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Blog

Calacanis seeks another $20m for Mahalo

Having already raised $20m in funding for his human powered search engine, Jason Calacanis is seeking a further $20m.

The serial entrepreneur is valuing Mahalo at a rather whopping / ambitious / ridiculous $175m, according to Matt Marshall at Venturebeat, meaning that the search engine is worth another $75m more than it was when it launched back in May this year. Astonishing...

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NYT traffic boosted by new model

The New York Times' decision to drop its outdated subscription model appears to have paid off, with visitor numbers increasing by almost 3m in October.

Figures from Nielsen/NetRatings, quoted in WebProNews, show that the newspaper's online audience grew from 14.6m in September to 17.5m last month.

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Yahoo! Europe properties 'face axe'

Yahoo!'s European staff have been given a deadline to turn around parts of the business that have been performing badly.

Toby Coppel, the head of Yahoo!'s European operations, told the FT that some of the firm's regional properties may be sold off if there is no improvement in their figures by Q1 2008.

Services coming under scrutiny include shopping comparison site Kelkoo, the paper added.

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PayPal targets new sites via virtual payments

PayPal is reportedly set to launch a virtual payment system to extend its reach onto sites that don’t currently run its software.

Called PayPal Secure Card, the browser plug-in can detect when a shopper lands on an etailer’s checkout page and automatically fills in their stored financial details to save them time.

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Employees criticised for Xmas shopping from work

A new survey has estimated that UK companies stand to lose a total of 28.7m man hours over the Christmas period due to staff doing their shopping online.

The survey, by YouGov for a software security firm (reported in Computer Weekly), decides that the 45% of workers that admit to shopping from work will spend an average of 22 minutes a week doing so. 

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Trust in online shopping improving - study

New research suggests that trust in online retail is improving, though 24% of shoppers still have concerns over the issue. 

According to the IMRG’s E-Customer Service Index, confidence in e-commerce security has risen 2% over the past three months to 76%.

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Lily Allen attacks Radiohead, misses the point

Lily Allen has called Radiohead ‘arrogant’ for allowing fans to pay whatever they want to download their latest album.

Allen thinks that the band’s novel approach devalues recorded music, and does not help newer bands.

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Email marketers look for clicks, clicks, clicks

Email marketers ranked clickthrough rates as the most important metric when reviewing their campaigns, although one in 20 don't bother to measure results at all, according to EmailStatCenter.

A study we carried out earlier this year painted an even worse picture, with almost one in two respondents failing to measure the success of their campaigns

Some 345 US-based marketers responded to the EmailStatCenter survey. We'll list a few highlights after the jump...

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10 tips on improving online customer service

The Christmas season is well underway for retailers, which means customer service departments will be facing a battle to maintain standards.

With many customers shopping online for the first time, as well as those internet shopping veterans who will turn out in great numbers, etailers must ensure that they provide a positive experience to encourage repeat business.

So how can they do it? Some tips after the jump...

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Sainsbury's increases online orders

Sainsbury's said it would continue scaling up its web operations after posting a 40% increase in internet sales during the six months to October.

The supermarket said it was taking around 80,000 online orders per week at the end of the period - more than the 60,000 it said it was at the same point last year, but far less less than rival Tesco, which at the last count was processing 250,000.

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Deval in disguised attempt to ban internet gambling

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is the latest person in US public office to take aim at online gambling, though his bill seems doomed to failure if you look at the numbers.

Patrick, who is essentially a leftist with an otherwise right-on record, has suggested that internet gamblers should be fined and jailed, marking a shift from the usual ‘prosecute the gambling companies, not the punters’ line.

Nothing unusual in that, you might think, but Patrick’s recommendation appears within a bill aimed at making room for three more casinos in the state that he currently oversees. A thoroughly bizarre move, if he is concerned about his reputation, and savagely hypocritical given the main thrust of the bill.

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Google bids to tackle accidental Adsense clicks

Google has made some tweaks to its AdSense ads in a bid to reduce the number of unintentional clicks.

The clickable area of ads has been reduced to just the URL and ad title, rather then the entire box, following a similar adjustment to Google's paid search ads in April. 

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