November 2009

PayPal X Makes Online Shopping More Convenient

paypalxPayPal announced Wednesday at the PayPal X Innovate 2009 conference in San Francisco, that the company has developed a new global payment platform being dubbed PayPal X.  The new software will provide new APIs, a new developer portal, and some introductory services pricing, designed to help web-developers take advantage of PayPal X to build small businesses by integrating PayPal easily into third-party applications.

Currently, consumers who use PayPal are directed off the current site or application they are on and transferred to PayPal’s actual site.  But the developers want to engage customers directly within third-party applications so users won’t be transferred to PayPal’s site.  Consumers who do not have a PayPal will be able to sign up for PayPal within the third-party application and begin making PayPal payments immediately from the third-party application. (more…)

Social Media Plays Role In Policy Making

governmentsmAfter yesterday’s blog post about the GOP using social media to educate the American public on the Health Care Reform Act, StrategyOne & Edelman, PR firms based out of Washington DC, released a the results of a survey which suggests that social media may play an integral part in policy making. 

Of the 396 senior staff members from both the U.S. and Europe whom were surveyed, 96 percent said they often use online resources for public policy research.  Fifty-four percent of the staffers had also reported learning of policy issues online for the very first time, while nearly one in five actually changed a policy position based on what they had learned online. (more…)

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.

Twitter’s Big Week

twitter_bird_profileTwitter users from around the world have been seeing some major changes to the website lately, and this week the popular microblogging website rolled out some major features that could be very useful in the future.

A few weeks ago, Twitter launched Twitter Lists Beta, which allowed users to organize a group of followers into specific categories and last week it went live to the entire Twitter community.  This week, 2 new beta features went into effect, which if all goes well should be seen by all users very soon.  First, a small number of users have been granted a feature which allows them to see when someone they are following has updated a post.  The feature will automatically notify them of new tweets since they last refreshed their page from the people they follow on their Twitter.com homepage.  Users be able to click the notification and Twitter will automatically refresh their page without them having to do anything else.  The feature is almost identical to the automatic refresh on the Twitter Search feature. (more…)

Social Media & Breaking News

breakingsocialSocial media sites have become an important tool for breaking news, many times breaking a story before the mainstream media picks it up.  Sites such as Twitter have also been important communication tools for those affected by the events as they unfold.

Yesterday, news about a shooting in Fort Hood, Texas, shocked the country and almost instantly became a trending topic on Twitter.  The massacre, which killed 12 and left 31 wounded, sparked interest and supporters from around the world — many of whom ended up  leaving comments on the Army’s social media sites.  The Facebook group “Prayers for Fort Hood” was started soon after word spread, and currently it has just more than 20,000 supporters.   The U.S. Army‘s Facebook page was also flooded with support and prayers from people around the world. As one person wrote, “My prayers go out to the family and friends of the fallen heroes. It’s time we remember to pray for all our soldiers regardless of where they are.”  (more…)

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…)

This Week In Social Media – November 6, 2009

This Week in Social Media – Nov 6, 2009 iePlexus from iePlexus on Vimeo.

This Week in Social Media – Nov 6, 2009 iePlexus from iePlexus on Vimeo.

Here’s a look at some of what happened this week in the world of social media and elsewhere on the Web.

-It should be no shock that MySpace is losing users, but now the company is in jeopardy of losing nearly $100 million.  In 2006, MySpace made a $900 million deal with Google that would allow the search engine to 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 a minimum traffic level, which could break the deal with Google. In the past three months, MySpace’s page views have dropped 22.75 percent.  (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…)