GeoCities Given Pink Slip by Yahoo

The new Yahoo story continues to evolve on what seems a daily basis. No longer a business fantasy land of oddball executive titles (Chief Yahoo) and “if it yahoo-logofeels good do it” business planning, TechCrunch reports that Yahoo has quietly announced it is shuttering GeoCities by the end of this year.

Yahoo purchased the free hosting service during the last century (I’ve been wanting to write that for some reason) for $2.87 billion. That was 1999 dollars. If you follow the comment stream at TechCrunch there is a fair amount of nostalgia surrounding this end of an era. The end of an era, however, may be the start of another for Yahoo. Rather than letting the service eat up resources at a time where saving money is as important as generating it, Yahoo is making real world business decisions based on, gulp, reality. For a dose of facts and figures to make a business decision on these certainly helped the Yahoo team pull the plug.

pubCenter Open for Business

Microsoft is rolling out its answer to Google’s AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network with its new pubCenter beta. It is open to all and publishers can microsoft_advertisingsign up for free at the pubCenter site reports cnet.

Microsoft’s offering provides another option for publishers looking to monetize their content. Here are the highlights from the pubCenter site

The Microsoft pubCenterBeta offers you the chance to include advertising from one of the leading online advertising networks on your web site. With the pubCenterBeta you can:

  • Place ads on your web site—realizing revenue potential with relevant ads targeted to your audience.
  • Customize ads to the look and feel of your web site.
  • Gain access to one of the largest advertising networks, delivering high-quality ads.

Yahoo APT Platform in Real Terms

As with many things regarding Yahoo these days, the conversation has been altered by the CEO Carol Bartz. Checkyahoo-logo out the Jerry Yang post from last September. He sure was excited about the impact that APT, the new service for selling display advertising, was having on Yahoo. In fact, as reported in the WSJ’s Digits blog, this service has been a favorite talking point of Yahoo reps in earnings calls and a big event to introduce it was held last year. Well, yesterday Ms. Bartz struck a little different stance on APT during an earnings call as reported by the Digits blog over at the WSJ

…she referred to it as lots of different pieces of technology, many of which still need to be built. “There is no such thing as a rollout of APT,” she said. “APT is a product that will be ongoing for a long time.”

Twitter Gets Oprahed

Oprah does everything in a big way. She affects book sales in ways that make publishers drool. She gains a lot of weight then she loses a lot of weight. She can make someone go from just living in a household to being a household name. She certainly has a pop culture Midas touch of sorts so recently she lent that power to none other than the folks at Twitter.

Of course her impact has its supporters and detractors. Hitwise reports some pretty strong numbers around the posting of her first tweet last Friday. Interestingly, the chart below may also reflect the promotion leading up to the event itself more than anything else.

oprah-twitter

It’s About Time for Time Ad Network

Buying ads on ad networks is standard practice these days. In fact, according to an article from AdAge, 65% of ad buys will pass through ad networks in 2009. Even in toughtime-inc-logo times like these that’s a lot of money.

The referenced article is actually about the announcement of Time Inc.’s own ad network that will leverage the 26 properties that they have which includes some big names like People, Time (duh!) and Sports Illustrated. The network, called Time Axcess, offers advertisers access (get it?) to about 27 million unique visitors per month.

Advertise or Publish for Brand Awareness?

It’s always interesting to see research confirm something that your gut says is real. Ad blindness is a very real concern for marketers and it is forcing more creativity to get brands in front of the right people at the right time for THEIR right reason. A report from eMarketer shows that Internet users are more likely to act on brand mentions when reading about it in content form rather than advertising form. Not a shock but still good to know rather than suspect. Here’s some info about what is working and what is not.

emarketer-chart

Advertising like banners may be losing some appeal because there is just too much of it. Online it is difficult to find major sites that aren’t littered with ads in all shapes and sizes and everywhere on the screen. Even those sites that do things ‘tastefully’ can feel pushy after a long day of being pelted with messages.

The Butler Did It (At Least in the UK)

Ask.com has welcomed back a familiar face across the pond as reported by Search Engine Land.ask logo Jeeves the regal butler of Ask Jeeves fame is back and he has some real depth this time. Well, he is a 3D character now so that’s as far as the depth thing goes.

The Internet’s most well known servant is appearing on the UK Ask home page and will there to assist.

The character will offer searchers additional search options, interact with the searcher on their query and more. When I asked for more specifics, Ask’s reply was, “you will want to wait and see.”

The first question ol’ Jeeves is answering is why he is back. Here’s what he had to say. Of course, he didn’t ‘speak’ unless asked which means he still has his manners.