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Google's agency subsidy - how badly will it be missed?

Here in Europe, agencies have enjoyed funding from Google. It was there to encourage training and innovation. It's going.

Google has closed the purse strings and I thought I'd write down what this means to me.

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Newspapers face up to online conundrum

Following on from the New York Times' decision earlier this week to make its entire online version available for free, Rupert Murdoch has hinted that the Wall Street Journal may follow suit.

Murdoch has told reporters that a free WSJ is likely, and that such a move would not harm the paper's print revenues. It is now the only US paper with a subscription model, charging $99 per year.

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Etail deliveries getting faster - report

The UK's etailers are fulfilling customer orders faster than before and have become more flexible with their delivery options, according to new research.

Snow Valley's analysis (PDF) of 71 online retailers found that delivery speeds were increasing - although some retailers would like to be more flexible but are limited by carrier costs.

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Is Zillow.com the new Boo.com?

Disruptive US-based real estate aggregator Zillow continues to confound and amaze with the news that it has raised another $30m, taking its total fundraising to a staggering $87m.

Yep, $87m. I normally turn instantly prickly when I hear the phrase ‘Bubble 2.0’, but I may have to revise my view slightly. I'd hate for Zillow to be burning cash at a rate not seen since the heady days of Boo.com.

Yet in this day and age $87m is a fortune. Internet businesses just don’t need that kind of money to put themselves on the map. Or do they?

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Digg adds social network features

Digg has introduced a range of new features to its social news site, allowing users to flesh out their profiles and connect to friends on the site, a la Facebook or MySpace.

As on Facebook, Digg users can now add information about themselves to their profile pages, as well as uploading photos. Users can share profiles with friends or others, depending on privacy settings.

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Microsoft to relaunch Live Search

Microsoft is set to unveil an updated version of its search engine at its 'Searchification' event for journalists next week. Today, it has rolled out an updated version of the homepage.

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Retailers getting better at email marketing - survey

Retailers in the US and UK are getting better at email marketing, though there is still room for improvement, according to a new survey.

Silverpop's 2007 Retail Email Marketing Study (PDF) looks at opt-in practices, email content and the unsubscribe procedures of 150 major retailers in the UK and North America.

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AOL relaunches social news site

AOL has launched 'Propeller', a new social news site, only a few days after moving Digg-rival Netscape to a more traditional model.

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The murky cloud of IPTV

I spent an interesting evening last night at the Chinwag Web TV Takeover event listening to an excellent panel discuss the future of IPTV.

The problem this morning is I'm still no clearer on what it means or when it's going to matter.

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UK etailers failing to provide contact details - survey

A new study of the UK's online retailers has revealed that many e-commerce sites are not offering customers a range of contact details, while many offer limited delivery options and no customer feedback features.

The survey,  from website monitoring firm NetExtract analysed a sample of 10,000 e-commerce websites in the UK. It found that many e-commerce sites are missing very basic options.

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Google launches interactive widget ads

Google today launched Gadget Ads, a new interactive rich media ad format which will allow advertisers to measure users' responses to the ads, as well as updating ad content in real time.

The new ads designed for use across Google's network of sites, and aims to offer a way for internet users to interact with ad content in a way that is not possible with standard web ads. 

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Site problems cause customers to flee

More evidence of the effect poorly functioning websites can have on etailers’ customer relations – this time from a poll of US consumers by Harris Interactive.

The survey found almost nine out ten respondents have experienced problems when making a transaction online, and 42% of those that have defected to a rival or abandoned the process.

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