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Will Turning a Profit Turn Users Off to Tumblr?

Selling ads is often equated with “selling out” which can be a big problem for sites that built their reputation on being hip and out-of-the-box.

Tumblr is one of these sites. Essentially, it’s a free blogging tool but it’s developed its own artistic personality. It leans heavily on graphics and moving GIFS. Humor, art and pop culture routinely collide and it’s primarily populated by younger users who use it both as a scrapbook of minutia and a place for social commentary.

tumblr

Tumblr is unique and the site’s rise in popularity has been impressive. Says Forbes:

Tumblr’s tens of millions of registered users create 120,000 new blogs every day, for a total of 86 million and counting, which drive some 18 billion page views per month.

10 Free Tools to Enhance Your Content Marketing Efforts

content marketingAs authors, it’s our job to answer questions, talk about industry developments and write about topics that provide value to readers for months, or even years to come. As search engines continue to evolve, so do the resources we have at our disposal to enhance our content creation and improve the outcome of our efforts. Having a content marketing strategy is vital to becoming more efficient and maximizing the value from these efforts.

I’d like to share a few of the tools that have helped me become more strategic in my content creation efforts. These free tools have assisted me in the development of new content marketing processes and have allowed me to create more valuable assets for my clients. Making use of these tools should help you create more relevant, timely content around queries that people are searching for now.

New York Times Tests Spark Stories: Matching Ads with Stories Trending on Twitter

new york timesDigital subscriptions and online advertising haven’t turned into the gold mine newspapers were hoping for when they made the transition from print to screen. But when you look at the history of the newspaper industry in this country, digital is relatively new, so they’re still working out the kinks.

What they need are some fresh ideas and the New York Times has that covered.  Michael Zimbalist, head of the NYT’s research and development department, talked to Beet.TV about a new concept in ad targeting. It’s called “Sparking Stories” and it ties ads together with articles that are trending on Twitter.

Zimbalist says his team has learned a lot about demographics and the lifespan of a news article by watching it move through the Twittersphere.

Tensions Rise as ICANN Prepares to Award Generic Top Level Domains

49702_3823The domain name game is about to change and a lot of people are very unhappy — with good reason.

ICANN, the governing body for all domain names, is about to award 2,000 generic, top-level domain names to the person who got their application in before anyone else. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the core of it.

The domains are mostly generic words such as (dot) insurance, (dot) church, (dot) duck. The list also includes brand specific names such as (dot) Chevrolet and (dot) Comcast. Then, there are names that could be associated with a brand such as (dot) coach or (dot) discover.

Now, imagine what happens if Progressive Insurance succeeds in their bid to win (dot) insurance. That means that they gain control over every domain branching off that top level; www.progressive.insurance, allstate.insurance, statefarm.insurance, etc.

New ExactTarget Report Reminds Marketers, You Are Not Average

SFF20-coverI often forget that I know things the average person doesn’t. I don’t mean that to sound snobby. What I mean is that when you spend your whole day navigating the internet, posting to blogs and social media, and responding to email, you forget that some people don’t go on the internet at all. (Horrors!)

ExactTarget just released a fascinating new chapter in their Subscribers, Fans and Followers series. It’s called “Marketers From Mars.” And before they got me with the research, they hooked me with the wonderful, 1950’s space race graphics that they used throughout the pages.

The report contends that the modern marketer is like the space explorers of the past. We’re left our connected world behind in favor of technologically advanced devices and web tools. We’re Tweeting and Instagramming photos while much of the world is still talking on the phone and sifting through old snapshots they had processed at the Fotomat ten years ago.

Digital Marketing Budgets On the Rise With Content Marketing Leading the Way

Before we get started I have a quick questions which probably has a not so quick answer. Here it goes. Who thinks that content marketing is a good term to be throwing around in marketing circles? It sure gets a lot of play but it seems to be such a wide area and catch all phrase. What does it actually mean? Feel free to drop an opinion in the comments.

Ok, well thanks for entertaining that thought. Now, no matter how we define it or parts of it, marketers are still very much buying into the concept of digital. It would be silly not to in most cases. In fact, according to Econsultancy’s and Responsys’ Marketing Budgets 2013 report the digital space continues to get more and more budget attention. Note that these numbers come from the perspective of the company and not the agency side of the equation.

Companies and Digital Budgets 2013

Taking Google’s New Image Search for a Test Drive

Last week, Google announced that they were going to make changes to their image search tool. They said it was going to be faster, more beautiful and more intuitive. Guess what – they were right.

Come along while I take Google’s new image search for a test drive.

Keyword: The Birds

At first, image search looks just like it did before the switch. But once you click on a photo, everything changes.

The chosen photo used to load in an iframe on top of the source page. This was cumbersome and didn’t always function as it was supposed to. Now, the rows split apart and the chosen photo appears in a wide, black bar that fills three-quarters of the screen.