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Facebook Headed for Financial Ruin?

TechCrunch today has no treats—and no joy, no, not even Almond Joy—for Facebook in reporting about its projected financial woes. For a company once valued at $15 billion, things are looking grim as the cash supplies may dwindle long before Facebook is ready or willing to go to IPO.

There’s no denying that Facebook continues to enjoy incredible popularity worldwide—but that could be part of the problem. Facebook’s worldwide growth has been strong over the last year, with 118% growth in monthly unique visitors and 74% growth in page views. But its US growth hasn’t been as impressive, up only 32% from 31 million to 41 million.

AOL.com Adds Widget; Talking Geckos Next?

I think the next GEICO "celebrity" TV ad should feature AOL. You know the ads I’m talking about. GEICO brings in a celebrity that once lived in the limelight but now, sadly, can’t get any better work other than co-starring with an animated gecko.

I say this because AOL has seen better days. Once the 800 gorilla of the internet, AOL has spent the last few years trying to find that one big comeback role that will revive its career.

Its latest comeback attempt is to bring social networking widgets to the AOL homepage. Over the coming weeks, AOL users (you know who you are) will soon have access to the following:

Hakkers Yoosing Bad Spellingz to Fool Facebuk Uzers

Unless you have a lot of friends on Facebook that are illiterate, I’m betting you won’t have too much trouble identifying the latest attempt to infect your computer with the Koobface trojan. Here’s the type of message that typically accompanies the attempt to infect you:

"Sommebody uupload a viideo witth you on utubee. you shuold ese"

Even my dog can spell better than that.

OK, so the hackers are likely deliberately misspelling words so as to avoid spam filters, but still, would you click on the above?

You might, if you saw that the link went to a legitimate site such as Google. But, don’t be fooled.

Social Network Advertising: Annoying or Effective?

Social network advertising is not only not annoying but surprisingly effective in some segments, according to the results of a new survey by Razorfish. In FEED: the Razorfish Consumer Experience Report 2008, Razorfish surveyed “connected consumers”—1006 people with broadband access who spent at least $200 online in the past year, used a community site such as MySpace and consumed or made some type of digital media including videos and music.

And of those people, 76% didn’t mind seeing ads when they logged in to social media sites including Facebook and MySpace. This percentage is surprisingly large, perhaps so much so that this response is what prompted Razorfish to conclude:

Content, in our view, will become advertising.

Well, I suppose that’s a better outlook than advertising will become content.

LinkedIn Adds Applications; Sheep Throwing Not Included

At Aloha Summit Peter Shankman was adamant that LinkedIn was a waste of time–he really didn’t see the value in it as a social network. Others claimed LinkedIn was a valuable site that allowed you to connect to your business network–as opposed to simply throwing sheep at someone.

I wonder what Shankman et al will make of today’s news that LinkedIn has launched the first of its applications–first announced at the end of last year.

The nine applications that you see live today on LinkedIn include productivity enhancing applications from Amazon, Box.net, Google, Huddle, Six Apart, SlideShare, Tripit, and WordPress as well a Company Buzz application developed by LinkedIn. Each of these applications will help you stay current and competitive as a professional in today’s rapidly changing business world.

Study Confirms I Can Get 50% of You to Do My Bidding!

I know a few things about you.

  • 50% of you will have your buying decision influenced by what we say at Marketing Pilgrim.
  • That increases to 56% if making a decision related to marketing products or services.
  • 25% of you trust our advertisers, simply because you trust us.
  • 38% of you will discover a new blog to read from among those we link to.

No, I’m not a psychic. I’m not even a Mentalist. Heck, I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! I did, however, read a new study from BuzzLogic and JupiterResearch on the influence of blogs.

The study reveals a lot about the influence your favorite blog plays in many of the decisions you make.

Word of Mouth, Online Reviews Most Influential in Purchase Decisions

UPDATE: The full PDF of the study is available (link via RWW).

A new study by Rubicon Consulting states that word of mouth and online reviews are the most influential factors in consumer purchasing decisions. According to the study, the Internet is also important in providing customer support. The survey also looked at consumer’s use and perceptions of different websites and categories of websites:

  • The Web is the #2 resource for customer support information, after user manuals. It ranks ahead of calling the manufacturer or asking a dealer.
  • Website categories that get the most daily usage are search, social communities like MySpace and Facebook, general news websites like CNN.com and NYTimes.com, and online banking.
  • The websites that Americans value most are (in order), Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Facebook.