How the BBC is going to kill Netscape

The UK’s public service broadcasting behemoth, the BBC, has been going through some tough times the last few weeks. However a major announcement has been lost through all the talk of job loss, changes in programming and shifts in budget. Soon all the international visitors to the hugely popular BBC website will be served adverts. With such a huge audience it promises to sound the death knell for struggling portals like Netscape.

Ciaran Norris over at Altogether Digital highlighted the potential problems for the other portals and news sites.

The BBC site apparently attracts over 40 million foreign visitors every year, which is a significant number… certainly enough to seriously disrupt the advertising models of major commercial portals such as AOL & MSN.

The English Intelligence Service Recruiting Spies through Splinter Cell

In-game advertising really seems to be gaining some traction at the moment, and British Government intelligence organization, GCHQ, have taken the step of buying in game billboards to try and attract computer savvy graduates to consider becoming spies.

While the move isn’t quite as bold and the US military’s ‘America’s Army’ where a whole game and community has been developed to aid recruitment, it definitely shows more companies & organizations exploring the possibilities of in-game advertising.

GCHQ are using advertisement mimicking real world billboards within Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent on x-Box Live and across a number of other games including Rainbow Six: Vegas, Need for Speed Carbon & Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.

HowStuffWorks Bought out by the Discovery Channel

Yet another traditional media company has got money burning a hole in their pocket and bought an online web property. Discovery Communications, owner of the similarly titled television channel, has bought out the online knowledge depository site HowStuffWorks for an estimated 250 million dollars.

The website set up nearly a decade ago by Professor Marshall Brain of North Carolina State University fits well with other educational properties owned by the group.

Although many of their Television channels have comprehensive web presences the acquisition of the pure play online offering is quite a departure.

Summer is Time to up your Search Marketing Effort

We’ve not been having a great summer over here in the UK, but where-ever you are, the summer might be the ideal time to up the ante and make an extra push on your search marketing efforts.

Other SEOs are on Holiday – even the smallest niches, the chances are there are other websites competing for links and position in the rankings. If you can use the time, when they are off holidaying or enjoying longer lunch breaks to get extra links, you’ll gain a real competitive advantage. Similarly if you or your team are taking time off, don’t let your marketing efforts stop completely, delegate the work or find a friendly intern from your local college to help out.

Spotting Negative Social Media Marketing

There has been plenty of chatter in the last couple of days about ways that people could be negatively affecting your search engine marketing strategy. People are right to be worried, you only have to look at your search referrals to see how many people are typing in your brand name into the search engines. If there’s some mud slinging going on in your SERPs; plenty of people could end up reading it.

The Google results aren’t the only battle ground for disgruntled customers or unethical competitors. Everyman and his dog are getting involved in social media, and it’s here where the next round of fights will take place. So it’s worth thinking about where and how your rivals could be doing damage to your business.

Pownce – it’s not very original but it’s going to be bigger than twitter

The invites to Kevin Rose’s latest twitter-like project, Pownce, have been like hotcakes, and after 24 hours playing with the site I’ve come to the conclusion though it might not be the most creative web2.0 app out there, but it’s got a very good chance of becoming far more successful than any of it’s more innovative predecessors.

Figurehead – as much as we may like to believe that the web has made marketing a more level playing field, you only need to look at a couple of recent launches to see the power of having a ‘web celeb’ as a figure head. Jason Calacanis at Mahalo & Guy Kawasaki at Truemors have been able to harness the cult of their personalities to attract attention and hype to their latest ventures, even if they might not deserve it. With Digg’s Kevin Rose at the helm, it’s very likely the project will be able to punch well above its weight when it comes to press and social media coverage.

Project Redstripe Unveiled – Socially Conscious Social Networking

After four months of work and cryptic blog posting, The Economist Group’s small development team have announced their latest project a socially motivated social networking site.

Now known as “Lughenjo” the group have been working on a project who’s aim is to harness the knowledge and skills of The Economist’s readers to help NGOs, Charities & other organizations.

Lughenjo users will be able to answer questions that are posed by accredited international development organizations. Think Yahoo! Answers for good.

It’s an interesting idea, there definitely seems a desire amongst much of society for more ethical businesses. Aid & debt relief certainly has a part to play in international development but by using business skills & acumen, many in the developed world have in spades, we can make a small amount of individual effort which can collectively accumulate into a huge positive influence on the developing world.