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Oct 11, 2008

AdNet Weekend

Trickle-Down Economics
Wired News - Oct 11, 2008
Viacom is forecasting a decline of approximately 2 percent in worldwide advertisingrevenues, comprised of a 3 percent decline in domestically offset by an ...
Polls give Obama clear lead in Pa.
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA - 15 hours ago
The state has been among the leaders in TV advertising, with $27 million spent through the end of September. When the McCain campaign pulled out of Michigan ...
Labor Woos Whites for Obama Wall Street Journal

McCain Ads Go 100% Negative
HULIQ (press release), NC - Oct 10, 2008
The Wisconsin Advertising Project (WiscAds), which since 1998, has undertaken "research initiatives to document how candidates, political parties and ...
McCain leads on ad negativity Philadelphia Inquirer
all 321 news articles »
Don't Let Hard Times Derail Your Advertising
BusinessWeek - Oct 7, 2008
That's why vitriolic advertising is not the norm in a free economy. Right now, however, oureconomy isn't so free. The mortgage meltdown and credit crisis ...
Yepsen: Don't write off McCain quite yet
DesMoinesRegister.com, IA - 13 hours ago
Cancel all his negative advertising attacking Barack Obama. (Which is 100 percent of his commercials these days.) He should quit trashing Obama and call off ...
The Town Hall Debate: What Was McCain Up To? Washington Post
Arizonans still playing the lottery despite tough economy
Tucson Citizen, AZ - Oct 10, 2008
He said the Arizona Lottery plans to respond to the down economy by boosting advertising, increasing the number and sizes of prizes and putting more vending ...
Different divisions all help consumers
Pacific Daily News, GU - 5 hours ago
By Alicia G. Limtiaco • October 13, 2008 The FTC's job is performed by the Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Commerce and Economics, and aided by the Office ...
CQ Transcript: Gov. Jon Corzein and Former Rep. Rob Portman on NBC ...
CQPolitics.com, DC - 3 hours ago
In Minnesota, the senator, Norm Coleman , the Republican candidate for re-election, has stopped all negative advertising. Would that be a good idea for the ...

India Today
The vow factor
India Today, India - Oct 11, 2008
Having catapulted to super model status she reigned the ramp, print and advertising arena and was the first model to raise her remuneration for fashion ...

Election Venting
Edmonton Journal, Canada - 13 hours ago
... advertising, not to vote for any of them. - I've been contemplating the prospects of a Liberal government elected by voters anxious about the economy...
Ad watch Toronto Star
Assessing Harper's platform Globe and Mail

Social Media Weekend

Business Intelligence Middle East (press release)
Survey finds social media will continue to change business ...
Business Intelligence Middle East (press release), United Arab Emirates - 16 hours ago
Roughly 86% of respondents in a survey conducted by Locomotion Creative in the US say they expect social media to impact the way companies do business and ...
Online Degree Programs Take Page Out of Social Media Handbook
PR Web (press release), WA - 15 hours ago
Colleges and Universities that offer online degree programs are enhancing the delivery of their educational experiences by utilizing social media and other ...
Social Media Partnership Breaks Cosmetic Surgery Barriers
Medical News Today (press release), UK - Oct 10, 2008
RealSelf.com is an unbiased consumer resource for cosmetic treatment information that usessocial media to encourage conversation between consumers on ...
Sales 2.0: Social Media for Knowledge Management and Sales ...
MarketWatch - Oct 9, 2008
This new challenge has caused a number of companies to implement social media solutions within the enterprise as a way to more effectively connect sales ...
Sales 2.0: Social Media for Knowledge Management and Sales ...International Business Times
Dow Jones & Company To Host Social Media Webinar SYS-CON Media
Dow Jones & Company To Host Social Media Webinar PR Newswire (press release)
Social Media Geek on a Mission of Online Social Domination
PR-USA.net (press release), Bulgaria - Oct 11, 2008
Elgin, IL, October 11, 2008 -- Just how many social networking sites are there in the known universe? That's a question self professed social media geek and ...
Globe and Mail, Canada - Oct 9, 2008
Of the nearly two-thirds of US consumers who use social media websites such as Facebook and MySpace, 93 per cent of them think a company should have a ...
Six Sigma and Social Media: Tools for Reducing Costs, Improving ...
MarketWatch - Oct 9, 2008
CHAPEL HILL, NC, Oct 09, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Pairing traditional quality tools with innovations like social networking and multi-channel ...

AdAge.com (subscription)
Google, Yahoo Become Print's Allies
AdAge.com (subscription) - 36 minutes ago
When the Chicago Tribune created an avatar, "Colonel Tribune," to promote articles throughsocial media such as Digg and Twitter, the character initially ...YHOO - GOOG
Companies latch on to social media advertisements
Business Standard, India - Oct 8, 2008
Of the Rs 270 crore online advertisement market, the social media advertisement market is just about Rs 20 crore, again the fastest growing. ...
Awareness Report Shows Significant Rise in Enterprise Social Media ...
FastForward Blog, MA - Oct 10, 2008
It shows that social media initiatives are on are increasing and continue to evolve. There is a focus on the deeper and broader integration of Web 2.0 ...

Blog Weekend

Week 6 in-game live blog
SportingNews.com - 5 hours ago
Matt Lutovsky will be keeping track of that and everything else in his Week 6 live blog. Join in Welcome to Week 6, fantasy owners. ...
Tim Wilson's US blog
TVNZ, New Zealand - 1 hour ago
"'We shoulda sold the country when we coulda," said US comedian Gary Shandling recently on a cable news show. It's a joke, but a thought too. ...

Amitabh to write blog from hospital bed
Economic Times, India - 5 hours ago
MUMBAI: Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan will post a blog entry from his hospital bed to update his worried fans about his health, sources close to the ...
Amitabh Bachchan’s fans organizing prayers for his fast recovery Khabrein.info
Big B is 66 years young! Press Trust of India
Film projects worth Rs 100 cr riding on Big B Economic Times
all 332 news articles »

Search this blog
ScienceBlogs - 45 minutes ago
This is a personal blog and opinions within in no way reflect the policies of PLoS. You can contact me at: Coturnix@gmail.com Stay abreast of your favorite ...

Live blog: Spartans take on undefeated Wildcats
Detroit Free Press, United States - Oct 11, 2008
By JON MACHOTA • FREE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER • October 11, 2008 Don’t expect a 13-10 final score in this ballgame. When these teams meet, points are usually ...
SHANNON SHELTON'S BLOG MSU hopes defense can erase '07 showing vs ...Detroit Free Press
all 282 news articles »

Washington Post
Mark Curnutte's game blog
Cincinnati.com, OH - 1 hour ago
By Mark Curnutte • mcurnutte@enquirer.com • October 12, 2008 EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Thomas Jones rushed for his third touchdown on a 1-yard run with 2:22 to ...
Jets 26, Bengals 14 Jets Win Ugly Against Bengals New York Times
Track today's Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets game live NJ.com
Jets' Jones more concerned with team success Lower Hudson Journal news
all 307 news articles »
Vikings vs. Lions in game blog
KARE, MN - 1 hour ago
2:49pm Regardless of what happens today, this is not a good game for the Vikings. Struggling with a team that was 0-4 and as bad as Detroit is not a good ...
Live blog: Lions shooting for first win of season Detroit Free Press
all 372 news articles »

Search this blog
ScienceBlogs - 1 hour ago
Mark Hoofnagle has a PhD in physiology from the University of Virginia and is currently a 3rd year medical student. His interest in denialism concerns the ...

SF Illustrated
SFI's LIVE Game Blog: 49ers vs. Eagles
SF Illustrated - 1 hour ago
By Craig Massei It’sa must-win situation for the 49ers as they face the Philadelphia Eagles today in a battle of 2-3 two teams fighting for survival in the ...

1:10 pm: Colts live in-game blog
Anderson Herald Bulletin, IN - 5 hours ago
By Adam Wire, Herald Bulletin Sports Editor That always seems to be the first question Colts fans ask this season about the home games. ...
Media roundup What they're saying about the Ravens Baltimore Sun

Oct 10, 2008

Buy Low, Sell High - With Bad Economy, Is it Time to Buy?

Savvy investors know to buy low, sell high. Is it the right time to buy?

What  are the Big Problems

Wall Street has tanked. Global markets have followed. Obama and McCain openly debate our economic woes, busy shifting blame to the other party. Venture capitalists are telling their portfolio to cut back. Chicken little pundits squawk even louder.

Our leaders tell us that we are failing. 


As a macroeconomist who has built input-output models to analyze the economy, let's take a look at the immediate sector issues.
  • The financial crisis is mired in underwater mortgages. As an economist, I have no interest to shift blame. Rising property values solve the problem. The $700, $800 billion bailout provides the short-term cushion for financial stability. Inflation and the low value of the dollar compared to foreign dollars drive investment into real properties like gold, real estate, and capital assets. These investments come from US and global sources. Foreign goverments have joined the effort to provide liquidity. No nation has the interest to see the global problem get worse.
  • Oil prices are high, but declining. Products that depend on gasoline for transport have not dropped prices. Thus, businesses that have not suffered volume drops gain margin relieve. Savvy businesses should pass the savings to consumers to gain share. This would be a form of the buy low, sell higher volume strategy. For example, expect Apple to introduce a low price Mac laptop to gain share.
  • Both political candidates have made energy independence a high priority issue for national security, green environment, and growth stimulus. 
  • Statistical reports show lower, but steady growth in income and consumption. Aside from driving less, people have not changed their spending habits.
Lack of Leadership

So, what's the real problem? 

Leadership vacuum.

The timing of the economic problems, a lame-duck president, and an election that is four weeks away has created a vacuum of leadership. The fallout impacts both national and global markets. 

We agreed to a bailout, but voters don't trust that Washington has made a choice that is in the best interest of the country. During the debates, our leaders acknowledge the many problems. In fact, they hype the problem to shift blame - hoping to get elected. We have real issues, yet the candidates argue over the details where few understand the tradeoffs. Neither candidate can convince the majority of independents that their solution solves the problem. Thus, we have stalemate for a few more weeks.

The democratic process, at a time of economic pressure, disturbs the stability needed for people to keep their eyes on their business and maintain growth. 

What's the Solution

Fortunately, the election debate ends soon. Once we have a winner, the public laundering of economic woes will end. The leadership vacuum ends; and the promise of a new leader cheers on the working folks.

Of course, politicians will continue to argue details and shift blame - but the economy will be allowed to set its own course for recovery. 

Buy Low, Sell High

We've told that things are bad. Have we hit bottom? Is it time to buy? 

Input-output analysis tells us to choose our markets. Choosing wisely, it is time to buy.

For those in the Internet-related, technology industries, take a look at the basics.
  • Web use continues to grow. High energy costs encourage more virtual travel.
  • Smartphones continue to grow. Again, high energy costs encourage phone calls over face-to-face meetings. Devices that enable browsing, messaging, and talking like the iPhone become indispensible tools for business productivity. 
  • Consumer electronic devices continue to drop in price while gaining more function.
  • Online ads continue to grow.
What about your sector? 

Is it time to buy?

from Silicon Alley Insider by 
From ClusterstockHuge new bailout plans may guarantee all bank deposits and interbank lending, recapitalize banks, and, possibly, head off global economic catastrophe. They may also put western governments in serious financial trouble.

Sequoia Capital’s 56 Slide Presentation Of Doom

CEO_ALL_HANDS_10-7-08_FINAL - Get more Business Documents

We were able to track down the presentation that Sequoia Capital gave to its portfolio company CEO’s earlier this week (and so did VentureBeat). It’s a long, 56 slide Powerpoint message of doom and gloom in Silicon Valley that we covered yesterday along with an email that angel investor Ron Conway sent to his 130 active portfolio companies.

The final text slide reads “Get Real or Go Home.”

Benchmark Capital jumped on the band wagon today with their own email to portfolio companies. The messages are all similar - companies need to stay ahead of the curve as much as possible. Cut costs now, and raise capital if you can. If there’s someone out there willing to buy you, do it. Etc.

Of course all this negativity helps create the very downturn that venture capitalists are warning their companies to defend themselves against, perpetuating a sort of vicious cycle downward. But that’s ok, sometimes the hedge needs to be pruned. And this is what makes Silicon Valley its ugly, beautiful self.

Why This Slowdown Is An Opportunity

The news is full of doom and gloom these days and it is, quite frankly, pissing me off. The problems in the economy are real. People are feeling it. However, the problem is that people might start to feel as if it is all outside their control.

It isn’t.

Now is the time that people should be looking into new opportunities. And the Internet is perhaps the best platform out there right now for the average person to make a supplemental or even a full-time income. I’ve been making my living online for years. And I’ve seen people get started after me who are now doing much better than I am. The Internet is a truly open medium with pretty much no barriers to entry. Take it from me - ANYBODY can make money on the Internet. All it takes is a drive to do so...

Pasta Hut vs. Pizza Hut

Ed: Advertising impact without social media leverage. Imagine the results with planned social leverage.

Pasta Hut vs. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut made the headlines earlier in the week after rebranding itself as Pasta Hut in the UK. If the move really is just a clever bit of PR, as some people suspect, then it seems to have worked. In addition to significant media coverage, the company has also benefitted online: as the chart below illustrates, yesterday the Pasta Hut website received twice as many UK Internet visits as the Pizza Hut UK homepage. In fact, yesterday was a record day for the restaurant chain online.

Pasta hut vs pizza hut online.png

Of the people who did visit the Pizza Hut site yesterday, 37.4% went to Pasta Hut afterwards. Overall 6.7% of Pasta Hut’s traffic came from the Pizza Hut homepage. The site’s clickstream also reveals a surprise: as the table below illustrates, 43.9% of traffic to pastahut.co.uk came fromMSN UK, more than 3 times the amount that it received from Google UK. Presumably the company either ran advertising or a paid search campaign on the Microsoft portal / search engine.

sites visited before pasta hut msn uk google pizza hut.png

Facebook is number 2 website among 10 million

Facebook is number 2 website, but the growth of social networks is slowing

Of the 10,583,351 websites visited by UK Internet users in September, Facebook was the second most popular after Google UK. The number one social network in Britain received 3.16% of all UK Internet visits last month, equivalent to one in every 32. For the 4 weeks ending 27/09/08, one in every 50 UK Internet searches was for the single term ‘facebook’,

top 10 uk websites september 2008 Google Facebook Hotmail ebay MSN YouTube Bebo Yahoo BBC.png

Facebook’s success in the UK (and many other markets) is undeniable, and - as the chart below illustrates - the growth hasn’t stopped yet. However, it has slowed: traffic to the site increased by 4% between August and September this year, down from 50% over the same period last year. The site’s annual growth rate remains impressive at 88% between September 2007 and 2008, but was significantly less than the 2905% it experienced the previous year.

UK Internet traffic to Facebook 2005 2006 2007 2008 chart.png

Another ominous sign is that Facebook’s average session time has flattened out at 20 minutes; both MySpace and Bebo experienced a fall in average session time in tandem with their declining UK market share. So, Facebook has a while to go yet, but there is no doubt that its growth is slowing. Of course, social networking is about more than just one site – we recorded visits to over 7,000 during September – so what about the market as a whole?

IBM Puts Social Media to Work

IBM’s Innovation Jam 2008 shows how far crowdsourcing has come

IBM may be throwing a life raft to the stock market today, reporting unexpectedly high quarterly earnings. Still, startups and venture capitalists may care more about the ideas floating at Big Blue’s annual researchcrowdsourcing event, dubbed IBM Innovation Jam 2008.

IBM has been sponsoring the Innovation Jam for a few years now. The company’s researchers, employees and outside experts are invited to join in a virtual brainstorm session. They post their ideas for innovations and then others join in, commenting on the posts and voting for their favorites.

The event taps into the idea behind James Surowiecki’s 2004 bestselling book, “The Wisdom of Crowds,” and the more recent “Crowdsourcing” book by Wired contritubing writer Jeff Howe. Both discuss how the collective instincts of crowds often turn out to be right and encourage companies to harness the power of mass collaboration systems like the Internet to solve difficult problems.

IBM started the Innovation Jam in 2001, subscribing to the belief that public discussion of research ideas could solve problems faster than IBM’s own researchers tackling them secretly. In 2006, the company invested more than $100 million in ideas, and created 10 new divisions spawned during the proceedings.

This week’s event had nearly 55,000 participants from IBM registered and another 5,200 outsiders. Participants sign a waiver that turns all ideas expressed into public intellectual property. The winning ideas can get funding, but, in contrast to InnoCentive started (and now spun off) by Eli Lilly, the contributors of the ideas are not rewarded directly. “Web 2.0 comes to the enterprise” solutions, like Innovation Jam are now increasingly common at places such as Hewlett-Packard and other companies.

Ed Bevan, an IBM manager of innovation and market insight, said that this year’s jam was smaller in sheer numbers compared to the 150,000 participants in 2006 because it was more focused on the enterprise.

I logged into the jam session, which took place over 72 hours this week, and was floored by the sheer bulk of information. There were 29,499 posts from more than 84,000 login sessions divided into 2,750 themes and 2,310 threads. That doesn’t include chat sessions, a new feature this year, Bevan said...

Web Gets Obama (Chump) Change

Ed: Global advertising is $1.5 trillion. Google's share is $20 billion. Not surprising that Obama's online share is so small.

Web Gets Obama (Chump) Change

ClickZ_Campaign08_katefinal.jpgBarack Obama's campaign spent over $3 million on TV ads in one state on Monday
He's spent about double that on the Websince January.

Yep, according to my calculations based on FEC reports, his campaign spent around $5.45 million on paid online media on the Web, into August.

How's that for sharp contrast?

As I wrote in my recent Reuters commentary piece on Obama's online ads: 

The fact is political advertisers typically don't use Internet ads to sway voters the way they do television ads. When it comes to the Web, they rely on things like video on YouTube and their official sites to have persuasive impact.

Not only is advertising on television a tough-to-break habit for political campaigns, they have yet to see online ads affect an election in an undeniable way.

Until there's proof that an online ad moved people to vote for or against a candidate, the first full-fledged Internet election may be far off.

Oct 9, 2008

MySpace and Facebook with $1 Billion in Advertising, Says eMarketer

Social Nets Still Promising, Says eMarketer

-By Adweek Staff

NEW YORK Social networks rank among the most popular destinations on the Internet -- particularly for the hard-to-reach youth audience -- and marketers will continue to look for ways to reach consumers at those sites, according toeMarketer.

Combined, MySpace and Facebook are expected to account for 72 percent of the total U.S. social network ad spending pie this year.

Spending at all other online social network sites (including general social, niche and marketer-created networks) is expected to reach $370 million this year.

Widget and application ad spending is projected to rise to $40 million in 2008, from $15 million in 2007.

The tech downturn: How long and how bad?

The tech downturn: How long and how bad?

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ron Conway sent a sobering e-mail on Tuesday to the 130 start-up companies he's invested in: now is the time to hunker down.
Ron Conway
Credit: Joi Ito
"You better rely 
on your own 
proactive action."
-Ron Conway

"In 2000 and 2001, the companies that hunkered the fastest were the companies that survived," said Conway in an interview with CNET News. "Get costs under control; make sure you have plenty of runway."

While that admonition from Conway, a noted investor who over the years has put early money into tech giants like Google and up-and-comers like Digg, was timely, it's hard to imagine that any tech executive who's been paying attention to the news needs to be reminded that rough economic conditions are most definitely ahead.

How bad those conditions will be and how long they'll last is anyone's guess. TheCNET Technology Index, which tracks 66 publicly traded tech companies, dropped for the third straight day Wednesday to hit its lowest level in more than three years. Even the healthiest of companies are seeing their stocks being sold en masse. Google, for example, finished trading Wednesday down 2.28 percent to $338.11 per share; that's a new 52-week low and less than half the asking price for a Google share in November 2007

Bad news persists in the overall economy as well, despite continued attempts at government intervention. The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 indexes all continued to slide Wednesday; the Dow has now dropped 35 percentfrom its high a year ago...

But it's not yet clear what will happen to consumer sales and online advertising. The monthly CNET-Consumer Electronics Association consumer confidence index showed surprising bullishness in late September. Internet Advertising Bureau statistics for the first half of the year showed surprising strength, but the IAB data did little to shed light on what will happen in the fourth quarter...
CEA-CNET Consumer Sentiment Indexes

Current Report

The CEA-CNET Consumer Sentiment Indexes represent more than three years of research into cutting-edge methods for measuring consumer expectations about the future. The indexes measure how consumers perceive the overall health of the economy and the outlook for technology spending. Both indexes focus on consumer perceptions of the future. These forward looking expectations provide market observers valuable information into how consumers will likely behave over the pursuing months. 

As the September report highlights, consumer expectations moved up marketed in September despite the uncertainty presented by Wall Street over the last few weeks. Two consecutive months of declining gasoline prices have likely encouraged optimism among consumers. Spending on technology is flat relative to last month, but remains above the levels during the same period last year.

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