Apple Threatens to Shut Down iTunes

Musicians and their labels want Apple to increase the amount they make per digital music download. Apple says they would rather shut down iTunes music store. They are turning down a request for an increase of six more cents per song for music publishers and songwriters.

Apple has insisted on keeping the price at 99 cents per download arguing that any price increase above that will make them unprofitable. The Copyright Royalty Board is scheduled to decide on the proposal by a three-person board appointed by the Librarian of Congress by Thursday. Music publishers want their cut to go from 9 cents to 15 cents per song – a 66 percent increase.

Bloggers Increase HP Laptop Sales 85%

It’s uncommon to see sales increase by double digits. HP had a new laptop called  Dragon. Sales were flat after trying traditional marketing. So they decided to try another way – engaging bloggers. A quick way to do that is to send bloggers an ultralight $5,000 laptop to give away to one of their readers.

Nine months after launch, the 15 pound laptop with a 20.1-inch screen and 500-gigabyte hard drive wasn’t selling that well. HP hired social media marketing firm Buzz Corps Inc. and they brainstormed with bloggers and HP to come up with the campaign.

Scott Ballantyne, vice president and general manager of the personal systems group at HP, said:

Help Me Win – Donate with New MySpace Widget

Social networks are a great way to raise money for good causes. Just look at Nie Recovery – the family’s plight made national news because bloggers banded to raise money for a family they had never met.

MySpace and PayPal are using a new widget to help nonprofits gather donations on social networks.

To participate, go to and create a customized widget that can be virally copied and replicated on anyone’s MySpace page.

MySpace: “We’re proud to work with PayPal to democratize philanthropy and show the power of small donations to drive big results.”

The MySpace IMPACT Channel page is at

I’ve been working with uPlej – another company that is helping to democratize philanthropy by getting people to pledge under $5 a month to a wide list of charities.

LinkedIn Partners with CNBC – a social site for professionals – is partnering with CNBC to integrate news and other content. LinkedIn has over 27 million members but until now has had very little community-buildling or social networking features.

Currently on LinkedIn you can email other professionals, ask them questions, and give or get recommendations from people in your network. Now you’ll also be able to share information with them – something that is happening informally anyway.

One way to build up your network is to send relevant news stories, blog posts, or videos that you think they’ll benefit from. With this partnership, that could be easier if the content is on CNBC. On CNBC’s site there is a section devoted to LinkedIn – though right now it’s at the very bottom of the page and it’s a poll. To answer the poll, you must be a member of LinkedIn.

Blogging the Democratic Convention from the Big Tent

Today I wish I were a political blogger. I supposedly had a ticket to the Democratic Convention, which fell through. Then I had the misfortune (in this situation) to live in a state that didn’t get a lot of tickets. Some lucky bloggers – one from each state – were also part of the State Blog Pool or Corps (here’s a list of the bloggers by state).

I have a feeling, that while it would be fun to attend the parties and see the speeches, I would want to hang out in the Big Tent. That’s where the bloggers are. It’s not air-conditioned, and you’re not as wined and dined, but from the looks of it, you’re in good company. Google and Digg set it up and sponsored it. If you’re Republican they’re sponsoring a tent at the Republican convention too.

NBC Gets a Bronze for Online Video Advertising During Olympics

The Olympics is over and US advertisers should be pleased with the results. Not only did we take home a lot of gold from athletes, this Olympics brought record web site traffic – and an experiment in online video advertising. The two weeks long Olympics was a test in how video advertising would play out.

According to eMarketer – NBC – the lead sponsor of the games, gets a bronze for their work. They brought in $5.75 million for running video ads. The Wall Street Journal reported NBC made only a quarter of what CBS Sports made streaming a college basketball tournament earlier this year.

The Government Twitters and They Should Pay for It

The government can’t be all that bad. They Twitter. They don’t make us practice until we’re almost dead for the Olympics. Plus they use other social media sites to communicate and encourage freedom of press. Now, if they could just let reporters live twit during press conferences it would look just like BlogWorld – speakers could look down at an audience of laptops.

Silicon Valley nerds may be early adopters of social media – but the government is not only twittering, they are blogging and using other social media platforms (and maybe they should subsidize it too!).