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Jun 28, 2008

Sales Guy vs. Web Dude - Funny Video

I saw this on Dave Winer’s Friendfeed stream yesterday. It’s just too good not to post, even though its staged. Some adult language in there, and one NSFW image at the end.


NEWS: Looks like the iPhone will make it to mainland China, after all

Sprint's iPhone Knockoff Samsung Instinct Selling Well -- Really (S)

samsung-instinct.jpgNot just a bunch of hot air: Sprint Nextel's iPhone-inspired Samsung Instinct is actually popular, and is actually sold out in some stores. That's great news for Sprint, which can use any help it can get these days.

Pali Research analyst Walter Piecyk called 100 Sprint stores across 20 markets yesterday: 28 of the stores had 5 or fewer Instincts in stock; of those, and 11 were sold out. It's apparently popular in LA, where there were only 7 in stock across 5 stores he called. And one store had an Instinct waiting list of 20 customers. (Note: We don't actually know how many Instincts Sprint has sold, just that it's in short stock in some places.)...

Helio Hangs it Up


Virgin Mobile purchased Helio today for $39 million in equity. Helio is a small MVNO that made its name by selling powerful and high-end telephones aimed at technophiles and, thanks to an investment by South Korea’s SK Telecom, Korean-Americans. As part of the deal, Virgin Mobile is also receiving $50 million to pay down Helio’s debt (half from SK Telecom, and half from its parent company Virgin Group), as well as an additional revolving credit facility of $60 million. Just last September, SK Telecom tried to save Helio by pouring an extra $270 million into it, to no avail...

Looks like the iPhone will make it to mainland China, after all

When I was in China last month, it seemed like every entrepreneur I met had an iPhone — an iPhone that they had purchased elsewhere then “unlocked” so they could use it in China. Unlocking means breaking Apple’s terms of service so that the phone can use a data card from a local carrier, which goes against Apple’s business strategy of trying to partner with local carriers and sell phones through them.

But finally, it looks like the iPhone may officially arrive in the country where the iPhone is made. Apple and the largest mobile carrier in China, China Mobile, have been making progress on a deal that would allow the carrier to distribute the phone, according to Marketwatch. The progress stems from Apple dropping its demand that China Mobile share revenue, the report says — Apple is presumably still getting a cut of phone hardware sales, but not a cut of revenue from related services.

I’m personally surprised that Apple caved on this. I’ve previously spoken with one Chinese entrepreneur who had been approached by Apple to help them work something out with China Mobile. He turned down the offer and told me that “I’d rather put a chainsaw down my pants than try to negotiate that deal.” Apple is notoriously rigid about maintaining control — it did this successfully with AT&T in the U.S.

Other mobile-focused entrepreneurs I’ve spoken with in China estimated that there are more than half a million unlocked iPhones in China. That seems like a lot, assuming the guesstimate is accurate, except that there are 540 million mobile users China. I guess the Chinese market was just too tempting...

Apple Laptop Shipments up 61 Percent

A new report from market research firm DisplaySearch shows Apple’s notebook shipments grew 61 percent from the first quarter...
PC Shipments Jump Worldwide

Len Rust, Computerworld Australia

Saturday, June 28, 2008 6:35 AM PDT

Worldwide PC shipments are on track to reach 297 million units in 2008, a 12.5 percent increase from 2007 shipments of 264 million units, according to Gartner. The company's analysts have increased their outlook from their previous forecast due to the continued strength in mobile PC growth. In March, analysts had projected an increase of 10.9 percent.

"Mobile PC shipments exceeded our expectations in the first quarter of 2008," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. "Mobile PCs continue to have strong momentum and the global economic environment is proving to be less punishing than we expected. Even so, it's a bit premature to say PC shipments won't be impacted by a weaker global economy, especially if oil and food prices continue to soar."

NEWS: The next revolution in advertising? Peer39 thinks it’s semantics

Ed: Context targeting or artificial intelligence?

The next revolution in advertising? Peer39 thinks it’s semantics

Though still arguably in its juvenile stages, the online advertising market has already been through several major technological shifts, with the introduction of behavioral, contextual and demographic targeting for ads. What’s next has been a subject for debate. Several early pioneers have bet that it’s semantic technology, with a company called Peer39.

In stealth mode for the last two years, Peer39 has begun slowly unveiling its product. Like other companies based on semantics and natural language processing, Peer39 claims its software, SemanticMatch, can read content in a way that roughly parallels human understanding.

Where for an advertiser like Coca-Cola, Google would find keywords like “cola” to bring up its ads, and other schemes would look at the age or location of web users, semantics take a more holistic look at a web page, determining the overall subject and tone.

Where keyword advertising might insert an ad because “cola” is used several times on the page, even if the overall topic is unrelated or the writing it negative to cola, semantic technology claims to be able to tell if an ad is really appropriate to the content.

Because of that, Peer39 could be useful for content that changes often and unpredictably — some examples being blogs, forums, news, and especially social media, which I speculated was the company’s target last year. User-generated content has been a particular challenge for advertising networks, so if Peer39 can prove SemanticMatch is effective, it’ll have its work cut out for it. To help prove itself, the company also has a a set of analytical tools based on semantic mapping, which help correlate ad placement to conversion and click-through rates.

It’s likely we’ll see some fast development in this space over the next year or two. Some have been speculating that Microsoft intends to move into the space after we broke the story that it plans to acquire semantic search company Powerset yesterday. Google, also, has been toying with its algorithms, though it’s as tight-lipped as ever. And other companies, like Ad Pepper Media, also say they’re developing semantic ad targeting.

While there seems to be enough money sloshing around for the best contenders to all get a piece, there are enough changes in online advertising, as well as mobile, to keep everything uncertain. VentureBeat contributor Julie Ruvolo wrote a lengthy piece about the view from Madison Avenueearlier this year that’s worth a look.

Peer39’s firepower comes from a set of executives and board members with backgrounds in either semantics or advertising. CEO Amiad Solomon sold a company called IDX to GE, while COO Matthew Goldstein just moved over from advertising giant Tacoda. Another former Tacoda Exec, Daniel Jaye, is on the board, along with Eytan Elbaz, who helped invent Google AdSense and sold Applied Semantics to the search giant.

The New York-based company has taken almost $12 million to date, between an $8.2 million funding we reported in October and a round of over $3 million earlier in the year. Its backers includeCanaan PartnersDawntreader Ventures and former Shopping.com CEO Daniel Ciporin.

AdNets Weekend

Online Advertising Still in a Lurch
Washington Post, United States - Jun 27, 2008
There are so many advertising networks to choose from--more than 300 by her last count. There are so many types of ads to take a chance on--mobile ads, ...

French Agency Looks to Unite Disparate Ad Networks
PC World - Jun 25, 2008
... will work with Yahoo, Google, AOL and Microsoft, all of which are competing against each other in order to build robust and large advertising networks...
Publicis Groupe Creates First Open-Source Audience On Demand NetworkBusiness Wire (press release)
New Publicis Groupe Program to Shoot Ads at Web, Mobile Channels E-Commerce Times
Publicis, Yahoo! form mobile advertising alliance Telecom Paper (subscription)
Reuters - Business Wire (press release)
all 143 news articles »  OTC:PUBGY - YHOO - GOOG
Orange County Residents to Benefit from Verizon Wireless Network ...
FOXBusiness - 18 hours ago
... on network studies performed by real-life test men and test women throughout the country who inspired the "Can you hear me now" national advertising ...VZ - OTC:CMTX

Seeking Alpha
Modeling The Real Market Value Of Social Networks
TechCrunch, CA - Jun 23, 2008
If a social network has more users in the US, Japan, the UK, Germany, Australia, and other bigger advertising networks, they will have a higher weighted ...
HAL meets Enterprise Social Computing Telegraph.co.uk
LinkedIn $1 billion valuation is high but not crazy Ovum
all 8 news articles »
Stockwire.com: (OTCBB:CACN) Customer Acquisition Network Holdings ...
Trading Markets (press release), CA - 23 hours ago
Its advertising network interCLICK enables the advertiser to reach the exact target audience by offering unparalleled transparency, as well as a suite of ...
The next revolution in advertising? Peer39 thinks it’s semantics
VentureBeat, CA - 20 hours ago
User-generated content has been a particular challenge for advertising networks, so if Peer39 can prove SemanticMatch is effective, its work will be cut out ...

ABC News
The Business Web 2.0
ZDNet UK, UK - Jun 25, 2008
The first 20000 businesses signing up to "friend" VISA will get a free $100 voucher to spend on Facebook Ads, the platforms advertising product. ...
Visa, Facebook Partner For Small Biz Ad Program MediaPost Publications
Online Finance Via Facebook I.T. Vibe
Facebook turns to Visa Irish Independent
Digitaltrends.com - Computerworld
all 299 news articles »  V
Eurogamer hands non-gaming advertising brief to w00t!media
E-consultancy (press release), UK - Jun 27, 2008
We provide premium representation for digital entertainment and lifestyle publishers, offering an alternative media-buy to the large ad-networks...

ABC News
Ads in TV Shows Come Under Microscope
ABC News - 18 hours ago
s media research, prime-time product placements on broadcast networks rose 39 percent in the first three months of this year, from the comparable period in ...
FCC to Weigh Requiring Disclosures for Product Placement AdAge.com (subscription)
Groups Respond to FCC’s Sponsorship-ID NPRM Broadcasting & Cable
all 28 news articles »

AdAge.com (subscription)
Watch These Ads
AdAge.com (subscription) - 23 hours ago
The network said recently it will partner with Duane Varan, a professor from Australia's Murdoch University who has studied a spate of new advertising ...

Social Media Weekend

Roxy 2.0: How Social Media Brought the Club Back
LAist, CA - 17 hours ago
Adler is admittedly hooked on social media now and it's apparent -- The Roxy, which only years ago went after camera-wielding patrons, now has a massive ...
Intel launches social media advisory board
PRWeek, NY - 22 hours ago
SANTA CLARA, CA: Intel has launched an advisory board composed mostly of bloggers to advise the software giant on its social media strategy. ...
ShoZu expands mobile social media services
Telecom Paper (subscription), Netherlands - Jun 26, 2008
Mobile media service provider ShoZu has expanded it mobile social media services to offer customers nine additional online communities including photo ...PINK:NOKBF
The Social Media Minute
CMSWire, CA - Jun 27, 2008
By John Conroy News moves so fast on the social media field, everyone needs a hand keeping up. Except for us of course, because we are like so on the ball. ...

Webinar: Get Past the Social Media Hype
CMSWire, CA - Jun 27, 2008
But are you still wondering how to implement social media on your website? 1to1 Media is having a Webinar that will be of interest to you: Get Past the ...

Don’t Treat Web 2.0 Like Web 1.0
Mashable, CA - Jun 26, 2008
All too often, I see folks promoting social media consultancy as if it were Web 1.0 “Get Your Awesome Traffic Now!” style marketing. ...
Can I outsource all that social media marketing crap to affiliates?
SEOptimise, UK - Jun 27, 2008
This Tuesday I spoke at the social media panel of SES Hamburg. While I enjoyed the great session for some people in the audience social media and blogs are ...

Converse Puts Distributed Twist on Microsite
Adweek, NY - 14 hours ago
The rise of social media is causing some brands to question the effectiveness of the campaign microsite in favor of spreading content through various social ...
Social Media Release: Cisco Live! 2008 - Day 3
FOXBusiness - Jun 26, 2008
-- Padmasree Warrior delivers first keynote as Cisco's Chief Technology Officer -- Warrior and several senior executives conduct press briefings via Cisco ...
“Early Signs In India Positive For Online Social Media Businesses”
ContentSutra, CA - Jun 26, 2008
Q: Is India ready for social media and web 2.0 businesses? AK: Indian internet story share similar attributes as that of People’s Republic of China. ...

Blog Weekend

crew 4or your blog huh??? dude this is a awsome idea.
Nascar - 1 hour ago
blog is an online journal entry written by a Member of the Community. Every Member of the Community can create his/her own blog posts and read and comment ...
Icahn blogs about why he can’t blog about his fight with Yahoo
San Jose Mercury News,  USA - 12 hours ago
Shareholder activist and current Yahoo nemesis Carl Icahn felt it necessary to file his blogpost of this morning with the SEC as an attachment to his proxy ...YHOO
On the blogs front: Exit Kareem, enter 'The Big Picture'
Los Angeles Times, CA - 1 hour ago
"Why are you canceling so many great blogs?" wrote Sarah Rivanis of South Pasadena. "First Kareem Abdul [Jabbar] and now Siel from Emerald City. ...

Euro Blogs: The Side Effects Of Total Football
Goal.com, Switzerland - 1 hour ago
If you are interested to get your article(s) published in the Euro Blog Section, please write to ckapil@goal.com with the subject "Euro Blogs".
Search Community / blogs:
NetworkWorld.com, MA - 17 hours ago
I mentioned Wednesday in this blog that Cisco announced three new CCNA exams this week at Networkers: CCNA Voice, CCNA Security, and CCNA Wireless. ...
Jodie Sweetin blogs about Zoie's new milestones
Celebrity Baby Blog, NY - 2 hours ago
By Missy, CBB Writer In her latest blog entry for OK!, Jodie Sweetin hints at a possible return to the small screen for not only herself, ...
Jim Cramer's Best Blogs
TheStreet.com - 55 minutes ago
Jim Cramer fills his blog on RealMoney every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ...
Blogs and their backgrounds
Times of India, India - 8 hours ago
He started his blog while working on his film No Smoking. Fortunately the high court passed his film Black Friday by then and he gained some recognition. ...
Local Blogs
News-Leader.com, MO - 6 hours ago
For the second time in less than a year, Attorney General Jay Nixon, the self-professed "top law enforcement official" in Missouri, has been caught breaking ...
Best of the China Blogs: June 27
Wall Street Journal Blogs, NY - Jun 27, 2008
[Sexy Beijing Blog] – A report issued earlier this week by StopBadware.org found that a majority of the Web sites that contain malware are located on ...

Jun 27, 2008

NEWS: Mike Dunn, VP Interactive Media, Hearst

People in Tech: Mike Dunn, VP Interactive Media, Hearst

The technologists behind large companies are always fascinating. Unlike entrepreneurs, who often code their vision into software, CTOs channel their vision through the engineers working for them. CTOs of modern media companies are measured on their ability to bring innovation to the market quickly. This installment of People in Tech features a unique technologist. Mike Dunn (LinkedInTwitter) was instrumental in bringing Dell computers online, was part of Time Warner during its merger with AOL, and is now leading media giant Hearst Corporation.

The interview presents Mike as an intelligent technologist and a strong leader, while also a humble and curious learner of modern technology. This curiosity and passion for tech has guided Mike's impressive journey.

His story is an inspiration and it is our pleasure to connect you with Mike Dunn on ReadWriteWeb...

BRAND: Yahoo==Alice in Wonderland

BRAND: Yahoo==Alice in Wonderland, a little lost

Yahoo ReOrg Is Official

Yahoo has announced its anticipated reorganization. As expected executives Hilary Schneider and Ash Patel are consolidating power under president Sue Decker. All product development will come under the responsibility of Patel, a Yahoo veteran and Yang loyalist. Schneider will take over all the advertising sales teams across the company. A third “Insights Strategy” team has also been formed to centralize strategy. Nobody has yet been named to head up that group.

This reshuffle follows mass defections and a shakeup of its upper ranks. Wall Street is underwhelmed. The stock is down nearly 3 percent today (granted, on a terrible day for stocks overall).

The company is also announcing a new cloud computing group and new responsibilities for three search executives—Venkat Panchapakesan, Tuoc Luong, and David Ku— who are filling the hole left by former EVP of engineering Qi Lu.

Interview: Yahoo's Schneider And Moore On Reorg: 'The Changes Are Larger Than Any One Individual'

imageimage(with David Kaplan) Yahoo's (NSDQ: YHOO) new U.S. head Hilary Schneider and her new direct report Scott Moore spent some time on the phone with paidContent this afternoon in full it's-all-good mode as they explained their takes on the latest reorganization. Schneider, who joined Yahoo from Knight Ridder in fall 2006 and has been heading ad-centric Global Partner Solutions, is among the big winners in this round of Yahoo power lotto, gaining responsibility for all go-to-market products—including the content produced by the Yahoo Media Group—and reporting directly to Yahoo president Sue Decker. Moore, who doesn't admit to being high on last week's list of possible departing execs, says he thinks this latest structure makes sense and he's in for the duration.  (No definition of duration.) ...

Yahoo tries going on the offensive

Yahoo is trying to show that it's taking hold of its own destiny again.

Phase 1 was the ad deal, under which Yahoo expects more cash by showing Google's more lucrative ads next to Yahoo search results. Phase 2 came Thursday with a ...

Yahoo Shakes Up Management Amid Shareholder Unrest

For the third time in 19 months, Yahoo redraws its management chart as it tries to snap out of a financial malaise that has ravaged its stock price, jeopardized its independence and demoralized employees.

Jun 26, 2008

Embrace the Blog Revolution

Ed: Blogs and reporting - any difference?

Legacy publishers write endlessly about internal processes that distinguish their output. Efforts to justify their value-add implicitly criticizes blogs. Ultimately, readers scan the headlines and vote with return visits and active participation. 

My friend Mac McCarthy says that the most loyal subscribers are often writers. Online, the fastest growing segment have been bloggers who actively write about their online experiences. Statements to belittle blogs simply create enemies among the best web citizens who are the most likely readers. 

Writers who attack blogs commit hara-kiri. Suicide is the certain path to the end of legacy journalism.

US: Greenslade to print journalists: Embrace the blog revolution

The blogosphere's interactive, communal spirit is shaking the foundations of print journalism, but traditional journalists should embrace the change, says Roy Greenslade. News, he says, is no longer "one-way traffic".

"We [print journalists] conceived it [news]. We gathered it. We published it and broadcast it," he writes. "Blogging turns that model on its head. It allows people to question the information we provide. It allows them to produce their own information. It offers them a space to air their own views."

Greenslade says he is no longer certain that his own model of the future newsroom - a core of "professional journalists" overseeing a fringe group of bloggers - is viable. The news organization, he says, is vulnerable.

"...More fundamentally, I wonder whether a news organization is as perfect a model as we might think...It is entirely conceivable that the digital revolution may, in the fullness of time, sweep the media mogul aside," he writes.

Not that this is anything to be afraid of. Greenslade is ebullient when talking about the liberating potential of the blogosphere.

"The joy of the digital revolution is that it is bloodless, and democracy is at its heart," Greenslade writes. "It is the lack of unity that makes blogging so vibrant, so critical and also so self-critical."

For traditionalists who still cling to the old model - journalists as providers, citizens as recipients - and fear relinquishing this power to bloggers, Greenslade has some advice: let go.

"There is no us and them," he writes.

Click here for more on the converging media.

US: MySpace and NBC News to enlist citizen journalists to cover party conventions

In an innovative ploy, MySpace and NBC News are recruiting citizen journalists to cover the Democratic and Republican national conventions. 

Anyone over 18 years old can apply by submitting a short video piece answering one of three reflective questions: "Why do you vote?" "Why are you the best person for this job?" Or "How will you stand out in the crowd and get the scoop no one else can?"

A panel of judges will select five finalists, and the Myspace Community will vote on the two winners. One winner will cover the Democratic National Convention; the other will cover the Republican National convention.

"In an election that has so engaged people," said Mark Lukasiewicz, vice president of digital media at NBC News, "It's right that we try to find ways to get original voices in the conversations around politics."

Jun 25, 2008

NEWS: Charter drops controversial customer tracking plan

Charter drops controversial customer tracking plan

Internet service provider Charter Communications announced Tuesday that it was indefinitely suspending the use of a controversial tool to track its customers' movement on the Web.

Charter, the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S., announced in May that it would use technology from a company called NebuAd to monitor some of its broadband customers' Internet habits to provide advertisers with information to target online ads to individual customers. Privacy advocates had likened the service to Internet wiretapping.

"Our customers are always our first priority," Charter said a statement. "As such, we are not moving forward with the pilots at this time. We will continue to take a thoughtful, deliberate approach with the goal to ultimately structure an advertising service that enhances the Internet experience for our customers and addresses questions and concerns they've raised."

Charter's plans had also raised the attention of prominent members of Congress, including Massachusetts Democrat Edward J. Markey, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Shortly after Charter's announcement, Markey released a statement praising the decision to suspend the program but questioning whether it violated the law:

Given the serious privacy concerns raised by the sophisticated ad-serving technology Charter Communications planned to test market, I am pleased to hear that the company has decided to delay implementation of this program, which electronically profiled individual consumer Web usage. I urge other broadband companies considering similar user profiling programs to similarly hold off on implementation while these important privacy concerns can be addressed...

Charter Delays Plan for Targeted Ads

Charter Communications is holding off on plans to offer an ad service based on customers' Web-browsing behavior, amid privacy concerns.

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