YeeHaw! Bing Makes Searching Easier with Lasso

The joy of reading digitally is that you can easily drill down deeper into any idea simply by cutting, pasting and searching as you go. Reading a review of a summer movie might have you searching for other films by the same director. An article about the health benefits of blueberries could trigger a search for recipes or even a local grower so you can pick you own.

On a computer, the mouse makes it easy to grab these phrases and go, but that same action is cumbersome on mobile devices. According to Bing, your average cut and paste search takes nine steps, but with their new app upgrade, you can do it in two (sort of).

Online Ad Spending Predicted to Top 50 Billion in Five Years

Are you spending more money on online advertising? If so, you’re not alone. According to new numbers from eMarketer, almost every category of online advertising is growing and will continue to do so into 2015. At that time, they expect the market to hit 49.50 billion.

Search still claims the top spot for dollars spent, but video is the fastest growing format. The old fashioned banner ad is still climbing and email is the only category that slipped.

Who is benefiting from the rise in online ad dollars? The big five, Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, AOL and Facebook. eMarketer says that combined, they’ll claim 68% of 2011’s total online ad spending. That still leaves a nice chunk for smaller ad network and individual site buys which eMarketer recommends as a way of staying connected to a specific industry.

Justin Timberlake Can Save MySpace

People don’t give Justin Timberlake enough credit. One day after the announcement that he bought a stake in MySpace, the snark began. Some felt that he was taking his role in The Social Network too much to heart, while others just can’t get past his rep as a teen idol.

Yes, Timberlake rose to fame as a member of a boy band but don’t hold that against him. He’s a real smart cookie, who has reinvented himself as a solo artist, an actor and comedian. He’s also an entrepreneur with a clothing line and a restaurant, so buying a share of the ailing social media site isn’t that big of a reach for the pop star.

Timberlake said in a statement;

Zynga Files a Profitable IPO as Social Gaming Heats Up

Zynga, the king of the social gaming platforms, filed a $1 billion dollar IPO on Friday and unlike other recent IPO announcements, those are coins you hear jingling in their pockets.

According to CNN Money, Zynga earned $11.8 million on sales of $235.4 million in the first three months of this year alone. With social gaming expected to rise to $1.1 billion this year alone, they’re sitting very, very pretty.

Zynga isn’t the only group cheering about the rise in social gaming, many brands have found marketing success with in-game advertising. P&G’s Bounty made a big splash (then they used one towel to clean it up!) in the Electronic Art’s game “Restaurant City.” In the game, players can unlock rolls of Bounty towels, or let loose a special Bounty janitor, both of which have the power to clean up faster. I haven’t played the game, but I assume that faster clean-up means your restaurant can serve more customers and earn you more virtual bucks.

ExactTarget Prepares for Mobile Dependence Day

It’s coming soon, that day where we throw off the corded shackles and declare our independence from all things hard-wired. No longer will we have to sit at our desk to get email, be at home to get our phone calls or lounge in front of the TV just to watch American Idol. Mobile Dependence Day is fast approaching and ExactTarget is here to tell us all about it.

Subscribers, Fans and Followers #9, gives you the inside look at all things mobile and it does it with a sense of humor rarely seen in statistical works. Hey, they make their pie-charts out of actual pies. They also made the nifty graphic you see here (I’m just borrowing it.) Their point, is that the mobile phone is a modern-day Swiss Army knife. An easily pocketed tool that can get you out of almost any jam. Though, I don’t think you can use it to open a bottle top, but you can us it to pretend drink a glass of beer.

The Economic Benefits of Buying Local

How much money did you spend at a local, independent business this week? Books from a used book shop instead of Amazon? Fruit from a farmer’s market instead of a grocery chain? Perhaps you hired a local handyman to fix that leak in your sink.

Independent We Stand says that if every family spent $10 a month at a local store, $9.3 billion would be returned to the local economy. That’s more money for schools and roads and fire equipment. That’s money to put a park on a vacant lot or create a safer environment for you and yours.

The initiative thinks that more people would buy locally if they truly understood the impact, so they’ve created an online widget that makes it crystal clear. Visit IndependentWeStand.org, and click on the economic impact calculator. Enter your state and choose the metro-area nearest you and get ready to be amazed. Those dollars really add up fast.

American Express Has a New Twist on the Old Deal

Everyone loves a discount, but remembering to print or cut, then carry and redeem a coupon is a hassle. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone out to eat, only to realize that I left the coupon at home. And I’m here to tell you, most places won’t give you the deal without that golden ticket in hand.

Enter American Express. They’re working to eliminate the hassle of coupon redemption by eliminating the coupon, printable or otherwise. They’ve teamed up with Foursquare on a new program that gives consumers cash back on their American Express card when they fulfill a deal requirement. No coupon needed.

SmartBlog talked with American Express Vice President of Global Marketing Capabilities Dave Wolf about the idea and here’s what he had to say: