Author: Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles

I am a tech reporter and have been writing about technology, digital marketing and startups at Econsultancy since January 2009.

Please stop it with the APIs

As more and more web-based companies look for new ways to distribute their service and enable third parties to help them build out their services, the availability of APIs seems to grow larger every day.

It's now possible to develop applications for social networks like Facebook and MySpace, for retailers like Best Buy and just about everything in between.

Offering an API seems to be the internet equivalent of wearing the latest high-street fashion. And it needs to stop.


New York Times Editor: content does not want to be free

Facing the worst financial situation in its history and being challenged to produce more revenue from its increasingly important digital ventures, The New York Times is revisiting a tried and true business model: charging people for content.

Despite the fact that NYT abandoned its TimesSelect subscription service in September 2007, New York Times Editor Bill Keller told the audience at a Q&A panel that "The lesson of that experiment, however, was not that readers won’t pay for content...Really good information, often extracted from reluctant sources, truth-tested, organized and explained — that stuff wants to be paid for."


You have less than 200 minutes to become a Twitter VIP

Move over Dell. You're not the only company looking to turn social media into a medium for loyalty marketing.

If you wear shoes (who doesn't?) and want to be part of an exclusive club of VIP shoe buyers, you have less than 200 minutes to become a VIP., of course, is the online shoe retailer whose CEO, Tony Hsieh, has made extensive use of social media, namely through Twitter, where he has over 50,000 followers.


Is Twitter a viable loyalty marketing platform? Dell thinks it could be

Dell is one of the most prominent brands leveraging the popular microblogging service to interact with customers and potential customers and has a whole portfolio of Twitter accounts that are managed by real Dell employees who have names and personalities.

According to Dell, its use of Twitter has led to more than $1m in revenue. While that's a miniscule amount for a company that does billions in revenue every year, Dell has embraced social media like few other companies and deserves a lot of credit for making a real effort.


Google + AJAX = bad news for third-party analytics providers

In my opinion, being able to track how people are finding your website through search engines is one of the most important data points available to business owners and marketers.

After all, since SEO can make or break a website, knowing which search terms are producing organic traffic is crucial to evaluating your SEO success and analyzing what you can do better.

But a new change that Google is testing makes it impossible to track this data if you use a third-party analytics provider.


Where's the money at? Veritude reveals 2009 IT hiring trends

With the global economy continuing to tumble and the layoff announcements continuing to flow day after day, it's a depressing time to be looking for a job.

But that doesn't mean that they're not out there and despite the layoffs at major technology companies, IT is still crucial to most businesses and there are opportunities out there. In its 2009 IT Hiring Trends report, staffing provider Veritude provides a good overview of where that opportunity is.


7 Valentine's Day tips for etailers

With Valentine's Day less than 2 weeks away, it's a good time for etailers to take advantage of this underrated holiday to boost sales.

From flowers to candy to consumer electronics, the economy may be tough but Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that wise men and women in committed relationships aren't going to cut corners on. Here are 7 tips for etailers looking to maximize Valentine's Day sales.


Does the internet need another answers website?

If you have a question that you just can't seem to find the answer to (or are too busy or lazy to do research), the internet has plenty of websites that make it easy to enlist the help of others to answer it.

From established players to Yahoo! Answers to to young hopefuls like Mahalo Answers, it's safe to say that the Q&A space is not exactly underserved.


Facebook set to become a bona fide market research service?

In its short life span, Facebook has rapidly become one of the most popular destinations on the internet. That hasn't, however, translated to instant profits.

Despite its incredible metrics, Facebook has struggled with revenue and profitability. Hundreds of millions of dollars in capital have been provided to keep the company growing but thus far, Facebook hasn't developed a business model that appears to offer the promise of self-sustainability in the near future.


ABC: web video viewers don't mind more ads

According to research conducted by American television network ABC and Nielsen Media Research, web video viewers aren't all that put off by the addition of multiple ads to each 'commercial break'.

With that, ABC looks poised to do something it has talked about the need for: boosting the amount of advertising shown with its online videos to bring online revenue in line with television revenue.


Yahoo hemorrhaging search ad market share in the UK

Yahoo CEO Carol BartzNew Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz certainly has a lot on her plate.

Despite the fact that the company she leads still has considerable assets that can be built upon, Yahoo first has to get on the right path.


Google opens up AdWords Conversion Optimizer

Conversions are everything when it comes to paid search engine marketing. When it comes down to it, the health of your conversion rates and cost per conversion can mean the difference between success and failure.

Search marketers who don't track conversion data and incorporate it into their campaign management are tempting failure.

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