Twitter Buys AdGrok Team To Work on Monetization

Twitter is making a serious bid to compete in the online ad space, this time buying up a small company called AdGrok whose tagline is “we make internet marketing simple.” Actually, their interface was designed to make Google’s AdWords simple and if they did that, then it’s no wonder Twitter wanted to scoop them up.

The AdGrok system included a GrokBar, the Grok-o-Matic and the Groknoculars, all of which made you a Pro-Groker for only $59.00 a month. And I tell you all of this only because I like the word Grok as much as they do. But now, sadly, the time has come to move on to a world where everything happens in under 140 characters, which is enough to say Live long and prosper six times in one Tweet, so it’s all good.

Amazon Gets in on the Local Game

It was inevitable really, Amazon, who pioneered many of the currents trends in online retailing is now a follower. Introducing AmazonLocal! Likely coming soon to a city near you, but right now, only from Boise.

Now, I’ve got nothing against the folks of, what I’m sure, is a lovely city in Idaho, but really? According to TNW, Amazon chose the city because they liked their sense of whimsy, as demonstrated by BSU’s blue football field. Got me on that one, but everything has to start somewhere so why not Boise.

When I went to check out the service, it already knew my name, which always creeps me out. Obviously it pulled my name from my Amazon login, but it still wanted to know where I lived. As I moved through the process, I had this strange feeling of deja vu. TNW says that’s because Amazon isn’t sourcing their own deals (yet), they’re getting them from partnerships with other sites such as LivingSocial.

Forget Freelancers, Hire The New Yorker to Build Your Facebook Page

With newspaper and magazine ad revenue on the decline, publishers are expanding their repertoire in order to make up the difference. They’re setting up deal sites, selling digital subscriptions and now they’re selling marketing services and not just to ad buyers.

Last week, Conde Nast, publisher of The New Yorker, GQ, Wired and dozens of other magazines, launched a new division called Ideactive. What they’re offering is a one-stop shop for all your digital marketing needs including mobile app development, websites and social media consultations. Companies who advertise with the publisher will get better rates, but they’ll take money from anyone who wants to hire them.

Poytner followed up on this idea and found several more publishers moving in this direction including the Grand Island Independent. If you’re a business in the area, you can pay this small, Nebraskan newspaper to set up a Facebook page and Twitter account for you.

Twitter’s New Button Keeps Followers on Your Site

Getting people to follow you on Twitter is a good thing, but with the old “Follow Me” button users were immediately whisked away from your site and over to Twitter.  To quote Inspector Clouseau, “not any more.”

Twitter’s new “Follow” button allows fans to follow you without ever leaving your website. It’s one click (as long as they’re currently logged in to Twitter) and you’re done.

Twitter’s blog post hones in on how great this is for athletes, celebrities and reporters! They launched with the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez proudly flying the new flag. But obviously, this is great for any business.

More Than Half of Smartphone Users Say ‘It’s My Life’

Prosper Mobile Insights asked 100 smartphone users to describe their relationship with their phone. More than half of them said it was their life and that’s both cool and scary at the same time.

The survey was conducted in May and it involved slightly more men than women. When asked which features they couldn’t live without 21.6% said texting, 16.7% said internet and 15.7% said email.

Surfing with the Smartphone

One of the most surprising data points in this survey is that 55.9% of users prefer using their smartphone over their computer when accessing the web. What exactly are they using it for? Here’s the breakdown.

Don’t Be a Jerk and Other Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

PR people sometimes get a bad wrap as aggressive, yarn-spinners who are willing to do anything to get their client press. The truth is, most of these hard-working individuals spend their days riding that fine line between saying too much and saying too little. And at least once in their career (only once if they’re lucky), they’ll spend a hellatious week trying to repair the damage created by a bad decision or a slip of the lip.

Undoubtedly, that’s why PR people put “Don’t be a Jerk” on their list of Do’s and Don’ts for social media success. “Mastering Public Relations in Social Media” is a new white paper from PRNewswire and it’s loaded with practical information everyone can use.

Google Unseats Yahoo for Tops in Online Display

Google may be known for search, but they just passed Yahoo in online display ads. The numbers come from IDC and they were reported on by AdAge. Here are the key numbers:

In Q1 2011, Google’s share 14.7% vs Yahoo’s 12.3%. Google is also growing nearly as fast at Yahoo is declining. To make matters worse for the ex-ad king, Facebook is only a few lengths behind.

Here are the revenue amounts:

  • Google: $396 million in display
  • Yahoo: $330 million
  • Facebook: $238 million

Now that’s a horserace.

From the numbers, it would seem like Yahoo should be making Google voodoo dolls about now, but the expert at IDC says it wouldn’t help.