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The Web Week in Review

This week's news was quite a hodgepodge so without delay, let's end the week with a diverse version of Drama 2.0's The Web Week in Review.

Do you need insurance?

If you are an independent contractor or run an online business, you may never have considered the need to obtain an insurance policy that covers your business activities.

Is blogging a dead-end profession and business?

It probably isn't a surprise that of the millions of blogs, the vast majority of active ones generate little to no revenue for their authors.

Yet is "professional" blogging, even at the highest levels, any more compelling a business opportunity than blogging at the lowest levels?

Would you buy a diamond ring from this website?

This week's episode of Dragons' Den featured Gloucestershire jeweller Clive Billing asking for a £255,000 investment in his website diamondgeezer.com.

diamondgeezer homepage

Billing received an offer from three of the Dragons (the highest ever in the programme's history) but backed away due to the 40% equity the VCs were demanding. See him here via the iPlayer.

Have the Dragons missed out on a golden opportunity? Or has Billing? We have taken a look at the site to find out...

Q&A: Paul Ricard of on-demand music site Deezer

Deezer, based in France, is an on-demand music streaming service, which offers an impressive range of tracks from a mix of major labels and independents.

Deezer - on-demand music

It recently launched in the UK (see our review of the site), and we have been talking to UK Manager Paul Ricard to find out more...

Site review: Google Knol beta

Google Knol, the search engine giant's answer to Wikipedia, launched in public beta last week.

Knol homepageWe've taken a look to see how it measures up to the popular online encyclopedia, and whether it offers any potential SEO benefits...  

Companies learn online communities are often a waste, Deloitte doesn't

Miraculously, I was right - detergent is detergent and consumers aren't interested in forming a community around the stains their detergent removes.

Using Secure FTP

If you run a website, you're almost certainly familiar with FTP, the file transfer protocol that enables you to upload files to the server that hosts your website.

eBay targets multinational brands, still stingy with data

I had a pleasant but brief chat yesterday with Christian Kunz, the man heading up eBay’s newly-announced international ad business .

The division, which will be headquartered in Bern, will oversee the management of advertisers' display and text ad campaigns across 25 international sites.

It will aim to further increase eBay’s already-rapidly-growing ad revenues; a small part of its business, but one that is successful enough already to have caused concern to some in its seller community.

Q&A: Autoglass' Chris Smith on mobile development

This week, we speak to Chris Smith, online marketing manager at Autoglass, about the company’s bid to boost customer acquisition through a new .mobi site.

We ask about the pluses and minuses of mobile development and which mobile channels are best for generating ROI.

Argos beats competition with user-friendly web design

Everyone knows clear and easy to use design is important for web sites and pays well to have in the competitive online environment. How exactly to achieve that goal and how to measure the user friendliness of your web design is often much less clear...

Is there a future for acquisition using email marketing?

Marketing to third party lists does not perform as well as to your own lists. Add to this more frequent delivery problems, and many email marketers are questioning whether they should be using external data at all. 

This entry gives guidelines to using third party lists successfully.