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Are Facebook and AOL Planning a Hook-Up?

facebook-aol_390x2201Claire Atkinson of the New York Post says Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong are thinking about going into business together. While it’s pretty clear what Facebook brings to the table, what could AOL possibly have to offer that would be worth a swap? Once the only game in town when it came to social media on the web, AOL is now an aging brand name that means nothing to users under forty.

Says Atkinson, it’s AOL’s online ad marketing mojo that is of interest to Facebook, and it’s enough for the popular kid on the playground to consider hanging out with the nerd.

“Think of Tim Armstrong’s former role running ad sales for Google and think of where Facebook needs help.”

Affiliate Marketing Company VigLink Acquires Rival DrivingRevenue

viglink“We met for dinner in Chicago. We liked each other.  Our companies had very complementary strengths.  One thing led to another.”

Sounds like an influential CEO confessing to an elicit affair, but it’s really VigLink CEO Oliver Roup talking about how his company happened to acquire rival DrivingRevenue this past Friday. It began with an email from Revenue’s Raymond Lyle and Jack Bafia saying they should talk. That was in May, so it was quite a rush to the alter. Says Roup;

“We’re very excited to be joining forces. Ray is going to lead the sales and merchant relationship team and run our Chicago office. Jack will be moving to San Francisco to assume leadership of the product team. Everyone else is keeping their job as well.  They’ve all made a big bet on the future of the combined business. They are doubling down, not cashing out.”

Yahoo Japan Disses Bing, Picks Google as New Search Partner

Holy smack in the face Batman! Yahoo Japan just signed a 2-year deal with Google!

Yes, with Google! Not, Bing!

Before the word “mutiny” jumps to your prefrontal cortex–your “mind” for the rest of us–you need to know this: Yahoo holds only a 35% stake in Yahoo Japan, so the search engine couldn’t put its foot down and insist that Bing be the search engine of choice.

Still, what an embarrassment! I mean, Yahoo Japan basically just told the world that its US sibling has made a terrible mistake and it’s not prepared to make the same one!

Of course, Yahoo is having none of that, releasing its own statement on the deal:

Glam Media Moves on the Men

brashA few days ago, Glam Media, the number one vertical media company for women, announced that they were going to buy ad technology start-up AdPortal. The idea was that their tech would help bolster Glam Media’s GlamAdapt program which allows publishers to run their own self-service ad portals. The emphasis is on detailed demographics that will allow the advertisers to place ads based on very specific audience and geographic stats over a wide-range of sites all under the Glam Media roof.

AdPortal is a spin off of Sportgenic, a sports ad network. Now, with today’s announcement, it all becomes quite clear.

Glam Media is now going after the male market with the launch of their new vertical “BrashSports.”

The press release states:

IBM Reverses Mistake With Coremetrics Acquisition

Don’t you just love getting the inside scoop on a big acquisition?

I do!

So, after reading that IBM had agreed to acquire web analytics fim Coremetrics for an undisclosed sum, I was happy to find former IBMer Mike Moran share some information you may not know. Like the fact that IBM originally sold its web analytics unit to Coremetrics!

IBM doesn’t make too many mistakes, but I thought it made a big one four years ago when it sold off its SurfAid Web analytics business to Coremetrics. Today, IBM reversed course in a very smart move when it swallowed up Coremetrics to tap into its customers’ growing need for Web analytics.

What’s the ROI of Twitter? Acquisition Might Finally Answer That Question

There’s one question that seems to be asked of Twitter all the time: what’s the ROI?

I tend to reply with some smart alec comment such as “That’s like asking: what’s the ROI from my telephone!” Yeah, that doesn’t go down too well, but it’s true. Twitter is a channel, a tool. Just like your telephone, it has no ROI unless you put in place a strategy that can be measured.

Well, that may be all well and good, but Twitter’s not taking any chances. It’s not prepared to sit back and hope its business users are smart enough to figure out the “ROI of Twitter,” so it’s made an important acquisition. It’s just acquired an analytics company.

Invidi Takes Google’s Money; Avoids Being Stripped for Parts

They Don't Make Trucks Like This Anymore!What do you do when you want to invest in alternative advertising models for television but haven’t exactly seen a lot of success in that channel?

The answer?

Don’t buy a risky start-up, when you can invest in it and share some of that risk with other venture capital firms. If it succeeds–and you happen to be Google–you can sweep-in and acquire the company. If it fails, you don’t have to put up with the press giving you a hard time about yet another failure.

And, that’s exactly the approach Google has taken with Invidi–a start-up that’s hoping to find a better TV ad model: