Industry News

MySpace’s Slow Traffic May Cost News Corp. $100 Million

falling-money copyIt’s not exactly news that MySpace is losing users, but a serious drop-off in visitors could put the company in jeopardy of losing nearly $100 million.  News Corp., owners of MySpace, made a $900 million deal back in 2006 with Google, to let the world most’s popular search engine be the exclusive search advertiser on MySpace, which at the time was the most used social networking site.  The site is coming dangerously close to  maintaining the minimum traffic level, which could break the deal with Google, and leave MySpace without the $100 million. 

According to Alexa.com, in the past 3 months MySpace’s page-views have dropped 22.75%.  The site is losing its high ranking. While last week the site was the 11th most visited site on the web, however has since dropped to number 12.  At this time last year, MySpace was the 6th most viewed site on the web, but the site has been progressively making its way farther and farther from the top ranks.

“We’re still losing traffic,” said Chase Carey, chief operating officer of News Corp. He added, “We’re not trying to beat Facebook. We’re not trying to beat Twitter.”

MySpace has been making some big news lately, as they are in talks about teaming up with Facebook in order to share video and music content, which would hope to drive users back to the site.  MySpace is also in talks with MSN about sharing entertainment content.  No deals of any kind have been made and it is still not to late yet for MySpace to earn the $100 million, but they will need to do something drastic, fast, to get their hands on the money.

eBay Launches Online Magazine

insidesourceEarly Wednesday morning, eBay, the largest online marketplace, announced they would launch a new online digital magazine called The Inside Source. The magazine is designed for shoppers and will feature the insights and stories based off of what the 89 million users are currently searching for, along with what they are buying and selling on eBay. Each day, The Inside Source will feature several sections which will provide snapshots of real-time  most-watched merchandise and most searched terms, along with fresh articles, analysis, and opinions from eBay community contributors.

“Imagine that every day, every person in the United States tells eBay what they want,” said Alan Marks, Senior Vice President of Global Communications for eBay. “That’s the power of how many searches occur on eBay every day. Now add insights gleaned from almost 200 million live product listings, the stories of more than 25 million sellers and the several million purchases people make each day on eBay, and you get The Inside Source – a perspective on shopping trends, pop culture obsessions and the stuff people love, that only eBay can offer.”

Meredith Barnett, former Director of Digital Media for Lifetime Digital has agreed to take on the task of directing and managing the editorial content and staff.  Barnett and the editorial team will not just focus on what’s happening on eBay but will also check in with a large range of other popular topics including fashion, technology, automotive, home and garden, and pop culture.

Barnett is best known for her success at managing myLifetime.com, Lifetime TV’s website focusing on women’s entertainment.  Barnett is also co-founder of StoreAdore.com, an internet guide to the best boutique stores around the country and online.  The site has been successful so far — probably because of frequently updated blog posts and a search database of boutique profiles of more than 3,000 stores. 

“Meredith brings the perfect blend of consumer-focused ecommerce and editorial experience to The Inside Source,” Marks said. “Combining Meredith’s editorial vision with eBay’s insight, our aim is to make The Inside Source an engaging, useful read for people who want to know the latest trends happening in the world`s largest online marketplace.”

Readers of the online magazine will also be able to share their thoughts and opinions on topics by commenting and sharing content through social media platforms, such as Facebook.

Commerce Search From Google Helps Online Businesses

googlemoneyGoogle has released yet another new feature that should help with online businesses.  Earlier this week, Google announced a new Google Checkout feature, which allows users to enable a checkout button on the site to promote sales. Now, the Google Commerce Search tool will be useful for online businesses by improving product searches on their site, along with possibly increasing sales and reducing bounce rates.  The search is almost identical to Google’s main search, but it’s geared specifically toward business websites. The idea is to help find products being sold.  Google is expecting the tool to grow significantly in the new few weeks, as businesses prepare for the upcoming holiday season.

“Visitors spend an average of just eight seconds before deciding whether or not to remain on a website,” a Google rep said.  “So having a good search tool is important for turning visitors into buyers.” (more…)

Amazon Cashing In With Twitter Feature

twitazonIt seems like all we have heard lately is companies teaming up with Twitter.  So it should be no surprise that Amazon.com has incorporated a new Twitter tool that will allow some users to share great deals online. 

In today’s blog post, Amazon announced that this feature would be only available for Amazon Associates.  The associate program allows Web site owners, Web developers, and Amazon sellers to make money by simply advertising some of the latest products from both Amazon and Endless.com on their website.  When a consumer purchases a product after being referred, the associate gets a profit.  It’s said to be that simple.  The new Twitter feature is just another way to make it easier for associates to make a little more money. (more…)

MSN.com Rolls Out Preview

newmsnLate last night, the developers at Microsoft’s MSN, which is one of the most visited sites on the net according to Compete.com, rolled out a preview version of it’s new website design. 

Since August 1995, MSN.com has offered visitors a look at some of the latest headlines from around the globe, a look into the entertainment world, a place to check out new items to purchase and has even offered its own search engine. The preview of MSN’s new website, is much more clean-cut, and has more of a modern feel.  The site will offer the same sections as it currently does but will primarily focus on videos, a new section to keep you updated on your social media feeds, and bring more local customizations to the homepage.  (more…)

World Running Out Of Web Addresses

internet_addressAn article out of the Telegraph today say that the Internet could run out of web addresses by the end of 2010.  A report released by the European Commission, found that only a small percentage of companies are prepared for the switch from Internet Protocol, IPv4 to IPv6.  Many experts have suggested that the world could run out of Internet addresses within the next year or two, however that could be avoided if more companies switch to the new platform.

Only 17% of 610 institutions surveyed throughout Europe, Asia & the Middle East have upgraded from the IPv4 protocol to IPv6. If the remaining 83% do not upgrade, the world wide web may be left in the dark as the Internet can only support somewhere between 4 and 4.5 billion unique IP addresses.  An IP address is the unique string of numbers associated with every website in existence. (more…)

Online Retailers Expected To Have Best Holiday Season

42-15316254Forrester Research came out with a survey Monday, which said that online retailers will see an 8% increase in sales since last year while stationary retailers are expected to show no increase.  And with online advertising through the  use of social media, this is no surprise, since the world is trying to break out of the global economic crisis. 

The National Retail Federation has unfortunately forecasted a 1% decline in overall U.S. holiday sales this year. The Forrester survey which had polled more than 4,000 U.S. online consumers found that 94% of those who have shopped online within the past three months plan to shop online this holiday season. (more…)

Skype Founders vs. eBay Lawsuit May End Soon

ebay_skype_saleeBay is being sued by the founders of the free online phone service, Skype for copyright infringement and claim damages are growing at a rate of at least $75 million a day.  Earlier this year, eBay announced they were looking to sell Skype, after they had purchased it in 2005 from founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom for over $2.6 billion. 

Although the site was sold to eBay, Friis & Zennstrom, who have since started Joltid, still own the source code and the actual rights to the software of Skype.  The two are accusing eBay of sharing the software’s code to third parties, interested in Skype, who have copied and altered it without permission. 

According to a New York Times article, the founders have shown interested and have tried raising money to purchase the service back.  However, eBay has since made a deal to sell 65% of Skype to Silver Lake, a private equity firm in Canada, while holding onto the remaining 35%. 

eBay said in a statemtent that Friis & Zennstrom’s “allegations and claims are without merit and are founded on fundamental legal and factual errors.”

Om Malik, reporter for Gigaom.com reported Sunday that the case may be coming to an end according to inside sources.  “The ongoing legal scuffle between Skype, a division of eBay, and its founders, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, may soon see a resolution, according to someone familiar with the situation. The parties are in discussions to resolve the various issues. The talks are described to be at a sensitive stage and can break down without any conclusion. If the founders and the company can come to an agreement, Skype will be able continue to use JoltID’s technology to power Skype and not disrupt the service that is currently used by hundreds of millions consumers.”

Social Media Phones

winmo-phonesThere is a pretty good chance you know several people with an iPhone or Blackberry.  The iPhone, known for all the apps and being able to connect with anyone just about anywhere, is a great tool to use in the world of social media.  The Blackberry, a more business professional phone, also has apps and connects owners with their social networking sites.  Well there are 3 new phone devices expected to hit the market that will keep users even closer to their social networks more then they are now. (more…)

Google Lands L.A. E-mail Contract

googlelaAfter almost a year of furious lobbying and jockeying for position, Google earned the right to provide e-mail services for the city of Los Angeles. Microsoft had mounted the fiercest competition, but the city now plans to turn over its e-mail operations to Google by June 2010.

The story, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, reminded me of my own frustrating experiences with an amateurish e-mail system.

When I enrolled at Michigan State University several years ago, I was given a personal e-mail account where all my communications from the school would be sent. It didn’t take long to realize – even though this was waaaay back in 2006 – that the MSU e-mail program was a joke. It lacked a chat feature. It complicated folder organization to the point of frustration. It boasted a spam filter that was about as water-tight as a colander. (more…)