AOL Cuts Continue as They Close the Door on 30 Sites

AOL is closing the doors on nearly half of the 70 niche sites they maintain under the parent company umbrella. The news hit the web after a memo went out to the staff about the reorganization and though it’s bad news for employees, it’s good news for the AOL brand.

The graphic at the right is only a portion of the sites currently being operated by AOL and that’s before the acquisition of the Huffington Post. There was already quite a bit of redundancy across the sites, so streamlining only makes sense from both a financial and a brand standpoint. AOL Jobs. AOL Health. Fine. But FleaFlicker? ShelterPop? UserPlane? Oh, wait, those are the sites that are staying. The ones that are going away? According to Forbes, they include well-known TV news site TV Squad which will be rolled into the generic AOL TV. Financial site WalletPop will become part of Daily Finance, Politics Daily will roll into Huffington Post Politics.

LinkedIn Hits the 100 Million Mark

LinkedIn, the social media network for professionals, has reached the 100 million mark. That’s 100 million members, from 200 countries with an additional one million members (on average) joining every week.

What do you think about that? I think, who knew? LinkedIn has been the little engine that could, quietly chugging away while cousins Facebook and Twitter make all the noise. Why is that? And is that a good thing?

While you ponder those questions, here are some bullet points from LinkedIn:

The largest sectors on LinkedIn are Service, Finance and High Tech

They have:

  • 6 million+ sales professionals
  • 4 million+ engineers
  • 4 million+ IT professionals
  • 2.5 million+ finance professionals
  • 1.4 million+ accounting professionals
  • 1.4 million+ creative folks (Hey, I’m one of those.)

You Like Me! You Really Pretend to Like Me!

It’s been made clear in a hundred different white papers — the majority of people “like” a brand on Facebook in order to get coupons and deals. We all know it’s true and that’s why I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I went to claim my free sample of MiO on Facebook.

Here’s what I found:

That statement is such a brilliant, breath of fresh air, I wanted to go right out and buy their product.

Mobile, Mortar and the Scan and Scram Shopper

Yesterday, I went to the closing sale at my local Borders (sigh, and yes, I have book sales on the brain today). They had blu-ray box sets marked down 40%, so thinking I was getting a great deal, I decided to buy one. After I bought it, I used my Google Goggles to look up the item online and found that the price I paid was the same as Amazon’s everyday, low price. If I had scanned before I bought the item, I probably wouldn’t have bought it as it wasn’t the great deal I had hoped for. I would have been a “Scan and Scram Shopper,” and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Reporting from the CTIA Wireless 2011 conference, CNBC says;

Ebooks Prevail Over Print Sales in January

It might be a sad day for bookstores, but it’s a great day for readers. According to the Association of American Publishers, ebook sales rose 115% in January beating out both paperback and hardcover sales in the same month.

Paperback sales in January were dismal, dropping to 39 million, well below ebooks’ 69.9 million sales figure. Adult hardcover books pulled in $49.1 million which is an 11.3%  drop. The only kind of book beating ebooks were trade paperbacks which pulled in $83.6 million.

Marketers have long used ebooks as a reward in return for a potential client’s email address, but now that people have shown they’re willing to buy ebooks, why not look at ebooks as an opportunity to bring in some income.

comScore Looks at Who is Searching for What, Why and When

Most people use a search engine because they’re looking for an answer to a question, but counter intuitively, most people won’t type an actual question into the query field.

“Who originally sang If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” becomes original, singer, If You Don’t Know. “What can I do on a visit to California?” becomes tourist, California.

But the Q&A format is the basis for Ask.com and it ties in to content sites such as eHow and Yahoo Answers so comScore decided to take a closer look at the folks who do use Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How in their queries.

When comparing January 2011 to January 2010, their survey found that “How” was the most often used qualifier from the list. How accounted for 431 million searches up 27% from the prior year. And then there’s How’s close cousin, How To.

The Gamification of Mobile Marketing

The gamification of the digital world was an idea that popped up quite a few times at last week’s SXSW conference. Much of the discussion revolved around a presentation by SCVNGR creator Seth Priebatsch who was quoted as saying, “Game dynamics are too powerful to leave bottled up in games.”

Think about the amount of time the digitally connected adult spends playing games on his phone, online or on a game system. People have been known to spend an entire weekend working their way through the World of Warcraft and have you had enough of those Farmville updates you keep getting from your Facebook friends?

Oliver Burkeman of The Guardian says;