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E-consultancy announces internet industry party...

It’s officially summer, despite the dodgy weather, which means it’s time once again for our annual summer party!


The date for your diary is Wednesday 15th August and the venue is in Clerkenwell, in central London. More details to be announced in due course.

E-consultancy lives in Lemon Studios, alongside a bunch of other internet businesses, which is why this is known as the Lemon Studios Summer Party. It promises to be a fun night...


Disney buys kids' virtual world for $700m

Club Penguin, the children's virtual world, has been acquired by Disney in a deal worth up to $700m (£344.5m).

The media giant will pay $350m upfront for the fast growing site - which had reportedly been a $500m target for Sony.


Amazon to launch PayPal rival?

Etailing giant Amazon is reportedly close to launching an online payment system to rival Google Checkout and eBay’s PayPal.

TechCrunch reports that the move would extend the etailer’s existing Amazon Payments service, which is used by third party sellers on its site.


Etailers hit by payment outage

Thousands of online and mail order retailers have been hit by technical problems at payment service provider Protx.

The BBC reports that sites were left unable to receive payments today after an upgrade at the company went wrong.


Google cautious over behavioural targeting

Google has publicly ruled out a more extensive move into behavioural targeting of web users, despite the potential uplift it would give to its online ad clients.

Speaking yesterday, Susan Wojcicki, Google’s vice president of product management for advertising, was adamant that the company would use no more than a surfer's single search session to target its ads.


Website optimisation - less can be more

In the same way as more instruments don’t necessarily make a better tune or more words a better poem; when it comes to creating effective website pages, less is often more.


Report shows effect of online ads on offline behaviour

A new study by Yahoo has looked at the effect of online advertising on consumer shopping patterns offline, finding that online ads can increase the number of offline buyers, as well as their average spend.

The study (pdf) used around 175,000 panelists, looking at the effect of search marketing and display advertising on consumers' offline shopping behaviour between April 2006 and January 2007.


US online retail sales rise again

US online consumer spending picked up in the second quarter of the year, reaching a total of $27.2bn (£13.4bn), an increase of 23% on the same period last year, according to comScore.

The figure of $27.2bn is for non travel e-commerce - the online travel market was worth $20.3bn (£10bn) in Q2, an increase of 14%. Total e-commerce spending for the first half of 2007 was $95bn (£47bn).


Launching a Facebook widget: dos and don'ts

Thousands of applications have been created on Facebook’s open platform since the social network opened up to developers earlier this year. But launching one, and generating interest, is not necessarily easy.

‘Attitudinal matching’ company Synature is one UK firm that has already taken the plunge, launching a version of its qubox software that allows Facebook members to search for like-minded people on the site, as well as potentially becoming a platform for targeted advertising. Here, John Woods, its CEO, talks about the challenges the company faced, and why he thinks the API can be a significant opportunity for brands.

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Reevoo launches reviews website

Customer reviews provider Reevoo has launched its own web offering, gathering together reviews for a range of products with the aim of providing online retailers with valuable traffic.



BBC iPlayer - frustrating and promising

The BBC released its long awaited online TV on demand service last week, which will provide users with access to BBC programmes from the last seven days.



Interview: Warner Breaks' Mat Finch on silver surfers

Mat FinchWarner Breaks' Matthew Finch has over eight years experience in the online world, starting out as a developer before moving into e-commerce, online marketing and strategy. He oversees online marketing for Warner Breaks where he has significantly increased online sales and received a number of awards for campaigns.

Here, Mat talks about targeting older internet users - an untapped opportunity for many online marketers...