Cyber Monday: publicity stunt come true?

Last year when reports about Cyber Monday came out, I was skeptical. However, it looks as though Cyber Monday is a real phenomenon—but not exactly as Shop.org claimed when they fabricated the term last year.

comScore reports that the best single day for online commerce this year was indeed a Monday—Monday, December 11. With $661 million in sales, this past Monday beat the record-setting Monday the week before (December 4, $647 million). Last year’s peak day? December 12, 2005—also a Monday ($556 million).

It looks like the theory behind Cyber Monday proved correct—people do a lot of online shopping when they get back to work after a break. However, instead of the Monday after Thanksgiving being the peak, people just buy more and more on successive Mondays.

Welcome New Contributor Jordan McCollum

I’m delighted to announce that Marketing Pilgrim is adding some new contributing authors, starting with Jordan McCollum. Why does that name sound so familiar? Jordan was one of the four finalists of our SEM Scholarship contest, beating out other entrants with her article “SEO is Pointless (But You Don’t Have to Tell Your Clients)“.

Jordan impressed me with her entry, and also won high praise from our judges, including this endorsement..

“Jordan’s is instructive and focused on where SEO techniques can be expanded on to bring long term value by becoming more intimately involved with the design of a site itself.”

With talent like that, we couldn’t resist asking Jordan if she’d be interested in bringing her expertise and solid writing to the readers of Marketing Pilgrim. Jordan was excited to join us, and you can expect to see 2-3 posts per week coming from her, starting this week.

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NewsGator and Edelman Build Hosted Conversations

GigaOM has news that PR firm Edelman and RSS aggregator NewsGator are joining forces to create user-created communities called “Hosted Conversations”.

Brands will be able to allow consumers to participate in an online community and share news, blog feeds and conversations. They also plan to tie-in banner ads which will run content pulled from the hosted conversations.

It’s a neat idea and expands on a concept Converseon (disc) has been utilizing with their clients for a few months now. Instead of companies trying to muscle their way in on already established conversations about their products, they can have better success by embracing the consumer from the outset.

MySpace and Cingular Launch MySpace Mobile

Thanks to a deal between Cingular and MySpace, you’ll never have to worry about what each of your thousands of friends are doing, while you’re away from your computer. Mashable is reporting that MySpace Mobile is going live today.

…allowing Cingular subscribers to add photos, blog posts and comments to their MySpace pages for $2.99/month. You’ll also be able to send and receive your MySpace mail. The mobile version will be more lightweight, they say – it won’t have many graphics, banner ads or access to MySpace Video.

The service is java based and will work on 30 phones at launch. You can read the full press release here.

PayPerPost Changes Policy on Disclosure

TechCrunch is reporting PayPerPost is giving in to pressure to become more transparent with its network. With the FTC apparently ready to crack-down on marketers not disclosing their relationships with companies, PayPerPost will start requiring publishers to reveal whether they receive payment mentioning a company.

PayPerPost’s new Terms of Service require participating content creators to fully disclose site wide with a prominent Disclosure Policy or on a per post basis. To cover the increased blogger and marketplace costs of the company’s new policy, PayPerPost is raising the minimum price per post by one dollar to five dollars per post.

As TechCrunch points out, PayPerPost advertisers can still require that a blogger say only positive things about the company, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Time Runs Obituary for Web 2.0

Ok, so my headline doesn’t really convey the storyline behind Time’s Person of the Year, but it does convey my sentiment. Naming Web 2.0, and all of “us” who’ve contributed content, Person of the Year is a little cheesy.

Still, Time will enjoy a lot of buzz from the web community and we should all be grateful they at least acknowledge the clout we wield in the world of media.

Take a look at the profiles of 15 people Time believes represent you, and a profile of the YouTube founders – who probably should have been the ones named Person of the Year.

Hopefully, with “Web 2.0″ becoming part of the lexicon of mainstream media, the cool kids will drop the phrase, and we can all move on to the task of just making the web a valuable resource and handing over more power to the masses.

First Apple’s iPhone, Next Google’s GPhone

France Telecom’s mobile phone unit, Orange, reportedly sent executives to the Googleplex to discuss a potential partnership. The discussions could lead to Google’s search technology powering a new “Google phone”, which would make using cell phones as easy as the world’s most popular search engine.

Their plans centre on a branded Google phone…it might have a screen similar to a video iPod. But it would have built-in Google software which would dramatically improve on the slow and cumbersome experience of surfing the web from a mobile handset.

If you think you don’t need a Gphone, you may want to consider the features a Google-powered phone will bring…

Among the potential benefits are location-based searches: aware of your handset’s geographical position, Google could offer a tailored list of local cinemas, restaurants and other amenities, and maps and images from Google Earth.