Our October 2007 PodCast Is On The Air

This month it’s a “media blitz” as we take a look at and a listen to: Internet marketing’s fat slice of the ad pie; the importance of using link-building to boost your SEO odds; the continuing adventures of Chatter Guard,
the phenomenal new social media monitoring and managing tool that lets
you protect your rep; a report about social media presented at the
Hotel Sales Strategy Conference last month (coming to North Carolina
this month!); our newest media managing monster —WebShow!— Hot off the pipeline, featured on YouTube; and more!

Click here to listen to PodCast

New Social Sites Cater to People of a Certain Age – New York Times

That is the latest view from Silicon Valley. Technology investors
and entrepreneurs, long obsessed with connecting to teenagers and
20-somethings, are starting a host of new social networking sites aimed
at baby boomers and graying computer users.

The sites have names like Eons, Rezoom, Multiply, Maya’s Mom, Boomj, and Boomertown. They look like Facebook  — with wrinkles.

Link: New Social Sites Cater to People of a Certain Age – New York Times.

Also check out ChatterGuard.com Social Media Monitoring

Travelocity single screen hotel checkout review (Musings on travel ecommerce)

The Travelocity innovation design team do what they say on the tin – they innovate.

However, you don’t often get to see what they have been working on. That is probably how they would prefer it to stay.

Following yesterday’s post about the Travelocity travel plan creator,
I received an email from Travelocity PR taking me in another
direction….. which lead me to finding these screenshots of a Flash
based single screen checkout process for a hotel reservation. Here they
are:

Link: Travelocity single screen hotel checkout review (Musings on travel ecommerce).

Web site glitch exposes hotel customers’ details

A glitch on the web site of hotel chain
Travelodge led to names, addresses and
parts of credit card numbers being accessible to other customers.

One affected site user claimed thousands of records could have been exposed.
But Travelodge said that only a small proportion could have been accessed in the
time that it took to fix the fault.

Link: Web site glitch exposes hotel customers’ details – vnunet.com.

ClickZ: Facebook ‘Flyer’ Ads Go CPC, Layer on Profile Data Targeting Facebook ‘Flyer’ Ads Go CPC, Layer on Profile Data Targeting

Since their debut in March 2006, Facebook’s homegrown Flyer ads have
offered the easiest way for marketers to reach users of the hyped
social network. The site has thousands of Flyers live on any given day,
according to a spokesperson, yet the self-service ads have often
performed poorly on traditional digital advertising metrics, according
to anecdotal reports shared with ClickZ and others posted on the Web.

Link: ClickZ: Facebook ‘Flyer’ Ads Go CPC, Layer on Profile Data Targeting Facebook ‘Flyer’ Ads Go CPC, Layer on Profile Data Targeting.

Also check out ChatterGuard.com for Social media Monitoring.

Apple May Join Google And Bid On Wireless Spectrum – Mobile Blog – InformationWeek

have to admit that 2007 is rapidly shaping up
to be one of the most interesting years in the history of the wireless
industry. Already we’ve seen the iPhone, rumors of the Google Phone, carriers (sort of) warming to the concept of open networks, rumors that Yahoo (YHOO) is working on a cell phone, and the possibility that Google may even buy wireless spectrum. Now it looks like Apple also may bid on wireless spectrum.

Link: Apple May Join Google And Bid On Wireless Spectrum – Mobile Blog – InformationWeek.

Facebook Profiles to Become Searchable

Facebook is opening up its user profiles to be crawled by search
engines, allowing limited information to be available unless users
change their privacy settings, according to the Facebook blog.
Users will be notified of the changes, so they will have time to mark
their profile as private before the changes are implemented later this
month.

Click here to read more.

Usability and SEO. Which comes First?

There is an incredibly strong link between Usability and SEO. First,
you have to start with the knowledge that the business of the search
engines is enhanced by having the most relevant results in their index
(the ones that do in fact answer the user’s question quickly), and this
means that usability matters to them. Therefore it is in their
strategic interest to develop an understanding of a site’s usability.

There are many ways that the search engines can collect basic
usability data. For example, do users bookmark your site at major sites
such as del.icio.us? Do you have a high bounce rate (people who view
only one page, or who don’t stay long on the site)? These are just a
couple of basic things that a search engine can look at to measure
usability.

Second, usabilty is a key factor in driving the acquisition of high
value links. Trying to get a major university or a government site to
link to yours? What do they see when they come to the page you are
trying to get them to link to? Do they understand it right away? Or
does it confuse them?

At an architectural level, having a clean site hierarchy and an
easily understood navigation structure also benefits both usability and
SEO. This means things like a logically thought through hierarchy that
matches up with the nature of the content you are providing in an easy
to understand way. It means having a consistent global navigation
structure, and a breadcrumb bar.

Click to read more.

Marriott Seizes Bookings From Expedia

      Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) — Marriott International Inc., the
world’s largest hotel operator, has battled back against online
travel agents such as Expedia.com to become the eighth-biggest
Internet retailer by sales. That’s one reason the stock may rise
over the next year even after a 10 percent tumble this year.         

      

Through Marriott.com, the Bethesda, Maryland-based lodging
company sold $3.7 billion worth of rooms in 2006, more than
doubling revenue from the site in 2004. For the first half of
2007, Web sales for Marriott hotels, which range from luxury
Ritz-Carltons to lower-priced Fairfield Inns, were up almost 25
percent.         

Link: Bloomberg.com: U.S..

Firefox Reaches 400 Million Download Mark

Firefox announced it has reached 400 million downloads, PC Pro reported today. The browser’s popularity has reached 28% market share in Europe and 15% globally, PC Pro noted.

The number is significant since Firefox/Mozilla has a deep working
relationship with Google. The fabled GBrowser came to the surface when
a couple of senior employees at Mozilla joined the Google team.