Introducing "Pilgrim’s Picks" – the News Normally Lost Down the Back of the Couch

Before I head out to the finest (and authentic) french restaurant in Raleigh – Saint Jacques – for a New Year’s celebration dinner, I wanted to let you know about a new item you’ll find in the Marketing Pilgrim sidebar.

Pilgrim’s Picks is tied directly to my “shared” items in Google Reader. I read scan hundreds of blog posts a day and not all of them make it as a post on Marketing Pilgrim. Instead of letting all that great content go down the “mark as read” crapper, I’m going to start sharing the posts that I find interesting but didn’t quite get around to blogging.

You’ll be able to keep track using the sidebar widget or you can bookmark the shared links page (and even subscribe to the RSS feed here).

New Year’s Resolution – Be a Superhero

Ok, I’m only doing this because..

a. It’s a Saturday

b. It’s the end of the year

c. Everyone else is doing it.

I took the superhero test and it appears I’m Superman wannabe (with a concerning dash of Supergirl, Catwoman and Wonder woman)…

You are Superman

Superman
70%
Iron Man
55%
Hulk
50%
Green Lantern
45%
The Flash
45%
Robin
40%
Spider-Man
40%
Supergirl
35%
Batman
30%
Catwoman
25%
Wonder Woman
20%
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Let me know which Superhero you are. ;-)

Channel Sponsors

Net Neutrality Wins Small Victory in AT&T/Bell South Deal

The FCC has approved the $86 billion mega-merger of AT&T and Bell South, after AT&T agreed to a number of concessions, including an important one on the issue of net neutrality.

One of the most important concessions is AT&T’s commitment to a basic set of principles that establish a practical implementation of Net neutrality. Specifically, it agreed “not to provide or to sell to Internet content, application, or service providers, including those affiliated with AT&T/BellSouth, any service that privileges, degrades or prioritizes any packet transmitted over AT&T/BellSouth’s wireline broadband Internet access service based on its source, ownership or destination.”

This is not the end of the whole net neutrality battle, but AT&T’s concession is certainly a small battle won for the likes of Google, Yahoo et al.

2007 Predictions

Mashable has “tagged” me to share my predictions for 2007. Here’s some brief thoughts…

  1. Digg will get acquired or die (maybe even both). I think Digg is very close to jumping the shark and is close to its maximum level of exposure. It will either realize this and sell or wait too long and decline.
  2. Yahoo’s new search interface and algo will be key in the revival of the company’s fortunes. Once they switch to a platform that includes a performance metric, they’ll see better average CPCs.
  3. Social media marketing (SMM) will find its place. There will be some marketing agencies who actually figure out how to show an ROI from SMM.
  4. We’ll see at least one company, offering search marketing services, go public in 2007 and more acquired than in 2006.

Google Coming to North Carolina? Part 2

Just over a year ago, I pieced together a whole bunch of rumor and speculation to show reasons why Google could set-up office in North Carolina.

Thirteen months on and we learn that N.C. has offered Google $4.7m in incentives if it builds a server farm in struggling Caldwell County.

A company spokesman told The News & Observer via e-mail that the company is evaluating a number of sites, including the one in Lenoir, for an expansion that could bring $600 million in new investment and 210 jobs to a region socked by job and industry losses.

That sound you hear is the many techies in North Carolina updating their resume. ;-)

UPDATE: According to Lenoir resident, Mark S, there’s a lot of grading and preparation going on at the rumored Google site.

Google to be Most Visited Site in 2007

It was all the news when Microsoft took over as the worlds most visited web property this year and it looks like Google has set the stage to play leapfrog in 2007. USA Today is running a story indicating YouTube’s visitor count will be added to Google’s overall ranking by the major traffic measurement services.

Google’s revenue hit $7.2 billion for the first three quarters of 2006. Its stock topped the $500-a-share mark (now at $468). Most significant, Google in October acquired highflying video site YouTube for $1.7 billion. Measurement services ComScore Media Metrix and Nielsen/NetRatings plan to add YouTube to Google’s overall rankings next year.

That “assures that Google will be No. 1 in both worldwide and U.S. visitors,” says Danny Sullivan, editor of the Search Engine Land blog.

100 Billion Reasons to Celebrate this Year

comScore Networks reports that online retail spending reached $100 billion for the year as of Saturday, December 23. It looks like procrastinators placed their faith in expedited shipping, as the last business week before Christmas saw $2.25 billion in eCommerce.

2006 year-to-date spending was up by 26% over 2005, but the last week before Christmas increased 38% over the same period in 2005.

Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks, stated in a press release:

Retail e-commerce now accounts for approximately 7 percent of consumers’ U.S. retail spending (excluding gas, autos and food), making it an important component of the total U.S. economy.

From Nov. 1 to Dec. 26, Amazon.com had the highest online retail sales, followed by Dell, Yahoo, Walmart and Ticketmaster. The etailers with the highest percentage increase over last year were Best Buy, Walmart, Ticketmaster, Circuit City and Yahoo.