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As the recession barrels on, bargain businesses are seeing strong growth. One of those is the field of online coupons, which has seen tremendous expansion as consumers tighten their purse strings.
In the past few months of the economic downturn, searches for discounts and deals have risen online. Starting in January, 54% of consumers polled by ComScore classified online couponing sites as important to their shopping process. More than half of consumers say they are using coupons more often than even just a few months ago. 31% are using onilne coupon sites. That's an increase of 25% according to Hitwise. In July, searches for generic coupons were up 172% from the same time last year and searches for retailer-specific coupons increased 34%.
We caught up with Savings.com CEO Loren Bendele to discuss the coupon resurgence this year and where it's headed online.
The overwhelming supply of display advertising online has had a downward effect on price. But new research shows that ad rates at ad networks has risen since the start of 2009.
Is that good news or bad for publishers? Well, it depends on how you look at it.
Did faulty servers kill Friendster? Discussions of Friendster may sound like ghosts from social networking's past, but the site's founder Jonathan Abrams is back in the news today, telling the LA Times today that Friendster got too big too fast, and attributes his company's downfall to poor functionality resulting from exponential growth.
Abrams, who's now working on start-up Socializr, says that MySpace was able to eat Friendster's lunch because of better targeting and reliability:
"They opened it up to minors, which hadn't even occurred to me for the legal and safety reasons... the real reason that Friendster got supplanted by MySpace in the U.S. was that MySpace's website just worked and Friendster's didn't."
While dependability is key to a website's success, Abrams is still missing the big picture on what makes social networks stick around online.
JD Lasica is the founder of Socialmedia.biz, a social marketing consultancy, and Socialbrite.org, a learning hub for nonprofits. JD was an editor at a California newspaper before he became involved with digital media in the late 90s. He now speaks regularly about social media and user-generated media.
JD recently participated in the Traveling Geeks roundtables hosted by Econsultancy and I spoke with him about social media, the impact it's having and the fate of mainstream media.
What will the Internet do when it no longer has YouTube to kick around? The video giant's business model has been categorically maligned since Google bought it for $1.7 billion in 2006. Except now it looks like YouTube is turning the corner toward profitability.
And if the video giant is to be believed, all those user-generated cat videos aren't bad for business.
Despite the fact that the demand for great music never wanes, record labels have it rough these days. The cause: one part misfortune, one part foolishness.
To survive and thrive in the digital age, record labels need to think beyond their traditional business models.
For those of us who questioned the desirability of reading a book on a screen, the Kindle's success has been a surprise.
But some Kindle owners who love George Orwell got a surprise of their own last week: their digital copies of 1984 and Animal Farm mysteriously vanished. Was this the handiwork of the Ministry of Truth?
Display advertising is currently suffering from growing pains. Online marketers are digging themselves out of the click-through ghetto, but the best way to measure the effectiveness of display ads online is still unclear.
This week, web measurement firm Compete launched a new service called Ad Impact that tracks what users do after being exposed to online ads.
It gets to a point about the impact of display advertising: if click-through rates aren't working to measure their effectiveness, what will?
Television networks are desperately trying to bring their ad dollars from television onto the web. And Comcast's new strategy to earn ad dollars online is to simply shift put all of its content there.
A new partnership with Time Warner, called TV Everywhere, is bringing Comcast content online for their television subscribers. But while TV viewers might be glad to see that content on the web, they will be less enthusiastic about the fact that it comes with all of the network's television commercials.
When discussing spam emails, there's an inconvenient truth that often gets ignored: email spam is still so prevalent because it works.
Yes, those horrible emails ridden with poor grammar and spelling errors, pitching everything from get rich quick schemes to 'performance enhancing drugs', are effective sales tools for the product peddlers behind them.
The world learned a lot about Twitter this week. The most important takeaway: the company doesn't use the best passwords.
A hacker broke into a Twitter's employees email account in May. From there he was able to access the company's Google Apps account where Twitter shares notes, spreadsheets and financial data within the company. This week, the information started making its way online.
A leak that size has the potential to derail Twitter's future partnerships, business plans and financial future.
But it's also a setback for Google Apps.
Newspapers are in trouble. Few dispute that. The question on the minds of industry participants and observers is simply: "How do we save them?"
In an effort to desperately find a new source of revenue for its members, the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) is making a bone-headed move: charging PR agencies for links to newspaper websites that they send to clients.
It is nothing short of preposterous.