Evolution of the Personal Homepage

Yesterday Frostfire announced the launch of Frostfirehive.com, a personal homepage application that’s initially designed to target Internet and technology users. Much like the way you can customize your Google homepage, Frostfirehive.com allows users to create personalized start pages. But, it also takes things a few steps further, making it easy to organize your news, websites, videos, games, photos, search engines, email and much more.

“We will see a move away from generic start pages as niches need guidance with their content. Single page aggregators are too rigid and generic customizable pages offer little help to users. The Frostfirehive.com default start page consists of basic instructions that can be removed once a user is familiar with the site,” said Chris Frost, Frostfirehive.com’s chief executive.

The WAA Standardizes Web Analytics Terms

Analytics software can be confusing, and it is often difficult to decipher what you really need to pay attention to. Comparing data from multiple sources can be even more complex because of inconsistencies in reporting techniques. Yesterday at SES, the Web Analytics Association (WAA) offered a potential solution to these issues.

The WAA announced the availability of their new report that will provide standardized definitions for 26 of the most widely used terms in analytics tools and software. WAA members, agencies, vendors, practitioners, and thought-leaders have collaborated for the past 11 months to create these definitions.

The Association’s previous release of web analytics definitions in 2006 focused on three of the most important metrics across all analytics tools and software—unique visitors, page views, and visits/sessions. These terms were defined by the industry and agreed upon and now the WAA has expanded their attention to the other metrics that rely on the original three definitions.

New Yahoo Search Marketing Features

The quality of your ad campaign is becoming a bigger factor in your paid search listing, more so than just paying for results. David Pann, Vice President of Marketplace Design and Matching for Yahoo! Search Marketing announced yesterday at SES some new enhancements and updates for Yahoo Search Marketing’s new advertising platform.

New Payment Option: PayPal

PayPal, which is a secure and flexible online payment option, will be available to all advertisers. Yahoo knows that a lot of their advertisers in the retail space already use PayPal so this feature will allow them an easy option.

Enhancements to Writing Ads

Advertisers will now have the capabilities to create, delete, edit and copy all saved ads (up to 20) for a particular ad group in one place. Advertisers will be able to compare performance and keywords of each ad against one another with one click.

Google Apps to a University near You

What do the University of North Carolina Greensboro, Clemson University, University of Texas San Antonio, Kennesaw State University and Arkansas State University all have in common? Yesterday they announced the launching of Google Apps Education Edition on all of their campuses. Web-based applications on their university domain will allow students to have access to school-related information on any device, anytime they need it.

Google Apps Education Edition includes the Google Docs & Spreadsheets Program, Gmail, Google Calendar shared calendaring, Google Talk instant messaging and the Google Start Page for a customizable home page on a specific domain.

In an effort to increase awareness, Google kicked off Google@School, which allows educational leaders and IT professionals to hear from other universities that have already made the switch on their campuses.

Widgets for Tracking Internet Trends

Hitwise, a company that offers their clients from around the world insight on how customers interact with competitive websites, has just launched a new widget called Hitwise To Go. This new widget is the first in a series of widgets to be launched by Hitwise, and its RSS-based service will provide information about user behavior for the US, UK, and Asia Pacific markets.

“Releasing our data via desktop widgets makes it easy for digital enthusiasts to stay informed about key online trends as they happen. They also serve as a gateway to access a full archive of online statistics and other publicly available Hitwise data sources such as the Hitwise Analyst Blogs and our Data Center.” said Tessa Court, chief marketing officer for Hitwise.

How Are You Spending Your Time Online?

If you had to add up all the time you spend online for your boss, how would you allocate it? The findings of a new study released from the Online Publishers Association might (or might not) surprise you. The study, conducted over the last four years by Nielson/NetRatings, found that Internet users are spending nearly half their time on content rich sites such as entertainment and news websites, with more time spent on this activity than shopping online, emailing, or searching on various search engines.

The abundance of content and faster online speeds accounted for the spike, the study said. A proliferation of social networks such as News Corps’ MySpace and Facebook have helped boost content viewing as well.