Interview with persuasion expert Bryan Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg is the co-founder of Future Now and the creator of some devilishly clever techniques to help web businesses improve their conversion rates.

Along with his brother Jeffrey, Bryan co-authored the bestsellers 'Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?' and 'Call to Action'. He also publishes the GrokDotCom blog and was voted one of the world’s top 10 usability gurus in our recent User Experience Report.

Here, he talks about the ancient Greek philosophy behind persuasion and suggests why the roots of web design can be traced back to the fifth century BC. Oh yes...


Amazon launches widgets for bloggers

Amazon has launched a range of widgets in a bid to boost the reach of its affiliate marketing programme.

The widgets can be used to display the etailer's products on blogs, social networks and other websites, earning members of the company's Associates programme up to 10% in referral fees.


Yahoo! acquires email provider for $350m

Yahoo! has acquired Zimbra, a provider of web based email and online/offline office software, for a cash price of $350m (£175.5m).

Zimbra's product is essentially a web based version of Outlook, though the company recently added Zimbra Desktop, which allows users to access email and other functions when offline.


Warning: I can't find your checkout!

Bob Chieffo published an excellent article last week on the importance of buttons on e-commerce sites in making it clear to the customer what they need to press next.

He points out, on Revenews, that many etailers allow too much room for confusion in the mind of the customer over what they need to do and press to make their purchase.


AOL creates one-stop-shop ad network

AOL has combined its various online ad platforms into a single unit that will coordinate its fight with rivals Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.

Dubbed ‘Platform A’, the group will effectively create a huge ad network out of AOL’s recent acquisitions, including, behavioural targeting network Tacoda, ad serving company AdTech, video ad firm Lightningcast and mobile ad network Third Screen Media.


Nokia buys mobile ad firm

Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has acquired US mobile advertising firm Enpocket as it bolsters its position in the market.

Enpocket provides technology and services for mobile advertising and delivers mobile ads in various formats, including mobile internet ads, video, SMS and MMS.   


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.


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 (and therefore probably a bit skewed towards online rather than offline consumption), found 82% of women and 69% of men read magazines frequently.


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


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.


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%.