• Vonage "Sank Like a Stone" in First Day of Trading
    This week, skeptics all over the Web were throwing red flags at the Vonage IPO, and yesterday's disastrous first day of trading may have proven them right. "Vonage shares sank like a stone," Business Week said of the Web phone services firm's first day. Trading opened at $17 per share but weak demand saw the stock fall as low as $14.50. "I haven't spoken to any institutional investors who have a strong [positive] conviction about Vonage over the long term," one analyst told BW. Why's that? Simply because most everyone who follows Internet media believes the price of phone service ...
  • Typosquatting: Big Business, but is it Legal?
    There's a different sort of housing bubble on the Web taking place in the domain name business-the territory of companies like GoDaddy.com. That sector is being propped up by the propagation of a new kind of "cybersquatting," which many regard as a questionable business practice. Cybersquatters register Internet domains containing trademarks, and then seek out the owner offering it up at an inflated price. The variation in question here is called typosquatting, which refers to buying commonly misspelled domain names--or domains you might think exist--and then filling the page up with links and/or ads from Google or Yahoo. Forbes uses ...
  • A Net Neutrality Debate
    Over the last six months, the Net Neutrality debate has gone from one bill to several competing pieces of legislation House and Senate committees continue to examine this week. The Wall Street Journal sets up an interesting back-and-forth between Craig Newmark, founder of the massively popular classifieds site craigslist.org, and a supporter of net neutrality, and Michael McCurry, a communications strategist for nearly three decades in Washington who supports the big telecoms. If nothing else, the debate showcases how incredibly complex this issue is. Here are some sound bytes: "We have no clear evidence that content is being discriminated against ...
  • What Makes Vonage Hotter than MasterCard?
    Business Week finds it odd that Vonage, the Internet telephony-only company that has yet to make a dime, is poised to make more money from its debut on the stock market today than MasterCard, which actually made $319 million last year. A poll from IPOHome.com, a site that watches public stock offerings, shows that investors think Vonage's IPO is a hotter prospect than MasterCard--or any other IPO currently being priced, for that matter. Whereas the other companies listed on the poll actually make money, Vonage lost $261.3 million last year, despite a subscriber base of over 1 million. Meanwhile, Skype, ...
  • Nine Out of Ten Web Firms Find Spyware on Their Networks
    You hear a lot about improvements to computer security from software companies like Symantec and Microsoft, but the scary thing is spammers and spyware purveyors are also getting better at what they do, which means the Internet is probably not becoming a safer place. In fact, it's quite the contrary, according to a new survey. In the last year, 92 percent of companies reported finding spyware on their networks, a Harris Interactive report said--a 50 percent hike over the prior year's Web@Work survey. Websense, the security firm that commissioned the Harris survey, said more dangerous varieties of spyware are on ...
  • MySpace Courts Google and Microsoft
    You love to hear Eric Schmidt and Steve Ballmer say that Google and Microsoft aren't competing with each other. Sure. The Financial Times reported Tuesday that MySpace is actively in talks with both companies to forge a search alliance that would gain the victor access to MySpace's user base of nearly 80 billion. Think of it like a good old Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras battle: if you thought last year's 5 setter over AOL's traffic was a big deal, winning the MySpace Open would be akin to taking home all four majors. This is the second most populated site ...
  • Web 2.0 Continues its March on TV
    Just in case you've missed the news recently, the Washington Post compiled a list of the latest examples of television's crumbling dominion over advertising: Google and AOL this week both announced bold new moves into video advertising, powerful advertisers like Wal-Mart have reiterated their interest in appropriating their spending away from television, and eBay was chosen by several of the most prominent ad agencies to develop an advertising stock market of sorts that would determine how much advertisers pay for TV spots, sapping the networks' control over prices in turn. Google would begin selling video ads up to two minutes ...
  • Web Video Consumption Up 20 Percent in 6 Months
    Broadband video consumption surged 18 percent in the six months between October 2005 and March 2006, according to comScore's new Video Metrix service. In March, U.S. Internet users streamed 3.7 billion pieces of video content watching an average of 100 minutes of content throughout the month, compared with 85 minutes in October. Males between 18 and 34 were most engaged with broadband video, averaging 140 minutes in March, while men overall consumed just above two hours. Other data showed that 42 percent watched video on an entertainment site, and 33 percent on a Web portal; 16 percent consumed video during ...
  • Google To Place Video Ads Across Its Publisher Network
    In an attempt to attract more brand dollars, Google is expanding into broadband video advertising. The company said that for advertisers like movie studios, text and display ads just don't do the trick. However, video ads like movie trailers will not appear next to Google's search results or be embedded in other Google features, they will instead appear on AdSense, Google's network of publisher sites. So, how big a deal is this? Obviously, video ads are nothing new. Publishers, ad networks and technology vendors have been combining to deliver these and other rich media ad formats for years. The difference ...
  • Why Google's Video Ads Are A Bad Idea
    "This won't be popular," says Tech Crunch. Here's why: The tech blogger says consumers won't want to click on these video ads, which initially appear as graphical banners on static Web sites, nearly as often as they do Google's far-less-intrusive text ads. Second, leaving video ads off Google's own sites means the search giant doesn't want to litter its pages with video ads, so why should publishers? Video ads belie the beauty of Google's system for advertisers, which is the possibility of bringing customers to an eventual sale or conversion; add to that the wonderful measurability of search and you ...
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