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What is company culture?
It's more than some free snacks and an away day, but exactly how much more?
Well, digital-first organisations and startups are often defined by a transparency that's lacking from more conservative public and private owned companies.
Here's a roundup of five companies that champion transparency.
Is honesty the boldest action in marketing?
Here, I'll look at First Direct's Live campaign, which invited users to be part of its marketing by providing live comments, and ask why companies aren't more transparent with their advertising.
One of the boldest actions in marketing this century has come from a reinvigorated player in a traditionally conservative sector. First Direct’s ‘Live’ campaign invited users to be part of its marketing by providing live comments about the retail bank.
The posh set may still lord their smart handbags, pricey silks, and Ibiza getaways over the masses in the offline world, but in digital it’s a different story.
Online, luxury retailers struggle to keep up with the Kmarts and J.Crews of the world. In fact, according to a recent study by L2, one in five luxury brands still lack ecommerce capability, and 30 percent of them have yet to incorporate basic site search.
Thanks to spammers, making your email address visible on the web can be a painful mistake. Spammers, of course, often harvest email addresses using automated programs, and when doing so, they pick off the lowest hanging fruit.
One particularly tasty piece of fruit: the WHOIS database that provides access to domain registration information.
In response, many domain name registrars offer private domain registrations. With a private registration, the registrar's contact information is displayed instead of yours, leaving it harder for spammers (and shady direct marketers) to use WHOIS for nefarious purposes.
Cloud file storage and syncing service Dropbox is arguably one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley. It recently hit two big milestones: 25m users, and 200m files saved each day, and appears to have a very bright future.
But it also has a bit of explaining to do following a change to its Terms of Service.
The online space is defined by its openness and the astonishing ability for people, including your customers, to interact and communicate, potentially to the vast majority of the world's population.
Many of the interactions are marked by their frankness, honesty and transparency, look at Facebook and Twitter if you are in any doubt. The internet is not just driving connection, it is demanding new levels of openness.
Are we on the verge of seeing a rebellion? As we know more and more people are adopting various elements of the social web as part of their daily lives.
The Twitterati is no longer just made up of social media geeks and gurus and celebrities; many other "normal" people are now joining the ranks, some of whom may not be considered social media "savvy".
They may not realise that their tweets and conversations, aimed at their friends and followers, a limited circle of people, are being picked up by all the social media monitoring tools. In simple terms they may not know that their conversations are being listened to. In fact, some people may even be appalled by this.
Imagine, if every conversation in a pub, coffee shop, meeting etc. could be monitored and then filtered to specific brand conversation and sentiment relevant to you, would you use this technology to improve your offering? Probably not. I think the outcome will result in three things, for the betterment of brand and consumer interaction.
AdSense is one of the widely-used monetization tools amongst digital publishers, especially those of the smaller variety. Yet publishers have no idea what portion of the advertising revenue their sites generate is being shared with them by Google. Until now.
Yesterday, in a move that has been discussed and anticipated for some time, Google has finally shared the AdSense revenue share with publishers.
Last week, I wrote about Unvarnished, the 'Yelp for people' startup that has sparked a decent amount of controversy since publicly launching a private beta. In my post on the company, I echoed the sentiments of a good number of fellow bloggers and suggested that Unvarnished "may be 2010's worst startup."
Unvarnished's co-founder, Peter Kazanjy, left a comment on my post, which was shortly thereafter followed by an interesting comment from a fellow going by the name of "Mike."
Google AdSense pays out over $1bn in revenue every quarter of the year to publishers. For many of these publishers, especially smaller ones, AdSense is a primary source of revenue.
Yet there's something interesting about AdSense: publishers don't know the exact percentage they're being paid by Google for ad revenue their sites generate.
Following in the footsteps of the US government, which launched data.gov last year, the UK government has teamed up with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the 'inventor of the internet', to launch data.gov.uk.
As the domain suggests, data.gov.uk is an online repository for data the government has in its virtual vaults and wants to make more accessible to citizens. From the economy to education, data.gov.uk currently offers just under 3,000 datasets - nearly triple what's available across the pond on data.gov.
The UK’s most prominent paid search marketers have been up in arms this weekend after VCCP Search claimed to be the first agency to assign IP to clients.
MarketingWeek ran a story last week that started off as follows: “VCCP Search is offering its clients the opportunity to retain their intellectual property rights. The agency previously kept the rights of any search keywords it purchased on behalf of the client, but in an effort to retain clients, it is now letting them retain those rights. VCCP Search says it is the first agency to offer such a service.”