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Thursday, July 31, 2003
Upbeat outlook from Lycos Europe
Lycos Europe announced positive numbers on Tuesday, with significant reduction in costs for H1 2003.

However, Noo Meeja finds the comments of CEO Christpoh Mohn more interesting: "Our second quarter results prove that Lycos Europe is on the right track. We are continuously reducing our losses while our new focus area of paid services and shopping shows very promising results. We therefore consider us well positioned for reaching our target of generating paid services and shopping revenues of EUR 100 million in three to five years." - article in German only. - english Press Release
Ask on the lookout for aquisition targets
Noo Meeja reported recently that recent changes in management at Ask Jeeves may herald some buying or merging activity in the search market. In fact it seems Noo Meeja did not notice this was explicitly announced as an intention for the company in their recent quarter results conf call.

Noo Meeja finds it interesting they may have chosen to shy away from ROI Marketing, to leave that to Google, Findwhat and Yahoo. According to the UK CEO, Adrian Cox, this is not in their interests. So who is?
...and now for something else...
Noo Meeja found this story amusing: Malaysia reviews texting divorce. Apparently courts have sanctioned the use of SMS as a valid medium for divorcing ones wife. Islamic law permits men to divorce their spouse by merely stating their intentions formally.
Noo Meeja was shocked to hear that people were being sacked by SMS, but this seems a little too far gone. What next - acts of war declared via SMS - I d-clare war on u :-(.
TV viewers and Internet Sufers belong to different tribes
Excelllent item in Up2Speed highlighting a report on the differences between TV and Internet audiences:

Up2Speed: Why the Internet Is Not TV
Yahoo! to apply pay-per-click technology all over
The Ecomomist published a good analytical view of Search Engine News' biggest buzz: Overture marrying Yahoo. Noo Meeja's biggest take-away is the observation that the ROI Marketing PPC model is to be applied to other parts of their portal, not just Search. This will put Overture in competition to Sprinks' partnerships with MSNBC and AOL.
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Jupiter: Search Powers Online Ad Revival
Noo Meeja has been shy in reporting search engine news. "What?! No you have not! You have search engine news every other item!", I hear you say. OK its a fair cop, Noo Meeja loves Search Engine News, especially combined with Internet Marketing news. Here is a perfect article to combine the both:

Jupiter: Search Powers Online Ad Revival

Jupiter is predicting that the ROI Marketing placements on Search Engines will make up 29% of all online marketing revenue in 2008. This year Search will make $1.6bn revenue, increasing at >20% each year to reach $4.3bn by 2008. Noo Meeja notes that Jupiter forecasts Search marketing will no longer be the domain of the ROI Marketing specialists: SMBs, and begin to penetrate into the budgets of the bigger brands as well. Changes in business channels imply this also: even smaller players such as are beginning to focus on building relationships with madison avenue and reducing the client base to more larger accounts.

This beggars the question: if ROI Marketing is going to be such a strong feature in tomorrow's marketing budgets, what the heck is AOL going to do? Yahoo has its ROI Marketing platform via Overture, Google's ad revenue model is built around this and MSN are looking into a solution. It seems to me that AOL will be trying to concentrate on the holy grail of cross media - a point highlighted by recent appointments of offline media luvvies in their European offices. Does this mean they will miss the ROI Marketing boat?
The anti-ad men
Noo Meeja draws your attention to a man called Gary Ruskin, a man that is helping to ensure that advertisers in America do not take over all of US culture through his organisation, Commercial Alert. He is having some success as reported by the Washington Post. For example, he stopped N2H2 in 2001, a web filter that tracked schoolkid's surfing, from selling this information to various sources (including Pentagon recruitment).

The report details that the movement is still very strong although it still concentrates on seeking small and easy victories and it is making an impact into the broader picture of legislation and policy making.
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Pentagon Folds Hand in Online Terrorism Futures Scheme
Latest internet buzz:

The Pentagon has agreed to stop a new program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to predict terrorist events through the online selling of "futures" in terrorist attacks.

You heard right - a govt. agency created an online fantasy stock market, based on the actions of terrorism. I can see this story being very big on the blogosphere and buzz portals over the next few days.
Is Internet advertising becoming more accessible to the masses?
Noo Meeja has noticed that ROI Marketing has not just improved the efficiency of media planning for agencies and marketeers, but has also opened up internet marketing to a whole new client segment. This segment was once confined to classifieds.

Back in the heady days of the dotcom boom, all we saw were inflated CPMs, and any time the media owners got a call from a grass-roots advertiser the answer was always "no - why don't you try Loot or some other online classifieds property?" The more savvy grass roots advertisers went to the grand-daddy of all ROI Marketing products: LinkExchange. The principle of these sites is well known - the currency with which you buy advertising is clicks - either as a credit for creating impressions or clicks to other sites on the network, or by buying them explicitly. Moreover it is considered much cheaper than CPM and is geared to small advertisers. NooMeeja notices on the uk-netmarketing mailing list, that a thread on selling houses via PPC networks is generating lots of buzz. Chris Pointon from Adtools remarks that if he had used an agency, he "would have wasted more time getting the estate agent to do the things I wanted than doing them myself. Really. And for that they want several grand?" He went on to say he would do it again without question: "If I were selling my current house, I'd do the same again - find some geographically-relevant forums/communities and post an advert." Jon Clarke of eyeconomy had a similarly good experience utilizing ROI marketing for real estate sales. He bought some geo-targeted space on via SubSites. "The space bought was a few hundred pounds, but I told the estate agent that I'd do some marketing online and his website would be seen by 10,000 people. He gave me a really good rate to sell my house far below the discounted norm and although it did sell via the usual means, it really saved me about 600 [pounds] on the fee!"

So if people are selling houses, and SMBs such as Cajun Country Candies, that would normally be seen in the small ads are on the ROI marketing networks, does this mean we have re-invented the classifieds? Instead of emulating a newspaper classifieds section, like, should we look to the ROI marketing networks, such as commission junction or LinkExchange to be the new classifieds channel and turn the whole small ads idea on its head? After all, SMBs or private sellers only use offline classifieds because the ROI is better. Why not use ROI marketing instead?

I don't think my real estate agent would like this point of view.
Keeping the herd in check - Europe stifles Entrepeneurs?
Noo Meeja used to believe in the European Union. Then one day he stopped. Why? Because he left the land of the island monkeys* (England) to come to Germany, and witness the euro story firsthand. Sure, the Euro zone encourages social equality and one is not constantly under threat by crime as a result of the poverty gap. One also gets insanely generous welfare and employee rights.
But at what cost? Noo Meeja Ed pays up the wazoo in taxes, and there is no incentive to work hard and be successful. If you ask Noo Meeja Ed about the euro now - this british citizen would rather renounce citizenship than see blighty turned into a similar "social capitalism" climate.

Julie Meyer writes a terrific story about how the new euro constitution will only cause to stifle growth in euro land - Noo Meeja wholeheartedly agrees with her.

* - from the german "Inselaffen", a derogatory term used to describe Britons
60s throwback
Noo Meeja points you to an enthusiastic piece from Fru Hazlitt (UK country manager for Yahoo) in newmediazero. Fru makes the good point of comparing the internet as a new media similar to TV in the 60s, and that broadband is a similar revolution to internet marketing as colour was to TV marketing back in those days.
Monday, July 28, 2003
Armstrong wins the Tour de Net
Are events like the Tour de France perfect for internet marketing? Gary Stein seems to think so. An event like the Tour de France generates huge following and give people plenty to talk about - where best to talk about it? The web of course.

It makes much more sense to Noo Meeja that long drawn out events with technical depth and a wide range of support should feature more on the net than the traditionally strong sports of TV such as football (us and soccer) and athletics. Smart marketeers realise this and take advantage of the massive communities built up around these events, but still I see many trying to copy TV events to the web. Why would I watch a poor quality clip on Yahoo, when I can see the world cup on TV? However, I find it easier to follow cricket during weekdays from my desktop via BBC or Guardian Unlimited. I can also drill into the complex scoring and tactics much more easily. Can't say I ever follow football games like that.
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Do Blogs Spam Google Results?
Andrew Orlowski (he writes for The Register) has long charged that Google is overbiased to results pointing at blogs. Microdoc News conducted a scientific test to determine whether this true.

The conclusion was that Google does not misrepresent Blogs (only in 0.1% of the sample was a blog overrepresented). Noo Meeja agrees with this, but how is it that Noo Meeja was able to get indexed at nr. 2 for the keyword "Noo Meeja" in just a few weeks? Simple, Noo Meeja has been optimised for search engines, and is regularly updated. This is true of many blogs, and many are specialised in much more niche areas. The fact is: blogs give internet afficionados the opportunity to write about interesting stuff not normally reported on, and do so regularly. Blogs generate buzz, and Google is a buzz portal. A buzz portal offers the most relevant unbiased results. Therefore blogs often feature highly - it stands to reason.
Blogging By The Numbers
Noo Meeja discovered some interesting stats on the blogosphere today. Blogging By The Numbers details how many blogs there are (almost 3 million), although the readership only represents 4% of the total internet population.

What is interesting are the demographics - blog readers are generally of comfortable income and have over 5 years online experience. Maybe Noo Meeja should try flogging modems, instead of harping on about ROI Marketing and search engine news?
Friday, July 25, 2003
Buzz Portals - the next generation?
Noo Meeja came across the Technorati: Link Cosmos site today whilst searching for search engine news. It was a pleasant diversion, and made me think about the future of portals.

Technorati is essentially a website that tracks what is making the most buzz on blogs at any chosen time. It has a list of Breaking News items, ranked by the amount of blogs that are talking about each news item. It also tracks buzz by hot links and other metrics, including a blog on newcomers to help out the fresh blogs. One can also navigate by doing a search on their favorite blog to find out who is linking to/from that - in other words you can search for your interest affinity by blog "brand".

This "portal" is driven by blogs, which means it can truly capture the zeitgeist of the internet. Could this be the future of portals that Google aspires to? An automated portal based on crawlers and algorithms to evaluate what constitutes genuine buzz? Isn't that what Google already has? Yes, but we all think of it a search engine - the day that they re-invent themselves as something similar to Technorati then they will have a new kind of portal, a model unique to Google amongst the dotcom big boys (Maybe this is search engine news after all).
Tiscali accused of "sexing up" its advertising
Noo Meeja learns that Tiscali (a major ISP in Europe, based out of Italy) has recieved a slamming over a claim in their ads claiming they are "Europe's leading ISP" is actually a fabrication. Even their claim to have "over 3 million UK members" is called into question.
Bigger is better
Doubleclick again announced on Wednesday that bigger bolder ads are better in their latest rich media report, as reported in Media Post.
What is noticeable here is that despite a decline in click thru rates, there is a noticable increase in view-thru rates (assessed when a user takes some action on an ad within 30 days of viewing, but not clicking on it). The newer larger ads are increasing in popularity: the superbanner, (728 x 90) is now the fastest growing size at 562% growth from Q2 2002, and the fourth most common size served by DoubleClick.

The conclusion implied in this article is that this proves the web to be a branding medium. Noo Meeja is not convinced - it further proves it to be a direct response medium if ultimately you are assessing on any kind of "thru" rate - i.e. the user is directed to a site, as a direct response of the ad. So what is a brand ad on the internet - Noo Meeja believes this to be an ad that is part of a wider cross media branding campaign or a viral product that generates buzz. Sure, the website can develop the brand values, but in todays environment of consumer information overload, the core message has to be in the ad. The success of the internet as a branding tool needs to be measured by surveys and focus groups, not click/view thrus. The "thru" measurements should be confined to ROI marketing.
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Is this the first Radio Station Weblog in Europe?
Today Xfm (a London Radio station catering for the youth audience) launched a blog for it's popular breakfast show DJ Christian O'Connell.

They claim to be the first in Europe to do so.

What is also interesting is that the DJ will be uploading photos he takes during the day on his mobile phone camera directly to his blog.
ACNielsen, Yahoo! Launch Online Marketing Service
Yahoo seems to be choosing inopportune moments to launch new product these days. Noo Meeja has discovered a new ROI marketing tool was launched on Monday, but just like the new partner product with Oracle, this was left in the shadows of the big search engine news story of the week: Overture and Yahoo getting married.

What exactly is this new ROI Marketing tool? According to AdWeek, "The new service leverages each company's areas of expertise to deliver an improved return on investment (ROI) for CPG marketers."

Which of course beggars the question: "so what does it actually do"?

The program, titled "consumer Direct" utilises an "identify, communicate, evaluate" process. "Members of the 61,500-household ACNielsen Homescan consumer panel have chosen to participate in the program, granting permission to allow their offline purchasing to be analyzed in conjunction with their activity on the Yahoo! network.

Yahoo! and ACNielsen then use learnings from the Homescan panelists to find groups with similar demonstrated interest trends among Yahoo!'s millions of monthly visitors.

The Consumer Direct team then works with CPG clients to communicate to those consumers via customized online media campaigns, using a range of solutions from Yahoo!'s media and promotion suite. Lastly, the ACNielsen Homescan panel is used to evaluate the campaigns' ROI, including metrics around the impact on retail sales, brand loyalty, and more.", reports Adweek.

All this data gives Yahoo the power to identify key segments in consumer behaviour of the portal's users. This could be a very powerful tool indeed. However, I think the timing of the release is not so unfortunate, in fact it enabled Yahoo to soft launch this product, and also the Oracle product. This implies that these products are very much prototypes, but also that Yahoo is not just content on sitting on its CPC laurels with Overture by introducing products to enhance their already diverse revenue streams.

Steve Berkowitz Named President of Ask Jeeves
Noo Meeja doesnt normally report on personell changes, so why is this so different? Well, it is important for search engine news, especially in this frantic period of consolidation we are going through. Steve Berkowitz was the chief driver behind Ask Jeeves' acquisition of Teoma. Berkowitz also had his hand in the acquisition and integration of many companies including such brands as CliffsNotes(TM), Frommer's(TM) travel guides, J.K. Lasser's(TM) tax guides and Betty Crocker's(R) cookbooks during his tenure at IDG Books, prior to joining Ask Jeeves. His remit, according to the offical press release is to: "focus on continuing to grow Ask Jeeves' market share and enhancing its search technology assets".

It looks like the next big story in Search engine news could involve an Ask Jeeves' acquisition (i.e. enhancing assets), or could they become an asset for someone else? Noo Meeja is keeping his eyes on this one.
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Lycos powers ahead with its own Search Engine
Noo Meeja has learnt that Lycos Europe (a JV between Bertelsmann and Terra Lycos), relaunched it's proprietary search engine, last Friday to the German market.

Is this important to Search engine news?
I think it is - it shows that despite the incestuous syndication that is occuring on other portals and so-called search engines (Yahoo is powered by Google, MSN is powered by Yahoo, etc. etc.), there are still companies willing to build their own technology/directories (AOLTW is even building its own directory via it's Netscape....sorry Mozilla sub). The new Fireball site also has quasi Adwords text links, that are powered by their own Ad Server (although someone forgot to update the ratecard, so I wonder if their Salespeople know this?).

The $64K question from Noo Meeja: is this an attempt to build a USP for Lycos Europe? If so, then why has it not so far rolled this search engine out to other EU markets, where the Lycos portal already has a presence?
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
The wireless pub
I remember there was a bar in NY where you could send text messages to other tables. Well now there is a wireless pub in London where you can not only check mail on your laptop, but also take pics with your mobile phone camera and beam it to plasma screens mounted on the walls.
Making money on the net (don't be silly)
I love this - is a fantasy stockmarket for Blogs. You can invest monopoly money in Blogs to buy stocks and bonds in "an artificial economy where attention is the commodity and weblogs are the companies".

Noo Meeja is listed. Noo Meeja is worth $0.00.Lets see how quickly we can make our millions and sell out. bwah hah hah hah!

Sorry...getting a bit carried away there. Here is a better way to make money from the net (real money that is): make money from Spam. Actually that is completely wrong, in fact you you make money by being anti-spam.

Hmmm...on one side you can make money from spamming, on the other you can make money from killing spam. All this reminds me of one of my favourite films: For a few dollars more.

DoubleClick Blamed, Sued for Annoying Fake UI Ads
Latest Internet Marketing litigation news from Noo Meeja:

Doubleclick is being sued for running ads that impersonated computer system messages, and "deceptively and fraudulently commandeered millions of Internet users to the commercial websites of DoubleClick's customers".

What is most startling about this class action is that Doubleclick is not the creator of said ads, instead merely the provider of the conduits that send such ads to your PC. Not that I am defending these ads, of course. I just think its hardly fair to blame Doubleclick when they cannot realistically police this - its only possible for the ad networks to do this, and groups such as the IAB should be making the steps to eradicate these allegedly fraudulent ads.
Google Viewer
Noo Meeja reports on a new prototype from the Google labs (I wonder if they use mice for their experiments?). Its basically a slideshow search engine. Oh yes of course that old chestnut (sic).

Actually its pretty cool, you can type a search parameter, say "Noo Meeja", and you can then scroll through the selected sites in order of relevance.
What is Noo Meeja?
If you can answer yes to most of these questions, then you work in Noo Meeja.

Or is it numeeja?
Its OK to show emotion on Blogs
I love blogs that really let you into the author's mind. Especially when they spend so much time to let you in. Check this emotionally charged piece out.
Noo Meeja is always willing to go out on a tangent with content if it's for a good cause. Well how about Noo Meeja gets behind the world's first charity blogathon?

On July 26th, bloggers will be blogging for 24 hours straight. Kind a like a fun run, except its in front of a PC and they will only be running to get cups of coffee. Maybe not so much then.

How does it work?

Volunteer bloggers will be updating their blog every half-hour for 24 hours solid. In doing so, they collect sponsorships. Sponsor pledges can be a flat amount, or performance based.

Noo Meeja has no stamina for this, but I will be backing one of these guys.
Oracle, Yahoo team to offer portal content
This story has been overshadowed by the other big Yahoo news, but nonetheless worth a mention on Noo Meeja:

Oracle and Yahoo are teaming together to offer companies more news and trade information for their corporate portals, intranets and extranets, saying that it is more cost efficient for companies to provide relevant business information in a centralized place.
R.I.P. Netscape
Netscape is dead? I knew it was sick, but it was always going to get better, right? Not according to webmaster world.

"AOL axes Gecko team, dumps Netscape

It has been learned through public and private sources that AOL has axed the Gecko team in a mass firing and are dismantling Netscape (they've even pulled the logos off the buildings)."

A quote from an employee in Paris confirms this: "Netscape hired me three years ago, AOL laid me off today (technically, having a french contract of employment, I am still employed; we don't throw away people in ten seconds here. We take thirty seconds, that's cleaner). AOL axed Netscape at the same time. People, it's over. Netscape is dead. Nothing to see here."

AOL has finally decided to "chuck out the chintz".

Thursday, July 17, 2003
MSN to Buy Findwhat?
No comment.... speculation was bound to rise on this subject, or will MSN build its own market-beating software? Sound like quite a challenge, and they are looking for people to bolster their team.

....err..I guess that was a comment - I just don't know when to shut up sometimes...
UK calls for stricter restrictions on pop-ups
The UK branch of the IAB is proposing stricter restrictions on the use of pop-ups on British sites. What does Noo Meeja think?

This is nothing new, and many sites have stopped running pop-ups already. Note that the big portals in the article are quoted saying they totally back this move; however Ad-2-one represents the views of the smaller ad networks in stating: "it would be difficult to draw up strict rules to cover frequency capping, as campaigns were diverse in their aims.". This could imply that pop-ups are the poor man's advertising unit.

The big portals still seem to be supporting, however, the unicast or eyeblaster style flash layer ads, that to an untrained eye can be construed as popping up over the content they are looking for. Google recently launched a new toolbar that can disable pop-ups. Even the new version of the AOL software is to include blocking software. Sounds like there is a civil war in adland, and pop-ups are on the losing side.

Pop-ups are dead, long live Flash layer ads!
Napster style sites are going down
Everyone is saying that the popularity of the music file sharing sites has gone down recently. Here's a story that backs this up with data from the US. Generally there has been a 15% drop in usage after the music industry advised users to steer clear from such networks.

Is this actually a reflection of the user reaction to the warning? Is this perhaps instead a reflection of the so called "technology spike" - we have passed the period of hype and buzz and now we are coming into the period of acceptance, where the "trendy" users start to drop off and only those who really are into such a service hang on?
Make music from your Spam
Sounds odd? It does sound weird to Noo Meeja, but following on from a suggestion posted at slashdot you can actually do something useful with your Spam. Now thats what I call real Pop Art.
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
New Kids on the Blog
Apparently many microsoft employees have blogs, and the company has no policy restricting them. If I worked for MS, I am sure I would never have the time to write the Noo Meeja blog.

It raises the question: do we need company policies for employee blogs? The people at Groove seem to think so.
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
You've got Blog! - New Journal Entry
AOL will be introducing blogs to its users in V.9 of its service. Sorry, thats all wrong, they will be introducing AOL Journals, not blogs.

It seems like a good idea, but do they really grasp the whole idea of blogs? It seems to me that they are confusing a blog with a diary - of course a blog can be like a diary and one can say this blog is like a diary of events from the New Media industry. That would not be enitirely correct though, would it? Blogging is also described as the biggest publishing revolution since DTP software. You can just dump your thoughts onto a page, without having to think too much about editorial style or layout, etc. Much like a diary, I hear you say? Yes, but would I write a personal diary about my industry? Heck, I never wrote any kind of diary - this is just a place to dump my thoughts and highlight some stories from the massive data overload I get each day.

Why do I use blogger? I use blogger, because it allows me to publish easily from any place (with PC of course), but most importantly the format is flexible, and independent of any other services or media I may own. Will the AOL tools offer this flexibility and the same independence? Hometown offered this, but MSN's version - MSN Groups" forces you to use their wrapper and structure. If AOL does the same thing again, then they will have a cool add-on for those members that are into blogging, but will this suit those needing more guidance on the web (i.e. their target audience)? Maybe MSN will do the same thing they did with groups and come up with a "journal" product that suits the AOL audience better.
Overture Deal Raises Stakes for Google, MSN
Good article on the implications for Yahoo/Overture's two main Search rivals , namely MSN and Google:
Doubleclick makes bold move into the rich media service arena
You thought rich media was just a choice between Eyeblaster, Unicast or CheckM8, right? It was always difficult to tell which one would provide the best service, after all they only provide rich media tools, and are all relatively young brands. Well what if the most established ad-serving brand stepped in with their own rich media toolkit and service? I know I would definitely be interested.

This is what Doubleclick have just done with their DART Motif product. Don't just listen to me, here's what DC says about it themselves:

DART Motif releases the power of rich media to increase the return on branding and acquisition campaigns...With DART Motif, you can go from creative to click-through in days instead of weeks. Use fewer resources. Avoid endless iterations and inconsistencies. All with the fully integrated power of Flash from Macromedia and DART.

The tools do not strike me as earth-shatteringly innovative, in fact what I read seems to share similarities with Eyeblaster's offering. However I know and trust the DC brand, and I have had great service from them already on the ad-serving side. Don't be suprised to see this one be the talk of the creative town in the near future...
Monday, July 14, 2003
Yahoo! buys paid-for search firm Overture for $1.6bn
Hot off the press - Yahoo has just bought Overture. Question is: where does this put MSN and what does Google think about this?
Weekly Round-Up
Been another week of manic travelling, so I thought it best to just give a round-up of events that caught my eye last week:

Internet spend overtakes Cinema
LONDON - Internet advertising in the UK has overtaken cinema advertising and recorded higher growth than any other sector, with a rise of almost 19% last year to £197m

Sky bans casino games
Lucrative online casino industry gets a blow in the face from the UK's largest digital TV network. It is reported that many of these companies are aware that current gambling legislation is outdated, and they operate by exploiting loopholes in the law.

Gaping Holes at the Local Level
Thought provoking article by Tom Hespos about ways in which to enhance local information using Blogs.

Google news available in Germany
Google Germany launched google news in German on 8.7.03. With this tool German internet surfers can search by keyword in over 700 German language news sites.
Story in German only
Wednesday, July 09, 2003 makes standard bigger bolder ads
This is nothing new right? I know I haven't published anything on the German market yet, but this is not desperate.... trust me., one of the top 5 portals in Germany, announced their new maxi ad a few days ago. It is priced at €60 CPM and they have customers such as Karstadt-Quelle (retail), Krombacher (beer) und Sony-Ericsson already lined up. Most importantly its big, real BIG. I won't describe the ad, just click here to see an example:

Its really just a transition ad right? An ad that plays on a transition page after an event that has disengaged the user from a certain process, such as logging out of a web mail application. So its not really that innovative, what is significant is that are willing to give up much more of their page to offer greater canvas to advertisiers. They were bold in announcing the super banner, long before other German, or even international portals. My only concern is that they are standardising new and exciting sizes on their network, but not in collaboration with other portals.
MSNBC integrating Sprinks Contextual Ads
This is interesting, now MSNBC is announcing that they too are working with Sprinks (see also: 8/7/03 blog):

It is interesting that Sprinks differentiates from AdWords by using targeting by topic, not keyword. Maybe this works best for contextual advertising. My girlfriends site has pics of her yorkshire terrier and various foreign excursions - using adsense's testing tool it came back with ads relating to pictures. If I had chosen topic targeting, I would expect ads relating to holidays or dogs.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Viral Marketing according to Dr. Wilson
here we go... an academic paper about Viral Marketing. Interesting read......apparently. One day I'll get round to reading this, but for now, why don't you? In fact, once you do, send me a synopsis will ya?

Joking aside, this is really good, and has some great quotes - I Love the Hotmail example.
Overture launched a new contextual advertising service to compete with Google's Ad Sense
Yeah, I know this is old, but I have been busy travelling the last 3 weeks. I thought this was worthy of noting anyhow.

Hang on....why am I trying to justify my tardiness? If you seen it, ignore it, if not read it. Simple really...

Overture Services, a commercial Web search company, on Monday introduced a contextual advertising service aimed at broadening its ad network and taking on rival Google in new territory.

The work that AOL is doing with Sprinks is mentioned here. It seems that AOL is hoping to reduce any reliance on revenue from Google supplying their ROI marketing solutions. More at:
Working in Europe
Why is it so many people expect the Germans to be so good in e-commerce? They are very efficient after all and the biggest market potential - shouldn't they be the leaders in Europe?

Well, not really. Yes they are efficient, but also dreadfully conservative and traditional. The efficiency comes from have rules and regulations for everything - the jobs gets done perfectly but it takes a long time. The trouble with the internet is that it too darn new for them - how can you set rules on something that changes its methods every week?

Not such a big problem I hear you say? Well there is another factor:

Customer Service in Germany is terrible. They even know it themselves, but nothing is done about it. Why? Because the average German does not want to feel that they need help. They would prefer to keep an item they would rather return, instead of looking as though they are needy. In the office it is even worse - the UK benefits greatly by looking at the US and adopting their best practices and vice versa. Germany will always go their own way and rarely look to other markets for leadership, or even support. Even in pan-European companies, the Germans will not ask for support from the head office if it is based outside of Germany, for example.

Combine this unwillingness to ask for help and the need for rules and place it into an environment where you normally gain by leveraging best practices, and having to think on your feet to survive, means that the poor Germans struggle. However once the internet becomes established and work becomes more regulated and standardised they will surely be leaders, as they are today in the automotive and banking industries.

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