Quechup launches worldwide spam campaign

We’re seeing some appalling behaviour from social networking wannabe Quechup, which is conducting a massive spam campaign on a scale not seen since the heady days of Dr Mariam Abacha.

If trust is everything, then this is the sort of thing that can kill a brand. Quechup is potentially in a lot of trouble with its users, and legally it is skating on very thin ice.


300m online crimes in 2006, says survey

An online crime is committed every ten seconds in the UK, according to a new survey.

The UK Cybercrime Report, commissioned by online security firm Garlik, found around 300m offences were committed on the web last year.

Almost 90% of them are estimated to have gone unreported because victims were not aware that they were covered by law or that the police would be willing to investigate.


AOL closes failed social news experiment

AOL has admitted defeat with its social news venture but has announced plans to replace the Digg-rival with a similar site.

Netscape is now being refashoned as a ‘traditional’ news service - a move AOL said would allow it to fit in better with perceptions of the historic Netscape brand.

Hmmm, doesn't sound quite right, does it? AOL must have had an inkling about this sort of thing 15 months ago, when it was preparing to relaunch Netscape as - give or take - a Digg clone.


Third of blog readers click on ads - survey

Bloggers audience is on the rise in the US with four in ten Americans now reading them regularly, according to a new survey.

But that apparently isn't detracting from other forms of media - only 13% of blog readers said they spent less time reading newspapers, watching TV and so on as a result.


Women 'fussier than men' when shopping online

Men are much more likely to leave positive feedback on a service, product or a shopping experience, comapred with the fairer sex, according to a new survey.

Fizzback quizzed 820 consumers via email or text about purchases they had just made, and found women were more critical of retailers' services.


'More education needed' on Web 2.0 benefits

Many European companies have yet to recognise the business benefits of ‘Web 2.0’ apps like blogs, mash-ups and wikis, according to a survey by BEA Systems.

The study, conducted in seven European countries, found most organisations (57%) wanted more education about the potential value Web 2.0 offered.

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Five ways to make online travel sites better

E-consultancy has just released its Travel Website Benchmarks Report - an interesting insight into the good and not so good practices being adopted by travel agencies, car rental firms, hotel aggregators and airlines on the web.

Compiled by Adam Goodvach of Global Reviews, it looks at ways travel sites are enabling users to search for and book products and services, while minimising abandonment rates.

We've listed some of its recommendations after the jump.... 


RockYou adds visual shopping to its slideshows

Photo widget company RockYou has partnered with visual shopping and image search site to find clothes that are similar to those worn in its photo slideshows., launched at the end of last year, uses image search technology to find bags, clothes and shoes that are similar to those shown in images. If, for instance, you enter a picture of a bag, will return similar images with prices and details from online retailers.


MyStrands launches music video channels

Music discovery/recommendation site MyStrands has launched a version of its service dedicated to videos, allowing users to create music video channels based on their preferences and viewing history.


NBC jumps into bed with Amazon after Apple split

No surprises to see NBC heading over to Amazon’s Unbox online video service, following the content owner’s decision to ditch a deal with iTunes.

Amazon has catered for NBC’s variable pricing demands, with new shows likely to be priced more highly than older ones. Apple refused to budge on its fixed price policy, which appears to have been the dealbreaker.


Facebook to allow public searching of profiles

Social network Facebook is planning to allow users to make their profiles on the website searchable by the public and enable search engines to index its members' listings.

Facebook will notify its members of the move today, allowing them to choose whether or not they want their basic profile listings to be made public. Outsiders will only be able to view the name and public profile picture, it says.


Users ignore heavy formatting - Nielsen

Another nugget of wisdom from Jakob Nielsen - website visitors will often ignore heavily formatted areas of a website as they look too much like advertising.

The usability guru says surfers have trained their brains to ignore 'fancy formatting', in a form of banner blindness. This suggests that ads should be made to look more like actual content in order to attract attention - something Jakob also covered recently.