• Web Video Madness Means Shakeout Inevitable
    USA Today columnist Kevin Maney says the Web video craze has gone off the deep end. How long will consumers be content to watch videos of people slathering butter on their heads to combat graying hair? Or teenyboppers bouncing around lip syncing to pop music? "Web video sites are proliferating like bunnies that broke into a vat of Viagra," he says. Noted tech blogger Om Malik simply calls it "the madness." There are now more than 240 online video sites. Venture Capital firms invested upward of $156 million in online video in the first half of 2006. Most of these ...
  • Google Makes Headway In Click-Fraud Problem
    It's a long time in coming, but Google's new application for tallying suspect clicks is an important first step in reaching out to its advertisers. The company hopes the free feature will place it back in good standing with the growing number of customers angry about Google's vague anti-fraud initiatives. There had been lots of talk from PR reps about the search giant's firm stance against click fraud, but little to show for it. The company did issue a click-fraud report, but as with anything that reveals Google's proprietary technology, it wasn't in-depth. It did not reveal how Google determined ...
  • Friendster Patents May Impact Peer Networks
    "Friendster Inc., known for bringing people together, could wind up making enemies among its peers," The Wall Street Journal says, referring to the patent the social network recently won that searches for people based on their relationships. Friendster is in a quandary about how and when to act on its newfound power. It expects another patent to come through soon. Lawsuits seem likely: "We want to protect our intellectual property," Kent Lindstrom, Friendster's president, says. "We're evaluating what we should do." For Friendster, once king of the social networks, patents could be a crucial asset in the company's bid to ...
  • The 'Tail' May Not Wag The Web
    Chris Anderson's "The Long Tail," the new most-talked-about book on commerce and marketing, is supposedly shedding light on the way the Web is changing things. But Wall Street Journal columnist Lee Gomes disagrees: "I don't think things are changing as much as he does," he says. Anderson's argument is that traditional companies are limited by retail space--only the "hot" items sell, so several thousand others, with a smaller demand, fall by the wayside. On the Web, companies like Amazon can carry a bigger inventory of slower-selling items. Anderson calls these "misses"; they make up the "long tail" of the title ...
  • Search Engines, Social Networks May Share Data
    MarketWatch's Bambi Francisco says it may only be a matter of time before powerful search engines like Google and Yahoo--with all the information they keep about our Web behavior--combine their data with our personal info found on sites like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube. In fact, in the next two to three years, she says advertisers might be able to use member search data to target ads to them on these social networks. There's no doubt that as people become more comfortable with their online lives, data usage for advertising will become less of a factor. But studies note that many ...
  • Amazon Shares Fall After 2Q Disappointment
    Heavy research and development expenditures cut into Amazon's net income in the second quarter. The online retail giant lost $30 million in net revenue year over year, earning $22 million for the quarter. Net income and revenue figures fell short of analysts' estimates, and a tough outlook for the near future sent shares down 15 percent before the start of today's trading, reports Business Week. The fall was bad, but not as bad as the 22 percent hit Yahoo's stock suffered as a result of missing analysts' estimates. Amazon lowered expectations for the third quarter, citing the heavy impact of ...
  • Jupiter Predicts 27% Ad Growth For Web Video
    From MySpace to online gaming to streaming "Desperate Housewives," online video is all the rage on the Web. You'd think that means years of stellar ad growth, similar to the search-marketing boom a few years ago. But a new forecast from JupiterResearch says the amount spent on Web video will grow at a more modest clip--27 percent per year between 2006 and 2011, reports Media Life. That's less than Internet advertising overall in the last few years. Keep a few things in mind: a 27 percent CAG is quite robust, especially for an ad format that costs considerably more than ...
  • Senate Debates Internet Gambling Bill
    A bill that would outlaw most forms of Internet gambling looks unlikely to pass in the U.S. Senate before the month-long recess that begins August 4. The bill was not among the priorities laid out by Senate Majority leader Bill Frist. "it's always a possibility, but right now it is not on the schedule," he says. Backers of the gambling legislation were trying to push the measure through swiftly after the former chief executive of BETonSPORTS, David Carruthers, was arrested on charges of racketeering and conspiracy. The Senate bill--which is nearly identical to legislation that easily passed through the House--makes ...
  • Time Warner: Will AOL Be Free Service?
    Time Warner's board will decide the future of AOL on Thursday. Will the company that brought Web access to millions remain tied down by its prehistoric dial-up past? Or will it finally give (most of) it away for free and become like Yahoo? The Associated Press reports that "AOL has little choice." If it stayed in the dinosaur days, "its subscription business [would] keep eroding regardless." eMarketer analyst David Hallerman thinks an overhaul is likely. "It's a risky game they're playing, but it would be riskier not to play," he says. Why? AOL will lose millions of customers, which means ...
  • Bettors Safe In Online Gambling
    It appears that the U.S. government is taking a hard-line stance against online gambling companies, and the American-based bettors who brought them billions last year. But a Wall Street Journal report says that for gamblers, recent government action likely amounts to little more than scare tactics. It could be a different story, however, for companies like BetOnSports, whose CEO was recently carted off to prison. BetOnSports' David Carruthers and 10 others were charged with racketeering and fraud. Prosecutors allege that the site "almost exclusively" accepted sports bets from Americans. While the government went on to shut down the Costa Rica-based ...
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