Inflating Feedburner Readers to Game Advertisers

It appears someone out there is testing weaknesses in Feedburner’s subscriber “chicklet” to see if they can artificially inflate a blog’s RSS subscriber count.

Boing Boing and Mashable are both involved in this mini scandal – although there is no evidence either were behind the scam – and Nik Cubrilovic explains how subscriber counts jumped by millions in some cases.

It seems that somebody has created a bot that would create many profiles on Pageflakes (which is a web-based RSS reader) and then subscribe to BoingBoing in each of these profiles multiple times. The net effect was that BoingBoing reported over 2 million subscribers from Pageflakes, a very very dramatic increase over the numbers that were being reported only days earlier.

Online Marketing with Offline Conversions

The growth and adoption of web analytics applications over the last few years has made detailed conversion tracking a mission critical part of operating a successful e-commerce website. E-commerce merchants routinely track all aspects of each and every individual conversion. Tracking return on ad spend by channel is now just as crucial as understanding profit margins. Improving a website’s ability to turn visitors into customers without accurate conversion data is almost flying blind. So what about the large numbers of organizations who don’t have this luxury since either all or the majority of their conversions occur offline?

Channel Sponsors

“Immigrant Entrepreneurs” Generate $52B

A new study from Duke University found that of companies started between 1995-2005, 25% had at least one foreign-born senior executive. By 2005, immigrants had founded 52% of Silicon Valley companies (up from 25% in a 1999 Berkeley study). Companies run by these “immigrant entrepreneurs” accounted for approximately 450,000 jobs and $52 billion in sales in 2005.

Researchers also report that 24% of patent applications last year were made by foreign-born inventors living in the United States without citizenship. In 1998, only 7.3% of filings were made by resident non-citizens.

The full reports include breakdowns by country of origin and state as well as focus studies on Silicon Valley and Research Triangle Park companies. That makes me like it twice as much: it’s by Duke (I love my Blue Devils) and focuses on my home (RTP).

What You’re Missing on Pilgrim’s Picks

If you’ve not subscribed to our RSS link blogPilgrim’s Picks (via Google Reader) – here’s some of the great posts you missed… 

Google & China Mobile Launch Mobile Search Service

The world’s largest mobile telecommunications carrier and the world’s most popular search engine have tied the knot and announced their offspring will be named Monternet….ooh, isn’t he cute.

From the official announcement…

Google will provide its world class search engine technology to China Mobile to enable “mobile search” on China Mobile’s Monternet WAP portal, and China Mobile users will be able to easily search Monternet and its vast content, including sports and entertainment news, ringtones, games, images, videos and novels. Users will be able to access the service via a search box or search link on Monternet’s homepage, or through a dedicated mobile search homepage on Monternet. The first-phase service has been partially put into trial operation in December, 2006 and will be launched broadly in the early part of 2007.

A Free Zune or iPod to One Lucky MyBlogLog Community Member

>> Yes, if you win, you can select an iPod instead of a Zune <<

So, last month we gave away an iPod just for reading our RSS feed. The lucky winner simply spotted a secret message and took the prize. This contest is even easier!

Step 1 – Join Marketing Pilgrim’s MyBlogLog community.

Step 2 – Er…that’s it. We’ll pick one random member sometime before Feb 16th.

Easy enough? All we want you to do is join our MyBlogLog community and you’ll be entered to win a “shiny” (that’s for you Lisa!) new Microsoft Zune.

Bonus prize: If the lucky winner happens to have mentioned this contest in a blog post, we’ll also throw in a pair of Shure Sound Isolating Earphones.

Brazil Wants to Shut Down YouTube

A court in Brazil has just ordered the shut down of Google’s YouTube for failing to remove a celebrity sex video from the site.

Daniela Cicarelli, a model and ex-wife of soccer great Ronaldo, sued YouTube after a video of her apparently having sex in shallow water on a beach with her boyfriend was posted to the site.

While Google may not have to obey the ruling – as they are a U.S. based company - the search engine has already shown they’ll bend to the ruling of foreign courts, so it will be interesting to see how they handle this one.

Meanwhile, Cicarelli may wish to either…

a. think twice about having sex in public

b. speak to Paris Hilton and hear how a leaked sex video can re-ignite a career