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Memo to TechCrunch: make love not war, because negativity sucks

TechCrunch is one of the blogs that I check on a daily basis. If there's a blog that falls under the category of 'must-read', TechCrunch is it.

TechCrunch made a name for itself by covering new internet startups in Silicon Valley and has a reputation of breaking important technology news.

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All atwit over nothing?

Twitter's all the rage right now. In social media and digital marketing circles, Twitter seems to be taking over the world.

I have a different perspective: it's not. For all of Twitter's growth, I believe it has yet to achieve what it needs to achieve to become a viable marketing platform for businesses.

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US Census Bureau: ecommerce slumped in Q4 2008

We all know the 4th quarter was a tough one for retailers. Despite the holidays, the global economic crisis had consumers pinching pennies and retailers were forced to discount heavily in an effort to entice them to spend.

Some online retailers such as Amazon.com reported 'record' holidays but many weren't quick to quantify what those 'records' meant to the bottom line and according to new numbers, Q4 2008 online sales in the United States were disappointing.

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Tweet. tweettweet. ReTweeting by the numbers

retweetSocial and viral media expert Dan Zarella has posted the results of a fascinating study: the numbers and semantics behind getting Twitter followers to ReTweet tweets, thereby amplifying and expanding upon messaging by using Twitter's built-in viral aspects.

Few marketers will be surprised by the fact that a simple call-to-action matters. A lot. Simply adding the phrase "please retweet" just plain works much of the time.

Zarella's semantic analysis of what gets ReTweeted reveals the following:

  • Timely content is often ReTweeted
  • Freebies are popular
  • Tweeting about Twitter is effective
  • So are lists
  • People like to ReTweet blog posts (he doesn't specify if this refers the original tweeter's own blog, but irregardless - Twitter users are also highly active in the blogosphere.)

Oh, and don't forget to mind your manners. Requesting a Retweent politely and remembering to say "please" ups the ReTweeting odds by nearly a 6X factor.

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Interview with Andy Cockburn of Wigadoo

Andy Cockburn is CEO and co-founder of Wigadoo, a website that helps groups to finance their activities. I talked to him recently about Wigadoo's business model and progress, as well as his experience during the start-up phase...

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Facebook makes a huge privacy flub - again

Facebook is on top of the world. Its continued growth is nothing short of amazing and it now has over 175m members worldwide. It's adding 600,000 each day.

Of course, Facebook has yet to turn its popularity into the type of revenue it needs to thrive long-term but if there's one thing that could bring Facebook down, it's not revenue. It's privacy.

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River Island finally ditching Flash site?

FlashRiver Island is one of the only high street retailers which hasn't significantly improved its e-commerce offering over the past couple of years, and still retains an all-Flash website.

I have been wondering for a while when River Island would look to improve the site, and Paul Rouke of PRWD has a few answers after attending a Q&A with CEO Richard Bradbury last night.

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Whither celebrity endorsements?

In this tough economic environment, it's no surprise that big brands are thinking more carefully about celebrity endorsements.

After all, celebrity endorsements don't come cheap, they don't always deliver and, as we've seen recently, sometimes celebrities' bad decisions put them at odds with the values of the brands they're paid millions to represent.

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Fail: Mahalo black hat SEO

Jason Calacanis may be one of the most recognizable internet entrepreneurs in the United States but that doesn't mean that is current startup, Mahalo, is above using questionable SEO tactics to boost its SERPs.

Mahalo is a human-edited web directory that some have criticized in the past as being nothing more than a link farm designed to take advantage of search engines. Which is ironic, given that Calacanis has in the past been critical of SEO.

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Some charges against Pirate Bay tossed in copyright mega-case

Pirate Bay, the Swedish website known for hosting one of the largest indexes of pirated BitTorrent files, is embroiled in perhaps the copyright battle of the century.

Unlike many websites that engage in or facilitate alleged the sharing and downloaded of pirated content, The Pirate Bay has managed to stay in business since 2004 despite its visibility. And as record labels and studios see it, Pirate Bay is a business, complete with management and investors.

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Nielsen - websites need mobile versions

mobile website usabilityThe mobile user experience on most websites, even when accessed on the best devices, leaves a lot to be desired, and companies need to optimise their sites for the small screen.

This is usability guru Jakob Nielsen's verdict in his latest Alertbox column, and having accessed a lot of websites on mobile recently, it's hard to disagree with this point of view.

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Mobile site review: LoveFilm

Mobile site reviewDVD rental company LoveFilm launched a mobile version of its website earlier this month, allowing users to browse through titles, read news and reviews, and view trailers.

The site is not fully transactional yet, though this is something that is planned for the future, but it does provide an opportunity to promote the LoveFilm service to mobile users, as well as providing advertising space.

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