In Hopes of Becoming Like Facebook, MySpace Apps Also Leak Data

Ask MySpace what he wants to be when he grows up and he’ll tell you flat out – “Facebook.” It’s a typical case of big brother worship and we shouldn’t laugh about it but it’s funny, you know. When the little one tries to dress and sound like his successful big brother. Clomping around in shoes that are too big, hoping his friends will come over and hang with you if you make it easy for them to connect.

But sometimes, idol worship can get you in over your head. Like this week, when The Wall Street Journal caught MySpace leaking user data through apps. Who does that sound like, huh? Who got caught by The Wall Street Journal just a few weeks ago doing the same thing? Facebook.

Could AOL’s Project Devil Be the Future of Display Advertising?

When it comes to advertising, AOL says bigger is better. They also say cleaner, more engaging and more focused is better, too and that’s why they created Project Devil.

Project Devil is a new form of display advertising that relies on online-magazine style content in order to promote a product. The ad is designed to occupy the entire right sidebar of a webpage, with every inch devoted to only one sponsor.

JCPenney’s devil ad has a slideshow of winter fashions, over a fashion video and below that is a widget showing their Facebook fan page feed. Olay features an ad with roll-over information and Lexus offers downloadable high-def images of their featured cars.

Afterlife Well Spent: Zombies Take Over

You may think of Sears as a stuffy, old fashioned brand, but they’re working hard to change your opinion with a brand new social shopping site and zombies!

Sears has outdone themselves with a Halloween site makeover that doesn’t miss a trick and is loaded with treats. They’ve taken the basic website and replaced the ads with zombie versions such as dead hands showing off rings and a fridge complete with brains on ice. Clicking through the links will take you to a real page where you can buy real items and how can you not buy with an enticement like this?

The center of the page features a Zombie Gift Guide where you’re asked to choose the zombie type (slow, cranky, dirty) and brain preference (runny, chilled, boiled). These lead to more zombie graphics with gift suggestions that are legit.

Local Franchises Lag in the Social Media Market

Over the years, my husband has spent thousands of dollars on tools from Snap-on, but his connection to the company was always through a local franchise owner and not with the corporate office. But if you look for Snap-on on Facebook, you’ll find only a few dealers have pages. Of those, most are out of date and one is friends locked. That’s no way to do business.

According to comScore’s Local Search Usage Study, (as reported by Clickz) “69% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information on a social networking site.” 22% contacted a business after finding them on a social network and 67% of those consumers went on to make a purchase.

A Triple Grande Latte with a Side of iTunes: Starbucks Launches Their Digital Network

The last time I was in a Starbucks, I was surprised to see a large number of patrons hunched over laptops and iphones as they silently sipped their trendy drinks, completely ignoring the actual human sitting across from them. I imagine it’s this need to be virtually connected at all hours of the day and night that has led Starbucks to launch their own digital network.

Working in partnership with Yahoo! the Starbucks Digital Network offers in-store Wi-Fi users a taste of new music, local news and events and the low down on the latest lifestyle must haves.

In a company press release, Stephen Gillett, Starbucks executive vice president, chief information officer and Digital Ventures general manager (and geez, by the time you finish calling him, he’s late for dinner) had this to say:

Congress Has a Few Questions for Facebook

When if comes to privacy, Facebook doesn’t have any. This week, we all got a look at a letter from Congress that was sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding answers.

Maybe demanding is too strong a word, but the letter, which came from two members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, made it clear that they expected a full response by next week.

Reps. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Joe Barton of Texas make reference to the recent Wall Street Journal article where it was stated that third-party Facebook apps were selling off user information. They follow this with 18 questions which include:

— Did you notify users of this series of breaches, including the specific nature of the information shared without their consent? If not, why not?

Competitor Gone Out of Business: Their Loss is Your Gain?

Mike Michalowicz, has an article in the small business section of today’s Wall Street Journal that talks about ways of siphoning off the clients from a competitor who has gone out of business. The concept is based on the idea that the world is full of ads that lead to dead phone numbers or defunct websites. It happens because companies don’t anticipate going out of business when they buy that phone book ad or drop 10,000 postcards with their web address from a hot air balloon. So Michalowicz says you should claim old phone numbers and web addresses and redirect them to your own active business.