And before anyone jokes, I’m not talking about vodka… It’s one week to Christmas now and, I suspect like many others, the panic of last minute Christmas shopping is settling in. How has this happened again? A moment ago it was November and there was sweet anticipation for the festive season and now I’m breaking into sweat thinking of thoughtful gifts.
Author Archives: Caroline McGuckian
This isn’t a shock warning about the Christmas menu, it’s all about how you interpret the law. On the 24th of November the European Union approved a directive (PDF link) that, if interpreted in its most literal sense could have a radical impact on the digital industry in Europe. For those not aware of the announcement it relates to the EU requirement for users to give their consent (having been provided with clear and comprehensive information) prior to any information being stored on their machine… which basically means cookie data. In other words, if an advertiser or website is to place a cookie on a user’s machine the user must explicitly agree to it.
Just a few days ago we were having a discussion in the office about Bing and its seemingly terminal beta status… Following a bit of a debate regarding the rationale for leaving something in beta in one market whilst you launch in another (in summary: it enables a test-and-rollout approach for both the technology and the marketing and also enables two rounds of PR, one for the beta and one for full launch) we decided that it couldn’t be long until Bing got a full roll-out. In fact the only reason we figured it hadn’t already happened, given that the functionality now appears to almost exactly mirror the US ‘full Bing experience’, was due to Microsoft not wanting to detract from the recent Windows 7 launch.
So it may only seem like five minutes ago but all the way back in July I commented on Amazon’s policy of rejecting affiliate commissions for sales generated through social media, specifically Twitter, in part due to a clause that requires sales to be generated from the domain listed in the Associate account the affiliate holds with Amazon.
As we all know, Facebook were the top dog in social networking until Twitter came along and started to steal some of its thunder with the introduction of real time search. So in August, Facebook upped their game with the $50 million purchase of Friend Feed. Many commentators at the time said that the ability of Facebook to improve its real time search offering using Friend Feed’s technology, whilst not the fabled ‘Google killer’ many are waiting for, was something that would really affect the way users look at search and at least would make the boffins in Mountain View do some serious thinking. Do users want ‘algorithm search’ based on how people link to each other like the current model of Google (and, though not executed as well, Bing which also now provides the organic results for Yahoo as well) or a ‘social graph’ based on people’s relationships and conducted in real time like Twitter and Facebook/Friend Feed?
Well, it looks like they’re going to give it a go. With display ad revenues not enough to make substantial, or indeed any, profit, according to a survey from the Association of Online Publishers, around 70% of online publishers in the newspaper, magazine or TV industries will pay for content online.
Yes, sorry – I did just do that.
So this week we have been playing with that over-hyped new toy from Google, Wave. If you aren’t familiar with it (and at the moment invites are like gold dust!) then it is basically a combination between email, IM and a wiki. You setup a ‘Wave’ and pick who is part of the Wave (from just yourself, up to everyone who uses the system) and then just typing… Content is updated in real time so if multiple users are looking at the same wave at the same time you can see the content being changed in front of your eyes – it’s a little unnerving knowing all those typos could be being watched! Text and gadgets can be added, meaning you could add videos etc, but the overall flow of Waves, at the moment at least, is fairly basic.
What a week – if you work in digital media you would have had to have your head buried in the sand to have not heard about this news by about 9:05am on Wednesday this week, let along Friday afternoon. But just in case you missed it: the IAB’s latest spend figures finally brought the news that we’ve all been waiting for – in H1 2009 online advertising spend overtook TV ad spend for the first time, (sort of) giving it a larger share of spend than any other media.
It has been another interesting few weeks for the music
industry. In the same week that Spotify’s iPhone app has stormed to the number
one spot of iTunes Top Free Apps within just 48 hours of Apple approving it, we
have had Sony and EMI come out and slam Virgin’s plans to offer a subscription
based music download service.