Author: Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles

I am a tech reporter and have been writing about technology, digital marketing and startups at Econsultancy since January 2009.

Why affiliate management is so important

Many online businesses thrive because of their strong affiliate programs. But affiliate programs are also vulnerable to abuse and bad affiliates can hurt the brands of the businesses they promote.

Since last Friday, one of my email accounts has received more than a dozen spam emails promoting FTD.com and I thought this would serve as the perfect example of why affiliate management is so important.

2 comments

Game social media, game advertisers?

Services like Digg have become an important tool in the arsenal of online publishers. After all, they're capable of spreading an article or blog post virally, resulting in tons of traffic in very short order.

Quite a few blogs, for instance, which I won't mention, are known to receive a lot of their traffic thanks to the fact that their stories frequently hit the Digg front page.

3 comments

Is there a new Internet business model in town?

Yesterday I discussed how The New York Times is looking to subscriptions or some form of paid content once again to help it weather not only a tough economy, but a dire financial situation brought about by declining print revenue.

Paid content can be a great business model but it's not always easy to pull off, especially when you've been giving your content away for free. After all, why would someone start paying for something you were giving them at no cost just a week ago?

4 comments

MSN gets into celebrity news with Wonderwall

Microsoft's track record online isn't so great. Despite spending billions on its MSN unit over the years, Microsoft is still struggling to become a true 'destination' for internet surfers. That's not entirely surprising given the fact that, at its core, Microsoft has always been better 'technology' company than anything else.

So Microsoft turned to Hollywood's BermanBraun Interactive to build a new content site in one of the most popular, and competitive, content verticals: celebrity news.

0 comments

Please stop it with the APIs

As more and more web-based companies look for new ways to distribute their service and enable third parties to help them build out their services, the availability of APIs seems to grow larger every day.

It's now possible to develop applications for social networks like Facebook and MySpace, for retailers like Best Buy and just about everything in between.

Offering an API seems to be the internet equivalent of wearing the latest high-street fashion. And it needs to stop.

3 comments

New York Times Editor: content does not want to be free

Facing the worst financial situation in its history and being challenged to produce more revenue from its increasingly important digital ventures, The New York Times is revisiting a tried and true business model: charging people for content.

Despite the fact that NYT abandoned its TimesSelect subscription service in September 2007, New York Times Editor Bill Keller told the audience at a Q&A panel that "The lesson of that experiment, however, was not that readers won’t pay for content...Really good information, often extracted from reluctant sources, truth-tested, organized and explained — that stuff wants to be paid for."

2 comments

You have less than 200 minutes to become a Zappos.com Twitter VIP

Move over Dell. You're not the only company looking to turn social media into a medium for loyalty marketing.

If you wear shoes (who doesn't?) and want to be part of an exclusive club of VIP shoe buyers, you have less than 200 minutes to become a Zappos.com VIP. Zappos.com, of course, is the online shoe retailer whose CEO, Tony Hsieh, has made extensive use of social media, namely through Twitter, where he has over 50,000 followers.

3 comments

Is Twitter a viable loyalty marketing platform? Dell thinks it could be

Dell is one of the most prominent brands leveraging the popular microblogging service to interact with customers and potential customers and has a whole portfolio of Twitter accounts that are managed by real Dell employees who have names and personalities.

According to Dell, its use of Twitter has led to more than $1m in revenue. While that's a miniscule amount for a company that does billions in revenue every year, Dell has embraced social media like few other companies and deserves a lot of credit for making a real effort.

0 comments

Google + AJAX = bad news for third-party analytics providers

In my opinion, being able to track how people are finding your website through search engines is one of the most important data points available to business owners and marketers.

After all, since SEO can make or break a website, knowing which search terms are producing organic traffic is crucial to evaluating your SEO success and analyzing what you can do better.

But a new change that Google is testing makes it impossible to track this data if you use a third-party analytics provider.

3 comments

Where's the money at? Veritude reveals 2009 IT hiring trends

With the global economy continuing to tumble and the layoff announcements continuing to flow day after day, it's a depressing time to be looking for a job.

But that doesn't mean that they're not out there and despite the layoffs at major technology companies, IT is still crucial to most businesses and there are opportunities out there. In its 2009 IT Hiring Trends report, staffing provider Veritude provides a good overview of where that opportunity is.

0 comments

7 Valentine's Day tips for etailers

With Valentine's Day less than 2 weeks away, it's a good time for etailers to take advantage of this underrated holiday to boost sales.

From flowers to candy to consumer electronics, the economy may be tough but Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that wise men and women in committed relationships aren't going to cut corners on. Here are 7 tips for etailers looking to maximize Valentine's Day sales.

2 comments

Does the internet need another answers website?

If you have a question that you just can't seem to find the answer to (or are too busy or lazy to do research), the internet has plenty of websites that make it easy to enlist the help of others to answer it.

From established players to Yahoo! Answers to Answers.com to young hopefuls like Mahalo Answers, it's safe to say that the Q&A space is not exactly underserved.

0 comments