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Oct 18, 2008

AdNet Weekend

Online Poll: Obama Widens Lead With Key Female Demographic
MarketWatch - 6 hours ago
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, Oct 17, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- NeoEdge Networks, Inc., the leading advertising network focused on providing television-quality ...
Targeting Is the Ad Network’s “Killer App”
ADOTAS, NY - 8 hours ago
Targeting arguably has become the ad network “killer app.” According to E-consultancy 2007 Online Ad Network Buyers Guide, targeting was only 1% behind ...
Dude Publisher/Ad Network Heavy Lays Off 14%*
Silicon Alley Insider, NY - 6 hours ago
Today's entry: Dude-centric publisher and ad network Heavy, which is laying off 12 people, which it says amounts to 14% of its staff. ...

Rethink Wireless
Google building iPhone specific ad network
Rethink Wireless, UK - Oct 16, 2008
The search giant is following in AOL’s footsteps and readying an iPhone specific advertising network, significantly enhancing the power of the Apple handset ...
Dark times on the Net: analysts cut Google, Yahoo CNET News
Google Offers DIY Display Ads Builder, Expands TV Ads Distribution Search Engine Land
Report: Google, Yahoo talking with DOJ over advertising agreement Bizjournals.com
Internet Marketing News - WebProNews
all 196 news articles »  GOOG - YHOO
Nokia Adds Fox News To Its Media Network
InformationWeek, NY - Oct 15, 2008
By Marin Perez Nokia announced Wednesday it has signed several major US publishers for its mobile advertising network. Nokia Media Network will now provide ...AMS:NOKA -NOK
GameShark.com Selects Intergi as Online Advertising Representation ...
MarketWatch - 12 hours ago
... Intergi is both a leading online gaming and entertainment advertising network and representation company offering a hybrid of online opportunities that ...OTC:GMEI - MCZ
Nokia Adds US Publishers To Media Network
Mediapost.com, NY - Oct 16, 2008
"These additions fortify the Nokia Media Network's reach in the United States, which has already been a well-performing advertising network, especially for ...AMS:NOKA - NOK
Buzz Technologies Inc (OTC:BZTG): Buzz Ad Network upgrades to ...
Trading Markets (press release), CA - Oct 16, 2008
Oct 16, 2008 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- BZTG | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- The Buzz Ad delivery network is currently undergoing an upgrade so ...OTC:BZTG -OTC:CMTX
Online Poll: Obama Widens Lead With Key Female Demographic
International Business Times, NY - 6 hours ago
More than 50 toppublishers rely on NeoEdge to deploy over 500 ad-supported casual gamesthroughout the NeoEdge partner network. NeoEdge has created a robust ...

Earthtimes (press release)
MySpace launches ad network for individuals, small businesses
Computerworld, MA - Oct 13, 2008
By Heather Havenstein October 13, 2008 (Computerworld) MySpace launched a beta version of its DIY (Do It Yourself) advertising platform today that's aimed ...
paidContent.org - MySpace Expands Self-Serve MyAds Display Ad Service Washington Post
MySpace Launches 'MySpace MyAds' Platform Democratizing Online ... Centre Daily Times
all 24 news articles »  GOOG

Social Media Weekend

Obama’s power in social networking
CNNMoney.com - 8 hours ago
Specifically, social networking. During a panel called “One Month to Go: The Road to the White House” at Fortune’s recent Most Powerful Women Summit, ...
Boston to get own social networking website
Boston Globe, United States - Oct 15, 2008
By Casey Ross Mayor Thomas M. Menino is launching a Facebook-like social networkingwebsite where people with roots in the city's corporate and academic ...
Social Network Bebo Launches “Bebo Originals”
Hit Search, UK - 6 hours ago
Building on the success of KateModern and Sofia’s Diary, the Social Media Network is developing a commissioning and scheduling policy for 2009 that will ...
Bebo set to launch exclusive web comedy Brand Republic
all 2 news articles »
Leveraging Social Networks
AffiliateTip.com, NJ - 4 hours ago
By Shawn Collins The Leveraging Social Networks session at Affiliate Summit Social Media 2008 featured Sachin Agarwal, President & CEO of Dawdle.com; ...

Webbr Launches a Very Visual Social Network
Mashable, CA - 2 hours ago
Webbr is a new startup that provides a visual social network where you can see how everyone is connected at-a-glance. Many pundits believe that Web 3.0 (aka ...
Kaixin001: China?s Apple of Social Networks
Washington Post, United States - Oct 16, 2008
Kaixin001, the latest newcomer to the Facebook clone wars in China, is China?s fastest growing social network having amassed a staggering 7.5 million users ...YHOO - GOOG

Marketing Pilgrim
Yahoo Profiles Evolve into a Social Network
Marketing Pilgrim, NC - 11 hours ago
My first thought was, "Yahoo doesn’t have a social network, I’m not clicking on that link." You see, while there’d been much talk of Yahoo either building a ...YHOO
Gravity West Mining Retains AGORACOM To Provide Investor Relations ...
Baystreet.ca, Canada - 9 hours ago
Second, a social network that provides investors with the ability to create extensive profiles that include photos, bios, video messages to fellow investors ...CVE:GRW - GOOG - TSE:X
Nielsen To Shutter “Hey Nielsen” Social Network/Market Research Hybrid
paidContent.org, CA - 9 hours ago
By Tameka Kee - Fri 17 Oct 2008 09:10 AM PST Nielsen is shutting down its social network-market research hybrid “Hey! Nielsen,” Mediapost reports. ...
Hotel defends social networking site ban
ChesterChronicle.co.uk, UK - 16 hours ago
THE Chester Grosvenor Hotel and Spa has banned staff from using social networking site Facebook. Some employers believe staff can spend too long messaging ...

Oct 17, 2008

Warren Buffett: Buy Stocks! Cash Is Trash!

Posted Oct 17, 2008 10:42am EDT by Aaron Task 

"I don't like to opine on the stock market, and again I emphasize that I have no idea what the market will do in the short term. Nevertheless, I'll follow the lead of a restaurant that opened in an empty bank building and then advertised: 'Put your mouth where your money was.' Today my money and my mouth both say equities."

Or so declared Warren Buffett Friday in an extraordinary op-ed piece in The New York Times. Buffett's call to stocks amid an ongoing financial crisis could help restore investor confidence, a crucial ingredient so far missing from the government's turnaround effort.

Buffett's message is akin to then-Merrill chairman William Schreyer buying TV time right after the 1987 crash to declare Merrill as being "bullish on America," recalls Dan Colarusso, managing editor of Portfolio.com.

The op-ed also recalls Buffett's own famous "buy stocks and get rich"comment to Forbes in 1974.

Buffett's optimism is based primarily on the following:

  • "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned investors."
  • Cash is trash. "Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable," he writes. "They shouldn't. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value."

A few caveats to Buffett's dramatic call:

  • By his own admission, Buffett is making a long-term call. "I can't predict the short-term movements of the stock market," he writes. "I haven't the faintest idea as to whether stocks will be higher or lower a month -- or a year -- from now.
  • In the short- to intermediate-term, there's still the issue of reviving the banking sector, and key bank CEOs like JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon have expressed little optimism for the Treasury's program of capital injection.
  • Nobody, not even Warren Buffett, is always right.

Google’s Net (and Stock) Rise Sharply

Published: October 16, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO — For months, Google has promised investors that the company’s online advertising system would do relatively well in an economic downturn. On Thursday, it showed evidence that it may be able to deliver on that promise.

Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

In a sign of Google’s push into display ads, David Rosenblatt, the former chief executive of DoubleClick, was named president of global display advertising, a new position.

Google said that its growth rate continued to slow in the third quarter. But the company fared better than Wall Street expected as it reported a solid 26 percent jump in net income to $1.35 billion, or $4.24 a share, from $1.07 billion in the third quarter of 2007. The company’s results were bolstered by strong gains in online advertising and efforts by Google to slow hiring and rein in costs.

Google’s shares, which rose to $353.02, or 4 percent, in regular trading on Thursday, jumped another 10 percent after the company reported its financial results. However, they remain down sharply from their high of just over $740 last November.

Google’s chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, said the results reflected marketers’ acceptance of a system that is better and more measurable than other forms of advertising. He said that while the economic environment was unpredictable, Google was poised to continue doing relatively well.

“We are very realistic about the macroeconomic climate, but we are optimistic about Google’s future,” Mr. Schmidt said during a conference call with analysts.

While Google is the largest seller of online ads, its relatively strong results are not indicative of the overall health of the Internet advertising business. Google relies primarily on search ads, the fastest-growing segment of the market. Since marketers use such ads to lure people to their Web sites, analysts say they believe they are among the last thing advertisers would cut during a recession...

Oct 16, 2008

Yahoo and Google Moving on Social Media; Microsoft Stalks to Buy

Ed: Yahoo and Google moving with small changes to integrate social media features. Microsoft talks about Windows 7 and buying Yahoo. 

Yahoo Profile is another effort by Yahoo to create circle's of friends. Past efforts include 360, myBlogLog, FlickR, and others. Too little, too late.

Google has integrated gReader and iGoogle. Past efforts to share these personal pages with friends have not received much buzz. 

by Michael Arrington on October 16, 2008

Yahoo begins the rollout of its new user profile today, which marks the first tangible product release for the social part of the Yahoo Open Strategy, or YOS. The profile is one of the anchors (mail is the other) to Yahoo’s strategy of turning the site into one big social network.

It’s been a long haul for the company, which first talked about the new strategy almost a year ago. More details, and a few conceptual screenshots, were announced at CES in January. A newcomer to Yahoo, VP Communities Jim Stoneham (he joined six weeks ago), is leading the team that’s creating new social features.

So here’s exactly what Yahoo is launching today:

Google Updates iGoogle: Better Integration with Google Reader, Gmail, and Google Finance

igoogle_logo.pngGoogle today updated its iGoogle homepage by improving its integration Google ReaderGmail, and Google Finance. These gadgets can now make use of iGoogle's canvas feature, which allows a gadget to take up the whole screen. This is especially useful for the Google Reader and Gmail gadgets, which now bring almost all of the features of the actual services to iGoogle.

iGoogle Goes Wide, Introduces Canvas Pages.
by Erick Schonfeld on October 16, 2008

Google’s startpage, iGoogle, is spreading its wings. Today it is rolling out a new design that shifts tabs to a column on the left so that more Google gadgets and sources of content can be accommodated. But the biggest change is the ability for content partners and developers to expand each gadget to take up nearly the whole page.

Partners that are launching with expanded gadgets include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, TV Guide, iLike, CurrentTV, and Go Comics. Google itself has created extra-wide gadgets for Google Reader, Gmail, Google Finance, and YouTube. If you have an iGoogle page in the U.S., you should see the new design rolled out by the end of the day.

In effect, Google is stealing a page from Facebook here and giving Gadget developers their own canvas pages. Within these iFrames, an entire Website can be exposed, with ads and all. Any money from ads on the canvas page go 100 percent to the content partner...

Yahoo SearchMonkey gets Zagat, CitySearch

Trying to reclaim a lead lost to Google, Yahoo is repackaging some search results with extra information. New business review Web sites have joined the effort.

Kaixin001: China’s Apple of Social Networks

KAI XIN, both pronounced with high tones, means happy. WAN, low tone from deep in your throat, means network. Thus, KAI XIN WAN is the happy network.

XIAO NEI, both with downward tones i.e. start high, finish deep in your throat, means 'school inner' or on-campus network. FYI.

Kaixin001: China’s Apple of Social Networks
by Guest Author on October 16, 2008

Kaixin001, the latest newcomer to the Facebook clone wars in China, is China’s fastest growing social network having amassed a staggering 7.5 million users in the first 5 months since it launched in May 2008. The site tripled Twitter’s traffic reach in the month of September alone and is currently the 250th most popular site on Alexa worldwide.

Compared with rival incumbent Xiaonei, which targets college students, Kaixin001 appeals to white-collar office workers with a simpler UI that is more intuitive to older audiences. This is a significant detail in China, where one in four college students does not own a computer and can only access Xiaonei by walking to an Internet Cafe and paying by the minute. White-collar office workers by comparison, spend an average of nine hours a day in front of the computer...

tEarn Exitmercial One-Time Special

Publishers: To install this presentation on your ad page, the last page of the presentation has the needed HTML tag. Here is the link to the '$20 Trial' presentation.

Topix quietly builds momentum in small towns

Topix quietly builds momentum in small towns

The lament of newspapers has become familiar by now: With readers moving online, the once community-binding dailies are falling apart, losing both the readers and their advertisers. That’s especially true for small town papers. (Ed: false statement) But a growing site called Topix is picking up the slack, self-reportedly having reached over one hundred million pageviews a month.

Topix has come a long way since its inception. Originally conceived as a news aggregator consolidating thousands of sources for local audiences, it shifted its focus several years ago to include the users, allowing citizen journalism, commenting, forum discussions and polls. That’s when it began to grow in earnest, as people in small communities began to find their local news portals on Topix and participate.

When I first talked to CEO Chris Tolles earlier this year, several newer startups like Outside.in were getting heavy press. Tolles noted the difference between Outside.in’s slick interface and the more dated look of Topix without concern, suggesting that his company gets little attention in Silicon Valley because it serves a middle American audience with different tastes. “How do we get people to do one thing in mass numbers?” he asked, pointing out the simplicity of the commenting system to answer the question.

At that time, about six months back, Topix was getting a staggering 120,000 comments per day on its forums and articles, but the growth has continued; most recently, it was receiving an additional 30,000 daily comments...

Topix may have an early mover advantage on a large segment of the population, but it is also challenged to sell its userbase, who are distributed countrywide in towns of 5,000 to 50,000 people. Tolles points out that Manhattan advertisers feel little confidence in placing ads for a user group they don’t understand, especially as the results of a campaign may not be clear. “The future of advertising online is an understanding that the effects are somewhat unmeasurable,” Tolles opines, although conceding that advertisers have yet to come to terms with that idea.

It might also be hard to prove to anyone but close partners that Topix is really experiencing high growth. The company told me their internal Google Analytics numbers showed 115 million pageviews in September, split among 15 million unique visitors — nearly a four-fold increase since the 3.9 million uniques it logged in September 2006. But while one measurement firm, ComScore, says that Topix is the third largest newspaper site online, another, Compete, shows it on a plateau of around 5 million uniques.

STATS: CPC up, CPM down

Ed: Compete.com reports 35.7% YOY growth in number of USA search. Google CFO reports paid click growth of 18%. CTR declined by 13%. Fewer % of people clicked on ads. 

Average CPC improved 2%, not enough to offset the CTR decline, and much less than reported by Efficient Frontier. 

Affiliate's share of the pie is bigger, but proportionally smaller, and shared among more affiliates. I wouldn't be surprised if the average affiliate share declined. ;^)

Google growth is sustained by overall Internet growth, both domestically and internationally. There seems to be no indication that the hundreds of improvements per month has substantially changed CTR or CPC - particularly for affiliates.

All Eyes On Google This Week

Google, whose stock is down 45% this year, announces third quarter financial results tomorrow, and Silicon Valley will be watching. Analysts expect revenues of a little over $4 billion and EPS of $4.79 - and most have price targets for the stock, which closed yesterday at $363, to bounce back up to the high 500’s.

For now, the big factors affecting Google are the strengthening dollar (half their revenue is outside the U.S.) and general pessimism about the advertising market moving forward. There are also concerns about the intense regulatory scrutiny of the Google/Yahoo search deal.

Beyond this quarter, though, no one really has any idea how Google will do, and that uncertainty is what’s driving Google’s stock down. A declining stock market means less consumer spending, which then means less advertising dollars flowing as well. But what isn’t certain is how that will impact Internet advertising, which is still taking share from more traditional ad spending.

Citi analyst Mark Mahaney, who’s targeting Google stock at $590, thinks Google is in a good position to weather a storm: “GOOG is the market share leader – and is gaining share – in arguably the most dynamic part of Internet advertising – search, which appears to be less impacted by the current macro economic environment,” he said in a recent preview report for the fiscal quarter. He also sees strong growth potential for non-search ads through YouTube and DoubleClick. ComScore is reporting that the growth in the number of searches on Google accelerated in September.

Display Ad Prices Trending Downward; Fall-Off Is Consistent, But Not 'Dramatic'—Pubmatic
Here's some more evidence of how bad things are… The average price of a display ad was 27 cents in Q3, a nearly 50 percent drop from Q407's 50 cents, according to Pubmatic, which sells software optimization tools to ad networks and has been surveying prices for the past four months. In Q1, the company said the average price of a display ad was 37 cents, while from Q2's price was 34 cents, said Pubmatic, which bases itsPubMatic AdPrice Index (PDF) on a survey of roughly 5,000 websites mostly in the U.S. 
Google CFO:

We had another solid q, despite a challenging economic environment

gross revenue up 31 % yoy to $5.5B
Google.com was up 34% yoy to $2.7B
AdSense up 15% yoy to $1.7B

paid click growth up 18% yoy, up 4% q over q
US revenues up 22% yoy to $2.7B, up 5% q over q

International revenue:

UK showed some softness, essentially flat Q over Q,

rest of EMEA performed better, relatively good performance in Netherlands and Germany,.

Also good performance in Brazil and China.

Why Google’s Partners Should Be Worried

Google today announced its third-quarter 2008 earnings — which were in line with investor expectations, thus giving market a reason to exhale. For the quarter, Google reported net income of $1.35 billion on sales of $5.54 billion.

Google’s partners however, should gulp hard, for the Mountain View, Calif.-based search and online advertising company is keeping more and more of its online ad bounty for itself. You can see that from the three metrics: revenues from Google-owned sites, revenue generated by partner sites and the traffic acquisition costs. Google’s partners’ piece of the pie isn’t growing that much. Check out the table:

Q3 2008Q2 2008Q3 2007
Google-owned site Revenues$3.67 billion (67% of total revenues)$3.53 billion (66% of total revenues)$2.73 billion (65% of total revenues)
Revenues from Partners$1.68 billion(30% of total revenues)$1.66 billion (31% of total revenues)$1.45 billion (34% of total revenues)
TAC$1.5 billion (28% of total revenues)$1.47 billion (28% of total revenues)$1.22 billion (29% of total revenues)

What that table is saying is that Google today is less reliant on partners for ad inventory. This shift isn’t going to change anytime soon, especially as Google launches more and more ad-supported services and finds new users for Google Mail and Google Android.

Google Gains 2 Points of Search Share in Q3, CPCs rise on Google Search and Content

Today we released the Efficient Frontier Q3 2008 U.S. Search Engine Performance Report. which analyzes the performance of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Live Search on search engine spending, CTR, CPC and ROI from advertisers in the Efficient Frontier Client Index. Because conditions in the finance sector have been so volatile over the past year, trends were reported separately for financial services advertisers and non-financial services advertisers.

Google continued to gain share for all advertisers over last year, capturing 76% the share of total search engine spending in Q3, up 2.1 percentage points from Q3 2007. That gain in share was largely due to growth in Google content spending, which increased from 2.6% to 4.6% of spending from Q3 2007 to Q3 2008. Content spending increased by 82.8% YOY  in Q3 2008 for non-financial services advertisers, and by 16.6% in financial services.

A look at trends in CPCs across search and content gives an indication of why advertisers are investing more in Google content and continue to spend on Yahoo and Microsoft Live Search. On a YOY basis CPCs on Google search increased by 8.3% and 4.7% respectively for financial and non-financial services advertisers. CPCs declined YOY for Microsoft Live Search and Yahoo Search, with the exception of CPCs on Microsoft Live Search for non-financial services advertisers, which were up 6%. Google content CPCs increased by 20% for non-financial services advertisers, but at $0.28 a click, Google content is still 53% cheaper than Google search, which averaged $0.61 per click in Q3.

The report also found that, in an increasingly unstable economic environment, ROI improved on all three major search engines in Q3 2008 on a YOY basis. Google search ROI for non-financial services advertisers increased by 11.3%, Yahoo search by 19.7% and Microsoft Live Search by 29.9% YOY.

For more findings from the report, read our press release, or download the full report here.

Despite Record-Low IT Spending Plans, iPhone Gains Business Traction


Despite Record-Low IT Spending Plans, iPhone Gains Business Traction

Corporate IT spending for Q3 and the next 90 days is experiencing a drastic, record downturn that foreshadows even tougher times ahead for the US economy, according to a survey fromChangeWave.

At the same time, the Apple iPhone is beginning to gain traction in the corporate marketplace even as Research-in-Motion (RIM) maintains a large lead in the smartphone market.

The periodic survey, which asked respondents involved with IT purchasing whether their Q3 spending was on track, found as follows:

  • 30% of respondents said they’ve spent less than planned, three points worse than May results.


  • 12% said they have spent more than planned.
  • 29% said their company’s IT spending will decrease - or there will be no spending at all - in Q4, five points worse than the previous survey.


  • 13% said spending will increase, a two-point decline from May.
  • 39% said they did not think corporate IT spending would pick up until at least Q2 2009, or later.

The last survey that projected such a large IT spending pullback was in August 2001, ChangeWave said.

The two major causes for spending decreases include high energy costs and the US presidential election. More than a third (35%) of corporate respondents reported high energy costs are affecting their company’s IT spending plans for the second half of 2008, while another 25% said the US presidential election is having an impact on their company’s IT spending decisions.

Corporate Smartphone Buying

In the same survey, ChangeWave examined corporate smartphone purchasing and found that RIM, at 79%, continues to overshadow its two main competitors - Palm and Apple - in terms of planned fourth-quarter purchases, but this number is down three points from May’s record high.


Apple, however, continues to show considerable momentum in terms of corporate planned purchases, up four points to 17%.

Some 19% of respondents also reported that the release of the iPhone 3G has made their company more likely to purchase Apple products in the future. Only 1% said their companies were less likely. These responses suggest that the iPhone is creating a “halo effect” in terms of improved overall corporate purchasing intentions for Apple products

About the survey: The survey of 1,947 respondents involved with IT spending in their organization was conducted August 11-21, 2008

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