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Blog

Sky launches broadband, triple play services

BSkyB has announced plans to roll out a broadband service, to be bundled alongside its pay-TV and newly relaunched ‘Sky Talk’ telephone service. Triple play, baby!

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FeedBurner acquires BlogBeat

FeedBurner has acquired the blog analytics provider BlogBeat in an interesting move which can only be described as good news for users.

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BetonSports charged by US Justice Department

Trouble ahead for the online gaming industry after reports that the US Justice Department has charged BetonSports and three other companies with racketeering, conspiracy and fraud.

AIM-listed BetonSports suspended shares just before 8am this morning, pending an announcement, while AFX is reporting that "the indictment seeks forfeiture of 4.5 bln usd from Kaplan and the co-defendents, as well as various properties", which would spell more trouble for BetonSports investors (shares fell by almost 20% yesterday).

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The symbiosis of brand trust and optimised on-site search

We recently analysed the major factors that influence our visitors to subscribe.  The results? The surest sign of a subscriber-to-be was one who used our site search box. So naturally we’re looking into improving it, but that's not actually relevant here. Far more important here is getting more people to use it in the first place.

People aren’t search-shy, we know this from Google’s original search-box-only interface. According to DoubleClick, less than 20% use on-site search (the actual figure varies by sector, of course). So looks like the majority of visitors are finding just what they want right away, right? Much more likely, they don’t trust the onsite search box. Aha.

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Diggnation – Digg relaunches and widens potential appeal

If you’re a user of Digg, you should know that it recently redesigned and relaunched its website. This in itself is not that interesting since we always knew that was coming soon – however, what is interesting is that new categories have been added which make the site more useful to a wider audience.

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BetonSports' CEO detained by US Feds

The online gaming sector is reeling this morning after BetonSports CEO David Carruthers was seized by The Feds in the US, while waiting to transfer onto an aircraft destined for Costa Rica, where the company’s customer services centre is based.

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Understanding the blogging ecosystem

On the topic of blogging, it seems worthwhile to talk a little about the blogging ecosystem, both for discussion and future reference (things change fast!).  Like an ecosystem, blogging is a feedback mechanism, is most useful when you understand what is being said about you on the blogosphere, and unlike an ecosystem giving freely is more beneficial.

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Journalists complaining about bloggers – who are you to talk?

If you’ve been reading the national media press recently you may well have read more than an article or two by established journalists which attack the rise of blogging. Principally, they criticise the lack of quality (fact checking, grammar, sources, regulatory compliance etc.) exhibited by many bloggers.

But are they really just annoyed that bloggers are threatening their status? Are journalists asking themselves similarly tough questions about how their readers perceive them?

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Will inventory shortage threaten online ad boom?

The online advertising market seems to be on an inexorable path of steep growth.

No less an advertising authority than Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of the advertising behemoth WPP, was yesterday reported as saying that he expects online advertising to double in a few years. 

"About 15% of our business is internet, and this will be 30% in 10 years," he told the New York Sun.

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Marketers must embrace shift of power to the consumer

There were three engaging presentations about the Future of Online Marketing at the Commission Junction University event for advertisers and publishers in London this week. 

The message coming through loud and clear was that marketers need to wake up quickly to the shifting balance of power on the internet.

There is no escaping the fact that consumers will increasingly hold sway in the fast-changing digital environment.

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Will the geeks really rule the world?

Paul Graham, one of the founders of web incubator Y Combinator, says we’re not in a bubble, and he’s right. There’s way too much talk about this mythical bubble. It ain’t a bubble, folks.

However, I think Paul is wide of the mark on a number of his assertions made when interviewed by Ian Delaney, who is currently writing a book on Web 2.0. Paul says he has spotted “a social trend that will last”, namely: “the startup world will increasingly be ruled by technical people rather than business people”.

God forbid!

I’m amazed that a savvy investor would think that way. Paul is a hacker himself of course, and a successful entrepreneur to boot, so I could be wildly out on this one. It just seems… wrong… on… so… many… levels…

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PPC hyperinflation reported on Google Adwords

Wow, Google’s Quality Score is really starting to bite hard on some PPC budgets. I’ve just taken a call from Auctioning4U, a UK-based firm that helps people sell goods on eBay, and they are reporting that average click costs have risen by almost 2,000% in just one week.

Trevor Ginn, Head of Consulting at Auctioning4U, told me that one keyphrase has jumped in price from 12p to £2.75 in the last week.

In another example, the price went up from his default of 30p (which paid for an average Adwords position of 1.3) to £5.50. “Feel my pain,” he says, not without reason.

Naturally, Trevor is wounded and reeling, and puzzled as to what he’s done wrong. He’s not really done anything wrong. It is simply a case of Google shifting the goalposts.

Yup, this PPC hyperinflation is linked to Google’s newly-enhanced focus on ad quality. It could be a case of too much, too soon.

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