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Blog

Northern Rock website struggles to cope with strain

Frustrated Northern Rock customers are being badly let down by the company’s website, which is being put under considerable pressure following one of the worst PR disasters in recent times.

The company sent out an unfortunate message to its customers last week after turning to the Bank of England for an emergency loan. It has since been ‘besieged by savers’ who have swarmed to its branches to withdraw their savings.

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Web 2.0 investment up in Europe

VCs invested $464.2m (£232.5m) in 'Web 2.0' firms in the first half of this year, according to figures released by Dow Jones VentureOne and Ernst & Young.

The study (pdf - via VentureBeat) also suggests that the Web 2.0 investment craze has gone global, with increased VC activity in Europe and Israel.

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Web affecting magazine buying patterns, says study

Most UK youngsters say the internet has affected the number of magazines they buy, according to a new survey, which also suggests over one third of consumers are buying fewer titles than they were 10 years ago.

The research, conducted by web research company Tickbox.net (and therefore probably a bit skewed towards online rather than offline consumption), found 82% of women and 69% of men read magazines frequently.

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Lending Club expands beyond Facebook

Lending Club, a P2P loans community on Facebook, has launched a new website to expand its model beyond the social network.

Lending Club

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Joost partners with Paramount

Internet TV service Joost has announced a deal with Paramount Pictures that will see the studio's movie output being shown via the P2P site.

The deal initially covers the UK, France, Spain and Germany, but Joost said more countries would be added in future. As with the rest of its content, the movies will be free but supported by advertising.

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Social media stats: Facebook growth continues

Nielsen/NetRatings' August stats for social network use in the US show continued growth for Facebook and business network LinkedIn.

Facebook increased its number of unique users by 117% year-on-year to reach 19.1m, while business social network LinkedIn had 4.4m, up 163%.

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Multi-channel retailers 'offer better customer service'

Multi-channel retailers are mounting a challenge to the online dominance of their pure-play rivals despite tending to offer a lower level of site functionality, according to research.

The study, by eDigitalResearch, which uses mystery shoppers to rate UK shopping websites, found Play.com and Amazon.com continued to generate the best overall response from consumers.

However, multi-channel players like Tesco, John Lewis and M&S were seen to have stronger customer service.

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Wikipedia articles reach the 2m mark

Wikipedia has passed another milestone after the two millionth article was added to the site on September 9.

The article - on the subject of 'El Hormiguero', a Spanish TV show - was the two millionth English language entry in the online enclyclopedia. Wikipedia has 8m articles altogether in 250 different languages.

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'YouTube killer' buys Chinese video site

NBC and News Corporation's joine online video venture, dubbed 'Hulu', has acquired Chinese online video site Mojiti in a deal worth around $10m (4.9m).

Mojiti doesn't actually host videos itself but allows users to annotate and customise existing videos from other sites. TechCrunch suggests it may be used as the basis for Hulu's forthcoming video site.

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Behavioural targeting beats contextual targeting - study

Behavioural targeting can consistently outperform contextual targeting when it comes to grabbing the attention of web users, according to a new study.

The report, in which over 2,000 people were surveyed, found behaviourally targeted ads were at least 10% more effective across a range of 14 product categories, including finance, consumer electronics and fashion.

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Tips on the unsubscribe process

Stefan Pollard at ClickZ has put together some tips on best practice in allowing recipients to unsubscribe from emails. This is important, as subscribers will most likely mark your emails as spam if they have any trouble unsubscribing.

Email marketers should therefore make the process of unsubscribing from emails as easy and trustworthy as possible, as if ISPs get too many complaints around your emails, this could seriously damage your sender reputation.

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Tesco to launch price comparison site

Supermarket giant Tesco is to move into the online price comparison market this week, with the launch of a website offering a range of finance products and services.

Tescocompare.com is a joint venture between Tesco and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The site is due to launch on Friday, offering financial services from RBS companies like Churchill, but also from other providers.

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