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With Social Media Everyone’s a Critic

Over at CNET, Michael Kanellos takes a light-hearted look at the proliferation of consumer review web sites. Focusing mostly on Yelp.com and TripAdvisor, Kanellos explains how it can be difficult to find useful information when reviews are littered with two extremes – nitpickers and evangelists.

The best line? Kanellos succinctly describes how the impact of social media on reviews…

It’s like meeting the global community, and finding out they are all my mother.

:-)

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.

Winksite Shares Some Mobile Love

Note to diary.

July 6 – Winksite introduce upgraded mobile publishing platform that promises to extend the reach of the Mobile Web.

July 7 – Launch my personalized, optimized, cross-browser compatible mobile portal.

Can it be that easy?

One of the biggest challenges for both experienced content publishers and web enthusiasts alike is the strict flavour (subset) of HTML that mobile browsers depend on – xHTML Mobile Profile (often dubbed WAP 2.0). So far, it’s been a vicious cirlce! Desktop browsers (mostly talking IE here) have been so forgiving in the past – rendering poorly coded websites in a presentable manner – that adoption of standards for mobile screens has been resisted, resulting in poor user experience and the dragging of progress heels.

Are Enough Users Generating Content?

It looks like eMarketer is afraid of the impending UGC creator shortage. That, or they’re crying wolf. And they’d never do something like that. Why, the very idea!

Anyway, eMarketer starts off by asking the all-important UGC question, “Are enough people recording their cats?” Their answer is, “Apparently not,” because UGC users outnumber creators. With 69.1 million users last year in the US and 128 million users worldwide, and “only” 63.7 million US creators (117.9 million worldwide), they seem to think we’ll be running out of videos of cats playing the piano.

When User Generated Video Contests Backfire

One of the hottest marketing trends of late is to get your customers to create your next ad campaign for you. It worked for Doritos and their Super Bowl ad contest, but sometimes it can backfire, as Chevy can attest to.

Malibu Caribbean Rum is the latest big brand to get its reputation slightly singed when their YouTube video contest backfired. Malibu asked for video entries, offered a $25k prize and even had Efren Ramirez of “Napoleon Dynamite” help with the judging.

Unfortunately, when the winner was declared, some entrants cried fowl, suggesting that contest was rigged.

MySpace to Launch YouTube Killer Tomorrow

The New York Times reports that MySpace will launch its alternative to YouTube, MySpace TV, tomorrow. The article calls this a “refurbishment” of MySpace’s 18-month old video sharing service and possibly their branded video channels, announced last month.

The Times cites comScore stats that say that 50.2 million online video viewers used MySpace in April—not too far behind YouTube’s 57.9 million viewers. However, YouTube still serves a wider geographical audience and far more videos than MySpace.

MySpace is adding additional features to their MySpace TV site including copyright filtering, video editing and combining (coming later this year) and immediate availability in 15 countries and seven languages.

As an independent website, even people who aren’t MySpace members can add videos to MySpaceTV.com, but also features special benefits for MySpace members, such as easy integration of videos into profiles and an individualized “channel” for each profile’s uploaded videos.

MySpace Founders Asking News Corp for Another $50M

How about some salary negotiation brinkmanship to start off your day? Better yet, how would you like the idea of getting paid $12.5 million a year?

That’s the amount that MySpace co-founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson are asking from Rupert Murdoch and corporate parent News Corp. According to Deadline Hollywood Daily, the social network creators have asked for a combined $50 million over 2-years, which would make them the highest paid execs at the company.

They’re asking Peter Chernin and Rupert Murdoch for a 2-year deal worth $50 million total. That comes out to $25 million each, or $12.5 million a year. Plus, the pair want a development fund of $15 million to invest in internet companies. 

Insiders say they have little chance of getting the amount they want and News Corp has reportedly countered with $7.5 million each a year for two years.