease of finding the product they wanted. 44.1% said they were frustrated by too many options when they used a searched engine. After that, they found that many of the offered links led to generic pages or sites that didn’t actually carry the product. Obviously, there’s room for improvement here.

Facebook Moves Steadily Towards One Billion Users


or one thousand million,

also known as a milliard,

or in common parlance, “a whole lot of” whatever it is you’re counting.

In this case, it’s people using Facebook, which makes that number even more insane.

An analyst from iCrossing has made his mark today by predicting when Facebook will hit this auspicious number.

He made allowances for the natural slowdown of early adopting countries, then calculated in the effect of new countries joining the fray and here’s what he got:

Date of predicted splash down? August 2012. I can already hear the bookies in Vegas laying down odds.