Italian Plumbers Rejoice, Nintendo Dominates the Internet

Everyone below the age of thirty-five who is even remotely interested in videogames holds strong to one steadfast truth—Nintendo rules. There’s really no way of avoiding that simple reality. Looming large in the development of many 80s-bred children, Nintendo has been able to seamlessly take their business online while others have fell short. What allows Nintendo to translate its awesome into the world of online business so well? Here are just a few of the possible contributing factors.

-Nintendo was the game of choice throughout the 80s. The children that grew up addicted to Tetris and 2-D Mario are the same kids that are currently addicted to MySpace. In short, their client base constitutes the “internet generation,” and it’s only natural they’d continue their love of Nintendo through online venues.

-While many companies hoard and protect every aspect of their intellectual creations, Nintendo has had a (relatively) open attitude. The iconic games and characters have been translated into just about every new technology, and they are often discussed, altered, and lampooned across the internet.
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Staying Home This Year? Get Some Gear

For many Americans it’s about that time to start planning spring and summer getaways. A couple of years ago that may have meant a visit to the Eiffel Tower, a week-long road trip to the Grand Canyon, or a few days soaking up the sun on a beach in Mazatlan. But, those days of excess have come to a grinding halt as the economy has worsened, and layoffs have proliferated.

This year has been coined the year of the ‘staycation.’ People are spending less, and staying home more. A recent Allstate poll found that nearly half of all Americans plan to cut back on travel in 2009. An International SOS survey found that 4 out of 10 Americans are reducing their international trips, and, according to a Zagat study 20 percent less people will travel in 2009 than 2008.

That doesn’t mean that people won’t be using their two weeks of paid vacation. In fact, more and more people are taking their vacations – at home. And, there’s good reason why they’ve decided to stay home. Even when gas prices are falling, airline fees are stagnant. In October, for example, airfares were up 10 percent. People could barely afford to fly a year ago, and this year it’s no better.
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Comedy Central Presents…Jokes.com

For everyone that thrives on a daily fix of humor, there’s good news in the world of online funniness. Comedy Central has officially announced the reopening of Jokes.com, a website dedicated to all things stand-up.

The site currently offers upwards of 5,000 clips of stand-up comedians, and this archive includes many of the popular comedians that have been previously featured on Comedy Central.

Other site features will include a database of 12,000 text-based jokes as well as a search feature so that users can easily find any of the comedians within Jokes.com. The site currently has over one thousand stand-up comedians and only looks to grow in the coming months.
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Search News Recap 12.12

As we approach the holidays, search engines are getting more attention than usual. I think this time of year sparks more interest in the topic because of the prevalence of online shopping, and the significant power and sway search engines hold over the economic fate of many e-commerce based businesses. With these business owners relying on organic, paid and social media avenues to drive conversions to their websites, everyone wants to know how to get the most out of their search engine exposure, and how to do this for a nice profit margin. This week I’m going to be talking about the interesting organic vs. paid listings debate, updates to Google’s SearchWiki, and the emergence of Google’s beta-less browser, Chrome.
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You Better Not Pout…SEO is Comin’ to Town

With economic troubles the focus of news reports across the nation, there appears to be a correlated trend in the world of search engine optimization (SEO). And that trend involves an increased interest in the practice.

While no simple list can explain this phenomenon, here are some possible reasons that SEO has found itself in the limelight in light of economic troubles.

Sales: The internet offers companies an amazing potential for income. For that reason, the urge to drive traffic to your site increases exponentially when the economy—and consequently sales—are down.
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Modern Old-fashioned Networking

There are very few situations where a social media profile will not be of use to your professional or private life. These days more and more people are jumping on the social media networking bandwagon. In fact, many teenagers who have grown up in the advent of social media don’t know any other form of networking. If you own a small business that’s kicking off a social media marketing campaign you shouldn’t underestimate the importance incorporating some old-fashioned, face-to-face networking. There are dozens of ways to connect that are just as good as “Social Media” on the web.

Here are some suggestions:
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Stop (Blogging), In the Name of the Law

In the world of printed writing, there are many established laws concerning what can and can’t be done. The boundaries are generally clear, and these laws are widely known by those who take up a pen. But once those written blurbs move online, the law becomes a little bit fuzzier. Just ask Stephen Hogge, owner and operator of the blog HogOnIce.com.

Hogge found himself the center of a sticky legal situation after posting a blog that labeled an (allegedly) ex-girlfriend “a mentally ill alcoholic prostitute.” Apparently them’s more than fightin’ words. Them’s grounds for a lawsuit.

The woman in question, California resident Fatima dos Santos Fahmy, took issue with the maligning remarks. A graduate of Miami School of Law, Fahmy hauled Hogge into court. But the question quickly presented itself—where does one file a lawsuit of this kind?
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Search News Recap 12.5

In keeping with my post last week about recapping the latest news in search, here’s some search engine stories of interest from around the web. This week, we’ll be talking about the recent releases of the data on the search trends of 2008, Google’s beta release of the social networking tool Friend Connect, and the on and off again drama of the Google / Yahoo search deal that has dominated headlines recently.

Search Trends 2008
It’s the time of year when the search giants like Google, Yahoo! and Ask.com give us some insight into the behavior of searchers. Some trends have remained consistent from 2007, but 2008 saw some interesting new topics rise and fall in the search box, most notably in American politics, natural disasters, the 2008 Olympics, and celebrity gossip. Search Engine Land has summarized the information quite nicely for us, highlighting the most important trends across all the engines that provided info. Here’s an overview:
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Shopping Online Saves Lives, Money, Earth

On Black Friday millions of Americans fought the shopping crowds to get the best deals at stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. In fact, many Americans camped out in store parking lots Thanksgiving night just to make sure they’d be one of the first people through the doors.

The economic crunch has put a strain on shoppers’ budgets this year, but you wouldn’t know that with the throngs of people lined up outside stores last Friday morning. This year people know what they want and where to get the best deal on it.

But when the spoils of shopping begin to outweigh the benefits: is it really worth battling the crowds to shop on Black Friday when you can save time, money and stress by shopping online?
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Take It From the Clowns…

When it comes to social media marketing, sometimes you’ve just got to listen to the clowns. Well, a very specific group of clowns anyway.

In particular, the mind-bendingly bendy group at Cirque du Soleil has once again thrown off convention and is currently leading the movement by established and successful organizations to move advertising online. While they haven’t completely abandoned traditional means of advertising, Soleil’s social media manager Jessica Berlin is spearheading the effort to make the high budget production known on forums such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others.

In a recent panel discussion, Berlin divulged some key points about the benefits of moving advertising efforts online.
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