Myspace Returns, but Will the Fans?

About a week ago, Myspace took a big leap forward but hardly anyone noticed. It’s part of their new owner’s push to become a “leading social entertainment destination” and you gotta give them kudos for trying. Myspace is, after all, one of the classics in social media so I’d hate to see them go down without a fight.

This new round is all about the music. In its heyday, Myspace was a haven for independent musicians and they were the ones who stuck around when everyone else packed their bags and moved to Facebook-ville.

Playing to that loyal audience, Myspace has now become the home of a powerful online music player. It allows free, unlimited, on-demand music and it instantly syncs with Facebook. That’s from the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” school of marketing.

Here’s the new front page:

Netflix, Gap and Overstock Show Biggest Declines in Customer Satisfaction

We just looked at the dollars, now let’s hear from the customers who spent their holiday dollars online.

ForeSee has just released the results of their Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index and overall, it’s looking good. They ranked the Top 40 E-Retailers and came up with an average index number of 79. 80 is considered excellent. Prior to 2009, the scores averaged 75, which means consumers are now happier in their online shopping experiences.

Amazon took the top slot with a score of 88. That’s up two points over last year. On the bottom? Not surprisingly, Netflix dropped from an 86 to a 79. Gap.com (6%) and Overstock.com (5%) also showed declines.

Other winners include TigerDirect, JCP.com, and Dell.

Online Holiday Spending Up 15%

Yesterday, we talked about the rise in the Consumer Confidence Index and today we’re seeing the proof in the online pudding. comScore checked in with every, single e-commerce site, then tallied up the holiday shopping numbers.

Compared to the same shopping weeks last year, 2011 came in 15% higher. And here’s a chart that lays it all out for you in black and white.

Okay, so they probably didn’t actually check in with every website and it’s not that I don’t trust their numbers but I do wonder how they arrived at this total. . .

Anyway, let’s take a second to bask in the joy of these numbers. Look at Cyber Monday with a 22% increase. And what’s with these new special days, “Green Monday” and “Free Shipping Day?” Next we’ll have “Deep, Deep Discount Day” and “Last Chance Day” for all those who wait until the last minute.

GoDaddy Fights to Hold on to Customers as Rivals Scoop Them Up

GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman got a Christmas card from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. It said simply, “welcome to my world.”

It all began when GoDaddy announced that they were supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA. The act calls for a block on any domain that allows the posting of materials protected by copyright. Sounds reasonable, until you realize that Facebook could be blocked if someone posts a celebrity photo that is owned by one of the big licensers like Getty.

GoDaddy initially said they were behind SOPA and instantly, thousands began pulling their domains away from the company. Some went so far as to put up a boycott GoDaddy site and declare December 29, “Leave GoDaddy Day.”

Consumer Confidence Continues to Climb

The Consumer Confidence Index is up for the second month in a row, rising to 64.5 in December from 55.2 in November.

The survey, which was conducted by random sample by Nielsen for The Conference Board, showed an improvement in both current conditions and hope for the new year.

The Present Situation Index increased to 46.7 from 38.3. 16.6% said the business conditions are “good,” up from 13.9%.

There was also in increase in those who thought available jobs were “plentiful” and an almost equal decrease in those who said jobs were “hard to get.’

What’s really encouraging is the outlook for the future. The Expectations Index rose to 76.4 from 66.4. A higher percentage expected business to improve and they anticipated more available jobs in the near future.

Home Businesses Flourish on LiveJournal Singapore

In 2011, small business owners in Singapore set up shop on LiveJournal and completed transactions worth $72 million USD. They call them “blogshops” and there are over 50,000 of them currently running on the social blogging site.

Livejournal recently released a statement about their success and it is pretty amazing, mostly because it’s a singularly Singaporean phenomenon. They say the businesses are mostly small, home-based operations that have grown organically as an inexpensive way of getting started.

Right now, says LJ, only 10% are earning more than USD $1,500 a month but that’s nothing to cry about. Top earners are pulling in as much as USD $15,000 a month selling mostly clothing, beauty item and tech items.

Holiday Shopping: It Ain’t Over Until it’s Over

Last night, after the gifts were opened and the holiday glow was being to wear off, I saw a TV commercial for Wal-mart that shook me to the core. Wal-mart opens at 5 a.m. on December 26 for the the biggest, blow-out, post holiday sale ever.

I had instant Black Friday flashbacks. Seriously? 5 a.m.? I used to be a big post holiday shopper, but like 44% of the people Consumer Reports polled, I can’t deal with the crowds.

Consumer Reports also says that the holiday shopping season will continue until the ball drops in Times Square as 4 out of 10 Americans say they’re still shopping.

82% are hoping to take advantage of post-holiday sales. And a quick look around, says there are plenty of deals to be had. Stores aren’t just marking down holiday items, they’re clearing the shelves.