Can Snail Mail Be Part of Social Media?

The online space is certainly trying hard to cut the apron strings associated with traditional media techniques and practices. It can be hard though, to completely separate from something that may still have value. Think about how nice it was (or still is) to go back “home” and get that meal that you just can’t make on your own. While you never want to be back there 24 / 7 again there are certain things that are part of our past that will always have great value and we get to take the best of those things with us.

Germany Cries Monopoly and Doesn’t Even Collect $200

It looks like Deutschland has a bee in its bonnet about Google. Apparently it is using the dreaded M word “monopol” which, according to Google’s own translation tool is the German form of the English word monopoly. The Germans are concerned that Google is looking like Microsoft and they are not happy. Somebody needs to get in their Mercedes and take a ride on the Autobahn to cool off, maybe?

We learned of the Reuters report from Search Engine Land. Apparently the German justice minister is upset that Google isn’t transparent enough. I thought monopolies are about cornering markets and not transparency but maybe I am missing something in the translation.

Here’s her thoughts from Reuters

For Ads the More Targeted May Mean Less Profitable

Maybe you can have too much of a good thing. As the Internet allows advertisers to slice and dice large segments of desirable markets into thinner, more defined slices it also creates something that is much less desirable: smaller profits.

How is that you say? How is it possible to make less on my advertising spend when I am advertising directly to the group that most needs or wants my products? Well, it’s simple supply and demand. While you are targeting a much more defined market you are not going to be alone in that quest to advertiser to just the people that will buy. Remember those pesky competitors? They want those people too because their claim is that they are better than you. Now you are going to find a price war that drives up costs for advertising and makes customer acquisition costs rise which in turn hurt the bottom line. So maybe there is too much of a good thing after all.

AOL Employees to Be “Involuntarily Laid Off”

Back in November we talked about AOL’s need to trim their headcount by some 2,500 people. At the time the hope was that enough would walk away from their positions to avert the need for playing the bad guy and actually firing anyone. Well, according to All Things Digital the numbers didn’t quite add up with that plan and now AOL needs to start the proactive force reduction. Call it what you will. Here is some information from the ATD article

In November, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said he needed 2,500 “volunteers” to give up their jobs, but not enough of them got the message — only 1,100 walked away on their own.

Now Armstrong is entering the second phase of his corporate slimdown, and is firing some 1,000+ employees.

Zuckerberg Sparks More Privacy Discussion

For many in the online space these days the words “Facebook privacy” would be called an oxymoron. Then of course there would be the usual calling others at Facebook morons and then it would get worse from there but I digress. Michael Arrington recently interviewed the poster child for the “Privacy? What privacy?” movement, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore tells us:

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg claims that if Facebook was starting out now, sharing with everybody would be the starting point, rather than with a small group of friends. Is this more about reflecting social norms or changing them to help Facebook compete with Twitter?

Newspapers and Traditional Media Still Produce Most News

We in the online world take every opportunity to turn our nose up at traditional media like newspapers because they are so 1900’s. Just take a look over the past year of posts that I have done and I at times can lead that charge. For the record, I do not relish in the fact that newspapers are going by the way side in many ways. I see that they are and it’s hard not to notice. It’s not the idea of newspapers in general that is the trouble, it’s their slow adoption of the online space and the price they are paying that is most difficult to watch.

Put simply I would hate to see newspapers “go away”. It’s not likely that there will be no newspapers someday but it is likely that the consolidation and attrition in the industry will continue.

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz Gives Herself A Grade for Her First Year

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been almost one year that Carol Bartz has taken the top position at Yahoo! She officially celebrates the one-year mark next week but is taking a look back at what was probably a whirlwind event no matter how much experience she brought to the table.

Bloomberg reports that Bartz recently gave herself an interesting grade for her performance for the year: a B-. Why is that interesting? It’s interesting to me because it seems to be pretty honest. It’s saying “Hey, I did OK and everything is OK but there is room for improvement.” I appreciate the honesty because she places herself precariously close to a C grade, which is just average. So what were Ms. Bartz’s own words?