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Bid for London office space and ghosts on eBay

There have been some very odd things sold via eBay - it really is a website that seems to create demand for everything. Even 'a ghost in a jar' managed to find an owner, who spent more than $15,000 to acquire the bona fide gift of somebody else's lifetime, and a jar.

Seriously, you can use eBay to sell anything. A ball of aluminium foil sold for $3.10. A videotape with 'Death Tape: Do Not Watch' written on it sold for $18. Take a blowtorch to some cheese on toast and you can make a million...

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Pay-for-blogging market faces questions on disclosure

PayPerPost, a new service that helps advertisers pay bloggers for writing about their products, launched a few days ago to a predictable cacophony of protest.

"Get Paid to Blog", reads the blurb on the latest blog advertising network's front page. "Advertisers are willing to pay you to post on topics - search through a list of topics, make a blog posting, get your content approved, and get paid. It’s that simple.”

And PayPerPost tells its affiliated advertisers: "You provide the topic, our network of bloggers create the stories and post them on their individual blogs." Bloggers can earn $5 to $10 per post, writing about anything from loan sharks to bubble wrap.

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Nick Denton's Gawker Media sheds staff, awaits reversal

Nick Denton is hunkering down, it seems. The Daddy of Gawker Media is reducing headcount and offloading two blogs, having determined that “it is time for a perversely countercyclical move”.

What does he mean by that? He means it is getting harder to make money from blogging, which was never especially easy in the first place.


Manchester Internet Night - July 25th

At this year’s Internet World we met a bunch of passionate internet professionals based around the M62 corridor, who pretty much demanded that we host more events based outside of London. And hey, we’ve taken notice…

Having seen the (Northern) light, Team E-consultancy is rather looking forward to our inaugural ‘Digital Shorts’ internet networking event that we’re jointly hosting with Manchester Digital later this month.

Yup, it’s in Manchester, so internet folk based in the Good North should come along and say hello if we’ve not met you before.

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Troubled mobile operator 3 loses walled garden

3, the mobile operator with the dubious brand name, has teamed up with Yahoo to finally allow its users to access the web via mobile handsets.

The telecoms group today announced a global agreement with Yahoo to demolish its ill-advised 'walled garden'.

Despite being the first mobile operator to roll-out a 3G network in the UK, 3 users haven't been able to visit websites of their own choosing, instead being force-fed a diet of 3-approved websites and services.

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AIM preferred to Nasdaq on SOX concerns

Is London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) the new Nasdaq? This is the question being asked in the US by VC’s such as Charley Lax, of GrandBanks Capital.

The figures speak for themselves. Last year some 519 companies sought a listing on AIM, while there were just 45 IPOs on the Nasdaq.

Why is this happening? The Nasdaq is a larger market, so wouldn’t that be a better place for many VC-backed US companies?


Hope for etailers who are struggling with Comparison Shopping Optimisation

Many online retailers are failing to get the best possible returns from shopping comparison sites because of a failure to optimise this channel effectively, particularly in terms of the data feeds they are providing.

Help could be at hand however…


Google launches Google Checkout, not GBuy

GBuy is here, only it is called Google Checkout and despite the chief doers of no evil claiming that it “isn’t like PayPal at all”, it is, erm, rather like PayPal, in that merchants use it to process consumer payments.

Google Checkout allows consumers to purchase products by simply logging in to Google – no need for credit card numbers or filling out forms. Obviously you need to tell Google to begin with, but thereafter Google will store your credit card and address data...


YouTube and NBC jump into bed together

YouTube has settled a six-month dispute with NBC, after the TV network decided to relax and climb into bed with the video-sharing behemoth.

The turnaround is unbelievable, and a huge positive for YouTube. Some months ago NBC’s legal department forced YouTube to remove the 'Lazy Sunday' sketch, taken from NBC-owned Saturday Night Live. Like much of the content on YouTube, the clip was used without the permission of the copyright owner, in this case NBC.


BBC to roll-out ads on websites

The BBC looks all set to introduce “low-key” advertising on its BBC Worldwide websites within a year, with a final decision on the matter due in the autumn after a further round of consumer research.

The announcement was made yesterday, when BBC Worldwide announced annual profits of almost £90m, up by around two-thirds on the previous year.


Fans and bands collide - grassroots lessons

Want another example of how your customers can communicate your message for you? Check out upcoming new Australian band Wolfmother, which is asking fans to snap and send mobile video clips that will form the basis of the act's next promo.

It's supported by a moblog powered by the London-based moblogUK service, which was popularised when survivors of the city's 7/7 bombings posted camera phone pictures to the site last summer.


Using Web 2.0 to harness innovation in your organisation

Web 2.0 means different things to different people, yet it isn't just about the web, but is also about how your organisation works. Think intranet, as well as internet. Does your organisation work in a 2.0 way?

At the moment there seems to be three primary focuses around Web 2.0:

1) there are the technologists who are figuring out new technologies (there are many libraries and frameworks out there already).

2) there are the marketers and entrepreneurs, who are trying to figure out how use new 2.0 technologies and principles to generate profits, or help empower consumers (call them business people for now) in some way.

3) and finally, there are the users, who are increasingly using and enjoying the results of these new technologies. 

But how does all that filter into your organisation in a useful way, feeding into your own innovation cycle?