Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Million dollar homepage: why didn’t I think of that!

The Wall Street Journal is running an article on Alex Tew, the British student behind the million dollar homepage. If you are unfamiliar with the concept: he divided a webpage into 1 million pixels, and sells them for $1 each. Through clever PR and marketing, he has so far sold $716,900 worth of pixels since August. Advertisers range from online casinos, online communities, discount CDs, domain name hosting and even the Times.

There are now hundreds of copycat websites, some of them with interesting twists on the concepts, other just simple rip-offs. Someone is even selling a script to “create your own million dollar homepage”…

Hats-off to Alex. It is a one-off but will definitely be part of Internet advertising history. On a personal level, AdRants summarises my feeling well in true “Onion” style: “Million dollar homepage causes entrepreneurial depression".

Thursday, November 24, 2005

We are human, after all.

I love this Korean blog featuring a collection of pictures of people from all over the world covering one of their eyes. It is as if they are responding to a signal sent by this Korean artist. A silent hello, a token of acknowledgement, saying: "we are part of it". It is so simple yet so powerful. Seth mentioned about the impact of seeing these half covered faces. These pictures do carry a strong emotional charge. The sum and variety of them gives a feeling of connectedness. People-to-People.

via Seth Godin

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ikea blog: better do it yourself

Great blog from an Ikea "positive fanatic". Nice example of a consumer turned advocate and how blogs can help spread consumer generated brand messages online. It's fun reading too. And there are more like him: Ikea fan in Ohio, Ikea fans website, Ikea Lovemark...

I also found a "boycott Ikea" in Italian to counter balance that.

via Micropersuasion... again... (yes, I do read other blogs!)

Google: click to call adwords

Remember call back buttons on websites... Google is testing "click-to-call" on its search results to connect people and companies automatically. And Google foots the bill too.

via Micropersuasion

Mashups: XBOX 360 inventory google map locator

Chris Lambert has developed a XBOX 360 inventory locator for Best Buy stores. This is a good example of a growing trend of building up applications on top of Google free applications or integrating different online applications and content together (mashups).

See more Google maps mashups on Googlemapsmania.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Can you be sued because of what you say in your blog?

You betcha! The Media Law Resources Centre published a list of current US lawsuit against bloggers. (Via Whatsnextblog). There are been some cases too in France (in French) and Singapore (with a happy ending).

Based on my limited legal knowledge, these are the common blogging legal pitfalls I identified:

- Breach of copyright: reproducing someone else content without permission. Grey area since bloggers often reproduce articles to comment on...
- Breach of employer's contract, especially releasing proprietary or confidential information.
- Libel: you are insulting and causing prejudice to someone (the plaintiff must show that he/she occured damages).
- Publishing false or malicious information (for example to get a share price to rise or spreading false rumours about a product being defective to kill a competitor's sales...)

Apparently, you could be sued because of the comments posted on your blog too...

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a legal guide for bloggers (this is based on US law only).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Advertisers to sponsor podcasts

Following from my post on iPod children stories yesterday and how advertisers could sponsor them, I read that Dixie, a US manufacturer of disposable tableware goods (cups, plates… whatever you don’t fancy washing-up) signed-up a 12 months agreement to sponsor Mommycast, a podcast show targeting young mums and parents. Way to go.

Via Tech based marketing

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Podcasting for children: how bloggers turned into iPod story-tellers

Hugh Fraser from the Angel Blog is launching a series of iPod-friendly children stories. Titled “Storynory”, they feature classic children tales such as “The snow queen” or “The Frog” as well as some modern stories. All narrated by an English actress and ready to download for free.

It is a wonderful idea. Advertisers should get in early with some "embedded and non-intrusive" audio messages as I am sure they will prove popular.

See the storynory website

Does Google know where it is going?

Peter Day runs a column on the BBC website called “Work in Progres”, linking business and technology to wider issues (a bit like Business 2.0 but with less superlatives).

The premise of his article on Google (see “Google searches for the future”) is that Google’s success is due to its lack of strategy. Don’t get him wrong, he is not saying that the company lacks direction but that Google adapts its priorities and focus according to the evolving potential and successes of its countless search based projects. In Peter’s words: “Its (Google) people start things, and then work out how to make money out of them”.

So far Google's PhDs army dabbled into advertising (adwords and possibly print), pictures filing, call/IM, blogs, price comparison, emails, mapping the earth and digitising its books and recently web analytics… Yet, its main (only?) source of revenue is selling ads.

Either Google has a master plan than common mortals cannot comprehend or it is on a fuzzy path to somewhere yet to be determined but promising.

This lack of apparent strategy worked well so far and with every pundit watching Google's every move, generates a lot of publicity. Will Google turn-up as a telecom company? The new E-Bay? The largest media placement agency? Or just the most used and revered search engine in the world?

I don’t know. But it is a fascinating case of reinventing business rules.

If you want more clues at to what Google has in store, you can buy a CD containing Google related patents… (Xmas is approaching fast).

Monday, November 14, 2005

Tesco Supermarkets Launch Deal Of The Day RSS Feed

Probably a first for a supermarket chain in the UK. See for yourself and hurry-up to the store to grab that Nicolas Feuillate champagne at 30% off!!!

via NevOn.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Accenture Launch Dutch Blogs

Accenture has launched an employee blogging portal in Holland. Most of the blogs are in Dutch but there are quite a few in English. I took note of some blogs on topics I am interested in such as Geoffrey Stoel blogging on telecom and gadgets, Rieta Aliredjo reflecting on consultant's hectic life, Remco Harmsen on business intelligence and Jort Possel on marketing. Good initiative to showcase the firm's thought leadership and attract talents. Do we expect to see official Accenture blogs in UK or US soon?

Via Micropersuasion, who was tipped by Pablo Halkyard although I could not find his original post on the subject. Nonetheless, I am referencing his blog. Here is why: "The Private Sector Development Blog (PSD Blog) gathers together news, resources and ideas about the role of private enterprise in fighting poverty". Great resources for my forthcoming economy classes!

The League of MBA Bloggers

Thanks to Karibu, a fellow London Business School MBA blogger, I discovered that there is actually a league of MBA bloggers... The site doesn't seem to have been updated since July this year but it is a good resource for anyone considering a MBA and wanting to talk to some students, or to meet MBAs from other schools. I discovered that there are 6 bloggers at LBS (I am sure there are a lot more...) and that I am the only one from the Executive program. I know that some of my classmates are reading this blog so I am sure that there will be more EMBAs blogging soon. I am starting a LBS blogroll and invite students and alumni to do the same.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

First European Blog Survey

If you are a European communication professional, it is likely that most of the research you use to talk about how blogs impact communication practices comes from the US.

At last, the “European Public Relations Education and Research Association” is running the first pan-European survey of who is using blogs and for what purpose.

The project is led by the University of Sunderland (UK), the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg (Germany) and the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart (Germany) with national coordinators in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

You can take the survey here and you will get access to results when they will be published. You can talk about the survey on your blog too to encourage more to repond (we will all benefit from more participants).

Via www.newkidsontheblog.blogs.com

IBM to monitor how blogs impact reputation

IBM, in partnership with Factiva and NStein is said to be developing an application called the “Public Image Monitoring Solution” to analyze how discussions on blogs and other websites are affecting corporation's "image". See story on ZDNET.

Via Naked Conversations

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Paris riots: 15% click through on Google.fr for Nicolas Sarkozy

French politicians are becoming increasingly web savvy and opportunistic. Web agency L’enchanteur des nouveaux media (the new media charmer/wizard) is running a Google adwords campaign with keywords related to the Paris riots. When typing “voitures brulees” (burned cars), “emeutes + paris” (riots + paris) or “racaille + banlieue” (scums/yobs + suburbs) on Google.fr, a sponsored link brings you to the official website of the UMP, the majority political party headed by Interior Minister (and unofficial presidential candidate) Nicolas Sarkozy. There you are invited to sign a petition pledging support to Nicolas Sarkozy’s handling of the situation.

According to a ZDNet article (in French), the online petition had 12,000 visitors and 3,000 signatories within 2 days. Average click rate reach 10% to 15%.

CEOs give blogs a thumb (up or down, depending on your outlook on life)

PR Week/Burson Marsteller released their annual CEO survey, including some insights on attitude to blogging. Key takeouts:

- 7% of CEOs are blogging.
- 18% of CEOs plan to host a company blog over the next 2 years.
- 59 % of CEOs think blogs are useful for internal communication.
- 47% think blogs are useful to reach an external audience.

Recognised benefits of blogs included to quickly communicate new ideas and news, providing an informal venue for communication and obtaining immediate feedback. See press release. No online version of the survey available yet.

First seen at micropersuasion