Google Privacy Concerns in Germany

Last week Google and Microsoft were at Senate hearings in the US about Google’s plan to buy DoubleClick. Google is to spend $3.1 billion in a deal that was first announced in April. This week the news is focused on the same deal in Germany.

According to Google the acquisition will enable more innovation and competition. It will help businesses and consumers. Microsoft is crying monopoly and there are frequent concerns from Microsoft and others about privacy. And there is the now-famous Amazon.com and UPS/FedEx analogy.

This is the way Google put it: we sell ads, Doubleclick delivers ads. In Germany the data protection commissioner of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein doesn’t agree. He is opposing the deal.

Alaska Airlines Testing In-Flight Internet Access

Alaska Airlines will be the first U.S. airline carrier to test satellite internet service on their flights. The wireless internet will be tested on one plane. If that goes well all 114 of their planes will get the service.

The airline, based in Seattle, is getting broadband service from a company called Row 44 Inc. They’ll put the service on a Boeing 737 jet next spring. The connection will hold over water and across international borders. They fly to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico.

You’ll be able to connect your laptop or smart phones. What will the service cost? That is still being worked out. They are still researching the cost, even considering free service for some passengers to a day pass.

Google Cleanup Starts Local Goes Global

Google is showing the rest of the world how to be model corporate citizens. It’s encouraging to see their dedication to social issues like the environment. They have just announced International Cleanup Weekend on October 13-14th. That’s next Saturday and Sunday.

The project started with Google employees. They cleaned up local beaches, parks, and trails in California and tracked their progress using My Maps. Now it’s a much bigger effort. They have partnered with community action organizations in fifteen countries to encourage the same thing on a bigger scale. I envision the same thing again in April for Earth Day. No word if it will be an annual event.

Radiohead’s Music Downloads – An Experiment

Radiohead, the English rock band is striking out on their own when it comes to online sales of their newest album. When Radiohead’s contract with recording company EMI expired, they decided not to sign a deal but to sell their music through their web site.

They recently completed their seventh studio album, In Rainbows. They launched a new site this month, where you can preorder a digital download on their web site. This message greets you (no yells at you):

RADIOHEAD HAVE MADE A RECORD.
SO FAR, IT IS ONLY AVAILABLE FROM THIS WEBSITE.
YOU CAN PRE-ORDER IT IN THESE FORMATS: DISCOBOX AND DOWNLOAD.

Tips for Getting Customer Feedback with Email

MarketingSherpa, a research firm that tracks what works and what doesn’t in marketing, came out with a special report on using email to conduct customer surveys.
One benefit of email marketing is that it’s a low cost way to do some research.

Also, using email to poll your customers is quick – the majority of responses (75%) are returned in just three days. You can also track and report on the results of your campaign.

Perhaps you want to know why people abandon their shopping cart. Were they trying to find out shipping? Did they change their mind? Was the cost of shipping a factor? Surveys can help you pinpoint the answer.

2007 WebAwards from The Web Marketing Association

The Web Marketing Association recently listed the best web sites with their 2007 WebAward Winners. The awards looked across the internet – in 96 industries. The top votes went to two sites that were interactive and community-oriented. This is the 11th year of the WebAward Competition.

The Best of Show award went to the “Disney XD” web site at , which also won Best Design Website. The runner up is the UPS Whiteboard site.

Biggs/Gilmore was the Top Agency this year with awards for 20 of their sites. Located in Kalamazoo, MI they won Best Food Website, Best Pharmaceutical Website, and other awards for their work.

Here’s a list of all the sites that won in the “Outstanding Website” category.
Agencies or companies winning five or more sites taking a WebAward include (I just listed the top ones, not the complete list):

Joost’s Low Key Opening Day

The founders of Skype may not have a job at eBay, but they have reached an important milestone with internet TV service Joost. After two years, the site is out of beta. They aren’t planning a big marketing push to announce the change. They say that they’ve gotten so much media coverage they can count on word of mouth.

Joost got 1.5 million sign-ups, during their invite-only beta stage. This is version 1, and it’s still in beta, but now open to the public (as of yesterday). After so much hype, they have been very low key. They waited for people to notice. The only announcement to let you know anything has changed is with a low key post on the forum. That doesn’t seem like a good idea. Not even a press release?