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Blog

Hamleys to launch new website

London toy seller Hamleys is planning to relaunch its website later this year, as part of a new strategy to focus more on the internet.

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BT denies Bebo approach, Web 2.0 shark not yet jumped

TechCrunch reports that Bebo has spurned the advances of UK telecoms behemoth BT, which is rumoured to have offered more than £300m ($552m) for the social networking site.

However, a senior BT executive told E-consultancy that this is nonsense.

Our BT source said: “We can state categorically that BT has not had any discussions with, or made any approach to, Bebo. We're not sure where this rumour came from.”

UPDATE: Bebo's Xochi Birch also emailed me to say: "BT has not approached us and we currently have no contact with anyone at BT." She also has no clue about where the rumour came from.

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Snakes, Planes and Viral Marketing

The online buzz surrounding the Snakes on a Plane movie is a fine example of how internet publicity can go ballistic without a penny needing to be spent on traditional advertising.

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Web 2.0 needs to be agile to be successful

I’ve been dealing with a few clients of late, most of which have heard the ruckus around this newfangled Web 2.0 thing, and most of which want to do something Web 2.0 with their projects. Some want to implement blogs, others are interested in Wiki’s and podcasting, and surprisingly most of them want some Ajax features. The list goes on. 

That’s really good because I’m always happy to talk to people about getting more out of the web, specifically around creating better and more valuable user experiences, but the problem I have (and which I communicate) is that Web 2.0 doesn’t just stop at implementing a blog engine, podcasts, a Wiki or Ajax.

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eBay sells Adsense click fraud, plays with fire

Last week we reported that eBay has banned Google Checkout, something that is likely to backfire on the auction giant, which owns rival payment processor PayPal.

Silicon has today published a timely analysis of why eBay is more likely to suffer than Big G.

Meanwhile, I have been looking for the smoking gun that might force Google to retaliate, leading to the possible banning of eBay from its search results. Hard to imagine it could come to that, but who knows?

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The woes of ITV and TV Broadcasters – what can they learn from the Internet?

You cannot have missed the coverage in the media at the moment about the woes of ITV, and TV broadcasters more generally.

I used to work in TV and find it hard to feel much sympathy for Big Media, but what might the broadcasters learn from the world of the internet?

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Valleyschwag for July 2006

As a non-coder I've never felt 100% geek, despite what some of my Luddite friends think. However, as this picture shows, I am getting ever-closer to that magical figure (and to inheriting the earth, which would fulfil a small ambition).

Yes, I've received this month's geek merchandise from Valleyschwag!

Valleyschwag for July 2006

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eBay generates extra cash for Brits

Britons made £8.5 billion last year by trading goods online, according to a new survey. The research, by Orange Broadband, said UK citizens made an average of £341 in 2005 through auction sites such as eBay.

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Google's Schmidt on the economics of click fraud

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has played down calls for the search industry to tighten its grip on click fraud by declaring the problem "self-correcting".

Quoted by ZDNet from a speech at Stanford University earlier this year, the Google CEO said clickfraud could ultimately be solved by market forces, and that PPC firms should "let it happen".

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AOL and retailers are rubbish at customer service

Wow, what a week for customer services. First we had the now-infamous Vincent Ferrari call to AOL. Then we noticed a press release on E-consultancy that painted a bleak picture of online customer services among retail companies.

Vince wanted to cancel his account and having heard “the nightmare stories” decided to record his phone call to AOL Member Services. Some 21 frustrating minutes later he finally managed to achieve his goal… not entirely helpful.

International fame followed after the AOL tape went viral – the combination of Digg and the New York Times channelled 700,000 visitors to Vince’s site in rapid succession, forcing him to temporarily remove the recording (still offline).

If you didn’t hear it you can watch him being interviewed about his AOL experience on TV via YouTube – the interview has excerpts from the cancellation call. Too funny, unless you're an AOL executive...

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eBay says no way to Google Checkout

Bang bang, eBay has - rather unsurprisingly - shot down Google Checkout, preventing people from using it to pay for auction items, according to a post on AuctionBytes.

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What MySpace means to Murdoch's space

It will come as news to few that MySpace is the social media phenomenon du jour . Picked up by News Corp for $580m, 90m members, and that oh-so juicy teen demographic to market to when no-one under 30 is buying newspapers anymore? Strewth, Rupert Murdoch's got a fair dinkum bet there.

So you may be perplexed by this suggestion Rupert should spin MySpace off on its own, from MarketWatch's wonderfully named Bambi Francisco:

"Clearly, MySpace -- if it were a standalone company -- would be the hottest kind of stock, one that every sell-side analyst would gladly hawk. It's very likely the thought has crossed the minds of executives as well as MySpace founders. Prior to the sale to News Corp., MySpace founders had considered an IPO, according to someone close to the company."

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