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Blog

Reuters takes stake in blog syndicator

Reuters has given a boost to the blogosphere by investing in US-based aggregator Pluck and announcing plans to syndicate blog stories to its media clients.

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Lonelygirl15 makers eye ad revenues

The makers of lonelygirl15 – the fake teenage video diary which created a huge stir on YouTube this summer – have divulged plans to turn the venture into a real business.

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Majestic Wine sees increase in online orders

Majestic Wines, the bulk wine retailer, has announced an increase of 43% in online sales but expressed concern about an upcoming EU ruling on tax duty on alcohol purchases via the web.

In its interim results for the 26 weeks ended 26 September, the company made a pre-tax profit of £6.5 million, a rise of 17%. Online sales were responsible for 6.4% of its UK retail sales.

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Christmas delivery concerns hold back online consumers

One of the biggest factors holding back consumers from doing their Christmas shopping online is concern about delivery times, according to a survey by shopping site GreasyPalm.co.uk.

The survey finds that concerns about delivery are likely to be hurting online sales this Christmas, with 55% of those surveyed citing delivery times as the major obstacle to doing their Christmas shopping online.

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Bill Gates says internet bubble is back

Speaking to journalists in Belgium last week, Bill Gates warned against the rush to new web-based software service, and compared this to the doomed 1990s internet bubble.

Google's deal to pay $1.65 billion in stock for YouTube, an online video company that has yet to turn a profit, has led some commentators to revive talk of an internet bubble.

We've always stopped short of calling it a bubble, for a number of reasons, but certain recent funding rounds are making us reconsider our stance...

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How to be PDQ on your PDA – Adaptex goes live

This week saw the official launch of Adaptex, the software from Keypoint Technologies that can help users of PDAs enter data and text much faster and easier. Communicating and buying via your PDA or smartphone whilst on the road can be a lot easier potentially.

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Usability and visibility problems affect online insurers

Foolproof's 2006 Online Shopping Survey into insurance predicts rapid growth in online purchasing of motor and home insurance policies, but points out that growth is hampered by poor usability.

The good news for online insurers is that consumers see the benefits of avoiding long phone calls for quotes and insuring online, but insurers are urged to make improvements, especially when it comes to usability.

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Eight second rule for e-commerce websites now halved

Four seconds is the maximum length of time the average online shopper will wait for a web page to load before potentially abandoning a retail site.

In the research by Akamai, poor site performance ranked second only to high product prices and shipping costs as leading factors for dissatisfaction among online shoppers.

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Microsoft in cool-envy, Zune to be a ‘dismal failure’ - BusinessWeek

In an article called ‘Zune: Falling Down On Cool’ BusinessWeek savages the forthcoming Microsoft device, predicting that “by this time next year, it will be considered a dismal failure”.

And the reason why it will fail? Because it isn’t cool, and neither is Microsoft, says BusinessWeek. It adds that attempting to become cool is the only reason that Microsoft is launching the Zune in the first place.

Authored by Arik Hesseldahl, the article states that “the Zune will be seen for what it is: a me-too product that is expressing Microsoft's envy at not being cool”.

Maybe so, but business isn’t really about ‘being cool’. 'Cool' helps with product marketing and customer aqcuisition, but product quality and lifespan are key to customer retention, recommendations, and repeat business.

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Speed matters, according to Google

Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president for search products and user experience, has revealed an interesting experiment carried out by the search engine a few years ago.

The goal of the experiment was to determine the ideal number of results to display in response to a search query. Google surveyed its users, who decided 30 results on a page would be best, rather than 10 or 20.

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Search Engine Keywords Research for the Finance Industry

ClickThrough Marketing has released a paid search keywords report for the finance sector, focusing on loans. It provides details on a number of searches for a range of keyphrases. 

The report focuses on data from Yahoo UK searches for July 2006, and contains search engine key phrase data on 25 key types of loans including secured loans, unsecured loans, homeowner loans and personal loans.

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Web 2.0 design and layout tips

Ben Hunt at webdesignfromscratch has posted an excellent article on current Web 2.0 design trends, giving some recommendations on features that make a website appealing and easy to use.

Ben gives some examples of good Web 2.0 sites, including LinkedIn, Mozilla.org, and Protolize, as well as some tips which we list after the jump...

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