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For those of us who questioned the desirability of reading a book on a screen, the Kindle's success has been a surprise.
But some Kindle owners who love George Orwell got a surprise of their own last week: their digital copies of 1984 and Animal Farm mysteriously vanished. Was this the handiwork of the Ministry of Truth?
Display advertising is currently suffering from growing pains. Online marketers are digging themselves out of the click-through ghetto, but the best way to measure the effectiveness of display ads online is still unclear.
This week, web measurement firm Compete launched a new service called Ad Impact that tracks what users do after being exposed to online ads.
It gets to a point about the impact of display advertising: if click-through rates aren't working to measure their effectiveness, what will?
Television networks are desperately trying to bring their ad dollars from television onto the web. And Comcast's new strategy to earn ad dollars online is to simply shift put all of its content there.
A new partnership with Time Warner, called TV Everywhere, is bringing Comcast content online for their television subscribers. But while TV viewers might be glad to see that content on the web, they will be less enthusiastic about the fact that it comes with all of the network's television commercials.
When discussing spam emails, there's an inconvenient truth that often gets ignored: email spam is still so prevalent because it works.
Yes, those horrible emails ridden with poor grammar and spelling errors, pitching everything from get rich quick schemes to 'performance enhancing drugs', are effective sales tools for the product peddlers behind them.
The world learned a lot about Twitter this week. The most important takeaway: the company doesn't use the best passwords.
A hacker broke into a Twitter's employees email account in May. From there he was able to access the company's Google Apps account where Twitter shares notes, spreadsheets and financial data within the company. This week, the information started making its way online.
A leak that size has the potential to derail Twitter's future partnerships, business plans and financial future.
But it's also a setback for Google Apps.
Newspapers are in trouble. Few dispute that. The question on the minds of industry participants and observers is simply: "How do we save them?"
In an effort to desperately find a new source of revenue for its members, the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) is making a bone-headed move: charging PR agencies for links to newspaper websites that they send to clients.
It is nothing short of preposterous.
Twitter is a wonderful service. But it isn't perfect. The popular microblogging service is increasingly the target of spam techniques that threaten the service's utility and value.
Here the the seven techniques that spammers are employing on Twitter...
Twitter is a publisher’s dream. It is a huge echo chamber that can drive a lot of quality traffic to articles, especially if the retweets take off.
Retweets are referrals. The 'RT' abbreviation is a strong call to action. People trust their virtual friends to steer them in interesting directions, otherwise they wouldn’t be following them in the first place. As such retweets can generate lots of clicks, and they can quickly go viral.
In addition, there are a range of websites orientated around retweets. Think Digg, but instead of ‘diggs’ you have ‘retweets’, and usually these links are displayed in order of popularity (and not buried / subject to a complex algorithm to determine front-page status). These sites can be traffic drivers too. One of my favourites is the excellent TweetMeme.
So, considering the opportunity here, how can publishers make the most out of Twitter, and optimise the retweet factor?
How fast are bloggers? According to researchers at Cornell University, it typically took bloggers two and a half hours during the 2008 US presidential campaign to pick up on stories that were broken by the mainstream media.
That conclusion was reached by using computers to analyze 1.6m websites between August and October 2008. All told, these websites published around 90m blog posts and articles.
The buzz in the consumer internet right now is real-time. Twitter and Facebook have put the spotlight on real-time but now tech giants like Google and Microsoft are giving real-time the time of day.
Where is this all leading? Is real-time the most important thing taking place on the internet today as some believe or is it the next overhyped web fad?
Earlier today I wrote about whether a news aggregator could be a success in the UK. Prospects are not good, and even Briton Nick Denton, founder of Gawker.com, says he wouldn't dare do it.
However, despite the pessimism, there exists an interest in giving it a try. The first major entrant into the UK news aggregation scene looks to be Cambridge-based Broadersheet.com.
How do you sell hardcovers for $26.99 when your book argues that information wants to be free? When you're Chris Anderson, you give away "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" online.
Anderson takes issue with critics — most notably so far Malcolm Gladwell — who think his book argues that "information wants to be free." According to Anderson, "Some information wants to be free. And some information wants to be really expensive."
And the "LongTail" author and Wired editor is hoping that while readers can access the online version of his book for free, they'll still want to pay to read the book in hardcover form.
The strategy stands to gain Anderson some points in the attention economy for walking his talk of free, but will his publisher make any money giving away his goods for free?